The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, by William Shakespeare

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at

** This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg eBook, Details Below ** ** Please follow the copyright guidelines in this file. **

Title: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Author: William Shakespeare

Posting Date: September 1, 2011 [EBook #100] Release Date: January, 1994

Language: English


Produced by World Library, Inc., from their Library of the Future

This is the 100th Etext file presented by Project Gutenberg, and is presented in cooperation with World Library, Inc., from their Library of the Future and Shakespeare CDROMS. Project Gutenberg often releases Etexts that are NOT placed in the Public Domain!!


*This Etext has certain copyright implications you should read!*


*Project Gutenberg is proud to cooperate with The World Library* in the presentation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare for your reading for education and entertainment. HOWEVER, THIS IS NEITHER SHAREWARE NOR PUBLIC DOMAIN. . .AND UNDER THE LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE CONDITIONS OF THIS PRESENTATION. . .NO CHARGES MAY BE MADE FOR *ANY* ACCESS TO THIS MATERIAL. YOU ARE ENCOURAGED!! TO GIVE IT AWAY TO ANYONE YOU LIKE, BUT NO CHARGES ARE ALLOWED!!



Since unlike many other Project Gutenberg-tm etexts, this etext is copyright protected, and since the materials and methods you use will effect the Project's reputation, your right to copy and distribute it is limited by the copyright and other laws, and by the conditions of this "Small Print!" statement.


B) This license is subject to the conditions that you honor the refund and replacement provisions of this "small print!" statement; and that you distribute exact copies of this etext, including this Small Print statement. Such copies can be compressed or any proprietary form (including any form resulting from word processing or hypertext software), so long as *EITHER*:

(1) The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and does *not* contain characters other than those intended by the author of the work, although tilde (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey punctuation intended by the author, and additional characters may be used to indicate hypertext links; OR

(2) The etext is readily convertible by the reader at no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent form by the program that displays the etext (as is the case, for instance, with most word processors); OR

(3) You provide or agree to provide on request at no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the etext in plain ASCII.


This etext may contain a "Defect" in the form of incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other infringement, a defective or damaged disk, computer virus, or codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment. But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below, the Project (and any other party you may receive this etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, and YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiv- ing it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that time to the person you received it from. If you received it on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement copy. If you received it electronically, such person may choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to receive it electronically.

THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of consequen- tial damages, so the above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you may have other legal rights.

3. INDEMNITY: You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors, officers, members and agents harmless from all lia- bility, cost and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause: [A] distribution of this etext, [B] alteration, modification, or addition to the etext, or [C] any Defect.

4. WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine readable form. The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time, scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty free copyright licenses, and whatever else you can think of. Money should be paid to "Pro- ject Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College".

This "Small Print!" by Charles B. Kramer, Attorney
Internet (; TEL: (212-254-5093)
["Small Print" V.12.08.93]




by William Shakespeare

  From fairest creatures we desire increase,
  That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
  But as the riper should by time decease,
  His tender heir might bear his memory:
  But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
  Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
  Making a famine where abundance lies,
  Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
  Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
  And only herald to the gaudy spring,
  Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
  And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding:
    Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
    To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

  When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
  And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
  Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
  Will be a tattered weed of small worth held:
  Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
  Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
  To say within thine own deep sunken eyes,
  Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
  How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,
  If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
  Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse'
  Proving his beauty by succession thine.
    This were to be new made when thou art old,
    And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

  Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest,
  Now is the time that face should form another,
  Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
  Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
  For where is she so fair whose uneared womb
  Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
  Or who is he so fond will be the tomb,
  Of his self-love to stop posterity?
  Thou art thy mother's glass and she in thee
  Calls back the lovely April of her prime,
  So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
  Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
    But if thou live remembered not to be,
    Die single and thine image dies with thee.

  Unthrifty loveliness why dost thou spend,
  Upon thy self thy beauty's legacy?
  Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
  And being frank she lends to those are free:
  Then beauteous niggard why dost thou abuse,
  The bounteous largess given thee to give?
  Profitless usurer why dost thou use
  So great a sum of sums yet canst not live?
  For having traffic with thy self alone,
  Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive,
  Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,
  What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
    Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,
    Which used lives th' executor to be.

