All's Well That Ends Well

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter the King with diuers yong Lords, taking leaue
for the Florentine warre: Count, Rosse, and Parrolles.
Florish Cornets.

King.
Farewell yong Lords, these warlike principles
Doe not throw from you, and you my Lords farewell:
Share the aduice betwixt you, if both gaine, all
The guift doth stretch it selfe as 'tis receiu'd,
And is enough for both.

Lord. G.
'Tis our hope sir,
After well entred souldiers, to returne
And finde your grace in health.

King.
No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Will not confesse he owes the mallady
That doth my life besiege: farwell yong Lords,
Whether I liue or die, be you the sonnes
Of worthy French men: let higher Italy
(Those bated that inherit but the fall
Of the last Monarchy) see that you come
Not to wooe honour, but to wed it, when
The brauest questant shrinkes: finde what you seeke,
That fame may cry you loud: I say farewell.

L. G.
Health at your bidding serue your Maiesty.

King.
Those girles of Italy, take heed of them,
They say our French, lacke language to deny
If they demand: beware of being Captiues
Before you serue.

Bo.
Our hearts receiue your warnings.

King.
Farewell, come hether to me.

1. Lo. G,
Oh my sweet Lord yt you wil stay behind vs.

Parr.
'Tis not his fault the spark.

2. Lo. E.
Oh 'tis braue warres.

Parr.
Most admirable, I haue seene those warres.

Rossill.
I am commanded here, and kept a coyle with,
Too young, and the next yeere, and 'tis too early.

Parr.
And thy minde stand too't boy, / Steale away brauely.

Rossill.
I shal stay here the for-horse to a smocke,
Creeking my shooes on the plaine Masonry,
Till honour be bought vp, and no sword worne
But one to dance with: by heauen, Ile steale away.

1. Lo. G.
There's honour in the theft.

Parr.
Commit it Count.

2. Lo. E.
I am your accessary, and so farewell.

Ros.
I grow to you, & our parting is a tortur'd
body.

1. Lo. G.
Farewell Captaine.

2. Lo. E.
Sweet Mounsier Parolles.

Parr.
Noble Heroes; my sword and yours are kinne,
good sparkes and lustrous, a word good mettals. You
shall finde in the Regiment of the Spinij, one Captaine
Spurio his sicatrice, with an Embleme of warre heere on his
sinister cheeke; it was this very sword entrench'd it: say
to him I liue, and obserue his reports for me.

Lo. G.
We shall noble Captaine.

Parr.
Mars doate on you for his nouices,
what will ye doe?

Ross.
Stay the King.

Parr.
Vse a more spacious ceremonie to the Noble
Lords, you haue restrain'd your selfe within the List of too
cold an adieu: be more expressiue to them; for they
weare themselues in the cap of the time, there do muster
true gate; eat, speake, and moue vnder the influence of
the most receiu'd starre, and though the deuill leade the
measure, such are to be followed: after them, and take a
more dilated farewell.

Ros.
And I will doe so.

Parr.
Worthy fellowes, and like to prooue most sinewie
sword-men.
Exeunt.
Enter Lafew.

L. Laf.
Pardon my Lord for mee and for my tidings.

King.
Ile see thee to stand vp.

L. Laf.
Then heres a man stands that has brought his pardon,
I would you had kneel'd my Lord to aske me mercy,
And that at my bidding you could so stand vp.

King.
I would I had, so I had broke thy pate
And askt thee mercy for't.

Laf.
Goodfaith a-crosse,
but my good Lord 'tis thus, / Will you be cur'd
of your infirmitie?

King.
No.

Laf.
O will you eat
no grapes my royall foxe? / Yes but you will,
my noble grapes, and if / My royall foxe
could reach them: I haue seen a medicine
That's able to breath life into a stone,
Quicken a rocke, and make you dance Canari
With sprightly fire and motion, whose simple touch
Is powerfull to arayse King Pippen, nay
To giue great Charlemaine a pen in's hand
And write to her a loue-line.

King.
What her is this?

Laf.
Why doctor she: my Lord, there's one arriu'd,
If you will see her: now by my faith and honour,
If seriously I may conuay my thoughts
In this my light deliuerance, I haue spoke
With one, that in her sexe, her yeeres, profession,
Wisedome and constancy, hath amaz'd mee more
Then I dare blame my weakenesse: will you see her?
For that is her demand, and know her businesse?
That done, laugh well at me.

King.
Now good Lafew,
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wondring how thou tookst it.

Laf.
Nay, Ile fit you,
And not be all day neither.

King.
Thus he his speciall nothing euer prologues.

Laf.
Nay, come your waies.
Enter Hellen.

King.
This haste hath wings indeed.

Laf.
Nay, come your waies,
This is his Maiestie, say your minde to him,
A Traitor you doe looke like, but such traitors
His Maiesty seldome feares, I am Cresseds Vncle,
That dare leaue two together, far you well.
Exit.

King
Now faire one, do's your busines follow vs?

Hel.
I my good Lord,
Gerard de Narbon was my father,
In what he did professe, well found.

King.
I knew him.

Hel.
The rather will I spare my praises towards him,
Knowing him is enough: on's bed of death,
Many receits he gaue me, chieflie one,
Which as the dearest issue of his practice
And of his olde experience, th'onlie darling,
He bad me store vp, as a triple eye,
Safer then mine owne two: more deare I haue so,
And hearing your high Maiestie is toucht
With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
Of my deare fathers gift, stands cheefe in power,
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humblenesse.

King.
We thanke you maiden,
But may not be so credulous of cure,
When our most learned Doctors leaue vs, and
The congregated Colledge haue concluded,
That labouring Art can neuer ransome nature
From her inaydible estate: I say we must not
So staine our iudgement, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malladie
To empericks, or to disseuer so
Our great selfe and our credit, to esteeme
A sencelesse helpe, when helpe past sence we deeme.

Hell.
My dutie then shall pay me for my paines:
I will no more enforce mine office on you,
Humbly intreating from your royall thoughts,
A modest one to beare me backe againe.

King.
I cannot giue thee lesse to be cal'd gratefull:
Thou thoughtst to helpe me, and such thankes I giue,
As one neere death to those that wish him liue:
But what at full I know, thou knowst no part,
I knowing all my perill, thou no Art.

