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All's Well That Ends Well - Act 4, scene 5
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Navigate this workAll's Well That Ends Well - Act 4, scene 5
Act 4, scene 5
The Countess, who has learned of Helen’s death, receives word that the King of France is approaching Rossillion and then that Bertram himself has arrived. Lord Lafew proposes that Bertram marry Lafew’s daughter, to which the Countess agrees.Enter ⌜Fool, Countess,⌝ and Lafew.
LAFEW 2487 No, no, no, your son was misled with a
2488 snipped-taffeta fellow there, whose villainous saffron
2489 would have made all the unbaked and doughy
2490 youth of a nation in his color. Your daughter-in-law
2491 5 had been alive at this hour, and your son here
2492 at home, more advanced by the King than by that
2493 red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
COUNTESS 2494 I would I had not known him. It was the
2495 death of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever
2496 10 nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken
2497 of my flesh and cost me the dearest groans of a
2498 mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted
LAFEW 2500 ’Twas a good lady, ’twas a good lady. We may
2501 15 pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another
FOOL 2503 Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
2504 salad, or rather the herb of grace.
LAFEW 2505 They are not herbs, you knave. They are
2506 20 nose-herbs.
FOOL 2507 I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir. I have not
2508 much skill in ⌜grass.⌝
LAFEW 2509 Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a
p. 177FOOL 2511 25A fool, sir, at a woman’s service, and a knave at a
LAFEW 2513 Your distinction?
FOOL 2514 I would cozen the man of his wife and do his
LAFEW 2516 30So you were a knave at his service indeed.
FOOL 2517 And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do
2518 her service.
LAFEW 2519 I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave
2520 and fool.
FOOL 2521 35At your service.
LAFEW 2522 No, no, no.
FOOL 2523 Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
2524 great a prince as you are.
LAFEW 2525 Who’s that, a Frenchman?
FOOL 2526 40Faith, sir, he has an English ⌜name,⌝ but his
2527 phys’nomy is more hotter in France than there.
LAFEW 2528 What prince is that?
FOOL 2529 The black prince, sir, alias the prince of darkness,
2530 alias the devil.
LAFEW, ⌜giving him money⌝ 2531 45Hold thee, there’s my
2532 purse. I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy
2533 master thou talk’st of. Serve him still.
FOOL 2534 I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
2535 great fire, and the master I speak of ever keeps a
2536 50 good fire. But sure he is the prince of the world; let
2537 his Nobility remain in ’s court. I am for the house
2538 with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little
2539 for pomp to enter. Some that humble themselves
2540 may, but the many will be too chill and tender, and
2541 55 they’ll be for the flow’ry way that leads to the
2542 broad gate and the great fire.
LAFEW 2543 Go thy ways. I begin to be aweary of thee. And
2544 I tell thee so before because I would not fall out
2545 with thee. Go thy ways. Let my horses be well
2546 60 looked to, without any tricks.
p. 179FOOL 2547 If I put any tricks upon ’em, sir, they shall be
2548 jades’ tricks, which are their own right by the law
2549 of nature.He exits.
LAFEW 2550 A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
COUNTESS 2551 65So he is. My lord that’s gone made himself
2552 much sport out of him. By his authority he
2553 remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his
2554 sauciness, and indeed he has no pace, but runs
2555 where he will.
LAFEW 2556 70I like him well. ’Tis not amiss. And I was about
2557 to tell you, since I heard of the good lady’s death
2558 and that my lord your son was upon his return
2559 home, I moved the King my master to speak in the
2560 behalf of my daughter, which in the minority of
2561 75 them both his Majesty out of a self-gracious
2562 remembrance did first propose. His Highness hath
2563 promised me to do it, and to stop up the displeasure
2564 he hath conceived against your son there is
2565 no fitter matter. How does your Ladyship like it?
COUNTESS 2566 80With very much content, my lord, and I
2567 wish it happily effected.
LAFEW 2568 His Highness comes post from Marseilles, of
2569 as able body as when he numbered thirty. He will
2570 be here tomorrow, or I am deceived by him that in
2571 85 such intelligence hath seldom failed.
COUNTESS 2572 It rejoices me that, I hope, I shall see him
2573 ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here
2574 tonight. I shall beseech your Lordship to remain
2575 with me till they meet together.
LAFEW 2576 90Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
2577 might safely be admitted.
COUNTESS 2578 You need but plead your honorable
LAFEW 2580 Lady, of that I have made a bold charter. But I
2581 95 thank my God it holds yet.
p. 181Enter ⌜Fool.⌝
FOOL 2582 O madam, yonder’s my lord your son with a
2583 patch of velvet on ’s face. Whether there be a scar
2584 under ’t or no, the velvet knows, but ’tis a goodly
2585 patch of velvet. His left cheek is a cheek of two pile
2586 100 and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
LAFEW 2587 A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good liv’ry
2588 of honor. So belike is that.
FOOL 2589 But it is your carbonadoed face.
LAFEW 2590 Let us go see your son, I pray you. I long to talk
2591 105 with the young noble soldier.
FOOL 2592 ’Faith, there’s a dozen of ’em, with delicate fine
2593 hats, and most courteous feathers which bow the
2594 head and nod at every man.