All's Well That Ends Well - Act 1, scene 3
Download All's Well That Ends Well
Last updated: Wed, Mar 14, 2018
- PDF Download as PDF
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
- HTML Download as HTML
- TXT Download as TXT
- XML Download as XML
- TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)
Act 1, scene 3
Bertram’s mother, the Countess of Rossillion, learns of Helen’s love for Bertram and forces Helen to confess this secret. When Helen reveals her plan to try to cure the King with medicines left her by her father, the Countess gives Helen permission to go to court, promising to support her in her “attempt.”Enter Countess, Steward, and ⌜Fool.⌝
COUNTESS 0322 I will now hear. What say you of this
STEWARD 0324 Madam, the care I have had to even your
0325 content I wish might be found in the calendar of
0326 5 my past endeavors, for then we wound our modesty
0327 and make foul the clearness of our deservings
0328 when of ourselves we publish them.
COUNTESS 0329 What does this knave here? ⌜To Fool.⌝ Get
0330 you gone, sirrah. The complaints I have heard of
0331 10 you I do not all believe. ’Tis my slowness that I do
0332 not, for I know you lack not folly to commit them
0333 and have ability enough to make such knaveries
FOOL 0335 ’Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor
0336 15 fellow.
COUNTESS 0337 Well, sir.
FOOL 0338 No, madam, ’tis not so well that I am poor,
0339 though many of the rich are damned. But if I may
0340 have your Ladyship’s good will to go to the world,
0341 20 Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
COUNTESS 0342 Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
FOOL 0343 I do beg your good will in this case.
COUNTESS 0344 In what case?
FOOL 0345 In Isbel’s case and mine own. Service is no heritage,
0346 25 and I think I shall never have the blessing of
0347 God till I have issue o’ my body, for they say bairns
0348 are blessings.
COUNTESS 0349 Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
FOOL 0350 My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven
0351 30 on by the flesh, and he must needs go that the devil
COUNTESS 0353 Is this all your Worship’s reason?
FOOL 0354 Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such
0355 as they are.
FOOL 0357 I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you
0358 and all flesh and blood are, and indeed I do marry
0359 that I may repent.
COUNTESS 0360 Thy marriage sooner than thy wickedness.
FOOL 0361 40I am out o’ friends, madam, and I hope to have
0362 friends for my wife’s sake.
COUNTESS 0363 Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
FOOL 0364 You’re shallow, madam, in great friends, for the
0365 knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary
0366 45 of. He that ears my land spares my team and gives
0367 me leave to in the crop; if I be his cuckold, he’s my
0368 drudge. He that comforts my wife is the cherisher
0369 of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh
0370 and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves
0371 50 my flesh and blood is my friend. Ergo, he that
0372 kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented
0373 to be what they are, there were no fear in
0374 marriage, for young Charbon the Puritan and old
0375 Poysam the Papist, howsome’er their hearts are
0376 55 severed in religion, their heads are both one; they
0377 may jowl horns together like any deer i’ th’ herd.
COUNTESS 0378 Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and
0379 calumnious knave?
FOOL 0380 A prophet I, madam, and I speak the truth the
0381 60 next way:
⌜Sings.⌝ 0382 For I the ballad will repeat
0383 Which men full true shall find:
0384 Your marriage comes by destiny;
0385 Your cuckoo sings by kind.
COUNTESS 0386 65Get you gone, sir. I’ll talk with you more
STEWARD 0388 May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen
0389 come to you. Of her I am to speak.
COUNTESS 0390 Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak
0391 70 with her—Helen, I mean.
0392 “Was this fair face the cause,” quoth she,
0393 “Why the Grecians sackèd Troy?
0394 Fond done, done fond.
0395 Was this King Priam’s joy?”
0396 75 With that she sighèd as she stood,
0397 With that she sighèd as she stood,
0398 And gave this sentence then:
0399 “Among nine bad if one be good,
0400 Among nine bad if one be good,
0401 80 There’s yet one good in ten.”
