All's Well That Ends Well

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter one of the Frenchmen, with fiue or sixe other
souldiers in ambush.

1. Lord E.
He can come no other way but by this hedge corner:
when you sallie vpon him, speake what terrible
Language you will: though you vnderstand it not your selues,
no matter: for we must not seeme to vnderstand
him, vnlesse some one among vs, whom wee must produce
for an Interpreter.

1. Sol.
Good Captaine, let me be th' Interpreter.

Lor.E.
Art not acquainted with him? knowes he
not thy voice?

1. Sol.
No sir I warrant you.

Lo.E.
But what linsie wolsy hast thou to speake
to vs againe.

1. Sol
E'n such as you speake to me.

Lo.E.
He must thinke vs some band of strangers,
i'th aduersaries entertainment. Now he hath a smacke of
all neighbouring Languages: therefore we must euery one
be a man of his owne fancie, not to know what we speak
one to another: so we seeme to know, is to know straight
our purpose: Choughs language, gabble enough, and
good enough. As for you interpreter, you must seeme
very politicke. But couch hoa, heere hee comes, to beguile
two houres in a sleepe, and then to returne & swear the
lies he forges.
Enter Parrolles.

Par.
Ten a clocke: Within these three houres 'twill be
time enough to goe home. What shall I say I haue done?
It must bee a very plausiue inuention that carries it. They
beginne to smoake mee, and disgraces haue of late, knock'd
too often at my doore: I finde my tongue is too foole-hardie,
but my heart hath the feare of Mars before it, and of his
creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.

Lo.E.
This is the first truth that ere thine own
tongue was guiltie of.

Par
What the diuell should moue mee to vndertake
the recouerie of this drumme, being not ignorant of the
impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I
must giue my selfe some hurts, and say I got them in
exploit: yet slight ones will not carrie it. They will say,
came you off with so little? And great ones I dare not
giue, wherefore what's the instance. Tongue, I must
put you into a Butter-womans mouth, and buy my selfe
another of Baiazeths Mule, if you prattle mee into these
perilles.

Lo.E.
Is it possible he should know what hee is, and
be that he is.

Par
I would the cutting of my garments wold
serue the turne, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.

Lo.E.
We cannot affoord you so.

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

Lo.E.
'Twould not do.

Par
Or to drowne my cloathes, and say I was stript.

Lo.E.
Hardly serue.

Par
Though I swore I leapt from the window of
the Citadell.

Lo.E.
How deepe?

Par
Thirty fadome.

Lo.E.
Three great oathes would scarse make that be
beleeued.

Par
I would I had any drumme of the enemies, I
would sweare I recouer'd it.

Lo.E.
You shall heare one anon.

Par
A drumme now of the enemies.
Alarum within.

Lo.E.
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.

All.
Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.

Par.
O ransome, ransome,
Do not hide mine eyes.

Inter.
Boskos thromuldo boskos.

Par.
I know you are the Muskos Regiment,
And I shall loose my life for want of language.
If there be heere German or Dane, Low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speake to me,
Ile discouer that, which shal vndo the Florentine.

Int.
Boskos vauvado, I vnderstand thee, &
can speake thy tongue: Kerelybonto sir, betake thee to
thy faith, for seuenteene ponyards are at thy bosome.

Par
Oh.

Inter.
Oh pray, pray, pray, Manka reuania
dulche.

Lo.E.
Oscorbidulchos voliuorco.

Int.
The Generall is content to spare thee yet,
And hoodwinkt as thou art, will leade thee on
To gather from thee. Haply thou mayst informe
Something to saue thy life.

Par.
O let me liue,
And all the secrets of our campe Ile shew,
Their force, their purposes: Nay, Ile speake that,
Which you will wonder at.

Inter.
But wilt thou faithfully?

Par.
If I do not, damne me.

Inter.
Acordo linta.
Come on, thou are granted space.
Exit
A short Alarum within.

L.E.
Go tell the Count Rossillion and my brother,
We haue caught the woodcocke, and will keepe him mufled
Till we do heare from them.

Sol.
Captaine I will.

L.E.
A will betray vs all vnto our selues,
Informe on that.

Sol.
So I will sir.

L.E.
Till then Ile keepe him darke and safely lockt.
Exit
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Bertram, and the Maide called Diana.

Ber.
They told me that your name was Fontybell.

Dia.
No my good Lord, Diana.

Ber.
Titled Goddesse,
And worth it with addition: but faire soule,
In your fine frame hath loue no qualitie?
If the quicke fire of youth light not your minde,
You are no Maiden but a monument
When you are dead you should be such a one
As you are now: for you are cold and sterne,
And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet selfe was got.

Dia.
She then was honest.

Ber.
So should you be.

Dia.
No:
My mother did but dutie, such (my Lord)
As you owe to your wife.

Ber.
No more a'that:
I prethee do not striue against my vowes:
I was compell'd to her, but I loue thee
By loues owne sweet constraint, and will for euer
Do thee all rights of seruice.

Dia.
I so you serue vs
Till we serue you: But when you haue our Roses,
You barely leaue our thornes to pricke our selues,
And mocke vs with our barenesse.

Ber.
How haue I sworne.

Dia.
Tis not the many oathes that makes the truth,
But the plaine single vow, that is vow'd true:
What is not holie, that we sweare not by,
But take the high'st to witnesse: then pray you tell me,
If I should sweare by Ioues great attributes,
I lou'd you deerely, would you beleeue my oathes,
When I did loue you ill? This ha's no holding
To sweare by him whom I protest to loue
That I will worke against him. Therefore your oathes
Are words and poore conditions, but vnseal'd
At lest in my opinion.

Ber.
Change it, change it:
Be not so holy cruell: Loue is holie,
And my integritie ne're knew the crafts
That you do charge men with: Stand no more off,
But giue thy selfe vnto my sicke desires,
Who then recouers. Say thou art mine, and euer
My loue as it beginnes, shall so perseuer.

