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Pardon me, madam. ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. [Reads.] " When thou canst get the ring upon Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;

my finger, which never shall come off, and Whoever charges on his forward breast,
show me a child begotten of thy body, that I | I am the caitiff that do hold him to it;
am father to, then call me husband: but in And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
such a then I write a never."

His death was so effected. Better 'twere,

I met the ravin lion when he roar'd This is a dreadful sentence.

With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen ? That all the miseries which nature owes Fr. Env.

Ay, madam; Were mine at once. No, come thou home, And, for the contents' sake, are sorry for our pains. Rousillon,

Count. I pr’ythee, lady, have a better cheer; Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,

As oft it loses all: I will be gone.
Thou robb’st me of a moiety. He was my son, My being here it is that holds thee hence:
But I do wash his pame out of my blood,

Shall I stay here to do't ? no, no, although
And thou art all my child.—Towards Florence The air of paradise did fan the house,
is he?

And angels offic'd all: I will be gone,
Fr. Gen. Ay, madam.

That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
And to be a soldier ?

To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day;
Fr. Gen. Such is his noble purpose; and, believe't, For with the dark poor thief, I'll steal away,
The duke will lay upon him all the honour
That good convenience claims.

Return you thither? SCENE III.—Florence. Before the Duke's Palace. Fr. Env. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.

Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, BERTRAN. Hel. (Reads.) “Till I have no wife, I have Parolles, Lords, Officers, Soldiers, and others. nothing in France."

Duke. The general of our horse thou art; and we 'Tis bitter.

Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence Count. Find you that there?

Upon thy promising fortune.

Ay, madam.

Sir, it is
Fr. Env. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, A charge too heavy for my strength; but yet
Which his heart was not consenting to.

We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake,
Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wife! To th' extreme edge of hazard.
There's nothing here that is too good for him,


Then go thou fortb. But only she; and she deserves a lord,

And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, As thy auspicious mistress!
And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him? Ber.

This very day,
Fr. Env. A servant only, and a gentleman Great Mars, I put myself into thy file :
Which I have some time known.

Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove Count.



Parolles, was it not ? A lover of thy drum, hater of love.
Fr. Env. Ay, my good lady, he.
Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked SCENE IV.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's

My son corrupts a well-derived nature
With his inducement.

Enler Countess, and her Steward. Fr. Env. Indeed, good lady,

Count. Alas! and would you take the letter of The fellow has a deal of that too much,

her ? Which holds him much to have.

Might you not know, she would do as she has done, Count. Y'are welcome, gentlemen.

By sending me a letter ? Read it again.
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
To tell him, that his sword can never win

Stew. [Reads.] "I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, The honour that he loses : more I'll entreat you

thither gone. Written to bear along.

Ambitious love hath so in me offended,
Fr. Gen.
We serve you, madam,

That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon, In that and all your worthiest affairs.

With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies.

Write, write, that, from the bloody course of war, Will draw near ?

My dearest master, your dear son, may hie: you (Ereunt Countess, and French Gentlemen.

Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far Hel.“ Till I have no wife, I have nothing in

His name with zealous fervour sanctify.

His taken labours bid him me forgive :
Nothing in France, until he has no wife!

I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France ;

From courtly friends, with camping foes to live, Then hast thou all again. Poor lord ! is't I

Where death and danger dog the heels of worth: That chase thee from thy country, and expose

He is too good and fair for death and me, Those tender limbs of thine to the event

Whom I myself embrace, to set him free." Of the none-sparing war ? and is it I

Count. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou

words !-
Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,
Of smuky muskets ? O! you leaden messengers, As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,

I could have well diverted her intents,
Fly with false aim; move the still-piecing air, Which thus she hath prevented.
That sings with piercing, do not touch my lord ! Stew.


If I had given you this at over-night,
She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes,
Pursuit would be but vain.

What angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband ? he cannot thrive,
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear,
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice.— Write, write, Rinaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife :
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth,
That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief,

Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Despatch the most convenient messenger.-
When, haply, he shall bear that she is gone,
He will return; and hope I may, that she,
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
To make distinction.—Provide this messenger.-
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.


