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All's Well That Ends Well

 BERTRAM	Count of Rousillon.
 LAFEU	an old lord.
 PAROLLES	a follower of Bertram.
 Steward	|
 	|  servants to the Countess of Rousillon.
 Clown	|
 	A Page. (Page:)
 ROUSILLON	mother to Bertram. (COUNTESS:)
 HELENA	a gentlewoman protected by the Countess.
 	An old Widow of Florence. (Widow:)
 DIANA	daughter to the Widow.
 	|  neighbours and friends to the Widow.
 	Lords, Officers, Soldiers, &c., French and Florentine.
 	(First Lord:)
 	(Second Lord:)
 	(Fourth Lord:)
 	(First Gentleman:)
 	(Second Gentleman:)
 	(First Soldier:)
 SCENE	Rousillon; Paris; Florence; Marseilles.
 SCENE I	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of Rousillon, HELENA,
 	and LAFEU, all in black]
 COUNTESS	In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
 BERTRAM	And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death
 	anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to
 	whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
 LAFEU	You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you,
 	sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times
 	good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose
 	worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather
 	than lack it where there is such abundance.
 COUNTESS	What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
 LAFEU	He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
 	practises he hath persecuted time with hope, and
 	finds no other advantage in the process but only the
 	losing of hope by time.
 COUNTESS	This young gentlewoman had a father,--O, that
 	'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!--whose skill was
 	almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
 	far, would have made nature immortal, and death
 	should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
 	king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
 	the death of the king's disease.
 LAFEU	How called you the man you speak of, madam?
 COUNTESS	He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was
 	his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
 LAFEU	He was excellent indeed, madam: the king very
 	lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningly: he
 	was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge
 	could be set up against mortality.
 BERTRAM	What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
 LAFEU	A fistula, my lord.
 BERTRAM	I heard not of it before.
 LAFEU	I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman
 	the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
 COUNTESS	His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
 	overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that
 	her education promises; her dispositions she
 	inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where
 	an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there
 	commendations go with pity; they are virtues and
 	traitors too; in her they are the better for their
 	simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
 LAFEU	Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
 COUNTESS	'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise
 	in. The remembrance of her father never approaches
 	her heart but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all
 	livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena;
 	go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect
 	a sorrow than have it.
 HELENA	I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
 LAFEU	Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
 	excessive grief the enemy to the living.
 COUNTESS	If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
 	makes it soon mortal.
 BERTRAM	Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
 LAFEU	How understand we that?
 COUNTESS	Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
 	In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue
 	Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
 	Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
 	Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
 	Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
 	Under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence,
 	But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
 	That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
 	Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
 	'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
 	Advise him.
 LAFEU	          He cannot want the best
 	That shall attend his love.
 COUNTESS	Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.
 BERTRAM	[To HELENA]  The best wishes that can be forged in
 	your thoughts be servants to you! Be comfortable
 	to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
 LAFEU	Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of
 	your father.
 	[Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU]
 HELENA	O, were that all! I think not on my father;
 	And these great tears grace his remembrance more
 	Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
 	I have forgot him: my imagination
 	Carries no favour in't but Bertram's.
 	I am undone: there is no living, none,
 	If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one
 	That I should love a bright particular star
 	And think to wed it, he is so above me:
 	In his bright radiance and collateral light
 	Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
 	The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
 	The hind that would be mated by the lion
 	Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though plague,
 	To see him every hour; to sit and draw
 	His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
 	In our heart's table; heart too capable
 	Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
 	But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
 	Must sanctify his reliques. Who comes here?
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 	One that goes with him: I love him for his sake;
 	And yet I know him a notorious liar,
 	Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
 	Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him,
 	That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
 	Look bleak i' the cold wind: withal, full oft we see
 	Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
 PAROLLES	Save you, fair queen!
 HELENA	And you, monarch!
 HELENA	And no.
 PAROLLES	Are you meditating on virginity?
 HELENA	Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me
 	ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity; how
 	may we barricado it against him?
 PAROLLES	Keep him out.
 HELENA	But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant,
 	in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some
 	warlike resistance.
 PAROLLES	There is none: man, sitting down before you, will
 	undermine you and blow you up.
 HELENA	Bless our poor virginity from underminers and
 	blowers up! Is there no military policy, how
 	virgins might blow up men?
 PAROLLES	Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be
 	blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with
 	the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It
 	is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to
 	preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational
 	increase and there was never virgin got till
 	virginity was first lost. That you were made of is
 	metal to make virgins. Virginity by being once lost
 	may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is
 	ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with 't!
 HELENA	I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
 PAROLLES	There's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the
 	rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity,
 	is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible
 	disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin:
 	virginity murders itself and should be buried in
 	highways out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate
 	offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites,
 	much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very
 	paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach.
 	Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of
 	self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the
 	canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but loose
 	by't: out with 't! within ten year it will make
 	itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the
 	principal itself not much the worse: away with 't!
 HELENA	How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
 PAROLLES	Let me see: marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it
 	likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with
 	lying; the longer kept, the less worth: off with 't
 	while 'tis vendible; answer the time of request.
 	Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out
 	of fashion: richly suited, but unsuitable: just
 	like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not
 	now. Your date is better in your pie and your
 	porridge than in your cheek; and your virginity,
 	your old virginity, is like one of our French
 	withered pears, it looks ill, it eats drily; marry,
 	'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better;
 	marry, yet 'tis a withered pear: will you anything with it?
 HELENA	Not my virginity yet [         ]
 	There shall your master have a thousand loves,
 	A mother and a mistress and a friend,
 	A phoenix, captain and an enemy,
 	A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
 	A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
 	His humble ambition, proud humility,
 	His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
 	His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
 	Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
 	That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he--
 	I know not what he shall. God send him well!
 	The court's a learning place, and he is one--
 PAROLLES	What one, i' faith?
 HELENA	That I wish well. 'Tis pity--
 PAROLLES	What's pity?
 HELENA	That wishing well had not a body in't,
 	Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born,
 	Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
 	Might with effects of them follow our friends,
 	And show what we alone must think, which never
 	Return us thanks.
 	[Enter Page]
 Page	Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
 PAROLLES	Little Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I
 	will think of thee at court.
 HELENA	Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
 PAROLLES	Under Mars, I.
 HELENA	I especially think, under Mars.
 PAROLLES	Why under Mars?
 HELENA	The wars have so kept you under that you must needs
 	be born under Mars.
 PAROLLES	When he was predominant.
 HELENA	When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
 PAROLLES	Why think you so?
 HELENA	You go so much backward when you fight.
 PAROLLES	That's for advantage.
 HELENA	So is running away, when fear proposes the safety;
 	but the composition that your valour and fear makes
 	in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
 PAROLLES	I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee
 	acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the
 	which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize
 	thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's
 	counsel and understand what advice shall thrust upon
 	thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and
 	thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When
 	thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast
 	none, remember thy friends; get thee a good husband,
 	and use him as he uses thee; so, farewell.
 HELENA	Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
 	Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky
 	Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
 	Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
 	What power is it which mounts my love so high,
 	That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
 	The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
 	To join like likes and kiss like native things.
 	Impossible be strange attempts to those
 	That weigh their pains in sense and do suppose
 	What hath been cannot be: who ever strove
 	So show her merit, that did miss her love?
 	The king's disease--my project may deceive me,
 	But my intents are fix'd and will not leave me.
 SCENE II	Paris. The KING's palace.
 	[Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING of France,
 	with letters, and divers Attendants]
 KING	The Florentines and Senoys are by the ears;
 	Have fought with equal fortune and continue
 	A braving war.
 First Lord	                  So 'tis reported, sir.
 KING	Nay, 'tis most credible; we here received it
 	A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
 	With caution that the Florentine will move us
 	For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
 	Prejudicates the business and would seem
 	To have us make denial.
 First Lord	His love and wisdom,
 	Approved so to your majesty, may plead
 	For amplest credence.
 KING	He hath arm'd our answer,
 	And Florence is denied before he comes:
 	Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see
 	The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
 	To stand on either part.
 Second Lord	It well may serve
 	A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
 	For breathing and exploit.
 KING	What's he comes here?
 First Lord	It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord,
 	Young Bertram.
 KING	                  Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
 	Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,
 	Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts
 	Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
 BERTRAM	My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
 KING	I would I had that corporal soundness now,
 	As when thy father and myself in friendship
 	First tried our soldiership! He did look far
 	Into the service of the time and was
 	Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
 	But on us both did haggish age steal on
 	And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
 	To talk of your good father. In his youth
 	He had the wit which I can well observe
 	To-day in our young lords; but they may jest
 	Till their own scorn return to them unnoted
 	Ere they can hide their levity in honour;
 	So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
 	Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
 	His equal had awaked them, and his honour,
 	Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
 	Exception bid him speak, and at this time
 	His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him
 	He used as creatures of another place
 	And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
 	Making them proud of his humility,
 	In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
 	Might be a copy to these younger times;
 	Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now
 	But goers backward.
 BERTRAM	His good remembrance, sir,
 	Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb;
 	So in approof lives not his epitaph
 	As in your royal speech.
 KING	Would I were with him! He would always say--
 	Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words
 	He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
 	To grow there and to bear,--'Let me not live,'--
 	This his good melancholy oft began,
 	On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
 	When it was out,--'Let me not live,' quoth he,
 	'After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
 	Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
 	All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
 	Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
 	Expire before their fashions.' This he wish'd;
 	I after him do after him wish too,
 	Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
 	I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
 	To give some labourers room.
 Second Lord	You are loved, sir:
 	They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
 KING	I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, count,
 	Since the physician at your father's died?
 	He was much famed.
 BERTRAM	                  Some six months since, my lord.
 KING	If he were living, I would try him yet.
 	Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out
 	With several applications; nature and sickness
 	Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count;
 	My son's no dearer.
 BERTRAM	Thank your majesty.
 	[Exeunt. Flourish]
 SCENE III	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter COUNTESS, Steward, and Clown]
 COUNTESS	I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
 Steward	Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I
 	wish might be found in the calendar of my past
 	endeavours; for then we wound our modesty and make
 	foul the clearness of our deservings, when of
 	ourselves we publish them.
 COUNTESS	What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah:
 	the complaints I have heard of you I do not all
 	believe: 'tis my slowness that I do not; for I know
 	you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability
 	enough to make such knaveries yours.
 Clown	'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
 COUNTESS	Well, sir.
 Clown	No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though
 	many of the rich are damned: but, if I may have
 	your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel
 	the woman and I will do as we may.
 COUNTESS	Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
 Clown	I do beg your good will in this case.
 COUNTESS	In what case?
 Clown	In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no
 	heritage: and I think I shall never have the
 	blessing of God till I have issue o' my body; for
 	they say barnes are blessings.
 COUNTESS	Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
 Clown	My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on
 	by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
 COUNTESS	Is this all your worship's reason?
 Clown	Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons such as they
 COUNTESS	May the world know them?
 Clown	I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and
 	all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry
 	that I may repent.
 COUNTESS	Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
 Clown	I am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have
 	friends for my wife's sake.
 COUNTESS	Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
 Clown	You're shallow, madam, in great friends; for the
 	knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of.