Dia.
I see that men make rope's in such a scarre,
That wee'l forsake our selues. Giue me that Ring.

Ber.
Ile lend it thee my deere; but haue no power
To giue it from me.

Dia.
Will you not my Lord?

Ber.
It is an honour longing to our house,
Bequeathed downe from manie Ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquie i'th world,
In me to loose.

Dian.
Mine Honors such a Ring,
My chastities the Iewell of our house,
Bequeathed downe from many Ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquie i'th world,
In mee to loose. Thus your owne proper wisedome
Brings in the Champion honor on my part,
Against your vaine assault.

Ber.
Heere, take my Ring,
My house, mine honor, yea my life be thine,
And Ile be bid by thee.

Dia.
When midnight comes, knocke at my chamber window:
Ile order take, my mother shall not heare.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you haue conquer'd my yet maiden-bed,
Remaine there but an houre, nor speake to mee:
My reasons are most strong, and you shall know them,
When backe againe this Ring shall be deliuer'd:
And on your finger in the night, Ile put
Another Ring, that what in time proceeds,
May token to the future, our past deeds.
Adieu till then, then faile not: you haue wonne
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.

Ber.
A heauen on earth I haue won by wooing thee.

Di.
For which, liue long to thank both heauen & me,
You may so in the end.
My mother told me iust how he would woo,
As if she sate in's heart. She sayes, all men
Haue the like oathes: He had sworne to marrie me
When his wife's dead: therfore Ile lye with him
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braide,
Marry that will, I liue and die a Maid:
Onely in this disguise, I think't no sinne,
To cosen him that would vniustly winne.
Exit
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter the two French Captaines, and some two or three Souldiours.

Cap.G.
You haue not giuen him his mothers letter.

Cap.E.
I haue deliu'red it an houre since, there is
som thing in't that stings his nature: for on the reading
it, he chang'd almost into another man.

Cap.G.
He has much worthy blame laid vpon him,
for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a Lady.

Cap.E.
Especially, hee hath incurred the euerlasting
displeasure of the King, who had euen tun'd his
bounty to sing happinesse to him. I will tell you a thing,
but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.

Cap.G.
When you haue spoken it 'tis dead, and I am
the graue of it.

Cap.E.
Hee hath peruerted a young Gentlewoman
heere in Florence of a most chaste renown, & this
night he fleshes his will in the spoyle of her honour: hee
hath giuen her his monumentall Ring, and thinkes himselfe
made in the vnchaste composition.

Cap.G.
Now God delay our rebellion as we are
our selues, what things are we.

Cap.E.
Meerely our owne traitours. And as in the
common course of all treasons, we still see them reueale
themselues, till they attaine to their abhorr'd ends: so he
that in this action contriues against his owne Nobility in
his proper streame, ore-flowes himselfe.

Cap.G.
Is it not meant damnable in vs, to be
Trumpeters of our vnlawfull intents? We shall not then
haue his company to night?

Cap.E.
Not till after midnight: for hee is dieted to
his houre.

Cap.G.
That approaches apace: I would gladly haue
him see his company anathomiz'd, that hee might take a
measure of his owne iudgements, wherein so curiously he
had set this counterfeit.

Cap.E.
We will not meddle with him till he come;
for his presence must be the whip of the other.

Cap.G.
In the meane time, what heare you of these
Warres?

Cap.E.
I heare there is an ouerture of peace.

Cap.G.
Nay, I assure you a peace concluded.

Cap.E.
What will Count Rossilliondo then? Will
he trauaile higher, or returne againe into France?

Cap.G.
I perceiue by this demand, you are not
altogether of his councell.

Cap.E.
Let it be forbid sir, so should I bee a great
deale of his act.

Cap.G.
Sir, his wife some two months since fledde
from his house, her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint
Iaques le grand; which holy vndertaking, with most
austere sanctimonie she accomplisht: and there residing,
the tendernesse of her Nature, became as a prey to her
greefe: in fine, made a groane of her last breath, & now
she sings in heauen.

Cap.E.
How is this iustified?

Cap.G.
The stronger part of it by her owne Letters,
which makes her storie true, euen to the poynt of her
death: her death it selfe, which could not be her office to
say, is come: was faithfully confirm'd by the Rector of
the place.

Cap.E.
Hath the Count all this intelligence?

Cap.G.
I, and the particular confirmations, point
from point, to the full arming of the veritie.

Cap.E.
I am heartily sorrie that hee'l bee gladde of
this.

Cap.G.
How mightily sometimes, we make vs comforts
of our losses.

Cap.E.
And how mightily some other times, wee
drowne our gaine in teares, the great dignitie that his
valour hath here acquir'd for him, shall at home be
encountred with a shame as ample.

Cap.G.
The webbe of our life, is of a mingled yarne, good
and ill together: our vertues would bee proud, if our faults
whipt them not, and our crimes would dispaire if they
were not cherish'd by our vertues.
Enter a Messenger
How now? Where's your master?

Ser.
He met the Duke in the street sir, of whom
hee hath taken a solemne leaue: his Lordshippe will next
morning for France. The Duke hath offered him Letters
of commendations to the King.

Cap.E.
They shall bee no more then needfull there,
if they were more then they can commend.
Enter Count Rossillion.

Ber.
They cannot be too sweete for the Kings
tartnesse, heere's his Lordship now. How now my Lord,
i'st not after midnight?

Ber.
I haue to night dispatch'd sixteene businesses, a
moneths length a peece, by an abstract of successe: I haue
congied with the Duke, done my adieu with his neerest;
buried a wife, mourn'd for her, writ to my Ladie mother,
I am returning, entertain'd my Conuoy, & betweene
these maine parcels of dispatch, affected many nicer
needs: the last was the greatest, but that I haue not ended
yet.

