Archives For William Shakespeare


Cymbeline, ACT IV, SCENE I. Wales: near the cave of Belarius.

Enter CLOTEN

CLOTEN
I am near to the place where they should meet, if
Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments
serve me! Why should his mistress, who was made by
him that made the tailor, not be fit too? the
rather–saving reverence of the word–for ’tis said
a woman’s fitness comes by fits. Therein I must
play the workman. I dare speak it to myself–for it
is not vain-glory for a man and his glass to confer
in his own chamber–I mean, the lines of my body are
as well drawn as his; no less young, more strong,
not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the
advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike
conversant in general services, and more remarkable
in single oppositions: yet this imperceiverant
thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is!
Posthumus, thy head, which now is growing upon thy
shoulders, shall within this hour be off; thy
mistress enforced; thy garments cut to pieces before
thy face: and all this done, spurn her home to her
father; who may haply be a little angry for my so
rough usage; but my mother, having power of his
testiness, shall turn all into my commendations. My
horse is tied up safe: out, sword, and to a sore
purpose! Fortune, put them into my hand! This is
the very description of their meeting-place; and
the fellow dares not deceive me.

Exit

SCENE II. Before the cave of Belarius.

Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, and IMOGEN
BELARIUS
[To IMOGEN] You are not well: remain here in the cave;
We’ll come to you after hunting.

ARVIRAGUS
[To IMOGEN] Brother, stay here
Are we not brothers?

IMOGEN
So man and man should be;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.

GUIDERIUS
Go you to hunting; I’ll abide with him.

IMOGEN
So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick: so please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable: I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here:
I’ll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.

GUIDERIUS
I love thee; I have spoke it
How much the quantity, the weight as much,
As I do love my father.

BELARIUS
What! how! how!

ARVIRAGUS
If it be sin to say so, I yoke me
In my good brother’s fault: I know not why
I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
Love’s reason’s without reason: the bier at door,
And a demand who is’t shall die, I’d say
‘My father, not this youth.’

BELARIUS
[Aside] O noble strain!
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
Cowards father cowards and base things sire base:
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
I’m not their father; yet who this should be,
Doth miracle itself, loved before me.
‘Tis the ninth hour o’ the morn.

ARVIRAGUS
Brother, farewell.

IMOGEN
I wish ye sport.

ARVIRAGUS
You health. So please you, sir.

IMOGEN
[Aside] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies
I have heard!
Our courtiers say all’s savage but at court:
Experience, O, thou disprovest report!
The imperious seas breed monsters, for the dish
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still; heart-sick. Pisanio,
I’ll now taste of thy drug.

Swallows some

GUIDERIUS
I could not stir him:
He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.

ARVIRAGUS
Thus did he answer me: yet said, hereafter
I might know more.

BELARIUS
To the field, to the field!
We’ll leave you for this time: go in and rest.

ARVIRAGUS
We’ll not be long away.

BELARIUS
Pray, be not sick,
For you must be our housewife.

IMOGEN
Well or ill,
I am bound to you.

BELARIUS
And shalt be ever.

Exit IMOGEN, to the cave

This youth, how’er distress’d, appears he hath had
Good ancestors.

ARVIRAGUS
How angel-like he sings!

GUIDERIUS
But his neat cookery! he cut our roots
In characters,
And sauced our broths, as Juno had been sick
And he her dieter.

ARVIRAGUS
Nobly he yokes
A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
Was that it was, for not being such a smile;
The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
From so divine a temple, to commix
With winds that sailors rail at.

GUIDERIUS
I do note
That grief and patience, rooted in him both,
Mingle their spurs together.

ARVIRAGUS
Grow, patience!
And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root with the increasing vine!

BELARIUS
It is great morning. Come, away!–
Who’s there?

Enter CLOTEN

CLOTEN
I cannot find those runagates; that villain
Hath mock’d me. I am faint.

BELARIUS
‘Those runagates!’
Means he not us? I partly know him: ’tis
Cloten, the son o’ the queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know ’tis he. We are held as outlaws: hence!

GUIDERIUS
He is but one: you and my brother search
What companies are near: pray you, away;
Let me alone with him.

Exeunt BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS

CLOTEN
Soft! What are you
That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers?
I have heard of such. What slave art thou?

GUIDERIUS
A thing
More slavish did I ne’er than answering
A slave without a knock.

CLOTEN
Thou art a robber,
A law-breaker, a villain: yield thee, thief.

GUIDERIUS
To who? to thee? What art thou? Have not I
An arm as big as thine? a heart as big?
Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
Why I should yield to thee?

CLOTEN
Thou villain base,
Know’st me not by my clothes?

GUIDERIUS
No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
Who is thy grandfather: he made those clothes,
Which, as it seems, make thee.

CLOTEN
Thou precious varlet,
My tailor made them not.

GUIDERIUS
Hence, then, and thank
The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool;
I am loath to beat thee.

CLOTEN
Thou injurious thief,
Hear but my name, and tremble.

GUIDERIUS
What’s thy name?

CLOTEN
Cloten, thou villain.

GUIDERIUS
Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
I cannot tremble at it: were it Toad, or
Adder, Spider,
‘Twould move me sooner.

CLOTEN
To thy further fear,
Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
I am son to the queen.

GUIDERIUS
I am sorry for ‘t; not seeming
So worthy as thy birth.

CLOTEN
Art not afeard?

GUIDERIUS
Those that I reverence those I fear, the wise:
At fools I laugh, not fear them.

CLOTEN
Die the death:
When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
I’ll follow those that even now fled hence,
And on the gates of Lud’s-town set your heads:
Yield, rustic mountaineer.

Exeunt, fighting

Re-enter BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS
No companies abroad?

ARVIRAGUS
None in the world: you did mistake him, sure.

BELARIUS
I cannot tell: long is it since I saw him,
But time hath nothing blurr’d those lines of favour
Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
And burst of speaking, were as his: I am absolute
‘Twas very Cloten.

ARVIRAGUS
In this place we left them:
I wish my brother make good time with him,
You say he is so fell.

BELARIUS
Being scarce made up,
I mean, to man, he had not apprehension
Of roaring terrors; for the effect of judgment
Is oft the cause of fear. But, see, thy brother.

Re-enter GUIDERIUS, with CLOTEN’S head

GUIDERIUS
This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
There was no money in’t: not Hercules
Could have knock’d out his brains, for he had none:
Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
My head as I do his.

BELARIUS
What hast thou done?

GUIDERIUS
I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten’s head,
Son to the queen, after his own report;
Who call’d me traitor, mountaineer, and swore
With his own single hand he’ld take us in
Displace our heads where–thank the gods!–they grow,
And set them on Lud’s-town.

BELARIUS
We are all undone.

GUIDERIUS
Why, worthy father, what have we to lose,
But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
Protects not us: then why should we be tender
To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
Play judge and executioner all himself,
For we do fear the law? What company
Discover you abroad?

BELARIUS
No single soul
Can we set eye on; but in all safe reason
He must have some attendants. Though his humour
Was nothing but mutation, ay, and that
From one bad thing to worse; not frenzy, not
Absolute madness could so far have raved
To bring him here alone; although perhaps
It may be heard at court that such as we
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
May make some stronger head; the which he hearing–
As it is like him–might break out, and swear
He’ld fetch us in; yet is’t not probable
To come alone, either he so undertaking,
Or they so suffering: then on good ground we fear,
If we do fear this body hath a tail
More perilous than the head.

ARVIRAGUS
Let ordinance
Come as the gods foresay it: howsoe’er,
My brother hath done well.

BELARIUS
I had no mind
To hunt this day: the boy Fidele’s sickness
Did make my way long forth.

GUIDERIUS
With his own sword,
Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta’en
His head from him: I’ll throw’t into the creek
Behind our rock; and let it to the sea,
And tell the fishes he’s the queen’s son, Cloten:
That’s all I reck.

Exit

BELARIUS
I fear ’twill be revenged:
Would, Polydote, thou hadst not done’t! though valour
Becomes thee well enough.

ARVIRAGUS
Would I had done’t
So the revenge alone pursued me! Polydore,
I love thee brotherly, but envy much
Thou hast robb’d me of this deed: I would revenges,
That possible strength might meet, would seek us through
And put us to our answer.

BELARIUS
Well, ’tis done:
We’ll hunt no more to-day, nor seek for danger
Where there’s no profit. I prithee, to our rock;
You and Fidele play the cooks: I’ll stay
Till hasty Polydote return, and bring him
To dinner presently.

ARVIRAGUS
Poor sick Fidele!
I’ll weringly to him: to gain his colour
I’ld let a parish of such Clotens’ blood,
And praise myself for charity.

Exit

BELARIUS
O thou goddess,
Thou divine Nature, how thyself thou blazon’st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchafed, as the rudest wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale. ‘Tis wonder
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearn’d, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other, valour
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
As if it had been sow’d. Yet still it’s strange
What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
Or what his death will bring us.

Re-enter GUIDERIUS

GUIDERIUS
Where’s my brother?
I have sent Cloten’s clotpoll down the stream,
In embassy to his mother: his body’s hostage
For his return.

Solemn music

BELARIUS
My ingenious instrument!
Hark, Polydore, it sounds! But what occasion
Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark!

GUIDERIUS
Is he at home?

BELARIUS
He went hence even now.

GUIDERIUS
What does he mean? since death of my dear’st mother
it did not speak before. All solemn things
Should answer solemn accidents. The matter?
Triumphs for nothing and lamenting toys
Is jollity for apes and grief for boys.
Is Cadwal mad?

BELARIUS
Look, here he comes,
And brings the dire occasion in his arms
Of what we blame him for.

Re-enter ARVIRAGUS, with IMOGEN, as dead, bearing her in his arms

ARVIRAGUS
The bird is dead
That we have made so much on. I had rather
Have skipp’d from sixteen years of age to sixty,
To have turn’d my leaping-time into a crutch,
Than have seen this.

GUIDERIUS
O sweetest, fairest lily!
My brother wears thee not the one half so well
As when thou grew’st thyself.

BELARIUS
O melancholy!
Who ever yet could sound thy bottom? find
The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
Might easiliest harbour in? Thou blessed thing!
Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy.
How found you him?

ARVIRAGUS
Stark, as you see:
Thus smiling, as some fly hid tickled slumber,
Not as death’s dart, being laugh’d at; his
right cheek
Reposing on a cushion.

GUIDERIUS
Where?

ARVIRAGUS
O’ the floor;
His arms thus leagued: I thought he slept, and put
My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
Answer’d my steps too loud.

GUIDERIUS
Why, he but sleeps:
If he be gone, he’ll make his grave a bed;
With female fairies will his tomb be haunted,
And worms will not come to thee.

ARVIRAGUS
With fairest flowers
Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
I’ll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azured harebell, like thy veins, no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweeten’d not thy breath: the ruddock would,
With charitable bill,–O bill, sore-shaming
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
Without a monument!–bring thee all this;
Yea, and furr’d moss besides, when flowers are none,
To winter-ground thy corse.

GUIDERIUS
Prithee, have done;
And do not play in wench-like words with that
Which is so serious. Let us bury him,
And not protract with admiration what
Is now due debt. To the grave!

ARVIRAGUS
Say, where shall’s lay him?

GUIDERIUS
By good Euriphile, our mother.

ARVIRAGUS
Be’t so:
And let us, Polydore, though now our voices
Have got the mannish crack, sing him to the ground,
As once our mother; use like note and words,
Save that Euriphile must be Fidele.

GUIDERIUS
Cadwal,
I cannot sing: I’ll weep, and word it with thee;
For notes of sorrow out of tune are worse
Than priests and fanes that lie.

ARVIRAGUS
We’ll speak it, then.

BELARIUS
Great griefs, I see, medicine the less; for Cloten
Is quite forgot. He was a queen’s son, boys;
And though he came our enemy, remember
He was paid for that: though mean and
mighty, rotting
Together, have one dust, yet reverence,
That angel of the world, doth make distinction
Of place ‘tween high and low. Our foe was princely
And though you took his life, as being our foe,
Yet bury him as a prince.

GUIDERIUS
Pray You, fetch him hither.
Thersites’ body is as good as Ajax’,
When neither are alive.

ARVIRAGUS
If you’ll go fetch him,
We’ll say our song the whilst. Brother, begin.

Exit BELARIUS

GUIDERIUS
Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the east;
My father hath a reason for’t.

ARVIRAGUS
‘Tis true.

GUIDERIUS
Come on then, and remove him.

ARVIRAGUS
So. Begin.

SONG

GUIDERIUS
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

ARVIRAGUS
Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS
Fear no more the lightning flash,

ARVIRAGUS
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;

GUIDERIUS
Fear not slander, censure rash;

ARVIRAGUS
Thou hast finish’d joy and moan:

GUIDERIUS ARVIRAGUS
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS
No exorciser harm thee!

ARVIRAGUS
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!

GUIDERIUS
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!

ARVIRAGUS
Nothing ill come near thee!

GUIDERIUS ARVIRAGUS
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

Re-enter BELARIUS, with the body of CLOTEN

GUIDERIUS
We have done our obsequies: come, lay him down.

BELARIUS
Here’s a few flowers; but ’bout midnight, more:
The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ the night
Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.
You were as flowers, now wither’d: even so
These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.
Come on, away: apart upon our knees.
The ground that gave them first has them again:
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.

Exeunt BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

IMOGEN
[Awaking] Yes, sir, to Milford-Haven; which is
the way?–
I thank you.–By yond bush?–Pray, how far thither?
‘Ods pittikins! can it be six mile yet?–
I have gone all night. ‘Faith, I’ll lie down and sleep.
But, soft! no bedfellow!–O god s and goddesses!

Seeing the body of CLOTEN

These flowers are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man, the care on’t. I hope I dream;
For so I thought I was a cave-keeper,
And cook to honest creatures: but ’tis not so;
‘Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes: our very eyes
Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble stiff with fear: but if there be
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
As a wren’s eye, fear’d gods, a part of it!
The dream’s here still: even when I wake, it is
Without me, as within me; not imagined, felt.
A headless man! The garments of Posthumus!
I know the shape of’s leg: this is his hand;
His foot Mercurial; his Martial thigh;
The brawns of Hercules: but his Jovial face
Murder in heaven?–How!–‘Tis gone. Pisanio,
All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
Conspired with that irregulous devil, Cloten,
Hast here cut off my lord. To write and read
Be henceforth treacherous! Damn’d Pisanio
Hath with his forged letters,–damn’d Pisanio–
From this most bravest vessel of the world
Struck the main-top! O Posthumus! alas,
Where is thy head? where’s that? Ay me!
where’s that?
Pisanio might have kill’d thee at the heart,
And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
‘Tis he and Cloten: malice and lucre in them
Have laid this woe here. O, ’tis pregnant, pregnant!
The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
And cordial to me, have I not found it
Murderous to the senses? That confirms it home:
This is Pisanio’s deed, and Cloten’s: O!
Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood,
That we the horrider may seem to those
Which chance to find us: O, my lord, my lord!

Falls on the body

Enter LUCIUS, a Captain and other Officers, and a Soothsayer

Captain
To them the legions garrison’d in Gailia,
After your will, have cross’d the sea, attending
You here at Milford-Haven with your ships:
They are in readiness.

CAIUS LUCIUS
But what from Rome?

Captain
The senate hath stirr’d up the confiners
And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits,
That promise noble service: and they come
Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
Syenna’s brother.

CAIUS LUCIUS
When expect you them?

Captain
With the next benefit o’ the wind.

CAIUS LUCIUS
This forwardness
Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers
Be muster’d; bid the captains look to’t. Now, sir,
What have you dream’d of late of this war’s purpose?

Soothsayer
Last night the very gods show’d me a vision–
I fast and pray’d for their intelligence–thus:
I saw Jove’s bird, the Roman eagle, wing’d
From the spongy south to this part of the west,
There vanish’d in the sunbeams: which portends–
Unless my sins abuse my divination–
Success to the Roman host.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Dream often so,
And never false. Soft, ho! what trunk is here
Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
It was a worthy building. How! a page!
Or dead, or sleeping on him? But dead rather;
For nature doth abhor to make his bed
With the defunct, or sleep upon the dead.
Let’s see the boy’s face.

Captain
He’s alive, my lord.

CAIUS LUCIUS
He’ll then instruct us of this body. Young one,
Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
They crave to be demanded. Who is this
Thou makest thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
That, otherwise than noble nature did,
Hath alter’d that good picture? What’s thy interest
In this sad wreck? How came it? Who is it?
What art thou?

IMOGEN
I am nothing: or if not,
Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
A very valiant Briton and a good,
That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas!
There is no more such masters: I may wander
From east to occident, cry out for service,
Try many, all good, serve truly, never
Find such another master.

CAIUS LUCIUS
‘Lack, good youth!
Thou movest no less with thy complaining than
Thy master in bleeding: say his name, good friend.

IMOGEN
Richard du Champ.

Aside

If I do lie and do
No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
They’ll pardon it.–Say you, sir?

CAIUS LUCIUS
Thy name?

IMOGEN
Fidele, sir.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Thou dost approve thyself the very same:
Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
Thou shalt be so well master’d, but, be sure,
No less beloved. The Roman emperor’s letters,
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
Than thine own worth prefer thee: go with me.

