Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > All’s Well that Ends Well
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
All’s Well that Ends Well
Act IV. Scene I.
Without the Florentine Camp.
Enter First French Lord, with five or six Soldiers in ambush.
  First 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 Sold.  Good captain, let me be the interpreter.
  First Lord.  Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?        5
  First Sold.  No, sir, I warrant you.
  First Lord.  But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
  First Sold.  Even such as you speak to me.
  First 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: chough’s 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.
  Par.  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.
  First Lord.  This is the first truth that e’er thine own tongue was guilty of.
  Par.  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 mute, if you prattle me into these perils.
  First Lord.  Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?
  Par.  I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn or the breaking of my Spanish sword.        15
  First Lord.  We cannot afford you so.
  Par.  Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in stratagem.
  First Lord.  ’Twould not do.
  Par.  Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
  First Lord.  Hardly serve.        20
  Par.  Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel—
  First Lord.  How deep?
  Par.  Thirty fathom.
  First Lord.  Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
  Par.  I would I had any drum of the enemy’s: I would swear I recovered it.        25
  First Lord.  Thou shalt hear one anon.
  Par.  A drum now of the enemy’s!  [Alarum within.
  First Lord.  Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
  All.  Cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.  [They seize and blindfold him.
  Par.  O! ransom, ransom! Do not hide mine eyes.        30
  First Sold.  Boskos thromuldo boskos.
  Par.  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:        35
I will discover that which shall undo
The Florentine.
  First Sold.        Boskos vauvado:
I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue:
Kerelybonto: Sir,        40
Betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards
Are at thy bosom.
  Par.            O!
  First Sold.        O! pray, pray, pray.
Manka revania dulche.        45
  First Lord.  Oscorbidulchos volivorco.
  First Sold.  The general is content to spare thee yet;
And, hoodwink’d as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee: haply thou may’st inform
Something to save thy life.        50
  Par.        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 Sold.        But wilt thou faithfully?        55
  Par.  If I do not, damn me.
  First Sold.        Acordo linta.
Come on; thou art granted space.  [Exit, with PAROLLES guarded.  A short alarum within.
  First Lord.  Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled        60
Till we do hear from them.
  Sec. Sold.        Captain, I will.
  First Lord.  A’ will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.
  Sec. Sold.        So I will, sir.        65
  First Lord.  Till then, I’ll keep him dark and safely lock’d.  [Exeunt.

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