William Shakespeare.

All's well that ends well online

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But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.

Wid. Though my estate be fall'n, I was well born.

Nothing acquainted with these businesses ; 5

113. Exit] Theobald, omitted Ff.

Scene viu
5. businesses] basenesses Anon. conj.

limed twigs, as above, in. v. 24. «

"Look" is used transitively, as often '^^^'^ ^^^'

elsewhere. 3. lose the grounds] Ke\em,covL\d^vc

118. Aave i* the wind] a proverbial no further proof of her identity, save by

saying akin to the modem pnrase " to revealing herself to the Count himself—

be in the wind of," the very thing she did not wish to do.

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scvii] THAT ENDS WELL 105

And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

HeL Nor would I wish you.

First, give me trust, the count he is my husband.
And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
Is so from word to word ; and then you cannot, lO
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow.
Err in bestowing it.

Wid. I should believe you ;

For you have show'd me that which well approves
You 're great in fortune.

HeL Take this purse of gold,

And let me buy your friendly help thus far, 1 5

Which I will over-pay and pay again
When I have found it The count he woos your

Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolved to carry her : let her in fine consent,
As we '11 direct her how 'tis best to bear it. 20

Now his important blood will nought deny
That she '11 demand : a ring the county wears,
That downward hath succeeded in his house
From son to son, some four or five descents

8. count he] County Dyce (S. Walker conj.)> also line 17, below. 14.
You *re\ K' are Ff. 19. Resolved] Collier ; Resolue F i ; Resolves F 2, 3, 4.

9. your sworn counsel] Schmidt ex- French emportant, Shakespeare uses
pl^s "counsel" as being "privity to it frequently in this sense: "your
another's secret thoughts," as when im^itaxit XttXtJS^^ {Comedy of ErrofSf
Othello says, "He was of my counsel v. i. 138) ; "if the prince be too im-
in my whole course of wooing" (in. portant, tell him there is measure in
iii. III). "Sworn counsel "= bound every thing "(-^«rA Ado, 11. i. 74).
by oath to secrecy. See W. J. Craig's note on King Lear^

21. important bloody Johnson calls iv. iv. 26.
this a corrupt use of die word, but it 22. county"] count, as elsewhere,
seems to tally singularly well with the

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106 ALL'S WELL [actih.

Since the first father wore it : this ring he holds 25
In most rich choice ; yet in his idle fire,
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

Wid. Now I see

The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then. It is no more, 30

But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Desires this ring ; appoints him an encounter ;
In fine, delivers me to fill the time.
Herself most chastely absent After this.
To marry her, I '11 add three thousand crowns 3 5

To what is past already.

Wid, I have yielded.

Instruct my daughter how she shall persever.
That time and place with this deceit so lawful
May prove coherent Every night he comes
With musics of all sorts and songs composed 40

To her unworthiness : it nothing steads us
To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
As if his life lay on *t

Hel. Why then to-night

Let us assay our plot ; which, if it speed.
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed, 45

And lawful meaning in a lawful act,

28, 29. New , . . purp05e\ Capell's arrangement ; in one line in the Ff.
34. After this\ F 2, 3, 4 ; after F I. 41. steads\ F 4 ; steeds F i, 2, 3.
46. lawful meaning unlawful meaning Hanmer $ a lawful acf] a wicked act
Warburton, a lawless act Anon. conj.

26. In most rich cAoice] in very 26. idle] See 11. v. 51, above,

high esteem. Cf. Evelyn's Kalendar^ 40, 41. compoid To her unwortki-

'* Carry into the shade such auriculas, ness] composed with unworthy purpose

seedlings or plants, as are for their to her.
choiceness reserved in pots."

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sc. vu.]


Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
But let 's about it.




SCENE I. — Without the Florentine Camp.

Enter Second French Lord^ with five or six Soldiers
in ambush.

Second Lord. He can come no other way but by this
hedge-comer. When you sally upon him, speak
what terrible language you will: though you under-
stand it not yourselves, no matter ; for we must
notseem tounderstand him,unless some one among
us, whom we must produce for an interpreter.

First Sold. Good captain, let me be the interpreter.

Second Lord. Art not acquainted with him? knows
he not thy voice ?

First Sold. No, sir, I warrant you.


Enter Second French Lord] Camb. Edd. ; Enter one of the Frenchmen Ff.
See note on Act ii. Scene i. i. Sec. Lord] i Lord E. Ff. 7. captain^
F 3, 4 ; captaitu F i ; captaive F 2.