  Those hours that with gentle work did frame
  The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell
  Will play the tyrants to the very same,
  And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
  For never-resting time leads summer on
  To hideous winter and confounds him there,
  Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
  Beauty o'er-snowed and bareness every where:
  Then were not summer's distillation left
  A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
  Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
  Nor it nor no remembrance what it was.
    But flowers distilled though they with winter meet,
    Leese but their show, their substance still lives sweet.

  Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,
  In thee thy summer ere thou be distilled:
  Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place,
  With beauty's treasure ere it be self-killed:
  That use is not forbidden usury,
  Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
  That's for thy self to breed another thee,
  Or ten times happier be it ten for one,
  Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,
  If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
  Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,
  Leaving thee living in posterity?
    Be not self-willed for thou art much too fair,
    To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.

  Lo in the orient when the gracious light
  Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
  Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
  Serving with looks his sacred majesty,
  And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
  Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
  Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
  Attending on his golden pilgrimage:
  But when from highmost pitch with weary car,
  Like feeble age he reeleth from the day,
  The eyes (fore duteous) now converted are
  From his low tract and look another way:
    So thou, thy self out-going in thy noon:
    Unlooked on diest unless thou get a son.

  Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
  Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
  Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
  Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
  If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
  By unions married do offend thine ear,
  They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
  In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear:
  Mark how one string sweet husband to another,
  Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
  Resembling sire, and child, and happy mother,
  Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
    Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
    Sings this to thee, 'Thou single wilt prove none'.

  Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye,
  That thou consum'st thy self in single life?
  Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
  The world will wail thee like a makeless wife,
  The world will be thy widow and still weep,
  That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
  When every private widow well may keep,
  By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind:
  Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
  Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
  But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
  And kept unused the user so destroys it:
    No love toward others in that bosom sits
    That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.

  For shame deny that thou bear'st love to any
  Who for thy self art so unprovident.
  Grant if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
  But that thou none lov'st is most evident:
  For thou art so possessed with murd'rous hate,
  That 'gainst thy self thou stick'st not to conspire,
  Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
  Which to repair should be thy chief desire:
  O change thy thought, that I may change my mind,
  Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
  Be as thy presence is gracious and kind,
  Or to thy self at least kind-hearted prove,
    Make thee another self for love of me,
    That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

  As fast as thou shalt wane so fast thou grow'st,
  In one of thine, from that which thou departest,
  And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st,
  Thou mayst call thine, when thou from youth convertest,
  Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase,
  Without this folly, age, and cold decay,
  If all were minded so, the times should cease,
  And threescore year would make the world away:
  Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
  Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish:
  Look whom she best endowed, she gave thee more;
  Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
    She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby,
    Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

  When I do count the clock that tells the time,
  And see the brave day sunk in hideous night,
  When I behold the violet past prime,
  And sable curls all silvered o'er with white:
  When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
  Which erst from heat did canopy the herd
  And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
  Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard:
  Then of thy beauty do I question make
  That thou among the wastes of time must go,
  Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
  And die as fast as they see others grow,
    And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
    Save breed to brave him, when he takes thee hence.

  O that you were your self, but love you are
  No longer yours, than you your self here live,
  Against this coming end you should prepare,
  And your sweet semblance to some other give.
  So should that beauty which you hold in lease
  Find no determination, then you were
  Your self again after your self's decease,
  When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
  Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
  Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
  Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
  And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
    O none but unthrifts, dear my love you know,
    You had a father, let your son say so.

  Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck,
  And yet methinks I have astronomy,
  But not to tell of good, or evil luck,
  Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality,
  Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell;
  Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
  Or say with princes if it shall go well
  By oft predict that I in heaven find.
  But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
  And constant stars in them I read such art
  As truth and beauty shall together thrive
  If from thy self, to store thou wouldst convert:
    Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
    Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.

  When I consider every thing that grows
  Holds in perfection but a little moment.
  That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
  Whereon the stars in secret influence comment.
  When I perceive that men as plants increase,
  Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky:
  Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
  And wear their brave state out of memory.
  Then the conceit of this inconstant stay,
  Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
  Where wasteful time debateth with decay
  To change your day of youth to sullied night,
    And all in war with Time for love of you,
    As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

  But wherefore do not you a mightier way
  Make war upon this bloody tyrant Time?
  And fortify your self in your decay
  With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
  Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
  And many maiden gardens yet unset,
  With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
  Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
  So should the lines of life that life repair
  Which this (Time's pencil) or my pupil pen
  Neither in inward worth nor outward fair
  Can make you live your self in eyes of men.
    To give away your self, keeps your self still,
    And you must live drawn by your own sweet skill.

