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Scene V

Rousillon. The Count's palace

Enter Countess, Lafeu, and Clown

Lafeu

No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffeta fellow there, whose villanous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.

Countess

I would I had not known him; it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.

Lafeu

'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.

Clown

Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.

Lafeu

They are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.

Clown

I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in grass.

Lafeu

Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?

Clown

A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.

Lafeu

Your distinction?

Clown

I would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.

Lafeu

So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

Clown

And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.

Lafeu

I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.

Clown

At your service.

Lafeu

No, no, no.

Clown

Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.

Lafeu

Who's that? a Frenchman?

Clown

Faith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy is more hotter in France than there.

Lafeu

What prince is that?

Clown

The black prince, sir; alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.

Lafeu

Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.

Clown

I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some that humble themselves may; but the many will be too chill and tender, and they'll be for the flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire.

Lafeu

Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.

Clown

If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.

Exit

Lafeu

A shrewd knave and an unhappy.

Countess

So he is. My lord that's gone made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.

Lafeu

I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose: his highness hath promised me to do it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?

Countess

With very much content, my lord; and I wish it happily effected.

Lafeu

His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty: he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.

Countess

It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain with me till they meet together.

Lafeu

Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might safely be admitted.

Countess

You need but plead your honourable privilege.

Lafeu

Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I thank my God it holds yet.

Re-enter Clown

Clown

O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under't or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.

Lafeu

A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour; so belike is that.

Clown

But it is your carbonadoed face.

Lafeu

Let us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk with the young noble soldier.

Clown

Faith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head and nod at every man.

Exeunt

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