All's Well That Ends Well

A comedy written in 1602 by William Shakespeare

1(stage directions)11[Rousillon. The COUNT's palace. Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of Rousillon, HELENA, and LAFEU, all in black]
211COUNTESSIn delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
311BERTRAMAnd I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
411LAFEUYou shall find of the king a husband, madam; you, sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather than lack it where there is such abundance.
511COUNTESSWhat hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
611LAFEUHe hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose practises he hath persecuted time with hope, and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
711COUNTESSThis young gentlewoman had a father,--O, that 'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!--whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of the king's disease.
811LAFEUHow called you the man you speak of, madam?
911COUNTESSHe was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
1011LAFEUHe was excellent indeed, madam: the king very lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
1111BERTRAMWhat is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
1211LAFEUA fistula, my lord.
1311BERTRAMI heard not of it before.
1411LAFEUI would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
1511COUNTESSHis sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises; her dispositions she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too; in her they are the better for their simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
1611LAFEUYour commendations, madam, get from her tears.
1711COUNTESS'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena; go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow than have it.
1811HELENAI do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
1911LAFEUModerate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.
2011COUNTESSIf the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.
2111BERTRAMMadam, I desire your holy wishes.
2211LAFEUHow understand we that?
2311COUNTESSBe thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend Under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence, But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will, That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down, Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord; 'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord, Advise him.
2411LAFEUHe cannot want the best That shall attend his love.
2511COUNTESSHeaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.
26(stage directions)11[Exit]
2711BERTRAM[To HELENA] The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
2811LAFEUFarewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of your father.
29(stage directions)11[Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU]
3011HELENAO, were that all! I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in't but Bertram's. I am undone: there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one That I should love a bright particular star And think to wed it, he is so above me: In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind that would be mated by the lion Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, In our heart's table; heart too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour: But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his reliques. Who comes here? [Enter PAROLLES] [Aside] One that goes with him: I love him for his sake; And yet I know him a notorious liar, Think him a great way fool, solely a coward; Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him, That they take place, when virtue's steely bones Look bleak i' the cold wind: withal, full oft we see Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
3111PAROLLESSave you, fair queen!
3211HELENAAnd you, monarch!
3411HELENAAnd no.
3511PAROLLESAre you meditating on virginity?
3611HELENAAy. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?
3711PAROLLESKeep him out.
3811HELENABut he assails; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
3911PAROLLESThere is none: man, sitting down before you, will undermine you and blow you up.
4011HELENABless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
4111PAROLLESVirginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase and there was never virgin got till virginity was first lost. That you were made of is metal to make virgins. Virginity by being once lost may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with 't!
4211HELENAI will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
4311PAROLLESThere's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself and should be buried in highways out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but loose by't: out with 't! within ten year it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the principal itself not much the worse: away with 't!
4411HELENAHow might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
4511PAROLLESLet me see: marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth: off with 't while 'tis vendible; answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion: richly suited, but unsuitable: just like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge than in your cheek; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears, it looks ill, it eats drily; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet 'tis a withered pear: will you anything with it?
4611HELENANot my virginity yet [--] There shall your master have a thousand loves, A mother and a mistress and a friend, A phoenix, captain and an enemy, A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign, A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear; His humble ambition, proud humility, His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet, His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms, That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he-- I know not what he shall. God send him well! The court's a learning place, and he is one--
4711PAROLLESWhat one, i' faith?
4811HELENAThat I wish well. 'Tis pity--
4911PAROLLESWhat's pity?
5011HELENAThat wishing well had not a body in't, Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born, Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Might with effects of them follow our friends, And show what we alone must think, which never Return us thanks.
51(stage directions)11[Enter Page]
5211PAGEMonsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
53(stage directions)11[Exit]
5411PAROLLESLittle Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
5511HELENAMonsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
5611PAROLLESUnder Mars, I.
5711HELENAI especially think, under Mars.
5811PAROLLESWhy under Mars?
5911HELENAThe wars have so kept you under that you must needs be born under Mars.
6011PAROLLESWhen he was predominant.
6111HELENAWhen he was retrograde, I think, rather.
6211PAROLLESWhy think you so?
6311HELENAYou go so much backward when you fight.
6411PAROLLESThat's for advantage.
6511HELENASo is running away, when fear proposes the safety; but the composition that your valour and fear makes in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
6611PAROLLESI am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends; get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee; so, farewell.
67(stage directions)11[Exit]
6811HELENAOur remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull. What power is it which mounts my love so high, That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? The mightiest space in fortune nature brings To join like likes and kiss like native things. Impossible be strange attempts to those That weigh their pains in sense and do suppose What hath been cannot be: who ever strove So show her merit, that did miss her love? The king's disease--my project may deceive me, But my intents are fix'd and will not leave me.
69(stage directions)11[Exit] [Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING of France,] with letters, and divers Attendants]
7012KINGThe Florentines and Senoys are by the ears; Have fought with equal fortune and continue A braving war.
7112FIRST LORDSo 'tis reported, sir.
7212KINGNay, 'tis most credible; we here received it A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, With caution that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the business and would seem To have us make denial.
7312FIRST LORDHis love and wisdom, Approved so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence.
7412KINGHe hath arm'd our answer, And Florence is denied before he comes: Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see The Tuscan service, freely have they leave To stand on either part.
7512SECOND LORDIt well may serve A nursery to our gentry, who are sick For breathing and exploit.
7612KINGWhat's he comes here?
77(stage directions)12[Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES]
7812FIRST LORDIt is the Count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.
7912KINGYouth, thou bear'st thy father's face; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
8012BERTRAMMy thanks and duty are your majesty's.
8112KINGI would I had that corporal soundness now, As when thy father and myself in friendship First tried our soldiership! He did look far Into the service of the time and was Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long; But on us both did haggish age steal on And wore us out of act. It much repairs me To talk of your good father. In his youth He had the wit which I can well observe To-day in our young lords; but they may jest Till their own scorn return to them unnoted Ere they can hide their levity in honour; So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were, His equal had awaked them, and his honour, Clock to itself, knew the true minute when Exception bid him speak, and at this time His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him He used as creatures of another place And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks, Making them proud of his humility, In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man Might be a copy to these younger times; Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now But goers backward.
8212BERTRAMHis good remembrance, sir, Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb; So in approof lives not his epitaph As in your royal speech.
8312KINGWould I were with him! He would always say-- Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them, To grow there and to bear,--'Let me not live,'-- This his good melancholy oft began, On the catastrophe and heel of pastime, When it was out,--'Let me not live,' quoth he, 'After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses All but new things disdain; whose judgments are Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies Expire before their fashions.' This he wish'd; I after him do after him wish too, Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home, I quickly were dissolved from my hive, To give some labourers room.
8412SECOND LORDYou are loved, sir: They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
8512KINGI fill a place, I know't. How long is't, count, Since the physician at your father's died? He was much famed.
8612BERTRAMSome six months since, my lord.
8712KINGIf he were living, I would try him yet. Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out With several applications; nature and sickness Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; My son's no dearer.
8812BERTRAMThank your majesty.
89(stage directions)12[Exeunt. Flourish]
90(stage directions)13[Enter COUNTESS, Steward, and Clown]
9113COUNTESSI will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
9213STEWARDMadam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
9313COUNTESSWhat does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah: the complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe: 'tis my slowness that I do not; for I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.
9413CLOWN'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
9513COUNTESSWell, sir.
9613CLOWNNo, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned: but, if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
9713COUNTESSWilt thou needs be a beggar?
9813CLOWNI do beg your good will in this case.
9913COUNTESSIn what case?
10013CLOWNIn Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no heritage: and I think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue o' my body; for they say barnes are blessings.
10113COUNTESSTell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
10213CLOWNMy poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
10313COUNTESSIs this all your worship's reason?
10413CLOWNFaith, madam, I have other holy reasons such as they are.
10513COUNTESSMay the world know them?
10613CLOWNI have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.
10713COUNTESSThy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
10813CLOWNI am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.
10913COUNTESSSuch friends are thine enemies, knave.
11013CLOWNYou're shallow, madam, in great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of. He that ears my land spares my team and gives me leave to in the crop; if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: he that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the Puritan and old Poysam the Papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one; they may jowl horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
11113COUNTESSWilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?
11213CLOWNA prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way: For I the ballad will repeat, Which men full true shall find; Your marriage comes by destiny, Your cuckoo sings by kind.
11313COUNTESSGet you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
11413STEWARDMay it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you: of her I am to speak.
11513COUNTESSSirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen, I mean.
11613CLOWNWas this fair face the cause, quoth she, Why the Grecians sacked Troy? Fond done, done fond, Was this King Priam's joy? With that she sighed as she stood, With that she sighed as she stood, And gave this sentence then; Among nine bad if one be good, Among nine bad if one be good, There's yet one good in ten.
11713COUNTESSWhat, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.
11813CLOWNOne good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o' the song: would God would serve the world so all the year! we'ld find no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth a'! An we might have a good woman born but one every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well: a man may draw his heart out, ere a' pluck one.
11913COUNTESSYou'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.
12013CLOWNThat man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth: the business is for Helen to come hither.
121(stage directions)13[Exit]
12213COUNTESSWell, now.
12313STEWARDI know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
12413COUNTESSFaith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid her than she'll demand.
12513STEWARDMadam, I was very late more near her than I think she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Dian no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight surprised, without rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward. This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
12613COUNTESSYou have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance that I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you, leave me: stall this in your bosom; and I thank you for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon. [Exit Steward] [Enter HELENA] Even so it was with me when I was young: If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong; Our blood to us, this to our blood is born; It is the show and seal of nature's truth, Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth: By our remembrances of days foregone, Such were our faults, or then we thought them none. Her eye is sick on't: I observe her now.
12713HELENAWhat is your pleasure, madam?
12813COUNTESSYou know, Helen, I am a mother to you.
12913HELENAMine honourable mistress.
13013COUNTESSNay, a mother: Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,' Methought you saw a serpent: what's in 'mother,' That you start at it? I say, I am your mother; And put you in the catalogue of those That were enwombed mine: 'tis often seen Adoption strives with nature and choice breeds A native slip to us from foreign seeds: You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan, Yet I express to you a mother's care: God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood To say I am thy mother? What's the matter, That this distemper'd messenger of wet, The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye? Why? that you are my daughter?
