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1 Lord. You are deceived, my lord; this is monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, (that was his own phrase) that had the whole theorick8 of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.
2 Lord. 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.
1 Sold. Well, that's set down.
Par. Five or six thousand horse, I said I will say true, or thereabouts, set down,—for I 'll speak truth.
1 Lord. He's very near the truth in this.
Ber. But I con him no thanks for’t, 9 in the nature he delivers it. 1
Par. Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
Par. I humbly thank you, sir: a truth 's a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.
? All's one to him.] In the old copy these words are given by mistake to Parolles. The present regulation, which is clearly right, was suggested by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
It will be better to give these words to one of the Dumains, than to Bertram. Ritson.
that had the whole theorick -] i. e. theory. So, in Montaigne's Essaies, translated by J. Florio, 1603: “ They know the theorique of all things, but you must seek who shall put it in practice." Malone.
In 1597 was published “ Theorique and Practise of Warre, writ. ten by Don Philip Prince of Castil, by Don Bernardino de Mendoza. Translated out of the Castilian Tongue in Englishe, by Sir Edward Hoby, Knight,” 4to. Reed.
I con him no thanks for 't,] To con thanks exactly answers the French scavoir gré. To con is to know. I meet with the same expression in Pierce Pennilesse his Supplication, &c.
I believe he will con thee little thanks for it.” Again, in Wily Beguiled, 1606:
“I con master Churms thanks for this.” Again, in Any Thing for a quiet Life: “He would not trust you with it, I con him thanks for it.” Steevens.
1-in the nature he delivers it.] He has said truly, that our numbers are about five or six thousand; but having described them as “weak and unserviceable,” &c. I am not much obliged to him. Malone.
Rather, perhaps, because his narrative, however near the truth, was uttered for a treacherous purpose. Steevens.
1 Sold. Demand of him, of what strength they are afoot. What say you to that?
Par. By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present hour,2 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 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, 3 lest they shake themselves to pieces.
Ber. What shall be done to him?
i Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my conditions, and what credit I have with the duke.
2 if I were to live this present hour, &c.] I do not understand this passage. Perhaps (as an anonymous correspondent observes) we should read :-if I were to live but this present hour. Steevens.
Perhaps he meant to say--if I were to die this present hour. But fear may be supposed to occasion the mistake, as poor frighted Scrub cries: “Spare all I have, and take my life."
Tollet. off their cassocks,] Cassack signifies a horseman's loose coat, and is used in that sense by the writers of the age of Shakspeare. So, in Every Man in his Humour, Brainworm says: “He will never come within the sight of a cassack or a musquet-rest again.” Something of the same kind likewise appears to have been part of the dress of rusticks, in Mucedorus, an anonymous comedy, 1598, erroneously attributed to Shakspeare:
“ Within my closet there does hang a cassock,
** Though base the weed is, 'twas a shepherd's." Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
I will not stick to wear * A blue cassock." On this occasion a woman is the speaker.
So again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589: “Who would not think it a ridiculous thing to see a lady in her milk-house with a velvet gown, and at a bridal in her cassock of moccado."
In The Hollander, a comedy by Glapthorne, 1640, it is again spoken of as part of a soldier's dress :
“Here, sir, receive this military cassock, it has seen service."
This military cassock has, I fear, some military hangbys.” Steevens. my conditions,] i, e. my disposition and character.
1 Sold. Well, that's set down. 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?
Par. I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the intergatories:5 Demand them singly,
1 Sold. Do you know this captain Dumain?
Par. I know him: he was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the sheriff's fool6 with child; a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay.? [Dum. lifts up his hand in anger.
