All's Well That Ends Well


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Countess and the Clown


COUNTESS

It hath happened all as I would have had it,

save that he comes not along with her.


CLOWN

By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very

melancholy man.


COUNTESS

By what observance, I pray you?
observance (n.) 3 powers of observation


CLOWN

Why, he will look upon his boot and sing, mend

the ruff and sing, ask questions and sing, pick his teeth
ruff (n.) ruffle, flap of a top-boot See Topics: Clothing

and sing. I knew a man that had this trick of melancholy
trick (n.) 1 habit, characteristic, typical behaviour

hold a goodly manor for a song.
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine
hold (v.) 13 wager, offer as a bet
manor (n.) country house, mansion, estate


COUNTESS

Let me see what he writes, and when he

means to come.

She opens the letter


CLOWN

I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court. Our

old lings and our Isbels o'th' country are nothing like
ling, old [person resembling] salted cod

your old ling and your Isbels o'th' court. The brains of

my Cupid's knocked out, and I begin to love as an old

man loves money, with no stomach.
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]


COUNTESS

What have we here?


CLOWN

E'en that you have there.

Exit


COUNTESS

(reading the letter aloud)

I have sent you a

daughter-in-law; she hath recovered the King and undone
recover (v.) 1 revive, restore to health
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

me. I have wedded her, not bedded her, and sworn to make

the ‘ not ’ eternal. You shall hear I am run away; know it

before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the

world I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.

Your unfortunate son,

Bertram.

This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,

To fly the favours of so good a King,

To pluck his indignation on thy head

By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous
misprizing (n.) despising, slighting, holding in contempt

For the contempt of empire.
empire (n.) emperor

Enter Clown
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


CLOWN

O madam, yonder is heavy news within, between

two soldiers and my young lady.


COUNTESS

What is the matter?


CLOWN

Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some

comfort: your son will not be killed so soon as I thought

he would.


COUNTESS

Why should he be killed?


CLOWN

So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he

does. The danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of
stand to it (v.) 2 fight stoutly, get down to business

men, though it be the getting of children. Here they

come will tell you more. For my part, I only hear your

son was run away.

Exit

Enter Helena and the two French Lords


FIRST LORD

Save you, good madam.


HELENA

Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.


SECOND LORD

Do not say so.


COUNTESS

Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen –

I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief

That the first face of neither on the start
start, on the without warning, with sudden appearance

Can woman me unto't. Where is my son, I pray you?
woman (v.) 1 make behave like a woman, weep


SECOND LORD

Madam, 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,
dispatch, despatch (n.) 1 settlement of business, sorting out of affairs

Thither we bend again.
bend (v.) 2 turn, direct one's steps, proceed


HELENA

Look on his letter, madam: here's my passport.
passport (n.) 2 licence given to an inmate of an institution to travel abroad as a beggar

(She reads the letter aloud)

When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which never

shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body

that I am father to, then call me husband; but in such a

‘ then ’ I write a ‘ never.’

This is a dreadful sentence.


COUNTESS

Brought you this letter, gentlemen?


FIRST LORD

Ay, madam, and for the contents' sake are

sorry for our pains.


COUNTESS

I prithee, lady, have a better cheer.
cheer (n.) 5 mood, disposition See Topics: Exclamations

If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine
engross (v.) 2 collect up, appropriate, monopolize

Thou robbest me of a moiety. He was my son,
moiety (n.) 1 share, portion, part

But I do wash his name out of my blood

And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
all (adv.) 2 alone, only, solely


SECOND LORD

Ay, madam.


COUNTESS

                         And to be a soldier?


SECOND LORD

Such is his noble purpose; and, believe't,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

The Duke will lay upon him all the honour

That good convenience claims.
convenience (n.) 2 fitness, appropriateness, propriety


COUNTESS

                         Return you thither?


FIRST LORD

Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.


HELENA

(reading)

Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.

'Tis bitter.


COUNTESS

                         Find you that there?


HELENA

                                                         Ay, madam.


FIRST LORD

'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply,
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

which his heart was not consenting to.


COUNTESS

Nothing 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
rude (adj.) 1 violent, harsh, unkind

And call her, hourly, mistress. Who was with him?


FIRST LORD

A servant only, and a gentleman which I

have sometime known.


COUNTESS

Parolles, was it not?


FIRST LORD

Ay, my good lady, he.


COUNTESS

A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
tainted (adj.) 2 corrupted, dishonourable, depraved

My son corrupts a well-derived nature

With his inducement.
inducement (n.) 2 temptation, bad influence, persuasiveness


FIRST LORD

                         Indeed, good lady,

The fellow has a deal of that too much

Which holds him much to have.
hold (v.) 11 avail, profit, benefit


COUNTESS

                         Y'are welcome, gentlemen.

I will entreat you, when you see my son,

To tell him that his sword can never win

The honour that he loses. More I'll entreat you

Written to bear along.


SECOND LORD

                         We serve you, madam,

In that and all your worthiest affairs.


COUNTESS

Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 1 courteous service, polite behaviour, good manners

Will you draw near?

Exeunt the Countess and the Lords


HELENA

‘ Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.’

Nothing in France until he has no wife!

Thou shalt have none, Rossillion, none in France,

Then hast thou all again. Poor lord, is't I

That chase thee from thy country, and expose

Those tender limbs of thine to the event
event (n.) outcome, issue, consequence

Of the none-sparing war? And is it I

That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
sportive (adj.) 2 light-hearted, full of amusement

Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
mark (n.) 1 target, goal, aim

Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,

That ride upon the violent speed of fire,

Fly with false aim, move the still-piecing air
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
still-piecing (adj.) always reconstituting itself

That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord.

Whoever shoots at him, I set him there.

Whoever charges on his forward breast,
forward (adj.) 6 in the front line, in forward position

I am the caitiff that do hold him to't;
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature

And though I kill him not, I am the cause

His death was so effected. Better 'twere

I met the ravin lion when he roared
ravin (adj.) ravenous, starving, devouring

With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere

That all the miseries which nature owes

Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rossillion,

Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,

As oft it loses all. I will be gone;
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

My being here it is that holds thee hence.

Shall I stay here to do't? No, no, although

The air of paradise did fan the house

And angels officed all. I will be gone,
office (v.) 2 carry out the work for, act as servants to

That pitiful rumour may report my flight
pitiful (adj.) compassionate, merciful, tender

To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!
consolate (v.) console, comfort, cheer

For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.

Exit

 
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