Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)


1.1
Enter young Bertram, Count of Roussillon, his mother [the Countess], Helen, [and] Lord Lafeu, all in black.
Countess 5In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
Bertram And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew, but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore 10in subjection.
Lafeu You shall find of the King a husband, madam; you, sir, a father. He, that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather than lack 15it where there is such abundance.
Countess What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
Lafeu He hath abandoned his physicians, madam, under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope and finds no other advantage in the process, but only 20the losing of hope by time.
Countess This young gentlewoman had a father -- oh, that "had", how sad a passage 'tis! -- whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal and death should have play for 25lack of work. Would for the King's sake he were li ving! I think it would be the death of the King's disease.
Lafeu How called you the man you speak of, madam?
Countess He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gérard de Narbonne.
30Lafeu He was excellent indeed, madam. The King very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly. He was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
Bertram What is it, my good lord, the King languishes 35of?
Lafeu A fistula, my lord.
Bertram I heard not of it before.
Lafeu I would it were not notorious. -- Was this gen tlewoman the daughter of Gérard de Narbonne?
40Countess His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises; her dispositions she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer. For where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with 45pity: they are virtues and traitors too. In her, they are the better for their simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
Lafeu Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
50Countess 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. -- No more of this, Helen, go to, no more, lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow than 55to have --
Helen I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
Lafeu Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; excessive grief, the enemy to the living.
Countess If the living be enemy to the grief, the 60excess makes it soon mortal.
Bertram Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Lafeu [To the Countess (?)]How understand we that?
Countess Be thou blessed, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners as in shape. Thy blood and virtue
65Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright. Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none. Be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key. Be checked for silence,
70But never taxed for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head. -- [To Lafeu] Farewell, my lord.
'Tis an unseasoned courtier, good my lord.
Advise him.
75Lafeu
He cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.
Countess
Heaven bless him.
-- Farewell, Bertram.
[Exit the Countess.]
Bertram [To Helen] The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts be servants to you. Be comfortable to my mother, your 80mistress, and make much of her.
Lafeu Farewell, pretty lady. You must hold the credit of your father.
[Exeunt Bertram and Lafeu.]
Helen Oh, were that all! I think not on my father
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
85Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him. My imagination
Carries no favor in't but Bertram's.
I am undone. There is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one,
90That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, he is so above me.
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th'ambition in my love thus plagues itself.
95The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour, to sit and draw
His archèd brows, his hawking eye, his curls
In our heart's table -- heart too capable
100Of every line and trick of his sweet favor.
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here? Enter Paroles.
One that goes with him. I love him for his sake.
105And yet I know him a notorious liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him
That they take place when virtue's steely bones
Looks bleak i'th'cold wind. Withal, full oft we see
110Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
Paroles Save you, fair queen.
Helen And you, monarch.
Paroles No.
Helen And no.
115Paroles Are you meditating on virginity?
Helen Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you. Let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity. How may we barricado it against him?
Paroles Keep him out.
120Helen But he assails and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak. Unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Paroles There is none. Man, setting down before you, will undermine you and blow you up.
125Helen Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up! Is there no military policy how virgins might blow up men?
Paroles Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up. Marry, in blowing him down 130again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase, and there was never virgin got till virginity was first lost. That you were made of is 135metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost. 'Tis too cold a companion. Away with't!
Helen I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
140Paroles There's little can be said in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity is to accuse your mothers, which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself, and should be buried in highways, 145out of all sanctified limit as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese, consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which 150is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with't! Within ten year it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with't!
155Helen How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
Paroles Let me see. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying. The longer kept, the less worth. Off with't while 'tis 160vendible. Answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion, richly suited, but unsuitable, just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge than in your cheek, and your 165virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears. It looks ill, it eats dryly -- marry, 'tis a withered pear. It was formerly better, marry, yet 'tis a withered pear! Will you anything with it?
Helen Not my virginity yet.
170There shall your master have a thousand loves:
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counselor, a traitoress, and a dear;
175His humble ambition, proud humility;
His jarring, concord; and his discord, dulcet;
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty fond adoptious christendoms
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he --
180I know not what he shall. God send him well!
The court's a learning place, and he is one --
Paroles What one, i'faith?
Helen That I wish well. 'Tis pity --
Paroles What's pity?
185Helen That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt, that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends
And show what we alone must think, which never
190Returns us thanks.
Enter Page.
Page Monsieur Paroles, my lord calls for you.
[Exit.]
Paroles Little Helen, farewell. If I can remember thee, I 195will think of thee at court.
Helen Monsieur Paroles, you were born under a charitable star.
Paroles Under Mars, I.
Helen I especially think under Mars.
200Paroles Why 'under' Mars?
Helen The wars hath so kept you under that you must needs be born under Mars.
Paroles When he was predominant.
Helen When he was retrograde, I think rather.
205Paroles Why think you so?
Helen You go so much backward when you fight.
Paroles That's for advantage.
Helen So is running away when fear proposes the safety. 210But the composition that your valor and fear makes in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
Paroles I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier, in the 215which my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee, else thou diest in thine unthankfulnes and thine ignorance makes thee away. Farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy 220prayers: when thou hast none, remember thy friends. Get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee. So, farewell.
[Exit.]
Helen Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
225Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
What power is it which mounts my love so high,
That makes me see and cannot feed mine eye?
The mightiest space in fortune, nature brings
230To join like likes and kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense and do suppose
What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
To show her merit that did miss her love? --
235The king's disease! My project may deceive me,
But my intents are fixed and will not leave me.
Exit.
[1.2]
Flourish cornets.
Enter the King of France with letters and divers Attendants.
240King The Florentines and Senois are by th'ears,
Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
A braving war.
1 Lord
So 'tis reported, sir.
King Nay, 'tis most credible. We here receive it
245A certainty vouched from our cousin Austria,
With caution that the Florentine will move us
For speedy aid, wherein our dearest friend
Prejudicates the business and would seem
To have us make denial.
2501 Lord
His love and wisdom,
Approved so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.
King
He hath armed our answer,
And Florence is denied before he comes.
255Yet for our gentlemen that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.
2 Lord
It well may serve
A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
260For breathing and exploit.
King
What's he comes here.
Enter Bertram, Lafeu, and Paroles.
1 Lord It is the Count Roussillon, my good lord,
Young Bertram.
265King
Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,
Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts
Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
Bertram My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
270King I would I had that corporal soundness now
As when thy father and myself in friendship
First tried our soldiership. He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest. He lasted long,
275But on us both did haggish age steal on
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father. In his youth
He had the wit which I can well observe
Today in our young lords, but they may jest
280Till their own scorn return to them unnoted
Ere they can hide their levity in honor.
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride, or sharpness; if they were,
His equal had awaked them, and his honor,
285Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak, and at this time
His tongue obeyed his hand. Who were below him,
He used as creatures of another place
And bowed his eminent top to their low ranks,
290Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times,
Which, followed well, would demonstrate them now
But goers backward.
295Bertram
His good remembrance, sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb.
So in approof lives not his epitaph
As in your royal speech.
King Would I were with him! He would always say --
300Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words
He scattered not in ears, but grafted them
To grow there and to bear -- "Let me not live" --
This his good melancholy oft began
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime
305When it was out: "Let me not live," quoth he,
"After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgements are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
310Expire before their fashions." This he wished.
I, after him, do after him wish too,
Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
I quickly were dissolvèd from my hive
To give some laborers room.
3152 Lord
You're loved, sir.
They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
King I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, Count,
Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much famed.
320Bertram
Some six months since, my lord.
King If he were living, I would try him yet.
Lend me an arm. The rest have worn me out
With several applications. Nature and sickness
Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, Count,
325My son's no dearer.
Bertram
Thank your majesty.
Exeunt.
Flourish
[1.3]
Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.
Countess I will now hear: what say you of this 330gentlewoman?
Steward Madam, the care I have had to even your conttent, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavors, for then we wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings when of ourselves 335we publish them.
Countess What does this knave here? -- [To Clown] Get you gone, sirrah. The complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe. 'Tis my slowness that I do not, for I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough 340to make such knaveries yours.
Clown 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
Countess Well, sir?
Clown No, madam, 345'tis not so well that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned, but if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
Countess Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
350Clown I do beg your good will in this case.
Countess In what case?
Clown In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no heritage, and I think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue o'my body, for they say bairns are 355blessings.
Countess Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry?
Clown My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the flesh, and he must needs go that the devil drives.
360Countess Is this all your worship's reason?
Clown Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.
Countess May the world know them?
Clown I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you 365and all flesh and blood are, and indeed I do marry that I may repent.
Countess Thy marriage sooner than thy wickedness.
Clown I am out o'friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.
370Countess Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
Clown You're shallow, madam, in great friends, for the knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of. He that ears my land spares my team, and gives me leave to in the crop. If I be his cuckold he's my 375drudge. He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend. Ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, 380there were no fear in marriage, for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poisson the papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one. They may jowl horns together like any deer i'th' herd.
Countess Wilt thou ever be a foulmouthed and 385calumnious knave?
Clown A prophet, I, madam, and I speak the truth the next way:
For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find:
Your marriage comes by destiny;
Your cuckoo sings by kind.
390Countess Get you gone, sir. I'll talk with you more anon.
Steward May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you? Of her I am to speak.
Countess [To Clown] Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her, Helen I mean.
395Clown Sings.
"Was this fair face the cause," quoth she,
"Why the Grecians sackèd Troy?
Fond done, done fond,
Was this King Priam's joy?"
With that she sighèd as she stood,
With that she sighèd as she stood,
And gave this sentence then:
"Among nine bad, if one be 400good,
Among nine bad, if one be good,
There's yet one good in ten."
Countess What? One good in ten? You corrupt the song, sirrah.
Clown One good woman in ten, madam, which is a 405purifying o'th'song. Would God would serve the world so all the year! We'd find no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten, quotha? And we might have a good woman born but o'er every blazing star or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well! A 410man may draw his heart out ere a pluck one.
Countess You'll begone, sir knave, and do as I commandyou!
Clown That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet 415it will do no hurt: it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth! The business is for Helen to come hither.
Exit.
Countess Well, now.
420Steward I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
Countess Faith, I do. Her father bequeathed her to me, and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds. There is 425more owing her than is paid, and more shall be paid her than she'll demand.
Steward Madam, I was very late more near her thanI think she wished me. Alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her 430own ears. She thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son. Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; love no god, that would not extend his might 435only where qualities were level; Dian no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight surprised without rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward: This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'erI heard virgin exclaim in, which I held 440my duty speedily to acquaint you withal, sithence in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Countess You have discharged this honestly. Keep it to yourself. Many likelihoods informed me of this 445before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you, leave me. Stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care. I will speak with you further anon.
Exit Steward.
450
Enter Helen.
Countess E'en so it was with me when I was young.
If ever we are nature's, these are ours. This thorn
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong.
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
455It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong passion is impressed in youth
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults, or then we thought them none,
Her eye is sick on't. I observe her now.
460Helen What is your pleasure, madam?
