Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > All’s Well that Ends Well
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
All’s Well that Ends Well
 
Act II. Scene V.
 
Another Room in the Same.
 
Enter LAFEU and BERTRAM.
  Laf.  But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
  Ber.  Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
  Laf.  You have it from his own deliverance.        5
  Ber.  And by other warranted testimony.
  Laf.  Then my dial goes not true: I took this lark for a bunting.
  Ber.  I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in knowledge, and accordingly valiant.
  Laf.  I have then sinned against his experience and transgressed against his valour; 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.
        10
  Par.  [To BERTRAM.]  These things shall be done, sir.
  Laf.  Pray you, sir, who’s his tailor?
  Par.  Sir?
  Laf.  O! I know him well. Ay, sir; he, sir, is a good workman, a very good tailor.
  Ber.  [Aside to PAROLLES.]  Is she gone to the king?        15
  Par.  She is.
  Ber.  Will she away to-night?
  Par.  As you’ll have her.
  Ber.  I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
Given orders for our horses; and to-night,        20
When I should take possession of the bride,
End ere I do begin.
  Laf.  A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner; but one that lies three thirds, and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.
  Ber.  Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
  Par.  I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord’s displeasure.        25
  Laf.  You have made shift to run into ’t, boots and spurs and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and out of it you’ll run again, rather than suffer question for your residence.
  Ber.  It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
  Laf.  And shall do so ever, though I took him at his prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the 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 against evil.  [Exit.
  Par.  An idle lord, I swear.
  Ber.  I think not so.        30
  Par.  Why, do you not know him?
  Ber.  Yes, I do know him well; and common speech
Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.
 
Enter HELENA.
  Hel.  I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,        35
Spoke with the king, and have procur’d his leave
For present parting; only, he desires
Some private speech with you.
  Ber.        I shall obey his will.
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,        40
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular: prepar’d I was not
For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat you        45
That presently you take your way for home;
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you;
For my respects are better than they seem,
And my appointments have in them a need
Greater than shows itself at the first view        50
To you that know them not. This to my mother.  [Giving a letter.
’Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.
  Hel.        Sir, I can nothing say,
But that I am your most obedient servant.        55
  Ber.  Come, come, no more of that.
  Hel.        And ever shall
With true observance seek to eke out that
Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail’d
To equal my great fortune.        60
  Ber.        Let that go:
My haste is very great. Farewell: hie home.
  Hel.  Pray sir, your pardon.
  Ber.        Well, what would you say?
  Hel.  I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,        65
Nor dare I say ’tis mine, and yet it is;
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
What law does vouch mine own.
  Ber.        What would you have?
  Hel.  Something, and scarce so much: nothing, indeed.        70
I would not tell you what I would, my lord:—
Faith, yes;
Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
  Ber.  I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
  Hel.  I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.        75
  Ber.  [To PAROLLES.]  Where are my other men, monsieur?  [To HELENA.]  Farewell.  [Exit HELENA.
Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away! and for our flight.
  Par.        Bravely, coragio!  [Exeunt.        80
 
 
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