previous next

SCENE IV

Paris. The KING'S palace.
Enter HELENA and CLOWN.

Hel.
My mother greets me kindly: is she well?

Clo.
She is not well; but yet she has her
health: she's very merry; but yet she is not
well: but thanks be given, she's very well and
wants nothing i' the world; but she is not well.

Hel.
If she be very well, what does she ail
that she's not very well?

Clo.
Truly, she's very well indeed, but for
two things. (10)

Hel.
What two things?

Clo.
One, that she's not in heaven, whither
God send her quickly! the other, that she's in
earth, from whence God send her quickly! Enter PAROLLES.

Par.
Bless you, my fortunate lady!

Hel.
I hope, sir, I have your good will to
have mine own good fortunes.

Par.
You had my prayers to lead them
on; and to keep them on, have them still. O,
my knave, how does my old lady?

Clo.
So that you had her wrinkles and I (21)
her money, I would she did as you say.

Par.
Why, I say nothing.

Clo.
Marry, you are the wiser man; for
many a man's tongue shakes out his master's
undoing: to say nothing, to do nothing, to
know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be
a great part of your title; which is within a very
little of nothing.

Par.
Away! thou'rt a knave.

Clo.
You should have said, sir, before a
knave thou'rt a knave; that's, before me (31)
thou'rt a knave: this had been truth, sir.

Par.
Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have
found thee.

Clo.
Did you find me in yourself, sir? or
were you taught to find me? The search, sir,
was profitable; and much fool may you find
in you, even to the world's pleasure and the
increase of laughter.

Par.
A good knave, i' faith, and well fed. (40)
Madam, my lord will go away to-night;
A very serious business calls on him.
The great prerogative and rite of love,
Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge;
But puts it off to a compell'd restraint;
Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,
Which they distil now in the curbed time,
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
And pleasure drown the brim.

Hel.
What's his will else?

Par.
That you will take your instant leave o' the king, (50)
And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
Strengthen'd with what apology you think
May make it probable need.

Hel.
What more commands he?

Par.
That, having this obtain'd, you presently
Attend his further pleasure.

Hel.
In every thing I wait upon his will.

Par.
I shall report it so.

Hel.
I pray you. [Exit Parolles. Come, sirrah. [Exeunt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: