« PreviousContinue »
An evident calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win: for either Dog
Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles through our streets, or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin;
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till
These wars determine:* if I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread,
(Trust to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance.
Imo. THOU shouldst have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
Imo. 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?
Imo. 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 she's 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.
THE BASENESS OF FALSEHOOD TO A WIFE.
Doubting 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.‡
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 lie 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.
*Opportunity. † Meet me with reciprocal prayer. What you seem anxious to utter, and yet withhold
SCENE. A Bedchamber; in one part of it a Trunk.
IMOGEN reading in her Bed; a Lady attending..
Imo. Mine eyes are weak:-
Fold down the leaf where I have left: To bed!
Take not away the taper, leave it burning:
And if thou canst awake by four o' the clock,
I pr'ythee, call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly..
To your protection I commend me, gods!
From fairies, and the tempters of the night,
Guard me, beseech ye!
[Sleeps. Iachimo from the Trunk. Iach. The crickets sing, and man's o'er-labour'd
Repairs itself by rest: Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes,* ere he waken'd
The chastity he wounded.-Cytherea,
How bravely thou becom'st 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 underpeep her lids,
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
Under these windows: White and azure, lac'd
With blue of heav'ns own tinct. But my design?
To note the chamber:-I will write all down:
Such, and such pictures;-There the window:-
The adornment of her bed;-The arras,t figures,
Why, such, and such:-And the contents o' the sto
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!
It was anciently the custom to strew chambers with n.shes.
ti. e. The white skin laced with blue veins. + Tapestry.
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
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 bear the raven's eye: I lodge in fear;
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
[Goes into the Trunk. The Scene closes.
Which buys admittance; oft it doth; yea, and makes Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
Their deer to the stand of the stealer; and 'tis gold Which makes the true man kill'd, and saves the thief; Nay, sometimes, hangs both thief and true man⚫
Is there no way for men to be, but women
Must be half-workers? We are bastards all;
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 nonpariel of this.-O vengeance, vengeance! *Modesty.
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 As chaste as unsun'd snow:
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;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longings, slanders, mutability,
All faults that may be nam'd, nay that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part, or all; but, rather, all:
For ev'n 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
IMPATIENCE OF A WIFE TO MEET HER HUSBAND.
O, for a horse with wings!—Hear'st thou, Pisanic! He is at Milford-Haven: Read, and tell me
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,-
0, 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,
Full me how Wales was made so happy, as
+ Crowd one word on another, as fast as possible