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All's Well That Ends Well

ACT I

SCENE I. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

COUNTESSIn delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
BERTRAMAnd 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.
LAFEUAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 5You 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 10What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
LAFEUHe 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 15This 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 20king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king's disease.
LAFEUHow called you the man you speak of, madam?
COUNTESSHe was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was
his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
LAFEUAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 25He 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.
BERTRAMWhat is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
LAFEUAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 30A fistula, my lord.
BERTRAMI heard not of it before.
LAFEUI would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman
the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
COUNTESSHis sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 35overlooking. 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 40traitors too; in her they are the better for their
simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
LAFEUYour commendations, madam, get from her tears.
COUNTESS'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise
in. The remembrance of her father never approaches
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 45her 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.
HELENAI do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
LAFEUAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 50Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
excessive grief the enemy to the living.
COUNTESSIf the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
makes it soon mortal.
BERTRAMMadam, I desire your holy wishes.
LAFEUAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 55How understand we that?
COUNTESSBe 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 60Do 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 65Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.
LAFEUHe cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 70Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.
BERTRAM 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.
LAFEUFarewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 75your father.
HELENAO, 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 80Carries 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:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 85In 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 90To 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 95Must sanctify his reliques. Who comes here?
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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 100That 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.
PAROLLESSave you, fair queen!
HELENAAnd you, monarch!
PAROLLESAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 105No.
HELENAAnd no.
PAROLLESAre you meditating on virginity?
HELENAAy. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me
ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity; how
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 110may we barricado it against him?
PAROLLESKeep him out.
HELENABut he assails; and our virginity, though valiant,
in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some
warlike resistance.
PAROLLESAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 115There is none: man, sitting down before you, will
undermine you and blow you up.
HELENABless our poor virginity from underminers and
blowers up! Is there no military policy, how
virgins might blow up men?
PAROLLESAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 120Virginity 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 125increase 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!
HELENAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 130I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
PAROLLESThere'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:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 135virginity 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.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 140Besides, 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 145principal itself not much the worse: away with 't!
HELENAHow might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
PAROLLESLet 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 150while '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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 155porridge 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?
HELENAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 160Not 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 165A 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 170That 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 —
PAROLLESWhat one, i' faith?
HELENAThat I wish well. 'Tis pity —
PAROLLESAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 175What's pity?
HELENAThat 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 180And show what we alone must think, which never
Return us thanks.
PageMonsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
PAROLLESLittle Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I
will think of thee at court.
HELENAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 185Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
PAROLLESUnder Mars, I.
HELENAI especially think, under Mars.
PAROLLESWhy under Mars?
HELENAThe wars have so kept you under that you must needs
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 190be born under Mars.
PAROLLESWhen he was predominant.
HELENAWhen he was retrograde, I think, rather.
PAROLLESWhy think you so?
HELENAYou go so much backward when you fight.
PAROLLESAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 195That's for advantage.
HELENASo 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.
PAROLLESI am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 200acutely. 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 205thine 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.
HELENAOur remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 210Which 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?
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 215The 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 220So 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.

ACT I

SCENE II. Paris. The KING's palace.

KINGThe Florentines and Senoys are by the ears;
Have fought with equal fortune and continue
A braving war.
First LordSo 'tis reported, sir.
KINGAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 5Nay, '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
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 10To have us make denial.
First LordHis love and wisdom,
Approved so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.
KINGHe hath arm'd our answer,
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 15And 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.
Second LordIt well may serve
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 20A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing and exploit.
KINGWhat's he comes here?
First LordIt is the Count Rousillon, my good lord,
Young Bertram.
KINGAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 25Youth, 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.
BERTRAMMy thanks and duty are your majesty's.
KINGAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 30I 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;
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 35But 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
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 40Till 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,
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 45Clock 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,
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 50Making 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.
BERTRAMAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 55His good remembrance, sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb;
So in approof lives not his epitaph
As in your royal speech.
KINGWould I were with him! He would always say —
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 60Methinks 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,
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 65When 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
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 70Expire 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.
Second LordAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 75You are loved, sir:
They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
KINGI fill a place, I know't. How long is't, count,
Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much famed.
BERTRAMAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 80Some six months since, my lord.
KINGIf 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;
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 85My son's no dearer.
BERTRAMThank your majesty.

ACT I

SCENE III. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

COUNTESSI will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
StewardMadam, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 5foul the clearness of our deservings, when of
ourselves we publish them.
COUNTESSWhat 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 10you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability
enough to make such knaveries yours.
Clown'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
COUNTESSWell, sir.
ClownNo, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 15many 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.
COUNTESSWilt thou needs be a beggar?
ClownI do beg your good will in this case.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 20In what case?
ClownIn 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 25Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
ClownMy poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on
by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
COUNTESSIs this all your worship's reason?
ClownFaith, madam, I have other holy reasons such as they
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 30are.
COUNTESSMay the world know them?
ClownI have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and
all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry
that I may repent.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 35Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
ClownI am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have
friends for my wife's sake.
COUNTESSSuch friends are thine enemies, knave.
ClownYou're shallow, madam, in great friends; for the
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 40knaves 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 45and 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 50Papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in
religion, their heads are both one; they may jowl
horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
COUNTESSWilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?
ClownA prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 55way:
For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find;
Your marriage comes by destiny,
Your cuckoo sings by kind.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 60Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
StewardMay it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to
you: of her I am to speak.
COUNTESSSirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her;
Helen, I mean.
ClownAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 65Was 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 70With 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 75What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.
ClownOne 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 80might 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.
COUNTESSYou'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.
ClownAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 85That 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 90Well, now.
StewardI know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
COUNTESSFaith, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 95more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid
her than she'll demand.
StewardMadam, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 100thought, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 105qualities 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 110held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal;
sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns
you something to know it.
COUNTESSYou have discharged this honestly; keep it to
yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 115before, 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.
Even so it was with me when I was young:
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 120If 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:
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 125By 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.
HELENAWhat is your pleasure, madam?
COUNTESSYou know, Helen,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 130I am a mother to you.
HELENAMine honourable mistress.
COUNTESSNay, a mother:
Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,'
Methought you saw a serpent: what's in 'mother,'
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 135That 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:
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 140You 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 145The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
Why? that you are my daughter?
HELENAThat I am not.
COUNTESSI say, I am your mother.
HELENAPardon, madam;
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 150The 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:
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 155He must not be my brother.
COUNTESSNor I your mother?
HELENAYou 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 160I 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?
COUNTESSYes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law:
God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 165So 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 170Against 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 175That 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 180As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
Tell me truly.
HELENAGood madam, pardon me!
COUNTESSDo you love my son?
HELENAYour pardon, noble mistress!
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 185Love you my son?
HELENADo not you love him, madam?
COUNTESSGo 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 190Have to the full appeach'd.
HELENAThen, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son.
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 195My 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;
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 200Yet 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 205Religious 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 210Whose 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 215But 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!
COUNTESSHad you not lately an intent, — speak truly, —
To go to Paris?
HELENAAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 220Madam, I had.
COUNTESSWherefore? tell true.
HELENAI 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 225And 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 230There is a remedy, approved, set down,
To cure the desperate languishings whereof
The king is render'd lost.
COUNTESSThis was your motive
For Paris, was it? speak.
HELENAAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 235My 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.
COUNTESSBut think you, Helen,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 240If 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,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 245Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?
HELENAThere's something in't,
More than my father's skill, which was the greatest
Of his profession, that his good receipt
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 250Shall 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.
COUNTESSAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 255Dost thou believe't?
HELENAAy, madam, knowingly.
COUNTESSWhy, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 260And 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.

