Imatges de pÓgina

Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;
Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it,

520 Which is our honour, bitter torture shall Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On, speak to

him. Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may render Of whom he had this ring. Post. What's that to him?

[ Aside. Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say, How came it your's ?

lach. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that Which, to be spoke, would torture thee. Cym. How ! me?

530 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, Whom thou didst banish; and (which more may

grieve thee, 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.

lach. That paragon, thy daughter For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits Quail to remember-Give me leave; I faint. 540 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.



lach. Upon a time (unhappy was the clock
That struck the hour!) it was in Rome (accurs’d
The mansion where!) 'twas at a feast (0, 'would
Our viands had been poison'd! or, at least,
Those which I heav'd to lead !) the good Posthumus
(What should I say? he was too good, to be
Where ill men were; and was the best of all 550
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 :-
Cym. I stand on fire:

560 Come to the matter.

lach. All too soon I shall, Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. -- This Post:

humus (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 570 Prov'd us unspeaking sots. Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose. lach. Your daughter's chastity--there it begins.-

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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
Pięces 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 her's and mine adultery: he, true knight, 580
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, -stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phæbus' wheel ; and might so salely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post l-in this design: Well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was tauglit
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 prevaild,
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
(0, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not 600
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupone
Methinks, I see hiin now.
Post. Ay, so thou do'st,. {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 comel_0, 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! - Imogen!

620 My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen, Imogen, Imogen!

Imo. Peace, my lord; hear, hear
Post. Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful

page, There lie thy part.

[Striking her, she falls. Pis. O, gentlemen, help Mine, and your mistress=-0, my lord Posthumus ! You ne'er kill'd Imogen 'till now :-Help, help! Mine honour'd lady! Cym. Does the world go round?

630 Post. How come these staggers on me? Pis. Wake, my mistress !

Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me To death with mortal joy.

me, if

Pis. How fares my mistress?

Imo. O, get thee from my sight;
Thou gav’st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!
Breathe not where princes are.

Cym. The tune of Imogen !
Pis. Lady, the gods throw stones of sulphir on

640 That box I gave you was not thought by me A precious thing; I had it from the queen.

Cym. New matter still?
Imo. It poison d me.

Cor. O gods!-
Į left out one thing which the queen confessid,
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.

650 Lym. What's this, Cornelius ?

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

660 Do their due functions.--Have you ta'en of it's

Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.

Bel. My boys, There was our error.



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