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All's Well That Ends Well - Act 3, scene 6
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Navigate this workAll's Well That Ends Well - Act 3, scene 6
Act 3, scene 6
The French lords in Florence decide that Parolles’ unhappiness about the loss of the troop’s drum can be used as a way to trick him into revealing his cowardice to Bertram. Bertram agrees to go along with the plot. He then goes to seek out Diana.Enter ⌜Bertram⌝ Count Rossillion and the French
⌜Lords,⌝ as at first.
FIRST LORD 1716 Nay, good my lord, put him to ’t. Let him
1717 have his way.
SECOND LORD 1718 If your Lordship find him not a hilding,
1719 hold me no more in your respect.
FIRST LORD 1720 5On my life, my lord, a bubble.
BERTRAM 1721 Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
FIRST LORD 1722 Believe it, my lord. In mine own direct
1723 knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of
1724 him as my kinsman, he’s a most notable coward,
1725 10 an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker,
1726 the owner of no one good quality worthy
1727 your Lordship’s entertainment.
SECOND LORD 1728 It were fit you knew him, lest, reposing
1729 too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might
1730 15 at some great and trusty business in a main danger
1731 fail you.
BERTRAM 1732 I would I knew in what particular action to
1733 try him.
SECOND LORD 1734 None better than to let him fetch off his
1735 20 drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake
1736 to do.
FIRST LORD 1737 I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
1738 surprise him. Such I will have whom I am sure
1739 he knows not from the enemy. We will bind and
1740 25 hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose no other
p. 1271741 but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversary’s
1742 when we bring him to our own tents. Be but
1743 your Lordship present at his examination. If he do
1744 not for the promise of his life, and in the highest
1745 30 compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you and
1746 deliver all the intelligence in his power against
1747 you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul
1748 upon oath, never trust my judgment in anything.
SECOND LORD 1749 O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch
1750 35 his drum. He says he has a stratagem for ’t. When
1751 your Lordship sees the bottom of ⌜his⌝ success in
1752 ’t, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ⌜ore⌝
1753 will be melted, if you give him not John Drum’s
1754 entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
1755 40 Here he comes.
FIRST LORD, ⌜aside to Bertram⌝ 1756 O, for the love of laughter,
1757 hinder not the honor of his design. Let him
1758 fetch off his drum in any hand.
BERTRAM, ⌜to Parolles⌝ 1759 How now, monsieur? This
1760 45 drum sticks sorely in your disposition.
SECOND LORD 1761 A pox on ’t! Let it go. ’Tis but a drum.
PAROLLES 1762 But a drum! Is ’t but a drum? A drum so
1763 lost! There was excellent command, to charge in
1764 with our horse upon our own wings and to rend
1765 50 our own soldiers!
SECOND LORD 1766 That was not to be blamed in the command
1767 of the service. It was a disaster of war that
1768 Caesar himself could not have prevented if he had
1769 been there to command.
BERTRAM 1770 55Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success.
1771 Some dishonor we had in the loss of that
1772 drum, but it is not to be recovered.
PAROLLES 1773 It might have been recovered.
BERTRAM 1774 It might, but it is not now.
p. 129PAROLLES 1775 60It is to be recovered. But that the merit of
1776 service is seldom attributed to the true and exact
1777 performer, I would have that drum or another, or
1778 hic jacet.
BERTRAM 1779 Why, if you have a stomach, to ’t, monsieur!
1780 65 If you think your mystery in stratagem can bring
1781 this instrument of honor again into his native
1782 quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise and go
1783 on. I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit. If
1784 you speed well in it, the Duke shall both speak of it
1785 70 and extend to you what further becomes his greatness,
1786 even to the utmost syllable of your
PAROLLES 1788 By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
BERTRAM 1789 But you must not now slumber in it.
PAROLLES 1790 75I’ll about it this evening, and I will presently
1791 pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my
1792 certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation;
1793 and by midnight look to hear further from me.
BERTRAM 1794 May I be bold to acquaint his Grace you are
1795 80 gone about it?
PAROLLES 1796 I know not what the success will be, my
1797 lord, but the attempt I vow.
BERTRAM 1798 I know thou ’rt valiant, and to the possibility
1799 of thy soldiership will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
PAROLLES 1800 85I love not many words.He exits.
FIRST LORD 1801 No more than a fish loves water. Is not this
1802 a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems
1803 to undertake this business which he knows is not
1804 to be done, damns himself to do, and dares better
1805 90 be damned than to do ’t?
SECOND LORD 1806 You do not know him, my lord, as we do.
1807 Certain it is that he will steal himself into a man’s
1808 favor and for a week escape a great deal of discoveries,
1809 but when you find him out, you have him
1810 95 ever after.
p. 131BERTRAM 1811 Why, do you think he will make no deed at
1812 all of this that so seriously he does address himself
FIRST LORD 1814 None in the world, but return with an
1815 100 invention and clap upon you two or three probable
1816 lies. But we have almost embossed him. You shall
1817 see his fall tonight; for indeed he is not for your
1818 Lordship’s respect.
SECOND LORD 1819 We’ll make you some sport with the fox
1820 105 ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old
1821 Lord Lafew. When his disguise and he is parted,
1822 tell me what a sprat you shall find him, which you
1823 shall see this very night.
FIRST LORD 1824 I must go look my twigs. He shall be
1825 110 caught.
BERTRAM 1826 Your brother he shall go along with me.
⌜FIRST⌝ LORD 1827 As ’t please your Lordship. I’ll leave you.
1828 Now will I lead you to the house and show you
1829 The lass I spoke of.
⌜SECOND⌝ LORD 1830 115 But you say she’s honest.
1831 That’s all the fault. I spoke with her but once
1832 And found her wondrous cold. But I sent to her,
1833 By this same coxcomb that we have i’ th’ wind,
1834 Tokens and letters, which she did re-send.
1835 120 And this is all I have done. She’s a fair creature.
1836 Will you go see her?
⌜SECOND⌝ LORD 1837 With all my heart, my lord.