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Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
"Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'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 simular 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, pictures, this her bracelet,
(O, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon, -
Methinks, I see him now,


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Ay, so thou dost,
[Coming forward.

Italian fiend!-Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing

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

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; 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

4 Not only the temple of virtue, but virtue herself.

Be villainy less than 'twas! — O Imogen !
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!


Peace, my lord; hear, hear

Post. Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful


There lie thy part.


[Striking her: she falls.

O, gentlemen, help, help,

Mine, and your mistress:-O, my lord Posthumus! You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now:-Help, help!Mine honour'd lady!


Does the world go round?

Post. How come these staggers on me?

Wake, my mistress!
Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me

To death with mortal joy.


How fares my mistress? Imo. O, get thee from my sight;

Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!

Breathe not where princes are.


Pis. Lady,

The tune of Imogen !

The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.
Cym. New matter still?


It poison'd me.

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 a cordial, she is serv'd
As I would serve a rat.

What's this, Cornelius!
Cor. The queen, sir, very oft impórtun'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

Do their due functions.-Have you ta'en of it?
Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.

There was our error.


This is sure, Fidele.

My boys,

Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?

Think, that you are upon a rock; and now

Throw me again.


Till the tree die !


[Embracing him.

Hang there like fruit, my soul,

How now, my flesh, my child?

Your blessing sir.


What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act?
Wilt thou not speak to me?


Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame ye

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I am sorry for't, my lord.

Thy mother's dead.


Cym. O, she was naught; and 'long of her it was,

5 Mix, compound.

That we meet here so strangely: But her son
Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

Pis. My lord, Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Cloten, Upon my lady's missing, came to me

With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, and


If I discover'd not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death: By accident,
I had a feigned letter of my master's
Then in my pocket; which directed him
To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him,
I further know not.


I slew him there.


Let me end the story:

Marry, the gods forfend! 6 I would not thy good deeds should from my lips Pluck a hard sentence: pr'ythee, valiant youth, Deny't again.


I have spoke it, and I did it.

Cym. He was a prince. Gui. A most uncivil one: The wrongs he did me Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me With language that would make me spurn the sea, If it could roar so to me: I cut off's head; And am right glad, he is not standing here To tell this tale of mine.

Сут. I am sorry for thee: By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must Endure our law: Thou art dead.

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This man is better than the man he slew,
As well descended as thyself; and hath
More of thee merited, than a band of Clotens
Had ever scar for. - Let his arms alone;

[To the Guard.

They were not born for bondage.
Why, old soldier,
Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for,
By tasting of our wrath? How of descent

As good as we?


In that he spake too far.

We will die all three :

Cym. And thou shalt die for't.
But I will prove, that two of us are as good
As I have given out him. My sons, I must,
For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.



Gui. And our good his.


Your danger is

Have at it then.

By leave;-Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who

Was call'd Belarius.


A banish'd traitor.


What of him? he is

He it is, that hath

Assum'd this age: indeed, a banish'd man ;

I know not how, a traitor.

The whole world shall not save him.



Take him hence;

Not too hot:

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