 	He that ears my land spares my team and gives me
 	leave to in the crop; if I be his cuckold, he's my
 	drudge: he that comforts my wife is the cherisher
 	of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh
 	and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my
 	flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kisses
 	my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to
 	be what they are, there were no fear in marriage;
 	for young Charbon the Puritan and old Poysam the
 	Papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in
 	religion, their heads are both one; they may jowl
 	horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
 COUNTESS	Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?
 Clown	A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next
 	For I the ballad will repeat,
 	Which men full true shall find;
 	Your marriage comes by destiny,
 	Your cuckoo sings by kind.
 COUNTESS	Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
 Steward	May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to
 	you: of her I am to speak.
 COUNTESS	Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her;
 	Helen, I mean.
 Clown	     Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,
 	Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
 	Fond done, done fond,
 	Was this King Priam's joy?
 	With that she sighed as she stood,
 	With that she sighed as she stood,
 	And gave this sentence then;
 	Among nine bad if one be good,
 	Among nine bad if one be good,
 	There's yet one good in ten.
 COUNTESS	What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.
 Clown	One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying
 	o' the song: would God would serve the world so all
 	the year! we'ld find no fault with the tithe-woman,
 	if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth a'! An we
 	might have a good woman born but one every blazing
 	star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery
 	well: a man may draw his heart out, ere a' pluck
 COUNTESS	You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.
 Clown	That man should be at woman's command, and yet no
 	hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet it
 	will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of
 	humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am
 	going, forsooth: the business is for Helen to come hither.
 COUNTESS	Well, now.
 Steward	I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
 COUNTESS	Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and
 	she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully
 	make title to as much love as she finds: there is
 	more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid
 	her than she'll demand.
 Steward	Madam, I was very late more near her than I think
 	she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate
 	to herself her own words to her own ears; she
 	thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any
 	stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son:
 	Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put
 	such difference betwixt their two estates; Love no
 	god, that would not extend his might, only where
 	qualities were level; Dian no queen of virgins, that
 	would suffer her poor knight surprised, without
 	rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward.
 	This she delivered in the most bitter touch of
 	sorrow that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I
 	held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal;
 	sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns
 	you something to know it.
 COUNTESS	You have discharged this honestly; keep it to
 	yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this
 	before, which hung so tottering in the balance that
 	I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you,
 	leave me: stall this in your bosom; and I thank you
 	for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon.
 	[Exit Steward]
 	[Enter HELENA]
 	Even so it was with me when I was young:
 	If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
 	Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
 	Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
 	It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
 	Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth:
 	By our remembrances of days foregone,
 	Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
 	Her eye is sick on't: I observe her now.
 HELENA	What is your pleasure, madam?
 COUNTESS	You know, Helen,
 	I am a mother to you.
 HELENA	Mine honourable mistress.
 COUNTESS	Nay, a mother:
 	Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,'
 	Methought you saw a serpent: what's in 'mother,'
 	That you start at it? I say, I am your mother;
 	And put you in the catalogue of those
 	That were enwombed mine: 'tis often seen
 	Adoption strives with nature and choice breeds
 	A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
 	You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
 	Yet I express to you a mother's care:
 	God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood
 	To say I am thy mother? What's the matter,
 	That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
 	The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
 	Why? that you are my daughter?
 HELENA	That I am not.
 COUNTESS	I say, I am your mother.
 HELENA	Pardon, madam;
 	The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother:
 	I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
 	No note upon my parents, his all noble:
 	My master, my dear lord he is; and I
 	His servant live, and will his vassal die:
 	He must not be my brother.
 COUNTESS	Nor I your mother?
 HELENA	You are my mother, madam; would you were,--
 	So that my lord your son were not my brother,--
 	Indeed my mother! or were you both our mothers,
 	I care no more for than I do for heaven,
 	So I were not his sister. Can't no other,
 	But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
 COUNTESS	Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law:
 	God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
 	So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
 	My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I see
 	The mystery of your loneliness, and find
 	Your salt tears' head: now to all sense 'tis gross
 	You love my son; invention is ashamed,
 	Against the proclamation of thy passion,
 	To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
 	But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look thy cheeks
 	Confess it, th' one to th' other; and thine eyes
 	See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
 	That in their kind they speak it: only sin
 	And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
 	That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
 	If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
 	If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
 	As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
 	Tell me truly.
 HELENA	                  Good madam, pardon me!
 COUNTESS	Do you love my son?
 HELENA	Your pardon, noble mistress!
 COUNTESS	Love you my son?
 HELENA	                  Do not you love him, madam?
 COUNTESS	Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
 	Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
 	The state of your affection; for your passions
 	Have to the full appeach'd.
 HELENA	Then, I confess,
 	Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
 	That before you, and next unto high heaven,
 	I love your son.
 	My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love:
 	Be not offended; for it hurts not him
 	That he is loved of me: I follow him not
 	By any token of presumptuous suit;
 	Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
 	Yet never know how that desert should be.
 	I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
 	Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
 	I still pour in the waters of my love
 	And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
 	Religious in mine error, I adore
 	The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
 	But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
 	Let not your hate encounter with my love
 	For loving where you do: but if yourself,
 	Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
 	Did ever in so true a flame of liking
 	Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
 	Was both herself and love: O, then, give pity
 	To her, whose state is such that cannot choose
 	But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
 	That seeks not to find that her search implies,
 	But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies!
 COUNTESS	Had you not lately an intent,--speak truly,--
 	To go to Paris?
 HELENA	                  Madam, I had.
 COUNTESS	Wherefore? tell true.
 HELENA	I will tell truth; by grace itself I swear.
 	You know my father left me some prescriptions
 	Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading
 	And manifest experience had collected
 	For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me
 	In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them,
 	As notes whose faculties inclusive were
 	More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
 	There is a remedy, approved, set down,
 	To cure the desperate languishings whereof
 	The king is render'd lost.
 COUNTESS	This was your motive
 	For Paris, was it? speak.
 HELENA	My lord your son made me to think of this;
 	Else Paris and the medicine and the king
 	Had from the conversation of my thoughts
 	Haply been absent then.
 COUNTESS	But think you, Helen,
 	If you should tender your supposed aid,
 	He would receive it? he and his physicians
 	Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
 	They, that they cannot help: how shall they credit
 	A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
 	Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
 	The danger to itself?
 HELENA	There's something in't,
 	More than my father's skill, which was the greatest
 	Of his profession, that his good receipt
 	Shall for my legacy be sanctified
 	By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your honour
 	But give me leave to try success, I'ld venture
 	The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure
 	By such a day and hour.
 COUNTESS	Dost thou believe't?
 HELENA	Ay, madam, knowingly.
 COUNTESS	Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
 	Means and attendants and my loving greetings
 	To those of mine in court: I'll stay at home
 	And pray God's blessing into thy attempt:
 	Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
 	What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.
 SCENE I	Paris. The KING's palace.
 	[Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING, attended
 	with divers young Lords taking leave for the
 	Florentine war; BERTRAM, and PAROLLES]
 KING	Farewell, young lords; these warlike principles
 	Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewell:
 	Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all
 	The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received,
 	And is enough for both.
 First Lord	'Tis our hope, sir,
 	After well enter'd soldiers, to return
 	And find your grace in health.
 KING	No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
 	Will not confess he owes the malady
 	That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords;
 	Whether I live or die, be you the sons
 	Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy,--
 	Those bated that inherit but the fall
 	Of the last monarchy,--see that you come
 	Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
 	The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
 	That fame may cry you loud: I say, farewell.
 Second Lord	Health, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
 KING	Those girls of Italy, take heed of them:
 	They say, our French lack language to deny,
 	If they demand: beware of being captives,
 	Before you serve.
 Both	                  Our hearts receive your warnings.
 KING	Farewell. Come hither to me.
 	[Exit, attended]
 First Lord	O, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
 PAROLLES	'Tis not his fault, the spark.
 Second Lord	O, 'tis brave wars!
 PAROLLES	Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
 BERTRAM	I am commanded here, and kept a coil with
 	'Too young' and 'the next year' and ''tis too early.'
 PAROLLES	An thy mind stand to't, boy, steal away bravely.
 BERTRAM	I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
 	Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
 	Till honour be bought up and no sword worn
 	But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.
 First Lord	There's honour in the theft.
 PAROLLES	Commit it, count.
 Second Lord	I am your accessary; and so, farewell.
 BERTRAM	I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
 First Lord	Farewell, captain.
 Second Lord	Sweet Monsieur Parolles!
 PAROLLES	Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good
 	sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall
 	find in the regiment of the Spinii one Captain
 	Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here
 	on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword
 	entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his
 	reports for me.
 First Lord	We shall, noble captain.
 	[Exeunt Lords]
 PAROLLES	Mars dote on you for his novices! what will ye do?
 BERTRAM	Stay: the king.
 	[Re-enter KING. BERTRAM and PAROLLES retire]
 PAROLLES	[To BERTRAM]  Use a more spacious ceremony to the
 	noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the
 	list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to
 	them: for they wear themselves in the cap of the
 	time, there do muster true gait, eat, speak, and
 	move under the influence of the most received star;
 	and though the devil lead the measure, such are to
 	be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
 BERTRAM	And I will do so.
 PAROLLES	Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
 	[Enter LAFEU]
 LAFEU	[Kneeling]  Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
 KING	I'll fee thee to stand up.
 LAFEU	Then here's a man stands, that has brought his pardon.
 	I would you had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy,
 	And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
 KING	I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
 	And ask'd thee mercy for't.
 LAFEU	Good faith, across: but, my good lord 'tis thus;
 	Will you be cured of your infirmity?
 LAFEU	O, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?
 	Yes, but you will my noble grapes, an if
 	My royal fox could reach them: I have seen a medicine
 	That's able to breathe life into a stone,
 	Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
 	With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch,
 	Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay,
 	To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
 	And write to her a love-line.
 KING	What 'her' is this?
 LAFEU	Why, Doctor She: my lord, there's one arrived,
 	If you will see her: now, by my faith and honour,
 	If seriously I may convey my thoughts
 	In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
 	With one that, in her sex, her years, profession,
 	Wisdom and constancy, hath amazed me more
 	Than I dare blame my weakness: will you see her
 	For that is her demand, and know her business?
 	That done, laugh well at me.
 KING	Now, good Lafeu,
 	Bring in the admiration; that we with thee
 	May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
 	By wondering how thou took'st it.
 LAFEU	Nay, I'll fit you,
 	And not be all day neither.
 KING	Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
 	[Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA]
 LAFEU	Nay, come your ways.
 KING	This haste hath wings indeed.
 LAFEU	Nay, come your ways:
 	This is his majesty; say your mind to him:
 	A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
 	His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle,
 	That dare leave two together; fare you well.
 KING	Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
 HELENA	Ay, my good lord.
 	Gerard de Narbon was my father;
 	In what he did profess, well found.
 KING	I knew him.
 HELENA	The rather will I spare my praises towards him:
 	Knowing him is enough. On's bed of death
 	Many receipts he gave me: chiefly one.
 	Which, as the dearest issue of his practise,
 	And of his old experience the oily darling,
 	He bade me store up, as a triple eye,
 	Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so;
 	And hearing your high majesty is touch'd
 	With that malignant cause wherein the honour
 	Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
 	I come to tender it and my appliance
 	With all bound humbleness.
