All's Well That Ends Well


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Bertram, Lafew, and Parolles


LAFEW

They say miracles are past, and we have our

philosophical persons to make modern and familiar,
modern (adj.) ordinary, trite, commonplace, everyday

things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
causeless (adj.) 1 outside the normal course of nature, inexplicable by natural causes

we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into
ensconce, insconce (v.) 1 protect, conceal, shelter

seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves
seeming (adj.) apparent, convincing in appearance

to an unknown fear.


PAROLLES

Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that
argument (n.) 1 subject of conversation, subject-matter, topic

hath shot out in our latter times.
shoot out (v.) appear suddenly, come up, emerge


BERTRAM

And so 'tis.


LAFEW

To be relinquished of the artists –
artist (n.) 2 medical practitioner, physician
relinquish (v.) abandon, desert, give up [by]


PAROLLES

So I say – both of Galen and Paracelsus.


LAFEW

Of all the learned and authentic fellows –
authentic (adj.) 3 qualified, accredited, authorized
fellow (n.) 6 practitioner, specialist, expert


PAROLLES

Right, so I say.


LAFEW

That gave him out incurable –


PAROLLES

Why, there 'tis, so say I too.


LAFEW

Not to be helped.


PAROLLES

Right, as 'twere a man assured of a –


LAFEW

Uncertain life and sure death.


PAROLLES

Just, you say well. So would I have said.


LAFEW

I may truly say it is a novelty to the world.


PAROLLES

It is indeed. If you will have it in showing, you
showing (n.) 2 visible form, printed form, visual representation

shall read it in what-do-ye-call there.


LAFEW

A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
actor (n.) doer, performer


PAROLLES

That's it, I would have said the very same.


LAFEW

Why, your dolphin is not lustier. Fore me, I speak
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

in respect –


PAROLLES

Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the

brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinerious
brief and the long / tedious, the the long and the short
facinerious (adj.) extremely wicked, villainous, criminal

spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the –


LAFEW

Very hand of heaven.


PAROLLES

Ay, so I say.


LAFEW

In a most weak –


PAROLLES

And debile minister, great power, great
debile (adj.) feeble, weak, puny

transcendence, which should indeed give us a further

use to be made than alone the recovery of the King, as

to be –


LAFEW

Generally thankful.
generally (adv.) universally, without exception, in the eyes of all

Enter the King, Helena, and attendants


PAROLLES

I would have said it, you say well. Here comes

the King.


LAFEW

Lustique, as the Dutchman says. I'll like a maid
lustique (adj.) lusty, lively, sportive

the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head. Why, he's
tooth (n.) 2 taste for pleasure, sweet tooth

able to lead her a coranto.
coranto (n.) lively dance with quick running steps


PAROLLES

Mor du vinager! Is not this Helen?


LAFEW

Fore God, I think so.


KING

Go, call before me all the lords in court.

Exit an attendant

Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side,

And with this healthful hand, whose banished sense
healthful (adj.) healthy, wholesome, fit [in health]

Thou hast repealed, a second time receive
repeal (v.) recall, call back [from exile]

The confirmation of my promised gift,

Which but attends thy naming.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

Enter four Lords
parcel (n.) 3 small group, company, party

Fair maid, send forth thine eye. This youthful parcel

Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,

O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice

I have to use. Thy frank election make;
election (n.) choice, preference
frank (adj.) 2 free, unconstrained, unrestricted

Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
forsake (v.) 1 refuse, decline, reject


HELENA

To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress

Fall, when love please! Marry, to each but one!


LAFEW

I'd give bay curtal and his furniture
curtal (adj.) with a docked tail; common, household
furniture (n.) 2 trappings, harness

My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
broken (adj.) 6 broken in [as a horse]; or: in pieces [as of teeth]

And writ as little beard.
write (v.) 1 claim, bear, exhibit


KING

                         Peruse them well.

Not one of those but had a noble father.

Helena addresses the Lords


HELENA

Gentlemen,

Heaven hath through me restored the King to health.


ALL THE LORDS

We understand it, and thank heaven for you.


