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2 Lord. No, my lord; nor [aside] crop the ears of them.
Clo. Whoreson dog !-I give him satisfaction? 'Would, he had been one of my rank!
2 Lord. To have smelt like a fool ?. [Aside.
Clo. I am not more vexed at any thing in the earth,—A pox on't! I had rather not be so noble as I am; they dare not fight with me, because of the queen my mother: every jack-slave hath his belly full of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that nobody can match. 2 Lord. You are a cock and
capon too; and
you crow, cock, with your comb on?.
[Aside. Clo. Sayest thou? 1 Lord. It is not fit, your lordship should undertake every companion that you give offence to.
Clo. No, I know that: but it is fit, I should commit offence to my inferiors.
2 Lord. Ay, it is fit for your lordship only. Clo. Why, so I say.
1 Lord. Did you hear of a stranger, that's come to court to-night?
Clo. A stranger! and I know not on't!
2 Lord. He's a strange fellow himself, and knows it not.
[Aside. 1 Lord. There's an Italian come; and, 'tis thought, one of Leonatus’ friends.
Clo. Leonatus! a banished rascal; and he's another, whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?
? The same quibble has occurred in As You Like It, Act i. Sc.2:
• Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank.
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.' 3 That is, in other words, you are a coxcomb.
4 The use of companion was the same as of fellow now. It was a word of contempt.
1 Lord. One of your lordship's pages.
Clo. Is it fit, I went to look upon him ? Is there no derogation in't ? 1 Lord. You cannot derogate, my
lord. Clo. Not easily, I think.
2 Lord. You are a fool granted; therefore your issues being foolish, do not derogate.
[Aside. Clo. Come, I'll go see this Italian: What I have lost to-day at bowls, I'll win to-night of him. 2 Lord. I'll attend your lordship.
[Exeunt CLOTEN and first Lord. That such a crafty devil as is his mother Should yield the world this ass! a woman, that Bears all down with her brain; and this her son Cannot take two from twenty for his heart And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess, Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st! Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern’d; A mother hourly coining plots; a wooer, More hateful than the foul expulsion is Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act Of the divorce he'd make! The heavens hold firm The walls of thy dear honour; keep unshak'd That temple, thy fair mind; that thou may'st stand, To enjoy thy banish'd lord, and this great land!
[Exit. SCENE II. A Bedchamber; in one Part of it a Trunk. IMOGEN reading in her Bed; a Lady attending. Imo. Who's there ? my woman Helen? Lady.
madam. Imo. What hour is it? Lady.
Almost midnight, madam.
Imo. I have read three hours then; mine eyes
are weak: Fold down the leaf where I have left: To bed: Take not away the taper, leave it burning; And if thou canst awake by four o’the clock, I pr’ythee, call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly.
[Exit Lady. To your protection I commend me, gods ! From fairies, and the tempters of the night, Guard me, beseech ye!
[Sleeps. IACHIMO, from the Trunk. Iach. The crickets sing, and man's o’erlabour'd
Repairs itself by rest: Our Tarquin thus
—Tis her breathing that
1 It was anciently the custom to strew chambers with rushes. This passage may serve as a comment on the ravishing strides' of Tarquin, in Macbeth, as it shows that Shakspeare meant • softly stealing strides. See vol. iv. p. 243.
no lips did seem so fair
Pygmalion's Image, by Marston, 1598. 3 That is, her eyelids. So in Romeo and Juliet:
Thy eyes' windows fall
Like death when he shuts up the day of life.'
• The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day;
With blue of heaven's own tinct*.—But my design? To note the chamber:-I will write all down :Such, and such, pictures :—There the window :
[Taking off her Bracelet. As slippery, as the Gordian knot was hard !-'Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly, As strongly as the conscience does within, To the madding of her lord. On her left breast A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops l'the bottom of a cowslip: Here's a voucher, Stronger than ever law could make: this secret Will force him think I have pick'd the lock, and ta’en The treasure of her honour. Nomore.—To what end? Why should I write this down, that's riveted, 4 Warburton wished to read :
White with azure lac'd,
The blue of heaven's own tinct.' But there is no necessity for change. It is an exact description of the eyelid of a fair beauty, which is white tinged with blue, and laced with veins of darker blue. By azure our ancestors understood not a dark blue, but a light glaucous colour, a tinct or effusion of a blue colour. Drayton seems to have had this passage in his mind :
• And these sweet veins by nature rightly plac'd,
Wherewith she seems the white skin to have lac'd.' The reader will remember that Shakspeare has dwelt on corresponding imagery in a beautiful passage of The Winter's Tale :
Screw'd to my memory? She hath been reading late
[Clock strikes. One, two, three,-Time, time!
[Goes into the Trunk. The Scene closes.
SCENE III. An Ante-Chamber adjoining Imogen's Apartment.
Enter CLOTEN and Lords. 1 Lord. Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the most coldest that ev
turn’d up ace. Clo. It would make any man cold to lose.
1 Lord. But not every man patient, after the noble temper of your lordship; You are most hot, and furious, when you win.
Clo. Winning would put any man into courage: 5 Tereus and Progne is the second tale in A Petite Palace of Pettie his Pleasure, 4to. 1576. The story is related in Ovid. Metam. 1. vi.; and by Gower in his Confessio Amantis, b. v. fol. 113, b.
6 The task of drawing the chariot of Night was assigned to dragons, on account of their supposed watchfulness. Milton mentions' the dragon yoke of night' in Il Penseroso; and in his Comus:-
the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness.'
sub pedibus deam
Frænis dracones aureis.' It may be remarked that the whole tribe of serpents sleep with their eyes open, and therefore appear to exert a constant vigilance.