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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Countesse and Clowne
    Count It hath happen'd all, as I would haue had it, saue
    that he comes not along with her.
    Clo By my troth I take my young Lord to be a ve-
    1405rie melancholly man.
    Count By what obseruance I pray you.
    Clo Why he will looke vppon his boote, and sing:
    mend the Ruffe and sing, aske questions and sing, picke
    his teeth, and sing: I know a man that had this tricke of
    1410melancholy hold a goodly Mannor for a song.
    Lad Let me see what he writes, and when he meanes
    to come.
    Clow I haue no minde to Isbellsince I was at Court.
    Our old Lings, and our Isbelsa'th Country, are nothing
    1415like your old Ling and your Isbelsa'th Court: the brains
    of my Cupid's knock'd out, and I beginne to loue, as an
    old man loues money, with no stomacke.
    Lad What haue we heere?
    Clo In that you haue there.
    A Letter
    I haue sent you a daughter-in-Law, shee hath recouered the
    King, and vndone me I haue wedded her, not bedded her
    and sworne to make the not eternall. You shall heare I am
    runne away, know it before the report come. If there bee
    1425bredth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My
    duty to you.
    Your vnfortunate sonne
    This is not well rash and vnbridled boy,
    To flye the fauours of so good a King,
    1430To plucke his indignation on thy head,
    By the misprising of a Maide too vertuous
    For the contempt of Empire.
    Enter Clowne
    Clow O Madam, yonder is heauie newes within be-
    1435tweene two souldiers, and my yong Ladie.
    La What is the matter.
    Clo Nay there is some comfort in the newes, some
    comfort, your sonne will not be kild so soone as I thoght
    he would.
    1440La Why should he be kill'd?
    Clo So say I Madame, if he runne away, as I heare he
    does, the danger is in standing too't, that's the losse of
    men, though it be the getting of children. Heere they
    come will tell you more. For my part I onely heare your
    1445sonne was run away.
    Enter Hellen and two Gentlemen
    FrenchE Saue you good Madam.
    Hel Madam, my Lord is gone, for euer gone.
    FrenchG Do not say so.
    1450La Thinke vpon patience, pray you Gentlemen,
    I haue felt so many quirkes of ioy and greefe,
    That the first face of neither on the start
    Can woman me vntoo't. Where is my sonne I pray you?
    Fren.G Madam he's gone to serue the Duke of Flo-
    1455 rence,
    We met him thitherward, for thence we came:
    And after some dispatch in hand at Court,
    Thither we bend againe.
    Hel Looke on his Letter Madam, here's my Pasport.
    When thou canst get the Ring vpon my finger, which neuer
    shall come off, and shew mee a childe begotten of thy bodie
    that I am father too, then call me husband: but in such a (then)
    I write a Neuer
    This is a dreadfull sentence.
    1465La Brought you this Letter Gentlemen?
    1. G I Madam, and for the Contents sake are sorrie
    for our paines.
    Old La I prethee Ladie haue a better cheere,
    If thou engrossest, all the greefes are thine,
    1470Thou robst me of a moity: He was my sonne,
    But I do wash his name out of my blood,
    And thou art all my childe. Towards Florence is he?
    Fren. G I Madam.
    La And to be a souldier.
    1475Fren. G Such is his noble purpose, and beleeu't
    The Duke will lay vpon him all the honor
    That good conuenience claimes.
    La Returne you thither.
    Fren. E I Madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
    1480Hel. Till I haue no wife, I haue nothing in France
    'Tis bitter.
    La Finde you that there?
    Hel I Madame.
    Fren. E 'Tis but the boldnesse of his hand haply, which
    1485his heart was not consenting too.
    Lad Nothing in France, vntill he haue no wife:
    There's nothing heere that is too good for him
    But onely she, and she deserues a Lord
    That twenty such rude boyes might tend vpon,
    1490And call her hourely Mistris. Who was with him?
    Fren. E A seruant onely, and a Gentleman: which I
    haue sometime knowne.
    La Parolleswas it not?
    Fren. E I my good Ladie, hee.
    1495La A verie tainted fellow, and full of wickednesse,
    My sonne corrupts a well deriued nature
    With his inducement.
    Fren. E Indeed good Ladie the fellow has a deale of
    that, too much, which holds him much to haue.
    1500La Y'are welcome Gentlemen, I will intreate you
    when you see my sonne, to tell him that his sword can
    neuer winne the honor that he looses: more Ile intreate
    you written to beare along.
    Fren. G We serue you Madam in that and all your
    1505worthiest affaires.
    La Not so, but as we change our courtesies,
    Will you draw neere?
    Hel.Till I haue no wife I haue nothing in France
    Nothing in France vntill he has no wife:
    1510Thou shalt haue none Rossillion none in France,
    Then hast thou all againe: poore Lord, is't I
    That chase thee from thy Countrie, and expose
    Those tender limbes of thine, to the euent
    Of the none-sparing warre? And is it I,
    1515That driue thee from the sportiue Court, where thou
    Was't shot at with faire eyes, to be the marke
    Of smoakie Muskets? O you leaden messengers,
    That ride vpon the violent speede of fire,
    Fly with false ayme, moue the still-peering aire
    1520That sings with piercing, do not touch my Lord:
    Who euer shoots at him, I set him there.
    Who euer charges on his forward brest
    I am the Caitiffe that do hold him too't,
    And though I kill him not, I am the cause
    1525His death was so effected: Better 'twere
    I met the rauine Lyon when he roar'd
    With sharpe constraint of hunger: better 'twere,
    That all the miseries which nature owes
    Were mine at once. No come thou home Rossillion
    1530Whence honor but of danger winnes a scarre,
    As oft it looses all. I will be gone:
    My being heere it is, that holds thee hence,
    Shall I stay heere to doo't? No, no, although
    The ayre of Paradise did fan the house,
    1535And Angels offic'd all: I will be gone,
    That pittifull rumour may report my flight
    To consolate thine eare. Come night, end day,
    For with the darke (poore theefe) Ile steale away.