All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 2, Scene 2
Roussillon. The Count’s palace.
- Enter Countess and Clown.
Countess2 - 3
- Come on, sir, I shall now put you to the height of your
Lavatch4 - 5
- I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I know my
- business is but to the court.
Countess6 - 7
- To the court! Why, what place make you special, when you put
- off that with such contempt? But to the court!
Lavatch8 - 13
- 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.
- Marry, that’s a bountiful answer that fits all questions.
Lavatch15 - 17
- It is like a barber’s chair that fits all buttocks: the
- pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or any
- Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
Lavatch19 - 24
- As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your
- French crown for your taffety 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.
Countess25 - 26
- Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all
Lavatch27 - 28
- From below your duke to beneath your constable, it will fit
- any question.
Countess29 - 30
- It must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit
- all demands.
Lavatch31 - 33
- 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 courtier: it shall do you no harm to learn.
Countess34 - 36
- 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?
Lavatch37 - 38
- O Lord, sir!—There’s a simple putting off. More, more, a
- hundred of them.
- Sir, I am a poor friend of yours that loves you.
- O Lord, sir!—Thick, thick, spare not me.
- I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
- O Lord, sir!—Nay, put me to’t, I warrant you.
- You were lately whipt, sir, as I think.
- O Lord, sir!—Spare not me.
Countess45 - 48
- Do you 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.
Lavatch49 - 50
- I ne’er had worse luck in my life in my “O Lord, sir!” I see
- things may serve long, but not serve ever.
Countess51 - 52
- I play the noble huswife with the time,
- To entertain it so merrily with a fool.
- O Lord, sir!—Why, there’t serves well again.
Countess54 - 57
- 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.
- Not much commendation to them.
- Not much employment for you. You understand me?
- Most fruitfully, I am there before my legs.
- Haste you again.