All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 2, Scene 1
Paris. The King’s palace.
- Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for the
- Florentine war, (Bertram) Count Roussillon, and Parolles.
- Flourish cornets.
King of France4 - 8
- Farewell, young lords, these warlike principles
- Do not throw from you; and you, my lords, farewell.
- Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
- The gift doth stretch itself as ’tis receiv’d,
- And is enough for both.
First French Lord Dumaine9 - 11
- ’Tis our hope, sir,
- After well-ent’red soldiers, to return
- And find your Grace in health.
King of France12 - 21
- No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
- Will not confess he owes the malady
- That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords,
- Whether I live or die, be you the sons
- Of worthy Frenchmen. Let higher Italy
- (Those bated that inherit but the fall
- Of the last monarchy) see that you come
- Not to woo honor, but to wed it, when
- The bravest questant shrinks. Find what you seek,
- That fame may cry you loud. I say farewell.
Second French Lord Dumaine22
- Health, at your bidding, serve your Majesty!
King of France23 - 26
- Those girls of Italy, take heed of them.
- They say our French lack language to deny
- If they demand. Beware of being captives
- Before you serve.
Both French Lords27
- Our hearts receive your warnings.
King of France28
- Farewell.—Come hither to me.
- The King retires apart with some Lords.
First French Lord Dumaine30
- O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
- ’Tis not his fault, the spark.
Second French Lord Dumaine32
- O, ’tis brave wars!
- Most admirable! I have seen those wars.
Bertram34 - 35
- I am commanded here, and kept a coil with,
- “Too young” and “the next year” and “’tis too early.”
- And thy mind stand to’t, boy, steal away bravely.
Bertram37 - 40
- I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
- Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
- Till honor be bought up, and no sword worn
- But one to dance with! By heaven, I’ll steal away.
First French Lord Dumaine41
- There’s honor in the theft.
- Commit it, Count.
Second French Lord Dumaine43
- I am your accessary, and so farewell.
- I grow to you, and our parting is a tortur’d body.
First French Lord Dumaine45
- Farewell, captain.
Second French Lord Dumaine46
- Sweet Monsieur Parolles!
Parolles47 - 52
- Noble heroes! My sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and
- lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall find in the
- regiment of the Spinii one Captain Spurio, with his
- cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it
- was this very sword entrench’d it. Say to him I live, and
- observe his reports for me.
First French Lord Dumaine53
- We shall, noble captain.
Parolles54 - 56
- Mars dote on you for his novices!
- Exeunt Lords.
- What will ye do?
- Stay the King.
Parolles58 - 64
- Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have
- restrain’d yourself within the list of too cold an adieu. Be
- more expressive to them, for they wear themselves in the cap
- of the time, there do muster true gait; eat, speak, and move
- under the influence of the most receiv’d star, and though
- the devil lead the measure, such are to be follow’d. After
- them, and take a more dilated farewell.
- And I will do so.
- Worthy fellows, and like to prove most sinewy swordmen.
- Exeunt Bertram and Parolles.
- Enter Lafew.
- The King comes forward.
Lafew70 - 71
- Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
King of France72
- I’ll see thee to stand up.
Lafew73 - 75
- Then here’s a man stands that has brought his pardon.
- I would you had kneel’d, my lord, to ask me mercy,
- And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
King of France76 - 77
- I would I had, so I had broke thy pate,
- And ask’d thee mercy for’t.
Lafew78 - 80
- Good faith, across!
- But, my good lord, ’tis thus: will you be cur’d
- Of your infirmity?
King of France81
Lafew82 - 91
- O, will you eat
- No grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will
- My noble grapes, and if my royal fox
- Could reach them. I have seen a medicine
- That’s able to breathe life into a stone,
- Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
- With spritely fire and motion, whose simple touch
- Is powerful to araise King Pippen, nay,
- To give great Charlemain a pen in ’s hand
- And write to her a love-line.
King of France92
- What her is this?
Lafew93 - 101
- Why, Doctor She! My lord, there’s one arriv’d,
- If you will see her. Now by my faith and honor,
- If seriously I may convey my thoughts
- In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
- With one, that in her sex, her years, profession,
- Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more
- Than I dare blame my weakness. Will you see her—
- For that is her demand—and know her business?
- That done, laugh well at me.
King of France102 - 105
- Now, good Lafew,
- Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
- May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
- By wond’ring how thou took’st it.
Lafew106 - 107
- Nay, I’ll fit you,
- And not be all day neither.
- Goes to the door.
King of France109
- Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
- Nay, come your ways.
