Hel. How do you mean?
May be, the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.

Wid. He does, indeed;

And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.

Enter with drum and colours, a party of the
rentine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.
Mar. The gods forbid else!

Wid. So, now they come :-
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
That, Escalus.

Hel. Which is the Frenchman?
Dia. He;

2 Lord. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.

1 Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprise him; such I will have, whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hood-wink him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the Flo-leaguer* of the adversaries, when we bring him to our tents: Be but your lordship present at his examination; if he do not, for the promise of his life, and in the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you, and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgement in any thing.

That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fel-
I would, he lov'd his wife: if he were hones-
He were much goodlier :-Is't not a handsome

Hel. I like him well.

Dia. "Tis pity, he is not honest: Yond's that
same knave,

That leads him to these places; were I his
I'd poison that vile rascal.

Hel. Which is he?


Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is

he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.

Par. Lose our drum! well.

2 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he says, he has a stratagem for't: when your lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes. Enter PAROLLles.

1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.

Ber. How now, monsieur? this drum sticks sorely in your disposition.

2 Lord. A pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum. Par. But a drum! Is't but a drum? A drum so lost!-There was an excellent command.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: to charge in with our horse upon our own Look, he has spied us.

Wid. Marry, hang you!
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers,

and Soldiers.

Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I
will bring you

Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques
Already at my house.

Hel. I humbly thank you:

Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thank-


Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
Worthy the note.

Both. We'll take your offer kindly. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence. Enter BERTRAM, and the two French LORDS. 1 Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his way.

2 Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding,t hold me no more in your respect.

1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
Ber. Do you think, I am so far deceiv'd in


1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, în mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertain

- ment.

2 Lord. It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might, at some great and trusty business, in a main danger, fail you.

Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action to try him.

[blocks in formation]

wings, and to rend our own soldiers.

2 Lord. That was not to be blamed in the command of the service; it was a disaster of war that Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.

Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some dishonour we had in the loss of

that drum; but it is not to be recovered

Par. It might have been recovered
Ber. It might, but it is not now.

Par. It is to be recovered: but that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet.†

Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to't, monsieur, if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise, and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit; if you speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it, and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worthiness.

Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.

Ber. But you must not now slumber in it. Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will presently pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my hear further from me. mortal preparation, and, by midnight, look to

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you are gone about it?

Par. I know not what the success may be, my lord; but the attempt I vow.

Ber. I know, thou art valiant; and, to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.

Par. I love not many words.
* The camp.


+I would recover the lost drum or another, or die in the attempt.


I will pen down my plans and the probable obstruc

1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water.-Is not this a strange fellow, my lord? that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, and dares better be damned than to do't.

2 Lord. You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it is, that he will steal himself into a man's favour, and, for a week, escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out, you have him ever after.

Ber. Why, do you think, he will make no deed at all of this, that so seriously he does address himself unto?

1 Lord. None in the world; but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we have almost embossed him, you shall see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship's respect.

2 Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu: when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night. 1 Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught.

Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with


1 Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave
Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and
The lass I spoke of.
[show you

2 Lord. But, you say, she's honest.
Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her
but once,

And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to

By this same coxcomb that we have i'the wind,

Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
And this is all I have done: She's a fair crea-
Will you go see her?

2 Lord. With all my heart, my lord.

[Exeunt. SCENE VIJ.-Florence.-A Room in the WIDOW'S House.

Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
I know not how I shall assure you further,
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
Wid. Though my estate be fallen, I was
well born,

Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

Now his important blood will nought deny
That she'll demand: A ring the county wears,
That downward hath succeeded in his house,
From son to son, some four or five descents
Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds
In most rich choice; yet, in his idle fire,
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

Wid. Now I see

The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then: It is no more,
But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;
In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
Herself most chastely absent: after this,
To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
To what is past already.

Wid. I have yielded:
Instruct my daughter how she shall perséver,
That time and place, with this deceit so lawful,
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
With musicks of all sorts, and songs compos'd
To her unworthiness: It nothing steads us,
To chide him from our eaves; for he persists,
As if his life lay on't.

