List iconAll’s Well That Ends WellList icon

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 3, scene 6

Synopsis:

Contents

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

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 6
Enter Bertram Count Rossillion and the French
Lords, as at first.


FIRST LORD Nay, good my lord, put him to ’t. Let him
 have his way.
SECOND LORD If your Lordship find him not a hilding,
 hold me no more in your respect.
FIRST LORD 5On my life, my lord, a bubble.
BERTRAM Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
FIRST LORD Believe it, my lord. In mine own direct
 knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of
 him as my kinsman, he’s a most notable coward,
10 an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker,
 the owner of no one good quality worthy
 your Lordship’s entertainment.
SECOND LORD It were fit you knew him, lest, reposing
 too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might
15 at some great and trusty business in a main danger
 fail you.
BERTRAM I would I knew in what particular action to
 try him.
SECOND LORD None better than to let him fetch off his
20 drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake
 to do.
FIRST LORD I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
 surprise him. Such I will have whom I am sure
 he knows not from the enemy. We will bind and
25 hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose no other

127
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 6

 but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversary’s
 when we bring him to our own tents. Be but
 your Lordship present at his examination. If he do
 not for the promise of his life, and in the highest
30 compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you and
 deliver all the intelligence in his power against
 you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul
 upon oath, never trust my judgment in anything.
SECOND LORD O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch
35 his drum. He says he has a stratagem for ’t. When
 your Lordship sees the bottom of his success in
 ’t, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore
 will be melted, if you give him not John Drum’s
 entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
40 Here he comes.

Enter Parolles.

FIRST LORD, aside to Bertram O, for the love of laughter,
 hinder not the honor of his design. Let him
 fetch off his drum in any hand.
BERTRAM, to Parolles How now, monsieur? This
45 drum sticks sorely in your disposition.
SECOND LORD A pox on ’t! Let it go. ’Tis but a drum.
PAROLLES But a drum! Is ’t but a drum? A drum so
 lost! There was excellent command, to charge in
 with our horse upon our own wings and to rend
50 our own soldiers!
SECOND LORD That was not to be blamed in the command
 of the service. It was a disaster of war that
 Caesar himself could not have prevented if he had
 been there to command.
BERTRAM 55Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success.
 Some dishonor we had in the loss of that
 drum, but it is not to be recovered.
PAROLLES It might have been recovered.
BERTRAM It might, but it is not now.

129
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 6

PAROLLES 60It is to be recovered. But that the merit of
 service is seldom attributed to the true and exact
 performer, I would have that drum or another, or
 hic jacet.
BERTRAM Why, if you have a stomach, to ’t, monsieur!
65 If you think your mystery in stratagem can bring
 this instrument of honor again into his native
 quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise and go
 on. I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit. If
 you speed well in it, the Duke shall both speak of it
70 and extend to you what further becomes his greatness,
 even to the utmost syllable of your
 worthiness.
PAROLLES By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
BERTRAM But you must not now slumber in it.
PAROLLES 75I’ll about it this evening, and I will presently
 pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my
 certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation;
 and by midnight look to hear further from me.
BERTRAM May I be bold to acquaint his Grace you are
80 gone about it?
PAROLLES I know not what the success will be, my
 lord, but the attempt I vow.
BERTRAM I know thou ’rt valiant, and to the possibility
 of thy soldiership will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
PAROLLES 85I love not many words.He exits.
FIRST LORD No more than a fish loves water. Is not this
 a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems
 to undertake this business which he knows is not
 to be done, damns himself to do, and dares better
90 be damned than to do ’t?
SECOND LORD You do not know him, my lord, as we do.
 Certain it is that he will steal himself into a man’s
 favor and for a week escape a great deal of discoveries,
 but when you find him out, you have him
95 ever after.

131
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 6

BERTRAM Why, do you think he will make no deed at
 all of this that so seriously he does address himself
 unto?
FIRST LORD None in the world, but return with an
100 invention and clap upon you two or three probable
 lies. But we have almost embossed him. You shall
 see his fall tonight; for indeed he is not for your
 Lordship’s respect.
SECOND LORD We’ll make you some sport with the fox
105 ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old
 Lord Lafew. When his disguise and he is parted,
 tell me what a sprat you shall find him, which you
 shall see this very night.
FIRST LORD I must go look my twigs. He shall be
110 caught.
BERTRAM Your brother he shall go along with me.
FIRST LORD As ’t please your Lordship. I’ll leave you.
He exits.
BERTRAM 
 Now will I lead you to the house and show you
 The lass I spoke of.
SECOND LORD 115 But you say she’s honest.
BERTRAM 
 That’s all the fault. I spoke with her but once
 And found her wondrous cold. But I sent to her,
 By this same coxcomb that we have i’ th’ wind,
 Tokens and letters, which she did re-send.
120 And this is all I have done. She’s a fair creature.
 Will you go see her?
SECOND LORD  With all my heart, my lord.
They exit.