|All's Well That Ends Well
| All's Well That Ends Well
| Act 2, Scene 3
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Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLESLAFEU
They say miracles are past; and we have ourPAROLLES
philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar,
things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
ourselves to an unknown fear.
Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hathBERTRAM
shot out in our latter times.
And so 'tis.LAFEU
To be relinquish'd of the artists,--PAROLLES
So I say.LAFEU
Both of Galen and Paracelsus.PAROLLES
So I say.LAFEU
Of all the learned and authentic fellows,--PAROLLES
Right; so I say.LAFEU
That gave him out incurable,--PAROLLES
Why, there 'tis; so say I too.LAFEU
Not to be helped,--PAROLLES
Right; as 'twere, a man assured of a--LAFEU
Uncertain life, and sure death.PAROLLES
Just, you say well; so would I have said.LAFEU
I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.PAROLLES
It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, youLAFEU
shall read it in--what do you call there?
A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.PAROLLES
That's it; I would have said the very same.LAFEU
Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,PAROLLES
I speak in respect--
Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is theLAFEU
brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--
Very hand of heaven.PAROLLES
Ay, so I say.LAFEU
In a most weak--PAROLLES
pausingand debile minister, great power, great
transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a
further use to be made than alone the recovery of
the king, as to be--
I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.LAFEU
Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and PAROLLES retire
Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid thePAROLLES
better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
able to lead her a coranto.
Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?LAFEU
'Fore God, I think so.KING
Go, call before me all the lords in court.HELENA
Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming.
Enter three or four LordsFair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
I have to use: thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
To each of you one fair and virtuous mistressLAFEU
Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,KING
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.
Peruse them well:HELENA
Not one of those but had a noble father.
Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
We understand it, and thank heaven for you.HELENA
I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,KING
That I protest I simply am a maid.
Please it your majesty, I have done already:
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
We'll ne'er come there again.'
Make choice; and, see,HELENA
Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,First Lord
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
And grant it.HELENA
Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.LAFEU
I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-aceHELENA
for my life.
The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,Second Lord
Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Her that so wishes and her humble love!
No better, if you please.HELENA
My wish receive,LAFEU
Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,HELENA
I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
Turk, to make eunuchs of.
Be not afraid that I your hand should take;LAFEU
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:HELENA
sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
ne'er got 'em.
You are too young, too happy, and too good,Fourth Lord
To make yourself a son out of my blood.
Fair one, I think not so.LAFEU
There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunkHELENA
wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
of fourteen; I have known thee already.
[To BERTRAM] I dare not say I take you; but I giveKING
Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
Into your guiding power. This is the man.
Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.BERTRAM
My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,KING
In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.
Know'st thou not, Bertram,BERTRAM
What she has done for me?
Yes, my good lord;KING
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.BERTRAM
But follows it, my lord, to bring me downKING
Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
She had her breeding at my father's charge.
A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!
'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the whichBERTRAM
I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty. If she be
All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest,
A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest
Of virtue for the name: but do not so:
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
In these to nature she's immediate heir,
And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born
And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave
Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest: virtue and she
Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.KING
Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.HELENA
That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad:KING
Let the rest go.
My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,BERTRAM
I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,
Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
That dost in vile misprision shackle up
My love and her desert; that canst not dream,
We, poising us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
It is in us to plant thine honour where
We please to have it grow. Cheque thy contempt:
Obey our will, which travails in thy good:
Believe not thy disdain, but presently
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
Into the staggers and the careless lapse
Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submitKING
My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
What great creation and what dole of honour
Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Is as 'twere born so.
Take her by the hand,BERTRAM
And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
A balance more replete.
I take her hand.KING
Good fortune and the favour of the kingLAFEU
Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her,
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES
[Advancing] Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.PAROLLES
Your pleasure, sir?LAFEU
Your lord and master did well to make hisPAROLLES
Recantation! My lord! my master!LAFEU
Ay; is it not a language I speak?PAROLLES
A most harsh one, and not to be understood withoutLAFEU
bloody succeeding. My master!
Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?PAROLLES
To any count, to all counts, to what is man.LAFEU
To what is count's man: count's master is ofPAROLLES
You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.LAFEU
I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to whichPAROLLES
title age cannot bring thee.
What I dare too well do, I dare not do.LAFEU
I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a prettyPAROLLES
wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the
bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from
believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I
have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care
not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and
that thou't scarce worth.
Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--LAFEU
Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thouPAROLLES
hasten thy trial; which if--Lord have mercy on thee
for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee
well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
through thee. Give me thy hand.
My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.LAFEU
Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.PAROLLES
I have not, my lord, deserved it.LAFEU
Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will notPAROLLES
bate thee a scruple.
Well, I shall be wiser.LAFEU
Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull atPAROLLES
a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is
to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold
my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge,
that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.
My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.LAFEU
I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poorPAROLLES
doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace offLAFEU
me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must
be patient; there is no fettering of authority.
I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with
any convenience, an he were double and double a
lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I
would of--I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's newsPAROLLES
for you: you have a new mistress.
I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to makeLAFEU
some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
lord: whom I serve above is my master.
The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thouPAROLLES
garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of
sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set
thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine
honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat
thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and
every man should beat thee: I think thou wast
created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.LAFEU
Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking aPAROLLES
kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and
no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords
and honourable personages than the commission of your
birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.
Good, very good; it is so then: good, very good;BERTRAM
let it be concealed awhile.
Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!PAROLLES
What's the matter, sweet-heart?BERTRAM
Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,PAROLLES
I will not bed her.
What, what, sweet-heart?BERTRAM
O my Parolles, they have married me!PAROLLES
I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
France is a dog-hole, and it no more meritsBERTRAM
The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
There's letters from my mother: what the import is,PAROLLES
I know not yet.
Ay, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars!BERTRAM
He wears his honour in a box unseen,
That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
Therefore, to the war!
It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,PAROLLES
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
That which I durst not speak; his present gift
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields,
Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife
To the dark house and the detested wife.
Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?BERTRAM
Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.PAROLLES
I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
A young man married is a man that's marr'd:
Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.
| All's Well That Ends Well
| Act 2, Scene 3
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