List iconAll’s Well That Ends WellList icon

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 4, 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 Fool, Countess, and Lafew.

LAFEW No, no, no, your son was misled with a
 snipped-taffeta fellow there, whose villainous saffron
 would have made all the unbaked and doughy
 youth of a nation in his color. Your daughter-in-law
5 had been alive at this hour, and your son here
 at home, more advanced by the King than by that
 red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
COUNTESS I would I had not known him. It was the
 death of the most virtuous gentlewoman that ever
10 nature had praise for creating. If she had partaken
 of my flesh and cost me the dearest groans of a
 mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted
 love.
LAFEW ’Twas a good lady, ’twas a good lady. We may
15 pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another
 herb.
FOOL Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the
 salad, or rather the herb of grace.
LAFEW They are not herbs, you knave. They are
20 nose-herbs.
FOOL I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir. I have not
 much skill in grass.
LAFEW Whether dost thou profess thyself, a knave or a
 fool?

177
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 4. SC. 5

FOOL 25A fool, sir, at a woman’s service, and a knave at a
 man’s.
LAFEW Your distinction?
FOOL I would cozen the man of his wife and do his
 service.
LAFEW 30So you were a knave at his service indeed.
FOOL And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do
 her service.
LAFEW I will subscribe for thee, thou art both knave
 and fool.
FOOL 35At your service.
LAFEW No, no, no.
FOOL Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as
 great a prince as you are.
LAFEW Who’s that, a Frenchman?
FOOL 40Faith, sir, he has an English name, but his
 phys’nomy is more hotter in France than there.
LAFEW What prince is that?
FOOL The black prince, sir, alias the prince of darkness,
 alias the devil.
LAFEW, giving him money 45Hold thee, there’s my
 purse. I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy
 master thou talk’st of. Serve him still.
FOOL I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a
 great fire, and the master I speak of ever keeps a
50 good fire. But sure he is the prince of the world; let
 his Nobility remain in ’s court. I am for the house
 with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little
 for pomp to enter. Some that humble themselves
 may, but the many will be too chill and tender, and
55 they’ll be for the flow’ry way that leads to the
 broad gate and the great fire.
LAFEW Go thy ways. I begin to be aweary of thee. And
 I tell thee so before because I would not fall out
 with thee. Go thy ways. Let my horses be well
60 looked to, without any tricks.

179
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 4. SC. 5

FOOL If I put any tricks upon ’em, sir, they shall be
 jades’ tricks, which are their own right by the law
 of nature.He exits.
LAFEW A shrewd knave and an unhappy.
COUNTESS 65So he is. My lord that’s gone made himself
 much sport out of him. By his authority he
 remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his
 sauciness, and indeed he has no pace, but runs
 where he will.
LAFEW 70I like him well. ’Tis not amiss. And I was about
 to tell you, since I heard of the good lady’s death
 and that my lord your son was upon his return
 home, I moved the King my master to speak in the
 behalf of my daughter, which in the minority of
75 them both his Majesty out of a self-gracious
 remembrance did first propose. His Highness hath
 promised me to do it, and to stop up the displeasure
 he hath conceived against your son there is
 no fitter matter. How does your Ladyship like it?
COUNTESS 80With very much content, my lord, and I
 wish it happily effected.
LAFEW His Highness comes post from Marseilles, of
 as able body as when he numbered thirty. He will
 be here tomorrow, or I am deceived by him that in
85 such intelligence hath seldom failed.
COUNTESS It rejoices me that, I hope, I shall see him
 ere I die. I have letters that my son will be here
 tonight. I shall beseech your Lordship to remain
 with me till they meet together.
LAFEW 90Madam, I was thinking with what manners I
 might safely be admitted.
COUNTESS You need but plead your honorable
 privilege.
LAFEW Lady, of that I have made a bold charter. But I
95 thank my God it holds yet.

181
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 4. SC. 5

Enter Fool.

FOOL O madam, yonder’s my lord your son with a
 patch of velvet on ’s face. Whether there be a scar
 under ’t or no, the velvet knows, but ’tis a goodly
 patch of velvet. His left cheek is a cheek of two pile
100 and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
LAFEW A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good liv’ry
 of honor. So belike is that.
FOOL But it is your carbonadoed face.
LAFEW Let us go see your son, I pray you. I long to talk
105 with the young noble soldier.
FOOL ’Faith, there’s a dozen of ’em, with delicate fine
 hats, and most courteous feathers which bow the
 head and nod at every man.
They exit.