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bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you
hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many
of you as had beards that pleas'd me, complexions that lik’d me, and breaths that I defy'd not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt’sy, bid me farewell.
King of France.
young French Lords, that serve with Bertram iu
the Florentine war. Steward,
Servants to the Countess of Rousillon.
Clown, A Page.
Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram.
Neighbours and friends to the widow.
Lords, attending on the King ; Officers, Soldiers, &c. French
SCENE, partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
ACT I. SCENE I. Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS's Palace. Enter BERTRAM, the Countess of ROUSILLON, HELENA,
and LaFeu, in mourning.
Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew : but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
Lar. You shall find of the king' a husband, madam ; -you, sir, a father : He that fo generally is at all times good, muft of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.
Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
LAF. He hath abandon'd his physicians, madam ; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope ; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that bad! how fad a passage 'tis !) whose skill was almost VOL. II.
as great as his honesty; had it stretch'd so far, would habe made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's difease.
LAF. How call'd you the man you speak of, madam?
Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his
great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon. LAF. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have liv'd still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of? Lar. A fistula, my lord.
. Ber. I heard not of it before.
LAF. I would, it were not notorious.—Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?
Count. His fole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, which make fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too; in her they are the better for their fimpleness; she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness.
LaF. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
COUNT. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have.
Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too.