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All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 3, scene 2

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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 2
Enter Countess, with a paper, and Fool.

COUNTESS It hath happened all as I would have had it,
 save that he comes not along with her.
FOOL By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very
 melancholy man.
COUNTESS 5By what observance, I pray you?
FOOL Why, he will look upon his boot and sing, mend
 the ruff and sing, ask questions and sing, pick his
 teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of
 melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.
COUNTESS 10Let me see what he writes and when he
 means to come.She opens the letter.
FOOL I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court. Our
 old lings and our Isbels o’ th’ country are nothing
 like your old ling and your Isbels o’ th’ court. The
15 brains of my Cupid’s knocked out, and I begin to
 love as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
COUNTESS What have we here?
FOOL E’en that you have there.He exits.
COUNTESS reads. I have sent you a daughter-in-law.
20 She hath recovered the King and undone me. I have
 wedded her, not bedded her, and sworn to make the

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All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 2

 “not” eternal. You shall hear I am run away. Know it
 before the report come. If there be breadth enough in
 the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to
25 you.
 Your unfortunate son,
 Bertram.

 This is not well, rash and unbridled boy:
 To fly the favors of so good a king,
30 To pluck his indignation on thy head
 By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous
 For the contempt of empire.

Enter Fool.

FOOL O madam, yonder is heavy news within, between
 two soldiers and my young lady.
COUNTESS 35What is the matter?
FOOL Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some
 comfort. Your son will not be killed so soon as I
 thought he would.
COUNTESS Why should he be killed?
FOOL 40So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he
 does. The danger is in standing to ’t; that’s the loss
 of men, though it be the getting of children. Here
 they come will tell you more. For my part, I only
 hear your son was run away.He exits.

Enter Helen, with a paper, and two Gentlemen.

FIRST GENTLEMAN, to Countess 45Save you, good
 madam.
HELEN 
 Madam, my lord is gone, forever gone.
SECOND GENTLEMAN Do not say so.
COUNTESS 
 Think upon patience, pray you.—Gentlemen,
50 I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief
 That the first face of neither on the start
 Can woman me unto ’t. Where is my son, I pray you?

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All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 2

SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Madam, he’s gone to serve the Duke of Florence.
 We met him thitherward, for thence we came,
55 And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
 Thither we bend again.
HELEN 
 Look on his letter, madam; here’s my passport.
 She reads. When thou canst get the ring upon
 my finger, which never shall come off, and show me
60 a child begotten of thy body that I am father to, then
 call me husband. But in such a “then” I write a
 “never.”

 This is a dreadful sentence.
COUNTESS 
 Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 65 Ay, madam,
 And for the contents’ sake are sorry for our pains.
COUNTESS 
 I prithee, lady, have a better cheer.
 If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
 Thou robb’st me of a moiety. He was my son,
70 But I do wash his name out of my blood,
 And thou art all my child.—Towards Florence is he?
SECOND GENTLEMAN Ay, madam.
COUNTESS And to be a soldier?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Such is his noble purpose, and, believe ’t,
75 The Duke will lay upon him all the honor
 That good convenience claims.
COUNTESS  Return you thither?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
HELEN reads 
 Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.
80 ’Tis bitter.

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All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 2

COUNTESS  Find you that there?
HELEN  Ay, madam.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 ’Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply,
 Which his heart was not consenting to.
COUNTESS 
85 Nothing in France until he have no wife!
 There’s nothing here that is too good for him
 But only she, and she deserves a lord
 That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
 And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
90 A servant only, and a gentleman
 Which I have sometime known.
COUNTESS Parolles was it not?
FIRST GENTLEMAN Ay, my good lady, he.
COUNTESS 
 A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
95 My son corrupts a well-derivèd nature
 With his inducement.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Indeed, good lady,
 The fellow has a deal of that too much
 Which holds him much to have.
COUNTESS 100 You’re welcome,
 gentlemen.
 I will entreat you when you see my son
 To tell him that his sword can never win
 The honor that he loses. More I’ll entreat you
105 Written to bear along.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  We serve you, madam,
 In that and all your worthiest affairs.
COUNTESS 
 Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
 Will you draw near?
She exits with the Gentlemen.

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All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 2

HELEN 
110 “Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.”
 Nothing in France until he has no wife.
 Thou shalt have none, Rossillion, none in France.
 Then hast thou all again. Poor lord, is ’t I
 That chase thee from thy country and expose
115 Those tender limbs of thine to the event
 Of the none-sparing war? And is it I
 That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
 Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
 Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers
120 That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
 Fly with false aim; move the still-’pearing air
 That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord.
 Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
 Whoever charges on his forward breast,
125 I am the caitiff that do hold him to ’t;
 And though I kill him not, I am the cause
 His death was so effected. Better ’twere
 I met the ravin lion when he roared
 With sharp constraint of hunger; better ’twere
130 That all the miseries which nature owes
 Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rossillion,
 Whence honor but of danger wins a scar,
 As oft it loses all. I will be gone.
 My being here it is that holds thee hence.
135 Shall I stay here to do ’t? No, no, although
 The air of paradise did fan the house
 And angels officed all. I will be gone,
 That pitiful rumor may report my flight
 To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day;
140 For with the dark, poor thief, I’ll steal away.
She exits.