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The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then. It is no more 30 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, To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns To what is past already.

I have yielded.
Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,
That time and place with this deceit so lawful
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
With musics of all sorts and songs compos'd
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 French Lord, with five or six Soldiers in ambush.

First 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.

First Sold. Good captain, let me be the interpreter.

First Lord. Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?


First Sold. No, sir, I warrant you. First Lord. But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?

First Sold. E'en such as you speak to me. First 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 foolhardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it

and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.

First Lord. This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.


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 dare not give. Wherefore, what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth, and buy myself another of Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.

First Lord. Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?


Par. I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.

First Lord. We cannot afford you so.

Par. Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in stratagem.

First Lord. "Twould not do.

Par. Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.

First Lord. Hardly serve.


Par. Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel

First Lord. How deep?

Par. Thirty fathom.

First Lord. Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.

Par. I would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear I recovered it.

First Lord. You shall hear one anon.
Par. A drum now of the enemy's!


Alarum within. First Lord. Throca morousus, cargo, cargo, cargo. All. Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.

Par. O! ransom, ransom! Do not hide mine eyes. They seize and blindfold him. First Sold. 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.

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Come on; thou art granted space.
Exit, with PAROLLES guarded. A short
alarum within.
First Lord. Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and
my brother,

Dia. I see that men make ropes in such a scarr
That we 'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no
To give it from me.

Will you not, my lord?
Ber. It is an honour 'longing to our house,

We have caught the woodcock, and will keep Bequeathed down from many ancestors, him muffled

Till we do hear from them.

Second Sold.

Captain, I will.

First Lord. A' will betray us all unto ourselves: Inform on that.

Second Sold. So I will, sir.


First Lord. Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd. Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Florence. A Room in the Widow's



Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose.

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My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquy i' 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.

Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my

Ber. They told me that your name was I'll order take my mother shall not hear.

Dia. No, my good lord, Diana.

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.

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My mother did but duty; such, my lord,

As you owe to your wife.



No more o' that!
I prithee do not strive against my vows.
I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.
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! 20
Dia. 'Tis not the many oaths that make the

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 God's great attributes,
I lov'd you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him: therefore your

Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd; 30
At least in my opinion.

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 persever.

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

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
Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven
and me!

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Second Lord. He hath perverted a young | be proud if our faults whipped them not; and gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste our crimes would despair if they were not renown; and this night he fleshes his will in cherished by our virtues. the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.

First Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves, what things are we.

Second 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.


First Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?

Second Lord. Not till after midnight, for he is dieted to his hour.

First Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his company anatomized, that he might take a measure of his own judg. ments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit. 40

Second Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come, for his presence must be the whip

of the other.

First Lord. In the meantime what hear you of these wars?

Second Lord. I hear there is an overture of peace.

First Lord. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.

Second Lord. What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?

52 First Lord. I perceive by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.

Second Lord. Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal of his act.

First 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.

Second Lord. How is this justified?

First 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.


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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 hath taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.

Second Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend. First Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now.


How now, my lord! is 't not after midnight? 100

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 dispatch effected many nicer needs: the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.

Second 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 model: has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.

Second Lord. Bring him forth.


Exeunt Soldiers. Has sat i' 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 himself?

First 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 a'?


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A truth's a

Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say. First Sold. Well, that 's set down. Par. I humbly thank you, sir. truth; the rogues are marvellous poor. 180 First 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 fifty each: mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake the snow from off their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces. Ber. What shall be done to him?


First Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my condition, and what credit I have with the duke.

First 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.

First Sold. Do you know this Captain Dumain? Par. I know him: a' was a botcher's prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the shrieve's fool with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say him nay.

DUMAIN lifts 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.

First Sold. Well, is this captain in the Duke of Florence's camp?

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Second 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.

First Sold. I perceive, sir, by our 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.



First Sold. We'll see what may be done, s0 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 'em 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,

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Par. Faith, sir, 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 called 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. 303 First Lord. He hath out-villained villany so far that the rarity redeems him.

Ber. A pox on him! he's a cat still. First Sold. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.

Par. Sir, for a quart d'écu 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.


First Sold. What's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?

Second Lord. Why does he ask him of me?
First Sold. What's he?

Par. E'en a crow o' 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. 324 First Sold. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?

Par. Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.

First Sold. I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.


Par. Aside. 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?

First 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. 343

Par. O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!

First Sold. That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends. Unmuffling him. So, look about you: know you any here? Ber. Good morrow, noble captain. Second Lord. God bless you, Captain Parolles. First Lord. God save you, noble captain. Second Lord. Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu? I am for France.


First 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 and Lords. First Sold. You are undone, captain; all but your scarf; that has a knot on 't yet.

Par. Who cannot be crushed with a plot? 360 First 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 ye 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; But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft As captain shall: simply the thing I am Shall make me live. braggart,

Who knows himself a


Let him fear this; for it will come to pass
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword! cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.

SCENE IV.-Florence.


A Room in the Widow's House.

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
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis

Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel.
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
And answer, thanks. I duly am inform'd
His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
We have convenient convoy. You must know, 10
I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
My husband hies him home; where, heaven

And by the leave of my good lord the king,
We'll be before our welcome.

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 loathes for that which is away. But more of this hereafter. You, Diana, Under my poor instructions yet must suffer Something in my behalf. Dia. 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 briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,

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