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Royal sir,
Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd
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 an Attendant.
Сут. .

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

Please you, sir,
Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer
That will be given to the loud'st of noise we make. Coue
Queen. My lord, when last I went to visit her,

szeree: 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. Cym.

Her doors lock'd ? Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I Fear? prove false!

[Exit. Queen.

Son, I say, follow the king.
Clo. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
I have not seen these two days.

Go, look after.

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? Ilaply, despair hath seized her;
Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown
To her desir'd Posthumus: Gone she is

2 Fear must measure.

be pronounced as

a diseyllable to complete the

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 ?

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

All the better; May This night forestall him of the coming days!

[Erit Queen. Clo. I love, and hate her; for she's fair and royal; And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite Than lady, ladies, woman4; 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 chok'd; and, in that point, I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed, To be reveng'd upon her. For, when fools

Shall - 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.

0, good my lord !
Clo. Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip

3 i e. may his grief this night prevent him from ever seeing another day, by anticipated and premature destruction. Thus in Milton's Comus :

• Perhaps forestalling night prevented them.' 4 Than any lady, than all ladies, ihan all womankind. There is a similar passage in All's Well that Ends Well, Act ii. Sc. 3:

• To any count; to all counts; to what is man.'

Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
A dram of worth be drawn.

Alas, my lord,
How can she be with him? When was she miss'd ?
He is in Rome.

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

Pis. O, my all-worthy lord !

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.

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

[Presenting a Letter. Clo.

Let's see't:-) will pursue her Even to Augustus' throne. Pis.

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

Humph ! Pis. I'll write to my lord she’s dead. O Imogen, Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again! [Aside.

Clo. Sirrah, is this letter true?

Sir, as I think. Clo. It is Posthumus' hand; I know't -Sirrah, if thou would'st 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 villainy soe'er I bid thee do, to perform it, directly and truly,-I would think thee an honest man: thou shouldest neither want

5 By these words it is probable Pisanio means "I must either practise this deceit upon Cloten or perish by his fury.' Dr. Johnson thought the words should be given to Cloten.

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my means for thy relief, nor my voice for thy perferment.

Pis. Well, my good lord.

Clo. 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?

Pis. Sir, I will.

Clo. Give me thy hand, here's my purse. Hast any of thy late master's garments in thy possession?

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

Clo. The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit hither; let it be thy first service; go. Pis. I shall, my lord.

(Exit. Clo. 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. 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.

She said upon

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Re-enter Pisanio, with the Clothes. Be those the garments ?

Pis. Ay, my noble lord.

Clo. How long is't since she went to Milford Haven ?

Pis. She can scarce be there yet.

Clo. Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second thing that I have commanded thee: the third is, that thou shalt 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. Pis. Thou bidd'st me to my loss: for, true to thee, Were to prove false, which I will never be, To him that is most true6.—To Milford go, And find not her whom thou pursu'st. Flow, flow, You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed Be cross'd with slowness; labour be his meed!


SCENE VI. Before the Cave of Belarins.

Enter IMOGEN, in Boy's Clothes. Imo. I see, a man's life is a tedious one : I have tir'd 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 : 0 Jove! I think, Foundations fly the wretched? : such, I mean, Where they should be reliev'd. 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,

6 Pisanio, notwithstanding his master's letter commanding the murder of Imogen, considers him as true, supposing, as he has already said to her, that Posthumus was abused by some villain equally an enemy to them both. Thus in the fifth Æneid :• Italiam sequimur fugientem.'

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