But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick: so please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable: I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here:
I’ll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.
But time hath nothing blurr’d those lines of favour
Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
And burst of speaking, were as his: I am absolute
Can we set eye on; but in all safe reason
He must have some attendants. Though his humour
Was nothing but mutation, ay, and that
From one bad thing to worse; not frenzy, not
Absolute madness could so far have raved
To bring him here alone; although perhaps
It may be heard at court that such as we
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
May make some stronger head; the which he hearing—
As it is like him—might break out, and swear
He’ld fetch us in; yet is’t not probable
To come alone, either he so undertaking,
Or they so suffering: then on good ground we fear,
If we do fear this body hath a tail
More perilous than the head.
Thou divine Nature, how thyself thou blazon’st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchafed, as the rudest wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale. ‘Tis wonder
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearn’d, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other, valour
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
As if it had been sow’d. Yet still it’s strange
What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
Or what his death will bring us.
I have sent Cloten’s clotpoll down the stream,
In embassy to his mother: his body’s hostage
Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
I’ll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azured harebell, like thy veins, no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweeten’d not thy breath: the ruddock would,
With charitable bill,—O bill, sore-shaming
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
Without a monument!—bring thee all this;
Yea, and furr’d moss besides, when flowers are none,
To winter-ground thy corse.
Is quite forgot. He was a queen’s son, boys;
And though he came our enemy, remember
He was paid for that: though mean and mighty, rotting
Together, have one dust, yet reverence,
That angel of the world, doth make distinction
Of place ‘tween high and low. Our foe was princely
And though you took his life, as being our foe,
Yet bury him as a prince.
The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ the night
Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.
You were as flowers, now wither’d: even so
These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.
Come on, away: apart upon our knees.
The ground that gave them first has them again:
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.
I thank you.—By yond bush?—Pray, how far thither?
‘Ods pittikins! can it be six mile yet?—
I have gone all night. ‘Faith, I’ll lie down and sleep.
But, soft! no bedfellow!—O gods and goddesses!
These flowers are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man, the care on’t. I hope I dream;
For so I thought I was a cave-keeper,
And cook to honest creatures: but ‘tis not so;
‘Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes: our very eyes
Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble stiff with fear: but if there be
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
As a wren’s eye, fear’d gods, a part of it!
The dream’s here still: even when I wake, it is
Without me, as within me; not imagined, felt.
A headless man! The garments of Posthumus!
I know the shape of’s leg: this is his hand;
His foot Mercurial; his Martial thigh;
The brawns of Hercules: but his Jovial face
Murder in heaven?—How!—’Tis gone. Pisanio,
All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
Conspired with that irregulous devil, Cloten,
Hast here cut off my lord. To write and read
Be henceforth treacherous! Damn’d Pisanio
Hath with his forged letters,—damn’d Pisanio—
From this most bravest vessel of the world
Struck the main-top! O Posthumus! alas,
Where is thy head? where’s that? Ay me! where’s that?
Pisanio might have kill’d thee at the heart,
And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
‘Tis he and Cloten: malice and lucre in them
Have laid this woe here. O, ‘tis pregnant, pregnant!
The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
And cordial to me, have I not found it
Murderous to the senses? That confirms it home:
This is Pisanio’s deed, and Cloten’s: O!
Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood,
That we the horrider may seem to those
Which chance to find us: O, my lord, my lord!
Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
They crave to be demanded. Who is this
Thou makest thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
That, otherwise than noble nature did,
Hath alter’d that good picture? What’s thy interest
In this sad wreck? How came it? Who is it?
Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
Thou shalt be so well master’d, but, be sure,
No less beloved. The Roman emperor’s letters,
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
Than thine own worth prefer thee: go with me.
I’ll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha’ strew’d his grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.
And rather father thee than master thee.
The boy hath taught us manly duties: let us
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
And make him with our pikes and partisans
A grave: come, arm him. Boy, he is preferr’d
By thee to us, and he shall be interr’d
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes
Some falls are means the happier to arise.