Countess You know, Helen, I am a mother to you.
Helen
Mine honorable mistress.
Countess
Nay, a mother,
Why not a mother? When I said "a mother"
465Methought you saw a serpent. What's in "mother"
That you start at it? I say I am your mother,
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombèd mine. 'Tis often seen
Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds
470A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
You ne'er oppressed me with a mother's groan;
Yet I express to you a mother's care.
God's mercy, maiden! Does it curd thy blood
To say I am thy mother? [Helen weeps.] What's the matter,
475That this distempered messenger of wet
The many-colored Iris, rounds thine eye?
-- Why, that you are my daughter?
Helen
That I am not.
Countess
I say I am your mother.
480Helen
Pardon, madam,
The Count Roussillon cannot be my brother.
I am from humble, he from honored name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble,
My master, my dear lord he is, and I
485His servant live, and will his vassal die.
He must not be my brother!
Countess Nor I your mother?
Helen You are my mother, madam! Would you were --
So that my lord your son were not my brother --
490Indeed my mother! Or were you both our mothers,
I care no more for than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister! Can't no other
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Countess Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law.
495God shield you mean it not, "daughter" and "mother"
So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
My fear hath catched your fondness! Now I see
The mystery of your loneliness and find
Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross:
500You love my son. Invention is ashamed
Against the proclamation of thy passion
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true,
But tell me then 'tis so, for look, thy cheeks
Confess it t'one to th'other, and thine eyes
505See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
That in their kind they speak it. Only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew:
510If it be not, forswear't. Howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.
Helen
Good madam, pardon me!
Countess
Do you love my son?
515Helen
Your pardon, noble mistress!
Countess
Love you my son?
Helen
Do not you love him, madam?
Countess Go not about. My love hath in't a bond
Whereof the world takes note. Come, come, disclose
520The state of your affection, for your passions
Have to the full appeached.
Helen
Then I confess
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That, before you and next unto high heaven,
I love your 525son.
My friends were poor but honest; so's my love.
Be not offended, for it hurts not him
That he is loved of me. I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit,
530Nor would I have him till I do deserve him,
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope.
Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
I still pour in the waters of my love
535And lack not to lose still. Thus. Indian-like
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper
But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
Let not your hate encounter with my love
540For loving where you do, but if yourself,
Whose agèd honor cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in so true a flame of liking
Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love, oh then give pity
545To her whose state is such that cannot choose
But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies.
Countess Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
550To go to Paris?
Helen
Madam, I had.
Countess
Wherefore? Tell true.
Helen I will tell truth, by grace itself I swear!
You know my father left me some prescriptions
555Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading
And manifest experience had collected
For general sovereignty, and that he willed me
In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
560More than they were in note. Amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approved, set down
To cure the desperate languishings whereof
The King is rendered lost.
Countess This was your motive for Paris, was it? Speak!
565Helen My lord your son made me to think of this;
Else Paris and the medicine and the King
Had from the conversation of my thoughts
Happily been absent then.
Countess
But think you, Helen,
570If you should tender your supposèd aid,
He would receive it? He and his physicians
Are of a mind: he, that they cannot help him;
They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit
A poor unlearnèd virgin, when the schools,
575Emboweled of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?
Helen
There's something in't,
More than my father's skill, which was the great'st
Of his profession, that his good receipt
580Shall for my legacy be sanctified
By th'luckiest stars in heaven, and would your honor
But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure
By such a day, an hour.
585Countess
Dost thou believe't?
Helen Ay, madam, knowingly.
Countess Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
Means and attendants, and my loving greetings
To those of mine in court. I'll stay at home
590And pray God's blessing into thy attempt.
Begone tomorrow, and be sure of this:
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.
Exeunt.
2.1
Enter the King with divers young Lords taking leave for 595the Florentine war, [Bertram,] Count [of] Roussillon, and Paroles. Flourish cornets.
King [Addressing the assembled Lords] Farewell, young lords. These warlike principles
Do not throw from you. -- [To 1 Lord and 2 Lord] And you, my lords, farewell.
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all
600The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received,
And is enough for both.
1 Lord
'Tis our hope sir,
After well entered soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.
605King No, no, it cannot be. And yet my heart
Will not confess he owes the malady
That doth my life besiege. -- Farewell, young lords.
Whether I live or die, be you the sons
Of worthy Frenchmen. Let higher Italy
610(Those bated that inherit but the fall
Of the last monarchy) see that you come
Not to woo honor, but to wed it, when
The bravest questant shrinks. Find what you seek,
That fame may cry you loud. I say farewell.
6151 Lord: Health, at your bidding, serve your majesty.
King Those girls of Italy, take heed of them:
They say our French lack language to deny
If they demand. Beware of being captives
Before you serve.
6201 and 2 Lords
Our hearts receive your warnings.
King Farewell. -- [To Attendants] Come hither to me.
1 Lord [To Bertram] O, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
Paroles
'Tis not his fault, the spark.
2 Lord
Oh, 'tis brave wars!
625Paroles Most admirable! I have seen those wars.
Bertram I am commanded here, and kept a coil with
"Too young" and "The next year" and "'Tis too early."
Paroles An thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.
630Bertram I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry
Till honor be bought up and no sword worn
But one to dance with. By heaven, I'll steal away!
1 Lord
There's honor in the theft.
635Paroles
Commit it, count.
2 Lord
I am your accessory, and so farewell.
Bertram
I grow to you,
And our parting is a tortured body.
1 Lord
Farewell, captain.
2 Lord
Sweet Monsieur Paroles.
640Paroles [To the departing Lords] Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals. You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii one Captain Spurio with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek. It was this very sword entrenched it. [He indicates his weapon.] 645Say to him I live, and observe his reports for me.
1 Lord We shall, noble captain.
Paroles Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt 1 Lord and 2 Lord.]
[To Bertram]--What will ye do?
Bertram Stay the king.
650Paroles Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords: you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu. Be more expressive to them, for they wear themselves in the cap of the time; there do muster true gait; eat, speak, and move under the influence of 655the most received star; and, though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed. After them, and take a more dilated farewell.
Bertram And I will do so.
Paroles Worthy fellows, and like to prove most 660sinewy swordsmen.
Exeunt [Bertram and Paroles].
Enter Lafeu
Lafeu [Kneeling] Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
King I'll fee thee to stand up.
Lafeu [Stands]Then here's a man stands that has brought his pardon.
665I would you had kneeled, my lord, to ask me mercy,
And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
King I would I had, so I had broke thy pate
And asked thee mercy for't.
Lafeu
Good faith, across!
But, my good lord, 'tis 670thus:will you be cured
Of your infirmity?
King
No.
Lafeu
Oh, will you eat
No grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will
My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
Could reach them. I have seen a medicine
675That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With sprightly fire and motion, whose simple touch
Is powerful to a-raise King Pépin, nay,
To give great Charlemagne a pen in 's hand
680And write to her a love-line.
King
What "her" is this?
Lafeu Why, Doctor She! My lord, there's one arrived
If you will see her. Now, by my faith and honor,
If seriously I may convey my thoughts.
685In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
With one that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amazed me more
Than I dare blame my weakness. Will you see her --
For that is her demand -- and know her business?
690That done, laugh well at me.
King
Now, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wondering how thou took'st it.
695Lafeu
Nay, I'll fit you,
And not be all day neither.
[Lafeu goes off briefly to usher in Helen]
King [Aside] Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Lafeu [To Helen, still offstage] Nay, come your ways.
Enter Helen
700King
This haste hath wings indeed.
Lafeu
Nay, come your ways,
This is his majesty; say your mind to him.
A traitor you do look like, but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears. I am Cressid's uncle,
705That dare leave two together. Fare you well.
Exit.
King Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
Helen Ay, my good lord. Gérard de Narbonne was my father;
In what he did profess, well found.
710King
I knew him.
Helen The rather will I spare my praises towards him:
Knowing him is enough. On's bed of death,
Many receipts he gave me, chiefly one
Which, as the dearest issue of his practice
715And of his old experience th'only darling,
He bade me store up as a triple eye
Safer then mine own two; more dear I have so.
And, hearing your high majesty is touched
With that malignant cause wherein the honor
720Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it and my appliance
With all bound humbleness.
King
We thank you, maiden,
But may not be so credulous of cure
725When our most learnèd doctors leave us and
The congregated college have concluded
That laboring art can never ransom nature
From her inaidable estate. I say we must not
So stain our judgment or corrupt our hope
730To prostitute our past-cure malady
To empirics, or to dissever so
Our great self and our credit to esteem
A senseless help, when help past sense we deem.
Helen My duty, then, shall pay me for my pains.
735I will no more enforce mine office on you,
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts,
A modest one to bear me back again.
King I cannot give thee less, to be called grateful.
Thou thoughtst to help me, and such thanks I give,
740As one near death to those that wish him live.
But what at full I know, thou knowst no part,
I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
Helen What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
745He that of greatest works is finisher
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From simple sources: and great seas have dried
750When miracles have by the great'st been denied.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest and despair most shifts.
King I must not hear thee. Fare thee well, kind maid.
755Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
Helen Inspirèd merit so by breath is barred.
It is not so with him that all things knows
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows.
760But most it is presumption in us when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Dear sir, to my endeavors give consent:
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor that proclaim
765Myself against the level of mine aim,
But know I think, and think 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?
770Helen
The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring,
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quenched her sleepy lamp,
775Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass,
What is infirm, from your sound parts shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
King Upon thy certainty and confidence,
780What dar'st thou venture?
Helen
Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulgèd shame
Traduced by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Seared otherwise -- nay, worse of worst, extended
785With vilest torture, let my life be ended.
King Methinks in thee some blessèd spirit doth speak
His powerful sound within an organ weak,
And what impossibility would slay
In commonsense, sense saves another way.
790Thy life is dear, for all that life can rate
Worth name of life in thee hath estimate:
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
That happiness and prime can happy call.
Thou this to hazard needs must intimate
795Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practicer, thy physic I will try,
That ministers thine own death if I die.
Helen If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
800And well deserved: not helping, death's my fee.
But if I help, what do you promise me.
King
Make thy demand.
Helen
But will you make it even?
King Ay, by my scepter and my hopes of help.
805Helen Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand
What husband in thy power I will command.
Exempted be from me the arrogance
To choose from forth the royal blood of France,
My low and humble name to propagate
810With any branch or image of thy state;
But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
King Here is my hand; the premises observed,
Thy will by my performance shall be served.
815So make the choice of thy own time, for I,
Thy resolvèd patient, on thee still rely.
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,
820Unquestioned welcome, and undoubted blessed. --
[To Attendants] Give me some help here, ho!-- [To Helen] If thou proceed,
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
Flourish. Exeunt.
[2.2]
Enter Countess and Clown.
825Countess Come on, sir, I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.
Clown I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I know my business is but to the court.
Countess To the court? Why, what place make you 830special, when you put off that with such contempt? 'But to the court'!
Clown Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court. He that cannot make a leg, put off 's cap, kiss his hand, and say 835nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court. But, for me, I have an answer will serve all men.
Countess Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all questions.
