All’s Well That Ends Well, by William Shakespeare

Act IV

Scene I. Without the Florentine camp.

Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other Soldiers in ambush

Second Lord He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner. When you sally upon him, speak what terrible language you will: though you understand it not yourselves, no matter; for we must not seem to understand him, unless some one among us whom we must produce for an interpreter.

First Soldier Good captain, let me be the interpreter.

Second Lord Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?

First Soldier No, sir, I warrant you.

Second Lord But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?

First Soldier E’en such as you speak to me.

Second Lord He must think us some band of strangers i’ the adversary’s entertainment. Now he hath a smack of all neighbouring languages; therefore we must every one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we speak one to another; so we seem to know, is to know straight our purpose: choughs’ language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. But couch, ho! here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.

Enter Parolles

Parolles Ten o’clock: within these three hours ’twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries it: they begin to smoke me; and disgraces have of late knocked too often at my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.

Second Lord This is the first truth that e’er thine own tongue was guilty of.

Parolles What the devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in exploit: yet slight ones will not carry it; they will say, ‘Came you off with so little?’ and great ones I dare not give. Wherefore, what’s the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman’s mouth and buy myself another of Bajazet’s mule, if you prattle me into these perils.

Second Lord Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?

Parolles I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.

Second Lord We cannot afford you so.

Parolles Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in stratagem.

Second Lord ’Twould not do.

Parolles Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.

Second Lord Hardly serve.

Parolles Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.

Second Lord How deep?

Parolles Thirty fathom.

Second Lord Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.

Parolles I would I had any drum of the enemy’s: I would swear I recovered it.

Second Lord You shall hear one anon.

Parolles A drum now of the enemy’s  —

Alarum within

Second Lord Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.

All Cargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.

Parolles O, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.

They seize and blindfold him

First Soldier Boskos thromuldo boskos.

Parolles I know you are the Muskos’ regiment:
And I shall lose my life for want of language;
If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speak to me; I’ll
Discover that which shall undo the Florentine.

First Soldier Boskos vauvado: I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue. Kerely bonto, sir, betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.

Parolles O!

First Soldier O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.

Second Lord Oscorbidulchos volivorco.

First Soldier The general is content to spare thee yet;
And, hoodwink’d as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.

Parolles O, let me live!
And all the secrets of our camp I’ll show,
Their force, their purposes; nay, I’ll speak that
Which you will wonder at.

First Soldier But wilt thou faithfully?

Parolles If I do not, damn me.

First Soldier Acordo linta.
Come on; thou art granted space.

Exit, with Parolles guarded. A short alarum within

Second Lord Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
Till we do hear from them.

Second Soldier Captain, I will.

Second Lord A’ will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.

Second Soldier   So I will, sir.

Second Lord Till then I’ll keep him dark and safely lock’d.


Scene II. Florence. The Widow’s house.

Enter Bertram and Diana

Bertram They told me that your name was Fontibell.

Diana No, my good lord, Diana.

Bertram Titled goddess;
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
In your fine frame hath love no quality?
If quick fire of youth light not your mind,
You are no maiden, but a monument:
When you are dead, you should be such a one
As you are now, for you are cold and stem;
And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet self was got.

Diana She then was honest.

Bertram So should you be.

Diana No:
My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.

Bertram No more o’ that;
I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
I was compell’d to her; but I love thee
By love’s own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.

Diana Ay, so you serve us
Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
And mock us with our bareness.

Bertram How have I sworn!

Diana ’Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow’d true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the High’st to witness: then, pray you, tell me,
If I should swear by God’s great attributes,
I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal’d,
At least in my opinion.

Bertram Change it, change it;
Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
And my integrity ne’er knew the crafts
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
But give thyself unto my sick desires,
Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever
My love as it begins shall so persever.

Diana I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
That we’ll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.

Bertram I’ll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
To give it from me.

Diana Will you not, my lord?

Bertram It is an honour ’longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’ the world
In me to lose.

Diana   Mine honour’s such a ring:
My chastity’s the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’ the world
In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
Against your vain assault.

Bertram Here, take my ring:
My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
And I’ll be bid by thee.

Diana When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
I’ll order take my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquer’d my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
When back again this ring shall be deliver’d:
And on your finger in the night I’ll put
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.

Bertram A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.


Diana For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo,
As if she sat in ’s heart; she says all men
Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me
When his wife’s dead; therefore I’ll lie with him
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I live and die a maid:
Only in this disguise I think’t no sin
To cozen him that would unjustly win.


Scene III. The Florentine camp.

Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers

First Lord You have not given him his mother’s letter?

Second Lord I have delivered it an hour since: there is something in’t that stings his nature; for on the reading it he changed almost into another man.

First Lord He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.

Second Lord Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.

First Lord When you have spoken it, ’tis dead, and I am the grave of it.

Second Lord He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.

First Lord Now, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves, what things are we!

Second Lord Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends, so he that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o’erflows himself.

First Lord Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?

Second Lord Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.

First Lord That approaches apace; I would gladly have him see his company anatomized, that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.

Second Lord We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.

First Lord In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?

Second Lord I hear there is an overture of peace.

First Lord Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.

Second Lord What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?

First Lord I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.

Second Lord Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal of his act.

First Lord Sir, his wife some two months since fled from his house: her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere sanctimony she accomplished; and, there residing the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven.

Second Lord How is this justified?

First Lord The stronger part of it by her own letters, which makes her story true, even to the point of her death: her death itself, which could not be her office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place.

Second Lord Hath the count all this intelligence?

First Lord Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, so to the full arming of the verity.

Second Lord I am heartily sorry that he’ll be glad of this.

First Lord How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!

Second Lord And how mightily some other times we drown our gain in tears! The great dignity that his valour hath here acquired for him shall at home be encountered with a shame as ample.

First Lord The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.

Enter a Messenger

How now! where’s your master?

Servant He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.

Second Lord They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.

First Lord They cannot be too sweet for the king’s tartness. Here’s his lordship now.

Enter Bertram

How now, my lord! is’t not after midnight?

Bertram I have to-night dispatched sixteen businesses, a month’s length a-piece, by an abstract of success: I have congied with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my lady mother I am returning; entertained my convoy; and between these main parcels of dispatch effected many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.

Second Lord If the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.

Bertram I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue between the fool and the soldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit module, he has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.

Second Lord Bring him forth: has sat i’ the stocks all night, poor gallant knave.

Bertram No matter: his heels have deserved it, in usurping his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?

Second Lord I have told your lordship already, the stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be understood; he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk: he hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance to this very instant disaster of his setting i’ the stocks: and what think you he hath confessed?

Bertram Nothing of me, has a’?

Second Lord His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his face: if your lordship be in’t, as I believe you are, you must have the patience to hear it.

Enter Parolles guarded, and First Soldier

Bertram A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of me: hush, hush!

First Lord Hoodman comes! Portotartarosa

First Soldier He calls for the tortures: what will you say without ’em?

Parolles I will confess what I know without constraint: if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.

First Soldier Bosko chimurcho.

First Lord Boblibindo chicurmurco.

First Soldier You are a merciful general. Our general bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.

Parolles And truly, as I hope to live.

First Soldier [Reads] ‘First demand of him how many horse the duke is strong.’ What say you to that?

Parolles Five or six thousand; but very weak and unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit and as I hope to live.

First Soldier Shall I set down your answer so?

Parolles Do: I’ll take the sacrament on’t, how and which way you will.

Bertram All’s one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!

First Lord You’re deceived, my lord: this is Monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist — that was his own phrase — that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of his dagger.

Second Lord I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword clean. nor believe he can have every thing in him by wearing his apparel neatly.

First Soldier Well, that’s set down.

Parolles Five or six thousand horse, I said — I will say true — or thereabouts, set down, for I’ll speak truth.

First Lord He’s very near the truth in this.

Bertram But I con him no thanks for’t, in the nature he delivers it.

Parolles Poor rogues, I pray you, say.

First Soldier Well, that’s set down.

Parolles I humbly thank you, sir: a truth’s a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.

First Soldier [Reads] ‘Demand of him, of what strength they are a-foot.’ What say you to that?

Parolles By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake snow from off their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces.

Bertram What shall be done to him?

First Lord Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my condition, and what credit I have with the duke.

First Soldier Well, that’s set down.

[Reads] ‘You shall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain be i’ the camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is with the duke; what his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars; or whether he thinks it were not possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to revolt.’ What say you to this? what do you know of it?

Parolles I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the inter’gatories: demand them singly.

First Soldier Do you know this Captain Dumain?

Parolles I know him: a’ was a botcher’s ’prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the shrieve’s fool with child — a dumb innocent, that could not say him nay.

Bertram Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.

First Soldier Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence’s camp?

Parolles Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.

First Lord Nay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.

First Soldier What is his reputation with the duke?

Parolles The duke knows him for no other but a poor officer of mine; and writ to me this other day to turn him out o’ the band: I think I have his letter in my pocket.

First Soldier Marry, we’ll search.

Parolles In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there, or it is upon a file with the duke’s other letters in my tent.

First Soldier Here ’tis; here’s a paper: shall I read it to you?

Parolles I do not know if it be it or no.

Bertram Our interpreter does it well.

First Lord Excellently.

First Soldier [Reads] ‘Dian, the count’s a fool, and full of gold,’—

Parolles That is not the duke’s letter, sir; that is an advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana, to take heed of the allurement of one Count Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but for all that very ruttish: I pray you, sir, put it up again.

First Soldier Nay, I’ll read it first, by your favour.

Parolles My meaning in’t, I protest, was very honest in the behalf of the maid; for I knew the young count to be a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is a whale to virginity and devours up all the fry it finds.

Bertram Damnable both-sides rogue!

First Soldier [Reads] ‘When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores, he never pays the score:
Half won is match well made; match, and well make it;
He ne’er pays after-debts, take it before;
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this,
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss:
For count of this, the count’s a fool, I know it,
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,

Bertram He shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme in’s forehead.

Second Lord This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold linguist and the armipotent soldier.

Bertram I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he’s a cat to me.

First Soldier I perceive, sir, by the general’s looks, we shall be fain to hang you.

Parolles My life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to die; but that, my offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of nature: let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i’ the stocks, or any where, so I may live.

First Soldier We’ll see what may be done, so you confess freely; therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain: you have answered to his reputation with the duke and to his valour: what is his honesty?

Parolles He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking ’em he is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth were a fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.

First Lord I begin to love him for this.

Bertram For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon him for me, he’s more and more a cat.

First Soldier What say you to his expertness in war?

Parolles Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English tragedians; to belie him, I will not, and more of his soldiership I know not; except, in that country he had the honour to be the officer at a place there called Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.

First Lord He hath out-villained villany so far, that the rarity redeems him.

Bertram A pox on him, he’s a cat still.

First Soldier His qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.

Parolles Sir, for a quart d’ecu he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.

First Soldier What’s his brother, the other Captain Dumain?

Second Lord Why does be ask him of me?

First Soldier What’s he?

Parolles E’en a crow o’ the same nest; not altogether so great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil: he excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is: in a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.

First Soldier If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?

Parolles Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.

First Soldier I’ll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.

Parolles [Aside] I’ll no more drumming; a plague of all drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy the count, have I run into this danger. Yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?

First Soldier There is no remedy, sir, but you must die: the general says, you that have so traitorously discovered the secrets of your army and made such pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use; therefore you must die. Come, headsman, off with his head.

Parolles O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!

First Lord That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.

Unblinding him

So, look about you: know you any here?

Bertram Good morrow, noble captain.

Second Lord God bless you, Captain Parolles.

First Lord God save you, noble captain.

Second Lord Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu? I am for France.

First Lord Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon? an I were not a very coward, I’ld compel it of you: but fare you well.

Exeunt Bertram and Lords

First Soldier You are undone, captain, all but your scarf; that has a knot on’t yet

Parolles Who cannot be crushed with a plot?

First Soldier If you could find out a country where but women were that had received so much shame, you might begin an impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir; I am for France too: we shall speak of you there.

Exit with Soldiers

Parolles Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
’Twould burst at this. Captain I’ll be no more;
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
that every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool’d, by foolery thrive!
There’s place and means for every man alive.
I’ll after them.


Scene IV. Florence. The Widow’s house.

Enter Helena, Widow, and Diana

Helena That you may well perceive I have not wrong’d you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety; ’fore whose throne ’tis needful,
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel:
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar’s bosom would peep forth,
And answer, thanks: I duly am inform’d
His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
We have convenient convoy. You must know
I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
And by the leave of my good lord the king,
We’ll be before our welcome.

Widow Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.

Helena Nor you, mistress,
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven
Hath brought me up to be your daughter’s dower,
As it hath fated her to be my motive
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
When saucy trusting of the cozen’d thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play
With what it loathes for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
Something in my behalf.

Diana Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.

Helena Yet, I pray you:
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
All’s well that ends well; still the fine’s the crown;
Whate’er the course, the end is the renown.


Scene V. Rousillon. The Count’s palace.

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.

Clown If I put any tricks upon ’em, sir, they shall be jades’ tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.


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.

Re-enter Clown

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.

Clown Faith there’s a dozen of ’em, with delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head and nod at every man.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59