COUNTESS 0402 What, one good in ten? You corrupt the
0403 song, sirrah.
FOOL 0404 One good woman in ten, madam, which is a
0405 purifying o’ th’ song. Would God would serve the
0406 85 world so all the year! We’d find no fault with the
0407 tithe-woman if I were the parson. One in ten,
0408 quoth he? An we might have a good woman born
0409 but ⌜or⌝ every blazing star or at an earthquake,
0410 ’twould mend the lottery well. A man may draw his
0411 90 heart out ere he pluck one.
COUNTESS 0412 You’ll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command
FOOL 0414 That man should be at woman’s command, and
0415 yet no hurt done! Though honesty be no Puritan,
0416 95 yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of
0417 humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am
0418 going, forsooth. The business is for Helen to come
0419 hither.He exits.
COUNTESS 0420 Well, now.
STEWARD 0421 100I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman
COUNTESS 0423 Faith, I do. Her father bequeathed her to
0424 me, and she herself, without other advantage, may
0425 lawfully make title to as much love as she finds.
0426 105 There is more owing her than is paid, and more
0427 shall be paid her than she’ll demand.
0429 think she wished me. Alone she was and did communicate
0430 to herself her own words to her own
0431 110 ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched
0432 not any stranger sense. Her matter was she loved
0433 your son. Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that
0434 had put such difference betwixt their two estates;
0435 Love no god, that would not extend his might only
0436 115 where qualities were level; ⌜Dian no⌝ queen of virgins,
0437 that would suffer her poor knight surprised
0438 without rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward.
0439 This she delivered in the most bitter touch
0440 of sorrow that e’er I heard virgin exclaim in, which
0441 120 I held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal,
0442 sithence in the loss that may happen it concerns
0443 you something to know it.
COUNTESS 0444 You have discharged this honestly. Keep it
0445 to yourself. Many likelihoods informed me of this
0446 125 before, which hung so tott’ring in the balance that
0447 I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you
0448 leave me. Stall this in your bosom, and I thank you
0449 for your honest care. I will speak with you further
0450 anon.Steward exits.
0451 130 Even so it was with me when I was young.
0452 If ever we are nature’s, these are ours. This thorn
0453 Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong.
0454 Our blood to us, this to our blood is born.
0455 It is the show and seal of nature’s truth,
0456 135 Where love’s strong passion is impressed in youth.
0457 By our remembrances of days foregone,
0458 Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
0459 Her eye is sick on ’t, I observe her now.
HELEN 0460 What is your pleasure, madam?
0461 140 You know, Helen, I am a mother to you.
0462 Mine honorable mistress.
COUNTESS 0463 Nay, a mother.
0464 Why not a mother? When I said “a mother,”
0465 Methought you saw a serpent. What’s in “mother”
0466 145 That you start at it? I say I am your mother
0467 And put you in the catalogue of those
0468 That were enwombèd mine. ’Tis often seen
0469 Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds
0470 A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
0471 150 You ne’er oppressed me with a mother’s groan,
0472 Yet I express to you a mother’s care.
0473 God’s mercy, maiden, does it curd thy blood
0474 To say I am thy mother? What’s the matter,
0475 That this distempered messenger of wet,
0476 155 The many-colored Iris, rounds thine eye?
0477 Why? That you are my daughter?
HELEN 0478 That I am not.
0479 I say I am your mother.
HELEN 0480 Pardon, madam.
0481 160 The Count Rossillion cannot be my brother.
0482 I am from humble, he from honored name;
0483 No note upon my parents, his all noble.
0484 My master, my dear lord he is, and I
0485 His servant live and will his vassal die.
0486 165 He must not be my brother.
COUNTESS 0487 Nor I your mother?
0488 You are my mother, madam. Would you were—
0489 So that my lord your son were not my brother—
0490 Indeed my mother! Or were you both our mothers,
0491 170 I care no more for than I do for heaven,
0492 So I were not his sister. Can ’t no other
0494 Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law.
