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lach. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that which Torments me to conceal. By villany

I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel:

[thee, Whom thou didst banish; and (which more may grieve As it doth me), a nobler sir ne'er liv'd

"Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord? Cym. All that belongs to this.

Iach. That paragon, thy daughter,For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits Quail to remember,-Give me leave; I faint.

Cym. My daughter! what of her? Renew thy strength:
I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will,
Than die ere I hear more: strive man, and speak.
luch. Upon a time, (unhappy was the clock
That struck the hour!) it was in Rome, (accurs'd
The mansion where!) 'twas at a feast, (O 'would
Our viands had been poison'd! or, at least,
Those which I heav'd to head!) the good Posthumus
(What should I say? he was too good, to be
Where ill men were; and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones), sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy

For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speak; for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man

Loves woman for; besides, that hook of wiving,
Fairness which strikes the eye:-


Come to the matter.


I stand on fire:

All too soon I shall,

Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus (Most like a noble lord in love, and one

That had a royal lover), took his hint;

And, not dispraising whom we prais'd (therein

He was as calm as virtue), he began

His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being made,
And then a mind put in't, either our brags
Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description
Prov'd us unspeaking sots.


Nay, nay, to the purpose.
luch. Your daughter's chastity-there it begins.
He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: Whereat, I, wretch!
Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him
Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wore
Upon his honour'd finger, to attain

In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery: be, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident

Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring,
And would so, had it been a carbuncle

Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: Well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
"Twixt amorous and villanous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate

Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd,
That I return'd with similar proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus, and thus; averring notes
Of chamber-hanging pictures, this her bracelet,
(O, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,—
Methinks I see him now,-

Ay, so thou dost, [Coming forward.
Italian fiend!-Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing

That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come!-O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I

That all the abhorred things o'the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,

That kill'd thy daughter :-villain-like, I lie;
That caus'd a lesser villain than myself,
A sacrilegious thief, to do't:-the temple
Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself.
Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
The dogs o'the street to bay me: every villain
Be call'd, Posthumus Leonatus; and

Be villany less than 'twas! O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!


Peace, my lord; hear, hear,— Post. Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful page, There lie thy part.


[Striking her she falls.

O, gentlemen, help, help Mine, and your mistress:-O, my lord Posthumus! You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now:-Help, help!Mine honour'd lady!


Does the world go round?

Post. How come these staggers on me?


Wake, my mistress! Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me

To death with mortal joy.


How fares my mistress?

Imo. O, get thee from my sight;

Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!
Breathe not where princes are.


Pis. Lady,

The tune of Imogen!

The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.
Cym. New matter still?


It poison'd me.

O gods!

I left out one thing which the queen confess'd,
Which must approve thee honest: If Pisanio
Have, said she, given his mistress that confection
Which I gave him for cordial, she is serv'd'
As I would serve a rat.

Cor. The queen, sir, very oft impórtun'd me

What's this, Cornelius?

To temper poisons for her; still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge, only
In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs,
Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease
The present power of life; but, in short time,
All offices of nature should again

Do their due functions.-Have you ta'en of it?
Imo. Most like I did; for I was dead.

There was our error.


My boys,

This is sure, Fidele.

Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady from you? Think, that you are upon a rock; and now

Throw me again.


Till the tree die!


[Embracing him.

Hang there like fruit, my soul,

What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act?
Wilt thou not speak to me?


How now, my flesh, my child?

Your blessing, sir. [Kneeling.

[To Gui. and Arv.

Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame ye not; You had a motive for't.

My tears, that fall,
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother's dead.


I am sorry for❜t, my lord.

Cym. O, she was naught; and 'long of her it was, That we meet here so strangely: But her son

Is gone, we know not how, nor where.


Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth.

Upon my lady's missing, came to me

My lord,

Lord Cloten,

With his sword drawn; foam'd at the month, and swore,

If I discover'd not which way she was gone,

It was my instant death: By accident,

I had a feigned letter of my master's

Then in my pocket; which directed him

To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;


Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him,

1 further know not.


I slew him there.


Let me end the story:

Marry, the gods forfend!
I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard sentence: pr'ythee, valiant youth,
Deny't again.


I have spoke it, and I did it. Cym. He was a prince.

Gui. A most uncivil one: The wrongs he did me Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me With language that would make me spurn the sea, If it could so roar to me: I cut off's head;

And am right glad, he is not standing here
To tell this tale of mine.

I am sorry for thee:
By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
Endure our law: Thou art dead.


I thought had been my lord.


That headless man

Bind the offender,

Stay, sir king:

And take him from our presence.


This man is better than the man he slew,

As well descended as thyself; and hath

More of thee merited, than a band of Clotens

Had ever scar for.-Let his arms alone; [To the Guard. They were not born for bondage.

Cym. Why, old soldier, Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for, By tasting of our wrath? How of descent

As good as we?


We will die all three:

In that he spake too far.
Cym. And thou shalt die for't.
But I will prove, that two of us are as good
As I have given out him.-My sons, I must,

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