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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. She said upon 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.
Re-enter PISANIO, with the Clothes.
Be those the garments ?
Pis. Ay, my noble lord.
Clo. Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second thing that I have commanded thee: the third is, that thou wilt 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 true.—To Milford go, And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
Before the Cave of BELARIUS.
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. O 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, When rich ones scarce tell true: to lapse in fulness Is sorer, than to lie for need; and falsehood Is worse in kings, than beggars.—My dear lord ! Thou art one o' the false ones: now I think on thee, My hunger's gone; but even before, I was At point to sink for food.—But what is this? Here is a path to it: 'tis some savage hold: I were best not call; I dare not call; yet famine, Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant. Plenty, and peace, breeds cowards; hardness ever Of hardiness is mother.—Ho! Who's here? If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage, Take, or lend.—Ho !-No answer ? then, I'll enter. Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't. Such a foe, good heavens ! [She enters the Cave.
Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS. Bel. You, Polydore, have prov'd best woodman, and Are master of the feast: Cadwal, and I, Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match : The sweat of industry would dry, and die, But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs Will make what's homely, savoury: weariness Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth Finds the down pillow hard.—Now, peace be here, Poor house, that keep’st thyself! Gui.
I am thoroughly weary. Arv. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite. Gui. There is cold meat i' the cave: we'll browze on
that, Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd. Bel.
Stay: come not in.
[Looking in. But that it eats our victuals, I should think Here were a fairy. Gui.
What's the matter, sir? Bel. By Jupiter, an angel ! or, if not, An earthly paragon !Behold divineness No elder than a boy!
Enter IMOGEN. Imo. Good masters, harm me not : Before I enter'd here, I call’d; and thought To have begg’d, or bought, what I have took. Good
troth, I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had
found Gold strew'd i' the floor. Here's money for my meat:
s Gold strewed i’ the floor.] O’ the foor, or on the floor, as we should now say: another instance of licence in the use of prepositions in the time of Shakespeare. To alter it to “ o' the floor," with Sir T. Hanmer, is to sacrifice the characteristic language of our poet and his contemporaries. Farther on we have “ fallen in this offence,” for “ fallen into this offence,” and there is as much reason for amending the one as the other.
I would have left it on the board, so soon
Money, youth ?
I see, you are angry.
Whither bound ?
Imo. Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman, who
Pr’ythee, fair youth,
Were you a woman, youth,
I'll make't my comfort,
'Mongst friends! If brothers ? — [Aside.] Would it had been so, that
He wrings at some distress.
Or I; whate'er it be,
[Whispering. Imo. Great men, That had a court no bigger than this cave, That did attend themselves, and had the virtue Which their own conscience seald them, (laying by That nothing gift of differing multitudes“) Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods! I'd change my sex to be companion with them, Since Leonatus false ?. Bel.
It shall be so. Boys, we'll go dress our hunt.–Fair youth, come in: Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd, We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story, So far as thou wilt speak it. Gui.
Pray, draw near. Aro. The night to the owl, and morn to the lark,
less welcome. Imo. Thanks, sir. Arv.
I pray, draw near. [Exeunt.
6 That nothing gift of differing multitudes] Some dispute has arisen respecting the word “differing” in this line, but no commentator has taken what appears to be the plain sense of the author : “ differing multitudes ” does not mean “deferring multitudes," with Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton ; nor many-headed, with Johnson; nor unsteady, with Monck Mason and Steevens; but merely, as it seems to us, differing in respect of rank from the persons upon whom the multitudes bestow the “ nothing gift” of reputation. The poet is contrasting, in a manner, the givers with the person to whom the gift is made.
7 Since Leonatus false.) i. e. Since Leonatus is false ; an unusual but not an unprecedented form of expression.