SCENE IWithout the Florentine camp.
Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other Soldiers in ambush.
He can come no other way but
by this hedge-corner. When you sally upon
him, speak what terrible language you will:
though you understand it not yourselves, no
matter; for we must not seem to understand
him, unless some one among us whom we must
produce for an interpreter.
Good captain, let me be the interpreter.
Art not acquainted with him? (11)
knows he not thy voice?
No, sir, I warrant you.
But what linsey-woolsey hast
thou to speak to us again?
E'en such as you speak to me.
He must think us some band of
strangers i' the adversary's entertainment. Now
he hath a smack of all neighbouring languages;
therefore we must every one be a man of his
own fancy, not to know what we speak one to
another; so we seem to know, is to know
straight our purpose: choughs' language, gabble
enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter,
you must seem very politic. But
couch, ho! here he comes, to beguile two
hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear
the lies he forges. Enter PAROLLLES.
Ten o'clock: within these three hours
'twill be time enough to go home. What shall
I say I have done? It must be a very plausive
invention that carries it: they begin to smoke
me; and disgraces have of late knocked too
often at my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy;
but my heart hath the fear of Mars
before it and of his creatures, not daring the
reports of my tongue.
This is the first truth that e'er
thine own tongue was guilty of.
What the devil should move me to undertake
the recovery of this drum, being not
ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I
had no such purpose? I must give myself some
hurts, and say I got them in exploit: yet slight
ones will not carry it; they will say, 'Came
you off with so little?' and great ones I dare
not give. Wherefore, what's the instance?
Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's
mouth and buy myself another of Bajazet's
mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
Is it possible he should know (49)
what he is, and be that he is?
I would the cutting of my garments
would serve the turn, or the breaking of my
We cannot afford you so.
Or the baring of my beard; and to
say it was in stratagem.
'Twould not do.
Or to drown my clothes, and say I
Though I swore I leaped from the (61)
window of the citadel--
Three great oaths would scarce
make that be believed.
I would I had any drum of the enemy's:
I would swear I recovered it.
You shall hear one anon.
A drum now of the enemy's,-- [Alarum within.
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, (71)
Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par
O, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine
eyes. [They seize and blindfold him.
Boskos thromuldo boskos.
I know you are the Muskos' regiment:
And I shall lose my life for want of language:
If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speak to me; I'll
Discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
Boskos vauvado; I understand
thee, and can speak thy tongue. Kerely bonto,
sir, betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen
poniards are at thy bosom.
O, pray, pray, pray! Manka
The general is content to spare thee yet; (90)
And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.
O, let me live!
And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that
Which you will wonder at.
But wilt thou faithfully?
If I do not, damn me.
Come on; thou art granted space. [Exit, with Parolles guarded. A short alarum within.
Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother, (100)
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
Till we do hear from them.
Captain, I will.
A' will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.
So I will, sir.
Till then I'll keep him dark and
safely lock'd. [Exeunt.
SCENE IIFlorence. The Widow's house.
Enter BERTRAM and DIANA.
They told me that your name was Fontibell.
No, my good lord, Diana.
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
In your fine frame hath love no quality?
If the quick fire of youth light not your mind,
You are no maiden, but a monument:
As you are now, for you are cold and stern;
When you are dead, you should be such a one
And now you should be as your mother was (10)
When your sweet self was got.
She then was honest.
So should you be.
My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.
No more o' that;
I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.
Ay, so you serve us
Till we serve you; but when you have our
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
And mock us with our bareness.
How have I sworn!
'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me,
If I should swear by God's great attributes,
I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
At least in my opinion.
Change it, change it;
Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
But give thyself unto my sick desires,
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever
My love as it begins shall persever.
I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
To give it from me.
Will you not, my lord?
It is an honour 'longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose.
Mine honour's such a ring:
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world (50)
Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
Against your vain assault.
Here, take my ring:
My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.
When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
When back again this ring shall be deliver'd: (61)
And on your finger in the night I'll put
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
A heaven on earth I have won by
wooing thee. [Exit.
