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loft!—There was an 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 Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command. · BER. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our suc. cess : some 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 seldom 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 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 your worthiness.
Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
BER. But you must not now slumber in it.
4— I wonld have that drum or another, or hic jacet.] i. e. Here lies;—the usual beginning of epitaphs. I would (says Parolles) recover either the drum I have loft, or another belonging to the enemy; or die in tbe attempt. MALONE.
fently pen down my dilemmas,' encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation, and, by midnight, look to hear further from me.
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 art valiant; and, to the possibility of thy soldiership,h will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par. I love not many words.
[Exit. i Lord. No more than a fish loves water. 7-Is not this a strange fellow, my lord? that fo confidently seems to undertake this business, which he
5- I will presently pen down my dilemmas,] By this word, Parolles is made to infinuate that he had several ways, all equally certain of recovering his drum. For a dilemma is an argument that concludes both ways. WARBURTON. Shakspeare might have found the word thus used in Holinshed.
Sreevens. I think, that by penning down his dilemmas, Parolles means, that he will pen down his plans on the one side, and the probable obstructions he was to meet with, on the other. M. Mason.
6- possibility of thy soldiership,] I will subscribe (says Bertram) 10 the possibility of your soldiership. His doubts being now raised, he suppresses that he Mould not be so willing to vouch for its probability. Steevens.
I believe, Bertram means no more than that he is confident Parolles will do all that soldiership can effect. He was not yet certain that he was “ a hilding." MALONE. 7 Par. I love not many words. .
i Lord. No more than a fish loves water.] Here we have the origin of this boaster's name; which, without doubt, (as Mr. Steevens has observed) ought in strict propriety to be writtenParoles. But our author certainly intended it otherwise, having made it a trisyllable:
" Rust sword, cool blushes, and Parolles live.” He probably did not know the true pronunciation. MALONE,
knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, 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?
i 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.
2 Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we case him. He was first smoked 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.
i Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught.
8 we have almost emboss'd him,] To emboss a deer is to inclose him in a wood. Milton uses the same word:
“ Like that self-begotten bird
" Which no second knows or third.” Johnson. It is probable that Shakspeare was unacquainted with this word in the sense which Milton affixes to it, viz. from emboscare, Ital, to enclose in a thicket.
When a deer is run hard and foams at the mouth, in the language of the field, he is faid to be emboss'd. Steevens.
« To know when a stag is weary (as Markham's Country Contentments say) you shall see him imbot, that is, foaming and Plavering about the mouth with a thick white froth,” &c. Îollet. ere we cafe bim.] That is, before we strip him naked.
Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me.
i 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. 2 LORD.
But, you say, she's honest. Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but
once, And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her, By this fame coxcomb that we have i'the 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? 2 LORD. With all my heart, my lord.
Enter Helena, and Widow.
- I'll leave you.] This line is given in the old copy to the fecond lord, there called Captain G, who goes out; and the firft lord, there called Captain E, remains with Bertram. The whole course of the dialogue shows this to have been a mistake. See p. 297. " 1. Lord. [i. e. Captain E.] I, with a troop of Florentines" &c.
MALONE. 3 we have i'the wind,] To have one in the wind, is enu. merated as a proverbial faying by Ray, p. 261. Reed.
4 But I fall lose the grounds I work upon.] i. e. by discovering herself to the count. WARBURTON.
Wid. Though my estate be fallen, I was well
Nor would I wish you.
I should believe you ; For you have show'd me that, which well approves You are great in fortune. Hel.
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 wooes your
daughter, Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty, Resolves to carry her; let her, in fine, consent, As we'll direct her how ’ris best to bear it, Now his important blood will nought denyo 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
s to your sworn counsel -] To your private knowledge, after having required from you an oath of secrefy. Johnson.
6 Now his important blood will nought deny -] Important here, and elsewhere, is importunate. JOHNSON. So, Spenser in The Fairy Queen, B. II. C. vi. ft. 29:
" And with important outrage him assailed.” Important, from the Fr. Emportant. Tyrwhitt.
7- the county wears,] i. e. the count. So, in Romeo and Juliet, we have " the county Paris.” STBEVENS.