840Clown It is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks: the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or any buttock.
Countess Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
Clown As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an 845attorney, as your French crown for your taffety punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a Morris for May Day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; 850nay, as the pudding to his skin.
Countess Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?
Clown From below your duke to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.
855Countess It must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit all demands.
Clown But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it. Here it is, and all that belongs to't. Ask me if I am a courtier; it shall do you no 860harm to learn.
Countess To be young again, if we could! I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir, are you a courtier?
865Clown Oh Lord, sir! -- There's a simple putting off. More, more, a hundred of them.
Countess Sir, I am a poor friend of yours that loves you.
Clown Oh Lord, sir! -- Thick, thick, spare not me.
Countess I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely 870meat.
Clown Oh Lord, sir! -- Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
Countess You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
Clown Oh Lord, sir! -- Spare not me.
Countess Do you cry 'Oh Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and 875'Spare not me'? Indeed your 'Oh Lord, sir!' is very sequent to your whipping; you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
Clown I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'Oh Lord, sir!' I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.
880Countess I play the noble housewife with the time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.
Clown Oh Lord, sir! -- Why there't serves well again.
Countess An end, sir. To your business: give Helen this, [Giving him a letter]
And urge her to a present answer back.
885Commend me to my kinsmen, and my son.
This is not much.
Clown
Not much commendation to them?
Countess Not much employment for you. You understand me?
890Clown Most fruitfully. I am there before my legs.
Lafeu Haste you again.
Exeunt.
[2.3]
Enter Bertram, Lafeu, and Paroles.
Lafeu They say miracles are past, and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar 895things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.
Paroles Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that 900hath shot out in our latter times.
Bertram And so 'tis.
Lafeu To be relinquished of the artists --
Paroles So I say, both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Lafeu Of all the learned and authentic fellows --
905Paroles Right, so I say.
Lafeu That gave him out incurable --
Paroles Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
Lafeu Not to be helped.
Paroles Right, as 'twere a man assured of a --
910Lafeu Uncertain life, and sure death.
Paroles Just. You say well; so would I have said.
Lafeu I may truly say it is a novelty to the world.
Paroles It is indeed. If you will have it in showing, you shall read it in what-do-ye-call there.
915Lafeu A Showing of a Heavenly Effect in an Earthly Actor.
Paroles That's it; I would have said the very same.
Lafeu Why, your dolphin is not lustier. 'Fore me, I speak in respect --
920Paroles Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange; that is the brief and the tedious of it. And he's of a most facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the --
Lafeu Very hand of heaven.
Paroles Ay, so I say.
925Lafeu In a most weak --
Paroles And debile minister, great power, great transcendence, which should indeed give us a further use to be made than alone the recovery of the king, as to be --
Lafeu Generally thankful.
930
Enter King, Helen, and Attendants.
Paroles I would have said it; you say well. -- Here comes the king.
Lafeu Lustig, as the Dutchman says! I'll like a maid the better whilst I have a tooth in my head. Why, 935he's able to lead her a coranto.
Paroles Mort du vinaigre! Is not this Helen?
Lafeu 'Fore God, I think so.
King [To Attendant] Go, call before me all the lords in court. -- [Exit an Attendant.]
[To Helen] Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side,
940And with this healthful hand, whose banished sense
Thou hast repealed, a second time receive
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming. Enter four [Young] Lords.
945Fair maid, send forth thine eye; this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
I have to use. Thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
950Helen To each of you, one fair and virtuous mistress
Fall when love please; marry, to each but one.
Lafeu I'd give bay curtal and his furniture,
My mouth no more were broken than these boys,
And writ as little beard.
955King
s Peruse them well:
Not one of those but had a noble father.
Helen Gentlemen, heaven hath through me restored
The king to health.
960All We understand it, and thank heaven for you.
She addresses her to a Lord.
Helen I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest
That I protest I simply am a maid. --
[To the King] Please it your majesty, I have done already.
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
965"We blush that thou shouldst choose; but be refused,
Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever,
We'll ne'er come there again."
King
Make choice and see.
Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
970Helen Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
And to Imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream. [To 1 Young Lord] Sir, will you hear my suit?
1 Young Lord
And grant it.
Helen
Thanks, sir, all the rest is mute.
975Lafeu I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace for my life.
Helen [To 2 Young Lord.]The honor, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
Before I speak, too threat'ningly replies.
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
980Her that so wishes, and her humble love.
2 Young Lord
No better, if you please.
Helen
My wish receive,
Which great love grant. And so I take my leave.
Lafeu Do all they deny her? An they were sons 985of mine, I'd have them whipped, or I would send them to th' Turk to make eunuchs of.
Helen [To 3 Young Lord] Be not afraid that I your hand should take:
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake.
Blessing upon your vows, and in your bed
990Find fairer fortune if you ever wed.
Lafeu These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her. Sure they are bastards to the English: the French ne'er got 'em.
Helen [To 4 Young Lord] You are too young, too happy, and too good
995To make yourself a son out of my blood.
4 Young Lord Fair one, I think not so.
Lafeu There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk wine. But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen: I have known thee already.
1000Helen [To Bertram] I dare not say I take you, but I give
Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
Into your guiding power. -- [To the King] This is the man.
King Why, then, young Bertram, take her: she's thy wife.
1005Bertram My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your highness:
In such a business, give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.
King
Know'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?
1010Bertram
Yes, my good lord,
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
King Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
Bertram But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
1015Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
She had her breeding at my father's charge --
A poor physician's daughter my wife? Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!
King 'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
1020I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
Of color, weight, and heat, poured all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stands off
In differences so mighty. If she be
All that is virtuous -- save what thou dislik'st,
1025"A poor physician's daughter" -- thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name. But do not so.
From lowest place, whence virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by th' doer's deed.
Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
1030It is a dropsied honor. Good alone
Is good without a name. Vileness is so.
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair:
In these to nature she's immediate heir,
1035And these breed honor. That is honor's scorn
Which challenges itself as honor's born
And is not like the sire. Honors thrive
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers. The mere word's a slave,
1040Debauched on every tomb: on every grave,
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
Where dust and damned oblivion is the tomb
Of honored bones indeed. What should be said?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
1045I can create the rest: virtue and she
Is her own dower; honor and wealth, from me.
Bertram I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
King Thou wrong'st thyself if thou shouldst strive to choose.
1050Helen That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad;
Let the rest go.
King My honor's at the stake, which to defeat
I must produce my power. -- [To Bertram] Here, take her hand.
Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift,
1055That dost in vile misprision shackle up
My love and her desert; that canst not dream
We, poising us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know
It is in us to plant thine honor where
1060We please to have it grow. Check thy contempt.
Obey our will which travails in thy good.
Believe not thy disdain, but presently
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right,
Which both thy duty owes and our power claims,
1065Or I will throw thee from my care forever
Into the staggers and the careless lapse
Of youth and ignorance, both my revenge and hate,
Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak, thine answer.
1070Bertram Pardon, my gracious lord, for I submit
My fancy to your eyes. When I consider
What great creation and what dole of honor
Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
1075The praised of the king; who so ennobled
Is as 'twere born so.
King
Take her by the hand
And tell her she is thine, to whom I promise
A counterpoise; if not to thy estate,
1080A balance more replete.
Bertram
I take her hand.
King Good fortune and the favor of the king
Smile upon this contract, whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief
1085And be performed tonight; the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her,
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
Exeunt [King, Helen, and court.]
Paroles and Lafeu stay behind, commenting of this wedding.
Lafeu Do you hear, monsieur? A word with you.
Paroles Your pleasure, sir.
Lafeu Your lord and master did well to make his recantation.
1095Paroles Recantation? My lord? My master?
Lafeu Ay; is it not a language I speak?
Paroles A most harsh one, and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master?
Lafeu Are you companion to the Count Roussillon?
1100Paroles To any count, to all counts: to what is man.
Lafeu To what is count's man. Count's master is of another style.
Paroles You are too old, sir. Let it satisfy you, you are too old.
1105Lafeu I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man -- to which title age cannot bring thee.
Paroles What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
Lafeu I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of 1110thy travel, it might pass. Yet the scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not. Yet art thou good for nothing but taking up, and that thou'rt 1115scarce worth.
Paroles Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee --
Lafeu Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial; which if -- Lord have mercy on 1120thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well. Thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
Paroles My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
Lafeu Ay, with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.
1125Paroles I have not, my lord, deserved it.
Lafeu Yes, good faith, ev'ry dram of it, and I will not bate thee a scruple.
Paroles Well, I shall be wiser.
Lafeu Ev'n as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull 1130at a smack o' th' contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf and beaten, thou shall find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the default, 'He is a man I know.'
1135Paroles My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
Lafeu I would it were hell-pains for thy sake and my poor doing eternal; for doing I am past, as I will by thee in what motion age will give me leave. Exit.
1140Paroles Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me -- scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be patient: there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have 1145no more pity of his age than I would have of -- I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Enter Lafeu.
Lafeu Sirrah, your lord and master's married. There's news for you. You have a new mistress.
1150Paroles I most unfainedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs. He is my good lord; whom I serve above is my master.
Lafeu Who? God.
Paroles Ay, sir.
1155Lafeu The devil it is, that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms a' this fashion? Dost make hose of thy sleeves? Do other servants so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honor, if I were but two hours younger I'd beat thee. 1160Methink'st thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
Paroles This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
Lafeu Go to, sir. You were beaten in Italy for picking 1165a kernel out of a pomegranate. You are a vagabond and no true traveler. You are more saucy with lords and honorable personages than the commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.
1170
Exit.
Paroles Good, very good, it is so then. Good, very good, let it be concealed awhile.
Enter [Bertram,] Count [of] Roussillon.
Bertram Undone, and forfeited to cares forever!
1175Paroles What's the matter, sweetheart?
Bertram Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
I will not bed her.
Bertram Oh, my Paroles, they have married me.
1180I'll to the Tuscan war, and never bed her.
Paroles France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
The tread of a man's foot. To th'war!
Bertram There's letters from my mother; what th'import is,
I know not yet.
1185Paroles
Ay, that would be known.
To th'wars, my boy, to th'wars!
He wears his honor in a box unseen
That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
Spending his manly marrow in her arms
1190Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions!
France is a stable, we that dwell in't, jades;
Therefore, to th'war.
Bertram It shall be so. I'll 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 speak. His present gift
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
Where noble fellows strike. Wars is no strife
1200To the dark house and the detested wife.
Paroles Will this capriccio hold in thee, art sure?
Bertram Go with me to my chamber and advise me.
I'll send her straight away. Tomorrow,
I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
[Exit(?)]
1205Paroles Why, these balls bound, there's noise in it! 'Tis hard,
A young man married is a man that's marred.
Therefore, away, and leave her bravely, go:
The king has done you wrong, but hush 'tis so.
Exit.
[2.4]
Enter Helen [with a letter in hand] and Clown.
1210Helen My mother greets me kindly. Is she well?
Clown She is not well, but yet she has her health. She's very merry, but yet she is not well. But, thanks be given, she's very well, and wants nothing i'th'world. But yet she is not well.
