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SCENE IV.-Near Milford-Haven.
Enter Pisanio and Imogen. Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse, the
Pis. Please you, read ;
Imo. [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; 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 opportunities 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.
Pis. 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?
Imo. False to his bed! What is it, to be false ? To lie in watch there, and to think on him? To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge nature, To break it with a fearful dream of him, And cry myself awake ? that's false to his bed? Is it?
Pis. Alas, good lady!
Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness :---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!---0, Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, О husband, shall be thought Put on for villainy; not born, where't grows;
But worn, a bait for ladies.
Pis. Good madam, hear me.
Imo. True honest men being heard, like false Æneas, Were, in his time, thought false : and Sinon's weeping Did scandal many a boly tear; took pity From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Posthumus, Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men; . Goodly, and gallant, shall be false, and perjur'd, From thy great fail.---Come, fellow, be thou honest; Do thou thy master's bidding: When thou see'st him, A little witness my obedience: Look ! I draw the sword myself: take it; and hit The innocent mansion of my love, my heart : Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief: Thy master is not there ; who was, indeed, The riches of it: Do his bidding; strike. Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause; But now thou seem'st a coward.
Pis. Hence, vile instrument ! Thou shalt not damn my hand.
Imo. Why, I must die; And if I do not by thy hand, thou art : No servant of thy master's: Against self-slaughter There is a prohibition so divine, That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart; Something's afore't:---Soft, soft; we'll no defence ; Obedient as the scabbard.---What is here? The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus, . All turn'd to heresy? Away, away, Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more Be stomachers to my heart! Thus may poor fools Believe false teachers: Though those that are betray'd
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Pis. O gracious lady,
Imo. Do't, and to bed then.
Imo. Wherefore then
Pis. But to win time
Imo. Talk thy tongue weary; speak :
Pis. Then, madam,
Imo. Most like;
Pis. Not so, neither :
Imo. Some Roman courtezan.
Pis. No, on my life.
Imo. Why, good fellow,
Pis. If you'll back to the court --
Imo. No court, no father ; nor no more ado
Imo. Where then ?