True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,
Were in his time thought false, and Sinon's weeping
scandal many a holy tear, took pity
From most true wretchedness: so thou, Posthumus,
Wilt lay the leaven
on all proper men;
Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured
From thy great fall. Come, fellow, be
Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou see'st him,
A little witness my obedience: look!
the sword myself: take it, and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart;
Fear not; 'tis empty of all
things but grief;
Thy master is not there, who was indeed
The riches of it: do his bidding; strike
be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward.
Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damn my hand.
Why, I must die;
And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master's. Against self-slaughter
is a prohibition so divine
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart.
Something's afore't. Soft,
soft! we'll no defence;
Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
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
Do feel the treason sharply,
yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.
And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up
'gainst the king my father
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself
To think, when thou shalt
be disedged by her
That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me. Prithee, dispatch:
lamb entreats the butcher: where's thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business
I have not slept one wink.
Do't, and to bed then.
I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
So many miles with a pretence? this place?
action and thine own? our horses' labour?
The time inviting thee? the perturb'd court,
For my being absent?
whereunto I never
Purpose return. Why hast thou gone so far,
To be unbent when thou hast ta'en thy
The elected deer before thee?
But to win time
To lose so bad employment; in the which
I have consider'd of a course. Good lady,
me with patience.
Talk thy tongue weary; speak
I have heard I am a strumpet; and mine ear
Therein false struck, can take no
Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
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