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,
Wlirn saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
Doiiles the pitchy nigliL ! so lust doth play
BC. V. ALL S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ZZo
With what it loathes, for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instruct ions, yet must suffer
Something in my behalf.
Dia. Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
Hel. Yet, I pray you :
But with the world 1 the time will bring on summer,
When briars shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away ;
Our waggon is prepar'd, and time reviles 2 us :
" All J s well that ends well :" still the fine 's the crown;
Whatever the course, the end is the renown. [Exeunt.
SCENE V. Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS'S
Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown.
Laf. No, no, no ; your son was misled with a snipt-
taffata fellow there, whose villanous saffron 3 would
have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a
nation in his colour : your daughter-in-law had been
alive at this hour, and your son here at home, more
advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-
bee I speak of.
Count. I would I had not known him. It was the
death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever
nature had praise for creating : if she had partaken of
my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother,
I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Laf. ? T was a good lady, H was a good lady : we may
pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another
Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
salad, or, rather the herb of grace.
Laf. They are not pot-herbs*, you knave : they are
Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir ; I have not
much skill in grass.
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave, or
a fool ?
' word : in f. e. 3 revives : in f. n. 3 Saffron was used to color
ttarc.h, a yellow hue being then fashionable in dress. It was also
used to color pie-cruM. * salad-herbs : in f. e.
224 ALL 's WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT IV.
C7o. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave
at a man's.
Laf. Your distinction ?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his
Laf. So you were a knave at his service, indeed
Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble 1 , sir, to
:lo her service.
Laf. I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave
Clo. At your service.
Laf. No, no, no.
Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
great a prince as you are.
Laf. Who 's that ? a Frenchman ?
Clo. Faith, sir, a' has an English name 8 ; but his
phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.
Laf. What prince is that?
Clo. The black prince, sir ; alias, the prince of dark-
ness : alias, the devil.
Laf. Hold thee, there's my purse. I give thee not
this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of :
serve him still.
Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved
a great fire ; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a
good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world ; let
the nobility remain in 's court. I am for the house
with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for
pomp to enter : some, that humble themselves, may ;
but the many will be too chill and tender, and they '11
be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate,
and the great fire.
Laf. Go thy ways, I begin to be a- weary of thee ;
and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
with thee. Go thy ways : let my horses be well looked
to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
jades' tricks, which are their own right by the law of
nature. - [Exit.
Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy 3 .
Count. So a' is. My lord, that 's gone, made himself
3 A short stick, with a fool's head, or a small figure, at the end of it
An inflated bladder was sometimes attached. 2 Old copies : mains.
' M^ ,'uetous
80. V. ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 225
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 place 1 , but runs where he will.
Laf. I like him well ; 't is not amiss. And I was
about to tell you, since I heard of the good lady's
death, and that my lord, your son, was upon his return
home, I moved the king, my master, to speak in the
behalf of my daughter ; which, in the minority of them
both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance,
did first propose. His highness hath promised me to do
it ; and to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived
against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does
your ladyship like it ?
Count. With very much content, my lord; and I
wish it happily effected.
Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as
able body as when he numbered thirty : a' will be here
to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intel-
ligence hath seldom failed.
Count. It 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.
Laf. Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege.
Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter ; but,
I thank my God, it holds yet.
Clo. 0, madam ! yonder 's my lord your son with a
patch of velvet on 's face : whether there be a scar
under it, 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.
Laf. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good
livery of honour ; so, belike, is that.
Clo. But it is your carbonadoed face.
Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you : I long to
talk with the young noble soldier.
Clo. 'Faith, there 's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine
hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head,
and nod at every man, [Exeunt.
226 ALL *S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT V.
SCENE I. Marseilles. A Street.
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two
Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night,
Must wear your spirits low : we cannot help it ;
But, since you have made the days and nights as one,
To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Be bold, you do so grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time,
Enter a Gentleman, a Stranger. 1
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been sometimes there.
Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness ;
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Gent. What 's your will ?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king,
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence. [Giving it to him
Gent. The king 's not here.
Hel. Not here, sir ?
Gent. Not, indeed :
He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Than is his use.
Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All 's well that ends well yet,
Though time seem so adverse, and means unfit.
I do beseech you, whither is he gone ?
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon ;
Whither I am going.
Hel. I do beseech you, sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand ;
1 a gentle Astringer : in f. e.
SO. II. ALL *S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 22*7
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you, with what good speed
Our means will make us means.
Gent. This I '11 do for you.
Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well thank' d,
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again :
Go, go, provide. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. Rousillon. The inner Court of the
Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, ill-favoured. 1
Par. Good monsieur Lavatch, give my lord Lafeu
this letter. I have ere now, sir, been better known to
you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes ;
but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and
smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, 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. Pr'ythee, allow the
Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir : I
spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop
my nose ; or against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee,
get thee farther.
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh ! pr'ythee, stand away : a paper from for-
tune's close-stool to give to a nobleman ! Look, here
he comes himself.
Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat,
(but not a musk-cat) that has fallen into the unclean
fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied
withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may, for he
looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally
knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort,
and leave him to your lordship. [Exit Clown.
Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath
Laf. And what would you have me to do ? 't is too
late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played
the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you,
1 This word is not added in f. e.
228 ALL '8 WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT T.
who of herself is a good lady, and would not have
knaves thrive long under her ? There 's a quart d'ecu
for you. Let the justices make you and fortune friends ;
I am for other business.
Par. I beseech your honour to hear me one single
Laf. You beg a single penny more : come, you shall
ha 't ; save your word.
Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Laf. You beg more than one word, then. Cox' my
passion ! give me your hand. How does your drum ?
Par. O, my good lord ! you were the first that found
Laf. Was I, in sooth ? and I was the first that lost
Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some
grace, for you did bring me out.
Laf. Out upon thee, knave ! dost thou put upon me
at once both the office of God and the devil? one
brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out.
[Trumpets sound.] The king 's coming; I know by his
trumpets. Sirrah, inquire farther after me : I had talk
of you last night. Though you are a fool and a knave,
you shall eat : go to, follow.
Par. I praise God for. you. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. The Same. A Room in the COUNTESS'S
Flourish. Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, Lords,
Gentlemen, Guards, tyc.
King. We 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.
Count. 'T is past, my liege ;
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze 1 of youth :
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'erbears it, and burns on.
King. My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all,
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.
Laf. This I must say.
> blade : in f. e.
8C. III. ALL 's WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 229
But first I beg my pardon, the young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady,
Offence of mighty note, but to himself
The greatest wrong of all : he lost a wife,
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes ; whose words all ears took captive ;
Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn' d to serve
Humbly calPd mistress.
King. Praising what is lost
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him
We are reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill
All repetition. Let him not ask our pardon:
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
The incensing relics of it : let him approach,
A stranger, no offender : and inform him,
So 't is our will he should.
Gent. I shall, my liege. [Exit Gentleman.
King, What says he to your daughter? have you
Laf. All that he is hath reference to your high-
King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters
That set him high in fame.
Laf. He looks well on 't.
King. I am not a day of season,
For thou may'st see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once ; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way : so stand thou forth ;
The time is fair again.
Ber. My high repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King. All 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
Th' inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord ?
My liege, at first
230 ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT v.
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue :
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour,
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stolen,
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object. Thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King. Well excus'd :
That thou didst love her strikes some scores away
From the great compt. But love, that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sore 1 offence,
Crying, that 's good that 's gone. Our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them, until we know their grave :
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust ;
Our own love, waking, cries to see what 's done.*
While shameful hate 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 '11 stay
To see our widower's second marriage-day.
Laf. Which better than the first, 0, dear heaven,
Or, ere they meet, in me, nature, cease*.
Come on. my son, in whom my house's name
Must be digested, give a favour from you,
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter.
That she may quickly come. 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 time ere she* took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.
Ber. Hers it was not.
King. Now, pray you, let me see it ; for mine eye,
While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to 't.
'sour: in f e. 2 This and the next line are erased by the MS
emendator of ihe folio, 1632. ' f. e. assign this and the next line tt
the Countess. * Old copies : cesse. ere I : in f. e.
80. III. ALL 'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 231
This ring was mine ; and, when I gave it Helen,
I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
Necessitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her
Of what should stead her most ?
Ber. My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never hers.
Count. Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.
Laf. I am sure I saw her wear it.
Ber. You are deceiv'd : my lord, she never saw it.
In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
Of her that threw it. Noble she was, and thought
I stood engag'd ; but when I had subscrib'd
To mine own fortune, and iriform'd her fully
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceas'd,
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King. Plutus himself.
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine, 1
Hath not in nature ; s mystery more science,
Than I have in this ring : 't was mine, 't was Helen's.^
Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know
That you are well acquainted with 't yourself,
Confess 't was hers, and by what rough enforcement
You got it from her. She cali'd the saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed.
Where you have never come, or sent it us
Upon her great disaster.
Ber. She never saw it.
King. Thou speak' st it falsely, as I love mine honour
And mak'st conjectural fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out. If it should prove
That thou art so inhuman, 't will not prove so ;
And yet I know not : thou didst hate her deadly,
And she is dead ; which nothing, but to close
Her eyes myself, could win me to believe,
1 An allusion to tne Alchemists.
232 ALL "S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT V.
More than to see this ring. Take him away.
[Guards seize BERTRAM
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him !
We '11 sift this matter farther.
Ber. If you shall prove
This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was. [Exit BERTRAM, guarded
Enter the Gentleman, a Stranger. 1
King. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
Gent. Gracious sovereign
Whether I have been to blame, or no, I know not :
Here 's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath, for four or five removes, come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
Is here attending : her business looks in her
With an importing visage; and she told me,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.
