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O, master! what a strange infection
Is fallen into thy ear? What false Italian
(As poisonous-tongu'd, as handed,) hath prevail'd
On thy too ready hearing?-Disloyal? No:
She's punish'd for her truth; and undergoes,
More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
As would take in' some virtue.-O, my master!
Thy mind to her snow as low, as were
Thy fortunes.-How! that I should murder her?
Upon the love, and truth, and vows, which I
Have made to thy command?-I, her?-her blood?
If it be so to do good service, never

Let me be counted serviceable. How look I,
That I should seem to lack humanity,

So much as this fact comes to? Do't: the letter


That I have sent her, by her own command
Shall give thee opportunity:-O damn'd paper!
Black as the ink that's on thee! senseless bauble,
Art thou a feodary for this act, and look'st
So virgin-like without? Lo, here she comes.
Enter Imogen.

I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
Imo. How now, Pisanio?

Why should excuse be born or ere begot?
We'll talk of that hereafter. Pr'ythee, speak,
How many score of miles may we well ride
'Twixt hour and hour?

One score, 'twixt sun and sun,
Madam, 's enough for you; and too much too.
Imo. Why, one that rode to his execution, man,
Could never go so slow: I have heard of riding


Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
That run i'the clock's behalf:-but this is foolery :-
Go, bid my woman feign a sickness; say,
She'll home to her father: and provide me, presently,
A riding-suit; no costlier than would fit
A franklin's housewife.

Madam, you're best consider.
Imo. I see before me, man, nor here, nor here,
Nor what ensues; but have a fog in them,
That I cannot look through. Away, I pr'ythee;
Do as I bid thee: There's no more to say;
Accessible is none but Milford way. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-Wales. A mountainous country,
with a cave. Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and

Bel. A goodly day not to keep house, with such Whose roof's as low as ours! Stoop, boys: This gate

Instructs you how to adore the heavens; and bows you

Hail, heaven!

Pis. Madam, here is a letter from my lord. Imo. Who? thy lord? that is my lord? Leonatus? O, learn'd indeed were that astronomer, That knew the stars, as I his characters; He'd lay the future open. You good gods, Let what is here contain'd relish of love, To morning's holy office: The gates of monarchs Of my lord's health, of his content,-yet not, Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through, That we two are asunder, let that grieve him,- And keep their impious turbands on, without (Some griefs are med'cinable ;) that is one of them, Good morrow to the sun.-Hail, thou fair heaven! For it doth physic love;-of his content, We house i'the rock, yet use thee not so hardly All but in that!-Good wax, thy leave:-Bless'd be As prouder livers do. You bees, that make these locks of counsel! Lovers, Gui. And men in dangerous bonds, pray not alike; Arv. Hail, heaven! Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet Bel. Now, for our mountain sport: Up to yon hill, You clasp young Cupid's tables.-Good news, Your legs are young; I'll tread these flats. Congods! [Reads. sider, Justice, and your father's wrath, should he take When you above perceive me like a crow, me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, as That it is place which lessens, and sets off. you, O the dearest of creatures, would not even renew And you may then revolve what tales I have told me with your eyes. Take notice, that I am in Cambria, at Milford-Haven. What your own love will, out of this, advise you, follow. So, he wishes you all happiness, that remains loyal to his vow, and your, increasing in love,

O, for a horse with wings!-Hear'st thou, Pisanio?
He is at Milford-Haven: Read, and tell me
How far 'tis thither. If one of mean affairs
May plod it in a week, why may not I
Glide thither in a day?-Then, true Pisanio
(Who long'st, like me, to see thy lord:




O, let me 'bate,-but not like me: yet long'st,-
But in a fainter kind:-0, not like me;
For mine's beyond beyond,) say, and speak thick,
(Love's counsellor should fill the bores of hearing,
"To the smothering of the sense,) how far it is
To this same blessed Milford: And, by the way,
Tell me how Wales was made so happy, as
To inherit such a haven: But, first of all,
How we may steal from hence; and, for the gap
That we shall make in time, from our hence-going,
And our return, to excuse :-but first, how get

(1) To take in a town, is to conquer it.

(2) Confederate.

