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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 't is; here's a paper : shall I read it to
1 Sold. (Reads.] “ 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 Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but, for all that, very ruttish. I pray you, sir, put it up again.
1 Sold. Nay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
Par. 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 whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds.
Ber. Damnable, both-sides rogue ! 1 Sold. [Reads. “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,
“ PAROLLES." Ber. He shall be whipped through the army, with this rhyme in 's forehead.
Fr. Env. This is your devoted friend, sir; the manifold linguist, and the armipotent soldier.
Ber. I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
1 Sold. I perceive, sir, by our general's looks, we shall be fain to hang you.
Par. 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' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
1 Meddle, do.
1 Sold. 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 ?
Par. 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 them 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 swinedrunk, and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bed-clothes 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 every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.
Fr. Gent. I begin to love him for this.
Ber. For this description of thine honesty ? A pox upon him ! for me he is more and more a cat. 1 Sold. What say you to his expertness in war ?
Par. Faith, sir, he 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.
Fr. Gent. He hath out-villained villany so far, that the rarity redeems him.
Ber. A pox on him! he's a cat still.
1 Sold. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not ask you, if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
Par. Sir, for a quart d'ecu” he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.
1 Sold. What's his brother, the other captain Dumaine ?
Fr. Env. Why does he ask him of me? 1 Sold. What's he?
! A place where the Londoners were often mustered and 2 About eight-pence English.
Par. E'en a crow o’ the 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 à retreat he out-runs any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
1 Sold. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Par. Ay, and the captain of his horse, count Rousillon.
1 Sold. I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
Par. (Aside.] 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?
1 Sold. 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.
Par. O Lord, sir; let me live, or let me see my death! 1 Sold. That shall you; and take your leave of all
(Unmuffling him. So, look about you : know you any here?
Ber. Good-morrow, noble captain.
Fr. Env. Captain, what greeting will you to my lord Lafeu ? I am for France.
Fr. Gent. Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the count Rousillon ? an I were not a very coward, I'd compel it of you; but fare you well.
[Exeunt BERTRAM, Frenchmen, &c. 1 Sold. You are undone, captain; all but your scarf, that has a knot on't yet.
Par. Who cannot be crushed with a plot ?
1 Sold. If you' could find out a country where but women were, that had received so much shame, you
might begin an impudent nation. Fare you well, sir; I am for France too: we shall speak of you there. [Exit. Par. Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great, 'T would 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,
[Exit. SCENE IV.-Florence. A Room in the Widow's House.
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA.
Hel. That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne, 't is needful,
Time was I did him a desired office,
My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
We'll be before our welcome.
You never had a servant, to whose trust
your daughter's dower, my motive,
And helper to a husband. But O, strange men!
With what it loathes, for that which is away.
Let death and honesty
Yet, I pray you :
Hel. But with the world' 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 prepar'd, and time reviles2 us:
4 "All's well that ends well :" still the fine 's the crown; Whate'er the course, the end is the renown. [Exeunt. SCENE V.-Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS's Palace.
Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown.
Laf. No, no, no; your son was misled with a snipttaffata fellow there, whose villanous saffron3 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 humblebee I speak of.
Count. 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.
Laf. 'T was a good lady, 't was a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.
Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace.
Laf. They are not pot-herbs1, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in grass.
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave, or a fool ?
1 word in f. e. 2 revives in f. e. 3 Saffron was used to color starch, a yellow hue being then fashionable in dress. It was also used to color pie-crust. 4 salad-herbs in f. e.