Cap.E.
If the businesse bee of any difficulty, and
this morning your departure hence, it requires hast of
your Lordship.

Ber.
I meane the businesse is not ended, as fearing to
heare of it hereafter: but shall we haue this dialogue
betweene the Foole and the Soldiour. Come, bring forth
this counterfet module, ha's deceiu'd mee, like a
double-meaning Prophesier.

Cap.E.
Bring him forth,
ha's sate i'th stockes all night poore gallant knaue.

Ber.
No matter, his heeles haue deseru'd it, in vsurping
his spurres so long. How does he carry himselfe?

Cap.E.
I haue told your Lordship alreadie: The
stockes carrie him. But to answer you as you would be
vnderstood, hee weepes like a wench that had shed her
milke, he hath confest himselfe to Morgan whom hee
supposes to be a Friar, frõ the time of his remembrance
to this very instant disaster of his setting i'th stockes:
and what thinke you he hath confest?

Ber.
Nothing of me, ha's a?

Cap.E.
His confession is taken, and it shall bee
read to his face, if your Lordshippe be in't, as I beleeue you
are, you must haue the patience to heare it.
Enter Parolles with his
Interpreter.

Ber.
A plague vpon him, muffeld; he can say
nothing of me:

Cap. G

hush, hush. Hoodman
comes: Portotartarossa.

Inter.
He calles for the tortures, what will you
say without em.

Par.
I will confesse what I know without constraint,
If ye pinch me like a Pasty, I can say no more.

Int.
Bosko Chimurcho.

Cap
Boblibindo chicurmurco.

Int.
You are a mercifull Generall: Our Generall
bids you answer to what I shall aske you out of a Note.

Par.
And truly, as I hope to liue.

Int.
First demand of him, how many
horse the Duke is strong. What say you to that?

Par.
Fiue or sixe thousand, but very weake and
vnseruiceable: the troopes are all scattered, and the
Commanders verie poore rogues, vpon my reputation and
credit, and as I hope to liue.

Int.
Shall I set downe your answer so?

Par.
Do, Ile take the Sacrament on't, how &
which way you will:

Ber.
all's one to him. What a past-sauing slaue is
this?

Cap.G
Y'are deceiu'd my Lord, this is Mounsieur
Parrolles the gallant militarist, that was his owne phrase
that had the whole theoricke of warre in the knot of his
scarfe, and the practise in the chape of his dagger.

Cap.E.
I will neuer trust a man againe, for keeping
his sword cleane, nor beleeue he can haue euerie thing in
him, by wearing his apparrell neatly.

Int.
Well, that's set downe.

Par.
Fiue or six thousand horse I sed, I will say
true, or thereabouts set downe, for Ile speake truth.

Cap.G.
He's very neere the truth in this.

Ber.
But I con him no thankes for't in the nature he
deliuers it.

Par.
Poore rogues, I pray you say.

Int.
Well, that's set downe.

Par.
I humbly thanke you sir, a truth's a truth, the
Rogues are maruailous poore.

Interp.
Demaund of him of what strength
they are a foot. What say you to that?

Par.
By my troth sir, if I were to liue this present
houre, I will tell true. Let me see, Spurio a hundred &
fiftie, Sebastian so many, Corambus so many, Iaques
so many: Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowicke and Gratij, two
hundred fiftie each: Mine owne Company, Chitopher,
Vaumond, Bentij, two hundred fiftie each: so that the
muster file, rotten and sound, vppon my life amounts
not to fifteene thousand pole, halfe of the which, dare not
shake the snow from off their Cassockes, least they shake
themselues to peeces.

Ber.
What shall be done to him?

Cap.G.
Nothing, but let him haue thankes. Demand
of him my condition: and what credite I haue with the
Duke.

Int.
Well that's set downe: you
shall demaund of him, whether one Captaine Dumaine bee
i'th Campe, a Frenchman: what his reputation is with the
Duke, what his valour, honestie, and expertnesse in warres:
or whether he thinkes it were not possible with well-waighing
summes of gold to corrupt him to a reuolt. 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.

Int.
Do you know this Captaine Dumaine?

Par.
I know him, a was a Botchers Prentize in
Paris, from whence he was whipt for getting the
Shrieues fool with childe, a dumbe innocent that could not
say him nay.

Ber
Nay, by your leaue hold your hands, though
I know his braines are forfeite to the next tile that fals.

Int.
Well, is this Captaine in the Duke of
Florences campe?

Par.
Vpon my knowledge he is, and lowsie.

Cay.G
Nay looke not so vpon me: we shall heare of
your Lord anon.

Int.
What is his reputation with the Duke?

Par.
The Duke knowes him for no other, but a poore
Officer of mine, and writ to mee this other day, to turne
him out a'th band. I thinke I haue his Letter in my pocket.

Int.
Marry we'll search.

Par
In good sadnesse I do not know, either it is
there, or it is vpon a file with the Dukes other Letters, in
my Tent.

Int.
Heere 'tis, heere's a paper, shall I reade it
to you?

Par.
I do not know if it be it or no.

Ber.
Our Interpreter do's it well.

Cap.G.
Excellently.

Int.
Dian, the Counts a foole, and full of gold.

Par.
That is not the Dukes letter sir: that is an
aduertisement to a proper maide in Florence, one Diana,
to take heede of the allurement of one Count Rossillion, a
foolish idle boy: but for all that very ruttish. I pray you
sir put it vp againe.

Int.
Nay, Ile reade it first by your fauour.

Par.
My meaning in't I protest was very honest in
the behalfe of the maid: for I knew the young Count to
be a dangerous and lasciuious boy, who is a whale to
Virginity, and deuours vp all the fry it finds.

Ber.
Damnable both-sides rogue.

