All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 3, Scene 7
Florence. The Widow’s house.
- Enter Helen and Widow.
Helena2 - 4
- If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
- I know not how I shall assure you further
- But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
Widow5 - 8
- Though my estate be fall’n, I was well born,
- Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
- And would not put my reputation now
- In any staining act.
Helena9 - 14
- 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,
- By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
- Err in bestowing it.
Widow15 - 17
- I should believe you,
- For you have show’d me that which well approves
- Y’ are great in fortune.
Helena18 - 32
- Take this purse of gold,
- And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
- Which I will over-pay and pay again
- When I have found it. The Count he woos your daughter,
- Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
- Resolv’d to carry her. Let her in fine consent,
- As we’ll direct her how ’tis best to bear it.
- Now his important blood will nought deny
- That she’ll demand. A ring the County wears,
- That downward hath succeeded in his house
- From son to son, some four or five descents,
- Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds
- In most rich choice; yet in his idle fire,
- To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
- Howe’er repented after.
Widow33 - 34
- Now I see
- The bottom of your purpose.
Helena35 - 41
- You see it lawful then. It is no more
- 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,
- To marry her, I’ll add three thousand crowns
- To what is pass’d already.
Widow42 - 49
- 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 compos’d
- To her unworthiness. It nothing steads us
- To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
- As if his life lay on’t.
Helena50 - 55
- Why then tonight
- Let us assay our plot, which if it speed,
- Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
- And lawful meaning in a lawful act,
- Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
- But let’s about it.