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She might have been o’erta’en; and yet she writes,
Count. What angel shall
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
SCENE V.-Without the Walls of Florence. A tucket afar off. Enter an old WIDOW of Florence, DIANA,
VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens. Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
Dia. They say, the French count has done most honourable service.
Wid. It is reported that he has taken their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he slew the duke's brother. We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark: you may know by their trumpets.
Mar. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. Well
, Diana, take heed of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been solicited by a gentleman his companion.
Mar. I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles : a filthy officer he is in those suggestions * for the young earl.-Beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go under:f many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not to advise you further; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger known, but the modesty which is Dia. You shall not need to fear me. * Temptations.
+ (The names of.) VOL. II.
Enter HELENA, in the dress of a Pilgrim. Wid. I hope so. -Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at my house: thither they send one another: I'll question her.God save you, pilgrim! Whither are you bound ?
Hel. To Saint Jaques le grand.
Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port.
Wid. Ay, marry, is it -Hark you ! [A march afar off.
Hel. Is it yourself?
Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours,
Hel. His name, I pray you.
Dia. Whatsoe'er he is,
Dia. There is a gentleman, that serves the count,
Hel. What's his name?
Hel. O, I believe with him,
Dia. Alas, poor lady!
Wid, A right good creature: wheresoe'er she is,
Hel. How do you mean?
Wid. He does, indeed; And brokes* with all that can in such a suit Corrupt the tender honour of a maid : But she is arm’d for him, and keeps her guard In honestest defence. Enter with drum and colours, a party of the Florentine army,
BERTRAM and PAROLLES.
Wid. So, now they come:
Hél. Which is the Frenchman ?
Hel. I like him well.
Hel. Which is he?
[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers, and Soldiers.
Hel. I humbly thank you :
[Exeunt. SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence.
Enter BERTRAM, and the two French LORDS. 1 Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to’t; let him have his way.
2 Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding,t hold me no more in your respect.
1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
* Deals with panders.
† A paltry fellow.
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 promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment.
2 Lord. It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might, at some great and trusty 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 so confidently undertake to do.
1 Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprise him ; such I will have, whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hood-wink him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer* of the adversaries, when we bring him to our tents: Be but your lordship present at his examination; if he do not, for the promise of his life, and in the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you, and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgment in anything.
2 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he says, he has a stratagem fort: when your lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment,t your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.
Enter PAROLLES. 1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.
Ber. How now, monsieur ? this drum sticks sorely in your disposition.
2 Lord. A pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.
Par. But a drum ! Is't but a drum? A drum so lost !—There was an excellent command : to charge in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers.
2 Lord. That was not to be blamed in the command of the service: it was a disaster of war that Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.
Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success : some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to be recovered.
Par. It might have been recovered. Ber. It might, but it is not now. Par. It is to be recovered: but that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum, or another, or hic jacet. I
Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to't, monsieur, if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise, and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit; if you + Drum him ont.
I Or die.
* The camp.
speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it, and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worthiness.
Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will presently pen down my dilemmas, * encourage myself in my certainty, 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 a
e about it? Par. I know not what the success may be, my lord; but the attempt I vow.
Ber. I know, thou art valiant; and, to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par, I love not many words.
[Exit. 1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water.-Is not this a strange fellow, my lord ? that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, and dares better be damned 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, escape 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 so seriously he does address himself unto ?
1 Lord. None in the world; but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we have almost embossed him;t you shall see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship’s respect.
2 Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we case I him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu : when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night.
1 Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught. Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. i Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave you. [Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you The lass I spoke of.
2 Lord. But, you say, she's honest.
Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once,
* Probable obstructions. + Enclosed him in a wood.