Hell.
What I can doe, can doe no hurt to try,
Since you set vp your rest 'gainst remedie:
He that of greatest workes is finisher,
Oft does them by the weakest minister:
So holy Writ, in babes hath iudgement showne,
When Iudges haue bin babes; great flouds haue flowne
From simple sources: and great Seas haue dried
When Miracles haue by the great'st beene denied.
Oft expectation failes, and most oft there
Where most it promises: and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despaire most shifts.

King.
I must not heare thee, fare thee wel kind maide,
Thy paines not vs'd, must by thy selfe be paid,
Proffers not tooke, reape thanks for their reward.

Hel.
Inspired Merit so by breath is bard,
It is not so with him that all things knowes
As 'tis with vs, that square our guesse by showes:
But most it is presumption in vs, when
The help of heauen we count the act of men.
Deare sir, to my endeauors giue consent,
Of heauen, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an Impostrue, that proclaime
My selfe against the leuill of mine aime,
But know I thinke, and thinke I know most sure,
My Art is not past power, nor you past cure.

King.
Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?

Hel.
The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the sunne shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnall ring,
Ere twice in murke and occidentall dampe
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd her sleepy Lampe:
Or foure and twenty times the Pylots glasse
Hath told the theeuish minutes, how they passe:
What is infirme, from your sound parts shall flie,
Health shall liue free, and sickenesse freely dye.

King.
Vpon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'st thou venter?

Hell.
Taxe of impudence,
A strumpets boldnesse, a divulged shame
Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maidens name
Seard otherwise, ne worse of worst extended
With vildest torture, let my life be ended.

Kin.
Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
His powerfull sound, within an organ weake:
And what impossibility would slay
In common sence, sence saues another way:
Thy life is deere, for all that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate:
Youth, beauty, wisedome, courage, all
That happines and prime, can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate,
Sweet practiser, thy Physicke I will try,
That ministers thine owne death if I die.

Hel.
If I breake time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, vnpittied let me die,
And well deseru'd: not helping, death's my fee,
But if I helpe, what doe you promise me.

Kin.
Make thy demand.

Hel.
But will you make it euen?

Kin.
I by my Scepter, and my hopes of helpe.

Hel.
Then shalt thou giue me with thy kingly hand
What husband in thy power I will command:
Exempted be from me the arrogance
To choose from forth the royall bloud of France,
My low and humble name to propagate
With any branch or image of thy state:
But such a one thy vassall, whom I know
Is free for me to aske, thee to bestow.

Kin
Heere is my hand, the premises obseru'd,
Thy will by my performance shall be seru'd:
So make the choice of thy owne time, for I
Thy resolv'd Patient, on thee still relye:
More should I question thee, and more I must,
Though more to know, could not be more to trust:
From whence thou cam'st, how tended on, but rest
Vnquestion'd welcome, and vndoubted blest.
Giue me some helpe heere hoa, if thou proceed,
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
Florish. Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Countesse and Clowne.

Lady.
Come on sir, I shall now put you to the
height of your breeding.

Clown.
I will shew my selfe highly fed, and lowly taught, I
know my businesse is but to the Court.

Lady.
To the Court, why what place make you
speciall, when you put off that with such contempt, but
to the Court?

Clo.
Truly Madam, if God haue lent a man any
manners, hee may easilie put it off at Court: hee that cannot
make a legge, put off's cap, kisse his hand, and say nothing,
has neither legge, hands, lippe, nor cap; and indeed such a
fellow, to say precisely, were not for the Court, but for
me, I haue an answere will serue all men.

Lady.
Marry that's a bountifull answere that fits all
questions.

Clo.
It is like a Barbers chaire that fits all buttockes, the pin
buttocke, the quatch-buttocke, the brawn buttocke, or
any buttocke.

Lady.
Will your answere serue fit to all questions?

Clo.
As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an Atturney,
as your French Crowne for your taffety punke, as Tibs
rush for Toms fore-finger, as a pancake for Shroue-
tuesday, a Morris for May-day, as the naile to his hole,
the Cuckold to his horne, as a scolding queane to a
wrangling knaue, as the Nuns lip to the Friers mouth,
nay as the pudding to his skin.

Lady.
Haue you, I say, an answere of such fitnesse for
all questions?

Clo.
From below your Duke, to beneath your Constable,
it will fit any question.

Lady.
It must be an answere of most monstrous size,
that must fit all demands.

Clo.
But a triflle neither in good faith, if the learned
should speake truth of it: heere it is, and all that belongs
to't. Aske mee if I am a Courtier, it shall doe you no harme
to learne.

Lady
To be young againe if we could: I will bee a
foole in question, hoping to bee the wiser by your answer.
I pray you sir, are you a Courtier?

Clo.
O Lord sir theres a simple putting off: more,
more, a hundred of them.

La.
Sir I am a poore freind of yours, that loues you.

Clo.
O Lord sir, thicke, thicke, spare not me.

La.
I thinke sir, you can eate none of this homely
meate.

Clo.
O Lord sir; nay put me too't, I warrant you.

La.
You were lately whipt sir as I thinke.

Clo.
O Lord sir, spare not me.

La.
Doe you crie O Lord sir at your whipping,
and spare not me? Indeed your O Lord sir, is very
sequent to your whipping: you would answere very well
to a whipping if you were but bound too't.

Clo.
I nere had worse lucke in my life in my O Lord
sir: I see things may serue long, but not serue euer.

La.
I play the noble huswife with the time,
to entertaine it so merrily with a foole.

Clo.
O Lord sir, why there't serues well agen.

La.
And end sir to your businesse: giue Hellen this,
And vrge her to a present answer backe,
Commend me to my kinsmen, and my sonne,
This is not much.

Clo.
Not much commendation to them.

La.
Not much imployement for you, you vnderstand
me.

Clo.
Most fruitfully, I am there, before my legges.

La.
Hast you agen.
Exeunt
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Count, Lafew, and Parolles.

Ol. Laf.
They say miracles are past, and we haue our
Philosophicall persons, to make moderne and familiar
things supernaturall and causelesse. Hence is it, that
we make trifles of terrours, ensconcing our selues into
seeming knowledge, when we should submit our selues
to an vnknowne feare.

Par.
Why 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that
hath shot out in our latter times.

Ros.
And so 'tis.

Ol. Laf.
To be relinquisht of the Artists.

Par
So I say both of Galen and Paracelsus.

Ol. Laf.
Of all the learned and authenticke fellowes.

Par.
Right so I say.

Ol. Laf.
That gaue him out incureable.