IMOGEN
I’ll follow, sir. But first, an’t please the gods,
I’ll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha’ strew’d his grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Ay, good youth!
And rather father thee than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties: let us
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
And make him with our pikes and partisans
A grave: come, arm him. Boy, he is preferr’d
By thee to us, and he shall be interr’d
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes
Some falls are means the happier to arise.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter CYMBELINE, Lords, PISANIO, and Attendants
CYMBELINE
Again; and bring me word how ’tis with her.

Exit an Attendant

A fever with the absence of her son,
A madness, of which her life’s in danger. Heavens,
How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
So needful for this present: it strikes me, past
The hope of comfort. But for thee, fellow,
Who needs must know of her departure and
Dost seem so ignorant, we’ll enforce it from thee
By a sharp torture.

PISANIO
Sir, my life is yours;
I humbly set it at your will; but, for my mistress,
I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your highness,
Hold me your loyal servant.

First Lord
Good my liege,
The day that she was missing he was here:
I dare be bound he’s true and shall perform
All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
There wants no diligence in seeking him,
And will, no doubt, be found.

CYMBELINE
The time is troublesome.

To PISANIO

We’ll slip you for a season; but our jealousy
Does yet depend.

First Lord
So please your majesty,
The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
Are landed on your coast, with a supply
Of Roman gentlemen, by the senate sent.

CYMBELINE
Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
I am amazed with matter.

First Lord
Good my liege,
Your preparation can affront no less
Than what you hear of: come more, for more
you’re ready:
The want is but to put those powers in motion
That long to move.

CYMBELINE
I thank you. Let’s withdraw;
And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
What can from Italy annoy us; but
We grieve at chances here. Away!

Exeunt all but PISANIO

PISANIO
I heard no letter from my master since
I wrote him Imogen was slain: ’tis strange:
Nor hear I from my mistress who did promise
To yield me often tidings: neither know I
What is betid to Cloten; but remain
Perplex’d in all. The heavens still must work.
Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
These present wars shall find I love my country,
Even to the note o’ the king, or I’ll fall in them.
All other doubts, by time let them be clear’d:
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.

Exit

SCENE IV. Wales: before the cave of Belarius.

Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
GUIDERIUS
The noise is round about us.

BELARIUS
Let us from it.

ARVIRAGUS
What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
From action and adventure?

GUIDERIUS
Nay, what hope
Have we in hiding us? This way, the Romans
Must or for Britons slay us, or receive us
For barbarous and unnatural revolts
During their use, and slay us after.

BELARIUS
Sons,
We’ll higher to the mountains; there secure us.
To the king’s party there’s no going: newness
Of Cloten’s death–we being not known, not muster’d
Among the bands–may drive us to a render
Where we have lived, and so extort from’s that
Which we have done, whose answer would be death
Drawn on with torture.

GUIDERIUS
This is, sir, a doubt
In such a time nothing becoming you,
Nor satisfying us.

ARVIRAGUS
It is not likely
That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
Behold their quarter’d fires, have both their eyes
And ears so cloy’d importantly as now,
That they will waste their time upon our note,
To know from whence we are.

BELARIUS
O, I am known
Of many in the army: many years,
Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him
From my remembrance. And, besides, the king
Hath not deserved my service nor your loves;
Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless
To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
But to be still hot summer’s tamings and
The shrinking slaves of winter.

GUIDERIUS
Than be so
Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army:
I and my brother are not known; yourself
So out of thought, and thereto so o’ergrown,
Cannot be question’d.

ARVIRAGUS
By this sun that shines,
I’ll thither: what thing is it that I never
Did see man die! scarce ever look’d on blood,
But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
Never bestrid a horse, save one that had
A rider like myself, who ne’er wore rowel
Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed
To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.

GUIDERIUS
By heavens, I’ll go:
If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
I’ll take the better care, but if you will not,
The hazard therefore due fall on me by
The hands of Romans!

ARVIRAGUS
So say I amen.

BELARIUS
No reason I, since of your lives you set
So slight a valuation, should reserve
My crack’d one to more care. Have with you, boys!
If in your country wars you chance to die,
That is my bed too, lads, an there I’ll lie:
Lead, lead.

Aside

The time seems long; their blood
thinks scorn,
Till it fly out and show them princes born.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/14/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

 


Cymbeline, ACT III, SCENE I. Britain. A hall in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter in state, CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, and Lords at one door, and at another, CAIUS LUCIUS and Attendants

CYMBELINE
Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?

CAIUS LUCIUS
When Julius Caesar, whose remembrance yet
Lives in men’s eyes and will to ears and tongues
Be theme and hearing ever, was in this Britain
And conquer’d it, Cassibelan, thine uncle,–
Famous in Caesar’s praises, no whit less
Than in his feats deserving it–for him
And his succession granted Rome a tribute,
Yearly three thousand pounds, which by thee lately
Is left untender’d.

QUEEN
And, to kill the marvel,
Shall be so ever.

CLOTEN
There be many Caesars,
Ere such another Julius. 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 ‘s, to resume
We have again. Remember, sir, my liege,
The kings your ancestors, together with
The natural bravery of your isle, which stands
As Neptune’s park, ribbed and paled in
With rocks unscalable and roaring waters,
With sands that will not bear your enemies’ boats,
But suck them up to the topmast. A kind of conquest
Caesar made here; but made not here his brag
Of ‘Came’ and ‘saw’ and ‘overcame: ‘ with shame–
That first that ever touch’d him–he was carried
From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping–
Poor ignorant baubles!– upon our terrible seas,
Like egg-shells moved upon their surges, crack’d
As easily ‘gainst our rocks: for joy whereof
The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point–
O giglot fortune!–to master Caesar’s sword,
Made Lud’s town with rejoicing fires bright
And Britons strut with courage.

CLOTEN
Come, there’s no more tribute to be paid: our
kingdom is stronger than it was at that time; and,
as I said, there is no moe such Caesars: other of
them may have crook’d noses, but to owe such
straight arms, none.

CYMBELINE
Son, let your mother end.

CLOTEN
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 pay tribute? If
Caesar can hide the sun from us with a blanket, or
put the moon in his pocket, we will pay him tribute
for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you now.

CYMBELINE
You must know,
Till the injurious Romans did extort
This tribute from us, we were free:
Caesar’s ambition,
Which swell’d so much that it did almost stretch
The sides o’ the world, against all colour here
Did put the yoke upon ‘s; which to shake off
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
Ourselves to be.

CLOTEN Lords
We do.

CYMBELINE
Say, then, to Caesar,
Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which
Ordain’d our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar
Hath too much mangled; whose repair and franchise
Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,
Though Rome be therefore angry: Mulmutius made our laws,
Who was the first of Britain which did put
His brows within a golden crown and call’d
Himself a king.

CAIUS LUCIUS
I am sorry, Cymbeline,
That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar–
Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than
Thyself domestic officers–thine enemy:
Receive it from me, then: war and confusion
In Caesar’s name pronounce I ‘gainst thee: look
For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,
I thank thee for myself.

CYMBELINE
Thou art welcome, Caius.
Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent
Much under him; of him I gather’d honour;
Which he to seek of me again, perforce,
Behoves me keep at utterance. I am perfect
That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for
Their liberties are now in arms; a precedent
Which not to read would show the Britons cold:
So Caesar shall not find them.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Let proof speak.

CLOTEN
His majesty bids you welcome. Make
pastime with us a day or two, or longer: if
you seek us afterwards in other terms, you
shall find us in our salt-water girdle: if you
beat us out of it, it is yours; if you fall in
the adventure, our crows shall fare the better
for you; and there’s an end.

CAIUS LUCIUS
So, sir.

CYMBELINE
I know your master’s pleasure and he mine:
All the remain is ‘Welcome!’

Exeunt

SCENE II. Another room in the palace.

Enter PISANIO, with a letter
PISANIO
How? of adultery? Wherefore write you not
What monster’s her accuser? Leonatus,
O master! what a strange infection
Is fall’n into thy ear! What false Italian,
As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevail’d
On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal! No:
She’s punish’d for her truth, and undergoes,
More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
As would take in some virtue. O my master!
Thy mind to her is now as low as were
Thy fortunes. How! that I should murder her?
Upon the love and truth and vows which I
Have made to thy command? I, her? her blood?
If it be so to do good service, never
Let me be counted serviceable. How look I,
That I should seem to lack humanity
so much as this fact comes to?

Reading

‘Do’t: the letter
that I have sent her, by her own command
Shall give thee opportunity.’ O damn’d paper!
Black as the ink that’s on thee! Senseless bauble,
Art thou a feodary for this act, and look’st
So virgin-like without? Lo, here she comes.
I am ignorant in what I am commanded.

Enter IMOGEN

IMOGEN
How now, Pisanio!

PISANIO
Madam, here is a letter from my lord.

IMOGEN
Who? thy lord? that is my lord, Leonatus!
O, learn’d indeed were that astronomer
That knew the stars as I his characters;
He’ld lay the future open. You good gods,
Let what is here contain’d relish of love,
Of my lord’s health, of his content, yet not
That we two are asunder; let that grieve him:
Some griefs are med’cinable; that is one of them,
For it doth physic love: of his content,
All but in that! Good wax, thy leave. Blest be
You bees that make these locks of counsel! Lovers
And men in dangerous bonds pray not alike:
Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet
You clasp young Cupid’s tables. Good news, gods!

Reads

‘Justice, and your father’s wrath, should he take me
in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, as
you, O the dearest of creatures, would even renew me
with your eyes. Take notice that I am in Cambria,
at Milford-Haven: what your own love will out of
this advise you, follow. So he wishes you all
happiness, that remains loyal to his vow, and your,
increasing in love,
LEONATUS POSTHUMUS.’
O, for a horse with wings! Hear’st thou, Pisanio?
He is at Milford-Haven: read, and tell me
How far ’tis thither. If one of mean affairs
May plod it in a week, why may not I
Glide thither in a day? Then, true Pisanio,–
Who long’st, like me, to see thy lord; who long’st,–
let me 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;
Love’s counsellor should fill the bores of hearing,
To the smothering of the sense–how far it is
To this same blessed Milford: and by the way
Tell me how Wales was made so happy as
To inherit such a haven: but first of all,
How we may steal from hence, and for the gap
That we shall make in time, from our hence-going
And our return, to excuse: but first, how get hence:
Why should excuse be born or e’er begot?
We’ll talk of that hereafter. Prithee, speak,
How many score of miles may we well ride
‘Twixt hour and hour?

PISANIO
One score ‘twixt sun and sun,
Madam, ‘s enough for you:

Aside

and too much too.

IMOGEN
Why, one that rode to’s execution, man,
Could never go so slow: I have heard of
riding wagers,
Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
That run i’ the clock’s behalf. But this is foolery:
Go bid my woman feign a sickness; say
She’ll home to her father: and provide me presently
A riding-suit, no costlier than would fit
A franklin’s housewife.

PISANIO
Madam, you’re best consider.

IMOGEN
I see before me, man: nor here, nor here,
Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them,
That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee;
Do as I bid thee: there’s no more to say,
Accessible is none but Milford way.

Exeunt

SCENE III. Wales: a mountainous country with a cave.

Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS; GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS following
BELARIUS
A goodly day not to keep house, with such
Whose roof’s as low as ours! Stoop, boys; this gate
Instructs you how to adore the heavens and bows you
To a morning’s holy office: the gates of monarchs
Are arch’d so high that giants may jet through
And keep their impious turbans 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.

GUIDERIUS
Hail, heaven!

ARVIRAGUS
Hail, heaven!

BELARIUS
Now for our mountain sport: up to yond hill;
Your legs are young; I’ll tread these flats. Consider,
When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place which lessens and sets off;
And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
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 things we see;
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing’d eagle. O, this life
Is nobler than attending for a cheque,
Richer than doing nothing for a bauble,
Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him that makes ’em fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross’d: no life to ours.

GUIDERIUS
Out of your proof you speak: we, poor unfledged,
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 you
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
With your stiff age: but unto us it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling a-bed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.

ARVIRAGUS
What should we speak of
When we are old as you? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing;
We are beastly, subtle as the fox for prey,
Like warlike as the wolf for what we eat;
Our valour is to chase what flies; our cage
We make a quire, as doth the prison’d bird,
And sing our bondage freely.

BELARIUS
How you speak!
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 falling, or so slippery that
The fear’s as bad as falling; the toil o’ the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I’ the name of fame and honour; which dies i’
the search,
And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what’s worse,
Must court’sy at the censure:–O boys, this story
The world may read in me: my body’s mark’d
With Roman swords, and my report was once
First with the best of note: Cymbeline loved me,
And when a soldier was Theme, my name
Was not far off: then was I as a tree
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but in one night,
A storm or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.

GUIDERIUS
Uncertain favour!

BELARIUS
My fault being nothing–as I have told you oft–
But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail’d
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline
I was confederate with the Romans: so
Follow’d my banishment, and this twenty years
This rock and these demesnes have been my world;
Where I have lived at honest freedom, paid
More pious debts to heaven than in all
The fore-end of my time. But up to the mountains!
This is not hunters’ language: he that strikes
The venison first shall be the lord o’ the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I’ll meet you in the valleys.

Exeunt GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS

How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
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 they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
In simple and low things to prince it much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, who
The king his father call’d Guiderius,–Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say ‘Thus, mine enemy fell,
And thus I set my foot on ‘s neck;’ even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
Strains his young nerves and puts himself in posture
That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
Once Arviragus, in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech and shows much more
His own conceiving.–Hark, the game is roused!
O Cymbeline! heaven and my conscience knows
Thou didst unjustly banish me: whereon,
At three and two years 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
their mother,
And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call’d,
They take for natural father. The game is up.

Exit

SCENE IV. Country near Milford-Haven.

Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN
IMOGEN
Thou told’st me, when we came from horse, the place
Was near at hand: ne’er long’d my mother so
To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! man!
Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind,
That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh
From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,
Would be interpreted a thing perplex’d
Beyond self-explication: put thyself
Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness
Vanquish my staider senses. What’s the matter?
Why tender’st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender? If’t be summer news,
Smile to’t before; if winterly, thou need’st
But keep that countenance still. My husband’s hand!
That drug-damn’d Italy hath out-craftied him,
And he’s at some hard point. Speak, man: thy tongue
May take off some extremity, which to read
Would be even mortal to me.

PISANIO
Please you, read;
And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
The most disdain’d of fortune.

IMOGEN
[Reads] ‘Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the
strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie
bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises,
but from proof as strong as my grief and as certain
as I expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio,
must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with
the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away
her life: I shall give thee opportunity at
Milford-Haven. She hath my letter for the purpose
where, if thou fear to strike and to make me certain
it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour and
equally to me disloyal.’

PISANIO
What shall I need to draw my sword? the paper
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?

IMOGEN
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’s bed, is it?

PISANIO
Alas, good lady!

IMOGEN
I false! Thy conscience witness: Iachimo,
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!–O,
Men’s vows are women’s traitors! All good seeming,
By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
Put on for villany; not born where’t grows,
But worn a bait for ladies.

PISANIO
Good madam, hear me.

IMOGEN
True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,
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 perjured
From thy great fall. 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 mayst be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem’st a coward.

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

IMOGEN
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 may poor fools
Believe false teachers: though those that
are betray’d
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.
And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst 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 disedged by her
That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
Will then be pang’d by me. Prithee, dispatch:
The lamb entreats the butcher: where’s thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master’s bidding,
When I desire it too.

PISANIO
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business
I have not slept one wink.

IMOGEN
Do’t, and to bed then.

PISANIO
I’ll wake mine eye-balls blind first.

IMOGEN
Wherefore then
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
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?

PISANIO
But to win time
To lose so bad employment; in the which
I have consider’d of a course. Good lady,
Hear me with patience.

IMOGEN
Talk thy tongue weary; speak
I have heard I am a strumpet; and mine ear
Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.

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

IMOGEN
Most like;
Bringing me here to kill me.

PISANIO
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 abused:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art.
Hath done you both this cursed injury.

IMOGEN
Some Roman courtezan.

PISANIO
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.

IMOGEN
Why good fellow,
What shall I do the where? where bide? how live?
Or in my life what comfort, when I am
Dead to my husband?

PISANIO
If you’ll back to the court–

IMOGEN
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.

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

IMOGEN
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 ‘t;
In a great pool a swan’s nest: prithee, think
There’s livers out of Britain.

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

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

PISANIO
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–into a waggish courage:
Ready in gibes, quick-answer’d, saucy and
As quarrelous as the weasel; nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it–but, O, 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.

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

PISANIO
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
From youth of such a season, ‘fore noble Lucius
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
wherein you’re happy,–which you’ll make him know,
If that his head have ear in music,–doubtless
With joy he will embrace you, for he’s honourable
And doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad,
You have me, rich; and I will never fail
Beginning nor supplyment.

IMOGEN
Thou art all the comfort
The gods will diet me with. Prithee, away:
There’s more to be consider’d; but we’ll even
All that good time will give us: this attempt
I am soldier to, and will abide it with
A prince’s courage. Away, I prithee.

PISANIO
Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
Lest, being miss’d, I be suspected of
Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
Here is a box; I had it from the queen:
What’s in’t is precious; if you are sick at sea,
Or stomach-qualm’d at land, a dram of this
Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
Direct you to the best!

IMOGEN
Amen: I thank thee.

