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All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 2, scene 5

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In All’s Well That Ends Well, a woman is given in marriage to the man she longs for, but, because she…

Act 1, scene 1

Bertram, having become a ward of the court upon his father’s death, departs from Rossillion. Helen, whose own physician-father has…

Act 1, scene 2

The King of France refuses to take sides in the war between Siena and Florence, giving his courtiers permission to…

Act 1, scene 3

Bertram’s mother, the Countess of Rossillion, learns of Helen’s love for Bertram and forces Helen to confess this secret. When…

Act 2, scene 1

The King bids farewell to the French courtiers going off to war, having commanded Bertram to remain behind. Helen arrives…

Act 2, scene 2

The Countess sends the Fool to the court with a letter for Helen.

Act 2, scene 3

Having cured the King, Helen is given several courtiers from whom to choose a husband as her reward. When she…

Act 2, scene 4

Parolles brings Helen word that Bertram is leaving for Tuscany and that she is to get permission from the King…

Act 2, scene 5

Bertram is warned that Parolles is an untrustworthy coward. Bertram gives Helen a letter and instructs her to go immediately…

Act 3, scene 1

The Duke of Florence greets French courtiers who have come to fight on his side.

Act 3, scene 2

The Fool returns to Rossillion with a letter from Bertram that tells the Countess of his plan to run away…

Act 3, scene 3

Bertram is put in command of the Duke of Florence’s cavalry.

Act 3, scene 4

The Countess is given the letter left for her by Helen, in which Helen sets out her intention to make…

Act 3, scene 5

Helen, on her pilgrimage, meets Diana, whom Bertram has been attempting to seduce.

Act 3, scene 6

The French lords in Florence decide that Parolles’ unhappiness about the loss of the troop’s drum can be used as…

Act 3, scene 7

Helen enlists Diana’s mother in contriving to meet Bertram’s conditions. Diana will agree to sleep with Bertram on the condition…

Act 4, scene 1

Parolles is captured and blindfolded by a French lord and soldiers pretending to be the enemy who can speak to…

Act 4, scene 2

Diana agrees to lie with Bertram after he reluctantly gives her his ancestral ring.

Act 4, scene 3

News comes to the Duke of Florence’s court that Bertram’s wife has died while on pilgrimage. When Bertram enters, he…

Act 4, scene 4

Helen sets out with Diana and Diana’s mother to seek the King of France in Marseilles.

Act 4, scene 5

The Countess, who has learned of Helen’s death, receives word that the King of France is approaching Rossillion and then…

Act 5, scene 1

Helen finds herself unable to petition the King because he has already departed for Rossillion.

Act 5, scene 2

Parolles arrives at Rossillion and persuades Lafew to take him into his service.

Act 5, scene 3

The King forgives Bertram and agrees to a marriage between Bertram and Lafew’s daughter. Bertram gives Lafew a ring, which…

Act 5, epilogue

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Scene 5
Enter Lafew and Bertram.

LAFEW But I hope your Lordship thinks not him a
 soldier.
BERTRAM Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
LAFEW You have it from his own deliverance.
BERTRAM 5And by other warranted testimony.
LAFEW Then my dial goes not true. I took this lark for
 a bunting.
BERTRAM I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in
 knowledge and accordingly valiant.
LAFEW 10I have then sinned against his experience and
 transgressed against his valor, and my state that
 way is dangerous since I cannot yet find in my
 heart to repent. Here he comes. I pray you make us
 friends. I will pursue the amity.

Enter Parolles.

PAROLLES, to Bertram 15These things shall be done, sir.
LAFEW, to Bertram Pray you, sir, who’s his tailor?
PAROLLES Sir?
LAFEW O, I know him well. Ay, sir, he, sir, ’s a good
 workman, a very good tailor.
BERTRAM, aside to Parolles 20Is she gone to the King?
PAROLLES She is.
BERTRAM Will she away tonight?
PAROLLES As you’ll have her.
BERTRAM 
 I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
25 Given order for our horses, and tonight,
 When I should take possession of the bride,
 End ere I do begin.
LAFEW, aside A good traveler is something at the latter
 end of a dinner, but one that lies three thirds,
30 and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings

93
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 2. SC. 5

 with, should be once heard and thrice beaten.—
 God save you, captain.
BERTRAM, to Parolles Is there any unkindness
 between my lord and you, monsieur?
PAROLLES 35I know not how I have deserved to run into
 my lord’s displeasure.
LAFEW You have made shift to run into ’t, boots and
 spurs and all, like him that leapt into the custard;
 and out of it you’ll run again rather than suffer
40 question for your residence.
BERTRAM It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
LAFEW And shall do so ever, though I took him at ’s
 prayers. Fare you well, my lord, and believe this of
 me: there can be no kernel in this light nut. The
45 soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in
 matter of heavy consequence. I have kept of them
 tame and know their natures.—Farewell, monsieur.
 I have spoken better of you than you have or
 will to deserve at my hand, but we must do good
50 against evil.He exits.
PAROLLES An idle lord, I swear.
BERTRAM I think not so.
PAROLLES Why, do you not know him?
BERTRAM 
 Yes, I do know him well, and common speech
55 Gives him a worthy pass.

Enter Helen.

 Here comes my clog.
HELEN 
 I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
 Spoke with the King and have procured his leave
 For present parting. Only he desires
60 Some private speech with you.
BERTRAM I shall obey his will.
 You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,

95
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 2. SC. 5

 Which holds not color with the time, nor does
 The ministration and requirèd office
65 On my particular. Prepared I was not
 For such a business; therefore am I found
 So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat you
 That presently you take your way for home,
 And rather muse than ask why I entreat you;
70 For my respects are better than they seem,
 And my appointments have in them a need
 Greater than shows itself at the first view
 To you that know them not.Giving her a paper.
 This to my mother.
75 ’Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
 I leave you to your wisdom.
HELEN Sir, I can nothing say
 But that I am your most obedient servant—
BERTRAM 
 Come, come, no more of that.
HELEN 80 And ever shall
 With true observance seek to eke out that
 Wherein toward me my homely stars have failed
 To equal my great fortune.
BERTRAM  Let that go.
85 My haste is very great. Farewell. Hie home.
HELEN 
 Pray, sir, your pardon.
BERTRAM  Well, what would you say?
HELEN 
 I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
 Nor dare I say ’tis mine—and yet it is—
90 But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
 What law does vouch mine own.
BERTRAM  What would you have?
HELEN 
 Something, and scarce so much; nothing, indeed.

97
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 2. SC. 5

 I would not tell you what I would, my lord. Faith,
95 yes:
 Strangers and foes do sunder and not kiss.
BERTRAM 
 I pray you stay not, but in haste to horse.
HELEN 
 I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.—
 Where are my other men?—Monsieur, farewell.
She exits.
BERTRAM 
100 Go thou toward home, where I will never come
 Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.—
 Away, and for our flight.
PAROLLES  Bravely, coraggio!
They exit.