Par.
Why there 'tis, so say I too.

Ol. Laf.
Not to be help'd.

Par.
Right, as 'twere a man assur'd of a------

Ol. Laf.
Vncertaine life, and sure death.

Par.
Iust, you say well: so would I haue said.

Ol. Laf.
I may truly say, it is a noueltie to the world.

Par.
It is indeede if you will haue it in shewing, you
shall reade it in what do ye call there.

Ol. Laf.
A shewing of a heauenly effect in an earthly Actor.

Par.
That's it, I would haue said, the verie same.

Ol. Laf.
Why your Dolphin is not lustier: fore mee I speake
in respect---

Par.
Nay 'tis strange, 'tis very straunge, that is the
breefe and the tedious of it, and he's of a most facinerious
spirit, that will not acknowledge it to be the---

Ol.Laf.
Very hand of heauen.

Par.
I, so I say.

Ol.Laf.
In a most weake---

Par.
And debile minister great power, great
trancendence, which should indeede giue vs a further
vse to be made, then alone the recou'ry of the king, as
to bee

Old Laf.
Generally thankfull.
Enter King, Hellen, and attendants.

Par.
I would haue said it, you say well: heere comes
the King.

Ol. Laf.
Lustique, as the Dutchman saies: Ile like a maide
the Better whil'st I haue a tooth in my head: why he's
able to leade her a Carranto.

Par
Mor du vinager, is not this Helen?

Ol. Laf.
Fore God I thinke so.

King.
Goe call before mee all the Lords in Court,
Sit my preseruer by thy patients side,
And with this healthfull hand whose banisht sence
Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receyue
The confirmation of my promis'd guift,
Which but attends thy naming.
Enter 3 or 4 Lords.
Faire Maide send forth thine eye, this youthfull parcell
Of Noble Batchellors, stand at my bestowing,
Ore whom both Soueraigne power, and fathers voice
I haue to vse; thy franke election make,
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

Hel.
To each of you, one faire and vertuous Mistris;
Fall when loue please, marry to each but one.

Old Laf.
I'de giue bay curtall, and his furniture
My mouth no more were broken then these boyes,
And writ as little beard.

King.
Peruse them well:
Not one of those, but had a Noble father.
She addresses her to a Lord.

Hel.
Gentlemen,
heauen hath through me, restor'd the king to health.

All.
We vnderstand it, and thanke heauen for you.

Hel.
I am a simple Maide, and therein wealthiest
That I protest, I simply am a Maide:
Please it your Maiestie, I haue done already:
The blushes in my cheekes thus whisper mee,
We blush that thou shouldst choose, but be refused;
Let the white death sit on thy cheeke for euer,
Wee'l nere come there againe.

King.
Make choise and see,
Who shuns thy loue, shuns all his loue in mee.

Hel.
Now Dian from thy Altar do I fly,
And to imperiall loue, that God most high
Do my sighes streame: Sir, wil you heare my suite?

1. Lo.
And grant it.

Hel.
Thankes sir, all the rest is mute.

Ol. Laf.
I had rather be in this choise, then throw / Ames-ace
for my life.

Hel.
The honor sir that flames in your faire eyes,
Before I speake too threatningly replies:
Loue make your fortunes twentie times aboue
Her that so wishes, and her humble loue.

2. Lo.
No better if you please.

Hel.
My wish receiue,
Which great loue grant, and so I take my leaue.

Ol. Laf.
Do all they denie her? And they were sons of mine,
I'de haue them whip'd, or I would send them to
'th Turke to make Eunuches of.

Hel.
Be not afraid that I your hand should take,
Ile neuer do you wrong for your owne sake:
Blessing vpon your vowes, and in your bed
Finde fairer fortune, if you euer wed.

Old Laf.
These boyes are boyes of Ice, they'le none haue heere:
sure they are bastards to the English, the French nere
got em.

La.
You are too young, too happie, and too good
To make your selfe a sonne out of my blood.

4.Lord.
Faire one, I thinke not so.

Ol. Lord.
There's one grape yet, I am sure thy father drunke
wine. But if thou be'st not an asse, I am a youth of fourteene:
I haue knowne thee already.

Hel.
I dare not say I take you, but I giue
Me and my seruice, euer whilst I liue
Into your guiding power: This is the man.

King
Why then young Bertram take her shee's thy wife.

Ber
My wife my Leige? I shal beseech your highnes
In such a busines, giue me leaue to vse
The helpe of mine owne eies.

King
Know'st thou not Bertram what shee ha's
done for mee?

Ber
Yes my good Lord,
but neuer hope to know why I should marrie her.

King
Thou know'st shee ha's rais'd me from my sickly bed.

Ber.
But followes it my Lord, to bring me downe
Must answer for your raising? I knowe her well:
Shee had her breeding at my fathers charge:
A poore Physitians daughter my wife? Disdaine
Rather corrupt me euer.

King.
Tis onely title thou disdainst in her, the which
I can build vp: strange is it that our bloods
Of colour, waight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction: yet stands off
In differences so mightie. If she bee
All that is vertuous (saue what thou dislik'st)
A poore Phisitians daughter, thou dislik'st
Of vertue for the name: but doe not so:
From lowest place, whence vertuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by th' doers deede.
Where great additions swell's, and vertue none,
It is a dropsied honour. Good alone,
Is good without a name? Vilenesse is so:
The propertie by what is is, should go,
Not by the title. Shee is young, wise, faire,
In these, to Nature shee's immediate heire:
And these breed honour: that is honours scorne,
Which challenges it selfe as honours borne,
And is not like the sire: Honours thriue,
When rather from our acts we them deriue
Then our fore-goers: the meere words, a slaue
Debosh'd on euerie tombe, on euerie graue:
A lying Trophee, and as oft is dumbe,
Where dust, and damn'd obliuion is the Tombe.
Of honour'd bones indeed, what should be saide?
If thou canst like this creature, as a maide,
I can create the rest: Vertue, and shee
Is her owne dower: Honour and wealth, from mee.

Ber.
I cannot loue her, nor will striue to doo't.

King.
Thou wrong'st thy selfe, if thou shold'st striue to choose.

Hel.
That you are well restor'd my Lord, I'me glad:
Let the rest go.