Exeunt, severally

SCENE V. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, LUCIUS, Lords, and Attendants
CYMBELINE
Thus far; and so farewell.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Thanks, royal sir.
My emperor hath wrote, I must from hence;
And am right sorry that I must report ye
My master’s enemy.

CYMBELINE
Our subjects, sir,
Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
To show less sovereignty than they, must needs
Appear unkinglike.

CAIUS LUCIUS
So, sir: I desire of you
A conduct over-land to Milford-Haven.
Madam, all joy befal your grace!

QUEEN
And you!

CYMBELINE
My lords, you are appointed for that office;
The due of honour in no point omit.
So farewell, noble Lucius.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Your hand, my lord.

CLOTEN
Receive it friendly; but from this time forth
I wear it as your enemy.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Sir, the event
Is yet to name the winner: fare you well.

CYMBELINE
Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
Till he have cross’d the Severn. Happiness!

Exeunt LUCIUS and Lords

QUEEN
He goes hence frowning: but it honours us
That we have given him cause.

CLOTEN
‘Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.

CYMBELINE
Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor
How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness:
The powers that he already hath in Gallia
Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
His war for Britain.

QUEEN
‘Tis not sleepy business;
But must be look’d to speedily and strongly.

CYMBELINE
Our expectation that it would be thus
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear’d
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender’d
The duty of the day: she looks us like
A thing more made of malice than of duty:
We have noted it. Call her before us; for
We have been too slight in sufferance.

Exit an Attendant

QUEEN
Royal sir,
Since the exile of Posthumus, most retired
Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
‘Tis time must do. Beseech your majesty,
Forbear sharp speeches to her: she’s a lady
So tender of rebukes that words are strokes
And strokes death to her.

Re-enter Attendant

CYMBELINE
Where is she, sir? How
Can her contempt be answer’d?

Attendant
Please you, sir,
Her chambers are all lock’d; and there’s no answer
That will be given to the loudest noise we make.

QUEEN
My lord, when last I went to visit her,
She pray’d me to excuse her keeping close,
Whereto constrain’d by her infirmity,
She should that duty leave unpaid to you,
Which daily she was bound to proffer: this
She wish’d me to make known; but our great court
Made me to blame in memory.

CYMBELINE
Her doors lock’d?
Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
Prove false!

Exit

QUEEN
Son, I say, follow the king.

CLOTEN
That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
have not seen these two days.

QUEEN
Go, look after.

Exit CLOTEN

Pisanio, thou that stand’st so for Posthumus!
He hath a drug of mine; I pray his absence
Proceed by swallowing that, for he believes
It is a thing most precious. But for her,
Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seized her,
Or, wing’d with fervor of her love, she’s flown
To her desired Posthumus: gone she is
To death or to dishonour; and my end
Can make good use of either: she being down,
I have the placing of the British crown.

Re-enter CLOTEN

How now, my son!

CLOTEN
‘Tis certain she is fled.
Go in and cheer the king: he rages; none
Dare come about him.

QUEEN
[Aside] All the better: may
This night forestall him of the coming day!

Exit

CLOTEN
I love and hate her: for she’s fair and royal,
And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one
The best she hath, and she, of all compounded,
Outsells them all; I love her therefore: but
Disdaining me and throwing favours on
The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
That what’s else rare is choked; and in that point
I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
To be revenged upon her. For when fools Shall–

Enter PISANIO

Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
Come hither: ah, you precious pander! Villain,
Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.

PISANIO
O, good my lord!

CLOTEN
Where is thy lady? Or, by Jupiter,–
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I’ll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
A dram of worth be drawn.

PISANIO
Alas, my lord,
How can she be with him? When was she missed?
He is in Rome.

CLOTEN
Where is she, sir? Come nearer;
No further halting: satisfy me home
What is become of her.

PISANIO
O, my all-worthy lord!

CLOTEN
All-worthy villain!
Discover where thy mistress is at once,
At the next word: no more of ‘worthy lord!’
Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
Thy condemnation and thy death.

PISANIO
Then, sir,
This paper is the history of my knowledge
Touching her flight.

Presenting a letter

CLOTEN
Let’s see’t. I will pursue her
Even to Augustus’ throne.

PISANIO
[Aside] Or this, or perish.
She’s far enough; and what he learns by this
May prove his travel, not her danger.

CLOTEN
Hum!

PISANIO
[Aside] I’ll write to my lord she’s dead. O Imogen,
Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!

CLOTEN
Sirrah, is this letter true?

PISANIO
Sir, as I think.

CLOTEN
It is Posthumus’ hand; I know’t. Sirrah, if thou
wouldst not be a villain, but do me true service,
undergo those employments wherein I should have
cause to use thee with a serious industry, that is,
what villany soe’er I bid thee do, to perform it
directly and truly, I would think thee an honest
man: thou shouldst neither want my means for thy
relief nor my voice for thy preferment.

PISANIO
Well, my good lord.

CLOTEN
Wilt thou serve me? for since patiently and
constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of
that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not, in the
course of gratitude, but be a diligent follower of
mine: wilt thou serve me?

PISANIO
Sir, I will.

CLOTEN
Give me thy hand; here’s my purse. Hast any of thy
late master’s garments in thy possession?

PISANIO
I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same suit he
wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.

CLOTEN
The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit
hither: let it be thy lint service; go.

PISANIO
I shall, my lord.

Exit

CLOTEN
Meet thee at Milford-Haven!–I forgot to ask him one
thing; I’ll remember’t anon:–even there, thou
villain Posthumus, will I kill thee. I would these
garments were come. She said upon a time–the
bitterness of it I now belch from my heart–that she
held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect
than my noble and natural person together with the
adornment of my qualities. With that suit upon my
back, will I ravish her: first kill him, and in her
eyes; there shall she see my valour, which will then
be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my
speech of insultment ended on his dead body, and
when my lust hath dined,–which, as I say, to vex
her I will execute in the clothes that she so
praised,–to the court I’ll knock her back, foot
her home again. She hath despised me rejoicingly,
and I’ll be merry in my revenge.

Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes

Be those the garments?

PISANIO
Ay, my noble lord.

CLOTEN
How long is’t since she went to Milford-Haven?

PISANIO
She can scarce be there yet.

CLOTEN
Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second
thing that I have commanded thee: the third is,
that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my design. Be
but duteous, and true preferment shall tender itself
to thee. My revenge is now at Milford: would I had
wings to follow it! Come, and be true.

Exit

PISANIO
Thou bid’st me to my loss: for true to thee
Were to prove false, which I will never be,
To him that is most true. To Milford go,
And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool’s speed
Be cross’d with slowness; labour be his meed!

Exit

SCENE VI. Wales. Before the cave of Belarius.

Enter IMOGEN, in boy’s clothes
IMOGEN
I see a man’s life is a tedious one:
I have tired myself, and for two nights together
Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick,
But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
When from the mountain-top Pisanio show’d thee,
Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think
Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way: will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them, knowing ’tis
A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
Thou art one o’ the false ones. Now I think on thee,
My hunger’s gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to’t: ’tis some savage hold:
I were best not to call; I dare not call:
yet famine,
Ere clean it o’erthrow nature, makes it valiant,
Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who’s here?
If any thing that’s civil, speak; if savage,
Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I’ll enter.
Best draw my sword: and if mine enemy
But fear the sword like me, he’ll scarcely look on’t.
Such a foe, good heavens!

Exit, to the cave

Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS
You, Polydote, have proved best woodman and
Are master of the feast: Cadwal and I
Will play the cook and servant; ’tis our match:
The sweat of industry would dry and die,
But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
Will make what’s homely savoury: weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
Poor house, that keep’st thyself!

GUIDERIUS
I am thoroughly weary.

ARVIRAGUS
I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.

GUIDERIUS
There is cold meat i’ the cave; we’ll browse on that,
Whilst what we have kill’d be cook’d.

BELARIUS
[Looking into the cave]
Stay; come not in.
But that it eats our victuals, I should think
Here were a fairy.

GUIDERIUS
What’s the matter, sir?

BELARIUS
By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
No elder than a boy!

Re-enter IMOGEN

IMOGEN
Good masters, harm me not:
Before I enter’d here, I call’d; and thought
To have begg’d or bought what I have took:
good troth,
I have stol’n nought, nor would not, though I had found
Gold strew’d i’ the floor. Here’s money for my meat:
I would have left it on the board so soon
As I had made my meal, and parted
With prayers for the provider.

GUIDERIUS
Money, youth?

ARVIRAGUS
All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
As ’tis no better reckon’d, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.

IMOGEN
I see you’re angry:
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
Have died had I not made it.

BELARIUS
Whither bound?

IMOGEN
To Milford-Haven.

BELARIUS
What’s your name?

IMOGEN
Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
Is bound for Italy; he embark’d at Milford;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
I am fall’n in this offence.

BELARIUS
Prithee, fair youth,
Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
By this rude place we live in. Well encounter’d!
‘Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer
Ere you depart: and thanks to stay and eat it.
Boys, bid him welcome.

GUIDERIUS
Were you a woman, youth,
I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty,
I bid for you as I’d buy.

ARVIRAGUS
I’ll make’t my comfort
He is a man; I’ll love him as my brother:
And such a welcome as I’d give to him
After long absence, such is yours: most welcome!
Be sprightly, for you fall ‘mongst friends.

IMOGEN
‘Mongst friends,
If brothers.

Aside

Would it had been so, that they
Had been my father’s sons! then had my prize
Been less, and so more equal ballasting
To thee, Posthumus.

BELARIUS
He wrings at some distress.

GUIDERIUS
Would I could free’t!

ARVIRAGUS
Or I, whate’er it be,
What pain it cost, what danger. God’s!

BELARIUS
Hark, boys.

Whispering

IMOGEN
Great men,
That had a court no bigger than this cave,
That did attend themselves and had the virtue
Which their own conscience seal’d them–laying by
That nothing-gift of differing multitudes–
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
I’d change my sex to be companion with them,
Since Leonatus’s false.

BELARIUS
It shall be so.
Boys, we’ll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in:
Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp’d,
We’ll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
So far as thou wilt speak it.

GUIDERIUS
Pray, draw near.

ARVIRAGUS
The night to the owl and morn to the lark
less welcome.

IMOGEN
Thanks, sir.

ARVIRAGUS
I pray, draw near.

Exeunt

SCENE VII. Rome. A public place.

Enter two Senators and Tribunes
First Senator
This is the tenor of the emperor’s writ:
That since the common men are now in action
‘Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
And that the legions now in Gallia are
Full weak to undertake our wars against
The fall’n-off Britons, that we do incite
The gentry to this business. He creates
Lucius preconsul: and to you the tribunes,
For this immediate levy, he commends
His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!

First Tribune
Is Lucius general of the forces?

Second Senator
Ay.

First Tribune
Remaining now in Gallia?

First Senator
With those legions
Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
Must be supplyant: the words of your commission
Will tie you to the numbers and the time
Of their dispatch.

First Tribune
We will discharge our duty.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/13/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

 


Cymbeline ACT II, SCENE I. Britain. Before Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter CLOTEN and two Lords

CLOTEN
Was there ever man had such luck! when I kissed the
jack, upon an up-cast to be hit away! I had a
hundred pound on’t: and then a whoreson jackanapes
must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine
oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure.

First Lord
What got he by that? You have broke his pate with
your bowl.

Second Lord
[Aside] If his wit had been like him that broke it,
it would have run all out.

CLOTEN
When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for
any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?

Second Lord
No my lord;

Aside

nor crop the ears of them.

CLOTEN
Whoreson dog! I give him satisfaction?
Would he had been one of my rank!

Second Lord
[Aside] To have smelt like a fool.

CLOTEN
I am not vexed more 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 bellyful of
fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that
nobody can match.

Second Lord
[Aside] You are cock and capon too; and you crow,
cock, with your comb on.

CLOTEN
Sayest thou?

Second Lord
It is not fit your lordship should undertake every
companion that you give offence to.

CLOTEN
No, I know that: but it is fit I should commit
offence to my inferiors.

Second Lord
Ay, it is fit for your lordship only.

CLOTEN
Why, so I say.

First Lord
Did you hear of a stranger that’s come to court to-night?

CLOTEN
A stranger, and I not know on’t!

Second Lord
[Aside] He’s a strange fellow himself, and knows it
not.

First Lord
There’s an Italian come; and, ’tis thought, one of
Leonatus’ friends.

CLOTEN
Leonatus! a banished rascal; and he’s another,
whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?

First Lord
One of your lordship’s pages.

CLOTEN
Is it fit I went to look upon him? is there no
derogation in’t?

Second Lord
You cannot derogate, my lord.

CLOTEN
Not easily, I think.

Second Lord
[Aside] You are a fool granted; therefore your
issues, being foolish, do not derogate.

CLOTEN
Come, I’ll go see this Italian: what I have lost
to-day at bowls I’ll win to-night of him. Come, go.

Second 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 endurest,
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’ld make! The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshaked
That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand,
To enjoy thy banish’d lord and this great land!

Exit

SCENE II. Imogen’s bedchamber in Cymbeline’s palace:
a trunk in one corner of it.

IMOGEN in bed, reading; a Lady attending

IMOGEN
Who’s there? my woman Helen?

Lady
Please you, madam

IMOGEN
What hour is it?

Lady
Almost midnight, madam.

IMOGEN
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 prithee, call me. Sleep hath seized 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 comes from the trunk

IACHIMO
The crickets sing, and man’s o’er-labour’d sense
Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken’d
The chastity he wounded. Cytherea,
How bravely thou becomest thy bed, fresh lily,
And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
But kiss; one kiss! Rubies unparagon’d,
How dearly they do’t! ‘Tis her breathing that
Perfumes the chamber thus: the flame o’ the taper
Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
Under these windows, white and azure laced
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; such
The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
Why, such and such; and the contents o’ the story.
Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
Above ten thousand meaner moveables
Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
And be her sense but as a monument,
Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off:

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
I’ 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. No more. To what end?
Why should I write this down, that’s riveted,
Screw’d to my memory? She hath been reading late
The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turn’d down
Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
May bare the raven’s eye! I lodge in fear;
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.

Clock strikes

One, two, three: time, time!

Goes into the trunk. The scene closes

Scene III
An ante-chamber adjoining Imogen’s apartments.

Enter CLOTEN and Lords

First Lord
Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the
most coldest that ever turned up ace.

CLOTEN
It would make any man cold to lose.

First Lord
But not every man patient after the noble temper of
your lordship. You are most hot and furious when you win.

CLOTEN
Winning will put any man into courage. If I could
get this foolish Imogen, I should have gold enough.
It’s almost morning, is’t not?

First Lord
Day, my lord.

CLOTEN
I would this music would come: I am advised to give
her music o’ mornings; they say it will penetrate.

Enter Musicians

Come on; tune: if you can penetrate her with your
fingering, so; we’ll try with tongue too: if none
will do, let her remain; but I’ll never give o’er.
First, a very excellent good-conceited thing;
after, a wonderful sweet air, with admirable rich
words to it: and then let her consider.

SONG

Hark, hark! the lark at heaven’s gate sings,
And Phoebus ‘gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs
On chaliced flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin
To ope their golden eyes:
With every thing that pretty is,
My lady sweet, arise:
Arise, arise.

CLOTEN
So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will
consider your music the better: if it do not, it is
a vice in her ears, which horse-hairs and
calves’-guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to
boot, can never amend.

Exeunt Musicians

Second Lord
Here comes the king.

CLOTEN
I am glad I was up so late; for that’s the reason I
was up so early: he cannot choose but take this
service I have done fatherly.

Enter CYMBELINE and QUEEN

Good morrow to your majesty and to my gracious mother.

CYMBELINE
Attend you here the door of our stern daughter?
Will she not forth?

CLOTEN
I have assailed her with music, but she vouchsafes no notice.

CYMBELINE
The exile of her minion is too new;
She hath not yet forgot him: some more time
Must wear the print of his remembrance out,
And then she’s yours.

QUEEN
You are most bound to the king,
Who lets go by no vantages that may
Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself
To orderly soliciting, and be friended
With aptness of the season; make denials
Increase your services; so seem as if
You were inspired to do those duties which
You tender to her; that you in all obey her,
Save when command to your dismission tends,
And therein you are senseless.

CLOTEN
Senseless! not so.

Enter a Messenger

Messenger
So like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
The one is Caius Lucius.

CYMBELINE
A worthy fellow,
Albeit he comes on angry purpose now;
But that’s no fault of his: we must receive him
According to the honour of his sender;
And towards himself, his goodness forespent on us,
We must extend our notice. Our dear son,
When you have given good morning to your mistress,
Attend the queen and us; we shall have need
To employ you towards this Roman. Come, our queen.

Exeunt all but CLOTEN

CLOTEN
If she be up, I’ll speak with her; if not,
Let her lie still and dream.

Knocks

By your leave, ho!
I Know her women are about her: what
If I do line one of their hands? ‘Tis gold
Which buys admittance; oft it doth; yea, and makes
Diana’s rangers false themselves, yield up
Their deer to the stand o’ the stealer; and ’tis gold
Which makes the true man kill’d and saves the thief;
Nay, sometime hangs both thief and true man: what
Can it not do and undo? I will make
One of her women lawyer to me, for
I yet not understand the case myself.

Knocks

By your leave.

Enter a Lady

Lady
Who’s there that knocks?

CLOTEN
A gentleman.

Lady
No more?

CLOTEN
Yes, and a gentlewoman’s son.