Hel. Why then, to-night

Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
And lawful meaning in a lawful act;
Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact:
But let's about it.


SCENE 1.-Without the Florentine Camp. Enter first LORD, with five or six Soldiers in ambush.

this hedge' corner: When you sally upon him, speak what terrible language you will; though you understand it not yourselves, no matter: for we must not seem to understand him; unless some one among us, whom we must produce for an interpreter.

1 Lord. He can come no other way but by

1 Sold. Good captain, let me be the interpreter.

1 Lord. Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?

1 Sold. No, Sir, I warrant you.

1 Lord. But what linsy-woolsy hast thou to speak to us again?

1 Sold. Even such as you speak to me.

1 Lord. He must think us some band of strangers i'the adversary's entertainment.§ Now he hath a smack of all neighbouring languages; therefore we must every one be a man Hel. Nor would I wish you. of his own fancy, not to know what we speak First, give me trust, the count he is my hus-one to another; so we seem to know, is to band; [ken, know straight our purpose: chough's lanAnd, what to your sworn counsel I have spo- guage, gabble enough, and good enough. As Is so, from word to word; and then you can- for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. not, But couch, ho! here he comes; to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.

By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Err in bestowing it.

Wid. I should believe you;

For you have show'd me that, which well ap-
You are great in fortune.


Hel. Take this purse of gold,
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay, and pay again,
When I have found it. The count he wooes
your daughter,

Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolves to carry her; let her, in fine, consent,
As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it,

* Hunted him down. + Before we strip him naked.
* L. e. By discovering herself to the count.


Par. Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries it: They begin to smoke me; and disgraces have of late knocked too often at my door. I find, my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars be* Importunate. + I. e. Count. 1 From under our windows. I.e Foreign troops in the enemy's pay. A bird like a jack-daw.

fore it, and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.

1 Lord. This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.

[Aside. Par. What the devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum; being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some hurts, and say, I got them in exploit: Yet slight ones will not carry it: They will say, Came you off with so little? and great ones dare not give. Wherefore? what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth, and buy another of Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils. 1 Lord. Is it possible, he should know what he is, and be that he is? Par. I would the cutting of my garments [Aside. would serve the turn; or the breaking of my Spanish sword.

1 Lord. We cannot afford you so. [Aside. Par. Or the baring of my beard; and to say, it was in stratagem.

1 Lord. "Twould not do.

Par. Or to drown my clothes, and say, stripped.

1 Lord. Hardly serve.


I was


Par. Though I swore I leaped from the win

dow of the citadel

1 Lord. How deep? Par. Thirty fathom.

1 Lord. You shall hear one anon. Par. A drum now of the enemy's!


1 Lord. Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed. Par. I would, I had any drum of the enemy's; [Aside. I would swear, I recovered it. [Aside. [Alarum within. 1 Lord. Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo. All. Cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo. Par. O! ransom, ransom :-Do not hide mine eyes. [They seize him and blindfold him. 1 Sold. Boskos thromuldo boskos. Par. I know you are the Muskos' regiment. And I shall lose my life for want of language: If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch, Italian, or French, let him speak to me, I will discover that which shall undo The Florentine.

[ocr errors]

1 Sold. Boskos vauvado :

I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue :Kerelybonto:- -Sir,

Betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards Are at thy bosom.

Par. Oh!

[blocks in formation]

And all the secrets of our camp I'll show, Their force, their purposes: nay, Ill speak that Which you will wonder at.

1 Sold. But wilt thou faithfully?

Par. If I do not, damn me.

1 Sold. Acordo linta.

Come on, thou art granted space.

[Exit, with PAROLLES guarded.

1 Lord. Go, tell the count Rousillon, and my brother, [him muffled, We have caught the woodcock, and will keep

* The proof.

