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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
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
Iach. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that
Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.
Cym. How ; me? 530 Iach. 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
As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er liv'd
*Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my
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. 54o
Cym. My daughter what of her Renew thy
strength : x',
I had rather thou shouldst live while mature will,
Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak.
Iach. Upon a time (unhappy was the clock That struck the hourl) it was in Rome (accurs'd The mansion where 1) 'twas at a feast (O, 'would Our viands had been poison'd 1 or, at least, Those which I heav'd to head 1) the good Posthumus (What should I say? he was too good, to be Where ill men were; and was the best of all 55o 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 : 56d Come to the matter. Iach. 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 570 Prov'd us unspeaking sots. - : Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose. lack. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins.— He
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 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 is
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 590
"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, pićtures, this her bracelet
(O, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not 6oo
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon-
Methinks, I see him now -
Post. Ay, so thou do'st, . [Coming forward.
M ij Italian
Italian fiend!—Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, anything
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 61 o
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 5 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 l—O Imogen 62o
My queen, my life, my wife I O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen 1.
Imo. Peace, my lord ; hear, hear—
Post. Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful
There lie thy part. [Striking her, she falls.
Pis. O, gentlemen, help
Mine, and your mistress—O, my lord Posthumus !
You ne'er kill'd Imogen 'till now :-Help, help!—
Mine honour’d lady
Cym. Does the world go round 63o
Post. How come these staggers on me t
Pis. Wake, my mistress
Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
To death with mortal joy. -
Pis. How fares my mistress - . . . ) Imo. O, get thee from my sight; Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence 1 Breathe not where princes are. Cym. The tune of Imogen Pis. Lady, the gods throw stones of sulphur on
me, if 640
That box I gave you was not thought by me .."
A precious thing; I had it from the queen. f Cym. New matter still? . -
Imo. It poison'd me.
Cor. 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. - - ... 650
Cym. 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. - 66d Do their due functions.—Have you ta'en of it
Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.
Bel. My boys, - There was our error.— - - - M i ij Guid.