William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare [sic] (Volume 2) online

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All's Well that Ends Well Page 1

Taming of the Sheew 62

Winter's Tale 119

Comedy of Ebeobs 188

Macbeth 227

King John 280

The Life and Death of King Eichabd II 337

Fibst Pabt of King Henby IV 398

Second Pabt of King Henby IV 462





BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon.

LAFEU, an old Lord.

PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram.

Several young French Lords, that
serve with Bertram in the Flo-
rentine war.

STEWARD, 1 Servants to the Coun-

CLOWN, J tea of Rousillon.


ther to Bertram.

HELENA, a Gentlewoman protected

by the Countess.
AN OLD WIDOW of Florence.
DIANA, Daughter to the Widow.
VIOLENTA, l Neighbours and
MA RI ANA, / Friends to the Widow.

Lords attending on the Kino ;
Officers, Soldiers, &c, French
and Florentine.

Scene, partly in France, and partly
in Tuscany.


SCENE I.— Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS'S Palace.

Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and
LAFEU, in mourning.

Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second hus-

Ber. And 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.

Laf. You 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

Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment ?

Laf. He hath abandoned his physicians. Madam ; under
whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope ; and finds
no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope
by time.

Count. This young gentlewoman had a father (O, that had !
how sad a passagef 'tis !), whose skill was almost as great as his

* Under guardianship,

t /. e. passing recollection.

2 all's wel-l that ends well. [act I.

honesty ; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immor-
tal, and death should have play for lack of work. ' Would, for
the king's sake, he were living ! I think it would be the death
of the king's disease.

Laf. How called you the man you speak of, Madam ?

Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profession, and it was his
great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon.

Laf. He 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

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?

Laf. A fistula, my lord.

Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would it were not notorious. — "Was this gentlewoman
the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord ; and bequeathed to my over-
looking. 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 withf pity, they are virtues and traitors
too ; in her they are the better for their simpleness ; % she derives
her honesty, and achieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her tears.

Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The
remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the
tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood § from her cheek. No
more of this Helena, go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought
you affect a sorrow, than to have.

Mel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed ; but I have it too.

Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive
grief the enemy to the living.

Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it

Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.

Ijaf. How understand we that ?

Count. Be thou bless'd, Bertram ! and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape ! thy blood, and virtue,
Contend for empire in thee ; and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright ! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none : be able for thine enemy
Rather in power, than use ; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key : be check'a for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. "What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish,^" and my prayers pluck down,
Pall on thy head ! Farewell. — My lord.
'Tis an unseason'd courtier ; good my lord,
Advise him.

* Qualities of good breeding and erudition. + Are attended by.

t Her excellences are the better because they are artless.

\ All appearance of life.

jj If the living oppose themselves to excessive grief, it soon die*.

% I. *. that may help thee with more and better qualifications.

fcSM I.J all's well that ends well. 3

Laf. He cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.

Count. Heaven bless him ! — Farewell, Bertram.

[Exit Countess.

Per. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts f To
Helena], be servants to you ! * Be comfortable to my mother,
your mistress, and make much of her.

Laf. Farewell, pretty lady : You must hold the credit of your
father. [ Exeunt Beetbam and Lafetj.

Hel. O, were that all ! — I think not on my father ;
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Than those I shed for him. What was he like ?
I have forgot him : my imagination
Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's.
I am undone ; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me :
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour ; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table jt heart, too capable
Of every line and tnck+ of his sweet favour :§
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify nis relics. Who comes here ?

Enter Pabolles.

One that goes with him : I love him for his sake ;

And yet 1 know him a notorious liar,

Think him a great way fool, solely a coward ;

Yet these fix'd evils sit to fit in him,

That they take place, when virtue's steely bones

Look bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we see

Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

Par. Save you, fair queen.

Hel. And you, monarch.

Par. No.

Hel. And no.||

Par. Are you meditating on virginity ?

Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you ; let me ask
you a question : Man is enemy to virginity : how may we barricado
it against him ?

Par. Keep him out.

* I. e. may you be mistress of your wishes, and have power to bring
them to effect.

t Picture — canvass. t Peculiarity of feature.

S Countenance. I I. e. no monarch, no queen,

* 2

4 all's well that ends well. [act I.

Hel. But he assails ; and our virginity, though valiant in the
defence, yet is weak : unfold to us some warlike resistance.

Par. There is none ; man, sitting down before you, will un-
dermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers
up ! — Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up
men ?

Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will quicklier be blown
up : many, in blowing him down again, with the breach your-
selves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the common-
wealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is
rational increase ; and there was never virgin got, till virginity
was first lost. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins.
Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found : by being
ever kept, it is ever lost : 'tis too cold a companion ; away
with it.

Hel. I will stand fort a little, though therefore I die a virgin.

Par. There's little can be said in't; 'tis against the rule of
nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your
mothers ; which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs
himself, is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and should be
buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate
offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a
cheese ; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feed-
ing his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle,
made of self-love, which is the most inhibited* sin m the canon.
Keep it not ; you cannot choose but lose by't : Out with't : with-
in ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase ;
and the principal itself not much the worse : Away with't.

Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking ?

Par. Let me see : Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes.
'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying ; the longer kept,
the less worth : off with't, while 'tis vendible ; answer the time of
request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of
fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable : just like the brooch and
tooth-pick, which wear not now : Your datef is better in your
pie and your porridge, than in your cheek : And your virginity,
your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears ; it
looks ill, it eats dryly ; marry, 'tis a withered pear ; it was for-
merly better ; marry, yet 'tis a withered pear : Will you anything
with it ?

Hel. Not my virginity yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear ;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster ; with a world

* Forbidden.

t A quibble on date, which means age, and candied fruit.


Of pretty, fond, adoptious Christendoms.

That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he

I know not what he shall : — God send him well !
The court 's a learning-place ; — and he is one

Par. What one, i' faith ?

Hel. That I wish well.— 'Tis pity

Par. What's pity ?

Hel. That wisning well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt: that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends,
And show what we alone must think ;* which never
Returns us thanks.

Enter a Page.

Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. [Exit Page.

Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember thee, 1 will
think of thee at court.

Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable

Par. Under Mars, I.

Hel. I especially think, under Mars.

Par. Why under Mars ?

Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs
be born under Mars.

Pur. When he was predominant.

Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.

Par. Why think you so ?

Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight.

Par. That's for advantage.

Hel. So 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.

Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely :
I will return perfect courtier ; in the which, my instruction shall
serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capabief of a courtier's
counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee ; else
thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes
thee away : farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers ;
when thou hast none, remember thy friends : get thee a good
husband, and use him as he uses thee : so farewell. [ Exit.

Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven : the fated sky
Gives us free scope ; only, doth backward pull
Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull.
What power is it, which mounts my love so high ;
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye r
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.^

* 7. «. and show by realities what we now most only think.

t I. e. thou wilt comprehend it.

t Things formed by nature for each other.

6 all's well that ends well. [act r.

Impossible be strange attempts, to those

That weigh their pains in sense ; and do suppose,

"What hath been cannot be : Who ever strove

To 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. [Exit.

SCENE II. — Paris. A Boom in the King's Palace.

Flourish of Cornets. Enter the KlNG OF FRANCE, with letters ;
LORDS, and others attending.

King. The Florentines and Senoys* are by the ears ;
Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
A braving war.

1 Lord. So 'tis reported, Sir,

King. Nay, 'tis most credible ; we here receive it
A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
With caution, that the Florentine will move us
For speedy aid ; wherein our dearest friend
Prejudicates the business, and would seem
To have us make denial.

1 Lord. His love and wisdom,
Approved so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.

King. He hath arm'd our answer,
And Florence is denied before he comes :
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.

2 Lord. It may well serve

A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing an exploit.
King. What's he comes here ?

Enter Beetbam, Lafetx, and Pakolles.

1 Lord. It is the count Bousillon, my good lord,
Xbung Bertram.

King. Youth, 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.

Per. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.

King. I 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 lavsted long ;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me

* Siennese.


To talk of your good father : In his youth

lie had the wit, which I can well observe

To-day in our young lords ; but they may jest,

Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,

Ere they can hide their levity in honour.

So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness

Were in his pride or sharpness ; if they were,

His equal had awaked them ; and his honour,

Clock to itself, knew the true minute when

Exception bid him speak, and, at this time,

His tongue obey'd its hand : who were below him

He used as creatures of another place ;

And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,

Making them proud of his humility,

In their poor praise he humbled : ouch a man

Might be copy to these younger times ;

Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now

But goers backward.

Ber. His good remembrance. Sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb ;
So his approof lives not in epitaph,
As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would I were with him ! He would always say

Slethinks. I hear him now ; his plausive words
e scatter d not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear), Let me not live, —
Thus his good melancholy oft began,
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out, — Let me not live, quoth he,
After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; tchose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments ;* tvhose constancies

Expire before their fashions . This he wish'd:

I, after him, do after him wish too,
Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
To give some labourers room.

