Imatges de pÓgina
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ALL'S WELL, THAT ENDS WELL.

ACT I.

SCENE I. Rofillion. A Room in the Count's Palace. Enter BERTRAM, Countefs, HELENA, and LAFEU.

Cou. In delivering my fon from me, I bury a fecond husband. [to Lafeu, presenting her Son. BER. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew: but I muft attend his majesty's command; to whom I am now in ward, evermore in fubjection.

LAF. You shall find of the king a husband, madam;— you, fir, a father: He, that fo generally is at all times good, muft of neceffity hold his virtue to you; whose worthinefs would ftir it up where it wanted, rather than flack it where there is fuch abundance.

Cou. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment? LAF. He hath abandon'd his physicians, madam : under whose practises he hath perfecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the procefs, but only the losing of hope by time.

I then lack

Cou. This young gentlewoman [howing Helena.] had a father, (O, that bad! how fad a paffage 'tis !) whose fkill was almoft as great as his honefty; had it ftretch'd fo far, would have made nature immortal, and death fhould have play for lack of work. 'Would, for the king's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease.

LAF. How call'd you the man you speak of, madam? Cou. He was famous, fir, in his profeffion, and it was his great right to be fo: Gerard de Narbon.

LAF. He was excellent, indeed, madam; the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have liv'd still, if knowledge could be fet up against mortality.

BER. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes

of?

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LAF. A fiftula, my lord.

BER. I heard not of it before.

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

Cou. His fole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my o'er-looking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises: her difpositions fhe 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 her fimpleness; fhe derives her honefty, and atchieves her goodness.

: LAF. Your commendations, madam, get from her

tears.

Cou. "Tis the best brine a maiden can feason her praise in. The remembrance of her father never ap

27 for their fim

proaches her heart, but the tyranny of her forrows takes all livelihood from her cheek.-No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a forrow, than have it.

HEL. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too. LAF. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exceffive grief the enemy to the living.

Cou. If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excefs makes it foon mortal.

BER. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
LAF. How understand we that?

Cou. Be thou bleft, Bertram! and fucceed thy father In manners, as in fhape! thy blood, and virtue, Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness Share with thy birth-right! Love all, truft a few, Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy Rather in power, than ufe; and keep thy friend Under thy own life's key: be check'd for filence, But never tax'd for fpeech. What heaven more will, That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down, Fall on thy head! Farewel. My lord Lafeu, 'Tis an unfeason'd courtier, good my lord, Advise him you.

LAF. He cannot want the beft,

That fhall attend his love. :

Cou. Heaven bless him!_Farewel, Bertram. [Exit. BER. The best wishes, that can be forg'd in your thoughts, [to Helena.] be fervants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

LAF. Farewel, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt BERTRAM, and LAFEU.

4 then to have

HEL. O, were that all! I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more, Than those I fhed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in it, but of Bertram. I am undone; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I fhould love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is fo above me: In his bright radiance and collateral light Muft I be comforted, not in his sphere. The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind, that would be mated by the lion, Muft dye for love. "Twas pretty, though a plague, To fee him every hour; to fit 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 fweet favour: But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Muft fanctify his relicks. Who comes here? Enter PAROLLES.

One that goes with him: I love him for his fake; And yet I know him a notorious liar,

Think him a great way fool, folely a coward;
Yet these fixt evils fit fo fit in him,

That they take place, when virtue's fteely bones Looks bleak in the cold wind: withal, full oft we fee Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.

PAR. Save you, fair queen.

HEL. And you, monarch.

PAR. No.

HEL. And no.

5 Bertrams.

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PAR. Are you meditating on virginity? HEL. Ay. You have fome ftain of foldier in you; let me ask you a queftion: Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?

PAR. Keep him out.

HEL. But he affails; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike resistance.

PAR. There is none; man, fetting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

HEL. Blefs 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 quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politick in the common-wealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Lofs of virginity is rational increafe; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever loft: 'tis too cold a companion; away with't.

HEL. I will ftand for't a little, though therefore I dye a virgin.

PAR. There's little can be faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To fpeak 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 bury'd in highways, out of all fanctify'd limit, as a defperate offendrefs against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a

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