Lady. To the Court, why what place make you speciall, when you put off that with such contempt, but to the Court? Clo. Truly Madam, if God haue lent a man any manners, hee may easilie put it off at Court: hee that cannot make a legge, put off's cap, kisse his hand, and say nothing, has neither legge, hands, lippe, nor cap; and indeed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the Court, but for me, I haue an answere will serue all men

Lady. Marry that's a bountifull answere that fits all questions

Clo. It is like a Barbers chaire that fits all buttockes, the pin buttocke, the quatch-buttocke, the brawn buttocke, or any buttocke

Lady. Will your answere serue fit to all questions? Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an Atturney, as your French Crowne for your taffety punke, as Tibs rush for Toms fore-finger, as a pancake for Shroue-tuesday, a Morris for May-day, as the naile to his hole, the Cuckold to his horne, as a scolding queane to a wrangling knaue, as the Nuns lip to the Friers mouth, nay as the pudding to his skin

Lady. Haue you, I say, an answere of such fitnesse for all questions? Clo. From below your Duke, to beneath your Constable, it will fit any question

Lady. It must be an answere of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands

Clo. But a triflle neither in good faith, if the learned should speake truth of it: heere it is, and all that belongs to't. Aske mee if I am a Courtier, it shall doe you no harme to learne

Lady. To be young againe if we could: I will bee a foole in question, hoping to bee the wiser by your answer

La. I pray you sir, are you a Courtier? Clo. O Lord sir theres a simple putting off: more, more, a hundred of them

La. Sir I am a poore freind of yours, that loues you

Clo. O Lord sir, thicke, thicke, spare not me

La. I thinke sir, you can eate none of this homely meate

Clo. O Lord sir; nay put me too't, I warrant you

La. You were lately whipt sir as I thinke

Clo. O Lord sir, spare not me

La. Doe you crie O Lord sir at your whipping, and spare not me? Indeed your O Lord sir, is very sequent to your whipping: you would answere very well to a whipping if you were but bound too't

Clo. I nere had worse lucke in my life in my O Lord sir: I see things may serue long, but not serue euer

La. I play the noble huswife with the time, to entertaine it so merrily with a foole

Clo. O Lord sir, why there't serues well agen

La. And end sir to your businesse: giue Hellen this, And vrge her to a present answer backe, Commend me to my kinsmen, and my sonne, This is not much

Clo. Not much commendation to them

La. Not much imployement for you, you vnderstand me

Clo. Most fruitfully, I am there, before my legges

La. Hast you agen.


Enter Count, Lafew, and Parolles.

Ol.Laf. They say miracles are past, and we haue our Philosophicall persons, to make moderne and familiar things supernaturall and causelesse. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrours, ensconcing our selues into seeming knowledge, when we should submit our selues to an vnknowne feare

Par. Why 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that hath shot out in our latter times

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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