47. Where . . . foci] Either corrupt
or purposely obscure. The meaning of
the whole passage as it stands seems to
be that the deed is lawful and yet is
meant to be wrong by Bertram; that
both happen to be innocent — ^and yet
guilty, he of wantonness, she of de-
ception. If any change be called for
we might read **and yet a sin full

ActJV. Scene I,

2. hedge-comer] In Shakespeare's
day hedges were not frequent: the
country was not generally enclosed
until long after, and so a hedge sur-
rounding a garden or field would be
a prominent object, and one to which
a hunted animal would escape for

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[act IV.

Second Lord. But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to
speak to us again ?

First Sold. E'en such as you speak to me.

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



Enter Parolles.

Par. Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be 25
time enough to go home* What shall I say I
have done ? It must be a very plausiye inven-
tion that carries it They begin to smoke me,

15. adversary si Tohnson, adversaries F^ adversaries Warburton.
choughs'} F 3, 4; choughs F i, 2.

II. linsey*woo/sey] An unintelligible
mixture of several languages. Johnson
quotes Hudibras, "A lawless linsey-
woolsey brother Half of one order,
half another." The New Eng, Diet,
traces this word back to the Cath. Aug.
1483 {Old Eng, Lot, Diet,), and the
Dial, Diet, says it is alive in Hereford
near the Welsh border. Also in Cumber-
land in the form of " Listy-wunsty.**

14, 15. strangers', . . entertainment'^
foreign troops in the enemy's pay
(Johnson). Cf. note on III. vi. 12,

19. know straight^ Hanmer reads


"shew straight," and Collier "Go
straight to." The expression "know
straight" seems here to mean "know
our mind, our purpose." Malone
would explain it, "Our seeming to
know what we speak one to another
is to make him to know our purpose
immediately; to discover our design
to him."

20. ehoughi language} jackdaws'

27. plausive} plausible. Shake-
speare uses both words indiscriminately.

28. smoke me] See note above, in,
vi. 106.

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and disgraces have of late knocked too often at
my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy; 30
but my heart hath the fear o( Mars before it and
of his creatures, not daring the reports of my

Second Lord. This is the first truth that e'er thine own

tongue was guilty of. 35

Par, What the devil should move me to undertake
the recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of
the impossibility, and knowing I had no such
purpose ? I must give myself some hurts, and
say I got them in exploit Yet slight ones will 40
not carry it : they will say, " Came you off with
so little ? " and great ones I dare not give. Where-
fore, what 's the instance ? Tongue, I must put
you into a butter-woman's mouth, and buy myself
another of Bajazefs mule, if you prattle me into 45
these perils.

Second Lord. Is it possible he should know what he
is, and be that he is ?

Par. I would the cutting of my garments would serve

the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword. 50

Second Lord. We cannot afford you so.

40. in exploit in the exploit'^, J. Craip^ (conj.). 45. Bajasefs] BaiautKs
F I ; Ba^'azeths F 2, 3, 4 ; BcUaanCs Addis conj. ; inule\ F I, 2 ; mules F 3, 4 ;
mute Hanmer (Warburton). 48. isi\ F 4 ; w. F I, 2, 3.

43. what*s the instance?'] ParoUes get rid of his tongue because it wags

asks himself, what proof can he ^s- too much, and to buy a less talkative

sibly give? "What instance gives one. But why^ he should buy from

Lord Warwick for his vow ? " {2 Henry Bajazet's mule is a m)rstery. Hanmer

VI, III. ii. 159) ; ** I have received read " mute," and explained, ** I 'U

a certain instance that Glendower is buy a tongue that never speaks."

dead" {^2 Henry IV, iii. i. 103), etc. 51. afford you so] we cannot afford

45. Bajazefs mule\ ParoUes is medi- it to jou so, we cannot allow you to

tating on the possilulity of having to have it so dieap.

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110 ALL'S WELL [activ.

Par. Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in

Second Lord. Twould not do.

Par. Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped. 5 5
Second Lord. Hardly serve.
Par. Though I swore I leaped from the windpw of

the citadel —
Second Lord. How deep ?

Par. Thirty fathom. 60

Second Lord. Three great oaths would scarce make

that be believed.
Par. I would I had any drum of the enemy's: I

would swear I recovered it
Second Lord, You shall hear one anon. 65

Par. A drum now of the enemy's, — {Alarum within.

