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Enter Bertram, Parolles, Officers and Soldiers attending.
Wid. So, now they come:
Hel. Which is the Frenchman?
Hel. I like him well.
Dia. 'Tis pity, he's not honest: yond's that same knave
Hel. Which is he?
[Exeunt. Ber. Par. &c. Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier !
Wid. The troop is paft: come, pilgrim, I will bring you
Hel. I humbly thank you:
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
SCENE IX. Enter Bertram, and the two French Lords. i 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.
i Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
i 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 ; left, 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.
i 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 hoodwink him so that he shall fuppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when we bring him to our own 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 oar will be melted, if you give him not Tom Drum's entertainment, ' your inclining cannot be removed. Here he
i 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 forely 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 loft! there was 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 Cæfar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.
Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success : fome dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to be recover’d.
Par. It might have been recover’d.
Par. It is to be recover'd; but that the merit of service 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, 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 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.
• Holingshed in his description of Ireland mentions a lord mayor of Dublin so hospitable that his porter durft not give the meanest man that resorted to his house Tom Drum's entertainment; which is, saya be, to hale a man in by the head, and thrust him out by the shoulders.
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
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’rt valiant, and, to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee: farewel. Par. I love not many words.
SCENE XI. i 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 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, 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?
2 Lord. None in the world; but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we have almost emboss'd him, you shall see 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 uncase him. He was first smok’d by the old lord Lafeu: when his disguise and he are parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night.
2 Lord. I must go and look my twigs; he shall be caught. Ber. Your brother he shall go along with me. Vol. II.
2 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.
i Lord. But, you say, she's honest.
Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once,
Enter Helena, and Widow.
Wid. Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
Hél. Nor would I wish you.
shall borrow, Err in beftowing it.
Wid. I should believe you,
Hel. Take this purse of gold,