ACT II

SCENE I. Paris. The KING's palace.

KINGFarewell, 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 5And is enough for both.
First Lord'Tis our hope, sir,
After well enter'd soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.
KINGNo, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 10Will 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 15Of 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.
Second LordHealth, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
KINGAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 20Those 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.
BothOur hearts receive your warnings.
KINGAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 25Farewell. Come hither to me.
First LordO, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
PAROLLES'Tis not his fault, the spark.
Second LordO, 'tis brave wars!
PAROLLESMost admirable: I have seen those wars.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 30I am commanded here, and kept a coil with
'Too young' and 'the next year' and ''tis too early.'
PAROLLESAn thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.
BERTRAMI shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 35Till honour be bought up and no sword worn
But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.
First LordThere's honour in the theft.
PAROLLESCommit it, count.
Second LordI am your accessary; and so, farewell.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 40I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
First LordFarewell, captain.
Second LordSweet Monsieur Parolles!
PAROLLESNoble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good
sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 45find 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.
First LordAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 50We shall, noble captain.
PAROLLESMars dote on you for his novices! what will ye do?
BERTRAMStay: the king.
PAROLLES Use a more spacious ceremony to the
noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 55list 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 60be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
BERTRAMAnd I will do so.
PAROLLESWorthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
LAFEU Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
KINGI'll fee thee to stand up.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 65Then 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.
KINGI would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
And ask'd thee mercy for't.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 70Good faith, across: but, my good lord 'tis thus;
Will you be cured of your infirmity?
KINGNo.
LAFEUO, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?
Yes, but you will my noble grapes, an if
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 75My 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 80To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
And write to her a love-line.
KINGWhat 'her' is this?
LAFEUWhy, Doctor She: my lord, there's one arrived,
If you will see her: now, by my faith and honour,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 85If 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 90For that is her demand, and know her business?
That done, laugh well at me.
KINGNow, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration; that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 95By wondering how thou took'st it.
LAFEUNay, I'll fit you,
And not be all day neither.
KINGThus he his special nothing ever prologues.
LAFEUNay, come your ways.
KINGAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 100This haste hath wings indeed.
LAFEUNay, 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 105That dare leave two together; fare you well.
KINGNow, fair one, does your business follow us?
HELENAAy, my good lord.
Gerard de Narbon was my father;
In what he did profess, well found.
KINGAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 110I knew him.
HELENAThe 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 115And 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 120Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it and my appliance
With all bound humbleness.
KINGWe thank you, maiden;
But may not be so credulous of cure,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 125When 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 130To 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.
HELENAMy duty then shall pay me for my pains:
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 135I will no more enforce mine office on you.
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one, to bear me back a again.
KINGI cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful:
Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 140As 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.
HELENAWhat I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 145He 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 150When 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.
KINGI must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 155Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
HELENAInspired 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;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 160But 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 165Myself 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.
KINGAre thou so confident? within what space
Hopest thou my cure?
HELENAAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 170The 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 175Or 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.
KINGUpon thy certainty and confidence
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 180What darest thou venture?
HELENATax 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 185With vilest torture let my life be ended.
KINGMethinks 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.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 190Thy 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 195Skill infinite or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
That ministers thine own death if I die.
HELENAIf I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 200And well deserved: not helping, death's my fee;
But, if I help, what do you promise me?
KINGMake thy demand.
HELENABut will you make it even?
KINGAy, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 205Then 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 210With 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.
KINGHere is my hand; the premises observed,
Thy will by my performance shall be served:
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 215So 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 220Unquestion'd welcome and undoubted blest.
Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed
As high as word, my deed shall match thy meed.

ACT II

SCENE II. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

COUNTESSCome on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of
your breeding.
ClownI will show myself highly fed and lowly taught: I
know my business is but to the court.
COUNTESSAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 5To the court! why, what place make you special,
when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
ClownTruly, 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,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 10has 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.
COUNTESSMarry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 15questions.
ClownIt is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks,
the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn
buttock, or any buttock.
COUNTESSWill your answer serve fit to all questions?
ClownAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 20As 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 25to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the
friar's mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin.
COUNTESSHave you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all
questions?
ClownFrom below your duke to beneath your constable, it
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 30will fit any question.
COUNTESSIt must be an answer of most monstrous size that
must fit all demands.
ClownBut a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned
should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 35belongs to't. Ask me if I am a courtier: it shall
do you no harm to learn.
COUNTESSTo 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?
ClownAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 40O Lord, sir! There's a simple putting off. More,
more, a hundred of them.
COUNTESSSir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
ClownO Lord, sir! Thick, thick, spare not me.
COUNTESSI think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
ClownAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 45O Lord, sir! Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
COUNTESSYou were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
ClownO Lord, sir! spare not me.
COUNTESSDo you cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and
'spare not me?' Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 50sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well
to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
ClownI ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord,
sir!' I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.
COUNTESSI play the noble housewife with the time
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 55To entertain't so merrily with a fool.
ClownO Lord, sir! why, there't serves well again.
COUNTESSAn end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back:
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son:
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 60This is not much.
ClownNot much commendation to them.
COUNTESSNot much employment for you: you understand me?
ClownMost fruitfully: I am there before my legs.
COUNTESSHaste you again.

