Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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


Enter Count, Lafew, and Parolles
Ol. Laf They say miracles are past, and we haue our
Philosophicall persons, to make moderne and familiar
895things supernaturall and causelesse. Hence is it, that we
make trifles of terrours, ensconcing our selues into see-
ming knowledge, when we should submit our selues to
an vnknowne feare.
Par Why 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that
900hath shot out in our latter times.
Ros And so 'tis.
Ol. Laf To be relinquisht of the Artists.
Par So I say both of Galen and Paracelsus
Ol. Laf Of all the learned and authenticke fellowes.
905Par Right so I say.
Ol. Laf That gaue him out incureable.
Par Why there 'tis, so say I too.
Ol. Laf Not to be help'd.
Par Right, as 'twere a man assur'd of a------
910Ol. Laf Vncertaine life, and sure death.
Par Iust, you say well: so would I haue said.
Ol. Laf I may truly say, it is a noueltie to the world.
Par It is indeede if you will haue it in shewing, you
shall reade it in what do ye call there.
915Ol. Laf A shewing of a heauenly effect in an earth-
ly Actor.
Par That's it, I would haue said, the verie same.
Ol. Laf Why your Dolphin is not lustier: fore mee
I speake in respect---
920Par Nay 'tis strange, 'tis very straunge, that is the
breefe and the tedious of it, and he's of a most facineri-
ous spirit, that will not acknowledge it to be thesh---
Ol.Laf Very hand of heauen.
Par I, so I say.
925Ol.Laf In a most weake---
Par And debile minister great power, great tran-
cendence, which should indeede giue vs a further vse to
be made, then alone the recou'ry of the king, as to bee
Old Laf Generally thankfull.
930
Enter King, Hellen, and attendants
Par I would haue said it, you say well: heere comes
the King.
Ol. Laf Lustique, as the Dutchman saies: Ile like a
maide the Better whil'st I haue a tooth in my head: why
935he's able to leade her a Carranto.
Par Mor du vinager is not this Helen
Ol. Laf Fore God I thinke so.
King Goe call before mee all the Lords in Court,
Sit my preseruer by thy patients side,
940And with this healthfull hand whose banisht sence
Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receyue
The confirmation of my promis'd guift,
Which but attends thy naming.
Enter 3 or 4 Lords
945Faire Maide send forth thine eye, this youthfull parcell
Of Noble Batchellors, stand at my bestowing,
Ore whom both Soueraigne power, and fathers voice
I haue to vse; thy franke election make,
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
950Hel To each of you, one faire and vertuous Mistris;
Fall when loue please, marry to each but one.
Old Laf I'de giue bay curtall, and his furniture
My mouth no more were broken then these boyes,
And writ as little beard.
955King Peruse them well:
Not one of those, but had a Noble father.
She addresses her to a Lord
Hel Gentlemen, heauen hath through me, restor'd
the king to health.
960All We vnderstand it, and thanke heauen for you.
Hel I am a simple Maide, and therein wealthiest
That I protest, I simply am a Maide:
Please it your Maiestie, I haue done already:
The blushes in my cheekes thus whisper mee,
965We blush that thou shouldst choose, but be refused;
Let the white death sit on thy cheeke for euer,
Wee'l nere come there againe.
King Make choise and see,
Who shuns thy loue, shuns all his loue in mee.
970Hel Now Dian from thy Altar do I fly,
And to imperiall loue, that God most high
Do my sighes streame: Sir, wil you heare my suite?
1. Lo And grant it.
Hel Thankes sir, all the rest is mute.
975Ol. Laf I had rather be in this choise, then throw
Ames-ace for my life.
Hel The honor sir that flames in your faire eyes,
Before I speake too threatningly replies:
Loue make your fortunes twentie times aboue
980Her that so vvishes, and her humble loue.
2. Lo No better if you please.
Hel My wish receiue,
Which great loue grant, and so I take my leaue.
Ol. Laf Do all they denie her? And they were sons
985of mine, I'de haue them whip'd, or I would send them
to'th Turke to make Eunuches of.
