« PreviousContinue »
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 live.
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. What a past-saving slave is this!
1 Lord. You are deceived, my lord; this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist (that was his own phrase), that had the whole theoric 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 everything in him, by wearing his apparel neatly.
1 Sold. Well, that's set down.
Par. Five or six thousand horse, I said,-I 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 cont him no thanks for't, in the nature he delivers
Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
1 Sold. Well, that's set down.
Par. I humbly thank you, Sir: a truth's 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
*The hook-end of the scabbard. 1 I. e. know no thanks due to him.
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 inter gatories: 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 foolt 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 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.
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.
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.
+ I. e. idiot ward.
Ber. Damnable, both sides rogue!
1 Sold. When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it ; After he scores, he never pays the score: 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: For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it, Who pays before, but not when he does owe 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 anything 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 anywhere, 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 everything 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.
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 hím, 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'écu* 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 off 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 outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
I Sold. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Par. Ay, and the captain of his horse, count Rousillon.
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, headsman, 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?
Ber. Good morrow, noble captain.
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 fair 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.
Par. Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great, "Twould burst at this: Captain, I'll be no more; But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
*The fourth part of a crown.
+ Respecting me.
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
SCENE IV-Florence. A Room in the WIDOW's House.
Hel. That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
Wid. Gentle madam,
You never had a servant, to whose trust,
Hel. Nor you, mistress,
Ever a friend, whose thoughts more truly labour
Dia. Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Hel. Yet, I pray you,
But with the word, the time will bring on summer,