ACT II

SCENE III. Paris. The KING's palace.

LAFEUThey 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 5into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
ourselves to an unknown fear.
PAROLLESWhy, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath
shot out in our latter times.
BERTRAMAnd so 'tis.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 10To be relinquish'd of the artists, —
PAROLLESSo I say.
LAFEUBoth of Galen and Paracelsus.
PAROLLESSo I say.
LAFEUOf all the learned and authentic fellows, —
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 15Right; so I say.
LAFEUThat gave him out incurable, —
PAROLLESWhy, there 'tis; so say I too.
LAFEUNot to be helped, —
PAROLLESRight; as 'twere, a man assured of a —
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 20Uncertain life, and sure death.
PAROLLESJust, you say well; so would I have said.
LAFEUI may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.
PAROLLESIt is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
shall read it in — what do you call there?
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 25A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
PAROLLESThat's it; I would have said the very same.
LAFEUWhy, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
I speak in respect —
PAROLLESNay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 30brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the —
LAFEUVery hand of heaven.
PAROLLESAy, so I say.
LAFEUIn a most weak —
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 35and 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 —
generally thankful.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 40I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.
LAFEULustig, 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.
PAROLLESMort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 45'Fore God, I think so.
KINGGo, 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 50The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming.
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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 55I have to use: thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
HELENATo each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
LAFEUI'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 60My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.
KINGPeruse them well:
Not one of those but had a noble father.
HELENAGentlemen,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 65Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
AllWe understand it, and thank heaven for you.
HELENAI am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,
That I protest I simply am a maid.
Please it your majesty, I have done already:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 70The 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.'
KINGMake choice; and, see,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 75Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
HELENANow, 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?
First LordAnd grant it.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 80Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
LAFEUI had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
for my life.
HELENAThe honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 85Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Her that so wishes and her humble love!
Second LordNo better, if you please.
HELENAMy wish receive,
Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 90Do 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.
HELENABe not afraid that I your hand should take;
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 95Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
LAFEUThese boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
ne'er got 'em.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 100You are too young, too happy, and too good,
To make yourself a son out of my blood.
Fourth LordFair one, I think not so.
LAFEUThere's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 105of fourteen; I have known thee already.
HELENA 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.
KINGWhy, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 110My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.
KINGKnow'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 115Yes, my good lord;
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
KINGThou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
BERTRAMBut follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 120She had her breeding at my father's charge.
A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!
KING'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 125Of 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 130Of 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 135Is 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,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 140Which 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 145A 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 150Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
BERTRAMI cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
KINGThou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.
HELENAThat you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad:
Let the rest go.
KINGAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 155My 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,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 160We, 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:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 165Believe 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 170Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
BERTRAMPardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 175What 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.
KINGAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 180Take 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.
BERTRAMI take her hand.
KINGAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 185Good 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,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 190Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her,
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
LAFEU Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
PAROLLESYour pleasure, sir?
LAFEUYour lord and master did well to make his
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 195recantation.
PAROLLESRecantation! My lord! my master!
LAFEUAy; is it not a language I speak?
PAROLLESA most harsh one, and not to be understood without
bloody succeeding. My master!
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 200Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?
PAROLLESTo any count, to all counts, to what is man.
LAFEUTo what is count's man: count's master is of
another style.
PAROLLESYou are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 205I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
title age cannot bring thee.
PAROLLESWhat I dare too well do, I dare not do.
LAFEUI did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 210travel; 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 215that thou't scarce worth.
PAROLLESHadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee, —
LAFEUDo 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 220well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
through thee. Give me thy hand.
PAROLLESMy lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
LAFEUAy, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
PAROLLESI have not, my lord, deserved it.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 225Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not
bate thee a scruple.
PAROLLESWell, I shall be wiser.
LAFEUEven as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 230in 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.
PAROLLESMy lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 235I 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.
PAROLLESWell, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off
me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 240be 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.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 245Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
for you: you have a new mistress.
PAROLLESI most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
lord: whom I serve above is my master.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 250Who? God?
PAROLLESAy, sir.
LAFEUThe 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 255thy 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.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 260This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
LAFEUGo 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 265birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.
PAROLLESGood, very good; it is so then: good, very good;
let it be concealed awhile.
BERTRAMUndone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 270What's the matter, sweet-heart?
BERTRAMAlthough before the solemn priest I have sworn,
I will not bed her.
PAROLLESWhat, what, sweet-heart?
BERTRAMO my Parolles, they have married me!
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 275I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
PAROLLESFrance is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
BERTRAMThere's letters from my mother: what the import is,
I know not yet.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 280Ay, 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 285Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
Therefore, to the war!
BERTRAMIt shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 290And 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.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 295Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?
BERTRAMGo 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.
PAROLLESWhy, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 300A 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.

ACT II

SCENE IV. Paris. The KING's palace.

HELENAMy mother greets me kindly; is she well?
ClownShe 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
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 5world; but yet she is not well.
HELENAIf she be very well, what does she ail, that she's
not very well?
ClownTruly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
HELENAWhat two things?
ClownAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 10One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her
quickly! the other that she's in earth, from whence
God send her quickly!
PAROLLESBless you, my fortunate lady!
HELENAI hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 15good fortunes.
PAROLLESYou had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them
on, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
ClownSo that you had her wrinkles and I her money,
I would she did as you say.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 20Why, I say nothing.
ClownMarry, 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
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 25is within a very little of nothing.
PAROLLESAway! thou'rt a knave.
ClownYou should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt a
knave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this had
been truth, sir.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 30Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
ClownDid 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.
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 35A 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;
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 40But 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.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 45What's his will else?
PAROLLESThat 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.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 50What more commands he?
PAROLLESThat, having this obtain'd, you presently
Attend his further pleasure.
HELENAIn every thing I wait upon his will.
PAROLLESI shall report it so.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 55I pray you.
Come, sirrah.