Second Lord. Throca movousus^ cargo^ cargOy cargo.
All. Cargo ^ cargo y cargo^ vUlianda par corbo^ cargo.
Par. O ! ransom, ransom ! Do not hide mine eyes.

\They seize and blindfold him.
First Sold. Boskos thromuldo boskos. 70

Par. I know you are the Muskos' regiment ;

And I shall lose my life for want of language.

If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch,

52. baring] paring F 4. 58. citadel—'] Theobald, citadett. Ff. 6a
fathoni] 'Royrtf fadoim Ff. 66. enemy Sy — ] Camb. EdcL, «»«wyj/ Malone,
enemies! Theobald, enemies, Ff. 69. C? . . . eyes] Pope's arrangement;

two lines in Ff; They . . . him] Rowe, omitted Ff. 70. First Soldier]
throughout these scenes described as "Interpreter" in the Ff. 71. Muskos']
Capefl, Muskos Ff.

52. baring] shaving. "Shave the 53. stratagem] the carrying out

head and tie the beard, and say it was of the stratagem. Cf. ill. vi. 66,

the desire of the penitent to be so above.

bared before his death" (Measure for 55. drown] C£ Tempest^ v. i. 57,

Measure^ iv. ii. 189). "1^11 drown my book."

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Italian, or French, let him speak to me :

I will discover that which shall undo 75

The Florentine.

First Sold, Boskos vauvado : I understand thee, and
can speak thy tongue: KerelybontOy Sir, betake
thee to thy faith, for seventeen poniards are at
thy bosom. 80

Par. O!

First Sold. O f pray, pray, pray. Manka revania dulcke.

Second Lord. Oscorbidulchos volivorco.

First Sold. The general is content to spare thee yet ;

And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on 85
To gather from thee : haply thou ma/st inform
Something to save thy life.

Par. O ! let me live.

And all the secrets of our camp I '11 show.
Their force, their purposes ; nay, I '11 speak that
Which you will wonder at.

First Sold. But wilt thou faithfully ? 90

Par. If I do not, damn me.

First Sold. Acordo linta.

Come on ; thou art granted space.

\Exit^ with Parolles guarded.
A short alarum within.

Second Lord. Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother.
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him

Till we do hear from them.

75, 76.] Arranged as in Malone ; one line in Ff.

82. pray^ P^oy\ Used in the same 94. woodcock"] a bird supposed to
connection as '* betake thee to thy have no brains, and often used instead
feith." of "fool"

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112 ALL'S WELL [activ.

Second Sold. Captain, I wilL 95

Second Lord. A' will betray us all unto ourselves :

Inform on that
Second Sold. So I will, sir.

Second Lord. Till then 111 keep him dark and safely
lock'd. [Exeunt

SCENE II.— Florence. A Room in the Widov/s

Enter Bertram and Diana.

Ber. They told me that your name was FontibelL

Dia. No, my good lord, Diana.

Ber. Titled goddess ;

And worth it, with addition ! But, fair soul.
In your fine frame hath love no quality ?
If the quick fire of youth light not your mind, 5

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 stern ;
And now you should be as your mother was
When your sweet self was got 10

Dia. She then was honest

Ber. So should you be.

97. Inform on thail inform ^em that Rowe and Dyce.

Scene ii.

Enter . . .] Enter Bertram and the Maide called Diana Ff. a. Titled
goddess;] TitPd^ goddess Capell. 6. monument:'} monument F i.

97. Inform on that} Dyce says, " It
appjears to me that the context -^cene n.

positively requires **em.'" Xi. ^^^»/</J»eans "would,"

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SC. II.]





My mother did but duty ; such, my lord,

As you owe to your wife.
Ber. No more o' that !

I prithee do not strive against my vows.

I was compell'd to her ; but I love thee i S

By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever

Do thee all rights of service.
Dia. Ay, so you serve us

Till we serve you ; but when you have our roses.

You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,

And mock us with our bareness.
Ber. How have I sworn ! 20

Dia. 'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth.

But the plain single vow that is vow*d true.

What is not holy, that we swear not by.