  Who will believe my verse in time to come
  If it were filled with your most high deserts?
  Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
  Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts:
  If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
  And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
  The age to come would say this poet lies,
  Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces.
  So should my papers (yellowed with their age)
  Be scorned, like old men of less truth than tongue,
  And your true rights be termed a poet's rage,
  And stretched metre of an antique song.
    But were some child of yours alive that time,
    You should live twice in it, and in my rhyme.

  Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
  Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
  Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
  And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
  Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
  And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
  And every fair from fair sometime declines,
  By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
  But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
  Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
  Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
  When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

  Devouring Time blunt thou the lion's paws,
  And make the earth devour her own sweet brood,
  Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
  And burn the long-lived phoenix, in her blood,
  Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet'st,
  And do whate'er thou wilt swift-footed Time
  To the wide world and all her fading sweets:
  But I forbid thee one most heinous crime,
  O carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
  Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen,
  Him in thy course untainted do allow,
  For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
    Yet do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong,
    My love shall in my verse ever live young.

  A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
  Hast thou the master mistress of my passion,
  A woman's gentle heart but not acquainted
  With shifting change as is false women's fashion,
  An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling:
  Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth,
  A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
  Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
  And for a woman wert thou first created,
  Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting,
  And by addition me of thee defeated,
  By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
    But since she pricked thee out for women's pleasure,
    Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.

  So is it not with me as with that muse,
  Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
  Who heaven it self for ornament doth use,
  And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
  Making a couplement of proud compare
  With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems:
  With April's first-born flowers and all things rare,
  That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
  O let me true in love but truly write,
  And then believe me, my love is as fair,
  As any mother's child, though not so bright
  As those gold candles fixed in heaven's air:
    Let them say more that like of hearsay well,
    I will not praise that purpose not to sell.

  My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
  So long as youth and thou are of one date,
  But when in thee time's furrows I behold,
  Then look I death my days should expiate.
  For all that beauty that doth cover thee,
  Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
  Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me,
  How can I then be elder than thou art?
  O therefore love be of thyself so wary,
  As I not for my self, but for thee will,
  Bearing thy heart which I will keep so chary
  As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
    Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,
    Thou gav'st me thine not to give back again.

  As an unperfect actor on the stage,
  Who with his fear is put beside his part,
  Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
  Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;
  So I for fear of trust, forget to say,
  The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
  And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
  O'ercharged with burthen of mine own love's might:
  O let my looks be then the eloquence,
  And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
  Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
  More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
    O learn to read what silent love hath writ,
    To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

  Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled,
  Thy beauty's form in table of my heart,
  My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
  And perspective it is best painter's art.
  For through the painter must you see his skill,
  To find where your true image pictured lies,
  Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
  That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes:
  Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done,
  Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
  Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
  Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
    Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
    They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

  Let those who are in favour with their stars,
  Of public honour and proud titles boast,
  Whilst I whom fortune of such triumph bars
  Unlooked for joy in that I honour most;
  Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread,
  But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
  And in themselves their pride lies buried,
  For at a frown they in their glory die.
  The painful warrior famoused for fight,
  After a thousand victories once foiled,
  Is from the book of honour razed quite,
  And all the rest forgot for which he toiled:
    Then happy I that love and am beloved
    Where I may not remove nor be removed.

  Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
  Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit;
  To thee I send this written embassage
  To witness duty, not to show my wit.
  Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
  May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it;
  But that I hope some good conceit of thine
  In thy soul's thought (all naked) will bestow it:
  Till whatsoever star that guides my moving,
  Points on me graciously with fair aspect,
  And puts apparel on my tattered loving,
  To show me worthy of thy sweet respect,
    Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee,
    Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me.

  Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
  The dear respose for limbs with travel tired,
  But then begins a journey in my head
  To work my mind, when body's work's expired.
  For then my thoughts (from far where I abide)
  Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
  And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
  Looking on darkness which the blind do see.
  Save that my soul's imaginary sight
  Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
  Which like a jewel (hung in ghastly night)
  Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
    Lo thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
    For thee, and for my self, no quiet find.