 KING	We thank you, maiden;
 	But may not be so credulous of cure,
 	When our most learned doctors leave us and
 	The congregated college have concluded
 	That labouring art can never ransom nature
 	From her inaidible estate; I say we must not
 	So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
 	To prostitute our past-cure malady
 	To empirics, or to dissever so
 	Our great self and our credit, to esteem
 	A senseless help when help past sense we deem.
 HELENA	My duty then shall pay me for my pains:
 	I will no more enforce mine office on you.
 	Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
 	A modest one, to bear me back a again.
 KING	I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful:
 	Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give
 	As one near death to those that wish him live:
 	But what at full I know, thou know'st no part,
 	I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
 HELENA	What I can do can do no hurt to try,
 	Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
 	He that of greatest works is finisher
 	Oft does them by the weakest minister:
 	So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
 	When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
 	From simple sources, and great seas have dried
 	When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
 	Oft expectation fails and most oft there
 	Where most it promises, and oft it hits
 	Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
 KING	I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
 	Thy pains not used must by thyself be paid:
 	Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
 HELENA	Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
 	It is not so with Him that all things knows
 	As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows;
 	But most it is presumption in us when
 	The help of heaven we count the act of men.
 	Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
 	Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
 	I am not an impostor that proclaim
 	Myself against the level of mine aim;
 	But know I think and think I know most sure
 	My art is not past power nor you past cure.
 KING	Are thou so confident? within what space
 	Hopest thou my cure?
 HELENA	The great'st grace lending grace
 	Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
 	Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring,
 	Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
 	Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp,
 	Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
 	Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass,
 	What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
 	Health shall live free and sickness freely die.
 KING	Upon thy certainty and confidence
 	What darest thou venture?
 HELENA	Tax of impudence,
 	A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame
 	Traduced by odious ballads: my maiden's name
 	Sear'd otherwise; nay, worse--if worse--extended
 	With vilest torture let my life be ended.
 KING	Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
 	His powerful sound within an organ weak:
 	And what impossibility would slay
 	In common sense, sense saves another way.
 	Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
 	Worth name of life in thee hath estimate,
 	Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
 	That happiness and prime can happy call:
 	Thou this to hazard needs must intimate
 	Skill infinite or monstrous desperate.
 	Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
 	That ministers thine own death if I die.
 HELENA	If I break time, or flinch in property
 	Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die,
 	And well deserved: not helping, death's my fee;
 	But, if I help, what do you promise me?
 KING	Make thy demand.
 HELENA	                  But will you make it even?
 KING	Ay, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
 HELENA	Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand
 	What husband in thy power I will command:
 	Exempted be from me the arrogance
 	To choose from forth the royal blood of France,
 	My low and humble name to propagate
 	With any branch or image of thy state;
 	But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
 	Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
 KING	Here is my hand; the premises observed,
 	Thy will by my performance shall be served:
 	So make the choice of thy own time, for I,
 	Thy resolved patient, on thee still rely.
 	More should I question thee, and more I must,
 	Though more to know could not be more to trust,
 	From whence thou camest, how tended on: but rest
 	Unquestion'd welcome and undoubted blest.
 	Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed
 	As high as word, my deed shall match thy meed.
 	[Flourish. Exeunt]
 SCENE II	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter COUNTESS and Clown]
 COUNTESS	Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of
 	your breeding.
 Clown	I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught: I
 	know my business is but to the court.
 COUNTESS	To the court! why, what place make you special,
 	when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
 Clown	Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he
 	may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make
 	a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand and say nothing,
 	has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed
 	such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the
 	court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all
 COUNTESS	Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all
 Clown	It is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks,
 	the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn
 	buttock, or any buttock.
 COUNTESS	Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
 Clown	As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney,
 	as your French crown for your taffeta punk, as Tib's
 	rush for Tom's forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove
 	Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his
 	hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding queen
 	to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the
 	friar's mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin.
 COUNTESS	Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all
 Clown	From below your duke to beneath your constable, it
 	will fit any question.
 COUNTESS	It must be an answer of most monstrous size that
 	must fit all demands.
 Clown	But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned
 	should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that
 	belongs to't. Ask me if I am a courtier: it shall
 	do you no harm to learn.
 COUNTESS	To be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in
 	question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I
 	pray you, sir, are you a courtier?
 Clown	O Lord, sir! There's a simple putting off. More,
 	more, a hundred of them.
 COUNTESS	Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
 Clown	O Lord, sir! Thick, thick, spare not me.
 COUNTESS	I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
 Clown	O Lord, sir! Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
 COUNTESS	You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.
 Clown	O Lord, sir! spare not me.
 COUNTESS	Do you cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and
 	'spare not me?' Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very
 	sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well
 	to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
 Clown	I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord,
 	sir!' I see things may serve long, but not serve ever.
 COUNTESS	I play the noble housewife with the time
 	To entertain't so merrily with a fool.
 Clown	O Lord, sir! why, there't serves well again.
 COUNTESS	An end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this,
 	And urge her to a present answer back:
 	Commend me to my kinsmen and my son:
 	This is not much.
 Clown	Not much commendation to them.
 COUNTESS	Not much employment for you: you understand me?
 Clown	Most fruitfully: I am there before my legs.
 COUNTESS	Haste you again.
 	[Exeunt severally]
 SCENE III	Paris. The KING's palace.
 LAFEU	They say miracles are past; and we have our
 	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.
 PAROLLES	Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath
 	shot out in our latter times.
 BERTRAM	And so 'tis.
 LAFEU	To be relinquish'd of the artists,--
 LAFEU	Both of Galen and Paracelsus.
 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, you
 	shall read it in--what do you call there?
 LAFEU	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,
 	I speak in respect--
 PAROLLES	Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
 	brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
 	facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--
 LAFEU	Very hand of heaven.
 PAROLLES	Ay, so I say.
 LAFEU	In a most weak--
 	and 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--
 	generally thankful.
 PAROLLES	I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.
 	[Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and
 	PAROLLES retire]
 LAFEU	Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the
 	better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
 	able to lead her a coranto.
 PAROLLES	Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?
 LAFEU	'Fore God, I think so.
 KING	Go, call before me all the lords in court.
 	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 Lords]
 	Fair 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.
 HELENA	To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
 	Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
 LAFEU	I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
 	My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
 	And writ as little beard.
 KING	Peruse them well:
 	Not one of those but had a noble father.
 HELENA	Gentlemen,
 	Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
 All	We understand it, and thank heaven for you.
 HELENA	I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,
 	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.'
 KING	Make choice; and, see,
 	Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
 HELENA	Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
 	And to imperial Love, that god most high,
 	Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
 First Lord	And grant it.
 HELENA	                  Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
 LAFEU	I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
 	for my life.
 HELENA	The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
 	Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
 	Love make your fortunes twenty times above
 	Her that so wishes and her humble love!
 Second Lord	No better, if you please.
 HELENA	My wish receive,
 	Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
 LAFEU	Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,
 	I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
 	Turk, to make eunuchs of.
 HELENA	Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
 	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!
 LAFEU	These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
 	sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
 	ne'er got 'em.
 HELENA	You are too young, too happy, and too good,
 	To make yourself a son out of my blood.
 Fourth Lord	Fair one, I think not so.
 LAFEU	There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
 	wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
 	of fourteen; I have known thee already.
 HELENA	[To BERTRAM]  I dare not say I take you; but I give
 	Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
 	Into your guiding power. This is the man.
 KING	Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
 BERTRAM	My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
 	In such a business give me leave to use
 	The help of mine own eyes.
 KING	Know'st thou not, Bertram,
 	What she has done for me?
 BERTRAM	Yes, my good lord;
 	But never hope to know why I should marry her.
 KING	Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
 BERTRAM	But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
 	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!
 KING	'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
 	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.
 BERTRAM	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:
 	Let the rest go.
 KING	My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
 	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.
 BERTRAM	Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
 	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.
 KING	Take her by the hand,
 	And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
 	A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
 	A balance more replete.
 BERTRAM	I take her hand.
 KING	Good fortune and the favour of the king
 	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]
 LAFEU	[Advancing]  Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
 PAROLLES	Your pleasure, sir?
 LAFEU	Your lord and master did well to make his
 PAROLLES	Recantation! My lord! my master!
 LAFEU	Ay; is it not a language I speak?
 PAROLLES	A most harsh one, and not to be understood without
 	bloody succeeding. My master!
 LAFEU	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 of
 	another style.
 PAROLLES	You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
 LAFEU	I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
 	title age cannot bring thee.
 PAROLLES	What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
 LAFEU	I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
 	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.
 PAROLLES	Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--
 LAFEU	Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou
 	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.
 PAROLLES	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 not
 	bate thee a scruple.
 PAROLLES	Well, I shall be wiser.
 LAFEU	Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
 	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.
 PAROLLES	My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
 LAFEU	I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor
 	doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
 	thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
 PAROLLES	Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off
 	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.
 	[Re-enter LAFEU]
 LAFEU	Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
 	for you: you have a new mistress.
 PAROLLES	I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
 	some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
 	lord: whom I serve above is my master.
 LAFEU	Who? God?
 PAROLLES	Ay, sir.
 LAFEU	The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
 	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.
 PAROLLES	This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
 LAFEU	Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a
 	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.
 PAROLLES	Good, very good; it is so then: good, very good;
 	let it be concealed awhile.
 	[Re-enter BERTRAM]
 BERTRAM	Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
 PAROLLES	What's the matter, sweet-heart?
 BERTRAM	Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
 	I will not bed her.
 PAROLLES	What, what, sweet-heart?
 BERTRAM	O my Parolles, they have married me!
 	I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
 PAROLLES	France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
 	The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
 BERTRAM	There's letters from my mother: what the import is,
 	I know not yet.
 PAROLLES	Ay, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars!
 	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!
 BERTRAM	It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
 	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.
 PAROLLES	Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?
 BERTRAM	Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.
 	I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
 	I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
 PAROLLES	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.
 SCENE IV	Paris. The KING's palace.
 	[Enter HELENA and Clown]
 HELENA	My mother greets me kindly; is she well?
 Clown	She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's
 	very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be
 	given, she's very well and wants nothing i', the
 	world; but yet she is not well.
 HELENA	If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's
 	not very well?
 Clown	Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
 HELENA	What two things?
 Clown	One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her
 	quickly! the other that she's in earth, from whence
 	God send her quickly!
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 PAROLLES	Bless you, my fortunate lady!
 HELENA	I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own
 	good fortunes.
 PAROLLES	You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them
 	on, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
 Clown	So that you had her wrinkles and I her money,
 	I would she did as you say.
 PAROLLES	Why, I say nothing.
 Clown	Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's
 	tongue shakes out his master's undoing: to say
 	nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have
 	nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which
 	is within a very little of nothing.
 PAROLLES	Away! thou'rt a knave.
 Clown	You should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt a
 	knave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this had
 	been truth, sir.
 PAROLLES	Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
 Clown	Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you
 	taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable;
 	and much fool may you find in you, even to the
 	world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.
 PAROLLES	A good knave, i' faith, and well fed.
 	Madam, my lord will go away to-night;
 	A very serious business calls on him.
 	The great prerogative and rite of love,
 	Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge;
 	But puts it off to a compell'd restraint;
 	Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,
 	Which they distil now in the curbed time,
 	To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
 	And pleasure drown the brim.
