Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

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

    Copyright Helen Ostovich and Andrew Griffin. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
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    All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

    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 greatest 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.
    Enter Helen [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 you 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.
    Is this the way?
    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.
    Is it yourself?
    Widow If you shall please so, pilgrim.
    Helen I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
    You came, I think, from France?
    I did so.
    1660Widow Here you shall see a countryman of yours
    That has done worthy service.
    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.
    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.
    What's his name?
    Monsieur Paroles.
    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.
    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.
    How do you mean?
    Maybe the amorous count solicits her
    In the unlawful purpose?
    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.
    Drum and colors. Enter [Bertram,] Count Roussillon, Paroles, and the whole army.
    The gods forbid else.
    Widow So, now they come:
    That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
    1700That, Escalus.
    Which is the Frenchman?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Diana and Mariana
    We'll take your offer kindly.