Speeches (Lines) for Countess
in "All's Well That Ends Well"

Total: 87

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,3

In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

2

I,1,12

What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

3

I,1,17

This young gentlewoman had a father,—O, that
'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!—whose skill was
almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
far, would have made nature immortal, and death
should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king's disease.

4

I,1,25

He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was
his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.

5

I,1,36

His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that
her education promises; her dispositions she
inherits, which makes 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
simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.

6

I,1,45

'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; lest it be rather thought you affect
a sorrow than have it.

7

I,1,54

If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
makes it soon mortal.

8

I,1,58

Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.

9

I,1,72

Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.

10

I,3,324

I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?

11

I,3,330

What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah:
the complaints I have heard of you I do not all
believe: 'tis my slowness that I do not; for I know
you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability
enough to make such knaveries yours.

12

I,3,336

Well, sir.

13

I,3,341

Wilt thou needs be a beggar?

14

I,3,343

In what case?

15

I,3,348

Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

16

I,3,351

Is this all your worship's reason?

17

I,3,354

May the world know them?

18

I,3,358

Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

19

I,3,361

Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

20

I,3,376

Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?

21

I,3,383

Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.

22

I,3,386

Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her;
Helen, I mean.

23

I,3,398

What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

24

I,3,407

You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.

25

I,3,414

Well, now.

26

I,3,416

Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and
she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully
make title to as much love as she finds: there is
more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid
her than she'll demand.

27

I,3,437

You have discharged this honestly; keep it to
yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this
before, which hung so tottering in the balance that
I could neither believe nor misdoubt. Pray you,
leave me: stall this in your bosom; and I thank you
for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon.
[Exit Steward]
[Enter HELENA]
Even so it was with me when I was young:
If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
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 none.
Her eye is sick on't: I observe her now.

28

I,3,455

You know, Helen,
I am a mother to you.

29

I,3,458

Nay, a mother:
Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,'
Methought you saw a serpent: what's in 'mother,'
That you start at it? I say, I am your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine: 'tis often seen
Adoption strives with nature and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:
God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood
To say I am thy mother? What's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
Why? that you are my daughter?

30

I,3,474

I say, I am your mother.

31

I,3,482

Nor I your mother?

32

I,3,489

Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law:
God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tears' head: now to all sense 'tis gross
You love my son; invention is ashamed,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look thy cheeks
Confess it, th' one to th' other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviors
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
Tell me truly.

33

I,3,509

Do you love my son?

34

I,3,511

Love you my son?

35

I,3,513

Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.

36

I,3,544

Had you not lately an intent,—speak truly,—
To go to Paris?

37

I,3,547

Wherefore? tell true.

38

I,3,559

This was your motive
For Paris, was it? speak.

39

I,3,565

But think you, Helen,
If you should tender your supposed aid,
He would receive it? he and his physicians
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
They, that they cannot help: how shall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?

40

I,3,581

Dost thou believe't?

41

I,3,583

Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
Means and attendants and my loving greetings
To those of mine in court: I'll stay at home
And pray God's blessing into thy attempt:
Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss.

42

II,2,825

Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of
your breeding.

43

II,2,829

To the court! why, what place make you special,
when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!

44

II,2,838

Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all
questions.

45

II,2,843

Will your answer serve fit to all questions?

46

II,2,851

Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all
questions?

47

II,2,855

It must be an answer of most monstrous size that
must fit all demands.

48

II,2,861

To be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in
question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I
pray you, sir, are you a courtier?

49

II,2,866

Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.

50

II,2,868

I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.

51

II,2,870

You were lately whipped, sir, as I think.

52

II,2,872

Do you cry, 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and
'spare not me?' Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very
sequent to your whipping: you would answer very well
to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.

53

II,2,878

I play the noble housewife with the time
To entertain't so merrily with a fool.

54

II,2,881

An end, sir; to your business. Give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back:
Commend me to my kinsmen and my son:
This is not much.

55

II,2,886

Not much employment for you: you understand me?

56

II,2,888

Haste you again.

57

III,2,1398

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

58

III,2,1402

By what observance, I pray you?

59

III,2,1407

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

60

III,2,1414

What have we here?

61

III,2,1417

[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,
BERTRAM.
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 misprising of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.

62

III,2,1433

What is the matter?

63

III,2,1437

Why should he be killed?

64

III,2,1448

Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen,
I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief,
That the first face of neither, on the start,
Can woman me unto't: where is my son, I pray you?

65

III,2,1463

Brought you this letter, gentlemen?

66

III,2,1466

I prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son;
But I do wash his name out of my blood,
And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?

67

III,2,1472

And to be a soldier?

68

III,2,1476

Return you thither?

69

III,2,1480

Find you that there?

70

III,2,1484

Nothing in France, until he have no wife!
There's nothing here that is too good for him
But only she; and she deserves a lord
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?

71

III,2,1491

Parolles, was it not?

72

III,2,1493

A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
My son corrupts a well-derived nature
With his inducement.

73

III,2,1499

You're welcome, gentlemen.
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
To tell him that his sword can never win
The honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you
Written to bear along.

74

III,2,1506

Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
Will you draw near!

75

III,4,1559

Alas! and would you take the letter of her?
Might you not know she would do as she has done,
By sending me a letter? Read it again.

76

III,4,1577

Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,
As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus she hath prevented.

77

III,4,1586

What angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive,
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief.
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Dispatch the most convenient messenger:
When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
He will return; and hope I may that she,
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love: which of them both
Is dearest to me. I have no skill in sense
To make distinction: provide this messenger:
My heart is heavy and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.

78

IV,5,2471

I would I had not known him; it was the death of the
most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had
praise for creating. If she had partaken of my
flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I
could not have owed her a more rooted love.

79

IV,5,2520

So he is. My lord that's gone made himself much
sport out of him: by his authority he remains here,
which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and,
indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.

80

IV,5,2534

With very much content, my lord; and I wish it
happily effected.

81

IV,5,2540

It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I
die. I have letters that my son will be here
to-night: I shall beseech your lordship to remain
with me till they meet together.

82

IV,5,2546

You need but plead your honourable privilege.

83

V,3,2677

'Tis past, my liege;
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth;
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'erbears it and burns on.

84

V,3,2753

Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!

85

V,3,2777

Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.

86

V,3,2851

Now, justice on the doers!

87

V,3,2899

He blushes, and 'tis it:
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife;
That ring's a thousand proofs.

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