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Shall be for me: and to requite you further,
Both. We'll take your offer kindly.
Enter Bertram, and the two French Lords.
1 Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to't let him have his way.
Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no more in your respect.
1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
Ber. Do you think, I am so far deceiv'd in him?
1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman; he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promife-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertain
2 Lord. It were fit you knew him, left, repofing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might at fome great and trufty business in a main danger fail you.
Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action to try him.
2 Lord. None better than to let him fetch off his drum; which you hear him fo confidently undertake to do.
1 Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will fuddenly furprize him; fuch I will have, whom, I am fure, he knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hood-wink him fo, that he fhall fuppofe no other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adverfaries, when we bring him to our own tents; be but your lordship prefent at his examination, if he do not for the promise of his life, and in the highest compulfion of bafe fear, offer to betray you, and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his foul upon oath, never trust my judgment in any thing.
2 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he fays, he has a ftratagem for't; (20) when your lordship fees the bottom of his fuccefs in't, and
(20) When your Lordship fees the bottom of his Success in't, and to what Metal this Counterfeit Lump of Ours will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's Entertainment, your Inclining cannot be remov'd.] Lump of Ours has been the Reading of all the Editions. Oare, according to my Emendation, bears a Confo nancy with the other Terms accompanying, (viz. Metal, Lump, and melted) and helps the Propriety of the Poet's Thought; For fo one Metaphor is kept up, and all the Words are proper and fuitable to it. But, what is the Meaning of John Drum's Entertainment? Lafeu feveral Times afterwards calls Parolles, Tom Drum. But the Difference of the Chriftian Name will make None in the Explanation. There is an old Motley Interlude, (printed in 1601) call'd, Jack Drum's Entertainment: Or, the Comedy of Pafquil and Katharine. In This, Jack Drum is a Sèrvant of Intrigue, who is ever aiming at Projects, and always foil'd, and given the Drop. And there is another old piece (publish'd in 1627) call'd, Apollo fbroving, in which I find thefe Expreffions.
Thuriger. Thou Lozel, hath Slug infected you?
Why do you give fuch kind Entertainment to that Cobweb? It shall have Tom Drum's Entertainment; a Flap with a Fox-tail.
But Both thefe Pieces are, perhaps, too late in Time, to come to the Affistance of our Author: fo we must look a little higher. What is faid here to Bertram is to this Effect. "My Lord, as you have taken this Fellow [Parolles] into fo near a Confi dence, if, upon his being found a Counterfeit, you don't "cafheer him from your Favour, then your Attachment is not "to be remov'd." I'll now fubjoin a Quotation from Holingfhed, (of whofe Books Shakespeare was a moft diligent Reader) which will pretty well afcertain Drum's Hiftory. This Chronologer, in his Defcription of Ireland, speaking of Patrick Scarfefield, (Mayor of Dublin in the Year 1551,) and of his extravagant Hospitality, fubjoins, that no Gueft had ever a cold or forbidding Look from any Part of his Family: fo that his Porter, or any other Officer, durft not, for both his Ears, give the fimpleft Man, that reforted to his Houfe, Tom Drum's Entertainment, which is, to hale a Man in by the Head, and thrust him out by both the Shoulders,
to what metal this counterfeit lump of Oar will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.
1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his defign, let him fetch off his drum in any hand.
Ber. How now, Monfieur? this drum fticks forely in your difpofition.
2 Lord. A pox on't, let it go, 'tis but a drum.
Par. But a drum! is't but a drum? a drum fo loft! there was an excellent command! to charge in with our horfe upon our own wings, and to rend our own foldiers.
2 Lord. That was not to be blamed in the command of the service; it was a disaster of war that Cafar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.
Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our fuccefs: fome dishonour we had in the lofs of that drum, but it is not to be recover'd.
Par. It might have been recover'd.
Ber. It might, but it is not now.
Par. It is to be recover'd; but that the merit of fervice is feldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet
Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to't, Monfieur ; if you think your mystery in ftratagem can bring this inftrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprize and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you speed well in it, the Duke fhall both speak of it, and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost fyllable of your worthiness.
Par. By the hand of a földier, I will undertake it.
Par. I'll about it this evening; and I will prefently pen down my dilemma's, encourage myfelf in my cer
tainty, put myself into my mortal preparation; and, by midnight, look to hear further from me.
Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his Grace, you are gone about it?
Par. I know not what the fuccefs will be, my Lord; but the attempt I vow.
Ber. I know, th'art valiant; and to the poffibility of thy foldierfhip, will fubfcribe for thee; farewel.
Par. I love not many words.
1 Lord. No more than a fifh loves water. Is not this a ftrange fellow, my Lord, that fo confidently feems to undertake this bufinefs, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do it, 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 efcape 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 fo feriously he does address himself
2 Lord. None in the world, but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies; but we have almoft imbofs'd him, you fhall fee his fall to night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship's respect.
i Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we cafe him. He was first fmoak'd by the old lord Lafeu; when his disguife and he is parted, tell me what a fprat you fhall find him; which you fhall fee, this very night.
2 Lord. I must go and look my twigs; he fhall 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 fhew you The lafs I spoke of.
1 Lord. But you fay, she's honeft.
Ber. That's all the fault: I fpoke with her but once, And found her wondrous cold; but I fent to her, By this fame coxcomb that we have i'th' wind, Tokens and letters, which fhe did re-send ; And this is all I've done: fhe's a fair creature, Will you go fee her?
1 Lord. With all my heart, my lord.
SCENE changes to the Widow's Houfe.
Enter Helena, and Widow.
you mifdoubt me that I am not fhe,
I know not, how I fhall affure you further;
But I fhall lose the grounds I work upon.
Wid. Tho' my eftate be fallen, I was well born,
And would not put my reputation now
Hel. Nor would I wish you.
First, give me truft, the Count he is my husband;
Wid. I fhould believe you,
For you have fhew'd me that, which well approves
Y'are great in fortune.
Hel. Take this purfe 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 wooes your daughter,'
Lays down his wanton fiege before her beauty,
Refolves to carry her; let her confent,
As we'll direct her how, 'tis best to bear it.
Now his important blood will nought deny,
That she'll demand: a ring the Count does wear,