King.
My Honor's at the stake, which to defeate
I must produce my power. Heere, take her hand,
Proud scornfull boy, vnworthie this good gift,
That dost in vile misprision shackle vp
My loue, and her desert: that canst not dreame,
We poizing vs in her defectiue scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beame: That wilt not know,
It is in Vs to plant thine Honour, where
We please to haue it grow. Checke thy contempt:
Obey Our will, which trauailes in thy good:
Beleeue not thy disdaine, but presentlie
Do thine owne fortunes that obedient right
Which both thy dutie owes, and Our power claimes,
Or I will throw thee from my care for euer
Into the staggers, and the carelesse lapse
Of youth and ignorance: both my reuenge and hate
Loosing vpon thee, in the name of iustice,
Without all termes of pittie. Speake, thine answer.

Ber.
Pardon my gracious Lord: for I submit
My fancie to your eies, when I consider
What great creation, and what dole of honour
Flies where you bid it: I finde that she which late
Was in my Nobler thoughts, most base: is now
The praised of the King, who so ennobled,
Is as 'twere borne so.

King.
Take her by the hand,
And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize: If not to thy estate,
A ballance more repleat.

Ber.
I take her hand.

Kin.
Good fortune, and the fauour of the King
Smile vpon this Contract: whose Ceremonie
Shall seeme expedient on the now borne briefe,
And be perform'd to night: the solemne Feast
Shall more attend vpon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lou'st her,
Thy loue's to me Religious: else, do's erre.
Exeunt
Parolles and Lafew stay behind, commenting of this wedding.

Laf.
Do you heare Monsieur? A word with you.

Par.
Your pleasure sir.

Laf.
Your Lord and Master did well to make his
recantation.

Par.
Recantation? My Lord? my Master?

Laf.
I: Is it not a Language I speake?

Par.
A most harsh one, and not to bee vnderstoode
without bloudie succeeding. My Master?

Laf.
Are you Companion to the Count Rosillion?

Par.
To any Count, to all Counts: to what is man.

Laf.
To what is Counts man: Counts maister is of
another stile.

Par.
You are too old sir: Let it satisfie you, you are
too old.

Laf.
I must tell thee sirrah, I write Man: to which
title age cannot bring thee.

Par.
What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Laf.
I did thinke thee for two ordinaries: to bee a prettie
wise fellow, thou didst make tollerable vent of thy
trauell, it might passe: yet the scarffes and the bannerets
about thee, did manifoldlie disswade me from beleeuing
thee a vessell of too great a burthen. I haue now found
thee, when I loose thee againe, I care not: yet art thou
good for nothing but taking vp, and that th'ourt scarce
worth.

Par.
Hadst thou not the priuiledge of Antiquity vpon
thee.

Laf.
Do not plundge thy selfe to farre in anger, least thou
hasten thy triall: which if, Lord haue mercie on thee for
a hen, so my good window of Lettice fare thee well, thy
casement I neede not open, for I look through thee. Giue
me thy hand.

Par.
My Lord, you giue me most egregious
indignity.

Laf.
I with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.

Par.
I haue not my Lord deseru'd it.

Laf.
Yes good faith, eu'ry dramme of it, and I will not
bate thee a scruple.

Par.
Well, I shall be wiser.

Laf.
Eu'n as soone as thou can'st, for thou hast to pull at
a smacke a'th contrarie. If euer thou bee'st bound in thy
skarfe and beaten, thou shall finde what it is to be proud of
thy bondage, I haue a desire to holde my acquaintance
with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the
default, he is a man I know.

Par.
My Lord you do me most insupportable
vexation.

Laf.
I would it were hell paines for thy sake, and my
poore doing eternall: for doing I am past, as I will by
thee, in what motion age will giue me leaue.
Exit.

Par.
Well, thou hast a sonne shall take this disgrace
off me; scuruy, old, filthy, scuruy Lord: Well, I must be
patient, there is no fettering of authority. Ile beate him
(by my life) if I can meete him with any conuenience, and
he were double and double a Lord. Ile haue no more
pittie of his age then I would haue of------ Ile beate him, and if
I could but meet him agen.
Enter Lafew.

Laf.
Sirra, your Lord and masters married, there's
newes for you: you haue a new Mistris.

Par.
I most vnfainedly beseech your Lordshippe to
make some reseruation of your wrongs. He is my good
Lord, whom I serue aboue is my master.

Laf.
Who? God.

Par.
I sir.

Laf.
The deuill it is, that's thy master. Why dooest thou
garter vp thy armes a this fashion? Dost make hose of
thy sleeues? Do other seruants so? Thou wert best set
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine Honor,
if I were but two houres yonger, I'de beate thee:
mee-think'st thou art a generall offence, and euery man shold
beate thee: I thinke thou wast created for men to breath
themselues vpon thee.

Par.
This is hard and vndeserued measure my
Lord.

Laf.
Go too sir, you were beaten in Italy for picking a
kernell out of a Pomgranat, you are a vagabond, and no
true traueller: you are more sawcie with Lordes and
honourable personages, then the Commission of your
birth and vertue giues you Heraldry. You are not worth
another word, else I'de call you knaue. I leaue you.
Exit
Enter Count Rossillion.

Par.
Good, very good, it is so then: good, very
good, let it be conceal'd awhile.

Ros.
Vndone, and forfeited to cares for euer.

Par.
What's the matter sweet-heart?

Rossill.
Although before the solemne Priest I haue sworne,
I will not bed her.

Par.
What? what sweet heart?

Ros.
O my Parrolles they haue married me:
Ile to the Tuscan warres, and neuer bed her.

Par.
France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits,
The tread of a mans foot: too'th warres.

Ros.
There's letters from my mother: What th' import is,
I know not yet.

Par.
I that would be knowne: too'th warrs my boy, too'th warres:
He weares his honor in a boxe vnseene,
That hugges his kickie wickie heare at home,
Spending his manlie marrow in her armes
Which should sustaine the bound and high curuet
Of Marses fierie steed: to other Regions,
France is a stable, wee that dwell in't Iades,
Therefore too'th warre.

Ros.
It shall be so, Ile send her to my house,
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
And wherefore I am fled: Write to the King
That which I durst not speake. His present gift
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
Where noble fellowes strike: Warres is no strife
To the darke house, and the detected wife.

Par.
Will this Caprichio hold in thee, art sure?

Ros.
Go with me to my chamber, and aduice me.
Ile send her straight away: To morrow,
Ile to the warres, she to her single sorrow.

