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Home > All's Well That Ends Well > ACT II - SCENE III. Paris. The KING's palace.

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ACT II - SCENE III. Paris. The KING's palace.
Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES

LAFEU
1    They say miracles are past; and we have our
2    philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar,
3    things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
4    we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
5    into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
6    ourselves to an unknown fear.
PAROLLES
7    Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath
8    shot out in our latter times.
BERTRAM
9    And so 'tis.
LAFEU
10   To be relinquish'd of the artists,--
PAROLLES
11   So I say.
LAFEU
12   Both of Galen and Paracelsus.
PAROLLES
13   So I say.
LAFEU
14   Of all the learned and authentic fellows,--
PAROLLES
15   Right; so I say.
LAFEU
16   That gave him out incurable,--
PAROLLES
17   Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
LAFEU
18   Not to be helped,--
PAROLLES
19   Right; as 'twere, a man assured of a--
LAFEU
20   Uncertain life, and sure death.
PAROLLES
21   Just, you say well; so would I have said.
LAFEU
22   I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.
PAROLLES
23   It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
24   shall read it in--what do you call there?
LAFEU
25   A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
PAROLLES
26   That's it; I would have said the very same.
LAFEU
27   Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
28   I speak in respect--
PAROLLES
29   Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
30   brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
31   facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--
LAFEU
32   Very hand of heaven.
PAROLLES
33   Ay, so I say.
LAFEU
34   In a most weak--
pausing
35   and debile minister, great power, great
36   transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a
37   further use to be made than alone the recovery of
38   the king, as to be--
pausing
39   generally thankful.
PAROLLES
40   I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.
LAFEU
41   Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the
42   better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
43   able to lead her a coranto.
PAROLLES
44   Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?
LAFEU
45   'Fore God, I think so.
KING
46   Go, call before me all the lords in court.
47   Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
48   And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
49   Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive
50   The confirmation of my promised gift,
51   Which but attends thy naming.
Enter three or four Lords
52   Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
53   Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
54   O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
55   I have to use: thy frank election make;
56   Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
HELENA
57   To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
58   Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!
LAFEU
59   I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
60   My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
61   And writ as little beard.
KING
62   Peruse them well:
63   Not one of those but had a noble father.
HELENA
64   Gentlemen,
65   Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.
All
66   We understand it, and thank heaven for you.
HELENA
67   I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,
68   That I protest I simply am a maid.
69   Please it your majesty, I have done already:
70   The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
71   'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
72   Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
73   We'll ne'er come there again.'
KING
74   Make choice; and, see,
75   Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
HELENA
76   Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
77   And to imperial Love, that god most high,
78   Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
First Lord
79   And grant it.
HELENA
80   Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
LAFEU
81   I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
82   for my life.
HELENA
83   The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
84   Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
85   Love make your fortunes twenty times above
86   Her that so wishes and her humble love!
Second Lord
87   No better, if you please.
HELENA
88   My wish receive,
89   Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.
LAFEU
90   Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,
91   I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
92   Turk, to make eunuchs of.
HELENA
93   Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
94   I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
95   Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
96   Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
LAFEU
97   These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
98   sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
99   ne'er got 'em.
HELENA
100  You are too young, too happy, and too good,
101  To make yourself a son out of my blood.
Fourth Lord
102  Fair one, I think not so.
LAFEU
103  There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
104  wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
105  of fourteen; I have known thee already.
HELENA
To BERTRAM
106   I dare not say I take you; but I give
107  Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
108  Into your guiding power. This is the man.
KING
109  Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
BERTRAM
110  My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
111  In such a business give me leave to use
112  The help of mine own eyes.
KING
113  Know'st thou not, Bertram,
114  What she has done for me?
BERTRAM
115  Yes, my good lord;
116  But never hope to know why I should marry her.
KING
117  Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
BERTRAM
118  But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
119  Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
120  She had her breeding at my father's charge.
121  A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
122  Rather corrupt me ever!
KING
123  'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
124  I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
125  Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
126  Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
127  In differences so mighty. If she be
128  All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest,
129  A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest
130  Of virtue for the name: but do not so:
131  From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
132  The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
133  Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
134  It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
135  Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
136  The property by what it is should go,
137  Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
138  In these to nature she's immediate heir,
139  And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
140  Which challenges itself as honour's born
141  And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
142  When rather from our acts we them derive
143  Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave
144  Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave
145  A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
146  Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
147  Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said?
148  If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
149  I can create the rest: virtue and she
150  Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
BERTRAM
151  I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
KING
152  Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.
HELENA
153  That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad:
154  Let the rest go.
KING
155  My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
156  I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,
157  Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
158  That dost in vile misprision shackle up
159  My love and her desert; that canst not dream,
160  We, poising us in her defective scale,
161  Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
162  It is in us to plant thine honour where
163  We please to have it grow. Cheque thy contempt:
164  Obey our will, which travails in thy good:
165  Believe not thy disdain, but presently
166  Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
167  Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
168  Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
169  Into the staggers and the careless lapse
170  Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
171  Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice,
172  Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
BERTRAM
173  Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
174  My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
175  What great creation and what dole of honour
176  Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late
177  Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
178  The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
179  Is as 'twere born so.
KING
180  Take her by the hand,
181  And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
182  A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
183  A balance more replete.
BERTRAM
184  I take her hand.
KING
185  Good fortune and the favour of the king
186  Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
187  Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
188  And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast
189  Shall more attend upon the coming space,
190  Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her,
191  Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES

LAFEU
Advancing
192   Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
PAROLLES
193  Your pleasure, sir?
LAFEU
194  Your lord and master did well to make his
195  recantation.
PAROLLES
196  Recantation! My lord! my master!
LAFEU
197  Ay; is it not a language I speak?
PAROLLES
198  A most harsh one, and not to be understood without
199  bloody succeeding. My master!
LAFEU
200  Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?
PAROLLES
201  To any count, to all counts, to what is man.
LAFEU
202  To what is count's man: count's master is of
203  another style.
PAROLLES
204  You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
LAFEU
205  I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
206  title age cannot bring thee.
PAROLLES
207  What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
LAFEU
208  I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
209  wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
210  travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the
211  bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from
212  believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I
213  have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care
214  not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and
215  that thou't scarce worth.
PAROLLES
216  Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--
LAFEU
217  Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou
218  hasten thy trial; which if--Lord have mercy on thee
219  for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee
220  well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
221  through thee. Give me thy hand.
PAROLLES
222  My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
LAFEU
223  Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
PAROLLES
224  I have not, my lord, deserved it.
LAFEU
225  Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not
226  bate thee a scruple.
PAROLLES
227  Well, I shall be wiser.
LAFEU
228  Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
229  a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
230  in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is
231  to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold
232  my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge,
233  that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.
PAROLLES
234  My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
LAFEU
235  I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor
236  doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
237  thee, in what motion age will give me leave.
Exit

PAROLLES
238  Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off
239  me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must
240  be patient; there is no fettering of authority.
241  I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with
242  any convenience, an he were double and double a
243  lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I
244  would of--I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Re-enter LAFEU

LAFEU
245  Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
246  for you: you have a new mistress.
PAROLLES
247  I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
248  some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
249  lord: whom I serve above is my master.
LAFEU
250  Who? God?
PAROLLES
251  Ay, sir.
LAFEU
252  The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
253  garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of
254  sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set
255  thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine
256  honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat
257  thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and
258  every man should beat thee: I think thou wast
259  created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
PAROLLES
260  This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
LAFEU
261  Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a
262  kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and
263  no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords
264  and honourable personages than the commission of your
265  birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
266  worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.
Exit

PAROLLES
267  Good, very good; it is so then: good, very good;
268  let it be concealed awhile.
Re-enter BERTRAM

BERTRAM
269  Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
PAROLLES
270  What's the matter, sweet-heart?
BERTRAM
271  Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
272  I will not bed her.
PAROLLES
273  What, what, sweet-heart?
BERTRAM
274  O my Parolles, they have married me!
275  I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
PAROLLES
276  France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
277  The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
BERTRAM
278  There's letters from my mother: what the import is,
279  I know not yet.
PAROLLES
280  Ay, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars!
281  He wears his honour in a box unseen,
282  That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
283  Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
284  Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
285  Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
286  France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
287  Therefore, to the war!
BERTRAM
288  It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
289  Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
290  And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
291  That which I durst not speak; his present gift
292  Shall furnish me to those Italian fields,
293  Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife
294  To the dark house and the detested wife.
PAROLLES
295  Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?
BERTRAM
296  Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.
297  I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
298  I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
PAROLLES
299  Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
300  A young man married is a man that's marr'd:
301  Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
302  The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IIACT II, SCENE IV (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • EPILOGUE

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