Графични страници
PDF файл

all eyes, whose words took all ears captive, whose deep perfection made all hearts wish to serve her." The king said, "Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear. Well—call hinv hither;" meaning Bertram, who now presented himself before the king: and, on his expressing deep sorrow for the injuries he had done to Helena, the king, for his dead father's and his admirable mother's sake, pardoned him, and restored him once more to his favour. But the gracious countenance of the king was soon changed towards him, for he perceived that Bertram wore the very ring upon his finger which he had given to Helena; and he well remembered that Helena had called all the saints in heaven to witness she would never part with that ring,unless she sent it to the king himself upon some great disaster befalling her; and Bertram, on the king's questioning him how he came by the ring, told an improbable story of a lady throwing' it to him out of a window, and denied ever having seen Helena since the day of their marriage. The king, knowing Bertram's dislike to his wife, feared he had destroyed her; and he ordered his guards to seize Bertram, saying, " I< am wrapt in dismal thinking, for I fear the life

of Helena was foully snatched." At this moment Diana and her mother entered, and presented a petition to the king, wherein they begged his majesty to exert his royal power to compel Bertram to marry Diana, he having made her a solemn promise of marriage. Bertram, fearing the king's anger, denied he had made any such promise, and then Diana produced the ring (which Helena had put into her hands) to confirm the truth of her words; and she said that she had given Bertram the ring he then wore, in exchange for that, at the time he vowed to marry her. On hearing this, the king ordered the guards to seize her also; and her account of the ring differing from Bertram-s, the king's suspicions were confirmed; and he said, if they did not confess how they came by this ring of Helena's, they should be both put to death. Diana requested her mother might be permitted to fetch the jeweller of whom she bought the ring, which being granted, the widow went out ,and presently returned leading in Helena herself.

The good countess, who in silent grief had beheld her son's danger, and had even dreaded that the suspicion of his having destroyed his wife might possibly be true, finding her dear Helena, whom she loved with even a maternal affection, was still living, felt a delight she wa» hardly able to support; and the king, scarce believing for joy that it was Helena, said, " Is this indeed the wife of Bertram that I see?" Helena, feel-ng herself yet an unacknowledged wife, replied, "No, my good lord, it is but the shadow of a wife you see, the name and not the thing." Bertram cried out, "Both, both! O pardon!"

my lord," said Helena, " when I personated this fair maid, I found you wondrous kind; and look, here is your letter!" reading to him in a joyful tone those words, which she had once repeated so sorrowfully, When from my finger you can get this ring—" This is done, it was to me you gave the ring. Will you be mine, now you are doubly won?" Bertram replied, "If you can make it plain that you were the lady I talked with that night, I will love you dearly, ever, ever dearly." This was no difficult task, for the widow and Diana came with Helena purposely to prove this fact; and the king was so well pleased with Diana, for the friendly assistance she had rendered the dear lady he so truly valued for the service she had done him, that he promised her also a noble husband: Helena's history giving him a hint that it was a suitable reward for kings to bestow upon fair ladies when they perform notable services.

Thus Helena at last found that her father'* legacy was indeed sanctified by the luckiest stars in heaven; for she was now the beloved wife of her dear Bertram, the daughter-in-law of her noble mistress) and herself the countess of Rossilion.



KATHERINE, the shrew, was the eldest daughter of Baptista, a rich gentleman of Padua. She was a lady of such an ungovernable spirit and fiery temper, such a loud-tongued scold, that she was known in Padua by no other name than Katherine the Shrew. It seemed very unlikely, indeed impossible, that any gentleman would ever be found who would venture. to marry this lady, and therefore Baptista was much blamed for deferring his consent to many excel- t lent offers that were made to her gentle sister Bianca, putting off all Bianca's suitors with this excuse, that when the eldest sister was fairly off his hands, they should have free leave to address young Bianca.

It happened however that a gentlemen, named Petruchio, came to Padua, purposely to look out

« ПредишнаНапред »