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    Act 1, Scene VI

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    Chapter 6
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    SCENE VI. The same. Another room in the palace.

    Enter IMOGEN
    IMOGEN
    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: blest be those,
    How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
    Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!

    Enter PISANIO and IACHIMO

    PISANIO
    Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome,
    Comes from my lord with letters.

    IACHIMO
    Change you, madam?
    The worthy Leonatus is in safety
    And greets your highness dearly.

    Presents a letter

    IMOGEN
    Thanks, good sir:
    You're kindly welcome.

    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 the 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 the 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.

    IACHIMO
    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?

    IMOGEN
    What makes your admiration?

    IACHIMO
    It cannot be i' the eye, for apes and monkeys
    'Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
    Contemn with mows the other; nor i' the judgment,
    For idiots in this case of favour would
    Be wisely definite; nor i' the appetite;
    Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
    Should make desire vomit emptiness,
    Not so allured to feed.

    IMOGEN
    What is the matter, trow?

    IACHIMO
    The cloyed will,
    That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
    Both fill'd and running, ravening first the lamb
    Longs after for the garbage.

    IMOGEN
    What, dear sir,
    Thus raps you? Are you well?

    IACHIMO
    Thanks, madam; well.

    To PISANIO

    Beseech you, sir, desire
    My man's abode where I did leave him: he
    Is strange and peevish.

    PISANIO
    I was going, sir,
    To give him welcome.

    Exit

    IMOGEN
    Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?

    IACHIMO
    Well, madam.

    IMOGEN
    Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.

    IACHIMO
    Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
    So merry and so gamesome: he is call'd
    The Briton reveller.

    IMOGEN
    When he was here,
    He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
    Not knowing why.

    IACHIMO
    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 his free hours languish for
    Assured bondage?'

    IMOGEN
    Will my lord say so?

    IACHIMO
    Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter:
    It is a recreation to be by
    And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
    Some men are much to blame.

    IMOGEN
    Not he, I hope.

    IACHIMO
    Not he: but yet heaven's bounty towards him might
    Be used 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.

    IMOGEN
    What do you pity, sir?

    IACHIMO
    Two creatures heartily.

    IMOGEN
    Am I one, sir?
    You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
    Deserves your pity?

    IACHIMO
    Lamentable! What,
    To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
    I' the dungeon by a snuff?

    IMOGEN
    I pray you, sir,
    Deliver with more openness your answers
    To my demands. Why do you pity me?

    IACHIMO
    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.

    IMOGEN
    You do seem to know
    Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,--
    Since doubling 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.

    IACHIMO
    Had I this cheek
    To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
    Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
    To the 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 unlustrous 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.

    IMOGEN
    My lord, I fear,
    Has forgot Britain.

    IACHIMO
    And himself. Not I,
    Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
    The beggary of his change; but 'tis your graces
    That from pay mutest conscience to my tongue
    Charms this report out.

    IMOGEN
    Let me hear no more.

    IACHIMO
    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 hired with that self-exhibition
    Which your own coffers yield! with diseased ventures
    That play with all infirmities for gold
    Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff
    As well might poison poison! Be revenged;
    Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
    Recoil from your great stock.

    IMOGEN
    Revenged!
    How should I be revenged? 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 revenged?

    IACHIMO
    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.

    IMOGEN
    What, ho, Pisanio!

    IACHIMO
    Let me my service tender on your lips.

    IMOGEN
    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
    Solicit'st 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!

    IACHIMO
    O happy Leonatus! I may say
    The credit that thy lady hath of thee
    Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
    Her assured 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.

    IMOGEN
    You make amends.

    IACHIMO
    He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
    He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
    More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
    Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
    To try your taking 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.

    IMOGEN
    All's well, sir: take my power i' the court
    for yours.

    IACHIMO
    My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
    To entreat your grace but in a small request,
    And yet of moment to, for it concerns
    Your lord; myself and other noble friends,
    Are partners in the business.

    IMOGEN
    Pray, what is't?

    IACHIMO
    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?

    IMOGEN
    Willingly;
    And pawn mine honour for their safety: since
    My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
    In my bedchamber.

    IACHIMO
    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.

    IMOGEN
    O, no, no.

    IACHIMO
    Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
    By lengthening my return. From Gallia
    I cross'd the seas on purpose and on promise
    To see your grace.

    IMOGEN
    I thank you for your pains:
    But not away to-morrow!

    IACHIMO
    O, I must, madam:
    Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
    To greet your lord with writing, do't to-night:
    I have outstood my time; which is material
    To the tender of our present.

    IMOGEN
    I will write.
    Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,
    And truly yielded you. You're very welcome.

    Exeunt
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