1215Helen If she be very well, what does she ail that she's not very well?
Clown Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
Helen What two things?
Clown One, that she's not in heaven -- whither God send 1220 her quickly; the other, that she's in earth -- from whence God send her quickly.
Enter Paroles.
Paroles Bless you, my fortunate lady.
Helen I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine 1225own good fortune.
Paroles You had my prayers to lead them on, and to keep them on, have them still. -- O my knave, how does my old lady?
Clown So that you had her wrinkles and I her money, 1230I would she did as you say.
Paroles Why, I say nothing.
Clown Marry, you are the wiser man, for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing. To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, 1235is to be a great part of your title, which is within a very little of nothing.
Paroles Away, thou'rt a knave.
Clown You should have said, sir, 'Before a knave, th'art a knave' -- that's 'before me th'art a knave.' This had been 1240truth, sir.
Paroles Go to, thou art a witty fool. I have found thee.
Clown Did you find me in yourself, sir, or were you taught to find me?
[Paroles does not reply.]
1245Clown The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.
Paroles A good knave, i'faith, and well fed.
Madam, my lord will go away tonight;
1250A very serious business calls on him.
The great prerogative and rite of love,
Which, as your due time claims, he does acknowledge,
But puts it off to a compelled restraint,
Whose want and whose delay is strewed with sweets
1255Which they distill now in the curbèd time
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy,
And pleasure drown the brim.
Helen
What's his will else?
Paroles That you will take your instant leave o'th'king,
1260And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
Strengthened with what apology you think
May make it probable need.
1265
Exit Paroles.
Exit [Helen with Clown].
Enter Lafeu and Bertram.
127012751280
Enter Paroles.
1285[To Bertram][To Bertram]1290[Aside to Paroles]12951300 [To Paroles]130513101315[To Paroles]13201325
Enter Helen [with an Attendant].
133013351340[Giving her a letter]13451350135513601365[To Attendant][To Paroles]
Exit [Helen with Attendant].
1370
Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, the two French Lords, with a troop of soldiers.
137513801385139013951400
Flourish. [Exeunt.]
Enter Countess[, with a letter,] and Clown.
14051410
[She opens and reads the letter.]
1415
Exit.
1420
[She reads] a letter.
14251430
Enter Clown.
143514401445
Enter Helen and two Gentlemen.
1450[To Helen]1455[She shows the letter to the Countess and reads from it.]14601465[To Helen]1470[To the Gentlemen.]1475148014851490149515001505
Exit [Countess with the Gentlemen].
151015151520152515301535
Exit.
Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, [Bertram, Count of] Roussillon, 1540[with] drum and trumpets, Soldiers, [and] Paroles.
[To Bertram]15451550
Exeunt omnes.
1555
Enter Countess and Steward.
[He reads the] letter.156015651570157515801585159015951600
Exeunt.
A tucket afar off
Enter Old Widow of Florence, her daughter [Diana], Violenta, and Mariana, with other 1605citizens.
1610[Another tucket.]161516201625163016351640
Enter Helen [disguised as a pilgrim].
1645A march afar16501655166016651670
1675Helen
Oh, I believe with him.
Paroles That, having this obtained, you presently
1265Attend his further pleasure.
Helen In everything, I wait upon his will.
Paroles I shall report it so.
Exit Paroles.
Helen I pray you. -- Come, sirrah.
Exit [Helen with Clown].
[2.5]
Enter Lafeu and Bertram.
1270Lafeu But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
Bertram Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
Lafeu You have it from his own deliverance.
Bertram And by other warranted testimony.
1275Lafeu Then my dial goes not true; I took this lark for a bunting.
Bertram I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in knowledge, and accordingly valiant.
Lafeu I have then sinned against his experience and 1280transgressed against his valor, and my state that way is dangerous since I cannot yet find in my heart to repent. Here he comes. I pray you make us friends. I will pursue the amity.
Enter Paroles.
1285Paroles [To Bertram] These things shall be done, sir.
Lafeu [To Bertram] Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?
Paroles Sir!
Lafeu Oh, I know him well, ay, "Sir." He, sir, 's a good workman, a very good tailor.
1290Bertram [Aside to Paroles] Is she gone to the king?
Paroles She is.
Bertram Will she away tonight?
Paroles As you'll have her.
Bertram I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
1295Given order for our horses, and tonight,
When I should take possession of the bride,
End ere I doe begin.
Lafeu A good traveler is something at the latter end of a dinner, but one that lies three-thirds and uses a 1300known truth to pass a thousand nothings with should be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
Bertram [To Paroles] Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
1305Paroles I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's displeasure.
Lafeu You have made shift to run into't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leapt into the custard; and out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer question 1310for your residence.
Bertram It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
Lafeu And shall do so ever, though I took him at's prayers. Fare you well, my lord, and believe this of me: there can be no kernel in this light nut. The soul 1315of this man is his clothes; trust him not in matter of heavy consequence. I have kept of them tame and know their natures. -- [To Paroles] Farewell, monsieur; I have spoken better of you than you have or will to deserve at my hand, but we must do good against evil.
[Exit Lafeu.]
1320Paroles An idle lord, I swear.
Bertram I think so.
Paroles Why, do you not know him?
Bertram Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
1325
Enter Helen [with an Attendant].
Helen I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
Spoke with the King, and have procured his leave
For present parting; only he desires
Some private speech with you.
1330Bertram
I shall obey his will.
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Which holds not color with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular. Prepared I was not
1335For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat you
That presently you take your way for home,
And rather muse then ask why I entreat you;
For my respects are better than they seem,
1340And my appointments have in them a need
Greater than shows itself at the first view
To you that know them not. [Giving her a letter] This to my mother.
'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.
1345Helen
Sir, I can nothing say
But that I am your most obedient servant --
Bertram
Come, come, no more of that.
Helen
-- And ever shall,
With true observance, seek to eke out that
1350Wherein toward me my homely stars have failed
To equal my great fortune.
Bertram
Let that go.
My haste is very great. Farewell. Hie home.
Helen
Pray, sir, your pardon.
Helen I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
Nor dare I say 'tis mine -- And yet it is --
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
What law does vouch mine own.
1360Bertram
What would you have?
Helen Something, and scarce so much -- nothing indeed.
I would not tell you what I would, my lord:
Faith, yes --
Strangers and foes do sunder and not kiss.
Bertram I pray you stay not, but in haste to horse.
1365Helen I shall not break your bidding, good my lord. -- [To Attendant] Where are my other men? -- [To Paroles] Monsieur, farewell.
Exit [Helen with Attendant].
Bertram Go thou toward home, where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away, and for our flight.
1370Paroles
Bravely. Corragio!
3.1
Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, the two French Lords, with a troop of soldiers.
Duke So that from point to point, now have you heard
1375The fundamental reasons of this war,
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
And more thirsts after.
1 Lord
Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
1380On the opposer.
Duke Therefore we marvel much our cousin France
Would in so just a business shut his bosom
Against our borrowing prayers.
1 Lord
Good my lord,
1385The reasons of our state I cannot yield
But like a common and an outward man
That the great figure of a council frames
By self-unable motion; therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, since I have found
1390Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guessed.
Duke
Be it his pleasure.
2 Lord But I am sure the younger of our nature,
That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
1395Come here for physic.
Duke
Welcome shall they be,
And all the honors that can fly from us
Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
When better fall, for your avails they fell.
1400Tomorrow to th' field.
Flourish. [Exeunt.]
[3.2]
Enter Countess[, with a letter,] and Clown.
Countess It hath happened all as I would have had it, save that he comes not along with her.
Clown By my troth I take my young lord to be a 1405very melancholy man.
Countess By what observance, I pray you?
Clown Why, he will look upon his boot and sing, mend the ruff and sing, ask questions and sing, pick his teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of 1410melancholy, sold a goodly manor for a song.
Countess Let me see what he writes and when he means to come.
[She opens and reads the letter.]
Clown I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court. Our old lings and our Isbels o'th' country are nothing 1415like your old ling and your Isbels o'th' court. The brains of my Cupid's knocked out, and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
Countess What have we here?
Clown E'en that you have there.
Exit.
1420Countess:
[She reads] a letter.
I have sent you a daughter-in-law. She hath recovered the King, and undone me: I have wedded her, not bedded her, and sworn to make the "not" eternal. You shall hear I am run away. Know it before the report come. If there be 1425breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you. Your unfortunate son, Bertram.
This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,
To fly the favors of so good a king,
1430To pluck his indignation on thy head
By the misprising of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.
Enter Clown.
Clown Oh, madam, yonder is heavy news within 1435between two soldiers and my young lady.
Countess What is the matter?
Clown Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort. Your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.
1440Countess Why should he be killed?
Clown So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does. The danger is in standing to't: that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come will tell you more. For my part I only hear your 1445son was run away.
Enter Helen and two Gentlemen.
2 Gentleman Save you, good madam.
Helen Madam, my lord is gone, forever gone.
1 Gentleman Do not say so.
1450Countess [To Helen] Think upon patience, pray you. -- Gentlemen,
I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief
That the first face of neither on the start
Can woman me unto't. Where is my son, I pray you?
1 Gentleman Madam, he's gone to serve the Duke of Flo1455rence.
We met him thitherward, for thence we came,
And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
Thither we bend again.
Helen Look on his letter, madam. Here's my passport. [She shows the letter to the Countess and reads from it.]
1460
When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body that I am father to, then call me husband, but in such a "then" I write a "never."
This is a dreadful sentence.
1465Countess Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
1 Gentleman Ay, madam, and for the contents' sake are sorry for our pains.
Countess [To Helen] I prithee, lady, have a better cheer.
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
1470Thou robb'st me of a moiety. He was my son,
But I do wash his name out of my blood,
And thou art all my child. -- [To the Gentlemen.] Towards Florence, is he?
1 Gentleman
Ay, madam.
Countess
And to be a soldier?
14751 Gentleman Such is his noble purpose, and, believe 't,
The duke will lay upon him all the honor
That good convenience claims.
Countess
Return you thither?
2 Gentleman Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
1480Helen
Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.
'Tis bitter.
Countess
Find you that there?
Helen
Ay, madam.
2 Gentleman 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which 1485his heart was not consenting to.
Countess Nothing in France, until he have no wife.
There's nothing here that is too good for him
But only she, and she deserves a lord
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
1490And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
2 Gentleman A servant only, and a gentleman which I have sometime known.
Countess
Paroles, was it not?
2 Gentleman
Ay, my good lady, he.
1495Countess A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
My son corrupts a well-derivèd nature
With his inducement.
2 Gentleman Indeed, good lady, the fellow has a deal of that, too much, which holds him much to have.
1500Countess You're welcome, gentlemen.
I will entreat you when you see my son
To tell him that his sword can never win
The honor that he loses. More I'll entreat you
Written to bear along.
1 Gentleman
We serve you, madam,
In that and all your 1505worthiest affairs.
Countess Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
Will you draw near?
Exit [Countess with the Gentlemen].
Helen
"Till I have no wife I have nothing in France."
Nothing in France until he has no wife.
