Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,4
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. [Exit.

SCENE II.

The Florentine Camp.

Enter the two French Lords, and two or three

Soldiers.

1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?

2 Lord. I have delivered 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; he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.

1 Lord. Now, heaven 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 re

+ Crafty, deceitful.

veal 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 confoundedly in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?

2 Lord. Not till after midnight.

1 Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his company 5 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.

1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?

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 letter; 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.

· For companion.

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. I am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of this.

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.

Enter BERTRAM.

How now, my

1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. lord, is't not after midnight?

Ber. I have to-night despatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success: I have conged 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

[ocr errors]

parcels of despatch, effected many nicer needs; 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 module6; 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 7 so long. How does he carry himself?

1 Lord. I have told your lordship already; the stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be understood; he weeps : 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 ḥath 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 con

6 Model, pattern. 7 An allusion to the degradation of a knight by hacking off his

spurs.

straint; if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no

more.

1 Sold. Bosko chimurcho.
2 Lord. Boblibindo chicurmurcho.

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 my oath 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 theorick of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape 8 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: 1 Sold. Well, that's set down.

& The point of the scabbard.

« VorigeDoorgaan »