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Par. You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
Laf. I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.
Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries 25, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs, and the bannerets, about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden, I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up 26; and that thou art scarce worth.
Par. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,
Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial; which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
Laf. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
Par. I have not, my lord, deserved it.
Laf. Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.
Par. Well, I shall be wiser.
Laf. E'en as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack o'the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf, and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my know
25 i. e. while I sate twice with thee at dinner.
26 To take up is to contradict, to call to account; as well as to pick off the ground.
ledge; that I may say, in the default 27, he is a man I know.
Par. My lord, you 'do me most insupportable vexation.
Laf. I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave 28.
[Exit. Par. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord ! Well, I must be patient; there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age, than I would have of—I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Re-enter LAFEU. Laf. Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's news for you; you have a new mistress.
Par. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs : He is my good lord: whom I serve above, is my master.
Laf. Who? God?
Laf. The devil it is, that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms o’this fashion ? dost make hose of thy sleeves? do other servants so ? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat thee: methinks, thou art a general offence,
27 i. e. at a need.
28 There is a poor conceit here hardly worth explaining, but that some of the commentators have misunderstood it:- Doing I am past,' says Lafeu, as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave;' i. e. 'as I will pass by thee as fast as I am able :' and he immediately goes out.
and every man should beat thee. I think, thou wast created for men to breathe 29 themselves upon thee.
Par. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
Laf. Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords, and honourable personages, than the beraldry of your birth and virtue gives you commission. You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.
[Exit. Enter BERTRAM. Par. Good, very good; it is so then.—Good, very good; let it be concealed a while.
Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Par. What? what, sweet heart?
Ber. O my Parolles, they have married me:I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
Par. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits The tread of a man's foot: to the wars! Ber. There's letters from my mother; what the
import is, I know not yet. Par. Ay, that would be known: To the wars, my
boy, to the wars! He wears his honour in a box unseen, That hugs his kicksy-wicksy 30 here at home; Spending his manly marrow in her arms, Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
29 Exercise. 30 A cant term for a wife.
Of Mars's fiery steed: To other regions !
Ber. It shall be so; I'll send her to my house,
Par. Will this capricio hold in thee, art sure?
Ber. Go with me to my chamber, and advise me. I'll send her straight away: To-morrow I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow. Par. Why, these balls bound; there's noise in
it.—Tis hard; A young man, married, is a man that's marr'd: Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go: The king has done you wrong; but, hush! 'tis so.
Enter HELENA and Clown.
Clo. She is not well; but yet she has her health; she's very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be given, she's very well, and wants nothing i’ the world; but yet she is not well.
31 The dark house is a house made gloomy by discontent. In Henry IV. Part I. we have :
he's as tedious
Worse than a smoky house.
Tres cosas hechan un hombre de su casa,
Hel. If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's not very well ?
Clo. Truly, she's very well, indeed, but for two
Hel. What two things?
Clo. One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her quickly!- the other, that she's in earth, from whence God send her quickly!
Hel. I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own good fortunes.
Par. You had my prayers to lead them on: and to keep them on, have them still.—0, my knave! How does my old lady?
Clo. So that you had her wrinkles, and I her money, I would she did as you say.
Par. Why, I say nothing.
Clo. Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing: To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which is within a very little of nothing.
Par. Away, thou’rt a knave.
Clo. You should have said, sir, before a knave thou art a knave; that is, before me thou art a knave: this had been truth, sir.
Par. Go to, thou art a witty fool, I have found thee.
Clo. Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure, and the increase of laughter.
Par. A good knave, i'faith, and well fed1.
! Perhaps the old saying, “better fed than taught,' is alluded to here as in a preceding scene, where the clown says, “I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught.'