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Hath cut her throat already.—No, 'tis slander;
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,"
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters.—What cheer, madam?

Imo. False to his bed! What is it, to be false? :
To lie in watch there, and to think on him?
To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge

nature,
To break it with a fearful dream of him,
And cry myself awake? that's false to his bed?
Is it?

Pis. Alas, good lady!

Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness:mIachimo, Thou didst accuse him of incontinency; Thou then look’dst like a villain; now, methinks, Thy favour's good enough.-Some jay of Italy, Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him: Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion ; And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls, I must be ripp'd:—to pieces with me!-0, Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, О husband, shall be thought Put on for villainy; not born, where't grows; But worn, a bait for ladies. Pis.

Good madam, hear me. Imo. True honest men being heard, like false

Æneas,

1- states,] Persons of highest rank.

8 Whose mother was her painting,] Some jay of Italy, made by art; the creature, not of nature, but of painting. In this sense painting may not be improperly termed her mother.

And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,

I must be ripp'd:] To hang by the walls, does not mean, to be converted into hangings for a room, but to be hung up, as useless, among the neglected contents of a wardrobe.

VOL. IX.

Were, in his time, thought false: and Sinon's weeping
Did scandal many a holy tear; took pity
From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Posthumus,
Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men ;'
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false, and perjur'd,
From thy great fail.—Come, fellow, be thou honest:
Do thou thy master's bidding: When thou see'st

him,
A little witness my obedience: Look!
I draw the sword myself: take it; and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart:
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief:
Thy master is not there; who was, indeed,
The riches of it: Do his bidding; strike.
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward.
Pis.

Hence, vile instrument !
Thou shalt not damn my hand.
Imo.

Why, I must die; And if I do not by thy hand, thou art No servant of thy master's: Against self-slaughter There is a prohibition so divine, That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my

heart ; Something's afore't:-Soft, soft; we'll no defence; Obedient as the scabbard.—What is here? The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus, All turn'd to heresy? Away, away, Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more Be stomachers to my heart! Thus inay poor fools Believe false teachers : Though those that are be

tray'd Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor

" I'ilt lay the leaven on all proper men; &c.] i. e. says Mr. Upton, “ wilt infect and corrupt their good name, (like sour dough that leaveneth the whole mass,) and wilt render them suspected."

? That cravens my weak hund.] i. e, makes me a coward.

Stands in worse case of woe.
And thou, Posthumus, thou that did'st set up
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father,
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself,
To think, when thou shalt be disedg’d by her
That now thou tir'st on, how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me.-Pr'ythee, despatch:
The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy knife ?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it too.
Pis.

O gracious lady,
Since I receiv'd command to do this business,
I have not slept one wink.
Imo.

Do't, and to bed then.
Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
Imo.

Wherefore then
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd
So many miles, with a pretence? this place?
Mine action, and thine own? our horses' labour?
The time inviting thee? the perturb’d court,
For my being absent; whereunto I never
Purpose return? Why hast thou gone so far,
To be unbent," when thou hast ta'en thy stand,
The elected deer before thee?
Pis.

But to win time
To lose so bad einployment: in the which
I have consider'd of a course; Good lady,
Hear me with patience.
Imo.

Talk thy tongue weary; speak: I have heard, I am a strumpet; and mine ear, Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,

3 That now thou tir'st on,] A hawk is said to tire upon that which she pecks; from tirer, French. To be unbent,] To have thy bow unbent, alluding to an hunter.

Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
Pis.

Then, madam,
I thought you would not back again.
Imo.

Most like;
Bringing me here to kill me.
Pis.

Not so, neither:
But if I were as wise as honest, then
My purpose would prove well. It cannot be,
But that my master is abus'd:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art,
Hath done you both this cursed injury.

Imo. Some Roman courtezan.
Pis.

No, on my life.
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded
I should do so: You shall be miss'd at court,
And that will well confirm it.
Imo.

Why, good fellow, What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live? Or in my life what comfort, when I am Dead to my husband ? Pis.

If you'll back to the court, Imo. No court, no father; nor no more ado With that harsh, noble, simple, nothing: That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me As fearful as a siege. Pis.

If not at court, Then not in Britain must you bide. Imo.

Where then? Hath Britain all the sun that shines ? Day, night, Are they not but in Britain? I'the world's volume Our Britain seems as of it, but not in it; In a great pool, a swan's nest; Pr’ythee, think There's livers out of Britain.

I am most glad You think of other place. The embassador, Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven

Pis.

To-morrow: Now, if you could wear a mind
Dark as your fortune is; and but disguise
That, which, to appear itself, must not yet be,
But by self-danger; you should tread a course
Pretty, and full of view: yea, haply, near
The residence of Posthumus: so nigh, at least,
That though his actions were not visible, yet
Report should render him hourly to your ear,
As truly as he moves.
Imo.

O, for such means !
Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,
I would adventure.
Pis.

Well then, here's the point: .
You must forget to be a woman; change
Command into obedience; fear, and niceness,
(The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
Woman its pretty self,) to a waggish courage ;
Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and
As quarrellous as the weasel:5 nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it (but, 0, the harder heart!
Alack no remedy!) to the greedy touch
Of common-kissing Titan; and forget
Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein
You made great Juno angry.
Imo.

Nay, be brief:
I see into thy end, and am almost
A man already.
Pis.

First, make yourself but like one.
Fore-thinking this, I have already fit,
('Tis in my cloak-bag,) doublet, hat, hose, all
That answer to them: Would you, in their serving,
And with what imitation you can borrow

5 As quarrellous as the weasel :) This character of the weasel is not warranted by naturalists. Weasels, however, were formerly kept in houses instead of cats, for the purpose of killing vermin.

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