Clo. Meet thee at Milford-Haven.-I forgot to ask him one thing; I'll remember't anon.-Even there, thou villain, Posthumus, will I kill thee.-I would these garments were come. She said upon a time, (the bitterness of it I now belch from my heart,) that she held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect than my noble and natural person, together with the adornment of my qualities. With that suit upon my back, will I ravish her. First kill him, and in her eyes; there shall she see my valor, which will then be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my speech of insultment ended on his dead body,— and when my lust hath dined, (which, as I say, to vex her, I will execute in the clothes that she so praised,) to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home again. She hath despised me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in my revenge.

Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes.

Be those the garments?

Pis. Ay, my noble lord.

Clo. How long is't since she went to MilfordHaven?

Pis. She can scarce be there yet.

Clo. Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second thing that I have commanded thee; the third is, that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my design. Be but duteous, and true preferment shall tender itself to thee. My revenge is now at Milford; 'would I had wings to follow it!-Come, and be true. [Exit.


Pis. Thou bidd'st me to my loss; for, true to thee, Were to prove false, which I will never be, To him that is most true.'-To Milford And find not her whom thou pursu'st. Flow, flow, You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed Be crossed with slowness; labor be his meed! [Exit.

1 Pisanio, notwithstanding his master's letter commanding the murder of Imogen, considers him as true, supposing, as he has already said to her, that Posthumus was abused by some villain, equally an enemy to them both.

SCENE VI. Before the Cave of Belarius.

Enter IMOGEN, in boy's clothes.

Imo. I see a man's life is a tedious one.
1 have tired myself; and for two nights together
Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick,
But that my resolution helps me.-Milford,

When from the mountain-top Pisanio showed thee,
Thou wast within a ken. O Jove! I think
Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me,
I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them; knowing 'tis
A punishment, or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
Is sorer,1 than to lie for need; and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars.-My dear lord!
Thou art one o'the false ones. Now I think on thee,
My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food.-But what is this?
Here is a path to it. 'Tis some savage hold:
I were best not call; I dare not call; yet famine,
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty, and peace, breeds cowards; hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother.-Ho! who's here?
If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage,
Take, or lend.-Ho!-No answer? then I'll enter.
Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy
But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
Such a foe, good Heavens! [She goes into the cave.



Bel. You, Polydore, have proved best woodman,3 and

1 i. e. is a greater or heavier crime.

2 Civil is here civilized, as opposed to savage, wild, rude, or uncultivated. "If any one dwell here."

3 A woodman, in its common acceptation, as here, signifies a hunter.



Are master of the feast. Cadwal, and I,
Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match.1
The sweat of industry would dry, and die,
But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
Will make what's homely, savory. Weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when restie 2 sloth
Finds the down pillow hard.-Now, peace be here,
Poor house, that keep'st thyself!

I am thoroughly weary.
Arv. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
Gui. There is cold meat i'the cave; we'll browse

on that,

Whilst what we have killed be cooked.


Stay; come not in. [Looking in.

What's the matter, sir?

But that it eats our victuals, I should think
Here were a fairy.


Bel. By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,

An earthly paragon!-Behold divineness

No elder than a boy!

Enter IMOGen.

Imo. Good masters, harm me not.

Before I entered here, I called; and thought
To have begged, or bought, what I have took.




I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had found Gold strewed i'the floor. Here's money for my meat. I would have left it on the board, so soon

As I had made my meal; and parted,

With prayers for the provider.


Money, youth?

Arv. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!

1 i. e. our compact.

2 Restie, which Steevens unwarrantably changed to restive, signifies here dull, heavy, as it is explained in Bullokar's Expositor, 1616.

3 Hanmer altered this to "o' the floor; " but in was frequently used for on in Shakspeare's time, as in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done in earth."

As 'tis no better reckoned, but of those

Who worship dirty gods.


I see you are angry.

Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should

Have died had I not made it.


Imo. To Milford-Haven.


Whither bound?

What is your name?

Imo. Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman, who
Is bound for Italy; he embarked at Milford;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
I am fallen in this offence.


Pr'ythee, fair youth,
Think us no churls; nor measure our good minds
By this rude place we live in. Well encountered!
'Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer
Ere you depart; and thanks, to stay and eat it.—
Boys, bid him welcome.


Were you a woman, youth,

I should woo hard, but be your groom.-In honesty, I bid for you, as I'd buy.


I'll make't my comfort

He is a man; I'll love him as my brother;

And such a welcome as I'd give to him,

After long absence, such is yours.-Most welcome!

Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.


'Mongst friends,

If brothers!-'Would it had been so, that'


Had been my father's sons! then had my Aside.

prize 2

Been less and so more equal ballasting

To thee, Posthumus.


He wrings3 at some distress.

Gui. 'Would I could free't!

1 In for into.

2 Prize, prise, and price, were confounded, or used indiscriminately by our ancestors. Prize here is evidently used for value, estimation.

3 To wring is to writhe.


Or I; whate'er it be,

What pain it cost, what danger! Gods!


Imo. Great men,

That had a court no bigger than this cave,

Hark, boys. [Whispering.

That did attend themselves, and had the virtue
Which their own conscience sealed them, (laying by
That nothing gift of differing1 multitudes,)

Could not outpeer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
Since Leonatus' false.2


It shall be so;

Boys, we'll go dress our hunt.-Fair youth, come in: Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supped, We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,

So far as thou wilt speak it.


Pray draw near.

Arv. The night to the owl, and morn to the lark,

less welcome.

Imo. Thanks, sir.


I pray, draw near. [Exeunt.


Enter two Senators and Tribunes.

1 Sen. This is the tenor of the emperor's writ; That since the common men are now in action 'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians; And that the legions now in Gallia are Full weak to undertake our wars against The fallen-off Britons; that we do incite The gentry to this business. He creates

1 Differing multitudes are varying or wavering multitudes.

2 Malone says, "As Shakspeare has used in other places Menelaus' tent, and thy mistress' ear for "Menelauses tent," and "thy mistresses ear:" it is probable that he used "since Leonatus' false" for "since Leonatus is false."

« ForrigeFortsett »