ACT II
Scene 2
 

Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace

Enter COUNTESS and CLOWN

COUNTESS
Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your
breeding.

CLOWN
I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I know my
business is but to the court.

COUNTESS
To the court! Why, what place make you special, when you
put off that with such contempt? But to the court!

CLOWN
Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may
easily put it off at court. He that cannot make a leg, put off's
cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip,
nor cap; and indeed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for
the court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all men.

COUNTESS
Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all questions.

CLOWN
It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks-the pin
buttock, the quatch buttock, the brawn buttock, or any buttock.

COUNTESS
Will your answer serve fit to all questions?

CLOWN
As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your
French crown for your taffety punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's
forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for Mayday,
as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding
quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's
mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.

COUNTESS
Have you, I, say, an answer of such fitness for all
questions?

CLOWN
From below your duke to beneath your constable, it will fit
any question.

COUNTESS
It must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit
all demands.

CLOWN
But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should
speak truth of it. Here it is, and all that belongs to't. Ask me
if I am a courtier: it shall do you no harm to learn.

COUNTESS
To be young again, if we could, I will be a fool in
question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir,
are you a courtier?

CLOWN
O Lord, sir!-There's a simple putting off. More, more, a
hundred of them.

COUNTESS
Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir!-Thick, thick; spare not me.

COUNTESS
I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir!-Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.

COUNTESS
You were lately whipp'd, sir, as I think.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir!-Spare not me.

COUNTESS
Do you cry 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and 'spare
not me'? Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very sequent to your
whipping. You would answer very well to a whipping, if you were
but bound to't.

CLOWN
I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord, sir!' I see
thing's may serve long, but not serve ever.

COUNTESS
I play the noble housewife with the time,
To entertain it so merrily with a fool.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir!-Why, there't serves well again.

COUNTESS
An end, sir! To your business: give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back;
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son. This is not much.

CLOWN
Not much commendation to them?

COUNTESS
Not much employment for you. You understand me?

CLOWN
Most fruitfully; I am there before my legs.

COUNTESS
Haste you again.

Exeunt