All's Well That Ends Well

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Countess, Rynaldo her Steward, and

Lavatch her Clown


I will now hear. What say you of this



Madam, the care I have had to even your
even (v.) 1 make good, settle, put straight

content I wish might be found in the calendar of my
calendar (n.) 1 record, register, history
content (n.) 2 contentment, peace of mind

past endeavours, for then we wound our modesty, and

make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of
deserving (n.) 1 worthiness, desert, merit

ourselves we publish them.


What does this knave here? Get you gone,
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

sirrah. The complaints I have heard of you I do not all

believe; 'tis my slowness that I do not, for I know you

lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough

to make such knaveries yours.
knavery (n.) 1 roguish trick, rouguery, trickery


'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor



Well, sir.


No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor,

though many of the rich are damned; but if I may have

your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the
world, go to the get married

woman and I will do as we may.


Wilt thou needs be a beggar?


I do beg your good will in this case.


In what case?


In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no

heritage, and I think I shall never have the blessing of
heritage (n.) inheritance, legacy

God till I have issue o'my body; for they say barnes are
barn, barne (n.) child, baby
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count



Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.


My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven

on by the flesh, and he must needs go that the devil



Is this all your worship's reason?


Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as

they are.


May the world know them?


I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you

and all flesh and blood are, and indeed I do marry that I

may repent.


Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.


I am out o' friends, madam, and I hope to have

friends for my wife's sake.


Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


Y'are shallow, madam; e'en great friends, for the
shallow (adj.) naive, gullible, lacking in depth of character

knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

He that ears my land spares my team, and gives me
ear (v.) 3 plough, till, cultivate

leave to in the crop. If I be his cuckold, he's my drudge.
cuckold (n.) [mocking name] man with an unfaithful wife See Topics: Frequency count
drudge (n.) slave, serf, lackey
in (v.) gather in, bring in, harvest

He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh

and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood loves

my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is

my friend; ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If
ergo (adv.) therefore See Topics: Latin

men could be contented to be what they are, there were

no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan and

old Poysam the papist, howsome'er their hearts are

severed in religion, their heads are both one: they may

jowl horns together like any deer i'th' herd.
jowl (v.) dash, knock, thrust


Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and

calumnious knave?
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


A prophet I, madam, and I speak the truth the

next way:
next (adj.) nearest, shortest, most direct

For I the ballad will repeat

Which men full true shall find:

Your marriage comes by destiny,

Your cuckoo sings by kind.
kind (n.) 1 nature, reality, character, disposition


Get you gone, sir. I'll talk with you more anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen

come to you: of her I am to speak.


Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak

with her – Helen, I mean.


Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

Why the Grecians sacked Troy?

Fond done, done fond,
fond (adv.) foolishly, stupidly

Was this King Priam's joy?

With that she sighed as she stood,

With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then:
sentence (n.) 1 maxim, wise saying, precept

Among nine bad if one be good,

Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.


What, one good in ten? You corrupt the song,



One good woman in ten, madam, which is a

purifying o'th' song. Would God would serve the world

so all the year! We'd find no fault with the tithe-woman
tithe-woman (n.) tenth woman

if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth 'a! An we might
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count
quoth a, quotha (int.) did he say?, indeed!

have a good woman born but one every blazing star or

at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man
lottery (n.) 1 odds, chance, probability
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right

may draw his heart out ere 'a pluck one.
pluck (v.) 4 draw, find, select [as from a pack of cards]


You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

command you!


That man should be at woman's command, and

yet no hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet it
honesty (n.) 1 virtue, chastity

will do no hurt. It will wear the surplice of humility over

the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth. The
big (adj.) 3 arrogant, haughty, proud
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

business is for Helen to come hither.



Well, now.


I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman

entirely (adv.) sincerely, heartily


Faith, I do. Her father bequeathed her to me,

and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully
advantage (n.) 4 interest, bonus, addition

make title to as much love as she finds. There is more
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

owing her than is paid, and more shall be paid her than

she'll demand.