Par.
Why these bals bound, ther's noise in it. Tis hard
A yong man maried, is a man that's mard:
Therefore away, and leaue her brauely: go,
The King ha's done you wrong: but hush 'tis so.
Exit
Original text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Helena and Clowne.

Hel.
My mother greets me kindly, is she well?

Clo.
She is not well, but yet she has her health, she's
very merrie, but yet she is not well: but thankes be giuen
she's very well, and wants nothing i'th world: but yet she
is not well.

Hel.
If she be verie wel, what do's she ayle, that she's
not verie well?

Clo.
Truly she's very well indeed, but for two things

Hel.
What two things?

Clo.
One, that she's not in heauen, whether God send
her quickly: the other, that she's in earth, from whence
God send her quickly.
Enter Parolles.

Par.
Blesse you my fortunate Ladie.

Hel.
I hope sir I haue your good will to haue mine
owne good fortune.

Par.
You had my prayers to leade them on, and to
keepe them on, haue them still. O my knaue, how do's
my old Ladie?

Clo.
So that you had her wrinkles, and I her money, I
would she did as you say.

Par.
Why I say nothing.

Clo.
Marry you are the wiser man: for many a mans
tongue shakes out his masters vndoing: to say nothing,
to do nothing, to know nothing, and to haue nothing, is
to be a great part of your title, which is within a verie
little of nothing.

Par.
Away, th'art a knaue.

Clo.
You should haue said sir before a knaue, th'art
a knaue, that's before me th'art a knaue: this had
beene truth sir.

Par.
Go too, thou art a wittie foole, I haue found thee.

Clo.
Did you finde me in your selfe sir, or were you
taught to finde me? The search sir was profitable, and
much Foole may you find in you, euen to the worlds
pleasure, and the encrease of laughter.

Par.
A good knaue ifaith, and well fed.
Madam, my Lord will go awaie to night,
A verie serrious businesse call's on him:
The great prerogatiue and rite of loue,
Which as your due time claimes, he do's acknowledge,
But puts it off to a compell'd restraint:
Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets
Which they distill now in the curbed time,
To make the comming houre oreflow with ioy,
And pleasure drowne the brim.

Hel.
What's his will else?

Par.
That you will take your instant leaue a'th king,
And make this hast as your owne good proceeding,
Strengthned with what Apologie you thinke
May make it probable neede.

Hel.
What more commands hee?

Par.
That hauing this obtain'd, you presentlie
Attend his further pleasure.

Hel.
In euery thing I waite vpon his will.

Par.
I shall report it so.
Exit Par.

Hell.
I pray you come sirrah.
Exit
Original text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Lafew and Bertram.

Laf.
But I hope your Lordshippe thinkes not him a souldier.

Ber.
Yes my Lord and of verie valiant approofe.

Laf.
You haue it from his owne deliuerance.

Ber.
And by other warranted testimonie.

Laf.
Then my Diall goes not true, I tooke this Larke for a
bunting.

Ber.
I do assure you my Lord he is very great in
knowledge, and accordinglie valiant.

Laf.
I haue then sinn'd against his experience, and
transgrest against his valour, and my state that way is
dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my heart to repent:
Heere he comes, I pray you make vs freinds, I will pursue
the amitie.
Enter Parolles.

Par.
These things shall be done sir.

Laf.
Pray you sir whose his Tailor?

Par.
Sir?

Laf.
O I know him well, I sir, hee sirs a good
workeman, a verie good Tailor.

Ber.
Is shee gone to the king?

Par.
Shee is.

Ber.
Will shee away to night?

Par.
As you'le haue her.

Ber.
I haue writ my letters, casketted my treasure,
Giuen order for our horses, and to night,
When I should take possession of the Bride,
And ere I doe begin.

Laf.
A good Trauailer is something at the latter
end of a dinner, but on that lies three thirds, and vses a
known truth to passe a thousand nothings with, should
bee once hard, and thrice beaten. God saue you
Captaine.

Ber.
Is there any vnkindnes betweene my Lord and
you Monsieur?

Par.
I know not how I haue deserued to run into
my Lords displeasure.

Laf.
You haue made shift to run into't, bootes and spurres
and all: like him that leapt into the Custard, and out of
it you'le runne againe, rather then suffer question for your
residence.

Ber.
It may bee you haue mistaken him my Lord.

Laf.
And shall doe so euer, though I tooke him at's
prayers. Fare you well my Lord, and beleeue this of me,
there can be no kernell in this light Nut: the soule of this
man is his cloathes: Trust him not in matter of heauie
consequence: I haue kept of them tame, & know their
natures. Farewell Monsieur, I haue spoken better of
you, then you haue or will to deserue at my hand, but we
must do good against euill.

Par.
An idle Lord, I sweare.

Ber.
I thinke so.

Par.
Why do you not know him?

Ber.
Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
Giues him a worthy passe. Heere comes my clog.
Enter Helena,

Hel.
I haue sir as I was commanded from you
Spoke with the King, and haue procur'd his leaue
For present parting, onely he desires
Some priuate speech with you.

Ber.
I shall obey his will.
You must not meruaile Helen at my course,
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration, and required office
On my particular. Prepar'd I was not
For such a businesse, therefore am I found
So much vnsetled: This driues me to intreate you,
That presently you take your way for home,
And rather muse then aske why I intreate you,
For my respects are better then they seeme,
And my appointments haue in them a neede
Greater then shewes it selfe at the first view,
To you that know them not. This to my mother,
'Twill be two daies ere I shall see you, so
I leaue you to your wisedome.

Hel.
Sir, I can nothing say,
But that I am your most obedient seruant.

Ber.
Come, come, no more of that.

Hel.
And euer shall
With true obseruance seeke to eeke out that
Wherein toward me my homely starres haue faild
To equall my great fortune.

Ber.
Let that goe:
my hast is verie great. Farwell: Hie home.

Hel.
Pray sir your pardon.

Ber.
Well, what would you say?

Hel.
I am not worthie of the wealth I owe,
Nor dare I say 'tis mine: and yet it is,
But like a timorous theefe, most faine would steale
What law does vouch mine owne.

Ber.
What would you haue?

Hel
Something, and scarse so much: nothing indeed,
I would not tell you what I would my Lord:
Faith yes,
Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kisse.

Ber.
I pray you stay not, but in hast to horse.

