Page images

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you are

gone about it?


- Is not

Par. I know not what the success will 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.

[Exit. 1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water. 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 emboss'd 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.8

He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu : when his disguise and he is parted, tell me

6 Par. I love not many words.

i Lord. No more than a fish loves water.] Here we have the origin of this boaster's name; which, without doubt, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) ought, in strict propriety, to be written — Paroles. But our author certainly intended it otherwise, having made it a trisyllable:

“ Rust sword, cool blushes, and Parolles live.” He probably did not know the true pronunciation. MALONE.

7 we have almost embossed him,] To emboss a deer is to inclose him in a wood.

-- cre we case him.] That is, before we strip him naked.


what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night.

i Lord. I must go look my twigs ; he shall be caught.
Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me.
i Lord. As't please your lordship : I'll leave you.

[Erit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you The lass I spoke of. 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 her, By this same coxcomb that we have i’the windo, Tokens and letters which she did re-send ; And this is all I have done: She's a fair creature; Will you go see her? 2 Lord. With all my heart, my lord.




A Room in the Widow's House.

Enter HELENA and Widow.
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.

Nor would I wish you.
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband;
And, what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,
Is so, from word to word; and then you cannot,


- we have i'the wind,] To have one in the wind, is enumerated as a proverbial saying by Ray.

1 But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.) i. c. by discovering herself to the count.

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

I should believe you;
For you have show'd me that, which well approves
You are great in fortune.

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
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,
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 holds
In most rich choice; yet, in his idle fire,
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

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;

marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
To what is past already.

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

2 Now his important -] Important, here, is importunate.

the county wears,) i. e. the count.

To her unworthiness : It nothing steads us,
To chide him from our eaves; for he persists,
As if his life lay on't.

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 I. — Without the Florentine Camp.

Enter first Lord, with five or six Soldiers in ambush.

1 Lord. He can come no other


but by 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 Sold. Good captain, let me be the interpreter.

i Lord. Art not acquainted with him ? knows he not thy voice ? 1 Sold. No, sir, I warrant you.

i 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 of his own fancy, not to know what we speak to one another; so we seem to know, is to know

- some band of strangers i'the adversary's entertainment.] That is, foreign troops in the enemy's pay.

straight our purpose 5: chough's language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politick. But couch, ho! here he comes; to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.


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 fool-hardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars before 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 I I dare not give. Wherefore? what's the instance 6 ? 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 ?

[ Aside,

so we seem to know, is to know, &c.] We must each fancy a jargon for himself, without aiming to be understood by one another, for provided we appear to understand, that will be sufficient for the success of our project. HENLEY.

the instance ?] The proof.

of Bajazet's mule,] Parolles probably means, he must buy a tongue which has still to learn the use of speech, that he may run himself into no more difficulties by his loquacity. Mr. Malone reads mute.


« PreviousContinue »