All's Well That Ends Well


William Shakespeare

All's Well That Ends Well is a play written by an anonymous author that revolves around the life of a young woman named Helena. Helena is in love with Bertram, a count's son who does not reciprocate her feelings. However, Bertram is ordered by the King of France to marry Helena after she cures his illness. Bertram, who does not want to marry Helena, leaves her a letter stating that he will only be her husband if she can get a ring from his finger and bear his child.

Helena goes to Paris and disguises herself as a pilgrim. She meets a widow who gives her a ring that belonged to her husband, which Helena uses to fulfill Bertram's challenge. She then becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. Bertram, who is still not happy with his situation, goes to war in Italy. Helena follows him and saves his life. Bertram realizes his mistake and they are eventually reunited.

The play explores themes of love, loyalty, and social class. It also challenges the idea of gender roles and the power dynamics between men and women. Overall, the play highlights the importance of perseverance in achieving one's goals and the idea that all's well that ends well.

Act I

In Act 1 of All's Well That Ends Well, we are introduced to Helena, a young woman who is in love with Bertram, a nobleman. However, Bertram does not return her affections and sees her as beneath him. Helena is determined to win him over and decides to use her medical knowledge to cure the King of France who is suffering from a serious illness. She succeeds and in return, the King offers her a reward. Helena asks for Bertram's hand in marriage, which the King grants.

Bertram is not pleased with the arrangement and decides to leave for war in Italy, promising to marry Helena only if she can fulfill two impossible tasks. Helena is determined to win Bertram's love and sets out to complete the tasks with the help of the Countess, Bertram's mother. Meanwhile, Bertram becomes infatuated with a beautiful woman named Diana, who lives in Italy.

Helena manages to complete the first task, which is to obtain a ring from Bertram's finger. However, instead of marrying her, Bertram leaves her a letter saying he will only accept her as his wife if she can bear his child and wear his ring. Helena comes up with a plan and enlists Diana's help to trick Bertram into sleeping with her. She succeeds and becomes pregnant with Bertram's child. However, Bertram still does not want to be with her and plans to leave Italy.

As Act 1 comes to a close, Helena and the Countess arrive in Italy hoping to convince Bertram to return to France and fulfill his obligations as a husband. Meanwhile, Diana reveals the truth about her role in Helena's plan, causing Bertram to feel guilty about his actions. The stage is set for the rest of the play as the characters' fates become intertwined in a complex web of love, deception, and betrayal.

SCENE I. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 1 of Act 1 sets the stage for the story by introducing the main characters and their relationships. The scene takes place in the palace of the Countess of Rossillion, where we meet the Countess, her son Bertram, and her ward, Helena.

The Countess is mourning the recent death of her husband and is worried about her son's future. Bertram is a young nobleman who is about to leave for the court of the King of France, where he will serve as a ward to the king. Helena, on the other hand, is a young woman who was taken in by the Countess after her father's death. She is deeply in love with Bertram, but he does not reciprocate her feelings.

As the scene progresses, we learn that the King of France is very sick and has been given up for dead by his doctors. The Countess suggests that Helena should go to Paris and try to cure the king using a remedy her father had discovered. Helena is hesitant at first, but the Countess convinces her to go, promising to give her whatever she wants if she succeeds in curing the king.

Bertram is skeptical of Helena's abilities and does not believe that she can cure the king. He even goes so far as to say that if she does, he will marry her, knowing that it is an impossible task. However, the Countess and Helena are determined to try, and the scene ends with Helena leaving for Paris to try and cure the king.

Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of Rousillon, HELENA, and LAFEU, all in black

In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
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And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death
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anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to
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whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
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You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you,
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sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times
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good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose
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worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather
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than lack it where there is such abundance.
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What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
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He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
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practises he hath persecuted time with hope, and
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finds no other advantage in the process but only the
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losing of hope by time.
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This young gentlewoman had a father,--O, that
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'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!--whose skill was
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almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
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far, would have made nature immortal, and death
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should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
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king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
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the death of the king's disease.
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How called you the man you speak of, madam?
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He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was
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his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
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He was excellent indeed, madam: the king very
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lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningly: he
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was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge
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could be set up against mortality.
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What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
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A fistula, my lord.
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I heard not of it before.
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I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman
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the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
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His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
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overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that
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her education promises; her dispositions she
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inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where
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an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there
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commendations go with pity; they are virtues and
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traitors too; in her they are the better for their
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simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
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Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
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'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise
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in. The remembrance of her father never approaches
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her heart but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all
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livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena;
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go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect
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a sorrow than have it.
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I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
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Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
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excessive grief the enemy to the living.
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If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
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makes it soon mortal.
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Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
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How understand we that?
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Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
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In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue
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Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
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Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
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Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
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Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
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Under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence,
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But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
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That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
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Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
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'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
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Advise him.
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He cannot want the best
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That shall attend his love.
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Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.
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(To HELENA) The best wishes that can be forged in
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your thoughts be servants to you! Be comfortable
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to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
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Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of
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your father.
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O, were that all! I think not on my father;
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And these great tears grace his remembrance more
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Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
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I have forgot him: my imagination
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Carries no favour in't but Bertram's.
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I am undone: there is no living, none,
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If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one
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That I should love a bright particular star
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And think to wed it, he is so above me:
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In his bright radiance and collateral light
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Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
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The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
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The hind that would be mated by the lion
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Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though plague,
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To see him every hour; to sit and draw
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His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
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In our heart's table; heart too capable
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Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
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But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
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Must sanctify his reliques. Who comes here?
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One that goes with him: I love him for his sake;
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And yet I know him a notorious liar,
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Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
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Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him,
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That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
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Look bleak i' the cold wind: withal, full oft we see
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Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
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Save you, fair queen!
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And you, monarch!
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Are you meditating on virginity?
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Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me
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ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity; how
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may we barricado it against him?
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Keep him out.
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But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant,
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in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some
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warlike resistance.
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There is none: man, sitting down before you, will
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undermine you and blow you up.
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Bless our poor virginity from underminers and
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blowers up! Is there no military policy, how
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virgins might blow up men?
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Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be
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blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with
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the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It
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is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to
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preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational
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increase and there was never virgin got till
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virginity was first lost. That you were made of is
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metal to make virgins. Virginity by being once lost
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may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is
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ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with 't!
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I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
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There's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the
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rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity,
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is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible
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disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin:
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virginity murders itself and should be buried in
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highways out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate
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offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites,
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much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very
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paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach.
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Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of
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self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the
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canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but loose
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by't: out with 't! within ten year it will make
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itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the
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principal itself not much the worse: away with 't!
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How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
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Let me see: marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it
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likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with
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lying; the longer kept, the less worth: off with 't
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while 'tis vendible; answer the time of request.
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Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out
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of fashion: richly suited, but unsuitable: just
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like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not
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now. Your date is better in your pie and your
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porridge than in your cheek; and your virginity,
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your old virginity, is like one of our French
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withered pears, it looks ill, it eats drily; marry,
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'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better;
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marry, yet 'tis a withered pear: will you anything with it?
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Not my virginity yet
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There shall your master have a thousand loves,
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A mother and a mistress and a friend,
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A phoenix, captain and an enemy,
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A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
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A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
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His humble ambition, proud humility,
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His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
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His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
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Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
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That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he--
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I know not what he shall. God send him well!
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The court's a learning place, and he is one--
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What one, i' faith?
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That I wish well. 'Tis pity--
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What's pity?
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That wishing well had not a body in't,
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Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born,
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Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
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Might with effects of them follow our friends,
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And show what we alone must think, which never
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Return us thanks.
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Enter Page

Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
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Little Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I
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will think of thee at court.
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Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
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Under Mars, I.
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I especially think, under Mars.
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Why under Mars?
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The wars have so kept you under that you must needs
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be born under Mars.
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When he was predominant.
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When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
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Why think you so?
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You go so much backward when you fight.
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That's for advantage.
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So is running away, when fear proposes the safety;
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but the composition that your valour and fear makes
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in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
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I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee
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acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the
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which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize
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thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's
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counsel and understand what advice shall thrust upon
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thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and
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thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When
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thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast
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none, remember thy friends; get thee a good husband,
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and use him as he uses thee; so, farewell.
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Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
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Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky
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Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
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Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
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What power is it which mounts my love so high,
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That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
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The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
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To join like likes and kiss like native things.
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Impossible be strange attempts to those
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That weigh their pains in sense and do suppose
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What hath been cannot be: who ever strove
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So show her merit, that did miss her love?
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The king's disease--my project may deceive me,
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But my intents are fix'd and will not leave me.
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SCENE II. Paris. The KING's palace.

Scene 2 of Act 1 begins with a conversation between Countess Rossillion and her steward, Lavatch. The Countess is mourning the recent death of her husband and is concerned about her son, Bertram, who has just left to attend the court of the King. Lavatch attempts to cheer her up with his witty remarks, but she remains melancholy.

Parolles, a soldier and friend of Bertram, enters and boasts about his bravery and military exploits. The Countess is unimpressed and sees through his false bravado. Parolles then reveals that Bertram is in love with a young woman named Helena, who is the daughter of the Countess's physician. However, Bertram does not reciprocate Helena's feelings and has left for the court to avoid her.

The Countess is concerned for Helena's well-being and sends Lavatch to fetch her. Helena enters and shares her love for Bertram with the Countess, who is touched by her sincerity. The Countess decides to use her influence to help Helena win Bertram's love and suggests that she go to the court disguised as a pilgrim to seek the King's blessing for their marriage.

The scene ends with the Countess and Helena discussing their plan, while Parolles continues to boast about his bravery and military prowess.

Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING of France, with letters, and divers Attendants

The Florentines and Senoys are by the ears;
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Have fought with equal fortune and continue
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A braving war.
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First Lord
So 'tis reported, sir.
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Nay, 'tis most credible; we here received it
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A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
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With caution that the Florentine will move us
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For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
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Prejudicates the business and would seem
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To have us make denial.
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First Lord
His love and wisdom,
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Approved so to your majesty, may plead
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For amplest credence.
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He hath arm'd our answer,
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And Florence is denied before he comes:
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Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see
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The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
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To stand on either part.
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Second Lord
It well may serve
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A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
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For breathing and exploit.
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What's he comes here?
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First Lord
It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord,
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Young Bertram.
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Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
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Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,
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Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts
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Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
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My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
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I would I had that corporal soundness now,
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As when thy father and myself in friendship
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First tried our soldiership! He did look far
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Into the service of the time and was
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Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
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But on us both did haggish age steal on
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And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
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To talk of your good father. In his youth
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He had the wit which I can well observe
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To-day in our young lords; but they may jest
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Till their own scorn return to them unnoted
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Ere they can hide their levity in honour;
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So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
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Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
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His equal had awaked them, and his honour,
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Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
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Exception bid him speak, and at this time
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His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him
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He used as creatures of another place
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And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
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Making them proud of his humility,
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In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
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Might be a copy to these younger times;
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Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now
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But goers backward.
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His good remembrance, sir,
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Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb;
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So in approof lives not his epitaph
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As in your royal speech.
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Would I were with him! He would always say--
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Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words
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He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
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To grow there and to bear,--'Let me not live,'--
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This his good melancholy oft began,
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On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
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When it was out,--'Let me not live,' quoth he,
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'After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
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Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
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All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
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Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
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Expire before their fashions.' This he wish'd;
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I after him do after him wish too,
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Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
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I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
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To give some labourers room.
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Second Lord
You are loved, sir:
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They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
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I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, count,
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Since the physician at your father's died?
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He was much famed.
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Some six months since, my lord.
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If he were living, I would try him yet.
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Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out
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With several applications; nature and sickness
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Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count;
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My son's no dearer.
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Thank your majesty.
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Exeunt. Flourish

SCENE III. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 3 of Act 1 features the Countess of Rossillion discussing with her steward, Lavatch, about the departure of her son, Bertram, to the French court. The Countess asks Lavatch to keep an eye on Bertram and report back to her about his behavior.

As they talk, Parolles, a soldier who is a friend of Bertram, enters and starts bragging about his accomplishments in the military. Lavatch sees through Parolles' lies and mocks him, but the Countess is impressed by his stories and invites him to stay.

Parolles then reveals that Bertram is in love with a commoner named Helena, who is the ward of the Countess. The Countess is initially shocked but then decides to help Helena win Bertram's love. She sends her to the French court with a letter that she hopes will persuade Bertram to marry Helena.

The scene ends with Parolles and Lavatch continuing to bicker, while the Countess prays for Helena's success in winning Bertram's heart.

Enter COUNTESS, Steward, and Clown

I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
Link: 1.3.1

Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I
Link: 1.3.2
wish might be found in the calendar of my past
Link: 1.3.3
endeavours; for then we wound our modesty and make
Link: 1.3.4
foul the clearness of our deservings, when of
Link: 1.3.5
ourselves we publish them.
Link: 1.3.6

What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah:
Link: 1.3.7
the complaints I have heard of you I do not all
Link: 1.3.8
believe: 'tis my slowness that I do not; for I know
Link: 1.3.9
you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability
Link: 1.3.10
enough to make such knaveries yours.
Link: 1.3.11

'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
Link: 1.3.12

Well, sir.
Link: 1.3.13

No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though
Link: 1.3.14
many of the rich are damned: but, if I may have
Link: 1.3.15
your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel
Link: 1.3.16
the woman and I will do as we may.
Link: 1.3.17

Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Link: 1.3.18

I do beg your good will in this case.
Link: 1.3.19

In what case?
Link: 1.3.20

In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no
Link: 1.3.21
heritage: and I think I shall never have the
Link: 1.3.22
blessing of God till I have issue o' my body; for
Link: 1.3.23
they say barnes are blessings.
Link: 1.3.24

Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
Link: 1.3.25

My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on
Link: 1.3.26
by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
Link: 1.3.27

Is this all your worship's reason?
Link: 1.3.28

Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons such as they
Link: 1.3.29

May the world know them?
Link: 1.3.31

I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and
Link: 1.3.32
all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry
Link: 1.3.33
that I may repent.
Link: 1.3.34

Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
Link: 1.3.35

I am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have
Link: 1.3.36
friends for my wife's sake.
Link: 1.3.37

Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
Link: 1.3.38

You're shallow, madam, in great friends; for the
Link: 1.3.39
knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of.
Link: 1.3.40
He that ears my land spares my team and gives me
Link: 1.3.41
leave to in the crop; if I be his cuckold, he's my
Link: 1.3.42
drudge: he that comforts my wife is the cherisher
Link: 1.3.43
of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh
Link: 1.3.44
and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my
Link: 1.3.45
flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kisses
Link: 1.3.46
my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to
Link: 1.3.47
be what they are, there were no fear in marriage;
Link: 1.3.48
for young Charbon the Puritan and old Poysam the
Link: 1.3.49
Papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in
Link: 1.3.50
religion, their heads are both one; they may jowl
Link: 1.3.51
horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
Link: 1.3.52

Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?
Link: 1.3.53

A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next
Link: 1.3.54
For I the ballad will repeat,
Link: 1.3.56
Which men full true shall find;
Link: 1.3.57
Your marriage comes by destiny,
Link: 1.3.58
Your cuckoo sings by kind.
Link: 1.3.59

Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
Link: 1.3.60

May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to
Link: 1.3.61
you: of her I am to speak.
Link: 1.3.62

Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her;
Link: 1.3.63
Helen, I mean.
Link: 1.3.64

Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,
Link: 1.3.65
Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
Link: 1.3.66
Fond done, done fond,
Link: 1.3.67
Was this King Priam's joy?
Link: 1.3.68
With that she sighed as she stood,
Link: 1.3.69
With that she sighed as she stood,
Link: 1.3.70
And gave this sentence then;
Link: 1.3.71
Among nine bad if one be good,
Link: 1.3.72
Among nine bad if one be good,
Link: 1.3.73
There's yet one good in ten.
Link: 1.3.74

What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.
Link: 1.3.75

One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying
Link: 1.3.76
o' the song: would God would serve the world so all
Link: 1.3.77
the year! we'ld find no fault with the tithe-woman,
Link: 1.3.78
if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth a'! An we
Link: 1.3.79
might have a good woman born but one every blazing
Link: 1.3.80
star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery
Link: 1.3.81
well: a man may draw his heart out, ere a' pluck
Link: 1.3.82

You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.
Link: 1.3.84

That man should be at woman's command, and yet no
Link: 1.3.85
hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet it
Link: 1.3.86
will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of
Link: 1.3.87
humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am
Link: 1.3.88
going, forsooth: the business is for Helen to come hither.
Link: 1.3.89


Well, now.
Link: 1.3.90

I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
Link: 1.3.91

Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and
Link: 1.3.92
she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully
Link: 1.3.93
make title to as much love as she finds: there is
Link: 1.3.94
more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid
Link: 1.3.95
her than she'll demand.
Link: 1.3.96

Madam, I was very late more near her than I think
Link: 1.3.97
she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate
Link: 1.3.98
to herself her own words to her own ears; she
Link: 1.3.99
thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any
Link: 1.3.100
stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son:
Link: 1.3.101
Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put
Link: 1.3.102
such difference betwixt their two estates; Love no
Link: 1.3.103
god, that would not extend his might, only where
Link: 1.3.104
qualities were level; Dian no queen of virgins, that
Link: 1.3.105
would suffer her poor knight surprised, without
Link: 1.3.106
rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward.
Link: 1.3.107
This she delivered in the most bitter touch of
Link: 1.3.108
sorrow that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I
Link: 1.3.109
held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal;
Link: 1.3.110
sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns
Link: 1.3.111
you something to know it.
Link: 1.3.112

You have discharged this honestly; keep it to
Link: 1.3.113
yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this
Link: 1.3.114
before, which hung so tottering in the balance that
Link: 1.3.115
I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you,
Link: 1.3.116
leave me: stall this in your bosom; and I thank you
Link: 1.3.117
for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon.
Link: 1.3.118
Even so it was with me when I was young:
Link: 1.3.119
If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Link: 1.3.120
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
Link: 1.3.121
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
Link: 1.3.122
It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
Link: 1.3.123
Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth:
Link: 1.3.124
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Link: 1.3.125
Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
Link: 1.3.126
Her eye is sick on't: I observe her now.
Link: 1.3.127

What is your pleasure, madam?
Link: 1.3.128

You know, Helen,
Link: 1.3.129
I am a mother to you.
Link: 1.3.130

Mine honourable mistress.
Link: 1.3.131

Nay, a mother:
Link: 1.3.132
Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,'
Link: 1.3.133
Methought you saw a serpent: what's in 'mother,'
Link: 1.3.134
That you start at it? I say, I am your mother;
Link: 1.3.135
And put you in the catalogue of those
Link: 1.3.136
That were enwombed mine: 'tis often seen
Link: 1.3.137
Adoption strives with nature and choice breeds
Link: 1.3.138
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
Link: 1.3.139
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Link: 1.3.140
Yet I express to you a mother's care:
Link: 1.3.141
God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood
Link: 1.3.142
To say I am thy mother? What's the matter,
Link: 1.3.143
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
Link: 1.3.144
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
Link: 1.3.145
Why? that you are my daughter?
Link: 1.3.146

That I am not.
Link: 1.3.147

I say, I am your mother.
Link: 1.3.148

Pardon, madam;
Link: 1.3.149
The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother:
Link: 1.3.150
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
Link: 1.3.151
No note upon my parents, his all noble:
Link: 1.3.152
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
Link: 1.3.153
His servant live, and will his vassal die:
Link: 1.3.154
He must not be my brother.
Link: 1.3.155

