All's Well That Ends Well


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter the two French Lords, and two or three soldiers


FIRST LORD

You have not given him his mother's letter?


SECOND LORD

I have delivered it an hour since. There is

something in't that stings his nature, for on the reading

it he changed almost into another man.


FIRST LORD

He has much worthy blame laid upon him
worthy (adj.) 2 deserved, justified, warranted

for shaking off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.


SECOND LORD

Especially he hath incurred the everlasting

displeasure of the King, who had even tuned his

bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing,
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence

but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
darkly (adv.) 1 cunningly, subtly, secretly
dwell (v.) exist, continue, persist


FIRST LORD

When you have spoken it 'tis dead, and I am

the grave of it.


SECOND LORD

He hath perverted a young gentlewoman
gentlewoman (n.) woman of good breeding, well-born lady See Topics: Address forms
pervert (v.) 2 lead astray, seduce, corrupt

here in Florence, of a most chaste renown, and this
renown (n.) 1 reputation, good name, honour

night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour. He
flesh (v.) 4 [give a piece of the kill to a hound to stimulate its desire to hunt further] reward, stimulate, excite
spoil (n.) 4 [hunting] piece of the kill [given to a hound to stimulate its desire to hunt further]
will (n.) 2 lust, sexual desire, passion

hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
monumental (adj.) 2 kept as a memento, serving as a token

made in the unchaste composition.
composition (n.) 4 arrangement, agreement, bargain


FIRST LORD

Now, God delay our rebellion! As we are
delay (v.) quench, subdue, allay
rebellion (n.) revolt of the flesh, lust

ourselves, what things are we!


SECOND LORD

Merely our own traitors. And as in the
merely (adv.) 1 completely, totally, entirely See Topics: Frequency count

common course of all treasons we still see them reveal
course (n.) 2 habit, custom, practise, normal procedure
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

themselves till they attain to their abhorred ends, so he

that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in
contrive (v.) 1 scheme, plot, conspire

his proper stream o'erflows himself.
overflow (v.) 2 overwhelm, destroy, defeat
proper (adj.) 2 very, own


FIRST LORD

Is it not meant damnable in us to be
damnable deserving damnation, evil, in a state of mortal sin
mean (v.) 1 intend, purpose, mean to act

trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

have his company tonight?


SECOND LORD

Not till after midnight, for he is dieted to
diet (v.) 3 limit, restrict, restrain

his hour


FIRST LORD

That approaches apace. I would gladly have
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate See Topics: Frequency count

him see his company anatomized, that he might take a
anatomize, annothanize (v.) dissect, reveal, lay open
company (n.) 3 companion, associate, comrade

measure of his own judgements wherein so curiously he
curiously (adv.) 2 elaborately, artistically, exquisitely

had set this counterfeit.
counterfeit (n.) 1 false imitation, spurious image
counterfeit (n.) 2 impostor, pretender, sham


SECOND LORD

We will not meddle with him till he come,

for his presence must be the whip of the other.


FIRST LORD

In the meantime, what hear you of these

wars?


SECOND LORD

I hear there is an overture of peace.


FIRST LORD

Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.


SECOND LORD

What will Count Rossillion do then? Will

he travel higher, or return again into France?
higher (adv.) 2 [unclear meaning] further afield


FIRST LORD

I perceive by this demand you are not
demand (n.) 1 question, enquiry, request

altogether of his council.
counsel, of one's in one's confidence, privy to one's intentions


SECOND LORD

Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great

deal of his act.


FIRST LORD

Sir, his wife some two months since fled

from his house. Her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint
pretence (n.) 1 plan, design, intention, purpose

Jaques le Grand; which holy undertaking with most

austere sanctimony she accomplished; and there residing,
sanctimony (n.) 1 sanctity, holiness, religious fervour

the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her

grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now
fine, in in the end, finally, in conclusion See Topics: Discourse markers

she sings in heaven.


SECOND LORD

How is this justified?
justify (v.) 2 prove, confirm, demonstrate


FIRST LORD

The stronger part of it by her own letters,
strong (adj.) 6 certain, convincing, persuasive

which makes her story true even to the point of her

death. Her death itself, which could not be her office to
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

say is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of
rector (n.) ruler, governor; or: parish priest

the place.


SECOND LORD

Hath the Count all this intelligence?
intelligence (n.) 1 information, news, communication


FIRST LORD

Ay, and the particular confirmations, point

from point, to the full arming of the verity.
arming (n.) establishment, confirmation, substantiation
verity (n.) 1 truth, truthfulness, veracity


SECOND LORD

I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of

this.


FIRST LORD

How mightily sometimes we make us comforts

of our losses!


SECOND LORD

And how mightily some other times we

drown our gain in tears! The great dignity that his

valour hath here acquired for him shall at home be

encountered with a shame as ample.


FIRST LORD

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good

and ill together. Our virtues would be proud if our faults
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

whipped them not, and our crimes would despair if they

were not cherished by our virtues.

Enter a Messenger

How now? Where's your master?


MESSENGER

He met the Duke in the street, sir, of whom

he hath taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next

morning for France. The Duke hath offered him letters

of commendations to the King.
commendation (n.) 2 recommendation, commending, praise


SECOND LORD

They shall be no more than needful there,

if they were more than they can commend.
commend (v.) 4 praise, admire, extol

Enter Bertram


FIRST LORD

They cannot be too sweet for the King's

tartness. Here's his lordship now. How now, my lord?

Is't not after midnight?


BERTRAM

I have tonight dispatched sixteen businesses a
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly

month's length apiece, By an abstract of success: I have
abstract (n.) 2 list, register, inventory
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue

congied with the Duke, done my adieu with his nearest,
congee, congie (v.) 1 take ceremonious leave of, pay formal respects upon departure

buried a wife, mourned for her, writ to my lady mother

I am returning, entertained my convoy, and between
convoy (n.) means of transport, method of conveyance
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service

these main parcels of dispatch effected many nicer
dispatch, despatch (n.) 1 settlement of business, sorting out of affairs
nice (adj.) 5 trivial, unimportant, slight
parcel (n.) 1 part, piece, portion, bit

needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended

yet.


SECOND LORD

If the business be of any difficulty, and

this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of

your lordship.


BERTRAM

I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to

hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue

between the Fool and the Soldier? Come, bring forth

this counterfeit module he has deceived me like a
counterfeit (adj.) 1 pretended, feigned, sham
module (n.) image, pattern, model, empty pretence

double-meaning prophesier.


SECOND LORD

Bring him forth.

Exeunt the Soldiers

Has sat i'th' stocks all night, poor gallant knave.
gallant (adj.) 2 showy, fancy, ostentatious
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


BERTRAM

No matter. His heels have deserved it in usurping

his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
carry (v.) 7 conduct, comport, present


SECOND LORD

I have told your lordship already: the

stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be

understood, he weeps like a wench that had shed her
shed (v.) spill, upset
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

milk. He hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he

supposes to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

to this very instant disaster of his setting i'th' stocks.
setting (n.) 1 putting, placing, sitting

And what think you he hath confessed?


BERTRAM

Nothing of me, has 'a?


SECOND LORD

His confession is taken, and it shall be

read to his face; if your lordship be in't, as I believe you

are, you must have the patience to hear it.

Enter Parolles guarded, and the First Soldier as his
muffled (adj.) blindfolded, covered up

interpreter


BERTRAM

A plague upon him! Muffled! He can say

nothing of me.


FIRST LORD

(aside to Bertram)
hoodman (n.) blind man [a call in Blind Man's Buff]

Hush, hush! Hoodman

comes. (Aloud) Portotartarossa.


