Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Countesse and Clowne
825Lady Come on sir, I shall now put you to the height
of your breeding.
Clown I will shew my selfe highly fed, and lowly
taught, I know my businesse is but to the Court.
Lady To the Court, why what place make you spe-
830ciall, when you put off that with such contempt, but to
the Court?
Clo Truly Madam, if God haue lent a man any man-
ners, hee may easilie put it off at Court: hee that cannot
make a legge, put off's cap, kisse his hand, and say no-
835thing, has neither legge, hands, lippe, nor cap; and in-
deed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the
Court, but for me, I haue an answere will serue all men.
Lady Marry that's a bountifull answere that fits all
840Clo It is like a Barbers chaire that fits all buttockes,
the pin buttocke, the quatch-buttocke, the brawn but-
tocke, or any buttocke.
Lady Will your answere serue fit to all questions?
Clo As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an Attur-
845ney, as your French Crowne for your taffety punke, as
Tibsrush for Tomsfore-finger, as a pancake for Shroue-
tuesday, a Morris for May-day, as the naile to his hole,
the Cuckold to his horne, as a scolding queane to a
wrangling knaue, as the Nuns lip to the Friers mouth,
850nay as the pudding to his skin.
Lady Haue you, I say, an answere of such fitnesse for
all questions?
Clo From below your Duke, to beneath your Con-
stable, it will fit any question.
855Lady It must be an answere of most monstrous size,
that must fit all demands.
Clo But a triflle neither in good faith, if the learned
should speake truth of it: heere it is, and all that belongs
to't. Aske mee if I am a Courtier, it shall doe you no
860harme to learne.
Lady To be young againe if we could: I will bee a
foole in question, hoping to bee the wiser by your an-
La I pray you sir, are you a Courtier?
865Clo O Lord sir theres a simple putting off: more,
more, a hundred of them.
La Sir I am a poore freind of yours, that loues you.
Clo O Lord sir, thicke, thicke, spare not me.
La I thinke sir, you can eate none of this homely
Clo O Lord sir; nay put me too't, I warrant you.
La You were lately whipt sir as I thinke.
Clo O Lord sir, spare not me.
La Doe you crie O Lord sir at your whipping, and
875spare not me? Indeed your O Lord sir, is very sequent
to your whipping: you would answere very well to a
whipping if you were but bound too't.
Clo I nere had worse lucke in my life in my O Lord
sir: I see things may serue long, but not serue euer.
880La I play the noble huswife with the time, to enter-
taine it so merrily with a foole.
Clo O Lord sir, why there't serues well agen.
La And end sir to your businesse: giue Hellenthis,
And vrge her to a present answer backe,
885Commend me to my kinsmen, and my sonne,
This is not much.
Clo Not much commendation to them.
La Not much imployement for you, you vnder-
stand me.
890Clo Most fruitfully, I am there, before my legges.
La Hast you agen.