[blocks in formation]


Ber. They told me, that your name was

Dia. No, my good lord, Diana.
Ber. Titled goddess;

In your fine frame hath love no quality?
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
If the quick fire of youth light not your mind,
You are no maiden, but a monument:
When you are dead, you should be such a one
As you are now, for you are cold and stern;
And now you should be as your mother was,
When your sweet self was got.

Dia. She then was honest.

Ber. So should you be.

Dia. No:

My mother did but duty; such, my lord, As you owe to your wife.

Ber. No more of that!

I was compelled to her; but I love thee
I pr'ythee, do not strive against my vows:*
Do thee all rights of service.
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for
Dia. Ay, so you serve us,
Till we serve you: but when you have our
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
And mock us with our bareness.

Ber. How have I sworn?

Dia. "Tis not the many oaths that make the truth;

But the plain single vow, that is vow'd true. But take the Highest to witness:t Then, pray What is not holy, that we swear not by,

you, tell me,

If I should swear by Jove's great attributes,
I lov'd you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
When I did love you ill? this has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him: Therefore, your


Are words, and poor conditions; but unseal'd; At least, in my opinion.

Ber. Change it, change it; Be not so holy cruel: love is holy; And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts, But give thyself unto my sick desires, That do charge men with: Stand no more Who then recover: say, thou art mine, and ever My love, as it begins, shall so persever.


Dia. I see, that men make hopes, in such affairs, [ring. That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no

To give it from me.

Dia. Will you not, my lord?


Ber. It is an honour 'longing to our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors: Which were the greatest obloquy i'the world In me to lose.

Dia. Mine honour's such a ring:

[blocks in formation]

My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i'the world
In me to lose: Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part,
Against your vain assault.

Ber. Here, take my ring:

My house, mine honour, yea, my life be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.

Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my
chamber window;

I'll order take, my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
My reasons are most strong; and you shall
know them,

When back again this ring shall be deliver❜d:
And on your finger, in the night, I'll put
Another ring; that, what in time proceeds,
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu, till then; then, fail not: You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
Ber. A heaven on earth I have won, by
wooing thee.
Dia. For which live long to thank both
heaven and me!
You may so in the end.-

My mother told me just how he would woo,
As if she sat in his heart; she says, all men
Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry
When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so


Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid:
Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin
To cozen him, that would unjustly win. [Exit.

SCENE III.-The Florentine Camp.
Enter the two French LORDS, and two or three

1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?

2 Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.

1 Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and So sweet a lady.

2 Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.

1 Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.

2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.

1 Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we! 2 Lord. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends; so he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper

stream o'erflows himself.t

1 Lord. Is it not meant damnable‡ in us, to

[blocks in formation]

be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We
shall not then have his company to-night?
2 Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is
dieted to his hour.

1 Lord. That approaches apace: I would
gladly have him see his company* anatomized;
that he might take a measure of his own
judgements, wherein so curiously he had set
this counterfeit.

2 Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.

1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?

2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace. 1 Lord. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.

2 Lord. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?

1 Lord. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.

2 Lord. Let it be forbid, Sir! so should I be a great deal of his act.

I Lord. Sir, his wife, some two months since, fled from his house; her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le grand; which holy undertaking, with most austere sanctimony, she accomplished: and, there residing, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven. 2 Lord. How is this justified?

1 Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters; which makes her story true, even to the point of her death: her death itself, which could not be her office to say, is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place. 2 Lord. Hath the count all this intelligence?

1 Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.

2 Lord. I am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of this.

1 Lord. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses!

2 Lord. And how mightily, some other times, we drown our gain in tears! The great dignity, that his valour hath here acquired for him, shall at home be encountered with a shame as ample.

Lord. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherish'd by our virtues.—

Enter a SERVANT.

How now? where's your master?

Serv. He met the duke in the street, Sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave; his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.

2 Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can com



1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. How now my lord, is't not after midnight?

Ber. I have to-night despatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-peice, by an abstract

*For companion.

[ocr errors]

of success: I have conge'd with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my lady mother, II am returning; entertained my convoy; and, between these main parcels of despatch, effected many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.