Int.
Let. When he sweares oathes, bid him drop gold, and take it:
After he scores, he neuer payes the score:
Halfe won is match well made, match and well make it,
He nere payes after-debts, take it before,
And say a souldier (Dian) told thee this:
Men are to mell with, boyes are not to kis.
For count of this, the Counts a Foole I know it,
Who payes before, but not when he does owe it.
Thine as he vow'd to thee in thine eare,
Parolles.

Ber.
He shall be whipt through the Armie with
this rime in's forehead.

Cap.E.
This is your deuoted friend sir, the
manifold Linguist, and the army-potent souldier.

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

Int.
I perceiue sir by your Generals lookes,
wee shall be faine to hang you.

Par.
My life sir in any case: Not that I am afraide
to dye, but that my offences beeing many, I would
repent out the remainder of Nature. Let me liue sir in a
dungeon, i'th stockes, or any where, so I may liue.

Int.
Wee'le see what may bee done, so you
confesse freely: therefore once more to this Captaine
Dumaine: you haue answer'd to his reputation with
the Duke, and to his valour. What is his honestie?

Par.
He will steale sir an Egge out of a Cloister: for
rapes and rauishments he paralels Nessus. Hee professes
not keeping of oaths, in breaking em he is stronger then
Hercules. He will lye sir, with such volubilitie, that you
would thinke truth were a foole: drunkennesse is his best
vertue, for he will be swine-drunke, and in his sleepe he
does little harme, saue to his bed-cloathes about him: but
they know his conditions, and lay him in straw. I haue
but little more to say sir of his honesty, he ha's euerie thing
that an honest man should not haue; what an
honest man should haue, he has nothing.

Cap.G.
I begin to loue him for this.

Ber.
For this description of thine honestie? A pox
vpon him for me, he's more and more a Cat.

Int.
What say you to his expertnesse in warre?

Par.
Faith sir, ha's led the drumme before the English
Tragedians: to belye him I will not, and more of his
souldiership I know not, except in that Country, he had
the honour to be the Officer at a place there called Mile-end,
to instruct for the doubling of files. I would doe the
man what honour I can, but of this I am not certaine.

Cap.G .
He hath out-villain'd villanie so farre, that the
raritie redeemes him.

Ber.
A pox on him, he's a Cat still.

Int.
His qualities being at this poore price, I
neede not to aske you, if Gold will corrupt him to reuolt.

Par.
Sir, for a Cardceue he will sell the fee-simple
of his saluation, the inheritance of it, and cut th' intaile
from all remainders, and a perpetuall succession for it
perpetually.

Int.
What's his Brother, the other Captain
Dumain?

Cap.E.
Why do's he aske him of me?

Int.
What's he?

Par.
E'ne a Crow a'th same nest: not altogether so
great as the first in goodnesse, but greater a great deale in
euill. He excels his Brother for a coward, yet his Brother
is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreate hee outrunnes
any Lackey; marrie in comming on, hee ha's the Crampe.

Int.
If your life be saued, will you vndertake
to betray the Florentine.

Par.
I, and the Captaine of his horse, Count
Rossillion.

Int.
Ile whisper with the Generall, and knowe
his pleasure.

Par.
Ile no more drumming, a plague of all
drummes, onely to seeme to deserue well, and to beguile the
supposition of that lasciuious yong boy the Count,
haue I run into this danger: yet who would haue
suspected an ambush where I was taken?

Int.
There is no remedy sir, but you must
dye: the Generall sayes, you that haue so traitorously
discouerd the secrets of your army, and made such
pestifferous reports of men very nobly held, can serue
the world for no honest vse: therefore you must dye.
Come headesman, off with his head.

Par.
O Lord sir let me liue, or let me see my death.

Int.
That shall you, and take your leaue of all
your friends:
So, looke about you, know you any heere?

Count.
Good morrow noble Captaine.

Lo.E.
God blesse you Captaine Parolles.

Cap.G.
God saue you noble Captaine.

Lo.E.
Captain, what greeting will you to my
Lord Lafew I am for France.

Cap.G.
Good Captaine will you giue me a Copy of the
sonnet you writ to Diana in behalfe of the Count
Rossillion, and I were not a verie Coward, I'de compell it of
you, but far you well.
Exeunt.

Int.
You are vndone Captaine all but your
scarfe, that has a knot on't yet.

Par.
Who cannot be crush'd with a plot?

Inter.
If you could finde out a Countrie where
but women were that had receiued so much shame, you
might begin an impudent Nation. Fare yee well sir, I am
for France too, we shall speake of you there.
Exit

Par.
Yet am I thankfull: if my heart were great
'Twould burst at this: Captaine Ile be no more,
But I will eate, and drinke, and sleepe as soft
As Captaine shall. Simply the thing I am
Shall make me liue: who knowes himselfe a braggart
Let him feare this; for it will come to passe,
That euery braggart shall be found an Asse.
Rust sword, coole blushes, and Parrolles liue
Safest in shame: being fool'd, by fool'rie thriue;
There's place and meanes for euery man aliue.
Ile after them.
Exit
Original text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Hellen, Widdow, and Diana.

Hel.
That you may well perceiue I haue not wrong'd you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my suretie: for whose throne 'tis needfull
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneele.
Time was, I did him a desired office
Deere almost as his life, which gratitude
Through flintie Tartars bosome would peepe forth,
And answer thankes. I duly am inform'd,
His grace is at Marcellae, to which place
We haue conuenient conuoy: you must know
I am supposed dead, the Army breaking,
My husband hies him home, where heauen ayding,
And by the leaue of my good Lord the King,
Wee'l be before our welcome.

Wid.
Gentle Madam,
You neuer had a seruant to whose trust
Your busines was more welcome.

