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Enter a Gentleman.
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been sometimes there.
Hel. I do prefume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
And therefore goaded with most sharp occasions
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king,
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence.
Gent. The king's not here.
Hel. Not here, sir?
Gent. Not, indeed.
He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Than is his use.
Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well yet,
Though time seem so adverse, and means unfit:
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Roufillon,
Whither I'm going.
Hel. I beseech you, sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you with what good speed
Our means will make us means.
Gent. This I'll do for you.
Hel. And you shall find yourfelf to be well thank’d,
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again.
Go, go, provide.
Enter Clown, and Parolles. Par. YOOD Mr. Levatch, give my lord Lafeu this letter: 1
J have ere now, fir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher cloths; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, fortune’s displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strongly as thou speak'st of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's butt'ring. Prythee, allow the wind.
Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, fir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, fir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose against any man's metaphor. Pr’ythee, get thee further. Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Fohl pr’ythee, ftand away; a paper from fortune's closestool, to give to a nobleman! look, here he comes himself.
Enter Lafeu. Clo. Here is a pur of fortune's, fir, or of fortune's cat, (but not a muscat;) that hath fall’n into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may,
for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my fimiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.
Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratch’d.
Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you play'd the knave with
fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? there's a quart-d'ecu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.
Par. I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't; save your
word. Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Laf. You beg more than one word then. Cox' my passion ! give me your hand: how does your drum?
Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me.
Laf. Was I, insooth ? and I was the first that lost thee.
Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of god and the devil? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. The king's coming, I know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of
you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow. Par. I praise god for you.
Flourish. Enter King, Countess, Lafeu, the two French Lords,
King. We have lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
Was made much poorer by it: but
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation home.
Count. 'Tis past, my liege;
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i'th' blaze of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O’er-bear it, and burn on.
King. My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven, and forgotten, all;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.
Laf. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon; the young lord did
To his majesty, his mother, and his lady,
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all: he lost a wife,
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts, that scorn'd to serve,
Humbly call'd mistress.
King. Praising what is loft,
Makes the remembrance dear. Well — call him hither;
We're reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill
All repetition: let him not ask our pardon.
The matter of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
Th’incensing relicks of it. Let him approach
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.
Gent. I shall, my liege.
King. What says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness.
King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me That set him high in fame.
Laf. He looks well on't.
King. I'm not a day of season,
For thou may'st see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.
Ber. My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King. All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time:
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
Th’inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord ?
Ber. Admiringly, my liege: even at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue:
Where the impression of mine eye enfixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorch'd a fair colour, or express’d it stol'n,
Extended or contracted all proportions
To a most hideous object: thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais’d, and whom myself,
Since I have loft, have lov’d, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King. Well excus’d:
That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away
From the great 'compt; but love that comes too late,
(Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried
To an offender) turns to four repentance,
Crying, that's good that's gone: our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them, until we know their grave.
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their duft:
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin :