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  • Title: All's Well That Ends Well (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-432-5

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
    Not Peer Reviewed

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

    Actus Secundus
    Enter the King with diuers yong Lords, taking leaue for
    the Florentine warre: Count, Rosse, and
    Florish Cornets
    King Farewell yong Lords, these warlike principles
    Doe not throw from you, and you my Lords farewell:
    Share the aduice betwixt you, if both gaine, all
    600The guift doth stretch it selfe as 'tis receiu'd,
    And is enough for both.
    Lord. G 'Tis our hope sir,
    After well entred souldiers, to returne
    And finde your grace in health.
    605King No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
    Will not confesse he owes the mallady
    That doth my life besiege: farwell yong Lords,
    Whether I liue or die, be you the sonnes
    Of worthy French men: let higher Italy
    610(Those bated that inherit but the fall
    Of the last Monarchy) see that you come
    Not to wooe honour, but to wed it, when
    The brauest questant shrinkes: finde what you seeke,
    That fame may cry you loud: I say farewell.
    615L. G Health at your bidding serue your Maiesty.
    King Those girles of Italy, take heed of them,
    They say our French, lacke language to deny
    If they demand: beware of being Captiues
    Before you serue.
    620Bo Our hearts receiue your warnings.
    King Farewell, come hether to me.
    1. Lo. G Oh my sweet Lord CyC you wil stay behind vs.
    Parr 'Tis not his fault the spark.
    2. Lo. E Oh 'tis braue warres.
    625Parr Most admirable, I haue seene those warres.
    Rossill I am commanded here, and kept a coyle with,
    Too young, and the next yeere, and 'tis too early.
    Parr And thy minde stand too't boy,
    Steale away brauely.
    630Rossill I shal stay here the for-horse to a smocke,
    Creeking my shooes on the plaine Masonry,
    Till honour be bought vp, and no sword worne
    But one to dance with: by heauen, Ile steale away.
    1. Lo. G There's honour in the theft.
    635Parr Commit it Count.
    2. Lo. E I am your accessary, and so farewell.
    Ros I grow to you, & our parting is a tortur'd body.
    1. Lo. G Farewell Captaine.
    2. Lo. E Sweet Mounsier Parolles
    640Parr Noble Heroes my sword and yours are kinne,
    good sparkes and lustrous, a word good mettals. You
    shall finde in the Regiment of the Spinij, one Captaine
    Spuriohis sicatrice, with an Embleme of warre heere on
    his sinister cheeke; it was this very sword entrench'd it:
    645say to him I liue, and obserue his reports for me.
    Lo. G We shall noble Captaine.
    Parr Marsdoate on you for his nouices, what will
    ye doe?
    Ross. Stay the King.
    650Parr Vse a more spacious ceremonie to the Noble
    Lords, you haue restrain'd your selfe within the List of
    too cold an adieu: be more expressiue to them; for they
    weare themselues in the cap of the time, there do muster
    true gate; eat, speake, and moue vnder the influence of
    655the most receiu'd starre, and though the deuill leade the
    measure, such are to be followed: after them, and take a
    more dilated farewell.
    Ros And I will doe so.
    Parr Worthy fellowes, and like to prooue most si-
    660newie sword-men.
    Enter Lafew
    L. Laf Pardon my Lord for mee and for my tidings.
    King Ile see thee to stand vp.
    L. Laf Then heres a man stands that has brought his
    665I would you had kneel'd my Lord to aske me mercy,
    And that at my bidding you could so stand vp.
    King I would I had, so I had broke thy pate
    And askt thee mercy for't.
    Laf Goodfaith a-crosse, but my good Lord 'tis thus,
    670Will you be cur'd of your infirmitie?
    King No.
    Laf O will you eat no grapes my royall foxe?
    Yes but you will, my noble grapes, and if
    My royall foxe could reach them: I haue seen a medicine
    675That's able to breath life into a stone,
    Quicken a rocke, and make you dance Canari
    With sprightly fire and motion, whose simple touch
    Is powerfull to arayse King Pippen nay
    To giue great Charlemainea pen in's hand
    680And write to her a loue-line.
    King What her is this?
    Laf Why doctor she: my Lord, there's one arriu'd,
    If you will see her: now by my faith and honour,
    If seriously I may conuay my thoughts
    685In this my light deliuerance, I haue spoke
    With one, that in her sexe, her yeeres, profession,
    Wisedome and constancy, hath amaz'd mee more
    Then I dare blame my weakenesse: will you see her?
    For that is her demand, and know her businesse?
    690That done, laugh well at me.
    King Now good Lafew
    Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
    May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
    By wondring how thou tookst it.
    695Laf Nay, Ile fit you,
    And not be all day neither.
    King Thus he his speciall nothing euer prologues.
    Laf Nay, come your waies.
    Enter Hellen
    700King This haste hath wings indeed.
    Laf Nay, come your waies,
    This is his Maiestie, say your minde to him,
    A Traitor you doe looke like, but such traitors
    His Maiesty seldome feares, I am CressedsVncle,
    705That dare leaue two together, far you well.