 HELENA	What's his will else?
 PAROLLES	That you will take your instant leave o' the king
 	And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
 	Strengthen'd with what apology you think
 	May make it probable need.
 HELENA	What more commands he?
 PAROLLES	That, having this obtain'd, you presently
 	Attend his further pleasure.
 HELENA	In every thing I wait upon his will.
 PAROLLES	I shall report it so.
 HELENA	I pray you.
 	Come, sirrah.
 SCENE V	Paris. The KING's palace.
 	[Enter LAFEU and BERTRAM]
 LAFEU	But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
 BERTRAM	Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
 LAFEU	You have it from his own deliverance.
 BERTRAM	And by other warranted testimony.
 LAFEU	Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
 BERTRAM	I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
 	knowledge and accordingly valiant.
 LAFEU	I have then sinned against his experience and
 	transgressed against his valour; and my state that
 	way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my
 	heart to repent. Here he comes: I pray you, make
 	us friends; I will pursue the amity.
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 PAROLLES	[To BERTRAM]  These things shall be done, sir.
 LAFEU	Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?
 LAFEU	O, I know him well, I, sir; he, sir, 's a good
 	workman, a very good tailor.
 BERTRAM	[Aside to PAROLLES]  Is she gone to the king?
 BERTRAM	Will she away to-night?
 PAROLLES	As you'll have her.
 BERTRAM	I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
 	Given order for our horses; and to-night,
 	When I should take possession of the bride,
 	End ere I do begin.
 LAFEU	A good traveller is something at the latter end of a
 	dinner; but one that lies three thirds and uses a
 	known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should
 	be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
 BERTRAM	Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
 PAROLLES	I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's
 LAFEU	You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs
 	and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and
 	out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer
 	question for your residence.
 BERTRAM	It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
 LAFEU	And shall do so ever, though I took him at 's
 	prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this
 	of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the
 	soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in
 	matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them
 	tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur:
 	I have spoken better of you than you have or will to
 	deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.
 PAROLLES	An idle lord. I swear.
 BERTRAM	I think so.
 PAROLLES	Why, do you not know him?
 BERTRAM	Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
 	Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
 	[Enter HELENA]
 HELENA	I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
 	Spoke with the king and have procured his leave
 	For present parting; only he desires
 	Some private speech with you.
 BERTRAM	I shall obey his will.
 	You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
 	Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
 	The ministration and required office
 	On my particular. Prepared I was not
 	For such a business; therefore am I found
 	So much unsettled: this drives me to entreat you
 	That presently you take our way for home;
 	And rather muse than ask why I entreat you,
 	For my respects are better than they seem
 	And my appointments have in them a need
 	Greater than shows itself at the first view
 	To you that know them not. This to my mother:
 	[Giving a letter]
 	'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
 	I leave you to your wisdom.
 HELENA	Sir, I can nothing say,
 	But that I am your most obedient servant.
 BERTRAM	Come, come, no more of that.
 HELENA	And ever shall
 	With true observance seek to eke out that
 	Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
 	To equal my great fortune.
 BERTRAM	Let that go:
 	My haste is very great: farewell; hie home.
 HELENA	Pray, sir, your pardon.
 BERTRAM	Well, what would you say?
 HELENA	I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
 	Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is;
 	But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
 	What law does vouch mine own.
 BERTRAM	What would you have?
 HELENA	Something; and scarce so much: nothing, indeed.
 	I would not tell you what I would, my lord:
 	Faith yes;
 	Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
 BERTRAM	I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
 HELENA	I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
 BERTRAM	Where are my other men, monsieur? Farewell.
 	[Exit HELENA]
 	Go thou toward home; where I will never come
 	Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
 	Away, and for our flight.
 PAROLLES	Bravely, coragio!
 SCENE I	Florence. The DUKE's palace.
 	[Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence attended;
 	the two Frenchmen, with a troop of soldiers.
 DUKE	So that from point to point now have you heard
 	The fundamental reasons of this war,
 	Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
 	And more thirsts after.
 First Lord	Holy seems the quarrel
 	Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
 	On the opposer.
 DUKE	Therefore we marvel much our cousin France
 	Would in so just a business shut his bosom
 	Against our borrowing prayers.
 Second Lord	Good my lord,
 	The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
 	But like a common and an outward man,
 	That the great figure of a council frames
 	By self-unable motion: therefore dare not
 	Say what I think of it, since I have found
 	Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
 	As often as I guess'd.
 DUKE	Be it his pleasure.
 First Lord	But I am sure the younger of our nature,
 	That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
 	Come here for physic.
 DUKE	Welcome shall they be;
 	And all the honours that can fly from us
 	Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
 	When better fall, for your avails they fell:
 	To-morrow to the field.
 	[Flourish. Exeunt]
 SCENE II	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter COUNTESS and Clown]
 COUNTESS	It hath happened all as I would have had it, save
 	that he comes not along with her.
 Clown	By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very
 	melancholy man.
 COUNTESS	By what observance, I pray you?
 Clown	Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the
 	ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his
 	teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of
 	melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.
 COUNTESS	Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
 	[Opening a letter]
 Clown	I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court: our
 	old ling and our Isbels o' the country are nothing
 	like your old ling and your Isbels o' the court:
 	the brains of my Cupid's knocked out, and I begin to
 	love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
 COUNTESS	What have we here?
 Clown	E'en that you have there.
 COUNTESS	[Reads]  I have sent you a daughter-in-law: she hath
 	recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded
 	her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the 'not'
 	eternal. You shall hear I am run away: know it
 	before the report come. If there be breadth enough
 	in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty
 	to you.	Your unfortunate son,
 	This is not well, rash and unbridled boy.
 	To fly the favours of so good a king;
 	To pluck his indignation on thy head
 	By the misprising of a maid too virtuous
 	For the contempt of empire.
 	[Re-enter Clown]
 Clown	O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two
 	soldiers and my young lady!
 COUNTESS	What is the matter?
 Clown	Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some
 	comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I
 	thought he would.
 COUNTESS	Why should he be killed?
 Clown	So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does:
 	the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of
 	men, though it be the getting of children. Here
 	they come will tell you more: for my part, I only
 	hear your son was run away.
 	[Enter HELENA, and two Gentlemen]
 First Gentleman	Save you, good madam.
 HELENA	Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
 Second Gentleman	Do not say so.
 COUNTESS	Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen,
 	I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief,
 	That the first face of neither, on the start,
 	Can woman me unto't: where is my son, I pray you?
 Second Gentleman	Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of Florence:
 	We met him thitherward; for thence we came,
 	And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
 	Thither we bend again.
 HELENA	Look on his letter, madam; here's my passport.
 	When thou canst get the ring upon my finger which
 	never shall come off, and show me a child begotten
 	of thy body that I am father to, then call me
 	husband: but in such a 'then' I write a 'never.'
 	This is a dreadful sentence.
 COUNTESS	Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
 First Gentleman	Ay, madam;
 	And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pain.
 COUNTESS	I prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
 	If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
 	Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son;
 	But I do wash his name out of my blood,
 	And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
 Second Gentleman	Ay, madam.
 COUNTESS	         And to be a soldier?
 Second Gentleman	Such is his noble purpose; and believe 't,
 	The duke will lay upon him all the honour
 	That good convenience claims.
 COUNTESS	Return you thither?
 First Gentleman	Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
 HELENA	[Reads]  Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.
 	'Tis bitter.
 COUNTESS	                  Find you that there?
 HELENA	Ay, madam.
 First Gentleman	'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his
 	heart was not consenting to.
 COUNTESS	Nothing in France, until he have no wife!
 	There's nothing here that is too good for him
 	But only she; and she deserves a lord
 	That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
 	And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
 First Gentleman	A servant only, and a gentleman
 	Which I have sometime known.
 COUNTESS	Parolles, was it not?
 First Gentleman	Ay, my good lady, he.
 COUNTESS	A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
 	My son corrupts a well-derived nature
 	With his inducement.
 First Gentleman	Indeed, good lady,
 	The fellow has a deal of that too much,
 	Which holds him much to have.
 COUNTESS	You're welcome, gentlemen.
 	I will entreat you, when you see my son,
 	To tell him that his sword can never win
 	The honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you
 	Written to bear along.
 Second Gentleman	We serve you, madam,
 	In that and all your worthiest affairs.
 COUNTESS	Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
 	Will you draw near!
 	[Exeunt COUNTESS and Gentlemen]
 HELENA	'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.'
 	Nothing in France, until he has no wife!
 	Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France;
 	Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is't I
 	That chase thee from thy country and expose
 	Those tender limbs of thine to the event
 	Of the none-sparing war? and is it I
 	That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
 	Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
 	Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,
 	That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
 	Fly with false aim; move the still-peering air,
 	That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord.
 	Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
 	Whoever charges on his forward breast,
 	I am the caitiff that do hold him to't;
 	And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
 	His death was so effected: better 'twere
 	I met the ravin lion when he roar'd
 	With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
 	That all the miseries which nature owes
 	Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon,
 	Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,
 	As oft it loses all: I will be gone;
 	My being here it is that holds thee hence:
 	Shall I stay here to do't?  no, no, although
 	The air of paradise did fan the house
 	And angels officed all: I will be gone,
 	That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
 	To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!
 	For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.
 SCENE III	Florence. Before the DUKE's palace.
 	[Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence, BERTRAM,
 	PAROLLES, Soldiers, Drum, and Trumpets]
 DUKE	The general of our horse thou art; and we,
 	Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
 	Upon thy promising fortune.
 BERTRAM	Sir, it is
 	A charge too heavy for my strength, but yet
 	We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake
 	To the extreme edge of hazard.
 DUKE	Then go thou forth;
 	And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
 	As thy auspicious mistress!
 BERTRAM	This very day,
 	Great Mars, I put myself into thy file:
 	Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove
 	A lover of thy drum, hater of love.
 SCENE IV	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter COUNTESS and Steward]
 COUNTESS	Alas! and would you take the letter of her?
 	Might you not know she would do as she has done,
 	By sending me a letter? Read it again.
 Steward	[Reads]
 	I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone:
 	Ambitious love hath so in me offended,
 	That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon,
 	With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
 	Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
 	My dearest master, your dear son, may hie:
 	Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
 	His name with zealous fervor sanctify:
 	His taken labours bid him me forgive;
 	I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
 	From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,
 	Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth:
 	He is too good and fair for death and me:
 	Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.
 COUNTESS	Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
 	Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,
 	As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her,
 	I could have well diverted her intents,
 	Which thus she hath prevented.
 Steward	Pardon me, madam:
 	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.
 COUNTESS	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.
 	Dispatch the most convenient messenger:
 	When haply he shall hear 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.
 SCENE V	Florence. Without the walls. A tucket afar off.
 	[Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA,
 	and MARIANA, with other Citizens]
 Widow	Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
 	shall lose all the sight.
 DIANA	They say the French count has done most honourable service.
 Widow	It is reported that he has taken their greatest
 	commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
 	duke's brother.
 	We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
 	way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
 MARIANA	Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with
 	the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this
 	French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and
 	no legacy is so rich as honesty.
 Widow	I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
 	by a gentleman his companion.
