All’s Well That Ends Well
Act V, Scene 3
Roussillon . The Count’s palace .
- Flourish . Enter King , old Lady Countess , Lafew , the two
- French Lords , with Attendants .
King of France1 - 4
- We lost a jewel of her , and our esteem
- Was made much poorer by it ; but your son ,
- As mad in folly , lack’d the sense to know
- Her estimation home .
Countess5 - 9
- ’Tis past , my liege ,
- And I beseech your Majesty to make it
- Natural rebellion , done i’ th’ blade of youth ,
- When oil and fire , too strong for reason’s force ,
- O’erbears it , and burns on .
King of France10 - 13
- My honor’d lady ,
- I have forgiven and forgotten all ,
- Though my revenges were high bent upon him ,
- And watch’d the time to shoot .
Lafew14 - 22
- This I must say —
- But first I beg my pardon — the young lord
- Did to his Majesty , his mother , and his lady
- Offense of mighty note ; but to himself
- The greatest wrong of all . He lost a wife
- Whose beauty did astonish the survey
- Of richest eyes , whose words all ears took captive ,
- Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn’d to serve
- Humbly call’d mistress .
King of France23 - 31
- Praising what is lost
- Makes the remembrance dear . Well , call him hither ,
- We are reconcil’d , and the first view shall kill
- All repetition . Let him not ask our pardon ,
- The nature of his great offense is dead ,
- And deeper than oblivion we do bury
- Th’ incensing relics of it . Let him approach
- A stranger , no offender ; and inform him
- So ’tis our will he should .
- I shall , my liege .
- Exit .
King of France33
- What says he to your daughter ? Have you spoke ?
- All that he is hath reference to your Highness .
King of France35 - 36
- Then shall we have a match . I have letters sent me
- That sets him high in fame .
- Enter Count Bertram .
- He looks well on’t .
King of France38 - 42
- I am not a day of season ,
- For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
- In me at once . But to the brightest beams
- Distracted clouds give way , so stand thou forth ,
- The time is fair again .
Bertram43 - 44
- My high - repented blames ,
- Dear sovereign , pardon to me .
King of France45 - 51
- All is whole ,
- Not one word more of the consumed time .
- Let’s take the instant by the forward top ;
- For we are old , and on our quick’st decrees
- Th’ inaudible and noiseless foot of time
- Steals ere we can effect them . You remember
- The daughter of this lord ?
Bertram52 - 63
- Admiringly , my liege . At first
- I stuck my choice upon her , ere my heart
- Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue ;
- Where the impression of mine eye infixing ,
- Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me ,
- Which warp’d the line of every other favor ,
- Scorn’d a fair color , or express’d it stol’n ,
- Extended or contracted all proportions
- To a most hideous object . Thence it came
- That she whom all men prais’d , and whom myself ,
- Since I have lost , have lov’d , was in mine eye
- The dust that did offend it .
King of France64 - 79
- Well excus’d .
- That thou didst love her , strikes some scores away
- From the great compt ; but love that comes too late ,
- Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried ,
- To the great sender turns a sour offense ,
- Crying , “ That’s good that’s gone .” Our rash faults
- Make trivial price of serious things we have ,
- Not knowing them until we know their grave .
- Oft our displeasures , to ourselves unjust ,
- Destroy our friends , and after weep their dust ;
- Our own love waking cries to see what’s done ,
- While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon .
- Be this sweet Helen’s knell , and now forget her .
- Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin .
- The main consents are had , and here we’ll stay
- To see our widower’s second marriage - day .
Countess80 - 81
- Which better than the first , O dear heaven , bless !
- Or , ere they meet , in me , O nature , cesse !
Lafew82 - 90
- Come on , my son , in whom my house’s name
- Must be digested ; give a favor from you
- To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter ,
- That she may quickly come .
- Bertram gives a ring .
- By my old beard ,
- And ev’ry hair that’s on’t , Helen , that’s dead ,
- Was a sweet creature ; such a ring as this ,
- The last that e’er I took her leave at court ,
- I saw upon her finger .
- Hers it was not .
King of France92 - 98
- Now pray you let me see it ; for mine eye ,
- While I was speaking , oft was fasten’d to’t .