But take the high'st to witness: then, pray you,
tell me,

If I should swear by Jove's great attributes, 25

I lov'd your dearly, would you believe my oaths,

19. barely] baseh Rowe (ed. 2), merely Lettsom conj. 25.
foues F I, 2 ; Goifs Globe ed. (Camb. Edd. conj.) ; lov^s Grant

'cv^s] F 3, 4 ;
te (Johnson

14. my vows\ Mak>ne quotes
Webster, Vittoria Corombona (1612),
" Henceforth I '11 never lie with thee,
My vow is fix*d"; implying that the
present passage is to be understood in
the same sense.

21. etc.] This passage has been held
to be corrupt by many editors. In
line 25 Johnson said he could hardly
distinguish whether the word in F i
was Jffoe or Lave, /cve^ the more
difficult version of the two, has been
accepted, and I think there can be no


doubt that that is the word printed in
the 1623 Folio. But it is possible that
Shakespeare wrote hvei possible also
that he wrote God^ and that, as Hall-
well conjectured, God was erased on
account of the law against profenity.
The whole passage lends itself to
emendation. Staunton prmx>sed to
give Bertram the words, *'Then . . .
fll?" and Johnson, "What . . .
witness." In the Collier MS. the
whole passage from "What is . . .
against him " is erased.

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[act IV.

When I did love you ill ? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work againsthim : therefore your oaths
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd ; 30

At least in my opinion.

Ber. Change it, change it

Be not so holy-cruel : love is holy ;
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
That you do charge men with. Stand no more off.
But give thyself unto my sick desires, 35

Who then recovers : say thou art mine, and ever
My love as it begins shall so persever.

Dia. [I see that men make rope's in such a scarre

That we '11 forsake ourselves.] Give me that ring.

Ber. I '11 lend it thee, my dear ; but have no power 40
To give it from me.

Di(L Will you not, my lord ?

28. To swear . . . U/ve\ To swear (by Him) that I will work against him
Whom I protest to love (Addis conj.); by him} to him Rann Q^ohnson conj.) ;
whom] when Singer 5 protest] attest Johnson conj., profess Hams conj., Becket
proposes ''and to protest I love Whom I will work against'' 29. That I will
, , .] While that I did Herr conj., Hudson conj. omitted "him." 30. but]
best Williams conj., yet Herr conj. 32. holy-cruel] Theobald, holy cruell Ff.
38, 39. [Isee . . . ourselves] make ropis in such a scarre F I, 2 ; imike ropes in
such a scarre F 3 ; make ropes in such a scar F 4. More thana score of readings
are to be found in various editions (Cambridge ed. gives twenty-five).

27. holding] consistency (Johnson
and Schmidt). Cf. " Thou sayest well,
and it holds weU too" (i Henry IV. i.
ii. 34).

28. h him] to him.

32. holy-cruel] This is a strange
expression, and possibly corrupt. Per-
haps we should read "wholly crueL"
The play on the words gives some sup-
port to Uie conjecture.

16. Who then recovers] "Who"
re^rs either to Bertram's self (in
which case this b another instance

of phrase logically but not grammatically
correct), or else to the desires, which



involves two unusual constructions-

" who " after " desires " and a singular


38.] No emendation has yet been
proposed which is quite satisfactory
and clears away all the difficulties of
a passage which is, without doubt,
corrupt. It is generally supposed that
the phrase must convey some excuse
for askin|; for the ring, for the sadden
change of tactics.

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sen.] THAT ENDS WELL 115

Ber. It IS an honour longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose.

Dia. Mine honour 's such a ring : 45

My chastity 's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors.
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part 50

Against your vain assault

Ber Here, take my ring :

My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
And I '11 be bid by thee.

Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window :
I '11 order take my mother shall not hear. 5 5

Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me.
My reasons are most strong ; and you shall know them
When back again this ring shall be deliver'd : 60

And on your finger in the night I '11 put
Another ring, that what in time proceeds
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu, till then ; then, fail not. You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done. 65

Ber. A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.

Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven and me !

43. longingl belonging, as often in 56. band of trutK\QX, "Thy oath and
Shakespeare. band ** ( = bond) {Richard II. i. L 2).

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You may so in the end

My mother told me just how he would woo,

As if she sat in 's heart ; she says all men 70

Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me

When his wife 's dead ; therefore I '11 lie with him

When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,

Marry that will, I live and die a maid :

Only in this disguise I think 't no sin 75

To cozen him that would unjustly win. [Exit.

SCENE III. — TAe Florentine Camp,

Enter the two French Lords^ and some two or three Soldiers.

