Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Bertram, and the Maide called
    Ber They told me that your name was Fontybell
    2020Dia No my good Lord, Diana
    Ber Titled Goddesse,
    And worth it with addition: but faire soule,
    In your fine frame hath loue no qualitie?
    If the quicke fire of youth light not your minde,
    2025You are no Maiden but a monument
    When you are dead you should be such a one
    As you are now: for you are cold and sterne,
    And now you should be as your mother was
    When your sweet selfe was got.
    2030Dia She then was honest.
    Ber So should you be.
    Dia No:
    My mother did but dutie, such (my Lord)
    As you owe to your wife.
    2035Ber No more a'that:
    I prethee do not striue against my vowes:
    I was compell'd to her, but I loue thee
    By loues owne sweet constraint, and will for euer
    Do thee all rights of seruice.
    2040Dia I so you serue vs
    Till we serue you: But when you haue our Roses,
    You barely leaue our thornes to pricke our selues,
    And mocke vs with our barenesse.
    Ber How haue I sworne.
    2045Dia Tis not the many oathes that makes the truth,
    But the plaine single vow, that is vow'd true:
    What is not holie, that we sweare not by,
    But take the high'st to witnesse: then pray you tell me,
    If I should sweare by Ioues great attributes,
    2050I lou'd you deerely, would you beleeue my oathes,
    When I did loue you ill? This ha's no holding
    To sweare by him whom I protest to loue
    That I will worke against him. Therefore your oathes
    Are words and poore conditions, but vnseal'd
    2055At lest in my opinion.
    Ber Change it, change it:
    Be not so holy cruell: Loue is holie,
    And my integritie ne're knew the crafts
    That you do charge men with: Stand no more off,
    2060But giue thy selfe vnto my sicke desires,
    Who then recouers. Say thou art mine, and euer
    My loue as it beginnes, shall so perseuer.
    Dia I see that men make rope's in such a scarre,
    That wee'l forsake our selues. Giue me that Ring.
    2065Ber Ile lend it thee my deere; but haue no power
    To giue it from me.
    Dia Will you not my Lord?
    Ber It is an honour longing to our house,
    Bequeathed downe from manie Ancestors,
    2070Which were the greatest obloquie i'th world,
    In me to loose.
    Dian Mine Honors such a Ring,
    My chastities the Iewell of our house,
    Bequeathed downe from many Ancestors,
    2075Which were the greatest oblo quie i'th world,
    In mee to loose. Thus your owne proper wisedome
    Brings in the Champion honor on my part,
    Against your vaine assault.
    Ber Heere, take my Ring,
    2080My house, mine honor, yea my life be thine,
    And Ile be bid by thee.
    Dia When midnight comes, knocke at my cham-
    ber window:
    Ile order take, my mother shall not heare.
    2085Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
    When you haue conquer'd my yet maiden-bed,
    Remaine there but an houre, nor speake to mee:
    My reasons are most strong, and you shall know them,
    When backe againe this Ring shall be deliuer'd:
    2090And on your finger in the night, Ile put
    Another Ring, that what in time proceeds,
    May token to the future, our past deeds.
    Adieu till then, then faile not: you haue wonne
    A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
    2095Ber A heauen on earth I haue won by wooing thee.
    Di For which, liue long to thank both heauen & me,
    You may so in the end.
    My mother told me iust how he would woo,
    As if she sate in's heart. She sayes, all men
    2100Haue the like oathes: He had sworne to marrie me
    When his wife's dead: therfore Ile lye with him
    When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braide,
    Marry that will, I liue and die a Maid:
    Onely in this disguise, I think't no sinne,
    2105To cosen him that would vniustly winne. Exit