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All's well that ends well.
FROM THE TEXT OF
MR. STEEVENS'S LAST EDITION.
Parolles, a follower of Bertram.
Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in the Florentine war.
} Servants to the Countess of Rousillon.
Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram.
Helena, a gentlewoman protected by the Countess.
Diana, daughter to the widow.
Mariana,} Neighbours and friends to the widow.
Lords, attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, &c. French and Florentine.
SCENE, partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
ACT I. SCENE I.
ROUSILLON. A ROOM IN THE COUNTESS'S PALACE.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and Lafeu, in mourning.
Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a 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 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.
Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
Laf. He hath abandon'd his physicians, madam; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. 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 stretch'd 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.
Laf. How call'd 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 very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly he was skilful enough to have liv'd still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
Laf. A fistula, 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?
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 inherits, which make 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.
Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her
Count. "Tis the best brine a maiden can season