HELENA

I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest

That I protest I simply am a maid.

Please it your majesty, I have done already.

The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me:

‘ We blush that thou shouldst choose, but, be refused,

Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever,

We'll ne'er come there again.’


KING

                         Make choice and see,

Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.


HELENA

Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,

And to imperial Love, that god most high,

Do my sighs stream. (To First Lord) Sir, will you hear my suit?


FIRST LORD

And grant it.


HELENA

                         Thanks, sir. All the rest is mute.


LAFEW

I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
ames-ace (n.) double ace [the lowest throw at dice]

for my life.


HELENA

(to Second Lord)

The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes

Before I speak, too threateningly replies.

Love make your fortunes twenty times above

Her that so wishes, and her humble love!


SECOND LORD

No better, if you please.


HELENA

                         My wish receive,

Which great Love grant. And so I take my leave.


LAFEW

Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine

I'd have them whipped, or I would send them to

th' Turk to make eunuchs of.


HELENA

(to Third Lord)

Be not afraid that I your hand should take;

I'll never do you wrong, for your own sake.

Blessing upon your vows, and in your bed

Find fairer fortune if you ever wed!


LAFEW

These boys are boys of ice; they'll none have her.

Sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er

got 'em.


HELENA

(to Fourth Lord)

You are too young, too happy, and too good

To make yourself a son out of my blood.


Fourth Lord

Fair one, I think not so.


LAFEW

There's one grape yet. I am sure thy father drunk

wine; but if thou beest not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen;

I have known thee already.
know (v.) 5 see through, find out about


HELENA

(to Bertram)

I dare not say I take you, but I give

Me and my service, ever whilst I live,

Into your guiding power. This is the man.
power (n.) 7 control, influence, sway


KING

Why, then, young Bertram, take her, she's thy wife.


BERTRAM

My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,

In such a business give me leave to use

The help of mine own eyes.


KING

                         Knowest thou not, Bertram,

What she has done for me?


BERTRAM

                         Yes, my good lord,

But never hope to know why I should marry her.


KING

Thou knowest she has raised me from my sickly bed.
sickly (adj.) 2 of sickness, invalid


BERTRAM

But follows it, my lord, to bring me down

Must answer for your raising? I know her well:

She had her breeding at my father's charge.
breeding (n.) 1 raising, upbringing

A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain

Rather corrupt me ever!
corrupt (v.) 1 ruin, defile, debase


KING

'Tis only title thou disdainest in her, the which
title (n.) 3 name, label, designation

I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,

Of colour, weight, and heat, poured all together,

Would quite confound distinction, yet stands off
confound (v.) 4 challenge, defy, overturn
stand off (v.) 3 be distinguishable, differ, remain separate

In differences so mighty. If she be

All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest –
dislike (v.) 2 disapprove of, take exception to

A poor physician's daughter – thou dislikest

Of virtue for the name. But do not so.

From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

The place is dignified by th' doer's deed.

Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
addition (n.) 1 title, name
swell (v.) exalt, magnify, puff up

It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
dropsied (adj.) puffed up, turgid, pretentious

Is good, without a name: vileness is so;

The property by what it is should go,

Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
go (v.) 5 pass as current, be valued
title (n.) 3 name, label, designation

In these to nature she's immediate heir,
immediate (adj.) 1 close in succession, proximate, direct

And these breed honour; that is honour's scorn

Which challenges itself as honour's born

And is not like the sire. Honours thrive

When rather from our acts we them derive

Than our foregoers. The mere word's a slave,
foregoer (n.) forebear, predecessor, ancestor

Debauched on every tomb, on every grave
deboshed, deboyst (adj.) debauched, corrupted, depraved

A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Where dust and damned oblivion is the tomb

Of honoured bones indeed. What should be said?

If thou canst like this creature as a maid,

I can create the rest. Virtue and she

Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
dower (n.) dowry, property or wealth given with a wife


BERTRAM

I cannot love her nor will strive to do't.


KING

Thou wrongest thyself if thou shouldst strive to choose.


