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Hel.

How do

you mean?
May be, the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.
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 Flo

rentine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES. Mar. The gods forbid else! Wid.

So, now they come :That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son ; That, Escalus. Hel.

Which is the Frenchman? Dia.

He; That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow; I would, he lov'd his wife : if he were honester, Ile were much goodlier :-Is't not a handsome

gentleman ? llel. I like him well. Dia. "Tis pity, he is not honest: Yond's that

same knave,
That leads him to these places; were I his lady,
I'd poison that vile rascal.
Hel.

Which is he? Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs : Why is he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.
Par. Lose our drum ! well.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: Look, he has spied us.

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brokes – ] To broke is to deal with panders. A broker, in our author's time, meant a bawd or pimp.

Wid. Marry, hang you !
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!

[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers,

and Soldiers. Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will

bring you
Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.
Hel.

I humbly thank you:
Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thanking,
Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
Worthy the note.
Both.
We'll take your offer kindly.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

1

Camp before Florence.
Enter Bertram, and the two French Lords.

| Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his way.

2 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 deceived in him?

1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him

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

as my

1

- hilding.) A hilding is a paltry, cowardly fellow.

9

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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 surprize 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 leaguero 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 any thing.

2 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he says, he has a stratagem for’t: 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,' 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.

2

he is carried into the leaguer-) i. e. camp.

if you give him not John Drum's entertainment,] i.e treat him very ill; a proverbial expression of doubtful origin.

3

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.

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 enterprize, and go on ; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you 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.

Ber. But you must not now slumber in it.
Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will pre-

I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet.] i, e. Here lies ;-the usual beginning of epitaphs. I would says Parolles) recover either the drum I have lost, or another belonging to the enemy; or die in the attempt. MALONE.

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sently 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 about it?

Par. I know not what the success will 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

S- I will presently pen down my dilemmas,] i. e. he will pen down his plans on the one side, and the probable obstructions he was to meet with, on the other. 6 Par. I love not many words.

1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water.) Here we have the origin of this boaster's name'; which, without doubt, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) ought, in strict propriety, to be writtenParoles. But our author certainly intended it otherwise, having made it a trisyllable:

“ Rust sword, cool blushes, and Parolles live.” He probably did not know the true pronunciation. MALONE..

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