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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.

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 vow.

Ber. I know, thou art valiant; and, to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee 8. Farewell. Par. I love not many words.

[Erit. 1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water.-Is not this a strange fellow, my lord ? that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, and dares better be damned than to do't.

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.

? The dilemmus of Parolles have nothing to do with those of the schoolmen, as the commentators imagined :-his dilemmas are the difficulties he was to encounter. Mr. Boswell argues that -the penning down of these could not well encourage him in his certainty: but why are those distinct actions necessarily connected ?

8 Steevens has mistaken this passage ; Malone is right. Bertram's meaning is, that he will vouch for his doing all that it is possible for soldiership to effect. He was not yet certain of his cowardice.

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, you shall see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship’s respect.

2 Lord. We will make you some sport with the fox, ere we case him 10. 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.

[Exit. 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.

9 That is, almost run him down. An emboss'd stag is one so hard chased that it foams at the mouth. V. note on The Induction to The Taming of the Shrew.

10 Before we strip him naked, or unmask him.

!! This proverbial phrase is noted by Ray, p. 216, ed. 1737. It is thus explained by old Cotgrave: 'Estre sur vent, To be in the wind, or to have the wind of. To get the wind, advantage, upper hand of; to have a man under his lee.'

SCENE VII. Florence.

A Room in the Widow's House.

my

Is so,

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 1.

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 husband; And, what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,

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 overpay, and pay again,
When I have found it. The count he wooes your

daughter,
Lays down bis wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolves to carry her; let her, in finè, consent,
As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it,
Now his important? blood will nought deny
That she'll demand: A ring the county wears

1 i. e. by discovering herself to the count.

? Important, here and in other places, is used for importunate. Mr. Tyrwhitt says, that important may be from the French emportant.

3 i.e. the Count. So in Baret's Alvearie, a Countie or an Erle. Comes. Un Comte,

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

[Exeunt. ACT IV.

4 From under our windows.

• This gingling riddle may be thus briefly explained. Bertram's is a wicked intention, though the act he commits is lawful. Helen's is both a lawful intention and a lawful deed. The fact às relates to Bertram was sinful, because he intended to commit adultery; yet neither he nor Helena actually sinned.

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 3 language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politick. But couch, ho! here he comes; to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.

1 i.e. foreign troops in the enemy's pay.

2 The sense of this very obscure passage appears, from the context, to be: 'we must each fancy a jargon for himself, without aiming to be understood by each other; for, provided we appear to understand, that will be sufficient.'

suspect that a word or two is omitted.

3 A bird of the jack-daw kind. VOL. III.

DD

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