HELENA

That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad.

Let the rest go.


KING

My honour's at the stake, which to defeat,
stake, at the [bear-baiting] under attack; or [gambling]: at risk

I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,

Proud, scornful boy, unworthy this good gift,

That dost in vile misprision shackle up
misprision (n.) 2 contempt, scorn, disdain

My love and her desert; that canst not dream
desert, desart (n.) 1 deserving, due recompense, right

We, poising us in her defective scale,
poise (v.) balance, weigh, make even

Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know
beam (n.) 2 balance, scales, counterpoise

It is in us to plant thine honour where

We please to have it grow. Check thy contempt.

Obey our will which travails in thy good.
travail, travel (v.) 1 labour, make effort, work hard [for] [often overlapping with sense 2]

Believe not thy disdain, but presently
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
obedient (adj.) of obedience, dutiful

Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

Or I will throw thee from my care for ever

Into the staggers and the careless lapse
careless (adj.) 6 uncared-for, untended
lapse (n.) fall, moral decline
staggers (n.) 2 unsteadiness, reeling, giddiness

Of youth and ignorance, both my revenge and hate

Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,

Without all terms of pity. Speak. Thine answer.
term (n.) 4 respect, consideration, form


BERTRAM

Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit

My fancy to your eyes. When I consider
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

What great creation and what dole of honour
dole (n.) 2 share, part, portion, lot

Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late

Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

The praised of the King; who, so ennobled,

Is as 'twere born so.


KING

                         Take her by the hand

And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise

A counterpoise, if not to thy estate,

A balance more replete.


BERTRAM

                         I take her hand.


KING

Good fortune and the favour of the King

Smile upon this contract, whose ceremony

Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
brief (n.) 2 summary; contract
expedient (adj.) speedy, rapid, expeditious

And be performed tonight. The solemn feast

Shall more attend upon the coming space,
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count
space (n.) 1 space of time, while

Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her

Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.

Exeunt all but Parolles and Lafew,

who stay behind, commenting on this wedding


LAFEW

Do you hear, monsieur? A word with you.


PAROLLES

Your pleasure, sir.


LAFEW

Your lord and master did well to make his

recantation.


PAROLLES

Recantation! My lord! My master!


LAFEW

Ay. Is it not a language I speak?


PAROLLES

A most harsh one, and not to be understood

without bloody succeeding. My master!
bloody (adj.) 2 able to cause bloodshed
succeeding (n.) consequence, result, outcome


LAFEW

Are you companion to the Count Rossillion?
companion (n.) 2 associate, aide, comrade


PAROLLES

To any Count, to all Counts, to what is man.


LAFEW

To what is Count's man; Count's master is of

another style.
style (n.) 1 mode of address, formal title


PAROLLES

You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are

too old.


LAFEW

I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man, to which
write (v.) 2 call oneself, claim to be

title age cannot bring thee.


PAROLLES

What I dare too well do, I dare not do.


LAFEW

I did think thee for two ordinaries to be a pretty
ordinary (n.) 2 regular meal, standard fare, meal-time

wise fellow. Thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
vent (n.) 3 airing, utterance, telling

travel; it might pass. Yet the scarfs and the bannerets
banneret (n.) 2 small banner, ornamental streamer
scarf (n.) 1 military sash, shoulder band

about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing
manifoldly (adv.) in manifold ways, each in its own way

thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found
burden, burthen (n.) 4 capacity, load, weight
find (v.) 1 find out, see through

thee; when I lose thee again I care not. Yet art thou

good for nothing but taking up, and that thou'rt scarce
take up (v.) 7 arrest, seize, apprehend

worth.


PAROLLES

Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon
antiquity (n.) old age, seniority

thee –


LAFEW

Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou

hasten thy trial; which if – Lord have mercy on thee for

a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy
lattice (n.) lattice-work, criss-cross adornment; also: tavern symbol

casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give
casement (n.) 1 window [on hinges and able to be opened]

me thy hand.


PAROLLES

My lord, you give me most egregious
egregious (adj.) 2 shocking, outrageous, flagrant

indignity.