 MARIANA	I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: a
 	filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the
 	young earl. Beware of them, Diana; their promises,
 	enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of
 	lust, are not the things they go under: many a maid
 	hath been seduced by them; and the misery is,
 	example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of
 	maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession,
 	but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten
 	them. I hope I need not to advise you further; but
 	I hope your own grace will keep you where you are,
 	though there were no further danger known but the
 	modesty which is so lost.
 DIANA	You shall not need to fear me.
 Widow	I hope so.
 	[Enter HELENA, disguised like a Pilgrim]
 	Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at
 	my house; thither they send one another: I'll
 	question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
 HELENA	To Saint Jaques le Grand.
 	Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
 Widow	At the Saint Francis here beside the port.
 HELENA	Is this the way?
 Widow	Ay, marry, is't.
 	[A march afar]
 	Hark you! they come this way.
 	If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
 	But till the troops come by,
 	I will conduct you where you shall be lodged;
 	The rather, for I think I know your hostess
 	As ample as myself.
 HELENA	Is it yourself?
 Widow	If you shall please so, pilgrim.
 HELENA	I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
 Widow	You came, I think, from France?
 HELENA	I did so.
 Widow	Here you shall see a countryman of yours
 	That has done worthy service.
 HELENA	His name, I pray you.
 DIANA	The Count Rousillon: know you such a one?
 HELENA	But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him:
 	His face I know not.
 DIANA	Whatsome'er he is,
 	He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
 	As 'tis reported, for the king had married him
 	Against his liking: think you it is so?
 HELENA	Ay, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.
 DIANA	There is a gentleman that serves the count
 	Reports but coarsely of her.
 HELENA	What's his name?
 DIANA	Monsieur Parolles.
 HELENA	                  O, I believe with him,
 	In argument of praise, or to the worth
 	Of the great count himself, she is too mean
 	To have her name repeated: all her deserving
 	Is a reserved honesty, and that
 	I have not heard examined.
 DIANA	Alas, poor lady!
 	'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
 	Of a detesting lord.
 Widow	I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
 	Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
 	A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
 HELENA	How do you mean?
 	May be the amorous count solicits her
 	In the unlawful purpose.
 Widow	He does indeed;
 	And brokes with all that can in such a suit
 	Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
 	But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard
 	In honestest defence.
 MARIANA	The gods forbid else!
 Widow	So, now they come:
 	[Drum and Colours]
 	[Enter BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the whole army]
 	That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
 	That, Escalus.
 HELENA	                  Which is the Frenchman?
 	That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow.
 	I would he loved his wife: if he were honester
 	He were much goodlier: is't not a handsome gentleman?
 HELENA	I like him well.
 DIANA	'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave
 	That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
 	I would Poison that vile rascal.
 HELENA	Which is he?
 DIANA	That jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?
 HELENA	Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
 PAROLLES	Lose our drum! well.
 MARIANA	He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.
 Widow	Marry, hang you!
 MARIANA	And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
 	[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army]
 Widow	The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
 	Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
 	There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
 	Already at my house.
 HELENA	I humbly thank you:
 	Please it this matron and this gentle maid
 	To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking
 	Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
 	I will bestow some precepts of this virgin
 	Worthy the note.
 BOTH	                  We'll take your offer kindly.
 SCENE VI	Camp before Florence.
 	[Enter BERTRAM and the two French Lords]
 Second Lord	Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his
 First Lord	If your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no
 	more in your respect.
 Second Lord	On my life, my lord, a bubble.
 BERTRAM	Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
 Second Lord	Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge,
 	without any malice, but to speak of him as my
 	kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and
 	endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner
 	of no one good quality worthy your lordship's
 First Lord	It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in
 	his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some
 	great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.
 BERTRAM	I would I knew in what particular action to try him.
 First Lord	None better than to let him fetch off his drum,
 	which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
 Second Lord	I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
 	surprise him; such I will have, whom I am sure he
 	knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hoodwink
 	him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he
 	is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when
 	we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship
 	present at his examination: if he do not, for the
 	promise of his life and in the highest compulsion of
 	base fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the
 	intelligence in his power against you, and that with
 	the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never
 	trust my judgment in any thing.
 First Lord	O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum;
 	he says he has a stratagem for't: when your
 	lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to
 	what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be
 	melted, if you give him not John Drum's
 	entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
 	Here he comes.
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 Second Lord	[Aside to BERTRAM]  O, for the love of laughter,
 	hinder not the honour of his design: let him fetch
 	off his drum in any hand.
 BERTRAM	How now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your
 First Lord	A pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.
 PAROLLES	'But a drum'! is't 'but a drum'? A drum so lost!
 	There was excellent command,--to charge in with our
 	horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers!
 First Lord	That was not to be blamed in the command of the
 	service: it was a disaster of war that Caesar
 	himself could not have prevented, if he had been
 	there to command.
 BERTRAM	Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some
 	dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is
 	not to be recovered.
 PAROLLES	It might have been recovered.
 BERTRAM	It might; but it is not now.
 PAROLLES	It is to be recovered: but that the merit of
 	service is seldom attributed to the true and exact
 	performer, I would have that drum or another, or
 	'hic jacet.'
 BERTRAM	Why, if you have a stomach, to't, monsieur: if you
 	think your mystery in stratagem can bring this
 	instrument of honour again into his native quarter,
 	be magnanimous in the enterprise and go on; I will
 	grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you
 	speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it.
 	and extend to you what further becomes his
 	greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your
 PAROLLES	By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
 BERTRAM	But you must not now slumber in it.
 PAROLLES	I'll about it this evening: and I will presently
 	pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my
 	certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation;
 	and by midnight look to hear further from me.
 BERTRAM	May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?
 PAROLLES	I know not what the success will be, my lord; but
 	the attempt I vow.
 BERTRAM	I know thou'rt valiant; and, to the possibility of
 	thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
 PAROLLES	I love not many words.
 Second Lord	No more than a fish loves water. Is not this a
 	strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems
 	to undertake this business, which he knows is not to
 	be done; damns himself to do and dares better be
 	damned than to do't?
 First Lord	You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it
 	is that he will steal himself into a man's favour and
 	for a week escape a great deal of discoveries; but
 	when you find him out, you have him ever after.
 BERTRAM	Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of
 	this that so seriously he does address himself unto?
 Second Lord	None in the world; but return with an invention and
 	clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we
 	have almost embossed him; you shall see his fall
 	to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.
 First Lord	We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case
 	him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu:
 	when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a
 	sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this
 	very night.
 Second Lord	I must go look my twigs: he shall be caught.
 BERTRAM	Your brother he shall go along with me.
 Second Lord	As't please your lordship: I'll leave you.
 BERTRAM	Now will I lead you to the house, and show you
 	The lass I spoke of.
 First Lord	But you say she's honest.
 BERTRAM	That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once
 	And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
 	By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind,
 	Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
 	And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature:
 	Will you go see her?
 First Lord	With all my heart, my lord.
 SCENE VII	Florence. The Widow's house.
 	[Enter HELENA and Widow]
 HELENA	If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
 	I know not how I shall assure you further,
 	But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
 Widow	Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
 	Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
 	And would not put my reputation now
 	In any staining act.
 HELENA	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.
 Widow	I should believe you:
 	For you have show'd me that which well approves
 	You're great in fortune.
 HELENA	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 wooes 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 not seem too dear,
 	Howe'er repented after.
 Widow	Now I see
 	The bottom of your purpose.
 HELENA	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 passed already.
 Widow	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 composed
 	To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us
 	To chide him from our eaves; for he persists
 	As if his life lay on't.
 HELENA	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.
 SCENE I	Without the Florentine camp.
 	[Enter Second French Lord, with five or six other
 	Soldiers in ambush]
 Second Lord	He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner.
 	When you sally upon him, speak what terrible
 	language you will: though you understand it not
 	yourselves, no matter; for we must not seem to
 	understand him, unless some one among us whom we
 	must produce for an interpreter.
 First Soldier	Good captain, let me be the interpreter.
 Second Lord	Art not acquainted with him? knows he not thy voice?
 First Soldier	No, sir, I warrant you.
 Second Lord	But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
 First Soldier	E'en such as you speak to me.
 Second Lord	He must think us some band of strangers i' the
 	adversary's entertainment. Now he hath a smack of
 	all neighbouring languages; therefore we must every
 	one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we
 	speak one to another; so we seem to know, is to
 	know straight our purpose: choughs' language,
 	gabble enough, and good enough. As for you,
 	interpreter, you must seem very politic. But couch,
 	ho! here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep,
 	and then to return and swear the lies he forges.
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 PAROLLES	Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be
 	time enough to go home. What shall I say I have
 	done? It must be a very plausive invention that
 	carries it: they begin to smoke me; and disgraces
 	have of late knocked too often at my door. I find
 	my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the
 	fear of Mars before it and of his creatures, not
 	daring the reports of my tongue.
 Second Lord	This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue
 	was guilty of.
 PAROLLES	What the devil should move me to undertake the
 	recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the
 	impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I
 	must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in
 	exploit: yet slight ones will not carry it; they
 	will say, 'Came you off with so little?' and great
 	ones I dare not give. Wherefore, what's the
 	instance? Tongue, I must put you into a
 	butter-woman's mouth and buy myself another of
 	Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
 Second Lord	Is it possible he should know what he is, and be
 	that he is?
 PAROLLES	I would the cutting of my garments would serve the
 	turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
 Second Lord	We cannot afford you so.
 PAROLLES	Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
 Second Lord	'Twould not do.
 PAROLLES	Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
 Second Lord	Hardly serve.
 PAROLLES	Though I swore I leaped from the window of the citadel.
 Second Lord	How deep?
 PAROLLES	Thirty fathom.
 Second Lord	Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
 PAROLLES	I would I had any drum of the enemy's: I would swear
 	I recovered it.
 Second Lord	You shall hear one anon.
 PAROLLES	A drum now of the enemy's,--
 	[Alarum within]
 Second Lord	Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
 All	Cargo, cargo, cargo, villiando par corbo, cargo.
 PAROLLES	O, ransom, ransom! do not hide mine eyes.
 	[They seize and blindfold him]
 First Soldier	Boskos thromuldo boskos.
 PAROLLES	I know you are the Muskos' regiment:
 	And I shall lose my life for want of language;
 	If there be here German, or Dane, low Dutch,
 	Italian, or French, let him speak to me; I'll
 	Discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
 First Soldier	Boskos vauvado: I understand thee, and can speak
 	thy tongue. Kerely bonto, sir, betake thee to thy
 	faith, for seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
 First Soldier	O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.
 Second Lord	Oscorbidulchos volivorco.
 First Soldier	The general is content to spare thee yet;
 	And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on
 	To gather from thee: haply thou mayst inform
 	Something to save thy life.
 PAROLLES	O, let me live!
 	And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
 	Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that
 	Which you will wonder at.
 First Soldier	But wilt thou faithfully?
 PAROLLES	If I do not, damn me.
 First Soldier	Acordo linta.
 	Come on; thou art granted space.
 	[Exit, with PAROLLES guarded. A short alarum within]
 Second Lord	Go, tell the Count Rousillon, and my brother,
 	We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
 	Till we do hear from them.
