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I Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars? 2 Lord. I hear there is an overture of peace. | 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 ? I LORD. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council. 2 Lord. Let it he forbid, sir! so should I be a great deal of his act. I 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 ? I LORD. The stronger part of it by her own letters; 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. 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 cherished 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.
1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here 's his lordship
now. How now, my 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 conge'd 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 parcels of despatch, effected many nicer needs a ; 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 module; 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 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 like a wench that had shed her milk: 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 hath 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 b! Porto tartarossa. 1 Sold. He calls for the tortures: What will you say without 'em ? Par. I will confess what I know without constraint; if ye pinch me like a pasty
I can say no more. 1 SOLD. Bosko chimurcho. 2 LORD. Boblibindo chicurmurco. 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 the sacrament 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
• Needs. So the original. The common reading is deeds, which change is certainly not an improvement.
An allusion to the game of blindman's buff, formerly called hoodman blind. • These words are given to Parolles in the original.
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 of his dagger. 2 Lord. I will never trust a man again, for keeping his sword clean; nor believe
he can have everything in him, by wearing his apparel neatly. 1 Soud. 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. i 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 Soud. Well, that's set down. 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, Lodowic, and Gratii, two hundred fifty each : mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred fifty each ; so that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake the snow from off
their cassocks, 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 condition, and
what credit I have with the duke. 1 SOLD. Well, that 's set dowu. “ You shall demand of him, whether one
Captain Dumain be i' the 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 well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him
to a revolt.” What say you to this? what do you know of it? Par. I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the intergatories :
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 getting the shrieve's fool with child: a dumb innocent that could not say him nay.
[The First Lord—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. 1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence'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 letter 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 letters, in my tent. 1 Sold. Here 't is; here 's a paper. Shall I read it to you? PAR. I do not know if it be it, or no. BER. Our interpreter does it well. 1 LORD. Excellently. 1 Sold.
“ Dian. The count 's a fool, and 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 allurement of one count Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but, for all that, very ruttish : 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; who is a
whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds. BER. Damnable, both sides rogue ! 1 Sold.
“When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores, he never pays the score :
He ne'er pays after debts, take it before ;
6 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 armipo
tent soldier. BER. I could endure anything 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 anywhere, so I may live. 1 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; for rapes and ravishments he
parallels Nessus. 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 ; for he will be swine-drunk, and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bed clothes
about him ; but they know his conditions, and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has everything 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 pox upon him for me, he's 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-enda, 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 pox on him! he's a cat still. 1 Sold. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you if gold will
corrupt him to revolt. Par. Sir, for a quart d'ecub he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the
inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a per.
petual succession for it perpetually. I 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 o' 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 : In a retreat he
outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp. 1 Sold. If your life be saved, will you 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. I 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 pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest
use; therefore you must die. Come, headsman, 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 your
[Unmuffling him. So, look about you: Know you any here?
See · Henry IV., Part II.' Illustrations of Act III.
Quart d'ecu-sometimes written cardecue-a French piece of money, being the fourth part of the gold crown.