- This ring was mine , and when I gave it Helen ,
- I bade her , if her fortunes ever stood
- Necessitied to help , that by this token
- I would relieve her . Had you that craft to reave her
- Of what should stead her most ?
Bertram99 - 101
- My gracious sovereign ,
- Howe’er it pleases you to take it so ,
- The ring was never hers .
Countess102 - 104
- Son , on my life ,
- I have seen her wear it , and she reckon’d it
- At her live’s rate .
- I am sure I saw her wear it .
Bertram106 - 115
- You are deceiv’d , my lord , she never saw it .
- In Florence was it from a casement thrown me ,
- Wrapp’d in a paper , which contain’d the name
- Of her that threw it . Noble she was , and thought
- I stood engag’d ; but when I had subscrib’d
- To mine own fortune , and inform’d her fully
- I could not answer in that course of honor
- As she had made the overture , she ceas’d
- In heavy satisfaction , and would never
- Receive the ring again .
King of France116 - 127
- Plutus himself ,
- That knows the tinct and multiplying med’cine ,
- Hath not in nature’s mystery more science
- Than I have in this ring . ’Twas mine , ’twas Helen’s ,
- Whoever gave it you . Then if you know
- That you are well acquainted with yourself ,
- Confess ’twas hers , and by what rough enforcement
- You got it from her . She call’d the saints to surety
- That she would never put it from her finger ,
- Unless she gave it to yourself in bed ,
- Where you have never come , or sent it us
- Upon her great disaster .
- She never saw it .
King of France129 - 140
- Thou speak’st it falsely , as I love mine honor ,
- And mak’st conjectural fears to come into me ,
- Which I would fain shut out . If it should prove
- That thou art so inhuman — ’twill not prove so ;
- And yet I know not : thou didst hate her deadly ,
- And she is dead , which nothing but to close
- Her eyes myself could win me to believe ,
- More than to see this ring . Take him away .
- Guards seize Bertram .
- My fore - past proofs , howe’er the matter fall ,
- Shall tax my fears of little vanity ,
- Having vainly fear’d too little . Away with him !
- We’ll sift this matter further .
Bertram141 - 144
- If you shall prove
- This ring was ever hers , you shall as easy
- Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence ,
- Where yet she never was .
- Exit guarded .
- Enter a Gentleman , the astringer .
King of France145
- I am wrapp’d in dismal thinkings .
Gentleman146 - 156
- Gracious sovereign ,
- Whether I have been to blame or no , I know not .
- Here’s a petition from a Florentine ,
- Who hath for four or five removes come short
- To tender it herself . I undertook it ,
- Vanquish’d thereto by the fair grace and speech
- Of the poor suppliant , who by this I know
- Is here attending . Her business looks in her
- With an importing visage , and she told me ,
- In a sweet verbal brief , it did concern
- Your Highness with herself .
King of France157 - 163
- Reads a letter .
- “ Upon his many protestations to marry me when his wife was
- dead , I blush to say it , he won me . Now is the Count
- Roussillon a widower , his vows are forfeited to me , and my
- honor’s paid to him . He stole from Florence , taking no
- leave , and I follow him to his country for justice . Grant it
- me , O King , in you it best lies ; otherwise a seducer
- flourishes , and a poor maid is undone . Diana Capilet .”
Lafew164 - 165
- I will buy me a son - in - law in a fair , and toll for this .
- I’ll none of him .
King of France166 - 170
- The heavens have thought well on thee , Lafew ,
- To bring forth this discov’ry . Seek these suitors .
- Go speedily , and bring again the Count .
- Exeunt some Attendants .
- I am afeard the life of Helen , lady ,
- Was foully snatch’d .
- Now , justice on the doers !
- Enter Bertram guarded .
King of France172 - 174
- I wonder , sir , sith wives are monsters to you ,
- And that you fly them as you swear them lordship ,
- Yet you desire to marry . What woman’s that ?
- Enter Widow , Diana .
Diana175 - 178
- I am , my lord , a wretched Florentine ,
- Derived from the ancient Capilet .
- My suit , as I do understand , you know ,
- And therefore know how far I may be pitied .
Widow179 - 181
- I am her mother , sir , whose age and honor
- Both suffer under this complaint we bring ,
- And both shall cease , without your remedy .
King of France182
- Come hither , Count , do you know these women ?
Bertram183 - 184
- My lord , I neither can nor will deny
- But that I know them . Do they charge me further ?
