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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.] The story of All's well that ends well, or, as I suppose it to have been sometimes called, Love's Labour Wonne, is originally indeed the property of Boccace, but it came immediately to Shakespeare from Painter's Giletta of Narbon, in the First Vol. of the Palace of Pleasure, 4to. 1566, p. 88. FARMER.

Shakespeare is indebted to the novel only for a few leading circumstances in the graver parts of the piece. The comic business appears to be entirely of his own formation.


This comedy, I imagine, was written in 1598. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakespeare's Plays, Vol. II.



King of France.

Duke of Florence.

BERTRAM, count of Rousillon.

LAFEU, an old lord.

PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram.

Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram

in the Florentine war.



A Page.

servants to the countess of Rousillon.

Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram.

HELENA, a gentlewoman protected by the countess.

An old widow of Florence.

DIANA, daughter to the widow.



· neighbours and friends to the widow.

Lords attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, &c. French and Florentine.

SCENE, partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.




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.

o'er my


Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep death anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.

Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam; -you, sir, a father: He that so generally is at all times good, must 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 abandoned 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, (O, that

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