Lady
That’s more
Than some, whose tailors are as dear as yours,
Can justly boast of. What’s your lordship’s pleasure?

CLOTEN
Your lady’s person: is she ready?

Lady
Ay,
To keep her chamber.

CLOTEN
There is gold for you;
Sell me your good report.

Lady
How! my good name? or to report of you
What I shall think is good?–The princess!

Enter IMOGEN

CLOTEN
Good morrow, fairest: sister, your sweet hand.

Exit Lady

IMOGEN
Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
For purchasing but trouble; the thanks I give
Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
And scarce can spare them.

CLOTEN
Still, I swear I love you.

IMOGEN
If you but said so, ’twere as deep with me:
If you swear still, your recompense is still
That I regard it not.

CLOTEN
This is no answer.

IMOGEN
But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
I would not speak. I pray you, spare me: ‘faith,
I shall unfold equal discourtesy
To your best kindness: one of your great knowing
Should learn, being taught, forbearance.

CLOTEN
To leave you in your madness, ’twere my sin:
I will not.

IMOGEN
Fools are not mad folks.

CLOTEN
Do you call me fool?

IMOGEN
As I am mad, I do:
If you’ll be patient, I’ll no more be mad;
That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
You put me to forget a lady’s manners,
By being so verbal: and learn now, for all,
That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
By the very truth of it, I care not for you,
And am so near the lack of charity–
To accuse myself–I hate you; which I had rather
You felt than make’t my boast.

CLOTEN
You sin against
Obedience, which you owe your father. For
The contract you pretend with that base wretch,
One bred of alms and foster’d with cold dishes,
With scraps o’ the court, it is no contract, none:
And though it be allow’d in meaner parties–
Yet who than he more mean?–to knit their souls,
On whom there is no more dependency
But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot;
Yet you are curb’d from that enlargement by
The consequence o’ the crown, and must not soil
The precious note of it with a base slave.
A hilding for a livery, a squire’s cloth,
A pantler, not so eminent.

IMOGEN
Profane fellow
Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
To be his groom: thou wert dignified enough,
Even to the point of envy, if ’twere made
Comparative for your virtues, to be styled
The under-hangman of his kingdom, and hated
For being preferred so well.

CLOTEN
The south-fog rot him!

IMOGEN
He never can meet more mischance than come
To be but named of thee. His meanest garment,
That ever hath but clipp’d his body, is dearer
In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
Were they all made such men. How now, Pisanio!

Enter PISANIO

CLOTEN
‘His garment!’ Now the devil–

IMOGEN
To Dorothy my woman hie thee presently–

CLOTEN
‘His garment!’

IMOGEN
I am sprited with a fool.
Frighted, and anger’d worse: go bid my woman
Search for a jewel that too casually
Hath left mine arm: it was thy master’s: ‘shrew me,
If I would lose it for a revenue
Of any king’s in Europe. I do think
I saw’t this morning: confident I am
Last night ’twas on mine arm; I kiss’d it:
I hope it be not gone to tell my lord
That I kiss aught but he.

PISANIO
‘Twill not be lost.

IMOGEN
I hope so: go and search.

Exit PISANIO

CLOTEN
You have abused me:
‘His meanest garment!’

IMOGEN
Ay, I said so, sir:
If you will make’t an action, call witness to’t.

CLOTEN
I will inform your father.

IMOGEN
Your mother too:
She’s my good lady, and will conceive, I hope,
But the worst of me. So, I leave you, sir,
To the worst of discontent.

Exit

CLOTEN
I’ll be revenged:
‘His meanest garment!’ Well.

Exit

CYMBELINE

SCENE IV. Rome. Philario’s house.

Enter POSTHUMUS and PHILARIO
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Fear it not, sir: I would I were so sure
To win the king as I am bold her honour
Will remain hers.

PHILARIO
What means do you make to him?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Not any, but abide the change of time,
Quake in the present winter’s state and wish
That warmer days would come: in these sear’d hopes,
I barely gratify your love; they failing,
I must die much your debtor.

PHILARIO
Your very goodness and your company
O’erpays all I can do. By this, your king
Hath heard of great Augustus: Caius Lucius
Will do’s commission throughly: and I think
He’ll grant the tribute, send the arrearages,
Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
Is yet fresh in their grief.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I do believe,
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. Our countrymen
Are men more order’d than when Julius Caesar
Smiled at their lack of skill, but found
their courage
Worthy his frowning at: their discipline,
Now mingled with their courages, will make known
To their approvers they are people such
That mend upon the world.

Enter IACHIMO

PHILARIO
See! Iachimo!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
The swiftest harts have posted you by land;
And winds of all the comers kiss’d your sails,
To make your vessel nimble.

PHILARIO
Welcome, sir.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I hope the briefness of your answer made
The speediness of your return.

IACHIMO
Your lady
Is one of the fairest that I have look’d upon.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
And therewithal the best; or let her beauty
Look through a casement to allure false hearts
And be false with them.

IACHIMO
Here are letters for you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Their tenor good, I trust.

IACHIMO
‘Tis very like.

PHILARIO
Was Caius Lucius in the Britain court
When you were there?

IACHIMO
He was expected then,
But not approach’d.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
All is well yet.
Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is’t not
Too dull for your good wearing?

IACHIMO
If I had lost it,
I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
I’ll make a journey twice as far, to enjoy
A second night of such sweet shortness which
Was mine in Britain, for the ring is won.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
The stone’s too hard to come by.

IACHIMO
Not a whit,
Your lady being so easy.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Make not, sir,
Your loss your sport: I hope you know that we
Must not continue friends.

IACHIMO
Good sir, we must,
If you keep covenant. Had I not brought
The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
We were to question further: but I now
Profess myself the winner of her honour,
Together with your ring; and not the wronger
Of her or you, having proceeded but
By both your wills.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
If you can make’t apparent
That you have tasted her in bed, my hand
And ring is yours; if not, the foul opinion
You had of her pure honour gains or loses
Your sword or mine, or masterless leaves both
To who shall find them.

IACHIMO
Sir, my circumstances,
Being so near the truth as I will make them,
Must first induce you to believe: whose strength
I will confirm with oath; which, I doubt not,
You’ll give me leave to spare, when you shall find
You need it not.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Proceed.

IACHIMO
First, her bedchamber,–
Where, I confess, I slept not, but profess
Had that was well worth watching–it was hang’d
With tapesty of silk and silver; the story
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,
And Cydnus swell’d above the banks, 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–

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
This is true;
And this you might have heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.

IACHIMO
More particulars
Must justify my knowledge.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
So they must,
Or do your honour injury.

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

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
This is a thing
Which you might from relation likewise reap,
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

IACHIMO
The roof o’ the chamber
With golden cherubins is fretted: her andirons–
I had forgot them–were two winking Cupids
Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
Depending on their brands.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
This is her honour!
Let it be granted you have seen all this–and praise
Be given to your remembrance–the description
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
The wager you have laid.

IACHIMO
Then, if you can,

Showing the bracelet

Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel; see!
And now ’tis up again: it must be married
To that your diamond; I’ll keep them.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Jove!
Once more let me behold it: is it that
Which I left with her?

IACHIMO
Sir–I thank her–that:
She stripp’d it from her arm; I see her yet;
Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
And yet enrich’d it too: she gave it me, and said
She prized it once.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
May be she pluck’d it off
To send it me.

IACHIMO
She writes so to you, doth she?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
O, no, no, no! ’tis true. Here, take this too;

Gives the ring

It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
Kills me to look on’t. Let there be no honour
Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love,
Where there’s another man: the vows of women
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing.
O, above measure false!

PHILARIO
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 stol’n it from her?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Very true;
And so, 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.

IACHIMO
By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears.
‘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 it!
And by a stranger!–No, he hath enjoyed her:
The cognizance of her incontinency
Is this: she hath bought the name of whore
thus dearly.
There, take thy hire; and all the fiends of hell
Divide themselves between you!

PHILARIO
Sir, be patient:
This is not strong enough to be believed
Of one persuaded well of–

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Never talk on’t;
She hath been colted by him.

IACHIMO
If you seek
For further satisfying, under her breast–
Worthy the pressing–lies a mole, right proud
Of 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?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Ay, and it doth confirm
Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.

IACHIMO
Will you hear more?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Spare your arithmetic: never count the turns;
Once, and a million!

IACHIMO
I’ll be sworn–

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
No swearing.
If you will swear you have not done’t, you lie;
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
Thou’st made me cuckold.

IACHIMO
I’ll deny nothing.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
I will go there and do’t, i’ the court, before
Her father. I’ll do something–

Exit

PHILARIO
Quite besides
The government of patience! You have won:
Let’s follow him, and pervert the present wrath
He hath against himself.

IACHIMO
With an my heart.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Another room in Philario’s house.

Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
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
When I was stamp’d; some coiner with his tools
Made me a counterfeit: yet my mother seem’d
The Dian of that time so doth my wife
The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance!
Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain’d
And pray’d me oft forbearance; did it with
A pudency so rosy the sweet view on’t
Might well have warm’d old Saturn; that I thought her
As chaste as unsunn’d snow. O, all the devils!
This yellow Iachimo, in an hour,–wast not?–
Or less,–at first?–perchance he spoke not, but,
Like a full-acorn’d boar, a German one,
Cried ‘O!’ and mounted; found no opposition
But what he look’d for should oppose and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
The woman’s part in me! For there’s no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm
It is the woman’s part: be it lying, note it,
The woman’s; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all;
For even to vice
They are not constant but are changing still
One vice, but of a minute old, for one
Not half so old as that. I’ll write against them,
Detest them, curse them: yet ’tis greater skill
In a true hate, to pray they have their will:
The very devils cannot plague them better.

Exit

Please join me again on 02/12/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

 


Cymbeline, ACT I, SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter two Gentlemen

First Gentleman
You do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the king.

Second Gentleman
But what’s the matter?

First Gentleman
His daughter, and the heir of’s kingdom, whom
He purposed to his wife’s sole son–a widow
That late he married–hath referr’d herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman: she’s wedded;
Her husband banish’d; she imprison’d: all
Is outward sorrow; though I think the king
Be touch’d at very heart.

Second Gentleman
None but the king?

First Gentleman
He that hath lost her too; so is the queen,
That most desired the match; but not a courtier,
Although they wear their faces to the bent
Of the king’s look’s, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowl at.

Second Gentleman
And why so?

First Gentleman
He that hath miss’d the princess is a thing
Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her–
I mean, that married her, alack, good man!
And therefore banish’d–is a creature such
As, to seek through the regions of the earth
For one his like, there would be something failing
In him that should compare. I do not think
So fair an outward and such stuff within
Endows a man but he.

Second Gentleman
You speak him far.

First Gentleman
I do extend him, sir, within himself,
Crush him together rather than unfold
His measure duly.

Second Gentleman
What’s his name and birth?

First Gentleman
I cannot delve him to the root: his father
Was call’d Sicilius, who did join his honour
Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
But had his titles by Tenantius whom
He served with glory and admired success,
So gain’d the sur-addition Leonatus;
And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who in the wars o’ the time
Died with their swords in hand; for which
their father,
Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
That he quit being, and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman our theme, deceased
As he was born. The king he takes the babe
To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus,
Breeds him and makes him of his bed-chamber,
Puts to him all the learnings that his time
Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as ’twas minister’d,
And in’s spring became a harvest, lived in court–
Which rare it is to do–most praised, most loved,
A sample to the youngest, to the more mature
A glass that feated them, and to the graver
A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
For whom he now is banish’d, her own price
Proclaims how she esteem’d him and his virtue;
By her election may be truly read
What kind of man he is.

Second Gentleman
I honour him
Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me,
Is she sole child to the king?

First Gentleman
His only child.
He had two sons: if this be worth your hearing,
Mark it: the eldest of them at three years old,
I’ the swathing-clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
Which way they went.

Second Gentleman
How long is this ago?

First Gentleman
Some twenty years.

Second Gentleman
That a king’s children should be so convey’d,
So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
That could not trace them!

First Gentleman
Howsoe’er ’tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh’d at,
Yet is it true, sir.

Second Gentleman
I do well believe you.

First Gentleman
We must forbear: here comes the gentleman,
The queen, and princess.

Exeunt

Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, and IMOGEN

QUEEN
No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you: you’re my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win the offended king,
I will be known your advocate: marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him, and ’twere good
You lean’d unto his sentence with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Please your highness,
I will from hence to-day.

QUEEN
You know the peril.
I’ll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
The pangs of barr’d affections, though the king
Hath charged you should not speak together.

Exit

IMOGEN
O
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father’s wrath; but nothing–
Always reserved my holy duty–what
His rage can do on me: you must be gone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live,
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
My queen! my mistress!
O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man. I will remain
The loyal’st husband that did e’er plight troth:
My residence in Rome at one Philario’s,
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter: thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I’ll drink the words you send,
Though ink be made of gall.

Re-enter QUEEN

QUEEN
Be brief, I pray you:
If the king come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure.

Aside

Yet I’ll move him
To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences.

Exit

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

IMOGEN
Nay, stay a little:
Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love;
This diamond was my mother’s: take it, heart;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
How, how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!

Putting on the ring

Remain, remain thou here
While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you: for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I’ll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.

Putting a bracelet upon her arm

IMOGEN
O the gods!
When shall we see again?

Enter CYMBELINE and Lords

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Alack, the king!

CYMBELINE
Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: away!
Thou’rt poison to my blood.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
The gods protect you!
And bless the good remainders of the court! I am gone.

Exit

IMOGEN
There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.

CYMBELINE
O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap’st
A year’s age on me.

IMOGEN
I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation
I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all fears.

CYMBELINE
Past grace? obedience?

IMOGEN
Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.

CYMBELINE
That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!

IMOGEN
O blest, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
And did avoid a puttock.

CYMBELINE
Thou took’st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne
A seat for baseness.

IMOGEN
No; I rather added
A lustre to it.

CYMBELINE
O thou vile one!

IMOGEN
Sir,
It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:
You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
A man worth any woman, overbuys me
Almost the sum he pays.

CYMBELINE
What, art thou mad?

IMOGEN
Almost, sir: heaven restore me! Would I were
A neat-herd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd’s son!

CYMBELINE
Thou foolish thing!

Re-enter QUEEN

They were again together: you have done
Not after our command. Away with her,
And pen her up.

QUEEN
Beseech your patience. Peace,
Dear lady daughter, peace! Sweet sovereign,
Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some comfort
Out of your best advice.

CYMBELINE
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
Die of this folly!

Exeunt CYMBELINE and Lords

QUEEN
Fie! you must give way.

Enter PISANIO

Here is your servant. How now, sir! What news?

PISANIO
My lord your son drew on my master.

QUEEN
Ha!
No harm, I trust, is done?

PISANIO
There might have been,
But that my master rather play’d than fought
And had no help of anger: they were parted
By gentlemen at hand.

QUEEN
I am very glad on’t.

IMOGEN
Your son’s my father’s friend; he takes his part.
To draw upon an exile! O brave sir!
I would they were in Afric both together;
Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
The goer-back. Why came you from your master?

PISANIO
On his command: he would not suffer me
To bring him to the haven; left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to,
When ‘t pleased you to employ me.

QUEEN
This hath been
Your faithful servant: I dare lay mine honour
He will remain so.

PISANIO
I humbly thank your highness.

QUEEN
Pray, walk awhile.

IMOGEN
About some half-hour hence,
I pray you, speak with me: you shall at least
Go see my lord aboard: for this time leave me.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The same. A public place.

Enter CLOTEN and two Lords
First Lord
Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the
violence of action hath made you reek as a
sacrifice: where air comes out, air comes in:
there’s none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.

CLOTEN
If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I hurt him?

Second Lord
[Aside] No, ‘faith; not so much as his patience.

First Lord
Hurt him! his body’s a passable carcass, if he be
not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.

Second Lord
[Aside] His steel was in debt; it went o’ the
backside the town.

CLOTEN
The villain would not stand me.

Second Lord
[Aside] No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.

First Lord
Stand you! You have land enough of your own: but
he added to your having; gave you some ground.

Second Lord
[Aside] As many inches as you have oceans. Puppies!

CLOTEN
I would they had not come between us.

Second Lord
[Aside] So would I, till you had measured how long
a fool you were upon the ground.

CLOTEN
And that she should love this fellow and refuse me!

Second Lord
[Aside] If it be a sin to make a true election, she
is damned.

First Lord
Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain
go not together: she’s a good sign, but I have seen
small reflection of her wit.

Second Lord
[Aside] She shines not upon fools, lest the
reflection should hurt her.

CLOTEN
Come, I’ll to my chamber. Would there had been some
hurt done!

Second Lord
[Aside] I wish not so; unless it had been the fall
of an ass, which is no great hurt.

CLOTEN
You’ll go with us?

First Lord
I’ll attend your lordship.

CLOTEN
Nay, come, let’s go together.

Second Lord
Well, my lord.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO
IMOGEN
I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ the haven,
And question’dst every sail: if he should write
And not have it, ’twere a paper lost,
As offer’d mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?

PISANIO
It was his queen, his queen!

IMOGEN
Then waved his handkerchief?

PISANIO
And kiss’d it, madam.

IMOGEN
Senseless Linen! happier therein than I!
And that was all?

PISANIO
No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ‘s mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail’d on,
How swift his ship.

IMOGEN
Thou shouldst have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.

PISANIO
Madam, so I did.

