Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

I Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars ?

2 Lord. I hear there is an overture of peace.

I Lord. Nay, I affure you, a peace concluded. 2 Lord. What will Count Roufillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?

1 Lord. I perceive by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.

2 Lord. Let it be forbid, Sir! fo fhould I be a great deal of his a&t.

1 Lord. Sir, his wife fome two months fince fled from his house, her pretence is a pilgrimage to St Jaques le Grand; which holy undertaking, with moft auftere fanctimony, fhe accomplish'd; and there refiding, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her laft breath, and now she fings in heaven.

2 Lord. How is this juftified?

1 Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters, which makes her ftory true, even to the point of her death; her death itself (which could not be her office to fay, is come) was faithfully confirm'd by the rector of the place.

2 Lord. Hath the Count all this intelligence?

I Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.

2 Lord. I am heartily forry that he'll be glad of this. 1 Lord. How mightily fometimes we make us comforts of our loffes !

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, fhall at home be encounter'd 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 whipp'd them not; and our crimes would defpair, if they were not cherish'd by our virtues.

Enter a fervant.

How now? where's your mafter?

Ser. He met the Duke in the street, Sir, of whom he hath taken a folemn leave his Lordship will next

morning for France. The Duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the King.

2 Lord. They fhall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.

SCENE IV. Enter Bertram.

1 Lord.. They cannot be too fweet for the King's tartnefs. Here's his Lordfhip now. How now, my Lord, is 't not after midnight?

Ber. I have to-night difpatch'd fixteen bufineffes, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of fuccefs; I have congied with the Duke, done my adieu with his neareft; buried a wife, mourn'd for her; writ to my lady mother I am returning; entertained my convoy : and, between these main parcels of difpatch, effected many. nicer needs: the laft was the greateft, but that I have not ended yet.

2 Lord. If the bufinefs be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires hafte to your Lordship.

Ber. I mean, the bufinefs is not ended, as fearing to hear of it hereafter. But fhall we have this dialogue between the fool and the foldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit medal; h'as deceiv'd me, like a doublemeaning prophesier.

2 Lord. Bring him forth; h'as fat in the ftocks all night, poor gallant knave.

Ber. No matter; his heels have deferv'd it, in ufurping his fpurs fo long. How does he carry himfelf?

I Lord. I have told your Lordship already: the stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be underftood, he weeps like a wench that had fhed her milk ; he hath confefs'd himself to Morgan, whom he fuppofes to-be a friar, from the time of his remembrance, to this very inftant difafter of his fetting i' th' ftocks; and what, think you, he hath confefs'd?

Ber. Nothing of me, has he?

2 Lord. His confeffion is taken, and it fhall be read to his face if your Lordfhip be in 't, as I believe you are, you must have the patience to hear it.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Parolles, with his Interpreter.

Ber. A plague upon him, muffled! he can fay nothing of me; hush! hush!

1 Lord. Hoodman comes: Portotartarossa.

Int. He calls for the tortures; what will you fay without 'em?

Par. I will confefs what I know without constraint; if ye pinch me like a pafty, I can say no more. Int. Balko chimurcho.

2.Lord. Biblibindo chicurmurco.

Int. You are a merciful General: our General bids you anfwer to what I fhall ask you out of a note. Par. And truly, as I hope to live.

Int. First demand of him how many horfe the Duke is ftrong. What fay you to that?

Par. Five or fix thousand, but very weak and unferviceable. The troops are all scatter'd, and the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to live.

Int. Shall I fet down your anfwer fo?

Par. Do; I'll take the facrament on 't, how and which way you will all 's one to me.

:

Ber. What a past-saving flave is this!

1 Lord. Y' are deceiv'd, my Lord; this is Monfieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, that was his own phrase, that had the whole theory of war in the knot of his fcarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.

2 Lord. I will never truft a man again for keeping his fword clean; nor believe he can have every thing in him, by wearing his apparel neatly.

Int. Well, that's fet down.

Par. Five or fix thousand horfe I faid (I will fay true) or thereabouts, fet down, for I'll fpeak 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,

Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, fay.

Int. Well, that's fet down.

[blocks in formation]

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

Int. Demand of him of what ftrength they are afoot. What fay you to that?

Par. By my troth, Sir, if I were to live this prefent hour, I will tell true. Let me fee; Spurio a hundred and fifty, Sebaftian fo many, Corambus fo many, Jaques fo many; Guiltian, Cofmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each fo that the mufter-file, rotten and found, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake the fnow from off their caffocks, left they shake themselves to pieces.

Ber. What fhall be done to him?

1 Lord. Nothing; but let him have thanks. Demand of him my conditions, and what credit I have with the Duke.

Int. Well, that's fet down. You fhall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain be i' th' camp, a Frenchman: what his reputation is with the Duke, what his valour, honefty, and expertnefs in war; or whether he thinks it were not poffible with well-weighing fums of gold to corrupt him to a revolt. What fay you to this? what do you know of it?

Par. I befeech you, let me answer to the particular of the interrogatories, Demand them fingly.

Int. Do you know this Captain Dumain?

Par. I know him; he was a botcher's prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipp'd for getting the sheriff's fool with child; a dumb innocent, that could not fay him nay.

Ber. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls. Int. Well, is this Captain in the Duke of Florence's camp?

Par. Upon my knowledge he is, and lowfy.

1 Lord. Nay, look not fo upon me, we shall hear of your Lordship anon.

Int. 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 the other day, to turn

him out o' th' band. I think I have his letter in my pocket.

Int. Marry, we'll search.

Par. In good fadnefs, I do not know; either it is there, or it is upon the file with the Duke's other letters in my tent.

Int. Here 'tis, here's a paper, fhall I read it to you? Par. I do not know if it be it or no.

Ber. Our interpreter does it well.

I Lord. Excellently.

Int. 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 Roufillon, a foolifh idle boy; but for all that very ruttith. I pray you, Sir, put it up again.

Int. Nay, I'll read it firft by your favour.

Par. My meaning in 't, I proteft, was very honeft in the behalf of the maid; for I knew the young Count to be a dangerous and lafcivious boy, who is a whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds. Ber. Damnable! both fides rogue.

Interpreter reads the letter.

When be fwears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it.
After he fcores, he never pays the fcore:
Half won, is match well made; match, and well make it :
He ne'er pays after debts, take it before.
And fay, a foldier (Dian) told thee this:
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kifs.
For, count of this, the Count's a fool, I know it ;
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it..

Thine, as he vow'd to thee in thine ear,

PAROLLES.

Ber. He fhall be whipp'd through the army with this rhime in his forehead.

2 Lord. This is your devoted friend, Sir; the manifold linguift, and the armipotent foldier.

Ber. I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.

« AnteriorContinuar »