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Inter. You are a merciful General. Our General bids answer to what I fhall afk you out of a note. you Par. And truly, as I hope to live.
Inter. First demand of him, how many Horse the Duke is strong. What fay you to that?
Par. Five or fix thoufand, but very weak and unserviceable; the troops are all scatter'd, and the Commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to live.
Inter. Shall I fet down your answer fo?
Par. Do, I'll take the Sacrament on't, how and which way you will: all's one to me.
Ber. What a paft-faving flave is this!
I Lord. Y'are deceiv'd: my Lord, this is Monfieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, that was his own phrafe, that had the whole theory of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.
2 Lord. I will never truft a man again for keeping his fword clean; nor believe, he can have every thing in him by wearing his apparel neatly.
Inter. Well, that's fet down.
Par. Five or fix thousand horfe I faid (I will fay true) or thereabouts, fet down; for I'll speak truth.
1 Lord. 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, fay.
Inter. Well, that's fet down.
Par. I humbly thank you, Sir; a truth's a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.
Inter. Demand of him, of what ftrength they are a-foot. What fay you to that?
Par. By my troth, Sir, if I were to live this prefent. hour, I will tell true. Let me fee; Spurio a hundred.and fifty, Sebaftian fo many, Corambus fo many, Jaques fo many; Guiltian, Cofmo, Lodowick and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each; fo that the mufter file, rotten and found, upon my life amounts not to fifteen thousand Poll; half of the which dare not hake the fnow from off their caffocks, left they shake themselves to pieces.
Ber. 'What fhall be done to him?
I Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him
Duke conditions, and what credit I have with the
Inter. Well, that's fet down. You fhall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain be i'th' camp, a Frenchman: what his reputation is with the Duke; what his valour, honefty, and expertnefs in war; or whether he thinks, it were not poffible with well-weighing fums of gold to corrupt him to a revolt. What fay you to this? What do you know of it?
Par. I beseech you, let me anfwer to the particular of the Interrogatories. Demand them fingly. Inter. Do you know this Captain Dumain?
Par. I know him; he was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipt for getting the fheriff's fool with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say [Dumain lifts up his hand in anger. Ber. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; tho' I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls. Inter. Well, is this Captain in the Duke of Florence's camp?
Par. Upon my knowledge he is, and lowfy.
1 Lord. Nay, look not fo upon me, we shall hear of your Lordship anon.
Inter. 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 the other day to turn him out o' th' band. I think, I have his letter in my pocket.
Inter. Marry, we'll search.
Par. In good fadnefs, I do not know; either it is there, or it is upon the file with the Duke's other letters in my tent.
Inter. Here 'tis, here's a paper, fhall I read it to you? Par. I do not know, if it be it or no.
Ber. Our Interpreter does it well.
I Lord. Excellently.
Inter. (7) Dian, the Count's a fool, and full of gold.
(7) Dian. the Count's a fool, and full of gold.] After this line
there is apparently a line loft, there being no rhime that correfponds to 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 Roufillon, a foolish, idle boy; but for all that, very ruttifh. I pray you, Sir, put it up again.
Inter. Nay, I'll read it firft, by your favour.
Par. My meaning in't, I proteft, was very honeft in the behalf of the maid; for I knew the young Count to be a dangerous and lafcivious boy, who is a whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds. Ber. Damnable! both fides rogues.
Interpreter reads the Letter.
When be fwears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it.
(8) Half one, is match well made; match, and well make
He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before, And fay, a foldier (Dian) told thee this:
Men are to mell with, boys are but to kiss. For, count of this, the Count's a fool, I know it; Who pays before, but not when he does orve it.
Thine, as he vow'd to thee in thine ear,
(8) Half won,is match well made; match, and well make it :] This line has no meaning that I can find. I read, with a very flight alteration, Half won is match well made; watch, and well make it. That is, a match well made is half won; watch, and make it well.
