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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 swine-drunk; 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.
1 Lord. 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 honor to be the officer at a place there called Mile End, to instruct for the doubling of files. I would do the man what honor I can, but of this I am not certain.
1 Lord. 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 Dumain? 2 Lord. Why does he ask him of me?
1 Sold. What's he?
Par. Even a crow of 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 a retreat he outruns 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 plea
Par. 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, headsmen, 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 your friends. [Unmuffling him. So, look about you: know you any here? Ber. Good morrow, noble captain.
2 Lord. God bless you, captain Parolles. 1 Lord. God save you, noble captain.
2 Lord. Captain, what greeting will you to my lord Lafeu? I am for France.
1 Lord. 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, Lords, &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 I am thankful: if my heart were great, 'Twould 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,
SCENE IV. Florence. A Room in the Widow's House.
Enter HELENA, Widow, and Diana.
Hel. That you may well perceive I have not wronged
One of the greatest in the Christian world.
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
My husband hies him home; where, Heaven aiding,
You never had a servant to whose trust
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours,
Yet, I pray you,
But with the word, the time will bring on summer,
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 snipt-taffeta fellow there; whose villanous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his color: your daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour; and your son here at home, more advanced by the king, than by that redtailed humble-bee 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. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb. Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjorum of the salad, or rather the herb of grace.
Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave; they are noseherbs.
Clo. I am no great Nebudchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in grass.
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave, or a fool?
Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a
Laf. Your distinction?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
Laf. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
Clo. And I would give his wife my bawble, sir, to do her
Laf. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.
Clo. At your service.
Laf. No, no, no.
Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
Laf. Who's that? A Frenchman?
Clo. Faith, sir, he has an English name; but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.
Laf. What prince is that?
Clo. The black prince, sir; alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
Laf. Hold thee, there's my purse. I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.
Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world, let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire.
Laf. Go thy ways; I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature. [Exit.
Laf. A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed,he has no pace, but runs where he will.
Laf. I like him well; 'tis not amiss: and I was about to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord, your son, was upon his return home, I moved the king, my master, to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose. His highness hath promised me to do it; and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.
Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty; he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
Count. It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain with me till they meet together.
Laf. Madam, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honorable privilege. Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my God, it holds yet.
Clo. O madam, yonder's my lord, your son, with a patch of velvet on's face; whether there be a scar under it, or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
Laf. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honor; so, belike, is that.
Clo. But it is your carbonadoed face.