13113HELENAThat I am not.
13213COUNTESSI say, I am your mother.
13313HELENAPardon, madam; The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother: I am from humble, he from honour'd name; No note upon my parents, his all noble: My master, my dear lord he is; and I His servant live, and will his vassal die: He must not be my brother.
13413COUNTESSNor I your mother?
13513HELENAYou are my mother, madam; would you were,-- So that my lord your son were not my brother,-- Indeed my mother! or were you both our mothers, I care no more for than I do for heaven, So I were not his sister. Can't no other, But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
13613COUNTESSYes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law: God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again? My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I see The mystery of your loneliness, and find Your salt tears' head: now to all sense 'tis gross You love my son; invention is ashamed, Against the proclamation of thy passion, To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true; But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look thy cheeks Confess it, th' one to th' other; and thine eyes See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors That in their kind they speak it: only sin And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue, That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so? If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew; If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee, As heaven shall work in me for thine avail, Tell me truly.
13713HELENAGood madam, pardon me!
13813COUNTESSDo you love my son?
13913HELENAYour pardon, noble mistress!
14013COUNTESSLove you my son?
14113HELENADo not you love him, madam?
14213COUNTESSGo not about; my love hath in't a bond, Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose The state of your affection; for your passions Have to the full appeach'd.
14313HELENAThen, I confess, Here on my knee, before high heaven and you, That before you, and next unto high heaven, I love your son. My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love: Be not offended; for it hurts not him That he is loved of me: I follow him not By any token of presumptuous suit; Nor would I have him till I do deserve him; Yet never know how that desert should be. I know I love in vain, strive against hope; Yet in this captious and intenible sieve I still pour in the waters of my love And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like, Religious in mine error, I adore The sun, that looks upon his worshipper, But knows of him no more. My dearest madam, Let not your hate encounter with my love For loving where you do: but if yourself, Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth, Did ever in so true a flame of liking Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian Was both herself and love: O, then, give pity To her, whose state is such that cannot choose But lend and give where she is sure to lose; That seeks not to find that her search implies, But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies!
14413COUNTESSHad you not lately an intent,--speak truly,-- To go to Paris?
14513HELENAMadam, I had.
14613COUNTESSWherefore? tell true.
14713HELENAI will tell truth; by grace itself I swear. You know my father left me some prescriptions Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading And manifest experience had collected For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them, As notes whose faculties inclusive were More than they were in note: amongst the rest, There is a remedy, approved, set down, To cure the desperate languishings whereof The king is render'd lost.
14813COUNTESSThis was your motive For Paris, was it? speak.
14913HELENAMy lord your son made me to think of this; Else Paris and the medicine and the king Had from the conversation of my thoughts Haply been absent then.
15013COUNTESSBut think you, Helen, If you should tender your supposed aid, He would receive it? he and his physicians Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him, They, that they cannot help: how shall they credit A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools, Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off The danger to itself?
15113HELENAThere's something in't, More than my father's skill, which was the greatest Of his profession, that his good receipt Shall for my legacy be sanctified By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your honour But give me leave to try success, I'ld venture The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure By such a day and hour.
15213COUNTESSDost thou believe't?
15313HELENAAy, madam, knowingly.
15413COUNTESSWhy, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love, Means and attendants and my loving greetings To those of mine in court: I'll stay at home And pray God's blessing into thy attempt: Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this, What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.
155(stage directions)13[Exeunt] [Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING, attended] with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, and PAROLLES]
15621KINGFarewell, young lords; these warlike principles Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewell: Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received, And is enough for both.
15721FIRST LORD'Tis our hope, sir, After well enter'd soldiers, to return And find your grace in health.
15821KINGNo, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart Will not confess he owes the malady That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords; Whether I live or die, be you the sons Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy,-- Those bated that inherit but the fall Of the last monarchy,--see that you come Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek, That fame may cry you loud: I say, farewell.
15921SECOND LORDHealth, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
16021KINGThose girls of Italy, take heed of them: They say, our French lack language to deny, If they demand: beware of being captives, Before you serve.
16121BOTHOur hearts receive your warnings.
16221KINGFarewell. Come hither to me.
163(stage directions)21[Exit, attended]
16421FIRST LORDO, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
16521PAROLLES'Tis not his fault, the spark.
16621SECOND LORDO, 'tis brave wars!
16721PAROLLESMost admirable: I have seen those wars.
16821BERTRAMI am commanded here, and kept a coil with 'Too young' and 'the next year' and ''tis too early.'
16921PAROLLESAn thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.
17021BERTRAMI shall stay here the forehorse to a smock, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry, Till honour be bought up and no sword worn But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.
17121FIRST LORDThere's honour in the theft.
17221PAROLLESCommit it, count.
17321SECOND LORDI am your accessary; and so, farewell.
17421BERTRAMI grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
17521FIRST LORDFarewell, captain.
17621SECOND LORDSweet Monsieur Parolles!
17721PAROLLESNoble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall find in the regiment of the Spinii one Captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.
17821FIRST LORDWe shall, noble captain.
179(stage directions)21[Exeunt Lords]
18021PAROLLESMars dote on you for his novices! what will ye do?
18121BERTRAMStay: the king.
182(stage directions)21[Re-enter KING. BERTRAM and PAROLLES retire]
18321PAROLLES[To BERTRAM] Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to them: for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there do muster true gait, eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star; and though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
18421BERTRAMAnd I will do so.
18521PAROLLESWorthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
186(stage directions)21[Exeunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES]
187(stage directions)21[Enter LAFEU]
18821LAFEU[Kneeling] Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
18921KINGI'll fee thee to stand up.
19021LAFEUThen here's a man stands, that has brought his pardon. I would you had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy, And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
19121KINGI would I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee mercy for't.
19221LAFEUGood faith, across: but, my good lord 'tis thus; Will you be cured of your infirmity?
19421LAFEUO, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will my noble grapes, an if My royal fox could reach them: I have seen a medicine That's able to breathe life into a stone, Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch, Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay, To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand, And write to her a love-line.
19521KINGWhat 'her' is this?
19621LAFEUWhy, Doctor She: my lord, there's one arrived, If you will see her: now, by my faith and honour, If seriously I may convey my thoughts In this my light deliverance, I have spoke With one that, in her sex, her years, profession, Wisdom and constancy, hath amazed me more Than I dare blame my weakness: will you see her For that is her demand, and know her business? That done, laugh well at me.
19721KINGNow, good Lafeu, Bring in the admiration; that we with thee May spend our wonder too, or take off thine By wondering how thou took'st it.
19821LAFEUNay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither.
199(stage directions)21[Exit]
20021KINGThus he his special nothing ever prologues.
201(stage directions)21[Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA]
20221LAFEUNay, come your ways.
20321KINGThis haste hath wings indeed.
20421LAFEUNay, come your ways: This is his majesty; say your mind to him: A traitor you do look like; but such traitors His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle, That dare leave two together; fare you well.
205(stage directions)21[Exit]
20621KINGNow, fair one, does your business follow us?
20721HELENAAy, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was my father; In what he did profess, well found.
20821KINGI knew him.
20921HELENAThe rather will I spare my praises towards him: Knowing him is enough. On's bed of death Many receipts he gave me: chiefly one. Which, as the dearest issue of his practise, And of his old experience the oily darling, He bade me store up, as a triple eye, Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so; And hearing your high majesty is touch'd With that malignant cause wherein the honour Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power, I come to tender it and my appliance With all bound humbleness.
21021KINGWe thank you, maiden; But may not be so credulous of cure, When our most learned doctors leave us and The congregated college have concluded That labouring art can never ransom nature From her inaidible estate; I say we must not So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope, To prostitute our past-cure malady To empirics, or to dissever so Our great self and our credit, to esteem A senseless help when help past sense we deem.
21121HELENAMy duty then shall pay me for my pains: I will no more enforce mine office on you. Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts A modest one, to bear me back a again.
21221KINGI cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful: Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give As one near death to those that wish him live: But what at full I know, thou know'st no part, I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
21321HELENAWhat I can do can do no hurt to try, Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy. He that of greatest works is finisher Oft does them by the weakest minister: So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown, When judges have been babes; great floods have flown From simple sources, and great seas have dried When miracles have by the greatest been denied. Oft expectation fails and most oft there Where most it promises, and oft it hits Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
21421KINGI must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid; Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid: Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
21521HELENAInspired merit so by breath is barr'd: It is not so with Him that all things knows As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows; But most it is presumption in us when The help of heaven we count the act of men. Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent; Of heaven, not me, make an experiment. I am not an impostor that proclaim Myself against the level of mine aim; But know I think and think I know most sure My art is not past power nor you past cure.
21621KINGAre thou so confident? within what space Hopest thou my cure?
21721HELENAThe great'st grace lending grace Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring, Ere twice in murk and occidental damp Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp, Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass, What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly, Health shall live free and sickness freely die.
21821KINGUpon thy certainty and confidence What darest thou venture?
21921HELENATax of impudence, A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame Traduced by odious ballads: my maiden's name Sear'd otherwise; nay, worse--if worse--extended With vilest torture let my life be ended.
22021KINGMethinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak His powerful sound within an organ weak: And what impossibility would slay In common sense, sense saves another way. Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate Worth name of life in thee hath estimate, Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all That happiness and prime can happy call: Thou this to hazard needs must intimate Skill infinite or monstrous desperate. Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try, That ministers thine own death if I die.
22121HELENAIf I break time, or flinch in property Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die, And well deserved: not helping, death's my fee; But, if I help, what do you promise me?
22221KINGMake thy demand.
22321HELENABut will you make it even?
22421KINGAy, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
22521HELENAThen shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand What husband in thy power I will command: Exempted be from me the arrogance To choose from forth the royal blood of France, My low and humble name to propagate With any branch or image of thy state; But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
22621KINGHere is my hand; the premises observed, Thy will by my performance shall be served: So make the choice of thy own time, for I, Thy resolved patient, on thee still rely. More should I question thee, and more I must, Though more to know could not be more to trust, From whence thou camest, how tended on: but rest Unquestion'd welcome and undoubted blest. Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed As high as word, my deed shall match thy meed.
