William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well

SCENE 2. Rousillon. A room in the COUNTESS'S palace.


It hath happened all as I would have had it, save that he
comes not along with her.

By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.

By what observance, I pray you?

Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the ruff and sing;
ask questions and sing; pick his teeth and sing. I know a man
that had this trick of melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.

Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.

[Opening a letter.]

I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court. Our old ling
and our Isbels o' the country are nothing like your old ling and
your Isbels o' the court. The brains of my Cupid's knocked out;
and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.

What have we here?

E'en that you have there.


[Reads.] 'I have sent you a daughter-in-law; she hath
recovered the king and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded
her; and sworn to make the "not" eternal. You shall hear I am run
away: know it before the report come. If there be breadth enough
in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.
              Your unfortunate son,

This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,
To fly the favours of so good a king;
To pluck his indignation on thy head
By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.

[Re-enter CLOWN.]

O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two soldiers and my
young lady.

What is the matter?

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