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Enter a Servant.
How now? where's your master?
Serv. He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he bath 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 commend.
1 Lord. You are deceived, my lord; this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, (that was his own phrase,) that had the whole theorick of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.
2 Lord. I will never trust a man again, for keeping his sword clean; nor believe he can have every
1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's thing in him, by wearing his apparel neatly. tartness. Here's his lordship now. 1 Sold. Well, that's set down. lord, is't not after midnight?
How now, my
Par. Five or six thousand horse, I said, I will say true,- —or thereabouts, set down,—for I'll speak
Ber. I have to-night dispatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract 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, I am returning; entertained my convoy; and, between these main parcels of despatch, effected many nicer deeds; 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 double-meaning 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 spurs so long. How does he carry
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.
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. 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 1 Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. shed her milk: he hath confessed himself to Mor-mand of him my conditions, and what credit I have gan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time with the duke. of his remembrance, to this very instant disaster of his setting i'the stocks: And what think you he
1 Sold. He calls for the tortures; What will you say without 'em?
Par. Do; I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will.
Ber. All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
Par. I will confess what I know without constraint; if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no
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 unser viceable: the troops are all scattered, and the comman ders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to live.
1 Soll. Shall I set down your answer so?
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.
Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
I 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?
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: 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.
1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Flo rence's camp?
Par. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy, 1 Lord. Nay, look not so upon me; we shal hear of your lordship anon.
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.
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.
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.
After he scores, he never pays the score:
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 cow
Ber. Damnable, both sides rogue!
1 Sold. When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, ard, 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.
and take it;
1 Sold. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Par. Ay, and the captain of his horse, count Rousillon.
He ne'er pays after debts, take it before;
Ber. He shall be whipped through the 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 cloister; 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 bed-clothes 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.
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 feesimple 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?
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
2 Lord. Why does he ask him of me?
1 Sold. What's he?
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
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
Par. Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
Let him fear this; for it will come to pass,
SCENE IV. Florence. A Room in the
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA.
Hel. That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Gentle madam, You never had a servant, to whose trust Your business was more welcome.
Nor you, mistress, Ever a friend, whose thoughts more truly labour To recompense your love; doubt not, but heaven Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower, As it hath fated her to be my motive And helper to a husband. But O strange men! That can such sweet use make of what they hate, When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts Defiles the pitchy night! so lust doth play With what it loths, for that which is away : But more of this hereafter : You, Diana, Under my poor instructions yet must suffer Something in my behalf.
Let death and honesty Go with your impositions, I am yours Upon your will to suffer.
Hel. Yet, I pray you, But with the word, the time will bring on summer, When briars shall have leaves as well as thorns, And be as sweet as sharp. We must away; Our waggon is prepar'd, and time revives us : All's well that ends well: still the fine's the crown; Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
[Exeunt. SCENE V.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown.
Laf. No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffata fellow there; whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour: your daughter-inlaw had been alive at this hour; and your son here at home more advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Count. I would, I had not known him! it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating: if she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans
Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world, let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire.
Laf. Go thy ways, I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature. [Exit.
Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy. Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.
Laf. I like him well; 'tis not amiss: and I was about to tell you. Since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master, to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose: his highness hath promised me to do it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.
Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty; he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
Count. It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters, that my son will be here to-night I shall beseech your lordship, to remain with me till they meet together.
Laf. Madam, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege.
Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my God, it holds yet.
Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen From the report that goes upon your goodness; And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions, Which lay nice manners by, I put you to The use of your own virtues, for the which I shall continue thankful.
Enter Clown and Parolles.
Par. Good monsieur Lavatch, give my lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.
Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, pr'ythee, stand away; A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat (but not a musk-cat,) that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship. [Exit Clown. Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for you: Let the justice make you and fortune friends; I am for other bu siness.
Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one single word.
Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't; save your word.
Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles. Laf. You beg more than one word then.-Cox' my passion! give me your hand: How does your drum? Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me.
Laf. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
SCENE III.- The same.
Flourish. Enter King, Countess, LAFEU, Lords, Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye'
Gentlemen, Guards, &c.
The dust that did offend it.
Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.] The king's coming, I know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow. Par. I praise God for you. [Exeunt.
King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
King. I am not a day of season,
My high-repented blames, Dear sovereign, pardon to me.