227(stage directions)21[Flourish. Exeunt]
228(stage directions)22[Enter COUNTESS and Clown]
22922COUNTESSCome on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.
23022CLOWNI will show myself highly fed and lowly taught: I know my business is but to the court.
23122COUNTESSTo the court! why, what place make you special, when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
23222CLOWNTruly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all men.
23322COUNTESSMarry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all questions.
23422CLOWNIt is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks, the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn buttock, or any buttock.
23522COUNTESSWill your answer serve fit to all questions?
23622CLOWNAs fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffeta punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding queen to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin.
23722COUNTESSHave you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?
23822CLOWNFrom below your duke to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.
23922COUNTESSIt must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit all demands.
24022CLOWNBut a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to't. Ask me if I am a courtier: it shall do you no harm to learn.
24122COUNTESSTo be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir, are you a courtier?
24222CLOWNO Lord, sir! There's a simple putting off. More, more, a hundred of them.
24322COUNTESSSir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
24422CLOWNO Lord, sir! Thick, thick, spare not me.
24522COUNTESSI think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
24622CLOWNO Lord, sir! Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
24722COUNTESSYou were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
24822CLOWNO Lord, sir! spare not me.
24922COUNTESSDo you cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and 'spare not me?' Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
25022CLOWNI ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord, sir!' I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.
25122COUNTESSI play the noble housewife with the time To entertain't so merrily with a fool.
25222CLOWNO Lord, sir! why, there't serves well again.
25322COUNTESSAn end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this, And urge her to a present answer back: Commend me to my kinsmen and my son: This is not much.
25422CLOWNNot much commendation to them.
25522COUNTESSNot much employment for you: you understand me?
25622CLOWNMost fruitfully: I am there before my legs.
25722COUNTESSHaste you again.
258(stage directions)22[Exeunt severally]
259(stage directions)23[Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES]
26023LAFEUThey say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.
26123PAROLLESWhy, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath shot out in our latter times.
26223BERTRAMAnd so 'tis.
26323LAFEUTo be relinquish'd of the artists,--
26423PAROLLESSo I say.
26523LAFEUBoth of Galen and Paracelsus.
26623PAROLLESSo I say.
26723LAFEUOf all the learned and authentic fellows,--
26823PAROLLESRight; so I say.
26923LAFEUThat gave him out incurable,--
27023PAROLLESWhy, there 'tis; so say I too.
27123LAFEUNot to be helped,--
27223PAROLLESRight; as 'twere, a man assured of a--
27323LAFEUUncertain life, and sure death.
27423PAROLLESJust, you say well; so would I have said.
27523LAFEUI may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.
27623PAROLLESIt is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you shall read it in--what do you call there?
27723LAFEUA showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
27823PAROLLESThat's it; I would have said the very same.
27923LAFEUWhy, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me, I speak in respect--
28023PAROLLESNay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--
28123LAFEUVery hand of heaven.
28223PAROLLESAy, so I say.
28323LAFEUIn a most weak-- [pausing] and debile minister, great power, great transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made than alone the recovery of the king, as to be-- [pausing] generally thankful.
28423PAROLLESI would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king. [Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and] PAROLLES retire]
28523LAFEULustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's able to lead her a coranto.
28623PAROLLESMort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?
28723LAFEU'Fore God, I think so.
28823KINGGo, call before me all the lords in court. Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side; And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive The confirmation of my promised gift, Which but attends thy naming. [Enter three or four Lords] Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing, O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice I have to use: thy frank election make; Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
28923HELENATo each of you one fair and virtuous mistress Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
29023LAFEUI'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture, My mouth no more were broken than these boys', And writ as little beard.
29123KINGPeruse them well: Not one of those but had a noble father.
29223HELENAGentlemen, Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
29323ALLWe understand it, and thank heaven for you.
29423HELENAI am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest, That I protest I simply am a maid. Please it your majesty, I have done already: The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, 'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused, Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever; We'll ne'er come there again.'
29523KINGMake choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
29623HELENANow, Dian, from thy altar do I fly, And to imperial Love, that god most high, Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
29723FIRST LORDAnd grant it.
29823HELENAThanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
29923LAFEUI had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace for my life.
30023HELENAThe honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies: Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes and her humble love!
30123SECOND LORDNo better, if you please.
30223HELENAMy wish receive, Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
30323LAFEUDo all they deny her? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of.
30423HELENABe not afraid that I your hand should take; I'll never do you wrong for your own sake: Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
30523LAFEUThese boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got 'em.
30623HELENAYou are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.
30723FOURTH LORDFair one, I think not so.
30823LAFEUThere's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already.
30923HELENA[To BERTRAM] I dare not say I take you; but I give Me and my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power. This is the man.
31023KINGWhy, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
31123BERTRAMMy wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness, In such a business give me leave to use The help of mine own eyes.
31223KINGKnow'st thou not, Bertram, What she has done for me?
31323BERTRAMYes, my good lord; But never hope to know why I should marry her.
31423KINGThou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
31523BERTRAMBut follows it, my lord, to bring me down Must answer for your raising? I know her well: She had her breeding at my father's charge. A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain Rather corrupt me ever!
31623KING'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods, Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together, Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off In differences so mighty. If she be All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest, A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest Of virtue for the name: but do not so: From lowest place when virtuous things proceed, The place is dignified by the doer's deed: Where great additions swell's, and virtue none, It is a dropsied honour. Good alone Is good without a name. Vileness is so: The property by what it is should go, Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair; In these to nature she's immediate heir, And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn, Which challenges itself as honour's born And is not like the sire: honours thrive, When rather from our acts we them derive Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said? If thou canst like this creature as a maid, I can create the rest: virtue and she Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
31723BERTRAMI cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
31823KINGThou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.
31923HELENAThat you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad: Let the rest go.
32023KINGMy honour's at the stake; which to defeat, I must produce my power. Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift; That dost in vile misprision shackle up My love and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poising us in her defective scale, Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know, It is in us to plant thine honour where We please to have it grow. Cheque thy contempt: Obey our will, which travails in thy good: Believe not thy disdain, but presently Do thine own fortunes that obedient right Which both thy duty owes and our power claims; Or I will throw thee from my care for ever Into the staggers and the careless lapse Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice, Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
32123BERTRAMPardon, my gracious lord; for I submit My fancy to your eyes: when I consider What great creation and what dole of honour Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now The praised of the king; who, so ennobled, Is as 'twere born so.
32223KINGTake her by the hand, And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise A counterpoise, if not to thy estate A balance more replete.
32323BERTRAMI take her hand.
32423KINGGood fortune and the favour of the king Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief, And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast Shall more attend upon the coming space, Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her, Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
325(stage directions)23[Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES]
32623LAFEU[Advancing] Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
32723PAROLLESYour pleasure, sir?
32823LAFEUYour lord and master did well to make his recantation.
32923PAROLLESRecantation! My lord! my master!
33023LAFEUAy; is it not a language I speak?
33123PAROLLESA most harsh one, and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master!
33223LAFEUAre you companion to the Count Rousillon?
33323PAROLLESTo any count, to all counts, to what is man.
33423LAFEUTo what is count's man: count's master is of another style.
33523PAROLLESYou are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
33623LAFEUI must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.
33723PAROLLESWhat I dare too well do, I dare not do.
33823LAFEUI did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and that thou't scarce worth.
33923PAROLLESHadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--
34023LAFEUDo not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial; which if--Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well: thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
34123PAROLLESMy lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
34223LAFEUAy, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
34323PAROLLESI have not, my lord, deserved it.
34423LAFEUYes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.
34523PAROLLESWell, I shall be wiser.
34623LAFEUEven as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.
34723PAROLLESMy lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
34823LAFEUI would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
349(stage directions)23[Exit]
35023PAROLLESWell, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be patient; there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I would of--I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
351(stage directions)23[Re-enter LAFEU]
35223LAFEUSirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news for you: you have a new mistress.
35323PAROLLESI most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good lord: whom I serve above is my master.
35423LAFEUWho? God?
35523PAROLLESAy, sir.
35623LAFEUThe devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee: I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
35723PAROLLESThis is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
35823LAFEUGo to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords and honourable personages than the commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.
359(stage directions)23[Exit]
36023PAROLLESGood, very good; it is so then: good, very good; let it be concealed awhile.
361(stage directions)23[Re-enter BERTRAM]
36223BERTRAMUndone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
36323PAROLLESWhat's the matter, sweet-heart?
36423BERTRAMAlthough before the solemn priest I have sworn, I will not bed her.
36523PAROLLESWhat, what, sweet-heart?
36623BERTRAMO my Parolles, they have married me! I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
36723PAROLLESFrance is a dog-hole, and it no more merits The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
36823BERTRAMThere's letters from my mother: what the import is, I know not yet.
36923PAROLLESAy, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars! He wears his honour in a box unseen, That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home, Spending his manly marrow in her arms, Which should sustain the bound and high curvet Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades; Therefore, to the war!
37023BERTRAMIt shall be so: I'll send her to my house, Acquaint my mother with my hate to her, And wherefore I am fled; write to the king That which I durst not speak; his present gift Shall furnish me to those Italian fields, Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife To the dark house and the detested wife.
37123PAROLLESWill this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?
37223BERTRAMGo with me to my chamber, and advise me. I'll send her straight away: to-morrow I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
37323PAROLLESWhy, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard: A young man married is a man that's marr'd: Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go: The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.
374(stage directions)23[Exeunt]
375(stage directions)24[Enter HELENA and Clown]
37624HELENAMy mother greets me kindly; is she well?
37724CLOWNShe is not well; but yet she has her health: she's very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be given, she's very well and wants nothing i', the world; but yet she is not well.
37824HELENAIf she be very well, what does she ail, that she's not very well?
37924CLOWNTruly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
38024HELENAWhat two things?
38124CLOWNOne, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her quickly! the other that she's in earth, from whence God send her quickly!
382(stage directions)24[Enter PAROLLES]
38324PAROLLESBless you, my fortunate lady!
38424HELENAI hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own good fortunes.
38524PAROLLESYou had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them on, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
38624CLOWNSo that you had her wrinkles and I her money, I would she did as you say.
