All’s Well That Ends Well
Act III, Scene 4
Roussillon . The Count’s palace .
- Enter Countess and Steward Rinaldo .
Countess1 - 3
- Alas ! And would you take the letter of her ?
- Might you not know she would do as she has done
- By sending me a letter ? Read it again .
Rinaldo4 - 18
- Reads letter .
- “ I am Saint Jaques’ pilgrim , thither gone .
- Ambitious love hath so in me offended
- That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon
- With sainted vow my faults to have amended .
- Write , write , that from the bloody course of war
- My dearest master , your dear son , may hie .
- Bless him at home in peace , whilst I from far
- His name with zealous fervor sanctify .
- His taken labors bid him me forgive ;
- I , his despiteful Juno , sent him forth
- From courtly friends , with camping foes to live ,
- Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth .
- He is too good and fair for death and me ,
- Whom I myself embrace to set him free .”
Countess19 - 23
- Ah , what sharp stings are in her mildest words !
- Rinaldo , you did never lack advice so much
- As letting her pass so . Had I spoke with her ,
- I could have well diverted her intents ,
- Which thus she hath prevented .
Rinaldo24 - 27
- Pardon me , madam ,
- If I had given you this at overnight ,
- She might have been o’erta’en ; and yet she writes ,
- Pursuit would be but vain .
Countess28 - 45
- What angel shall
- Bless this unworthy husband ? He cannot thrive ,
- Unless her prayers , whom heaven delights to hear
- And loves to grant , reprieve him from the wrath
- Of greatest justice . Write , write , Rinaldo ,
- To this unworthy husband of his wife .
- Let every word weigh heavy of her worth ,
- That he does weigh too light . My greatest grief ,
- Though little he do feel it , set down sharply .
- Dispatch the most convenient messenger .
- When haply he shall hear that she is gone ,
- He will return , and hope I may that she ,
- Hearing so much , will speed her foot again ,
- Led hither by pure love . Which of them both
- Is dearest to me , I have no skill in sense
- To make distinction . Provide this messenger .
- My heart is heavy , and mine age is weak ;
- Grief would have tears , and sorrow bids me speak .
- Exeunt .