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We make a quire, as doth the prison bird,
How you speak!
Uncertain favor ! Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told you oft) But that two villains, whose false oaths prevailed Before my perfect honor, swore to Cymbeline, I was confederate with the Romans. So, Followed my banishment; and, this twenty years, This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world; Where I have lived at honest freedom; paid More pious debts to Heaven, than in all The fore-end of my time.—But, up to the mountains ; This is not hunters' language.—He that strikes The venison first, shall be the lord o' the feast; To him the other two shall minister; And we will fear no poison, which attends In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the valleys.
[Exeunt Gui. and Arv. How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature !
These boys know little they are sons to the king ;
SCENE IV. Near Milford-Haven.
Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN. Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse,
Was near at hand. Ne'er longed my mother so
1 i. e. to the grave of Euriphile; or to the grave of “ their mother," as they supposed it to be.
To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! Man!
Please you, read; And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing The most disdained of fortune.
Imo. [Reads.] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereofolie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises ; from proof as strong as my grief, and as certain as Í expect my revenge. That part, thou, Pisanio, must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life ; I shall give thee opportunities at Milford-Haven. She hath my letter for the purpose ; where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pander to her dishonor, and equally to me disloyal.
Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword ? the paper Hath cut her throat already.—No, 'tis slander ; Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
1 The true pronunciation of Greek and Latin names was not much regarded by the writers of Shakspeare's age. The Poet has, however, differed from himself, and given the true pronunciation when the name first occurs, and in one other place :
“ To his protection; call him Posthumus."
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile ; whose breath
Imo. False to his bed! What is it to be false ?
Pis. Alas, good lady!
Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness.—Iachimo, Thou didst accuse him of incontinency; Thou then look’dst like a villain ; now, methinks, Thy favor's good enough.—Some jay of Italy, Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him. Poor 1 am stale, a garment out of fashion ; And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,* I must be ripped :—to pieces with me!-0, Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, О husband, shall be thought Put on for villany; not born, where’t grows; But worn, a bait for ladies. Pis.
Good madam, hear me. Imo. True, honest men being heard, like false Æneas, Were, in his time, thought false ; and Sinon's weeping
1 It has already been observed that worm was the general name for all the serpent kind. See Antony and Cleopatra, Act v. Sc. 2.
2 i. e. persons of the highest rank. 3 Putta, in Italian, signifies both a jay and a whore. Some jay of Italy, whose mother was her painting, i. e. made by art; the creature not of nature, but of painting. In this sense, painting may be said to be her mother.
4 That is, to be hung up as useless among the neglected contents of a wardrobe. Clothes were not formerly, as at present, made slight materials; were not kept in drawers, or given away as soon as lapse of time or change of fashion had impaired their value. On the contrary, they were hung up on wooden pegs, in a room appropriated to the sole purpose of receiving them; and though such cast-off things as were composed of rich substances were occasionally ripped for domestic uses, articles of inferior quality were suffered to hang by the walls till age and moths had destroyed what pride would not permit to be worn by servants or poor relations.
Did scandal many a holy tear ; took pity
Hence, vile instrument!
Why, I must die; And if I do not by thy hand, thou art No servant of thy master's. Against self-slaughter There is a prohibition so divine, That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart; Something's afore't. Soft, soft; we'll no defence; Obedient as the scabbard.What is here? The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus, All turned to heresy? Away, away, Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more Be stomachers to my heart! Thus may poor fools Believe false teachers : though those that are betrayed Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up My disobedience 'gainst the king my father, And make me put into contempt the suits Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find It is no act of common passage, but
1 The leaven is, in Scripture phraseology, “ The whole wickedness of our sinful nature.”
2 « That makes me afraid to put an end to my own life.”
3 Shakspeare here means Leonatus's letters; but there is an opposition intended between Scripture, in its common signification, and heresy.
4 Fellows for equals.