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Home > All's Well That Ends Well > ACT IV - SCENE II. Florence. The Widow's house.

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ACT IV - SCENE II. Florence. The Widow's house.
Enter BERTRAM and DIANA

BERTRAM
1    They told me that your name was Fontibell.
DIANA
2    No, my good lord, Diana.
BERTRAM
3    Titled goddess;
4    And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
5    In your fine frame hath love no quality?
6    If quick fire of youth light not your mind,
7    You are no maiden, but a monument:
8    When you are dead, you should be such a one
9    As you are now, for you are cold and stem;
10   And now you should be as your mother was
11   When your sweet self was got.
DIANA
12   She then was honest.
BERTRAM
13   So should you be.
DIANA
14   No:
15   My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
16   As you owe to your wife.
BERTRAM
17   No more o' that;
18   I prithee, do not strive against my vows:
19   I was compell'd to her; but I love thee
20   By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
21   Do thee all rights of service.
DIANA
22   Ay, so you serve us
23   Till we serve you; but when you have our roses,
24   You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves
25   And mock us with our bareness.
BERTRAM
26   How have I sworn!
DIANA
27   'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
28   But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
29   What is not holy, that we swear not by,
30   But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me,
31   If I should swear by God's great attributes,
32   I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
33   When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
34   To swear by him whom I protest to love,
35   That I will work against him: therefore your oaths
36   Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
37   At least in my opinion.
BERTRAM
38   Change it, change it;
39   Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
40   And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
41   That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
42   But give thyself unto my sick desires,
43   Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever
44   My love as it begins shall so persever.
DIANA
45   I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
46   That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
BERTRAM
47   I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no power
48   To give it from me.
DIANA
49   Will you not, my lord?
BERTRAM
50   It is an honour 'longing to our house,
51   Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
52   Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
53   In me to lose.
DIANA
54   Mine honour's such a ring:
55   My chastity's the jewel of our house,
56   Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
57   Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
58   In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
59   Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
60   Against your vain assault.
BERTRAM
61   Here, take my ring:
62   My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
63   And I'll be bid by thee.
DIANA
64   When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window:
65   I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
66   Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
67   When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
68   Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
69   My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
70   When back again this ring shall be deliver'd:
71   And on your finger in the night I'll put
72   Another ring, that what in time proceeds
73   May token to the future our past deeds.
74   Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won
75   A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
BERTRAM
76   A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
Exit

DIANA
77   For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
78   You may so in the end.
79   My mother told me just how he would woo,
80   As if she sat in 's heart; she says all men
81   Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me
82   When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
83   When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
84   Marry that will, I live and die a maid:
85   Only in this disguise I think't no sin
86   To cozen him that would unjustly win.
Exit

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IACT IV, SCENE III (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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