ACT II

SCENE V. Paris. The KING's palace.

LAFEUBut I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
BERTRAMYes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
LAFEUYou have it from his own deliverance.
BERTRAMAnd by other warranted testimony.
LAFEUAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 5Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
BERTRAMI do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
knowledge and accordingly valiant.
LAFEUI have then sinned against his experience and
transgressed against his valour; and my state that
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 10way 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.
PAROLLES These things shall be done, sir.
LAFEUPray you, sir, who's his tailor?
PAROLLESAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 15Sir?
LAFEUO, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good
workman, a very good tailor.
BERTRAM Is she gone to the king?
PAROLLESShe is.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 20Will she away to-night?
PAROLLESAs you'll have her.
BERTRAMI have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Given order for our horses; and to-night,
When I should take possession of the bride,
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 25End ere I do begin.
LAFEUA 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.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 30Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
PAROLLESI know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's
displeasure.
LAFEUYou have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs
and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 35out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer
question for your residence.
BERTRAMIt may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
LAFEUAnd shall do so ever, though I took him at 's
prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 40of 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
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 45deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.
PAROLLESAn idle lord. I swear.
BERTRAMI think so.
PAROLLESWhy, do you not know him?
BERTRAMYes, I do know him well, and common speech
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 50Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
HELENAI 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.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 55I 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
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 60For 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
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 65And 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:
'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.
HELENAAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 70Sir, I can nothing say,
But that I am your most obedient servant.
BERTRAMCome, come, no more of that.
HELENAAnd ever shall
With true observance seek to eke out that
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 75Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
To equal my great fortune.
BERTRAMLet that go:
My haste is very great: farewell; hie home.
HELENAPray, sir, your pardon.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 80Well, what would you say?
HELENAI 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.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 85What would you have?
HELENASomething; 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.
BERTRAMAct 2 Sc 5 Ln 90I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
HELENAI shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
BERTRAMWhere are my other men, monsieur? Farewell.
Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Act 2 Sc 5 Ln 95Away, and for our flight.
PAROLLESBravely, coragio!

ACT III

SCENE I. Florence. The DUKE's palace.

DUKESo 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.
First LordAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 5Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
On the opposer.
DUKETherefore we marvel much our cousin France
Would in so just a business shut his bosom
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 10Against our borrowing prayers.
Second 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
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 15By 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.
DUKEBe it his pleasure.
First LordAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 20But I am sure the younger of our nature,
That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
Come here for physic.
DUKEWelcome shall they be;
And all the honours that can fly from us
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 25Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
When better fall, for your avails they fell:
To-morrow to the field.

ACT III

SCENE II. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

COUNTESSIt hath happened all as I would have had it, save
that he comes not along with her.
ClownBy my troth, I take my young lord to be a very
melancholy man.
COUNTESSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 5By what observance, I pray you?
ClownWhy, 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.
COUNTESSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 10Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
ClownI 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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 15love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
COUNTESSWhat have we here?
ClownE'en that you have there.
COUNTESS I have sent you a daughter-in-law: she hath
recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 20her, 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,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 25BERTRAM.
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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 30For the contempt of empire.
ClownO madam, yonder is heavy news within between two
soldiers and my young lady!
COUNTESSWhat is the matter?
ClownNay, there is some comfort in the news, some
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 35comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I
thought he would.
COUNTESSWhy should he be killed?
ClownSo say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does:
the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 40men, 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.
First GentlemanSave you, good madam.
HELENAMadam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
Second GentlemanAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 45Do not say so.
COUNTESSThink 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?
Second GentlemanAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 50Madam, 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.
HELENALook on his letter, madam; here's my passport.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 55When 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.
COUNTESSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 60Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
First GentlemanAy, madam;
And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pain.
COUNTESSI prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 65Thou 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?
Second GentlemanAy, madam.
COUNTESSAnd to be a soldier?
Second GentlemanAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 70Such is his noble purpose; and believe 't,
The duke will lay upon him all the honour
That good convenience claims.
COUNTESSReturn you thither?
First GentlemanAy, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
HELENAAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 75 Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.
'Tis bitter.
COUNTESSFind you that there?
HELENAAy, madam.
First Gentleman'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 80heart was not consenting to.
COUNTESSNothing 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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 85And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
First GentlemanA servant only, and a gentleman
Which I have sometime known.
COUNTESSParolles, was it not?
First GentlemanAy, my good lady, he.
COUNTESSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 90A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
My son corrupts a well-derived nature
With his inducement.
First GentlemanIndeed, good lady,
The fellow has a deal of that too much,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 95Which holds him much to have.
COUNTESSYou'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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 100Written to bear along.
Second GentlemanWe serve you, madam,
In that and all your worthiest affairs.
COUNTESSNot so, but as we change our courtesies.
Will you draw near!
HELENAAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 105'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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 110Those 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,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 115That 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,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 120I 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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 125That 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:
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 130Shall 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!
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 135For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.

ACT III

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

DUKEThe general of our horse thou art; and we,
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Upon thy promising fortune.
BERTRAMSir, it is
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 5A charge too heavy for my strength, but yet
We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake
To the extreme edge of hazard.
DUKEThen go thou forth;
And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 10As thy auspicious mistress!
BERTRAMThis 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.

ACT III

SCENE IV. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

COUNTESSAlas! 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.
Steward(STAGEDIR "Reads")
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 5I 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
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 10My 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
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 15From 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.
COUNTESSAh, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 20Rinaldo, 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.
StewardPardon me, madam:
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 25If I had given you this at over-night,
She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes,
Pursuit would be but vain.
COUNTESSWhat angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive,
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 30Unless 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
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 35That 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,
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 40Hearing 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;
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 45Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.

