Speeches (Lines) for Lafeu
in "All's Well That Ends Well"

Total: 97

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



Bertram. And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death
anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to
whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.

Lafeu. You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you,
sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times
good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose
worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather
than lack it where there is such abundance.



Countess. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

Lafeu. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
practises he hath persecuted time with hope, and
finds no other advantage in the process but only the
losing of hope by time.



Countess. This young gentlewoman had a father,—O, that
'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!—whose skill was
almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
far, would have made nature immortal, and death
should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king's disease.

Lafeu. How called you the man you speak of, madam?



Countess. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was
his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.

Lafeu. He was excellent indeed, madam: the king very
lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningly: he
was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge
could be set up against mortality.



Bertram. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?

Lafeu. A fistula, my lord.



Bertram. I heard not of it before.

Lafeu. I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman
the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?



Countess. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that
her education promises; her dispositions she
inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where
an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there
commendations go with pity; they are virtues and
traitors too; in her they are the better for their
simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.

Lafeu. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.



Helena. I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.

Lafeu. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
excessive grief the enemy to the living.



Bertram. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.

Lafeu. How understand we that?



Countess. Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.

Lafeu. He cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.



Bertram. [To HELENA] The best wishes that can be forged in
your thoughts be servants to you! Be comfortable
to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

Lafeu. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of
your father.



(stage directions). [Enter LAFEU]

Lafeu. [Kneeling] Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.



King of France. I'll fee thee to stand up.

Lafeu. Then here's a man stands, that has brought his pardon.
I would you had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy,
And that at my bidding you could so stand up.



King of France. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
And ask'd thee mercy for't.

Lafeu. Good faith, across: but, my good lord 'tis thus;
Will you be cured of your infirmity?



King of France. No.

Lafeu. O, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?
Yes, but you will my noble grapes, an if
My royal fox could reach them: I have seen a medicine
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch,
Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay,
To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
And write to her a love-line.



King of France. What 'her' is this?

Lafeu. Why, Doctor She: my lord, there's one arrived,
If you will see her: now, by my faith and honour,
If seriously I may convey my thoughts
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
With one that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom and constancy, hath amazed me more
Than I dare blame my weakness: will you see her
For that is her demand, and know her business?
That done, laugh well at me.



King of France. Now, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration; that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wondering how thou took'st it.

Lafeu. Nay, I'll fit you,
And not be all day neither.



(stage directions). [Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA]

Lafeu. Nay, come your ways.



King of France. This haste hath wings indeed.

Lafeu. Nay, come your ways:
This is his majesty; say your mind to him:
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle,
That dare leave two together; fare you well.



(stage directions). [Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES]

Lafeu. They say miracles are past; and we have our
philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar,
things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
ourselves to an unknown fear.



Bertram. And so 'tis.

Lafeu. To be relinquish'd of the artists,—



Parolles. So I say.

Lafeu. Both of Galen and Paracelsus.



Parolles. So I say.

Lafeu. Of all the learned and authentic fellows,—



Parolles. Right; so I say.

Lafeu. That gave him out incurable,—



Parolles. Why, there 'tis; so say I too.

Lafeu. Not to be helped,—



Parolles. Right; as 'twere, a man assured of a—

Lafeu. Uncertain life, and sure death.



Parolles. Just, you say well; so would I have said.

Lafeu. I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.



Parolles. It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
shall read it in—what do you call there?

Lafeu. A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.



Parolles. That's it; I would have said the very same.

Lafeu. Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
I speak in respect—



Parolles. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the—

Lafeu. Very hand of heaven.



Parolles. Ay, so I say.

Lafeu. In a most weak—
and debile minister, great power, great
transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a
further use to be made than alone the recovery of
the king, as to be—
generally thankful.



Parolles. I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.
[Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and]
PAROLLES retire]

Lafeu. Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the
better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
able to lead her a coranto.



Parolles. Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?

Lafeu. 'Fore God, I think so.



Helena. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!

Lafeu. I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.



Helena. Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.

Lafeu. I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
for my life.



Helena. My wish receive,
Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.

Lafeu. Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,
I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
Turk, to make eunuchs of.



Helena. Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

Lafeu. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
ne'er got 'em.



Fourth Lord. Fair one, I think not so.

Lafeu. There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
of fourteen; I have known thee already.



(stage directions). [Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES]

Lafeu. [Advancing] Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.



Parolles. Your pleasure, sir?

Lafeu. Your lord and master did well to make his



Parolles. Recantation! My lord! my master!