Nor I your mother?
Link: 1.3.156

You are my mother, madam; would you were,--
Link: 1.3.157
So that my lord your son were not my brother,--
Link: 1.3.158
Indeed my mother! or were you both our mothers,
Link: 1.3.159
I care no more for than I do for heaven,
Link: 1.3.160
So I were not his sister. Can't no other,
Link: 1.3.161
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Link: 1.3.162

Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law:
Link: 1.3.163
God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
Link: 1.3.164
So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
Link: 1.3.165
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I see
Link: 1.3.166
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Link: 1.3.167
Your salt tears' head: now to all sense 'tis gross
Link: 1.3.168
You love my son; invention is ashamed,
Link: 1.3.169
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
Link: 1.3.170
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
Link: 1.3.171
But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look thy cheeks
Link: 1.3.172
Confess it, th' one to th' other; and thine eyes
Link: 1.3.173
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
Link: 1.3.174
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
Link: 1.3.175
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
Link: 1.3.176
That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
Link: 1.3.177
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
Link: 1.3.178
If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
Link: 1.3.179
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
Link: 1.3.180
Tell me truly.
Link: 1.3.181

Good madam, pardon me!
Link: 1.3.182

Do you love my son?
Link: 1.3.183

Your pardon, noble mistress!
Link: 1.3.184

Love you my son?
Link: 1.3.185

Do not you love him, madam?
Link: 1.3.186

Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Link: 1.3.187
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
Link: 1.3.188
The state of your affection; for your passions
Link: 1.3.189
Have to the full appeach'd.
Link: 1.3.190

Then, I confess,
Link: 1.3.191
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
Link: 1.3.192
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
Link: 1.3.193
I love your son.
Link: 1.3.194
My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love:
Link: 1.3.195
Be not offended; for it hurts not him
Link: 1.3.196
That he is loved of me: I follow him not
Link: 1.3.197
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Link: 1.3.198
Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
Link: 1.3.199
Yet never know how that desert should be.
Link: 1.3.200
I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
Link: 1.3.201
Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
Link: 1.3.202
I still pour in the waters of my love
Link: 1.3.203
And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
Link: 1.3.204
Religious in mine error, I adore
Link: 1.3.205
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
Link: 1.3.206
But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
Link: 1.3.207
Let not your hate encounter with my love
Link: 1.3.208
For loving where you do: but if yourself,
Link: 1.3.209
Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Link: 1.3.210
Did ever in so true a flame of liking
Link: 1.3.211
Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
Link: 1.3.212
Was both herself and love: O, then, give pity
Link: 1.3.213
To her, whose state is such that cannot choose
Link: 1.3.214
But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
Link: 1.3.215
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
Link: 1.3.216
But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies!
Link: 1.3.217

Had you not lately an intent,--speak truly,--
Link: 1.3.218
To go to Paris?
Link: 1.3.219

Madam, I had.
Link: 1.3.220

Wherefore? tell true.
Link: 1.3.221

I will tell truth; by grace itself I swear.
Link: 1.3.222
You know my father left me some prescriptions
Link: 1.3.223
Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading
Link: 1.3.224
And manifest experience had collected
Link: 1.3.225
For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me
Link: 1.3.226
In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them,
Link: 1.3.227
As notes whose faculties inclusive were
Link: 1.3.228
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
Link: 1.3.229
There is a remedy, approved, set down,
Link: 1.3.230
To cure the desperate languishings whereof
Link: 1.3.231
The king is render'd lost.
Link: 1.3.232

This was your motive
Link: 1.3.233
For Paris, was it? speak.
Link: 1.3.234

My lord your son made me to think of this;
Link: 1.3.235
Else Paris and the medicine and the king
Link: 1.3.236
Had from the conversation of my thoughts
Link: 1.3.237
Haply been absent then.
Link: 1.3.238

But think you, Helen,
Link: 1.3.239
If you should tender your supposed aid,
Link: 1.3.240
He would receive it? he and his physicians
Link: 1.3.241
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
Link: 1.3.242
They, that they cannot help: how shall they credit
Link: 1.3.243
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Link: 1.3.244
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
Link: 1.3.245
The danger to itself?
Link: 1.3.246

There's something in't,
Link: 1.3.247
More than my father's skill, which was the greatest
Link: 1.3.248
Of his profession, that his good receipt
Link: 1.3.249
Shall for my legacy be sanctified
Link: 1.3.250
By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your honour
Link: 1.3.251
But give me leave to try success, I'ld venture
Link: 1.3.252
The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure
Link: 1.3.253
By such a day and hour.
Link: 1.3.254

Dost thou believe't?
Link: 1.3.255

Ay, madam, knowingly.
Link: 1.3.256

Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
Link: 1.3.257
Means and attendants and my loving greetings
Link: 1.3.258
To those of mine in court: I'll stay at home
Link: 1.3.259
And pray God's blessing into thy attempt:
Link: 1.3.260
Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
Link: 1.3.261
What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.
Link: 1.3.262


Act II

Act 2 of "All's Well That Ends Well" follows the story of Helena, a young woman who is in love with Bertram, a Count of Rossillion. Despite being of lower social status than Bertram, Helena is determined to win his love and devises a plan to do so. She seeks the help of the King of France, who is ill, and offers to cure him in exchange for the chance to marry any man of her choosing. The King agrees and Helena successfully heals him, choosing Bertram as her husband.

However, Bertram is not pleased with the match and immediately leaves for war in Italy, refusing to consummate the marriage or acknowledge Helena as his wife. In Italy, Bertram becomes infatuated with a woman named Diana and makes a deal with her to sleep with him in exchange for a valuable ring. Meanwhile, Helena has also arrived in Italy and comes up with a plan to win Bertram's love.

She enlists the help of Diana and tricks Bertram into thinking he has slept with her, when in fact he has slept with Helena disguised as Diana. Helena also steals the ring from Bertram and uses it as proof of their union. Bertram eventually realizes he has been tricked and apologizes to Helena, acknowledging her as his wife. The play ends with the two reconciling and the King of France declaring that all is well that ends well.

SCENE I. Paris. The KING's palace.

In Scene 1 of Act 2, a young woman named Helena visits the King of France, who is ill. She tells him about a doctor who she believes can cure him. This doctor, she explains, had been her father's physician and had taught her about medicine. The King agrees to see the doctor.

As Helena leaves the room, the Countess of Rossillion enters. She is the mother of Bertram, a young nobleman who is serving in the King's army. The Countess is worried about her son, who refuses to marry any woman unless she meets certain qualifications.

Helena and the Countess discuss Bertram, and Helena reveals that she loves him. The Countess is pleased, but Helena is worried that Bertram will never return her affections. She decides to go to Paris and use her knowledge of medicine to cure the King. She hopes that, in return, the King will grant her a wish: to marry Bertram.

The scene ends with the Countess wishing Helena good luck and telling her that she will always be welcome in their home.

Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING, attended with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, and PAROLLES

Farewell, young lords; these warlike principles
Link: 2.1.1
Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewell:
Link: 2.1.2
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all
Link: 2.1.3
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received,
Link: 2.1.4
And is enough for both.
Link: 2.1.5

First Lord
'Tis our hope, sir,
Link: 2.1.6
After well enter'd soldiers, to return
Link: 2.1.7
And find your grace in health.
Link: 2.1.8

No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Link: 2.1.9
Will not confess he owes the malady
Link: 2.1.10
That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords;
Link: 2.1.11
Whether I live or die, be you the sons
Link: 2.1.12
Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy,--
Link: 2.1.13
Those bated that inherit but the fall
Link: 2.1.14
Of the last monarchy,--see that you come
Link: 2.1.15
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
Link: 2.1.16
The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
Link: 2.1.17
That fame may cry you loud: I say, farewell.
Link: 2.1.18

Second Lord
Health, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
Link: 2.1.19

Those girls of Italy, take heed of them:
Link: 2.1.20
They say, our French lack language to deny,
Link: 2.1.21
If they demand: beware of being captives,
Link: 2.1.22
Before you serve.
Link: 2.1.23

Our hearts receive your warnings.
Link: 2.1.24

Farewell. Come hither to me.
Link: 2.1.25

Exit, attended

First Lord
O, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
Link: 2.1.26

'Tis not his fault, the spark.
Link: 2.1.27

Second Lord
O, 'tis brave wars!
Link: 2.1.28

Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Link: 2.1.29

I am commanded here, and kept a coil with
Link: 2.1.30
'Too young' and 'the next year' and ''tis too early.'
Link: 2.1.31

An thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.
Link: 2.1.32

I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Link: 2.1.33
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Link: 2.1.34
Till honour be bought up and no sword worn
Link: 2.1.35
But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.
Link: 2.1.36

First Lord
There's honour in the theft.
Link: 2.1.37

Commit it, count.
Link: 2.1.38

Second Lord
I am your accessary; and so, farewell.
Link: 2.1.39

I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
Link: 2.1.40

First Lord
Farewell, captain.
Link: 2.1.41

Second Lord
Sweet Monsieur Parolles!
Link: 2.1.42

Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good
Link: 2.1.43
sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall
Link: 2.1.44
find in the regiment of the Spinii one Captain
Link: 2.1.45
Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here
Link: 2.1.46
on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword
Link: 2.1.47
entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his
Link: 2.1.48
reports for me.
Link: 2.1.49

First Lord
We shall, noble captain.
Link: 2.1.50

Exeunt Lords

Mars dote on you for his novices! what will ye do?
Link: 2.1.51

Stay: the king.
Link: 2.1.52

Re-enter KING. BERTRAM and PAROLLES retire

(To BERTRAM) Use a more spacious ceremony to the
Link: 2.1.53
noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the
Link: 2.1.54
list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to
Link: 2.1.55
them: for they wear themselves in the cap of the
Link: 2.1.56
time, there do muster true gait, eat, speak, and
Link: 2.1.57
move under the influence of the most received star;
Link: 2.1.58
and though the devil lead the measure, such are to
Link: 2.1.59
be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
Link: 2.1.60

And I will do so.
Link: 2.1.61

Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
Link: 2.1.62



(Kneeling) Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
Link: 2.1.63

I'll fee thee to stand up.
Link: 2.1.64

Then here's a man stands, that has brought his pardon.
Link: 2.1.65
I would you had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy,
Link: 2.1.66
And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
Link: 2.1.67

I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
Link: 2.1.68
And ask'd thee mercy for't.
Link: 2.1.69

Good faith, across: but, my good lord 'tis thus;
Link: 2.1.70
Will you be cured of your infirmity?
Link: 2.1.71


O, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?
Link: 2.1.73
Yes, but you will my noble grapes, an if
Link: 2.1.74
My royal fox could reach them: I have seen a medicine
Link: 2.1.75
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Link: 2.1.76
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
Link: 2.1.77
With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch,
Link: 2.1.78
Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay,
Link: 2.1.79
To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
Link: 2.1.80
And write to her a love-line.
Link: 2.1.81

What 'her' is this?
Link: 2.1.82

Why, Doctor She: my lord, there's one arrived,
Link: 2.1.83
If you will see her: now, by my faith and honour,
Link: 2.1.84
If seriously I may convey my thoughts
Link: 2.1.85
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
Link: 2.1.86
With one that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Link: 2.1.87
Wisdom and constancy, hath amazed me more
Link: 2.1.88
Than I dare blame my weakness: will you see her
Link: 2.1.89
For that is her demand, and know her business?
Link: 2.1.90
That done, laugh well at me.
Link: 2.1.91

Now, good Lafeu,
Link: 2.1.92
Bring in the admiration; that we with thee
Link: 2.1.93
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
Link: 2.1.94
By wondering how thou took'st it.
Link: 2.1.95

Nay, I'll fit you,
Link: 2.1.96
And not be all day neither.
Link: 2.1.97


Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Link: 2.1.98

Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA

Nay, come your ways.
Link: 2.1.99

This haste hath wings indeed.
Link: 2.1.100

Nay, come your ways:
Link: 2.1.101
This is his majesty; say your mind to him:
Link: 2.1.102
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
Link: 2.1.103
His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle,
Link: 2.1.104
That dare leave two together; fare you well.
Link: 2.1.105


Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
Link: 2.1.106

Ay, my good lord.
Link: 2.1.107
Gerard de Narbon was my father;
Link: 2.1.108
In what he did profess, well found.
Link: 2.1.109

I knew him.
Link: 2.1.110

The rather will I spare my praises towards him:
Link: 2.1.111
Knowing him is enough. On's bed of death
Link: 2.1.112
Many receipts he gave me: chiefly one.
Link: 2.1.113
Which, as the dearest issue of his practise,
Link: 2.1.114
And of his old experience the oily darling,
Link: 2.1.115
He bade me store up, as a triple eye,
Link: 2.1.116
Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so;
Link: 2.1.117
And hearing your high majesty is touch'd
Link: 2.1.118
With that malignant cause wherein the honour
Link: 2.1.119
Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
Link: 2.1.120
I come to tender it and my appliance
Link: 2.1.121
With all bound humbleness.
Link: 2.1.122

We thank you, maiden;
Link: 2.1.123
But may not be so credulous of cure,
Link: 2.1.124
When our most learned doctors leave us and
Link: 2.1.125
The congregated college have concluded
Link: 2.1.126
That labouring art can never ransom nature
Link: 2.1.127
From her inaidible estate; I say we must not
Link: 2.1.128
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
Link: 2.1.129
To prostitute our past-cure malady
Link: 2.1.130
To empirics, or to dissever so
Link: 2.1.131
Our great self and our credit, to esteem
Link: 2.1.132
A senseless help when help past sense we deem.
Link: 2.1.133

My duty then shall pay me for my pains:
Link: 2.1.134
I will no more enforce mine office on you.
Link: 2.1.135
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
Link: 2.1.136
A modest one, to bear me back a again.
Link: 2.1.137

I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful:
Link: 2.1.138
Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give
Link: 2.1.139
As one near death to those that wish him live:
Link: 2.1.140
But what at full I know, thou know'st no part,
Link: 2.1.141
I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
Link: 2.1.142

What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Link: 2.1.143
Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
Link: 2.1.144
He that of greatest works is finisher
Link: 2.1.145
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
Link: 2.1.146
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
Link: 2.1.147
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
Link: 2.1.148
From simple sources, and great seas have dried
Link: 2.1.149
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Link: 2.1.150
Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Link: 2.1.151
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Link: 2.1.152
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
Link: 2.1.153

I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Link: 2.1.154
Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
Link: 2.1.155
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
Link: 2.1.156

Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
Link: 2.1.157
It is not so with Him that all things knows
Link: 2.1.158
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows;
Link: 2.1.159
But most it is presumption in us when
Link: 2.1.160
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Link: 2.1.161
Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
Link: 2.1.162
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
Link: 2.1.163
I am not an impostor that proclaim
Link: 2.1.164
Myself against the level of mine aim;
Link: 2.1.165
But know I think and think I know most sure
Link: 2.1.166
My art is not past power nor you past cure.
Link: 2.1.167

Are thou so confident? within what space
Link: 2.1.168
Hopest thou my cure?
Link: 2.1.169

The great'st grace lending grace
Link: 2.1.170
Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
Link: 2.1.171
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring,
Link: 2.1.172
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Link: 2.1.173
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp,
Link: 2.1.174
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Link: 2.1.175
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass,
Link: 2.1.176
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
Link: 2.1.177
Health shall live free and sickness freely die.
Link: 2.1.178

Upon thy certainty and confidence
Link: 2.1.179
What darest thou venture?
Link: 2.1.180

Tax of impudence,
Link: 2.1.181
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame
Link: 2.1.182
Traduced by odious ballads: my maiden's name
Link: 2.1.183
Sear'd otherwise; nay, worse--if worse--extended
Link: 2.1.184
With vilest torture let my life be ended.
Link: 2.1.185

Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
Link: 2.1.186
His powerful sound within an organ weak:
Link: 2.1.187
And what impossibility would slay
Link: 2.1.188
In common sense, sense saves another way.
Link: 2.1.189
Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
Link: 2.1.190
Worth name of life in thee hath estimate,
Link: 2.1.191
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
Link: 2.1.192
That happiness and prime can happy call:
Link: 2.1.193
Thou this to hazard needs must intimate
Link: 2.1.194
Skill infinite or monstrous desperate.
Link: 2.1.195
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
Link: 2.1.196
That ministers thine own death if I die.
Link: 2.1.197

If I break time, or flinch in property
Link: 2.1.198
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
Link: 2.1.199
And well deserved: not helping, death's my fee;
Link: 2.1.200
But, if I help, what do you promise me?
Link: 2.1.201

Make thy demand.
Link: 2.1.202

But will you make it even?
Link: 2.1.203

Ay, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
Link: 2.1.204

Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand
Link: 2.1.205
What husband in thy power I will command:
Link: 2.1.206
Exempted be from me the arrogance
Link: 2.1.207
To choose from forth the royal blood of France,
Link: 2.1.208
My low and humble name to propagate
Link: 2.1.209
With any branch or image of thy state;
Link: 2.1.210
But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
Link: 2.1.211
Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
Link: 2.1.212

Here is my hand; the premises observed,
Link: 2.1.213
Thy will by my performance shall be served:
Link: 2.1.214
So make the choice of thy own time, for I,
Link: 2.1.215
Thy resolved patient, on thee still rely.
Link: 2.1.216
More should I question thee, and more I must,
Link: 2.1.217
Though more to know could not be more to trust,
Link: 2.1.218
From whence thou camest, how tended on: but rest
Link: 2.1.219
Unquestion'd welcome and undoubted blest.
Link: 2.1.220
Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed
Link: 2.1.221
As high as word, my deed shall match thy meed.
Link: 2.1.222

Flourish. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

In Scene 2 of Act 2, a young woman named Helena is trying to convince a young man named Parolles to help her win the heart of his friend, Bertram. Helena has been in love with Bertram for a long time, but he does not return her affections. She has learned that Bertram is going to Paris to join the King's army, and she wants to go with him. Parolles is a soldier who is going with Bertram to Paris, and Helena wants him to help her get close to Bertram.

Parolles is initially skeptical of Helena's plan, but she convinces him to help her by appealing to his vanity. She flatters him and tells him that he is the only one who can help her. Parolles eventually agrees to help Helena, and they make plans to meet in Paris.

This scene is significant because it sets up the central conflict of the play: Helena's unrequited love for Bertram and her determination to win him over. It also introduces the character of Parolles, who will play an important role in the plot.

