Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

Enter Helen, Widow, and Diana.
2440Helen That you may well perceive I have not wronged you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety, 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Ere I can pèrfect mine intents, to kneel.
2445Time was, I did him a desirèd office,
Dear almost as his life, which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth
And answer thanks. I duly am informed,
His grace is at Marseille, to which place
2450We have convenient convoy. You must know
I am supposèd dead. The army breaking,
My husband hies him home, where, heaven aiding,
And by the leave of my good lord the king,
We'll be before our welcome.
Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.
Nor you, mistress
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labor
2460To recompense your love. Doubt not but heaven
Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower,
As it hath fated her to be my motive
And helper to a husband. But, oh, strange men
That can such sweet use make of what they hate
2465When saucy trusting of the cozened thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night! So lust doth play
With what it loathes for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
2470Something in my behalf.
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions; I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
Yet I pray you:
2475But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briars shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away:
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us.
All's well that ends well, still the fine's the crown;
2480Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.