William Shakespeare's "All's Well that Ends Well" in the complete original text.
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HOME > Plays > All's Well that Ends Well > Act V. Scene II.

All's Well that Ends Well

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Act V. Scene II.

Scene II.—Rousillon. The inner Court of the.
COUNTESS'S Palace.

Enter Clown and PAROLLES.

Par. 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 displeasure.
Clo. 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.
Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nose,
sir: I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will
stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor.
Prithee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. 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 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 similes of comfort, and leave him
to your lordship. [Exit.
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 cardecu 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, for you did bring me out.
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. [Exeunt.
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