- Why do you look so strange upon your wife ?
- She’s none of mine , my lord .
Diana187 - 193
- If you shall marry ,
- You give away this hand , and that is mine ;
- You give away heaven’s vows , and those are mine ;
- You give away myself , which is known mine ;
- For I by vow am so embodied yours ,
- That she which marries you must marry me ,
- Either both or none .
Lafew194 - 195
- Your reputation comes too short for my daughter , you are no
- husband for her .
Bertram196 - 199
- My lord , this is a fond and desp’rate creature ,
- Whom sometime I have laugh’d with . Let your Highness
- Lay a more noble thought upon mine honor
- Than for to think that I would sink it here .
King of France200 - 202
- Sir , for my thoughts , you have them ill to friend
- Till your deeds gain them ; fairer prove your honor
- Than in my thought it lies .
Diana203 - 205
- Good my lord ,
- Ask him upon his oath , if he does think
- He had not my virginity .
King of France206
- What say’st thou to her ?
Bertram207 - 208
- She’s impudent , my lord ,
- And was a common gamester to the camp .
Diana209 - 215
- He does me wrong , my lord ; if I were so ,
- He might have bought me at a common price .
- Do not believe him . O , behold this ring ,
- Whose high respect and rich validity
- Did lack a parallel ; yet for all that
- He gave it to a commoner a’ th’ camp ,
- If I be one .
Countess216 - 220
- He blushes , and ’tis hit .
- Of six preceding ancestors , that gem ,
- Conferr’d by testament to th’ sequent issue ,
- Hath it been owed and worn . This is his wife ,
- That ring’s a thousand proofs .
King of France221 - 222
- Methought you said
- You saw one here in court could witness it .
Diana223 - 224
- I did , my lord , but loath am to produce
- So bad an instrument . His name’s Parolles .
- I saw the man today , if man he be .
King of France226
- Find him , and bring him hither .
- Exit an Attendant .
Bertram227 - 232
- What of him ?
- He’s quoted for a most perfidious slave ,
- With all the spots a’ th’ world tax’d and debosh’d ,
- Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth .
- Am I or that or this for what he’ll utter ,
- That will speak any thing ?
King of France233
- She hath that ring of yours .
Bertram234 - 243
- I think she has . Certain it is I lik’d her ,
- And boarded her i’ th’ wanton way of youth .
- She knew her distance , and did angle for me ,
- Madding my eagerness with her restraint ,
- As all impediments in fancy’s course
- Are motives of more fancy , and in fine ,
- Her inf’nite cunning , with her modern grace ,
- Subdu’d me to her rate . She got the ring ,
- And I had that which any inferior might
- At market - price have bought .
Diana244 - 249
- I must be patient .
- You that have turn’d off a first so noble wife ,
- May justly diet me . I pray you yet
- ( Since you lack virtue , I will lose a husband )
- Send for your ring , I will return it home ,
- And give me mine again .
- I have it not .
King of France251
- What ring was yours , I pray you ?
Diana252 - 253
- Sir , much like
- The same upon your finger .
King of France254
- Know you this ring ? This ring was his of late .
- And this was it I gave him , being a - bed .
King of France256 - 257
- The story then goes false , you threw it him
- Out of a casement .
- I have spoke the truth .
- Enter Parolles .
- My lord , I do confess the ring was hers .
King of France260 - 261
- You boggle shrewdly , every feather starts you .
- Is this the man you speak of ?
- Ay , my lord .
King of France263 - 266
- Tell me , sirrah — but tell me true , I charge you ,
- Not fearing the displeasure of your master ,
- Which on your just proceeding I’ll keep off —
- By him and by this woman here what know you ?
Parolles267 - 268
- So please your Majesty , my master hath been an honorable
- gentleman . Tricks he hath had in him , which gentlemen have .
King of France269
- Come , come , to th’ purpose . Did he love this woman ?
- Faith , sir , he did love her , but how ?
King of France271
- How , I pray you ?
- He did love her , sir , as a gentleman loves a woman .
King of France273
- How is that ?
- He lov’d her , sir , and lov’d her not .
King of France275 - 276
- As thou art a knave , and no knave . What an equivocal
- companion is this !
- I am a poor man , and at your Majesty’s command .
