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This comedy was first printed in the folio collection | as a profligate : when she is dead by his unkindness of 1623. In the original copy the play is divided into sneaks home to a second marriage : is accused by a acts, but not into scenes. There are several examples woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by false. of corruption in the text; but, upon the whole, it is hood, and is dismissed to happiness." We have no very accurately printed, both with regard to the me- desire to reconcile our hearts to Bertram ; all that we trical arrangement and to punctuation.
demand is, that he should not move our indignatiou In an early number of the Pictorial Edition of beyond the point in which his qualities shall consist Shakspere we expressed an opiniou as to the date of this with our sympathy for Helena in her love for him. comedy :—“Meres has also mentioned, amongst the And in this view the poet, as it appears to us, has drawu instances of Shakspere's excellence for comedy, 'Love's | Bertram's character most skilfully. Without his de Labour Won.' This is generally believed to be . All's fects the dramatic action could not have proceeded ; Well that Euds Well;' and probably, in some form without his merits the dramatic sentiment could not or other, this was an early play." Malone, in the first have been maintained. edition of his .Chronological Order of Shakspeare's “ In this piece," says Schlegel, “ age is exhibited to Plays,' assigus the date of this comedy to 1598, upon singular advantage: the plain honesty of the King, the the authority of the passage in Meres. He says, “ No good-natured impetuosity of old Lafeu, the maternal other of our author's plays could have borne that title indulgence of the Countess to Helena's love of her son, ('Love's Labour Won') with so much propriety as that seem all, as it were, to vie with each other in endeabefore us." This is the real argument in the matter ; vours to conquer the arrogance of the young Court." and Coleridge, therefore, describes this play as “ origin- The general benevolence of these characters, and their ally intended as the counterpart of 'Love's Labour 's particular kindness towards Helena, are the counterLost.'” Shakspere's titles, ia the judgment of that poises to Bertram's pride of birth, and his disdain of philosophical critic, always exhibit “great signi- virtue unaccompanied by adventitious distinctions. ticancy." The Labour of Love which is Lost is not the love of the Countess towards Helena is habit, that a very earnest labour. The King and his courtiers are of the King is gratitude: in Lafeu the admiration fantastical lovers. They would win their mistresses by which he perseveringly holds towards her is the result of “ bootless rhymes” and “speeches penn'd," and their his honest sagacity. He admires what is direct and uumost sincere declarations are thus only received as pretending, and he therefore loves Helena : he hates what “mocking nerriment.” What would naturally be the is evasive and boastful, and he therefore despises Parolles. counterpart of such a story? One of passionate, en- “Parolles has many of the lineaments of Falstaff.” during, all-pervading love,—of a love that shrinks froin We think that this opinion of Johnson exhibits a sinno difficulty, resents no unkindness, fears no disgrace, gular want of discrimination in one who relished Fal. but perseveres, under the most adverse circumstances, staff so highly. Parulles is literally what he is described to viudicate its own claims by its own energy, and to by Helena :achieve success by the strength of its own will. This
" I know him a notorious liar, is the Labour of Love which is Won. Is not this the Think him a great way fool, solely a coward." story of All 's Well that Ends Well'?
Is this crawling, empty, vapouring, cowardly repreOf the characters we may say a few words.
sentative of the off-scourings of social life, to be comMrs. Jameson quotes a passage from Foster's • Essays' pared for a moment with the unimitable Falstaff! The to explain the general idea of the character of Helena : comparisou will not bear examining with patience, and “ To be tremblingly alive to gentle impressions, and much less with painstaking. But Parolles in his own yet be able to preserve, when the prosecution of a design way is infinitely comic. “The scene of the drum," requires it, an immoveable heart amidst even the most according to a French critic, “ is worthy of Molière." imperious causes of subduing emotion, is perhaps not This is the highest praise which a French writer could an impossible constitution of mind, but it is the utmost bestow; and here it is just. The character belongs to and rarest endowment of humanity.” This “constitu- the school of which Molière is the head, rather than to tion of mind” has been created by Shakspere in his the school of Shakspere. And what shall we say of the Helena, and who can doubt the truth and nature of the Clown? He is the “artificial fool;" and we do not conception !
like him, therefore, quite so much as dear Launce and Bertram, like all mixed characters, whether in the dearer Touchstone. To the Fool in · Lear' he can no drama or in real life, is a great puzzle to those who more be compared than Parolles to Falstaff'; but he is, look without tolerance on human motives and actions. nevertheless, great-something that no other artist bui In a one-sided view he has no redeeming qualities. Shakspere could have produced. Our poet has used Johnson says, “ I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram; him as a vehicle for some biting satire. "There can be a man noble without generosity, and young without no doubt that he is “a witty fool,” “a shrewd knave, truth; who marries Helena as a coward, and leaves her and an unhappy."
