All’s Well That Ends Well
Act I, Scene 3
Roussillon . A room in the Count’s palace .
- Enter Countess , Steward Rinaldo , and Clown Lavatch .
- I will now hear . What say you of this gentlewoman ?
Rinaldo2 - 5
- Madam , the care I have had to even your content , I wish
- might be found in the calendar of my past endeavors , for
- then we wound our modesty , and make foul the clearness of
- our deservings , when of ourselves we publish them .
Countess6 - 10
- What does this knave here ? Get you gone , sirrah . The
- complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe . ’Tis my
- slowness that I do not , for I know you lack not folly to
- commit them , and have ability enough to make such knaveries
- yours .
- ’Tis not unknown to you , madam , I am a poor fellow .
- Well , sir .
Lavatch13 - 16
- No , madam , ’tis not so well that I am poor , though many of
- the rich are damn’d , but if I may have your ladyship’s good
- will to go to the world , Isbel the woman and I will do as we
- may .
- Wilt thou needs be a beggar ?
- I do beg your good will in this case .
- In what case ?
Lavatch20 - 22
- In Isbel’s case and mine own . Service is no heritage , and I
- think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have
- issue a’ my body ; for they say barnes are blessings .
- Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry .
Lavatch24 - 25
- My poor body , madam , requires it . I am driven on by the
- flesh , and he must needs go that the devil drives .
- Is this all your worship’s reason ?
- Faith , madam , I have other holy reasons , such as they are .
- May the world know them ?
Lavatch29 - 30
- I have been , madam , a wicked creature , as you and all flesh
- and blood are , and indeed I do marry that I may repent .
- Thy marriage , sooner than thy wickedness .
Lavatch32 - 33
- I am out a’ friends , madam , and I hope to have friends for
- my wive’s sake .
- Such friends are thine enemies , knave .
Lavatch35 - 46
- Y’ are shallow , madam — in great friends , for the knaves come
- to do that for me which I am a - weary of . He that ears my
- land spares my team , and gives me leave to inn the crop . If
- I be his cuckold , he’s my drudge . He that comforts my wife
- is the cherisher of my flesh and blood ; he that cherishes my
- flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood ; he that loves my
- flesh and blood is my friend : ergo , he that kisses my wife
- is my friend . If men could be contented to be what they are ,
- there were no fear in marriage , for young Charbon the
- puritan and old Poysam the papist , howsome’er their hearts
- are sever’d in religion , their heads are both one : they may
- jowl horns together like any deer i’ th’ herd .
- Wilt thou ever be a foul - mouth’d and calumnious knave ?
Lavatch48 - 52
- A prophet I , madam , and I speak the truth the next way :
- For I the ballad will repeat ,
- Which men full true shall find :
- Your marriage comes by destiny ,
- Your cuckoo sings by kind .
- Get you gone , sir , I’ll talk with you more anon .
Rinaldo54 - 55
- May it please you , madam , that he bid Helen come to you . Of
- her I am to speak .
Countess56 - 57
- Sirrah , tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her — Helen , I
- mean .
Lavatch58 - 67
- Sings .
- “ Was this fair face the cause ,” quoth she ,
- “ Why the Grecians sacked Troy ?
- Fond done , done fond ,
- Was this King Priam’s joy ?”
- With that she sighed as she stood ,
- With that she sighed as she stood ,
- And gave this sentence then :
- “ Among nine bad if one be good ,
- Among nine bad if one be good ,
- There’s yet one good in ten .”
- What , one good in ten ? You corrupt the song , sirrah .
Lavatch69 - 74
- One good woman in ten , madam , which is a purifying a’ th’
- song . Would God would serve the world so all the year ! We’d
- find no fault with the tithe - woman if I were the parson . One
- in ten , quoth ’a ? And we might have a good woman born but or
- every blazing star or at an earthquake , ’twould mend the
- lottery well ; a man may draw his heart out ere ’a pluck one .
