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All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 5, 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 Fool and Parolles.

PAROLLES, holding out a paper Good Monsieur
 Lavatch, give my lord Lafew this letter. I have ere
 now, sir, been better known to you, when I have
 held familiarity with fresher clothes. But I am
5 now, sir, muddied in Fortune’s mood, and smell
 somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
FOOL Truly, Fortune’s displeasure is but sluttish if it
 smell so strongly as thou speak’st of. I will henceforth
 eat no fish of Fortune’s butt’ring. Prithee,
10 allow the wind.
PAROLLES Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir. I
 spake but by a metaphor.
FOOL Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink I will stop my
 nose, or against any man’s metaphor. Prithee, get
15 thee further.
PAROLLES Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
FOOL Foh! Prithee, stand away. A paper from Fortune’s
 close-stool, to give to a nobleman!

Enter Lafew.

 Look, here he comes himself.—Here is a purr of
20 Fortune’s, sir, or of Fortune’s cat—but not a
 musk-cat—that has fall’n into the unclean fishpond
 of her displeasure and, as he says, is muddied
 withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may,
 for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish,
25 rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my
 smiles of comfort, and leave him to your Lordship.
He exits.
PAROLLES My lord, I am a man whom Fortune hath
 cruelly scratched.
LAFEW And what would you have me to do? ’Tis too
30 late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you

191
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 5. SC. 3

 played the knave with Fortune that she should
 scratch you, who of herself is a good lady and
 would not have knaves thrive long under her?
 There’s a cardecu for you. Let the justices make
35 you and Fortune friends. I am for other business.
PAROLLES I beseech your Honor to hear me one single
 word.
LAFEW You beg a single penny more. Come, you shall
 ha ’t. Save your word.
PAROLLES 40My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
LAFEW You beg more than a word, then. Cock’s my
 passion; give me your hand. How does your drum?
PAROLLES O my good lord, you were the first that
 found me.
LAFEW 45Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost
 thee.
PAROLLES It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some
 grace, for you did bring me out.
LAFEW Out upon thee, knave! Dost thou put upon me
50 at once both the office of God and the devil? One
 brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out.
 Trumpets sound. The King’s coming. I know by
 his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me. I
 had talk of you last night. Though you are a fool
55 and a knave, you shall eat. Go to, follow.
PAROLLES I praise God for you.
They exit.