For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo, (70)
As if she sat in's heart; she says all men
Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me
When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I live and die a maid:
Only in this disguise I think 't no sin
To cozen him that would unjustly win. [Exit.
SCENE IIIThe Florentine camp.
Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers.
You have not given him his
I have delivered it an hour
since: there is something in't that stings his
nature; for on the reading it he changed almost
into another man.
He has much worthy blame
laid upon him for shaking off so good a wife (9)
and so sweet a lady.
Especially he hath incurred the
everlasting displeasure of the king, who had
even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him
I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell
darkly with you.
When you have spoken it, 'tis
dead, and I am the grave of it.
He hath perverted a young gentlewoman
here in Florence, of a most chaste
renown; and this night he fleshes his will in
the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his
monumental ring, and thinks himself made in
the unchaste composition.
Now, God delay our rebellion!
as we are ourselves. what things are we!
Merely our own traitors. And
as in the common course of all treasons, we
still see them reveal themselves, till they attain
to their abhorred ends, so he that in this action
contrives against his own nobility, in his (30)
proper stream o'erflows himself.
Is it not meant damnable in
us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents?
We shall not then have his company to-night?
Not till after midnight; for he
is dieted to his hour.
That approaches apace; I
would gladly have him see his company anatomized,
that he might take a measure of his
his own judgements, wherein so curiously he had (40)
set this counterfeit.
We will not meddle with him
till he come; for his presence must be the
whip of the other.
In the mean time, what hear
you of these wars?
I hear there is an overture of
Nay, I assure you, a peace
What will Count Rousillon do
then? will he travel higher, or return again (51)
I perceive, by this demand,
you are not altogether of his council.
Let it be forbid, sir; so should
I be a great deal of his act.
Sir, his wife some two months
since fled from his house: her pretence is a
pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le Grand; which
holy undertaking with most austere sanctimony
she accomplished; and, there residing,
the tenderness of her nature became as a prey
to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last
breath, and now she sings in heaven.
How is this justified?
The stronger part of it by her
own letters, which makes her story true, even
to the point of her death: her death itself,
which could not be her office to say is come,
was faithfully confirmed by the rector of (60)
the place. (70)
Hath the count all this intelligence?
Ay, and the particular confirmations,
point from point, to the full arming
of the verity.
I am heartily sorry that he'll
be glad of this.
How mightily sometimes we
make us comforts of our losses!
And how mightily some other
times we drown our gain in tears! The great
dignity that his valour hath here acquired for
him shall at home be encountered with a
shame as ample.
The web of our life is of a
mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues
would be proud, if our faults whipped
them not; and our crimes would despair, if
they were not cherished by our virtues. Enter a Messenger.
How now! where's your master?
He met the duke in the street, sir,
of whom he hath taken a solemn leave: his lordship
will next morning for France. The duke
hath offered him letters of commendations to
They shall be no more than
needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
They cannot be too sweet for
the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. Enter BERTRAM.
How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?
I have to-night dispatched sixteen
businesses a month's length a-piece, by an abstract
of success: I have congied with the
duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried
a wife, mourned for her; writ to my lady
mother I am returning; entertained my convoy;
and between these main parcels of dispatch
effected many nicer needs: the last was
the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.
If the business be of any difficulty,
and this morning your departure hence, (109)
it requires haste of your lordship.
I mean, the business is not ended, as
fearing to hear of it hereafter. But shall we
have this dialogue between the fool and the
soldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit
module, has deceived me, like a double-meaning
Bring him forth: has sat i' the
stocks all night, poor gallant knave.
No matter; his heels have deserved
it, in usurping his spurs so long. How does he (120)
I have told your lordship already
the stocks carry him. But to answer you
as you would be understood; he weeps like a
wench that had shed her milk: he hath confessed
himself to Morgan, whom he supposes
to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance
to this very instant disaster of his setting
i' the stocks: and what think you he hath
Nothing of me, has a'?
His confession is taken, and it
shall be read to his face: if your lordship be
in't, as I believe you are, you must have the
patience to hear it, Enter PAROLLES guarded, and First Soldier.
