A father cruel and a step-dame false;
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady
That hath her husband banish'd. O, that husband!
My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol'n,
As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
Is the desire that's glorious. Blessed be those,
How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!
IACHIMO [Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
She is alone th' Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
Rather, directly fly.
IMOGEN [Reads] 'He is one of the noblest note, to whose
kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon him
accordingly, as you value your trust. LEONATUS.'
So far I read aloud;
But even the very middle of my heart
Is warm'd by th' rest and takes it thankfully.
You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
Have words to bid you; and shall find it so
In all that I can do.
Thanks, fairest lady.
What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
To see this vaulted arch and the rich crop
Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt
The fiery orbs above and the twinn'd stones
Upon the number'd beach, and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
'Twixt fair and foul?
It cannot be i' th' eye, for apes and monkeys,
'Twixt two such shes, would chatter this way and
Contemn with mows the other; nor i' th' judgment,
For idiots in this case of favour would
Be wisely definite; nor i' th' appetite;
Sluttery, to such neat excellence oppos'd,
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allur'd to feed.
Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
So merry and so gamesome. He is call'd
The Britain reveller.
When he was here
He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
Not knowing why.
I never saw him sad.
There is a Frenchman his companion, one
An eminent monsieur that, it seems, much loves
A Gallian girl at home. He furnaces
The thick sighs from him; whiles the jolly Briton-
Your lord, I mean- laughs from's free lungs, cries 'O,
Can my sides hold, to think that man- who knows
By history, report, or his own proof,
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
But must be- will's free hours languish for
Not he; but yet heaven's bounty towards him might
Be us'd more thankfully. In himself, 'tis much;
In you, which I account his, beyond all talents.
Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pity too.
Am I one, sir?
You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
Deserves your pity?
To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
I' th' dungeon by a snuff?
I pray you, sir,
Deliver with more openness your answers
To my demands. Why do you pity me?
That others do,
I was about to say, enjoy your- But
It is an office of the gods to venge it,
Not mine to speak on't.
You do seem to know
Something of me, or what concerns me; pray you-
Since doubting things go ill often hurts more
Than to be sure they do; for certainties
Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born- discover to me
What both you spur and stop.
Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
To th' oath of loyalty; this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I, damn'd then,
Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
Made hard with hourly falsehood- falsehood as
With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
Base and illustrious as the smoky light
That's fed with stinking tallow- it were fit
That all the plagues of hell should at one time
Encounter such revolt.
O dearest soul, your cause doth strike my heart
With pity that doth make me sick! A lady
So fair, and fasten'd to an empery,
Would make the great'st king double, to be partner'd
With tomboys hir'd with that self exhibition
Which your own coffers yield! with diseas'd ventures
That play with all infirmities for gold
Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff
As well might poison poison! Be reveng'd;
Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
Recoil from your great stock.
How should I be reveng'd? If this be true-
As I have such a heart that both mine ears
Must not in haste abuse- if it be true,
How should I be reveng'd?
Should he make me
Live like Diana's priest betwixt cold sheets,
Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
More noble than that runagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your affection,
Still close as sure.
Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
For such an end thou seek'st, as base as strange.
Thou wrong'st a gentleman who is as far
From thy report as thou from honour; and
Solicits here a lady that disdains
Thee and the devil alike.- What ho, Pisanio!-
The King my father shall be made acquainted
Of thy assault. If he shall think it fit
A saucy stranger in his court to mart
As in a Romish stew, and to expound
His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
He little cares for, and a daughter who
He not respects at all.- What ho, Pisanio!
O happy Leonatus! I may say
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
Her assur'd credit. Blessed live you long,
A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
Country call'd his! and you his mistress, only
For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
I have spoke this to know if your affiance
Were deeply rooted, and shall make your lord
That which he is new o'er; and he is one
The truest manner'd, such a holy witch
That he enchants societies into him,
Half all men's hearts are his.
He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
He hath a kind of honour sets him of
More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
Most mighty Princess, that I have adventur'd
To try your taking of a false report, which hath
Honour'd with confirmation your great judgment
In the election of a sir so rare,
Which you know cannot err. The love I bear him
Made me to fan you thus; but the gods made you,
Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray your pardon.
All's well, sir; take my pow'r i' th' court for yours.
My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
T' entreat your Grace but in a small request,
And yet of moment too, for it concerns
Your lord; myself and other noble friends
Are partners in the business.
Some dozen Romans of us, and your lord-
The best feather of our wing- have mingled sums
To buy a present for the Emperor;
Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
In France. 'Tis plate of rare device, and jewels
Of rich and exquisite form, their values great;
And I am something curious, being strange,
To have them in safe stowage. May it please you
To take them in protection?
And pawn mine honour for their safety. Since
My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
In my bedchamber.
They are in a trunk,
Attended by my men. I will make bold
To send them to you only for this night;
I must aboard to-morrow.