Hel Be not afraid that I your hand should take,
Ile neuer do you wrong for your owne sake:
Blessing vpon your vowes, and in your bed
990Finde fairer fortune, if you euer wed.
Old Laf These boyes are boyes of Ice, they'le none
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
wife.
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.
Exeunt
Parolles and Lafew stay behind, commen-
1090tingof 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-
cantation.
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.
Laf I with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.
1125Par I haue not my Lord deseru'd it.
Laf Yes good faith, eu'ry dramme of it, and I will
not bate thee a scruple.
Par Well, I shall be wiser.
Laf Eu'n as soone as thou can'st, for thou hast to pull
1130at a smacke a'th contrarie. If euer thou bee'st bound
in thy skarfe and beaten, thou shall finde what it is to be
proud of thy bondage, I haue a desire to holde my ac-
quaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I
may say in the default, he is a man I know.
1135Par My Lord you do me most insupportable vexati-
on.
Laf I would it were hell paines for thy sake, and my
poore doing eternall: for doing I am past, as I will by
thee, in what motion age will giue me leaue.
Exit
1140Par Well, thou hast a sonne shall take this disgrace
off me; scuruy, old, filthy, scuruy Lord: Well, I must
be patient, there is no fettering of authority. Ile beate
him (by my life) if I can meete him with any conueni-
ence, and he were double and double a Lord. Ile haue
1145no more pittie of his age then I would haue of------ Ile
beate him, and if I could but meet him agen.
Enter Lafew
Laf Sirra, your Lord and masters married, there's
newes for you: you haue a new Mistris.
1150Par I most vnfainedly beseech your Lordshippe to
make some reseruation of your wrongs. He is my good
Lord, whom I serue aboue is my master.
Laf Who? God.
Par I sir.
1155Laf The deuill it is, that's thy master. Why dooest
thou garter vp thy armes a this fashion? Dost make hose
of thy sleeues? Do other seruants so? Thou wert best set
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine Honor,
if I were but two houres yonger, I'de beate thee: mee-
1160think'st thou art a generall offence, and euery man shold
beate thee: I thinke thou wast created for men to breath
themselues vpon thee.
Par This is hard and vndeserued measure my Lord.
Laf Go too sir, you were beaten in Italyfor picking
1165a kernell out of a Pomgranat, you are a vagabond, and
no true traueller: you are more sawcie with Lordes and
honourable personages, then the Commission of your
birth and vertue giues you Hera ldry. You are not worth
another word, else I'de call you knaue. I leaue you.
1170
Exit
Enter Count Rossillion
Par Good, very good, it is so then: good, very
good, let it be conceal'd awhile.
Ros Vndone, and forfeited to cares for euer.
1175Par What's the matter sweet-heart?
Rossill Although before the solemne Priest I haue
sworne, I will not bed her.
Par What? what sweet heart?
Ros O my Parrolles they haue married me:
1180Ile to the Tuscanwarres, and neuer bed her.
Par Franceis a dog-hole, and it no more merits,
The tread of a mans foot: too'th warres.
Ros There's letters from my mother: What th' im-
port is, I know not yet.
1185Par I that would be knowne: too'th warrs my boy,
too'th warres:
He weares his honor in a boxe vnseene,
That hugges his kickie wickie heare at home,
Spending his manlie marrow in her armes
1190Which should sustaine the bound and high curuet
Of Marsesfierie steed: to other Regions,
Franceis a stable, wee that dwell in't Iades,
Therefore too'th warre.
Ros It shall be so, Ile send her to my house,
1195Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
And wherefore I am fled: Write to the King
That which I durst not speake. His present gift
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
Where noble fellowes strike: Warres is no strife
1200To the darke house, and the detected wife.
Par Will this Caprichio hold in thee, art sure?
Ros Go with me to my chamber, and aduice me.
Ile send her straight away: To morrow,
Ile to the warres, she to her single sorrow.
1205Par Why these bals bound, ther's noise in it. Tis hard
A yong man maried, is a man that's mard:
Therefore away, and leaue her brauely: go,
The King ha's done you wrong: but hush 'tis so.
Exit