38724PAROLLESWhy, I say nothing.
38824CLOWNMarry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing: to say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which is within a very little of nothing.
38924PAROLLESAway! thou'rt a knave.
39024CLOWNYou should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt a knave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this had been truth, sir.
39124PAROLLESGo to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
39224CLOWNDid you find me in yourself, sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.
39324PAROLLESA good knave, i' faith, and well fed. Madam, my lord will go away to-night; A very serious business calls on him. The great prerogative and rite of love, Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge; But puts it off to a compell'd restraint; Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets, Which they distil now in the curbed time, To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy And pleasure drown the brim.
39424HELENAWhat's his will else?
39524PAROLLESThat you will take your instant leave o' the king And make this haste as your own good proceeding, Strengthen'd with what apology you think May make it probable need.
39624HELENAWhat more commands he?
39724PAROLLESThat, having this obtain'd, you presently Attend his further pleasure.
39824HELENAIn every thing I wait upon his will.
39924PAROLLESI shall report it so.
40024HELENAI pray you. [Exit PAROLLES] Come, sirrah.
401(stage directions)24[Exeunt]
402(stage directions)25[Enter LAFEU and BERTRAM]
40325LAFEUBut I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
40425BERTRAMYes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
40525LAFEUYou have it from his own deliverance.
40625BERTRAMAnd by other warranted testimony.
40725LAFEUThen my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
40825BERTRAMI do assure you, my lord, he is very great in knowledge and accordingly valiant.
40925LAFEUI have then sinned against his experience and transgressed against his valour; and my state that way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my heart to repent. Here he comes: I pray you, make us friends; I will pursue the amity.
410(stage directions)25[Enter PAROLLES]
41125PAROLLES[To BERTRAM] These things shall be done, sir.
41225LAFEUPray you, sir, who's his tailor?
41425LAFEUO, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good workman, a very good tailor.
41525BERTRAM[Aside to PAROLLES] Is she gone to the king?
41625PAROLLESShe is.
41725BERTRAMWill she away to-night?
41825PAROLLESAs you'll have her.
41925BERTRAMI have writ my letters, casketed my treasure, Given order for our horses; and to-night, When I should take possession of the bride, End ere I do begin.
42025LAFEUA good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner; but one that lies three thirds and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
42125BERTRAMIs there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
42225PAROLLESI know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's displeasure.
42325LAFEUYou have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer question for your residence.
42425BERTRAMIt may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
42525LAFEUAnd shall do so ever, though I took him at 's prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur: I have spoken better of you than you have or will to deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.
426(stage directions)25[Exit]
42725PAROLLESAn idle lord. I swear.
42825BERTRAMI think so.
42925PAROLLESWhy, do you not know him?
43025BERTRAMYes, I do know him well, and common speech Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
431(stage directions)25[Enter HELENA]
43225HELENAI have, sir, as I was commanded from you, Spoke with the king and have procured his leave For present parting; only he desires Some private speech with you.
43325BERTRAMI shall obey his will. You must not marvel, Helen, at my course, Which holds not colour with the time, nor does The ministration and required office On my particular. Prepared I was not For such a business; therefore am I found So much unsettled: this drives me to entreat you That presently you take our way for home; And rather muse than ask why I entreat you, For my respects are better than they seem And my appointments have in them a need Greater than shows itself at the first view To you that know them not. This to my mother: [Giving a letter] 'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so I leave you to your wisdom.
43425HELENASir, I can nothing say, But that I am your most obedient servant.
43525BERTRAMCome, come, no more of that.
43625HELENAAnd ever shall With true observance seek to eke out that Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd To equal my great fortune.
43725BERTRAMLet that go: My haste is very great: farewell; hie home.
43825HELENAPray, sir, your pardon.
43925BERTRAMWell, what would you say?
44025HELENAI am not worthy of the wealth I owe, Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is; But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal What law does vouch mine own.
44125BERTRAMWhat would you have?
44225HELENASomething; and scarce so much: nothing, indeed. I would not tell you what I would, my lord: Faith yes; Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
44325BERTRAMI pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
44425HELENAI shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
44525BERTRAMWhere are my other men, monsieur? Farewell. [Exit HELENA] Go thou toward home; where I will never come Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum. Away, and for our flight.
44625PAROLLESBravely, coragio!
447(stage directions)25[Exeunt] [Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence attended;] the two Frenchmen, with a troop of soldiers.
44831DUKESo that from point to point now have you heard The fundamental reasons of this war, Whose great decision hath much blood let forth And more thirsts after.
44931FIRST LORDHoly seems the quarrel Upon your grace's part; black and fearful On the opposer.
45031DUKETherefore we marvel much our cousin France Would in so just a business shut his bosom Against our borrowing prayers.
45131SECOND LORDGood my lord, The reasons of our state I cannot yield, But like a common and an outward man, That the great figure of a council frames By self-unable motion: therefore dare not Say what I think of it, since I have found Myself in my incertain grounds to fail As often as I guess'd.
45231DUKEBe it his pleasure.
45331FIRST LORDBut I am sure the younger of our nature, That surfeit on their ease, will day by day Come here for physic.
45431DUKEWelcome shall they be; And all the honours that can fly from us Shall on them settle. You know your places well; When better fall, for your avails they fell: To-morrow to the field.
455(stage directions)31[Flourish. Exeunt]
456(stage directions)32[Enter COUNTESS and Clown]
45732COUNTESSIt hath happened all as I would have had it, save that he comes not along with her.
45832CLOWNBy my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.
45932COUNTESSBy what observance, I pray you?
46032CLOWNWhy, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.
46132COUNTESSLet me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
462(stage directions)32[Opening a letter]
46332CLOWNI have no mind to Isbel since I was at court: our old ling and our Isbels o' the country are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o' the court: the brains of my Cupid's knocked out, and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
46432COUNTESSWhat have we here?
46532CLOWNE'en that you have there.
466(stage directions)32[Exit]
46732COUNTESS[Reads] I have sent you a daughter-in-law: she hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the 'not' eternal. You shall hear I am run away: know it before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.. Your unfortunate son, BERTRAM. This is not well, rash and unbridled boy. To fly the favours of so good a king; To pluck his indignation on thy head By the misprising of a maid too virtuous For the contempt of empire.
468(stage directions)32[Re-enter Clown]
46932CLOWNO madam, yonder is heavy news within between two soldiers and my young lady!
47032COUNTESSWhat is the matter?
47132CLOWNNay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.
47232COUNTESSWhy should he be killed?
47332CLOWNSo say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does: the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come will tell you more: for my part, I only hear your son was run away.
474(stage directions)32[Exit]
475(stage directions)32[Enter HELENA, and two Gentlemen]
47632FIRST GENTLEMANSave you, good madam.
47732HELENAMadam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
47832SECOND GENTLEMANDo not say so.
47932COUNTESSThink upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen, I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief, That the first face of neither, on the start, Can woman me unto't: where is my son, I pray you?
48032SECOND GENTLEMANMadam, he's gone to serve the duke of Florence: We met him thitherward; for thence we came, And, after some dispatch in hand at court, Thither we bend again.
48132HELENALook on his letter, madam; here's my passport. [Reads] When thou canst get the ring upon my finger which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body that I am father to, then call me husband: but in such a 'then' I write a 'never.' This is a dreadful sentence.
48232COUNTESSBrought you this letter, gentlemen?
48332FIRST GENTLEMANAy, madam; And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pain.
48432COUNTESSI prithee, lady, have a better cheer; If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine, Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son; But I do wash his name out of my blood, And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
48632COUNTESSAnd to be a soldier?
48732SECOND GENTLEMANSuch is his noble purpose; and believe 't, The duke will lay upon him all the honour That good convenience claims.
48832COUNTESSReturn you thither?
48932FIRST GENTLEMANAy, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
49032HELENA[Reads] Till I have no wife I have nothing in France. 'Tis bitter.
49132COUNTESSFind you that there?
49232HELENAAy, madam.
49332FIRST GENTLEMAN'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his heart was not consenting to.
49432COUNTESSNothing in France, until he have no wife! There's nothing here that is too good for him But only she; and she deserves a lord That twenty such rude boys might tend upon And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
49532FIRST GENTLEMANA servant only, and a gentleman Which I have sometime known.
49632COUNTESSParolles, was it not?
49732FIRST GENTLEMANAy, my good lady, he.
49832COUNTESSA very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness. My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement.
49932FIRST GENTLEMANIndeed, good lady, The fellow has a deal of that too much, Which holds him much to have.
50032COUNTESSYou're welcome, gentlemen. I will entreat you, when you see my son, To tell him that his sword can never win The honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you Written to bear along.
50132SECOND GENTLEMANWe serve you, madam, In that and all your worthiest affairs.
50232COUNTESSNot so, but as we change our courtesies. Will you draw near!
503(stage directions)32[Exeunt COUNTESS and Gentlemen]
50432HELENA'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.' Nothing in France, until he has no wife! Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France; Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is't I That chase thee from thy country and expose Those tender limbs of thine to the event Of the none-sparing war? and is it I That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers, That ride upon the violent speed of fire, Fly with false aim; move the still-peering air, That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord. Whoever shoots at him, I set him there; Whoever charges on his forward breast, I am the caitiff that do hold him to't; And, though I kill him not, I am the cause His death was so effected: better 'twere I met the ravin lion when he roar'd With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere That all the miseries which nature owes Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon, Whence honour but of danger wins a scar, As oft it loses all: I will be gone; My being here it is that holds thee hence: Shall I stay here to do't? no, no, although The air of paradise did fan the house And angels officed all: I will be gone, That pitiful rumour may report my flight, To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day! For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.
505(stage directions)32[Exit] [Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence, BERTRAM,] PAROLLES, Soldiers, Drum, and Trumpets]
50633DUKEThe general of our horse thou art; and we, Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence Upon thy promising fortune.
50733BERTRAMSir, it is A charge too heavy for my strength, but yet We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake To the extreme edge of hazard.
50833DUKEThen go thou forth; And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm, As thy auspicious mistress!
50933BERTRAMThis very day, Great Mars, I put myself into thy file: Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove A lover of thy drum, hater of love.
