Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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

Enter Clowne, old Lady, and Lafew
Laf No, no, no, your sonne was misled with a snipt
taffata fellow there, whose villanous saffron wold haue
made all the vnbak'd and dowy youth of a nation in his
2485colour: your daughter-in-law had beene aliue at this
houre, and your sonne heere at home, more aduanc'd
by the King, then by that red-tail'd humble Bee I speak
La I would I had not knowne him, it was the death
2490of the most vertuous gentlewoman, that euer Nature
had praise for creating. If she had pertaken of my flesh
and cost mee the deerest groanes of a mother, I could
not haue owed her a more rooted loue.
Laf Twas a good Lady, 'twas a good Lady. Wee
2495may picke a thousand sallets ere wee light on such ano-
ther hearbe.
Clo Indeed sir she was the sweete Margerom of the
sallet, or rather the hearbe of grace.
Laf They are not hearbes you knaue, they are nose-
Clowne I am no great Nabuchadnezarsir, I haue not
much skill in grace.
Laf Whether doest thou professe thy selfe, a knaue
or a foole?
2505Clo A foole sir at a womans seruice, and a knaue at a
Laf Your distinction.
Clo I would cousen the man of his wife, and do his
2510Laf So you were a knaue at his seruice indeed.
Clo And I would giue his wife my bauble sir to doe
her seruice.
Laf I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knaue
and foole.
2515Clo At your seruice.
Laf No, no, no.
Clo Why sir, if I cannot serue you, I can serue as
great a prince as you are.
Laf Whose that, a Frenchman?
2520Clo Faith sir a has an English maine, but his fisno-
mie is more hotter in France then there.
Laf What prince is that?
Clo The blacke prince sir, alias the prince of darke-
nesse, alias the diuell.
2525Laf Hold thee there's my purse, I giue thee not this
to suggest thee from thy master thou talk'st off, serue
him still.
Clo I am a woodland fellow sir, that alwaies loued
a great fire, and the master I speak of euer keeps a good
2530fire, but sure he is the Prince of the world, let his No-
bilitie remaine in's Court. I am for the house with the
narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pompe to
enter: some that humble themselues may, but the ma-
nie will be too chill and tender, and theyle bee for the
2535flowrie way that leads to the broad gate, and the great
Laf Go thy waies, I begin to bee a wearie of thee,
and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
with thee. Go thy wayes, let my horses be wel look'd
2540too, without any trickes.
Clo If I put any trickes vpon em sir, they shall bee
Iades trickes, which are their owne right by the law of
Laf A shrewd knaue and an vnhappie.
2545Lady So a is. My Lord that's gone made himselfe
much sport out of him, by his authoritie hee remaines
heere, which he thinkes is a pattent for his sawcinesse,
and indeede he has no pace, but runnes where he will.
Laf I like him well, 'tis not amisse: and I was about
2550to tell you, since I heard of the good Ladies death, and
that my Lord your sonne was vpon his returne home. I
moued the King my master to speake in the behalfe of
my daughter, which in the minoritie of them both, his
Maiestie out of a selfe gracious remembrance did first
2555propose, his Highnesse hath promis'd me to doe it, and
to stoppe vp the displeasure he hath conceiued against
your sonne, there is no fitter matter. How do's your
Ladyship like it?
La With verie much content my Lord, and I wish
2560it happily effected.
Laf His Highnesse comes post from Marcellus of as
able bodie as when he number'd thirty, a will be heere
to morrow, or I am deceiu'd by him that in such intel-
ligence hath seldome fail'd.
2565La Ir reioyces me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
die. I haue letters that my sonne will be heere to night:
I shall beseech your Lordship to remaine with mee, till
they meete together.
Laf Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
2570might safely be admitted.
Lad You neede but pleade your honourable priui-
Laf Ladie, of that I haue made a bold charter, but
I thanke my God, it holds yet.
Enter Clowne
Clo O Madam, yonders my Lord your sonne with
a patch of veluet on's face, whether there bee a scar vn-
der't or no, the Veluet knowes, but 'tis a goodly patch
of Veluet, his left cheeke is a cheeke of two pile and a
2580halfe, but his right cheeke is worne bare.
Laf A scarre nobly got,
Or a noble scarre, is a good liu'rie of honor,
So belike is that.
Clo But it is your carbinado'd face.
2585Laf Let vs go see
your sonne I pray you, I long to talke
With the yong noble souldier.
Clowne 'Faith there's a dozen of em, with delicate
fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the
2590head, and nod at euerie man.