ACT III

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

WidowNay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
shall lose all the sight.
DIANAThey say the French count has done most honourable service.
WidowIt is reported that he has taken their greatest
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 5commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
duke's brother.
We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
MARIANACome, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 10the 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.
WidowI have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
by a gentleman his companion.
MARIANAAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 15I 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
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 20hath 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
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 25I hope your own grace will keep you where you are,
though there were no further danger known but the
modesty which is so lost.
DIANAYou shall not need to fear me.
WidowI hope so.
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 30Look, 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?
HELENATo Saint Jaques le Grand.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
WidowAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 35At the Saint Francis here beside the port.
HELENAIs this the way?
WidowAy, marry, is't.
Hark you! they come this way.
If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 40But 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.
HELENAIs it yourself?
WidowAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 45If you shall please so, pilgrim.
HELENAI thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
WidowYou came, I think, from France?
HELENAI did so.
WidowHere you shall see a countryman of yours
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 50That has done worthy service.
HELENAHis name, I pray you.
DIANAThe Count Rousillon: know you such a one?
HELENABut by the ear, that hears most nobly of him:
His face I know not.
DIANAAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 55Whatsome'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?
HELENAAy, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.
DIANAAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 60There is a gentleman that serves the count
Reports but coarsely of her.
HELENAWhat's his name?
DIANAMonsieur Parolles.
HELENAO, I believe with him,
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 65In 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.
DIANAAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 70Alas, poor lady!
'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
Of a detesting lord.
WidowI warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 75A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
HELENAHow do you mean?
May be the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.
WidowHe does indeed;
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 80And 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.
MARIANAThe gods forbid else!
WidowAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 85So, now they come:
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
That, Escalus.
HELENAWhich is the Frenchman?
DIANAHe;
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 90That 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?
HELENAI like him well.
DIANA'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 95That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
I would Poison that vile rascal.
HELENAWhich is he?
DIANAThat jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?
HELENAPerchance he's hurt i' the battle.
PAROLLESAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 100Lose our drum! well.
MARIANAHe's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.
WidowMarry, hang you!
MARIANAAnd your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
WidowThe troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 105Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.
HELENAI humbly thank you:
Please it this matron and this gentle maid
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 110To 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.
BOTHWe'll take your offer kindly.

ACT III

SCENE VI. Camp before Florence.

Second LordNay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his
way.
First LordIf your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no
more in your respect.
Second LordAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 5On my life, my lord, a bubble.
BERTRAMDo you think I am so far deceived in him?
Second 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 10endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner
of no one good quality worthy your lordship's
entertainment.
First LordIt were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in
his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 15great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.
BERTRAMI would I knew in what particular action to try him.
First LordNone better than to let him fetch off his drum,
which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
Second LordI, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 20surprise 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 25present 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 30trust my judgment in any thing.
First 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 35melted, if you give him not John Drum's
entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
Here he comes.
Second Lord O, for the love of laughter,
hinder not the honour of his design: let him fetch
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 40off his drum in any hand.
BERTRAMHow now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your
disposition.
First LordA pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.
PAROLLES'But a drum'! is't 'but a drum'? A drum so lost!
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 45There was excellent command, — to charge in with our
horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers!
First 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 50there to command.
BERTRAMWell, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some
dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is
not to be recovered.
PAROLLESIt might have been recovered.
BERTRAMAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 55It might; but it is not now.
PAROLLESIt 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.'
BERTRAMAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 60Why, 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 65speed 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.
PAROLLESBy the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
BERTRAMAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 70But you must not now slumber in it.
PAROLLESI'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.
BERTRAMAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 75May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?
PAROLLESI know not what the success will be, my lord; but
the attempt I vow.
BERTRAMI know thou'rt valiant; and, to the possibility of
thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
PAROLLESAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 80I love not many words.
Second 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 85damned than to do't?
First 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.
BERTRAMAct 3 Sc 6 Ln 90Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of
this that so seriously he does address himself unto?
Second 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 95to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.
First 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
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 100very night.
Second LordI must go look my twigs: he shall be caught.
BERTRAMYour brother he shall go along with me.
Second LordAs't please your lordship: I'll leave you.
BERTRAMNow will I lead you to the house, and show you
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 105The lass I spoke of.
First LordBut you say she's honest.
BERTRAMThat'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,
Act 3 Sc 6 Ln 110Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature:
Will you go see her?
First LordWith all my heart, my lord.

ACT III

SCENE VII. Florence. The Widow's house.

HELENAIf 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.
WidowThough my estate be fallen, I was well born,
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 5Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.
HELENANor would I wish you.
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband,
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 10And 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.
WidowI should believe you:
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 15For you have show'd me that which well approves
You're great in fortune.
HELENATake this purse of gold,
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay and pay again
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 20When 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
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 25That 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,
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 30To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.
WidowNow I see
The bottom of your purpose.
HELENAYou see it lawful, then: it is no more,
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 35But 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
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 40To what is passed already.
WidowI 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
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 45With 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.
HELENAWhy then to-night
Act 3 Sc 7 Ln 50Let 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.

ACT IV

SCENE I. Without the Florentine camp.

Second 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 5understand him, unless some one among us whom we
must produce for an interpreter.
First SoldierGood captain, let me be the interpreter.
Second LordArt not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?
First SoldierNo, sir, I warrant you.
Second LordAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 10But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
First SoldierE'en such as you speak to me.
Second 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 15one 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,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 20ho! here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep,
and then to return and swear the lies he forges.
PAROLLESTen 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 25carries 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.
Second LordAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 30This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue
was guilty of.
PAROLLESWhat 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 35must 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 40butter-woman's mouth and buy myself another of
Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
Second LordIs it possible he should know what he is, and be
that he is?
PAROLLESI would the cutting of my garments would serve the
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 45turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
Second LordWe cannot afford you so.
PAROLLESOr the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
stratagem.
Second Lord'Twould not do.
PAROLLESAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 50Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
Second LordHardly serve.
PAROLLESThough I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.
Second LordHow deep?
PAROLLESThirty fathom.
Second LordAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 55Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
PAROLLESI would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear
I recovered it.
Second LordYou shall hear one anon.
PAROLLESA drum now of the enemy's, —
Second LordAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 60Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
AllCargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.
PAROLLESO, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.
First SoldierBoskos thromuldo boskos.
PAROLLESI know you are the Muskos' regiment:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 65And 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.
First SoldierBoskos vauvado: I understand thee, and can speak
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 70thy tongue. Kerely bonto, sir, betake thee to thy
faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
PAROLLESO!
First SoldierO, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.
Second LordOscorbidulchos volivorco.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 75The 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.
PAROLLESO, let me live!
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 80And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that
Which you will wonder at.
First SoldierBut wilt thou faithfully?
PAROLLESIf I do not, damn me.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 85Acordo linta.
Come on; thou art granted space.
Second LordGo, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
Till we do hear from them.
Second SoldierAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 90Captain, I will.
Second LordA' will betray us all unto ourselves:
Inform on that.
Second SoldierSo I will, sir.
Second LordTill then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.

