Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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


252
All's Well that Ends Well
That she may quickly come. By my old beard,
And eu'rie haire that's on't, Helenthat's dead
2785Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this,
The last that ere I tooke her leaue at Court,
I saw vpon her finger.
Ber Hers it was not.
King Now pray you let me see it. For mine eye,
2790While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd too't:
This Ring was mine, and when I gaue it Hellen
I bad her if her fortunes euer stoode
Necessitied to helpe, that by this token
I would releeue her. Had you that craft to reaue her
2795Of what should stead her most?
Ber My gracious Soueraigne,
How ere it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was neuer hers.
OldLa Sonne, on my life
2800I haue seene her weare it, and she reckon'd it
At her liues rate.
Laf I am sure I saw her weare it.
Ber You are deceiu'd my Lord, she neuer saw it:
In Florence was it from a casement throwne mee,
2805Wrap'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
Of her that threw it: Noble she was, and thought
I stood ingag'd, but when I had subscrib'd
To mine owne fortune, and inform'd her fully,
I could not answer in that course of Honour
2810As she had made the ouerture, she ceast
In heauie satisfaction, and would neuer
Receiue the Ring againe.
Kin Platushimselfe,
That knowes the tinct and multiplying med'cine,
2815Hath not in natures mysterie more science,
Then I haue in this Ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helens
Who euer gaue it you: then if you know
That you are well acquainted with your selfe,
Confesse 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
2820You got it from her. She call'd the Saints to suretie,
That she would neuer put it from her finger,
Vnlesse she gaue it to your selfe in bed,
Where you haue neuer come: or sent it vs
Vpon her great disaster.
2825Ber She neuer saw it.
Kin Thou speak'st it falsely: as I loue mine Honor,
And mak'st connecturall feares to come into me,
Which I would faine shut out, if it should proue
That thou art so inhumane, 'twill not proue so:
2830And yet I know not, thou didst hate her deadly,
And she is dead, which nothing but to close
Her eyes my selfe, could win me to beleeue,
More then to see this Ring. Take him away,
My fore-past proofes, how ere the matter fall
2835Shall taze my feares of little vanitie,
Hauing vainly fear'd too little. Away with him,
Wee'l sift this matter further.
Ber If you shall proue
This Ring was euer hers, you shall as easie
2840Proue that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she neuer was.
Enter a Gentleman
King I am wrap'd in dismall thinkings.
Gen Gracious Soueraigne.
2845Whether I haue beene too blame or no, I know not,
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath for foure or fiue remoues come short,
To tender it her selfe. I vndertooke it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the faire grace and speech
2850Of the poore suppliant, who by this I know
Is heere attending: her businesse lookes in her
With an importing visage, and she told me
In a sweet verball breefe, it did concerne
Your Highnesse with her selfe.
2855
A Letter
Vpon his many protestations to marrie mee when his wife was
dead, I blush to say it, he wonne me. Now is the Count Ros-
sillion a Widdower, his vowes are forfeited to mee, and my
honors payed to him. Hee stole from Florence, taking no
2860 leaue, and I follow him to his Countrey for Iustice Grant
it me, O King, in you it best lies, otherwise a seducer flou-
rishes and a poore Maid is vndone
Diana Capilet.
Laf I will buy me a sonne in Law in a faire, and toule
2865for this. Ile none of him.
Kin The heauens haue thought well on thee Lafew
To bring forth this discou'rie, seeke these sutors:
Go speedily, and bring againe the Count.
Enter Bertram
2870I am a-feard the life of Hellen(Ladie)
Was fowly snatcht.
OldLa Now iustice on the doers.
King I wonder sir, sir, wiues are monsters to you,
And that you flye them as you sweare them Lordship,
2875Yet you desire to marry. What woman's that?

Enter Widdow, Diana, and Parrolles
Dia I am my Lord a wretched Florentine,
Deriued from the ancient Capilet,
My suite as I do vnderstand you know,
2880And therefore know how farre I may be pittied.
Wid I am her Mother sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer vnder this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without your remedie.
King Come hether Count, do you know these Wo-
2885men?
Ber My Lord, I neither can nor will denie,
But that I know them, do they charge me further?
Dia Why do you looke so strange vpon your wife?
Ber She's none of mine my Lord.
2890Dia If you shall marrie
You giue away this hand, and that is mine,
You giue away heauens vowes, and those are mine:
You giue away my selfe, which is knowne mine:
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
2895That she which marries you, must marrie me,
Either both or none.
Laf Your reputation comes too short for my daugh-
ter, you are no husband for her.
Ber My Lord, this is a fond and desp'rate creature,
2900Whom sometime I haue laugh'd with: Let your highnes
Lay a more noble thought vpon mine honour,
Then for to thinke that I would sinke it heere.
Kin Sir for my thoughts, you haue them il to friend,
Till your deeds gaine them fairer: proue your honor,
2905Then in my thought it lies.
Dian Good my Lord,
Aske him vpon his oath, if hee do's thinke
He had not my virginity.
Kin What saist thou to her?
2910Ber She's impudent my Lord,
And was a common gamester to the Campe.
Dia He do's me wrong my Lord: If I were so,
He might haue bought me at a common price.
Do
Alls Well, that Ends Well
253