Madam, I was very late more near her than I
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before

think she wished me. Alone she was, and did communicate

to herself her own words to her own ears; she

thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any
touch (v.) 3 affect, move, stir

stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son.
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance
sense (n.) 1 senses, sensation, organs of sense
stranger (adj.) foreign, alien

Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such

difference betwixt their two estates; Love no god, that
estate (n.) 3 degree of rank, place in life, type of person

would not extend his might only where qualities were
quality (n.) 3 rank, standing, position

level; Dian no queen of virgins, that would suffer her

poor knight surprised without rescue in the first assault
knight (n.) devotee, servant, follower [male or female]

or ransom afterward. This she delivered in the most
afterward (adv.) afterwards
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe

bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard virgin exclaim
touch (n.) 8 depth of feeling, mental pain, pang

in, which I held my duty speedily to acquaint you

withal, sithence, in the loss that may happen, it

concerns you something to know it.
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count


You have discharged this honestly; keep it to
discharge (v.) 1 fulfil, execute, perform

yourself. Many likelihoods informed me of this before,

which hung so tottering in the balance that I could

neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you leave me. Stall
misdoubt (v.) 2 disbelieve, doubt the reality [of]
stall (v.) 2 keep close, place, stow away

this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person

care. I will speak with you further anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

Exit Steward

Enter Helena


Even so it was with me when I was young.

If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn

Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born.
blood (n.) 1 passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]

It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
seal (n.) 2 pledge, promise, token, sign

Where love's strong passion is impressed in youth:
impress (v.) 2 imprint, engrave, stamp [as by a seal]

By our remembrances of days foregone,
foregone (adj.) previous, prior, earlier
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.

Her eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
observe (v.) 3 perceive, see through, be aware of


What is your pleasure, madam?


                         You know, Helen,

I am a mother to you.


Mine honourable mistress.


                         Nay, a mother.

Why not a mother? When I said ‘ a mother,’

Methought you saw a serpent. What's in ‘ mother ’
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

That you start at it? I say I am your mother,
start (v.) 1 jump, recoil, flinch

And put you in the catalogue of those

That were enwombed mine. 'Tis often seen
enwomb (v.) be present in the womb [as], be born

Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds

A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
slip (n.) 1 seedling, sprig, shoot, cutting

You ne'er oppressed me with a mother's groan,
oppress (v.) 3 trouble, distress, worry

Yet I express to you a mother's care.

God's mercy, maiden! Does it curd thy blood
curd (v.) congeal, coagulate, curdle

To say I am thy mother? What's the matter,

That this distempered messenger of wet,
distempered (adj.) 1 troubled, disturbed, inclement

The many-coloured Iris, rounds thine eye?
round (v.) 1 ring, encircle, surround

Why, that you are my daughter?


                         That I am not.


I say I am your mother.


                         Pardon, madam.

The Count Rossillion cannot be my brother.

I am from humble, he from honoured name;

No note upon my parents, his all noble.
note (n.) 7 reputation, distinction, standing

My master, my dear lord he is, and I

His servant live, and will his vassal die.
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject

He must not be my brother.


                         Nor I your mother?


You are my mother, madam; would you were –

So that my lord your son were not my brother –

Indeed my mother! Or were you both our mothers

I care no more for than I do for heaven,

So I were not his sister. Can't no other

But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?


Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law.

God shield you mean it not! ‘ Daughter ’ and ‘ mother ’
shield (v.) forbid [as exclamation]

So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
strive (v.) compete, contend, vie

My fear hath catched your fondness. Now I see
fondness (n.) foolish affection, naive devotion

The mystery of your loneliness, and find

Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross:
gross (adj.) 1 plain, striking, evident, obvious
head (n.) 9 source, origin, fountainhead
sense (n.) 4 perception, awareness, discernment, appreciation

You love my son. Invention is ashamed
invention (n.) 8 devising excuses, capacity for evasion

Against the proclamation of thy passion

To say thou dost not. Therefore tell me true;

But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look, thy cheeks

Confess it t' one to th' other, and thine eyes

See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours
grossly (adv.) 2 obviously, plainly, palpably

That in their kind they speak it; only sin
kind (n.) 2 manner, way, state

And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,

That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
suspected (adj.) doubted, regarded with suspicion

If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
clew (n.) ball of thread

If it be not, forswear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
charge (v.) 2 entreat, exhort, enjoin
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 3 deny, repudiate, refuse to admit See Topics: Frequency count

As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,

To tell me truly.