Hel.
I shall not breake your bidding, good my Lord:
Where are my other men? Monsieur, farwell.
Exit

Ber.
Go thou toward home, where I wil neuer come,
Whilst I can shake my sword, or heare the drumme:
Away, and for our flight.

Par.
Brauely, Coragio.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter the King with divers young Lords taking leave
for the Florentine war; Bertram and Parolles;
attendants. Flourish of cornets

KING
Farewell, 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,
And is enough for both.

FIRST LORD
'Tis our hope, sir,
After well-entered soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.

KING
No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Will 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
Of 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 LORD
Health at your bidding serve your majesty!

KING
Those 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.

BOTH LORDS
Our hearts receive your warnings.

KING
Farewell. (To some attendants) Come hither to me.
He withdraws

FIRST LORD
O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!

PAROLLES
'Tis not his fault, the spark.

SECOND LORD
O, 'tis brave wars!

PAROLLES
Most admirable! I have seen those wars.

BERTRAM
I am commanded here, and kept a coil with
‘ Too young,’ and ‘ The next year,’ and ‘ 'Tis too early.’

PAROLLES
An thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.

BERTRAM
I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn
But one to dance with. By heaven, I'll steal away!

FIRST LORD
There's honour in the theft.

PAROLLES
Commit it, Count.

SECOND LORD
I am your accessory; and so farewell.

BERTRAM
I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured
body.

FIRST LORD
Farewell, captain.

SECOND LORD
Sweet Monsieur Parolles!

PAROLLES
Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin.
Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals. You
shall find 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 LORD
We shall, noble captain.
Exeunt the Lords

PAROLLES
Mars dote on you for his novices! (To Bertram)
What will ye do?

BERTRAM
Stay: the King.

PAROLLES
Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble
lords; you have restrained yourself within the list 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 be followed. After them, and take a
more dilated farewell.

BERTRAM
And I will do so.

PAROLLES
Worthy fellows, and like to prove most sinewy
sword-men
Exeunt Bertram and Parolles
Enter Lafew. The King comes forward

LAFEW
(kneeling)
Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.

KING
I'll sue thee to stand up.

LAFEW
Then here's a man stands that has brought his pardon.
I would you had kneeled, my lord, to ask me mercy,
And that at my bidding you could so stand up.

KING
I would I had, so I had broke thy pate
And asked thee mercy for't.

LAFEW
Good faith, across!
But, my good lord 'tis thus: will you be cured
Of your infirmity?

KING
No.

LAFEW
O, will you eat
No grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will
My noble grapes, and if my 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 sprightly fire and motion; whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise King Pippen, nay,
To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand
And write to her a love-line.

KING
What ‘ her ’ is this?

LAFEW
Why, Doctor She! My lord, there's one arrived,
If you will see her. Now by my faith and honour,
If 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,
For that is her demand, and know her business?
That done, laugh well at me.

KING
Now, good Lafew,
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wondering how thou tookest it.

LAFEW
Nay, I'll fit you,
And not be all day neither.
He goes to the door

KING
Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

LAFEW
Nay, come your ways.
Enter Helena

KING
This haste hath wings indeed.

LAFEW
Nay, 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
That dare leave two together. Fare you well.
Exit

KING
Now, fair one, does your business follow us?

HELENA
Ay, my good lord.
Gerard de Narbon was my father,
In what he did profess, well found.

KING
I knew him.

HELENA
The 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 practice,
And of his old experience th' only 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 touched
With that malignant cause wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.

KING
We thank you, maiden,
But may not be so credulous of cure,
When 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 judgement or corrupt our hope,
To 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.

HELENA
My duty then shall pay me for my pains.
I will no more enforce mine office on you,
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one to bear me back a again.

KING
I cannot give thee less, to be called grateful.
Thou thoughtest to help me, and such thanks I give
As one near death to those that wish him live.
But what at full I know, thou knowest no part;
I knowing all my peril, thou no art.

HELENA
What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
He that of greatest works is finisher
Oft does them by the weakest minister.
So holy writ in babes hath judgement shown,
When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From simple sources; and great seas have dried
When 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.

KING
I must not hear thee. Fare thee well, kind maid.
Thy pains, not used, must by thyself be paid;
Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.

HELENA
Inspired merit so by breath is barred.
It is not so with Him that all things knows
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows;
But 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
Myself 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.

KING
Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hopest thou my cure?

HELENA
The greatest 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 quenched her sleepy lamp,
Or 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.

KING
Upon thy certainty and confidence
What darest thou venture?

HELENA
Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame;
Traduced by odious ballads my maiden's name;
Seared otherwise, ne worse of worst, extended
With vildest torture let my life be ended.

KING
Methinks 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.
Thy 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
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
That ministers thine own death if I die.

HELENA
If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
And well deserved. Not helping, death's my fee;
But if I help, what do you promise me?

KING
Make thy demand.

HELENA
But will you make it even?

KING
Ay, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.

HELENA
Then 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
With 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.

KING
Here is my hand; the premises observed,
Thy will by my performance shall be served.
So 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
Unquestioned welcome, and undoubted blessed.
Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
Flourish. Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter the Countess and the Clown

COUNTESS
Come on, sir. I shall now put you to the
height of your breeding.

CLOWN
I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I
know my business is but to the court.

COUNTESS
To the court! Why, what place make you
special, when you put off that with such contempt? But
to the court!

CLOWN
Truly, 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,
has 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.

COUNTESS
Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all
questions.

CLOWN
It is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks: the
pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or
any buttock.

COUNTESS
Will your answer serve fit to all questions?

CLOWN
As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney,
as your French crown for your taffety 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 quean to a
wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth;
nay, as the pudding to his skin.

COUNTESS
Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for
all questions?

CLOWN
From below your duke to beneath your constable,
it will fit any question.

COUNTESS
It must be an answer of most monstrous size
that must fit all demands.

CLOWN
But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned
should speak truth of it. Here it is, and all that belongs
to't. Ask me if I am a courtier; it shall do you no harm
to learn.

COUNTESS
To 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?

CLOWN
O Lord, sir! – There's a simple putting off. More,
more, a hundred of them.

COUNTESS
Sir, I am a poor friend of yours that loves you.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir! – Thick, thick; spare not me.

COUNTESS
I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely
meat.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir! – Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.

COUNTESS
You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir! – Spare not me.

COUNTESS
Do you cry, ‘ O Lord, sir! ’ at your whipping,
and ‘ spare not me?’ Indeed your ‘ O Lord, sir!’ is very
sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well
to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.

