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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

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