Enter COUNTESS and Clown

Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of
Link: 2.2.1
your breeding.
Link: 2.2.2

I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught: I
Link: 2.2.3
know my business is but to the court.
Link: 2.2.4

To the court! why, what place make you special,
Link: 2.2.5
when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
Link: 2.2.6

Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he
Link: 2.2.7
may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make
Link: 2.2.8
a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand and say nothing,
Link: 2.2.9
has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed
Link: 2.2.10
such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the
Link: 2.2.11
court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all
Link: 2.2.12

Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all
Link: 2.2.14
Link: 2.2.15

It is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks,
Link: 2.2.16
the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn
Link: 2.2.17
buttock, or any buttock.
Link: 2.2.18

Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
Link: 2.2.19

As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney,
Link: 2.2.20
as your French crown for your taffeta punk, as Tib's
Link: 2.2.21
rush for Tom's forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove
Link: 2.2.22
Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his
Link: 2.2.23
hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding queen
Link: 2.2.24
to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the
Link: 2.2.25
friar's mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin.
Link: 2.2.26

Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all
Link: 2.2.27
Link: 2.2.28

From below your duke to beneath your constable, it
Link: 2.2.29
will fit any question.
Link: 2.2.30

It must be an answer of most monstrous size that
Link: 2.2.31
must fit all demands.
Link: 2.2.32

But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned
Link: 2.2.33
should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that
Link: 2.2.34
belongs to't. Ask me if I am a courtier: it shall
Link: 2.2.35
do you no harm to learn.
Link: 2.2.36

To be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in
Link: 2.2.37
question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I
Link: 2.2.38
pray you, sir, are you a courtier?
Link: 2.2.39

O Lord, sir! There's a simple putting off. More,
Link: 2.2.40
more, a hundred of them.
Link: 2.2.41

Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
Link: 2.2.42

O Lord, sir! Thick, thick, spare not me.
Link: 2.2.43

I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
Link: 2.2.44

O Lord, sir! Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
Link: 2.2.45

You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
Link: 2.2.46

O Lord, sir! spare not me.
Link: 2.2.47

Do you cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and
Link: 2.2.48
'spare not me?' Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very
Link: 2.2.49
sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well
Link: 2.2.50
to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
Link: 2.2.51

I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord,
Link: 2.2.52
sir!' I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.
Link: 2.2.53

I play the noble housewife with the time
Link: 2.2.54
To entertain't so merrily with a fool.
Link: 2.2.55

O Lord, sir! why, there't serves well again.
Link: 2.2.56

An end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this,
Link: 2.2.57
And urge her to a present answer back:
Link: 2.2.58
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son:
Link: 2.2.59
This is not much.
Link: 2.2.60

Not much commendation to them.
Link: 2.2.61

Not much employment for you: you understand me?
Link: 2.2.62

Most fruitfully: I am there before my legs.
Link: 2.2.63

Haste you again.
Link: 2.2.64

Exeunt severally

SCENE III. Paris. The KING's palace.

In Scene 3 of Act 2, a Countess speaks with her clown and attendant about her son and his recent departure. She expresses her worry for him and questions her clown about his whereabouts. The clown tells her that the son has gone to Paris and that he himself has a letter from him. The Countess asks the clown to read the letter to her.

The letter reveals that the son is in love with a woman named Helena, who is a ward of the Countess. The son asks for permission to marry Helena, but the Countess is hesitant because of their differing social statuses. The clown and attendant both encourage the Countess to allow the marriage, but she remains uncertain.

The scene ends with the Countess sending the clown to Paris to deliver a letter to her son, which he will use to decide whether or not to pursue the marriage. The Countess also reveals that she plans to travel to Paris herself to investigate the situation further.


They say miracles are past; and we have our
Link: 2.3.1
philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar,
Link: 2.3.2
things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
Link: 2.3.3
we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
Link: 2.3.4
into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
Link: 2.3.5
ourselves to an unknown fear.
Link: 2.3.6

Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath
Link: 2.3.7
shot out in our latter times.
Link: 2.3.8

And so 'tis.
Link: 2.3.9

To be relinquish'd of the artists,--
Link: 2.3.10

So I say.
Link: 2.3.11

Both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Link: 2.3.12

So I say.
Link: 2.3.13

Of all the learned and authentic fellows,--
Link: 2.3.14

Right; so I say.
Link: 2.3.15

That gave him out incurable,--
Link: 2.3.16

Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
Link: 2.3.17

Not to be helped,--
Link: 2.3.18

Right; as 'twere, a man assured of a--
Link: 2.3.19

Uncertain life, and sure death.
Link: 2.3.20

Just, you say well; so would I have said.
Link: 2.3.21

I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.
Link: 2.3.22

It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
Link: 2.3.23
shall read it in--what do you call there?
Link: 2.3.24

A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
Link: 2.3.25

That's it; I would have said the very same.
Link: 2.3.26

Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
Link: 2.3.27
I speak in respect--
Link: 2.3.28

Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
Link: 2.3.29
brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
Link: 2.3.30
facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--
Link: 2.3.31

Very hand of heaven.
Link: 2.3.32

Ay, so I say.
Link: 2.3.33

In a most weak--
Link: 2.3.34
and debile minister, great power, great
Link: 2.3.35
transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a
Link: 2.3.36
further use to be made than alone the recovery of
Link: 2.3.37
the king, as to be--
Link: 2.3.38
generally thankful.
Link: 2.3.39

I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.
Link: 2.3.40

Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and PAROLLES retire

Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the
Link: 2.3.41
better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
Link: 2.3.42
able to lead her a coranto.
Link: 2.3.43

Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?
Link: 2.3.44

'Fore God, I think so.
Link: 2.3.45

Go, call before me all the lords in court.
Link: 2.3.46
Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
Link: 2.3.47
And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
Link: 2.3.48
Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive
Link: 2.3.49
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Link: 2.3.50
Which but attends thy naming.
Link: 2.3.51
Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Link: 2.3.52
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
Link: 2.3.53
O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
Link: 2.3.54
I have to use: thy frank election make;
Link: 2.3.55
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
Link: 2.3.56

To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
Link: 2.3.57
Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
Link: 2.3.58

I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
Link: 2.3.59
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
Link: 2.3.60
And writ as little beard.
Link: 2.3.61

Peruse them well:
Link: 2.3.62
Not one of those but had a noble father.
Link: 2.3.63

Link: 2.3.64
Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
Link: 2.3.65

We understand it, and thank heaven for you.
Link: 2.3.66

I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,
Link: 2.3.67
That I protest I simply am a maid.
Link: 2.3.68
Please it your majesty, I have done already:
Link: 2.3.69
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
Link: 2.3.70
'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
Link: 2.3.71
Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
Link: 2.3.72
We'll ne'er come there again.'
Link: 2.3.73

Make choice; and, see,
Link: 2.3.74
Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
Link: 2.3.75

Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
Link: 2.3.76
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Link: 2.3.77
Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
Link: 2.3.78

First Lord
And grant it.
Link: 2.3.79

Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
Link: 2.3.80

I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
Link: 2.3.81
for my life.
Link: 2.3.82

The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
Link: 2.3.83
Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
Link: 2.3.84
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Link: 2.3.85
Her that so wishes and her humble love!
Link: 2.3.86

Second Lord
No better, if you please.
Link: 2.3.87

My wish receive,
Link: 2.3.88
Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
Link: 2.3.89

Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,
Link: 2.3.90
I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
Link: 2.3.91
Turk, to make eunuchs of.
Link: 2.3.92

Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
Link: 2.3.93
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Link: 2.3.94
Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Link: 2.3.95
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
Link: 2.3.96

These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
Link: 2.3.97
sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
Link: 2.3.98
ne'er got 'em.
Link: 2.3.99

You are too young, too happy, and too good,
Link: 2.3.100
To make yourself a son out of my blood.
Link: 2.3.101

Fourth Lord
Fair one, I think not so.
Link: 2.3.102

There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
Link: 2.3.103
wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
Link: 2.3.104
of fourteen; I have known thee already.
Link: 2.3.105

(To BERTRAM) I dare not say I take you; but I give
Link: 2.3.106
Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
Link: 2.3.107
Into your guiding power. This is the man.
Link: 2.3.108

Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
Link: 2.3.109

My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
Link: 2.3.110
In such a business give me leave to use
Link: 2.3.111
The help of mine own eyes.
Link: 2.3.112

Know'st thou not, Bertram,
Link: 2.3.113
What she has done for me?
Link: 2.3.114

Yes, my good lord;
Link: 2.3.115
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
Link: 2.3.116

Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
Link: 2.3.117

But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Link: 2.3.118
Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
Link: 2.3.119
She had her breeding at my father's charge.
Link: 2.3.120
A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
Link: 2.3.121
Rather corrupt me ever!
Link: 2.3.122

'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
Link: 2.3.123
I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
Link: 2.3.124
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Link: 2.3.125
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
Link: 2.3.126
In differences so mighty. If she be
Link: 2.3.127
All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest,
Link: 2.3.128
A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest
Link: 2.3.129
Of virtue for the name: but do not so:
Link: 2.3.130
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
Link: 2.3.131
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Link: 2.3.132
Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
Link: 2.3.133
It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
Link: 2.3.134
Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
Link: 2.3.135
The property by what it is should go,
Link: 2.3.136
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
Link: 2.3.137
In these to nature she's immediate heir,
Link: 2.3.138
And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
Link: 2.3.139
Which challenges itself as honour's born
Link: 2.3.140
And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
Link: 2.3.141
When rather from our acts we them derive
Link: 2.3.142
Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave
Link: 2.3.143
Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave
Link: 2.3.144
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
Link: 2.3.145
Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
Link: 2.3.146
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said?
Link: 2.3.147
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
Link: 2.3.148
I can create the rest: virtue and she
Link: 2.3.149
Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
Link: 2.3.150

I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
Link: 2.3.151

Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.
Link: 2.3.152

That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad:
Link: 2.3.153
Let the rest go.
Link: 2.3.154

My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
Link: 2.3.155
I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,
Link: 2.3.156
Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
Link: 2.3.157
That dost in vile misprision shackle up
Link: 2.3.158
My love and her desert; that canst not dream,
Link: 2.3.159
We, poising us in her defective scale,
Link: 2.3.160
Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
Link: 2.3.161
It is in us to plant thine honour where
Link: 2.3.162
We please to have it grow. Cheque thy contempt:
Link: 2.3.163
Obey our will, which travails in thy good:
Link: 2.3.164
Believe not thy disdain, but presently
Link: 2.3.165
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
Link: 2.3.166
Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
Link: 2.3.167
Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
Link: 2.3.168
Into the staggers and the careless lapse
Link: 2.3.169
Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
Link: 2.3.170
Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice,
Link: 2.3.171
Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
Link: 2.3.172

Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
Link: 2.3.173
My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
Link: 2.3.174
What great creation and what dole of honour
Link: 2.3.175
Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late
Link: 2.3.176
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
Link: 2.3.177
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Link: 2.3.178
Is as 'twere born so.
Link: 2.3.179

Take her by the hand,
Link: 2.3.180
And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
Link: 2.3.181
A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
Link: 2.3.182
A balance more replete.
Link: 2.3.183

I take her hand.
Link: 2.3.184

Good fortune and the favour of the king
Link: 2.3.185
Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
Link: 2.3.186
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
Link: 2.3.187
And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast
Link: 2.3.188
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Link: 2.3.189
Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her,
Link: 2.3.190
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
Link: 2.3.191

Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES

(Advancing) Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
Link: 2.3.192

Your pleasure, sir?
Link: 2.3.193

Your lord and master did well to make his
Link: 2.3.194
Link: 2.3.195

Recantation! My lord! my master!
Link: 2.3.196

Ay; is it not a language I speak?
Link: 2.3.197

A most harsh one, and not to be understood without
Link: 2.3.198
bloody succeeding. My master!
Link: 2.3.199

Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?
Link: 2.3.200

To any count, to all counts, to what is man.
Link: 2.3.201

To what is count's man: count's master is of
Link: 2.3.202
another style.
Link: 2.3.203

You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
Link: 2.3.204

I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
Link: 2.3.205
title age cannot bring thee.
Link: 2.3.206

What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
Link: 2.3.207

I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
Link: 2.3.208
wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
Link: 2.3.209
travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the
Link: 2.3.210
bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from
Link: 2.3.211
believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I
Link: 2.3.212
have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care
Link: 2.3.213
not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and
Link: 2.3.214
that thou't scarce worth.
Link: 2.3.215

Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--
Link: 2.3.216

Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou
Link: 2.3.217
hasten thy trial; which if--Lord have mercy on thee
Link: 2.3.218
for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee
Link: 2.3.219
well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
Link: 2.3.220
through thee. Give me thy hand.
Link: 2.3.221

My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
Link: 2.3.222

Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
Link: 2.3.223

I have not, my lord, deserved it.
Link: 2.3.224

Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not
Link: 2.3.225
bate thee a scruple.
Link: 2.3.226

Well, I shall be wiser.
Link: 2.3.227

Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
Link: 2.3.228
a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
Link: 2.3.229
in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is
Link: 2.3.230
to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold
Link: 2.3.231
my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge,
Link: 2.3.232
that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.
Link: 2.3.233

My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
Link: 2.3.234

I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor
Link: 2.3.235
doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
Link: 2.3.236
thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
Link: 2.3.237


Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off
Link: 2.3.238
me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must
Link: 2.3.239
be patient; there is no fettering of authority.
Link: 2.3.240
I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with
Link: 2.3.241
any convenience, an he were double and double a
Link: 2.3.242
lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I
Link: 2.3.243
would of--I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Link: 2.3.244

Re-enter LAFEU

Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
Link: 2.3.245
for you: you have a new mistress.
Link: 2.3.246

I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
Link: 2.3.247
some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
Link: 2.3.248
lord: whom I serve above is my master.
Link: 2.3.249

Who? God?
Link: 2.3.250

Ay, sir.
Link: 2.3.251

The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
Link: 2.3.252
garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of
Link: 2.3.253
sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set
Link: 2.3.254
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine
Link: 2.3.255
honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat
Link: 2.3.256
thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and
Link: 2.3.257
every man should beat thee: I think thou wast
Link: 2.3.258
created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
Link: 2.3.259

This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
Link: 2.3.260

Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a
Link: 2.3.261
kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and
Link: 2.3.262
no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords
Link: 2.3.263
and honourable personages than the commission of your
Link: 2.3.264
birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
Link: 2.3.265
worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.
Link: 2.3.266


Good, very good; it is so then: good, very good;
Link: 2.3.267
let it be concealed awhile.
Link: 2.3.268

Re-enter BERTRAM

Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Link: 2.3.269

What's the matter, sweet-heart?
Link: 2.3.270

Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
Link: 2.3.271
I will not bed her.
Link: 2.3.272

What, what, sweet-heart?
Link: 2.3.273

O my Parolles, they have married me!
Link: 2.3.274
I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
Link: 2.3.275

France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
Link: 2.3.276
The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
Link: 2.3.277

There's letters from my mother: what the import is,
Link: 2.3.278
I know not yet.
Link: 2.3.279

Ay, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars!
Link: 2.3.280
He wears his honour in a box unseen,
Link: 2.3.281
That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
Link: 2.3.282
Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
Link: 2.3.283
Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
Link: 2.3.284
Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
Link: 2.3.285
France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
Link: 2.3.286
Therefore, to the war!
Link: 2.3.287

It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
Link: 2.3.288
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
Link: 2.3.289
And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
Link: 2.3.290
That which I durst not speak; his present gift
Link: 2.3.291
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields,
Link: 2.3.292
Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife
Link: 2.3.293
To the dark house and the detested wife.
Link: 2.3.294

Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?
Link: 2.3.295

Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.
Link: 2.3.296
I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
Link: 2.3.297
I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
Link: 2.3.298

Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
Link: 2.3.299
A young man married is a man that's marr'd:
Link: 2.3.300
Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
Link: 2.3.301
The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.
Link: 2.3.302


SCENE IV. Paris. The KING's palace.

In Scene 4 of Act 2, we see the Countess of Rossillion, who is the mother of the play's protagonist, discussing the recent departure of her son Bertram to the King's court. She is worried about the influence that the King and his courtiers might have on her son, especially since he is still young and impressionable.

As the Countess and her steward, Lavatch, are talking, they are interrupted by the arrival of Helena, the daughter of a doctor who served the Countess's late husband. Helena is in love with Bertram, but he has shown no interest in her, and has in fact left without saying goodbye. Helena has come to ask for the Countess's permission to go to the court and try to win Bertram's love.

The Countess is sympathetic to Helena's plight and agrees to help her. She gives Helena a letter of introduction to the King, which will allow her to present herself at court. The Countess also gives Helena a ring that belonged to her late husband, which she tells Helena to use as a token of her love for Bertram.

Helena is grateful for the Countess's help and promises to use every means at her disposal to win Bertram's love. She then leaves for the court, determined to prove herself worthy of Bertram's affections.

Enter HELENA and Clown

My mother greets me kindly; is she well?
Link: 2.4.1

She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's
Link: 2.4.2
very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be
Link: 2.4.3
given, she's very well and wants nothing i', the
Link: 2.4.4
world; but yet she is not well.
Link: 2.4.5

If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's
Link: 2.4.6
not very well?
Link: 2.4.7

Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
Link: 2.4.8

What two things?
Link: 2.4.9

One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her
Link: 2.4.10
quickly! the other that she's in earth, from whence
Link: 2.4.11
God send her quickly!
Link: 2.4.12


Bless you, my fortunate lady!
Link: 2.4.13

I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own
Link: 2.4.14
good fortunes.
Link: 2.4.15

You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them
Link: 2.4.16
on, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
Link: 2.4.17

So that you had her wrinkles and I her money,
Link: 2.4.18
I would she did as you say.
Link: 2.4.19

Why, I say nothing.
Link: 2.4.20

Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's
Link: 2.4.21
tongue shakes out his master's undoing: to say
Link: 2.4.22
nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have
Link: 2.4.23
nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which
Link: 2.4.24
is within a very little of nothing.
Link: 2.4.25

Away! thou'rt a knave.
Link: 2.4.26

You should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt a
Link: 2.4.27
knave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this had
Link: 2.4.28
been truth, sir.
Link: 2.4.29

Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
Link: 2.4.30

Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you
Link: 2.4.31
taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable;
Link: 2.4.32
and much fool may you find in you, even to the
Link: 2.4.33
world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.
Link: 2.4.34

A good knave, i' faith, and well fed.
Link: 2.4.35
Madam, my lord will go away to-night;
Link: 2.4.36
A very serious business calls on him.
Link: 2.4.37
The great prerogative and rite of love,
Link: 2.4.38
Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge;
Link: 2.4.39
But puts it off to a compell'd restraint;
Link: 2.4.40
Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,
Link: 2.4.41
Which they distil now in the curbed time,
Link: 2.4.42
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
Link: 2.4.43
And pleasure drown the brim.
Link: 2.4.44

What's his will else?
Link: 2.4.45

That you will take your instant leave o' the king
Link: 2.4.46
And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
Link: 2.4.47
Strengthen'd with what apology you think
Link: 2.4.48
May make it probable need.
Link: 2.4.49

What more commands he?
Link: 2.4.50

That, having this obtain'd, you presently
Link: 2.4.51
Attend his further pleasure.
Link: 2.4.52

In every thing I wait upon his will.
Link: 2.4.53

I shall report it so.
Link: 2.4.54

I pray you.
Link: 2.4.55
Come, sirrah.
Link: 2.4.56


SCENE V. Paris. The KING's palace.

Scene 5 of Act 2 takes place in Rossillion, the home of Countess de Rousillon. The Countess is speaking with her steward, Lavatch, about her son Bertram who has recently left for the court of the King of France to serve as a page.

The Countess expresses her concern about Bertram, who she fears may be led astray by bad influences at court. Lavatch offers his opinion, saying that Bertram is a good boy and will not be easily swayed. He also tells the Countess that she should be proud of Bertram's noble lineage and that he will surely make a name for himself at court.

The conversation then turns to the Countess's late husband, who was a great warrior. Lavatch tells a humorous story about a time when the Countess's husband was so angry that he threw a monkey out of a window. The Countess is amused by the story and reminisces about her husband's bravery.

As they continue to talk, the Countess realizes that Lavatch is getting old and she worries about his future. Lavatch reassures her that he is content with his life and that he will continue to serve her as long as he is able.

