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Laf. Your reputation [to Ber.] comes too short for my daughter, you are no husband for her.
Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature, Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour, Than for to think that I would sink it here.
King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend,
Good my lord,
King. What say'st thou to her?
She 's impudent, my lord; And was a common gamester to the camp.:
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
9 a common gamester to the camp.] The following passage, in an ancient MS. tragedy, entitled The Second Maiden's Tragedy, will sufficiently elucidate the idea once affixed to the term-gamester, when applied to a female:
"'Tis to me wondrous how you should spare the day
“When all the world's a gamester." Again, in Pericles, Lysimachus asks Mariana
"Were you a gamester at five or at seven?" Again, in Troilus and Cressida:
daughters of the game.” Steevens. 1 Whose high respect, and rich validity,] Validity means value. So, in King Lear :
“No less in space, validity, and pleasure." Again, in Twelfth Night:
“Of what validity and pitch soever.” Steevens.
He gave it to a commoner o'the camp,
Count. He blushes, and 'tis it:2
Methought, you said, You saw one here in court could witness it.
Dia. I did, my lord, but loth am to produce
Laf. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
What of him?
She hath that ring of yours. Ber. I think, she has: certain it is, I lik'd her,
'tis it:] The old copy has—tis hit. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. In many of our old chronicles I have found hit printed instead of it. Hence, probably, the mis. take here. Mr. Pope reads and 'tis his. Malone
Or, he blushes, and 'tis fit. Henley. 3 Methought, you said,The poet has here forgot himself. Diana has said no such thing. Blackstone.
4 He 's quoted for a most perfidious slave,] Quoted has the same sense as noted, or observed. So, in Hamlet:
“I'm sorry that with better heed and judgment
debosh'd;] See a note on The Tempest, Act III, sc. ii, Vol. II, p. 82, n. 2. Steevens.
6 Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth:] Here the modern editors read:
Which nature sickens with :a most licentious corruption of the old reading, in which the punctuation only wants to be corrected. We should read, as here printed:
Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth: i.e. only to speak a truth. Tyrwhitt.
And boarded her i’ the wanton way of youth:
I must be patient;
pray you yet,
- all impediments in fancy's course Are motives of more fancy;) Every thing that obstructs love is an occasion by which love is heightened. And, to conclude, her solicitation concurring with her fashionable appearance, she got the ring.
I am not certain that I have attained the true meaning of the word modern, which, perhaps, signifies rather meanly pretty.
Fohnson. I believe modern means common. The sense will then be this - Her solicitation concurring with her appearance of being common, i.e. with the appearance of her being to be had, as we say at present. Shakspeare uses the word modern frequently, and always in this sense. So, in King Fohn:
scorns a modern invocation." Again, in As you Like it :
" Full of wise saws and modern instances.”
“ Trifles, such as we present modern friends with." Again, in the present comedy, p. 211, n. 5: “– to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless."
Mr. M. Mason says, that modern grace means, with a tolerable degree of beauty. He questions also the insufficiency of the instances brought in support of my explanation, but adduces none in defence of his own. Steevens.
Dr. Johnson's last interpretation is certainly the true one. See p. 59, n. 4; and p. 211, n. 5. I think, with Mr. Steevens, that modern here, as almost every where in Shakspeare, means common, ordinary; but do not suppose that Bertram here means to call Diana a common gamester, though he has styled her so in a former passage. Malone.
8 May justly diet me.) May justly loath or be weary of me, as people generally are of a regimen or prescribed diet. Such, I imagine, is the meaning: Mr. Collins thinks she means" May justly make me fast, by depriving me (as Desdemona says) of the rites for which I love you.” Malone. Mr. Collins's interpretation is just. The allusion may be to
(Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband)
I have it not.
Sir, much like The same upon your finger.
King. Know you this ring? this ring was his of late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.
King. The story then goes false, you threw it him Out of a casement. Dia.
I have spoke the truth.
Enter PAROLLES. Ber. My lord, I do confess, the ring was hers. King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts
you. Is this the man you speak of? Dia.
Ay, my lord. King. Tell me, sirrah, but, tell me true, I charge you, Not fearing the displeasure of your master, (Which, on your just proceeding, I 'll keep off) By him, and by this woman here, what know you?
Par. So please your majesty, my master hath been an honourable gentleman; tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
King. Come, come, to the purpose: Did he love this woman?
Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her; But how?'
the management of hawks, who were half starved till they became tractable. Thus, in Coriolanus :
I'll watch him, “ Till he be dieted to my request.” “To fast, like one who takes diet,” is a comparison that occurs in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Steevens.
he did love her; But how?] But how perhaps belongs to the King's next speech:
But how, how, I pray you? This suits better with the King's apparent impatience and solicitude for Helena. Malone.
Surely all transfer of these words is needless. Hamlet addresses such another Aippant interrogatory to himself: “The mousc-trap. Marry, how? Tropically.” Steevens.
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
King. How is that?
King. As thou art a knave, and no knave:
Par. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
Par. Yes, so please your majesty; I did go between them, as I said; but more than that, he loved her,for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time, that I knew of their going to bed; and of other motions, as promising her marriage, and things that would derive me ill will to speak of, therefore I will not speak what I know.
King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married: But thou art too fine in thy evidence:2 therefore stand aside. This ring, you say, was yours? Dia.
Ay, my good lord.
companion —] i. e. fellow. So, in King Henry VI, P. II: “ Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be, “I know thee not." I
Steevens. But thou art too fine in thy evidence;] Too fine, too full of finesse; too artful. A French expression-trop fine.
So, in Sir Henry Wotton's celebrated Parallel: “We may rate this one secret, as it was finely carried, at 40001. sterling.
Malone. So, in a very scarce book, entitled A Courtlie Controversie of Cupid's Cautels : conteyning fiue Tragicall Histories, &c. Translated out of French, &c. by H. W. (Henry Wotton] 4to. 1578: “ Woulde God, (sayd he) I were to deale with a man, that I might recover my losse by fine force: but sith my controversie is agaynst a woman, it muste be woone by loue and favoure.” p. 51. Again, p. 277: 66
- as a butterflie flickering from floure to floure, if it be caught by a childe that finely followeth it,” &c.