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Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you; I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
Clo. 'Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head, and nod at every man.
SCENE I-Marseilles. A Street.
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two
Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night, Must wear your spirits low: we cannot help it; But, since you have made the days and nights as one,
To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Be bold, you do so grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time ;
Enter a gentle Astringer2.
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen From the report that goes upon your goodness; And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
2 Enter a gentle Astringer.] A gentle astringer is a gentleman falconer. The word is derived from ostercus or austercus, a goshawk; and thus, says Cowell, in his Law Dictionary : We usually call a falconer, who keeps that kind of hawk, an austringer.”
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
To give this poor petition to the king;
To come into his presence.
Gent. The king's not here.
Not here, sir?
He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
This I'll do for you. Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd, Whate'er falls more.-We must to horse again ;Go, go, provide.
3 Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning. Helena says, they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert.
Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess's Palace.
Enter Clown and PAROLLES.
Par. Good monsieur Lavatch, 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 moat †, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr'ythee, allow the winds.
Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, pr'ythee, stand away; A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
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 smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship. [Exit Clown.
Lavatch,] This is an undoubted, and perhaps irremediable, corruption of some French word or perhaps la vache.
allow the wind.] i. e. stand to the leeward of me.
Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Laf. 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.
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, in sooth? 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. [Trumpets sound.] 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.
save your word.] i. e. you need not ask ;-here it is. 7 - you shall eat;] Parolles has many of the lineaments of Falstaff, and seems to be the character which Shakspeare delighted to draw, a fellow that had more wit than virtue. Though justice required that he should be detected and exposed, yet his vices sit so fit in him that he is not at last suffered to starve. JOHNSON.
A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Flourish. Enter King, Countess, LAFEU, Lords,
King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem '
esteem - Meaning that his esteem was lessened in its value by Bertram's misconduct; since a person who was honoured with it could be so ill treated as Helena had been, and that with impunity.
9 home.] That is, completely, in its full extent.
Of richest eyes;] Shakspeare means that her beauty had astonished those, who, having seen the greatest number of fair women, might be said to be the richest in ideas of beauty.