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ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL

Dramatis Personae

KING OF FRANCE THE DUKE OF FLORENCE BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon LAFEU, an old lord PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram TWO FRENCH LORDS, serving with Bertram STEWARD, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon LAVACHE, a clown and Servant to the Countess of Rousillon A PAGE, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon COUNTESS OF ROUSILLON, mother to Bertram HELENA, a gentlewoman protected by the Countess A WIDOW OF FLORENCE. DIANA, daughter to the Widow VIOLENTA, neighbour and friend to the Widow MARIANA, neighbour and friend to the Widow Lords, Officers, Soldiers, etc., French and Florentine 

SCENE:

Rousillon; Paris; Florence; Marseilles

ACT I.

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 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.

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 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.

LAFEU. How call'd 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

liv'd 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 to have-

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 check'd for silence,

But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,

That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,

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