1510Thou shalt have none, Roussillon, none in France;
Then hast thou all again. Poor lord, is't I
That chase thee from thy country and expose
Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-sparing war? And is it I
1515That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Wast shot at with faire eyes, to be the mark
Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers
That ride vpon the violent speed of fire,
Fly with false aim, move the still-pearing air
1520That sings with piercing, do not touch my lord!
Whoever shoots at him, I set him there.
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
I am the caitiff that do hold him to 't,
And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
1525His death was so effected: Better 'twere
I met the ravin lion when he roared
With sharp constraint of hunger. Better 'twere
That all the miseries which nature owes
Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Roussillon,
1530Whence honor but of danger wins a scar
As oft it loses all. I will be gone.
My being here it is that holds thee hence.
Shall I stay here to do 't? No, no, although
The air of paradise did fan the house
1535And angels officed all: I will be gone,
That pitiful rumor may report my flight
To consolate thine ear. Come, night, end day,
For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.
Exit.
[3.3]
Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, [Bertram, Count of] Roussillon, 1540[with] drum and trumpets, Soldiers, [and] Paroles.
Duke [To Bertram] The general of our horse thou art, and we,
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Upon thy promising fortune.
Bertram
Sir, it is
1545A charge too heavy for my strength, but yet
We'll strive to bear it, for your worthy sake,
To th' extreme edge of hazard.
Duke
Then go thou forth,
And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm
1550As thy auspicious mistress.
Bertram
This very day,
Great Mars, I put myself into thy file:
Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove
A lover of thy drum, hater of love.
Exeunt omnes.
[3.4]
1555
Enter Countess and Steward.
Countess Alas! And would you take the letter of her?
Might you not know she would do, as she has done,
By sending me a letter? Read it again.
Steward [He reads the] letter. 1560
I am St Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone.
Ambitious love hath so in me offended
That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon
With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
1565My dearest master, your dear son, may hie.
Bless him at home in peace. Whilst I from far
His name with zealous fervor sanctify,
His taken labors bid him me forgive;
I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
1570From courtly friends with camping foes to live,
Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth.
He is too good and fair for death and me,
Whom I myself embrace to set him free.
Countess Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words?
1575Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much
As letting her pass so. Had I spoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus she hath prevented.
Steward
Pardon me, madam.
1580If I had given you this at overnight,
She might have been o'erta'en. And yet she writes
Pursuit would be but vain.
Countess
What angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband? He cannot thrive
1585Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
1590That he does weigh too light. My greatest grief,
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Dispatch the most convenient messenger.
When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
He will return, and hope I may that she,
1595Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
To make distinction. Provide this messenger.
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
1600Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.
Exeunt.
[3.5]
A tucket afar off
Enter Old Widow of Florence, her daughter [Diana], Violenta, and Mariana, with other 1605citizens.
Widow Nay, come, for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
Diana They say the French count has done 1610most honorable service.
Widow It is reported that he has taken their great'st commander, and that with his own hand he slew the Duke's brother. [Another tucket.] We have lost our 1615labor;they are gone a contrary way. Hark, you may know by their trumpets.
Mariana Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. -- Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl: 1620the honor of a maid is her name, and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
Widow I have told my neighbor how you have been solicited by a gentleman, 1625his companion.
Mariana I know that knave, hang him, one Paroles! A filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl. Beware of them, Diana. Their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust are 1630not the things they go under. Many a maid hath been seduced by them, and the misery is example that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood cannot, for all that, dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threatens them. I hope I need 1635not to advise you further, but I hope your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger known but the modesty which is so lost.
Diana You shall not need to fear me.
1640
Enter Helen [disguised as a pilgrim].
Widow I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim. I know she will lie at my house; thither they send one another. I'll question her. -- God save you, pilgrim. Whither are bound?
1645Helen To St. Jaques le grand.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
Widow At the St Francis here beside the port.
Helen
Is this the way?
Widow
Ay, marry, is't. A march afar
Hark you, they come this way. 1650If you will tarry,
Holy pilgrim, but till the troops come by,
I will conduct you where you shall be lodged,
The rather for I think I know your hostess
As ample as myself.
1655Helen
Is it yourself?
Widow If you shall please so, pilgrim.
Helen I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
Widow
You came, I think, from France?
Helen
I did so.
1660Widow Here you shall see a countryman of yours
That has done worthy service.
Helen
His name, I pray you?
Diana The Count Roussillon. Know you such a one?
Helen But by the ear that hears most nobly of him.
1665His face I know not.
Diana
Whatsome'er he is,
He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
As 'tis reported, for the King had married him
Against his liking. Think you it is so?
1670Helen Ay, surely, mere the truth. I know his lady.
Diana There is a gentleman that serves the count
Reports but coarsely of her.
Helen
What's his name?
Diana
Monsieur Paroles.
1675Helen
Oh, I believe with him.
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Of the great count himself, she is too mean
To have her name repeated. All her deserving
Is a reservèd honesty, and that
1680I have not heard examined.
Diana
Alas, poor lady!
'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
Of a detesting lord.
Widow I write good creature; wheresoe'er she is,
1685Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might do her
A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
Helen
How do you mean?
Maybe the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose?
1690Widow
He does, indeed,
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honor of a maid:
But she is armed for him and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.
1695
Drum and colors
Enter [Bertram,] Count [of] Roussillon, Paroles, and the whole army.
Mariana
The gods forbid else.
Enter [Bertram,] Count [of] Roussillon, Paroles, and the whole army.
Widow So, now they come:
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
1700That, Escalus.
Helen
Which is the Frenchman?
Diana
He,
That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow.
I would he loved his wife. If he were honester,
1705He were much goodlier. Is 't not a handsome gentleman?
Helen I like him well.
Diana 'Tis pity he is not honest. Yond's that same knave
That leads him to these places. Were I his lady,
I would poison that vile rascal.
1710Helen
Which is he?
Diana That jackanapes with scarfs. Why is he melancholy?
Helen Perchance he's hurt i'th' battle.
Paroles Lose our drum? Well.
1715Mariana He's shrewdly vexed at something. Look, he has spied us.
Widow Marry, hang you!
Mariana And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier.
[Exeunt Bertram, Paroles, and army.]
Widow The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring 1720you
Where you shall host. Of enjoined penitents
There's four or five, to great St Jaques bound,
Already at my house.
Helen
I humbly thank you.
Please it this matron and this gentle maid
1725To eat with us tonight, the charge and thanking
Shall be for me, and to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts of this virgin
Worthy the note.
Both
We'll take your offer kindly.
Exeunt.
[3.6]
1730
Enter [Bertram,] Count [of] Roussillon and the French Lords, as at first.
2 Lord Nay, good my lord, put him to 't. Let him have his way.
1 Lord If your lordship find him not a [A4]hilding, 1735hold me no more in your respect.
2 Lord On my life, my lord, a bubble.
Bertram Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
2 Lord Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct 1740knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment.
17451 Lord It were fit you knew him, lest reposing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.
Bertram I would I knew in what particular action to try 1750him.
1 Lord None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
2 Lord I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly 1755surprize him. Such I will have whom I am sure he knows not from the enemy. We will bind and hoodwink him so that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries when we bring him to our own 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 fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgment in 1765anything.
1 Lord Oh, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum! He says he has a stratagem for 't. When your lordship sees the bottom of this success in 't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be 1770melted if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.
Enter Paroles.
2 Lord [Aside to Bertram] Oh, for the love of laughter, hinder not the honor of his design! -- [Aloud] Let him fetch off his drum in any 1775hand.
Bertram How now, monsieur? This drum sticks sorely in your disposition.
1 Lord A pox on 't, let it go! 'Tis but a drum.
Paroles But a drum! Is't but a drum? A drum so 1780lost? There was excellent command, to charge in with our horse upon our own wings and to rend our own soldiers.
1 Lord That was not to be blamed in the command of the service. It was a disaster of war that Caesar 1785himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.
Bertram Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success. Some dishonor we had in the loss of that drum, but it is not to be recovered.
1790Paroles It might have been recovered.
Bertram It might, but it is not now.
Paroles It is to be recovered. But that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or hic 1795iacet.
Bertram Why, if you have a stomach, to 't, monsieur. If you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honor again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise and go on. I will grace 1800the attempt for a worthy exploit. If you speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worthiness.
Paroles By the hand of a soldier I will undertake it.
1805Bertram But you must not now slumber in it.
Paroles I'll about it this evening, and I will presently pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation -and by midnight look to hear further from me.
1810Bertram May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?
Paroles I know not what the success will be, my lord, but the attempt I vow.
Bertram I know th'art valiant, 1815and to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
Paroles I love not many words.
Exit.
2 Lord No more than a fish loves water. Is not this a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems to 1820undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done, damns himself to do, and dares better be damned than to do 't?
1 Lord You do not know him, my lord, as we do. Certain it is that he will steal himself into a man's 1825favor, and for a week escape a great deal of discoveries, but when you find him out, you have him ever after.
Bertram Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of this that so seriously he does address himself 1830unto?
2 Lord None in the world, but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies. But we have almost embossed him. You shall see his fall tonight, for indeed he is not for your lordship's 1835respect.
1 Lord We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old Lord Lafeu. When his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him, which you shall see this 1840very night.
2 Lord I must go look my twigs. He shall be caught.
Bertram [To 1 Lord] Your brother he shall go along with me.
2 Lord As 't please your lordship. I'll leave you.
[Exit.]
1845Bertram Now will I lead you to the house, and show you
The lass I spoke of.
1 Lord
But you say she's honest.
Bertram That's all the fault. I spoke with her but once,
And found her wondrous cold, but I sent to her
1850By this same coxcomb that we have i'th'wind
Tokens and letters, which she did resend,
And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature.
Will you go see her?
1 Lord
With all my heart, my lord.
Exeunt.
[3.7]
1855
Enter Helen, and Widow.
Helen If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
I know not how I shall assure you further,
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
Widow Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
1860Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.
Helen
Nor would I wish you.
First give me trust: the count he is my husband,
1865And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Err in bestowing it.
Widow
I should believe you,
1870For you have showed me that which well approves
You're great in fortune.
Helen
Take this purse of gold,
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay and pay again
1875When I have found it. The count he woos your daughter,
Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolves to carry her. Let her in fine consent
As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it.
1880Now his important blood will naught deny
That she'll demand: a ring the county wears,
That downward hath succeeded in his house
From son to son some four or five descents
Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds
1885In most rich choice. Yet in his idle fire
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.
Widow Now I see the bottom of your purpose.
Helen You see it lawful then. It is no more
1890But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;
In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
Herself most chastely absent. After,
To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
1895To what is passed already.
Widow
I have yielded.
Instruct my daughter how she shall persever
That time and place with this deceit so lawful
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
1900With musics of all sorts and songs composed
To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us
To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
As if his life lay on 't.
Helen
Why then, to night
1905Let us assay our plot, which, if it speed,
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed;
And lawful meaning in a lawful OR wicked act, Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
But let's about it.
[Exeunt.]
