William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well

SCENE 2. Rousillon. The inner court of the COUNTESS'S palace.


Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this letter: I have
ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held
familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in
fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong

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 buttering. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.

Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a

Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or
against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee, get thee further.

Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.

Foh, pr'ythee stand away. A paper from Fortune's close-stool
to give to a nobleman! Look here he comes himself.

[Enter LAFEU.]

Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat (but not
a musk-cat), that has fallen 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 similes of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.


My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.

And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her
nails now. Wherein have you played 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.

I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.

You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't: save your

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