William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 165 of 224)
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Imo. Your mother too :

Bbe's my good lady; and will conceive, I hope.
But the worst of me. 80 1 leave yoa, sir,
To the worst of discontent [JEeeit.

Clo. Ill be revenged :—

His meanest garment?— Well. [ExU.

SCENE lY.— Rome. AnApartmaitmVidMo)i

EnUr PoanrHUMus and Pinuuao.

Post. Fear it not, sir; I would I were so sorr
To win the king, as I am bold her honour
Will remain hers.

PhL What means do yoa make to him

Post. Not any ; but abide the change of time ;
Quake in the present winter's state, and wish
Tliat warmer days would come : In these learVi

I barely gratify your love ; they railing,
I must die much your debtor.

PhL Your very goodness, and your oompan>
O'erpays all I can do. By this, your king
Hath heard of great Augustas : Caius Lucius
Will do his commission throughly : And, I think,
Hell grant the tribute, send the arrearages.
Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
Is yet fresh in their grief.

Pott. I do believo

[Statist though I am none, nor like to be],
That this will prove a war ; and you shall hear
The legions, now in Gallia, sooner landed
In our not-fearing Britain, than have tidings
Of any penny tribute paid. Oar countrymen
Are men more order *d, than when Julius Cesar
Smil'd at their lack of skill, but found their couragt
Worthy his frowning at : Their discipline
(Now mingled with their courages) wiU make

To their approvers, they are people sadi
That mend apon the world.

Enter Iachimo.

PJd, Seel Iachimo'

Post. The swiftest harts have posted yon by
And winds of all the comers kiss'd your sails,
To make year vessel nimble.

Pki Welcome, sir.

PosL I hope the briefness of your answer medc
The speediness of your return.

lack. Yoor lady

Is one of the fidrest thmt I have look'd apon.

Post, And therewithal the best: or lot hei
Look through a casement to allore fidse hearts,
And be fiUse with them.

lath. Here are letters for yoa.

Post, Their tenoar good, I trust

lack. Tis very like.

PhL Was Caius Ladas in die Britain coort,
When yoa were there?

lack. He was expected then,

Bat not approach 'd.

Post. All is well yet

Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is^not
Too dull for your good wearing?

lack. If I have lost it

I should have lost the worth of it in g^old.
Ill make apoumey twice as far, to enjoy
A second night of such sweet shortness, which
Was mine in Britain ; for the ring is won.

Post. The stone's too hard to come by.

lack. Not a whit

Your lady being so easy.

Post. Make not, sir,

Your loss yoor sport : I hope yoa know that we
Must not continue friends.

lath. Good shr, we moat,

The knowledge of jour mistrefs home, I grant
We were to aaestion further : bat I now
Pn>fe8e mjself the winner of her honour,
Together with jonr ring ; and not the wronger
Of her, or you, having proceeded but
Br both your wills.

PotL If you can make*t apparent

That jrou hare tasted her in bed, my hand,
And ring, is yours: If not, the foul opinion
Ton had of her pure honour gains, or loses,
Tour sword or mine ; or masterless leaves both
To who shall find them.

lack. Sir, my circomstances

Being so near the truth as I will make them,
Mu8t firat induce you to believe: whose strength
I will confirm with oath ; which, I doubt not,
Toull give me leave to spare, when you shall find
Toa need it not.

JUt, Proceed.

lacJu First, her bed-chamber

f Where, I confess, I slept not; but profess.
Had that vras well worth watching), it was hang'd
With tatiestry of silk and silver: tne story.
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,
And Cydnus sweird above the bankn, or for
The press of boats, or pride : A piece of work
So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
In workmanship and value ; which I wonder*d,
Could be so rarely and exactly wrought,
Since the true life on*t was —

Fiott. This is true;

And this yon might hare heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.

laeh. More particulars •

Must jostUy my knowledge.

fbK. So they mutt,

Or do your honour injury.

lach. The chimney

Is south the chamber ; and the chimney-piece,
Chaste Dian, bathine: never saw I figures
So likely to report themselves: the cutter
Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her,
Motion and breath left out.

lUt, This in a thing

Wh*eh you might from relation likewise reap;
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

JaJL The roof o* the chamber

With golden cherubins is fretted : Her andirons

ghad forgot them) were two vrinking Cupids
f silver, eaoh on one foot standing, nicely
Depending on their brands.

hei. This is her honour I—

*j&t it be granted you have seen all this (aiid praise
Be given to your remembranoe), the description
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
The wager you have laid.

la^ Then, if you can [PuUmg out the bracelet.
Be pale, I beg but leave to air this jewel : See I—
And now tis up again: It must be married
To that your diamond; 111 keep them.