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS
KING OF FRANCE.
Appears, Act I. sc. I.
COUNTESS OF ROUSILLON, mother to Bertram.
Appears, Act I. sc. I ; sc. 3. Act 11. se. 2. Act III. sc. 2; sc. A BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon.
Act IV. se. 5. Act V. sc. 3. years, Aet I. se. I; se. 2. Act II. sc. I; sc. 3; sc. 5. Act III. s. 3; s. 5; se. 6. Act IV. sc. 2; se. 3. Act V. sc. 3.
HELENA, a gentlewoman, protected by the Countess.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act II. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 5 LAFEU, an old Lord.
sc. 2; sc. 5; sc. 7. Act IV. sc. 4. Act V.sc. 1 ; sc. 3. Appears, Act I. se. I; sc. 2. Act II. sc. 1; sc. 3; se. 5. Aet IV. sc. 5. Act V. sc. 2; sc. 3.
An old Widow of Florence.
Appears, Act III. sc. 5; sc. 7. Act IV. sc. 4.
Aet V. sc. 1; sc. 3.
Diana, daughter to the Widow.
the Florentine war. Appert, Act II. se. 1; sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 6.
VIOLENTA, neighbour and friend to the Widow Aet IV. se. 1; sc. 3.
Appears, Act III. se. 5. Steward, servant to the Countess of Rousillou.
Mariana, neighbour and friend to the Widow. Appears, Act I. sc. 3. Act III. sc. 4.
Appears, Act III. sc. 5. Clown, sertant to the Countess of Rousillon. Appears, Act I. se. 3. Act II. se 2; sc. 4. Act III. se. 2. Lords attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, &c. det IV. sc. 5. Aet V. sc. 2.
French and Florentine.
SCENE,—IN FRANCE AND IN TUSCANY.
SCENE I.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's would have made nature immortal, and deato snould Palace.
have play for lack of work. 'Would, for the king's Exter BERTRAX, the Countess of ROUSILLON, Hz- sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of
the king's disease. IKNA, and LaFeu, in mourning.
Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam! Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a se- Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it and husband.
was his great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon. Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam; the king Leath anew : but I must attend his majesty's com- very lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningły: nand, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in sub- he was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge jection
could be set up against mortality, Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam; Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of ? -you, sir, a father: He that so generally is at all times Laf. A fistula, my lord. good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you ; whose Ber. I heard not of it before. wurthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than Laf. I would it were not notorious.-Was this genlack it where there is such abundance.
tlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ? Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amend- Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to ment!
my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that Laf. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, under whose practices he hath persecuted time with which make fair gifts fairer ; for where an unclean mind hope, and finds no other advantage in the process but carries virtuous qualities, there commendations yo with: only the losing of hope by time.
pity,--they are virtues and traitors too : in her they are Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (o, the better for their simpleness ; she derives her honesty, that hard! how sad a passagea 't is!) whose skill was and achieves her goodness. almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears * Passage-what p asses.
& Would- it would.
Count. T is the best brine a maiden can season her Hel. And no. praise in. The remembrance of her father never ap- Par. Are you meditating on virginity? proaches her heart but the tyranny of her sorrows takes Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you ; all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, He- let me ask yon a question : Man is enemy to virginity; lena-go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought you how may we barricado it against him? affect a sorrow, than to have.
Par. Keep him out. Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too. Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; in the defence, yet is weak : unfold to us some warlike excessive grief the enemy to the living.
resistance. Hel. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess Par. There is none : man, sitting down before you, makes it soon mortal.
will undermine you, and blow you up. Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and Laf. How understand we that?
blowers up!—Is there no military policy how virgins Count. Be thou bless'd, Bertram! and succeed thy might blow up men? father
Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will quickIn manners, as in shape ! thy blood, and virtue, lier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few, It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preDo wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
serve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
and there was never virgin got till virginity was first Under thy own life's key : be checkd for silence, lost. That you were made of is metal to make virgini But never tax'd for speech. What Heaven more will, Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down, by being ever kept, it is ever lost : 't is too cold a com Fall on thy head! Farewell. - My lord,
panion; away with it. 'T is an unseason'd courtier ; good my lord,
Hel. I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die Advise him.
a virgin. Laf. He cannot want the best
Par. There's little can be said in 't ; 't is against That shall attend his love.
the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity is Count. Heaven bless him!— Farewell, Bertram. (Exit. to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible dis
Ber. The best wishes that can be forged in your obedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin : virginity thoughts [to Helena) be servants to you! Be comfort- murthers itself ; and should be buried in highways, out able to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her. of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against
Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; credit of your father. (Excunt Bertram and Lafeu. consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with
Hel. O, were that all -I think not on my father; feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, And these great tears grace his remembrance more proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhi. Than those I shed for him. What was he like? bited sin in the canon. Keep it not ; you cannot choose I have forgot him : my imagination
but lose by 't: Out with 't: within ten year it will Carries no favour in 't but Bertram's.