 Second Soldier	Captain, I will.
 Second Lord	A' will betray us all unto ourselves:
 	Inform on that.
 Second Soldier	                  So I will, sir.
 Second Lord	Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.
 SCENE II	Florence. The Widow's house.
 	[Enter BERTRAM and DIANA]
 BERTRAM	They told me that your name was Fontibell.
 DIANA	No, my good lord, Diana.
 BERTRAM	Titled goddess;
 	And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
 	In your fine frame hath love no quality?
 	If quick fire of youth light not your mind,
 	You are no maiden, but a monument:
 	When you are dead, you should be such a one
 	As you are now, for you are cold and stem;
 	And now you should be as your mother was
 	When your sweet self was got.
 DIANA	She then was honest.
 BERTRAM	So should you be.
 	My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
 	As you owe to your wife.
 BERTRAM	No more o' that;
 	I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
 	I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
 	By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
 	Do thee all rights of service.
 DIANA	Ay, so you serve us
 	Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
 	You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
 	And mock us with our bareness.
 BERTRAM	How have I sworn!
 DIANA	'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
 	But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
 	What is not holy, that we swear not by,
 	But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me,
 	If I should swear by God's great attributes,
 	I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
 	When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
 	To swear by him whom I protest to love,
 	That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
 	Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
 	At least in my opinion.
 BERTRAM	Change it, change it;
 	Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
 	And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
 	That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
 	But give thyself unto my sick desires,
 	Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever
 	My love as it begins shall so persever.
 DIANA	I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
 	That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
 BERTRAM	I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
 	To give it from me.
 DIANA	Will you not, my lord?
 BERTRAM	It is an honour 'longing to our house,
 	Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
 	Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
 	In me to lose.
 DIANA	                  Mine honour's such a ring:
 	My chastity's the jewel of our house,
 	Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
 	Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
 	In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
 	Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
 	Against your vain assault.
 BERTRAM	Here, take my ring:
 	My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
 	And I'll be bid by thee.
 DIANA	When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
 	I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
 	Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
 	When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
 	Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
 	My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
 	When back again this ring shall be deliver'd:
 	And on your finger in the night I'll put
 	Another ring, that what in time proceeds
 	May token to the future our past deeds.
 	Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won
 	A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
 BERTRAM	A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
 DIANA	For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
 	You may so in the end.
 	My mother told me just how he would woo,
 	As if she sat in 's heart; she says all men
 	Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me
 	When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
 	When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
 	Marry that will, I live and die a maid:
 	Only in this disguise I think't no sin
 	To cozen him that would unjustly win.
 SCENE III	The Florentine camp.
 	[Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers]
 First Lord	You have not given him his mother's letter?
 Second Lord	I have delivered it an hour since: there is
 	something in't that stings his nature; for on the
 	reading it he changed almost into another man.
 First Lord	He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking
 	off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
 Second Lord	Especially he hath incurred the everlasting
 	displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his
 	bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a
 	thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
 First Lord	When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the
 	grave of it.
 Second Lord	He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in
 	Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he
 	fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath
 	given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
 	made in the unchaste composition.
 First Lord	Now, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves,
 	what things are we!
 Second Lord	Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course
 	of all treasons, we still see them reveal
 	themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends,
 	so he that in this action contrives against his own
 	nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
 First Lord	Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of
 	our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his
 	company to-night?
 Second Lord	Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
 First Lord	That approaches apace; I would gladly have him see
 	his company anatomized, that he might take a measure
 	of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had
 	set this counterfeit.
 Second Lord	We will not meddle with him till he come; for his
 	presence must be the whip of the other.
 First Lord	In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
 Second Lord	I hear there is an overture of peace.
 First Lord	Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
 Second Lord	What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel
 	higher, or return again into France?
 First Lord	I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether
 	of his council.
 Second Lord	Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal
 	of his act.
 First Lord	Sir, his wife some two months since fled from his
 	house: her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques
 	le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere
 	sanctimony she accomplished; and, there residing the
 	tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her
 	grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and
 	now she sings in heaven.
 Second Lord	How is this justified?
 First Lord	The stronger part of it by her own letters, which
 	makes her story true, even to the point of her
 	death: her death itself, which could not be her
 	office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by
 	the rector of the place.
 Second Lord	Hath the count all this intelligence?
 First Lord	Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from
 	point, so to the full arming of the verity.
 Second Lord	I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.
 First Lord	How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!
 Second Lord	And how mightily some other times we drown our gain
 	in tears! The great dignity that his valour hath
 	here acquired for him shall at home be encountered
 	with a shame as ample.
 First Lord	The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and
 	ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our
 	faults whipped them not; and our crimes would
 	despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
 	[Enter a Messenger]
 	How now! where's your master?
 Servant	He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath
 	taken a solemn leave: his lordship will next
 	morning for France. The duke hath offered him
 	letters of commendations to the king.
 Second Lord	They shall be no more than needful there, if they
 	were more than they can commend.
 First Lord	They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness.
 	Here's his lordship now.
 	[Enter BERTRAM]
 	How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?
 BERTRAM	I have to-night dispatched sixteen businesses, a
 	month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success:
 	I have congied with the duke, done my adieu with his
 	nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my
 	lady mother I am returning; entertained my convoy;
 	and between these main parcels of dispatch effected
 	many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but
 	that I have not ended yet.
 Second Lord	If the business be of any difficulty, and this
 	morning your departure hence, it requires haste of
 	your lordship.
 BERTRAM	I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to
 	hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this
 	dialogue between the fool and the soldier? Come,
 	bring forth this counterfeit module, he has deceived
 	me, like a double-meaning prophesier.
 Second Lord	Bring him forth: has sat i' the stocks all night,
 	poor gallant knave.
 BERTRAM	No matter: his heels have deserved it, in usurping
 	his spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
 Second Lord	I have told your lordship already, the stocks carry
 	him. But to answer you as you would be understood;
 	he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk: he
 	hath confessed himself to Morgan, whom he supposes
 	to be a friar, from the time of his remembrance to
 	this very instant disaster of his setting i' the
 	stocks: and what think you he hath confessed?
 BERTRAM	Nothing of me, has a'?
 Second Lord	His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his
 	face: if your lordship be in't, as I believe you
 	are, you must have the patience to hear it.
 	[Enter PAROLLES guarded, and First Soldier]
 BERTRAM	A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of
 	me: hush, hush!
 First Lord	Hoodman comes! Portotartarosa
 First Soldier	He calls for the tortures: what will you say
 	without 'em?
 PAROLLES	I will confess what I know without constraint: if
 	ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
 First Soldier	Bosko chimurcho.
 First Lord	Boblibindo chicurmurco.
 First Soldier	You are a merciful general. Our general bids you
 	answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
 PAROLLES	And truly, as I hope to live.
 First Soldier	[Reads]  'First demand of him how many horse the
 	duke is strong.' What say you to that?
 PAROLLES	Five or six thousand; but very weak and
 	unserviceable: the troops are all scattered, and
 	the commanders very poor rogues, upon my reputation
 	and credit and as I hope to live.
 First Soldier	Shall I set down your answer so?
 PAROLLES	Do: I'll take the sacrament on't, how and which way you will.
 BERTRAM	All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
 First Lord	You're deceived, my lord: this is Monsieur
 	Parolles, the gallant militarist,--that was his own
 	phrase,--that had the whole theoric of war in the
 	knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of
 	his dagger.
 Second Lord	I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword
 	clean. nor believe he can have every thing in him
 	by wearing his apparel neatly.
 First Soldier	Well, that's set down.
 PAROLLES	Five or six thousand horse, I said,-- I will say
 	true,--or thereabouts, set down, for I'll speak truth.
 First Lord	He's very near the truth in this.
 BERTRAM	But I con him no thanks for't, in the nature he
 	delivers it.
 PAROLLES	Poor rogues, I pray you, say.
 First Soldier	Well, that's set down.
 PAROLLES	I humbly thank you, sir: a truth's a truth, the
 	rogues are marvellous poor.
 First Soldier	[Reads]  'Demand of him, of what strength they are
 	a-foot.' What say you to that?
 PAROLLES	By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present
 	hour, I will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a
 	hundred and fifty; Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so
 	many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian, Cosmo, Lodowick,
 	and Gratii, two hundred and fifty each; mine own
 	company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred and
 	fifty each: so that the muster-file, rotten and
 	sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand
 	poll; half of the which dare not shake snow from off
 	their cassocks, lest they shake themselves to pieces.
 BERTRAM	What shall be done to him?
 First Lord	Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my
 	condition, and what credit I have with the duke.
 First Soldier	Well, that's set down.
 	'You shall demand of him, whether one Captain Dumain
 	be i' the camp, a Frenchman; what his reputation is
 	with the duke; what his valour, honesty, and
 	expertness in wars; or whether he thinks it were not
 	possible, with well-weighing sums of gold, to
 	corrupt him to revolt.' What say you to this? what
 	do you know of it?
 PAROLLES	I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of
 	the inter'gatories: demand them singly.
 First Soldier	Do you know this Captain Dumain?
 PAROLLES	I know him: a' was a botcher's 'prentice in Paris,
 	from whence he was whipped for getting the shrieve's
 	fool with child,--a dumb innocent, that could not
 	say him nay.
 BERTRAM	Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know
 	his brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
 First Soldier	Well, is this captain in the duke of Florence's camp?
 PAROLLES	Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
 First Lord	Nay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your
 	lordship anon.
 First Soldier	What is his reputation with the duke?
 PAROLLES	The duke knows him for no other but a poor officer
 	of mine; and writ to me this other day to turn him
 	out o' the band: I think I have his letter in my pocket.
 First Soldier	Marry, we'll search.
 PAROLLES	In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there,
 	or it is upon a file with the duke's other letters
 	in my tent.
 First Soldier	Here 'tis; here's a paper: shall I read it to you?
 PAROLLES	I do not know if it be it or no.
 BERTRAM	Our interpreter does it well.
 First Lord	Excellently.
 First Soldier	[Reads]  'Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold,'--
 PAROLLES	That is not the duke's letter, sir; that is an
 	advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one
 	Diana, to take heed of the allurement of one Count
 	Rousillon, a foolish idle boy, but for all that very
 	ruttish: I pray you, sir, put it up again.
 First Soldier	Nay, I'll read it first, by your favour.
 PAROLLES	My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the
 	behalf of the maid; for I knew the young count to be
 	a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is a whale to
 	virginity and devours up all the fry it finds.
 BERTRAM	Damnable both-sides rogue!
 First Soldier	[Reads]  'When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
 	After he scores, he never pays the score:
 	Half won is match well made; match, and well make it;
 	He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before;
 	And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this,
 	Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss:
 	For count of this, the count's a fool, I know it,
 	Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
 	Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,
 BERTRAM	He shall be whipped through the army with this rhyme
 	in's forehead.
 Second Lord	This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold
 	linguist and the armipotent soldier.
 BERTRAM	I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now
 	he's a cat to me.
 First Soldier	I perceive, sir, by the general's looks, we shall be
 	fain to hang you.
 PAROLLES	My life, sir, in any case: not that I am afraid to
 	die; but that, my offences being many, I would
 	repent out the remainder of nature: let me live,
 	sir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.