Lafeu. Ay; is it not a language I speak?



Parolles. A most harsh one, and not to be understood without
bloody succeeding. My master!

Lafeu. Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?



Parolles. To any count, to all counts, to what is man.

Lafeu. To what is count's man: count's master is of
another style.



Parolles. You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.

Lafeu. I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
title age cannot bring thee.



Parolles. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Lafeu. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the
bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from
believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I
have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care
not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and
that thou't scarce worth.



Parolles. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,—

Lafeu. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou
hasten thy trial; which if—Lord have mercy on thee
for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee
well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
through thee. Give me thy hand.



Parolles. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.

Lafeu. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.



Parolles. I have not, my lord, deserved it.

Lafeu. Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not
bate thee a scruple.



Parolles. Well, I shall be wiser.

Lafeu. Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is
to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold
my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge,
that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.



Parolles. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.

Lafeu. I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor
doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
thee, in what motion age will give me leave.



(stage directions). [Re-enter LAFEU]

Lafeu. Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
for you: you have a new mistress.



Parolles. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
lord: whom I serve above is my master.

Lafeu. Who? God?



Parolles. Ay, sir.

Lafeu. The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of
sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine
honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat
thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and
every man should beat thee: I think thou wast
created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.



Parolles. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.

Lafeu. Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a
kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and
no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords
and honourable personages than the commission of your
birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.



(stage directions). [Enter LAFEU and BERTRAM]

Lafeu. But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.



Bertram. Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.

Lafeu. You have it from his own deliverance.



Bertram. And by other warranted testimony.

Lafeu. Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.



Bertram. I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
knowledge and accordingly valiant.

Lafeu. I have then sinned against his experience and
transgressed against his valour; and my state that
way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my
heart to repent. Here he comes: I pray you, make
us friends; I will pursue the amity.



Parolles. [To BERTRAM] These things shall be done, sir.

Lafeu. Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?



Parolles. Sir?

Lafeu. O, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good
workman, a very good tailor.



Bertram. I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Given order for our horses; and to-night,
When I should take possession of the bride,
End ere I do begin.

Lafeu. A good traveller is something at the latter end of a
dinner; but one that lies three thirds and uses a
known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should
be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.



Parolles. I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's

Lafeu. You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs
and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and
out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer
question for your residence.



Bertram. It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.

Lafeu. And shall do so ever, though I took him at 's
prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this
of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the
soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in
matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them
tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur:
I have spoken better of you than you have or will to
deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.



(stage directions). [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.



(stage directions). [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.



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.



Parolles. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly

Lafeu. And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to
pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the
knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who
of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves
thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for
you: let the justices make you and fortune friends:
I am for other business.



Parolles. I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.

Lafeu. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't;
save your word.



Parolles. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.

Lafeu. You beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion!
give me your hand. How does your drum?



Parolles. O my good lord, you were the first that found me!

Lafeu. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.



Parolles. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace,
for you did bring me out.

Lafeu. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once
both the office of God and the devil? One brings
thee in grace and the other brings thee out.
[Trumpets sound]
The king's coming; I know by his trumpets. Sirrah,
inquire further after me; I had talk of you last
night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall
eat; go to, follow.



King of France. My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.

Lafeu. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon, the young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother and his lady
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive,
Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
Humbly call'd mistress.



King of France. What says he to your daughter? have you spoke?

Lafeu. All that he is hath reference to your highness.



Countess. Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!

Lafeu. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Must be digested, give a favour from you
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
That she may quickly come.
[BERTRAM gives a ring]
By my old beard,
And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this,
The last that e'er I took her at court,
I saw upon her finger.



Countess. Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.

Lafeu. I am sure I saw her wear it.



King of France. [Reads] Upon his many protestations to marry me
when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won
me. Now is the Count Rousillon a widower: his vows
are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He
stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow
him to his country for justice: grant it me, O
king! in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer
flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.

Lafeu. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for
this: I'll none of him.



Diana. If you shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
You give away myself, which is known mine;
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
That she which marries you must marry me,
Either both or none.

Lafeu. Your reputation comes too short for my daughter; you
are no husband for her.



Diana. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
So bad an instrument: his name's Parolles.

Lafeu. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.



Parolles. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.

Lafeu. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.



Diana. I never gave it him.

Lafeu. This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off
and on at pleasure.



Helena. If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you!
O my dear mother, do I see you living?

Lafeu. Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon:
Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: so,
I thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee:
Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.

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