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something in 't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
i Lord.5 He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. 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.
I Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he feshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
I Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we!
2 Lord. 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;6 so
5 1 Lord.] The latter editors have with great liberality be stowed lordship upon these interlocutors, who, in the original edition, are called, with more propriety, capt. E. and capt. G. It is true that captain E. in a former scene is called lord E. but the subordination in which they seem to act, and the timorous manner in which they converse, determines them to be only cap. tains. Yet as the latter readers of Shakspeare have been used to find them lords, I have not thought it worth while to degrade them in the margin. Johnson.
These two personages may be supposed to be two young French Lords serving in the Florentine camp, where they now appear in their military capacity. In the first scene, where the two French lords are introduced, taking leave of the king, they are called in the original edition, Lord E. and Lord G.
G. and E. were, I believe, only put to denote the players who performed these characters. In the list of actors prefixed to the first folio, I find the names of Gilburne and Ecclestone, to whom these insignificant parts probably fell. Perhaps, however, these performers first represented the French Lords, and afterwards two captains in the Florentine army; and hence the confusion of the old copy. In the first scene of this Act, one of these captains is called throughout, 1. Lord E. The matter is of no great importance.. Malone..
- till they attain to their abhorred ends ;] This may meanthey are perpetually talking about the mischief they intend to do, till they have obtained an opportunity of doing it. Steevens.
he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself."
I Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us, & to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
2 Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
i Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his company' anatomized; that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.2
2 Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace.
in his proper stream oʻerflows himself ] That is, betrays his own secrets in his own talk. The reply shows that this is the meaning. Johnson.
8 Is it not meant damnable in us,] I once thought that we ought to read. Is it not most damnable; but no change is necessary. Adjectives are often used as adverbs by our author and his contemporaries. So, in The Winter's Tale :
“That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,
“ And damnable ungrateful.” Again, in Twelfth Night:
and as thou drawest, swear horrible ! Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
“ Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound.” Again, in Massinger's Very Woman:
" I'll beat thee damnable.” Malone. Mr. M. Mason wishes to read-mean and damnable. Steevens.
- his company -] i. e. his companion. It is so used in King Henry V. Malone.
he might take a measure of his own judgments,] This is a very just and moral reason. Bertram, by finding how erroneously he has judged, will be less confident, and more easily moved by admonition. Fohnson.
- wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.] Parolles is the person whom they are going to anatomize. Counterfeit, besides its ordinary signification,-[a person pretending to be what he is not] signified also in our author's time a false coin, and a picture. The word set shows that it is here used in the first and the last of these senses. Malone
i Lord. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
2 Lord. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?
1 Lord. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.
2 Lord. Let it be forbid, sir! so should I be a great deal of his act.
I Lord, Sir, his wife, some two months since, fed 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.
2 Lord. How is this justified?
i Lord. 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 the place.
2 Lord. Hath the count all this intelligence?
i Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.
2 Lord. I am heartily sorry, that he 'll be glad of this.
1 Lord. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses!
2 Lord. 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.
i Lord. 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 cherish'd by our virtues.
Enter a Servant. How now? where's your master?
Serv. 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 the king.
2 Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
Enter BERTRAM. 1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the King's tart.
Here's his lordship now. How now, my lord, is 't not after midnight?
Ber. I have to-night despatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success: I have conge'd 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 despatch, effected many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not
2 Lord. If the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.
Ber. 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 ;3 he has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.“
2 Lord. Bring him forth: [Exeunt Soldiers] he has sat in the stocks all night, poor gallant knave.
Ber. No matter; his heels have deserved it, in usurping his spurs so long." How does he carry himself?
bring forth this counterfeit module ;] Module being the pattern of any thing, may be here used in that sense. Bring forth this fellow, who, by counterfeit virtue, pretended to make himself a pattern. Johnson.
It appears from Minshieu, that module and model were sy. nonymous.
In King Richard II, model signifies a thing fashioned after an archetype:
“Who was the model of thy father's life.” Again, in King Henry VIII:
“ The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter.” Our author, I believe, uses the word here in the same sense: Bring forth this counterfeit representation of a soldier. Malone.
a double-meaning prophesier.) So, in Macbeth:
in usurping his spurs so long.) The punishment of a re. creant, or coward, was to have his spurs hacked off. Malone.
i Lord. 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 sitting i’ the stocks: And what think you he hath confessed?
Ber. Nothing of me, has he?
2 Lord. 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.
Re-enter Soldiers, with PAROLLES.6 Ber. A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of me; hush! hush!
I Lord. Hoodman comes ! - Porto tartarossa.
I Sold. He calls for the tortures; What, will you say without 'em?
Par. I will confess what I know without constraint; if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
I Sold. Bosko chimurcho.
I Sold. You are a merciful general:-Our general bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
Par. And truly, as I hope to live.
i Sold. First demand of him how many horse the duke is strong. What say you to that?
Par. 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 to live.
1 Sold. Shall I set down your answer so?
Par. Do; I 'll take the sacrament on 't, how and which way you will.
Ber. All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
I believe these words allude only to the ceremonial degradation of a knight. I am yet to learn, that the same mode was practised in disgracing dastards of inferior rank. Steevens.
6 Re-enter Soldiers, with Farolles.) See an account of the ex. amination of one of Henry the Eighth's captains, who had gone over to the enemy (which may possibly have suggested this of Parolles) in The Life of Iacke Wilton, 1594; sig. c üi. Ritson.