- You’ll be gone , sir knave , and do as I command you .
Lavatch76 - 80
- That man should be at woman’s command , and yet no hurt done !
- Though honesty be no puritan , yet it will do no hurt ; it
- will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a
- big heart . I am going , forsooth . The business is for Helen
- to come hither .
- Exit .
- Well , now .
- I know , madam , you love your gentlewoman entirely .
Countess83 - 86
- Faith , I do . Her father bequeath’d her to me , and she
- herself , without other advantage , may lawfully make title to
- as much love as she finds . There is more owing her than is
- paid , and more shall be paid her than she’ll demand .
Rinaldo87 - 99
- Madam , I was very late more near her than I think she wish’d
- me . Alone she was , and did communicate to herself her own
- words to her own ears ; she thought , I dare vow for her , they
- touch’d not any stranger sense . Her matter was , she lov’d
- your son . Fortune , she said , was no goddess , that had put
- such difference betwixt their two estates ; Love no god , that
- would not extend his might only where qualities were level ;
- Diana no queen of virgins , that would suffer her poor knight
- surpris’d without rescue in the first assault or ransom
- afterward . This she deliver’d in the most bitter touch of
- sorrow that e’er I heard virgin exclaim in , which I held my
- duty speedily to acquaint you withal , sithence in the loss
- that may happen , it concerns you something to know it .
Countess100 - 114
- You have discharg’d this honestly , keep it to yourself . Many
- likelihoods inform’d me of this before , which hung so
- tott’ring in the balance that I could neither believe nor
- misdoubt . Pray you leave me . Stall this in your bosom , and I
- thank you for your honest care . I will speak with you
- further anon .
- Exit Steward .
- Enter Helen .
- Even so it was with me when I was young .
- If ever we are nature’s , these are ours . This thorn
- Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong ;
- Our blood to us , this to our blood is born .
- It is the show and seal of nature’s truth ,
- Where love’s strong passion is impress’d in youth .
- By our remembrances of days foregone ,
- Such were our faults , or then we thought them none .
- Her eye is sick on’t ; I observe her now .
- What is your pleasure , madam ?
Countess116 - 117
- You know , Helen ,
- I am a mother to you .
- Mine honorable mistress .
Countess119 - 133
- Nay , a mother ,
- Why not a mother ? When I said “ a mother ,”
- Methought you saw a serpent . What’s in “ mother ,”
- That you start at it ? I say I am your mother ,
- And put you in the catalogue of those
- That were enwombed mine . ’Tis often seen
- Adoption strives with nature , and choice breeds
- A native slip to us from foreign seeds .
- You ne’er oppress’d me with a mother’s groan ,
- Yet I express to you a mother’s care .
- God’s mercy , maiden ! Does it curd thy blood
- To say I am thy mother ? What’s the matter ,
- That this distempered messenger of wet ,
- The many - color’d Iris , rounds thine eye ?
- — Why , that you are my daughter ?
- That I am not .
- I say I am your mother .
Helena136 - 142
- Pardon , madam ;
- The Count Roussillon cannot be my brother :
- I am from humble , he from honored name ;
- No note upon my parents , his all noble .
- My master , my dear lord he is , and I
- His servant live , and will his vassal die .
- He must not be my brother .
- Nor I your mother ?
Helena144 - 149
- You are my mother , madam ; would you were —
- So that my lord your son were not my brother —
- Indeed my mother ! Or were you both our mothers ,
- I care no more for than I do for heaven ,
- So I were not his sister . Can’t no other ,
- But , I your daughter , he must be my brother ?
Countess150 - 168
- Yes , Helen , you might be my daughter - in - law .
- God shield you mean it not ! “ daughter ” and “ mother ”
- So strive upon your pulse . What , pale again ?
