He goes hence frowning; but it honours us
That we have given him cause.
'Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
Lucius hath wrote already to the Emperor
How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness.
The pow'rs that he already hath in Gallia
Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
His war for Britain.
'Tis not sleepy business,
But must be look'd to speedily and strongly.
Our expectation that it would be thus
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
The duty of the day. She looks us like
A thing more made of malice than of duty;
We have noted it. Call her before us, for
We have been too slight in sufferance.
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.
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 th' loud of noise we make.
My lord, when last I went to visit her,
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.
Her doors lock'd?
Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
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? Haply despair hath seiz'd her;
Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown
To her desir'd Posthumus. Gone she is
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.
I love and hate her; for she's fair and royal,
And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
Than lady, ladies, woman. 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
Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter-
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
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 farther halting! Satisfy me home
What is become of her.
It is Posthumus' hand; I know't. Sirrah, if thou wouldst
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 shouldst neither want my means for thy relief nor my voice
for thy preferment.
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?
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 prais'd- to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home
again. She hath despis'd me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in my
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.
Thou bid'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
Be cross'd with slowness! Labour be his meed!