FIRST SOLDIER

He calls for the tortures. What will you

say without 'em?


PAROLLES

I will confess what I know without constraint.

If ye pinch me like a pasty I can say no more.


FIRST SOLDIER

Bosko chimurcho.


FIRST LORD

Boblibindo chicurmurco.


FIRST SOLDIER

You are a merciful general. Our General

bids you answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
note (n.) 9 memorandum


PAROLLES

And truly, as I hope to live.


FIRST SOLDIER

(reading)

First demand of him how many

horse the Duke is strong. What say you to that?


PAROLLES

Five or six thousand, but very weak and

unserviceable. The troops are all scattered and the

commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation and

credit, and as I hope to live.


FIRST SOLDIER

Shall I set down your answer so?


PAROLLES

Do. I'll take the sacrament on't, how and

which way you will.


BERTRAM

All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is
all is one; that's / it's all one it makes no difference, it's one and the same, it doesn't matter See Topics: Discourse markers
past-saving (adj.) beyond redemption, incapable of salvation

this!


FIRST LORD

Y'are deceived, my lord; this is Monsieur

Parolles, the gallant militarist – that was his own phrase
militarist (n.) soldier, warrior

– that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his
theoric (n.) theory, academic speculation

scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger.
chape (n.) metal plate on the sheath of a weapon, especially one covering rhe dagger-point See Topics: Weapons
scarf (n.) 1 military sash, shoulder band


SECOND LORD

I will never trust a man again for keeping

his sword clean, nor believe he can have everything in

him by wearing his apparel neatly.
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST SOLDIER

Well, that's set down.


PAROLLES

‘ Five or six thousand horse ’ I said – I will say

true – ‘ or thereabouts ’ set down, for I'll speak truth.


FIRST LORD

He's very near the truth in this.


BERTRAM

But I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he
con (v.) 2 express, offer, give

delivers it.
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe


PAROLLES

‘ Poor rogues ’ I pray you say.


FIRST SOLDIER

Well, that's set down.


PAROLLES

I humbly thank you, sir. A truth's a truth, the

rogues are marvellous poor.
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST SOLDIER

(reading)

Demand of him of what strength

they are a-foot. What say you to that?
afoot (adv.) 4 in foot-soldiers, by way of infantry


PAROLLES

By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present

hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a hundred and
tell (v.) 6 disclose, reveal, explain

fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so many; Jaques,

so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two

hundred fifty each; mine own company, Chitopher,

Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred fifty each; so that the

muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts
muster-file (n.) official list of men

not to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not

shake the snow from off their cassocks lest they shake
cassock (n.) military cloak, long coat

themselves to pieces.


BERTRAM

What shall be done to him?


FIRST LORD

Nothing but let him have thanks. Demand

of him my condition, and what credit I have with the

Duke.


FIRST SOLDIER

Well, that's set down. (reading) You

shall demand of him whether one Captain Dumaine be
demand (v.) 1 request to tell, question, ask [about]

i'th' camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is with the

Duke, what his valour, honesty, and expertness in wars;

or whether he thinks it were not possible with well-weighing
well-weighing (adj.) heavy, weighty, significant

sums of gold to corrupt him to a revolt. What say you to

this? What do you know of it?


PAROLLES

I beseech you, let me answer to the particular
particular (n.) 1 individual issue, point of detail

of the inter'gatories. Demand them singly.
interrogatory (n.) interrogation, questioning, inquisition


FIRST SOLDIER

Do you know this Captain Dumaine?


PAROLLES

I know him: 'a was a botcher's prentice in
botcher (n.) mender of old clothes, tailor who does repairs, patcher-up
prentice (n.) apprentice

Paris, from whence he was whipped for getting the

shrieve's fool with child, a dumb innocent that could not
fool (n.) 3 simpleton, born idiot, insane person
innocent (n.) simpleton, dimwit, mental defective
shrieve (n.) sheriff

say him nay.