A plague upon him! muffled! he can
say nothing of me: hush, hush!
He calls for the tortures: what
will you say without 'em?
I will confess what I know without
constraint: if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can (141)
say no more.
You are a merciful general.
Our general bids you answer to what I shall
ask you out of a note.
And truly, as I hope to live. First Sold.
'First demand of him
how many horse the duke is strong.' What (150)
say you to that?
Five or six thousand; but very weak
and unserviceable: the troops are all scattered,
and the commanders very poor rogues,
upon my reputation and credit and as I hope
Shall I set down your answer
Do: I'll take the sacrament on't, how
and which way you will. Ber.
All's one to him. What a past-saving (159)
slave is this!
You're deceived, my lord: this
is Monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist,--
that was his own phrase,--that had the whole
theoric of war in the knot of his scarf, and the
practice in the chape of his dagger.
I will never trust a man again
for keeping his sword clean, nor believe he
can have every thing in him by wearing his
apparel neatly. (169)
Well, that's set down.
Five or six thousand horse, I said,--
I will say true,--or thereabouts, set down, for
I'll speak truth.
He's very near the truth in
But I con him no thanks for't, in the
nature he delivers it.
Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
Well, that's set down.
I humbly thank you, sir: a truth's a (179)
truth, the rogues are marvellous poor. First Sold.
'Demand of him, of
what strength they are a-foot.' What say you
By my troth, sir, if I were to live this
present hour, I will tell true. Let me see:
Spurio, a hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so
many; Corambus, so many; Jaques, so many;
Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two
hundred and fifty each; mine own company,
Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and
fifty each; so that the muster-file, rotten and
sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen
thousand poll; half of the which dare not
shake the snow from off their cassocks, lest
they shake themselves to pieces.
What shall be done to him?
Nothing, but let him have
thanks. Demand of him my condition, and
what credit I have with the duke.
Well, that's set down. [Reads]
'You shall demand of him, whether one Captain
Dumain be i' the camp, a Frenchman;
what his reputation is with the duke; what
his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars; or
whether he thinks it were not possible, with
well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to
a revolt.' What say you to this? what do you
know of it?
I beseech you, let me answer to the
particular of the inter'gatories: demand them
Do you know this Captain (210)
I know him: a' was a botcher's 'prentice
in Paris, from whence he was whipped for
getting the shrieve's fool with child,--a dumb
innocent, that could not say him nay.
Nay, by your leave, hold your hands;
though I know his brains are forfeit to the
next tile that falls.
Well, is the captain in the (219)
duke of Florence's camp?
Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
Nay, look not so upon me; we
shall hear of your lordship anon.
What is his reputation with the
The duke knows him for no other but
a poor officer of mine; and writ to me this
other day to turn him out o' the band: I think
I have his letter in my pocket. (229)
Marry, we'll search.
In good sadness, I do not know;
either it is there, or it is upon a file with the
duke's other letters in my tent.
Here 'tis; here's a paper: shall
I read it to you?
I do not know if it be it or no.
Our interpreter does it well.
Excellently. First Sold.
'Dian, the count's a
fool, and full of gold,'--
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 Rousillon, a foolish idle
boy, but for all that very ruttish: I pray you,
sir, put it up again.
Nay, I'll read it first, by your
My meaning in 't, I protest, was very
honest in the behalf of the maid; for I knew
the young count to be a dangerous and lascivious
boy, who is a whale to virginity and (250)
devours up all the fry it finds.
Damnable both-sides rogue! First Sold.
[Reads.] 'When he swears
oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores, he never pays the score:
Half won is match well made; match, and well make it;
He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before;
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this,
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss:
For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it,
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,
He shall be whipped through the army
with this rhyme in's forehead.
This is your devoted friend, sir,
the manifold linguist and the armipotent
I could endure any thing before but
a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
I perceive, sir, by the general's (269)
looks, we shall be fain to hang you.
My life, sir, in any case: 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' the
stocks, or any where, so I may live.
