[Enter HELENA and Clown]
- Helena. My mother greets me kindly; is she well?
- Clown. She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's
very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be
given, she's very well and wants nothing i', the
world; but yet she is not well.
- Helena. If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's
not very well?
- Clown. Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
- Clown. One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her
quickly! the other that she's in earth, from whence
God send her quickly!
- Parolles. Bless you, my fortunate lady!
- Helena. I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own
- Parolles. You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them
on, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
- Clown. So that you had her wrinkles and I her money,
I would she did as you say.
- Parolles. Why, I say nothing.
- Clown. Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's
tongue shakes out his master's undoing: to say
nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have
nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which
is within a very little of nothing.
- Parolles. Away! thou'rt a knave.
- Clown. You should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt a
knave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this had
been truth, sir.
- Parolles. Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
- Clown. Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you
taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable;
and much fool may you find in you, even to the
world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.
- Parolles. A good knave, i' faith, and well fed.
Madam, my lord will go away to-night;
A very serious business calls on him.
The great prerogative and rite of love,
Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge;
But puts it off to a compell'd restraint;
Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,
Which they distil now in the curbed time,
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
And pleasure drown the brim.
- Helena. What's his will else?
- Parolles. That you will take your instant leave o' the king
And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
Strengthen'd with what apology you think
May make it probable need.
- Helena. What more commands he?
- Parolles. That, having this obtain'd, you presently
Attend his further pleasure.
- Helena. In every thing I wait upon his will.
- Parolles. I shall report it so.
- Helena. I pray you.