Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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

Actus Secundus
Enter the King with diuers yong Lords, taking leaue for
the Florentine warre: Count, Rosse, and
Florish Cornets
King Farewell yong Lords, these warlike principles
Doe not throw from you, and you my Lords farewell:
Share the aduice betwixt you, if both gaine, all
600The guift doth stretch it selfe as 'tis receiu'd,
And is enough for both.
Lord. G 'Tis our hope sir,
After well entred souldiers, to returne
And finde your grace in health.
605King No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Will not confesse he owes the mallady
That doth my life besiege: farwell yong Lords,
Whether I liue or die, be you the sonnes
Of worthy French men: let higher Italy
610(Those bated that inherit but the fall
Of the last Monarchy) see that you come
Not to wooe honour, but to wed it, when
The brauest questant shrinkes: finde what you seeke,
That fame may cry you loud: I say farewell.
615L. G Health at your bidding serue your Maiesty.
King Those girles of Italy, take heed of them,
They say our French, lacke language to deny
If they demand: beware of being Captiues
Before you serue.
620Bo Our hearts receiue your warnings.
King Farewell, come hether to me.
1. Lo. G Oh my sweet Lord CyC you wil stay behind vs.
Parr 'Tis not his fault the spark.
2. Lo. E Oh 'tis braue warres.
625Parr Most admirable, I haue seene those warres.
Rossill I am commanded here, and kept a coyle with,
Too young, and the next yeere, and 'tis too early.
Parr And thy minde stand too't boy,
Steale away brauely.
630Rossill I shal stay here the for-horse to a smocke,
Creeking my shooes on the plaine Masonry,
Till honour be bought vp, and no sword worne
But one to dance with: by heauen, Ile steale away.
1. Lo. G There's honour in the theft.
635Parr Commit it Count.
2. Lo. E I am your accessary, and so farewell.
Ros I grow to you, & our parting is a tortur'd body.
1. Lo. G Farewell Captaine.
2. Lo. E Sweet Mounsier Parolles
640Parr Noble Heroes my sword and yours are kinne,
good sparkes and lustrous, a word good mettals. You
shall finde in the Regiment of the Spinij, one Captaine
Spuriohis sicatrice, with an Embleme of warre heere on
his sinister cheeke; it was this very sword entrench'd it:
645say to him I liue, and obserue his reports for me.
Lo. G We shall noble Captaine.
Parr Marsdoate on you for his nouices, what will
ye doe?
Ross. Stay the King.
650Parr Vse a more spacious ceremonie to the Noble
Lords, you haue restrain'd your selfe within the List of
too cold an adieu: be more expressiue to them; for they
weare themselues in the cap of the time, there do muster
true gate; eat, speake, and moue vnder the influence of
655the most receiu'd starre, and though the deuill leade the
measure, such are to be followed: after them, and take a
more dilated farewell.
Ros And I will doe so.
Parr Worthy fellowes, and like to prooue most si-
660newie sword-men.
Enter Lafew
L. Laf Pardon my Lord for mee and for my tidings.
King Ile see thee to stand vp.
L. Laf Then heres a man stands that has brought his
665I would you had kneel'd my Lord to aske me mercy,
And that at my bidding you could so stand vp.
King I would I had, so I had broke thy pate
And askt thee mercy for't.
Laf Goodfaith a-crosse, but my good Lord 'tis thus,
670Will you be cur'd of your infirmitie?
King No.
Laf O will you eat no grapes my royall foxe?
Yes but you will, my noble grapes, and if
My royall foxe could reach them: I haue seen a medicine
675That's able to breath life into a stone,
Quicken a rocke, and make you dance Canari
With sprightly fire and motion, whose simple touch
Is powerfull to arayse King Pippen nay
To giue great Charlemainea pen in's hand
680And write to her a loue-line.
King What her is this?
Laf Why doctor she: my Lord, there's one arriu'd,
If you will see her: now by my faith and honour,
If seriously I may conuay my thoughts
685In this my light deliuerance, I haue spoke
With one, that in her sexe, her yeeres, profession,
Wisedome and constancy, hath amaz'd mee more
Then I dare blame my weakenesse: will you see her?
For that is her demand, and know her businesse?
690That done, laugh well at me.
King Now good Lafew
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wondring how thou tookst it.
695Laf Nay, Ile fit you,
And not be all day neither.
King Thus he his speciall nothing euer prologues.
Laf Nay, come your waies.
Enter Hellen
700King This haste hath wings indeed.