ACT IV

SCENE II. Florence. The Widow's house.

BERTRAMThey told me that your name was Fontibell.
DIANANo, my good lord, Diana.
BERTRAMTitled goddess;
And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 5In 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;
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 10And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet self was got.
DIANAShe then was honest.
BERTRAMSo should you be.
DIANANo:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 15My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.
BERTRAMNo more o' that;
I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 20By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.
DIANAAy, so you serve us
Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 25And mock us with our bareness.
BERTRAMHow have I sworn!
DIANA'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,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 30But 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,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 35That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
At least in my opinion.
BERTRAMChange it, change it;
Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 40And 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.
DIANAAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 45I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
BERTRAMI'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
To give it from me.
DIANAWill you not, my lord?
BERTRAMAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 50It is an honour 'longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose.
DIANAMine honour's such a ring:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 55My 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,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 60Against your vain assault.
BERTRAMHere, take my ring:
My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.
DIANAWhen midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 65I'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
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 70When 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
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 75A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
BERTRAMA heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
DIANAFor which live long to thank both heaven and me!
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 80As 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:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 85Only in this disguise I think't no sin
To cozen him that would unjustly win.

ACT IV

SCENE III. The Florentine camp.

First LordYou have not given him his mother's letter?
Second 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.
First LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 5He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking
off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
Second 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 10thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
First LordWhen you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the
grave of it.
Second LordHe hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in
Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 15fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath
given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
made in the unchaste composition.
First LordNow, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves,
what things are we!
Second LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 20Merely 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.
First LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 25Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of
our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his
company to-night?
Second LordNot till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
First LordThat approaches apace; I would gladly have him see
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 30his company anatomized, that he might take a measure
of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had
set this counterfeit.
Second LordWe will not meddle with him till he come; for his
presence must be the whip of the other.
First LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 35In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
Second LordI hear there is an overture of peace.
First LordNay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
Second LordWhat will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel
higher, or return again into France?
First LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 40I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether
of his council.
Second LordLet it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal
of his act.
First LordSir, his wife some two months since fled from his
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 45house: 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 50now she sings in heaven.
Second LordHow is this justified?
First 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 55office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by
the rector of the place.
Second LordHath the count all this intelligence?
First LordAy, and the particular confirmations, point from
point, so to the full arming of the verity.
Second LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 60I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.
First LordHow mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!
Second 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 65with a shame as ample.
First 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.
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 70How now! where's your master?
ServantHe 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.
Second LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 75They shall be no more than needful there, if they
were more than they can commend.
First LordThey cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness.
Here's his lordship now.
How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?
BERTRAMAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 80I 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;
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 85and between these main parcels of dispatch effected
many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but
that I have not ended yet.
Second LordIf the business be of any difficulty, and this
morning your departure hence, it requires haste of
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 90your lordship.
BERTRAMI 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 95me, like a double-meaning prophesier.
Second LordBring him forth: has sat i' the stocks all night,
poor gallant knave.
BERTRAMNo matter: his heels have deserved it, in usurping
his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
Second LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 100I 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 105this very instant disaster of his setting i' the
stocks: and what think you he hath confessed?
BERTRAMNothing of me, has a'?
Second LordHis confession is taken, and it shall be read to his
face: if your lordship be in't, as I believe you
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 110are, you must have the patience to hear it.
BERTRAMA plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of
me: hush, hush!
First LordHoodman comes! Portotartarosa
First SoldierHe calls for the tortures: what will you say
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 115without 'em?
PAROLLESI will confess what I know without constraint: if
ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
First SoldierBosko chimurcho.
First LordBoblibindo chicurmurco.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 120You are a merciful general. Our general bids you
answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
PAROLLESAnd truly, as I hope to live.
First Soldier 'First demand of him how many horse the
duke is strong.' What say you to that?
PAROLLESAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 125Five 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.
First SoldierShall I set down your answer so?
PAROLLESAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 130Do: I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will.
BERTRAMAll's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
First 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 135knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of
his dagger.
Second 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.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 140Well, that's set down.
PAROLLESFive or six thousand horse, I said, — I will say
true, — or thereabouts, set down, for I'll speak truth.
First LordHe's very near the truth in this.
BERTRAMBut I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 145delivers it.
PAROLLESPoor rogues, I pray you, say.
First SoldierWell, that's set down.
PAROLLESI humbly thank you, sir: a truth's a truth, the
rogues are marvellous poor.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 150 'Demand of him, of what strength they are
a-foot.' What say you to that?
PAROLLESBy 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 155many; 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 160poll; half of the which dare not shake snow from off
their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces.
BERTRAMWhat shall be done to him?
First LordNothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my
condition, and what credit I have with the duke.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 165Well, that's set down.
'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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 170possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to
corrupt him to revolt.' What say you to this? what
do you know of it?
PAROLLESI beseech you, let me answer to the particular of
the inter'gatories: demand them singly.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 175Do you know this Captain Dumain?
PAROLLESI 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.
BERTRAMAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 180Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know
his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
First SoldierWell, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
PAROLLESUpon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
First LordNay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 185lordship anon.
First SoldierWhat is his reputation with the duke?
PAROLLESThe 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.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 190Marry, we'll search.
PAROLLESIn 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.
First SoldierHere 'tis; here's a paper: shall I read it to you?
PAROLLESAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 195I do not know if it be it or no.
BERTRAMOur interpreter does it well.
First LordExcellently.
First Soldier 'Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold,' —
PAROLLESThat is not the duke's letter, sir; that is an
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 200advertisement 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.
First SoldierNay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
PAROLLESAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 205My 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.
BERTRAMDamnable both-sides rogue!
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 210 '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,
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 215Men 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.'
BERTRAMAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 220He shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme
in's forehead.
Second LordThis is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold
linguist and the armipotent soldier.
BERTRAMI could endure any thing before but a cat, and now
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 225he's a cat to me.
First SoldierI perceive, sir, by the general's looks, we shall be
fain to hang you.
PAROLLESMy life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to
die; but that, my offences being many, I would
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 230repent out the remainder of nature: let me live,
sir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
First 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 235his valour: what is his honesty?
PAROLLESHe 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 240such 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 245little 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.
First LordI begin to love him for this.
BERTRAMFor this description of thine honesty? A pox upon
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 250him for me, he's more and more a cat.
First SoldierWhat say you to his expertness in war?
PAROLLESFaith, 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 255he 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.
First LordHe hath out-villained villany so far, that the
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 260rarity redeems him.
BERTRAMA pox on him, he's a cat still.
First SoldierHis qualities being at this poor price, I need not
to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
PAROLLESSir, for a quart d'ecu he will sell the fee-simple
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 265of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the
entail from all remainders, and a perpetual
succession for it perpetually.
First SoldierWhat's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?
Second LordWhy does be ask him of me?
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 270What's he?
PAROLLESE'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:
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 275in a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming
on he has the cramp.
First SoldierIf your life be saved, will you undertake to betray
the Florentine?
PAROLLESAy, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.
First SoldierAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 280I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
PAROLLES 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 285would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
First 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 290serve the world for no honest use; therefore you
must die. Come, headsman, off with his head.
PAROLLESO Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!
First LordThat shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.
So, look about you: know you any here?
BERTRAMAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 295Good morrow, noble captain.
Second LordGod bless you, Captain Parolles.
First LordGod save you, noble captain.
Second LordCaptain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu?
I am for France.
First LordAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 300Good 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.
First SoldierYou are undone, captain, all but your scarf; that
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 305has a knot on't yet
PAROLLESWho cannot be crushed with a plot?
First 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 310too: we shall speak of you there.
PAROLLESYet 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
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 315Shall 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!
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 320There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.

