Rossillion. Before the Count’s palace.
(Clown Lavatch; Parolles; Lafew)
Parolles, dressed much more sensibly than before, arrives. Lafew gives him a coin before he recognizes him. (19 lines)
Enter Clown Lavatch and Parolles.
Good Master Lavatch, give my Lord Lafew 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 displeasure.
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. Prithee allow the wind.
Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose, or against any man’s metaphor. Prithee get thee further.
Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Foh, prithee stand away. A paper from Fortune’s close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look here he comes himself.
Here is a purr of Fortune’s, sir, or of Fortune’s cat—but not a musk-cat—that has 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, decay’d, 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 scratch’d.
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 cardecue for you. Let the justices make you and Fortune friends; I am for other business.
I beseech your honor to hear me one single word.
You beg a single penny more. Come, you shall ha’t; save your word.
My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
You beg more than “word” then. Cox my passion! Give me your hand. How does your drum?
O my good lord, you were the first that found me!
Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost thee.
It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
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.
I praise God for you.