Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

I 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 sitting 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.6 Ber. A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of me; hush! hush!

I Lord. Hoodman comes! - Porto tartarossa.

| 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!

I believe these words allude only to the ceremonial degradation of a knight. I am yet to learn, that the same mode was practised in disgracing dastards of inferior rank. Steevens.

6. Re-enter Soldiers, with Parolles.] See an account of the examination of one of Henry the Eighth's captains, who had gone over to the enemy (which may possibly have suggested this of Parolles) in The Life of lacke Wilton, 1594; sig. C ii. Ritson.

1 Lord. You are deceived, my lord; this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, (that was his own phrase) that had the whole theorick8 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 every thing in him, by wearing his apparel neatly.

I Sold. Well, that 's set down.

Par. Five or six thousand horse, I said, I will say true,ếor thereabouts, set down—for I 'll speak truth.

1 Lord. He's very near the truth in this.

Ber. But I con him no thanks for’t, in the nature he delivers it.1

Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say. 1 Sold. Well, that's set down.

Par. I humbly thank you, sir: a truth 's a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.

8

9

? All's one to him.] In the old copy these words are given by mistake to Parolles. The present regulation, which is clearly right, was suggested by Mr. Steevens. Malone.

It will be better to give these words to one of the Dumains, than to Bertram. Ritson.

that had the whole theorick -] i. e. theory. So, in Montaigne's Essaies, translated by J. Florio, 1603: “They know the theorique of all things, but you must seek who shall put it in prac. tice.”

Malone. In 1597 was published “ Theorique and Practise of Warre, written by Don Philip Prince of Castil, by Don Bernardino de Mendoza. Translated out of the Castilian Tongue in Englishe, by Sir Edward Hoby, Knight,” 4to. Reed.

I con him no thanks for 't,] To con thanks exactly answers the French scavoir gré. To con is to know. I meet with the same expression in Pierce Pennilesse his Supplication, &c.

I believe he will con thee little thanks for it." Again, in Wily Beguiled, 1606:

I con master Churms thanks for this." Again, in Any Thing for a quiet Life: He would not trust you with it, I con him thanks for it." Steevens.

in the nature he delivers it.] He has said truly, that our numbers are about five or six thousand; but having described them as “ weak and unserviceable,” &c. I am not much obliged to him. Malone.

Rather, perhaps, because his narrative, however near the truth, was uttered for a treacherous purpose. Steevens.

VOL. V.

66

A a

1 Sold. Demand of him, of what strength they are afoot. 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, Lodowiek, 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 the which dare not shake the snow from off their cassocks, 3 lest they shake themselves to pieces.

Ber. What shall be done to him?

I Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him

my conditions, and what credit I have with the duke.

[ocr errors]

3

if I were to live this present hour, &c.] I do not understand this passage. Perhaps (as an anonymous correspondent observes) we should read :--if I were to live but this present hour. Steevens.

Perhaps he meant to say—if I were to die this present hour. But fear may be supposed to occasion the mistake, as poor frighted Scrub cries: “Spare all I have, and take my life.

Tollet. off their cassocks,] Cassock signifies a horseman's loose coat, and is used in that sense by the writers of the age of Shakspeare. So, in Every Man in his Humour, Brainworm says: “He will never come within the sight of a cassock or a musquet-rest again.” Something of the same kind likewise appears to have been part of the dress of rusticks, in Mucedorus, an anonymous comedy, 1598, erroneously attributed to Shakspeare:

“ Within my closet there does hang a cassock,

“Though base the weed is, 'twas a shepherd's.” Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578:

I will not stick to wear " A blue cussock." On this occasion a woman is the speaker.

So again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589: “Who would not think it a ridiculous thing to see a lady in her milk-house with a velvet gown, and at a bridal in her cassock of moccado."

In The Hollander, a comedy by Glapthorne, 1640, it is again spoken of as part of a soldier's dress:

“ Here, sir, receive this military cassock, it has seen service.”

This military cassock has, I fear, some military hangbys.” Steevens. my conditions,] i. e. my disposition and character.

Malone.

[ocr errors]

I Sold. Well, that's set down. 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:5 Demand them singly.

i So!d. 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 sheriff's fool6 with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay.? [Dum. lifts up his hand in anger.

3

intergatories: ] i. e. interrogatories. Reed.

the sheriff's fool -] We are not to suppose that this was a fool kept by the sheriff for bis diversion. The custody of all ideots, &c. possessed of landed property, belonged to the King, who was entitled to the income of their lands, but obliged to find them with necessaries. This prerogative, when there was a large estate in the case, was generally granted to some court-favourite, or other person who made suit for and had interest enough to obtain it, which was called begging a fool. But where the land was of inconsiderable value, the natural was maintained out of the profits, by the sheriff, who accounted for them to the crown. As for those unhappy creatures who had neither possessions nor relations, they seem to have been considered as a species of property, being sold or given with as little ceremony, treated as capriciously, and very often, it is to be feared, left to perish as miserably, as dogs or cats. Kitson.

7- a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay.] Innocent does not here signify a person without guilt or blame; but means, in the good-natured language of our ancestors, an ideot or natural fool. Agreeably to this sense of the word is the following entry of a burial in the parish register of Charlewood, in Surrey:

" Thomas Sole, an innocent about the age of fifty years and upwards, buried 19th September, 1605.” Whalley

Doll Common, in The Alchemist, being asked for her opinion of the Widow Pliant, observes that she is—“a good dull innocent.” Again, in I Would and I Would Not, a poem, by B. N. 1614:

“ I would I were an innocent, a foole,

“ That can do nothing else but laugh or crie,
“ And eate fat meate, and never go to schoole,

“ And be in love, but with an apple-pie;
" Weare a pide coate, a cockes combe, and a bell,
“And think it did become me passing well.”

Ber. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know, his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls. 8

1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?

Par. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.

i Lord. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.

| 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 'tis; 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. | Sold. Dian. The count 's a fool, and full of gold, 1

8

[ocr errors]

Mr. Douce observes to me, that the term-innocent, was originally French.

See also a note on Ford's 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, new edition of Dodsley's Collection of old Plays, Vol. VIII, p. 24. Steevens.

though I know, his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.] In Lucian's Contemplantes, Mercury makes Charon remark a man that was killed by the falling of a tile upon his head, whilst he was in the act of putting off an engagement to the next day :και μελαξύ λέβολος, από τα τέγες κεραμίς επιπέσσα, εκ οίδ' ότ κινήσανloς, απέκτεινεν αυτόν. See the life of Pyrrhus in Ρlutarch. Pyrrhus was killed by a tile. S. W.

- your lordship - ] The old copy has Lord. In the MSS. of our author's age, they scarcely ever wrote Lordship at full length. Malone.

1 Dian. The count 's a fool, and full of gold,] After this line there is apparently a line lost, there being no rhyme that corresponds to gold. Fohnson.

I believe this line is incomplete. The poet might have written:

Dian. The count 's a fool, and full of golden store-or ore; and this addition rhymes with the following alternate verses.

Steevens.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »