ACT II, Scene 4  Paris. The KING's palace.

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.
HELENA What 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!
  [Enter PAROLLES]
PAROLLES Bless you, my fortunate lady!
HELENA I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own
good fortunes.
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.
  Come, sirrah.


ACT II. Scene 5  Paris. The KING's palace.



LAFEU But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
BERTRAM Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
LAFEU You have it from his own deliverance.
BERTRAM And by other warranted testimony.
LAFEU Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
BERTRAM I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
knowledge and accordingly valiant.
LAFEU I have then sinned against his experience and
transgressed against his valour; and my state that
way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my
heart to repent. Here he comes: I pray you, make
us friends; I will pursue the amity.
  [Enter PAROLLES]
PAROLLES [To BERTRAM] These things shall be done, sir.
LAFEU Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?
LAFEU O, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good
workman, a very good tailor.
BERTRAM [Aside to PAROLLES] Is she gone to the king?
BERTRAM Will she away to-night?
PAROLLES As you'll have her.
BERTRAM I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Given order for our horses; and to-night,
When I should take possession of the bride,
End ere I do begin.
LAFEU A good traveller is something at the latter end of a
dinner; but one that lies three thirds and uses a
known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should
be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
BERTRAM Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
PAROLLES I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's
LAFEU You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs
and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and
out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer
question for your residence.
BERTRAM It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
LAFEU And shall do so ever, though I took him at 's
prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this
of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the
soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in
matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them
tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur:
I have spoken better of you than you have or will to
deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.
PAROLLES An idle lord. I swear.
BERTRAM I think so.
PAROLLES Why, do you not know him?
BERTRAM Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
  [Enter HELENA]
HELENA I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
Spoke with the king and have procured his leave
For present parting; only he desires
Some private speech with you.
BERTRAM I shall obey his will.
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular. Prepared I was not
For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled: this drives me to entreat you
That presently you take our way for home;
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you,
For my respects are better than they seem
And my appointments have in them a need
Greater than shows itself at the first view
To you that know them not. This to my mother:
  [Giving a letter]
  'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.
HELENA Sir, I can nothing say,
But that I am your most obedient servant.
BERTRAM Come, come, no more of that.
HELENA And ever shall
With true observance seek to eke out that
Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
To equal my great fortune.
BERTRAM Let that go:
My haste is very great: farewell; hie home.
HELENA Pray, sir, your pardon.
BERTRAM Well, what would you say?
HELENA I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is;
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
What law does vouch mine own.
BERTRAM What would you have?
HELENA Something; and scarce so much: nothing, indeed.
I would not tell you what I would, my lord:
Faith yes;
Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
BERTRAM I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
HELENA I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
BERTRAM Where are my other men, monsieur? Farewell.
  [Exit HELENA]
  Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away, and for our flight.
PAROLLES Bravely, coragio!



To view other scenes in the show click below:

Full Text Act III, Scene 3 Before the Duke's Palace/Act III, Scene 4 Count's Palace
Act I, Scene 1 Rousillon, The Count's Palace Act III, Scene 5Without the walls, a tucket far off
Act I, Scene 2 The King's Palace Act III, Scene 6 Camp before Florence/Act III, Scene 7 Florence The Widow's House
Act I, Scene 3 Count's Palace Act IV, Scene 1 Without the Florentine Camp
Act II, Scene 1 King's Palace Act IV, Scene 2 Florence The Widow's House
Act II, Scene 2 Count's Palace Act IV, Scene 3 The Florentine Camp
Act II, Scene 3 King's Palace Act IV, Scene 4 Florence The Widow's House/Act IV, Scene 5 Count's Palace
Act II, Scene 4 King's Palace/Act II, Scene 5 King's Palace Act V, Scene 1 Marseilles, A Street/Act V, Scene 2 Rousillon Before the Count's Palace
Act III, Scene 1 Duke's Palace/Act III, Scene 2 Count's Palace Act V, Scene 3 Rousillon, The Count's Palace


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