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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's

Palace.

Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS OF ROUSIL

LON, HELENA, and LAFEU, in mourning. Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury * second husband.

Ber. 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.

Laf: You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you, sir, a father: He, that so generally is at all times gooit, must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than luck it where there is such abundance.

VOL. II. 17

takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this,

Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amend. ment

Laf. He kath abandoned his physicians, madam under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope ; and finds no other advantage in the process but

count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0. that had I how sad a passage 'tis!) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far: have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, king spaidening ? I think, it would be the death of the

Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam!

Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so, Gerard de Narbon.

Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the king he was skilful enough to have

still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality:

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of ?
Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises. Her dispositions she ruherits, which make fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with the better for their simpleness ; she derives her honesty. and achieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her praise in. The remembrance of her father nerer approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows Helena; go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have.

Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too. Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,

Count. It the living be enemy to the grief, tho excess makes it soon mortal.

Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes
Laf. How understand we that?

[graphic]

Count. 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 birth-right! 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 check'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's courtier ; good my lord,
Advise him.

Laf. He cannot want the best,
That shall attend his love.
Count. Heaven bless him!-Farewell, Bertram.

[Erit Countess. Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts, (to Helena) be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father. (E.reunt Bertram and Lafeu.

Hel. 0, 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 it, but Bertram's. I am undone; there is no living, none, if Bertram be away.

It were all one, That I should love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me: Io 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 a 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 or every line and trick of his sweet favour : But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relics. 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;

B

[graphic]

Power' away with it.

Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. And you, monarch.
Par. No.
Hel. And no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity ?

Hel. 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 ?

Par. Keep him out.

Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.

Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up! - Is there no military policy how virgins might blow up men ?

Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quickwith the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. lier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again 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 com

I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die A virgin.

Par. 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 ; 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 make itself ten, which is a goodly increase ; and the

principal itself not much the worse : Away with it. ght o liking ?

HelHow might one do, sir, to lose it to her own со. fee pro bio PIDI bL

Par. Let me see: Marry, ill, to like him, that ne'er it likes. 'Tis commodity will lose the gloss with lying : the longer kept, the less worth: off with', 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 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 dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear: Will you any thing with it?

Hel. Not my virginits yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phenix, captain, and an enemy.
A guide, i 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

Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That I wish well. - 'Tis pity
Par. What's pity ?
Hel

. 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 shew what we alone must think; which never
Returns us thanks.

Enter a Page.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.

[Exit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.

Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under u charitable star.

Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars ?

Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you inust needs be born under Mars.

be

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