                         Good madam, pardon me.


Do you love my son?


                         Your pardon, noble mistress.


Love you my son?


                         Do not you love him, madam?


Go not about; my love hath in't a bond
go about (v.) 3 be evasive, talk in a roundabout way

Whereof the world takes note. Come, come, disclose

The state of your affection, for your passions

Have to the full appeached.
appeach (v.) denounce, inform against, impeach


                         Then, I confess,

Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,

That before you, and next unto high heaven,

I love your son.

My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love.
friend (n.) 2 relation, relative, kinsman

Be not offended, for it hurts not him

That he is loved of me. I follow him not

By any token of presumptuous suit,
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

Nor would I have him till I do deserve him,

Yet never know how that desert should be.
desert, desart (n.) 2 worth, merit, deserving

I know I love in vain, strive against hope,

Yet in this captious and intenable sieve
captious (adj.) capacious, spacious, roomy
inteemable (adj.) [debated meaning] unable to be poured out
intenable (adj.) [debated meaning] unable to retain

I still pour in the waters of my love
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like,

Religious in mine error, I adore

The sun that looks upon his worshipper

But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,

Let not your hate encounter with my love,
encounter with (v.) 2 contest, dispute, confront

For loving where you do; but if yourself,

Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
cite (v.) 2 be evidence of, confirm, acknowledge

Did ever, in so true a flame of liking,

Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
wish (v.) 1 hope, desire

Was both herself and love – O then, give pity

To her whose state is such that cannot choose

But lend and give where she is sure to lose;

That seeks not to find that her search implies,

But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies.
riddle-like (adv.) in the manner of a riddle, hiding the truth of a situation


Had you not lately an intent – speak truly –
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count
lately (adv.) 1 recently, of late

To go to Paris?


                         Madam, I had.


                                                         Wherefore? tell true.


I will tell truth, by grace itself I swear.

You know my father left me some prescriptions

Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading

And manifest experience had collected
experience (n.) learning, expertise, knowledge
manifest (adj.) clear, evident, obvious

For general sovereignty; and that he willed me
general (adj.) 1 common, of everyone, public
sovereignty (n.) 3 potency, efficacy, effectiveness
will (v.), past form would 2 command, order, direct

In heedfullest reservation to bestow them,
bestow (v.) 6 stow away, dispose of
heedful (adj.) 1 careful, mindful, watchful
reservation (n.) 2 concealment, secrecy, keeping out of sight

As notes whose faculties inclusive were
faculty (n.) function, power, capability
inclusive (adj.) 1 comprehensive, all-embracing, extensive
note (n.) 6 instruction, indication, direction

More than they were in note. Amongst the rest
note (n.) 7 reputation, distinction, standing

There is a remedy, approved, set down,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

To cure the desperate languishings whereof

The King is rendered lost.
render (v.) 5 describe, represent, depict [as]


                         This was your motive

For Paris, was it? Speak.


My lord your son made me to think of this.

Else Paris and the medicine and the King

Had from the conversation of my thoughts
conversation (n.) 3 process, interchange, movement

Haply been absent then.
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count


                         But think you, Helen,

If you should tender your supposed aid,
tender (v.) 1 offer, give, present

He would receive it? He and his physicians

Are of a mind: he, that they cannot help him;

They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit

A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
school (n.) 4 medical faculty

Embowelled of their doctrine, have left off
doctrine (n.) 1 learning, body of knowledge, science
embowelled (adj.) disembowelled, emptied, drained
leave off (v.) give up, abandon, leave alone

The danger to itself?


                         There's something in't

More than my father's skill, which was the greatest

Of his profession, that his good receipt
receipt (n.) 3 recipe, formula, prescription

Shall for my legacy be sanctified

By th' luckiest stars in heaven; and would your honour

But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure
well-lost (adj.) lost in a good cause

By such a day, an hour.


                         Dost thou believe't?


Ay, madam, knowingly.
knowingly (adv.) with knowledge, with worldly experience


Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,

Means and attendants, and my loving greetings

To those of mine in court. I'll stay at home

And pray God's blessing into thy attempt.

Be gone tomorrow, and be sure of this,

What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.


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