 First Soldier	We'll see what may be done, so you confess freely;
 	therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain: you
 	have answered to his reputation with the duke and to
 	his valour: what is his honesty?
 PAROLLES	He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for
 	rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he
 	professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking 'em he
 	is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with
 	such volubility, that you would think truth were a
 	fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will
 	be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little
 	harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they
 	know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but
 	little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has
 	every thing that an honest man should not have; what
 	an honest man should have, he has nothing.
 First Lord	I begin to love him for this.
 BERTRAM	For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon
 	him for me, he's more and more a cat.
 First Soldier	What say you to his expertness in war?
 PAROLLES	Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English
 	tragedians; to belie him, I will not, and more of
 	his soldiership I know not; except, in that country
 	he had the honour to be the officer at a place there
 	called Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of
 	files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of
 	this I am not certain.
 First Lord	He hath out-villained villany so far, that the
 	rarity redeems him.
 BERTRAM	A pox on him, he's a cat still.
 First Soldier	His qualities being at this poor price, I need not
 	to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
 PAROLLES	Sir, for a quart d'ecu he will sell the fee-simple
 	of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the
 	entail from all remainders, and a perpetual
 	succession for it perpetually.
 First Soldier	What's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?
 Second Lord	Why does be ask him of me?
 First Soldier	What's he?
 PAROLLES	E'en a crow o' the same nest; not altogether so
 	great as the first in goodness, but greater a great
 	deal in evil: he excels his brother for a coward,
 	yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is:
 	in a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming
 	on he has the cramp.
 First Soldier	If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray
 	the Florentine?
 PAROLLES	Ay, and the captain of his horse, Count Rousillon.
 First Soldier	I'll whisper with the general, and know his pleasure.
 PAROLLES	[Aside]  I'll no more drumming; a plague of all
 	drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to
 	beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy
 	the count, have I run into this danger. Yet who
 	would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
 First Soldier	There is no remedy, sir, but you must die: the
 	general says, you that have so traitorously
 	discovered the secrets of your army and made such
 	pestiferous reports of men very nobly held, can
 	serve the world for no honest use; therefore you
 	must die. Come, headsman, off with his head.
 PAROLLES	O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!
 First Lord	That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.
 	[Unblinding him]
 	So, look about you: know you any here?
 BERTRAM	Good morrow, noble captain.
 Second Lord	God bless you, Captain Parolles.
 First Lord	God save you, noble captain.
 Second Lord	Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu?
 	I am for France.
 First Lord	Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet
 	you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon?
 	an I were not a very coward, I'ld compel it of you:
 	but fare you well.
 	[Exeunt BERTRAM and Lords]
 First Soldier	You are undone, captain, all but your scarf; that
 	has a knot on't yet
 PAROLLES	Who cannot be crushed with a plot?
 First Soldier	If you could find out a country where but women were
 	that had received so much shame, you might begin an
 	impudent nation. Fare ye well, sir; I am for France
 	too: we shall speak of you there.
 	[Exit with Soldiers]
 PAROLLES	Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
 	'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
 	But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
 	As captain shall: simply the thing I am
 	Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
 	Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
 	that every braggart shall be found an ass.
 	Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
 	Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
 	There's place and means for every man alive.
 	I'll after them.
 SCENE IV	Florence. The Widow's house.
 	[Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA]
 HELENA	That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
 	One of the greatest in the Christian world
 	Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
 	Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel:
 	Time was, I did him a desired office,
 	Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
 	Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
 	And answer, thanks: I duly am inform'd
 	His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
 	We have convenient convoy. You must know
 	I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
 	My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
 	And by the leave of my good lord the king,
 	We'll be before our welcome.
 Widow	Gentle madam,
 	You never had a servant to whose trust
 	Your business was more welcome.
 HELENA	Nor you, mistress,
 	Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
 	To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven
 	Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower,
 	As it hath fated her to be my motive
 	And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
 	That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
 	When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
 	Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play
 	With what it loathes for that which is away.
 	But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
 	Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
 	Something in my behalf.
 DIANA	Let death and honesty
 	Go with your impositions, I am yours
 	Upon your will to suffer.
 HELENA	Yet, I pray you:
 	But with the word the time will bring on summer,
 	When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
 	And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
 	Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
 	All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown;
 	Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
 SCENE V	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter COUNTESS, LAFEU, and Clown]
 LAFEU	No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipt-taffeta
 	fellow there, whose villanous saffron would have
 	made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in
 	his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at
 	this hour, and your son here at home, more advanced
 	by the king than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
 COUNTESS	I would I had not known him; it was the death of the
 	most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had
 	praise for creating. If she had partaken of my
 	flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I
 	could not have owed her a more rooted love.
 LAFEU	'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a
 	thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.
 Clown	Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
 	salad, or rather, the herb of grace.
 LAFEU	They are not herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
 Clown	I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much
 	skill in grass.
 LAFEU	Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a fool?
 Clown	A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
 LAFEU	Your distinction?
 Clown	I would cozen the man of his wife and do his service.
 LAFEU	So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
 Clown	And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
 LAFEU	I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave and fool.
 Clown	At your service.
 LAFEU	No, no, no.
 Clown	Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
 	great a prince as you are.
 LAFEU	Who's that? a Frenchman?
 Clown	Faith, sir, a' has an English name; but his fisnomy
 	is more hotter in France than there.
 LAFEU	What prince is that?
 Clown	The black prince, sir; alias, the prince of
 	darkness; alias, the devil.
 LAFEU	Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this
 	to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of;
 	serve him still.
 Clown	I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
 	great fire; and the master I speak of ever keeps a
 	good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the
 	world; let his nobility remain in's court. I am for
 	the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be
 	too little for pomp to enter: some that humble
 	themselves may; but the many will be too chill and
 	tender, and they'll be for the flowery way that
 	leads to the broad gate and the great fire.
 LAFEU	Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I
 	tell thee so before, because I would not fall out
 	with thee. Go thy ways: let my horses be well
 	looked to, without any tricks.
 Clown	If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be
 	jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
 LAFEU	A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
 COUNTESS	So he is. My lord that's gone made himself much
 	sport out of him: by his authority he remains here,
 	which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and,
 	indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.
 LAFEU	I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to
 	tell you, since I heard of the good lady's death and
 	that my lord your son was upon his return home, I
 	moved the king my master to speak in the behalf of
 	my daughter; which, in the minority of them both,
 	his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did
 	first propose: his highness hath promised me to do
 	it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath
 	conceived against your son, there is no fitter
 	matter. How does your ladyship like it?
 COUNTESS	With very much content, my lord; and I wish it
 	happily effected.
 LAFEU	His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able
 	body as when he numbered thirty: he will be here
 	to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such
 	intelligence hath seldom failed.
 COUNTESS	It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
 	die. I have letters that my son will be here
 	to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain
 	with me till they meet together.
 LAFEU	Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
 	safely be admitted.
 COUNTESS	You need but plead your honourable privilege.
 LAFEU	Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but I
 	thank my God it holds yet.
 	[Re-enter Clown]
 Clown	O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of
 	velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under't
 	or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of
 	velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a
 	half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
 LAFEU	A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery
 	of honour; so belike is that.
 Clown	But it is your carbonadoed face.
 LAFEU	Let us go see your son, I pray you: I long to talk
 	with the young noble soldier.
 Clown	Faith there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine
 	hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head
 	and nod at every man.
 SCENE I	Marseilles. A street.
 	[Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two
 HELENA	But this exceeding posting day and night
 	Must wear your spirits low; we cannot help it:
 	But since you have made the days and nights as one,
 	To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
 	Be bold you do so grow in my requital
 	As nothing can unroot you. In happy time;
 	[Enter a Gentleman]
 	This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
 	If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
 Gentleman	And you.
 HELENA	Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
 Gentleman	I have been sometimes there.
 HELENA	I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
 	From the report that goes upon your goodness;
 	An therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
 	Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
 	The use of your own virtues, for the which
 	I shall continue thankful.
 Gentleman	What's your will?
 HELENA	That it will please you
 	To give this poor petition to the king,
 	And aid me with that store of power you have
 	To come into his presence.
 Gentleman	The king's not here.
 HELENA	Not here, sir!
 Gentleman	Not, indeed:
 	He hence removed last night and with more haste
 	Than is his use.
 Widow	                  Lord, how we lose our pains!
 	Though time seem so adverse and means unfit.
 	I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
 Gentleman	Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
 	Whither I am going.
 HELENA	I do beseech you, sir,
 	Since you are like to see the king before me,
 	Commend the paper to his gracious hand,
 	Which I presume shall render you no blame
 	But rather make you thank your pains for it.
 	I will come after you with what good speed
 	Our means will make us means.
 Gentleman	This I'll do for you.
 HELENA	And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd,
 	Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again.
 	Go, go, provide.
 SCENE II	Rousillon. Before the COUNT's palace.
 	[Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, following]
 PAROLLES	Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this
 	letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to
 	you, when I have held familiarity with fresher
 	clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's
 	mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong
 Clown	Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it
 	smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will
 	henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering.
 	Prithee, allow the wind.
 PAROLLES	Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake
 	but by a metaphor.
 Clown	Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my
 	nose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get
 	thee further.
 PAROLLES	Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
 Clown	Foh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune's
 	close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he
 	comes himself.
 	[Enter LAFEU]
 	Here is a purr of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's
 	cat,--but not a musk-cat,--that has fallen into the
 	unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he
 	says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the
 	carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed,
 	ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his
 	distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to
 	your lordship.
 PAROLLES	My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly
 LAFEU	And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to
 	pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the
 	knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who
 	of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves
 	thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for
 	you: let the justices make you and fortune friends:
 	I am for other business.
 PAROLLES	I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
 LAFEU	You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't;
 	save your word.
 PAROLLES	My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
 LAFEU	You beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion!
 	give me your hand. How does your drum?
 PAROLLES	O my good lord, you were the first that found me!
 LAFEU	Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
 PAROLLES	It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace,
 	for you did bring me out.
 LAFEU	Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once
 	both the office of God and the devil? One brings
 	thee in grace and the other brings thee out.
 	[Trumpets sound]
 	The king's coming; I know by his trumpets. Sirrah,
 	inquire further after me; I had talk of you last
 	night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall
 	eat; go to, follow.
 PAROLLES	I praise God for you.
 SCENE III	Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.
 	[Flourish. Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, the two
 	French Lords, with Attendants]
 KING	We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
 	Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
 	As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
 	Her estimation home.
 COUNTESS	'Tis past, my liege;
 	And I beseech your majesty to make it
 	Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth;
 	When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
 	O'erbears it and burns on.
 KING	My honour'd lady,
 	I have forgiven and forgotten all;
 	Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
 	And watch'd the time to shoot.
 LAFEU	This I must say,
 	But first I beg my pardon, the young lord
 	Did to his majesty, his mother and his lady
 	Offence of mighty note; but to himself
 	The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
 	Whose beauty did astonish the survey
 	Of richest eyes, whose words all ears took captive,
 	Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
 	Humbly call'd mistress.
 KING	Praising what is lost
 	Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither;
 	We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
 	All repetition: let him not ask our pardon;
 	The nature of his great offence is dead,
 	And deeper than oblivion we do bury
 	The incensing relics of it: let him approach,
 	A stranger, no offender; and inform him
 	So 'tis our will he should.