First Lord. You have not given him his mother's

Second Lord. I have delivered it an hour since : there

71. haoCl Ff, hai Dyce, hath Capell. 74* -0 F i, 2 ; 7*^ F 3, 4.

Scene iii,
2. letterf] Rowe, letter Ff.

^l. he had] he would have.

73. dratd] Of doubtful meaning.
Steevens quotes Greene, Never too
Late (1616), "Dian rose with all her
maids Blushing thus at love his braids."
Also Thomas Drant's translation of
Horace's Epistles y "Professing thee
a friend, to plaie the ribbalde at a
brade." In the Romaunt of the Rosey
V. 1336, "braid seems to mean forth-
with or at a jerk, answering the French
tantdt, Cf. "The Ancient Song of
Lytyl Thanke" (MS. Cotton, Titus
AndronicuSy xxvi.), "But in come
ffrankelyn at a braid "= on a sudden.
Boswell thinks Mr. Boaden's suggestion
may be correct, namely, that it means
fickle, apt to start away suddenly from

engagements. " To braid " for to start
is foimd in Lord Buckhurst and man^
old writers. Richardson makes it
mean violent. Webster derives it from
"to braid," knit, hence knit a net,
draw into a net, deceive. Schmidt
and Johnson also give deceitftil. In
Pericles y I. i. 93, we find, "'twould
braid yourself too near for me to tell
it," in which case, if we allow the
analogy, the phrase means "since
Frenchmen are so blamed, accused."
The New Eng, Diet, throws no new
light on this word "of doubtful mean-
ing and origin," which proves how
difficult it is to obtain new illustrations
of its use.

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sc. in.]



is something in 't that stings his nature; for on the
reading it he changed almost into another man. 5

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

Second Lord. Especially he hath incurred the ever-
lasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned
his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you i o
a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly within you.

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

Second Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman

here in Florence, of a most chaste renown ; and this 1 5
night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour :
he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks
himself made in the unchaste composition.

First Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion ! as we are

ourselves, what things are we. 20

19. delay] allay Hanmer ; rebellion I as] rebellion^ ax F 3, 4 ; rebellion as'F ly 2.

5. another man] Karl Elze under-
stands this! to mean moral change.
More probably it means merely grow-
ing pcde. Mr. W. J. Craig quotes,
< ' At the reading of the letter he looked
like a man of another world " {Jew of
Malta, IV. iv. 67).

6. w^r^Ay] deserved. "This super-
ficial tale is but a pre£Eu:e of her worthy
praise" {1 Henry VI, V. v. ii). Also,
"Hate turns one or both to worthy
danger and deserved death" {Richard
II. V. i. 68).

i6. /^j^j] satiates. Cf. "The wild
dog shall flesh his tooth on every
innocent" {2 Henry IV. I v. v. 133).
Also, Jonson's Every Man in his
Humour (11. ii.), ^^ Brainworm. I am
fleshed now I have sped so well."

17. f^M7ff«m^»/a/]preservin^memory.
Cf. the use of " monument " in Pope's
letter to Swift, "Collect the best

monuments of our friends, their own
images in their own writings."

15. made . . .] a made man=a
fortunate man. Cf. OthellOy i. ii. 51,
"he*s made for ever." (Also Mid-
summer Nighfs Dreamy IV. ii. 18.)

18. comfosition] pact. Cf. "The
twelfth 01 August, Shoonehouen was
by composition yielded to the enemie
( 1575). In August the Prince of Conde
with his armie . . . tooke Ruermonde
and Lennen by composition " {A Brief e
Cronicle . . , of the Low Countries,
Germanie, Italy, etc, 1598). Cf. i. i.
209, above.

19. delay] Hanmer would read
" allay *' : surely the original is correct.
"May God make us slow to rebeL"
Dr. Hudson quotes Spenser, The Faerie
Queene, ii. 6, 40, " The hasty heat of
his avowd revenge delayd." And in
his 30th Sonnet, " That my exceeding

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[act IV.

Second Lord. Merely 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 him- 25

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

Second Lord. Not till after midnight, for he is 30
dieted to his hour.

First Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly
have him see his company anatomized, that he

21. M»] is Keightley conj. 23. /i7/] ere Hanmer, when Mason conj., while
W. J. Craig conj. 25.] Punctuation by Theobald ; nobility in . . . stream, Ff.
27. meant damnable"] Ff; Hanmer reads ''most damnable," an emendation

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