1910
4[.1]
Enter one of the [French Lords, 2 Lord], with five or six other soldiers in ambush.
2 Lord He can come no other way but by this hedgecorner. When you sally upon him, speak what terrible 1915language you will; though you understand it not your selves, no matter, for we must not seem to understand him, unless someone among us, whom we must produce for an interpreter.
1 Soldier Good captain, let me be th'interpreter.
19202 Lord Art not acquainted with him? Knows he not thy voice?
1 Soldier No sir, I warrant you.
2 Lord But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
19251 Soldier E'en such as you speak to me.
2 Lord He must think us some band of strangers, i'th'adversary's entertainment. Now, he hath a smack of all neighboring languages; therefore, we must every one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we speak 1930one to another; so we seem to know is to know straight our purpose: choughs' language, gabble enough, and good enough. -- [To Soldier 1] As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. -- [To all] But couch, ho! Here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear 1935the lies he forges.
Enter Paroles.
Paroles [Call or horn marking the hour] Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries 1940it: they begin to smoke me, and disgraces have of late knocked too often at my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy, but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it, and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.
19452 Lord [Aside] This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.
Paroles What the devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I 1950must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in exploit. Yet slight ones will not carry it: they will say, "Came you off with so little?" And great ones I dare not give. Wherefore what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth and buy myself 1955another of Bajazeth's mute if you prattle me into these perils.
2 Lord [Aside] Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?
Paroles I would the cutting of my garments would serve 1960the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
2 Lord [Aside] We cannot afford you so.
Paroles Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in stratagem.
2 Lord [Aside] 'Twould not do.
1965Paroles Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
2 Lord [Aside] Hardly serve.
Paroles Though I swore I leapt from the window of the citadel --
2 Lord [Aside] How deep?
1970Paroles Thirty fathom.
2 Lord [Aside] Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
Paroles I would I had any drum of the enemy's; I would swear I recovered it.
19752 Lord [Aside] You shall hear one anon.
Paroles A drum now of the enemy's --
Alarum within
2 Lord Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
Soldiers Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.
1980Paroles
Oh, ransom, ransom! [They blindfold him with his own scarf.]
Do not hide mine eyes.
1 Soldier Boskos thromuldo boskos.
Paroles I know you are the Musco's regiment,
And I shall lose my life for want of language.
1985If there be here German or Dane, Low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speak to me:
I'll discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter": Boskos vauvado. I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue. Kerelybonto. Sir, betake thee to thy faith, for 1990seventeen poiniards are at thy bosom.
Paroles Oh!
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Oh, pray, pray, pray! Manka reuania dulche.
2 Lord Oscorbidulchos voliuorco.
19951 Soldier OR "Interpreter" The general is content to spare thee yet,
And, hoodwinked as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee. Haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.
Paroles
Oh, let me live,
2000And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Their force, their purposes. Nay, I'll speak that,
Which you will wonder at.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter"
But wilt thou faithfully?
Paroles
If I do not, damn me.
20051 Soldier OR "Interpreter"
Acordo linta.
Come on; thou are granted space.
Exeunt [with Paroles].
A short alarum within
2 Lord Go tell the Count Roussillon and my brother
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
2010Till we do hear from them.
2 Soldier
Captain I will.
2 Lord A will betray us all unto ourselves.
Inform on that.
2 SOLDIER
So I will sir.
20152 Lord Till then I'll keep him dark and safely locked.
Exeunt.
[4.2]
Enter Bertram and the maid called Diana.
Bertram They told me that your name was Fontybell.
2020Diana
, No, my good lord, Diana.
Bertram
Titled goddess,
And worth it with addition. But, fair soul,
In your fine frame hath love no quality?
If the quick fire of youth light not your mind,
2025You are no maiden but a monument.
When you are dead you should be such a one
As you are now, for you are cold and stern,
And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet self was got.
2030Diana
She then was honest.
Bertram
So should you be.
Diana
No;
My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.
2035Bertram No more o'that!
I prithee do not strive against my vows;
I was compelled to her, but I love thee
By love's own sweet constraint, and will forever
Do thee all rights of service.
2040Diana
Ay, so you serve us
Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
And mock us with our bareness.
Bertram
How have I sworn?
2045Diana 'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vowed true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the high'st to witness? Then pray you tell me,
If I should swear by Jove's great attributes
2050I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love
That I will work against him. Therefore your oaths
Are words and poor conditions but unsealed,
2055At least in my opinion.
Bertram
Change it, change it!
Be not so holy cruel. Love is holy,
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
2060But give thyself unto my sick desires,
Who then recovers. Say thou art mine, and ever
My love as it begins shall so persever.
Diana I see that men make ropes in such a scar
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
2065Bertram I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
To give it from me.
Diana
Will you not my Lord?
Bertram It is an honor 'longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
2070Which were the greatest obloquy i'th'world
In me to lose.
Diana
Mine honor's such a ring.
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
2075Which were the greatest obloquy i'th'world,
In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honor on my part,
Against your vain assault.
Bertram
Here, take my ring!
2080My house, mine honor, yea, my life be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.
Diana When midnight comes, knock at my chamber window;
I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
2085Now will I charge you in the band of truth:
When you have conquered my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me.
My reasons are most strong, and you shall know them
When back again this ring shall be delivered.
2090And on your finger in the night, I'll put
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu till then, then fail not; you have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
2095Bertram A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
Exit.
Diana For which live long to thank both heaven and me.
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo,
As if she sat in's heart. She says all men
2100Have the like oaths. He had sworn to marry me
When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I live and die a maid.
Only in this disguise, I think't no sin,
2105To cozen him that would unjustly win.
Exit.
[4.3]
Enter the two French Lords, [1 Lord and 2 Lord,] and some two or three Soldiers.
1 Lord You have not given him his mother's letter?
2 Lord I have delivered it an hour since. There is 2110something in't that stings his nature, for on the reading it he changed almost into another man.
1 Lord He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord Especially he hath incurred the everlasting 2115displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
1 Lord When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
21202 Lord He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown, and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honor. He hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
21251 Lord Now God delay our rebellion! As we are ourselves, what things are we?
2 Lord Merely our own traitors. And, as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves till they attain to their abhorred ends, so 2130he that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
1 Lord Is it not meant damnable in us to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company tonight?
21352 Lord Not till after midnight, for he is dieted to his hour.
1 Lord That approaches apace. I would gladly have him see his company anatomized, that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously 2140he had set this counterfeit.
2 Lord We will not meddle with him till he come, for his presence must be the whip of the other.
1 Lord In the meantime, what hear you of these wars?
21452 Lord I hear there is an overture of peace.
1 Lord Nay, I assure you a peace concluded.
2 Lord What will Count Roussillon do then? Will he travel higher, or return again into France?
1 Lord I perceive by this demand, you are not 2150altogether of his counsel.
2 Lord Let it be forbid, sir. So should I be a great deal of his act.
1 Lord Sir, his wife some two months since fled from his house. Her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint 2155Jacques le Grand, which holy undertaking, with most austere sanctimony, she accomplished; and there residing, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven.
21602 Lord How is this justified?
1 Lord The stronger part of it by her own letters, which makes her story true, even to the point of her death. Her death itself, which could not be her office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector 2165of the place.
2 Lord Hath the count all this intelligence?
1 Lord Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.
2 Lord I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of 2170this.
1 Lord How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses.
2 Lord And how mightily some other times we drown our gain in tears. The great dignity that his 2175valor hath here acquired for him shall at home be encountered with a shame as ample.
1 Lord The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together. Our virtues would be proud if our faults whipped them not, and our crimes would 2180despair if they were not cherished by our virtues. Enter a Messenger How now? Where's your master?
Messenger: He met the duke in the street sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave. His lordship will next 2185morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.
2 Lord They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
Enter Bertram, Count Roussillon.
21901 Lord: They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. --How now, my lord, is't not after midnight?
Bertram I have tonight dispatched sixteen businesses, a month's length apiece. By an abstract of success: I 2195have congied with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest, buried a wife, mourned for her, writ to my lady mother I am returning, entertained my convoy, and, between these main parcels of dispatch, affected many nicer needs. The last was the greatest, but that I have 2200not ended yet.
2 Lord If the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.
Bertram I mean the business is not ended, as fearing 2205to hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue between the fool and the soldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit module; he's deceived me like a double-meaning prophesier.
2 Lord [To soldiers] Bring him forth. [Exeunt some soldiers.] He's sat i'th'stocks all night, 2210poor gallant knave.
Bertram No matter: his heels have deserved it in usurping his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
2 Lord I have told your lordship already: the stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be 2215understood, he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk. He hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance to this very instant disaster of his setting i'th'stocks. And what think you he hath confessed?
2220Bertram Nothing of me, has'a?
2 Lord His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his face; if your lordship be in't, as I believe you are, you must have the patience to hear it.
Enter Paroles[, blindfolded and guarded,] with his Interpreter[, 1 Soldier]
2225Bertram [Aside] A plague upon him! Muffled! He can say nothing of me. -- Hush, hush!
1 Lord [Aside to the others] Hoodman comes. [Aloud] Portotartarossa.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" [To Paroles] He calls for the tortures. What will you say without 'em?
2230Paroles I will confess what I know without constraint. If ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Bosko Chimurcho.
1 Lord Boblibindo chicurmurco.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" You are a merciful general. -- Our general 2235bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
Paroles And truly, as I hope to live.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" [Pretends to read] "First, demand of him how many horse the duke is strong." What say you to that?
Paroles Five or six thousand, but very weak and 2240unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to live.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Shall I set down your answer so?
Paroles Do; I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which 2245way you will.
Bertram [Aside to the Lords] All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
1 Lord [Aside to Bertram and 2 Lord] You're deceived, my lord, this is Monsieur Paroles, the gallant militarist -- that was his own phrase -- that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his 2250scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.
2 Lord [Aside to Bertram and 1 Lord] I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword clean, nor believe he can have everything in him by wearing his apparel neatly.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Well, that's set down.
2255Paroles 'Five or six thousand horse,' I said -- I will say true -- 'or thereabouts,' set down, for I'll speak truth.
1 Lord [Aside to Bertram and 2 Lord] He's very near the truth in this.
Bertram [Aside to the Lords] But I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he delivers it.
2260Paroles "Poor rogues," I pray you say.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Well, that's set down.
Paroles I humbly thank you, sir. A truth's a truth: the rogues are marvelous poor.
1 Soldier OR 'Interpreter'" [Pretends to read] "Demand of him of what strength they are 2265afoot." What say you to that?
Paroles By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick and Gratii, two 2270hundred fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred fifty each. So that the muster file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll, half of the which dare not shake the snow from off their cassocks least they shake 2275themselves to pieces.
Bertram What shall be done to him?
1 Lord Nothing but let him have thanks. -- [To 1 Soldier] Demand of him my condition, and what credit I have with the duke.
22801 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Well, that's set down. [Pretends to read] 'You shall demand of him whether one Captain Dumaine be i'th'camp, a Frenchman, what his reputation is with the duke, what his valor, honesty, and expertness in wars, or whether he thinks it were not possible with well-weighing 2285sums of gold to corrupt him to a revolt.' What say you to this? What do you know of it?
