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All’s Well That Ends Well: Act 1, Scene 3

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 1, Scene 3

Roussillon. A room in the Count’s palace.

  1. Enter Countess, Steward Rinaldo, and Clown Lavatch.

Countess

2
  1. I will now hear. What say you of this gentlewoman?

Rinaldo

3 - 6
  1. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish
  2. might be found in the calendar of my past endeavors, for
  3. then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of
  4. our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Countess

7 - 11
  1. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah. The
  2. complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe. ’Tis my
  3. slowness that I do not, for I know you lack not folly to
  4. commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries
  5. yours.

Lavatch

12
  1. ’Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.

Countess

13
  1. Well, sir.

Lavatch

14 - 17
  1. No, madam, ’tis not so well that I am poor, though many of
  2. the rich are damn’d, but if I may have your ladyship’s good
  3. will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we
  4. may.

Countess

18
  1. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?

Lavatch

19
  1. I do beg your good will in this case.

Countess

20
  1. In what case?

Lavatch

21 - 23
  1. In Isbel’s case and mine own. Service is no heritage, and I
  2. think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have
  3. issue a’ my body; for they say barnes are blessings.

Countess

24
  1. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Lavatch

25 - 26
  1. My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the
  2. flesh, and he must needs go that the devil drives.

Countess

27
  1. Is this all your worship’s reason?

Lavatch

28
  1. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.

Countess

29
  1. May the world know them?

Lavatch

30 - 31
  1. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh
  2. and blood are, and indeed I do marry that I may repent.

Countess

32
  1. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

Lavatch

33 - 34
  1. I am out a’ friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for
  2. my wive’s sake.

Countess

35
  1. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Lavatch

36 - 47
  1. Y’ are shallow, madamin great friends, for the knaves come
  2. to do that for me which I am a-weary of. He that ears my
  3. land spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop. If
  4. I be his cuckold, he’s my drudge. He that comforts my wife
  5. is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my
  6. flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my
  7. flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kisses my wife
  8. is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are,
  9. there were no fear in marriage, for young Charbon the
  10. puritan and old Poysam the papist, howsome’er their hearts
  11. are sever’d in religion, their heads are both one: they may
  12. jowl horns together like any deer i’ th’ herd.

Countess

48
  1. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth’d and calumnious knave?

Lavatch

49 - 53
  1. A prophet I, madam, and I speak the truth the next way:
  2. For I the ballad will repeat,
  3. Which men full true shall find:
  4. Your marriage comes by destiny,
  5. Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Countess

54
  1. Get you gone, sir, I’ll talk with you more anon.

Rinaldo

55 - 56
  1. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you. Of
  2. her I am to speak.

Countess

57 - 58
  1. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with herHelen, I
  2. mean.

Lavatch

59 - 69
  1. Sings.
  2. Was this fair face the cause,” quoth she,
  3. Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
  4. Fond done, done fond,
  5. Was this King Priam’s joy?”
  6. With that she sighed as she stood,
  7. With that she sighed as she stood,
  8. And gave this sentence then:
  9. Among nine bad if one be good,
  10. Among nine bad if one be good,
  11. There’s yet one good in ten.”

Countess

70
  1. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the song, sirrah.

Lavatch

71 - 76
  1. One good woman in ten, madam, which is a purifying a’ th’
  2. song. Would God would serve the world so all the year! We’d
  3. find no fault with the tithe-woman if I were the parson. One
  4. in ten, quoth ’a? And we might have a good woman born but or
  5. every blazing star or at an earthquake, ’twould mend the
  6. lottery well; a man may draw his heart out ere ’a pluck one.

Countess

77
  1. You’ll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.

Lavatch

78 - 82
  1. That man should be at woman’s command, and yet no hurt done!
  2. Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it
  3. will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a
  4. big heart. I am going, forsooth. The business is for Helen
  5. to come hither.
  1. Exit.

Countess

84
  1. Well, now.

Rinaldo

85
  1. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.

Countess

86 - 89
  1. Faith, I do. Her father bequeath’d her to me, and she
  2. herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to
  3. as much love as she finds. There is more owing her than is
  4. paid, and more shall be paid her than she’ll demand.

Rinaldo

90 - 102
  1. Madam, I was very late more near her than I think she wish’d
  2. me. Alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own
  3. words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they
  4. touch’d not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she lov’d
  5. your son. Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put
  6. such difference betwixt their two estates; Love no god, that
  7. would not extend his might only where qualities were level;
  8. Diana no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight
  9. surpris’d without rescue in the first assault or ransom
  10. afterward. This she deliver’d in the most bitter touch of
  11. sorrow that e’er I heard virgin exclaim in, which I held my
  12. duty speedily to acquaint you withal, sithence in the loss
  13. that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.

Countess

103 - 119
  1. You have discharg’d this honestly, keep it to yourself. Many
  2. likelihoods inform’d me of this before, which hung so
  3. tott’ring in the balance that I could neither believe nor
  4. misdoubt. Pray you leave me. Stall this in your bosom, and I
  5. thank you for your honest care. I will speak with you
  6. further anon.
  7. Exit Steward.
  8. Enter Helen.
  9. Even so it was with me when I was young.
  10. If ever we are nature’s, these are ours. This thorn
  11. Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
  12. Our blood to us, this to our blood is born.
  13. It is the show and seal of nature’s truth,
  14. Where love’s strong passion is impress’d in youth.
  15. By our remembrances of days foregone,
  16. Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
  17. Her eye is sick on’t; I observe her now.

Helena

120
  1. What is your pleasure, madam?

Countess

121 - 122
  1.                               You know, Helen,
  2. I am a mother to you.