2 Lord. You are loved, Sir ;
They, that least lend it you, shall lack you first.

King. I fill a place, I know't. — How long is't, count,
Since the physican at your father's died ?
He was much famed.

Ber. Some six months since, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet ; —
Lend me an arm ;— the rest have worn me out
With several applications : — nature and sickness
Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count ;
My son 's no dearer.

Ber. Thank your majesty.

[Exeunt. Flourish,

* Who are mere Inventors of dress.

8 all's well that ends well. [act I.

SCENE III.—Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.

Count. I will now hear : what say you of this gentlewoman ?

Steto. Madam, the care 1 have had to even your content,* I
wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours ; for
then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our
deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah:
The complaints, I have heard of you, I do not at all believe ; 'tis
my slowness, that I do not : for, I know, you lack not folly to
commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, Madam, I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, Sir.

Clo. No, Madam, 'tis not to well, that I am poor ; though many
of the rich are damned : But, if I may have your ladyship's good
will to go to the world,f Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar ?

Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case.

Count. In what case ?

Clo. In 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 of my body ; for they say, bearnsj are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, Madam, requires it: I am driven on by the
flesh ; and ne must needs go, that the devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship's reason ?

Clo. Faith, Madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they

Count. May the world know them ?

Clo. I have been, Madam, a wicked creature, as you and all
flesh and blood are ; and indeed, I do marry, that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage sooner than thy wickedness.

Clo. I am out of friends, Madam ; and I hope to have friends
for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You are shallow, Madam; e'en great friends; for the
knaves come to do that for me which I am a-weary of. He that
ears§ my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the
the crop : if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge : He, that comforts
my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood ; he, that cherishes
my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood ; he, that loves my
flesh and blood, is my friend : ergo, he that kisses my wife, is my
friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there
were no fear in marriage ; for young Charbon the puritan, and
old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in
religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together,
like any deer i' the herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave ?

* To act up to your desire. t To be married.

J Children. I Ploughs.


Clo. A prophet I, Madam ; and I speak the truth the next

For I the ballad will repeat,

Which men full true shall find :
Your marriage comes by destiny,
Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Count Get you gone, Sir ; I'll talk with you more anon.

Stew. May it please you, Madam, that he bid Helen come to
you ; of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would speak with her ;
Helen, I mean.

Clo. Was this fair face the cause, quoth she, [Singing.

Why the Grecians sacked Troy ?
Fond done,f done fond,

Was this king Priam's joy ?
With that she sighed as she stood,
With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then ;
Among nine bad if one be good,
Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.

Count. What, one good in ten ? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam ; which is a purifying
o' the song : Would God would serve the world so all the year !
we'd find no fault with the tithe- woman, if I were the parson :
One in ten, quoth a' ! an we might have a good woman born but
for every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the
lottery well ; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you ?

Clo. That 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. [Exit Clown.

Count. Well, now.

Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.

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

Slew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she
wished me : alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her
own words to her own ears ; she thought, I dare vow for her.
they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved
your son : Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such
difference betwixt their two estates ; Love, no god, that would
not extend his might, only where qualities were level : Diana, no
queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knightj surprised,

* The nearest way. t Foolishly done.

; (Tobe.i

10 all's well that ends well. [act I.

without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward : This
she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard
virgin exclaim in : which I held my duty, speedily to acquaint
you withal ; sithence,* in the loss that may happen, it concerns
you something to know it.

Count. You have discharged this honestly ; keep it to yourself :
many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so
tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor mis-
doubt : Pray you leave me : stall this in your bosom, and I thank
you for your honest care : I will speak with you further anon.


Count. Even so it was with me, when I was young :
If 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'a in youth .
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults ; — or then we thought them none.
Her eye is sick on't ; I observe her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam ?

Count. You know, Helen, I am a mother to you.

Set. Mine honourable mistress.

Count. Nay, a mother ;
Why not a mother ? When I said a mother,
Methought you saw a serpent : What's in mother,
That you start at it ? I say, I am your mother ;
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine : 'Tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature ; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds :
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care : —
God's mercy, maiden ! does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother ? What's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye ?
AVhy ? that you are my daughter ?

Hel. That I am not.

Count. I say, I am your mother.

Hel. Pardon, Madam :
The count Eousillon cannot be my brother :

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare [sic] (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 49)