« PreviousContinue »
And cry myself awake? That's false to his bed,
Pisanio. Alas, good lady!
Imog. I false ? Thy conscience witness :-Iachimo,
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
Thou then look’dst like a villain ; now, methinks,
Thy favour's good enough.-Some jay of Italy,
Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him;
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion;
I must be ripp'd :-to pieces with me !--Oh,
Men's vows are women's traitors ! All good seeming,
By thy revolt, oh, husband ! shall be thought
Put on for villainy.
Pisanio. Good madam, hear me.
Imog. Come, fellow, be thou honest;
Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou seest him,
A little witness
I draw the sword myself: take it ; and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart :
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief:
Thy master is not there; who was, indeed,
The riches of it: Do his bidding ; strike.
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward.
Pisanio. Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damn my hand.
Imog. 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
Something's afore't:-Soft, soft; we'll no defence-
What is here?
[Taking out Letters.
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
All turn'd to heresy? Away, away,
Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
Be stomachers to
'Prythee, dispatch :
The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy knife ?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it too.
Pisanio. Oh, gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business,
I have not slept one wink.
Imog. Do't, and to bed then.
Pisanio. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first,
Inog. Wherefore then
Didst undertake it?
Why hast thou gone so far,
To be unbent, when thou liast ta’en thy stand,
The elected deer before thee?
Pisanio. But to win time
To lose so bad employment: in the which,
I have consider'd of a course: Good lady,
Hear me with patience.
Imog. Talk thy tongue weary; speak :
I have heard I am a strumpet; and mine ear,
Therein false struck, can take no greater wou
Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
Pisanio. It cannot be,
But that my master is abused:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art,
Hath done you both this cursed injury.
Imog. Some Roman courtezan.
Pisanio. No, on my life. —
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded
I should do so : You shall be miss'd at court,
And that will well confirm it.
Imog. Why, good fellow,
What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
life what comfort, when I am
Pisanio. If you'll back to the court,-
Imog. No court, no father.
Pisanio. If not at court, Then not in Britain must you bide.- Where then?
Imog. Hath Britain all the sun that shines ?
There's livers out of Britain.
Pisanio. I am most glad
You think of other place. The ambassador,
Lucius, the Roman, comes to Milford Haven
: now, if you could wear a mind,
Dark as your fortune is,
You should tread a course
Pretty, and full of view: yea, haply near
The residence of Posthumus; so nigh, at least,
That though his actions were not visible, yet
Report should render him hourly to your ear,
As truly as he moves.
Imog. O, for such means !
Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,
I would adventure.
Pisanio. Well, then here's the point:
You must forget to be a woman; change
Command into obedience;
Forethinking this, I have already fit
('Tis in my cloakbag,) doublet, hat, hose, all
That answer to them: Would you, in their serving,
And with what imitation you can borrow
From youth of such a season, 'fore noble Lucius
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
Wherein you are happy, (which you'll make him know,
If that his head have ear in music,) doubtless,
With joy he will embrace you; for he's honourable,
And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad
You have me, rich : and I will never fail
Beginning, nor supplyment.
Imog. Thou art all the comfort
The gods will diet me with.
I am soldier to, and will abide it with
A prince's courage.
madam, we must take a short fare.
well, Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of Your carriage from the court.--My noble mistress, Here is a box; I had it from the queen; What's in't is precious: if you are sick at sea, Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this Will drive away distemper.--To some shade, And fit you to your manhood :-May the gods Direct you to the best! Imog. Amen! I thank thee.
Cloten. I love, and hate her: for she's fair and
I love her; but,
Disdaining me, and throwing favours on
The low Posthumus, slanders so her judgment,
I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
To be revenged upon her.
Who is here?
Ah, you precious pander! Villain,
Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.
Pisanio. O, good my lord !
Cloten. Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter,
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus ?
Pisanio. Alas, my lord,
How can she be with him ? When was she miss'd ?
Cloten. Where is she, sir?
Satisfy me home,-
What is become of her ?
Pisanio. O, my all-worthy lord !
Cloten. All-worthy villain !
Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
Thy condemnation and thy death.
Pisanio. Then, sir,
This paper is the bistory of my knowledge
Touching her flight.
[Presents a Letier. Cloten. Let's see't: I will pursue
her Even to Augustus' throne.
Pisanio. [ Aside.] Or this, or perish.
She's far enough ; and what he learns by this,
May prove his travel, not her danger.
I'll write to my lord she's dead. O, Imogen,
Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again!
Cloten. Sirrah, is this letter true ?
Pisanio. Sir, as I think.
Cloten. It is Posthumus' hand; I know't.-Sirrah, if thou would’st not be a villain, but do me true service,—that is, what villainy soever I bid thee do, to perform it, directly and truly,--I would think thee an honest man: thou should'st neither want my means for thy relief, nor my voice for thy preferment.