Imatges de pÓgina

In our not fearing Britain, than have tidings
Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
Are men more ordered, than when Julius Cæsar
Smild at their lack of skill, but found their courage
Worthy his frowning at: Their discipline,
Now mingled wiih their courages, will make known
To their approvers, they are people, such
That mend upon the world : and more than that,
They have a king, whose love and justice to them
May ask, and have, their treasures, and their blood.
Phil. See! lachimo!

Post. The swiftest harts bave posted you by land ;
And winds of all the corners kiss'd your sails,
To make your vessel nimble.

Phil. Welcome, sir !

Post. I hope, the briefness of your answer made The speediness of your return.

Iach. Your lady
Is one, the fair&st that I have look'd upon.

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

Iach. Here are letters for you.
Pust. Their tenour good, I trust.
Iach. "Tis


(Posthumus reads the Letters. Post. Was Caius Lucius in the Britain Court, When you were there?

Iach. He was, my lord:--but I
Left, ere I saw him.

Phil. All is well yet. -
Sparkles this stone as it was wont> or is't not
Toodull for your good wearing?

Iach. If I have 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.

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

Iach. Not a wbit, Your lady being so easy.

Post. Make not, sir,
Your loss your sport; I hope, you know, that we
Must not continue friends.

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

Post. If you can make it 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 iñásterless, leaves botla
To who shall find them.

Iach. 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.

Post. Proceed.

Iach. First, her bed-chamber, (Where, I confess, I slept not; but, profess, Had that, was well worth watching,) It was hangod With tapestry of silk and silver; the story, Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman; A piece of work So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive In workmanship and value.

Post. This is true;
And this you might bave heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.

Iach. More particulars
Must justify my knowledge.

Post. So they must,
Or do your honour injury.

lach. 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.

Post, This is a thing,
Which you might from relation likewise reap;
being, as it is, much spoke of.

Iach. The roof o' the chamber With golden cherubins is fretted.

Post. 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, Iach. Then, if you can, Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel_See !

- [Pulling out the Bracelet. And now 'tis up again.

Post. Jove!
Once more let me behold it : Is it that
Which I left with her?

Iach. 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


me, And said, she priz'd it once.

Post. May be, she pluck'd it off, To send it me.

[ocr errors]

Tach. She writes so to you-doth she? Post. Oh, no, no, no! 'ris true! Here, take this t00;

[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 :-above

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

Post. Very true;
And so, I hope, he came by't:-Back my ring ;
Render to mé some corporal sign about her,
More evident than this; for this was stolen.

Iach. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm!

Post. Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter, he swears! 'Tis true ;-nay, keep the ring='tis true: I am sure, She could not lose it: her attendants are All sworn, and honourable:-They induc'd to steal it! And by a stranger - No; he hath enjoy'd her: Thé cógnizance of her incontinency Is this,-she hath bought the name of whore thus

There, take thy bire; and all the fiends of hell
Divide themselves between you !

Phil. Sir, be patient ;
This is not strong enough to be believ'd
Of one persuaded well of

Post. Never talk on't:
She hath been colted by him.
Iach. 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.
You do remember
This stain upon her?

Post. Ay, and it doth confirm
Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it?
Iach. Will


hear more? Post. Spare your arithmetic; ne'er count the turns; Once, and a million !

Iach. I'll be sworn

Post. No swearing: -
If thou wilt swear thou hast 'not done't, thou liest;
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
Thou hast made me cuckold.

Iach. I will deny'nothing.
Post. O, that I had her here, to tear her limb.

I will go there, and do't, i' the court, before
Her father:-I'll do something.

[Exit. Phil. Quite besides The government of patience !-You have won : Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath, He hath against himself. Įach. With all my heart.


« AnteriorContinua »