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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    Well, that Ends Well.

    1Actus primus. Scoena Prima

    Enter yong Bertram Count of Rossillion, his Mother, and
    Helena, Lord Lafew, all in blacke

    5IN deliuering my sonne from me, I burie a se-
    cond husband.
    Ros And I in going Madam, weep ore my
    fathers death anew; but I must attend his maie-
    sties command, to whom I am now in Ward, euermore
    10in subiection.
    Laf You shall find of the King a husband Madame,
    you sir a father. He that so generally is at all times good,
    must of necessitie hold his vertue to you, whose worthi-
    nesse would stirre it vp where it wanted rather then lack
    15it where there is such abundance.
    Mo What hope is there of his Maiesties amendment?
    Laf He hath abandon'd his Phisitions Madam, vn-
    der whose practises he hath persecuted time with hope,
    and finds no other aduantage in the processe, but onely
    20the loosing of hope by time.
    Mo This yong Gentlewoman had a father, O that
    had, how sad a passage tis, whose skill was almost as
    great as his honestie, had it stretch'd so far, would haue
    made nature immortall, and death should haue play for
    25lacke of worke. Would for the Kings sake hee were li-
    uing, I thinke it would be the death of the Kings disease.
    Laf How call'd you the man you speake of Madam?
    Mo He was famous sir in his profession, and it was
    his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon
    30Laf He was excellent indeed Madam, the King very
    latelie spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly: hee
    was skilfull enough to haue liu'd stil, if knowledge could
    be set vp against mortallitie.
    Ros What is it (my good Lord) the King languishes
    Laf A Fistula my Lord.
    Ros I heard not of it before.
    Laf I would it were not notorious. Was this Gen-
    tlewoman the Daughter of Gerard de Narbon
    40Mo His sole childe my Lord, and bequeathed to my
    ouer looking. I haue those hopes of her good, that her
    education promises her dispositions shee inherits, which
    makes faire gifts fairer: for where an vncleane mind car-
    ries vertuous qualities, there commendations go with
    45pitty, they are vertues and traitors too: in her they are
    the better for their simplenesse; she deriues her honestie,
    and atcheeues her goodnesse.
    Lafew Your commendations Madam get from her
    50Mo 'Tis the best brine a Maiden can season her praise
    in. The remembrance of her father neuer approches her
    heart, but the tirrany of her sorrowes takes all liuelihood
    from her cheeke. No more of this Helena go too, no
    more least it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, then
    55to haue------
    Hell I doe affect a sorrow indeed, but I haue it too.
    Laf Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
    excessiue greefe the enemie to the liuing.
    Mo If the liuing be enemie to the greefe, the excesse
    60makes it soone mortall.
    Ros Maddam I desire your holie wishes.
    Laf How vnderstand we that?
    Mo Be thou blest Bertrame and succeed thy father
    In manners as in shape: thy blood and vertue
    65Contend for Empire in thee, and thy goodnesse
    Share with thy birth-right. Loue all, trust a few,
    Doe wrong to none: be able for thine enemie
    Rather in power then vse: and keepe thy friend
    Vnder thy owne lifes key. Be checkt for silence,
    70But neuer tax'd for speech. What heauen more wil,
    That thee may furnish, and my prayers plucke downe,
    Fall on thy head. Farwell my Lord,
    'Tis an vnseason'd Courtier, good my Lord
    Aduise him.
    75Laf He cannot want the best
    That shall attend his loue.
    Mo Heauen blesse him: Farwell Bertram
    Ro The best wishes that can be forg'd in your thoghts
    be seruants to you: be comfortable to my mother, your
    80Mistris, and make much of her.
    Laf Farewell prettie Lady, you must hold the cre-
    dit of your father.
    Hell O were that all, I thinke not on my father,
    And these great teares grace his remembrance more
    85Then those I shed for him. What was he like?
    I haue forgott him. My imagination
    Carries no fauour in't but Bertrams
    I am vndone, there is no liuing, none,
    If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one,
    90That I should loue a bright particuler starre,
    And think to wed it, he is so aboue me
    In his bright radience and colaterall light,