510(stage directions)33[Exeunt]
511(stage directions)34[Enter COUNTESS and Steward]
51234COUNTESSAlas! and would you take the letter of her? Might you not know she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter? Read it again.
51334STEWARD[Reads] I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone: Ambitious love hath so in me offended, That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon, With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Write, write, that from the bloody course of war My dearest master, your dear son, may hie: Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far His name with zealous fervor sanctify: His taken labours bid him me forgive; I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth From courtly friends, with camping foes to live, Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth: He is too good and fair for death and me: Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.
51434COUNTESSAh, what sharp stings are in her mildest words! Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much, As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her, I could have well diverted her intents, Which thus she hath prevented.
51534STEWARDPardon me, madam: If I had given you this at over-night, She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes, Pursuit would be but vain.
51634COUNTESSWhat angel shall Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo, To this unworthy husband of his wife; Let every word weigh heavy of her worth That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief. Though little he do feel it, set down sharply. Dispatch the most convenient messenger: When haply he shall hear that she is gone, He will return; and hope I may that she, Hearing so much, will speed her foot again, Led hither by pure love: which of them both Is dearest to me. I have no skill in sense To make distinction: provide this messenger: My heart is heavy and mine age is weak; Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.
517(stage directions)34[Exeunt] [Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA,] and MARIANA, with other Citizens]
51835WIDOWNay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
51935DIANAThey say the French count has done most honourable service.
52035WIDOWIt is reported that he has taken their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he slew the duke's brother. [Tucket] We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
52135MARIANACome, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
52235WIDOWI have told my neighbour how you have been solicited by a gentleman his companion.
52335MARIANAI know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl. Beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go under: many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope I need not to advise you further; but I hope your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger known but the modesty which is so lost.
52435DIANAYou shall not need to fear me.
52535WIDOWI hope so. [Enter HELENA, disguised like a Pilgrim] Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at my house; thither they send one another: I'll question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
52635HELENATo Saint Jaques le Grand. Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
52735WIDOWAt the Saint Francis here beside the port.
52835HELENAIs this the way?
52935WIDOWAy, marry, is't. [A march afar] Hark you! they come this way. If you will tarry, holy pilgrim, But till the troops come by, I will conduct you where you shall be lodged; The rather, for I think I know your hostess As ample as myself.
53035HELENAIs it yourself?
53135WIDOWIf you shall please so, pilgrim.
53235HELENAI thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
53335WIDOWYou came, I think, from France?
53435HELENAI did so.
53535WIDOWHere you shall see a countryman of yours That has done worthy service.
53635HELENAHis name, I pray you.
53735DIANAThe Count Rousillon: know you such a one?
53835HELENABut by the ear, that hears most nobly of him: His face I know not.
53935DIANAWhatsome'er he is, He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, As 'tis reported, for the king had married him Against his liking: think you it is so?
54035HELENAAy, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.
54135DIANAThere is a gentleman that serves the count Reports but coarsely of her.
54235HELENAWhat's his name?
54335DIANAMonsieur Parolles.
54435HELENAO, I believe with him, In argument of praise, or to the worth Of the great count himself, she is too mean To have her name repeated: all her deserving Is a reserved honesty, and that I have not heard examined.
54535DIANAAlas, poor lady! 'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife Of a detesting lord.
54635WIDOWI warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is, Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
54735HELENAHow do you mean? May be the amorous count solicits her In the unlawful purpose.
54835WIDOWHe does indeed; And brokes with all that can in such a suit Corrupt the tender honour of a maid: But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard In honestest defence.
54935MARIANAThe gods forbid else!
55035WIDOWSo, now they come: [Drum and Colours] [Enter BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the whole army] That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son; That, Escalus.
55135HELENAWhich is the Frenchman?
55235DIANAHe; That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow. I would he loved his wife: if he were honester He were much goodlier: is't not a handsome gentleman?
55335HELENAI like him well.
55435DIANA'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave That leads him to these places: were I his lady, I would Poison that vile rascal.
55535HELENAWhich is he?
55635DIANAThat jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?
55735HELENAPerchance he's hurt i' the battle.
55835PAROLLESLose our drum! well.
55935MARIANAHe's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.
56035WIDOWMarry, hang you!
56135MARIANAAnd your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
562(stage directions)35[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army]
56335WIDOWThe troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound, Already at my house.
56435HELENAI humbly thank you: Please it this matron and this gentle maid To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking Shall be for me; and, to requite you further, I will bestow some precepts of this virgin Worthy the note.
56535BOTHWe'll take your offer kindly.
566(stage directions)35[Exeunt]
567(stage directions)36[Enter BERTRAM and the two French Lords]
56836SECOND LORDNay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his way.
56936FIRST LORDIf your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no more in your respect.
57036SECOND LORDOn my life, my lord, a bubble.
57136BERTRAMDo you think I am so far deceived in him?
57236SECOND LORDBelieve it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment.
57336FIRST LORDIt were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.
57436BERTRAMI would I knew in what particular action to try him.
57536FIRST LORDNone better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
57636SECOND LORDI, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprise him; such I will have, whom I am sure he knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship present at his examination: if he do not, for the promise of his life and in the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgment in any thing.
57736FIRST LORDO, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he says he has a stratagem for't: when your lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.
578(stage directions)36[Enter PAROLLES]
57936SECOND LORD[Aside to BERTRAM] O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the honour of his design: let him fetch off his drum in any hand.
58036BERTRAMHow now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your disposition.
58136FIRST LORDA pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.
58236PAROLLES'But a drum'! is't 'but a drum'? A drum so lost! There was excellent command,--to charge in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers!
58336FIRST LORDThat was not to be blamed in the command of the service: it was a disaster of war that Caesar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.
58436BERTRAMWell, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to be recovered.
58536PAROLLESIt might have been recovered.
58636BERTRAMIt might; but it is not now.
58736PAROLLESIt is to be recovered: but that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or 'hic jacet.'
58836BERTRAMWhy, if you have a stomach, to't, monsieur: if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it. and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worthiness.
58936PAROLLESBy the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
59036BERTRAMBut you must not now slumber in it.
59136PAROLLESI'll about it this evening: and I will presently pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation; and by midnight look to hear further from me.
59236BERTRAMMay I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?
59336PAROLLESI know not what the success will be, my lord; but the attempt I vow.
59436BERTRAMI know thou'rt valiant; and, to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
59536PAROLLESI love not many words.
596(stage directions)36[Exit]
59736SECOND LORDNo more than a fish loves water. Is not this a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do and dares better be damned than to do't?
59836FIRST LORDYou do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it is that he will steal himself into a man's favour and for a week escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out, you have him ever after.
59936BERTRAMWhy, do you think he will make no deed at all of this that so seriously he does address himself unto?
60036SECOND LORDNone in the world; but return with an invention and clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we have almost embossed him; you shall see his fall to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.
60136FIRST LORDWe'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu: when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night.
60236SECOND LORDI must go look my twigs: he shall be caught.
60336BERTRAMYour brother he shall go along with me.
60436SECOND LORDAs't please your lordship: I'll leave you.
605(stage directions)36[Exit]
60636BERTRAMNow will I lead you to the house, and show you The lass I spoke of.
60736FIRST LORDBut you say she's honest.
60836BERTRAMThat's all the fault: I spoke with her but once And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her, By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind, Tokens and letters which she did re-send; And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature: Will you go see her?
60936FIRST LORDWith all my heart, my lord.
610(stage directions)36[Exeunt]
611(stage directions)37[Enter HELENA and Widow]
61237HELENAIf you misdoubt me that I am not she, I know not how I shall assure you further, But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
61337WIDOWThough my estate be fallen, I was well born, Nothing acquainted with these businesses; And would not put my reputation now In any staining act.
61437HELENANor would I wish you. First, give me trust, the count he is my husband, And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken Is so from word to word; and then you cannot, By the good aid that I of you shall borrow, Err in bestowing it.
61537WIDOWI should believe you: For you have show'd me that which well approves You're great in fortune.
61637HELENATake this purse of gold, And let me buy your friendly help thus far, Which I will over-pay and pay again When I have found it. The count he wooes your daughter, Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty, Resolved to carry her: let her in fine consent, As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it. Now his important blood will nought deny That she'll demand: a ring the county wears, That downward hath succeeded in his house From son to son, some four or five descents Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds In most rich choice; yet in his idle fire, To buy his will, it would not seem too dear, Howe'er repented after.
61737WIDOWNow I see The bottom of your purpose.
61837HELENAYou see it lawful, then: it is no more, But that your daughter, ere she seems as won, Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter; In fine, delivers me to fill the time, Herself most chastely absent: after this, To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns To what is passed already.
61937WIDOWI have yielded: Instruct my daughter how she shall persever, That time and place with this deceit so lawful May prove coherent. Every night he comes With musics of all sorts and songs composed To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us To chide him from our eaves; for he persists As if his life lay on't.
62037HELENAWhy then to-night Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed, Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed And lawful meaning in a lawful act, Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact: But let's about it.
621(stage directions)37[Exeunt] [Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other] Soldiers in ambush]
62241SECOND LORDHe can come no other way but by this hedge-corner. When you sally upon him, speak what terrible language you will: though you understand it not yourselves, no matter; for we must not seem to understand him, unless some one among us whom we must produce for an interpreter.
62341FIRST SOLDIERGood captain, let me be the interpreter.
62441SECOND LORDArt not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?
62541FIRST SOLDIERNo, sir, I warrant you.
62641SECOND LORDBut what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
62741FIRST SOLDIERE'en such as you speak to me.
62841SECOND LORDHe must think us some band of strangers i' the adversary's entertainment. Now he hath a smack of all neighbouring languages; therefore we must every one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we speak one to another; so we seem to know, is to know straight our purpose: choughs' language, gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. But couch, ho! here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.
629(stage directions)41[Enter PAROLLES]
63041PAROLLESTen o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries it: they begin to smoke me; and disgraces have of late knocked too often at my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.
63141SECOND LORDThis is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.
63241PAROLLESWhat the devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in exploit: yet slight ones will not carry it; they will say, 'Came you off with so little?' and great ones I dare not give. Wherefore, what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth and buy myself another of Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
63341SECOND LORDIs it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?
