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All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter BERTRAM and DIANA

BERTRAM

They told me that your name was Fontibell.

BERTRAM

They told me that your name was Fontibell.

DIANA

No, my good lord, Diana.

DIANA

No, my good lord, it's Diana.

BERTRAM

Titled goddess; And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul, In your fine frame hath love no quality? If quick fire of youth light not your mind, You are no maiden, but a monument: When you are dead, you should be such a one As you are now, for you are cold and stem; And now you should be as your mother was When your sweet self was got.

BERTRAM

You have a goddess' name. And you're worth it, and then some! But, fair soul, in your beautiful body, haven't you got any interest in love? If your youthful passions don't ignite your mind, you're not a maiden but a statue: when you're dead, you'd be just as you are now, for you are cold and stern. You should be like your mother was when your sweet self was conceived.

DIANA

She then was honest.

DIANA

She was honest then.

BERTRAM

So should you be.

BERTRAM

You would honest too.

DIANA

No:My mother did but duty; such, my lord,As you owe to your wife.

DIANA

No. My mother only did her duty. The same duty, my lord, that you owe your wife.

BERTRAM

No more o' that; I prithee, do not strive against my vows: I was compell'd to her; but I love thee By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever Do thee all rights of service.

BERTRAM

No more of that. Please, don't fight me on the things I've sworn to you. I was forced to marry her, but I love you by love's own sweet force, and I'll forever serve you.

DIANA

Ay, so you serve us Till we serve you; but when you have our roses, You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves And mock us with our bareness.

DIANA

Yes, you'll serve us until we've served you. But when you've taken the rose of our virginity, you barely leave us even with the thorns to prick ourselves, and you mock us for having nothing of value left.

BERTRAM

How have I sworn!

BERTRAM

Think of how much I've sworn to you!

DIANA

'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth, But the plain single vow that is vow'd true. What is not holy, that we swear not by, But take the High'st to witness: then, pray you, tell me, If I should swear by God's great attributes, I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths, When I did love you ill? This has no holding, To swear by him whom I protest to love, That I will work against him: therefore your oaths Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd, At least in my opinion.

DIANA

Swearing many oaths doesn't make you faithful. I'd rather you swear one plain single vow that you really mean. We don't swear by what's not holy, but we swear by what's most holy. Then, please, tell me, if I should swear to God that I loved you dearly, would you believe my vows when I didn't really love you faithfully at all? What would be the value of swearing by God, who I claim to love, that I will do this evil thing against him? Therefore, your oaths are just words and flimsy promises, non-binding, at least in my opinion.

BERTRAM

Change it, change it; Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy; And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts That you do charge men with. Stand no more off, But give thyself unto my sick desires, Who then recover: say thou art mine, and ever My love as it begins shall so persever.

BERTRAM

Change your opinion, change it. Don't be so cruel in your holiness. Love is holy, and I have way too much integrity to ever be as crafty as you claim men are. Stop being standoffish and give yourself to my yearning desire that you can heal. Say you're mine and my love will last forever as strong as it begins.

DIANA

I see that men make ropes in such a snareThat we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.

DIANA

It seems like men make ropes into such a snare that we'll give ourselves up. Give me that ring.

BERTRAM

I'll lend it thee, my dear; but have no powerTo give it from me.

BERTRAM

I'll lend it to you, my dear, but I don't have the option of giving it away.

DIANA

Will you not, my lord?

DIANA

Will you not, my lord?

BERTRAM

It is an honour 'longing to our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world In me to lose.

BERTRAM

It's a token belonging to my house, passed down from many ancestors. It would be the greatest disgrace in the world for me to lose it.

DIANA

Mine honour's such a ring: My chastity's the jewel of our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom Brings in the champion Honour on my part, Against your vain assault.

DIANA

My virginity's just such a ring. My chastity's the jewel of our house, passed down from many ancestors. It would be the greatest disgrace in the world for me to lose it. So, your own logic makes honor the champion on my part against your hopeless attempts to win me.

BERTRAM

Here, take my ring:My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,And I'll be bid by thee.

BERTRAM

Here, take my ring. My house, my honor, yes, my life, is yours, and I'll be instructed by you.

DIANA

When midnight comes, knock at my chamber-window: I'll order take my mother shall not hear. Now will I charge you in the band of truth, When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed, Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me: My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them When back again this ring shall be deliver'd: And on your finger in the night I'll put Another ring, that what in time proceeds May token to the future our past deeds. Adieu, till then; then, fail not. You have won A wife of me, though there my hope be done .

DIANA

When midnight comes, knock at my chamber window. I'll make sure my mother won't hear. Now I'll give you instructions and you need to be true to them. When you've conquered my still virgin bed, stay there only an hour and don't speak to me. I have very strong reasons, and you'll know them when I deliver this ring back again. And in the middle of the night, I'll put another ring on your finger which will be a sign in the future of our past deeds. Farewell, till then. Then, don't fail in this. You have won a wife of me though this will ruin me.

BERTRAM

A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.

BERTRAM

I've won a heaven on earth by wooing you.

Exit

DIANA

For which live long to thank both heaven and me! You may so in the end. My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she sat in 's heart; she says all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I live and die a maid: Only in this disguise I think't no sin To cozen him that would unjustly win.

DIANA

And I hope you'll live to thank heaven and me for that! You may do so in the end. My mother told me exactly how he would woo, as if she'd seen into his heart. She says all men make the same oaths. He had sworn to marry me when his wife was dead. Therefore, I'll lie with him when I'm buried. Since Frenchmen are so deceitful, marry if you like, but I'll live and die a virgin. In this context, I don't think it's a sin to trick a man who would win a woman so unjustly.

Exit

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).