Cym. Nay, nay, to'th' purpose

Iach. Your daughters Chastity, (there it beginnes) He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreames, And she alone, were cold: Whereat, I wretch Made scruple of his praise, and wager'd with him Peeces of Gold, 'gainst this, which then he wore Vpon his honour'd finger) to attaine In suite the place of's bed, and winne this Ring By hers, and mine Adultery: he (true Knight) No lesser of her Honour confident Then I did truly finde her, stakes this Ring, And would so, had it beene a Carbuncle Of Phoebus Wheele; and might so safely, had it Bin all the worth of's Carre. Away to Britaine Poste I in this designe: Well may you (Sir) Remember me at Court, where I was taught Of your chaste Daughter, the wide difference 'Twixt Amorous, and Villanous. Being thus quench'd Of hope, not longing; mine Italian braine, Gan in your duller Britaine operate Most vildely: for my vantage excellent. And to be breefe, my practise so preuayl'd That I return'd with simular proofe enough, To make the Noble Leonatus mad, By wounding his beleefe in her Renowne, With Tokens thus, and thus: auerring notes Of Chamber-hanging, Pictures, this her Bracelet (Oh cunning how I got) nay some markes Of secret on her person, that he could not But thinke her bond of Chastity quite crack'd, I hauing 'tane the forfeyt. Whereupon, Me thinkes I see him now

Post. I so thou do'st, Italian Fiend. Aye me, most credulous Foole, Egregious murtherer, Theefe, any thing That's due to all the Villaines past, in being To come. Oh giue me Cord, or knife, or poyson, Some vpright Iusticer. Thou King, send out For Torturors ingenious: it is I That all th' abhorred things o'th' earth amend By being worse then they. I am Posthumus, That kill'd thy Daughter: Villain-like, I lye, That caus'd a lesser villaine then my selfe, A sacrilegious Theefe to doo't. The Temple Of Vertue was she; yea, and she her selfe. Spit, and throw stones, cast myre vpon me, set The dogges o'th' street to bay me: euery villaine Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus, and Be villany lesse then 'twas. Oh Imogen! My Queene, my life, my wife: oh Imogen, Imogen, Imogen

Imo. Peace my Lord, heare, heare

Post. Shall's haue a play of this? Thou scornfull Page, there lye thy part

Pis. Oh Gentlemen, helpe, Mine and your Mistris: Oh my Lord Posthumus, You ne're kill'd Imogen till now: helpe, helpe, Mine honour'd Lady

Cym. Does the world go round? Posth. How comes these staggers on mee? Pisa. Wake my Mistris

Cym. If this be so, the Gods do meane to strike me To death, with mortall ioy

Pisa. How fares my Mistris? Imo. Oh get thee from my sight, Thou gau'st me poyson: dangerous Fellow hence, Breath not where Princes are

Cym. The tune of Imogen

Pisa. Lady, the Gods throw stones of sulpher on me, if That box I gaue you, was not thought by mee A precious thing, I had it from the Queene

Cym. New matter still

Imo. It poyson'd me

Corn. Oh Gods! I left out one thing which the Queene confest, Which must approue thee honest. If Pasanio Haue (said she) giuen his Mistris that Confection Which I gaue him for Cordiall, she is seru'd, As I would serue a Rat

Cym. What's this, Cornelius? Corn. The Queene (Sir) very oft importun'd me To temper poysons for her, still pretending The satisfaction of her knowledge, onely In killing Creatures vilde, as Cats and Dogges Of no esteeme. I dreading, that her purpose Was of more danger, did compound for her A certaine stuffe, which being tane, would cease The present powre of life, but in short time, All Offices of Nature, should againe Do their due Functions. Haue you tane of it? Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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