« VorigeDoorgaan »
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 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 9, 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 ithe 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 wellweighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to a revolt. What say you to this ? what do you know of it ?
Par. Í beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the interrogatories: 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 ill conduct.
[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.
9 Cassock then signified a horseman's loose coat.
1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Flo. rence'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 let. ter 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 let
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.
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 allurements of one count Rousillon, a foolish idle boy : 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.
Ber. Abominable, 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
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,
he does owe 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, I would repent out the remainder of nature: let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i'the stocks, or any where, so I
i 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. 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. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has every thing 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 plague 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 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.
1 Lord. He hath out-villained villainy so far, that the rarity redeems him.
Ber. A plague 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'ecu2 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,
1 Sold. What's his brother, the other captain Dumain ?
2 Lord. Why does he ask him of 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 : În a retreat he outruns any lackey: marry, in coming on he has the cramp. 1 Sold. If your life be saved, will
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
2 The fourth part of the smaller French crown.
3 To deceive the opinion.
pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use; therefore you must die. Come, headsmen, 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
(Unmuffling him. So, look about
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 fare 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,
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. Who knows himself a braggart, 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.