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Not Peer Reviewed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
haue heere: sure they are bastards to the English, the
French nere got em.
La You are too young, too happie, and too good
995To make your selfe a sonne out of my blood.
4.Lord Faire one, I thinke not so.
Ol. Lord There's one grape yet, I am sure thy father
drunke wine. But if thou be'st not an asse, I am a youth
of fourteene: I haue knowne thee already.
1000Hel I dare not say I take you, but I giue
Me and my seruice, euer whilst I liue
Into your guiding power: This is the man.
King Why then young Bertram take her shee's thy
1005Ber My wife my Leige? I shal beseech your highnes
In such a busines, giue me leaue to vse
The helpe of mine owne eies.
King Know'st thou not Bertram what shee ha's
done for mee?
1010Ber Yes my good Lord, but neuer hope to know
why I should marrie her.
King Thou know'st shee ha's rais'd me from my sick-
ly bed.
Ber But followes it my Lord, to bring me downe
1015Must answer for your raising? I knowe her well:
Shee had her breeding at my fathers charge:
A poore Physitians daughter my wife? Disdaine
Rather corrupt me euer.
King Tis onely title thou disdainst in her, the which
1020I can build vp: strange is it that our bloods
Of colour, waight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction: yet stands off
In differences so mightie. If she bee
All that is vertuous (saue what thou dislik'st)
1025A poore Phisitians daughter, thou dislik'st
Of vertue for the name: but doe not so:
From lowest place, whence vertuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by th' doers deede.
Where great additions swell's, and vertue none,
1030It is a dropsied honour. Good alone,
Is good without a name? Vilenesse is so:
The propertie by what is is, should go,
Not by the title. Shee is young, wise, faire,
In these, to Nature shee's immediate heire:
1035And these breed honour: that is honours scorne,
Which challenges it selfe as honours borne,
And is not like the sire: Honours thriue,
When rather from our acts we them deriue
Then our fore-goers: the meere words, a slaue
1040Debosh'd on euerie tombe, on euerie graue:
A lying Trophee, and as oft is dumbe,
Where dust, and damn'd obliuion is the Tombe.
Of honour'd bones indeed, what should be saide?
If thou canst like this creature, as a maide,
1045I can create the rest: Vertue, and shee
Is her owne dower: Honour and wealth, from mee.
Ber I cannot loue her, nor will striue to doo't.
King Thou wrong'st thy selfe, if thou shold'st striue
to choose.
1050Hel That you are well restor'd my Lord, I'me glad:
Let the rest go.
King My Honor's at the stake, which to defeate
I must produce my power. Heere, take her hand,
Proud scornfull boy, vnworthie this good gift,
1055That dost in vile misprision shackle vp
My loue, and her desert: that canst not dreame,
We poizing vs in her defectiue scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beame: That wilt not know,
It is in Vs to plant thine Honour, where
1060We please to haue it grow. Checke thy contempt:
Obey Our will, which trauailes in thy good:
Beleeue not thy disdaine, but presentlie
Do thine owne fortunes that obedient right
Which both thy dutie owes, and Our power claimes,
1065Or I will throw thee from my care for euer
Into the staggers, and the carelesse lapse
Of youth and ignorance: both my reuenge and hate
Loosing vpon thee, in the name of iustice,
Without all termes of pittie. Speake, thine answer.
1070Ber Pardon my gracious Lord: for I submit
My fancie to your eies, when I consider
What great creation, and what dole of honour
Flies where you bid it: I finde that she which late
Was in my Nobler thoughts, most base: is now
1075The praised of the King, who so ennobled,
Is as 'twere borne so.
King Take her by the hand,
And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize: If not to thy estate,
1080A ballance more repleat.
Ber I take her hand.
Kin Good fortune, and the fauour of the King
Smile vpon this Contract: whose Ceremonie
Shall seeme expedient on the now borne briefe,
1085And be perform'd to night: the solemne Feast
Shall more attend vpon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lou'st her,
Thy loue's to me Religious: else, do's erre.
Parolles and Lafew stay behind, commen-
1090ting of this wedding
Laf Do you heare Monsieur? A word with you.
Par Your pleasure sir.
Laf Your Lord and Master did well to make his re-
1095Par Recantation? My Lord? my Master?
Laf I: Is it not a Language I speake?
Par A most harsh one, and not to bee vnderstoode
without bloudie succeeding. My Master?
Laf Are you Companion to the Count Rosillion
1100Par To any Count, to all Counts: to what is man.
Laf To what is Counts man: Counts maister is of
another stile.
Par You are too old sir: Let it satisfie you, you are
too old.
1105Laf 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 thinke thee for two ordinaries: to bee a
prettie wise fellow, thou didst make tollerable vent of
1110thy trauell, it might passe: yet the scarffes and the ban-
nerets about thee, did manifoldlie disswade me from be-
leeuing thee a vessell of too great a burthen. I haue now
found thee, when I loose thee againe, I care not: yet art
thou good for nothing but taking vp, and that th'ourt
1115scarce worth.
Par Hadst thou not the priuiledge of Antiquity vp-
on thee.
Laf Do not plundge thy selfe to farre in anger, least
thou hasten thy triall: which if, Lord haue mercie on
1120thee for a hen, so my good window of Lettice fare thee
well, thy casement I neede not open, for I look through
thee. Giue me thy hand.
Par My Lord, you giue me most egregious indignity.
All's Well, that Ends Well