Laf Nay, come your waies,
This is his Maiestie, say your minde to him,
A Traitor you doe looke like, but such traitors
His Maiesty seldome feares, I am CressedsVncle,
705That dare leaue two together, far you well.
King Now faire one, do's your busines follow vs?
Hel I my good Lord,
Gerard de Narbonwas my father,
In what he did professe, well found.
710King I knew him.
Hel The rather will I spare my praises towards him,
Knowing him is enough: on's bed of death,
Many receits he gaue me, chieflie one,
Which as the dearest issue of his practice
715And of his olde experience, th' onlie darling,
He bad me store vp, as a triple eye,
Safer then mine owne two: more deare I haue so,
And hearing your high Maiestie is toucht
With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
720Of my deare fathers gift, stands cheefe in power,
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humblenesse.
King We thanke you maiden,
But may not be so credulous of cure,
725When our most learned Doctors leaue vs, and
The congregated Colledge haue concluded,
That labouring Art can neuer ransome nature
From her inaydible estate: I say we must not
So staine our iudgement, or corrupt our hope,
730To prostitute our past-cure malladie
To empericks, or to disseuer so
Our great selfe and our credit, to esteeme
A sencelesse helpe, when helpe past sence we deeme.
Hell My dutie then shall pay me for my paines:
735I will no more enforce mine office on you,
Humbly intreating from your royall thoughts,
A modest one to beare me backe againe.
King I cannot giue thee lesse to be cal'd gratefull:
Thou thoughtst to helpe me, and such thankes I giue,
740As one neere death to those that wish him liue:
But what at full I know, thou knowst no part,
I knowing all my perill, thou no Art.
Hell What I can doe, can doe no hurt to try,
Since you set vp your rest 'gainst remedie:
745He that of greatest workes is finisher,
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy Writ, in babes hath iudgement showne,
When Iudges haue bin babes; great flouds haue flowne
From simple sources: and great Seas haue dried
750When Miracles haue by the great'st beene denied.
Oft expectation failes, and most oft there
Where most it promises: and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despaire most shifts.
King I must not heare thee, fare thee wel kind maide,
755Thy paines not vs'd, must by thy selfe be paid,
Proffers not tooke, reape thanks for their reward.
Hel Inspired Merit so by breath is bard,
It is not so with him that all things knowes
As 'tis with vs, that square our guesse by showes:
760But most it is presumption in vs, when
The help of heauen we count the act of men.
Deare sir, to my endeauors giue consent,
Of heauen, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an Impostrue, that proclaime
765My selfe against the leuill of mine aime,
But know I thinke, and thinke I know most sure,
My Art is not past power, nor you past cure.
King Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?
770Hel The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the sunne shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnall ring,
Ere twice in murke and occidentall dampe
Moist Hesperushath quench'd her sleepy Lampe:
775Or foure and twenty times the Pylots glasse
Hath told the theeuish minutes, how they passe:
What is infirme, from your sound parts shall flie,
Health shall liue free, and sickenesse freely dye.
King Vpon thy certainty and confidence,
780What dar'st thou venter?
Hell Taxe of impudence,
A strumpets boldnesse, a divulged shame
Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maidens name
Seard otherwise, ne worse of worst extended
785With vildest torture, let my life be ended.
Kin Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
His powerfull sound, within an organ weake:
And what impossibility would slay
In common sence, sence saues another way:
790Thy life is deere, for all that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate:
Youth, beauty, wisedome, courage, all
That happines and prime, can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
795Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate,
Sweet practiser, thy Physicke I will try,
That ministers thine owne death if I die.
Hel If I breake time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, vnpittied let me die,
800And well deseru'd: not helping, death's my fee,
But if I helpe, what doe you promise me.
Kin Make thy demand.
Hel But will you make it euen?
Kin I by my Scepter, and my hopes of helpe.
805Hel Then shalt thou giue me with thy kingly hand
What husband in thy power I will command:
Exempted be from me the arrogance
To choose from forth the royall bloud of France,
My low and humble name to propagate
810With any branch or image of thy state:
But such a one thy vassall, whom I know
Is free for me to aske, thee to bestow.
Kin Heere is my hand, the premises obseru'd,
Thy will by my performance shall be seru'd:
815So make the choice of thy owne time, for I
Thy resolv'd Patient, on thee still relye:
More should I question thee, and more I must,
Though more to know, could not be more to trust:
From whence thou cam'st, how tended on, but rest
820Vnquestion'd welcome, and vndoubted blest.
Giue me some helpe heere hoa, if thou proceed,
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
Florish. Exit