ACT IV
Scene 1
 

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
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.

Enter PAROLLES

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 knock'd to 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 butterwoman'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.

SECOND LORD
We cannot afford you so.

PAROLLES
Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
stratagem.

SECOND LORD
'Twould not do.

PAROLLES
Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripp'd.

SECOND LORD
Hardly serve.

PAROLLES
Though I swore I leap'd from the window of the citadel-

SECOND LORD
How deep?

PAROLLES
Thirty fathom.

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
recover'd it.

SECOND LORD
You shall hear one anon.

[Alarum within]

PAROLLES
A drum now of the enemy's!

SECOND LORD
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.

ALL
Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.

PAROLLES
O, ransom, ransom! Do not hide mine eyes.

[They blindfold him]

FIRST SOLDIER
Boskos thromuldo boskos.

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.

PAROLLES
O!

FIRST SOLDIER
O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.

SECOND LORD
Oscorbidulchos volivorco.

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.

FIRST SOLDIER
But wilt thou faithfully?

PAROLLES
If I do not, damn me.

FIRST SOLDIER
Acordo linta.
Come on; thou art granted space.

Exit, 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 SOLDIER
Captain, I will.

SECOND LORD
'A will betray us all unto ourselves-
Inform on that.

SECOND SOLDIER
So I will, sir.

SECOND LORD
Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.

Exeunt