I did so.

His name,


Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours, That has done worthy service. Hel.


pray you. Dia. The count Rousillon ; Know you such a one?

Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him; His face I know not. Dia.

Whatso'er he is, He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, As 'tis reported, for the king had married him 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.

What's his name?
Dia. Monsieur Parolles.

0, I believe with him,
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Of the great count himself, she is too mean
To have her name repeated; all her deserving
Is a reserved honesty, and that
I have not heard examin'd 6.

Alas, poor lady! "Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife Of a detesting lord.

Wid. Ay, right; good creature, wheresoe'er she is", Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her A shrewd turn, if she pleas’d.

4 For, here and in other places, signifies cause, which Tooke says is always its signification. See EIEA ITEPOENTA, vol. i. p. 364, &c.

5 i. e. the mere truth, or merely the truth. Mere was used in the sense of simple, absolute, decided.

6 That is, questioned, doubted. 7 The old copy reads :

* I write good creature, wheresoe'er she is.' Malone once deemed this an error, and proposed, ‘ A right good ereature,' which was admitted into the text, but he subsequently thought that the old reading was correct. · I was always written


How do


mean? May be, the amorous count solicits her In the unlawful

purpose. Wid.

He does, indeed;
And brokes 8 with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :
But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.

Enter, with Drum and Colours, a party of the Flo

rentine Army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES. Mar. The gods forbid else! Wid.

So, now they come :That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son; That, Escalus. Hel.

Which is the Frenchman? Dia.

He; That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow; I would, he lov'd his wife: if he were honester, He were much goodlier :-Is't not a handsome gen

tleman ? Hel. I like him well. Dia. 'Tis pity, he is not honest: Yond's that

same knave, That leads him to these places 9; were I his lady, I'd poison that vile rascal. Hel.

Which is he? Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.

for Ay, and right is easily corrupted to write. I incline to think that this is therefore the true reading; it connects the sense of the whole speech better; and we have no example to support the word write in the sense which is required here.

8 Deals with panders.

9 Theobald thought that we should read puces ; but we may suppose the places alluded to be the houses of pimps and panders.

Par. Lose our drum! .well.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: Look, he has spied us.

Wid. Marry, hang you! Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier ! [Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers,

and Soldiers. Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will

bring you

Where you shall host: of enjoin’d penitents.
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.

I humbly thank you:
Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thanking,
Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
Worthy the note.

Both. We'll take your offer kindly. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI. Camp before Florence. Enter BERTRAM, and the two French Lords.

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?

1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him, as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker,

A hilding is a paltry fellow, a coward. So in K. Henry V. Act iv.

• To purge the field from such a hilding foe.

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.

Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action to try him.

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 hoodwink 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 ores will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment *, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.

2 The camp. It seems to have been a new fangled term at this time, introduced from the Low Countries.

3 The old copy reads ours. The emendation is Theobald's.

4 This was a common phrase for ill treatment. There is an old motley interlude called Jack Drum's Entertainment; or, The Comedy of Pasquil and Catherine, 1601. In this Jack Drum is a servant of intrigue, who is ever aiming at projects, and always

any hand

Enter PAROLLES. 1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design ; let him fetch off his drum in

5. 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.
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 his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise, and go on; I will foiled, and given the drop. Holinshed has · Tom Drum his Entertainment, which is to hale a man in by the heade, and to thrust him out by the shoulders.' And, in Manners and Customs of all Nations, by Ed. Aston, 1611, p. 280: '- some others on the contrarie part give them John Drum's entertainment, reviling and beating them away from their houses, &c.'

3 A phrase for at any rate. Sometimes, ' at any hand.'

6 I would recover the lost drum or another, or die in the attempt. An epitaph then usually began hic jacet,

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