- intergatories : ] i. e. interrogatories. Reed.
the sheriff's fool - ] We are not to suppose that this was a fool kept by the sheriff for his diversion. The custody of all ideots, &c. possessed of landed property, belonged to the King, who was entitled to the income of their lands, but obliged to find them with necessaries. This prerogative, when there was a large estate in the case, was generally granted to some court-favourite, or other person who made suit for and had interest enough to obtain it, which was called begging a fool. But where the land was of inconsiderable value, the natural was maintained out of the profits, by the sheriff, who accounted for them to the crown. As for those unhappy creatures who had neither possessions nor relations, they seem to have been considered as a species of property, being sold or given with as little ceremony, treated as capriciously, and very often, it is to be feared, left to perish as miserably, as dogs or cats. Ritson.
1-a dumb innocent, that could not say him, nay.] Innocent does not here signify a person without guilt or blame; but means, in the good-natured language of our ancestors, an ideot or natural fool. Agreeably to this sense of the word is the following entry of a burial in the parish register of Charlewood, in Surrey: -" Thomas Sole, an innocent about the age of fifty years and upwards, buried 19th September, 1605.” Whalley
Doll Common, in The Alchemist, being asked for her opinion of the Widow Pliant, observes that she is “a good dull inno. cent." Again, in I Would and I Would Not, a poem, by B. N. 1614:
“I would I were an innocent, a foole,
“ That can do nothing else but laugh or crie,
“ And be in love, but with an apple-pie ;
Ber. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know, his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.8.
1 Sold. Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
Par. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
I Lord. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.
1 Sold. What is his reputation with the duke?
Par. 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.
í Sold. Marry, we 'll search.
Par. 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.
1 Sold. Here 'tis; here's a paper? Shall I read it to you?
Par. I do not know, if it be it, or no.
Mr. Douce observes to me, that the term-innocent, was originally French.
See also a note on Ford's 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, new edition of Dodsley's Collection of old Plays, Vol. VIII, p. 24. Steevens.
though I know, his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.] In Lucian's Contemplantes, Mercury makes Charon remark a man that was killed by the falling of a tile upon his head, whilst he was in the act of putting off an engagement to the next day :κ μελαξύ λέοντος, από τα τέγες κεραμίς επιπέδεσα, εκ οίδ' ότου κινήσανloς, απέκτεινεν αυτόν. See the life of Pyrrhus in Ρlutarch. Pyrrhus was killed by a tile. S. W.
your lordship-] The old copy has Lord. In the MSS. of our author's age, they scarcely ever wrote Lordship at*full length. Malone.
1 Dian. The count 's a fool, and full of gold,] After this line there is apparently a line lost, there being no rhyme that corresponds to gold. Fohnson.
I believe this line is incomplete. The poet might have written: Dian. The count 's'a
fool, and full of golden store-or ore; and this addition rhymes with the following alternate verses.
Par. 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.
1 Sold. Nay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
Par. 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 devours up all the fry it finds.
Ber. Damnable, both sides rogue! 1 Sold. 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 ;
May we not suppose the former part of the letter to have been prose, as the concluding words are? The sonnet intervenes.
The feigned letter from Olivia to Malvolio, is partly prose, partly verse. Malone.
2 Half won, is match well made; match, and well make it;] This line has no meaning that I can find. I read, with a very slight alteration: Half won is match well made; watch, and well make it. That is, a match well made is half won; watch, and make it well.
This is not, in my opinion, all the error. The lines are mis. placed, and should be read thus:
Half won is match well made; watch, and well make it;
He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before, That is, take his money, and leave him to himself. When the players had lost the second line, they tried to make a connexion out of the rest. Part is apparently in couplets, and the whole was probably uniform. Fohnson. Perhaps we should read :
Half won is match well made," match, an' we'll make it. i. e. if we mean to make any match of it at all. Steevens.
There is no need of change. The meaning is, “A match well made, is half won; make your match, therefore, but make it well.” M. Mason.
The verses having been designed by Parolles as a caution to Diana, after informing her that Bertram is both rich and faithless, he admonishes her not co yield up her virtue to his oaths, but his gold; and having enforced this advice by an adage, recommends.