Shakespeare - First Folio facsimile (1910)/The Tragedie of Cymbeline/Act 2 Scene 4

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Scena Quarta.

Enter Posthumus, and Philario.

Feare it not Sir: I would I were so sure
To winne the King, as I am bold, her Honour
Will remaine her's.

What meanes do you make to him?

Not any: but abide the change of Time,
Quake in the present winters state, and wish
That warmer dayes would come: In these fear'd hope
I barely gratifie your loue; they fayling
I must die much your debtor.

Your very goodnesse, and your company,
Ore-payes all I can do. By this your King,
Hath heard of Great Augustus: Caius Lucius,
Will do's Commission throughly. And I think
Hee'le grant the Tribute: send th'Arrerages,
Or looke vpon our Romaines, whose remembrance
Is yet fresh in their griefe.

I do beleeue
(Statist though I am none, nor like to be)
That this will proue a Warre; and you shall heare
The Legion now in Gallia, sooner landed
In our not-fearing-Britaine, then haue tydings
Of any penny Tribute paid. Our Countrymen
Are men more order'd, then when Iulius Cæsar
Smil'd at their lacke of skill, but found their courage
Worthy his frowning at. Their discipline,
(Now wing-led with their courages) will make knowne
To their Approuers, they are People, such
That mend vpon the world.

Enter Iachimo.

See Iachimo.

The swiftest Harts, haue posted you by land;
And Windes of all the Corners kiss'd your Sailes,
To make your vessell nimble.

Welcome Sir.

I hope the briefenesse of your answere, made
The speedinesse of your returne.

Your Lady,
Is one of the fayrest that I haue look'd vpon

And therewithall the best, or let her beauty
Looke thorough a Casement to allure false hearts,
And be false with them.

Heere are Letters for you.

Their tenure good I trust.

'Tis very like.

Was Caius Lucius in the Britaine Court,
When you were there?

He was expected then,
But not approach'd.

All is well yet,
Sparkles this Stone as it was wont, or is't not
Too dull for your good wearing?

If I haue lost it,
I should haue lost the worth of it in Gold,
Ile make a iourney twice as farre, t'enioy
A second night of such sweet shortnesse, which
Was mine in Britaine, for the Ring is wonne.

The Stones too hard to come by.

Not a whit,
Your Lady being so easy.

Make note Sir
Your losse, your Sport: I hope you know that we
Must not continue Friends.

Good Sir, we must
If you keepe Couenant: had I not brought
The knowledge of your Mistris home, I grant
We were to question farther; but I now
Professe my selfe the winner of her Honor,
Together with your Ring; and not the wronger
Of her, or you hauing proceeded but
By both your willes.

If you can mak't apparent
That you haue tasted her in Bed; my hand,
And Ring is yours. If not, the foule opinion
You had of her pure Honour; gaines, or looses,
Your Sword, or mine, or Masterlesse leaue both
To who shall finde them.

Sir, my Circumstances
Being so nere the Truth, as I will make them,
Must first induce you to beleeue; whose strength
I will confirme with oath, which I doubt not
You'l giue me leaue to spare, when you shall finde
You neede it not.


First, her Bed-chamber
(Where I confesse I slept not, but professe
Had that was well worth watching) it was hang'd
With Tapistry of Silke, and Siluer, the Story
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,
And Sidnus swell'd aboue the Bankes, or for
The presse of Boates, or Pride. A peece of Worke
So brauely done, so rich, that it did striue
In Workemanship, and Value, which I wonder'd
Could be so rarely, and exactly wrought
Since the true life on't was——

This is true:
And this you might haue heard of heere, by me,
Or by some other.

More particulars
Must iustifie my knowledge.

So they must,
Or doe your Honour iniury.

The Chimney
Is South the Chamber, and the Chimney-peece
Chaste Dian, bathing: neuer saw I figures
So likely to report themselues; the Cutter
Was as another Nature dumbe, out-went her,
Motion, and Breath left out.

This is a thing
Which you might from Relation likewise reape,
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

The Roofe o'th'Chamber,
With golden Cherubins is fretted. Her Andirons
(I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids
Of Siluer, each on one foote standing, nicely
Depending on their Brands.

This is her Honor:
Let it be granted you haue seene all this (and praise
Be giuen to your remembrance) the description
Of what is in her Chamber, nothing saues
The wager you haue laid.

