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All's Well That Ends Well: Act 3 Scene 7
Scene VII Florence. The Widow's house.
- [Enter HELENA and Widow]
- If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
- I know not how I shall assure you further,
- But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
- Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
- Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
- And would not put my reputation now
- In any staining act.
- Nor would I wish you.
- First, give me trust, the count he is my husband,
- And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
- Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
- By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
- Err in bestowing it.
- I should believe you:
- For you have show'd me that which well approves
- You're great in fortune.
- Take this purse of gold,
- And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
- Which I will over-pay and pay again
- When I have found it. The count he wooes your daughter,
- Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
- Resolved to carry her: let her in fine consent,
- As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it.
- Now his important blood will nought deny
- That she'll demand: a ring the county wears,
- That downward hath succeeded in his house
- From son to son, some four or five descents
- Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds
- In most rich choice; yet in his idle fire,
- To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
- Howe'er repented after.
- Now I see
- The bottom of your purpose.
- You see it lawful, then: it is no more,
- But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
- Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;
- In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
- Herself most chastely absent: after this,
- To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
- To what is passed already.
- I have yielded:
- Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,
- That time and place with this deceit so lawful
- May prove coherent. Every night he comes
- With musics of all sorts and songs composed
- To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us
- To chide him from our eaves; for he persists
- As if his life lay on't.
- Why then to-night
- Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
- Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed
- And lawful meaning in a lawful act,
- Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact:
- But let's about it.