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ALL’S WELL, THAT ENDS WELL.

ACT I. SCENE I. Rofillion. A Room in the Count's Palace. Enter BERTRAM, Countess, Helena, and LAFEU.

Cou. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

[to Lafeu, presenting her Son. 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, muft of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than llack it where there is such abundance.

Cou. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

LAF. He hath abandon’d 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.

It then lack

Cou. This young gentlewoman (Showing Helena.] had a father, (o, that had! how fad 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 calld you the man you speak of, madam?

Cou. He was famous, fir, 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 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 sole child, my lord ; and bequeathed to my o'er-looking. 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 her fimpleness ; she derives her honesty, and atchieves her goodness.

LAF. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.

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

27 for their sim

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

Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too.

LAF. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.

Cou. If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.

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

Cou. 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 filence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewel. – My lord Lafeu,
'Tis an unseason'd courtier, good my lord,
Advise him you.

LAF. He cannot want the best, That shall attend his love."

Cou. Heaven bless him!_Farewel, Bertram. [Exit.

Ber. The best wishes, that can be forg'd in your thoughts, [10 Helena.] be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

LaF. Farewel, pretty lady: You must bold the credit of your father. Exeunt BERTRAM, and LAFEU.

4 then to have

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HEL. O, 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 of Bertram.
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:
In 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 dye for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see 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 sweet favour:
But now he's gone,

and my

idolatrous fancy Muft sanctify his relicks. Who comes here?

Enter PAROLLES. One that

goes

with him: I love him for his fake;
And yet I know him a notoricus liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fixt evils fit fo fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Looks bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we fee
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

PAR. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. And you, monarch.
PAR. No.
HEL. And no.

5 Bertrams.

men ?

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

PAR. There is none; man, setting 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 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 stand for't a little, though therefore I dye 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 moft 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 offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a

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