Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

Enter Clown and Paroles.
Paroles Good Master Lavatch, 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 2645strong of her strong displeasure.
Clown Truly, Fortune's displeasure is but sluttish if it smell so strongly as thou speakst of: I will henceforth eat no fish of Fortune's butt'ring. Prithee allow the wind.
2650Paroles Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir. ; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clown Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose, or against any man's metaphor. Prithee get thee further.
2655Paroles Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clown Foh! Prithee stand away. A paper from Fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman? Look, here he comes himself.
Enter Lafeu.
2660Lafeu 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 2665knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.
Paroles My lord, I am a man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Lafeu And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too 2670late 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. [Gives him a coin.] Let the justices make you and Fortune friends; I am for other 2675business.
Paroles I beseech your honor to hear me one single word.
Lafeu You beg a single penny more. Come, you shall ha't. Save your word. [Gives him another coin]
2680Paroles My name, my good lord, is Paroles.
Lafeu You beg more than word, then. Cox my passion! Give me your hand. How does your drum?
Paroles Oh, my good lord, you were the first that found me.
2685Lafeu Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost thee.
Paroles It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Lafeu Out upon thee, knave! Dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil? One brings 2690thee 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.
Paroles I praise God for you.