Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

And to the possibility of thy soldiership
Will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par. I love not many words. [Exit-.

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 damn'd 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.

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 emboss'd him: you shall see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship's respect.

2 Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him. He was first smok'd 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.

I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught. Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. 2 Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave you.

[Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and shew you The lass I spoke of. 1 Lord. But you say she's honest.

Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but

And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
By this same coxcomb that we have i' th' wind,
Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature;
Will you go see her?

1 Lord. With all my heart, my lord.

[_Exeunt.

Scene VII.
Florence. A Room in the Widow's House.

Enter Helena and Widow.

Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
I know not how I shall assure you farther,
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.

Wid. Though my estate be fall'n, 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 my husband;
And, what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
Is so, 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 shew'd me that which well approves Y' are great in fortune.

Hel. Take this purse of gold,

And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay, and pay again,
When I have found it. The Count he woos your

daughter,
Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolves to carry her; let her, in fine, consent,
As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it;
Now his important blood will naught deny
That she'll demand. A ring the County wears,
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 persever,
That time and place, with this deceit so lawful,
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
With musics 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 fact:
But let's about it. {Exeunt.

E2

ACT IV.

Scene I. — Without the Florentine Camp.

First Lord, with Jive or six Soldiers, discovered in ambush.

First Lord.

HE can come no other way but by this hedgecorner. 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 Soldier. Good Captain, let me be th' interpreter.

1 Lord. Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice r

1 Sold. No, sir, I warrant you.

1 Lord. But what linsy-woolsy hast thou to speak to us again?

1 Sold. E'en such as you speak to me.

1 Lord. He must think us some band of strangers i' th' 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 language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. But couch, ho! here he comes: to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.

Enter Parolles.

Par. Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say 1 have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries it. They begin to smoke me: and disgraces have of late knock'd too often at my door. I find my tongue is too fool-hardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it, and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.

1 Lord. \_Aside, in the ambush.'] This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.

Par. What the Devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum; being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in exploit. Yet slight ones will not carry it: They will say, Came you off with so little? and great ones I dare not give. Wherefore, what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth, and buy myself another of Bajazet's mute, if you prattle me into these perils.

1 Lord. Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?

Par. I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.

1 Lord. We cannot afford you so.

Par. Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in stratagem.

1 Lord. 'Twould not do.

Par. Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripp'd.

1 Lord. Hardly serve.

Par. Though I swore I leap'd from the window of the citadel —

« AnteriorContinuar »