FdtL Jovel

Once more let me behold it : la it that
Which I left with her?

lof*. Sir (I thank her), that:

Sb» stripped it from her arm ; I see her yet;
Her pretty action did outsell her gift.
And yet enrieh'd it too : She gave it me and said
She prii'd it oooe*

I\)$L May be she i>luck*d it off.

To send it ma.

Jack, Shewritaesotoyoa? dothshe?

Po§L O, no^ DO, no; V» trae. Here, take this
too; [Gwa the ring.



It is a basilisk unto mine eye,

Kills me to look ont:~Let there be no honour

Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance;

Where there*s another man : The vows of women
Of no more bondage be to where the^ are made.
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing *-^
O, above measure false I

Phi, Have patience, sir,

And take your ring again ; 'tis not yet won :
It may be probable she lost it; or.
Who knows if one of her women, being corrupted,
Hath stolen it from her ?

Fbat, Very true;

And 80 I hope he came by*t :— Back my ring:—
Render to me some corporal sign about her.
More evident than this ; for this was stolen.

lack. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.

Post, Hark yon, he swears; by Jupiter he
*Tis true :— nay. keep the ring-— *tis true, I am sure
She would not lose it: her attendants are
All sworn and honourable: — They induced to steal

And by a stranger I— No, he hath en joy 'd her :
The oognizance of her incontinency
Is this, — she hath bought the name of whore ihva

There, take th v hire ; and all the fiends of hell
Divide themselves between you I

Pku Sir, be patient I

This is not strong enough to be behev'd
Of one persuaded well of—

Pbst, Never talk ont;

She hath been oolted by him.

lack. If yon seek

For satisfying, under her breast

S Worthy the pressing) lies a mole, right proud
f that most delicate lodging : By my life,
I kiss'd it ; and it gave me present hunger
To feed again, though full. You do remember
This stain upon her?

Poet, Ay. and it doth confirm

Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.

laeh. Will you hear more?

Pott. Spare your arithmetic : never coimt thi
Once, and a million I

IcuX 111 be iwom, —

Post No swearing.

If you will swear you have not dont, you lie ;
And I will kill thee, if thon dost deny
Thou hast made me cuckold.

lack. 111 deny nothing.

Pbtt, 0, that I had har here, to tear her limb-
meal I
I will go there and do*t : i' the court ; before
Her &ther :— 111 do something— [JSxit.

Phi, Quite besides

The government of patience I — You have won :
Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath
He hath against himself.

lack. With all my heart [ExeunL

SCENB v.— rA«Mm& Another Boom in the tame.

Enter FosrEimuB,

Pott. Is there no way for men to be, but women
Must be half-workers ? We are all bastards ;
And that most venerable man, which I
Did call my father, was I know not where
Whoi I was stamped; some coineiTwitiiJiia todla>


Made me a eonnterfeit; Yet my mother seem'd

The Dian of that time: so doth mj wife

The nonpareil of tliis. — O vengeance, Tengeance I

Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain'd,

And praj'd me, oft, forbearance: did it vrith

A prudencY so rosy, the sweet view on*t

Might well hf.ve warm'd old iSatum; that I

thoagUt her
Aj chaste as nnjunn'd snow :— O, all the devils!—
This yellow ladiimOf in an hour, — was*t not? —
Or less, — at firdt: Perchance he spoke not; but,
Like a full-acom^d boar, a German one,
Cry'd, oh I and mounted : found no opposition
But what he look'd for should oppose, and she
Should from encounter guard. Could 1 find out
The woman's part in met For there's no motion


That tends to rioe in man, bat I affirm
It is the woman's part; Be it lying, note it,
The woman's ; flattering, hers ; deceiving, hen ;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, here; rervigeiy

Ambitions, oovetings, change of prides, diwlnfH,
Nice longings, sUnders, mutab lity.
All faults that may be nam'd, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all:
For ey'n to vice

They are not constant, but are changing itil
One vice but of a minute old, for one
Not half so old as that. I'll write aga'nst thcin.
Detest them, curse them :— Yet 'tis greater skill
tn a true hate, to pray they have tlieir will :
The rery devils cannot plagne them better. [SkU

ACT in.

SCENE L— Britahi. A Boom <
Cymbeline's Palace,

Bnter Ctmbeune, Queeh, Cloteh, and Lords,
at one door; and at another^ Cajus Luaus and

Oipn, Now say, what would Augustus Cnsar
with us?

Iaic When Julius Csesar (whose remembrance
LiTes in men's eyes ; and will to ears and tongues
Be theme and hearing ever) was in this Britain,
And conquered it, Cassibelan, thine uncle
(Famous m Csesar's praises, no whit less
Than in his feats deserving it), for him.
And hu succession, grantea Rome a tribute,
Yearly three thousand pounds; which by thee

Is left untender'd.

Qvten, And, to kill the msrrel,

Shall be so ever.

do* There be many Caesars,

Ere such another J ulius. Britain is
A world by itself; and we will nothing pay
For wearing our own noses.

Queen, That opportunity.

Which then they had to take from us, to resume
We have again.— Remember, sir, my liege,
The kings your ancestors; toother with
The natural bravery of your isle, which stands
As Neptune^ park, ribbed and imled in
With rocks nnscaleable, and roaring waters;
With sands that will not bear your enemies' boats.
But suck them up to the top-mast A kind of

Caesar made here ; but made not here his brag
Of camty and 9000^ and ODcrcame: with shame
fThe first that ever touched him) he was carried
From off our coast, twice beaten ; and his shipping
(Poor ignorant baublesi) on our terrible seas.
Like egg-shells mov'd upon their surges, crack'd
As easily 'gainst our rocka: For joy whereof,
The fam'd Cassibelan, who was once at point
(O. giglot fortune 1) to master Caesar's sword,
Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright,
And Britons strut with courage.

Clo. Come, there's no more tribute to be paid :
Our kingdom is stronger than it was at that time ;
and, as 1 said, there is no more such Caesars : other
of them may have crooked noses; but to owe
such straight arms, none.

Oum, Son, let your mother end.

Olo, We have yet many among us can gripe as

hard as Cassibelan : I do not say I am one; but I
have a hand.— Why tribute? why should we {mit
tribute ? If Caesar can hide the sun from us with
a blanket, or put the moon in his pocket, we will
nay him tribute for light ; else, sir, no more tri-
bute, pray you now.

Oym. You must know.
Till the injurious Romans did extort
This tribute from us, we were free: Caenr^ ambi-
(Which sweli'd so much that it did almost stretch
The sides o' the world), against all colour, here
Did put the yoke upon u:i ; which to shake off
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
Ourselves to be. We do say then to Cssar,
Our ancestor was that Mulmutius, which
Ordain 'd our laws (whose use tlie sword of Cnsar
Hath too much mangled ; whose repair and franchise
Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed.
Though Rome be therefore angry); Mol mati n s

made our laws,
Who was the first of Britain which did pot
His brows withm a golden crown, and call'd
Himself a king.

Luc. I am sorry, Cymbeline,

That I am to pronounce Augustus Cesar
(Caesar that hath more king:$ his servants than
Thyself domestic officers) thine enemy:
Receive it from me, then: — War and oonftision.
In Caesar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee: look
For fury not to be resisted : — Ihns defied,
I thank thee for myself.

Oym, Thou art welcome, Caiua.

Thy Cssar knighted me; my youth I spent
Much under him; of him 1 ^ther'd honuor;
Which he to seek of me again, perforce.
Behoves me keep^ at utterance. I am uerfeot
That the Pannonians and Dalmatians, tor
Their liberties, are now in arms : a precedent
Which not to read would show the Britons cold:
So Ca*sar shall not find them.

Lue, Let proof speak.

Ch, His majesty bids you welcome. Make
pastime with us a day or two, or longer : If you
seek us afterwards in other terms, vou shall find
us in our salt-water girdle : if you beat us out of
it, it b yours ; if you fall in the adventure, tar
crows shall fare the better for you; and there's as

Luc So, sir.

Ojfm, I know your master^ ideasore, and hs
All the remain is, welcome.

Digitized by^




SCENE TL^Another Soom m the PaUux,

EiUer Pdavio, rwdmg a Utter.

FiM. Howl ofadolteiy? Whsrefore write 70a
What monster^ her aeciiser ?— Leonatosl
0, master I what a strange infection
Is fidlen into thy earl What false Italian
(As poisonous tongued as handed) hath prevail 'd
On thy too ready hearing ?— Disloyal ? No :
8he*8 panish*d for her truth ; and undergoes,
More goddess-like than wife-like, snob assaults
As would take in some virtue. — 0, my master 1
Thy mind to her is now as low as were
Thy fortunes.— llow I that I should martherher?
U)K>n the love, and truth, and rows, which I
Have made to thy command?— I, her?— her blood?
If it be so to do good service, never
liCt me be counted serviceable. How look I,
Tliat I should seem to lack humanity
80 much as this fiact comes to ?— Do*t : The letter
That 1 have sent her, by her own command
Shall give thee opportunity :—0 damned paper I
Black as the ink that's on thee I Senseless bauble,
Art thou a feodary for this act, and look'st
So virgin-like without ? Lo, here she comes.

