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All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Act 3, Scene 7

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Enter HELENA and Widow

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.

HELENA

If you doubt that I'm she, I don't know how else I'll prove it to you further without ruining my whole plan. 

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.

WIDOW

Although I've fallen in society, I was well born, nothing to do with these seedy businesses. I wouldn't put my reputation at risk now by committing any scandalous 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.

HELENA

Nor would I wish you to do so. First, trust me, the count is my husband, and what I've spoken to your sworn secrecy is true to the very word. You cannot do wrong by offering to help me.

WIDOW

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

WIDOW

I'm led to believe you for you've shown me things that convincingly demonstrate that you have a great 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.

HELENA

Take this purse of gold, and let me pay for your help so far, which I'll over-pay and pay over again once your help is complete. The count woos your daughter, attempts to capture her beauty. He is resolved to conquer her. Let her consent, as we'll tell her exactly how it's best to word it. Now his lustful blood will never deny what she demands: a ring the count wears, that has been passed down in his house from son to son, some four or five generations since the first ancestor wore it. This ring he holds very dearly, but in his idle passion, to buy what he wants from her, it would not seem too priceless, however much he regrets it after. 

WIDOW

Now I seeThe bottom of your purpose.

WIDOW

Now I see the endgame of your plan. 

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.

HELENA

You see that it's lawful then. It's nothing more but that your daughter, before she agrees to be won by him, requests this ring. Then she schedules an encounter with him. In short, she brings me instead to fill the bed, and she's entirely absent and chaste. After this, as a dowry, I'll add three thousand crowns to what I've already given you. 

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.

WIDOW

I'm sold. Instruct my daughter on how she will do this so that the time and place for this lawful trick will all be successful. Every night he comes with all sorts of music and songs composed to her unworthy self. It doesn't do anything for us to tell him to get away from our house as he persists as if his life hangs in the balance

HELENA

Why then to-night Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed, Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed And lawful meaning in a lawful act, Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact: But let's about it.

HELENA

Why then, tonight, we'll lay our plot. If it goes well, it's wicked intention but lawful action for Bertram and lawful intention and lawful action for me. Therefore, neither of us will sin, and yet he'll think it to be a sinful act. But let's get to it. 

Exeunt

All s well that ends well
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Dan rubins
About the Translator: Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is currently completing his MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London/Shakespeare's Globe and will be pursuing an MA in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a BA in English from Yale University. His Masters dissertation focuses on announcements of death in early modern drama, and other research areas of interest include Shakespeare in transformative contexts (prisons, schools, etc.) and rhyme in Shakespeare's dramatic texts. In addition to teaching and learning, he also writes theatre reviews (often of Shakespeare productions), composes musical theatre (frequently with Shakespearean inspirations), and sings in choirs (occasionally in Shakespearean choral settings).