make itself two, which is a goodly increase; and the I am undone ; there is no living, none,
principal itself not much the worse : Away with it. If Bertram be away. It were all one
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own That I should love a bright particular star,
liking? And think to wed it, he is so above me:
Par. Let me see : Marty, ill, to like him that ne'er In his bright radiance and collateral light
it likes. 'T is a commodity will lose the gloss with Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
lying; the longer kept the less worth : off with it, while The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
't is vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, The hind that would be mated by the lion
like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion ; Must die for love. 'T was pretty, though a plague, richly suited, but unsuitable: just like the brooch and To see him every hour; to sit and draw
the toothpick, which wear not now : Your date is better His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
in your pie and your porridge than in your cheek : And In our heart's table ;t heart too capable
your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our Of every line and trick of his sweet favour :d
French withered pears; it looks ill, it eats drily; marry, But now he 's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
't is a withered pear; it was formerly letter; marry, Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?
yet, 't is a withered pear: Will you anything with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
There, shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend, And yet I know him a notorious liar,
A phenix, captain, and an enemy, Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign, Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear; That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
His humble ambition, proud humility, Look bleak i' the cold wind : withal, full oft we see
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet, Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
His faith, his sweet disaster : with a world Par. Save you, fair queen.
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms, Hel. And you, monarch.e
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall bePar. No.
I know not what he shall :-God send him well
The court 's a learning-place;—and he is oneA The "great tears" which the departure of Bertram canses Par. What one, i' faith? her to shed, heing imputed to her griet for her father, grace his Hel. That I wish well.-T is pityTemembrance more than those which she really shed for him. b Table-the tabular surfav : tablet, upon which a picture is
Par. What 's pity ? painted, and thence used for the picture itself.
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in 'l, • Trick-peculiarity.
Which might be felt : that we, the poorer born, & Favour-countenance.
• Monarch, A sarcastic allusion to the Monarcho alrcady a Stain-tincture; you have some slight mark of the oldie! Soliced in 'Love's Labour's Lost.'
use baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
nursery to our gentry, who are sick Migłt with effects of them follow our friends,
For breathing and exploit. And show what we alone must think; which never King.
What is he comes here?
Enter BertraM, LaFeu, and PAROLLES.
I Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.[Exit. Young Bertram.
Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember thee, King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face; I will think of thee at court.
Frank Nature, rather curious than in haste, Hel
. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a cha- Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts ritable star.
Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris. Par. Under Mars, I.
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's. Hel. I especially think, under Mars.
King. I would I had that corporal soundness now, Par. Why under Mars?
As when thy father and myself, in friendship, Hel
. The wars have so kept you under, that you must First tried our soldiership! He did look far Deeds be bom under Mars.
Into the service of the time, and was Par. When he was predominant.
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
He had the wit, which I can well observe
. So is running away, when fear proposes the To-day in our young lords ; but they may jest rafety: But the composition that your valour and fear Till their own scorn return to them unnoted, males in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the Ere they can hide their levity in honour.
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness Par. I am so full of businesses I cannot answer thee Were in his pride or sharpness ; if they were, anitely: I will return perfect courtier; in the which, His equal had awak'd them; and his honour, my instruction shall serve to naturalise thee, so thou Clock to itself, knew the true minute when vilt be capable of a courtier’s counsel, and understand Exception bid him speak, and, at this time, what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in His tongue obey'd his hand : a who were below him thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee He uz'd as creatures of another place; away: farewell.
When thou hast leisure, say thy And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks, payes; when thou hast none, remember thy friends': Making them proud of his humility, est there a good husband, and use him as he uses thee : In their poor praise he humbled : Such a man so farewell.
[Exit. Might be a copy to these younger times ; Hz. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now Which we ascribe to Heaven : the fated sky
But goers backward. Girs us free scope; only, doth backward pull
His good remembrance, sir, Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull.
Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb;
King. 'Would I were with him! He would always To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
say, Impossible be strange attempts to those
(Methinks I hear him now : his plausive words That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them, What hath been cannot be: Who ever strove
To grow there, and to bear,)—" Let me not live,"To show her merit that did miss her love?
This his good melancholy oft began, The king's disease—my project may deceive me, On the catastrophe and heel of pastime, But my intents are fix’d, and will not leave me. (Exit. When it was out,—“Let me not live," quoth he,
“ After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff SCENE II.-Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are Flourish of cornets. Enter the King oy FRANCE,
Mere fathers of their garments ; whose constancies rith letters ; Lords and others attending.
