A little learning is dangerous thing.
Alexander Pope

All's Well That Ends Well Ebook

All's Well That Ends Well
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All's Well That Ends Well

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Title: All's Well That Ends Well
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Act 1

"scene" 1

Scene 1

[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.

[Exit]

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]

All's Well That Ends Well

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