63441PAROLLESI would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
63541SECOND LORDWe cannot afford you so.
63641PAROLLESOr the baring of my beard; and to say it was in stratagem.
63741SECOND LORD'Twould not do.
63841PAROLLESOr to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
63941SECOND LORDHardly serve.
64041PAROLLESThough I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.
64141SECOND LORDHow deep?
64241PAROLLESThirty fathom.
64341SECOND LORDThree great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
64441PAROLLESI would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear I recovered it.
64541SECOND LORDYou shall hear one anon.
64641PAROLLESA drum now of the enemy's,--
647(stage directions)41[Alarum within]
64841SECOND LORDThroca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
64941ALLCargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.
65041PAROLLESO, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.
651(stage directions)41[They seize and blindfold him]
65241FIRST SOLDIERBoskos thromuldo boskos.
65341PAROLLESI know you are the Muskos' regiment: And I shall lose my life for want of language; If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch, Italian, or French, let him speak to me; I'll Discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
65441FIRST SOLDIERBoskos vauvado: I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue. Kerely bonto, sir, betake thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
65641FIRST SOLDIERO, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.
65741SECOND LORDOscorbidulchos volivorco.
65841FIRST SOLDIERThe general is content to spare thee yet; And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform Something to save thy life.
65941PAROLLESO, let me live! And all the secrets of our camp I'll show, Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that Which you will wonder at.
66041FIRST SOLDIERBut wilt thou faithfully?
66141PAROLLESIf I do not, damn me.
66241FIRST SOLDIERAcordo linta. Come on; thou art granted space.
663(stage directions)41[Exit, with PAROLLES guarded. A short alarum within]
66441SECOND LORDGo, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother, We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled Till we do hear from them.
66541SECOND SOLDIERCaptain, I will.
66641SECOND LORDA' will betray us all unto ourselves: Inform on that.
66741SECOND SOLDIERSo I will, sir.
66841SECOND LORDTill then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.
669(stage directions)41[Exeunt]
670(stage directions)42[Enter BERTRAM and DIANA]
67142BERTRAMThey told me that your name was Fontibell.
67242DIANANo, my good lord, Diana.
67342BERTRAMTitled goddess; And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul, In your fine frame hath love no quality? If quick fire of youth light not your mind, You are no maiden, but a monument: When you are dead, you should be such a one As you are now, for you are cold and stem; And now you should be as your mother was When your sweet self was got.
67442DIANAShe then was honest.
67542BERTRAMSo should you be.
67642DIANANo: My mother did but duty; such, my lord, As you owe to your wife.
67742BERTRAMNo more o' that; I prithee, do not strive against my vows: I was compell'd to her; but I love thee By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever Do thee all rights of service.
67842DIANAAy, so you serve us Till we serve you; but when you have our roses, You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves And mock us with our bareness.
67942BERTRAMHow have I sworn!
68042DIANA'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth, But the plain single vow that is vow'd true. What is not holy, that we swear not by, But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me, If I should swear by God's great attributes, I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths, When I did love you ill? This has no holding, To swear by him whom I protest to love, That I will work against him: therefore your oaths Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd, At least in my opinion.
68142BERTRAMChange it, change it; Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy; And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts That you do charge men with. Stand no more off, But give thyself unto my sick desires, Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever My love as it begins shall so persever.
68242DIANAI see that men make ropes in such a scarre That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
68342BERTRAMI'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power To give it from me.
68442DIANAWill you not, my lord?
68542BERTRAMIt is an honour 'longing to our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world In me to lose.
68642DIANAMine honour's such a ring: My chastity's the jewel of our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom Brings in the champion Honour on my part, Against your vain assault.
68742BERTRAMHere, take my ring: My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine, And I'll be bid by thee.
68842DIANAWhen midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window: I'll order take my mother shall not hear. Now will I charge you in the band of truth, When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed, Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me: My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them When back again this ring shall be deliver'd: And on your finger in the night I'll put Another ring, that what in time proceeds May token to the future our past deeds. Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
68942BERTRAMA heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
690(stage directions)42[Exit]
69142DIANAFor which live long to thank both heaven and me! You may so in the end. My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she sat in 's heart; she says all men Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I live and die a maid: Only in this disguise I think't no sin To cozen him that would unjustly win.
692(stage directions)42[Exit]
693(stage directions)43[Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers]
69443FIRST LORDYou have not given him his mother's letter?
69543SECOND LORDI have delivered it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for on the reading it he changed almost into another man.
69643FIRST LORDHe has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
69743SECOND LORDEspecially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
69843FIRST LORDWhen you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
69943SECOND LORDHe hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
70043FIRST LORDNow, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves, what things are we!
70143SECOND LORDMerely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends, so he that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
70243FIRST LORDIs it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
70343SECOND LORDNot till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
70443FIRST LORDThat approaches apace; I would gladly have him see his company anatomized, that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.
70543SECOND LORDWe will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
70643FIRST LORDIn the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
70743SECOND LORDI hear there is an overture of peace.
70843FIRST LORDNay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
70943SECOND LORDWhat will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?
71043FIRST LORDI perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.
71143SECOND LORDLet it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal of his act.
71243FIRST LORDSir, his wife some two months since fled from his house: her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere sanctimony she accomplished; and, there residing the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven.
71343SECOND LORDHow is this justified?
71443FIRST LORDThe stronger part of it by her own letters, which makes her story true, even to the point of her death: her death itself, which could not be her office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place.
71543SECOND LORDHath the count all this intelligence?
71643FIRST LORDAy, and the particular confirmations, point from point, so to the full arming of the verity.
71743SECOND LORDI am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.
71843FIRST LORDHow mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!
71943SECOND LORDAnd how mightily some other times we drown our gain in tears! The great dignity that his valour hath here acquired for him shall at home be encountered with a shame as ample.
72043FIRST LORDThe web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues. [Enter a Messenger] How now! where's your master?
72143SERVANTHe met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.
72243SECOND LORDThey shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
72343FIRST LORDThey cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. [Enter BERTRAM] How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?
72443BERTRAMI have to-night dispatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success: I have congied with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my lady mother I am returning; entertained my convoy; and between these main parcels of dispatch effected many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.
72543SECOND LORDIf the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.
72643BERTRAMI mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue between the fool and the soldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit module, he has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.
72743SECOND LORDBring him forth: has sat i' the stocks all night, poor gallant knave.
72843BERTRAMNo matter: his heels have deserved it, in usurping his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
72943SECOND LORDI have told your lordship already, the stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be understood; he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk: he hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance to this very instant disaster of his setting i' the stocks: and what think you he hath confessed?
73043BERTRAMNothing of me, has a'?
73143SECOND LORDHis confession is taken, and it shall be read to his face: if your lordship be in't, as I believe you are, you must have the patience to hear it.
732(stage directions)43[Enter PAROLLES guarded, and First Soldier]
73343BERTRAMA plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of me: hush, hush!
73443FIRST LORDHoodman comes! Portotartarosa
73543FIRST SOLDIERHe calls for the tortures: what will you say without 'em?
73643PAROLLESI will confess what I know without constraint: if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
73743FIRST SOLDIERBosko chimurcho.
73843FIRST LORDBoblibindo chicurmurco.
73943FIRST SOLDIERYou are a merciful general. Our general bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
74043PAROLLESAnd truly, as I hope to live.
74143FIRST SOLDIER[Reads] 'First demand of him how many horse the duke is strong.' What say you to that?
74243PAROLLESFive or six thousand; but very weak and unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and credit and as I hope to live.
74343FIRST SOLDIERShall I set down your answer so?
74443PAROLLESDo: I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will.
74543BERTRAMAll's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
74643FIRST LORDYou're deceived, my lord: this is Monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist,--that was his own phrase,--that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of his dagger.
74743SECOND LORDI will never trust a man again for keeping his sword clean. nor believe he can have every thing in him by wearing his apparel neatly.
74843FIRST SOLDIERWell, that's set down.
74943PAROLLESFive or six thousand horse, I said,-- I will say true,--or thereabouts, set down, for I'll speak truth.
75043FIRST LORDHe's very near the truth in this.
75143BERTRAMBut I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he delivers it.
75243PAROLLESPoor rogues, I pray you, say.
75343FIRST SOLDIERWell, that's set down.
75443PAROLLESI humbly thank you, sir: a truth's a truth, the rogues are marvellous poor.
75543FIRST SOLDIER[Reads] 'Demand of him, of what strength they are a-foot.' What say you to that?
75643PAROLLESBy my troth, sir, if I were to live this present hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake snow from off their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces.
75743BERTRAMWhat shall be done to him?
75843FIRST LORDNothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my condition, and what credit I have with the duke.
75943FIRST SOLDIERWell, that's set down. [Reads] 'You shall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain be i' the camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is with the duke; what his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars; or whether he thinks it were not possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to revolt.' What say you to this? what do you know of it?
76043PAROLLESI beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the inter'gatories: demand them singly.
76143FIRST SOLDIERDo you know this Captain Dumain?
76243PAROLLESI know him: a' was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the shrieve's fool with child,--a dumb innocent, that could not say him nay.
76343BERTRAMNay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
76443FIRST SOLDIERWell, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
76543PAROLLESUpon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
76643FIRST LORDNay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your lordship anon.
76743FIRST SOLDIERWhat is his reputation with the duke?
76843PAROLLESThe duke knows him for no other but a poor officer of mine; and writ to me this other day to turn him out o' the band: I think I have his letter in my pocket.
76943FIRST SOLDIERMarry, we'll search.
77043PAROLLESIn good sadness, I do not know; either it is there, or it is upon a file with the duke's other letters in my tent.
77143FIRST SOLDIERHere 'tis; here's a paper: shall I read it to you?
77243PAROLLESI do not know if it be it or no.
77343BERTRAMOur interpreter does it well.
77443FIRST LORDExcellently.
77543FIRST SOLDIER[Reads] 'Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold,'--
77643PAROLLESThat is not the duke's letter, sir; that is an advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana, to take heed of the allurement of one Count Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but for all that very ruttish: I pray you, sir, put it up again.
77743FIRST SOLDIERNay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
77843PAROLLESMy meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the behalf of the maid; for I knew the young count to be a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is a whale to virginity and devours up all the fry it finds.
