BETROTHAL AND WEDDING RINGS 221
an association of the respective objects with Turkey, as the land from
whence they were erroneously believed to come. As Shylock's turquoise
seems to have been set in a betrothal ring, it is singular to note that
at the present day the turquoise is a favorite stone for betrothal
rings in Germany.
Shakespeare's Cymbeline, where the diamond is so often mentioned in
connection with a ring given as a sign of faithfulness, a passage
occurs denoting that this stone was sometimes set in a betrothal ring
in Shakespeare's time. The line runs (Act I, sc. 4) :
This diamond was my mother's: take it, heart; But keep it till you woo another wife.
preciousness and dazzling lustre of diamonds are also alluded to in
this play. It is worthy of note that while in all of Shakespeare j plays the diamond is only mentioned twenty-one times, seven of these mentions are in his Cymbeline.
emblematic wedding-ring with a deep, and perhaps somewhat ambiguous
significance, was bestowed upon his spouse by Bishop Cokes. Upon it was
engraved a hand, â heart, a mitre, and a death's head, the inscription
These three I give to thee Till the fourth set me free.50
A frankly humorous inscription was that placed upon the wedding-ring of Lady Cathcard when, in 1713, she wedded her fourth husband, Hugh Maguire. This was as follows:
If I survive I will have five
50 Evans, " Posy Rings," London, 1892, p. 13.