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SCENE IV.-Near Milford-Haven.
Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN.
Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse, the place
Was near at hand :---Ne'er long'd my mother so
To see me first, as I have now :---]
Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind,
That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh
But keep that countenance still.---My husband's hand!
Would be even mortal to me.
Pis. Please you, read;
And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
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
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,
To lie in watch there, and to think on him?
To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge nature,
And cry myself awake? that's false to his bed?
Pis. Alas, good lady!
Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness :---Iachimo, Thou didst accuse him of incontineney;
Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, methinks,
I must be ripp'd:---to pieces with me!---O,
Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, O 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 holy tear; took pity
From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Posthúmus,
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false, and perjur'd,
I draw the sword myself: take it; and hit
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
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart;
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
And thou Posthúmus, thou that did'st set up
Will then be pang'd by me.---Pr'ythee, despatch:
Pis. O gracious lady,
Since I receiv'd command to do this business,
I have not slept one wink.
Imo. Do't, and to bed then.
Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd
Pis. But to win time
To lose so bad employment: in the which
Imo. Talk thy tongue weary; speak :
I have heard, I am a strumpet; and mine ear,
Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
Pis. Then, madam,
I thought you would not back again.
Imo. Most like;
Bringing me here to kill me.
Pis. Not so, neither:
But if I were as wise as honest, then
well. It cannot be,
My purpose would prove well.
But that my master is abus'd:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art,
Pis. No, on my life.
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
And that will well confirm it.
Imo. Why, good fellow,
What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
Or in my life what comfort, when I am
Dead to my husband?
Pis. If you'll back to the court,--
Imo. No court, no father; nor no more ado
With that harsh, noble, simple, nothing;
That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
As fearful as a siege.
Pis. If not at court,
Then not in Britain must you bide.
Imo. Where then?