LAFEW

Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.


PAROLLES

I have not, my lord, deserved it.


LAFEW

Yes, good faith, every dram of it, and I will not
dram (n.) 1 tiny amount, small quantity

bate thee a scruple.
bate (v.) 2 [of quantities] lessen, reduce, deduct
scruple (n.) 1 tiny amount, last ounce


PAROLLES

Well, I shall be wiser.


LAFEW

Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
pull at (v.) drink up, swallow, draw in

a smack o'th' contrary. If ever thou beest bound in thy
smack (n.) 1 taste, quantity, mouthful

scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of
scarf (n.) 1 military sash, shoulder band

thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance

with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say, in the

default, ‘He is a man I know'.
default (n.) 3 [unclear meaning] absence, lack, want


PAROLLES

My lord, you do me most insupportable

vexation.


LAFEW

I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my

poor doing eternal; for doing I am past, as I will by

thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
motion (n.) 7 act of moving, movement, stirring

Exit


PAROLLES

Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace

off me, scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be
scurvy (adj.) 1 contemptible, despicable, wretched

patient, there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him,

by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an

he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more
double (adv.) 1 doubly, for the second time, twice over

pity of his age than I would have of – I'll beat him an if

I could but meet him again.

Enter Lafew


LAFEW

Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's

news for you; you have a new mistress.


PAROLLES

I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to
unfeignedly (adv.) genuinely, sincerely, honestly

make some reservation of your wrongs. He is my good
reservation (n.) 2 concealment, secrecy, keeping out of sight

lord: whom I serve above is my master.


LAFEW

Who? God?


PAROLLES

Ay, sir.


LAFEW

The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou

garter up thy arms o'this fashion? Dost make hose of
hose (n.) [pair of] breeches See Topics: Clothing

thy sleeves? Do other servants so? Thou wert best set

thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour,

if I were but two hours younger I'd beat thee.

Methinkst thou art a general offence and every man should

beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe
breathe (v.) 4 exercise, exhaust, tire out

themselves upon thee.


PAROLLES

This is hard and undeserved measure, my

lord.


LAFEW

Go to, sir. You were beaten in Italy for picking a

kernel out of a pomegranate. You are a vagabond and no

true traveller. You are more saucy with lords and

honourable personages than the commission of your
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not worth

another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

Exit

Enter Bertram


PAROLLES

Good, very good, it is so then. Good, very

good; let it be concealed awhile.


BERTRAM

Undone and forfeited to cares for ever!
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count


PAROLLES

What's the matter, sweetheart?


BERTRAM

Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,

I will not bed her.


PAROLLES

What, what, sweetheart?


BERTRAM

O my Parolles, they have married me!

I'll to the Tuscan wars and never bed her.


PAROLLES

France is a dog-hole and it no more merits

The tread of a man's foot. To th' wars!


BERTRAM

There's letters from my mother: what th' import is

I know not yet.


PAROLLES

Ay, that would be known. To th' wars, my boy, to th' wars!

He wears his honour in a box unseen

That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
kicky-wicky (n.) [jocular] girl-friend, wife

Spending his manly marrow in her arms,

Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
curvet (n.) [horse-riding] type of high leap

Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions!

France is a stable, we that dwell in't jades.
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag

Therefore, to th' war!


BERTRAM

It shall be so. I'll send her to my house,

Acquaint my mother with my hate to her

And wherefore I am fled; write to the King

That which I durst not speak. His present gift

Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
furnish (v.) 2 provide for, prepare, make ready

Where noble fellows strike. Wars is no strife

To the dark house and the detested wife.


PAROLLES

Will this capriccio hold in thee, art sure?
capriccio (n.) [Italian] caprice, whim, fancy


BERTRAM

Go with me to my chamber and advise me.

I'll send her straight away. Tomorrow

I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.


PAROLLES

Why, these balls bound, there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
bound (v.) 4 bounce, rebound

A young man married is a man that's marred.

Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go.

The King has done you wrong, but hush, 'tis so.

Exeunt

 
  Previous scene     Next scene