77943BERTRAMDamnable both-sides rogue!
78043FIRST SOLDIER[Reads] 'When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it; After he scores, he never pays the score: Half won is match well made; match, and well make it; He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before; And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this, Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss: For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it, Who pays before, but not when he does owe it. Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear, PAROLLES.'
78143BERTRAMHe shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme in's forehead.
78243SECOND LORDThis is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold linguist and the armipotent soldier.
78343BERTRAMI could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he's a cat to me.
78443FIRST SOLDIERI perceive, sir, by the general's looks, we shall be fain to hang you.
78543PAROLLESMy life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to die; but that, my offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of nature: let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
78643FIRST SOLDIERWe'll see what may be done, so you confess freely; therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain: you have answered to his reputation with the duke and to his valour: what is his honesty?
78743PAROLLESHe will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking 'em he is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth were a fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.
78843FIRST LORDI begin to love him for this.
78943BERTRAMFor this description of thine honesty? A pox upon him for me, he's more and more a cat.
79043FIRST SOLDIERWhat say you to his expertness in war?
79143PAROLLESFaith, sir, he has led the drum before the English tragedians; to belie him, I will not, and more of his soldiership I know not; except, in that country he had the honour to be the officer at a place there called Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.
79243FIRST LORDHe hath out-villained villany so far, that the rarity redeems him.
79343BERTRAMA pox on him, he's a cat still.
79443FIRST SOLDIERHis qualities being at this poor price, I need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
79543PAROLLESSir, for a quart d'ecu he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.
79643FIRST SOLDIERWhat's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?
79743SECOND LORDWhy does be ask him of me?
79843FIRST SOLDIERWhat's he?
79943PAROLLESE'en a crow o' the same nest; not altogether so great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil: he excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is: in a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
80043FIRST SOLDIERIf your life be saved, will you undertake to betray the Florentine?
80143PAROLLESAy, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.
80243FIRST SOLDIERI'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
80343PAROLLES[Aside] I'll no more drumming; a plague of all drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy the count, have I run into this danger. Yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
80443FIRST SOLDIERThere is no remedy, sir, but you must die: the general says, you that have so traitorously discovered the secrets of your army and made such pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use; therefore you must die. Come, headsman, off with his head.
80543PAROLLESO Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!
80643FIRST LORDThat shall you, and take your leave of all your friends. [Unblinding him] So, look about you: know you any here?
80743BERTRAMGood morrow, noble captain.
80843SECOND LORDGod bless you, Captain Parolles.
80943FIRST LORDGod save you, noble captain.
81043SECOND LORDCaptain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu? I am for France.
81143FIRST LORDGood captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon? an I were not a very coward, I'ld compel it of you: but fare you well.
812(stage directions)43[Exeunt BERTRAM and Lords]
81343FIRST SOLDIERYou are undone, captain, all but your scarf; that has a knot on't yet
81443PAROLLESWho cannot be crushed with a plot?
81543FIRST SOLDIERIf you could find out a country where but women were that had received so much shame, you might begin an impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir; I am for France too: we shall speak of you there.
816(stage directions)43[Exit with Soldiers]
81743PAROLLESYet am I thankful: if my heart were great, 'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more; But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft As captain shall: simply the thing I am Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart, Let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass. Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive! There's place and means for every man alive. I'll after them.
818(stage directions)43[Exit]
819(stage directions)44[Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA]
82044HELENAThat you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you, One of the greatest in the Christian world Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful, Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel: Time was, I did him a desired office, Dear almost as his life; which gratitude Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth, And answer, thanks: I duly am inform'd His grace is at Marseilles; to which place We have convenient convoy. You must know I am supposed dead: the army breaking, My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding, And by the leave of my good lord the king, We'll be before our welcome.
82144WIDOWGentle madam, You never had a servant to whose trust Your business was more welcome.
82244HELENANor you, mistress, Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower, As it hath fated her to be my motive And helper to a husband. But, O strange men! That can such sweet use make of what they hate, When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play With what it loathes for that which is away. But more of this hereafter. You, Diana, Under my poor instructions yet must suffer Something in my behalf.
82344DIANALet death and honesty Go with your impositions, I am yours Upon your will to suffer.
82444HELENAYet, I pray you: But with the word the time will bring on summer, When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns, And be as sweet as sharp. We must away; Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us: All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown; Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
825(stage directions)44[Exeunt]
826(stage directions)45[Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown]
82745LAFEUNo, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffeta fellow there, whose villanous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
82845COUNTESSI would I had not known him; it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
82945LAFEU'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.
83045CLOWNIndeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.
83145LAFEUThey are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
83245CLOWNI am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in grass.
83345LAFEUWhether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?
83445CLOWNA fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
83545LAFEUYour distinction?
83645CLOWNI would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.
83745LAFEUSo you were a knave at his service, indeed.
83845CLOWNAnd I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
83945LAFEUI will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.
84045CLOWNAt your service.
84145LAFEUNo, no, no.
84245CLOWNWhy, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
84345LAFEUWho's that? a Frenchman?
84445CLOWNFaith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy is more hotter in France than there.
84545LAFEUWhat prince is that?
84645CLOWNThe black prince, sir; alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
84745LAFEUHold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.
84845CLOWNI am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some that humble themselves may; but the many will be too chill and tender, and they'll be for the flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire.
84945LAFEUGo thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
85045CLOWNIf I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
851(stage directions)45[Exit]
85245LAFEUA shrewd knave and an unhappy.
85345COUNTESSSo he is. My lord that's gone made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.
85445LAFEUI like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose: his highness hath promised me to do it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
85545COUNTESSWith very much content, my lord; and I wish it happily effected.
85645LAFEUHis highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty: he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
85745COUNTESSIt rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain with me till they meet together.
85845LAFEUMadam, I was thinking with what manners I might safely be admitted.
85945COUNTESSYou need but plead your honourable privilege.
86045LAFEULady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I thank my God it holds yet.
861(stage directions)45[Re-enter Clown]
86245CLOWNO madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under't or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
86345LAFEUA scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour; so belike is that.
86445CLOWNBut it is your carbonadoed face.
86545LAFEULet us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
86645CLOWNFaith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head and nod at every man.
867(stage directions)45[Exeunt] [Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two] Attendants]
86851HELENABut this exceeding posting day and night Must wear your spirits low; we cannot help it: But since you have made the days and nights as one, To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs, Be bold you do so grow in my requital As nothing can unroot you. In happy time; [Enter a Gentleman] This man may help me to his majesty's ear, If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
86951GENTLEMANAnd you.
87051HELENASir, I have seen you in the court of France.
87151GENTLEMANI have been sometimes there.
87251HELENAI do presume, sir, that you are not fallen From the report that goes upon your goodness; An therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions, Which lay nice manners by, I put you to The use of your own virtues, for the which I shall continue thankful.
87351GENTLEMANWhat's your will?
87451HELENAThat it will please you To give this poor petition to the king, And aid me with that store of power you have To come into his presence.
87551GENTLEMANThe king's not here.
87651HELENANot here, sir!
87751GENTLEMANNot, indeed: He hence removed last night and with more haste Than is his use.
87851WIDOWLord, how we lose our pains!
87951HELENAALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL yet, Though time seem so adverse and means unfit. I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
88051GENTLEMANMarry, as I take it, to Rousillon; Whither I am going.
88151HELENAI do beseech you, sir, Since you are like to see the king before me, Commend the paper to his gracious hand, Which I presume shall render you no blame But rather make you thank your pains for it. I will come after you with what good speed Our means will make us means.
88251GENTLEMANThis I'll do for you.
88351HELENAAnd you shall find yourself to be well thank'd, Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again. Go, go, provide.
884(stage directions)51[Exeunt]
885(stage directions)52[Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, following]
88652PAROLLESGood Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
88752CLOWNTruly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Prithee, allow the wind.
88852PAROLLESNay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.
88952CLOWNIndeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get thee further.
89052PAROLLESPray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
89152CLOWNFoh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself. [Enter LAFEU] Here is a purr of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat,--but not a musk-cat,--that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to your lordship.
892(stage directions)52[Exit]
89352PAROLLESMy lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
89452LAFEUAnd what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends: I am for other business.
89552PAROLLESI beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
89652LAFEUYou beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't; save your word.
89752PAROLLESMy name, my good lord, is Parolles.
89852LAFEUYou beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion! give me your hand. How does your drum?
89952PAROLLESO my good lord, you were the first that found me!
90052LAFEUWas I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
90152PAROLLESIt lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
90252LAFEUOut upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil? One brings thee in grace and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound] The king's coming; I know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow.
90352PAROLLESI praise God for you.
904(stage directions)52[Exeunt] [Flourish. Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, the two] French Lords, with Attendants]
90553KINGWe lost a jewel of her; and our esteem Was made much poorer by it: but your son, As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know Her estimation home.
90653COUNTESS'Tis past, my liege; And I beseech your majesty to make it Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth; When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force, O'erbears it and burns on.
90753KINGMy honour'd lady, I have forgiven and forgotten all; Though my revenges were high bent upon him, And watch'd the time to shoot.
90853LAFEUThis I must say, But first I beg my pardon, the young lord Did to his majesty, his mother and his lady Offence of mighty note; but to himself The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife Whose beauty did astonish the survey Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive, Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve Humbly call'd mistress.
90953KINGPraising what is lost Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither; We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill All repetition: let him not ask our pardon; The nature of his great offence is dead, And deeper than oblivion we do bury The incensing relics of it: let him approach, A stranger, no offender; and inform him So 'tis our will he should.
91053GENTLEMANI shall, my liege.
911(stage directions)53[Exit]
91253KINGWhat says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
91353LAFEUAll that he is hath reference to your highness.
91453KINGThen shall we have a match. I have letters sent me That set him high in fame.
915(stage directions)53[Enter BERTRAM]LAFEU. He looks well on't.
91653KINGI am not a day of season, For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail In me at once: but to the brightest beams Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth; The time is fair again.
91753BERTRAMMy high-repented blames, Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
91853KINGAll is whole; Not one word more of the consumed time. Let's take the instant by the forward top; For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time Steals ere we can effect them. You remember The daughter of this lord?