- My fear hath catch’d your fondness ! Now I see
- The myst’ry of your loneliness , and find
- Your salt tears’ head , now to all sense ’tis gross :
- You love my son . Invention is asham’d ,
- Against the proclamation of thy passion ,
- To say thou dost not : therefore tell me true ,
- But tell me then ’tis so ; for look , thy cheeks
- Confess it , t’ one to th’ other , and thine eyes
- See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
- That in their kind they speak it . Only sin
- And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue ,
- That truth should be suspected . Speak , is’t so ?
- If it be so , you have wound a goodly clew ;
- If it be not , forswear’t ; howe’er , I charge thee ,
- As heaven shall work in me for thine avail ,
- To tell me truly .
- Good madam , pardon me !
- Do you love my son ?
- Your pardon , noble mistress !
- Love you my son ?
- Do not you love him , madam ?
Countess174 - 177
- Go not about ; my love hath in’t a bond
- Whereof the world takes note . Come , come , disclose
- The state of your affection , for your passions
- Have to the full appeach’d .
Helena178 - 204
- Then I confess
- Here on my knee , before high heaven and you ,
- That before you , and next unto high heaven ,
- I love your son .
- My friends were poor , but honest , so’s my love .
- Be not offended , for it hurts not him
- That he is lov’d of me ; I follow him not
- By any token of presumptuous suit ,
- Nor would I have him till I do deserve him ,
- Yet never know how that desert should be .
- I know I love in vain , strive against hope ;
- Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
- I still pour in the waters of my love
- And lack not to lose still . Thus Indian - like ,
- Religious in mine error , I adore
- The sun , that looks upon his worshipper ,
- But knows of him no more . My dearest madam ,
- Let not your hate encounter with my love
- For loving where you do ; but if yourself ,
- Whose aged honor cites a virtuous youth ,
- Did ever in so true a flame of liking
- Wish chastely , and love dearly , that your Dian
- Was both herself and Love , O then give pity
- To her whose state is such that cannot choose
- But lend and give where she is sure to lose ;
- That seeks not to find that her search implies ,
- But riddle - like lives sweetly where she dies .
Countess205 - 206
- Had you not lately an intent — speak truly —
- To go to Paris ?
- Madam , I had .
- Wherefore ? Tell true .
Helena209 - 219
- I will tell truth , by grace itself I swear .
- You know my father left me some prescriptions
- Of rare and prov’d effects , such as his reading
- And manifest experience had collected
- For general sovereignty ; and that he will’d me
- In heedfull’st reservation to bestow them ,
- As notes whose faculties inclusive were
- More than they were in note . Amongst the rest ,
- There is a remedy , approv’d , set down ,
- To cure the desperate languishings whereof
- The King is render’d lost .
Countess220 - 221
- This was your motive
- For Paris , was it ? Speak .
Helena222 - 225
- My lord your son made me to think of this ;
- Else Paris , and the medicine , and the King ,
- Had from the conversation of my thoughts
- Happily been absent then .
Countess226 - 233
- But think you , Helen ,
- If you should tender your supposed aid ,
- He would receive it ? He and his physicians
- Are of a mind ; he , that they cannot help him ,
- They , that they cannot help . How shall they credit
- A poor unlearned virgin , when the schools ,
- Embowell’d of their doctrine , have left off
- The danger to itself ?
Helena234 - 241
- There’s something in’t
- More than my father’s skill , which was the great’st
- Of his profession , that his good receipt
- Shall for my legacy be sanctified
- By th’ luckiest stars in heaven , and would your honor
- But give me leave to try success , I’d venture
- The well - lost life of mine on his Grace’s cure
- By such a day , an hour .
- Dost thou believe’t ?
- Ay , madam , knowingly .
Countess244 - 249
- Why , Helen , thou shalt have my leave and love ,
- Means and attendants , and my loving greetings
- To those of mine in court . I’ll stay at home
- And pray God’s blessing into thy attempt .
- Be gone tomorrow , and be sure of this ,
- What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss .
- Exeunt .