Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

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

Total: 48

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



King of France. The Florentines and Senoys are by the ears;
Have fought with equal fortune and continue
A braving war.

First Lord. So 'tis reported, sir.



King of France. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here received it
A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
With caution that the Florentine will move us
For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
Prejudicates the business and would seem
To have us make denial.

First Lord. His love and wisdom,
Approved so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.



(stage directions). [Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES]

First Lord. It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord,
Young Bertram.



King of France. Farewell, young lords; these warlike principles
Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewell:
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received,
And is enough for both.

First Lord. 'Tis our hope, sir,
After well enter'd soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.



(stage directions). [Exit, attended]

First Lord. O, my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!



Bertram. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till honour be bought up and no sword worn
But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.

First Lord. There's honour in the theft.



Bertram. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.

First Lord. Farewell, captain.



Parolles. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good
sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall
find in the regiment of the Spinii one Captain
Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here
on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword
entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his
reports for me.

First Lord. We shall, noble captain.



Helena. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?

First Lord. And grant it.



Duke of Florence. So that from point to point now have you heard
The fundamental reasons of this war,
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
And more thirsts after.

First Lord. Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
On the opposer.



Duke of Florence. Be it his pleasure.

First Lord. But I am sure the younger of our nature,
That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
Come here for physic.



Second Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his

First Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no
more in your respect.



Second Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge,
without any malice, but to speak of him as my
kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and
endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner
of no one good quality worthy your lordship's

First Lord. It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in
his virtue, which he hath not, he might at some
great and trusty business in a main danger fail you.



Bertram. I would I knew in what particular action to try him.

First Lord. None better than to let him fetch off his drum,
which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.



Second Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
surprise him; such I will have, whom I am sure he
knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hoodwink
him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he
is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when
we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship
present at his examination: if he do not, for the
promise of his life and in the highest compulsion of
base fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the
intelligence in his power against you, and that with
the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never
trust my judgment in any thing.

First Lord. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum;
he says he has a stratagem for't: when your
lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to
what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will be
melted, if you give him not John Drum's
entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed.
Here he comes.



Bertram. How now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your

First Lord. A pox on't, let it go; 'tis but a drum.



Parolles. 'But a drum'! is't 'but a drum'? A drum so lost!
There was excellent command,—to charge in with our
horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers!

First Lord. That was not to be blamed in the command of the
service: it was a disaster of war that Caesar
himself could not have prevented, if he had been
there to command.



Second Lord. No more than a fish loves water. Is not this a
strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems
to undertake this business, which he knows is not to
be done; damns himself to do and dares better be
damned than to do't?

First Lord. You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it
is that he will steal himself into a man's favour and
for a week escape a great deal of discoveries; but
when you find him out, you have him ever after.



Second Lord. None in the world; but return with an invention and
clap upon you two or three probable lies: but we
have almost embossed him; you shall see his fall
to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.

First Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case
him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu:
when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a
sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this
very night.



Bertram. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you
The lass I spoke of.

First Lord. But you say she's honest.



Bertram. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once
And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind,
Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature:
Will you go see her?

First Lord. With all my heart, my lord.



(stage directions). [Enter the two French Lords and some two or three Soldiers]

First Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?



Second Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is
something in't that stings his nature; for on the
reading it he changed almost into another man.

First Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking
off so good a wife and so sweet a lady.



Second Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting
displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his
bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a
thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.

First Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the
grave of it.



Second Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in
Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he
fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath
given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself
made in the unchaste composition.

First Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion! as we are ourselves,
what things are we!



Second Lord. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course
of all treasons, we still see them reveal
themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends,
so he that in this action contrives against his own
nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.

First Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us, to be trumpeters of
our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his
company to-night?



Second Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.

First Lord. That approaches apace; I would gladly have him see
his company anatomized, that he might take a measure
of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had
set this counterfeit.



Second Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his
presence must be the whip of the other.

First Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?



Second Lord. I hear there is an overture of peace.

First Lord. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.



Second Lord. What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel
higher, or return again into France?

First Lord. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether
of his council.



Second Lord. Let it be forbid, sir; so should I be a great deal
of his act.

First Lord. Sir, his wife some two months since fled from his
house: her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques
le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere
sanctimony she accomplished; and, there residing the
tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her
grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and
now she sings in heaven.



Second Lord. How is this justified?

First Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters, which
makes her story true, even to the point of her
death: her death itself, which could not be her
office to say is come, was faithfully confirmed by
the rector of the place.



Second Lord. Hath the count all this intelligence?

First Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from
point, so to the full arming of the verity.



Second Lord. I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.

First Lord. How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!



Second Lord. And how mightily some other times we drown our gain
in tears! The great dignity that his valour hath
here acquired for him shall at home be encountered
with a shame as ample.

First Lord. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and
ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our
faults whipped them not; and our crimes would
despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
[Enter a Messenger]
How now! where's your master?



Second Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they
were more than they can commend.

First Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness.
Here's his lordship now.
How now, my lord! is't not after midnight?



Bertram. A plague upon him! muffled! he can say nothing of
me: hush, hush!

First Lord. Hoodman comes! Portotartarosa



First Soldier. Bosko chimurcho.

First Lord. Boblibindo chicurmurco.



Bertram. All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!

First Lord. You're deceived, my lord: this is Monsieur
Parolles, the gallant militarist,—that was his own
phrase,—that had the whole theoric of war in the
knot of his scarf, and the practise in the chape of
his dagger.



Parolles. Five or six thousand horse, I said,— I will say
true,—or thereabouts, set down, for I'll speak truth.

First Lord. He's very near the truth in this.



Bertram. What shall be done to him?

First Lord. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my
condition, and what credit I have with the duke.



Parolles. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.

First Lord. Nay look not so upon me; we shall hear of your
lordship anon.



Bertram. Our interpreter does it well.

First Lord. Excellently.



Parolles. He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for
rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he
professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking 'em he
is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with
such volubility, that you would think truth were a
fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will
be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little
harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they
know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but
little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has
every thing that an honest man should not have; what
an honest man should have, he has nothing.

First Lord. I begin to love him for this.



Parolles. Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English
tragedians; to belie him, I will not, and more of
his soldiership I know not; except, in that country
he had the honour to be the officer at a place there
called Mile-end, to instruct for the doubling of
files: I would do the man what honour I can, but of
this I am not certain.

First Lord. He hath out-villained villany so far, that the
rarity redeems him.



Parolles. O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!

First Lord. That shall you, and take your leave of all your friends.
[Unblinding him]
So, look about you: know you any here?



Second Lord. God bless you, Captain Parolles.

First Lord. God save you, noble captain.



Second Lord. Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu?
I am for France.

First Lord. Good captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet
you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon?
an I were not a very coward, I'ld compel it of you:
but fare you well.

Return to the "All's Well That Ends Well" menu