This is, in my opinion, not all the errour. The lines are mifplaced, and fhould be read thus:
Haif won is match well made; watch, and well make it;
He never pays after-debts, take it before,
That is take his money, and leave him to himself. When the players had loft the fecond line, they tried to make a connection out of the reft. Part is apparently in couplets, and the note was probably uniform.
* Men are to mell with, boys are not to kifs.] All the Editors have obtruded a new Maxim upon us here, that Boys are not to kifs.]-Livia, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Tamer tam'd, is of a quite oppofite opinion.
For Boys were made for nothing but dry kiffes.
And our Poet's Thought, I am perfuaded, went to the fame Tune. To mell, is derived from the French word, meler, to mingle.
Ber. He fhall be whipt thro' the army with this rhime in his forehead.
2 Lord. This is your devoted friend, Sir, the manifold linguist, and the armi-potent foldier.
Ber: I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
Inter. I perceive, Sir, by the General's looks, we fhall be fain to hang you.
Par. My life, Sir, in any cafe ; 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' th' Stocks, any where, fo I may live.
Inter. We'll fee what may be done, fo you confefs freely; therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain : you have anfwer'd to his reputation with the Duke, and to his valour. What is his honefty?
Par. He will teal, Sir, (9) an egg out of a cloister for rapes and ravifhments he parallels Neus. He, profeffes no keeping of oaths; in breaking them he is ftronger than Hercules. He will lye, Sir, with fuch volubility, that you would think, truth were a fool; drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be fwine-drunk, and in his fleep he does little harm, fave to his bed-cloaths about him; but they know his conditions, and lay him in ftraw. I have but little more to fay, Sir, of his honefty; he has every thing that an honeft man fhould not have; what an honeft man fhould have, he has nothing. Lord. I begin to love him for this.
Ber. For this description of thine honefty? A pox upon him for me, he is more and more a cat.
Inter. What fay you to his expertnefs in war?
Par. Faith, Sir, h'as led the drum before the English Tragedians to belie him, I will not and of his foldiership I know not; except, in that Country, he had the honour to be the officer at a place there call'd Mile-end, to inftruct for the doubling of files. I would do the man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.
(9) An egg out of a cloifter;] I know not that cloifter, though it may etymologically fignify any thing fhut, is used by our authour, otherwife than for a monaftery, and therefore I cannot guess whence this hyberbole could take its original: perhaps it means only this: He will feal any thing, however trifling, from any place, bowever boly
1 Lord. He hath out-villain'd villainy so far, that the rarity redeems him.
Ber. A pox on him, (1) he's a cat still.
Inter. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you, if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
Par. Sir, for a Quart d'ecu he will fell the fee-fimple of his falvation, the inheritance of it, and cut th' intail from all remainders, and a perpetual fucceffion for it perpetually.
Inter. What's his Brother, the other Captain Du
2 Lord. (2) Why does he afk him of me ?
Inter. What's he?
Par. E'en a crow o' th' fame neft; not altogether fo great as the firft 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 a Retreat he out-runs any lacquey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp..
Inter. If your life be faved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Par. Ay, and the Captain of his horfe, Count Roufillon.
Inter. I'll whifper with the General, and know his pleasure.
Par. I'll no more drumming, a plague of all drums! Only to feem to deferve well, and (3) to beguile the fuppofition of that lafcivious young boy the Count, have I run into this danger; yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken? [Afide
(1) Pox on bim he is a cat ftill. Mr. Jebafon has explained this paffage thus, Throw bim bow you will, be lights upon bis legs. Bertram means no fuch thing. In a fpeech or two before, he declares his averfion to a cat, and now only continues of the fame opinion, and fays, he hates Parolles as much as a cat. The other meaning will not do, as Parolles could not be meant by the cat which lights always on its legs, for he is now in a fair way to be totally difconcerted. MA STEEVENS.
I am still of my former opinior.
(2) Why does be afk bim of me?] This is nature. Every man is on fuch occafions more willing to hear his neighbour's character than his own.
(3) To beguile the fuppofition-] That is, to deceive the opinion to make the Count think me a man that deferves well.