CLOWN
I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my ‘ O Lord,
sir!’ I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.

COUNTESS
I play the noble housewife with the time,
To entertain it so merrily with a fool.

CLOWN
O Lord, sir! – Why, there't serves well again.

COUNTESS
An end, sir! To your business: give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back.
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son.
This is not much.

CLOWN
Not much commendation to them?

COUNTESS
Not much employment for you. You understand
me?

CLOWN
Most fruitfully. I am there before my legs.

COUNTESS
Haste you again.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Bertram, Lafew, and Parolles

LAFEW
They 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 into
seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves
to an unknown fear.

PAROLLES
Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that
hath shot out in our latter times.

BERTRAM
And so 'tis.

LAFEW
To be relinquished of the artists

PAROLLES
So I say – both of Galen and Paracelsus.

LAFEW
Of all the learned and authentic fellows

PAROLLES
Right, so I say.

LAFEW
That gave him out incurable –

PAROLLES
Why, there 'tis, so say I too.

LAFEW
Not to be helped.

PAROLLES
Right, as 'twere a man assured of a –

LAFEW
Uncertain life and sure death.

PAROLLES
Just, you say well. So would I have said.

LAFEW
I may truly say it is a novelty to the world.

PAROLLES
It is indeed. If you will have it in showing, you
shall read it in what-do-ye-call there.

LAFEW
A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.

PAROLLES
That's it, I would have said the very same.

LAFEW
Why, your dolphin is not lustier. 'Fore me, I speak
in respect –

PAROLLES
Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinerious
spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the –

LAFEW
Very hand of heaven.

PAROLLES
Ay, so I say.

LAFEW
In a most weak –

PAROLLES
And 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 –

LAFEW
Generally thankful.
Enter the King, Helena, and attendants

PAROLLES
I would have said it, you say well. Here comes
the King.

LAFEW
Lustique, 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.

PAROLLES
Mor du vinager! Is not this Helen?

LAFEW
'Fore God, I think so.

KING
Go, call before me all the lords in court.
Exit an attendant
Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side,
And with this healthful hand, whose banished sense
Thou hast repealed, a second time receive
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming.
Enter four Lords
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
I have to use. Thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

HELENA
To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
Fall, when love please! Marry, to each but one!

LAFEW
I'd give bay curtal and his furniture
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.

KING
Peruse them well.
Not one of those but had a noble father.
Helena addresses the Lords

HELENA
Gentlemen,
Heaven hath through me restored the King to health.

ALL THE LORDS
We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

HELENA
I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest
That I protest I simply am a maid.
Please it your majesty, I have done already.
The 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.’

KING
Make choice and see,
Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.

HELENA
Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream. (To First Lord) Sir, will you hear my suit?

FIRST LORD
And grant it.

HELENA
Thanks, sir. All the rest is mute.

LAFEW
I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
for my life.

HELENA
(to Second Lord)
The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes
Before I speak, too threateningly replies.
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Her that so wishes, and her humble love!

SECOND LORD
No better, if you please.

HELENA
My wish receive,
Which great Love grant. And so I take my leave.

LAFEW
Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine
I'd have them whipped, or I would send them to
th' Turk to make eunuchs of.

HELENA
(to Third Lord)
Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
I'll never do you wrong, for your own sake.
Blessing upon your vows, and in your bed
Find fairer fortune if you ever wed!

LAFEW
These boys are boys of ice; they'll none have her.
Sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er
got 'em.

HELENA
(to Fourth Lord)
You are too young, too happy, and too good
To make yourself a son out of my blood.

FOURTH LORD
Fair one, I think not so.

LAFEW
There's one grape yet. I am sure thy father drunk
wine; but if thou beest not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen;
I have known thee already.

HELENA
(to Bertram)
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.

KING
Why, then, young Bertram, take her, she's thy wife.

BERTRAM
My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.

KING
Knowest thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?

BERTRAM
Yes, my good lord,
But never hope to know why I should marry her.

KING
Thou knowest she has raised me from my sickly bed.

BERTRAM
But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
She 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 disdainest in her, the which
I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, poured all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stands off
In differences so mighty. If she be
All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest
A poor physician's daughter – thou dislikest
Of virtue for the name. But do not so.
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by th' doer's deed.
Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
Is 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
Which 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,
Debauched on every tomb, on every grave
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
Where dust and damned oblivion is the tomb
Of honoured bones indeed. What should be said?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest. Virtue and she
Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.

BERTRAM
I cannot love her nor will strive to do't.

KING
Thou wrongest thyself if thou shouldst strive to choose.

HELENA
That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad.
Let the rest go.

KING
My 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
We, 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. Check thy contempt.
Obey our will which travails in thy good.
Believe 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
Of youth and ignorance, both my revenge and hate
Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak. Thine answer.

BERTRAM
Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
My fancy to your eyes. When I consider
What 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.

KING
Take 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.

BERTRAM
I take her hand.

KING
Good fortune and the favour of the King
Smile upon this contract, whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be performed tonight. The solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
Exeunt all but Parolles and Lafew,
who stay behind, commenting on this wedding

LAFEW
Do you hear, monsieur? A word with you.

PAROLLES
Your pleasure, sir.

LAFEW
Your lord and master did well to make his
recantation.

PAROLLES
Recantation! My lord! My master!

LAFEW
Ay. Is it not a language I speak?

PAROLLES
A most harsh one, and not to be understood
without bloody succeeding. My master!

LAFEW
Are you companion to the Count Rossillion?

PAROLLES
To any Count, to all Counts, to what is man.

LAFEW
To what is Count's man; Count's master is of
another style.

PAROLLES
You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are
too old.

LAFEW
I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man, to which
title age cannot bring thee.

PAROLLES
What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

LAFEW
I did think thee for two ordinaries to be a pretty
wise fellow. Thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
travel; it might pass. Yet the scarfs and the bannerets
about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing
thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found
thee; when I lose thee again I care not. Yet art thou
good for nothing but taking up, and that thou'rt scarce
worth.

PAROLLES
Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon
thee –

LAFEW
Do 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 well; thy
casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give
me thy hand.

PAROLLES
My lord, you give me most egregious
indignity.

LAFEW
Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.

PAROLLES
I have not, my lord, deserved it.

LAFEW
Yes, good faith, every dram of it, and I will not
bate thee a scruple.

PAROLLES
Well, I shall be wiser.