IMOGEN
I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack’d them, but
To look upon him, till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle,
Nay, follow’d him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
Have turn’d mine eye and wept. But, good Pisanio,
When shall we hear from him?

PISANIO
Be assured, madam,
With his next vantage.

IMOGEN
I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours
Such thoughts and such, or I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest and his honour, or have charged him,
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
To encounter me with orisons, for then
I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.

Enter a Lady

Lady
The queen, madam,
Desires your highness’ company.

IMOGEN
Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch’d.
I will attend the queen.

PISANIO
Madam, I shall.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. Rome. Philario’s house.

Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a Frenchman, a Dutchman, and a Spaniard
IACHIMO
Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was
then of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy
as since he hath been allowed the name of; but I
could then have looked on him without the help of
admiration, though the catalogue of his endowments
had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.

PHILARIO
You speak of him when he was less furnished than now
he is with that which makes him both without and within.

Frenchman
I have seen him in France: we had very many there
could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.

IACHIMO
This matter of marrying his king’s daughter, wherein
he must be weighed rather by her value than his own,
words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.

Frenchman
And then his banishment.

IACHIMO
Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
to extend him; be it but to fortify her judgment,
which else an easy battery might lay flat, for
taking a beggar without less quality. But how comes
it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps
acquaintance?

PHILARIO
His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I
have been often bound for no less than my life.
Here comes the Briton: let him be so entertained
amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your
knowing, to a stranger of his quality.

Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I beseech you all, be better known to this
gentleman; whom I commend to you as a noble friend
of mine: how worthy he is I will leave to appear
hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.

Frenchman
Sir, we have known together in Orleans.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,
which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.

Frenchman
Sir, you o’er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I
did atone my countryman and you; it had been pity
you should have been put together with so mortal a
purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
slight and trivial a nature.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
my every action to be guided by others’ experiences:
but upon my mended judgment–if I offend not to say
it is mended–my quarrel was not altogether slight.

Frenchman
‘Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
and by such two that would by all likelihood have
confounded one the other, or have fallen both.

IACHIMO
Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?

Frenchman
Safely, I think: ’twas a contention in public,
which may, without contradiction, suffer the report.
It was much like an argument that fell out last
night, where each of us fell in praise of our
country mistresses; this gentleman at that time
vouching–and upon warrant of bloody
affirmation–his to be more fair, virtuous, wise,
chaste, constant-qualified and less attemptable
than any the rarest of our ladies in France.

IACHIMO
That lady is not now living, or this gentleman’s
opinion by this worn out.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
She holds her virtue still and I my mind.

IACHIMO
You must not so far prefer her ‘fore ours of Italy.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
adorer, not her friend.

IACHIMO
As fair and as good–a kind of hand-in-hand
comparison–had been something too fair and too good
for any lady in Britain. If she went before others
I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres
many I have beheld. I could not but believe she
excelled many: but I have not seen the most
precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.

IACHIMO
What do you esteem it at?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
More than the world enjoys.

IACHIMO
Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she’s
outprized by a trifle.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if
there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit
for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale,
and only the gift of the gods.

IACHIMO
Which the gods have given you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Which, by their graces, I will keep.

IACHIMO
You may wear her in title yours: but, you know,
strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your
ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
estimations; the one is but frail and the other
casual; a cunning thief, or a that way accomplished
courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier
to convince the honour of my mistress, if, in the
holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do
nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.

PHILARIO
Let us leave here, gentlemen.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I
thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

IACHIMO
With five times so much conversation, I should get
ground of your fair mistress, make her go back, even
to the yielding, had I admittance and opportunity to friend.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
No, no.

IACHIMO
I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to
your ring; which, in my opinion, o’ervalues it
something: but I make my wager rather against your
confidence than her reputation: and, to bar your
offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
lady in the world.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
You are a great deal abused in too bold a
persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you’re
worthy of by your attempt.

IACHIMO
What’s that?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it,
deserve more; a punishment too.

PHILARIO
Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly;
let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be
better acquainted.

IACHIMO
Would I had put my estate and my neighbour’s on the
approbation of what I have spoke!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
What lady would you choose to assail?

IACHIMO
Yours; whom in constancy you think stands so safe.
I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring,
that, commend me to the court where your lady is,
with no more advantage than the opportunity of a
second conference, and I will bring from thence
that honour of hers which you imagine so reserved.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring
I hold dear as my finger; ’tis part of it.

IACHIMO
You are afraid, and therein the wiser. If you buy
ladies’ flesh at a million a dram, you cannot
preserve it from tainting: but I see you have some
religion in you, that you fear.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a
graver purpose, I hope.

IACHIMO
I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
what’s spoken, I swear.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your
return: let there be covenants drawn between’s: my
mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your
unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here’s my ring.

PHILARIO
I will have it no lay.

IACHIMO
By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no
sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest
bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats
are yours; so is your diamond too: if I come off,
and leave her in such honour as you have trust in,
she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are
yours: provided I have your commendation for my more
free entertainment.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I embrace these conditions; let us have articles
betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if
you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
to understand you have prevailed, I am no further
your enemy; she is not worth our debate: if she
remain unseduced, you not making it appear
otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you
have made to her chastity you shall answer me with
your sword.

IACHIMO
Your hand; a covenant: we will have these things set
down by lawful counsel, and straight away for
Britain, lest the bargain should catch cold and
starve: I will fetch my gold and have our two
wagers recorded.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Agreed.

Exeunt POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and IACHIMO

Frenchman
Will this hold, think you?

PHILARIO
Signior Iachimo will not from it.
Pray, let us follow ’em.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Britain. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter QUEEN, Ladies, and CORNELIUS
QUEEN
Whiles yet the dew’s on ground, gather those flowers;
Make haste: who has the note of them?

First Lady
I, madam.

QUEEN
Dispatch.

Exeunt Ladies

Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?

CORNELIUS
Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, madam:

Presenting a small box

But I beseech your grace, without offence,–
My conscience bids me ask–wherefore you have
Commanded of me those most poisonous compounds,
Which are the movers of a languishing death;
But though slow, deadly?

QUEEN
I wonder, doctor,
Thou ask’st me such a question. Have I not been
Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn’d me how
To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so
That our great king himself doth woo me oft
For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,–
Unless thou think’st me devilish–is’t not meet
That I did amplify my judgment in
Other conclusions? I will try the forces
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
We count not worth the hanging, but none human,
To try the vigour of them and apply
Allayments to their act, and by them gather
Their several virtues and effects.

CORNELIUS
Your highness
Shall from this practise but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

QUEEN
O, content thee.

Enter PISANIO

Aside

Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him
Will I first work: he’s for his master,
An enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio!
Doctor, your service for this time is ended;
Take your own way.

CORNELIUS
[Aside] I do suspect you, madam;
But you shall do no harm.

QUEEN
[To PISANIO] Hark thee, a word.

CORNELIUS
[Aside] I do not like her. She doth think she has
Strange lingering poisons: I do know her spirit,
And will not trust one of her malice with
A drug of such damn’d nature. Those she has
Will stupefy and dull the sense awhile;
Which first, perchance, she’ll prove on
cats and dogs,
Then afterward up higher: but there is
No danger in what show of death it makes,
More than the locking-up the spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool’d
With a most false effect; and I the truer,
So to be false with her.

QUEEN
No further service, doctor,
Until I send for thee.

CORNELIUS
I humbly take my leave.

Exit

QUEEN
Weeps she still, say’st thou? Dost thou think in time
She will not quench and let instructions enter
Where folly now possesses? Do thou work:
When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
I’ll tell thee on the instant thou art then
As great as is thy master, greater, for
His fortunes all lie speechless and his name
Is at last gasp: return he cannot, nor
Continue where he is: to shift his being
Is to exchange one misery with another,
And every day that comes comes to decay
A day’s work in him. What shalt thou expect,
To be depender on a thing that leans,
Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends,
So much as but to prop him?

The QUEEN drops the box: PISANIO takes it up

Thou takest up
Thou know’st not what; but take it for thy labour:
It is a thing I made, which hath the king
Five times redeem’d from death: I do not know
What is more cordial. Nay, I prethee, take it;
It is an earnest of a further good
That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
The case stands with her; do’t as from thyself.
Think what a chance thou changest on, but think
Thou hast thy mistress still, to boot, my son,
Who shall take notice of thee: I’ll move the king
To any shape of thy preferment such
As thou’lt desire; and then myself, I chiefly,
That set thee on to this desert, am bound
To load thy merit richly. Call my women:
Think on my words.

Exit PISANIO

A sly and constant knave,
Not to be shaked; the agent for his master
And the remembrancer of her to hold
The hand-fast to her lord. I have given him that
Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
Except she bend her humour, shall be assured
To taste of too.

Re-enter PISANIO and Ladies

So, so: well done, well done:
The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pisanio;
Think on my words.

Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies

PISANIO
And shall do:
But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
I’ll choke myself: there’s all I’ll do for you.

Exit

SCENE VI. The same. Another room in the palace.

Enter IMOGEN
IMOGEN
A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
That hath her husband banish’d;–O, that husband!
My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol’n,
As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
Is the desire that’s glorious: blest be those,
How mean soe’er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!

Enter PISANIO and IACHIMO

PISANIO
Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome,
Comes from my lord with letters.

IACHIMO
Change you, madam?
The worthy Leonatus is in safety
And greets your highness dearly.

Presents a letter

IMOGEN
Thanks, good sir:
You’re kindly welcome.

IACHIMO
[Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish’d with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
Rather directly fly.

IMOGEN
[Reads] ‘He is one of the noblest note, to whose
kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
him accordingly, as you value your trust–
LEONATUS.’
So far I read aloud:
But even the very middle of my heart
Is warm’d by the rest, and takes it thankfully.
You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
Have words to bid you, and shall find it so
In all that I can do.

IACHIMO
Thanks, fairest lady.
What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
Of sea and land, which can distinguish ‘twixt
The fiery orbs above and the twinn’d stones
Upon the number’d beach? and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
‘Twixt fair and foul?

IMOGEN
What makes your admiration?

IACHIMO
It cannot be i’ the eye, for apes and monkeys
‘Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
Contemn with mows the other; nor i’ the judgment,
For idiots in this case of favour would
Be wisely definite; nor i’ the appetite;
Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allured to feed.

IMOGEN
What is the matter, trow?

IACHIMO
The cloyed will,
That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
Both fill’d and running, ravening first the lamb
Longs after for the garbage.

IMOGEN
What, dear sir,
Thus raps you? Are you well?

IACHIMO
Thanks, madam; well.

To PISANIO

Beseech you, sir, desire
My man’s abode where I did leave him: he
Is strange and peevish.

PISANIO
I was going, sir,
To give him welcome.

Exit

IMOGEN
Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?

IACHIMO
Well, madam.

IMOGEN
Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.

IACHIMO
Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
So merry and so gamesome: he is call’d
The Briton reveller.

IMOGEN
When he was here,
He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
Not knowing why.

IACHIMO
I never saw him sad.
There is a Frenchman his companion, one
An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much loves
A Gallian girl at home; he furnaces
The thick sighs from him, whiles the jolly Briton–
Your lord, I mean–laughs from’s free lungs, cries ‘O,
Can my sides hold, to think that man, who knows
By history, report, or his own proof,
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
But must be, will his free hours languish for
Assured bondage?’

IMOGEN
Will my lord say so?

IACHIMO
Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter:
It is a recreation to be by
And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
Some men are much to blame.

IMOGEN
Not he, I hope.

IACHIMO
Not he: but yet heaven’s bounty towards him might
Be used more thankfully. In himself, ’tis much;
In you, which I account his beyond all talents,
Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pity too.

IMOGEN
What do you pity, sir?

IACHIMO
Two creatures heartily.

IMOGEN
Am I one, sir?
You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
Deserves your pity?

IACHIMO
Lamentable! What,
To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
I’ the dungeon by a snuff?

IMOGEN
I pray you, sir,
Deliver with more openness your answers
To my demands. Why do you pity me?

IACHIMO
That others do–
I was about to say–enjoy your–But
It is an office of the gods to venge it,
Not mine to speak on ‘t.

IMOGEN
You do seem to know
Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,–
Since doubling things go ill often hurts more
Than to be sure they do; for certainties
Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born–discover to me
What both you spur and stop.

IACHIMO
Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
Whose every touch, would force the feeler’s soul
To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I, damn’d then,
Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
Made hard with hourly falsehood–falsehood, as
With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
Base and unlustrous as the smoky light
That’s fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
That all the plagues of hell should at one time
Encounter such revolt.

IMOGEN
My lord, I fear,
Has forgot Britain.

IACHIMO
And himself. Not I,
Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
The beggary of his change; but ’tis your graces
That from pay mutest conscience to my tongue
Charms this report out.

IMOGEN
Let me hear no more.

IACHIMO
O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart
With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady
So fair, and fasten’d to an empery,
Would make the great’st king double,–to be partner’d
With tomboys hired with that self-exhibition
Which your own coffers yield! with diseased ventures
That play with all infirmities for gold
Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil’d stuff
As well might poison poison! Be revenged;
Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
Recoil from your great stock.

IMOGEN
Revenged!
How should I be revenged? If this be true,–
As I have such a heart that both mine ears
Must not in haste abuse–if it be true,
How should I be revenged?

IACHIMO
Should he make me
Live, like Diana’s priest, betwixt cold sheets,
Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
More noble than that runagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your affection,
Still close as sure.

IMOGEN
What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO
Let me my service tender on your lips.

IMOGEN
Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
For such an end thou seek’st,–as base as strange.
Thou wrong’st a gentleman, who is as far
From thy report as thou from honour, and
Solicit’st here a lady that disdains
Thee and the devil alike. What ho, Pisanio!
The king my father shall be made acquainted
Of thy assault: if he shall think it fit,
A saucy stranger in his court to mart
As in a Romish stew and to expound
His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
He little cares for and a daughter who
He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO
O happy Leonatus! I may say
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
Her assured credit. Blessed live you long!
A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
Country call’d his! and you his mistress, only
For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
I have spoke this, to know if your affiance
Were deeply rooted; and shall make your lord,
That which he is, new o’er: and he is one
The truest manner’d; such a holy witch
That he enchants societies into him;
Half all men’s hearts are his.

IMOGEN
You make amends.

IACHIMO
He sits ‘mongst men like a descended god:
He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
To try your taking a false report; which hath
Honour’d with confirmation your great judgment
In the election of a sir so rare,
Which you know cannot err: the love I bear him
Made me to fan you thus, but the gods made you,
Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.

IMOGEN
All’s well, sir: take my power i’ the court
for yours.

IACHIMO
My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
To entreat your grace but in a small request,
And yet of moment to, for it concerns
Your lord; myself and other noble friends,
Are partners in the business.

IMOGEN
Pray, what is’t?

IACHIMO
Some dozen Romans of us and your lord–
The best feather of our wing–have mingled sums
To buy a present for the emperor
Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
In France: ’tis plate of rare device, and jewels
Of rich and exquisite form; their values great;
And I am something curious, being strange,
To have them in safe stowage: may it please you
To take them in protection?

IMOGEN
Willingly;
And pawn mine honour for their safety: since
My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
In my bedchamber.

IACHIMO
They are in a trunk,
Attended by my men: I will make bold
To send them to you, only for this night;
I must aboard to-morrow.

IMOGEN
O, no, no.

IACHIMO
Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
By lengthening my return. From Gallia
I cross’d the seas on purpose and on promise
To see your grace.

IMOGEN
I thank you for your pains:
But not away to-morrow!

IACHIMO
O, I must, madam:
Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
To greet your lord with writing, do’t to-night:
I have outstood my time; which is material
To the tender of our present.

IMOGEN
I will write.
Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,
And truly yielded you. You’re very welcome.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/11/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

 


Love’s Labour’s Lost, ACT V, SCENE I. The same.

Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL

HOLOFERNES
Satis quod sufficit.

SIR NATHANIEL
I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner
have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without
scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without
impudency, learned without opinion, and strange with-
out heresy. I did converse this quondam day with
a companion of the king’s, who is intituled, nomi-
nated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

HOLOFERNES
Novi hominem tanquam te: his humour is lofty, his
discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye
ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is
too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

SIR NATHANIEL
A most singular and choice epithet.

Draws out his table-book

HOLOFERNES
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer
than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
point-devise companions; such rackers of
orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should
say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,–d,
e, b, t, not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf;
half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebor; neigh
abbreviated ne. This is abhominable,–which he
would call abbominable: it insinuateth me of
insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.

SIR NATHANIEL
Laus Deo, bene intelligo.

HOLOFERNES
Bon, bon, fort bon, Priscian! a little scratch’d,
’twill serve.

SIR NATHANIEL
Videsne quis venit?

HOLOFERNES
Video, et gaudeo.

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARD

DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Chirrah!

To MOTH

HOLOFERNES
Quare chirrah, not sirrah?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Men of peace, well encountered.

HOLOFERNES
Most military sir, salutation.

MOTH
[Aside to COSTARD] They have been at a great feast
of languages, and stolen the scraps.

COSTARD
O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.
I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon.

MOTH
Peace! the peal begins.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
[To HOLOFERNES] Monsieur, are you not lettered?

MOTH
Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a,
b, spelt backward, with the horn on his head?

HOLOFERNES
Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.

MOTH
Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.

HOLOFERNES
Quis, quis, thou consonant?

MOTH
The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
the fifth, if I.