(8) Crowd one word on another, as fast as possible.


Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd: To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. O, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check;
Richer, than doing nothing for a babe;
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours."
Gui. Out of your proof you speak: we, poor

Have never wing'd from view o'the nest; nor know

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When we are old as you? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing:
We are beastly; subtle as the fox, for prey;
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat:
Our valour is, to chace what flies; our cage
We make a quire, as doth the prison bird,
And sing our bondage freely.


How you speak!

Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly: the art o'the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery, that

The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I'the name of fame, and honour; which dies i'the

And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must court'sy at the censure:-O, boys, this story
The world may read in me: My body's mark'd
With Roman swords: and my report was once
First with the best of note: Cymbeline lov'd me;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.


Uncertain favour! Bet. My fault being nothing (as I have told you oft,)

But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline,
I was confederate with the Romans: so,
Follow'd my banishment; and, this twenty years,
This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world:
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The fore-end of my time.-But, up to the moun-


This is not hunters' language:-He, that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord o'the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the val-
[Exeunt Gui. and Arv.
How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature!
These boys know little, they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive,
They think they are mine: and, though train'd up
thus meanly

I'the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,-
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call'd Guiderius,-Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say,-Thus, mine enemy fell;
And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, re-sweats,
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in pos-


Thou didst unjustly banish me: whereon,
At three, and two years old, I stole these babes;
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their

And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
They take for natural father. The game is up. [Ex.
SCENE IV.-Near Milford-Haven. Enter Pi-
sanio and Imogen.

Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse,
the place

Was near at hand :-Ne'er long'd my mother so
To 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 haviour of less fear, ere wildness
What's the matter?
Vanquish my staider senses.
Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender? If it be summer news,
Smile to't before; if winterly, thou need'st
But keep that countenance still.-My husband's
That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-crafted him,
And he's at some hard point.-Speak, man; thy

May 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.

Imo. [Reads.] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath play
ed the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies where
of lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak sur-
mises; from proof as strong as my grief, and as
That part, thou,
certain as I expect my revenge.
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 opportunities at Mil-
ford-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 pander to her dishonour, and
equally to me disloyal.

Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword? the



Hath cut her throat already.-No, 'tis slander;
Whose edge is shaper than the sword; whose


Out venoms 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.
Imo. 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 charge

To break it with a fearful dream of him,
And cry myself awake? That's false to his bed?
Is it?

Pis. Alas, good lady!

That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal, Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness?-Iachimo,
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
(Once Arviragus,) in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, methinks,
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rous'd!-Thy favour's good enough.-Some jays of Italy,
O Cymbeline! heaven, and my conscience, knows,

(1) For behaviour.

(2) Putto, in Italian, signifies both a jay and a



Whose mother was her painting,' hath betray'd him:
Poor I am stale, a garment out of his fashion;
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,
I must be ripp'd:-to pieces with me!-0,
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. Imo. True honest men being heard, like false Eneas,

Were, in his time, thought false: and Sinon's weeping

Did scandal many a holy tear; to pity

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But if I were as wise as honest, then

From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Posthu- My purpose would prove well. It cannot be,


Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false and perjur'd,
From thy great fail.-Come, fellow, be thou honest:
Do thou thy master's bidding: When thou see'st him,
A little witness my obedience: Look!
I draw 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.
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou secm'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
There is a prohibition so divine,
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my

Something's afore't:-Soft, soft; we'll no defence;
Obedient as the scabbard.-What is here?
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
All turned 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 are betray'd

Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor,
Stands in worse case of wo.

And thou, Posthúmus, thou that didst set up
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father,
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness and I grieve myself,
To think, when thou shalt be disedg'd by her
That now thou tir'st on, how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me.-Pr'ythee, despatch:
The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it too.


O gracious lady,

Since I receiv'd command to do this business, I have not slept one wink.


Do't, and to bed then.

Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.

Wherefore then
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd
So many miles, with a pretence? this place?
Mine 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 stand,
The elected deer before thee?

But that my master is abus'd:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art,
Hath done you both this cursed injury.
Imo. Some Roman courtezan.

