All's Well That Ends Well - Act 2, scene 4
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Act 2, scene 4
Parolles brings Helen word that Bertram is leaving for Tuscany and that she is to get permission from the King to return to Rossillion.Enter Helen ⌜with a paper,⌝ and ⌜Fool.⌝
HELEN 1209 My mother greets me kindly. Is she well?
FOOL 1210 She is not well, but yet she has her health. She’s
1211 very merry, but yet she is not well. But, thanks be
1212 given, she’s very well and wants nothing i’ th’ world,
1213 5 but yet she is not well.
HELEN 1214 If she be very well, what does she ail that she’s
1215 not very well?
FOOL 1216 Truly, she’s very well indeed, but for two things.
HELEN 1217 What two things?
FOOL 1218 10One, that she’s not in heaven, whither God send
1219 her quickly; the other, that she’s in Earth, from
1220 whence God send her quickly.
PAROLLES 1221 Bless you, my fortunate lady.
HELEN 1222 I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine
1223 15 own good ⌜fortunes.⌝
PAROLLES 1224 You had my prayers to lead them on, and to
1225 keep them on have them still.—O my knave, how
1226 does my old lady?
FOOL 1227 So that you had her wrinkles and I her money, I
1228 20 would she did as you say.
PAROLLES 1229 Why, I say nothing.
FOOL 1230 Marry, you are the wiser man, for many a man’s
1231 tongue shakes out his master’s undoing. To say
1232 nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to
1233 25 have nothing is to be a great part of your title,
1234 which is within a very little of nothing.
PAROLLES 1235 Away. Thou ’rt a knave.
FOOL 1236 You should have said, sir, “Before a knave,
1237 thou ’rt a knave”; that’s “Before me, thou ’rt a
1238 30 knave.” This had been truth, sir.
PAROLLES 1239 Go to. Thou art a witty fool. I have found
1242 taught to find me?
⌜PAROLLES 1243 …⌝
FOOL 1244 35The search, sir, was profitable, and much fool
1245 may you find in you, even to the world’s pleasure
1246 and the increase of laughter.
PAROLLES 1247 A good knave, i’ faith, and well fed.
1248 Madam, my lord will go away tonight;
1249 40 A very serious business calls on him.
1250 The great prerogative and rite of love,
1251 Which as your due time claims, he does acknowledge
1252 But puts it off to a compelled restraint,
1253 Whose want and whose delay is strewed with sweets,
1254 45 Which they distill now in the curbèd time
1255 To make the coming hour o’erflow with joy
1256 And pleasure drown the brim.
HELEN 1257 What’s his will else?
1258 That you will take your instant leave o’ th’ King
1259 50 And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
1260 Strengthened with what apology you think
1261 May make it probable need.
HELEN 1262 What more commands he?
1263 That, having this obtained, you presently
1264 55 Attend his further pleasure.
1265 In everything I wait upon his will.
PAROLLES 1266 I shall report it so.Parolles exits.
HELEN, ⌜to Fool⌝ 1267 I pray you, come, sirrah.