HOLOFERNES
I will repeat them,–a, e, i,–

MOTH
The sheep: the other two concludes it,–o, u.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet
touch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and
home! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!

MOTH
Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.

HOLOFERNES
What is the figure? what is the figure?

MOTH
Horns.

HOLOFERNES
Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.

MOTH
Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about
your infamy circum circa,–a gig of a cuckold’s horn.

COSTARD
An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst
have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very
remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny
purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an
the heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my
bastard, what a joyful father wouldst thou make me!
Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers’
ends, as they say.

HOLOFERNES
O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Arts-man, preambulate, we will be singled from the
barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the
charge-house on the top of the mountain?

HOLOFERNES
Or mons, the hill.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.

HOLOFERNES
I do, sans question.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sir, it is the king’s most sweet pleasure and
affection to congratulate the princess at her
pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the
rude multitude call the afternoon.

HOLOFERNES
The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is
liable, congruent and measurable for the afternoon:
the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I do
assure you, sir, I do assure.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my familiar,
I do assure ye, very good friend: for what is
inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech thee,
remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy
head: and among other important and most serious
designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let
that pass: for I must tell thee, it will please his
grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor
shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus, dally
with my excrement, with my mustachio; but, sweet
heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
fable: some certain special honours it pleaseth his
greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
travel, that hath seen the world; but let that pass.
The very all of all is,–but, sweet heart, I do
implore secrecy,–that the king would have me
present the princess, sweet chuck, with some
delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or
antique, or firework. Now, understanding that the
curate and your sweet self are good at such
eruptions and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it
were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to
crave your assistance.

HOLOFERNES
Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies.
Sir, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by
our assistants, at the king’s command, and this most
gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before
the princess; I say none so fit as to present the
Nine Worthies.

SIR NATHANIEL
Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?

HOLOFERNES
Joshua, yourself; myself and this gallant gentleman,
Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the
page, Hercules,–
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for
that Worthy’s thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.

HOLOFERNES
Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in
minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a
snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.

MOTH
An excellent device! so, if any of the audience
hiss, you may cry ‘Well done, Hercules! now thou
crushest the snake!’ that is the way to make an
offence gracious, though few have the grace to do it.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
For the rest of the Worthies?–

HOLOFERNES
I will play three myself.

MOTH
Thrice-worthy gentleman!
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Shall I tell you a thing?

HOLOFERNES
We attend.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
We will have, if this fadge not, an antique. I
beseech you, follow.

HOLOFERNES
Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.

DULL
Nor understood none neither, sir.

HOLOFERNES
Allons! we will employ thee.

DULL
I’ll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play
On the tabour to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.

HOLOFERNES
Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away!

Exeunt

LOVE’S LABOURS LOST

SCENE II. The same.

Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and MARIA
PRINCESS
Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
If fairings come thus plentifully in:
A lady wall’d about with diamonds!
Look you what I have from the loving king.

ROSALINE
Madame, came nothing else along with that?

PRINCESS
Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhyme
As would be cramm’d up in a sheet of paper,
Writ o’ both sides the leaf, margent and all,
That he was fain to seal on Cupid’s name.

ROSALINE
That was the way to make his godhead wax,
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.

KATHARINE
Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.

ROSALINE
You’ll ne’er be friends with him; a’ kill’d your sister.

KATHARINE
He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;
And so she died: had she been light, like you,
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
She might ha’ been a grandam ere she died:
And so may you; for a light heart lives long.

ROSALINE
What’s your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?

KATHARINE
A light condition in a beauty dark.

ROSALINE
We need more light to find your meaning out.

KATHARINE
You’ll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
Therefore I’ll darkly end the argument.

ROSALINE
Look what you do, you do it still i’ the dark.

KATHARINE
So do not you, for you are a light wench.

ROSALINE
Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.

KATHARINE
You weigh me not? O, that’s you care not for me.

ROSALINE
Great reason; for ‘past cure is still past care.’

PRINCESS
Well bandied both; a set of wit well play’d.
But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?

ROSALINE
I would you knew:
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron:
The numbers true; and, were the numbering too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!

PRINCESS
Any thing like?

ROSALINE
Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.

PRINCESS
Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.

KATHARINE
Fair as a text B in a copy-book.

ROSALINE
‘Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your debtor,
My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O’s!

KATHARINE
A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows.

PRINCESS
But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain?

KATHARINE
Madam, this glove.

PRINCESS
Did he not send you twain?

KATHARINE
Yes, madam, and moreover
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover,
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.

MARIA
This and these pearls to me sent Longaville:
The letter is too long by half a mile.

PRINCESS
I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
The chain were longer and the letter short?

MARIA
Ay, or I would these hands might never part.

PRINCESS
We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

ROSALINE
They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
That same Biron I’ll torture ere I go:
O that I knew he were but in by the week!
How I would make him fawn and beg and seek
And wait the season and observe the times
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes
And shape his service wholly to my hests
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So perttaunt-like would I o’ersway his state
That he should be my fool and I his fate.

PRINCESS
None are so surely caught, when they are catch’d,
As wit turn’d fool: folly, in wisdom hatch’d,
Hath wisdom’s warrant and the help of school
And wit’s own grace to grace a learned fool.

ROSALINE
The blood of youth burns not with such excess
As gravity’s revolt to wantonness.

MARIA
Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;
Since all the power thereof it doth apply
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

PRINCESS
Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.

Enter BOYET

BOYET
O, I am stabb’d with laughter! Where’s her grace?

PRINCESS
Thy news Boyet?

BOYET
Prepare, madam, prepare!
Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are
Against your peace: Love doth approach disguised,
Armed in arguments; you’ll be surprised:
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

PRINCESS
Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they
That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.

BOYET
Under the cool shade of a sycamore
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour;
When, lo! to interrupt my purposed rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The king and his companions: warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And overheard what you shall overhear,
That, by and by, disguised they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn’d his embassage:
Action and accent did they teach him there;
‘Thus must thou speak,’ and ‘thus thy body bear:’
And ever and anon they made a doubt
Presence majestical would put him out,
‘For,’ quoth the king, ‘an angel shalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.’
The boy replied, ‘An angel is not evil;
I should have fear’d her had she been a devil.’
With that, all laugh’d and clapp’d him on the shoulder,
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder:
One rubb’d his elbow thus, and fleer’d and swore
A better speech was never spoke before;
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cried, ‘Via! we will do’t, come what will come;’
The third he caper’d, and cried, ‘All goes well;’
The fourth turn’d on the toe, and down he fell.
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To cheque their folly, passion’s solemn tears.

PRINCESS
But what, but what, come they to visit us?

BOYET
They do, they do: and are apparell’d thus.
Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
Their purpose is to parle, to court and dance;
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress, which they’ll know
By favours several which they did bestow.

PRINCESS
And will they so? the gallants shall be task’d;
For, ladies, we shall every one be mask’d;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady’s face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the king will court thee for his dear;
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline.
And change your favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.

ROSALINE
Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.

KATHARINE
But in this changing what is your intent?

PRINCESS
The effect of my intent is to cross theirs:
They do it but in mocking merriment;
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook, and so be mock’d withal
Upon the next occasion that we meet,
With visages displayed, to talk and greet.

ROSALINE
But shall we dance, if they desire to’t?

PRINCESS
No, to the death, we will not move a foot;
Nor to their penn’d speech render we no grace,
But while ’tis spoke each turn away her face.

BOYET
Why, that contempt will kill the speaker’s heart,
And quite divorce his memory from his part.

PRINCESS
Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt
The rest will ne’er come in, if he be out
There’s no such sport as sport by sport o’erthrown,
To make theirs ours and ours none but our own:
So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
And they, well mock’d, depart away with shame.

Trumpets sound within

BOYET
The trumpet sounds: be mask’d; the maskers come.

The Ladies mask

Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked

MOTH
All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!–

BOYET
Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.

MOTH
A holy parcel of the fairest dames.

The Ladies turn their backs to him

That ever turn’d their–backs–to mortal views!

BIRON
[Aside to MOTH] Their eyes, villain, their eyes!

MOTH
That ever turn’d their eyes to mortal views!–Out–

BOYET
True; out indeed.

MOTH
Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
Not to behold–

BIRON
[Aside to MOTH] Once to behold, rogue.

MOTH
Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,
–with your sun-beamed eyes–

BOYET
They will not answer to that epithet;
You were best call it ‘daughter-beamed eyes.’

MOTH
They do not mark me, and that brings me out.

BIRON
Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!

Exit MOTH

ROSALINE
What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:
If they do speak our language, ’tis our will:
That some plain man recount their purposes
Know what they would.

BOYET
What would you with the princess?

BIRON
Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

ROSALINE
What would they, say they?

BOYET
Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

ROSALINE
Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.

BOYET
She says, you have it, and you may be gone.

FERDINAND
Say to her, we have measured many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.

BOYET
They say, that they have measured many a mile
To tread a measure with you on this grass.

ROSALINE
It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measured many,
The measure then of one is easily told.

BOYET
If to come hither you have measured miles,
And many miles, the princess bids you tell
How many inches doth fill up one mile.

BIRON
Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.

BOYET
She hears herself.

ROSALINE
How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o’ergone,
Are number’d in the travel of one mile?

BIRON
We number nothing that we spend for you:
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
That we, like savages, may worship it.

ROSALINE
My face is but a moon, and clouded too.

FERDINAND
Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.

ROSALINE
O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request’st but moonshine in the water.

FERDINAND
Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
Thou bid’st me beg: this begging is not strange.

ROSALINE
Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.

Music plays

Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.

FERDINAND
Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?

ROSALINE
You took the moon at full, but now she’s changed.

FERDINAND
Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

ROSALINE
Our ears vouchsafe it.

FERDINAND
But your legs should do it.

ROSALINE
Since you are strangers and come here by chance,
We’ll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.

FERDINAND
Why take we hands, then?

ROSALINE
Only to part friends:
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

FERDINAND
More measure of this measure; be not nice.

ROSALINE
We can afford no more at such a price.

FERDINAND
Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?

ROSALINE
Your absence only.

FERDINAND
That can never be.

ROSALINE
Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you.

FERDINAND
If you deny to dance, let’s hold more chat.

ROSALINE
In private, then.

FERDINAND
I am best pleased with that.

They converse apart

BIRON
White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.

PRINCESS
Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.

BIRON
Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice,
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
There’s half-a-dozen sweets.

PRINCESS
Seventh sweet, adieu:
Since you can cog, I’ll play no more with you.

BIRON
One word in secret.

PRINCESS
Let it not be sweet.

BIRON
Thou grievest my gall.

PRINCESS
Gall! bitter.

BIRON
Therefore meet.

They converse apart

DUMAIN
Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

MARIA
Name it.

DUMAIN
Fair lady,–

MARIA
Say you so? Fair lord,–
Take that for your fair lady.

DUMAIN
Please it you,
As much in private, and I’ll bid adieu.

They converse apart

KATHARINE
What, was your vizard made without a tongue?

LONGAVILLE
I know the reason, lady, why you ask.

KATHARINE
O for your reason! quickly, sir; I long.

LONGAVILLE
You have a double tongue within your mask,
And would afford my speechless vizard half.

KATHARINE
Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not ‘veal’ a calf?

LONGAVILLE
A calf, fair lady!

KATHARINE
No, a fair lord calf.

LONGAVILLE
Let’s part the word.

KATHARINE
No, I’ll not be your half
Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.

LONGAVILLE
Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!
Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.

KATHARINE
Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.

LONGAVILLE
One word in private with you, ere I die.

KATHARINE
Bleat softly then; the butcher hears you cry.

They converse apart

BOYET
The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
As is the razor’s edge invisible,
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen,
Above the sense of sense; so sensible
Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.

ROSALINE
Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.

BIRON
By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!

FERDINAND
Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.

PRINCESS
Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.

Exeunt FERDINAND, Lords, and Blackamoors

Are these the breed of wits so wonder’d at?

BOYET
Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff’d out.

ROSALINE
Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.

PRINCESS
O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces?
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.

ROSALINE
O, they were all in lamentable cases!
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

PRINCESS
Biron did swear himself out of all suit.

MARIA
Dumain was at my service, and his sword:
No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.

KATHARINE
Lord Longaville said, I came o’er his heart;
And trow you what he called me?

PRINCESS
Qualm, perhaps.

KATHARINE
Yes, in good faith.

PRINCESS
Go, sickness as thou art!

ROSALINE
Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.

PRINCESS
And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me.

KATHARINE
And Longaville was for my service born.

MARIA
Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.

BOYET
Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:
Immediately they will again be here
In their own shapes; for it can never be
They will digest this harsh indignity.

PRINCESS
Will they return?

BOYET
They will, they will, God knows,
And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows:
Therefore change favours; and, when they repair,
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.

PRINCESS
How blow? how blow? speak to be understood.

BOYET
Fair ladies mask’d are roses in their bud;
Dismask’d, their damask sweet commixture shown,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.

PRINCESS
Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,
If they return in their own shapes to woo?

ROSALINE
Good madam, if by me you’ll be advised,
Let’s, mock them still, as well known as disguised:
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
And wonder what they were and to what end
Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn’d
And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
Should be presented at our tent to us.

BOYET
Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.

PRINCESS
Whip to our tents, as roes run o’er land.

Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA

Re-enter FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits

FERDINAND
Fair sir, God save you! Where’s the princess?

BOYET
Gone to her tent. Please it your majesty
Command me any service to her thither?

FERDINAND
That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.

BOYET
I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.

Exit

BIRON
This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease,
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit’s pedler, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve;
A’ can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
That kiss’d his hand away in courtesy;
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can sing
A mean most meanly; and in ushering
Mend him who can: the ladies call him sweet;
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet:
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whale’s bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

FERDINAND
A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
That put Armado’s page out of his part!

BIRON
See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou
Till this madman show’d thee? and what art thou now?

Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE

FERDINAND
All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

PRINCESS
‘Fair’ in ‘all hail’ is foul, as I conceive.

FERDINAND
Construe my speeches better, if you may.

PRINCESS
Then wish me better; I will give you leave.

FERDINAND
We came to visit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.

PRINCESS
This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow:
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjured men.

FERDINAND
Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.

PRINCESS
You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke;
For virtue’s office never breaks men’s troth.
Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,
I would not yield to be your house’s guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vow’d with integrity.

FERDINAND
O, you have lived in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.

PRINCESS
Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
We have had pastimes here and pleasant game:
A mess of Russians left us but of late.

FERDINAND
How, madam! Russians!

PRINCESS
Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.

ROSALINE
Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord:
My lady, to the manner of the days,
In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
We four indeed confronted were with four
In Russian habit: here they stay’d an hour,
And talk’d apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.

BIRON
This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we greet,
With eyes best seeing, heaven’s fiery eye,
By light we lose light: your capacity
Is of that nature that to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor.

ROSALINE
This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,–

BIRON
I am a fool, and full of poverty.

ROSALINE
But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

BIRON
O, I am yours, and all that I possess!

ROSALINE
All the fool mine?

BIRON
I cannot give you less.

ROSALINE
Which of the vizards was it that you wore?

BIRON
Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this?

ROSALINE
There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case
That hid the worse and show’d the better face.

FERDINAND
We are descried; they’ll mock us now downright.

DUMAIN
Let us confess and turn it to a jest.

PRINCESS
Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad?

ROSALINE
Help, hold his brows! he’ll swoon! Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.

BIRON
Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.
Can any face of brass hold longer out?

Here stand I
lady, dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will wish thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
O, never will I trust to speeches penn’d,
Nor to the motion of a schoolboy’s tongue,
Nor never come in vizard to my friend,
Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper’s song!
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical; these summer-flies
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
I do forswear them; and I here protest,
By this white glove;–how white the hand, God knows!–
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express’d
In russet yeas and honest kersey noes:
And, to begin, wench,–so God help me, la!–
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

ROSALINE
Sans sans, I pray you.

BIRON
Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick;
I’ll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see:
Write, ‘Lord have mercy on us’ on those three;
They are infected; in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes;
These lords are visited; you are not free,
For the Lord’s tokens on you do I see.

PRINCESS
No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.

BIRON
Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.

ROSALINE
It is not so; for how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?

BIRON
Peace! for I will not have to do with you.

ROSALINE
Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.

BIRON
Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.

FERDINAND
Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
Some fair excuse.

PRINCESS
The fairest is confession.
Were not you here but even now disguised?

FERDINAND
Madam, I was.

PRINCESS
And were you well advised?

FERDINAND
I was, fair madam.

PRINCESS
When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady’s ear?

FERDINAND
That more than all the world I did respect her.

PRINCESS
When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.

FERDINAND
Upon mine honour, no.

PRINCESS
Peace, peace! forbear:
Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

FERDINAND
Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.

PRINCESS
I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

ROSALINE
Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto moreover
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.

PRINCESS
God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
Most honourably doth unhold his word.

FERDINAND
What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.

ROSALINE
By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.

FERDINAND
My faith and this the princess I did give:
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

PRINCESS
Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
And Lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear.
What, will you have me, or your pearl again?

BIRON
Neither of either; I remit both twain.
I see the trick on’t: here was a consent,
Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
To dash it like a Christmas comedy:
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick,
That smiles his cheek in years and knows the trick
To make my lady laugh when she’s disposed,
Told our intents before; which once disclosed,
The ladies did change favours: and then we,
Following the signs, woo’d but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn, in will and error.
Much upon this it is: and might not you

To BOYET

Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
Do not you know my lady’s foot by the squier,
And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
You put our page out: go, you are allow’d;
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
You leer upon me, do you? there’s an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.