Enter Imogbh.

I am ignorant in what I am commanded.

Imo, How now, Pisanio ?

i^iii. Madam, here is a letter from mj lord.

Imo, Who? thy lord ? that is my lord? Leonatns?
0, learned indeed were that astronomer
That knew the sUrs as I his characters ;
He*d Uy the future open. - You good gods,
Let what is here contained relish of love.
Of my lord 8 health, of his content,— yet not,
That we two are asunder, let that grieve him, —
rak>me griefs are medVinab e ; that is one of them,
For it doth phvsic love)— ot his content.
All but in that!— Good wax, thy leave:— B1es8*d be
You bees that make these locks of counsel ! Lovers,
And men in dangerous bonds, pray not alike ;
Though forfeiters yon cast in prison, yet
You clasp young Cupid's tables. - -Good news,
go<bI [Reade,

Jaatlee. and your fathoms wrath, ihoold he take me In
his dominion, could not be eo cruel to me, an you, O the
d««reRt of^craatures, would even renew me with your eyes.
Take iioUoe thai I am in Cambria, at Milford-UaTen :
What your own Ioto will out of this adTite rou. follow. 8ov
he wlthee you all happlueM, that remains loyal to his
TOW, and your,.lnoreaiiiig in lore.

LaOirATTO P09ZHUlfI78>

O, for a horse with wings ! — Hearlst thou, Pisanio ?
He is at Mil ford- Haven: Read, and tell me
How far *tis thither. If one of mean affiurs
May plod it in a week, why may not I
Glide thither in a day?— Then, true Pisanio
nVho long'st, like me, to see thy lord; wholong'st, —
0, let roe 'bate, —but not like me : — yet long'st, —
But in a fainter kind :— O not like me
For mine's beyond beyond] ; say, and speak thick
fLove^ counsellor should nil the bores of hearing,
To the smothering of the sense), how fiu* it is
To this same bles^ Milford: And, by the way,
fell me how Wales was made so happy, as
To inherit such a haven : But, first oif all.
How we may steal fW>m hence; and, for the gap
That we slutll make in time, from our hencegoing
And our return, to excuse >-but fint, liow get

Why should excuse be bom or e*er begot?
W«ll talk of that hereafter. Prithee, speaki

How many score of miles may we well ride
*Twixt hour and hour ?

Pis. One score *twixt sun and sun.

Madam, ^ enough for you; and too much too.

/mo. Why, one that rode to his execution, man,
Gould never go so slow: I tiave heard of riding

Where horses iutve been nimbler than the sanos
That run i* the clock's behalf :— But this is foolery :
Go, bid my woman feign a sickness ; say
Shell home to her father: and provide mCf

A riding suit; no costlier than would fit
A franUin's housewife.

Pis, Madam, youVe best consider

Imo, I see before me, man : nor here, nor here,
Nor wliat ensues, but have a fog in them.
That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee ;
Do as 1 bid thee: There's no more to say;
Accessible is none but Milford way. [.fieewit

SCENE IIL— Wales. A mounUdnoui Oomlry,
with a Cave,

Enter BELABins, Guideriub, and Artiraqus.
BeL A goodly day not to keep house, with such
Whose roofs as low as ours I Stoop, boys : This

Instructs you how to adore the heavens ; and bows

To a morning's holy office : The gates of monarchs
Are arch'd so hi^li that giants may jet through
And keep their impious turbands on, without
Good morrow to the sun. — Hail, thou fair heaven,
We house i' the rock, yet use thee not so hardly
As prouder livers do.

Uvi, Hail, heaven I

Arv, Hail, heaven t

Bd- Now for our mountain sport: Up to yon

Tour legs are young ; 111 tread these flats. Con-
When you above perceive' me like a crow.
That it is place wnich lessens and sets off;
And you may then revolve what tales I have told

Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done^
But being so allow'd : To apprehend thus.
Draws us a profit from all tunigs we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the fnll-wing'd eagle. 0, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check;
Bicher, than doing nothmg for a bribe;
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gains the cap of him that makes him fine,
Yet keepe his book uncross'd: no life to ours.
QuL Out of your proof you speak : we, poor

Have never wing'd from view o* the nest; nor

know not
What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to yon.
That have a sharper known ; well oorrespooding
With your stiff age : but unto us it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling abed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.

