Книга Alls Wel that ends Well. Содержание - ACT IV.

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.


SECOND LORD. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the honour of

his design; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.

BERTRAM. How now, monsieur! This drum sticks sorely in your 


FIRST LORD. A pox on 't; let it go; 'tis but a drum.

PAROLLES. But a drum! Is't but a drum? A drum so lost! There was

excellent command: to charge in with our horse upon our own

wings, and to rend our own soldiers!

FIRST LORD. That was not to be blam'd in the command of the

service; it was a disaster of war that Caesar himself could not

have prevented, if he had been there to command.

BERTRAM. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success.

Some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to

be recovered.

PAROLLES. It might have been recovered.

BERTRAM. It might, but it is not now.

PAROLLES. 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.'

BERTRAM. 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 enterprise,

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 our worthiness.

PAROLLES. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.

BERTRAM. But you must not now slumber in it.

PAROLLES. 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

from me.

BERTRAM. May I be bold to acquaint his Grace you are gone about it?

PAROLLES. I know not what the success will be, my lord, but the

attempt I vow.

BERTRAM. I know th' art valiant; and, to the of thy soldiership,

will subscribe for thee. Farewell.

PAROLLES. I love not many words. Exit

SECOND 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 damn'd than to do 't.

FIRST 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.

BERTRAM. Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of this that

so seriously he does address himself unto?

SECOND 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.

FIRST LORD. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him.

He was first smok'd by the old Lord Lafeu. When his disguise and

he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you

shall see this very night.

SECOND LORD. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught.

BERTRAM. Your brother, he shall go along with me.

SECOND LORD. As't please your lordship. I'll leave you. Exit

BERTRAM. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you

The lass I spoke of.

FIRST LORD. But you say she's honest.

BERTRAM. That's all the fault. I spoke with her but once, 

And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,

By this same coxcomb that we have i' th' wind,

Tokens and letters which she did re-send;

And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature;

Will you go see her?

FIRST LORD. With all my heart, my lord. Exeunt


Florence. The WIDOW'S house

HELENA. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,

I know not how I shall assure you further

But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.

WIDOW. Though my estate be fall'n, I was well born,

Nothing acquainted with these businesses;

And would not put my reputation now

In any staining act.

HELENA. Nor would I wish you.

FIRST give me trust the Count he is my husband,

And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken

Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,

By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,

Err in bestowing it.

WIDOW. I should believe you;

For you have show'd me that which well approves

Y'are great in fortune.

HELENA. Take this purse of gold, 

And let me buy your friendly help thus far,

Which I will over-pay and pay again

When I have found it. The Count he woos your daughter

Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,

Resolv'd to carry her. Let her in fine consent,

As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it.

Now his important blood will nought deny

That she'll demand. A ring the County wears

That downward hath succeeded in his house

From son to son some four or five descents

Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds

In most rich choice; yet, in his idle fire,

To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,

Howe'er repented after.

WIDOW. Now I see

The bottom of your purpose.

HELENA. You see it lawful then. It is no more

But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,

Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;

In fine, delivers me to fill the time, 

Herself most chastely absent. After this,

To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns

To what is pass'd already.

WIDOW. I have yielded.

Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,

That time and place with this deceit so lawful

May prove coherent. Every night he comes

With musics of all sorts, and songs compos'd

To her unworthiness. It nothing steads us

To chide him from our eaves, for he persists

As if his life lay on 't.

HELENA. Why then to-night

Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,

Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,

And lawful meaning in a lawful act;

Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.

But let's about it. Exeunt



Without the Florentine camp
Enter SECOND FRENCH LORD with five or six other SOLDIERS in ambush

SECOND LORD. 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.

FIRST SOLDIER. Good captain, let me be th' interpreter.

SECOND LORD. Art not acquainted with him? Knows he not thy voice?

FIRST SOLDIER. No, sir, I warrant you.

SECOND LORD. But what linsey-woolsey has thou to speak to us again?

FIRST SOLDIER. E'en such as you speak to me.

SECOND LORD. He must think us some band of strangers i' th'

adversary's entertainment. Now he hath a smack of all

neighbouring languages, therefore we must every one be a man of

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