BOYET
Full merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.

BIRON
Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.

Enter COSTARD

Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.

COSTARD
O Lord, sir, they would know
Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.

BIRON
What, are there but three?

COSTARD
No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.

BIRON
And three times thrice is nine.

COSTARD
Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope it is not so.
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir we know
what we know:
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,–

BIRON
Is not nine.

COSTARD
Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.

BIRON
By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.

COSTARD
O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your living
by reckoning, sir.

BIRON
How much is it?

COSTARD
O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors,
sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for mine
own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one man
in one poor man, Pompion the Great, sir.

BIRON
Art thou one of the Worthies?

COSTARD
It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion the
Great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of
the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.

BIRON
Go, bid them prepare.

COSTARD
We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take
some care.

Exit

FERDINAND
Biron, they will shame us: let them not approach.

BIRON
We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policy
To have one show worse than the king’s and his company.

FERDINAND
I say they shall not come.

PRINCESS
Nay, my good lord, let me o’errule you now:
That sport best pleases that doth least know how:
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Dies in the zeal of that which it presents:
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
When great things labouring perish in their birth.

BIRON
A right description of our sport, my lord.

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal
sweet breath as will utter a brace of words.

Converses apart with FERDINAND, and delivers him a paper

PRINCESS
Doth this man serve God?

BIRON
Why ask you?

PRINCESS
He speaks not like a man of God’s making.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
That is all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for,
I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding
fantastical; too, too vain, too too vain: but we
will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra.
I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement!

Exit

FERDINAND
Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies. He
presents Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the
Great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado’s page,
Hercules; the pedant, Judas Maccabaeus: And if
these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
These four will change habits, and present the other five.

BIRON
There is five in the first show.

FERDINAND
You are deceived; ’tis not so.

BIRON
The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fool
and the boy:–
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.

FERDINAND
The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.

Enter COSTARD, for Pompey

COSTARD
I Pompey am,–

BOYET
You lie, you are not he.

COSTARD
I Pompey am,–

BOYET
With libbard’s head on knee.

BIRON
Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friends
with thee.

COSTARD
I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the Big–

DUMAIN
The Great.

COSTARD
It is, ‘Great,’ sir:–
Pompey surnamed the Great;
That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make
my foe to sweat:
And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance,
And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France,
If your ladyship would say, ‘Thanks, Pompey,’ I had done.

PRINCESS
Great thanks, great Pompey.

COSTARD
‘Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect: I
made a little fault in ‘Great.’

BIRON
My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.

Enter SIR NATHANIEL, for Alexander

SIR NATHANIEL
When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
commander;
By east, west, north, and south, I spread my
conquering might:
My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander,–

BOYET
Your nose says, no, you are not for it stands too right.

BIRON
Your nose smells ‘no’ in this, most tender-smelling knight.

PRINCESS
The conqueror is dismay’d. Proceed, good Alexander.

SIR NATHANIEL
When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
commander,–

BOYET
Most true, ’tis right; you were so, Alisander.

BIRON
Pompey the Great,–

COSTARD
Your servant, and Costard.

BIRON
Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.

COSTARD
[To SIR NATHANIEL] O, sir, you have overthrown
Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of
the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds
his poll-axe sitting on a close-stool, will be given
to Ajax: he will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror,
and afeard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander.

SIR NATHANIEL retires

There, an’t shall please you; a foolish mild man; an
honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a
marvellous good neighbour, faith, and a very good
bowler: but, for Alisander,–alas, you see how
’tis,–a little o’erparted. But there are Worthies
a-coming will speak their mind in some other sort.

Enter HOLOFERNES, for Judas; and MOTH, for Hercules

HOLOFERNES
Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
Whose club kill’d Cerberus, that three-headed canis;
And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
Quoniam he seemeth in minority,
Ergo I come with this apology.
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.

MOTH retires

Judas I am,–

DUMAIN
A Judas!

HOLOFERNES
Not Iscariot, sir.
Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus.

DUMAIN
Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas.

BIRON
A kissing traitor. How art thou proved Judas?

HOLOFERNES
Judas I am,–

DUMAIN
The more shame for you, Judas.

HOLOFERNES
What mean you, sir?

BOYET
To make Judas hang himself.

HOLOFERNES
Begin, sir; you are my elder.

BIRON
Well followed: Judas was hanged on an elder.

HOLOFERNES
I will not be put out of countenance.

BIRON
Because thou hast no face.

HOLOFERNES
What is this?

BOYET
A cittern-head.

DUMAIN
The head of a bodkin.

BIRON
A Death’s face in a ring.

LONGAVILLE
The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.

BOYET
The pommel of Caesar’s falchion.

DUMAIN
The carved-bone face on a flask.

BIRON
Saint George’s half-cheek in a brooch.

DUMAIN
Ay, and in a brooch of lead.

BIRON
Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.

HOLOFERNES
You have put me out of countenance.

BIRON
False; we have given thee faces.

HOLOFERNES
But you have out-faced them all.

BIRON
An thou wert a lion, we would do so.

BOYET
Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.
And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay?

DUMAIN
For the latter end of his name.

BIRON
For the ass to the Jude; give it him:–Jud-as, away!

HOLOFERNES
This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.

BOYET
A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble.

HOLOFERNES retires

PRINCESS
Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, for Hector

BIRON
Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.

DUMAIN
Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.

FERDINAND
Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.

BOYET
But is this Hector?

FERDINAND
I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.

LONGAVILLE
His leg is too big for Hector’s.

DUMAIN
More calf, certain.

BOYET
No; he is best endued in the small.

BIRON
This cannot be Hector.

DUMAIN
He’s a god or a painter; for he makes faces.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
Gave Hector a gift,–

DUMAIN
A gilt nutmeg.

BIRON
A lemon.

LONGAVILLE
Stuck with cloves.

DUMAIN
No, cloven.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Peace!–
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty
Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion;
A man so breathed, that certain he would fight; yea
From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
I am that flower,–

DUMAIN
That mint.

LONGAVILLE
That columbine.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.

LONGAVILLE
I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.

DUMAIN
Ay, and Hector’s a greyhound.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks,
beat not the bones of the buried: when he breathed,
he was a man. But I will forward with my device.

To the PRINCESS

Sweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.

PRINCESS
Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I do adore thy sweet grace’s slipper.

BOYET
[Aside to DUMAIN] Loves her by the foot,–

DUMAIN
[Aside to BOYET] He may not by the yard.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,–

COSTARD
The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she
is two months on her way.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
What meanest thou?

COSTARD
Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poor
wench is cast away: she’s quick; the child brags in
her belly already: tis yours.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt
die.

COSTARD
Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is
quick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead by
him.

DUMAIN
Most rare Pompey!

BOYET
Renowned Pompey!

BIRON
Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey!
Pompey the Huge!

DUMAIN
Hector trembles.

BIRON
Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir them
on! stir them on!

DUMAIN
Hector will challenge him.

BIRON
Ay, if a’ have no man’s blood in’s belly than will
sup a flea.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
By the north pole, I do challenge thee.

COSTARD
I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man:
I’ll slash; I’ll do it by the sword. I bepray you,
let me borrow my arms again.

DUMAIN
Room for the incensed Worthies!

COSTARD
I’ll do it in my shirt.

DUMAIN
Most resolute Pompey!

MOTH
Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do you
not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean
you? You will lose your reputation.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat
in my shirt.

DUMAIN
You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet bloods, I both may and will.

BIRON
What reason have you for’t?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go
woolward for penance.

BOYET
True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of
linen: since when, I’ll be sworn, he wore none but
a dishclout of Jaquenetta’s, and that a’ wears next
his heart for a favour.

Enter MERCADE

MERCADE
God save you, madam!

PRINCESS
Welcome, Mercade;
But that thou interrupt’st our merriment.

MERCADE
I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father–

PRINCESS
Dead, for my life!

MERCADE
Even so; my tale is told.

BIRON
Worthies, away! the scene begins to cloud.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I have
seen the day of wrong through the little hole of
discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.

Exeunt Worthies

FERDINAND
How fares your majesty?

PRINCESS
Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight.

FERDINAND
Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.

PRINCESS
Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
For all your fair endeavors; and entreat,
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide
The liberal opposition of our spirits,
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
In the converse of breath: your gentleness
Was guilty of it. Farewell worthy lord!
A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue:
Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
For my great suit so easily obtain’d.

FERDINAND
The extreme parts of time extremely forms
All causes to the purpose of his speed,
And often at his very loose decides
That which long process could not arbitrate:
And though the mourning brow of progeny
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
The holy suit which fain it would convince,
Yet, since love’s argument was first on foot,
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.

PRINCESS
I understand you not: my griefs are double.

BIRON
Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;
And by these badges understand the king.
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
Play’d foul play with our oaths: your beauty, ladies,
Hath much deform’d us, fashioning our humours
Even to the opposed end of our intents:
And what in us hath seem’d ridiculous,–
As love is full of unbefitting strains,
All wanton as a child, skipping and vain,
Form’d by the eye and therefore, like the eye,
Full of strange shapes, of habits and of forms,
Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll
To every varied object in his glance:
Which parti-coated presence of loose love
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
Our love being yours, the error that love makes
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
By being once false for ever to be true
To those that make us both,–fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.

PRINCESS
We have received your letters full of love;
Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest and courtesy,
As bombast and as lining to the time:
But more devout than this in our respects
Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.

DUMAIN
Our letters, madam, show’d much more than jest.

LONGAVILLE
So did our looks.

ROSALINE
We did not quote them so.

FERDINAND
Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Grant us your loves.

PRINCESS
A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
If for my love, as there is no such cause,
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about the annual reckoning.
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine
I will be thine; and till that instant shut
My woeful self up in a mourning house,
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father’s death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
Neither entitled in the other’s heart.

FERDINAND
If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.

DUMAIN
But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?

KATHARINE
A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.

DUMAIN
O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?

KATHARINE
Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day
I’ll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:
Come when the king doth to my lady come;
Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some.

DUMAIN
I’ll serve thee true and faithfully till then.

KATHARINE
Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.

LONGAVILLE
What says Maria?

MARIA
At the twelvemonth’s end
I’ll change my black gown for a faithful friend.

LONGAVILLE
I’ll stay with patience; but the time is long.

MARIA
The liker you; few taller are so young.

BIRON
Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there:
Impose some service on me for thy love.

ROSALINE
Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron,
Before I saw you; and the world’s large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit.
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,
Without the which I am not to be won,
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day
Visit the speechless sick and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavor of your wit
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

BIRON
To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

ROSALINE
Why, that’s the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf’d with the clamours of their own dear groans,
Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
And I will have you and that fault withal;
But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.

BIRON
A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall,
I’ll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.

PRINCESS
[To FERDINAND] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.

FERDINAND
No, madam; we will bring you on your way.

BIRON
Our wooing doth not end like an old play;
Jack hath not Jill: these ladies’ courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.

FERDINAND
Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
And then ’twill end.

BIRON
That’s too long for a play.

Re-enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,–

PRINCESS
Was not that Hector?

DUMAIN
The worthy knight of Troy.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am
a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the
plough for her sweet love three years. But, most
esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that
the two learned men have compiled in praise of the
owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the
end of our show.

FERDINAND
Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Holla! approach.

Re-enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others

This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring;
the one maintained by the owl, the other by the
cuckoo. Ver, begin.

THE SONG

SPRING.
When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws
And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
WINTER.
When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of
Apollo. You that way: we this way.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/10/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

 


Love’s Labour’s Lost, ACT IV, SCENE I. The same.

Enter the PRINCESS, and her train, a Forester, BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE

PRINCESS
Was that the king, that spurred his horse so hard
Against the steep uprising of the hill?

BOYET
I know not; but I think it was not he.

PRINCESS
Whoe’er a’ was, a’ show’d a mounting mind.
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch:
On Saturday we will return to France.
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
That we must stand and play the murderer in?

Forester
Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.

PRINCESS
I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
And thereupon thou speak’st the fairest shoot.

Forester
Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

PRINCESS
What, what? first praise me and again say no?
O short-lived pride! Not fair? alack for woe!

Forester
Yes, madam, fair.

PRINCESS
Nay, never paint me now:
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.

Forester
Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.

PRINCESS
See see, my beauty will be saved by merit!
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come, the bow: now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill.
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
Not wounding, pity would not let me do’t;
If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
And out of question so it is sometimes,
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
When, for fame’s sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart;
As I for praise alone now seek to spill
The poor deer’s blood, that my heart means no ill.

BOYET
Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
Lords o’er their lords?

PRINCESS
Only for praise: and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord.

BOYET
Here comes a member of the commonwealth.

Enter COSTARD

COSTARD
God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?

PRINCESS
Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.

COSTARD
Which is the greatest lady, the highest?

PRINCESS
The thickest and the tallest.

COSTARD
The thickest and the tallest! it is so; truth is truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One o’ these maids’ girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest here.

PRINCESS
What’s your will, sir? what’s your will?

COSTARD
I have a letter from Monsieur Biron to one Lady Rosaline.

PRINCESS
O, thy letter, thy letter! he’s a good friend of mine:
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve;
Break up this capon.

BOYET
I am bound to serve.
This letter is mistook, it importeth none here;
It is writ to Jaquenetta.

PRINCESS
We will read it, I swear.
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.

Reads

BOYET
‘By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;
true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that
thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have
commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The
magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set
eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar
Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say,
Veni, vidi, vici; which to annothanize in the
vulgar,–O base and obscure vulgar!–videlicet, He
came, saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw two;
overcame, three. Who came? the king: why did he
come? to see: why did he see? to overcome: to
whom came he? to the beggar: what saw he? the
beggar: who overcame he? the beggar. The
conclusion is victory: on whose side? the king’s.
The captive is enriched: on whose side? the
beggar’s. The catastrophe is a nuptial: on whose
side? the king’s: no, on both in one, or one in
both. I am the king; for so stands the comparison:
thou the beggar; for so witnesseth thy lowliness.
Shall I command thy love? I may: shall I enforce
thy love? I could: shall I entreat thy love? I
will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes;
for tittles? titles; for thyself? me. Thus,
expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot,
my eyes on thy picture. and my heart on thy every
part. Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.’
Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
‘Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play:
But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.

PRINCESS
What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
What vane? what weathercock? did you ever hear better?

BOYET
I am much deceived but I remember the style.

PRINCESS
Else your memory is bad, going o’er it erewhile.

BOYET
This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the prince and his bookmates.

PRINCESS
Thou fellow, a word:
Who gave thee this letter?

COSTARD
I told you; my lord.

PRINCESS
To whom shouldst thou give it?

COSTARD
From my lord to my lady.

PRINCESS
From which lord to which lady?

COSTARD
From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France that he call’d Rosaline.

PRINCESS
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.

To ROSALINE

Here, sweet, put up this: ’twill be thine another day.

Exeunt PRINCESS and train

BOYET
Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?

ROSALINE
Shall I teach you to know?

BOYET
Ay, my continent of beauty.

ROSALINE
Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!

BOYET
My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

ROSALINE
Well, then, I am the shooter.

BOYET
And who is your deer?

ROSALINE
If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
Finely put on, indeed!

MARIA
You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes
at the brow.

BOYET
But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?

ROSALINE
Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was
a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as
touching the hit it?

BOYET
So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
wench, as touching the hit it.

ROSALINE
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET
An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.

Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE

COSTARD
By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!

MARIA
A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.

BOYET
A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!
Let the mark have a prick in’t, to mete at, if it may be.

MARIA
Wide o’ the bow hand! i’ faith, your hand is out.

COSTARD
Indeed, a’ must shoot nearer, or he’ll ne’er hit the clout.

BOYET
An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

COSTARD
Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

MARIA
Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

COSTARD
She’s too hard for you at pricks, sir: challenge her to bowl.

BOYET
I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.

Exeunt BOYET and MARIA

COSTARD
By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!
O’ my troth, most sweet jests! most incony
vulgar wit!
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
were, so fit.
Armado o’ th’ one side,–O, a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a’
will swear!
And his page o’ t’ other side, that handful of wit!
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
Sola, sola!

Shout within

Exit COSTARD, running

LOVE’S LABOURS LOST

SCENE II. The same.

Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL
SIR NATHANIEL
Very reverend sport, truly; and done in the testimony
of a good conscience.

HOLOFERNES
The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in blood; ripe
as the pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in
the ear of caelo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven;
and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra,
the soil, the land, the earth.

SIR NATHANIEL
Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly
varied, like a scholar at the least: but, sir, I
assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.

DULL
‘Twas not a haud credo; ’twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES
Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind of
insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of
explication; facere, as it were, replication, or
rather, ostentare, to show, as it were, his
inclination, after his undressed, unpolished,
uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather,
unlettered, or ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to
insert again my haud credo for a deer.

DULL
I said the deer was not a haud credo; twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES
Twice-sod simplicity, his coctus!
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

SIR NATHANIEL
Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred
in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he
hath not drunk ink: his intellect is not
replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in
the duller parts:
And such barren plants are set before us, that we
thankful should be,
Which we of taste and feeling are, for those parts that
do fructify in us more than he.
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school:
But omne bene, say I; being of an old father’s mind,
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.

DULL
You two are book-men: can you tell me by your wit
What was a month old at Cain’s birth, that’s not five
weeks old as yet?