The scene ends with the Countess reflecting on her own life and the passing of time. She tells Lavatch that she feels old and tired, but he reminds her that she still has many good years ahead of her.


But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
Link: 2.5.1

Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
Link: 2.5.2

You have it from his own deliverance.
Link: 2.5.3

And by other warranted testimony.
Link: 2.5.4

Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
Link: 2.5.5

I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
Link: 2.5.6
knowledge and accordingly valiant.
Link: 2.5.7

I have then sinned against his experience and
Link: 2.5.8
transgressed against his valour; and my state that
Link: 2.5.9
way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my
Link: 2.5.10
heart to repent. Here he comes: I pray you, make
Link: 2.5.11
us friends; I will pursue the amity.
Link: 2.5.12


(To BERTRAM) These things shall be done, sir.
Link: 2.5.13

Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?
Link: 2.5.14


O, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good
Link: 2.5.16
workman, a very good tailor.
Link: 2.5.17

(Aside to PAROLLES) Is she gone to the king?
Link: 2.5.18

She is.
Link: 2.5.19

Will she away to-night?
Link: 2.5.20

As you'll have her.
Link: 2.5.21

I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Link: 2.5.22
Given order for our horses; and to-night,
Link: 2.5.23
When I should take possession of the bride,
Link: 2.5.24
End ere I do begin.
Link: 2.5.25

A good traveller is something at the latter end of a
Link: 2.5.26
dinner; but one that lies three thirds and uses a
Link: 2.5.27
known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should
Link: 2.5.28
be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
Link: 2.5.29

Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
Link: 2.5.30

I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's
Link: 2.5.31
Link: 2.5.32

You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs
Link: 2.5.33
and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and
Link: 2.5.34
out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer
Link: 2.5.35
question for your residence.
Link: 2.5.36

It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
Link: 2.5.37

And shall do so ever, though I took him at 's
Link: 2.5.38
prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this
Link: 2.5.39
of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the
Link: 2.5.40
soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in
Link: 2.5.41
matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them
Link: 2.5.42
tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur:
Link: 2.5.43
I have spoken better of you than you have or will to
Link: 2.5.44
deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.
Link: 2.5.45


An idle lord. I swear.
Link: 2.5.46

I think so.
Link: 2.5.47

Why, do you not know him?
Link: 2.5.48

Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
Link: 2.5.49
Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
Link: 2.5.50


I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
Link: 2.5.51
Spoke with the king and have procured his leave
Link: 2.5.52
For present parting; only he desires
Link: 2.5.53
Some private speech with you.
Link: 2.5.54

I shall obey his will.
Link: 2.5.55
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Link: 2.5.56
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
Link: 2.5.57
The ministration and required office
Link: 2.5.58
On my particular. Prepared I was not
Link: 2.5.59
For such a business; therefore am I found
Link: 2.5.60
So much unsettled: this drives me to entreat you
Link: 2.5.61
That presently you take our way for home;
Link: 2.5.62
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you,
Link: 2.5.63
For my respects are better than they seem
Link: 2.5.64
And my appointments have in them a need
Link: 2.5.65
Greater than shows itself at the first view
Link: 2.5.66
To you that know them not. This to my mother:
Link: 2.5.67
'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
Link: 2.5.68
I leave you to your wisdom.
Link: 2.5.69

Sir, I can nothing say,
Link: 2.5.70
But that I am your most obedient servant.
Link: 2.5.71

Come, come, no more of that.
Link: 2.5.72

And ever shall
Link: 2.5.73
With true observance seek to eke out that
Link: 2.5.74
Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
Link: 2.5.75
To equal my great fortune.
Link: 2.5.76

Let that go:
Link: 2.5.77
My haste is very great: farewell; hie home.
Link: 2.5.78

Pray, sir, your pardon.
Link: 2.5.79

Well, what would you say?
Link: 2.5.80

I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
Link: 2.5.81
Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is;
Link: 2.5.82
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
Link: 2.5.83
What law does vouch mine own.
Link: 2.5.84

What would you have?
Link: 2.5.85

Something; and scarce so much: nothing, indeed.
Link: 2.5.86
I would not tell you what I would, my lord:
Link: 2.5.87
Faith yes;
Link: 2.5.88
Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
Link: 2.5.89

I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
Link: 2.5.90

I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
Link: 2.5.91

Where are my other men, monsieur? Farewell.
Link: 2.5.92
Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Link: 2.5.93
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Link: 2.5.94
Away, and for our flight.
Link: 2.5.95

Bravely, coragio!
Link: 2.5.96



Act 3 of All's Well That Ends Well begins with the Countess of Rossillion and the Clown discussing the news of Bertram's departure for the wars. Helena enters and the Countess asks for her opinion on Bertram's decision to leave. Helena expresses her love for Bertram and her desire to follow him to the wars.

In the next scene, Bertram and Parolles are discussing their plans for the war. Bertram expresses his disdain for Helena and his desire to be with other women. Parolles encourages him to pursue his desires.

Meanwhile, Helena has arrived at the war and is using her knowledge of medicine to heal the sick and injured soldiers. She meets a young woman, Diana, who agrees to help her win Bertram's love. They concoct a plan to trick Bertram into sleeping with Helena by having Diana pretend to be her.

In the final scene of Act 3, Bertram has been tricked into sleeping with Helena, believing her to be Diana. He is furious when he discovers the truth but Helena convinces him to accept her as his wife by revealing that she is pregnant with his child. Bertram reluctantly agrees to accept Helena as his wife but vows to leave her as soon as possible.

SCENE I. Florence. The DUKE's palace.

Scene 1 of Act 3 opens with the Countess receiving a letter from Helena, who is now in Paris. The letter tells the Countess about Helena's successful attempt to cure the King of France's illness, for which she has been rewarded with a choice of husband. The Countess is pleased to hear of Helena's success but is worried about her choice of husband, as she knows that Helena is still in love with her son Bertram, who has left for Florence.

Just then, the Clown enters, carrying a letter from Bertram. The letter is full of insults towards Helena and the King, and the Countess is shocked and disappointed at her son's behavior. She decides to write a letter to Bertram, urging him to return to Paris and make amends with Helena and the King.

The scene ends with the Countess and the Clown discussing the different meanings of the word "rascals," which the Countess uses to describe Bertram's behavior. The Clown suggests that the word can mean either "villainous knaves" or "poor dissembling cheaters," and the Countess agrees that both definitions apply to her son.

Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence attended; the two Frenchmen, with a troop of soldiers.

So that from point to point now have you heard
Link: 3.1.1
The fundamental reasons of this war,
Link: 3.1.2
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
Link: 3.1.3
And more thirsts after.
Link: 3.1.4

First Lord
Holy seems the quarrel
Link: 3.1.5
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
Link: 3.1.6
On the opposer.
Link: 3.1.7

Therefore we marvel much our cousin France
Link: 3.1.8
Would in so just a business shut his bosom
Link: 3.1.9
Against our borrowing prayers.
Link: 3.1.10

Second Lord
Good my lord,
Link: 3.1.11
The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
Link: 3.1.12
But like a common and an outward man,
Link: 3.1.13
That the great figure of a council frames
Link: 3.1.14
By self-unable motion: therefore dare not
Link: 3.1.15
Say what I think of it, since I have found
Link: 3.1.16
Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
Link: 3.1.17
As often as I guess'd.
Link: 3.1.18

Be it his pleasure.
Link: 3.1.19

First Lord
But I am sure the younger of our nature,
Link: 3.1.20
That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
Link: 3.1.21
Come here for physic.
Link: 3.1.22

Welcome shall they be;
Link: 3.1.23
And all the honours that can fly from us
Link: 3.1.24
Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
Link: 3.1.25
When better fall, for your avails they fell:
Link: 3.1.26
To-morrow to the field.
Link: 3.1.27

Flourish. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 2 of Act 3 features two characters named Parolles and Lafew. Parolles is a soldier who brags about his accomplishments and his bravery, even though he is not actually as brave as he claims to be. Lafew, on the other hand, is a wise old man who sees through Parolles' bravado.

The scene begins with Parolles boasting about how he would handle a difficult situation if he were in Lafew's position. Lafew challenges Parolles, asking him if he would really be able to handle the situation as well as he claims. Parolles insists that he would, but Lafew continues to question him, pointing out the flaws in his logic.

Eventually, Lafew reveals that he knows Parolles is not as brave as he pretends to be. He tells Parolles that he has heard rumors about him, and that he knows he is a coward. Parolles tries to deny it, but Lafew is not fooled. He tells Parolles that he needs to be honest with himself and with others, and that he will never be a true soldier until he learns to be brave.

Overall, Scene 2 of Act 3 is a dialogue between two characters who represent very different perspectives on bravery and heroism. Parolles believes that bravery is all about appearances and reputation, while Lafew believes that true bravery comes from within. The scene sets up an important conflict that will play out later in the play, as Parolles is forced to confront his own cowardice and learn what it truly means to be a hero.

Enter COUNTESS and Clown

It hath happened all as I would have had it, save
Link: 3.2.1
that he comes not along with her.
Link: 3.2.2

By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very
Link: 3.2.3
melancholy man.
Link: 3.2.4

By what observance, I pray you?
Link: 3.2.5

Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the
Link: 3.2.6
ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his
Link: 3.2.7
teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of
Link: 3.2.8
melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.
Link: 3.2.9

Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
Link: 3.2.10

Opening a letter

I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court: our
Link: 3.2.11
old ling and our Isbels o' the country are nothing
Link: 3.2.12
like your old ling and your Isbels o' the court:
Link: 3.2.13
the brains of my Cupid's knocked out, and I begin to
Link: 3.2.14
love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
Link: 3.2.15

What have we here?
Link: 3.2.16

E'en that you have there.
Link: 3.2.17


(Reads) I have sent you a daughter-in-law: she hath
Link: 3.2.18
recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded
Link: 3.2.19
her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the 'not'
Link: 3.2.20
eternal. You shall hear I am run away: know it
Link: 3.2.21
before the report come. If there be breadth enough
Link: 3.2.22
in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty
Link: 3.2.23
to you. Your unfortunate son,
Link: 3.2.24
Link: 3.2.25
This is not well, rash and unbridled boy.
Link: 3.2.26
To fly the favours of so good a king;
Link: 3.2.27
To pluck his indignation on thy head
Link: 3.2.28
By the misprising of a maid too virtuous
Link: 3.2.29
For the contempt of empire.
Link: 3.2.30

Re-enter Clown

O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two
Link: 3.2.31
soldiers and my young lady!
Link: 3.2.32

What is the matter?
Link: 3.2.33

Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some
Link: 3.2.34
comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I
Link: 3.2.35
thought he would.
Link: 3.2.36

Why should he be killed?
Link: 3.2.37

So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does:
Link: 3.2.38
the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of
Link: 3.2.39
men, though it be the getting of children. Here
Link: 3.2.40
they come will tell you more: for my part, I only
Link: 3.2.41
hear your son was run away.
Link: 3.2.42


Enter HELENA, and two Gentlemen

First Gentleman
Save you, good madam.
Link: 3.2.43

Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
Link: 3.2.44

Second Gentleman
Do not say so.
Link: 3.2.45

Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen,
Link: 3.2.46
I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief,
Link: 3.2.47
That the first face of neither, on the start,
Link: 3.2.48
Can woman me unto't: where is my son, I pray you?
Link: 3.2.49

Second Gentleman
Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of Florence:
Link: 3.2.50
We met him thitherward; for thence we came,
Link: 3.2.51
And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
Link: 3.2.52
Thither we bend again.
Link: 3.2.53

Look on his letter, madam; here's my passport.
Link: 3.2.54
When thou canst get the ring upon my finger which
Link: 3.2.55
never shall come off, and show me a child begotten
Link: 3.2.56
of thy body that I am father to, then call me
Link: 3.2.57
husband: but in such a 'then' I write a 'never.'
Link: 3.2.58
This is a dreadful sentence.
Link: 3.2.59

Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
Link: 3.2.60

First Gentleman
Ay, madam;
Link: 3.2.61
And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pain.
Link: 3.2.62

I prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
Link: 3.2.63
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Link: 3.2.64
Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son;
Link: 3.2.65
But I do wash his name out of my blood,
Link: 3.2.66
And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
Link: 3.2.67

Second Gentleman
Ay, madam.
Link: 3.2.68

And to be a soldier?
Link: 3.2.69

Second Gentleman
Such is his noble purpose; and believe 't,
Link: 3.2.70
The duke will lay upon him all the honour
Link: 3.2.71
That good convenience claims.
Link: 3.2.72

Return you thither?
Link: 3.2.73

First Gentleman
Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
Link: 3.2.74

(Reads) Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.
Link: 3.2.75
'Tis bitter.
Link: 3.2.76

Find you that there?
Link: 3.2.77

Ay, madam.
Link: 3.2.78

First Gentleman
'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his
Link: 3.2.79
heart was not consenting to.
Link: 3.2.80

Nothing in France, until he have no wife!
Link: 3.2.81
There's nothing here that is too good for him
Link: 3.2.82
But only she; and she deserves a lord
Link: 3.2.83
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
Link: 3.2.84
And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
Link: 3.2.85

First Gentleman
A servant only, and a gentleman
Link: 3.2.86
Which I have sometime known.
Link: 3.2.87

Parolles, was it not?
Link: 3.2.88

First Gentleman
Ay, my good lady, he.
Link: 3.2.89

A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
Link: 3.2.90
My son corrupts a well-derived nature
Link: 3.2.91
With his inducement.
Link: 3.2.92

First Gentleman
Indeed, good lady,
Link: 3.2.93
The fellow has a deal of that too much,
Link: 3.2.94
Which holds him much to have.
Link: 3.2.95

You're welcome, gentlemen.
Link: 3.2.96
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
Link: 3.2.97
To tell him that his sword can never win
Link: 3.2.98
The honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you
Link: 3.2.99
Written to bear along.
Link: 3.2.100

Second Gentleman
We serve you, madam,
Link: 3.2.101
In that and all your worthiest affairs.
Link: 3.2.102

Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
Link: 3.2.103
Will you draw near!
Link: 3.2.104

Exeunt COUNTESS and Gentlemen

'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.'
Link: 3.2.105
Nothing in France, until he has no wife!
Link: 3.2.106
Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France;
Link: 3.2.107
Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is't I
Link: 3.2.108
That chase thee from thy country and expose
Link: 3.2.109
Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Link: 3.2.110
Of the none-sparing war? and is it I
Link: 3.2.111
That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Link: 3.2.112
Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
Link: 3.2.113
Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,
Link: 3.2.114
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
Link: 3.2.115
Fly with false aim; move the still-peering air,
Link: 3.2.116
That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord.
Link: 3.2.117
Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
Link: 3.2.118
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
Link: 3.2.119
I am the caitiff that do hold him to't;
Link: 3.2.120
And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
Link: 3.2.121
His death was so effected: better 'twere
Link: 3.2.122
I met the ravin lion when he roar'd
Link: 3.2.123
With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
Link: 3.2.124
That all the miseries which nature owes
Link: 3.2.125
Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon,
Link: 3.2.126
Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,
Link: 3.2.127
As oft it loses all: I will be gone;
Link: 3.2.128
My being here it is that holds thee hence:
Link: 3.2.129
Shall I stay here to do't? no, no, although
Link: 3.2.130
The air of paradise did fan the house
Link: 3.2.131
And angels officed all: I will be gone,
Link: 3.2.132
That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
Link: 3.2.133
To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!
Link: 3.2.134
For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.
Link: 3.2.135


SCENE III. Florence. Before the DUKE's palace.

Scene 3 of Act 3 is set in the King of France's palace. The King is discussing the situation with his lords regarding Bertram's refusal to marry Helena, who cured him of his illness. The King is angry and disappointed with Bertram's behavior and considers punishing him for disrespecting Helena.

The Countess of Rossillion, Bertram's mother, enters the scene and defends her son's actions. She believes that Bertram is too young to be forced into marriage and that he should be allowed to choose his own wife. The King disagrees with her and refuses to let Bertram off the hook.

Helena then enters the scene and offers to prove her worthiness to Bertram by presenting him with a ring he gave her before he left for war. Bertram denies ever giving her the ring and accuses her of lying. The King is shocked by Bertram's behavior and orders him to accept Helena as his wife or face severe consequences.

The scene ends with Bertram agreeing to marry Helena but plotting to leave her immediately after the wedding. Helena, however, is determined to win Bertram's love and is willing to do whatever it takes to make their marriage work.

Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence, BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Soldiers, Drum, and Trumpets

The general of our horse thou art; and we,
Link: 3.3.1
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Link: 3.3.2
Upon thy promising fortune.
Link: 3.3.3

Sir, it is
Link: 3.3.4
A charge too heavy for my strength, but yet
Link: 3.3.5
We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake
Link: 3.3.6
To the extreme edge of hazard.
Link: 3.3.7

Then go thou forth;
Link: 3.3.8
And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
Link: 3.3.9
As thy auspicious mistress!
Link: 3.3.10

This very day,
Link: 3.3.11
Great Mars, I put myself into thy file:
Link: 3.3.12
Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove
Link: 3.3.13
A lover of thy drum, hater of love.
Link: 3.3.14


SCENE IV. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 4 of Act 3 begins with the Countess of Rossillion receiving a letter from her son, Bertram. She reads it aloud to her steward, Lavatch, and it becomes clear that Bertram is unhappy with his arranged marriage to Helena and has fled to Florence. The Countess is distraught and Lavatch attempts to comfort her by sharing a humorous story about a man who pretended to be dead in order to avoid paying his debts.

However, their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Parolles, a soldier and friend of Bertram's. Parolles brings news that Bertram has been wounded in battle and is being brought to Florence for medical treatment. The Countess is relieved to hear this and sends Lavatch to prepare for their departure to Florence.

Before leaving, Parolles tries to convince the Countess to forgive Bertram for his actions and to persuade Helena to come to Florence to be with him. However, the Countess is skeptical of Parolles' true intentions and warns him not to interfere in their family affairs.

The scene ends with the Countess and Lavatch departing for Florence to reunite with Bertram and Helena.

Enter COUNTESS and Steward

Alas! and would you take the letter of her?
Link: 3.4.1
Might you not know she would do as she has done,
Link: 3.4.2
By sending me a letter? Read it again.
Link: 3.4.3

Link: 3.4.4
I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone:
Link: 3.4.5
Ambitious love hath so in me offended,
Link: 3.4.6
That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon,
Link: 3.4.7
With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
Link: 3.4.8
Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
Link: 3.4.9
My dearest master, your dear son, may hie:
Link: 3.4.10
Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
Link: 3.4.11
His name with zealous fervor sanctify:
Link: 3.4.12
His taken labours bid him me forgive;
Link: 3.4.13
I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
Link: 3.4.14
From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,
Link: 3.4.15
Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth:
Link: 3.4.16
He is too good and fair for death and me:
Link: 3.4.17
Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.
Link: 3.4.18

Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
Link: 3.4.19
Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,
Link: 3.4.20
As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her,
Link: 3.4.21
I could have well diverted her intents,
Link: 3.4.22
Which thus she hath prevented.
Link: 3.4.23

Pardon me, madam:
Link: 3.4.24
If I had given you this at over-night,
Link: 3.4.25
She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes,
Link: 3.4.26
Pursuit would be but vain.
Link: 3.4.27

What angel shall
Link: 3.4.28
Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive,
Link: 3.4.29
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
Link: 3.4.30
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Link: 3.4.31
Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
Link: 3.4.32
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Link: 3.4.33
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
Link: 3.4.34
That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief.
Link: 3.4.35
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Link: 3.4.36
Dispatch the most convenient messenger:
Link: 3.4.37
When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
Link: 3.4.38
He will return; and hope I may that she,
Link: 3.4.39
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Link: 3.4.40
Led hither by pure love: which of them both
Link: 3.4.41
Is dearest to me. I have no skill in sense
Link: 3.4.42
To make distinction: provide this messenger:
Link: 3.4.43
My heart is heavy and mine age is weak;
Link: 3.4.44
Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.
Link: 3.4.45


SCENE V. Florence. Without the walls. A tucket afar off.