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SCENE V.— Without the Walls of Florence.

Dia. You shall not need to fear me. A tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of Florence, Enter Helena, in the dress of a Pilgrim. Diana, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens.

Wid. I hope so.—Look, here comes a pilgrim: Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the I know she will lie at my house; thither they send city, we shall lose all the sight.

one another. I'll question her.Dia. They say, the French count has done most God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound? honourable service.

Hel. To Saint Jaques le grand. Wid. It is reported that he has taken their great Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you ? est commander, and that with his own hand he slew Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port. the duke's brother. We have lost our labour; they Hel. Is this the way? are gone a contrary way: hark! you may know by


Ay, marry, is't.—Hark you! their trumpets.

(A march afar off Mar. Come; let's return again, and suffice our- | They come this way. If you will tarry, holy pilselves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed

grim, of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her But till the troops come by, name, and no legacy is so rich as honesty.

I will conduct you where you shall be lodg’d; Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have The rather, for I think I know your hostess been solicited by a gentleman his companion. As ample as myself. Mar. I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: Hel.

Is it yourself! a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the Wid. If you shall please so, pilgrim. young earl :—Beware of them, Diana ; their prom Hel. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure. ises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines Wid. You came, I think, from France ? of lust, are not the things they go under: many a Hel.

I did so. maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours, is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of That has done worthy service. maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, Hel.

His name, I pray you. but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten Dia. The count Rousillon : know you such a one! them. I hope, I need not to advise you further; Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where

him : you are, though there were no further danger His face I know not. known, but the modesty which is so lost.


Whatsoe'er he is,

He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, That i As 'tis reported, for the king had married him That, Against his liking. Think you it so?

Hel. Hel. Ay, surely, mere the truth : I know his Dia lady.

That v Dia. There is a gentleman that serves the count, I woul Reports but coarsely of her.

He we Hel.

What's his name? Dia. Monsieur Parolles.

Hel. Hel.

O! I believe with him, Dia. In argument of praise, or to the worth Of the great count himself, she is too mean

That To have her name repeated: all her deserving I woul Is a reserved honesty, and that

Hel. I have not heard examin'd.

Dia Dia. Alas, poor lady!

melanc "Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife

Hel. Of a detesting lord.

Par. Wid. Ay, right, good creature: wheresoe'er she is,

Mar Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might he has do her

Wid A shrewd turn, if she pleas'd.

Mar Hel.

How do you mean? May be, the amorous count solicits her

Wid In the unlawful purpose. Wid. He does, indeed;

Where And brokes with all that can in such a suit

There' Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :

Already But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard Hel. In honestest defence.


To eat Enter with drum and colours, a party of the Floren

Shall b. tine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.

I will b Mar. The gods forbid else!

Worth Wid. So, now they come.


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gone about it?

fail you,

try him.

SCENE VI.—Camp before Florence.

quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise, and go Enter BERTRAM, and the two Frenchmen.

on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit :

if you speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of Fr. Env. Nay, good my lord, put him to't: let it, and extend to you what further becomes his him have his way.

greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worFr. Gent. If your lordship find him not a hilding, thiness. hold me no more in your respect.

Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it. Fr. Env. On my life, my lord, a bubble.

Ber. But you must not now slumber in it. Ber. Do you think I am so far deceived in him ? Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will pres

Fr. Env. Believe it, my lord: in mine own direct ently pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him my certainty, put myself into my mortal preparaas my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an tion, and by midnight look to hear further from me. infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment.

Par. I know not what the success will be, my Fr. Gent. It were fit you knew him, lest reposing lord; but the attempt I vow. too far in his virtue which he hath not, he might, Ber. I know thou art valiant, and to the possiat some great and trusty business in a main danger, bility of thy soldiership will subscribe for thee.

Ber. I would I knew in what particular action to Par. I love not many words.