ACT IV

SCENE IV. Florence. The Widow's house.

HELENAThat 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:
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 5Time 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
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 10We 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.
WidowAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 15Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.
HELENANor you, mistress,
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 20To 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,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 25When 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
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 30Something in my behalf.
DIANALet death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
HELENAYet, I pray you:
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 35But 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;
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 40Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.

ACT IV

SCENE V. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

LAFEUNo, 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
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 5this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced
by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
COUNTESSI 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
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 10flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I
could not have owed her a more rooted love.
LAFEU'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a
thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.
ClownIndeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 15salad, or rather, the herb of grace.
LAFEUThey are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
ClownI am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much
skill in grass.
LAFEUWhether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?
ClownAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 20A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
LAFEUYour distinction?
ClownI would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.
LAFEUSo you were a knave at his service, indeed.
ClownAnd I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
LAFEUAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 25I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.
ClownAt your service.
LAFEUNo, no, no.
ClownWhy, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
great a prince as you are.
LAFEUAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 30Who's that? a Frenchman?
ClownFaith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy
is more hotter in France than there.
LAFEUWhat prince is that?
ClownThe black prince, sir; alias, the prince of
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 35darkness; alias, the devil.
LAFEUHold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this
to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of;
serve him still.
ClownI am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 40great 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
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 45themselves 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.
LAFEUGo thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I
tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 50with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well
looked to, without any tricks.
ClownIf I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
LAFEUA shrewd knave and an unhappy.
COUNTESSAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 55So 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.
LAFEUI like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 60tell 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
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 65first 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?
COUNTESSWith very much content, my lord; and I wish it
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 70happily effected.
LAFEUHis 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.
COUNTESSAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 75It 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.
LAFEUMadam, I was thinking with what manners I might
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 80safely be admitted.
COUNTESSYou need but plead your honourable privilege.
LAFEULady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I
thank my God it holds yet.
ClownO madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 85velvet 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.
LAFEUA scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 90of honour; so belike is that.
ClownBut it is your carbonadoed face.
LAFEULet us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk
with the young noble soldier.
ClownFaith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 95hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head
and nod at every man.

ACT V

SCENE I. Marseilles. A street.

HELENABut 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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 5Be bold you do so grow in my requital
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time;
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
GentlemanAnd you.
HELENAAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 10Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
GentlemanI have been sometimes there.
HELENAI do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
An therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 15Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
GentlemanWhat's your will?
HELENAThat it will please you
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 20To give this poor petition to the king,
And aid me with that store of power you have
To come into his presence.
GentlemanThe king's not here.
HELENANot here, sir!
GentlemanAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 25Not, indeed:
He hence removed last night and with more haste
Than is his use.
WidowLord, how we lose our pains!
HELENAAll's well that ends well yet,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 30Though time seem so adverse and means unfit.
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
GentlemanMarry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Whither I am going.
HELENAI do beseech you, sir,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 35Since 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 40Our means will make us means.
GentlemanThis I'll do for you.
HELENAAnd you shall find yourself to be well thank'd,
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again.
Go, go, provide.

ACT V

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

PAROLLESGood 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 5mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong
displeasure.
ClownTruly, 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.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 10Prithee, allow the wind.
PAROLLESNay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake
but by a metaphor.
ClownIndeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my
nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 15thee further.
PAROLLESPray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
ClownFoh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune's
close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he
comes himself.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 20Here 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,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 25ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his
distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to
your lordship.
PAROLLESMy lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly
scratched.
LAFEUAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 30And 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 35you: let the justices make you and fortune friends:
I am for other business.
PAROLLESI beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
LAFEUYou beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't;
save your word.
PAROLLESAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 40My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
LAFEUYou beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion!
give me your hand. How does your drum?
PAROLLESO my good lord, you were the first that found me!
LAFEUWas I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
PAROLLESAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 45It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace,
for you did bring me out.
LAFEUOut 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.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 50The 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.
PAROLLESI praise God for you.