- He’s a good drum , my lord , but a naughty orator .
- Do you know he promis’d me marriage ?
- Faith , I know more than I’ll speak .
King of France281
- But wilt thou not speak all thou know’st ?
Parolles282 - 289
- Yes , so please your Majesty . I did go between them as I
- said , but more than that , he lov’d her , for indeed he was
- mad for her , and talk’d of Satan and of Limbo and of Furies
- and I know not what . Yet I was in that credit with them at
- that time that I knew of their going to bed , and of other
- motions , as promising her marriage , and things which would
- derive me ill will to speak of ; therefore I will not speak
- what I know .
King of France290 - 293
- Thou hast spoken all already , unless thou canst say they are
- married . But thou art too fine in thy evidence , therefore
- stand aside .
- This ring you say was yours ?
- Ay , my good lord .
King of France295
- Where did you buy it ? Or who gave it you ?
- It was not given me , nor I did not buy it .
King of France297
- Who lent it you ?
- It was not lent me neither .
King of France299
- Where did you find it then ?
- I found it not .
King of France301 - 302
- If it were yours by none of all these ways ,
- How could you give it him ?
- I never gave it him .
Lafew304 - 305
- This woman’s an easy glove , my lord , she goes off and on at
- pleasure .
King of France306
- This ring was mine , I gave it his first wife .
- It might be yours or hers for aught I know .
King of France308 - 311
- Take her away , I do not like her now ,
- To prison with her ; and away with him .
- Unless thou tell’st me where thou hadst this ring ,
- Thou diest within this hour .
- I’ll never tell you .
King of France313
- Take her away .
- I’ll put in bail , my liege .
King of France315
- I think thee now some common customer .
- By Jove , if ever I knew man , ’twas you .
King of France317
- Wherefore hast thou accus’d him all this while ?
Diana318 - 322
- Because he’s guilty , and he is not guilty .
- He knows I am no maid , and he’ll swear to’t ;
- I’ll swear I am a maid , and he knows not .
- Great King , I am no strumpet , by my life ;
- I am either maid , or else this old man’s wife .
- Pointing to Lafew .
King of France323
- She does abuse our ears . To prison with her !
Diana324 - 334
- Good mother , fetch my bail .
- Exit Widow .
- Stay , royal sir .
- The jeweler that owes the ring is sent for ,
- And he shall surety me . But for this lord ,
- Who hath abus’d me , as he knows himself ,
- Though yet he never harm’d me , here I quit him .
- He knows himself my bed he hath defil’d ,
- And at that time he got his wife with child .
- Dead though she be , she feels her young one kick .
- So there’s my riddle : one that’s dead is quick —
- And now behold the meaning .
- Enter Widow and Helen .
King of France335 - 337
- Is there no exorcist
- Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes ?
- Is’t real that I see ?
Helena338 - 340
- No , my good lord ,
- ’Tis but the shadow of a wife you see ,
- The name , and not the thing .
- Both , both . O , pardon !
Helena342 - 347
- O my good lord , when I was like this maid ,
- I found you wondrous kind . There is your ring ,
- And look you , here’s your letter . This it says :
- “ When from my finger you can get this ring ,
- And are by me with child , etc .” This is done .
- Will you be mine now you are doubly won ?
Bertram348 - 349
- If she , my liege , can make me know this clearly ,
- I’ll love her dearly , ever , ever dearly .
Helena350 - 352
- If it appear not plain and prove untrue ,
- Deadly divorce step between me and you !
- O my dear mother , do I see you living ?
Lafew353 - 356
- Mine eyes smell onions , I shall weep anon .
- To Parolles .
- Good Tom Drum , lend me a handkercher . So , I thank thee ; wait
- on me home , I’ll make sport with thee . Let thy curtsies
- alone , they are scurvy ones .
King of France357 - 366
- Let us from point to point this story know ,
- To make the even truth in pleasure flow .
- To Diana .
- If thou beest yet a fresh uncropped flower ,
- Choose thou thy husband , and I’ll pay thy dower ,
- For I can guess that by thy honest aid
- Thou kept’st a wife herself , thyself a maid .
- Of that and all the progress , more and less ,
- Resolvedly more leisure shall express .
- All yet seems well , and if it end so meet ,
- The bitter past , more welcome is the sweet .
- Flourish .