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What angel shall Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear, And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice.-Write, write, Rinaldo, To this unworthy husband of his wife; Let every word weigh heavy of her worth, That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief, Though little he do feel it, set down sharply. Despatch the most convenient messenger:When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone, He will return; and hope I may, that she, Hearing so much, will speed her foot again, Led hither by pure love: which of them both Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense To make distinction:-Provide this messenger:My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak; Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak. [Exeunt.
SCENE V. Without the Walls of Florence. A tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens. Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
Dia. They say, the French count has done most honourable service.
Wid. It is reported that he has taken their greatest commander: and that with his own hand he slew the duke's brother. We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
Mar. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take beed of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been solicited by a gentleman his companion.
Mar. I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl.-Beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go under: many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not to advise you further; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger known, but the modesty which is so lost. Dia. You shall not need to fear me.
Enter HELENA, in the dress of a pilgrim.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
Ay, marry, is it.-Hark you!
Is it yourself? Wid. If you shall please so, Hel. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure. Wid. You came, I think, from France? Hel. I did so. Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours, That has done worthy service.
His name, Dia. The count Rousillon: Know you such a pray you.
Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of [him; His face I know not.
Whatsoe'er he is, As 'tis reported, for the king had married him He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, Against his liking: Think you it is so?
Hel. Ay, surely, mere the truth; I know his lady. Dia. There is a gentleman, that serves the count, Reports but coarsely of her. Hel.
What's his name?
Dia. Monsieur Parolles.
O, I believe with him,
I have not heard examin'd.
Of a detesting lord.
Wid. A right good creature: wheresoe'er she is, Her heart weighs sadly this young maid might do A shrewd turn, if she pleas'd. [her How do you mean? May be, the amorous count solicits her In the unlawful purpose. He does, indeed; And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
Enter with drum and colours, a party of the Florentine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.
Mar. The gods forbid else!
Which is the Frenchman?
That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow;
That leads him to these places; were I his lady,
Hel. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.
Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: Look, he has spied us.
Wid. Marry, hang you!
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thanking,
We'll take your offer kindly. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence.
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, hold me no more in your respect.
1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble. Ber. Do you think, I am so far deceived in him? knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him 1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an in
finite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment.
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. [to try him. Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action 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 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 judgment in any thing.
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
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! to charge in with our horse upon our own 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.
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, you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprize, and go 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 mortal preparation, and, by midnight, look to hear further from [are gone about it? Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you 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.
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
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. [caught. 1 Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. 1 Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave you. [Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show The lass I spoke of. [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 her, 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 creature; Will you go see her? 2 Lord.
With all my heart, my lord. [Exeunt. SCENE VII.-Florence. 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.
Hel. 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, 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,
Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Now I see
Hel. You see it lawful then: It is no more,
I have yielded:
Instruct my daughter how she shall perséver,
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 way 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 Sol. 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 of his own fancy, not to know what we speak one to another; so we seem to know, is to know straight our purpose: chough's language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. 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 must some hurts, and
got them in exploit: Yet slight ones will not carry it: They will say, Came you off with so little? and great ones I 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 what he is? (A side.)
Par. I would the cutting of my garments 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, I was stripped.
1 Lord. Hardly serve.
Par. Though I swore I leaped from the window
of the citadel
1 Lord. Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
1 Lord. How deep? Par. Thirty fathom.
Par. I would, I had any drum of the enemy's; I would swear, I had recovered it.
1 Lord. You shall hear one anon. (Aside.) Par. A drum now of the enemy's! (Alarum within.) 1 Lord. Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo. All. Cargo, cargo, villianda, par corbo, cargo. Par. O ransome, ransome :-Do not hide mine (They seize him, and blindfold him.) 1 Sol. 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. I Sol.
Boskos vanvado :
understand thee, and can speak thy tongue :Kerelybonto:- -Sir, Betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards Are at thy bosom.
O, pray, pray, pray.
1 Sold. Manka revania dulche. 1 Lord.
Oscorbi dulchos volivorca.
1 Sold. The general is content to spare thee yet; And, hood-wink'd as thou art, will lead thee on To gather from thee: haply, thou may'st inform Something to save thy life.
O, let me live, And all the secrets of our camp I'll show, Their force, their purposes: nay, I'll speak that, Which you will wonder at. 1-Sold. But wilt thou faithfully? Par. If I do not, damn me. 1 Sold.
Come on, thou art granted space. [Exit, with Parolles guarded. 1 Lord. Go, tell the count Rousillon, and my brother, [muffled, We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him Till we do hear from them.
Captain, I will.
1 Lord. He will betray us all unto ourselves;Inform 'em that.
So I will, sir.
1 Lord. Till then, I'll keep him dark, and safely lock'd. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-Florence. A Room in the Widow's House.
Enter BERTRAM and DIANA.
Ber. They told me, that your name was Fontibell. Dia. No, my good lord, Diana. Ber. Titled goddess; And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul, In your fine frame hath love no quality? 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.
So should you be.
No more of that!
I pr'ythee, do not strive against my vows:
Ay, so you serve us, Till we serve you: but when you have our roses, You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves, And mock us with our bareness.
How have I sworn? Dia. 'Tis not the many oaths, that make the truth; But the plain single vow, that is vow'd true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by, But take the Highest to witness: Then, pray you, tell me,
If I should swear by Jove's great attributes,
Change it, change it; Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy; And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts, That you do charge men with: Stand no more off, But give thyself unto my sick desires, Who then recover: say, thou art mine, and ever My love, as it begins, shall so perséver.
Dia. I see, that men make hopes, in such affairs, That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring. Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power 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 in the world In me to lose.
Dia. Mine honour's such a ring: My chastity's the jewel of our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy in the world In me to lose: Thus your own proper wisdom Brings in the champion honour on my part, Against your vain assault.
Here, take my ring: My house, mine honour, yea, my life be thine, And I'll be bid by thee. [ber window;
Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my chamI'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. [Exit. 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 me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him, When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, 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.
SCENE III.-The Florentine Camp.
1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?
2 Lord. I have deliver'd 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.
1 Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us, to 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 judgments, 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. [wars!
1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these 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.
1 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. am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of
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.
1 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 commend.
cels of despatch, effected many nicer needs; the last
and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen
Ber. What shall be done to him?
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.
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, whether he thinks it were not possible, with well-weigh what his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars; or
2 Lord. Bring him forth: [Exeunt Soldiers.] he
[Dumain lifts up his hand in anger.
I Sold. What is his reputation with the duke?
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!
2 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 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. [is this! Ber. All's one to him. What a past-saving slave 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 every thing 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 con him no thanks for't, in the nature he delivers it.
Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
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 and fifty each: mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten
1 Sold. Marry, we'll search.
Par. In good sadness, I do not know; either it
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,
After he scores he never pays the score: [it;
PAROLLES. 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, would repent out the remainder of nature: let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.