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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 i'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 1: 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 getting the sheriff's fool with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay.
[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.2
1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
Par. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
1 Lord. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.
off their cassocks,] Cassock signifies a horseman's loose coat, and is used in that sense by the writers of the age of Shakspeare. my conditions,] i. e. my disposition and character. Mr. Malone reads condition.
intergatories: i. e. interrogatories.
though I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.] In Lucian's Contemplantes, Mercury makes Charon remark a man that was killed by the falling of a tile upon his head, whilst he was in the act of putting off an engagement to the next day.
1 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.
Par. 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.
I 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 gold,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 allurement of one count Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but, for all that, very ruttish: I pray you, sir, put it up again.
1 Sold. Nay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
Par. My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the behalf of the maid: for I knew the young count to be a dangerous and lascivious boy; who is a whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds.
Ber. Damnable, both sides rogue!
1 Sold. When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores, he never pays Half won, is match well made; match, and well make it; He ne'er pays after debts, take it before; And say, a soldier, Dian, told thee this, Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss:
3 Half won, is match well made; match, and well make it;] The
meaning is, a match well made, is half won; make your match, therefore, but make it well."
For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it,
Thine, as he vow'd to thee in thine ear,
Ber. He shall be whipped through the army, with this rhyme in his forehead.
2 Lord. This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold linguist, and the armipotent soldier.
Ber. I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
1 Sold. I perceive, sir, by the general's looks, we shall be fain to hang you.
Par. My life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to die; but that, my offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of nature: let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i'the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
1 Sold. We'll see what may be done, so you confess freely; therefore, once more to this captain Dumain : You have answered to his reputation with the duke, and to his valour: What is his honesty?
Par. He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister1; for rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus. He professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking them, he is stronger than Hercules. He will lie, sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth were a fool: drunkenness is his best virtue: for he will be swine-drunk ; and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bedclothes about him; but they know his conditions, and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty he has every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.
1 Lord. I begin to love him for this.
4 — an egg out of a cloister;] He will steal any thing, however trifling, from any place, however holy. Robbing the spital, is a common phrase, of the like import
Ber. For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon him for me, he is more and more a cat.
1 Sold. What say you to his expertness in war?
Par. Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English tragedians, to belie him, I will not, and more of his soldiership I know not; except, in that country, he had the honour to be the officer at a place there call'd Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.
1 Lord. He hath out-villained villainy so far, that the rarity redeems him.
Ber. A pox on him! he's a cat still.
1 Sold. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not ask you, if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
Par. Sir, for a quart d'ecu' he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.
1 Sold. What's his brother, the other captain Dumain?
2 Lord. Why does he ask him of me?
1 Sold. What's he?
Par. E'en a crow of the same nest; not altogether so great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil. He excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is: In a retreat he out-runs any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
1 Sold. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Par. Ay, and the captain of his horse, count Rousillon.
for a quart d'ecu-] The fourth part of the smaller French crown; about eight-pence of our money.
6 Why does he ask him of me?] This is nature. Every man is, on such occasions, more willing to hear his neighbour's character than his own.
1 Sold. I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
Par. I'll no more drumming: a plague of all drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy the count, have I run into this danger: Yet, who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken? [Aside.
1 Sold. There is no remedy, sir, but you must die: the general says, you, that have so traitorously discovered the secrets of your army, and made such pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use; therefore you must die. Come, headsmen, off with his head.
Par. O Lord, sir; let me live, or let me see my death! 1 Sold. That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.
So, look about you; Know you any here?
2 Lord. God bless you, captain Parolles.
1 Lord. God save you, noble captain.
2 Lord. Captain, what greeting will you to my lord Lafeu? I am for France.
1 Lord. Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the count Rousillon? an I were not a very coward, I'd compel it of you; but fare you well. [Exeunt BERTRAM, Lords, &c. 1 Sold. You are undone, captain: all but your scarf, that has a knot on't yet.
Par. Who cannot be crushed with a plot?
1 Sold. If you could find out a country where but women were that had received so much shame, you might begin an impudent nation. Fare you well, sir; I am for France too; we shall speak of you there. [Exit. Par. Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great, "Twould burst at this; Captain, I'll be no more;
to beguile the supposition — ] That is, to deceive the opinion, to make the count think me a man that deserves well.