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All's Well That Ends Well - Act 3, scene 7
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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 7
Act 3, scene 7
Helen enlists Diana’s mother in contriving to meet Bertram’s conditions. Diana will agree to sleep with Bertram on the condition that he give her his ancestral ring. Helen will then substitute herself for Diana in the darkness of Diana’s bedroom.Enter Helen and Widow.
1838 If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
1839 I know not how I shall assure you further
1840 But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
1841 Though my estate be fall’n, I was well born,
1842 5 Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
1843 And would not put my reputation now
1844 In any staining act.
HELEN 1845 Nor would I wish you.
1846 First give me trust the Count he is my husband,
1847 10 And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
1848 Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
1849 By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
1850 Err in bestowing it.
WIDOW 1851 I should believe you,
1852 15 For you have showed me that which well approves
1853 You’re great in fortune.
HELEN 1854 Take this purse of gold,
1855 And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
1856 Which I will overpay and pay again
1857 20 When I have found it. The Count he woos your
1859 Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
1860 ⌜Resolved⌝ to carry her. Let her in fine consent
1861 As we’ll direct her how ’tis best to bear it.
1862 25 Now his important blood will naught deny
1863 That she’ll demand. A ring the County wears
1864 That downward hath succeeded in his house
1865 From son to son some four or five descents
1866 Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds
1867 30 In most rich choice. Yet, in his idle fire,
1868 To buy his will it would not seem too dear,
1869 Howe’er repented after.
1870 Now I see the bottom of your purpose.
1871 You see it lawful, then. It is no more
1872 35 But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
1873 Desires this ring, appoints him an encounter,
1874 In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
1875 Herself most chastely absent. After,
1876 To marry her, I’ll add three thousand crowns
1877 40 To what is passed already.
WIDOW 1878 I have yielded.
1879 Instruct my daughter how she shall persever
1880 That time and place with this deceit so lawful
1881 May prove coherent. Every night he comes
1882 45 With musics of all sorts and songs composed
1883 To her unworthiness. It nothing steads us
1884 To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
1885 As if his life lay on ’t.
HELEN 1886 Why then tonight
1887 50 Let us assay our plot, which, if it speed,
1888 Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
1889 And lawful meaning in a lawful act,
1890 Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
1891 But let’s about it.