Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Folio 1, 1623)

All's Well that Ends Well
you written to beare along.
Fren. G We serue you Madam in that and all your
1505worthiest affaires.
La Not so, but as we change our courtesies,
Will you draw neere?
Hel.Till I haue no wife I haue nothing in France
Nothing in France vntill he has no wife:
1510Thou shalt haue none Rossillion none in France,
Then hast thou all againe: poore Lord, is't I
That chase thee from thy Countrie, and expose
Those tender limbes of thine, to the euent
Of the none-sparing warre? And is it I,
1515That driue thee from the sportiue Court, where thou
Was't shot at with faire eyes, to be the marke
Of smoakie Muskets? O you leaden messengers,
That ride vpon the violent speede of fire,
Fly with false ayme, moue the still-peering aire
1520That sings with piercing, do not touch my Lord:
Who euer shoots at him, I set him there.
Who euer charges on his forward brest
I am the Caitiffe that do hold him too't,
And though I kill him not, I am the cause
1525His death was so effected: Better 'twere
I met the rauine Lyon when he roar'd
With sharpe constraint of hunger: better 'twere,
That all the miseries which nature owes
Were mine at once. No come thou home Rossillion
1530Whence honor but of danger winnes a scarre,
As oft it looses all. I will be gone:
My being heere it is, that holds thee hence,
Shall I stay heere to doo't? No, no, although
The ayre of Paradise did fan the house,
1535And Angels offic'd all: I will be gone,
That pittifull rumour may report my flight
To consolate thine eare. Come night, end day,
For with the darke (poore theefe) Ile steale away.

Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, Rossillion
drum and trumpets, soldiers, Parrolles

Duke The Generall of our horse thou art, and we
Great in our hope, lay our best loue and credence
Vpon thy promising fortune.
Ber Sir it is
1545A charge too heauy for my strength, but yet
Wee'l striue to beare it for your worthy sake,
To th' extreme edge of hazard.
Duke Then go thou forth,
And fortune play vpon thy prosperous helme
1550As thy auspicious mistris.
Ber This very day
Great Mars I put my selfe into thy file,
Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall proue
A louer of thy drumme, hater of loue.
Exeunt omnes

Enter Countesse & Steward

La Alas! and would you take the letter of her:
Might you not know she would do, as she has done,
By sending me a Letter. Reade it agen.

1560I am S. Iaques Pilgrim, thither gone
Ambitious loue hath so in me offended
That bare-foot plod I the cold ground vpon
With sainted vow my faults to haue amended
Write, write, that from the bloodie course of warre
1565My deerest Master your deare sonne, may hie
Blesse him at home in peace. Whilst I from farre
His name with zealous feruour sanctifie
His taken labours bid him me forgiue
I his despightfull Iuno sent him forth
1570From Courtly friends, with Camping foes to liue
Where death and danger dogges the heeles of worth
He is too good and faire for death, and mee
Whom I my selfe embrace, to set him free

Ah what sharpe stings are in her mildest words?
1575Rynaldo you did neuer lacke aduice so much,
As letting her passe so: had I spoke with her,
I could haue well diuerted her intents,
Which thus she hath preuented.
Ste Pardon me Madam,
1580If I had giuen you this at ouer-night,
She might haue beene ore-tane: and yet she writes
Pursuite would be but vaine.
La What Angell shall
Blesse this vnworthy husband, he cannot thriue,
1585Vnlesse her prayers, whom heauen delights to heare
And loues to grant, repreeue him from the wrath
Of greatest Iustice. Write, write Rynaldo
To this vnworthy husband of his wife,
Let euerie word waigh heauie of her worrh,
1590That he does waigh too light: my greatest greefe,
Though little he do feele it, set downe sharpely.
Dispatch the most conuenient messenger,
When haply he shall heare that she is gone,
He will returne, and hope I may that shee
1595Hearing so much, will speede her foote againe,
Led hither by pure loue: which of them both
Is deerest to me, I haue no skill in sence
To make distinction: prouide this Messenger:
My heart is heauie, and mine age is weake,
1600Greefe would haue teares, and sorrow bids me speake.

A Tucket afarre off

Enter old Widdow of Florence, her daughter Violenta
and Mariana, with other

Widdow Nay come,
For if they do approach the Citty,
We shall loose all the sight.
Diana They say, the French Count has done
1610Most honourable seruice.
Wid It is reported,
That he has taken their great'st Commander,
And that with his owne hand he slew
The Dukes brother: we haue lost our labour,
1615They are gone a contrarie way: harke,
you may know by their Trumpets.
Maria Come lets returne againe,
And suffice our selues with the report of it.
Well Diana take heed of this French Earle,
1620The honor of a Maide is her name,
And no Legacie is so rich
As honestie.
Widdow I haue told my neighbour
How you haue beene solicited by a Gentleman
1625His Companion.
All's Well that Ends Well