LAFEW
Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
a smack o'th' contrary. If ever thou beest bound in 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'.

PAROLLES
My lord, you do me most insupportable
vexation.

LAFEW
I 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.
Exit

PAROLLES
Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace
off me, scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be
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 have of – I'll beat him an if
I could but meet him again.
Enter Lafew

LAFEW
Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's
news for you; you have a new mistress.

PAROLLES
I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to
make some reservation of your wrongs. He is my good
lord: whom I serve above is my master.

LAFEW
Who? God?

PAROLLES
Ay, sir.

LAFEW
The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
garter up thy arms o' this fashion? Dost make hose of
thy sleeves? Do other servants so? Thou wert best set
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour,
if I were but two hours younger I'd beat thee.
Methinkst thou art a general offence and every man should
beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe
themselves upon thee.

PAROLLES
This is hard and undeserved measure, my
lord.

LAFEW
Go 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
birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not worth
another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.
Exit
Enter Bertram

PAROLLES
Good, very good, it is so then. Good, very
good; let it be concealed awhile.

BERTRAM
Undone and forfeited to cares for ever!

PAROLLES
What's the matter, sweetheart?

BERTRAM
Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
I will not bed her.

PAROLLES
What, what, sweetheart?

BERTRAM
O my Parolles, they have married me!
I'll to the Tuscan wars and never bed her.

PAROLLES
France is a dog-hole and it no more merits
The tread of a man's foot. To th' wars!

BERTRAM
There's letters from my mother: what th' import is
I know not yet.

PAROLLES
Ay, that would be known. To th' wars, my boy, to th' 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
Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions!
France is a stable, we that dwell in't jades.
Therefore, to th' war!

BERTRAM
It shall be so. I'll send her to my house,
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her
And 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. Wars is no strife
To the dark house and the detested wife.

PAROLLES
Will this capriccio hold in thee, art sure?

BERTRAM
Go with me to my chamber and advise me.
I'll send her straight away. Tomorrow
I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.

PAROLLES
Why, these balls bound, there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
A young man married is a man that's marred.
Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go.
The King has done you wrong, but hush, 'tis so.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Helena and the Clown

HELENA
My mother greets me kindly. Is she well?

CLOWN
She 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'th' world; but yet she
is not well.

HELENA
If she be very well, what does she ail that she's
not very well?

CLOWN
Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.

HELENA
What two things?

CLOWN
One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send
her quickly! The other that she's in earth, from whence
God send her quickly!
Enter Parolles

PAROLLES
Bless you, my fortunate lady.

HELENA
I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine
own good fortune.

PAROLLES
You had my prayers to lead them on, and to
keep them on have them still. O, my knave! How does
my old lady?

CLOWN
So that you had her wrinkles and I her money, I
would she did as you say.

PAROLLES
Why, I say nothing.

CLOWN
Marry, 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 is within a very
little of nothing.

PAROLLES
Away! Th'art a knave.

CLOWN
You should have said, sir, ‘ Before a knave th'art
a knave;’ that's ‘ Before me, th'art a knave.’ This had
been truth, sir.

PAROLLES
Go to, thou art a witty fool: I have found thee.

CLOWN
Did you find me in your self, 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.

PAROLLES
A good knave i'faith, and well fed.
Madam, my lord will go away tonight:
A very serious business calls on him.
The great prerogative and rite of love,
Which as your due time claims, he does acknowledge,
But puts it off to a compelled restraint;
Whose want and whose delay is strewed with sweets,
Which they distil now in the curbed time,
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
And pleasure drown the brim.

HELENA
What's his will else?

PAROLLES
That you will take your instant leave o'th' King,
And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
Strengthened with what apology you think
May make it probable need.

HELENA
What more commands he?

PAROLLES
That, having this obtained, you presently
Attend his further pleasure.

HELENA
In everything I wait upon his will.

PAROLLES
I shall report it so.
Exit

HELENA
I pray you. Come, sirrah.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Lafew and Bertram

LAFEW
But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.

BERTRAM
Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.

LAFEW
You have it from his own deliverance.

BERTRAM
And by other warranted testimony.

LAFEW
Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a
bunting.

BERTRAM
I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
knowledge, and accordingly valiant.

LAFEW
I have then sinned against his experience and
transgressed against his valour, and my state that way 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.
Enter Parolles

PAROLLES
(to Bertram)
These things shall be done, sir.

LAFEW
Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?

PAROLLES
Sir!

LAFEW
O, I know him well. Ay, sir, he, sir, 's a good
workman, a very good tailor.

BERTRAM
(aside to Parolles)
Is she gone to the King?

PAROLLES
She is.

BERTRAM
Will she away tonight?

PAROLLES
As you'll have her.

BERTRAM
I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Given order for our horses; and tonight,
When I should take possession of the bride,
End ere I do begin.

LAFEW
(aside)
A 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. (Aloud) God save you,
captain!

BERTRAM
Is there any unkindness between my lord and
you, monsieur?

PAROLLES
I know not how I have deserved to run into
my lord's displeasure.

LAFEW
You have made shift to run into't, boots and spurs
and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and out of
it you'll run again rather than suffer question for your
residence.

BERTRAM
It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.

LAFEW
And shall do so ever, though I took him at's
prayers. Fare you well, my lord, and believe this of 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 deserve at my hand, but we
must do good against evil.
Exit

PAROLLES
An idle lord, I swear.

BERTRAM
I think not so.

PAROLLES
Why, do you not know him?

BERTRAM
Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
Enter Helena

HELENA
I 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.

BERTRAM
I 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
For such a business, therefore am I found
So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat you
That presently you take your way for home,
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you;
For my respects are better than they seem,
And 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.
He gives Helena a letter
'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.

HELENA
Sir, I can nothing say
But that I am your most obedient servant.

BERTRAM
Come, come, no more of that.

HELENA
And ever shall
With true observance seek to eke out that
Wherein toward me my homely stars have failed
To equal my great fortune.

BERTRAM
Let that go.
My haste is very great. Farewell. Hie home.

HELENA
Pray, sir, your pardon.

BERTRAM
Well, what would you say?

HELENA
I 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.

BERTRAM
What would you have?

HELENA
Something, 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.

BERTRAM
I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.

HELENA
I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
Where are my other men? Monsieur, Farewell.
Exit

BERTRAM
Go thou toward home, where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away, and for our flight.

PAROLLES
Bravely. Coragio!
Exeunt
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