Scene 5 of Act 3 involves the Countess and her steward, Lavatch, discussing the recent departure of the Countess' son, Bertram, to join the King's army. The Countess expresses her concern for her son's well-being and Lavatch attempts to comfort her with his witty remarks and jokes.

As they converse, Parolles, a soldier and Bertram's friend, enters and begins to boast about his own military exploits. The Countess, who is aware of Parolles' true character, sees through his façade and confronts him about his dishonesty and lack of loyalty to Bertram.

Parolles attempts to defend himself, but the Countess dismisses him and warns Bertram to be cautious of his company. Lavatch adds to the conversation with his own humorous remarks, bringing some levity to the tense situation.

The scene ends with the Countess expressing her hope that Bertram will return home safely and that his character will improve during his time away at war.

Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA, and MARIANA, with other Citizens

Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
Link: 3.5.1
shall lose all the sight.
Link: 3.5.2

They say the French count has done most honourable service.
Link: 3.5.3

It is reported that he has taken their greatest
Link: 3.5.4
commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
Link: 3.5.5
duke's brother.
Link: 3.5.6
We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
Link: 3.5.7
way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
Link: 3.5.8

Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with
Link: 3.5.9
the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this
Link: 3.5.10
French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and
Link: 3.5.11
no legacy is so rich as honesty.
Link: 3.5.12

I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
Link: 3.5.13
by a gentleman his companion.
Link: 3.5.14

I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: a
Link: 3.5.15
filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the
Link: 3.5.16
young earl. Beware of them, Diana; their promises,
Link: 3.5.17
enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of
Link: 3.5.18
lust, are not the things they go under: many a maid
Link: 3.5.19
hath been seduced by them; and the misery is,
Link: 3.5.20
example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of
Link: 3.5.21
maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession,
Link: 3.5.22
but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten
Link: 3.5.23
them. I hope I need not to advise you further; but
Link: 3.5.24
I hope your own grace will keep you where you are,
Link: 3.5.25
though there were no further danger known but the
Link: 3.5.26
modesty which is so lost.
Link: 3.5.27

You shall not need to fear me.
Link: 3.5.28

I hope so.
Link: 3.5.29
Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at
Link: 3.5.30
my house; thither they send one another: I'll
Link: 3.5.31
question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
Link: 3.5.32

To Saint Jaques le Grand.
Link: 3.5.33
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
Link: 3.5.34

At the Saint Francis here beside the port.
Link: 3.5.35

Is this the way?
Link: 3.5.36

Ay, marry, is't.
Link: 3.5.37
Hark you! they come this way.
Link: 3.5.38
If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
Link: 3.5.39
But till the troops come by,
Link: 3.5.40
I will conduct you where you shall be lodged;
Link: 3.5.41
The rather, for I think I know your hostess
Link: 3.5.42
As ample as myself.
Link: 3.5.43

Is it yourself?
Link: 3.5.44

If you shall please so, pilgrim.
Link: 3.5.45

I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
Link: 3.5.46

You came, I think, from France?
Link: 3.5.47

I did so.
Link: 3.5.48

Here you shall see a countryman of yours
Link: 3.5.49
That has done worthy service.
Link: 3.5.50

His name, I pray you.
Link: 3.5.51

The Count Rousillon: know you such a one?
Link: 3.5.52

But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him:
Link: 3.5.53
His face I know not.
Link: 3.5.54

Whatsome'er he is,
Link: 3.5.55
He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
Link: 3.5.56
As 'tis reported, for the king had married him
Link: 3.5.57
Against his liking: think you it is so?
Link: 3.5.58

Ay, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.
Link: 3.5.59

There is a gentleman that serves the count
Link: 3.5.60
Reports but coarsely of her.
Link: 3.5.61

What's his name?
Link: 3.5.62

Monsieur Parolles.
Link: 3.5.63

O, I believe with him,
Link: 3.5.64
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Link: 3.5.65
Of the great count himself, she is too mean
Link: 3.5.66
To have her name repeated: all her deserving
Link: 3.5.67
Is a reserved honesty, and that
Link: 3.5.68
I have not heard examined.
Link: 3.5.69

Alas, poor lady!
Link: 3.5.70
'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
Link: 3.5.71
Of a detesting lord.
Link: 3.5.72

I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
Link: 3.5.73
Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
Link: 3.5.74
A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
Link: 3.5.75

How do you mean?
Link: 3.5.76
May be the amorous count solicits her
Link: 3.5.77
In the unlawful purpose.
Link: 3.5.78

He does indeed;
Link: 3.5.79
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Link: 3.5.80
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
Link: 3.5.81
But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard
Link: 3.5.82
In honestest defence.
Link: 3.5.83

The gods forbid else!
Link: 3.5.84

So, now they come:
Link: 3.5.85
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
Link: 3.5.86
That, Escalus.
Link: 3.5.87

Which is the Frenchman?
Link: 3.5.88

That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow.
Link: 3.5.90
I would he loved his wife: if he were honester
Link: 3.5.91
He were much goodlier: is't not a handsome gentleman?
Link: 3.5.92

I like him well.
Link: 3.5.93

'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave
Link: 3.5.94
That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
Link: 3.5.95
I would Poison that vile rascal.
Link: 3.5.96

Which is he?
Link: 3.5.97

That jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?
Link: 3.5.98

Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
Link: 3.5.99

Lose our drum! well.
Link: 3.5.100

He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.
Link: 3.5.101

Marry, hang you!
Link: 3.5.102

And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
Link: 3.5.103

Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army

The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
Link: 3.5.104
Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
Link: 3.5.105
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Link: 3.5.106
Already at my house.
Link: 3.5.107

I humbly thank you:
Link: 3.5.108
Please it this matron and this gentle maid
Link: 3.5.109
To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking
Link: 3.5.110
Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
Link: 3.5.111
I will bestow some precepts of this virgin
Link: 3.5.112
Worthy the note.
Link: 3.5.113

We'll take your offer kindly.
Link: 3.5.114


SCENE VI. Camp before Florence.

Scene 6 of Act 3 takes place in the King of France's palace. The King is discussing the war with his lords when Helena, the protagonist, enters the room. She tells the King that she has a cure for his illness, which has stumped all the other physicians. The King is skeptical but agrees to try her remedy.

At this point, Helena reveals that the cure is only possible if the King agrees to give her whatever she wants as a reward. The King agrees, but limits the reward to something within his power to give. Helena then administers the cure to the King, who is immediately cured.

The King is overjoyed and asks Helena what she wants as her reward. She asks for permission to choose her own husband from among the courtiers, which the King reluctantly grants. Helena chooses Bertram, a young lord who has been avoiding her. Bertram is horrified at the prospect of marrying Helena and tries to escape to Italy.

The scene ends with the King ordering Bertram to marry Helena and threatening him with banishment if he refuses. Bertram reluctantly agrees, but makes it clear that he will never be a true husband to Helena.

Enter BERTRAM and the two French Lords

Second Lord
Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his
Link: 3.6.1

First Lord
If your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no
Link: 3.6.3
more in your respect.
Link: 3.6.4

Second Lord
On my life, my lord, a bubble.
Link: 3.6.5

Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
Link: 3.6.6

Second Lord
Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge,
Link: 3.6.7
without any malice, but to speak of him as my
Link: 3.6.8
kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and
Link: 3.6.9
endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner
Link: 3.6.10
of no one good quality worthy your lordship's
Link: 3.6.11
Link: 3.6.12

First Lord
It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in
Link: 3.6.13
his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some
Link: 3.6.14
great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.
Link: 3.6.15

I would I knew in what particular action to try him.
Link: 3.6.16

First Lord
None better than to let him fetch off his drum,
Link: 3.6.17
which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
Link: 3.6.18

Second Lord
I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
Link: 3.6.19
surprise him; such I will have, whom I am sure he
Link: 3.6.20
knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hoodwink
Link: 3.6.21
him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he
Link: 3.6.22
is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when
Link: 3.6.23
we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship
Link: 3.6.24
present at his examination: if he do not, for the
Link: 3.6.25
promise of his life and in the highest compulsion of
Link: 3.6.26
base fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the
Link: 3.6.27
intelligence in his power against you, and that with
Link: 3.6.28
the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never
Link: 3.6.29
trust my judgment in any thing.
Link: 3.6.30

First Lord
O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum;
Link: 3.6.31
he says he has a stratagem for't: when your
Link: 3.6.32
lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to
Link: 3.6.33
what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be
Link: 3.6.34
melted, if you give him not John Drum's
Link: 3.6.35
entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
Link: 3.6.36
Here he comes.
Link: 3.6.37


Second Lord
(Aside to BERTRAM) O, for the love of laughter,
Link: 3.6.38
hinder not the honour of his design: let him fetch
Link: 3.6.39
off his drum in any hand.
Link: 3.6.40

How now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your
Link: 3.6.41
Link: 3.6.42

First Lord
A pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.
Link: 3.6.43

'But a drum'! is't 'but a drum'? A drum so lost!
Link: 3.6.44
There was excellent command,--to charge in with our
Link: 3.6.45
horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers!
Link: 3.6.46

First Lord
That was not to be blamed in the command of the
Link: 3.6.47
service: it was a disaster of war that Caesar
Link: 3.6.48
himself could not have prevented, if he had been
Link: 3.6.49
there to command.
Link: 3.6.50

Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some
Link: 3.6.51
dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is
Link: 3.6.52
not to be recovered.
Link: 3.6.53

It might have been recovered.
Link: 3.6.54

It might; but it is not now.
Link: 3.6.55

It is to be recovered: but that the merit of
Link: 3.6.56
service is seldom attributed to the true and exact
Link: 3.6.57
performer, I would have that drum or another, or
Link: 3.6.58
'hic jacet.'
Link: 3.6.59

Why, if you have a stomach, to't, monsieur: if you
Link: 3.6.60
think your mystery in stratagem can bring this
Link: 3.6.61
instrument of honour again into his native quarter,
Link: 3.6.62
be magnanimous in the enterprise and go on; I will
Link: 3.6.63
grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you
Link: 3.6.64
speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it.
Link: 3.6.65
and extend to you what further becomes his
Link: 3.6.66
greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your
Link: 3.6.67
Link: 3.6.68

By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
Link: 3.6.69

But you must not now slumber in it.
Link: 3.6.70

I'll about it this evening: and I will presently
Link: 3.6.71
pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my
Link: 3.6.72
certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation;
Link: 3.6.73
and by midnight look to hear further from me.
Link: 3.6.74

May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?
Link: 3.6.75

I know not what the success will be, my lord; but
Link: 3.6.76
the attempt I vow.
Link: 3.6.77

I know thou'rt valiant; and, to the possibility of
Link: 3.6.78
thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
Link: 3.6.79

I love not many words.
Link: 3.6.80


Second Lord
No more than a fish loves water. Is not this a
Link: 3.6.81
strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems
Link: 3.6.82
to undertake this business, which he knows is not to
Link: 3.6.83
be done; damns himself to do and dares better be
Link: 3.6.84
damned than to do't?
Link: 3.6.85

First Lord
You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it
Link: 3.6.86
is that he will steal himself into a man's favour and
Link: 3.6.87
for a week escape a great deal of discoveries; but
Link: 3.6.88
when you find him out, you have him ever after.
Link: 3.6.89

Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of
Link: 3.6.90
this that so seriously he does address himself unto?
Link: 3.6.91

Second Lord
None in the world; but return with an invention and
Link: 3.6.92
clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we
Link: 3.6.93
have almost embossed him; you shall see his fall
Link: 3.6.94
to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.
Link: 3.6.95

First Lord
We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case
Link: 3.6.96
him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu:
Link: 3.6.97
when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a
Link: 3.6.98
sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this
Link: 3.6.99
very night.
Link: 3.6.100

Second Lord
I must go look my twigs: he shall be caught.
Link: 3.6.101

Your brother he shall go along with me.
Link: 3.6.102

Second Lord
As't please your lordship: I'll leave you.
Link: 3.6.103


Now will I lead you to the house, and show you
Link: 3.6.104
The lass I spoke of.
Link: 3.6.105

First Lord
But you say she's honest.
Link: 3.6.106

That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once
Link: 3.6.107
And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
Link: 3.6.108
By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind,
Link: 3.6.109
Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
Link: 3.6.110
And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature:
Link: 3.6.111
Will you go see her?
Link: 3.6.112

First Lord
With all my heart, my lord.
Link: 3.6.113


SCENE VII. Florence. The Widow's house.

In Scene 7 of Act 3, a group of soldiers are discussing their current situation. They are in a foreign land and are outnumbered by their enemies. One of the soldiers, Parolles, boasts about his bravery and how he would never surrender. However, the other soldiers do not believe him and decide to play a trick on him to test his loyalty.

They stage a fake capture and interrogation, where they pretend to be enemy soldiers. Parolles quickly reveals all the information he knows about their plans and strategy, betraying his comrades. The soldiers then reveal their true identities and confront Parolles about his disloyalty.

Parolles tries to make excuses and begs for forgiveness, but the soldiers are disgusted by his behavior. They decide to abandon him and leave him behind as they continue their mission. Parolles is left alone, realizing the consequences of his actions.

Enter HELENA and Widow

If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
Link: 3.7.1
I know not how I shall assure you further,
Link: 3.7.2
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
Link: 3.7.3

Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
Link: 3.7.4
Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
Link: 3.7.5
And would not put my reputation now
Link: 3.7.6
In any staining act.
Link: 3.7.7

Nor would I wish you.
Link: 3.7.8
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband,
Link: 3.7.9
And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
Link: 3.7.10
Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
Link: 3.7.11
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Link: 3.7.12
Err in bestowing it.
Link: 3.7.13

I should believe you:
Link: 3.7.14
For you have show'd me that which well approves
Link: 3.7.15
You're great in fortune.
Link: 3.7.16

Take this purse of gold,
Link: 3.7.17
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Link: 3.7.18
Which I will over-pay and pay again
Link: 3.7.19
When I have found it. The count he wooes your daughter,
Link: 3.7.20
Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Link: 3.7.21
Resolved to carry her: let her in fine consent,
Link: 3.7.22
As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it.
Link: 3.7.23
Now his important blood will nought deny
Link: 3.7.24
That she'll demand: a ring the county wears,
Link: 3.7.25
That downward hath succeeded in his house
Link: 3.7.26
From son to son, some four or five descents
Link: 3.7.27
Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds
Link: 3.7.28
In most rich choice; yet in his idle fire,
Link: 3.7.29
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Link: 3.7.30
Howe'er repented after.
Link: 3.7.31

Now I see
Link: 3.7.32
The bottom of your purpose.
Link: 3.7.33

You see it lawful, then: it is no more,
Link: 3.7.34
But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Link: 3.7.35
Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;
Link: 3.7.36
In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
Link: 3.7.37
Herself most chastely absent: after this,
Link: 3.7.38
To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
Link: 3.7.39
To what is passed already.
Link: 3.7.40

I have yielded:
Link: 3.7.41
Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,
Link: 3.7.42
That time and place with this deceit so lawful
Link: 3.7.43
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
Link: 3.7.44
With musics of all sorts and songs composed
Link: 3.7.45
To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us
Link: 3.7.46
To chide him from our eaves; for he persists
Link: 3.7.47
As if his life lay on't.
Link: 3.7.48

Why then to-night
Link: 3.7.49
Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
Link: 3.7.50
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed
Link: 3.7.51
And lawful meaning in a lawful act,
Link: 3.7.52
Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact:
Link: 3.7.53
But let's about it.
Link: 3.7.54


Act IV

Act 4 of All's Well That Ends Well sees the resolution of several plotlines. Helena, the protagonist, has successfully cured the King of France's illness, earning his gratitude and the right to choose a husband from the court. She chooses Bertram, the man she has been in love with throughout the play, but Bertram is disgusted by the idea of being married to a commoner and flees to fight in the war in Italy.

Meanwhile, Parolles, Bertram's friend and confidant, has been captured by the enemy and interrogated. He reveals Bertram's plans and secrets, betraying his friend in the process. However, the soldiers he is with recognize him as a coward and reveal his treachery to Bertram and the other soldiers. Parolles is humiliated and left alone to face the consequences of his actions.

In Italy, Bertram falls in love with Diana, a young woman who agrees to sleep with him in exchange for his family ring. He promises to marry her, but plans to leave immediately afterwards. However, Helena arrives disguised as Diana and takes Bertram's place in bed, obtaining his ring as proof of their encounter.

When Bertram returns to France, Helena reveals herself and presents his ring as evidence of her victory. Bertram is forced to acknowledge her as his wife, and the King orders him to be a good husband to her. Bertram agrees, and the play ends with the couple's reconciliation.

SCENE I. Without the Florentine camp.

Scene 1 of Act 4 begins with the King of France and the Countess discussing the news of Bertram's departure. The Countess is worried about her son's safety, but the King reassures her that Bertram is in good hands with the Duke of Florence. The King then tells the Countess about a young woman who has come to court to ask for his help.

The young woman, named Diana, tells the King that Bertram has promised to marry her if she can get his ring from him. The King agrees to help Diana and sets a plan in motion to make Bertram believe that Diana is his wife. The plan involves substituting Diana for Bertram's actual wife in his bed and then revealing the truth to him the next morning.

Meanwhile, Bertram is in Florence, where he has been fighting in the Duke's army. He receives a letter from the King, telling him to return to court immediately. Bertram is suspicious of the summons and decides to flee to Tuscany instead. However, he is caught by the Duke's soldiers and brought back to Florence.

Back at court, the plan to trick Bertram into believing that Diana is his wife is put into action. Diana goes to Bertram's bedchamber, and he mistakes her for his wife. He gives her his ring as proof of his affection, and she leaves. The next morning, Bertram is confronted by the King and the Countess, who reveal the truth to him.

Bertram is ashamed of his behavior and apologizes to Diana and the King. The King forgives him, and Bertram and Diana are married. The play ends on a note of reconciliation and forgiveness, with the characters learning valuable lessons about the importance of honesty and integrity.

Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other Soldiers in ambush

Second Lord
He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner.
Link: 4.1.1
When you sally upon him, speak what terrible
Link: 4.1.2
language you will: though you understand it not
Link: 4.1.3
yourselves, no matter; for we must not seem to
Link: 4.1.4
understand him, unless some one among us whom we
Link: 4.1.5
must produce for an interpreter.
Link: 4.1.6

First Soldier
Good captain, let me be the interpreter.
Link: 4.1.7

Second Lord
Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?
Link: 4.1.8

First Soldier
No, sir, I warrant you.
Link: 4.1.9

Second Lord
But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
Link: 4.1.10

First Soldier
E'en such as you speak to me.
Link: 4.1.11

Second Lord
He must think us some band of strangers i' the
Link: 4.1.12
adversary's entertainment. Now he hath a smack of
Link: 4.1.13
all neighbouring languages; therefore we must every
Link: 4.1.14
one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we
Link: 4.1.15
speak one to another; so we seem to know, is to
Link: 4.1.16
know straight our purpose: choughs' language,
Link: 4.1.17
gabble enough, and good enough. As for you,
Link: 4.1.18
interpreter, you must seem very politic. But couch,
Link: 4.1.19
ho! here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep,
Link: 4.1.20
and then to return and swear the lies he forges.
Link: 4.1.21


Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be
Link: 4.1.22
time enough to go home. What shall I say I have
Link: 4.1.23
done? It must be a very plausive invention that
Link: 4.1.24
carries it: they begin to smoke me; and disgraces
Link: 4.1.25
have of late knocked too often at my door. I find
Link: 4.1.26
my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the
Link: 4.1.27
fear of Mars before it and of his creatures, not
Link: 4.1.28
daring the reports of my tongue.
Link: 4.1.29

Second Lord
This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue
Link: 4.1.30
was guilty of.
Link: 4.1.31

What the devil should move me to undertake the
Link: 4.1.32
recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the
Link: 4.1.33
impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I
Link: 4.1.34
must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in
Link: 4.1.35
exploit: yet slight ones will not carry it; they
Link: 4.1.36
will say, 'Came you off with so little?' and great
Link: 4.1.37
ones I dare not give. Wherefore, what's the
Link: 4.1.38
instance? Tongue, I must put you into a
Link: 4.1.39
butter-woman's mouth and buy myself another of
Link: 4.1.40
Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
Link: 4.1.41

Second Lord
Is it possible he should know what he is, and be
Link: 4.1.42
that he is?
Link: 4.1.43

I would the cutting of my garments would serve the
Link: 4.1.44
turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
Link: 4.1.45

Second Lord
We cannot afford you so.
Link: 4.1.46

Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
Link: 4.1.47
Link: 4.1.48

Second Lord
'Twould not do.
Link: 4.1.49

Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
Link: 4.1.50

Second Lord
Hardly serve.
Link: 4.1.51

Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.
Link: 4.1.52

Second Lord
How deep?
Link: 4.1.53

Thirty fathom.
Link: 4.1.54

Second Lord
Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
Link: 4.1.55

I would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear
Link: 4.1.56
I recovered it.
Link: 4.1.57

Second Lord
You shall hear one anon.
Link: 4.1.58

A drum now of the enemy's,--
Link: 4.1.59

Alarum within

Second Lord
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
Link: 4.1.60

Cargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.
Link: 4.1.61

O, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.
Link: 4.1.62

They seize and blindfold him

First Soldier
Boskos thromuldo boskos.
Link: 4.1.63

I know you are the Muskos' regiment:
Link: 4.1.64
And I shall lose my life for want of language;
Link: 4.1.65
If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch,
Link: 4.1.66
Italian, or French, let him speak to me; I'll
Link: 4.1.67
Discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
Link: 4.1.68

First Soldier
Boskos vauvado: I understand thee, and can speak
Link: 4.1.69
thy tongue. Kerely bonto, sir, betake thee to thy
Link: 4.1.70
faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
Link: 4.1.71


First Soldier
O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.
Link: 4.1.73

Second Lord
Oscorbidulchos volivorco.
Link: 4.1.74

First Soldier
The general is content to spare thee yet;
Link: 4.1.75
And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on
Link: 4.1.76
To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform
Link: 4.1.77
Something to save thy life.
Link: 4.1.78

O, let me live!
Link: 4.1.79
And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Link: 4.1.80
Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that
Link: 4.1.81
Which you will wonder at.
Link: 4.1.82

First Soldier
But wilt thou faithfully?
Link: 4.1.83

If I do not, damn me.
Link: 4.1.84

First Soldier
Acordo linta.
Link: 4.1.85
Come on; thou art granted space.
Link: 4.1.86

Exit, with PAROLLES guarded. A short alarum within

Second Lord
Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
Link: 4.1.87
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
Link: 4.1.88
Till we do hear from them.
Link: 4.1.89

Second Soldier
Captain, I will.
Link: 4.1.90

Second Lord
A' will betray us all unto ourselves:
Link: 4.1.91
Inform on that.
Link: 4.1.92

Second Soldier
So I will, sir.
Link: 4.1.93

Second Lord
Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.
Link: 4.1.94


SCENE II. Florence. The Widow's house.

Scene 2 of Act 4 begins with the Countess of Rousillon and the clown discussing Parolles, the cowardly soldier who betrayed Bertram. The Countess reveals that she plans to trick Bertram into sleeping with Helena by substituting her with Diana, a young woman who lives in the vicinity. The clown is skeptical of the plan and warns the Countess that it could backfire.

However, the Countess is determined to see her son reunited with Helena, and she believes that this is the only way to make it happen. She sends the clown to fetch Diana and instructs her on how to behave when Bertram comes to see her.

When Bertram arrives, he is immediately taken with Diana and begins to make advances towards her. Diana plays along with the plan, but when Bertram tries to take her to bed, she reveals that she knows about his betrothal to Helena. Bertram is shocked and ashamed, but he still refuses to be with Helena.

In the end, the plan fails, and Helena is left alone and heartbroken. However, the Countess remains hopeful that her son will come around eventually. She tells Helena to be patient and to trust in God.


They told me that your name was Fontibell.
Link: 4.2.1

No, my good lord, Diana.
Link: 4.2.2

Titled goddess;
Link: 4.2.3
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
Link: 4.2.4
In your fine frame hath love no quality?
Link: 4.2.5
If quick fire of youth light not your mind,
Link: 4.2.6
You are no maiden, but a monument:
Link: 4.2.7
When you are dead, you should be such a one
Link: 4.2.8
As you are now, for you are cold and stem;
Link: 4.2.9
And now you should be as your mother was
Link: 4.2.10
When your sweet self was got.
Link: 4.2.11

She then was honest.
Link: 4.2.12

So should you be.
Link: 4.2.13

My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
Link: 4.2.15
As you owe to your wife.
Link: 4.2.16

No more o' that;
Link: 4.2.17
I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
Link: 4.2.18
I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
Link: 4.2.19
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Link: 4.2.20
Do thee all rights of service.
Link: 4.2.21

Ay, so you serve us
Link: 4.2.22
Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
Link: 4.2.23
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
Link: 4.2.24
And mock us with our bareness.
Link: 4.2.25

How have I sworn!
Link: 4.2.26

'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
Link: 4.2.27
But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
Link: 4.2.28
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
Link: 4.2.29
But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me,
Link: 4.2.30
If I should swear by God's great attributes,
Link: 4.2.31
I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
Link: 4.2.32
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
Link: 4.2.33
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
Link: 4.2.34
That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
Link: 4.2.35
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
Link: 4.2.36
At least in my opinion.
Link: 4.2.37

Change it, change it;
Link: 4.2.38
Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
Link: 4.2.39
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
Link: 4.2.40
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
Link: 4.2.41
But give thyself unto my sick desires,
Link: 4.2.42
Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever
Link: 4.2.43
My love as it begins shall so persever.
Link: 4.2.44

I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
Link: 4.2.45
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
Link: 4.2.46

I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
Link: 4.2.47
To give it from me.
Link: 4.2.48

Will you not, my lord?
Link: 4.2.49

It is an honour 'longing to our house,
Link: 4.2.50
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Link: 4.2.51
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
Link: 4.2.52
In me to lose.
Link: 4.2.53

Mine honour's such a ring:
Link: 4.2.54
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Link: 4.2.55
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Link: 4.2.56
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
Link: 4.2.57
In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
Link: 4.2.58
Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
Link: 4.2.59
Against your vain assault.
Link: 4.2.60

Here, take my ring:
Link: 4.2.61
My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
Link: 4.2.62
And I'll be bid by thee.
Link: 4.2.63

When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
Link: 4.2.64
I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
Link: 4.2.65
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
Link: 4.2.66
When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
Link: 4.2.67
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
Link: 4.2.68
My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
Link: 4.2.69
When back again this ring shall be deliver'd:
Link: 4.2.70
And on your finger in the night I'll put
Link: 4.2.71
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
Link: 4.2.72
May token to the future our past deeds.
Link: 4.2.73
Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won
Link: 4.2.74
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
Link: 4.2.75

A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
Link: 4.2.76


For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
Link: 4.2.77
You may so in the end.
Link: 4.2.78
My mother told me just how he would woo,
Link: 4.2.79
As if she sat in 's heart; she says all men
Link: 4.2.80
Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me
Link: 4.2.81
When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
Link: 4.2.82
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Link: 4.2.83
Marry that will, I live and die a maid:
Link: 4.2.84
Only in this disguise I think't no sin
Link: 4.2.85
To cozen him that would unjustly win.
Link: 4.2.86


SCENE III. The Florentine camp.

Scene 3 of Act 4 revolves around the character of Parolles, who is a cowardly and deceitful soldier. He is captured by the enemy and brought before the Countess, who is the mother of the play's protagonist, Helena. Parolles is tortured and interrogated by the Countess and her attendants in order to gain information about the enemy army.

Parolles tries to bluff his way out of the situation, but is ultimately exposed as a liar and a traitor. He is humiliated and left to his fate, while the Countess and her attendants use the information he has given them to win a decisive victory over the enemy.

The scene is notable for its exploration of themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and the nature of courage. It also serves as a turning point in the plot, as Parolles' capture and interrogation leads to the eventual resolution of the play's various conflicts.

Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers

First Lord
You have not given him his mother's letter?
Link: 4.3.1

Second Lord
I have delivered it an hour since: there is
Link: 4.3.2
something in't that stings his nature; for on the
Link: 4.3.3
reading it he changed almost into another man.
Link: 4.3.4

First Lord
He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking
Link: 4.3.5
off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
Link: 4.3.6

Second Lord
Especially he hath incurred the everlasting
Link: 4.3.7
displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his
Link: 4.3.8
bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a
Link: 4.3.9
thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
Link: 4.3.10

First Lord
When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the
Link: 4.3.11
grave of it.
Link: 4.3.12

Second Lord
He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in
Link: 4.3.13
Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he
Link: 4.3.14
fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath
Link: 4.3.15
given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
Link: 4.3.16
made in the unchaste composition.
Link: 4.3.17

First Lord
Now, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves,
Link: 4.3.18
what things are we!
Link: 4.3.19

Second Lord
Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course
Link: 4.3.20
of all treasons, we still see them reveal
Link: 4.3.21
themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends,
Link: 4.3.22
so he that in this action contrives against his own
Link: 4.3.23
nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
Link: 4.3.24

First Lord
Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of
Link: 4.3.25
our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his
Link: 4.3.26
company to-night?
Link: 4.3.27

Second Lord
Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
Link: 4.3.28

First Lord
That approaches apace; I would gladly have him see
Link: 4.3.29
his company anatomized, that he might take a measure
Link: 4.3.30
of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had
Link: 4.3.31
set this counterfeit.
Link: 4.3.32

Second Lord
We will not meddle with him till he come; for his
Link: 4.3.33
presence must be the whip of the other.
Link: 4.3.34

First Lord
In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
Link: 4.3.35

Second Lord
I hear there is an overture of peace.
Link: 4.3.36

First Lord
Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
Link: 4.3.37

Second Lord
What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel
Link: 4.3.38
higher, or return again into France?
Link: 4.3.39

First Lord
I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether
Link: 4.3.40
of his council.
Link: 4.3.41

Second Lord
Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal
Link: 4.3.42
of his act.
Link: 4.3.43

First Lord
Sir, his wife some two months since fled from his
Link: 4.3.44
house: her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques
Link: 4.3.45
le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere
Link: 4.3.46
sanctimony she accomplished; and, there residing the
Link: 4.3.47
tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her
Link: 4.3.48
grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and
Link: 4.3.49
now she sings in heaven.
Link: 4.3.50

Second Lord
How is this justified?
Link: 4.3.51

First Lord
The stronger part of it by her own letters, which
Link: 4.3.52
makes her story true, even to the point of her
Link: 4.3.53
death: her death itself, which could not be her
Link: 4.3.54
office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by
Link: 4.3.55
the rector of the place.
Link: 4.3.56

Second Lord
Hath the count all this intelligence?
Link: 4.3.57

First Lord
Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from
Link: 4.3.58
point, so to the full arming of the verity.
Link: 4.3.59

Second Lord
I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.
Link: 4.3.60

First Lord
How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!
Link: 4.3.61

Second Lord
And how mightily some other times we drown our gain
Link: 4.3.62
in tears! The great dignity that his valour hath
Link: 4.3.63
here acquired for him shall at home be encountered
Link: 4.3.64
with a shame as ample.
Link: 4.3.65

First Lord
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and
Link: 4.3.66
ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our
Link: 4.3.67
faults whipped them not; and our crimes would
Link: 4.3.68
despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
Link: 4.3.69
How now! where's your master?
Link: 4.3.70

He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath
Link: 4.3.71
taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next
Link: 4.3.72
morning for France. The duke hath offered him
Link: 4.3.73
letters of commendations to the king.
Link: 4.3.74

Second Lord
They shall be no more than needful there, if they
Link: 4.3.75
were more than they can commend.
Link: 4.3.76

First Lord
They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness.
Link: 4.3.77
Here's his lordship now.
Link: 4.3.78
How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?
Link: 4.3.79

I have to-night dispatched sixteen businesses, a
Link: 4.3.80
month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success:
Link: 4.3.81
I have congied with the duke, done my adieu with his
Link: 4.3.82
nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my
Link: 4.3.83
lady mother I am returning; entertained my convoy;
Link: 4.3.84
and between these main parcels of dispatch effected
Link: 4.3.85
many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but
Link: 4.3.86
that I have not ended yet.
Link: 4.3.87

Second Lord
If the business be of any difficulty, and this
Link: 4.3.88
morning your departure hence, it requires haste of
Link: 4.3.89
your lordship.
Link: 4.3.90

I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to
Link: 4.3.91
hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this
Link: 4.3.92
dialogue between the fool and the soldier? Come,
Link: 4.3.93
bring forth this counterfeit module, he has deceived
Link: 4.3.94
me, like a double-meaning prophesier.
Link: 4.3.95

Second Lord
Bring him forth: has sat i' the stocks all night,
Link: 4.3.96
poor gallant knave.
Link: 4.3.97

No matter: his heels have deserved it, in usurping
Link: 4.3.98
his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
Link: 4.3.99

Second Lord
I have told your lordship already, the stocks carry
Link: 4.3.100
him. But to answer you as you would be understood;
Link: 4.3.101
he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk: he
Link: 4.3.102
hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes
Link: 4.3.103
to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance to
Link: 4.3.104
this very instant disaster of his setting i' the
Link: 4.3.105
stocks: and what think you he hath confessed?
Link: 4.3.106

Nothing of me, has a'?
Link: 4.3.107

Second Lord
His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his
Link: 4.3.108
face: if your lordship be in't, as I believe you
Link: 4.3.109
are, you must have the patience to hear it.
Link: 4.3.110

Enter PAROLLES guarded, and First Soldier

A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of
Link: 4.3.111
me: hush, hush!
Link: 4.3.112

First Lord
Hoodman comes! Portotartarosa
Link: 4.3.113

First Soldier
He calls for the tortures: what will you say
Link: 4.3.114
without 'em?
Link: 4.3.115

I will confess what I know without constraint: if
Link: 4.3.116
ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
Link: 4.3.117

First Soldier
Bosko chimurcho.
Link: 4.3.118

First Lord
Boblibindo chicurmurco.
Link: 4.3.119

First Soldier
You are a merciful general. Our general bids you
Link: 4.3.120
answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
Link: 4.3.121

And truly, as I hope to live.
Link: 4.3.122

First Soldier
(Reads) 'First demand of him how many horse the
Link: 4.3.123
duke is strong.' What say you to that?
Link: 4.3.124

Five or six thousand; but very weak and
Link: 4.3.125
unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and
Link: 4.3.126
the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation
Link: 4.3.127
and credit and as I hope to live.
Link: 4.3.128

First Soldier
Shall I set down your answer so?
Link: 4.3.129

Do: I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will.
Link: 4.3.130

All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
Link: 4.3.131

First Lord
You're deceived, my lord: this is Monsieur
Link: 4.3.132
Parolles, the gallant militarist,--that was his own
Link: 4.3.133
phrase,--that had the whole theoric of war in the
Link: 4.3.134
knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of
Link: 4.3.135
his dagger.
Link: 4.3.136

Second Lord
I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword
Link: 4.3.137
clean. nor believe he can have every thing in him
Link: 4.3.138
by wearing his apparel neatly.
Link: 4.3.139

First Soldier
Well, that's set down.
Link: 4.3.140

Five or six thousand horse, I said,-- I will say
Link: 4.3.141
true,--or thereabouts, set down, for I'll speak truth.
Link: 4.3.142

First Lord
He's very near the truth in this.
Link: 4.3.143

But I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he
Link: 4.3.144
delivers it.
Link: 4.3.145

Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
Link: 4.3.146

First Soldier
Well, that's set down.
Link: 4.3.147

I humbly thank you, sir: a truth's a truth, the
Link: 4.3.148
rogues are marvellous poor.
Link: 4.3.149

First Soldier
(Reads) 'Demand of him, of what strength they are
Link: 4.3.150
a-foot.' What say you to that?
Link: 4.3.151

By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present
Link: 4.3.152
hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a
Link: 4.3.153
hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so
Link: 4.3.154
many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick,
Link: 4.3.155
and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own
Link: 4.3.156
company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and
Link: 4.3.157
fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and
Link: 4.3.158
sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand
Link: 4.3.159
poll; half of the which dare not shake snow from off
Link: 4.3.160
their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces.
Link: 4.3.161

What shall be done to him?
Link: 4.3.162

First Lord
Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my
Link: 4.3.163
condition, and what credit I have with the duke.
Link: 4.3.164

First Soldier
Well, that's set down.
Link: 4.3.165
'You shall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain
Link: 4.3.166
be i' the camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is
Link: 4.3.167
with the duke; what his valour, honesty, and
Link: 4.3.168
expertness in wars; or whether he thinks it were not
Link: 4.3.169
possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to
Link: 4.3.170
corrupt him to revolt.' What say you to this? what
Link: 4.3.171
do you know of it?
Link: 4.3.172

I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of
Link: 4.3.173
the inter'gatories: demand them singly.
Link: 4.3.174

First Soldier
Do you know this Captain Dumain?
Link: 4.3.175

I know him: a' was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris,
Link: 4.3.176
from whence he was whipped for getting the shrieve's
Link: 4.3.177
fool with child,--a dumb innocent, that could not
Link: 4.3.178
say him nay.
Link: 4.3.179

Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know
Link: 4.3.180
his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
Link: 4.3.181

First Soldier
Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
Link: 4.3.182

Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
Link: 4.3.183

First Lord
Nay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your
Link: 4.3.184
lordship anon.
Link: 4.3.185

First Soldier
What is his reputation with the duke?
Link: 4.3.186

The duke knows him for no other but a poor officer
Link: 4.3.187
of mine; and writ to me this other day to turn him
Link: 4.3.188
out o' the band: I think I have his letter in my pocket.
Link: 4.3.189

First Soldier
Marry, we'll search.
Link: 4.3.190

In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there,
Link: 4.3.191
or it is upon a file with the duke's other letters
Link: 4.3.192
in my tent.
Link: 4.3.193

