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SCENE V-Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS's Palace. Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and CLOWN.
Laf. No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffata 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.
Count. I would, I had not known him! it was the death of the most virtuous gentle-woman, 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.
Laf. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.
Clo. Indeed, Sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace.t
Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs. Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, Sir, I have not much skill in grass.
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave, or a fool ? Clo. A fool, Sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's. Laf. Your distinction ?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, Sir, to do her service.
Laf. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool. Clo. At your service.
Laf. No, no, no.
Clo. Why, Sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
Laf. Who's that? a Frenchman ?
Clo. Faith, Sir, he has an English name; but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.
Laf. What prince is that?
Clo. The black prince, Sir; alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
Laf. Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.
Clo. 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 his 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. Laf. Go thy ways, I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell
* The yellow starch then used for bands and ruffles.
† I. e. rue.
thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon 'em, Sir, they shall be jades tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.*
Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by this authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.
Laf. 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?
Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.
Laf. 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.
Count. 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.
Laf. Madam, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege. Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my God, it holds yet.
Clo. O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under it, 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.
Laf. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour; so, belike, is that.
Clo. But it is your carbonadoed† face.
Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you; I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
Clo. 'Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head, and nod at every [Exeunt.
† Scotched like a piece of meat for the gridiron.
Enter HELENA, WIDOW, and DIANA, with two Attendants.
Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night,
Enter a gentle ASTRINGER.*
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Hel. I do presume, Sir, that you are not fallen
Gent. What's your will?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king;
Gent. The king's not here.
Hel. Not here, Sir?
He hence removed last night, and with more haste
Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains!
Hel. All's well that ends well, yet;
Though time seems so adverse, and means unfit.—
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Hel. I do beseech you, Sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Gent. This I'll do for you.
Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd,
SCENE II.-Rousillon. The inner Court of the COUNTESS'S Palace.
Enter CLOWN and PAROLLES.
Par. Good monsieur Lavatch,* 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 moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.t
Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, Sir; I spake by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, Sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prythee, get thee further. Par. Pray you, Sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, pr'ythee, stand away: A paper from fortune's closestool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
Here is a pur 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 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 smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship. [Exit CLOWN. Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Laf. 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'écu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.
Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one single word. Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't: save your word.
Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Laf. You beg more than one word then.-Cox' my passion! give me your hand :-how does your drum?
Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me. Laf. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee. Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, did bring me out.
*La vache (cow).
† Get to leeward of me.
Laf. 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.
Par. I praise God for you.
SCENE III.-The same. A Room in the COUNTESS's Palace.
Flourish. Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, LORDS,
King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
Count. 'Tis past, my liege:
And I beseech your majesty to make it
King. My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Tho my revenges were high bent upon him,
Laf. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon, The young lord
King. Praising what is lost,
Gent. I shall, my liege.
[Exit GENTLEMAN. King. What says he to your daughter? have you spoke? Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness. King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me, That set him high in fame.
* I. e. of general esteem.
Richest in the remembered sight of beauty.