HOLOFERNES
Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.

DULL
What is Dictynna?

SIR NATHANIEL
A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.

HOLOFERNES
The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
And raught not to five weeks when he came to
five-score.
The allusion holds in the exchange.

DULL
‘Tis true indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.

HOLOFERNES
God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holds
in the exchange.

DULL
And I say, the pollusion holds in the exchange; for
the moon is never but a month old: and I say beside
that, ’twas a pricket that the princess killed.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph
on the death of the deer? And, to humour the
ignorant, call I the deer the princess killed a pricket.

SIR NATHANIEL
Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge; so it shall
please you to abrogate scurrility.

HOLOFERNES
I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
The preyful princess pierced and prick’d a pretty
pleasing pricket;
Some say a sore; but not a sore, till now made
sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell: put L to sore, then sorel jumps
from thicket;
Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores
one sorel.
Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.

SIR NATHANIEL
A rare talent!

DULL
[Aside] If a talent be a claw, look how he claws
him with a talent.

HOLOFERNES
This is a gift that I have, simple, simple; a
foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
revolutions: these are begot in the ventricle of
memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater, and
delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the
gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am
thankful for it.

SIR NATHANIEL
Sir, I praise the Lord for you; and so may my
parishioners; for their sons are well tutored by
you, and their daughters profit very greatly under
you: you are a good member of the commonwealth.

HOLOFERNES
Mehercle, if their sons be ingenuous, they shall
want no instruction; if their daughters be capable,
I will put it to them: but vir sapit qui pauca
loquitur; a soul feminine saluteth us.

Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD

JAQUENETTA
God give you good morrow, master Parson.

HOLOFERNES
Master Parson, quasi pers-on. An if one should be
pierced, which is the one?

COSTARD
Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.

HOLOFERNES
Piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of conceit in a
tuft of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough
for a swine: ’tis pretty; it is well.

JAQUENETTA
Good master Parson, be so good as read me this
letter: it was given me by Costard, and sent me
from Don Armado: I beseech you, read it.

HOLOFERNES
Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra
Ruminat,–and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I
may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice;
Venetia, Venetia,
Chi non ti vede non ti pretia.
Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who understandeth thee
not, loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa.
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? or rather,
as Horace says in his–What, my soul, verses?

SIR NATHANIEL
Ay, sir, and very learned.

HOLOFERNES
Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.

SIR NATHANIEL
[Reads]
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow’d!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll faithful prove:
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like
osiers bow’d.
Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
Where all those pleasures live that art would
comprehend:
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire:
Thy eye Jove’s lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O, pardon, love, this wrong,
That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.

HOLOFERNES
You find not the apostraphas, and so miss the
accent: let me supervise the canzonet. Here are
only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy,
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret.
Ovidius Naso was the man: and why, indeed, Naso,
but for smelling out the odouriferous flowers of
fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is nothing:
so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper,
the tired horse his rider. But, damosella virgin,
was this directed to you?

JAQUENETTA
Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of the strange
queen’s lords.

HOLOFERNES
I will overglance the superscript: ‘To the
snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
Rosaline.’ I will look again on the intellect of
the letter, for the nomination of the party writing
to the person written unto: ‘Your ladyship’s in all
desired employment, BIRON.’ Sir Nathaniel, this
Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here
he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger
queen’s, which accidentally, or by the way of
progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my
sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the
king: it may concern much. Stay not thy
compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.

JAQUENETTA
Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!

COSTARD
Have with thee, my girl.

Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

SIR NATHANIEL
Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very
religiously; and, as a certain father saith,–

HOLOFERNES
Sir tell me not of the father; I do fear colourable
colours. But to return to the verses: did they
please you, Sir Nathaniel?

SIR NATHANIEL
Marvellous well for the pen.

HOLOFERNES
I do dine to-day at the father’s of a certain pupil
of mine; where, if, before repast, it shall please
you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my
privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid
child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I
will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention: I
beseech your society.

SIR NATHANIEL
And thank you too; for society, saith the text, is
the happiness of life.

HOLOFERNES
And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.

To DULL

Sir, I do invite you too; you shall not
say me nay: pauca verba. Away! the gentles are at
their game, and we will to our recreation.

Exeunt

LOVE’S LABOURS LOST

SCENE III. The same.

Enter BIRON, with a paper
BIRON
The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing
myself: they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in
a pitch,–pitch that defiles: defile! a foul
word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so they say
the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool: well
proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as
Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep:
well proved again o’ my side! I will not love: if
I do, hang me; i’ faith, I will not. O, but her
eye,–by this light, but for her eye, I would not
love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing
in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By
heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme
and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme,
and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o’ my
sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent
it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter
fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care
a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one
with a paper: God give him grace to groan!

Stands aside

Enter FERDINAND, with a paper

FERDINAND
Ay me!

BIRON
[Aside] Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid:
thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the
left pap. In faith, secrets!

FERDINAND
[Reads]
So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows:
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will show:
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs? I’ll drop the paper:
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?

Steps aside

What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.

BIRON
Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!

Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper

LONGAVILLE
Ay me, I am forsworn!

BIRON
Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.

FERDINAND
In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!

BIRON
One drunkard loves another of the name.

LONGAVILLE
Am I the first that have been perjured so?

BIRON
I could put thee in comfort. Not by two that I know:
Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
The shape of Love’s Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.

LONGAVILLE
I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move:
O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.

BIRON
O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid’s hose:
Disfigure not his slop.

LONGAVILLE
This same shall go.

Reads

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
‘Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gain’d cures all disgrace in me.
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is:
If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?

BIRON
This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,
A green goose a goddess: pure, pure idolatry.
God amend us, God amend! we are much out o’ the way.

LONGAVILLE
By whom shall I send this?–Company! stay.

Steps aside

BIRON
All hid, all hid; an old infant play.
Like a demigod here sit I in the sky.
And wretched fools’ secrets heedfully o’ereye.
More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!

Enter DUMAIN, with a paper

Dumain transform’d! four woodcocks in a dish!

DUMAIN
O most divine Kate!

BIRON
O most profane coxcomb!

DUMAIN
By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!

BIRON
By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.

DUMAIN
Her amber hair for foul hath amber quoted.

BIRON
An amber-colour’d raven was well noted.

DUMAIN
As upright as the cedar.

BIRON
Stoop, I say;
Her shoulder is with child.

DUMAIN
As fair as day.

BIRON
Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.

DUMAIN
O that I had my wish!

LONGAVILLE
And I had mine!

FERDINAND
And I mine too, good Lord!

BIRON
Amen, so I had mine: is not that a good word?

DUMAIN
I would forget her; but a fever she
Reigns in my blood and will remember’d be.

BIRON
A fever in your blood! why, then incision
Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision!

DUMAIN
Once more I’ll read the ode that I have writ.

BIRON
Once more I’ll mark how love can vary wit.

DUMAIN
[Reads]
On a day–alack the day!–
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven’s breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love’s fasting pain.
O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
For none offend where all alike do dote.

LONGAVILLE
[Advancing] Dumain, thy love is far from charity.
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o’erheard and taken napping so.

FERDINAND
[Advancing] Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;
You chide at him, offending twice as much;
You do not love Maria; Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
I have been closely shrouded in this bush
And mark’d you both and for you both did blush:
I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;
One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other’s eyes:

To LONGAVILLE

You would for paradise break faith, and troth;

To DUMAIN

And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
What will Biron say when that he shall hear
Faith so infringed, which such zeal did swear?
How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me.

BIRON
Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.

Advancing

Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me!
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
These worms for loving, that art most in love?
Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
There is no certain princess that appears;
You’ll not be perjured, ’tis a hateful thing;
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
But are you not ashamed? nay, are you not,
All three of you, to be thus much o’ershot?
You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
But I a beam do find in each of three.
O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow and of teen!
O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
To see a king transformed to a gnat!
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumain?
And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
And where my liege’s? all about the breast:
A caudle, ho!

FERDINAND
Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betray’d thus to thy over-view?

BIRON
Not you to me, but I betray’d by you:
I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in;
I am betray’d, by keeping company
With men like men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
Or groan for love? or spend a minute’s time
In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
A leg, a limb?

FERDINAND
Soft! whither away so fast?
A true man or a thief that gallops so?

BIRON
I post from love: good lover, let me go.

Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD

JAQUENETTA
God bless the king!

FERDINAND
What present hast thou there?

COSTARD
Some certain treason.

FERDINAND
What makes treason here?

COSTARD
Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

FERDINAND
If it mar nothing neither,
The treason and you go in peace away together.

JAQUENETTA
I beseech your grace, let this letter be read:
Our parson misdoubts it; ’twas treason, he said.

FERDINAND
Biron, read it over.

Giving him the paper

Where hadst thou it?

JAQUENETTA
Of Costard.

FERDINAND
Where hadst thou it?

COSTARD
Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.

BIRON tears the letter

FERDINAND
How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it?

BIRON
A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace needs not fear it.

LONGAVILLE
It did move him to passion, and therefore let’s hear it.

DUMAIN
It is Biron’s writing, and here is his name.

Gathering up the pieces

BIRON
[To COSTARD] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead! you were
born to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.

FERDINAND
What?

BIRON
That you three fools lack’d me fool to make up the mess:
He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I,
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.

DUMAIN
Now the number is even.

BIRON
True, true; we are four.
Will these turtles be gone?

FERDINAND
Hence, sirs; away!

COSTARD
Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.

Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

BIRON
Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.

FERDINAND
What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?

BIRON
Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
That is not blinded by her majesty?

FERDINAND
What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
She an attending star, scarce seen a light.

BIRON
My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:
O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
Of all complexions the cull’d sovereignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
Where several worthies make one dignity,
Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,–
Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not:
To things of sale a seller’s praise belongs,
She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
A wither’d hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy:
O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine.

FERDINAND
By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.

BIRON
Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black.

FERDINAND
O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.

BIRON
Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
O, if in black my lady’s brows be deck’d,
It mourns that painting and usurping hair
Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
And therefore is she born to make black fair.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.

DUMAIN
To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.

LONGAVILLE
And since her time are colliers counted bright.

FERDINAND
And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.

DUMAIN
Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.

BIRON
Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours should be wash’d away.

FERDINAND
‘Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
I’ll find a fairer face not wash’d to-day.

BIRON
I’ll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.

FERDINAND
No devil will fright thee then so much as she.

DUMAIN
I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.

LONGAVILLE
Look, here’s thy love: my foot and her face see.

BIRON
O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!

DUMAIN
O, vile! then, as she goes, what upward lies
The street should see as she walk’d overhead.

FERDINAND
But what of this? are we not all in love?

BIRON
Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.

FERDINAND
Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now prove
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.

DUMAIN
Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.

LONGAVILLE
O, some authority how to proceed;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

DUMAIN
Some salve for perjury.

BIRON
‘Tis more than need.
Have at you, then, affection’s men at arms.
Consider what you first did swear unto,
To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
Flat treason ‘gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow’d to study, lords,
In that each of you have forsworn his book,
Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of study’s excellence
Without the beauty of a woman’s face?

From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive; They are the ground, the books, the academes From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire

Why, universal plodding poisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries,
As motion and long-during action tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman’s face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes
And study too, the causer of your vow;
For where is any author in the world
Teaches such beauty as a woman’s eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
And where we are our learning likewise is:
Then when ourselves we see in ladies’ eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty’s tutors have enrich’d you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
And therefore, finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp’d:
Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl’d snails;
Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair:
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were temper’d with Love’s sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world:
Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
Then fools you were these women to forswear,
Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom’s sake, a word that all men love,
Or for love’s sake, a word that loves all men,
Or for men’s sake, the authors of these women,
Or women’s sake, by whom we men are men,
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
It is religion to be thus forsworn,
For charity itself fulfills the law,
And who can sever love from charity?

FERDINAND
Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!

BIRON
Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;
Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advised,
In conflict that you get the sun of them.

LONGAVILLE
Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?

FERDINAND
And win them too: therefore let us devise
Some entertainment for them in their tents.

BIRON
First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
Then homeward every man attach the hand
Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
For revels, dances, masks and merry hours
Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.

FERDINAND
Away, away! no time shall be omitted
That will betime, and may by us be fitted.

BIRON
Allons! allons! Sow’d cockle reap’d no corn;
And justice always whirls in equal measure:
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
If so, our copper buys no better treasure.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/09/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

 


Love’s Labour’s Lost, ACT III, SCENE I.

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.

MOTH
Concolinel.

Singing

DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key,
give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately
hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love.

MOTH
Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
How meanest thou? brawling in French?

MOTH
No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at
the tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humour
it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and
sing a note, sometime through the throat, as if you
swallowed love with singing love, sometime through
the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling
love; with your hat penthouse-like o’er the shop of
your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly
doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in
your pocket like a man after the old painting; and
keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away.
These are complements, these are humours; these
betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without
these; and make them men of note–do you note
me?–that most are affected to these.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
How hast thou purchased this experience?

MOTH
By my penny of observation.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
But O,–but O,–

MOTH
‘The hobby-horse is forgot.’
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Callest thou my love ‘hobby-horse’?

MOTH
No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your
love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Almost I had.

MOTH
Negligent student! learn her by heart.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
By heart and in heart, boy.

MOTH
And out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
What wilt thou prove?

MOTH
A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon
the instant: by heart you love her, because your
heart cannot come by her; in heart you love her,
because your heart is in love with her; and out of
heart you love her, being out of heart that you
cannot enjoy her.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I am all these three.

MOTH
And three times as much more, and yet nothing at
all.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Fetch hither the swain: he must carry me a letter.

MOTH
A message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassador
for an ass.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Ha, ha! what sayest thou?

MOTH
Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The way is but short: away!

MOTH
As swift as lead, sir.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The meaning, pretty ingenious?
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?

MOTH
Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I say lead is slow.

MOTH
You are too swift, sir, to say so:
Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that’s he:
I shoot thee at the swain.

MOTH
Thump then and I flee.

Exit

DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace!
By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:
Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place.
My herald is return’d.

Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD

MOTH
A wonder, master! here’s a costard broken in a shin.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Some enigma, some riddle: come, thy l’envoy; begin.

COSTARD
No enigma, no riddle, no l’envoy; no salve in the
mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no
l’envoy, no l’envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
thought my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes
me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, my stars!
Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l’envoy, and
the word l’envoy for a salve?

MOTH
Do the wise think them other? is not l’envoy a salve?
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse, to make plain
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
I will example it:
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
There’s the moral. Now the l’envoy.

MOTH
I will add the l’envoy. Say the moral again.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.

MOTH
Until the goose came out of door,
And stay’d the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
my l’envoy.
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Until the goose came out of door,
Staying the odds by adding four.

MOTH
A good l’envoy, ending in the goose: would you
desire more?

COSTARD
The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that’s flat.
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:
Let me see; a fat l’envoy; ay, that’s a fat goose.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?

MOTH
By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
Then call’d you for the l’envoy.

COSTARD
True, and I for a plantain: thus came your
argument in;
Then the boy’s fat l’envoy, the goose that you bought;
And he ended the market.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?

MOTH
I will tell you sensibly.

COSTARD
Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that l’envoy:
I Costard, running out, that was safely within,
Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
We will talk no more of this matter.

COSTARD
Till there be more matter in the shin.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.

COSTARD
O, marry me to one Frances: I smell some l’envoy,
some goose, in this.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured,
restrained, captivated, bound.

COSTARD
True, true; and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.
DON

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and,
in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:
bear this significant

Giving a letter

to the country maid Jaquenetta:
there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.

Exit

MOTH
Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.

COSTARD
My sweet ounce of man’s flesh! my incony Jew!

Exit MOTH

Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration!
O, that’s the Latin word for three farthings: three
farthings–remuneration.–‘What’s the price of this
inkle?’–‘One penny.’–‘No, I’ll give you a
remuneration:’ why, it carries it. Remuneration!
why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I will
never buy and sell out of this word.

Enter BIRON

BIRON
O, my good knave Costard! exceedingly well met.

COSTARD
Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man
buy for a remuneration?

BIRON
What is a remuneration?

COSTARD
Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.

BIRON
Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.

COSTARD
I thank your worship: God be wi’ you!

BIRON
Stay, slave; I must employ thee:
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave,
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.

COSTARD
When would you have it done, sir?

BIRON
This afternoon.

COSTARD
Well, I will do it, sir: fare you well.

BIRON
Thou knowest not what it is.

COSTARD
I shall know, sir, when I have done it.

BIRON
Why, villain, thou must know first.

COSTARD
I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.

BIRON
It must be done this afternoon.
Hark, slave, it is but this:
The princess comes to hunt here in the park,
And in her train there is a gentle lady;
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
And Rosaline they call her: ask for her;
And to her white hand see thou do commend
This seal’d-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon; go.

Giving him a shilling

COSTARD
Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration,
a’leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I
will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!

Exit

BIRON
And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love’s whip;
A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
A domineering pedant o’er the boy;
Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
This whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
Sole imperator and great general
Of trotting ‘paritors:–O my little heart:–
And I to be a corporal of his field,
And wear his colours like a tumbler’s hoop!
What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch’d that it may still go right!
Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all;
And, among three, to love the worst of all;
A wightly wanton with a velvet brow,
With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes;
Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard:
And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!
To pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue and groan:
Some men must love my lady and some Joan.

Exeunt

Please join me again on 02/08/16 for more fun with Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost