Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > All's Well That Ends Well > Act IV, scene V



	[Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown]

LAFEU: No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffeta
	fellow there, whose villanous saffron would have
	made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in
	his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at
	this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced
	by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.

COUNTESS: I would I had not known him; it was the death of the
	most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had
	praise for creating. If she had partaken of my
	flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I
	could not have owed her a more rooted love.

LAFEU: 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a
	thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.

Clown: Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
	salad, or rather, the herb of grace.

LAFEU: They are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.

Clown: I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much
	skill in grass.

LAFEU: Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?

Clown: A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.

LAFEU: Your distinction?

Clown: I would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.

LAFEU: So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

Clown: And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.

LAFEU: I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.

Clown: At your service.

LAFEU: No, no, no.

Clown: Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
	great a prince as you are.

LAFEU: Who's that? a Frenchman?

Clown: Faith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy
	is more hotter in France than there.

LAFEU: What prince is that?

Clown: The black prince, sir; alias, the prince of
	darkness; alias, the devil.

LAFEU: Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this
	to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of;
	serve him still.

Clown: I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
	great fire; and the master I speak of ever keeps a
	good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the
	world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for
	the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be
	too little for pomp to enter: some that humble
	themselves may; but the many will be too chill and
	tender, and they'll be for the flowery way that
	leads to the broad gate and the great fire.

LAFEU: Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I
	tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
	with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well
	looked to, without any tricks.

Clown: If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
	jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.

	[Exit]

LAFEU: A shrewd knave and an unhappy.

COUNTESS: So he is. My lord that's gone made himself much
	sport out of him: by his authority he remains here,
	which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and,
	indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.

LAFEU: I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to
	tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and
	that my lord your son was upon his return home, I
	moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of
	my daughter; which, in the minority of them both,
	his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did
	first propose: his highness hath promised me to do
	it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath
	conceived against your son, there is no fitter
	matter. How does your ladyship like it?

COUNTESS: With very much content, my lord; and I wish it
	happily effected.

LAFEU: His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able
	body as when he numbered thirty: he will be here
	to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such
	intelligence hath seldom failed.

COUNTESS: It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
	die. I have letters that my son will be here
	to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain
	with me till they meet together.

LAFEU: Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
	safely be admitted.

COUNTESS: You need but plead your honourable privilege.

LAFEU: Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I
	thank my God it holds yet.

	[Re-enter Clown]

Clown: O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of
	velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under't
	or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of
	velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a
	half, but his right cheek is worn bare.

LAFEU: A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery
	of honour; so belike is that.

Clown: But it is your carbonadoed face.

LAFEU: Let us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk
	with the young noble soldier.

Clown: Faith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine
	hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head
	and nod at every man.

	[Exeunt]




	ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL





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