Hel.
Nor your Mistris
Euer a friend, whose thoughts more truly labour
To recompence your loue: Doubt not but heauen
Hath brought me vp to be your daughters dower,
As it hath fated her to be my motiue
And helper to a husband. But O strange men,
That can such sweet vse make of what they hate,
When sawcie trusting of the cosin'd thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night, so lust doth play
With what it loathes, for that which is away,
But more of this heereafter: you Diana,
Vnder my poore instructions yet must suffer
Something in my behalfe.

Dia.
Let death and honestie
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Vpon your will to suffer.

Hel.
Yet I pray you:
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When Briars shall haue leaues as well as thornes,
And be as sweet as sharpe: we must away,
Our Wagon is prepar'd, and time reuiues vs,
All's well that ends well, still the fines the Crowne;
What ere the course, the end is the renowne.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter Clowne, old Lady, and Lafew

Laf.
No, no, no, your sonne was misled with a snipt taffata
fellow there, whose villanous saffron wold haue
made all the vnbak'd and dowy youth of a nation in
his colour: your daughter-in-law had beene aliue at this
houre, and your sonne heere at home, more aduanc'd by the
King, then by that red-tail'd humble Bee I speak of.

La.
I would I had not knowne him, it was the
death of the most vertuous gentlewoman, that euer
Nature had praise for creating. If she had pertaken of my
flesh and cost mee the deerest groanes of a mother, I
could not haue owed her a more rooted loue.

Laf.
Twas a good Lady, 'twas a good Lady. Wee may picke
a thousand sallets ere wee light on such another hearbe.

Clo.
Indeed sir she was the sweete Margerom of the
sallet, or rather the hearbe of grace.

Laf.
They are not hearbes you knaue, they are
nose-hearbes.

Clowne.
I am no great Nabuchadnezar sir, I haue not
much skill in grace.

Laf.
Whether doest thou professe thy selfe, a knaue or a
foole?

Clo.
A foole sir at a womans seruice, and a knaue at a
mans.

Laf.
Your distinction.

Clo.
I would cousen the man of his wife, and do his
seruice.

Laf.
So you were a knaue at his seruice indeed.

Clo.
And I would giue his wife my bauble sir to doe
her seruice.

Laf.
I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knaue and
foole.

Clo.
At your seruice.

Laf.
No, no, no.

Clo.
Why sir, if I cannot serue you, I can serue as great
a prince as you are.

Laf.
Whose that, a Frenchman?

Clo.
Faith sir a has an English maine, but his
fisnomie is more hotter in France then there.

Laf.
What prince is that?

Clo.
The blacke prince sir, alias the prince of darkenesse,
alias the diuell.

Laf.
Hold thee there's my purse, I giue thee not this
to suggest thee from thy master thou talk'st off, serue
him still.

Clo.
I am a woodland fellow sir, that alwaies loued a
great fire, and the master I speak of euer keeps a good
fire, but sure he is the Prince of the world, let his
Nobilitie remaine in's Court. I am for the house with the
narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pompe to
enter: some that humble themselues may, but the manie
will be too chill and tender, and theyle bee for the
flowrie way that leads to the broad gate, and the great
fire.

Laf.
Go thy waies, I begin to bee a wearie of thee, and I
tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with
thee. Go thy wayes, let my horses be wel look'd too,
without any trickes.

Clo.
If I put any trickes vpon em sir, they shall bee
Iades trickes, which are their owne right by the law of
Nature.
exit

Laf.
A shrewd knaue and an vnhappie.

Lady.
So a is. My Lord that's gone made himselfe
much sport out of him, by his authoritie hee remaines
heere, which he thinkes is a pattent for his sawcinesse, and
indeede he has no pace, but runnes where he will.

Laf.
I like him well, 'tis not amisse: and I was about to
tell you, since I heard of the good Ladies death, and that
my Lord your sonne was vpon his returne home. I moued
the King my master to speake in the behalfe of my
daughter, which in the minoritie of them both, his
Maiestie out of a selfe gracious remembrance did first
propose, his Highnesse hath promis'd me to doe it, and to
stoppe vp the displeasure he hath conceiued against your
sonne, there is no fitter matter. How do's your Ladyship
like it?

La.
With verie much content my Lord, and I wish
it happily effected.

Laf.
His Highnesse comes post from Marcellus, of as
able bodie as when he number'd thirty, a will be heere
to morrow, or I am deceiu'd by him that in such
intelligence hath seldome fail'd.

La.
Ir reioyces me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
die. I haue letters that my sonne will be heere to night: I
shall beseech your Lordship to remaine with mee, till they
meete together.

Laf.
Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
might safely be admitted.

Lad.
You neede but pleade your honourable priuiledge.

Laf.
Ladie, of that I haue made a bold charter, but I
thanke my God, it holds yet.
Enter Clowne.

Clo
O Madam, yonders my Lord your sonne with a patch
of veluet on's face, whether there bee a scar vnder't or no,
the Veluet knowes, but 'tis a goodly patch of Veluet, his
left cheeke is a cheeke of two pile and a halfe, but his right
cheeke is worne bare.

Laf.
A scarre nobly got, / Or a noble scarre, is a good liu'rie
of honor, / So belike is that.

Clo.
But it is your carbinado'd face.

Laf.
Let vs go see your sonne I pray you, I long to talke
With the yong noble souldier.

Clowne.
'Faith there's a dozen of em, with delicate fine
hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head,
and nod at euerie man.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter the First French Lord, with five or six other
Soldiers in ambush

FIRST LORD
He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner.
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.

FIRST SOLDIER
Good captain, let me be th' interpreter.

FIRST LORD
Art not acquainted with him? Knows he
not thy voice?

FIRST SOLDIER
No, sir, I warrant you.

FIRST LORD
But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak
to us again?

FIRST SOLDIER
E'en such as you speak to me.

FIRST 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 – choughs' 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

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

FIRST LORD
This is the first truth that e'er thine own
tongue was guilty of.

PAROLLES
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 Bajazeth's mule, if you prattle me into these
perils.

