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epilogue :-Yet to good wine they do use good bushes ; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play? I am not furnish'd * like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you' ; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them : and so I charge you, o men, for the love you bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not : and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt.
AS YOU LIKE IT. Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be forgiven, for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comic dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of this work, Shakspeare suppressed dialogue between the usurper and morar lesson, in which he might have found master worthy of his highest powers.
Servants to the Countess of Rousillon.
KING OF FRANCE.
Bertram in the Florentine War.
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
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
ACT I. SCENE 1.-Rousillon.-A Room in the COUNTESS'S
Palace. Enter BERTRAM, the Countess of RousilLON, HE
LENA, and LAFEU, in mourning. Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband,
Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's 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 ot 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 tinds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that had + ! how sad a passage 'tis !) Whose skill was almost as great as his honesty ; had it stretch'd so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease.
Laf. How call'd you the man you speak of, madam ?
Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon. • Under his particular care, as my guardian.
The countess recollects her own loss of a husband, and observes how heavily had passes through her mind.