Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

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


Enter the two French Captaines, and some two or three
Souldiours
Cap. G You haue not giuen him his mothers letter.
Cap. E I haue deliu'red it an houre since, there is som
2110thing in't that stings his nature: for on the reading it,
he chang'd almost into another man.
Cap. G He has much worthy blame laid vpon him,
for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a Lady.
Cap. E Especially, hee hath incurred the euerlasting
2115displeasure of the King, who had euen tun'd his bounty
to sing happinesse to him. I will tell you a thing, but
you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
Cap. G When you haue spoken it 'tis dead, and I am
the graue of it.
2120Cap. E Hee hath peruerted a young Gentlewoman
heere in Florence of a most chaste renown, & this night
he fleshes his will in the spoyle of her honour: hee hath
giuen her his monumentall Ring, and thinkes himselfe
made in the vnchaste composition.
2125Cap. G Now God delay our rebellion as we are our
selues, what things are we.
Cap. E Meerely our owne traitours. And as in the
common course of all treasons, we still see them reueale
themselues, till they attaine to their abhorr'd ends: so
2130he that in this action contriues against his owne Nobi-
lity in his proper streame, ore-flowes himselfe.
Cap. G Is it not meant damnable in vs, to be Trum-
peters of our vnlawfull intents? We shall not then haue
his company to night?
2135Cap. E Not till after midnight: for hee is dieted to
his houre.
Cap. G That approaches apace: I would gladly haue
him see his company anathomiz'd, that hee might take
a measure of his owne iudgements, wherein so curiously
2140he had set this counterfeit.
Cap. E We will not meddle with him till he come;
for his presence must be the whip of the other.
Cap. G In the meane time, what heare you of these
Warres?
2145Cap. E I heare there is an ouerture of peace.
Cap. G Nay, I assure you a peace concluded.
Cap. E What will Count Rossilliondo then? Will he
trauaile higher, or returne againe into France?
Cap. G I perceiue by this demand, you are not alto-
2150gether of his councell.
Cap. E Let it be forbid sir, so should I bee a great
deale of his act.
Cap. G Sir, his wife some two months since fledde
from his house, her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Ia-
2155ques le grand; which holy vndertaking, with most au-
stere sanctimonie she accomplisht: and there residing,
the tendernesse of her Nature, became as a prey to her
greefe: in fine, made a groane of her last breath, & now
she sings in heauen.
2160Cap. E How is this iustified?
Cap. G The stronger part of it by her owne Letters,
which makes her storie true, euen to the poynt of her
death: her death it selfe, which could not be her office
to say, is come: was faithfully confirm'd by the Rector
2165of the place.
Cap. E Hath the Count all this intelligence?
Cap. G I, and the particular confirmations, point
from point, to the full arming of the veritie.
Cap. E I am heartily sorrie that hee'l bee gladde of
2170this.
Cap. G How mightily sometimes, we make vs com-
forts of our losses.
Cap. E And how mightily some other times, wee
drowne our gaine in teares, the great dignitie that his
2175valour hath here acquir'd for him, shall at home be en-
countred with a shame as ample.
Cap. G The webbe of our life, is of a mingled yarne,
good and ill together: our vertues would bee proud, if
our faults whipt them not, and our crimes would dis-
2180paire if they were not cherish'd by our vertues.
Enter a Messenger
How now? Where's your master?
Ser He met the Duke in the street sir, of whom hee
hath taken a solemne leaue: his Lordshippe will next
2185morning for France. The Duke hath offered him Let-
ters of commendations to the King.
Cap. E They shall bee no more then needfull there,
if they were more then they can commend.
Enter Count Rossillion
2190Ber They cannot be too sweete for the Kings tart-
nesse, heere's his Lordship now. How now my Lord,
i'st not after midnight?
Ber I haue to night dispatch'd sixteene businesses, a
moneths length a peece, by an abstract of successe: I
2195haue congied with the Duke, done my adieu with his
neerest; buried a wife, mourn'd for her, writ to my La-
die mother, I am returning, entertain'd my Conuoy, &
betweene these maine parcels of dispatch, affected ma-
ny nicer needs: the last was the greatest, but that I haue
2200not ended yet.
Cap. E If the businesse bee of any difficulty, and this
morning your departure hence, it requires hast of your
Lordship.
Ber I meane the businesse is not ended, as fearing
2205to heare of it hereafter: but shall we haue this dialogue
betweene the Foole and the Soldiour. Come, bring
forth this counterfet module, ha's deceiu'd mee, like a
double-meaning Prophesier.
Cap. E. Bring him forth, ha's sate i'th stockes all night
2210poore gallant knaue.
Ber No matter, his heeles haue deseru'd it, in vsur-
ping his spurres so long. How does he carry himselfe?
Cap.E. I haue told your Lordship alreadie: The
stockes carrie him. But to answer you as you would be
2215vnderstood, hee weepes like a wench that had shed her
milke, he hath confest himselfe to Morgan whom hee
supposes to be a Friar, frō the time of his remembrance
to this very instant disaster of his setting i'th stockes:
and what thinke you he hath confest?