FIRST LORD
Is it possible he should know what he is, and
be that he is?

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

FIRST LORD
We cannot afford you so.

PAROLLES
Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in
stratagem.

FIRST LORD
'Twould not do.

PAROLLES
Or to drown my clothes and say I was stripped.

FIRST LORD
Hardly serve.

PAROLLES
Though I swore I leaped from the window of
the citadel –

FIRST LORD
How deep?

PAROLLES
Thirty fathom.

FIRST LORD
Three great oaths would scarce make that be
believed.

PAROLLES
I would I had any drum of the enemy's; I
would swear I recovered it.

FIRST LORD
You shall hear one anon.

PAROLLES
A drum now of the enemy's –
Alarum within

FIRST LORD
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.

ALL
Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.
They seize him

PAROLLES
O, ransom, ransom!
They blindfold him
Do not hide mine eyes.

FIRST SOLDIER
Boskos thromuldo boskos.

PAROLLES
I know you are the Muskos' regiment,
And I shall lose my life for want of language.
If there be here German, or Dane, Low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speak to me,
I'll discover that which shall undo the Florentine.

FIRST SOLDIER
Boskos vauvado. I understand thee, and
can speak thy tongue. Kerelybonto. Sir, betake thee to
thy faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.

PAROLLES
O!

FIRST SOLDIER
O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania
dulche.

FIRST LORD
Oscorbidulchos volivorco.

FIRST SOLDIER
The General is content to spare thee yet,
And, hoodwinked as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee. Haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.

PAROLLES
O, let me live,
And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that
Which you will wonder at.

FIRST SOLDIER
But wilt thou faithfully?

PAROLLES
If I do not, damn me.

FIRST SOLDIER
Acordo linta.
Come on, thou art granted space.
Exit, with Parolles guarded
A short alarum within

FIRST LORD
Go tell the Count Rossillion and my brother
We have caught the woodcock and will keep him muffled
Till we do hear from them.

SECOND SOLDIER
Captain, I will.

FIRST LORD
'A will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.

SECOND SOLDIER
So I will, sir.

FIRST LORD
Till then I'll keep him dark and safely locked.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Bertram and Diana

BERTRAM
They told me that your name was Fontybell.

DIANA
No, my good lord, Diana.

BERTRAM
Titled goddess,
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
In your fine frame hath love no quality?
If the quick fire of youth light not your mind
You are no maiden but a monument.
When you are dead you should be such a one
As you are now; for you are cold and stern,
And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet self was got.

DIANA
She then was honest.

BERTRAM
So should you be.

DIANA
No.
My mother did but duty, such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.

BERTRAM
No more o'that!
I prithee do not strive against my vows.
I was compelled to her, but I love thee
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.

DIANA
Ay, so you serve us
Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
And mock us with our bareness.

BERTRAM
How have I sworn!

DIANA
'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vowed true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the highest to witness. Then, pray you, tell me:
If I should swear by Love's great attributes
I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love
That I will work against him. Therefore your oaths
Are words, and poor conditions but unsealed –
At least in my opinion.

BERTRAM
Change it, change it.
Be not so holy-cruel. Love is holy,
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
But give thyself unto my sick desires,
Who then recovers. Say thou art mine, and ever
My love as it begins shall so persever.

DIANA
I see that men make vows in such a flame
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.

BERTRAM
I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
To give it from me.

DIANA
Will you not, my lord?

BERTRAM
It is an honour 'longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquy i'th' world
In me to lose.

DIANA
Mine honour's such a ring;
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquy i'th' world
In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion Honour on my part
Against your vain assault.

BERTRAM
Here, take my ring.
My house, mine honour, yea, my life be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.

DIANA
When midnight comes, knock at my chamber window;
I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquered my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me.
My reasons are most strong and you shall know them
When back again this ring shall be delivered.
And on your finger in the night I'll put
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu till then; then, fail not. You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.

BERTRAM
A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
Exit

DIANA
For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo
As if she sat in's heart. She says all men
Have the like oaths. He had sworn to marry me
When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I live and die a maid.
Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin
To cozen him that would unjustly win.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter the two French Lords, and two or three soldiers

FIRST LORD
You have not given him his mother's letter?

SECOND LORD
I have delivered it an hour since. There is
something in't that stings his nature, for on the reading
it he changed almost into another man.

FIRST LORD
He has much worthy blame laid upon him
for shaking off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.

SECOND LORD
Especially he hath incurred the everlasting
displeasure of the King, who had even tuned his
bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing,
but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.

FIRST LORD
When you have spoken it 'tis dead, and I am
the grave of it.

SECOND LORD
He hath perverted a young gentlewoman
here in Florence, of a most chaste renown, and this
night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour. He
hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
made in the unchaste composition.

FIRST LORD
Now, God delay our rebellion! As we are
ourselves, what things are we!

SECOND LORD
Merely our own traitors. And as in the
common course of all treasons we still see them reveal
themselves till they attain to their abhorred ends, so he
that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in
his proper stream o'erflows himself.

FIRST LORD
Is it not meant damnable in us to be
trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then
have his company tonight?

SECOND LORD
Not till after midnight, for he is dieted to
his hour

FIRST LORD
That approaches apace. I would gladly have
him see his company anatomized, that he might take a
measure of his own judgements wherein so curiously he
had set this counterfeit.

SECOND LORD
We will not meddle with him till he come,
for his presence must be the whip of the other.

FIRST LORD
In the meantime, what hear you of these
wars?

SECOND LORD
I hear there is an overture of peace.

FIRST LORD
Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.

SECOND LORD
What will Count Rossillion do then? Will
he travel higher, or return again into France?

FIRST LORD
I perceive by this demand you are not
altogether of his council.

SECOND LORD
Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great
deal of his act.

FIRST 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.

SECOND LORD
How is this justified?

FIRST 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.

SECOND LORD
Hath the Count all this intelligence?