Paroles I beseech you let me answer to the particular of the inter'gatories. Demand them singly.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Do you know this Captain Dumaine?
2290Paroles I know him; a was a botcher's prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the sherriff's fool with child, a dumb innocent that could not say him nay.
[1 Lord moves to strike Paroles]
Bertram [Aside to 1 Lord] Nay, by your leave, hold your hands, though I 2295know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Well, is this captain in the Duke of Florence's camp?
Paroles Upon my knowledge he is, and lousy.
1 Lord [To Bertram] Nay, look not so upon me. We shall hear of 2300your lordship anon.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" What is his reputation with the duke?
Paroles The duke knows him for no other but a poor officer of mine, and writ to me this other day to turn him out o'th'band. I think I have his letter in my 2305pocket.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Marry, we'll search.
Paroles In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there or it is upon a file with the duke's other letters in my tent.
23101 Soldier OR 'Interpreter'" Here 'tis, here's a paper. Shall I read it to you?
Paroles I do not know if it be it or no.
Bertram [Aside to the Lords] Our interpreter does it well.
1 Lord [Aside to Bertram] Excellently.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" [Reads] Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold.
2315Paroles That is not the duke's letter, sir; that is an advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana, to take heed of the allurement of one Count Roussillon, a foolish idle boy, but for all that very ruttish. I pray you, sir, put it up again.
23201 Soldier OR "Interpreter" Nay, I'll read it first, by your favor.
Paroles My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the behalf of the maid, for I knew the young count to be a dangerous and lascivious boy who is a whale to virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds.
2325Bertram [Aside] Damnable both-sides rogue!
1 Soldier OR 'Interpreter'" [Reads the letter.] "When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
After he scores, he never pays the score.
Half won is match well made; match, and well make it.
2330He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before,
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this:
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss.
For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it,
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
2335Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,
Paroles."
Bertram [Aside] He shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme in's forehead.
2 Lord [Aside to Bertram] This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold 2340linguist, and the armipotent soldier.
Bertram [Aside] I could endure anything before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" I perceive, sir, by your general's looks, we shall be fain to hang you.
2345Paroles My life, sir, in any case! Not that I am afraid to die, but, that my offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of nature. Let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i'th'stocks, or anywhere, so I may live.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" We'll see what may be done, so you confess 2350freely; therefore, once more to this Captain Dumaine. You have answered to his reputation with the duke, and to his valor. What is his honesty?
Paroles He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister. For rapes and ravishments, he parallels Nessus. He professes 2355not keeping of oaths -- in breaking 'em he is stronger than Hercules. He will lie, sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth were a fool. Drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk, and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bedclothes about him; 2360but they know his conditions, and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty. He has every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.
1 Lord [Aside tp Bertram] I begin to love him for this.
2365Bertram [Aside to 1 Lord] For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon him for me; he's more and more a cat.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" What say you to his expertness in war?
Paroles Faith, sir, he's led the drum before the English tragedians. To belie him I will not, and more of his 2370soldiership I know not, except in that country, he had the honor to be the officer at a place there called Mile End, to instruct for the doubling of files. I would do the man what honor I can, but of this I am not certain.
1 Lord [Aside] He hath out-villained villainy so far that the 2375rarity redeems him.
Bertram [Aside] A pox on him; he's a cat still.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" His qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
Paroles Sir, for a cardecu he will sell the fee-simple of 2380his salvation, the inheritance of it, and cut th'entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" What's his brother, the other Captain Dumaine?
2 Lord [Aside to 1 Lord] Why does he ask him of me?
23851 Soldier OR "Interpreter" What's he?
Paroles E'en a crow a'th'same nest: not altogether so great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil. He excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreat, he 2390outruns any lackey. Marry, in coming on, he has the cramp.
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
Paroles Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count Roussillon.
23951 Soldier OR "Interpreter" I'll whisper with the general and know his pleasure.
Paroles I'll no more drumming; a plague of all drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy the count, have I run 2400into this danger. Yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
1 Soldier OR "Interpreter" There is no remedy, sir, but you must die. The general says you that have so traitorously discovered the secrets of your army, and made such pestiferous 2405reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use. Therefore you must die. -- Come headsman, off with his head.
Paroles Oh Lord, sir! Let me live, or let me see my death.
1 Soldier That shall you, and take your leave of all your 2410friends. [He removes Paroles' blindfold.] So, look about you. Know you any here?
Bertram Good morrow, noble captain.
2 Lord God bless you, Captain Paroles.
1 Lord God save you, noble captain.
24152 Lord Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu? I am for France.
1 Lord Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Roussillon? And I were not a very coward, I'd compel 2420it of you, but fare you well.
Exeunt [Bertram, 1 Lord, and 2 Lord].
1 Soldier You are undone, captain, all but your scarf that has a knot on't yet.
Paroles Who cannot be crushed with a plot?
1 Soldier If you could find out a country where but 2425women were that had received so much shame, you might begin an impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir, I am for France too. We shall speak of you there.
Exit [with other soldiers].
Paroles Yet am I thankful. If my heart were great
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more,
2430But I will eat, and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall. Simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass,
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
2435Rust, sword; cool, blushes; and Paroles live
Safest in shame. Being fooled, by fool'ry thrive;
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.
Exit.
[4.4]
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.
2455Widow
Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.
Helen
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.
Diana
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions; I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
Helen
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.
Exeunt.
[4.5]
Enter Clown, [Countess], and Lafeu.
Lafeu No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipped-taffeta fellow there, whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his 2485color. Your daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
Countess I would I had not known him; it was the death 2490of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken of my flesh and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Lafeu 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady. We 2495may pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.
Clown Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather the herb of grace.
Lafeu They are not herbs, you knave, they are 2500nose-herbs.
Clown I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir: I have not much skill in grace.
Lafeu Whether dost thou profess thyself -- a knave or a fool?
2505Clown A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
Lafeu Your distinction?
Clown I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
2510Lafeu So you were a knave at his service indeed.
Clown And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
Lafeu I will subscribe for thee: thou art both knave and fool.
2515Clown At your service.
Lafeu No, no, no.
Clown Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
Lafeu Who's that? A Frenchman?
2520Clown Faith, sir, a has an English mane OR mien OR meinie, but his phys'nomy is more hotter in France than there.
Lafeu What prince is that?
Clown The black prince, sir, alias the prince of darkness, alias the devil.
2525Lafeu Hold thee, there's my purse. I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talk'st of; serve him still.
Clown I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire, and the master I speak of ever keeps a good 2530fire. But sure he is the prince of the world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter. Some that humble themselves may, but the many will be too chill and tender, and they'll be for the 2535flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire.
Lafeu Go thy ways; I begin to be a weary of thee, and I tell thee so before because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked 2540too, without any tricks.
Clown If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks, which are their own right by the law of nature. Exit.
Lafeu A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.
2545Countess So a is. My lord that's gone made himself much sport out of him. By his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness, and indeed he has no pace, but runs where he will.
Lafeu I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about 2550to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of my daughter, which in the minority of them both, his majesty out of a self-gracious remembrance did first 2555propose. His highness hath promised me to do it, and to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
Countess With very much content, my lord, and I wish 2560it happily effected.
Lafeu His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty. A will be here to morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
2565Countess It rejoices me that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here tonight; I shall beseech your lordship to remain with me till they meet together.
Lafeu Madam, I was thinking with what manners I 2570might safely be admitted.
Countess You need but plead your honorable privilege.
Lafeu Lady, of that I have made a bold charter, but I thank my God it holds yet.
2575
Enter Clown.
Clown O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face. Whether there be a scar under't or no, the velvet knows, but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet; his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a 2580half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
Lafeu A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good liv'ry of honor. So belike is that.
Clown But it is your carbonadoed face.
2585Lafeu Let us go see your son, I pray you. I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
Clown Faith, there's a dozen of 'em with delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers which bow the 2590head and nod at every man.
Exeunt.
5[1]
Enter Helen, Widow, and Diana, with two Attendants.
2595Helen But this exceeding posting day and night
Must wear your spirits low. We cannot help it,
But since you have made the days and nights as one,
To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Be bold: you do so grow in my requital
2600As nothing can unroot you. -- In happy time! Enter a gentle Austringer.
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power. -- [To the Austringer] God save you, sir.
Austringer And you.
2605Helen Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Austringer I have been sometimes there.
Helen I do presume, sir, that you are not fall'n
From the report that goes upon your goodness,
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions
2610Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Gentleman
What's your will?
Helen That it will please you
2615To give this poor petition to the King,
And aid me with that store of power you have
To come into his presence.
Austringer
The King's not here.
Helen
Not here, sir?
2620Austringer
Not, indeed.
He hence removed last night, and with more haste
Than is his use.
Widow
Lord, how we lose our pains!
Helen All's well that ends well yet,
2625Though time seem so adverse, and means unfit.
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
Austringer Marry, as I take it, to Roussillon,
Whither I am going.
Helen
I do beseech you, sir,
2630Since you are like to see the King before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand,
Which I presume shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you with what good speed
2635Our means will make us means.
Austringer
This I'll do for you.
Helen And you shall find yourself to be well thanked,
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again.
[To the Attendants] Go, go, provide.
[5.2]
2640
Enter Clown and Paroles.
Paroles Good Master Lavatch, give my Lord Lafeu this letter. I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes, but I am now, sir, muddied in Fortune's mood, and smell somewhat 2645strong of her strong displeasure.
Clown Truly, Fortune's displeasure is but sluttish if it smell so strongly as thou speakst of: I will henceforth eat no fish of Fortune's butt'ring. Prithee allow the wind.
2650Paroles Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir. ; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clown Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose, or against any man's metaphor. Prithee get thee further.
2655Paroles Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clown Foh! Prithee stand away. A paper from Fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman? Look, here he comes himself.
Enter Lafeu.
2660Lafeu Here is a purr of Fortune's, sir, or of Fortune's cat, but not a musk cat, that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may, for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally 2665knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.
[Exit.]
Paroles My lord, I am a man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Lafeu And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too 2670late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with Fortune that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a cardecu for you. [Gives him a coin.] Let the justices make you and Fortune friends; I am for other 2675business.
Paroles I beseech your honor to hear me one single word.
Lafeu You beg a single penny more. Come, you shall ha't. Save your word. [Gives him another coin]
2680Paroles My name, my good lord, is Paroles.
Lafeu You beg more than word, then. Cox my passion! Give me your hand. How does your drum?
Paroles Oh, my good lord, you were the first that found me.
2685Lafeu Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost thee.
Paroles It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Lafeu Out upon thee, knave! Dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil? One brings 2690thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.] The King's coming -- I know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me. I had talk of you last night. Though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat. Go to, follow.
Paroles I praise God for you.
[5.3]
2695
Flourish. Enter King, [Countess], Lafeu, the two French Lords, with Attendant [Gentlemen].
