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All's Well That Ends Well - Act 3, scene 4
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Last updated: Wed, Mar 14, 2018
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Navigate this workAll's Well That Ends Well - Act 3, scene 4
Act 3, scene 4
The Countess is given the letter left for her by Helen, in which Helen sets out her intention to make amends for her overambitious love by going on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James.Enter Countess and Steward, ⌜with a paper.⌝
1552 Alas! And would you take the letter of her?
1553 Might you not know she would do as she has done
1554 By sending me a letter? Read it again.
⌜STEWARD reads the⌝ letter
1555 I am Saint Jaques’ pilgrim, thither gone.
1556 5 Ambitious love hath so in me offended
1557 That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon,
1558 With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
1559 Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
1560 My dearest master, your dear son, may hie.
p. 1151561 10 Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
1562 His name with zealous fervor sanctify.
1563 His taken labors bid him me forgive;
1564 I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
1565 From courtly friends, with camping foes to live
1566 15 Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth.
1567 He is too good and fair for death and me,
1568 Whom I myself embrace to set him free.
1569 Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
1570 Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much
1571 20 As letting her pass so. Had I spoke with her,
1572 I could have well diverted her intents,
1573 Which thus she hath prevented.
STEWARD 1574 Pardon me, madam.
1575 If I had given you this at overnight,
1576 25 She might have been o’erta’en. And yet she writes
1577 Pursuit would be but vain.
COUNTESS 1578 What angel shall
1579 Bless this unworthy husband? He cannot thrive
1580 Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
1581 30 And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
1582 Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
1583 To this unworthy husband of his wife.
1584 Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
1585 That he does weigh too light. My greatest grief,
1586 35 Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
1587 Dispatch the most convenient messenger.
1588 When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
1589 He will return; and hope I may that she,
1590 Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
1591 40 Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
1592 Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
1593 To make distinction. Provide this messenger.
1594 My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak.
1595 Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.