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

Total: 21

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA,]
and MARIANA, with other Citizens]

Widow. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
shall lose all the sight.



Diana. They say the French count has done most honourable service.

Widow. It is reported that he has taken their greatest
commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
duke's brother.
We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.



Mariana. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with
the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this
French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and
no legacy is so rich as honesty.

Widow. I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
by a gentleman his companion.



Diana. You shall not need to fear me.

Widow. I hope so.
[Enter HELENA, disguised like a Pilgrim]
Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at
my house; thither they send one another: I'll
question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?



Helena. To Saint Jaques le Grand.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?

Widow. At the Saint Francis here beside the port.



Helena. Is this the way?

Widow. Ay, marry, is't.
[A march afar]
Hark you! they come this way.
If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
But till the troops come by,
I will conduct you where you shall be lodged;
The rather, for I think I know your hostess
As ample as myself.



Helena. Is it yourself?

Widow. If you shall please so, pilgrim.



Helena. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.

Widow. You came, I think, from France?



Helena. I did so.

Widow. Here you shall see a countryman of yours
That has done worthy service.



Diana. Alas, poor lady!
'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
Of a detesting lord.

Widow. I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
A shrewd turn, if she pleased.



Helena. How do you mean?
May be the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.

Widow. He does indeed;
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.



Mariana. The gods forbid else!

Widow. So, now they come:
[Drum and Colours]
[Enter BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the whole army]
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
That, Escalus.



Mariana. He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.

Widow. Marry, hang you!



(stage directions). [Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army]

Widow. The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.



Helena. 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.

Widow. 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.



Helena. 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.

Widow. I should believe you:
For you have show'd me that which well approves
You're great in fortune.



Helena. 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.

Widow. Now I see
The bottom of your purpose.



Helena. 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.

Widow. 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.



Helena. That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you,
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety; 'fore whose throne 'tis needful,
Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel:
Time was, I did him a desired office,
Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
And answer, thanks: I duly am inform'd
His grace is at Marseilles; to which place
We have convenient convoy. You must know
I am supposed dead: the army breaking,
My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
And by the leave of my good lord the king,
We'll be before our welcome.

Widow. Gentle madam,
You never had a servant to whose trust
Your business was more welcome.



Gentleman. Not, indeed:
He hence removed last night and with more haste
Than is his use.

Widow. Lord, how we lose our pains!



Diana. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capilet:
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.

Widow. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without your remedy.

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