King. [Reads.] "Upon his many protestations to
marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it,
he won me. Now is the count Rousillon a widower :
his vows are forfeited to me, and my honour 's paid to
him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I
follow him to his country for justice. Grant it me,
king ! in you it best lies ; otherwise a seducer nour-
ishes, and a poor maid is undone. "DIANA CAPILET."
Laf. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll*
him : for this, I '11 none of him.
King. The heavens have thought well on thee,
To bring forth this discovery. Seek these suitors.
Go speedily, and bring again the count.
[Exeunt Gentleman, and some Attendants
I am afeard, the life of Helen, lady,
Was foully snatch'd.
Count. Now, justice or the doers !
i Ent' a Gentleman: in f. e. 3 A "tol" was paid for th
privilcgt o' soling a horse at a fair.
80. III. ALL 's WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 233
Re-enter BERTRAM, guarded.
King. I wonder, sir, for, wives are monsters to you,
And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
Yet you desire to marry. What woman's that?
Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and DIANA.
Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capilet : [Kneeling.
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied,
Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without your remedy.
King. Come hither, county 3 . Do you know these
Per. My lord, I neither can, nor will deny
But that I know them. Do they charge me farther ?
Dia. Why do you look so strange upon your wife ?
Ber. She 's none of mine, my lord.
Dia. If you shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine ;
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine ;
You give away myself, which is known mine ;
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
That she which marries you must marry me ;
Either both, or none.
Laf. [To BERTRAM.] Your reputation comes tco
short for my daughter : you are no husband for her.
Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature,
Whom sometime I have laugh'd with. Let your
Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour,
Than so to think that I would sink it here. [friend,
King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to
Till your deeds gain them : fairer prove your honour,
Than in my thought it lies.
Dia. Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.
King. What say'st thou to her ?
Ber. She 's impudent, my lord ;
1 This word is inserted in place of " sir," in Lord F. Egerton'i
rtIS annotated folio, 1623. Not in f. e. ' count : in f. e. * Nol
234 ALL 5 S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT V
And was a common gamester to the camp.
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord : if I were so,
He might have bought me at a common price:
Do not believe him. ! 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.
Count. He blushes, and 't is his. 1
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife :
That ring 's a thousand proofs.
King. Methought. you said,
You saw one here in court could -witness it.
Dia. I did, my lord, but loth am to produce
So bad an instrument : his name 's Parolles.
Laf. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
King. Find him, and bring him hither.
Ber. What of him?
He 's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o' the world tax'd and debauch' d,
Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth.
Am I or that, or this, for what he '11 utter,
That will speak any thing?
King. She hath that ring of yourp.
Ber. I think, she has : certain it is, I lik'd her,
And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth.
She knew her distance, and did angle for me,
Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
As all impediments in fancy's course
Are motives of more fancy ; and, in fine,
Her infinite cunning, 3 with her modern grace,
Subdued me to her rate : she got the ring,
And I had that, which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.
Dia. I must be patient :
You, that turn'd 3 off a first so noble wife,
May justly diet me. I pray you yet,
(Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband)
Send for your ring ; I will return it home.
And give me mine again.
'- Old copies : hit (the old 'arm of it). insult coming : in f ,
' f e. have tun'd.
SC. III. ALL 5 S WELL THAT KNDS WELL. 235
Ber. I have it not.
King. What ring was yours, I pray you?
Dia. Sir, much like
The same upon your finger.
Xing. Know you this ring? this ring was his of
Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.
King, The story then goes false, you threw it
Out of a casement.
Dia. I have spoke the truth.
Ber. My lord, I do confess, the ring was hers.
King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts
Is this the man you speak of?
Dia. Ay, my lord.
King. Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge
Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
(Which, on your just proceeding, I '11 keep off)
By him, and by this woman here, what know you ?
Par. So please your majesty, my master hath been
an honourable gentleman : tricks he hath had in him,
which gentlemen have.
King. Come, come; to the purpose. Did he love
this woman ?
Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
King. How, I pray you ?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a
King. How is that ?
Par. He loved her, sir, and loved her not.
King. As thou art a knave, and no knave.
What an equivocal companion is this !
Par. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's
Laf. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty
Dia. Do you know, he promised me marriage ?
Par. 'Faith, I know more than I '11 speak.
King. But wilt thou not speak all thou know ? st ?
Par. Yes, so please your majesty. I did go between
them as I said ; I ut more than that, he loved her,
236 ALL 'S WEIL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT V.
for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked of Satan,
and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what : yet
I was in %it credit with them at that time, that I
knew of their going to bed, and of other motions, as
promising her marriage, and things that would derive
me ill will to speak of: therefore, I will not speak
what I know.
King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou
Say they are married. But thou art too fine
In thy evidence ; therefore, stand aside.
This ring, you say, was yours ?
Dia. Ay, my good lord.
King. Where did you buy it ? or who gave it
Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
King. Who lent it you ?
Dia. It was not lent me neither.