    King Now faire one, do's your busines follow vs?
    Hel I my good Lord,
    Gerard de Narbonwas my father,
    In what he did professe, well found.
    710King I knew him.
    Hel The rather will I spare my praises towards him,
    Knowing him is enough: on's bed of death,
    Many receits he gaue me, chieflie one,
    Which as the dearest issue of his practice
    715And of his olde experience, th' onlie darling,
    He bad me store vp, as a triple eye,
    Safer then mine owne two: more deare I haue so,
    And hearing your high Maiestie is toucht
    With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
    720Of my deare fathers gift, stands cheefe in power,
    I come to tender it, and my appliance,
    With all bound humblenesse.
    King We thanke you maiden,
    But may not be so credulous of cure,
    725When our most learned Doctors leaue vs, and
    The congregated Colledge haue concluded,
    That labouring Art can neuer ransome nature
    From her inaydible estate: I say we must not
    So staine our iudgement, or corrupt our hope,
    730To prostitute our past-cure malladie
    To empericks, or to disseuer so
    Our great selfe and our credit, to esteeme
    A sencelesse helpe, when helpe past sence we deeme.
    Hell My dutie then shall pay me for my paines:
    735I will no more enforce mine office on you,
    Humbly intreating from your royall thoughts,
    A modest one to beare me backe againe.
    King I cannot giue thee lesse to be cal'd gratefull:
    Thou thoughtst to helpe me, and such thankes I giue,
    740As one neere death to those that wish him liue:
    But what at full I know, thou knowst no part,
    I knowing all my perill, thou no Art.
    Hell What I can doe, can doe no hurt to try,
    Since you set vp your rest 'gainst remedie:
    745He that of greatest workes is finisher,
    Oft does them by the weakest minister:
    So holy Writ, in babes hath iudgement showne,
    When Iudges haue bin babes; great flouds haue flowne
    From simple sources: and great Seas haue dried
    750When Miracles haue by the great'st beene denied.
    Oft expectation failes, and most oft there
    Where most it promises: and oft it hits,
    Where hope is coldest, and despaire most shifts.
    King I must not heare thee, fare thee wel kind maide,
    755Thy paines not vs'd, must by thy selfe be paid,
    Proffers not tooke, reape thanks for their reward.
    Hel Inspired Merit so by breath is bard,
    It is not so with him that all things knowes
    As 'tis with vs, that square our guesse by showes:
    760But most it is presumption in vs, when
    The help of heauen we count the act of men.
    Deare sir, to my endeauors giue consent,
    Of heauen, not me, make an experiment.
    I am not an Impostrue, that proclaime
    765My selfe against the leuill of mine aime,
    But know I thinke, and thinke 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?
    770Hel The greatest grace lending grace,
    Ere twice the horses of the sunne shall bring
    Their fiery torcher his diurnall ring,
    Ere twice in murke and occidentall dampe
    Moist Hesperushath quench'd her sleepy Lampe:
    775Or foure and twenty times the Pylots glasse
    Hath told the theeuish minutes, how they passe:
    What is infirme, from your sound parts shall flie,
    Health shall liue free, and sickenesse freely dye.
    King Vpon thy certainty and confidence,
    780What dar'st thou venter?
    Hell Taxe of impudence,
    A strumpets boldnesse, a divulged shame
    Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maidens name
    Seard otherwise, ne worse of worst extended
    785With vildest torture, let my life be ended.
    Kin Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
    His powerfull sound, within an organ weake:
    And what impossibility would slay
    In common sence, sence saues another way:
    790Thy life is deere, for all that life can rate
    Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate:
    Youth, beauty, wisedome, courage, all
    That happines and prime, can happy call:
    Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
    795Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate,
    Sweet practiser, thy Physicke I will try,
    That ministers thine owne death if I die.
    Hel If I breake time, or flinch in property
    Of what I spoke, vnpittied let me die,
    800And well deseru'd: not helping, death's my fee,
    But if I helpe, what doe you promise me.
    Kin Make thy demand.
    Hel But will you make it euen?
    Kin I by my Scepter, and my hopes of helpe.
    805Hel Then shalt thou giue me with thy kingly hand
    What husband in thy power I will command:
    Exempted be from me the arrogance
    To choose from forth the royall bloud of France,
    My low and humble name to propagate
    810With any branch or image of thy state:
    But such a one thy vassall, whom I know
    Is free for me to aske, thee to bestow.
    Kin Heere is my hand, the premises obseru'd,
    Thy will by my performance shall be seru'd:
    815So make the choice of thy owne time, for I
    Thy resolv'd Patient, on thee still relye:
    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
    820Vnquestion'd welcome, and vndoubted blest.
    Giue me some helpe heere hoa, if thou proceed,
    As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
    Florish. Exit