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SCENE II

Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace.
Enter COUNTESS and CLOWN.

Count.
Come on, sir; I shall now put you
to the height of your breeding.

Clo.
I will show myself highly fed and
lowly taught: I know my business is but to the
court.

Count.
To the court! why, what place
make you special, when you put off that with
such contempt? But to the court!

Clo.
Truly, madam, if God have lent a
man any manners, he may easily put it off at
court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's
cap, kiss his hand and say nothing, has neither
leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed such a
fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court;
but for me, I have an answer will serve all
men.

Count.
Marry, that's a bountiful answer
that fits all questions.

Clo.
It is like a barber's chair that fits all
buttocks, the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock,
the brawn buttock, or any buttock.

Count.
Will your answer serve fit to all (21)
questions?

Clo.
As fit as ten groats is for the hand of
an attorney, as your French crown for your
taffeta punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger,
as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris
for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the
cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a
wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's
mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin.

Count.
Have you, I say, an answer of such (31)
fitness for all questions?

Clo.
From below your duke to beneath
your constable, it will fit any question.

Count.
It must be an answer of most monstrous
size that must fit all demands.

Clo.
But a trifle neither, in good faith, if
the learned should speak truth of it: here it
is, and all that belongs to 't. Ask me if I am a (39)
courtier: it shall do you no harm to learn.

Count.
To be young again, if we could: I
will be a fool in question, hoping to be the
wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir, are
you a courtier?

Clo.
O Lord, sir! There's a simple putting
off. More, more, a hundred of them.

Count.
Sir, I am a poor friend of yours,
that loves you.

Clo.
O Lord, sir! Thick, thick, spare not me.

Count.
I think, sir, you can eat none of
this homely meat.

Clo.
O Lord, sir! Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.

Count.
You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.

Clo.
O Lord, sir! spare not me.

Count.
Do not cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your
whipping, and 'spare not me'? Indeed your
'O Lord, sir! ' is very sequent to your whipping:
you would answer very well to a whipping,
if you were but bound to't.

Clo.
I ne'er had worse luck in my life in
my 'O Lord, sir!' I see things may serve (61)
long, but not serve ever.

Count.
I play the noble housewife with the time,
To entertain 't so merrily with a fool.

Clo.
O Lord, sir! why, there't serves well again.

Count.
An end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back:
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son:
This is not much. (70)

Clo.
Not much commendation to them.

Count.
Not much employment for you:
you understand me?

Clo.
Most fruitfully: I am there before my legs.

Count.
Haste you again. [Exeunt severally.

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