Helena

123
  1. Mine honorable mistress.

Countess

124 - 138
  1.                          Nay, a mother,
  2. Why not a mother? When I said a mother,”
  3. Methought you saw a serpent. What’s in mother,”
  4. That you start at it? I say I am your mother,
  5. And put you in the catalogue of those
  6. That were enwombed mine. ’Tis often seen
  7. Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds
  8. A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
  9. You ne’er oppress’d me with a mother’s groan,
  10. Yet I express to you a mother’s care.
  11. God’s mercy, maiden! Does it curd thy blood
  12. To say I am thy mother? What’s the matter,
  13. That this distempered messenger of wet,
  14. The many-color’d Iris, rounds thine eye?
  15. Why, that you are my daughter?

Helena

139
  1.                                 That I am not.

Countess

140
  1. I say I am your mother.

Helena

141 - 147
  1.                         Pardon, madam;
  2. The Count Roussillon cannot be my brother:
  3. I am from humble, he from honored name;
  4. No note upon my parents, his all noble.
  5. My master, my dear lord he is, and I
  6. His servant live, and will his vassal die.
  7. He must not be my brother.

Countess

148
  1.                            Nor I your mother?

Helena

149 - 154
  1. You are my mother, madam; would you were
  2. So that my lord your son were not my brother
  3. Indeed my mother! Or were you both our mothers,
  4. I care no more for than I do for heaven,
  5. So I were not his sister. Can’t no other,
  6. But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?

Countess

155 - 173
  1. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law.
  2. God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
  3. So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
  4. My fear hath catch’d your fondness! Now I see
  5. The myst’ry of your loneliness, and find
  6. Your salt tears’ head, now to all sense ’tis gross:
  7. You love my son. Invention is asham’d,
  8. Against the proclamation of thy passion,
  9. To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true,
  10. But tell me then ’tis so; for look, thy cheeks
  11. Confess it, t’ one to th’ other, and thine eyes
  12. See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
  13. That in their kind they speak it. Only sin
  14. And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
  15. That truth should be suspected. Speak, is’t so?
  16. If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
  17. If it be not, forswear’t; howe’er, I charge thee,
  18. As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
  19. To tell me truly.

Helena

174
  1.                   Good madam, pardon me!

Countess

175
  1. Do you love my son?

Helena

176
  1.                     Your pardon, noble mistress!

Countess

177
  1. Love you my son?

Helena

178
  1.                  Do not you love him, madam?

Countess

179 - 182
  1. Go not about; my love hath in’t a bond
  2. Whereof the world takes note. Come, come, disclose
  3. The state of your affection, for your passions
  4. Have to the full appeach’d.

Helena

183 - 209
  1.                             Then I confess
  2. Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
  3. That before you, and next unto high heaven,
  4. I love your son.
  5. My friends were poor, but honest, so’s my love.
  6. Be not offended, for it hurts not him
  7. That he is lov’d of me; I follow him not
  8. By any token of presumptuous suit,
  9. Nor would I have him till I do deserve him,
  10. Yet never know how that desert should be.
  11. I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
  12. Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
  13. I still pour in the waters of my love
  14. And lack not to lose still. Thus Indian-like,
  15. Religious in mine error, I adore
  16. The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
  17. But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
  18. Let not your hate encounter with my love
  19. For loving where you do; but if yourself,
  20. Whose aged honor cites a virtuous youth,
  21. Did ever in so true a flame of liking
  22. Wish chastely, and love dearly, that your Dian
  23. Was both herself and Love, O then give pity
  24. To her whose state is such that cannot choose
  25. But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
  26. That seeks not to find that her search implies,
  27. But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies.

Countess

210 - 211
  1. Had you not lately an intentspeak truly
  2. To go to Paris?

Helena

212
  1.                 Madam, I had.

Countess

213
  1.               Wherefore? Tell true.

Helena

214 - 224
  1. I will tell truth, by grace itself I swear.
  2. You know my father left me some prescriptions
  3. Of rare and prov’d effects, such as his reading
  4. And manifest experience had collected
  5. For general sovereignty; and that he will’d me
  6. In heedfull’st reservation to bestow them,
  7. As notes whose faculties inclusive were
  8. More than they were in note. Amongst the rest,
  9. There is a remedy, approv’d, set down,
  10. To cure the desperate languishings whereof
  11. The King is render’d lost.

Countess

225 - 226
  1.                            This was your motive
  2. For Paris, was it? Speak.

Helena

227 - 230
  1. My lord your son made me to think of this;
  2. Else Paris, and the medicine, and the King,
  3. Had from the conversation of my thoughts
  4. Happily been absent then.

Countess

231 - 238
  1.                           But think you, Helen,
  2. If you should tender your supposed aid,
  3. He would receive it? He and his physicians
  4. Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
  5. They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit
  6. A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
  7. Embowell’d of their doctrine, have left off
  8. The danger to itself?

Helena

239 - 246
  1.                       There’s something in’t
  2. More than my father’s skill, which was the great’st
  3. Of his profession, that his good receipt
  4. Shall for my legacy be sanctified
  5. By th’ luckiest stars in heaven, and would your honor
  6. But give me leave to try success, I’d venture
  7. The well-lost life of mine on his Grace’s cure
  8. By such a day, an hour.

Countess

247
  1.                         Dost thou believe’t?

Helena

248
  1. Ay, madam, knowingly.

Countess

249 - 254
  1. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
  2. Means and attendants, and my loving greetings
  3. To those of mine in court. I’ll stay at home
  4. And pray God’s blessing into thy attempt.
  5. Be gone tomorrow, and be sure of this,
  6. What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.
  1. Exeunt.
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