2220Ber Nothing of me, ha's a?
Cap. E His confession is taken, and it shall bee read
to his face, if your Lordshippe be in't, as I beleeue you
are, you must haue the patience to heare it.
Enter Parolles with his Interpreter
2225Ber A plague vpon him, muffeld; he can say nothing
of me: hush, hush.
Cap. G Hoodman comes: Portotartarossa
Inter He calles for the tortures, what will you say
without em.
2230Par I will confesse what I know without constraint,
If ye pinch me like a Pasty, I can say no more.
Int Bosko Chimurcho
Cap Boblibindo chicurmurco
Int You are a mercifull Generall: Our Generall
2235bids you answer to what I shall aske you out of a Note.
Par And truly, as I hope to liue.
Int First demand of him, how many horse the Duke
is strong. What say you to that?
Par Fiue or sixe thousand, but very weake and vn-
2240seruiceable: the troopes are all scattered, and the Com-
manders verie poore rogues, vpon my reputation and
credit, and as I hope to liue.
Int Shall I set downe your answer so?
Par Do, Ile take the Sacrament on't, how & which
2245way you will: all's one to him.
Ber What a past-sauing slaue is this?
Cap. G Y'are deceiu'd my Lord, this is Mounsieur
Parrollesthe gallant militarist, that was his owne phrase
that had the whole theoricke of warre in the knot of his
2250scarfe, and the practise in the chape of his dagger.
Cap. E I will neuer trust a man againe, for keeping
his sword cleane, nor beleeue he can haue euerie thing
in him, by wearing his apparrell neatly.
Int Well, that's set downe.
2255Par Fiue or six thousand horse I sed, I will say true,
or thereabouts set downe, for Ile speake truth.
Cap. G He's very neere the truth in this.
Ber But I con him no thankes for't in the nature he
deliuers it.
2260Par Poore rogues, I pray you say.
Int Well, that's set downe.
Par I humbly thanke you sir, a truth's a truth, the
Rogues are maruailous poore.
Interp Demaund of him of what strength they are a
2265foot. What say you to that?
Par By my troth sir, if I were to liue this present
houre, I will tell true. Let me see, Spurioa hundred &
fiftie, Sebastianso many, Corambusso many, Iaquesso
many: Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowicke and Gratij two hun-
2270dred fiftie each: Mine owne Company, Chitopher, Vau-
mond, Bentij, two hundred fiftie each: so that the muster
file, rotten and sound, vppon my life amounts not to fif-
teene thousand pole, halfe of the which, dare not shake
the snow from off their Cassockes, least they shake them-
2275selues to peeces.
Ber What shall be done to him?
Cap. G Nothing, but let him haue thankes. Demand
of him my condition: and what credite I haue with the
Duke.
2280Int Well that's set downe: you shall demaund of
him, whether one Captaine Dumainebee i'th Campe, a
Frenchman: what his reputation is with the Duke, what
his valour, honestie, and expertnesse in warres: or whe-
ther he thinkes it were not possible with well-waighing
2285summes of gold to corrupt him to a reuolt. What say you
to this? What do you know of it?
Par I beseech you let me answer to the particular of
the intergatories. Demand them singly.
Int Do you know this Captaine Dumaine
2290Par I know him, a was a Botchers Prentize in Paris
from whence he was whipt for getting the Shrieues fool
with childe, a dumbe innocent that could not say him
nay.
Ber Nay, by your leaue hold your hands, though I
2295know his braines are forfeite to the next tile that fals.
Int Well, is this Captaine in the Duke of Florences
campe?
Par Vpon my knowledge he is, and lowsie.
Cay. G Nay looke not so vpon me: we shall heare of
2300your Lord anon.
Int What is his reputation with the Duke?
Par The Duke knowes him for no other, but a poore
Officer of mine, and writ to mee this other day, to turne
him out a'th band. I thinke I haue his Letter in my poc-
2305ket.
Int Marry we'll search.
Par In good sadnesse I do not know, either it is there,
or it is vpon a file with the Dukes other Letters, in my
Tent.
2310Int Heere 'tis, heere's a paper, shall I reade it to you?
Par I do not know if it be it or no.
Ber Our Interpreter do's it well.
Cap. G Excellently.
Int Dian, the Counts a foole, and full of gold
2315Par That is not the Dukes letter sir: that is an ad-
uertisement to a proper maide in Florence, one Diana to
take heede of the allurement of one Count Rossillion a
foolish idle boy: but for all that very ruttish. I pray you
sir put it vp againe.
2320Int Nay, Ile reade it first by your fauour.
Par My meaning in't I protest was very honest in the
behalfe of the maid: for I knew the young Count to be a
dangerous and lasciuious boy, who is a whale to Virgi-
nity, and deuours vp all the fry it finds.
2325Ber Damnable both-sides rogue.