0495 God shield you mean it not! “Daughter” and “mother”
0496 175 So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
0497 My fear hath catched your fondness! Now I see
0498 The mystery of your ⌜loneliness⌝ and find
0499 Your salt tears’ head. Now to all sense ’tis gross:
0500 You love my son. Invention is ashamed
0501 180 Against the proclamation of thy passion
0502 To say thou dost not. Therefore tell me true,
0503 But tell me then ’tis so, for, look, thy cheeks
0504 Confess it th’ one to th’ other, and thine eyes
0505 See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
0506 185 That in their kind they speak it. Only sin
0507 And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue
0508 That truth should be suspected. Speak. Is ’t so?
0509 If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
0510 If it be not, forswear ’t; howe’er, I charge thee,
0511 190 As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
0512 To tell me truly.
HELEN 0513 Good madam, pardon me.
0514 Do you love my son?
HELEN 0515 Your pardon, noble mistress.
0516 195 Love you my son?
HELEN 0517 Do not you love him, madam?
0518 Go not about. My love hath in ’t a bond
0519 Whereof the world takes note. Come, come, disclose
0520 The state of your affection, for your passions
0521 200 Have to the full appeached.
HELEN, ⌜kneeling⌝ 0522 Then I confess
0523 Here on my knee before high heaven and you
0524 That before you and next unto high heaven
0526 205 My friends were poor but honest; so ’s my love.
0527 Be not offended, for it hurts not him
0528 That he is loved of me. I follow him not
0529 By any token of presumptuous suit,
0530 Nor would I have him till I do deserve him,
0531 210 Yet never know how that desert should be.
0532 I know I love in vain, strive against hope,
0533 Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
0534 I still pour in the waters of my love
0535 And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like,
0536 215 Religious in mine error, I adore
0537 The sun that looks upon his worshipper
0538 But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
0539 Let not your hate encounter with my love
0540 For loving where you do; but if yourself,
0541 220 Whose agèd honor cites a virtuous youth,
0542 Did ever in so true a flame of liking
0543 Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
0544 Was both herself and Love, O then give pity
0545 To her whose state is such that cannot choose
0546 225 But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
0547 That seeks not to find that her search implies,
0548 But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies.
0549 Had you not lately an intent—speak truly—
0550 To go to Paris?
HELEN 0551 230 Madam, I had.
COUNTESS 0552 Wherefore?
0553 Tell true.
0554 I will tell truth, by grace itself I swear.
0555 You know my father left me some prescriptions
0556 235 Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading
0557 And manifest experience had collected
0558 For general sovereignty; and that he willed me
0560 As notes whose faculties inclusive were
0561 240 More than they were in note. Amongst the rest
0562 There is a remedy, approved, set down,
0563 To cure the desperate languishings whereof
0564 The King is rendered lost.
0565 This was your motive for Paris, was it? Speak.
0566 245 My lord your son made me to think of this;
0567 Else Paris, and the medicine, and the King
0568 Had from the conversation of my thoughts
0569 Haply been absent then.
COUNTESS 0570 But think you, Helen,
0571 250 If you should tender your supposèd aid,
0572 He would receive it? He and his physicians
0573 Are of a mind: he that they cannot help him,
0574 They that they cannot help. How shall they credit
0575 A poor unlearnèd virgin, when the schools
0576 255 Emboweled of their doctrine have left off
0577 The danger to itself?
HELEN 0578 There’s something in ’t
0579 More than my father’s skill, which was the great’st
0580 Of his profession, that his good receipt
0581 260 Shall for my legacy be sanctified
0582 By th’ luckiest stars in heaven; and would your
0584 But give me leave to try success, I’d venture
0585 The well-lost life of mine on his Grace’s cure
0586 265 By such a day, an hour.
COUNTESS 0587 Dost thou believe ’t?
HELEN 0588 Ay, madam, knowingly.
0589 Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
0590 Means and attendants, and my loving greetings
0591 270 To those of mine in court. I’ll stay at home
0593 Be gone tomorrow, and be sure of this:
0594 What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.