Act 3 - Scene 4
Country near Milford-Haven.
Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN
Thou told'st me, when we came from horse, the place
Was near at hand: ne'er long'd my mother so
see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! man!
Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind,
That makes thee
stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh
From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,
Would be interpreted
a thing perplex'd
Beyond self-explication: put thyself
Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness
staider senses. What's the matter?
Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender? If't be
Smile to't before; if winterly, thou need'st
But keep that countenance still. My husband's
That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-craftied him,
And he's at some hard point. Speak, man: thy tongue
take off some extremity, which to read
Would be even mortal to me.
Please you, read;
And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
The most disdain'd of fortune.
[Reads] 'Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the
strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie
in me. I speak not out of weak surmises,
but 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 opportunity 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
equally to me disloyal.'
What shall I need to draw my sword? the paper
Hath cut her throat already. No, 'tis slander,
is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the
posting winds and doth belie
All corners of the world: kings, queens and states,
Maids, matrons, nay, the
secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters. What cheer, madam?
False to his bed! What is it to be false?
To lie in watch there and to think on him?
To weep 'twixt clock
and clock? if sleep
To break it with a fearful dream of him
And cry myself awake? that's
false to's bed, is it?
Alas, good lady!
I false! Thy conscience witness: Iachimo,
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
Thou then look'dst like
a villain; now methinks
Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy
Whose mother was her painting, hath
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion;
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,
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 villany; not born where't grows,
But worn a bait for ladies.
Good madam, hear me.
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