Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)
  • Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-432-5

    Copyright Helen Ostovich and Andrew Griffin. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
    Not Peer Reviewed

    All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

    2640Enter Clown and 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.
    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.
    Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir. ; I spake but by a metaphor.
    Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose, or against any man's metaphor. Prithee get thee further.
    Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
    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 2665knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.
    My lord, I am a man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratched.
    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. [Giving him a coin] Let the justices make you and Fortune friends; I am for other 2675business.
    I beseech your honor to hear me one single word.
    You beg a single penny more. Come, you shall ha't. Save your word. [Gives him another coin]
    My name, my good lord, is Paroles.
    You beg more than word, then. Cox my passion! Give me your hand. How does your drum?
    Oh, my good lord, you were the first that found me.
    Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost thee.
    It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
    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.
    I praise God for you.