No, on my life.
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded
I should do so: You shall be miss'd at court,
And that will well confirm it.

Imo. Why, good fellow, What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live? Or in my life what comfort, when I am Dead to my husband?

Pis. If you'll back to the court,Imo. No court, no father; nor no more ado With that harsh, noble, simple, nothing: That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me As fearful as a siege. Pis. If not at court, Then not in Britain must you bide. Imo.

Where then?

Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
Are they not but in Britain? I'the world's volume
Our Britain seems as of it, but not in it;
In a great pool, a swan's nest; Pr'ythee, think
There's livers out of Britain.
I am most glad


You think of other place. The ambassador,
Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven
To-morrow: Now, if you could wear a mind
Dark as your fortune is; and but disguise
That, which, to appear itself, must not yet be,
But by self-danger; you should tread a course
Pretty, and full of view: yea, haply, near
The residence of Posthumus: so nigh, at least,
That though his actions were not visible, yet
Report should render him hourly to your ear,
As truly as he moves.

O, for such means!
Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,
I would adventure.


Well then, here's the point: You must forget to be a woman; change Command into obedience; fear, and niceness, (The handmaids of all women, or, more truly, Woman is pretty self,) to a waggish courage; Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and As quarrelous as the weasel: nay, you must Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek, Exposing it (but, O, the harder heart! Alack, no remedy!) to the greedy touch Of common-kissing Titan ; and forget Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein You made great Juno angry.


I see into thy end, and am almost A man already.

(1) Likeness. (2) Cowards. (3) The writings. (4) Feedest or preyest on.

Nay, be brief:

(5) The sun.



First, make yourself but like one.
Fore-thinking this, I have already fit
('Tis in my cloak-bag,) doublet, hat, hose, all
That answer to them: Would you, in their serving,
And with what imitation you can borrow
From youth of such a season, 'fore noble Lucius
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
Wherein you are happy' which you'll make him

If that his head have ear in music,) doubtless,
With joy he will embrace you; for he's honourable,
And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad
You have me,2 rich; and I will never fail
Beginning, nor supplyment.
Thou art all the comfort
The gods will diet me with. Pr'ythee, away:
There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
All that good time will give us: This attempt
I'm soldier to,' and will abide it with
A prince's courage. Away, I pr'ythee.

Pis. Well, madam, we must take a short farewell:
Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of
Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
Here is a box; I had it from the queen;
What's in't is precious; if you are sick at sea,
Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this
Will drive away distemper.-To some shade,
And fit you to your manhood:-May the gods
Direct you to the best!

Amen: I thank thee. [Exeunt. SCENE V-A room in Cymbeline's palace. Enter Cymbeline, Queen, Cloten, Lucius, and


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His war for Brtain.
'Tis not sleepy business;
But must be look'd to speedily, and strongly.
Cym. Our expectation that it would be thus,
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
The duty of the day: She looks us like
A thing more made of malice, than of duty:
We have noted it.-Call her before us; for
We have been too slight in sufferance.


Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd
Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
'Tis time must do. 'Beseech your majesty,
Forbear sharp speeches to her: she's a lady
So tender of rebukes, that words are strokes,
And strokes death to her.

Cym. Where is she, sir? How Can her contempt be answer'd? Attend. Please you, sir, Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer That will be given to the loud'st of noise we make. Queen. My lord, when last I went to visit her, She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity, She should that duty leave unpaid to you, Which daily she was bound to proffer: this She wish'd me to make known; but our great court Made me to blame in memory." Cym. Her doors lock'd? Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that, which I fear, Prove false ! [Exit.

Queen. Son, I say, follow the king. Clo. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant, I have not seen these two days.


Queen. Go, look after.-[Exit Cloten. Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus!He hath a drug of mine: I pray, his absence Proceed by swallowing that; for he believes It is a thing most precious; But for her, Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seiz'd her; Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown To her desir'd Posthumus: Gone she is, of-To death, or to dishonour; and my end

Your hand, my lord. Clo. Receive it friendly: but from this time forth I wear it as your enemy.