Fr. Env. No more than a fish loves water.-Is Fr. Gent. None better than to let him fetch off not this a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidenthis drum, which you hear him so confidently under ly seems to undertake this business, which he knows take to do.

is not to be done, damns himself to do, and dares Fr. Env. I, with a troop of Florentines, will sud better be damned than to do't? denly surprise him: such I will have, whom, I am Fr. Gent. You do not know him, my lord, as we sure, he knows not from the enemy. We will bind do: certain it is, that he will steal himself into a and hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose no man's favour, and for a week escape a great deal of other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the discoveries; but when you find him out, you have adversaries, when we bring him to our own tents. him ever after. Be but your lordship present at his examination, if Ber. Why, do you think, he will make no deed he do not, for the promise of his life, and in the at all of this, that so seriously he does address himhighest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you, self unto? and deliver all the intelligence in his power against Fr. Env. None in the world; but return with an you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon invention, and clap upon you two or three probable oath, never trust my judgment in any thing. lies. But we have almost embossed him, you shall

Fr. Gent. O! for the love of laughter, let him see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your fetch his drum: he says he has a stratagem for't. lordship’s respect. When your lordship sees the bottom of his success Fr. Gent. We'll make you some sport with the in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore fox, ere we case him. He was first smoked by the will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's old lord Lafeu : when his disguise and he is parted, entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. tell me what a sprat you shall find him, which you Here he comes.

shall see this very night. Enter PAROLLES.

Fr. Env. I must go look my twigs : he shall be

caught. Fr. Eno. O! for the love of laughter, hinder not Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. the honour of his design : let him fetch off his drum Fr. Gent. As't please your lordship. in any hand.

Fr. Env. I'll leave you.

[Erit. Ber. How now, monsieur ? this drum sticks Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and sorely in your disposition.

Fr. Gent. A pox on't! let it go : 'tis but a drum. The lass I spoke of.
Par. But a drum! Is't but a drum ? A drum so Fr. Gent.

But, you say, she's honest. lost!—There was an excellent command, to charge Ber. That's all the fault. I spoke with her but in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend

once, our own soldiers !

And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her, Fr. Gent. That was not to be blamed in the com By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind, mand of the service: it was a disaster of war that Tokens and letters which she did re-send ; Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature : been there to command.

Will you go see her ? Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our suc Fr. Gent. With all my heart, my lord. cess : some dishonour we had in the loss of that

[Ereunt. drum; but it is not to be recovered. Par. It might have been recovered.

SCENE VII.-Florence. Room in the Widow's Ber. It might; but it is not now.

House. Par. It is to be recovered. But that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact

Enter HELENA and Widow. performer, I would have that drum or another, or Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not she, hic jacet

I know not how I shall assure you further, Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to't, monsieur, But I shall lose the grounds I work upon. if you

think your mystery in stratagem can bring Wid. Though my estate be fall'n, I was well this instrument of honour agnin into his native


show you

Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

Nor would I wish you.
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband,
And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,
Is so, from word to word; and then you cannot,
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Err in bestowing it.

I should believe you; For you have show'd me that, which well ap

proves You are great in fortune. Hel.

Take this purse of gold, And let me buy your friendly help thus far, Which I will over-pay, and pay again, When I have found it. The count he woos your

daughter, Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty, Resolved to carry her: let her, in fine, consent, As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it. Now, his important blood will nought deny That she'll demand: a ring the county wears, That downward hath succeeded in his house From son to son, some four or five descents Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds

In most rich choice; yet, in his idle fire
To buy his will, it would bot seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

Now I see
The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then. It is no more, But that your daughter, ere she seems as won, Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter; In fine, delivers me to fill the time, Herself most chastely absent. After this, To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns To what is past already. Wid.

I have yielded.
Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,
That time and place, with this deceit so lawful,
May prove coherent. Every night he comes
With musics of all sorts, and songs compos'd
To her unworthiness : it nothing steads us,
To chide him from our eaves, for he persists,
As if his life lay on't.

Why then, to-night
Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
And lawful meaning in a lawful act;
Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
But let's about it.


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