Then if you can
Be pale, I begge but leaue to ayre this Iewell: See,
And now 'tis vp againe: it must be married
To that your Diamond, Ile keepe them.

Once more let me behold it: Is it that
Which I left with her?

Sir (I thanke her) that
She stript it from her Arme: I see her yet:
Her pretty Action, did out-sell her guift,
And yet enrich'd it too: she gaue it me,
And said, she priz'd it once.

May be, she pluck'd it off
To send it me.

She writes so to you? doth shee?

O no, no, no, 'tis true. Heere, take this too,
It is a Basiliske vnto mine eye,
Killes me to looke on't: Let there be no Honor,
Where there is Beauty: Truth, where semblance: Loue,
Where there's another man. The Vowes of Women,
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Then they are to their Vertues, which is nothing:
O, aboue measure false.

Haue patience Sir,
And take your Ring againe, 'tis not yet wonne:
It may be probable she lost it: or
Who knowes if one her women, being corrupted
Hath stolne it from her.

Very true,
And so I hope he came by't: backe my Ring,
Render to me some corporall signe about her
More euident then this: for this was stolne.

By Iupiter, I had it from her Arme.

Hearke you, he sweares: by Iupiter he sweares.
'Tis true, nay keepe the Ring; 'tis true: I am sure
She would not loose it: her Attendants are
All sworne, and honourable: they induc'd to steale it?
And by a Stranger? No, he hath enioy'd her,
The Cognisance of her incontinencie
Is this: she hath bought the name of Whore, thus deerly
There, take thy hyre, and all the Fiends of Hell
Diuide themselues betweene you.

Sir, be patient:
This is not strong enough to be beleeu'd
Of one perswaded well of.

Neuer talke on't:
She hath bin colted by him.

If you seeke
For further satisfying, vnder her Breast
(Worthy her pressing) lyes a Mole, right proud
Of that most delicate Lodging. By my life
I kist it, and it gaue me present hunger
To feede againe, though full. You do remember
This staine vpon her?

I, and it doth confirme
Another staine, as bigge as Hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.

Will you heare more?

Spare your Arethmaticke,
Neuer count the Turnes: Once, and a Million.

Ile be sworne.

No swearing:
If you will sweare you haue not done't, you lye,
And I will kill thee, if thou do'st deny
Thou'st made me Cuckold.

Ile deny nothing.

O that I had her heere, to teare her Limb-meale:
I will go there and doo't, i'th'Court, before
Exit.Her Father. Ile do something.

Quite besides
The gouernment of Patience. You haue wonne:
Let's follow him, and peruert the present wrath
He hath against himselfe.

Exeunt.With all my heart.

Enter Posthumus.

Is there no way for Men to be, but Women
Must be halfe-workers? We are all Bastards,
And that most venerable man, which I
Did call my Father, was, I know not where
When I was stampt. Some Coyner with his Tooles
Made me a counterfeit: yet my Mother seem'd
The Dian of that time: so doth my Wife
The Non-pareill of this. Oh Vengeance, Vengeance!
Me of my lawfull pleasure she restrain'd,
And pray'd me oft forbearance: did it with
A pudencie so Rosie, the sweet view on't
Might well haue warm'd olde Saturne;
That I thought her
As Chaste, as vn-Sunn'd Snow. Oh, all the Diuels!
This yellow Iachimo in an houre, was't not?
Or lesse; at first? Perchance he spoke not, but
Like a full Acorn'd Boare, a Iarmen on,
Cry'de oh, and mounted; found no opposition
But what he look'd for, should oppose, and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I finde out
The Womans part in me, for there's no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirme
It is the Womans part: be it Lying, note it,
The womans: Flattering, hers; Deceiuing, hers:
Lust, and ranke thoughts, hers, hers: Reuenges hers:
Ambitions, Couetings, change of Prides, Disdaine,
Nice-longing, Slanders, Mutability;
All Faults that name, nay, that Hell knowes,
Why hers, in part, or all: but rather all. For euen to Vice
They are not constant, but are changing still;
One Vice, but of a minute old, for one
Not halfe so old as that. Ile write against them,
Detest them, curse them: yet 'tis greater Skill
In a true Hate, to pray they haue their will:
Exit.The very Diuels cannot plague them better.