King We lost a jewel of her, and our esteem
Was made much poorer by it, but your son,
As mad in folly, lacked the sense to know
2700Her estimation home.
Countess 'Tis past, my liege,
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i'th' blade of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
2705O'erbears it and burns on.
King My honored lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all,
Though my revenges were high bent upon him
And watched the time to shoot.
2710Lafeu This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon: the young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady
Offence of mighty note, but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
2715Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive,
Whose dear perfection hearts that scorned to serve
Humbly called mistress.
King Praising what is lost
2720Makes the remembrance dear. [To attending Gentleman] Well, call him hither.
We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
All repetition. Let him not ask our pardon:
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
2725Th'incensing relics of it. Let him approach
A stranger, no offender, and inform him
So 'tis our will he should.
Attendant Gentleman I shall, my liege.
[Exit.]
King [To Lafeu] What says he to your daughter? 2730Have you spoke?
Lafeu All that he is hath reference to your highness.
King Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me,
That sets him high in fame.
2735Lafeu He looks well on't.
King I am not a day of season,
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once. But to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way, so stand thou forth.
2740The time is fair again.
Bertram My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King All is whole.
Not one word more of the consumèd time!
2745Let's take the instant by the forward top,
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
Th'inaudible, and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord?
2750Bertram Admiringly, my liege, at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue.
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
2755Which warped the line of every other favor,
Scorned a fair color, or expressed it stolen,
Extended or contracted all proportions
To a most hideous object. Thence it came
That she -- whom all men praised, and whom myself,
2760Since I have lost, have loved -- was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King Well excused.
That thou didst love her strikes some scores away
From the great count, but love that comes too late,
2765Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sour offence,
Crying, "That's good that's gone." Our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them until we know their grave.
2770Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust.
Our own love, waking, cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
2775Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin.
The main consents are had, and here we'll stay
To see our widower's second marriage day --
Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless,
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease.
2780Lafeu Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Must be digested. Give a favor from you
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
That she may quickly come. [Bertram removes a ring from his finger and gives it to Lafeu.] By my old beard
And ev'ry hair that's on't, Helen that's dead
2785Was a sweet creature. Such a ring as this,
The last that ere I took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.
Bertram Hers it was not.
King Now pray you let me see it. For mine eye,
2790While I was speaking, oft was fastened to't. [Lafeu gives the ring to the King.]
This ring was mine, and when I gave it Helen,
I bade her if her fortunes ever stood
Necessitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her
2795Of what should stead her most?
Bertram My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never hers.
Countess Son, on my life,
2800I have seen her wear it, and she reckoned it
At her life's rate.
Lafeu I am sure I saw her wear it.
Bertram You are deceived, my lord, she never saw it.
In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
2805Wrapped in a paper which contained the name
Of her that threw it. Noble she was, and thought
I stood engaged, but when I had subscribed
To mine own fortune, and informed her fully
I could not answer in that course of honor
2810As she had made the overture, she ceased
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying med'cine,
2815Hath not in nature's mystery more science
Than I have in this ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Whoever gave it you. Then if you know
That you are well-acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
2820You got it from her. She called the saints to surety
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
Where you have never come, or sent it us
Upon her great disaster.
2825Bertram She never saw it.
King Thou speakst it falsely, as I love mine honor,
And mak'st conjectural fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out, if it should prove
That thou art so inhumane -- 'twill not prove so --
2830And yet I know not. Thou didst hate her deadly,
And she is dead, which nothing but to close
Her eyes myself could win me to believe,
More than to see this ring. [To the French Lords] Take him away.
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
2835Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly feared too little. Away with him!
We'll sift this matter further.
Bertram If you shall prove
This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
2840Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was.
[Exit Bertram under guard.]
Enter a Gentleman, [the Austringer].
King [Aside] I'm wrapped in dismal thinkings.
Austringer Gracious sovereign,
2845Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not.
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath for four or five removes come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquished thereto by the fair grace and speech
2850Of the poor suppliant, who by this I know
Is here attending. Her business looks in her
With an importing visage, and she told me,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.
2855
[At the King's signal, he reads] a letter.
Upon his many protestations to marry me when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the Count Rous sillon a widower, his vows are forfeited to me, and my honor's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no 2860leave, and I follow him to his country for justice. Grant it me, O King! In you it best lies. Otherwise a seducer flourishes and a poor maid is undone. Diana Capilet.
Lafeu I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll 2865for this. I'll none of him.
King The heavens have thought well on thee, Lafeu,
To bring forth this discov'ry. -- [To Attendants] Seek these suitors.
Go speedily, and bring again the count. Enter Bertram [under guard].
2870[To the Countess] I am afeared the life of Helen, lady,
Was foully snatched.
Countess Now justice on the doers.
King I wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you,
And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
2875Yet you desire to marry. -- What woman's that?
Enter Diana, [followed by] Widow and Paroles.
Diana I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derivèd from the ancient Capilet.
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
2880And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
Widow I am her mother, sir, whose age and honor
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease without your remedy.
King Come hither, count. Do you know these 2885women?
Bertram My lord, I neither can nor will deny
But that I know them. Do they charge me further?
Diana [To Bertram] Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
Bertram [To the King] She's none of mine, my lord.
2890Diana If you shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
You give away myself, which is known mine,
For I by vow am so embodied yours
2895That she which marries you must marry me,
Either both or none.
Lafeu [To Bertram] Your reputation comes too short for my daughter. You are no husband for her!
Bertram [To Lafeu] My lord, this is a fond and desp'rate creature
2900Whom sometime I have laughed with. [To the King] Let your highness
Lay a more noble thought upon mine honor
Than for to think that I would sink it here.
King Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
Till your deeds gain them fairer. Prove your honor.
2905Then in my thought it lies.
Diana Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath if he does think
He had not my virginity.
King What sayst thou to her?
2910Bertram She's impudent, my lord,
And was a common gamester to the camp.
Diana He does me wrong, my lord. If I were so,
He might have bought me at a common price.
Do not believe him. Oh, behold this ring,
2915Whose high respect and rich validity
Did lack a parallel. Yet for all that
He gave it to a commoner o'th' camp,
If I be one.
Countess He blushes, and 'tis hit.
2920Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
Conferred by testament to th' sequent issue,
Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife;
That ring's a thousand proofs.
King Methought you said
2925You saw one here in court could witness it.
Diana I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
So bad an instrument: his name's Paroles.
Lafeu I saw the man today, if man he be.
King Find him, and bring him hither.
2930Bertram What of him?
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o'th' world taxed and debauched,
Whose nature sickens. But, to speak a truth,
Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
2935That will speak anything?
King She hath that ring of yours.
Bertram I think she has; certain it is I liked her,
And boarded her i'th' wanton way of youth.
She knew her distance and did angle for me,
2940Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
As all impediments in fancy's course
Are motives of more fancy, and, in fine,
Her inf'nite cunning OR insuite coming OR insuite cunning OR infinite conning with her modern grace
Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring,
2945And I had that which any inferior might
At market price have bought.
Diana I must be patient.
You that have turned off a first so noble wife
May justly diet me. I pray you yet --
2950Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband --
Send for your ring, I will return it home,
And give me mine again.
Bertram I have it not.
King What ring was yours, I pray you?
2955Diana Sir, much like the same upon your finger.
King Know you this ring? This ring was his of late.
Diana And this was it I gave him, being abed.
King The story then goes false. You threw it him
Out of a casement.
2960Diana I have spoke the truth.
Enter Paroles.
Bertram My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
King You boggle shrewdly. Every feather starts you.
[To Diana] Is this the man you speak of?
Diana Ay, my lord.
2965King [To Paroles] Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge you,
Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
Which, on your just proceeding, I'll keep off:
By him and by this woman here, what know you?
Paroles So please your majesty, my master hath been an 2970honorable gentleman. Tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
King Come, come, to th' purpose. Did he love this woman?
Paroles Faith, sir, he did love her, but how?
2975King How, I pray you?
Paroles He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
King How is that?
Paroles He loved her, sir, and loved her not.
King As thou art a knave and no knave! What an 2980equivocal companion is this?
Paroles I am a poor man and at your majesty's command.
Lafeu He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
2985Diana Do you know he promised me marriage?
Paroles Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
King But wilt thou not speak all thou knowst?
Paroles Yes, so please your majesty: I did go between them as I said, but more than that he loved her, for 2990indeed he was mad for her, and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what. Yet I was in that credit with them at that time that I knew of their going to bed, and of other motions, as promising her marriage, and things which would derive me ill will to 2995speak of. Therefore I will not speak what I know.
King Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are maried, but thou art too fine in thy evidence; therefore, stand aside. -- [To Diana] This ring, you say, was yours?
Diana Ay, my good lord.
3000King Where did you buy it? Or who gave it you?
Diana It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
King Who lent it you?
Diana It was not lent me neither.
King Where did you find it then?
3005Diana I found it not.
King If it were yours by none of all these ways,
How could you give it him?
Diana I never gave it him.
Lafeu This woman's an easy glove, my lord: she goes 3010off and on at pleasure.
King This ring was mine. I gave it his first wife.
Diana It might be yours or hers for ought I know.
King Take her away. I do not like her now.
To prison with her, and away with him.
3015Unless thou tellst me where thou hadst this ring,
Thou diest within this hour.
Diana I'll never tell you.
King Take her away.
Diana I'll put in bail, my liege.
3020King I think thee now some common customer.
Diana By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
King Wherefore hast thou accused him all this while?
Diana Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty.
He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't.
3025I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.
Great King, I am no strumpet, by my life:
I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
[She gestures to Lafeu OR to the King.]
King She does abuse our ears. To prison with her.
Diana Good mother, fetch my bail. [Exit the Widow.] Stay, royal sir.
3030The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
Who hath abused me as he knows himself,
Though yet he never harmed me, here I quit him.
He knows himself my bed he hath defiled,
3035And at that time he got his wife with child.
Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick.
So, there's my riddle, one that's dead is quick,
And now behold the meaning.
3040King Is there no exorcist
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Is't real that I see?
Helen No, my good lord,
'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
3045The name, and not the thing.
Bertram Both, both. Oh, pardon!
Helen Oh, my good lord, when I was like this maid,
I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring,
And, look you, here's your letter. This it says:
3050"When from my finger you can get this ring,
And are by me with child," etc[A48]. This is done.
Will you be mine now you are doubly won?
Bertram If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
3055Helen If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you.
[To the Countess] Oh, my dear mother, do I see you living?
Lafeu Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon.
[To Paroles] Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher. 3060So, I thank thee. Wait on me home; I'll make sport with thee. Let thy curtsies alone -- they are scurvy ones.
King Let us from point to point this story know,
To make the even truth in pleasure flow.
If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
3065Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower.
For I can guess that, by thy honest aid,
Thou keptst a wife herself, thyself a maid.
Of that and all the progress more and less,
Resolvedly more leisure shall express.
3070All yet seems well, and, if it end so meet
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.
Flourish.
The King's a beggar now the play is done.
All is well ended, if this suit be won:
3075That you express content -- which we will pay
With strife to please you, day exceeding day.
Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts:
Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
Exeunt omnes.