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All’s Well That Ends Well

ACT V SCENE II 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
clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune’s
mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong 5
Clown Truly, fortune’s displeasure is but sluttish, if it
smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will
henceforth eat no fish of fortune’s buttering.
Prithee, allow the wind. 10
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
nose; or against any man’s metaphor. Prithee, get
thee further. 15
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
comes himself.
[Enter LAFEU]
Here is a purr of fortune’s, sir, or of fortune’s 20
cat,–but not a musk-cat,–that has fallen into the
unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he
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 25
distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to
your lordship.
PAROLLES My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly
LAFEU And what would you have me to do? ‘Tis too late to 30
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: 35
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. 40
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, 45
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, 50
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.
PAROLLES I praise God for you.

Next: All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 5, Scene 3