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drum;

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 plague 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

but it is not to be recovered. Par. It might have been recovered. Ber. It might, but it is not now.

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, if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into its native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprize, and go on; 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 me.

i i. e. An epitaph.

VOW.

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you are gone about it?

Par. I know not what the success will be, my lord; but the attempt

I Ber. I know thou art valiant; and to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par. I love not many words.

[Erit. 1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water. - ls not this a strange fellow, my lord ? that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done.

2 Lord. You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it is, that he will steal himself into a man's favour, and, for a week, escape a great deal of discoveries ; but when you find him out you

have him ever after.

Ber. Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of this, that so seriously he does address himself unto?

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 6;

; 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.

1 Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught.

Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. 1 Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave you.

[Éxit.

6 To emboss a deer, is to inclose him in a wood.

7 Before we strip him naked.

Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show

you The lass I spoke of. 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 resend ; 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.
Wid.

I should believe you ; For you

have show'd me that which well approves You are great in fortune.

Hel.

Take this purse of gold, And let me buy your friendly help thus far, Which I will over-pay, and pay again, When I have found it. The count he wooes your

daughter, Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty, Resolves to carry her; let her, in fine, consent, As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it, Now his important 8 blood will nought deny That she'll demand: A ring the county' wears, That downward hath succeeded in his house, From son to son, some four or five descents Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds In most rich choice; yet in his idle fire, To buy his will, it would not seem too dear, Howe'er repented after. Wid.

Now I see
The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then : It is no more,
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.
Wid.

I have yielded :
Instruct my daughter how she shall perséver,
That time and place, with this deceit so lawful,
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
With musicks 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.
Hel.

Why then, to-night
Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,

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And lawful meaning in a lawful act;
Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact:
But let's about it.

[Exeunt.

ACT THE FOURTH.

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 Sold. 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?

lie. Foreign troops in the enemy's pay.

? A bird like a jack-daw.

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