Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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


1730
Enter Count Rossillion and the Frenchmen
as at first
Cap. E Nay good my Lord put him too't: let him
haue his way.
Cap. G If your Lordshippe finde him not a Hilding,
1735hold me no more in your respect.
Cap. E On my life my Lord, a bubble.
Ber Do you thinke I am so farre
Deceiued in him.
Cap. E Beleeue it my Lord, in mine owne direct
1740knowledge, without any malice, but to speake of him
as my kinsman, hee's a most notable Coward, an infi-
nite and endlesse Lyar, an hourely promise-breaker, the
owner of no one good qualitie, worthy your Lordships
entertainment.
1745Cap. G It were fit you knew him, least reposing too
farre in his vertue which he hath not, he might at some
great and trustie businesse, in a maine daunger, fayle
you.
Ber I would I knew in what particular action to try
1750him.
Cap. G None better then to let him fetch off his
drumme, which you heare him so confidently vnder-
take to do.
C. E I with a troop of Florentines wil sodainly sur-
1755prize him; such I will haue whom I am sure he knowes
not from the enemie: wee will binde and hoodwinke
him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is car-
ried into the Leager of the aduersaries, when we bring
him to our owne tents: be but your Lordship present
1760at his examination, if he do not for the promise of his
life, and in the highest compulsion of base feare, offer to
betray you, and deliuer all the intelligence in his power
against you, and that with the diuine forfeite of his
soule vpon oath, neuer trust my iudgement in anie
1765thing.
Cap. G O for the loue of laughter, let him fetch his
drumme, he sayes he has a stratagem for't: when your
Lordship sees the bottome of this successe in't, and to
what mettle this counterfeyt lump of ours will be mel-
1770ted if you giue him not Iohn drummes entertainement,
your inclining cannot be remoued. Heere he comes.
Enter Parrolles
Cap. E O for the loue of laughter hinder not the ho-
nor of his designe, let him fetch off his drumme in any
1775hand.
Ber How now Monsieur? This drumme sticks sore-
ly in your disposition.
Cap. G A pox on't, let it go, 'tis but a drumme.
Par But a drumme: Ist but a drumme? A drum so
1780lost. There was excellent command, to charge in with
our horse vpon our owne wings, and to rend our owne
souldiers.
Cap. G That was not to be blam'd in the command
of the seruice: it was a disaster of warre that Caesarhim
1785selfe could not haue preuented, if he had beene there to
command.
Ber Well, wee cannot greatly condemne our suc-
cesse: some dishonor wee had in the losse of that drum,
but it is not to be recouered.
1790Par It might haue beene recouered.
Ber It might, but it is not now.
Par It is to be recouered, but that the merit of ser-
uice is sildome attributed to the true and exact perfor-
mer, I would haue that drumme or another, or hic ia-
1795cet
Ber Why if you haue a stomacke, too't Monsieur: if
you thinke your mysterie in stratagem, can bring this
instrument of honour againe into his natiue quarter, be
magnanimious in the enterprize and go on, I wil grace
1800the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you speede well in
it, the Duke shall both speake of it, and extend to you
what further becomes his greatnesse, euen to the vtmost
syllable of your worthinesse.
Par By the hand of a souldier I will vndertake it.
1805Ber But you must not now slumber in it.
Par Ile about it this euening, and I will presently
pen downe my dilemma's, encourage my selfe in my
certaintie, put my selfe into my mortall preparation:
and by midnight looke to heare further from me.
1810Ber May I bee bold to acquaint his grace you are
gone about it.
Par I know not what the successe wil be my Lord,
but the attempt I vow.
Ber I know th'art valiant,
1815And to the possibility of thy souldiership,
Will subscribe for thee: Farewell.
Par I loue not many words.
Exit
Cap. E No more then a fish loues water. Is not this
a strange fellow my Lord, that so confidently seemes to
1820vndertake this businesse, which he knowes is not to be
done, damnes himselfe to do, & dares better be damnd
then to doo't.
Cap. G You do not know him my Lord as we doe,
certaine it is that he will steale himselfe into a mans fa-
1825uour, and for a weeke escape a great deale of discoue-
ries, but when you finde him out, you haue him euer af-
ter.
Ber Why do you thinke he will make no deede at
all of this that so seriouslie hee dooes addresse himselfe
1830vnto?
Cap. E None in the world, but returne with an in-
uention, and clap vpon you two or three probable lies:
but we haue almost imbost him, you shall see his fall to
night; for indeede he is not for your Lordshippes re-
1835spect.
Cap. G Weele make you some sport with the Foxe
ere we case him. He was first smoak'd by the old Lord
Lafew when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what
a sprat you shall finde him, which you shall see this ve-
1840rie night.
Cap. E I must go looke my twigges,
He shall be caught.
Ber Your brother he shall go along with me.
Cap. G As't please your Lordship, Ile leaue you.
1845Ber Now wil I lead you to the house, and shew you
The Lasse I spoke of.
Cap. E But you say she's honest.
Ber That's all the fault: I spoke with hir but once,
And found her wondrous cold, but I sent to her
1850By this same Coxcombe that we haue i'th winde
Tokens and Letters, which she did resend,
And this is all I haue done: She's a faire creature,
Will you go see her?
Cap. E With all my heart my Lord.
Exeunt