King. My Honor's at the stake, which to defeate I must produce my power. Heere, take her hand, Proud scornfull boy, vnworthie this good gift, That dost in vile misprision shackle vp My loue, and her desert: that canst not dreame, We poizing vs in her defectiue scale, Shall weigh thee to the beame: That wilt not know, It is in Vs to plant thine Honour, where We please to haue it grow. Checke thy contempt: Obey Our will, which trauailes in thy good: Beleeue not thy disdaine, but presentlie Do thine owne fortunes that obedient right Which both thy dutie owes, and Our power claimes, Or I will throw thee from my care for euer Into the staggers, and the carelesse lapse Of youth and ignorance: both my reuenge and hate Loosing vpon thee, in the name of iustice, Without all termes of pittie. Speake, thine answer

Ber. Pardon my gracious Lord: for I submit My fancie to your eies, when I consider What great creation, and what dole of honour Flies where you bid it: I finde that she which late Was in my Nobler thoughts, most base: is now The praised of the King, who so ennobled, Is as 'twere borne so

King. Take her by the hand, And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise A counterpoize: If not to thy estate, A ballance more repleat

Ber. I take her hand

Kin. Good fortune, and the fauour of the King Smile vpon this Contract: whose Ceremonie Shall seeme expedient on the now borne briefe, And be perform'd to night: the solemne Feast Shall more attend vpon the coming space, Expecting absent friends. As thou lou'st her, Thy loue's to me Religious: else, do's erre.


Parolles and Lafew stay behind, commenting of this wedding.

Laf. Do you heare Monsieur? A word with you

Par. Your pleasure sir

Laf. Your Lord and Master did well to make his recantation

Par. Recantation? My Lord? my Master? Laf. I: Is it not a Language I speake? Par. A most harsh one, and not to bee vnderstoode without bloudie succeeding. My Master? Laf. Are you Companion to the Count Rosillion? Par. To any Count, to all Counts: to what is man

Laf. To what is Counts man: Counts maister is of another stile

Par. You are too old sir: Let it satisfie you, you are too old

Laf. I must tell thee sirrah, I write Man: to which title age cannot bring thee

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do

Laf. I did thinke thee for two ordinaries: to bee a prettie wise fellow, thou didst make tollerable vent of thy trauell, it might passe: yet the scarffes and the bannerets about thee, did manifoldlie disswade me from beleeuing thee a vessell of too great a burthen. I haue now found thee, when I loose thee againe, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking vp, and that th'ourt scarce worth

Par. Hadst thou not the priuiledge of Antiquity vpon thee

Laf. Do not plundge thy selfe to farre in anger, least thou hasten thy triall: which if, Lord haue mercie on thee for a hen, so my good window of Lettice fare thee well, thy casement I neede not open, for I look through thee. Giue me thy hand

Par. My Lord, you giue me most egregious indignity

Laf. I with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it

Par. I haue not my Lord deseru'd it

Laf. Yes good faith, eu'ry dramme of it, and I will not bate thee a scruple

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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