91953BERTRAMAdmiringly, my liege, at first I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue Where the impression of mine eye infixing, Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me, Which warp'd the line of every other favour; Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stolen; Extended or contracted all proportions To a most hideous object: thence it came That she whom all men praised and whom myself, Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye The dust that did offend it.
92053KINGWell excused: That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away From the great compt: but love that comes too late, Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried, To the great sender turns a sour offence, Crying, 'That's good that's gone.' Our rash faults Make trivial price of serious things we have, Not knowing them until we know their grave: Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust, Destroy our friends and after weep their dust Our own love waking cries to see what's done, While shame full late sleeps out the afternoon. Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her. Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin: The main consents are had; and here we'll stay To see our widower's second marriage-day.
92153COUNTESSWhich better than the first, O dear heaven, bless! Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
92253LAFEUCome on, my son, in whom my house's name Must be digested, give a favour from you To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come. [BERTRAM gives a ring] By my old beard, And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this, The last that e'er I took her at court, I saw upon her finger.
92353BERTRAMHers it was not.
92453KINGNow, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't. This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen, I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token I would relieve her. Had you that craft, to reave her Of what should stead her most?
92553BERTRAMMy gracious sovereign, Howe'er it pleases you to take it so, The ring was never hers.
92653COUNTESSSon, on my life, I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it At her life's rate.
92753LAFEUI am sure I saw her wear it.
92853BERTRAMYou are deceived, my lord; she never saw it: In Florence was it from a casement thrown me, Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought I stood engaged: but when I had subscribed To mine own fortune and inform'd her fully I could not answer in that course of honour As she had made the overture, she ceased In heavy satisfaction and would never Receive the ring again.
92953KINGPlutus himself, That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine, Hath not in nature's mystery more science Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's, Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know That you are well acquainted with yourself, Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement You got it from her: she call'd the saints to surety That she would never put it from her finger, Unless she gave it to yourself in bed, Where you have never come, or sent it us Upon her great disaster.
93053BERTRAMShe never saw it.
93153KINGThou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour; And makest conjectural fears to come into me Which I would fain shut out. If it should prove That thou art so inhuman,--'twill not prove so;-- And yet I know not: thou didst hate her deadly, And she is dead; which nothing, but to close Her eyes myself, could win me to believe, More than to see this ring. Take him away. [Guards seize BERTRAM] My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall, Shall tax my fears of little vanity, Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him! We'll sift this matter further.
93253BERTRAMIf you shall prove This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence, Where yet she never was.
933(stage directions)53[Exit, guarded]
93453KINGI am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
935(stage directions)53[Enter a Gentleman]
93653GENTLEMANGracious sovereign, Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not: Here's a petition from a Florentine, Who hath for four or five removes come short To tender it herself. I undertook it, Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech Of the poor suppliant, who by this I know Is here attending: her business looks in her With an importing visage; and she told me, In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern Your highness with herself.
93753KING[Reads] Upon his many protestations to marry me when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the Count Rousillon a widower: his vows are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow him to his country for justice: grant it me, O king! in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor maid is undone. DIANA CAPILET.
93853LAFEUI will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for this: I'll none of him.
93953KINGThe heavens have thought well on thee Lafeu, To bring forth this discovery. Seek these suitors: Go speedily and bring again the count. I am afeard the life of Helen, lady, Was foully snatch'd.
94053COUNTESSNow, justice on the doers!
941(stage directions)53[Re-enter BERTRAM, guarded]
94253KINGI wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you, And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to marry. [Enter Widow and DIANA] What woman's that?
94353DIANAI am, my lord, a wretched Florentine, Derived from the ancient Capilet: My suit, as I do understand, you know, And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
94453WIDOWI am her mother, sir, whose age and honour Both suffer under this complaint we bring, And both shall cease, without your remedy.
94553KINGCome hither, count; do you know these women?
94653BERTRAMMy lord, I neither can nor will deny But that I know them: do they charge me further?
94753DIANAWhy do you look so strange upon your wife?
94853BERTRAMShe's none of mine, my lord.
94953DIANAIf you shall marry, You give away this hand, and that is mine; You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine; You give away myself, which is known mine; For I by vow am so embodied yours, That she which marries you must marry me, Either both or none.
95053LAFEUYour reputation comes too short for my daughter; you are no husband for her.
95153BERTRAMMy lord, this is a fond and desperate creature, Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour Than for to think that I would sink it here.
95253KINGSir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your honour Than in my thought it lies.
95353DIANAGood my lord, Ask him upon his oath, if he does think He had not my virginity.
95453KINGWhat say'st thou to her?
95553BERTRAMShe's impudent, my lord, And was a common gamester to the camp.
95653DIANAHe does me wrong, my lord; if I were so, He might have bought me at a common price: Do not believe him. O, behold this ring, Whose high respect and rich validity Did lack a parallel; yet for all that He gave it to a commoner o' the camp, If I be one.
95753COUNTESSHe blushes, and 'tis it: Of six preceding ancestors, that gem, Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue, Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife; That ring's a thousand proofs.
95853KINGMethought you said You saw one here in court could witness it.
95953DIANAI did, my lord, but loath am to produce So bad an instrument: his name's Parolles.
96053LAFEUI saw the man to-day, if man he be.
96153KINGFind him, and bring him hither.
962(stage directions)53[Exit an Attendant]
96353BERTRAMWhat of him? He's quoted for a most perfidious slave, With all the spots o' the world tax'd and debosh'd; Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth. Am I or that or this for what he'll utter, That will speak any thing?
96453KINGShe hath that ring of yours.
96553BERTRAMI think she has: certain it is I liked her, And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth: She knew her distance and did angle for me, Madding my eagerness with her restraint, As all impediments in fancy's course Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine, Her infinite cunning, with her modern grace, Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring; And I had that which any inferior might At market-price have bought.
96653DIANAI must be patient: You, that have turn'd off a first so noble wife, May justly diet me. I pray you yet; Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband; Send for your ring, I will return it home, And give me mine again.
96753BERTRAMI have it not.
96853KINGWhat ring was yours, I pray you?
96953DIANASir, much like The same upon your finger.
97053KINGKnow you this ring? this ring was his of late.
97153DIANAAnd this was it I gave him, being abed.
97253KINGThe story then goes false, you threw it him Out of a casement.
97353DIANAI have spoke the truth.
974(stage directions)53[Enter PAROLLES]
97553BERTRAMMy lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
97653KINGYou boggle shrewdly, every feather stars you. Is this the man you speak of?
97753DIANAAy, my lord.
97853KINGTell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge you, Not fearing the displeasure of your master, Which on your just proceeding I'll keep off, By him and by this woman here what know you?
97953PAROLLESSo please your majesty, my master hath been an honourable gentleman: tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
98053KINGCome, come, to the purpose: did he love this woman?
98153PAROLLESFaith, sir, he did love her; but how?
98253KINGHow, I pray you?
98353PAROLLESHe did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
98453KINGHow is that?
98553PAROLLESHe loved her, sir, and loved her not.
98653KINGAs thou art a knave, and no knave. What an equivocal companion is this!
98753PAROLLESI am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
98853LAFEUHe's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
98953DIANADo you know he promised me marriage?
99053PAROLLESFaith, I know more than I'll speak.
99153KINGBut wilt thou not speak all thou knowest?
99253PAROLLESYes, so please your majesty. I did go between them, as I said; but more than that, he loved her: for indeed he was mad for her, and talked of Satan and of Limbo and of Furies and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time that I knew of their going to bed, and of other motions, as promising her marriage, and things which would derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not speak what I know.
99353KINGThou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married: but thou art too fine in thy evidence; therefore stand aside. This ring, you say, was yours?
99453DIANAAy, my good lord.
99553KINGWhere did you buy it? or who gave it you?
99653DIANAIt was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
99753KINGWho lent it you?
99853DIANAIt was not lent me neither.
99953KINGWhere did you find it, then?
100053DIANAI found it not.
100153KINGIf it were yours by none of all these ways, How could you give it him?
100253DIANAI never gave it him.
100353LAFEUThis woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off and on at pleasure.
100453KINGThis ring was mine; I gave it his first wife.
100553DIANAIt might be yours or hers, for aught I know.
100653KINGTake her away; I do not like her now; To prison with her: and away with him. Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring, Thou diest within this hour.
100753DIANAI'll never tell you.
100853KINGTake her away.
100953DIANAI'll put in bail, my liege.
101053KINGI think thee now some common customer.
101153DIANABy Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
101253KINGWherefore hast thou accused him all this while?
101353DIANABecause he's guilty, and he is not guilty: He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't; I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not. Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life; I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
101453KINGShe does abuse our ears: to prison with her.
101553DIANAGood mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir: [Exit Widow] The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for, And he shall surety me. But for this lord, Who hath abused me, as he knows himself, Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him: He knows himself my bed he hath defiled; And at that time he got his wife with child: Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick: So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick: And now behold the meaning.
1016(stage directions)53[Re-enter Widow, with HELENA]
101753KINGIs there no exorcist Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes? Is't real that I see?
101853HELENANo, my good lord; 'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see, The name and not the thing.
101953BERTRAMBoth, both. O, pardon!
102053HELENAO my good lord, when I was like this maid, I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring; And, look you, here's your letter; this it says: 'When from my finger you can get this ring And are by me with child,' &c. This is done: Will you be mine, now you are doubly won?
102153BERTRAMIf she, my liege, can make me know this clearly, I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
102253HELENAIf it appear not plain and prove untrue, Deadly divorce step between me and you! O my dear mother, do I see you living?
102353LAFEUMine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon: [To PAROLLES] Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: so, I thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee: Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.
102453KINGLet us from point to point this story know, To make the even truth in pleasure flow. [To DIANA] If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower, Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower; For I can guess that by thy honest aid Thou keep'st a wife herself, thyself a maid. Of that and all the progress, more or less, Resolvedly more leisure shall express: All yet seems well; and if it end so meet, The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet. [Flourish] EPILOGUE
102553KINGThe king's a beggar, now the play is done: All is well ended, if this suit be won, That you express content; which we will pay, With strife to please you, day exceeding day: Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts; Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
1026(stage directions)53[Exeunt]

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