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All's Well That Ends Well

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Act V, Scene 2

Rousillon. Before the COUNT’s palace.


[Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, following]

  • Parolles. Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this
    letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to
    you, when I have held familiarity with fresher 2615
    clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's
    mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong
  • Clown. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it
    smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will 2620
    henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering.
    Prithee, allow the wind.
  • Parolles. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake
    but by a metaphor.
  • Clown. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my 2625
    nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get
    thee further.
  • Parolles. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
  • Clown. Foh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune's
    close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he 2630
    comes himself.
    [Enter LAFEU]
    Here is a purr of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's
    cat,—but not a musk-cat,—that has fallen into the
    unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he 2635
    says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the
    carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed,
    ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his
    distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to
    your lordship. 2640


  • 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 2645
    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. 2650
  • 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! 2655
    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. 2660
  • 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, 2665
    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.