We'll see what may be done,
so you confess freely; therefore, once more to
this Captain Dumain: you have answered to
his reputation with the duke and to his valor: (279)
what is his honesty?
He will steal, sir, an egg out of a
cloister: for rapes and ravishments he parallels
Nessus: he professes not keeping of
oaths; in breaking 'em 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.
I begin to love him for this.
For this description of thine honesty?
A pox upon him for me, he's more and more
What say you to his expertness
Faith, sir, 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 honour to be
the officer at a place there called Mile-end, to
instruct for the doubling of files: I would do
the man what honour I can, but of this I am
He hath out-villained villany so
far, that the rarity redeems him.
A pox on him, he's a cat still.
His qualities being at this poor
price, I need not to ask you if gold will corrupt (310)
him to revolt.
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.
What's his brother, the other
Why does he ask him of me?
E'en a crow o' the same nest; 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.
If your life be saved, will you
undertake to betray the Florentine?
Ay, and the captain of his horse,
I'll whisper with the general, (330)
and know his pleasure. 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?
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,
headsman, off with his head.
O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see
That shall you, and take your
leave of all your friends. [Unblinding him.
So, look about you: know you any here? (349)
Good morrow, noble captain.
God bless you, Captain Parolles.
God save you, noble captain.
Captain, what greeting will you
to my Lord Lafeu? I am for France.
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'ld compel it of you: but fare
you well. [Exeunt Bertram and Lords.
You are undone, captain, all (359)
but your scarf; that has a knot on't yet.
Who cannot be crushed with a plot?
If you could find out a country
where but women were that had received so
much shame, you might begin an impudent nation.
Fare ye well, sir; I am for France too:
we shall speak of you there. [Exit, with Soldiers.
Yet am I 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 (370)
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword! cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them. [Exit.
SCENE IVFlorence. The Widow's house.
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA.
That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel:
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
And answer, thanks: I duly am inform'd
His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
We have convenient convoy. You must know, (11)
I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
And by the leave of my good lord the king,
We'll be before our welcome.
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.
Nor you, mistress,
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labor
To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven
Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower, (20)
As it hath fated her to be my motive
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play
With what it loathes for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
Something in my behalf.
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositons, I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
Yet, I pray you:
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL: still the fine's the crown;
Whate'er the course, the end is the renown. [Exeunt.
SCENE VRousillon. The COUNT'S palace.
Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and CLOWN.
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 colour: your
daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour,
and your son here at home, more advanced by
the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I
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.
'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady:
we may pick a thousand salads ere we light on
such another herb.
Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram
of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.
They are not herbs, you knave; they (20)
I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir;
I have not much skill in grass.
Whether dost thou profess thyself, a
knave or a fool?
A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and
a knave at a man's.
I would cozen the man of his wife and
do his service.
So you were a knave at his service, (31)
And I would give his wife my bauble,
sir, to do her service.
I will subscribe for thee, thou art
both knave and fool.
At your service.
No, no, no.
Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can
serve as great a prince as you are. (40)
Who's that? a Frenchman?
Faith, sir, a' has an English name;
but his fisnomy is more hotter in France than
What prince is that?
The black prince, sir; alias, the
prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
Hold thee, there's my purse; I give
thee not this to suggest thee from thy master
thou talkest of; serve him still.
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's 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.
Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary 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
If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they
shall be jades' tricks; which are their own
right by the law of nature. [Exit.
A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
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 (71)
no pace, but runs where he will.
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
With very much content, my lord;
and I wish it happily effected.
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
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.
Madam, I was thinking with what
manners I might safely be admitted.
You need but plead your honorable
Lady, of that I have made a bold
charter; but I thank my God it holds yet. Re-enter CLOWN.
O madam, yonder's my lord your son
with a patch of velvet on's face: whether
there be a scar under't 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.
A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is
a good livery of honour; so belike is that.
But it is your carbonadoed face.
Let us go see your son, I pray you: I
long to talk with the young noble soldier.
Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with
delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers,
which bow the head and nod at every man. [Exeunt.