First Soldier
Here 'tis; here's a paper: shall I read it to you?
Link: 4.3.194

I do not know if it be it or no.
Link: 4.3.195

Our interpreter does it well.
Link: 4.3.196

First Lord
Link: 4.3.197

First Soldier
(Reads) 'Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold,'--
Link: 4.3.198

That is not the duke's letter, sir; that is an
Link: 4.3.199
advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one
Link: 4.3.200
Diana, to take heed of the allurement of one Count
Link: 4.3.201
Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but for all that very
Link: 4.3.202
ruttish: I pray you, sir, put it up again.
Link: 4.3.203

First Soldier
Nay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
Link: 4.3.204

My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the
Link: 4.3.205
behalf of the maid; for I knew the young count to be
Link: 4.3.206
a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is a whale to
Link: 4.3.207
virginity and devours up all the fry it finds.
Link: 4.3.208

Damnable both-sides rogue!
Link: 4.3.209

First Soldier
(Reads) 'When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
Link: 4.3.210
After he scores, he never pays the score:
Link: 4.3.211
Half won is match well made; match, and well make it;
Link: 4.3.212
He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before;
Link: 4.3.213
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this,
Link: 4.3.214
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss:
Link: 4.3.215
For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it,
Link: 4.3.216
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
Link: 4.3.217
Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,
Link: 4.3.218
Link: 4.3.219

He shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme
Link: 4.3.220
in's forehead.
Link: 4.3.221

Second Lord
This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold
Link: 4.3.222
linguist and the armipotent soldier.
Link: 4.3.223

I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now
Link: 4.3.224
he's a cat to me.
Link: 4.3.225

First Soldier
I perceive, sir, by the general's looks, we shall be
Link: 4.3.226
fain to hang you.
Link: 4.3.227

My life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to
Link: 4.3.228
die; but that, my offences being many, I would
Link: 4.3.229
repent out the remainder of nature: let me live,
Link: 4.3.230
sir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
Link: 4.3.231

First Soldier
We'll see what may be done, so you confess freely;
Link: 4.3.232
therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain: you
Link: 4.3.233
have answered to his reputation with the duke and to
Link: 4.3.234
his valour: what is his honesty?
Link: 4.3.235

He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for
Link: 4.3.236
rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he
Link: 4.3.237
professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking 'em he
Link: 4.3.238
is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with
Link: 4.3.239
such volubility, that you would think truth were a
Link: 4.3.240
fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will
Link: 4.3.241
be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little
Link: 4.3.242
harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they
Link: 4.3.243
know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but
Link: 4.3.244
little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has
Link: 4.3.245
every thing that an honest man should not have; what
Link: 4.3.246
an honest man should have, he has nothing.
Link: 4.3.247

First Lord
I begin to love him for this.
Link: 4.3.248

For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon
Link: 4.3.249
him for me, he's more and more a cat.
Link: 4.3.250

First Soldier
What say you to his expertness in war?
Link: 4.3.251

Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English
Link: 4.3.252
tragedians; to belie him, I will not, and more of
Link: 4.3.253
his soldiership I know not; except, in that country
Link: 4.3.254
he had the honour to be the officer at a place there
Link: 4.3.255
called Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of
Link: 4.3.256
files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of
Link: 4.3.257
this I am not certain.
Link: 4.3.258

First Lord
He hath out-villained villany so far, that the
Link: 4.3.259
rarity redeems him.
Link: 4.3.260

A pox on him, he's a cat still.
Link: 4.3.261

First Soldier
His qualities being at this poor price, I need not
Link: 4.3.262
to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
Link: 4.3.263

Sir, for a quart d'ecu he will sell the fee-simple
Link: 4.3.264
of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the
Link: 4.3.265
entail from all remainders, and a perpetual
Link: 4.3.266
succession for it perpetually.
Link: 4.3.267

First Soldier
What's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?
Link: 4.3.268

Second Lord
Why does be ask him of me?
Link: 4.3.269

First Soldier
What's he?
Link: 4.3.270

E'en a crow o' the same nest; not altogether so
Link: 4.3.271
great as the first in goodness, but greater a great
Link: 4.3.272
deal in evil: he excels his brother for a coward,
Link: 4.3.273
yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is:
Link: 4.3.274
in a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming
Link: 4.3.275
on he has the cramp.
Link: 4.3.276

First Soldier
If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray
Link: 4.3.277
the Florentine?
Link: 4.3.278

Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.
Link: 4.3.279

First Soldier
I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
Link: 4.3.280

(Aside) I'll no more drumming; a plague of all
Link: 4.3.281
drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to
Link: 4.3.282
beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy
Link: 4.3.283
the count, have I run into this danger. Yet who
Link: 4.3.284
would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
Link: 4.3.285

First Soldier
There is no remedy, sir, but you must die: the
Link: 4.3.286
general says, you that have so traitorously
Link: 4.3.287
discovered the secrets of your army and made such
Link: 4.3.288
pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can
Link: 4.3.289
serve the world for no honest use; therefore you
Link: 4.3.290
must die. Come, headsman, off with his head.
Link: 4.3.291

O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!
Link: 4.3.292

First Lord
That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.
Link: 4.3.293
So, look about you: know you any here?
Link: 4.3.294

Good morrow, noble captain.
Link: 4.3.295

Second Lord
God bless you, Captain Parolles.
Link: 4.3.296

First Lord
God save you, noble captain.
Link: 4.3.297

Second Lord
Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu?
Link: 4.3.298
I am for France.
Link: 4.3.299

First Lord
Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet
Link: 4.3.300
you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon?
Link: 4.3.301
an I were not a very coward, I'ld compel it of you:
Link: 4.3.302
but fare you well.
Link: 4.3.303

Exeunt BERTRAM and Lords

First Soldier
You are undone, captain, all but your scarf; that
Link: 4.3.304
has a knot on't yet
Link: 4.3.305

Who cannot be crushed with a plot?
Link: 4.3.306

First Soldier
If you could find out a country where but women were
Link: 4.3.307
that had received so much shame, you might begin an
Link: 4.3.308
impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir; I am for France
Link: 4.3.309
too: we shall speak of you there.
Link: 4.3.310

Exit with Soldiers

Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
Link: 4.3.311
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
Link: 4.3.312
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
Link: 4.3.313
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
Link: 4.3.314
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Link: 4.3.315
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
Link: 4.3.316
that every braggart shall be found an ass.
Link: 4.3.317
Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Link: 4.3.318
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
Link: 4.3.319
There's place and means for every man alive.
Link: 4.3.320
I'll after them.
Link: 4.3.321


SCENE IV. Florence. The Widow's house.

Scene 4 of Act 4 of this play involves the French King, who is ill and unable to find a cure for his illness. The Countess, who is the protagonist's mother, suggests that her daughter, who is a skilled physician, might be able to cure him. The King agrees to this and the protagonist, Helena, is summoned to the palace.

Upon arriving, Helena is met with skepticism by the King's court, who doubt her abilities as a physician. However, Helena is confident in her skills and assures them that she can cure the King's illness. The King agrees to let her try and promises her anything she desires if she succeeds.

Helena then reveals that the only cure for the King's illness is a rare medicine that can only be found in a certain place. She tells the King that she will need his permission to travel there and retrieve the medicine. The King grants her permission and Helena sets off on her journey.

After several days of travel, Helena finally arrives at the location where the medicine can be found. She is met with resistance from the locals, who are reluctant to give her the medicine. However, Helena is determined and manages to convince them to give her the medicine.

With the medicine in hand, Helena returns to the palace and administers it to the King. The King is cured and is amazed by Helena's abilities. He keeps his promise and offers her anything she desires. Helena asks for the hand of the man she loves, who is also the King's ward. The King is hesitant at first but eventually agrees to the match, and the play ends with Helena and her love being happily united.

Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA

That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
Link: 4.4.1
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Link: 4.4.2
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Link: 4.4.3
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel:
Link: 4.4.4
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Link: 4.4.5
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
Link: 4.4.6
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
Link: 4.4.7
And answer, thanks: I duly am inform'd
Link: 4.4.8
His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
Link: 4.4.9
We have convenient convoy. You must know
Link: 4.4.10
I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
Link: 4.4.11
My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
Link: 4.4.12
And by the leave of my good lord the king,
Link: 4.4.13
We'll be before our welcome.
Link: 4.4.14

Gentle madam,
Link: 4.4.15
You never had a servant to whose trust
Link: 4.4.16
Your business was more welcome.
Link: 4.4.17

Nor you, mistress,
Link: 4.4.18
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
Link: 4.4.19
To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven
Link: 4.4.20
Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower,
Link: 4.4.21
As it hath fated her to be my motive
Link: 4.4.22
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
Link: 4.4.23
That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
Link: 4.4.24
When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
Link: 4.4.25
Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play
Link: 4.4.26
With what it loathes for that which is away.
Link: 4.4.27
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Link: 4.4.28
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
Link: 4.4.29
Something in my behalf.
Link: 4.4.30

Let death and honesty
Link: 4.4.31
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Link: 4.4.32
Upon your will to suffer.
Link: 4.4.33

Yet, I pray you:
Link: 4.4.34
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
Link: 4.4.35
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
Link: 4.4.36
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Link: 4.4.37
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
Link: 4.4.38
All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown;
Link: 4.4.39
Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
Link: 4.4.40


SCENE V. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 5 of Act 4 begins with the King of France on his deathbed, surrounded by his courtiers. He asks for the Countess of Rossillion's son, Bertram, to be brought before him. When Bertram arrives, the King tells him that he must marry Helena, the daughter of the recently deceased court physician, as she has cured him of his illness. Bertram is reluctant to marry Helena, whom he considers beneath his station, and he tries to refuse the King's command. The King is angry at Bertram's disobedience and threatens to take away his lands and titles if he does not comply.

Helena enters the room and, hearing the King's command, is overjoyed. She tries to convince Bertram to accept her as his wife, but he remains stubborn. He tells her that he will only accept her as his wife if she can fulfill three impossible tasks. Helena agrees to the challenge, confident that she can succeed.

As the scene ends, the King tells Bertram that he must leave for war, but that he must write a letter to Helena, stating that he loves her and that their marriage is valid. Bertram reluctantly agrees, and the scene ends with the King's death.

Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown

No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffeta
Link: 4.5.1
fellow there, whose villanous saffron would have
Link: 4.5.2
made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in
Link: 4.5.3
his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at
Link: 4.5.4
this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced
Link: 4.5.5
by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
Link: 4.5.6

I would I had not known him; it was the death of the
Link: 4.5.7
most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had
Link: 4.5.8
praise for creating. If she had partaken of my
Link: 4.5.9
flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I
Link: 4.5.10
could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Link: 4.5.11

'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a
Link: 4.5.12
thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.
Link: 4.5.13

Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
Link: 4.5.14
salad, or rather, the herb of grace.
Link: 4.5.15

They are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
Link: 4.5.16

I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much
Link: 4.5.17
skill in grass.
Link: 4.5.18

Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?
Link: 4.5.19

A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
Link: 4.5.20

Your distinction?
Link: 4.5.21

I would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.
Link: 4.5.22

So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
Link: 4.5.23

And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
Link: 4.5.24

I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.
Link: 4.5.25

At your service.
Link: 4.5.26

No, no, no.
Link: 4.5.27

Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
Link: 4.5.28
great a prince as you are.
Link: 4.5.29

Who's that? a Frenchman?
Link: 4.5.30

Faith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy
Link: 4.5.31
is more hotter in France than there.
Link: 4.5.32

What prince is that?
Link: 4.5.33

The black prince, sir; alias, the prince of
Link: 4.5.34
darkness; alias, the devil.
Link: 4.5.35

Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this
Link: 4.5.36
to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of;
Link: 4.5.37
serve him still.
Link: 4.5.38

I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
Link: 4.5.39
great fire; and the master I speak of ever keeps a
Link: 4.5.40
good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the
Link: 4.5.41
world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for
Link: 4.5.42
the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be
Link: 4.5.43
too little for pomp to enter: some that humble
Link: 4.5.44
themselves may; but the many will be too chill and
Link: 4.5.45
tender, and they'll be for the flowery way that
Link: 4.5.46
leads to the broad gate and the great fire.
Link: 4.5.47

Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I
Link: 4.5.48
tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
Link: 4.5.49
with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well
Link: 4.5.50
looked to, without any tricks.
Link: 4.5.51

If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
Link: 4.5.52
jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
Link: 4.5.53


A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
Link: 4.5.54

So he is. My lord that's gone made himself much
Link: 4.5.55
sport out of him: by his authority he remains here,
Link: 4.5.56
which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and,
Link: 4.5.57
indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.
Link: 4.5.58

I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to
Link: 4.5.59
tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and
Link: 4.5.60
that my lord your son was upon his return home, I
Link: 4.5.61
moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of
Link: 4.5.62
my daughter; which, in the minority of them both,
Link: 4.5.63
his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did
Link: 4.5.64
first propose: his highness hath promised me to do
Link: 4.5.65
it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath
Link: 4.5.66
conceived against your son, there is no fitter
Link: 4.5.67
matter. How does your ladyship like it?
Link: 4.5.68

With very much content, my lord; and I wish it
Link: 4.5.69
happily effected.
Link: 4.5.70

His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able
Link: 4.5.71
body as when he numbered thirty: he will be here
Link: 4.5.72
to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such
Link: 4.5.73
intelligence hath seldom failed.
Link: 4.5.74

It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
Link: 4.5.75
die. I have letters that my son will be here
Link: 4.5.76
to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain
Link: 4.5.77
with me till they meet together.
Link: 4.5.78

Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
Link: 4.5.79
safely be admitted.
Link: 4.5.80

You need but plead your honourable privilege.
Link: 4.5.81

Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I
Link: 4.5.82
thank my God it holds yet.
Link: 4.5.83

Re-enter Clown

O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of
Link: 4.5.84
velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under't
Link: 4.5.85
or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of
Link: 4.5.86
velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a
Link: 4.5.87
half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
Link: 4.5.88

A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery
Link: 4.5.89
of honour; so belike is that.
Link: 4.5.90

But it is your carbonadoed face.
Link: 4.5.91

Let us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk
Link: 4.5.92
with the young noble soldier.
Link: 4.5.93

Faith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine
Link: 4.5.94
hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head
Link: 4.5.95
and nod at every man.
Link: 4.5.96


Act V

In Act 5 of All's Well That Ends Well, the plot is finally resolved. Helena, the protagonist, has managed to cure the King of France of his illness and has requested him to allow her to marry Bertram, her love interest who had previously rejected her. The King grants her wish, and Bertram reluctantly agrees to marry her.

However, Bertram still harbors doubts about marrying Helena and decides to leave for war instead. Helena, determined to win his love and prove her worth, follows him in disguise and manages to save his life during battle. Bertram, finally realizing Helena's worth, accepts her as his wife and falls in love with her.

The play ends with all the characters reconciled, and Helena and Bertram living happily ever after.

SCENE I. Marseilles. A street.

Scene 1 of Act 5 starts with the King of France, the Duke of Florence, and Bertram, Count of Roussillon discussing the war. The King of France is excited to hear that the war has been won and is eager to see Bertram, whom he has not seen since the war began. Bertram, however, does not want to see the King as he is ashamed of his actions and feels guilty for his treatment of Helena, his wife.

The conversation then turns to Helena, who has recently died. The King of France is devastated by her death and speaks highly of her virtues, while Bertram remains silent. The Duke of Florence asks Bertram if he has anything to say about Helena and Bertram finally admits that he loved her and regrets his past behavior towards her. The King forgives Bertram and urges him to honor Helena's memory by returning to her family and fulfilling the promises he made to her before her death.

The scene ends with Bertram agreeing to return to Helena's family and to love and honor her memory for the rest of his life.

Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two Attendants

But this exceeding posting day and night
Link: 5.1.1
Must wear your spirits low; we cannot help it:
Link: 5.1.2
But since you have made the days and nights as one,
Link: 5.1.3
To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Link: 5.1.4
Be bold you do so grow in my requital
Link: 5.1.5
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time;
Link: 5.1.6
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
Link: 5.1.7
If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
Link: 5.1.8

And you.
Link: 5.1.9

Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Link: 5.1.10

I have been sometimes there.
Link: 5.1.11

I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
Link: 5.1.12
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
Link: 5.1.13
An therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Link: 5.1.14
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
Link: 5.1.15
The use of your own virtues, for the which
Link: 5.1.16
I shall continue thankful.
Link: 5.1.17

What's your will?
Link: 5.1.18

That it will please you
Link: 5.1.19
To give this poor petition to the king,
Link: 5.1.20
And aid me with that store of power you have
Link: 5.1.21
To come into his presence.
Link: 5.1.22

The king's not here.
Link: 5.1.23

Not here, sir!
Link: 5.1.24

Not, indeed:
Link: 5.1.25
He hence removed last night and with more haste
Link: 5.1.26
Than is his use.
Link: 5.1.27

Lord, how we lose our pains!
Link: 5.1.28

All's well that ends well yet,
Link: 5.1.29
Though time seem so adverse and means unfit.
Link: 5.1.30
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
Link: 5.1.31

Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Link: 5.1.32
Whither I am going.
Link: 5.1.33

I do beseech you, sir,
Link: 5.1.34
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Link: 5.1.35
Commend the paper to his gracious hand,
Link: 5.1.36
Which I presume shall render you no blame
Link: 5.1.37
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
Link: 5.1.38
I will come after you with what good speed
Link: 5.1.39
Our means will make us means.
Link: 5.1.40

This I'll do for you.
Link: 5.1.41

And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd,
Link: 5.1.42
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again.
Link: 5.1.43
Go, go, provide.
Link: 5.1.44


SCENE II. Rousillon. Before the COUNT's palace.

In Scene 2 of Act 5, the King of France learns that his daughter has fled with Bertram, a young count who was forced into marriage with her. The King is furious and orders Bertram's immediate return. He also demands that Helena, the woman who loves Bertram and helped cure his illness, be brought before him.

Bertram, who is in Italy, receives a letter from the King and decides to return to France with his friend Parolles. He plans to sneak into the court and avoid seeing Helena, whom he despises. Meanwhile, Helena arrives at the court and meets with the King, who is impressed by her intelligence and loyalty.

When Bertram arrives, he tries to avoid Helena but is eventually confronted by her. She presents him with two options: either he must accept her as his wife and love her, or he must give her his ring and promise to never remarry. Bertram chooses the latter option and gives her the ring.

However, Helena has a trick up her sleeve. She has arranged for a bed trick, in which she will disguise herself as a prostitute and sleep with Bertram. The next morning, Bertram will believe that he has fulfilled his promise to Helena and will return to her as a devoted husband.

The scene ends with Helena and Bertram heading off to bed, with Helena feeling confident that her plan will work and Bertram feeling unsure of what the future holds.

Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, following

Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this
Link: 5.2.1
letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to
Link: 5.2.2
you, when I have held familiarity with fresher
Link: 5.2.3
clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's
Link: 5.2.4
mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong
Link: 5.2.5
Link: 5.2.6

Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it
Link: 5.2.7
smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will
Link: 5.2.8
henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering.
Link: 5.2.9
Prithee, allow the wind.
Link: 5.2.10

Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake
Link: 5.2.11
but by a metaphor.
Link: 5.2.12

Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my
Link: 5.2.13
nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get
Link: 5.2.14
thee further.
Link: 5.2.15

Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Link: 5.2.16

Foh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune's
Link: 5.2.17
close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he
Link: 5.2.18
comes himself.
Link: 5.2.19
Here is a purr of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's
Link: 5.2.20
cat,--but not a musk-cat,--that has fallen into the
Link: 5.2.21
unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he
Link: 5.2.22
says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the
Link: 5.2.23
carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed,
Link: 5.2.24
ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his
Link: 5.2.25
distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to
Link: 5.2.26
your lordship.
Link: 5.2.27


My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly
Link: 5.2.28
Link: 5.2.29

And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to
Link: 5.2.30
pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the
Link: 5.2.31
knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who
Link: 5.2.32
of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves
Link: 5.2.33
thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for
Link: 5.2.34
you: let the justices make you and fortune friends:
Link: 5.2.35
I am for other business.
Link: 5.2.36

I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
Link: 5.2.37

You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't;
Link: 5.2.38
save your word.
Link: 5.2.39

My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Link: 5.2.40

You beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion!
Link: 5.2.41
give me your hand. How does your drum?
Link: 5.2.42

O my good lord, you were the first that found me!
Link: 5.2.43

Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
Link: 5.2.44

It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace,
Link: 5.2.45
for you did bring me out.
Link: 5.2.46

Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once
Link: 5.2.47
both the office of God and the devil? One brings
Link: 5.2.48
thee in grace and the other brings thee out.
Link: 5.2.49
The king's coming; I know by his trumpets. Sirrah,
Link: 5.2.50
inquire further after me; I had talk of you last
Link: 5.2.51
night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall
Link: 5.2.52
eat; go to, follow.
Link: 5.2.53

I praise God for you.
Link: 5.2.54


SCENE III. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Scene 3 of Act 5 of this play takes place in the King of France's court. The King is discussing the current state of affairs with the Countess of Rossillion and Helena, who has just returned from a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le Grand. The King is struggling with a mysterious illness that no physician has been able to cure.

Helena suggests that she may be able to cure the King and asks for permission to attempt it. The King agrees and Helena sets to work. She prepares a potion and tells the King to drink it at a specific time. The King agrees and Helena leaves.

The Countess of Rossillion is skeptical of Helena's abilities and warns the King not to get his hopes up. The King is willing to try anything to get better, even if it means risking his life. He drinks the potion at the appointed time and immediately begins to feel better. The King is amazed at Helena's skill and lavishes her with praise.

Helena reveals that the potion was made from a plant that grows in Rossillion, her home. The King is overjoyed and decides to make Helena his queen. She accepts and the play ends with the promise of a happy ending for all involved.

Flourish. Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, the two French Lords, with Attendants

We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
Link: 5.3.1
Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
Link: 5.3.2
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Link: 5.3.3
Her estimation home.
Link: 5.3.4

'Tis past, my liege;
Link: 5.3.5
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Link: 5.3.6
Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth;
Link: 5.3.7
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
Link: 5.3.8
O'erbears it and burns on.
Link: 5.3.9

My honour'd lady,
Link: 5.3.10
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Link: 5.3.11
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
Link: 5.3.12
And watch'd the time to shoot.
Link: 5.3.13

This I must say,
Link: 5.3.14
But first I beg my pardon, the young lord
Link: 5.3.15
Did to his majesty, his mother and his lady
Link: 5.3.16
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
Link: 5.3.17
The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
Link: 5.3.18
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Link: 5.3.19
Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive,
Link: 5.3.20
Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
Link: 5.3.21
Humbly call'd mistress.
Link: 5.3.22

Praising what is lost
Link: 5.3.23
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither;
Link: 5.3.24
We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
Link: 5.3.25
All repetition: let him not ask our pardon;
Link: 5.3.26
The nature of his great offence is dead,
Link: 5.3.27
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
Link: 5.3.28
The incensing relics of it: let him approach,
Link: 5.3.29
A stranger, no offender; and inform him
Link: 5.3.30
So 'tis our will he should.
Link: 5.3.31

I shall, my liege.
Link: 5.3.32


What says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
Link: 5.3.33

All that he is hath reference to your highness.
Link: 5.3.34

Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me
Link: 5.3.35
That set him high in fame.
Link: 5.3.36


He looks well on't.
Link: 5.3.37

I am not a day of season,
Link: 5.3.38
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
Link: 5.3.39
In me at once: but to the brightest beams
Link: 5.3.40
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
Link: 5.3.41
The time is fair again.
Link: 5.3.42

My high-repented blames,
Link: 5.3.43
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
Link: 5.3.44

All is whole;
Link: 5.3.45
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Link: 5.3.46
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
Link: 5.3.47
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
Link: 5.3.48
The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
Link: 5.3.49
Steals ere we can effect them. You remember
Link: 5.3.50
The daughter of this lord?
Link: 5.3.51

Admiringly, my liege, at first
Link: 5.3.52
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Link: 5.3.53
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue
Link: 5.3.54
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Link: 5.3.55
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Link: 5.3.56
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Link: 5.3.57
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stolen;
Link: 5.3.58
Extended or contracted all proportions
Link: 5.3.59
To a most hideous object: thence it came
Link: 5.3.60
That she whom all men praised and whom myself,
Link: 5.3.61
Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye
Link: 5.3.62
The dust that did offend it.
Link: 5.3.63

Well excused:
Link: 5.3.64
That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away
Link: 5.3.65
From the great compt: but love that comes too late,
Link: 5.3.66
Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
Link: 5.3.67
To the great sender turns a sour offence,
Link: 5.3.68
Crying, 'That's good that's gone.' Our rash faults
Link: 5.3.69
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Link: 5.3.70
Not knowing them until we know their grave:
Link: 5.3.71
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Link: 5.3.72
Destroy our friends and after weep their dust
Link: 5.3.73
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
Link: 5.3.74
While shame full late sleeps out the afternoon.
Link: 5.3.75
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
Link: 5.3.76
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin:
Link: 5.3.77
The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
Link: 5.3.78
To see our widower's second marriage-day.
Link: 5.3.79

Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
Link: 5.3.80
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
Link: 5.3.81

Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Link: 5.3.82
Must be digested, give a favour from you
Link: 5.3.83
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
Link: 5.3.84
That she may quickly come.
Link: 5.3.85
By my old beard,
Link: 5.3.86
And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Link: 5.3.87
Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this,
Link: 5.3.88
The last that e'er I took her at court,
Link: 5.3.89
I saw upon her finger.
Link: 5.3.90

Hers it was not.
Link: 5.3.91

Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye,
Link: 5.3.92
While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't.
Link: 5.3.93
This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen,
Link: 5.3.94
I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
Link: 5.3.95
Necessitied to help, that by this token
Link: 5.3.96
I would relieve her. Had you that craft, to reave
Link: 5.3.97
Of what should stead her most?
Link: 5.3.99

My gracious sovereign,
Link: 5.3.100
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
Link: 5.3.101
The ring was never hers.
Link: 5.3.102

Son, on my life,
Link: 5.3.103
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
Link: 5.3.104
At her life's rate.
Link: 5.3.105

I am sure I saw her wear it.
Link: 5.3.106

You are deceived, my lord; she never saw it:
Link: 5.3.107
In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
Link: 5.3.108
Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
Link: 5.3.109
Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
Link: 5.3.110
I stood engaged: but when I had subscribed
Link: 5.3.111
To mine own fortune and inform'd her fully
Link: 5.3.112
I could not answer in that course of honour
Link: 5.3.113
As she had made the overture, she ceased
Link: 5.3.114
In heavy satisfaction and would never
Link: 5.3.115
Receive the ring again.
Link: 5.3.116

Plutus himself,
Link: 5.3.117
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Link: 5.3.118
Hath not in nature's mystery more science
Link: 5.3.119
Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Link: 5.3.120
Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know
Link: 5.3.121
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Link: 5.3.122
Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
Link: 5.3.123
You got it from her: she call'd the saints to surety
Link: 5.3.124
That she would never put it from her finger,
Link: 5.3.125
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
Link: 5.3.126
Where you have never come, or sent it us
Link: 5.3.127
Upon her great disaster.
Link: 5.3.128

She never saw it.
Link: 5.3.129

Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour;
Link: 5.3.130
And makest conjectural fears to come into me
Link: 5.3.131
Which I would fain shut out. If it should prove
Link: 5.3.132
That thou art so inhuman,--'twill not prove so;--
Link: 5.3.133
And yet I know not: thou didst hate her deadly,
Link: 5.3.134
And she is dead; which nothing, but to close
Link: 5.3.135
Her eyes myself, could win me to believe,
Link: 5.3.136
More than to see this ring. Take him away.
Link: 5.3.137
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Link: 5.3.138
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Link: 5.3.139
Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him!
Link: 5.3.140
We'll sift this matter further.
Link: 5.3.141

If you shall prove
Link: 5.3.142
This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
Link: 5.3.143
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Link: 5.3.144
Where yet she never was.
Link: 5.3.145

Exit, guarded

I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
Link: 5.3.146

Enter a Gentleman

Gracious sovereign,
Link: 5.3.147
Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not:
Link: 5.3.148
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Link: 5.3.149
Who hath for four or five removes come short
Link: 5.3.150
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Link: 5.3.151
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Link: 5.3.152
Of the poor suppliant, who by this I know
Link: 5.3.153
Is here attending: her business looks in her
Link: 5.3.154
With an importing visage; and she told me,
Link: 5.3.155
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Link: 5.3.156
Your highness with herself.
Link: 5.3.157

(Reads) Upon his many protestations to marry me
Link: 5.3.158
when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won
Link: 5.3.159
me. Now is the Count Rousillon a widower: his vows
Link: 5.3.160
are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He
Link: 5.3.161
stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow
Link: 5.3.162
him to his country for justice: grant it me, O
Link: 5.3.163
king! in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer
Link: 5.3.164
flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.
Link: 5.3.165
Link: 5.3.166

I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for
Link: 5.3.167
this: I'll none of him.
Link: 5.3.168

The heavens have thought well on thee Lafeu,
Link: 5.3.169
To bring forth this discovery. Seek these suitors:
Link: 5.3.170
Go speedily and bring again the count.
Link: 5.3.171
I am afeard the life of Helen, lady,
Link: 5.3.172
Was foully snatch'd.
Link: 5.3.173

Now, justice on the doers!
Link: 5.3.174

Re-enter BERTRAM, guarded

I wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you,
Link: 5.3.175
And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
Link: 5.3.176
Yet you desire to marry.
Link: 5.3.177
What woman's that?
Link: 5.3.178

I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Link: 5.3.179
Derived from the ancient Capilet:
Link: 5.3.180
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
Link: 5.3.181
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
Link: 5.3.182

I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Link: 5.3.183
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
Link: 5.3.184
And both shall cease, without your remedy.
Link: 5.3.185

Come hither, count; do you know these women?
Link: 5.3.186

My lord, I neither can nor will deny
Link: 5.3.187
But that I know them: do they charge me further?
Link: 5.3.188

Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
Link: 5.3.189

She's none of mine, my lord.
Link: 5.3.190

If you shall marry,
Link: 5.3.191
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
Link: 5.3.192
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
Link: 5.3.193
You give away myself, which is known mine;
Link: 5.3.194
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
Link: 5.3.195
That she which marries you must marry me,
Link: 5.3.196
Either both or none.
Link: 5.3.197

Your reputation comes too short for my daughter; you
Link: 5.3.198
are no husband for her.
Link: 5.3.199

My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature,
Link: 5.3.200
Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your highness
Link: 5.3.201
Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour
Link: 5.3.202
Than for to think that I would sink it here.
Link: 5.3.203

Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
Link: 5.3.204
Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your honour
Link: 5.3.205
Than in my thought it lies.
Link: 5.3.206

Good my lord,
Link: 5.3.207
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
Link: 5.3.208
He had not my virginity.
Link: 5.3.209

What say'st thou to her?
Link: 5.3.210

She's impudent, my lord,
Link: 5.3.211
And was a common gamester to the camp.
Link: 5.3.212

He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
Link: 5.3.213
He might have bought me at a common price:
Link: 5.3.214
Do not believe him. O, behold this ring,
Link: 5.3.215
Whose high respect and rich validity
Link: 5.3.216
Did lack a parallel; yet for all that
Link: 5.3.217
He gave it to a commoner o' the camp,
Link: 5.3.218
If I be one.
Link: 5.3.219

He blushes, and 'tis it:
Link: 5.3.220
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
Link: 5.3.221
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Link: 5.3.222
Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife;
Link: 5.3.223
That ring's a thousand proofs.
Link: 5.3.224

Methought you said
Link: 5.3.225
You saw one here in court could witness it.
Link: 5.3.226

I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
Link: 5.3.227
So bad an instrument: his name's Parolles.
Link: 5.3.228

I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
Link: 5.3.229

Find him, and bring him hither.
Link: 5.3.230

Exit an Attendant

What of him?
Link: 5.3.231
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
Link: 5.3.232
With all the spots o' the world tax'd and debosh'd;
Link: 5.3.233
Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth.
Link: 5.3.234
Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
Link: 5.3.235
That will speak any thing?
Link: 5.3.236

She hath that ring of yours.
Link: 5.3.237

I think she has: certain it is I liked her,
Link: 5.3.238
And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth:
Link: 5.3.239
She knew her distance and did angle for me,
Link: 5.3.240
Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
Link: 5.3.241
As all impediments in fancy's course
Link: 5.3.242
Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
Link: 5.3.243
Her infinite cunning, with her modern grace,
Link: 5.3.244
Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring;
Link: 5.3.245
And I had that which any inferior might
Link: 5.3.246
At market-price have bought.
Link: 5.3.247

I must be patient:
Link: 5.3.248
You, that have turn'd off a first so noble wife,
Link: 5.3.249
May justly diet me. I pray you yet;
Link: 5.3.250
Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband;
Link: 5.3.251
Send for your ring, I will return it home,
Link: 5.3.252
And give me mine again.
Link: 5.3.253

I have it not.
Link: 5.3.254

What ring was yours, I pray you?
Link: 5.3.255

Sir, much like
Link: 5.3.256
The same upon your finger.
Link: 5.3.257

Know you this ring? this ring was his of late.
Link: 5.3.258

And this was it I gave him, being abed.
Link: 5.3.259

The story then goes false, you threw it him
Link: 5.3.260
Out of a casement.
Link: 5.3.261

I have spoke the truth.
Link: 5.3.262


My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
Link: 5.3.263

You boggle shrewdly, every feather stars you.
Link: 5.3.264
Is this the man you speak of?
Link: 5.3.265

Ay, my lord.
Link: 5.3.266

Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge you,
Link: 5.3.267
Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
Link: 5.3.268
Which on your just proceeding I'll keep off,
Link: 5.3.269
By him and by this woman here what know you?
Link: 5.3.270

So please your majesty, my master hath been an
Link: 5.3.271
honourable gentleman: tricks he hath had in him,
Link: 5.3.272
which gentlemen have.
Link: 5.3.273

Come, come, to the purpose: did he love this woman?
Link: 5.3.274

Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
Link: 5.3.275

How, I pray you?
Link: 5.3.276

He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
Link: 5.3.277

How is that?
Link: 5.3.278

He loved her, sir, and loved her not.
Link: 5.3.279

As thou art a knave, and no knave. What an
Link: 5.3.280
equivocal companion is this!
Link: 5.3.281

I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
Link: 5.3.282

He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
Link: 5.3.283

Do you know he promised me marriage?
Link: 5.3.284

Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
Link: 5.3.285

But wilt thou not speak all thou knowest?
Link: 5.3.286

Yes, so please your majesty. I did go between them,
Link: 5.3.287
as I said; but more than that, he loved her: for
Link: 5.3.288
indeed he was mad for her, and talked of Satan and
Link: 5.3.289
of Limbo and of Furies and I know not what: yet I
Link: 5.3.290
was in that credit with them at that time that I
Link: 5.3.291
knew of their going to bed, and of other motions,
Link: 5.3.292
as promising her marriage, and things which would
Link: 5.3.293
derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not
Link: 5.3.294
speak what I know.
Link: 5.3.295

Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say
Link: 5.3.296
they are married: but thou art too fine in thy
Link: 5.3.297
evidence; therefore stand aside.
Link: 5.3.298
This ring, you say, was yours?
Link: 5.3.299

Ay, my good lord.
Link: 5.3.300

Where did you buy it? or who gave it you?
Link: 5.3.301

It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
Link: 5.3.302

Who lent it you?
Link: 5.3.303

It was not lent me neither.
Link: 5.3.304

Where did you find it, then?
Link: 5.3.305

I found it not.
Link: 5.3.306

If it were yours by none of all these ways,
Link: 5.3.307
How could you give it him?
Link: 5.3.308

I never gave it him.
Link: 5.3.309

This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off
Link: 5.3.310
and on at pleasure.
Link: 5.3.311

This ring was mine; I gave it his first wife.
Link: 5.3.312

It might be yours or hers, for aught I know.
Link: 5.3.313

Take her away; I do not like her now;
Link: 5.3.314
To prison with her: and away with him.
Link: 5.3.315
Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring,
Link: 5.3.316
Thou diest within this hour.
Link: 5.3.317

I'll never tell you.
Link: 5.3.318

Take her away.
Link: 5.3.319

I'll put in bail, my liege.
Link: 5.3.320

I think thee now some common customer.
Link: 5.3.321

By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
Link: 5.3.322

Wherefore hast thou accused him all this while?
Link: 5.3.323

Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty:
Link: 5.3.324
He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't;
Link: 5.3.325
I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.
Link: 5.3.326
Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life;
Link: 5.3.327
I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
Link: 5.3.328

She does abuse our ears: to prison with her.
Link: 5.3.329

Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir:
Link: 5.3.330
The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
Link: 5.3.331
And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
Link: 5.3.332
Who hath abused me, as he knows himself,
Link: 5.3.333
Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him:
Link: 5.3.334
He knows himself my bed he hath defiled;
Link: 5.3.335
And at that time he got his wife with child:
Link: 5.3.336
Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick:
Link: 5.3.337
So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick:
Link: 5.3.338
And now behold the meaning.
Link: 5.3.339

Re-enter Widow, with HELENA

Is there no exorcist
Link: 5.3.340
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Link: 5.3.341
Is't real that I see?
Link: 5.3.342

No, my good lord;
Link: 5.3.343
'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
Link: 5.3.344
The name and not the thing.
Link: 5.3.345

Both, both. O, pardon!
Link: 5.3.346

O my good lord, when I was like this maid,
Link: 5.3.347
I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring;
Link: 5.3.348
And, look you, here's your letter; this it says:
Link: 5.3.349
'When from my finger you can get this ring
Link: 5.3.350
And are by me with child,' c. This is done:
Link: 5.3.351
Will you be mine, now you are doubly won?
Link: 5.3.352

If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
Link: 5.3.353
I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
Link: 5.3.354

If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
Link: 5.3.355
Deadly divorce step between me and you!
Link: 5.3.356
O my dear mother, do I see you living?
Link: 5.3.357

Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon:
Link: 5.3.358
Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: so,
Link: 5.3.359
I thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee:
Link: 5.3.360
Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.
Link: 5.3.361

Let us from point to point this story know,
Link: 5.3.362
To make the even truth in pleasure flow.
Link: 5.3.363
If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
Link: 5.3.364
Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;
Link: 5.3.365
For I can guess that by thy honest aid
Link: 5.3.366
Thou keep'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.
Link: 5.3.367
Of that and all the progress, more or less,
Link: 5.3.368
Resolvedly more leisure shall express:
Link: 5.3.369
All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
Link: 5.3.370
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.
Link: 5.3.371