2 Lord. If the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.

Ber. I mean the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it hereafter: But shall we have this dialogue between the fool and the soldier?- -Come, bring forth this counterfeit module; he has deceived me, like a doublemeaning prophesier.

2 Lord. Bring him forth: [Exeunt SOLDIERS.] he has sat in the stocks all night, poor gallant knave.

Ber. No matter; his heels have deserved it, in usurping his spurst so long. How does he carry himself?

1 Lord. I have told your lordship already; the stocks carry him. But, to answer you as you would be understood; he weeps, like a wench that had shed her milk: he hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance, to this very instant disaster of his setting i'the stocks: And what think you he hath confessed?

Ber. Nothing of me, has he?

2 Lord. His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his face: if your lordship be in't, as, I believe you are, you must have the patience to hear it.

Re-enter SOLDIERS, with PAROLLES. Ber. A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of me; hush! hush!

1 Lord. Hoodman comes!-Porto tartarossa. 1 Sold. He calls for the tortures; What will you say without 'em?

Par. I will confess what I know without constraint; if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.

1 Sold. Bosko chimurcho.

2 Lord. Boblibindo chicurmurco.

1 Sold. You are a merciful general :-Our general bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.

Par. And truly, as I hope to live.

1 Sold. First demand of him how many horse the duke is strong. What say you to that?

Par. Five or six thousand; but very weak and unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to


1 Sold. Shall I set down your answer so? Par. Do; I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will. Ber. All's one to him. slave is this!

What a past-saving

1 Lord. You are deceived, my lord; this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, (that was his own phrase,) that had the whole theorict of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chapes of his dagger.

2 Lord. I will never trust a man again, for keeping his sword clean; nor believe he can have every thing in him, by wearing his apparel neatly.

[blocks in formation]

1 Sold. Well, that's set down. Par. Five or six thousand horse, I said,will say true,-or thereabouts, set down,for I'll speak truth.

1 Lord. He's very near the truth in this. Ber. But I con him no thanks for❜t, in the nature he delivers it.

Pur. Poor rogues, I pray you, say. 1 Sold. Well, that's set down. Par. I humbly thank you, Sir: a truth's a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.

1 Sold. Demand of him, of what strength they are a-foot. What say you to that?

Par. By my troth, Sir, if I were to live this present hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio a hundred and fifty, Sebastian so many, Corambus so many, Jaques so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two hundred fifty each: mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll: half of which dare not shake the snow from off their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces. Ber. What shall be done to him?

1 Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my conditions, and what credit I have with the duke.

1 Sold. Well, that's set down. You shall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain be 'the camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is with the duke, what his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars; or whether he thinks, it were not possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to a revolt. What say you to this? what do you know of it?

Par. I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the intergatories: Demand them singly.

1 Sold. Do you know this captain Dumain? Par. I know him: he was a botcher's prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for innocent, that could not say him, nay. getting the sheriff's fools with child; a dumb

[DUMAIN lifts up his hand in anger. Ber. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know, his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.

Florence's camp?
1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of

Par. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
hear of your lordship anon.
1 Lord. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall

Sold. What is his reputation with the duke? Par. The duke knows him for no other but a

poor officer of mine; and writ to me this other day, to turn him out o'the band: I think, I have his letter in my pocket.

1 Sold. Marry, we'll search.

Pur. In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there, or it is upon a file, with the duke's other letters, in my tent.

1 Sold. Here 'tis; here's a paper? Shall I read it to you?

Par. I do not know, if it be it, or no.

Ber. Our interpreter does it well.
1 Lord. Excellently.

1 Sold. Dian. The count's a fool, and full of

Par. That is not the duke's letter, Sir; that is an advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana, to take heed of the allure

*Cassock then signified a horseman's loose coat.
+ Disposition and character. For interrogatories.
An ideot under the care of the sheriff
A natural fool.

« ElőzőTovább »