 Gentleman	I shall, my liege.
 KING	What says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
 LAFEU	All that he is hath reference to your highness.
 KING	Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me
 	That set him high in fame.
 	[Enter BERTRAM]
 LAFEU	He looks well on't.
 KING	I am not a day of season,
 	For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
 	In me at once: but to the brightest beams
 	Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
 	The time is fair again.
 BERTRAM	My high-repented blames,
 	Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
 KING	All is whole;
 	Not one word more of the consumed time.
 	Let's take the instant by the forward top;
 	For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
 	The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
 	Steals ere we can effect them. You remember
 	The daughter of this lord?
 BERTRAM	Admiringly, my liege, at first
 	I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
 	Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue
 	Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
 	Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
 	Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
 	Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stolen;
 	Extended or contracted all proportions
 	To a most hideous object: thence it came
 	That she whom all men praised and whom myself,
 	Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye
 	The dust that did offend it.
 KING	Well excused:
 	That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away
 	From the great compt: but love that comes too late,
 	Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
 	To the great sender turns a sour offence,
 	Crying, 'That's good that's gone.' Our rash faults
 	Make trivial price of serious things we have,
 	Not knowing them until we know their grave:
 	Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
 	Destroy our friends and after weep their dust
 	Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
 	While shame full late sleeps out the afternoon.
 	Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
 	Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin:
 	The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
 	To see our widower's second marriage-day.
 COUNTESS	Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
 	Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
 LAFEU	Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
 	Must be digested, give a favour from you
 	To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
 	That she may quickly come.
 	[BERTRAM gives a ring]
 		     By my old beard,
 	And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
 	Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this,
 	The last that e'er I took her at court,
 	I saw upon her finger.
 BERTRAM	Hers it was not.
 KING	Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye,
 	While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't.
 	This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen,
 	I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
 	Necessitied to help, that by this token
 	I would relieve her. Had you that craft, to reave
 	Of what should stead her most?
 BERTRAM	My gracious sovereign,
 	Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
 	The ring was never hers.
 COUNTESS	Son, on my life,
 	I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
 	At her life's rate.
 LAFEU	I am sure I saw her wear it.
 BERTRAM	You are deceived, my lord; she never saw it:
 	In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
 	Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
 	Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
 	I stood engaged: but when I had subscribed
 	To mine own fortune and inform'd her fully
 	I could not answer in that course of honour
 	As she had made the overture, she ceased
 	In heavy satisfaction and would never
 	Receive the ring again.
 KING	Plutus himself,
 	That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
 	Hath not in nature's mystery more science
 	Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
 	Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know
 	That you are well acquainted with yourself,
 	Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
 	You got it from her: she call'd the saints to surety
 	That she would never put it from her finger,
 	Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
 	Where you have never come, or sent it us
 	Upon her great disaster.
 BERTRAM	She never saw it.
 KING	Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour;
 	And makest conjectural fears to come into me
 	Which I would fain shut out. If it should prove
 	That thou art so inhuman,--'twill not prove so;--
 	And yet I know not: thou didst hate her deadly,
 	And she is dead; which nothing, but to close
 	Her eyes myself, could win me to believe,
 	More than to see this ring. Take him away.
 	[Guards seize BERTRAM]
 	My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
 	Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
 	Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him!
 	We'll sift this matter further.
 BERTRAM	If you shall prove
 	This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
 	Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
 	Where yet she never was.
 	[Exit, guarded]
 KING	I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
 	[Enter a Gentleman]
 Gentleman	Gracious sovereign,
 	Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not:
 	Here's a petition from a Florentine,
 	Who hath for four or five removes come short
 	To tender it herself. I undertook it,
 	Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
 	Of the poor suppliant, who by this I know
 	Is here attending: her business looks in her
 	With an importing visage; and she told me,
 	In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
 	Your highness with herself.
 KING	[Reads]  Upon his many protestations to marry me
 	when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won
 	me. Now is the Count Rousillon a widower: his vows
 	are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He
 	stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow
 	him to his country for justice: grant it me, O
 	king! in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer
 	flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.
 		                  DIANA CAPILET.
 LAFEU	I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for
 	this: I'll none of him.
 KING	The heavens have thought well on thee Lafeu,
 	To bring forth this discovery. Seek these suitors:
 	Go speedily and bring again the count.
 	I am afeard the life of Helen, lady,
 	Was foully snatch'd.
 COUNTESS	Now, justice on the doers!
 	[Re-enter BERTRAM, guarded]
 KING	I wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you,
 	And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
 	Yet you desire to marry.
 	[Enter Widow and DIANA]
 		   What woman's that?
 DIANA	I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
 	Derived from the ancient Capilet:
 	My suit, as I do understand, you know,
 	And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
 Widow	I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
 	Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
 	And both shall cease, without your remedy.
 KING	Come hither, count; do you know these women?
 BERTRAM	My lord, I neither can nor will deny
 	But that I know them: do they charge me further?
 DIANA	Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
 BERTRAM	She's none of mine, my lord.
 DIANA	If you shall marry,
 	You give away this hand, and that is mine;
 	You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
 	You give away myself, which is known mine;
 	For I by vow am so embodied yours,
 	That she which marries you must marry me,
 	Either both or none.
 LAFEU	Your reputation comes too short for my daughter; you
 	are no husband for her.
 BERTRAM	My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature,
 	Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your highness
 	Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour
 	Than for to think that I would sink it here.
 KING	Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
 	Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your honour
 	Than in my thought it lies.
 DIANA	Good my lord,
 	Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
 	He had not my virginity.
 KING	What say'st thou to her?
 BERTRAM	She's impudent, my lord,
 	And was a common gamester to the camp.
 DIANA	He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
 	He might have bought me at a common price:
 	Do not believe him. O, behold this ring,
 	Whose high respect and rich validity
 	Did lack a parallel; yet for all that
 	He gave it to a commoner o' the camp,
 	If I be one.
 COUNTESS	                  He blushes, and 'tis it:
 	Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
 	Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
 	Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife;
 	That ring's a thousand proofs.
 KING	Methought you said
 	You saw one here in court could witness it.
 DIANA	I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
 	So bad an instrument: his name's Parolles.
 LAFEU	I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
 KING	Find him, and bring him hither.
 	[Exit an Attendant]
 BERTRAM	What of him?
 	He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
 	With all the spots o' the world tax'd and debosh'd;
 	Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth.
 	Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
 	That will speak any thing?
 KING	She hath that ring of yours.
 BERTRAM	I think she has: certain it is I liked her,
 	And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth:
 	She knew her distance and did angle for me,
 	Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
 	As all impediments in fancy's course
 	Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
 	Her infinite cunning, with her modern grace,
 	Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring;
 	And I had that which any inferior might
 	At market-price have bought.
 DIANA	I must be patient:
 	You, that have turn'd off a first so noble wife,
 	May justly diet me. I pray you yet;
 	Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband;
 	Send for your ring, I will return it home,
 	And give me mine again.
 BERTRAM	I have it not.
 KING	What ring was yours, I pray you?
 DIANA	Sir, much like
 	The same upon your finger.
 KING	Know you this ring? this ring was his of late.
 DIANA	And this was it I gave him, being abed.
 KING	The story then goes false, you threw it him
 	Out of a casement.
 DIANA	                  I have spoke the truth.
 	[Enter PAROLLES]
 BERTRAM	My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
 KING	You boggle shrewdly, every feather stars you.
 	Is this the man you speak of?
 DIANA	Ay, my lord.
 KING	Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge you,
 	Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
 	Which on your just proceeding I'll keep off,
 	By him and by this woman here what know you?
 PAROLLES	So please your majesty, my master hath been an
 	honourable gentleman: tricks he hath had in him,
 	which gentlemen have.
 KING	Come, come, to the purpose: did he love this woman?
 PAROLLES	Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
 KING	How, I pray you?
 PAROLLES	He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
 KING	How is that?
 PAROLLES	He loved her, sir, and loved her not.
 KING	As thou art a knave, and no knave. What an
 	equivocal companion is this!
 PAROLLES	I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
 LAFEU	He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
 DIANA	Do you know he promised me marriage?
 PAROLLES	Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
 KING	But wilt thou not speak all thou knowest?
 PAROLLES	Yes, so please your majesty. I did go between them,
 	as I said; but more than that, he loved her: for
 	indeed he was mad for her, and talked of Satan and
 	of Limbo and of Furies and I know not what: yet I
 	was in that credit with them at that time that I
 	knew of their going to bed, and of other motions,
 	as promising her marriage, and things which would
 	derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not
 	speak what I know.
 KING	Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say
 	they are married: but thou art too fine in thy
 	evidence; therefore stand aside.
 	This ring, you say, was yours?
 DIANA	Ay, my good lord.
 KING	Where did you buy it? or who gave it you?
 DIANA	It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
 KING	Who lent it you?
 DIANA	                  It was not lent me neither.
 KING	Where did you find it, then?
 DIANA	I found it not.
 KING	If it were yours by none of all these ways,
 	How could you give it him?
 DIANA	I never gave it him.
 LAFEU	This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off
 	and on at pleasure.
 KING	This ring was mine; I gave it his first wife.
 DIANA	It might be yours or hers, for aught I know.
 KING	Take her away; I do not like her now;
 	To prison with her: and away with him.
 	Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring,
 	Thou diest within this hour.
 DIANA	I'll never tell you.
 KING	Take her away.
 DIANA	                  I'll put in bail, my liege.
 KING	I think thee now some common customer.
 DIANA	By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
 KING	Wherefore hast thou accused him all this while?
 DIANA	Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty:
 	He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't;
 	I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.
 	Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life;
 	I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
 KING	She does abuse our ears: to prison with her.
 DIANA	Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir:
 	[Exit Widow]
 	The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
 	And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
 	Who hath abused me, as he knows himself,
 	Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him:
 	He knows himself my bed he hath defiled;
 	And at that time he got his wife with child:
 	Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick:
 	So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick:
 	And now behold the meaning.
 	[Re-enter Widow, with HELENA]
 KING	Is there no exorcist
 	Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
 	Is't real that I see?
 HELENA	No, my good lord;
 	'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
 	The name and not the thing.
 BERTRAM	Both, both. O, pardon!
 HELENA	O my good lord, when I was like this maid,
 	I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring;
 	And, look you, here's your letter; this it says:
 	'When from my finger you can get this ring
 	And are by me with child,' &c. This is done:
 	Will you be mine, now you are doubly won?
 BERTRAM	If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
 	I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
 HELENA	If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
 	Deadly divorce step between me and you!
 	O my dear mother, do I see you living?
 LAFEU	Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon:
 	Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: so,
 	I thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee:
 	Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.
 KING	Let us from point to point this story know,
 	To make the even truth in pleasure flow.
 	[To DIANA]
 	If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
 	Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;
 	For I can guess that by thy honest aid
 	Thou keep'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.
 	Of that and all the progress, more or less,
 	Resolvedly more leisure shall express:
 	All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
 	The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.
 KING	The king's a beggar, now the play is done:
 	All is well ended, if this suit be won,
 	That you express content; which we will pay,
 	With strife to please you, day exceeding day:
 	Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;
 	Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.

Next: As You Like It