Int Let When he sweares oathes, bid him drop gold, and
take it
After he scores, he neuer payes the score
Halfe won is match well made, match and well make it
2330He nere payes after-debts, take it before
And say a souldier (Dian) told thee this
Men are to mell with, boyes are not to kis
For count of this, the Counts a Foole I know it
Who payes before, but not when he does owe it
2335
Thine as he vow'd to thee in thine eare,
Parolles
Ber He shall be whipt through the Armie with this
rime in's forehead.
Cap. E This is your deuoted friend sir, the manifold
2340Linguist, and the army-potent souldier.
Ber I could endure any thing before but a Cat, and
now he's a Cat to me.
Int I perceiue sir by your Generals lookes, wee shall
be faine to hang you.
2345Par My life sir in any case: Not that I am afraide to
dye, but that my offences beeing many, I would repent
out the remainder of Nature. Let me liue sir in a dunge-
on, i'th stockes, or any where, so I may liue.
Int Wee'le see what may bee done, so you confesse
2350freely: therefore once more to this Captaine Dumaine
you haue answer'd to his reputation with the Duke, and
to his valour. What is his honestie?
Par He will steale sir an Egge out of a Cloister: for
rapes and rauishments he paralels Nessus Hee professes
2355not keeping of oaths, in breaking em he is stronger then
Hercules He will lye sir, with such volubilitie, that you
would thinke truth were a foole: drunkennesse is his best
vertue, for he will be swine-drunke, and in his sleepe he
does little harme, saue to his bed-cloathes about him:
2360but they know his conditions, and lay him in straw. I
haue but little more to say sir of his honesty, he ha's eue-
rie thing that an honest man should not haue; what an
honest man should haue, he has nothing.
Cap. G I begin to loue him for this.
2365Ber For this description of thine honestie? A pox
vpon him for me, he's more and more a Cat.
Int What say you to his expertnesse in warre?
Par Faith sir, ha's led the drumme before the Eng-
lish Tragedians: to belye him I will not, and more of his
2370souldiership I know not, except in that Country, he had
the honour to be the Officer at a place there called Mile-
end, to instruct for the doubling of files. I would doe the
man what honour I can, but of this I am not certaine.
Cap. G He hath out-villain'd villanie so farre, that the
2375raritie redeemes him.
Ber A pox on him, he's a Cat still.
Int His qualities being at this poore price, I neede
not to aske you, if Gold will corrupt him to reuolt.
Par Sir, for a Cardceue he will sell the fee-simple of
2380his saluation, the inheritance of it, and cut th' intaile from
all remainders, and a perpetuall succession for it perpe-
tually.
Int What's his Brother, the other Captain Dumain
Cap. E Why do's he aske him of me?
2385Int What's he?
Par E'ne a Crow a'th same nest: not altogether so
great as the first in goodnesse, but greater a great deale in
euill. He excels his Brother for a coward, yet his Brother
is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreate hee out-
2390runnes any Lackey; marrie in comming on, hee ha's the
Crampe.
Int If your life be saued, will you vndertake to betray
the Florentine.
Par I, and the Captaine of his horse, Count Rossillion
2395Int Ile whisper with the Generall, and knowe his
pleasure.
Par Ile no more drumming, a plague of all drummes,
onely to seeme to deserue well, and to beguile the suppo-
sition of that lasciuious yong boy the Count, haue I run
2400into this danger: yet who would haue suspected an am-
bush where I was taken?
Int There is no remedy sir, but you must dye: the
Generall sayes, you that haue so traitorously discouerd
the secrets of your army, and made such pestifferous re-
2405ports of men very nobly held, can serue the world for
no honest vse: therefore you must dye. Come heades-
man, off with his head.
Par O Lord sir let me liue, or let me see my death.
Int That shall you, and take your leaue of all your
2410friends:
So, looke about you, know you any heere?
Count Good morrow noble Captaine.
Lo. E God blesse you Captaine Parolles
Cap. G God saue you noble Captaine.
2415Lo. E Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord
Lafew I am for France
Cap. G Good Captaine will you giue me a Copy of
the sonnet you writ to Dianain behalfe of the Count
Rossillion and I were not a verie Coward, I'de compell
2420it of you, but far you well.
Exeunt
Int You are vndone Captaine all but your scarfe,
that has a knot on't yet.
Par Who cannot be crush'd with a plot?
Inter If you could finde out a Countrie where but
2425women were that had receiued so much shame, you
might begin an impudent Nation. Fare yee well sir, I
am for Francetoo, we shall speake of you there.
Exit
Par Yet am I thankfull: if my heart were great
'Twould burst at this: Captaine Ile be no more,
2430But I will eate, and drinke, and sleepe as soft
As Captaine shall. Simply the thing I am
Shall make me liue: who knowes himselfe a braggart
Let him feare this; for it will come to passe,
That euery braggart shall be found an Asse.
2435Rust sword, coole blushes, and Parrollesliue
Safest in shame: being fool'd, by fool'rie thriue;
There's place and meanes for euery man aliue.
Ile after them.
Exit