Sir, the event

Is yet to name the winner; Fare you well. Cym. Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,

Till he have cross'd the Severn.-Happiness! [Exeunt Lucius, and Lords. Queen. He goes hence frowning: but it honours


That we have given him cause.
'Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
Cym. Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor
How it goes here. It fits us therefore, ripely,
Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness:
The powers that he already has in Gallia

Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves

(1) i. e. Wherein you are accomplished. (2) As for your subsistence abroad, you may reJy on me.

Can make good use of either: She being down,
I have the placing of the British crown.
Re-enter Cloten.

How now, my son?


'Tis certain, she is fled: Go in, and cheer the king; he rages; none Dare come about him.


All the better: May This night forestall him of the coming day! [Exit Queen.

Clo. I love, and hate her: for she's fair and royal; And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one The best she hath, and she of all compounded, Outsells them all: I love her therefore; But, Disdaining me, and throwing favours on The low Posthumus, slanders so her judgment, That what's else rare, is chok'd; and, in that point, I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed, To be reveng'd upon her. For, when fools

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Enter Pisanio.

Shall-Who is here? What! are you packing,


valour, which will then be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, iny 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 praised,) to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home again. She O, good my lord! hath despised me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in

Come hither: Ah, you precious pander!
Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.


Clo. Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
A dram of worth be drawn.

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How can she be with him? When was she miss'd?

He is in Rome.


my revenge.

Re-enter Pisanio, with the clothes.

Be those the garments?

Pis. Ay, my noble lord.

Clo. How long is't since she went to MilfordHaven?

Pis. She can scarce be there yet.

Clo. Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is
Where is she, sir? Come nearer; third is, that thou shalt be a voluntary mute to my
the second thing that I have commanded thee: the
No further halting: satisfy me home,
What is become of her?

Pis. O, my all-worthy lord!

All-worthy villain!

Discover where thy mistress is, at once,
At the next word,-No more of worthy lord,-
Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
Thy condemnation and thy death.

Then, sir,
This paper is the history of my knowledge,
Touching her flight.
[Presenting a letter.
Let's see't:-I will pursue her
Even to Augustus' throne.

Or this, or perish.
She's far enough; and what he learns by this,
May prove his travel, not her danger. [Aside.
Pis. I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen,
Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again!

Clo. Sirrah, is this letter true?


design. Be but duteous, and true preferment shall
tender itself to thee.-My revenge is now at Mil-
ford; 'Would I had wings to follow it!-Come,
and be true.

Pis. Thou bidd'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 pursu'st. Flow, flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
Be cross'd with slowness; labour be his meed!


SCENE VI.-Before the cave of Belarius. Enter Imogen, in boy's clothes.

Imo. 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


Sir, as I think. Clo. It is Posthumus' hand; I know't-Sirrah, if thou would'st not be a villain, but do me true service; undergo those employments, wherein I should I could not miss my way: Will poor folks lie, have cause to use thee, with a serious industry,-That have afflictions on them; knowing 'tis that is, what villany soe'er I bid thee do, to per- A punishment, or trial? Yes; no wonder, form it, directly and truly, I would think thee an honest man: thou shouldest neither want my ineans for thy relief, nor my voice for thy preferment. Pis. Well, my good lord.

Clo. Wilt thou serve me? For since patiently and constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not in the course of gratitude but be a diligent follower of mine. Wilt thou serve me?

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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'the 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 it: 'Tis some savage hold:
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 any thing 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! [She goes into the cave.
Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.
Bel. You, Polydore, have prov'd best woodman,'

Clo. Meet thee at Milford-Haven :-I forgot to ask him one thing; I'll remember't anon:-Even Are master of the feast: Cadwal, and I, there, thou villain Posthumus, will I kill thee.-I Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match: would these garments were come. She said upon a The sweat of industry would dry, and die, time (the bitterness of it I now belch from my heart,) But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs that she held the very garment of Posthumus in Will make what's homely, savoury: Weariness more respect than my noble and natural person, together with the adornment of my qualities. With Can snore upon a flint, when restive sloth that suit upon my back, will I ravish her: First Finds the down pillow hard.-Now, peace be here, kill him, and in her eyes; there shall she see my Poor house, that keep'st thyself! Gui. I am throughly weary. (1) Best hunter. (2) Agreement. Arv. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite,

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