FIRST LORD
Ay, and the particular confirmations, point
from point, to the full arming of the verity.

SECOND LORD
I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of
this.

FIRST LORD
How mightily sometimes we make us comforts
of our losses!

SECOND 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.

FIRST 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 Messenger
How now? Where's your master?

MESSENGER
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.

SECOND LORD
They shall be no more than needful there,
if they were more than they can commend.
Enter Bertram

FIRST 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?

BERTRAM
I have tonight dispatched sixteen businesses a
month's length apiece, By an abstract of success: I have
congied 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 dispatch effected many nicer
needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended
yet.

SECOND LORD
If the business be of any difficulty, and
this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of
your lordship.

BERTRAM
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.

SECOND LORD
Bring him forth.
Exeunt the Soldiers
Has sat i'th' stocks all night, poor gallant knave.

BERTRAM
No matter. His heels have deserved it in usurping
his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?

SECOND 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'th' stocks.
And what think you he hath confessed?

BERTRAM
Nothing of me, has 'a?

SECOND 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.
Enter Parolles guarded, and the First Soldier as his
interpreter

BERTRAM
A plague upon him! Muffled! He can say
nothing of me.

FIRST LORD
(aside to Bertram)
Hush, hush! Hoodman
comes. (Aloud) Portotartarossa.

FIRST SOLDIER
He calls for the tortures. What will you
say without 'em?

PAROLLES
I will confess what I know without constraint.
If ye pinch me like a pasty I can say no more.

FIRST SOLDIER
Bosko chimurcho.

FIRST LORD
Boblibindo chicurmurco.

FIRST SOLDIER
You are a merciful general. Our General
bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.

PAROLLES
And truly, as I hope to live.

FIRST SOLDIER
(reading)
First demand of him how many
horse the Duke is strong. What say you to that?

PAROLLES
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.

FIRST SOLDIER
Shall I set down your answer so?

PAROLLES
Do. I'll take the sacrament on't, how and
which way you will.

BERTRAM
All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is
this!

FIRST LORD
Y'are deceived, my lord; this is Monsieur
Parolles, the gallant militarist – that was his own phrase
– that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his
scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.

SECOND 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.

FIRST SOLDIER
Well, that's set down.

PAROLLES
‘ Five or six thousand horse ’ I said – I will say
true – ‘ or thereabouts ’ set down, for I'll speak truth.

FIRST LORD
He's very near the truth in this.

BERTRAM
But I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he
delivers it.

PAROLLES
‘ Poor rogues ’ I pray you say.

FIRST SOLDIER
Well, that's set down.

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

FIRST SOLDIER
(reading)
Demand of him of what strength
they are afoot. What say you to that?

PAROLLES
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, Lodowick, 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.

BERTRAM
What shall be done to him?

FIRST LORD
Nothing but let him have thanks. Demand
of him my condition, and what credit I have with the
Duke.

FIRST SOLDIER
Well, that's set down. (reading) You
shall demand of him whether one Captain Dumaine be
i'th' 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?

PAROLLES
I beseech you, let me answer to the particular
of the inter'gatories. Demand them singly.

FIRST SOLDIER
Do you know this Captain Dumaine?

PAROLLES
I know him: 'a 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.

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

FIRST SOLDIER
Well, is this captain in the Duke of
Florence's camp?

PAROLLES
Upon my knowledge he is, and lousy.

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

FIRST SOLDIER
What is his reputation with the Duke?

PAROLLES
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'th' band. I think I have his letter in my pocket.

FIRST SOLDIER
Marry, we'll search.

PAROLLES
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.

FIRST SOLDIER
Here 'tis; here's a paper. Shall I read it
to you?

PAROLLES
I do not know if it be it or no.

BERTRAM
Our interpreter does it well.

FIRST LORD
Excellently.

FIRST SOLDIER
(reading)
Dian, the Count's a fool, and full of gold.

PAROLLES
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 Rossillion, a
foolish idle boy, but for all that very ruttish. I pray you,
sir, put it up again.

FIRST SOLDIER
Nay, I'll read it first by your favour.

PAROLLES
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.

BERTRAM
Damnable both-sides rogue!

FIRST SOLDIER
(reading)
When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores he never pays the score.
Half-won is match well made; match, and well make it.
He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before.
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this:
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss;
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 vowed to thee in thine ear,
Parolles.

BERTRAM
He shall be whipped through the army, with
this rhyme in's forehead.

SECOND LORD
This is your devoted friend, sir, the
manifold linguist, and the armipotent soldier.

BERTRAM
I could endure anything before but a cat, and
now he's a cat to me.

FIRST SOLDIER
I perceive, sir, by the General's looks,
we shall be fain to hang you.

PAROLLES
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'th' stocks, or anywhere, so I may live.

FIRST SOLDIER
We'll see what may be done, so you
confess freely. Therefore once more to this Captain
Dumaine: you have answered to his reputation with
the Duke and to his valour; what is his honesty?

PAROLLES
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 'em 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 bedclothes 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.

FIRST LORD
I begin to love him for this.

BERTRAM
For this description of thine honesty? A pox
upon him! For me, he's more and more a cat.

FIRST SOLDIER
What say you to his expertness in war?

PAROLLES
Faith, sir, 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-end,
to instruct for the doubling of files. I would do the
man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.

FIRST LORD
He hath out-villained villainy so far that the
rarity redeems him.

BERTRAM
A pox on him! He's a cat still.

FIRST SOLDIER
His qualities being at this poor price, I
need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.

PAROLLES
Sir, for a cardecue he will sell the fee-simple
of his salvation, the inheritance of it, and cut th' entail
from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it
perpetually.

FIRST SOLDIER
What's his brother, the other Captain
Dumaine?

SECOND LORD
Why does he ask him of me?

FIRST SOLDIER
What's he?