- Enter Helen.
King of France112
- This haste hath wings indeed.
Lafew113 - 117
- Nay, come your ways;
- This is his Majesty, say your mind to him.
- A traitor you do look like, but such traitors
- His Majesty seldom fears. I am Cressid’s uncle,
- That dare leave two together; fare you well.
King of France119
- Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
Helena120 - 122
- Ay, my good lord.
- Gerard de Narbon was my father,
- In what he did profess, well found.
King of France123
- I knew him.
Helena124 - 135
- The rather will I spare my praises towards him,
- Knowing him is enough. On ’s bed of death
- Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
- Which as the dearest issue of his practice,
- And of his old experience th’ only darling,
- He bade me store up, as a triple eye,
- Safer than mine own two, more dear. I have so,
- And hearing your high Majesty is touch’d
- With that malignant cause wherein the honor
- Of my dear father’s gift stands chief in power,
- I come to tender it, and my appliance,
- With all bound humbleness.
King of France136 - 146
- We thank you, maiden,
- But may not be so credulous of cure,
- When our most learned doctors leave us, and
- The congregated college have concluded
- That laboring art can never ransom nature
- From her inaidible estate; I say we must not
- So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
- To prostitute our past-cure malady
- To empirics, or to dissever so
- Our great self and our credit, to esteem
- A senseless help when help past sense we deem.
Helena147 - 150
- My duty then shall pay me for my pains.
- I will no more enforce mine office on you,
- Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
- A modest one, to bear me back again.
King of France151 - 155
- I cannot give thee less, to be call’d grateful.
- Thou thought’st to help me, and such thanks I give
- As one near death to those that wish him live.
- But what at full I know, thou know’st no part,
- I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
Helena156 - 166
- What I can do can do no hurt to try,
- Since you set up your rest ’gainst remedy.
- He that of greatest works is finisher
- Oft does them by the weakest minister:
- So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
- When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
- From simple sources; and great seas have dried
- When miracles have by the great’st been denied.
- Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
- Where most it promises; and oft it hits
- Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits.
King of France167 - 169
- I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid,
- Thy pains not us’d must by thyself be paid.
- Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
Helena170 - 180
- Inspired merit so by breath is barr’d.
- It is not so with Him that all things knows
- As ’tis with us that square our guess by shows;
- But most it is presumption in us when
- The help of heaven we count the act of men.
- Dear sir, to my endeavors give consent,
- Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
- I am not an imposture that proclaim
- Myself against the level of mine aim,
- But know I think, and think I know most sure,
- My art is not past power, nor you past cure.
King of France181 - 182
- Art thou so confident? Within what space
- Hop’st thou my cure?
Helena183 - 191
- The greatest grace lending grace,
- Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
- Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring,
- Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
- Moist Hesperus hath quench’d her sleepy lamp,
- Or four and twenty times the pilot’s glass
- Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass,
- What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
- Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
King of France192 - 193
- Upon thy certainty and confidence
- What dar’st thou venter?
Helena194 - 198
- Tax of impudence,
- A strumpet’s boldness, a divulged shame,
- Traduc’d by odious ballads; my maiden’s name
- Sear’d otherwise; ne worse of worst—extended
- With vildest torture, let my life be ended.
King of France199 - 210
- Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
- His powerful sound within an organ weak;
- And what impossibility would slay
- In common sense, sense saves another way.
- Thy life is dear, for all that life can rate
- Worth name of life in thee hath estimate:
- Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
- That happiness and prime can happy call.
- Thou this to hazard needs must intimate
- Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
- Sweet practicer, thy physic I will try,
- That ministers thine own death if I die.
Helena211 - 214
- If I break time, or flinch in property
- Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
- And well deserv’d. Not helping, death’s my fee,
- But if I help, what do you promise me?
King of France215
- Make thy demand.
- But will you make it even?
King of France217
- Ay, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
Helena218 - 225
- Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand
- What husband in thy power I will command.
- Exempted be from me the arrogance
- To choose from forth the royal blood of France,
- My low and humble name to propagate
- With any branch or image of thy state;
- But such a one thy vassal, whom I know
- Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
King of France226 - 235
- Here is my hand, the premises observ’d,
- Thy will by my performance shall be serv’d.
- So make the choice of thy own time, for I,
- Thy resolv’d patient, on thee still rely.
- More should I question thee, and more I must—
- Though more to know could not be more to trust—
- From whence thou cam’st, how tended on, but rest
- Unquestion’d welcome and undoubted blest.—
- Give me some help here ho!—If thou proceed
- As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
- Flourish. Exeunt.