All’s Well That Ends Well
Act II, Scene 4
Another room in the King’s palace .
- Enter Helena and Clown .
- My mother greets me kindly . Is she well ?
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- 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’ th’ world ; but yet she is
- not well .
Helena6 - 7
- If she be very well , what does she ail that she’s not very
- well ?
- Truly , she’s very well indeed , but for two things .
- What two things ?
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- 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 .
- Bless you , my fortunate lady !
Helena14 - 15
- I hope , sir , I have your good will to have mine own good
- fortunes .
Parolles16 - 17
- You had my prayers to lead them on , and to keep them on ,
- have them still . O , my knave , how does my old lady ?
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- So that you had her wrinkles and I her money , I would she
- did as you say .
- Why , I say nothing .
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- 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 .
- Away , th’ art a knave .
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- You should have said , sir , “ Before a knave th’ art a knave ,”
- that’s “ Before me th’ art a knave .” This had been truth ,
- sir .
- Go to , thou art a witty fool , I have found thee .
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- Did you find me in yourself , sir ,
- Parolles nods .
- or were you taught to find me ?
- Parolles shakes his head .
- The search , sir , was profitable , and much fool may you find
- in you , even to the world’s pleasure and the increase of
- laughter .
Parolles35 - 44
- A good knave , i’ faith , and well fed .
- Madam , my lord will go away tonight ,
- 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 distill now in the curbed time ,
- To make the coming hour o’erflow with joy ,
- And pleasure drown the brim .
- What’s his will else ?
Parolles46 - 49
- That you will take your instant leave a’ th’ King ,
- And make this haste as your own good proceeding ,
- Strength’ned with what apology you think
- May make it probable need .
- What more commands he ?
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- That having this obtain’d , you presently
- Attend his further pleasure .
- In every thing I wait upon his will .
- I shall report it so .
- Exit Parolles .
- I pray you . Come , sirrah .
- Exeunt .