ePub 版

Ber. A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.


Dia. 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 it no sin, To cozen him, that would unjustly win. [Exit.

SCENE III.-The Florentine Camp. Enter the two Frenchmen, and two or three Soldiers. Fr. Gent. You have not given him his mother's letter.

Fr. Env.. 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.

Fr. Gent. He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.

Fr. Env. 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 within you.

Fr. Gent. When you have spoken it, 't is dead, and I am the grave of it.

Fr. Env. 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.

Fr. Gent. Now, God delay our rebellion: as we are ourselves, what things are we !

Fr. Env. 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.

Fr. Gent. Is it not most? damnable in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night.

1 Deceitful. ? meant: in f. e.

Fr. Env. Not till after midnight, for he is dieted to his hour.

Fr. Gent. That approaches apace : I would gladly have him see his companion' anatomized, that he might take a measure of his own judgment, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.

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

Fr. Gent. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars ?

Fr. Env. I hear there is an overture of peace.
Fr. Gent. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.

Fr. Env. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France ?

Fr. Gent. I perceive by this demand you are not altogether of his council.

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

Fr. Gent. 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.

Fr. Env. How is this justified ?

Fr. Gent. The stranger part of it by her own letters, which make her story true, even to the point of her death : her death itself, which could not be her office to say, is come, and faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place.

Fr. Env. Hath the count all this intelligence ?

Fr. Gent. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.

Fr. Env. I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.

Fr. Gent. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses.

Fr. Env. 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.

Fr. Gent. 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.

1 company: in f. e. 2 stronger : in f. e. 3 was: in f. e.

Enter a Servant. How now ? where 's your master ?

Serv. 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.

Fr. Env. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.

Enter BERTRAM. Fr. Gent. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now.—How now, my lord ! is 't not after midnight?

Ber. I have to-night despatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success: I have congé'd 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 despatch effected many nicer needs: the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.

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

Ber. 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 medal: he has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.

Fr. Env. Bring him forth. [Exeunt Soldiers.] He has sat i' the stocks all night, poor gallant knave.

Ber. No matter; his heels have deserved it, in usurping his spurs so long. How does he carry himself ?

Fr. Env. 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 ?
Fr. Env. 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.

Ber. A plague upon him! muffled? he can say nothing of me hush! hush!

Fr. Gent. Hoodman1 comes!-Portotartarossa.

1 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 chimurko.

Fr. Gent. 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 my sacrament on 't, how and which way you will.

1 Sold. All's one to him.2

Ber. What a past-saving slave is this!

Fr. Gent. Y' are deceived, my lord: this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, (that was his own phrase) that had the whole theorick of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape3 of his dagger.

Fr. Env. 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.

1 Sold. Well, that's set down.

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

1 Sold. Well, that 's set down.

1 An allusion to blind man's buff.-Knight.

2 f. e. give these

words to Bertram. 3 Hook, by which it was attached. 4 Owe. VOL. III.-19

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

1 Sold.“ Demand of him, of what strength they are a-foot.” 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, 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.

Ber. What shall be done to him ?

Fr. Gent. Nothing, but let him have thanks.Demand of him my condition, and what credit I have with the duke.

1 Sold. Well, that's set down. “You shall demand of him, whether one captain Dumaine 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 wellweighing 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 : demand them singly.

1 Sold. Do you know this captain Dumaine ?

Par. I know him: he was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the sheriff's fool with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay. (Dumaine lifts up his hand in anger.

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

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

Par. Upon my knowledge he is, and lousy. Fr. Gent. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.

1 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.

« 上一頁繼續 »