BERTRAM

Nay, by your leave, hold your hands – though

I know his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.


FIRST SOLDIER

Well, is this captain in the Duke of

Florence's camp?


PAROLLES

Upon my knowledge he is, and lousy.


FIRST LORD

Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of

your lordship anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST SOLDIER

What is his reputation with the Duke?


PAROLLES

The Duke knows him for no other but a poor

officer of mine, and writ to me this other day to turn

him out o'th' band. I think I have his letter in my pocket.


FIRST SOLDIER

Marry, we'll search.


PAROLLES

In good sadness, I do not know; either it is
sadness, in / in good in earnest, seriously

there or it is upon a file with the Duke's other letters in

my tent.


FIRST SOLDIER

Here 'tis; here's a paper. Shall I read it

to you?


PAROLLES

I do not know if it be it or no.


BERTRAM

Our interpreter does it well.


FIRST LORD

Excellently.


FIRST SOLDIER

(reading)

Dian, the Count's a fool, and full of gold.


PAROLLES

That is not the Duke's letter, sir; that is an

advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana,
advertisement (n.) 1 advice, warning, instruction
proper (adj.) 7 honest, honourable, worthy

to take heed of the allurement of one Count Rossillion, a
allurement (n.) temptation, enticement, charm

foolish idle boy, but for all that very ruttish. I pray you,
idle (adj.) 1 useless, barren, worthless
ruttish (adj.) lustful, lascivious, wanton

sir, put it up again.


FIRST SOLDIER

Nay, I'll read it first by your favour.


PAROLLES

My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in

the behalf of the maid; for I knew the young Count to

be a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is a whale to

virginity, and devours up all the fry it finds.
fry (n.) 1 young fish


BERTRAM

Damnable both-sides rogue!
both-sides (adj.) two-faced, double-dealing, hypocritical


FIRST SOLDIER

(reading)

When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;

After he scores he never pays the score.
score (n.) 1 reckoning, account, debt
score (v.) 1 mark up, chalk up, add to the tally

Half-won is match well made; match, and well make it.

He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before.
after-debt (n.) unpaid bill after goods have been received, outstanding debt

And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this:

Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss;
mell (v.) get involved, associate, copulate

For count of this, the Count's a fool, I know it,
count of, for (prep.) on account of

Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.

Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,

Parolles.


BERTRAM

He shall be whipped through the army, with

this rhyme in's forehead.


SECOND LORD

This is your devoted friend, sir, the

manifold linguist, and the armipotent soldier.
armipotent (adj.) mighty in arms, powerful in arms


BERTRAM

I could endure anything before but a cat, and

now he's a cat to me.


FIRST SOLDIER

I perceive, sir, by the General's looks,

we shall be fain to hang you.
fain (adj.) 1 obliged, forced, compelled


PAROLLES

My life, sir, in any case! Not that I am afraid

to die, but that, my offences being many, I would

repent out the remainder of nature. Let me live, sir, in a
nature (n.) 4 mortal life, natural life

dungeon, i'th' stocks, or anywhere, so I may live.


FIRST SOLDIER

We'll see what may be done, so you

confess freely. Therefore once more to this Captain

Dumaine: you have answered to his reputation with

the Duke and to his valour; what is his honesty?


PAROLLES

He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister. For

rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus. He professes

not keeping of oaths; in breaking 'em he is stronger than

Hercules. He will lie, sir, with such volubility that you

would think truth were a fool. Drunkenness is his best

virtue, for he will be swine-drunk, and in his sleep he
swine-drunk (adj.) drunk as a pig, excessively drunk

does little harm, save to his bedclothes about him; but

they know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have
condition (n.) 2 quality, behaviour, attribute, habit

but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has everything

that an honest man should not have; what an

honest man should have, he has nothing.


FIRST LORD

I begin to love him for this.


BERTRAM

For this description of thine honesty? A pox

upon him! For me, he's more and more a cat.