PAROLLES
E'en a crow o'th' 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.

FIRST SOLDIER
If your life be saved will you undertake
to betray the Florentine?

PAROLLES
Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count
Rossillion.

FIRST SOLDIER
I'll whisper with the General and know
his pleasure.

PAROLLES
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?

FIRST SOLDIER
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.

PAROLLES
O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!

FIRST LORD
That shall you, and take your leave of all
your friends.
He removes the blindfold
So: look about you. Know you any here?

BERTRAM
Good morrow, noble captain.

SECOND LORD
God bless you, Captain Parolles.

FIRST LORD
God save you, noble captain.

SECOND LORD
Captain, what greeting will you to my
Lord Lafew? I am for France.

FIRST LORD
Good captain, will you give me a copy of the
sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count
Rossillion? An I were not a very coward I'd compel it of
you; but fare you well.
Exeunt Bertram and the Lords

FIRST SOLDIER
You are undone, captain – all but your
scarf; that has a knot on't yet.

PAROLLES
Who cannot be crushed with a plot?

FIRST SOLDIER
If you could find out a country where
but women were that had received so much shame you
might begin an impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir. I am
for France too; we shall speak of you there.
Exeunt the Soldiers

PAROLLES
Yet am I thankful. If my heart were great
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more,
But I will eat and drink and sleep as soft
As captain shall. Simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this; for it will come to pass
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword; cool, blushes; and Parolles live
Safest in shame; being fooled, by foolery thrive.
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Helena, the Widow, and Diana

HELENA
That you may well perceive I have not wronged you
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel.
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life, which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth
And answer thanks. I duly am informed
His grace is at Marcellus, to which place
We have convenient convoy. You must know
I am supposed dead. The army breaking,
My husband hies him home, where, heaven aiding,
And by the leave of my good lord the King,
We'll be before our welcome.

WIDOW
Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.

HELENA
Nor you, mistress,
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
To recompense your love. Doubt not but heaven
Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower,
As it hath fated her to be my motive
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
When saucy trusting of the cozened thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night; so lust doth play
With what it loathes for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
Something in my behalf.

DIANA
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours,
Upon your will to suffer.

HELENA
Yet, I pray you.
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briars shall have leaves as well as thorns
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Our waggon is prepared, and time revives us.
All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown.
Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter the Countess, Lafew, and the Clown

LAFEW
No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipped-taffeta
fellow there, whose villainous saffron would have
made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in
his colour. Your daughter-in-law had been alive at this
hour, and your son here at home, more advanced by the
King than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.

COUNTESS
I would I had not known him; it was the
death of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever
nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken of my
flesh and cost me the dearest groans of a mother I
could not have owed her a more rooted love.

LAFEW
'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady. We may pick
a thousand sallets ere we light on such another herb.

CLOWN
Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
sallet, or, rather, the herb of grace.

LAFEW
They are not herbs, you knave, they are
nose-herbs.

CLOWN
I am no great Nabuchadnezzar, sir, I have not
much skill in grass.

LAFEW
Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a
fool?

CLOWN
A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a
man's.

LAFEW
Your distinction?

CLOWN
I would cozen the man of his wife and do his
service.

LAFEW
So you were a knave at his service indeed.

CLOWN
And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do
her service.

LAFEW
I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and
fool.

CLOWN
At your service.

LAFEW
No, no, no.

CLOWN
Why, sir, if I cannot serve you I can serve as great
a prince as you are.

LAFEW
Who's that? A Frenchman?

CLOWN
Faith, sir, 'a has an English name; but his
fisnomy is more hotter in France than there.

LAFEW
What prince is that?

CLOWN
The Black Prince, sir, alias the prince of darkness,
alias the devil.

LAFEW
Hold thee, there's my purse. I give thee not this
to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve
him still.

CLOWN
I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
great fire, and the master I speak of ever keeps a good
fire. But sure he is the prince of the world; let his
nobility remain in's court. I am for the house with the
narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to
enter; some that humble themselves may, but the many
will be too chill and tender, and they'll be for the
flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great
fire.

LAFEW
Go thy ways. I begin to be aweary of thee, and I
tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with
thee. Go thy ways. Let my horses be well looked to,
without any tricks.

CLOWN
If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
jades' tricks, which are their own right by the law of
nature.
Exit

LAFEW
A shrewd knave and an unhappy.

COUNTESS
So 'a is. My lord that's gone made himself
much sport out of him; by his authority he remains
here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and
indeed he has no pace, but runs where he will.

LAFEW
I like him well, 'tis not amiss. And I was about to
tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and that
my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved
the King my master to speak in the behalf of my
daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his
majesty out of a self-gracious remembrance did first
propose. His highness hath promised me to do it; and to
stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your
son there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship
like it?

COUNTESS
With very much content, my lord, and I wish
it happily effected.

LAFEW
His highness comes post from Marcellus, of as
able body as when he numbered thirty. 'A will be here
tomorrow, or I am deceived by him that in such
intelligence hath seldom failed.

COUNTESS
It rejoices me that I hope I shall see him ere I
die. I have letters that my son will be here tonight. I
shall beseech your lordship to remain with me till they
meet together.

LAFEW
Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
might safely be admitted.

COUNTESS
You need but plead your honourable privilege.

LAFEW
Lady, of that I have made a bold charter, but, I
thank my God, it holds yet.
Enter Clown

CLOWN
O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch
of velvet on's face; whether there be a scar under't or no,
the velvet knows, but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet. His
left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right
cheek is worn bare.

LAFEW
A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery
of honour; so belike is that.

CLOWN
But it is your carbonadoed face.

LAFEW
Let us go see your son, I pray you. I long to talk
with the young noble soldier.

CLOWN
Faith, there's a dozen of 'em with delicate fine
hats, and most courteous feathers which bow the head
and nod at every man.
Exeunt
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