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canst not, in the course of gratitude, but be a diligent follower
of mine. Wilt thou serve me?
PISANIO. Sir, I will.
CLOTEN. Give me thy hand; here's my purse. Hast any of thy late
master's garments in thy possession?
PISANIO. I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same suit he wore when
he took leave of my lady and mistress.
CLOTEN. The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit hither. Let
it be thy first service; go.
PISANIO. I shall, my lord. Exit
CLOTEN. 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
Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes
Be those the garments?
PISANIO. Ay, my noble lord.
CLOTEN. How long is't since she went to Milford Haven?
PISANIO. She can scarce be there yet.
CLOTEN. 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. Exit
PISANIO. 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! Exit
Wales. Before the cave of BELARIUS
Enter IMOGEN alone, in boy's clothes
IMOGEN. I see a man's life is a tedious one.
I have tir'd myself, and for two nights together
Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick
But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
Thou wast within a ken. O Jove! I think
Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be reliev'd. Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
Is sorer than to lie for need; and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
Thou art one o' th' false ones. Now I think on thee
My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to't; 'tis some savage hold.
I were best not call; I dare not call. Yet famine,
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here?
If anything that's civil, speak; if savage,
Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I'll enter.
Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy
But fear the sword, like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
Such a foe, good heavens! Exit into the cave
Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS
BELARIUS. You, Polydore, have prov'd best woodman and
Are master of the feast. Cadwal and I
Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match.
The sweat of industry would dry and die
But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
Will make what's homely savoury; weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Finds the down pillow hard. Now, peace be here,
Poor house, that keep'st thyself!
GUIDERIUS. I am thoroughly weary.
ARVIRAGUS. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
GUIDERIUS. There is cold meat i' th' cave; we'll browse on that
Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
BELARIUS. [Looking into the cave] Stay, come not in.
But that it eats our victuals, I should think
Here were a fairy.
GUIDERIUS. What's the matter, sir?
BELARIUS.. By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
No elder than a boy!
IMOGEN. Good masters, harm me not.
Before I enter'd here I call'd, and thought
To have begg'd or bought what I have took. Good troth,
I have stol'n nought; nor would not though I had found
Gold strew'd i' th' floor. Here's money for my meat.
I would have left it on the board, so soon
As I had made my meal, and parted
With pray'rs for the provider.
GUIDERIUS. Money, youth?
ARVIRAGUS. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
As 'tis no better reckon'd but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
IMOGEN. I see you're angry.
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
Have died had I not made it.
BELARIUS. Whither bound?
IMOGEN. To Milford Haven.
BELARIUS. What's your name?
IMOGEN. Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
I am fall'n in this offence.
BELARIUS. Prithee, fair youth,
Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd!
'Tis almost night; you shall have better cheer
Ere you depart, and thanks to stay and eat it.
Boys, bid him welcome.
GUIDERIUS. Were you a woman, youth,
I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty
I bid for you as I'd buy.
ARVIRAGUS. I'll make't my comfort
He is a man. I'll love him as my brother;
And such a welcome as I'd give to him
After long absence, such is yours. Most welcome!
Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
IMOGEN. 'Mongst friends,
If brothers. [Aside] Would it had been so that they
Had been my father's sons! Then had my prize
Been less, and so more equal ballasting
To thee, Posthumus.
BELARIUS. He wrings at some distress.
GUIDERIUS. Would I could free't!
ARVIRAGUS. Or I, whate'er it be,
What pain it cost, what danger! Gods!
BELARIUS. [Whispering] Hark, boys.
IMOGEN. [Aside] Great men,
That had a court no bigger than this cave,
That did attend themselves, and had the virtue
Which their own conscience seal'd them, laying by
That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
Since Leonatus' false.
BELARIUS. It shall be so.
Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in.
Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd,
We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
So far as thou wilt speak it.
GUIDERIUS. Pray draw near.
ARVIRAGUS. The night to th' owl and morn to th' lark less welcome.
IMOGEN. Thanks, sir.
ARVIRAGUS. I pray draw near. Exeunt
Rome. A public place
Enter two ROMAN SENATORS and TRIBUNES
FIRST SENATOR. This is the tenour of the Emperor's writ:
That since the common men are now in action
'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
And that the legions now in Gallia are
Full weak to undertake our wars against
The fall'n-off Britons, that we do incite
The gentry to this business. He creates
Lucius proconsul; and to you, the tribunes,
For this immediate levy, he commands
His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!
TRIBUNE. Is Lucius general of the forces?
SECOND SENATOR. Ay.
TRIBUNE. Remaining now in Gallia?
FIRST SENATOR. With those legions
Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
Must be supplyant. The words of your commission
Will tie you to the numbers and the time
Of their dispatch.
TRIBUNE. We will discharge our duty. Exeunt
ACT IV. SCENE I.