ACT V

SCENE III. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

KINGWe 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.
COUNTESSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 5'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.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 10My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.
LAFEUThis I must say,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 15But 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 20Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive,
Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
Humbly call'd mistress.
KINGPraising what is lost
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 25We 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 30A stranger, no offender; and inform him
So 'tis our will he should.
GentlemanI shall, my liege.
KINGWhat says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
LAFEUAll that he is hath reference to your highness.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 35Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me
That set him high in fame.
LAFEUHe looks well on't.
KINGI am not a day of season,
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 40In me at once: but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
The time is fair again.
BERTRAMMy high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 45All 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 50Steals ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord?
BERTRAMAdmiringly, my liege, at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 55Where 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 60To 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.
KINGWell excused:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 65That 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 70Make 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 75While 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.
COUNTESSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 80Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
LAFEUCome 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 85That she may quickly come.
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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 90I saw upon her finger.
BERTRAMHers it was not.
KINGNow, 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 95I 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?
BERTRAMAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 100My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never hers.
COUNTESSSon, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 105At her life's rate.
LAFEUI am sure I saw her wear it.
BERTRAMYou 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 110Of 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 115In heavy satisfaction and would never
Receive the ring again.
KINGPlutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Hath not in nature's mystery more science
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 120Than 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 125That 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.
BERTRAMShe never saw it.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 130Thou 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 135And 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.
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 140Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him!
We'll sift this matter further.
BERTRAMIf you shall prove
This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 145Where yet she never was.
KINGI am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
GentlemanGracious sovereign,
Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not:
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 150Who 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 155With an importing visage; and she told me,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.
KING Upon his many protestations to marry me
when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 160me. 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 165flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.
DIANA CAPILET.
LAFEUI will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for
this: I'll none of him.
KINGThe heavens have thought well on thee Lafeu,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 170To 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.
COUNTESSNow, justice on the doers!
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 175I wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you,
And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
Yet you desire to marry.
What woman's that?
DIANAI am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 180Derived from the ancient Capilet:
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
WidowI am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 185And both shall cease, without your remedy.
KINGCome hither, count; do you know these women?
BERTRAMMy lord, I neither can nor will deny
But that I know them: do they charge me further?
DIANAWhy do you look so strange upon your wife?
BERTRAMAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 190She's none of mine, my lord.
DIANAIf 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;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 195For I by vow am so embodied yours,
That she which marries you must marry me,
Either both or none.
LAFEUYour reputation comes too short for my daughter; you
are no husband for her.
BERTRAMAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 200My 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.
KINGSir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 205Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your honour
Than in my thought it lies.
DIANAGood my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 210What say'st thou to her?
BERTRAMShe's impudent, my lord,
And was a common gamester to the camp.
DIANAHe does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
He might have bought me at a common price:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 215Do 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.
COUNTESSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 220He 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.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 225Methought you said
You saw one here in court could witness it.
DIANAI did, my lord, but loath am to produce
So bad an instrument: his name's Parolles.
LAFEUI saw the man to-day, if man he be.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 230Find him, and bring him hither.
BERTRAMWhat 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.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 235Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
That will speak any thing?
KINGShe hath that ring of yours.
BERTRAMI think she has: certain it is I liked her,
And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 240She 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 245Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring;
And I had that which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.
DIANAI must be patient:
You, that have turn'd off a first so noble wife,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 250May 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.
BERTRAMI have it not.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 255What ring was yours, I pray you?
DIANASir, much like
The same upon your finger.
KINGKnow you this ring? this ring was his of late.
DIANAAnd this was it I gave him, being abed.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 260The story then goes false, you threw it him
Out of a casement.
DIANAI have spoke the truth.
BERTRAMMy lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
KINGYou boggle shrewdly, every feather stars you.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 265Is this the man you speak of?
DIANAAy, my lord.
KINGTell 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,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 270By him and by this woman here what know you?
PAROLLESSo please your majesty, my master hath been an
honourable gentleman: tricks he hath had in him,
which gentlemen have.
KINGCome, come, to the purpose: did he love this woman?
PAROLLESAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 275Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
KINGHow, I pray you?
PAROLLESHe did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
KINGHow is that?
PAROLLESHe loved her, sir, and loved her not.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 280As thou art a knave, and no knave. What an
equivocal companion is this!
PAROLLESI am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
LAFEUHe's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
DIANADo you know he promised me marriage?
PAROLLESAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 285Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
KINGBut wilt thou not speak all thou knowest?
PAROLLESYes, 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 290of 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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 295speak what I know.
KINGThou 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?
DIANAAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 300Ay, my good lord.
KINGWhere did you buy it? or who gave it you?
DIANAIt was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
KINGWho lent it you?
DIANAIt was not lent me neither.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 305Where did you find it, then?
DIANAI found it not.
KINGIf it were yours by none of all these ways,
How could you give it him?
DIANAI never gave it him.
LAFEUAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 310This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off
and on at pleasure.
KINGThis ring was mine; I gave it his first wife.
DIANAIt might be yours or hers, for aught I know.
KINGTake her away; I do not like her now;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 315To prison with her: and away with him.
Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring,
Thou diest within this hour.
DIANAI'll never tell you.
KINGTake her away.
DIANAAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 320I'll put in bail, my liege.
KINGI think thee now some common customer.
DIANABy Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
KINGWherefore hast thou accused him all this while?
DIANABecause he's guilty, and he is not guilty:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 325He 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.
KINGShe does abuse our ears: to prison with her.
DIANAAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 330Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir:
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:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 335He 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.
KINGAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 340Is there no exorcist
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Is't real that I see?
HELENANo, my good lord;
'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 345The name and not the thing.
BERTRAMBoth, both. O, pardon!
HELENAO 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:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 350'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?
BERTRAMIf she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
HELENAAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 355If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you!
O my dear mother, do I see you living?
LAFEUMine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon:
Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: so,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 360I thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee:
Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.
KINGLet us from point to point this story know,
To make the even truth in pleasure flow.
If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 365Choose 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:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 370All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.