Aro. What should we speak d,

When we are old as you ? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark Deoember, how, Tp
la this our pinching oare, shall we disooorse ^^



The freezing honn away ? We have seen nothing :
We are beastly ; subtle as the fox, for prey ;
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat:
Oar valour is to chase what flies; oor cage
We make a qnire, as doth the prison 'd bird,
And sing our bondage freely.

BeL How you speak I

Did you but know the city*s usuries,
And felt them knowingly: the art o* the court,
As hard to leave, as keep ; whose top to climb
Is certain blling, or so slippery that
The fear*8 as bad as fttUing : the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I* the name of ume and honour: which dies i' the

And hath as oft a slanderous epita])h
As record of bir act ; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well ; what^s worse.
Must court'sy at the censure: — 0, boys, this story
The world may read in me : My body's roark'd
With Roman swords ; and my report was once
First with the best of note : Cymoeline lov'd me ;
And when a soldier was the theme my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one

A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaTes,
And left me bare to weather.

Otd. Uncertain favour I

BeL My fonlt being nothing (as I have told you

But that two villains, whose false oaths prevailed
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline
I was confederate with the Romans : so,
Followed my banishment; and, this twenty years.
This rock and these demesnes have been my world :
Where 1 have liv'd at honest freedom ; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The fore-end of my time. — But, up to the monn-

This is not hunters* language : — He that strikes

The venison first shall be the lord o' the feast ;

To him the other two shall minuter;

And we will fear no poison, whic^ attends

In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the


[Esoeunt Gni. and Asy.
How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature I
These boys know little they are sons to the king ;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think they are mine : and, though train'd up

thus meanly
I* the cave, wherein tney bow, their thoughts do hit
The roo& of palaces; and nature prompts tliem.
In simple ana low things, to prince it much
Beyono the trick of others. This Polydore —
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father caird Guiderius,— Jovel
When on my three-foot stool I sir. and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly oat
Into my story: say,—" Thus mine enemy fell ;
And thus I set my foot on his neck"- even then
The princely blood flows in his cheeh, he sweats.
Strains his young nerves, and pats himself in

That acts my words. The younger brother,

K)noe Arviragu^, in as like a figure,
Strikes life mto my speech, and shows much more
His own conceiving. Hark I the game is rous*d ! —
Cymbeline I heaven, and my conscience, knows
Thou didst m^ustly banish me : whereon,

At three, and two yean old, I stole these babes ;
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse ; they took thee for theii

And every day do honour to her grave :
Myself, Belanus, that am Morgan calPd,
They take for natural finther. The game is no.

SCENE IV.-ircarMilford-Haven.
EnUr PisAHio and Imogkh.

If¥K Thou told'st me when we came ttom horse,

the place
Was near at band :— Ne'er long'd my mother so
To see me first, as I have now :— Pisanio ! Man I
Where is Posthumus ? What is in thy mind
That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaki

that sigh
From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,
Would be interpreted a thing perplexed
Beyond self-explication : Put thyself
Into a liaviour of less fear, ere wildneas
Vanquish my staider senses. What's the matter f
Why tender^st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender? If it be summer news,
Smile tot before: if winterly, thou need'st
But keep that countenance stilL—My husband^

That drug-damn'd Italy hath ou^erafded him,
And he's at some hard point — Spcidc, man ; thj

May take off some extremity, which to read
Would be even mortal to me.

PU* Please yon read ;

And you shall find me^ wretched man, a thing
The most disdain'd of fortune.

Imo, [Reads.l Thr mlstraa, Pisankk. balh
Bfenunpet in my bed : the feestimonlee whereof I
in me. I ipeu not out of weak sumUies ; but from
as strong as my grief, and as certain sa I exiei
rerenge. That part thoo. Pisanio, most act for m^ IK
thv faith be not tainted with the breadi of hera. Lak
thme own hands take away her life : I shall give tbee
opportuoi^at Milfcud Haren : she hath my letter fortfas
purpftae : where, if thou fear to strike, uid to make ma
certain it is done, then art the pander to her disboooar,
and equally to me dialoyaL

PiB. What shall I need to draw my sword ? the

Hath cut her throat ahready. — No, *tis slander,—
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose

Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All comers of the world,— kings, queens, and

Maids, matrons,— nay, the secrets of the grave,
This viperous slander enters. — What ohe«t^

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 165 of 224)