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All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Act 4, Scene 5

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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.

LAFEU

No, no, no, your son was misled by a fellow with his silk slashed there, who would have, in his villainy, made all the young and impressionable youth of a nation believe him and wear his same orange color. Your daughter-in-law could have been alive right now, and your son here at home, with greater honors from the king than from that red-tailed bumble-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.

COUNTESS

I wish I had never known him. This caused the death of the most virtuous lady that nature ever created. If she had been my own daughter, and made me groan in labor, I could not have loved her more deeply. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

She was a good lady, she was a good lady. We can sift through a thousand salads before we find another herb like her. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

Indeed, sir, she was like the sweet marjoram in the salad, or, if you prefer, the herb of grace, rue. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

Those aren't herbs, you dummy. Those are just plants that smell nice. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

I'm no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir. I don't know very much about grass. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

Which do you claim yourself to be, a rogue or a fool?

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

A fool, sir, when I serve a woman, and a rogue when I serve a man. 

LAFEU

Your distinction?

LAFEU

What's the difference?

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

I would steal the man's wife and do his service with her. 

LAFEU

So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

LAFEU

Then you'd definitely be a rogue if that was the service you did him. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

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

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

I'll say it's true, you are both a rogue and a fool. 

CLOWN

At your service.

CLOWN

At your service. 

LAFEU

No, no, no.

LAFEU

No, no no. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

But, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve a man who's as great a prince as you are. 

LAFEU

Who's that? a Frenchman?

LAFEU

Who's that? A Frenchman?

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

Indeed, sir, he has an English name, but his face is hotter in France than in England. 

LAFEU

What prince is that?

LAFEU

What prince is that?

CLOWN

The black prince, sir; alias, the prince ofdarkness; alias, the devil.

CLOWN

The black prince, sir. Also known as the prince of darkness. Also known as the devil. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

Stop there, there's my purse. I don't give this to you to tempt you away from the master that you talk 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.

CLOWN

I'm a woodland fellow, sir, and I've always loved a great fire. The master I speak of always keeps a good fire burning. But, of course, he is the devil. Let his nobility stay firmly inside his kingdom. I am headed for the house with the narrow gate which I understand to be too little for many people to enter. Some who are very humble may enter but most people will be too fainthearted and self-interested. They'll end up following the flowery path that leads to the broad gate and the great fire of hell. 

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.

LAFEU

Go away now. I'm going to get tired of thee, and I want to tell you that now because I don't want to quarrel with you. Go away now. Let my horses be well looked to, and don't play any tricks on them. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

If I play any tricks on them, sir, they would be jades' tricks, which they deserve given their names. 

Exit

LAFEU

A shrewd knave and an unhappy.

LAFEU

A clever rogue and an unhappy one. 

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.

COUNTESS

So he is. My late husband had a lot of fun with him. By my husband's order he stays here, which he thinks means he has free reign to be saucy. Indeed, he has no self-control but runs about wherever he wants. 

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?

LAFEU

I like him a lot. There's nothing wrong with that. And I was about to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death that my lord your son was on his way home, I convinced the king, my master, to speak on behalf of my daughter. When Bertram and my daughter were minors, his majesty, out of a very gracious kindness to remember us, proposed that first. His highness has promised me to do it. There's no better way to end this displeasure that the king has developed against your son. How does your ladyship like this?

COUNTESS

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

COUNTESS

It makes me very content, my lord, and I hope it will come to pass happily. 

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.

LAFEU

His highness comes directly from Marseilles. He's in as good physical shape as when he was thirty. He'll be here tomorrow unless I'm deceived by a reporter who has rarely failed me in his information. 

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.

COUNTESS

It makes me happy to hope that I will see the king before I die. I have letters that say my son will be here tonight. I'll request that your lordship will stay with me until the king and Bertram are together.

LAFEU

Madam, I was thinking with what manners I mightsafely be admitted.

LAFEU

Madam, I was wondering what I'd need to say to be admitted to that meeting. 

COUNTESS

You need but plead your honourable privilege.

COUNTESS

You only have to remind the kingdom of the privilege that your honor deserves. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

My lady, I've been as bold as I would dare in saying that, but I thank God it hasn't failed me 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.

CLOWN

Oh, madam, my lord your son is nearby wearing a velvet patch on his face. Whether there's a scar under it or not, the velvet knows the truth, but it's a good-looking patch of velvet. His left cheek is wearing velvet of two pile and a half quality, but his right cheek has nothing on it. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

A scar he received nobly, or a noble scar, is a good sign of honor. This probably is too. 

CLOWN

But it is your carbonadoed face.

CLOWN

But it is your slashed face. 

LAFEU

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

LAFEU

Let's go see your son, I beg you. I'm longing to talk with the young noble soldier. 

CLOWN

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

CLOWN

Wow, there's a dozen of them, with delicate, fine hats and fancy feathers, which weigh down their heads and look like they're nodding at every man. 

Exeunt

All s well that ends well
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Dan rubins
About the Translator: Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is currently completing his MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London/Shakespeare's Globe and will be pursuing an MA in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a BA in English from Yale University. His Masters dissertation focuses on announcements of death in early modern drama, and other research areas of interest include Shakespeare in transformative contexts (prisons, schools, etc.) and rhyme in Shakespeare's dramatic texts. In addition to teaching and learning, he also writes theatre reviews (often of Shakespeare productions), composes musical theatre (frequently with Shakespearean inspirations), and sings in choirs (occasionally in Shakespearean choral settings).