Monday, November 28, 2011

Cymbeline


[c. 1609]





I.iv


IACHIMO

You must not so prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would abate her nothing, though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.

IACHIMO

As fair and as good — a kind of hand-in-hand comparison — had been something too fair and too good for any lady in Britain. If she went before others I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlusters many I have beheld, I could not but believe she excelled many; but I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I praised her as I rated her. So do I my stone.

IACHIMO

What do you esteem it at?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

More than the world enjoys.

IACHIMO

Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's outprized by a trifle.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

You are mistaken. The one may be sold or given, or if there were wealth enough for the purchase or merit for the gift. The other is not a thing for sale, and only the gift of the gods.

IACHIMO

Which the gods have given you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Which by their graces I will keep.

IACHIMO

You may wear her in title yours, but you know strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stol'n too. So your brace of unprizable estimations, the one is but frail and the other casual. A cunning thief or a that-way-accomplished courtier would hazard the winning both of first and last.

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II.v


POSTHUMUS LEONATUS


Is there no way for men to be, but women / Must be half-workers? We are all bastards, / And that most venerable man which I / Did call my father was I know not where / When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools / Made me a counterfeit; yet my mother seemed / The Dian of that time. So doth my wife / The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance! / Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained / And prayed me oft forbearance — did it with / A pudency so rosy, the sweet view on't / Might well have warmed old Saturn — that I thought her / As chaste as unsunned snow. O, all the devils! / This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was't not? / Or less? At first? Perchance he spoke not, but, / Like a full-acorned boar, a German one, / Cried "O!" and mounted; found no opposition / But what he looked for should oppose and she / Should from encounter guard. Could I find out / The woman's part in me! For there's no motion / That tends to vice in man but I affirm / It is the woman's part. Be it lying, note it, / The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers; / Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers; / Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain, / Nice longings, slanders, mutability, / All faults that man may name, nay, that hell knows, / Why, hers, in part or all, but rather all. / For even to vice / They are not constant, but are changing still / One vice but of a minute old for one / Not half so old as that. I'll write against them, / Detest them, curse them. Yet 'tis greater skill / In a true hate to pray they have their will; / The very devils cannot plague them better.

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III.iv


IMOGEN


Some jay of Italy, / Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him. / Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion, / And, for I am richer than to hang by th' walls, / I must be ripped. 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, nor born where't grows, / But worn a bait for ladies.

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V.iv


JAILER


A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort is, you shall be called to no more payments, fear no more tavern bills, which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of mirth. You come in faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and brain both empty; the brain the heavier for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness. O, of this contradiction you shall now be quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up thousands in a trice. You have no true debitor and creditor but it; of what's past, is, and to come, the discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters; so the acquittance follows.




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