FIRST SOLDIER

What say you to his expertness in war?


PAROLLES

Faith, sir, has led the drum before the English

tragedians – to belie him I will not – and more of his
belie (v.) 1 slander, tell lies about
tragedian (n.) actor, strolling player [not only of tragedy]

soldiership I know not, except in that country he had

the honour to be the officer at a place there called Mile-end,

to instruct for the doubling of files. I would do the
file (n.) 1 rank of soldiers, formation

man what honour I can, but of this I am not certain.


FIRST LORD

He hath out-villained villainy so far that the

rarity redeems him.
rarity (n.) exceptional nature, striking quality


BERTRAM

A pox on him! He's a cat still.


FIRST SOLDIER

His qualities being at this poor price, I

need not to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.


PAROLLES

Sir, for a cardecue he will sell the fee-simple
cardecue (n.) [French: quart d'ecu] quarter of a crown See Topics: Money
fee-simple, fee simple (n.) private estate [belonging to the owner and his heirs for ever]; permanent lease, full possession

of his salvation, the inheritance of it, and cut th' entail
entail (n.) provision that an estate should pass to an heir

from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it
remainder (n.) 4 subsequent heir, person who has a further interest

perpetually.


FIRST SOLDIER

What's his brother, the other Captain

Dumaine?


SECOND LORD

Why does he ask him of me?


FIRST SOLDIER

What's he?


PAROLLES

E'en a crow o'th' same nest; not altogether so

great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in

evil. He excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother

is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreat he outruns

any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
lackey (n.) 1 footman, minion, flunky


FIRST SOLDIER

If your life be saved will you undertake

to betray the Florentine?


PAROLLES

Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count

Rossillion.


FIRST SOLDIER

I'll whisper with the General and know

his pleasure.


PAROLLES

I'll no more drumming. A plague of all

drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

supposition of that lascivious young boy, the Count,
supposition (n.) 1 notion, opinion, belief

have I run into this danger. Yet who would have

suspected an ambush where I was taken?


FIRST SOLDIER

There is no remedy, sir, but you must

die. The General says you that have so traitorously

discovered the secrets of your army, and made such

pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can serve
pestiferous (adj.) pestilent, mischievous, pernicious

the world for no honest use; therefore you must die

Come, headsman, off with his head.


PAROLLES

O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!


FIRST LORD

That shall you, and take your leave of all

your friends.

He removes the blindfold

So: look about you. Know you any here?


BERTRAM

Good morrow, noble captain.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


SECOND LORD

God bless you, Captain Parolles.


FIRST LORD

God save you, noble captain.


SECOND LORD

Captain, what greeting will you to my

Lord Lafew? I am for France.


FIRST LORD

Good captain, will you give me a copy of the

sonnet you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count
behalf (n.), especially: in behalf (of) 1 advantage, interest, benefit

Rossillion? An I were not a very coward I'd compel it of

you; but fare you well.

Exeunt Bertram and the Lords


FIRST SOLDIER

You are undone, captain – all but your
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count

scarf; that has a knot on't yet.
scarf (n.) 1 military sash, shoulder band


PAROLLES

Who cannot be crushed with a plot?


FIRST SOLDIER

If you could find out a country where

but women were that had received so much shame you

might begin an impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir. I am

for France too; we shall speak of you there.

Exeunt the Soldiers


PAROLLES

Yet am I thankful. If my heart were great

'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more,

But I will eat and drink and sleep as soft
soft (adv.) 2 gently, calmly, not so forcefully

As captain shall. Simply the thing I am
thing (n.) [contemptuous] being, creature, base thing

Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,

Let him fear this; for it will come to pass

That every braggart shall be found an ass.

Rust, sword; cool, blushes; and Parolles live

Safest in shame; being fooled, by foolery thrive.

There's place and means for every man alive.
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

I'll after them.

Exit

 
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