All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 5, Scene 3
Roussillon. The Count’s palace.
- Flourish. Enter King, old Lady Countess, Lafew, the two
- French Lords, with Attendants.
King of France3 - 6
- 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.
Countess7 - 11
- ’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 France12 - 15
- 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.
Lafew16 - 24
- 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 France25 - 33
- 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.
King of France36
- What says he to your daughter? Have you spoke?
- All that he is hath reference to your Highness.
King of France38 - 39
- 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 France42 - 46
- 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.
Bertram47 - 48
- My high-repented blames,
- Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King of France49 - 55
- 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?
Bertram56 - 67
- 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 France68 - 83
- 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.
Countess84 - 85
- Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
- Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
Lafew86 - 95
- 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 France97 - 103
- 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?
Bertram104 - 106
- My gracious sovereign,
- Howe’er it pleases you to take it so,
- The ring was never hers.
Countess107 - 109
- 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.
Bertram111 - 120
- 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 France121 - 132
- 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 France134 - 146
- 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.
Bertram147 - 150
- 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 France153
- I am wrapp’d in dismal thinkings.
Gentleman154 - 164
- 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 France165 - 172
- 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.”
Lafew173 - 174
- I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for this.
- I’ll none of him.
King of France175 - 180
- 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 France183 - 185
- 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.
Diana187 - 190
- 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.
Widow191 - 193
- 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 France194
- Come hither, Count, do you know these women?
Bertram195 - 196
- 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.
Diana199 - 205
- 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.
Lafew206 - 207
- Your reputation comes too short for my daughter, you are no
- husband for her.
Bertram208 - 211
- 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 France212 - 214
- 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.
Diana215 - 217
- Good my lord,
- Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
- He had not my virginity.
King of France218
- What say’st thou to her?
Bertram219 - 220
- She’s impudent, my lord,
- And was a common gamester to the camp.
Diana221 - 227
- 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.
Countess228 - 232
- 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 France233 - 234
- Methought you said
- You saw one here in court could witness it.
Diana235 - 236
- 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 France238
- Find him, and bring him hither.
- Exit an Attendant.
Bertram240 - 245
- 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 France246
- She hath that ring of yours.
Bertram247 - 256
- 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.
Diana257 - 262
- 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 France264
- What ring was yours, I pray you?
Diana265 - 266
- Sir, much like
- The same upon your finger.
King of France267
- Know you this ring? This ring was his of late.
- And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.
King of France269 - 270
- 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 France274 - 275
- You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts you.
- Is this the man you speak of?
- Ay, my lord.
King of France277 - 280
- 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?
Parolles281 - 282
- So please your Majesty, my master hath been an honorable
- gentleman. Tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
King of France283
- Come, come, to th’ purpose. Did he love this woman?
- Faith, sir, he did love her, but how?
King of France285
- How, I pray you?
- He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
King of France287
- How is that?
- He lov’d her, sir, and lov’d her not.
King of France289 - 290
- 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 France295
- But wilt thou not speak all thou know’st?
Parolles296 - 303
- 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 France304 - 307
- 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 France309
- Where did you buy it? Or who gave it you?
- It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
King of France311
- Who lent it you?
- It was not lent me neither.
King of France313
- Where did you find it then?
- I found it not.
King of France315 - 316
- If it were yours by none of all these ways,
- How could you give it him?
- I never gave it him.
Lafew318 - 319
- This woman’s an easy glove, my lord, she goes off and on at
King of France320
- This ring was mine, I gave it his first wife.
- It might be yours or hers for aught I know.
King of France322 - 325
- 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 France327
- Take her away.
- I’ll put in bail, my liege.
King of France329
- I think thee now some common customer.
- By Jove, if ever I knew man, ’twas you.
King of France331
- Wherefore hast thou accus’d him all this while?
Diana332 - 336
- 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 France338
- She does abuse our ears. To prison with her!
Diana339 - 350
- 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 France352 - 354
- Is there no exorcist
- Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
- Is’t real that I see?
Helena355 - 357
- No, my good lord,
- ’Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
- The name, and not the thing.
- Both, both. O, pardon!
Helena359 - 364
- 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?
Bertram365 - 366
- If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
- I’ll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
Helena367 - 369
- If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
- Deadly divorce step between me and you!
- O my dear mother, do I see you living?
Lafew370 - 374
- 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 France375 - 385
- 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.