Actus Quintus.

Enter Hellen, Widdow, and Diana, with two Attendants.

Hel. But this exceeding posting day and night, Must wear your spirits low, we cannot helpe it: But since you haue made the daies and nights as one, To weare your gentle limbes in my affayres, Be bold you do so grow in my requitall, As nothing can vnroote you. In happie time, Enter a gentle Astringer.

This man may helpe me to his Maiesties eare, If he would spend his power. God saue you sir

Gent. And you

Hel. Sir, I haue seene you in the Court of France

Gent. I haue beene sometimes there

Hel. I do presume sir, that you are not falne From the report that goes vpon your goodnesse, And therefore goaded with most sharpe occasions, Which lay nice manners by, I put you to The vse of your owne vertues, for the which I shall continue thankefull

Gent. What's your will? Hel. That it will please you To giue this poore petition to the King, And ayde me with that store of power you haue To come into his presence

Gen. The Kings not heere

Hel. Not heere sir? Gen. Not indeed, He hence remou'd last night, and with more hast Then is his vse

Wid. Lord how we loose our paines

Hel. All's well that ends well yet, Though time seeme so aduerse, and meanes vnfit: I do beseech you, whither is he gone? Gent. Marrie as I take it to Rossillion, Whither I am going

Hel. I do beseech you sir, Since you are like to see the King before me, Commend the paper to his gracious hand, Which I presume shall render you no blame, But rather make you thanke your paines for it, I will come after you with what good speede Our meanes will make vs meanes

Gent. This Ile do for you

Hel. And you shall finde your selfe to be well thankt what e're falles more. We must to horse againe, Go, go, prouide. Enter Clowne and Parrolles.

Par. Good Mr Lauatch giue my Lord Lafew this letter, I haue ere now sir beene better knowne to you, when I haue held familiaritie with fresher cloathes: but I am now sir muddied in fortunes mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure

Clo. Truely, Fortunes displeasure is but sluttish if it smell so strongly as thou speak'st of: I will hencefoorth eate no Fish of Fortunes butt'ring. Prethee alow the winde

Par. Nay you neede not to stop your nose sir: I spake but by a Metaphor

Clo. Indeed sir, if your Metaphor stinke, I will stop my nose, or against any mans Metaphor. Prethe get thee further

Par. Pray you sir deliuer me this paper

Clo. Foh, prethee stand away: a paper from fortunes close-stoole, to giue to a Nobleman. Looke heere he comes himselfe. Enter Lafew.

Clo. Heere is a purre of Fortunes sir, or of Fortunes Cat, but not a Muscat, that ha's falne into the vncleane fish-pond of her displeasure, and as he sayes is muddied withall. Pray you sir, vse the Carpe as you may, for he lookes like a poore decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knaue. I doe pittie his distresse in my smiles of comfort, and leaue him to your Lordship

Par. My Lord I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratch'd

Laf. And what would you haue me to doe? 'Tis too late to paire her nailes now. Wherein haue you played the knaue with fortune that she should scratch you, who of her selfe is a good Lady, and would not haue knaues thriue long vnder? There's a Cardecue for you: Let the Iustices make you and fortune friends; I am for other businesse

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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