Expire before their fashions :" -This he wish'd :
I, after him, do after him wish too,
To give some labourers room. 1 Lord. So 't is reported, sir.
You are lov'd, sir : kang. Say, 't is most credible; we here receive it They that least lend it you shall lack you first. A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
King. I fill a place, I know 't:—How long is 't, counte With caution, that the Florentine will move us Since the physician at your father's died ? For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
He was much fam'd.
lord. To have us make denial.
King. If he were living I would try him yet ;1 Lord.
His love and wisdom, Lend me an arm ;-the rest have worn me out
With several applications :-nature and sickness
Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; king. He hath arm'd our answer,
My son 's no dearer. And Florence is denied before he comes;
Thank your majesty. Ve, for our gentlemen that mean to see
(E.ceunt. Flourish. The Tuscan service, freely have they leave I stand on either part.
^ The metaphor of a "clock" is cntinued; his tongue, in 2 Lara.
exception" bade hini, obeyed the band of It well may serve
honour's clock-his hand being put for its land.
SCENE III.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Clo. Was this fair face the canse, quoth she, Surug Palace.
Why the Grecians sacked Troya
Fond done, done fond,
Was this king Priam's joy?
With that she sighed as she stood, Count. I will now hear : what say you of this gentle
With that she sighed as she stood, woman?
And gave this sentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good, Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your con
Among nine bad if one be good, tent, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past
There's yet one good in ten. endeavours : for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves
Count. What, one good in ten! you corrupt the we publish them. Count. What does this knave here ? Get you gone,
Clo. One good woman in ten, madam, which is a sirrah : The complaints I have heard of you I do not purifying o' the song : 'Would God would serve the all believe; 't is my slowness that I do not for I know world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe you lauk not fully to commit them, and have ability woman, if I were the parson : One in ten, quoth a'! an enough to make such knaveries yours.
we might have a good woman born but for every blazing Clo. 'T is not unknown to you, madam, I am poor
star, or at an earthquake, 't would mend the lottery well: fellow.
a man may draw his heart out, ere a pluck one. Count. Well, sir.
Count. You 'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I com
mand you! Clo. No, madam, 't is not so well that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned : But, if I may and yet no hurt done! – Though honesty be no puritan,
Clo. That man should be at woman's command, have your ladyship's good-will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we inay.
yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of huCount. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
mility over the black gown of a big heart.- I am going, Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case. forsooth; the business is for Helen to come hither. (Erit
. Count. In what case ?
Count. Well, now. Clo. In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no
Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman heritage: and I think I shall never have the blessing of
entirely. God, till I have issue o' ny body; for, they say, barnes
Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to are blessings.
me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawCount. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
fully make title to as much love as she finds : there is Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven
more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil her than she 'll demand. drives.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I Count. Is this all your worship's reason?
think, she wished me: alone she was, and did commuClo. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such
nicate to herself her own words to her own ears; she as they are.
thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any Count. May the world know them?
stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son : Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you difference betwixt their two estates ; Love, no god, that
Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry would not extend his might only where qualities were that I may repent.
Count. Tby marriage, sooner than thy wickedness. level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer hier
Clo. I am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have poor knight to be surprised, without rescue in the first friends for my wife's sake.
assault, or ransom afterward : This she delivered in the Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard virgin ex. Clo. You 're shallow, madam, in great friends ; for claim in: which I held my duty, speedily tv acquaint the knaves come to do that for me which I am a-weary
you withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it of. He that ears my land spares my team, and gives concerns you something to know it. me leave to in the crop: If I be his cuckold, he 's my
Count. You have discharged this honestly ; keep it drudge: He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of to yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this bemy flesh and blood ; he that cherishes my flesh and fore, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh could neithe: believe nor misdoubt : Pray you, leave and blood is my friend ; ergo, he that kisses my wife is
me: stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your my friend. If men could be contented to be what they honest care: I will speak with you further anon. are, there were no fear in marriage: for young Charbon
[Exit Steward. the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsome'er
Enter HELENA. their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one,--they may jowl horns together, like any deer i' the
Count. Even so it was with me when I was young: herd.
If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this tuorn Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calum
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong : nious knave?
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born ; Clo. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the It 3 the show and seal of nature's truth, next way:
Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth:
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults ;-or then we thought them
Her eye is sick on 't; I observe her now.
Count. You know, Helen, I am a mother to you. Stero. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen Hel. Mine honourable mistress. come to you; of her I am to speak.
Nay, a mother; Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak Why not a mother? When I said, a mother, with her ; Helen I mean.
& The meation of Telen is associated in the mind of the a The rert way-the nearest way.
Clown with some r-pula: ballad on the war of Tros.