[Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other]
[p]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.
- Second Lord. Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?
- Second Lord. But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
- Second Lord. 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.
- Parolles. 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.
- Second Lord. This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue
was guilty of.
- Parolles. 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.
- Second Lord. Is it possible he should know what he is, and be
that he is?
- Parolles. I would the cutting of my garments would serve the
turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
- Parolles. Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
- Parolles. Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
- Parolles. Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.
- Second Lord. Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
- Parolles. I would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear
I recovered it.
- Second Lord. Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
- All. Cargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.
- Parolles. O, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.
[They seize and blindfold him]
- Parolles. 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.
- First Soldier. 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.
- First Soldier. The general is content to spare thee yet;
And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.
- Parolles. 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.
[Exit, with PAROLLES guarded. A short alarum within]
- Second Lord. Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
Till we do hear from them.
- Second Lord. A' will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.
- Second Lord. Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.