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All's Well That Ends Well: Act 3 Scene 5
Scene V Florence. Without the walls. A tucket afar off.
- [Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA,
- and MARIANA, with other Citizens]
- Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
- shall lose all the sight.
- They say the French count has done most honourable service.
- It is reported that he has taken their greatest
- commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
- duke's brother.
- We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
- way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
- Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with
- the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this
- French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and
- no legacy is so rich as honesty.
- I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
- by a gentleman his companion.
- I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles: a
- filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the
- young earl. Beware of them, Diana; their promises,
- enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of
- lust, are not the things they go under: many a maid
- hath been seduced by them; and the misery is,
- example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of
- maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession,
- but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten
- them. I hope I need not to advise you further; but
- I hope your own grace will keep you where you are,
- though there were no further danger known but the
- modesty which is so lost.
- You shall not need to fear me.
- I hope so.
- [Enter HELENA, disguised like a Pilgrim]
- Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at
- my house; thither they send one another: I'll
- question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
- To Saint Jaques le Grand.
- Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
- At the Saint Francis here beside the port.
- Is this the way?
- Ay, marry, is't.
- [A march afar]
- Hark you! they come this way.
- If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
- But till the troops come by,
- I will conduct you where you shall be lodged;
- The rather, for I think I know your hostess
- As ample as myself.
- Is it yourself?
- If you shall please so, pilgrim.
- I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
- You came, I think, from France?
- I did so.
- Here you shall see a countryman of yours
- That has done worthy service.
- His name, I pray you.
- The Count Rousillon: know you such a one?
- But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him:
- His face I know not.
- Whatsome'er he is,
- He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
- As 'tis reported, for the king had married him
- Against his liking: think you it is so?
- Ay, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.
- There is a gentleman that serves the count
- Reports but coarsely of her.
- What's his name?
- Monsieur Parolles.
- O, I believe with him,
- In argument of praise, or to the worth
- Of the great count himself, she is too mean
- To have her name repeated: all her deserving
- Is a reserved honesty, and that
- I have not heard examined.
- Alas, poor lady!
- 'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
- Of a detesting lord.
- I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
- Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
- A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
- How do you mean?
- May be the amorous count solicits her
- In the unlawful purpose.
- He does indeed;
- And brokes with all that can in such a suit
- Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
- But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard
- In honestest defence.
- The gods forbid else!
- So, now they come:
- [Drum and Colours]
- [Enter BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the whole army]
- That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
- That, Escalus.
- Which is the Frenchman?
- That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow.
- I would he loved his wife: if he were honester
- He were much goodlier: is't not a handsome gentleman?
- I like him well.
- 'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave
- That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
- I would Poison that vile rascal.
- Which is he?
- That jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?
- Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
- Lose our drum! well.
- He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.
- Marry, hang you!
- And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
- [Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army]
- The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
- Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
- There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
- Already at my house.
- I humbly thank you:
- Please it this matron and this gentle maid
- To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking
- Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
- I will bestow some precepts of this virgin
- Worthy the note.
- We'll take your offer kindly.