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Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :
army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.
So, now they come:That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son; That, Escalus. Hel.
Which is the Frenchman? Dia. 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 gentle.
man? Hel. I like him well. Dia. 'Tis pity, he is not honest: Yond's that same
Which is he? Dia. That Jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is he mel. ancholy?
Hel. Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: Look, he has spied us.
Wid. Marry, hang you!
brokes -] Deals as a broker. Johnson. . To broke is to deal with panders. A broker, in our author's time, meant a bawd or pimp. See a note on Hamlet, Act I, sc. iii. Malone.
Yond's that same knave, That leads him to these places;] What places? Have they been talking of brothels; or, indeed, of any particular locality? I make no question but our author wrote:
That leads him to these paces. i.e. such irregular steps, to courses of debauchery, to not loving his wife. Theobald. The places are, apparently, where he
brokes with all, that can in such a suit
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
[Exeunt Ber. Par. Officers, and Soldiers. Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will bring
I humbly thank you:
We'll take your offer kindly. [Exeunt.
Camp before Florence. Enter BERTRAM, and the two French Lords. 1 Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to it; let him have his way.
2 Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding, o hold me no more in your respect.
i Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
I 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, 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.
on this —] Old copy-of this. Corrected in the second folio. Malone.
a hilding,] A hilding is a paltry, cowardly fellow. So, in King Henry V :
“To purge the field from such a hilding foe.” Steevens. See note on The Second Part of K. Henry IV, Act I, sc. i.
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. i Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprize him; such I will have, whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hood-wink 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; 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 ore's what metal this counterfeit lump of "ore3"will be melted,
if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.
1_he's carried into the leaguer of the adversaries,] i.e. camp. “ They will not vouchsafe in their speeches or writings to use our ancient termes belonging to matters of warre, but doo call a campe by the Dutch name of Legar; nor will not affoord to say, that such a towne or such a fort is besieged, but that it is belegard.” Sir John Smythe's Discourses, &c. 1590, fo. 2. Douce. -of his - ] Old copy of this. Corrected by Mr. Rowe.
Malone. of ore --] Old copy—of ours. Malone. Lump of ours has been the reading of all the editions. Ore, according to my emendation, bears a consonancy with the other terms accompanying, (viz. metal, lump, and melted) and helps the propriety of the
poet's thought: for so one metaphor is kept up, and all the words are proper and suitable to it. Theobald.
if you give him not John Drum's entertainment,] But, what is the meaning of John Drum's entertainment? Lafeu seve. ral times afterwards calls Parolles, Tom Drum. But the difference of the Christian name will make none in the explanation. There is an old motley interlude, (printed in 1601) called Jack Drum's Entertainment; or, The Comedy of Pasquil and Catharine. In this, Jack Drum is a servant of intrigue, who is ever aiming at projects, and always foiled, and given the drop. And there is another old piece, (published in 1627) called, Apollo shroving, in which I find these expressions :
Enter PAROLLES. 1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.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.
“ Thuriger. Thou lozel, hath slug infected you? “Why do you give such kind entertainment to that cobweb?
“ Scopas. It shall have Tom Drum's entertainment: a flap with a fox-tail.”
Both these pieces are, perhaps, too late in time, to come to the assistance of our author: so we must look a little higher. What is said here to Bertram is to this effect: My lord, as you have taken this fellow [Parolles) into so near a confidence, if, upon his being found a counterfeit, you don't cashier him from your favour, then your attachment is not to be removed. I will now subjoin a quotation from Holinshed, (of whose books Shakspeare was a most diligent reader) which will pretty well ascertain Drum's history. This chronologer, in his description of Ireland, speaking of Patrick Sarsefield, (mayor of Dublin in the year 1551) and of his extravagant hospitality, subjoins, that no guest had ever a cold or forbidding look from any part of his family: so that his porter, or any other officer, durst not, for both his eares, give the simplest man that resorted to his house, Tom Drum his entertaynement, which is, to hale a man in by the heade, and thrust him out by both the shoulders. Theobald.
A contemporary writer has used this expression in the same manner that our author has done; so that there is no reason to suspect the word John in the text to be a misprint: “In faith good gentlemen, I think we shall be forced to give you right John Drum's entertainment, [i. e. to treat you very ill] for he that composed the book we should present, hath snatched it from us at the very instant of entrance.” Introduction to Jack Drum's Entertainment, a comedy, 1601. Malone. Again, in Taylor's Laugh and be fat, 78:
“ And whither now is Monst Odcome come
“ Who on his owne backe-side receiv'd his pay? “ Not like the Entertainmt of Facke Drum,
" Who was best welcome when he went away. Again, in Manners and Customs of all Nations, by Éd. Astonj, 1611, 4to. p. 280: “ some others on the contrarie part, give them Fohn Drum's intertainmt reviling and beating them away from their houses,” &c. Reed.
- in any hand.] The usual phrase is at any hand, but in any hand will do. It is used in Holland's Pliny, p. 456: “he must be a free citizen of. Rome in any hand.” Again, p. 508 553, 546. Steevena.
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.
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.6
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 enterprize, and go on; I will 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.
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?
I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet.] i. e. Here lies;—the usual beginning of epitaphs. I would (says Parolles) recover either the drum I have lost, or another belonging to the enemy; or die in the attempt. Malone.
- I will presently pen down my dilemmas,] By this word, Parolles is made to insinuate that he had several ways, all equally certain, of recovering his drum. For a dilemma is an argument that concludes both ways. Warburton.
I think, that by penning down his dilemmas, Parolles means, that he will pen down his plans on the one side, and the probable obstructions he was to meet with, on the other. M. Mason