  How can I then return in happy plight
  That am debarred the benefit of rest?
  When day's oppression is not eased by night,
  But day by night and night by day oppressed.
  And each (though enemies to either's reign)
  Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
  The one by toil, the other to complain
  How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
  I tell the day to please him thou art bright,
  And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
  So flatter I the swart-complexioned night,
  When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even.
    But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
    And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger

  When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
  I all alone beweep my outcast state,
  And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
  And look upon my self and curse my fate,
  Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
  Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
  Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
  With what I most enjoy contented least,
  Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
  Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
  (Like to the lark at break of day arising
  From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate,
    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

  When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,
  I summon up remembrance of things past,
  I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
  And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
  Then can I drown an eye (unused to flow)
  For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
  And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
  And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight.
  Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
  And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
  The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
  Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee (dear friend)
    All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

  Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
  Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
  And there reigns love and all love's loving parts,
  And all those friends which I thought buried.
  How many a holy and obsequious tear
  Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye,
  As interest of the dead, which now appear,
  But things removed that hidden in thee lie.
  Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
  Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
  Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
  That due of many, now is thine alone.
    Their images I loved, I view in thee,
    And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.

  If thou survive my well-contented day,
  When that churl death my bones with dust shall cover
  And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
  These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover:
  Compare them with the bett'ring of the time,
  And though they be outstripped by every pen,
  Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
  Exceeded by the height of happier men.
  O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought,
  'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
  A dearer birth than this his love had brought
  To march in ranks of better equipage:
    But since he died and poets better prove,
    Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love'.

  Full many a glorious morning have I seen,
  Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
  Kissing with golden face the meadows green;
  Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy:
  Anon permit the basest clouds to ride,
  With ugly rack on his celestial face,
  And from the forlorn world his visage hide
  Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
  Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
  With all triumphant splendour on my brow,
  But out alack, he was but one hour mine,
  The region cloud hath masked him from me now.
    Yet him for this, my love no whit disdaineth,
    Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.

  Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
  And make me travel forth without my cloak,
  To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
  Hiding thy brav'ry in their rotten smoke?
  'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
  To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
  For no man well of such a salve can speak,
  That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:
  Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief,
  Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss,
  Th' offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
  To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
    Ah but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
    And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.

  No more be grieved at that which thou hast done,
  Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,
  Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
  And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
  All men make faults, and even I in this,
  Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
  My self corrupting salving thy amiss,
  Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
  For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,
  Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
  And 'gainst my self a lawful plea commence:
  Such civil war is in my love and hate,
    That I an accessary needs must be,
    To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

  Let me confess that we two must be twain,
  Although our undivided loves are one:
  So shall those blots that do with me remain,
  Without thy help, by me be borne alone.
  In our two loves there is but one respect,
  Though in our lives a separable spite,
  Which though it alter not love's sole effect,
  Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.
  I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
  Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
  Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
  Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
    But do not so, I love thee in such sort,
    As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.

  As a decrepit father takes delight,
  To see his active child do deeds of youth,
  So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite
  Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
  For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
  Or any of these all, or all, or more
  Entitled in thy parts, do crowned sit,
  I make my love engrafted to this store:
  So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
  Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give,
  That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
  And by a part of all thy glory live:
    Look what is best, that best I wish in thee,
    This wish I have, then ten times happy me.

  How can my muse want subject to invent
  While thou dost breathe that pour'st into my verse,
  Thine own sweet argument, too excellent,
  For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
  O give thy self the thanks if aught in me,
  Worthy perusal stand against thy sight,
  For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee,
  When thou thy self dost give invention light?
  Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
  Than those old nine which rhymers invocate,
  And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
  Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
    If my slight muse do please these curious days,
    The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

  O how thy worth with manners may I sing,
  When thou art all the better part of me?
  What can mine own praise to mine own self bring:
  And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
  Even for this, let us divided live,
  And our dear love lose name of single one,
  That by this separation I may give:
  That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone:
  O absence what a torment wouldst thou prove,
  Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave,
  To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
  Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive.
    And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
    By praising him here who doth hence remain.

  Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all,
  What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
  No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call,
  All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more:
  Then if for my love, thou my love receivest,
  I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest,
  But yet be blamed, if thou thy self deceivest
  By wilful taste of what thy self refusest.
  I do forgive thy robbery gentle thief
  Although thou steal thee all my poverty:
  And yet love knows it is a greater grief
  To bear greater wrong, than hate's known injury.
    Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
    Kill me with spites yet we must not be foes.

  Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
  When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
  Thy beauty, and thy years full well befits,
  For still temptation follows where thou art.
  Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,
  Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed.
  And when a woman woos, what woman's son,
  Will sourly leave her till he have prevailed?
  Ay me, but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,
  And chide thy beauty, and thy straying youth,
  Who lead thee in their riot even there
  Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth:
    Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
    Thine by thy beauty being false to me.

  That thou hast her it is not all my grief,
  And yet it may be said I loved her dearly,
  That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
  A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
  Loving offenders thus I will excuse ye,
  Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her,
  And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
  Suff'ring my friend for my sake to approve her.
  If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,
  And losing her, my friend hath found that loss,
  Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
  And both for my sake lay on me this cross,
    But here's the joy, my friend and I are one,
    Sweet flattery, then she loves but me alone.

  When most I wink then do mine eyes best see,
  For all the day they view things unrespected,
  But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
  And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
  Then thou whose shadow shadows doth make bright
  How would thy shadow's form, form happy show,
  To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
  When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
  How would (I say) mine eyes be blessed made,
  By looking on thee in the living day,
  When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade,
  Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
    All days are nights to see till I see thee,
    And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

  If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
  Injurious distance should not stop my way,
  For then despite of space I would be brought,
  From limits far remote, where thou dost stay,
  No matter then although my foot did stand
  Upon the farthest earth removed from thee,
  For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
  As soon as think the place where he would be.
  But ah, thought kills me that I am not thought
  To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
  But that so much of earth and water wrought,
  I must attend, time's leisure with my moan.
    Receiving nought by elements so slow,
    But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.

  The other two, slight air, and purging fire,
  Are both with thee, wherever I abide,
  The first my thought, the other my desire,
  These present-absent with swift motion slide.
  For when these quicker elements are gone
  In tender embassy of love to thee,
  My life being made of four, with two alone,
  Sinks down to death, oppressed with melancholy.
  Until life's composition be recured,
  By those swift messengers returned from thee,
  Who even but now come back again assured,
  Of thy fair health, recounting it to me.
    This told, I joy, but then no longer glad,
    I send them back again and straight grow sad.

  Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,
  How to divide the conquest of thy sight,
  Mine eye, my heart thy picture's sight would bar,
  My heart, mine eye the freedom of that right,
  My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie,
  (A closet never pierced with crystal eyes)
  But the defendant doth that plea deny,
  And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
  To side this title is impanelled
  A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
  And by their verdict is determined
  The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part.
    As thus, mine eye's due is thy outward part,
    And my heart's right, thy inward love of heart.

  Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
  And each doth good turns now unto the other,
  When that mine eye is famished for a look,
  Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother;
  With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,
  And to the painted banquet bids my heart:
  Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,
  And in his thoughts of love doth share a part.
  So either by thy picture or my love,
  Thy self away, art present still with me,
  For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
  And I am still with them, and they with thee.
    Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
    Awakes my heart, to heart's and eye's delight.

  How careful was I when I took my way,
  Each trifle under truest bars to thrust,
  That to my use it might unused stay
  From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!
  But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,
  Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief,
  Thou best of dearest, and mine only care,
  Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
  Thee have I not locked up in any chest,
  Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,
  Within the gentle closure of my breast,
  From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part,
    And even thence thou wilt be stol'n I fear,
    For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.

  Against that time (if ever that time come)
  When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
  When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
  Called to that audit by advised respects,
  Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
  And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye,
  When love converted from the thing it was
  Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
  Against that time do I ensconce me here
  Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
  And this my hand, against my self uprear,
  To guard the lawful reasons on thy part,
    To leave poor me, thou hast the strength of laws,
    Since why to love, I can allege no cause.

  How heavy do I journey on the way,
  When what I seek (my weary travel's end)
  Doth teach that case and that repose to say
  'Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend.'
  The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
  Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me,
  As if by some instinct the wretch did know
  His rider loved not speed being made from thee:
  The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,
  That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,
  Which heavily he answers with a groan,
  More sharp to me than spurring to his side,
    For that same groan doth put this in my mind,
    My grief lies onward and my joy behind.

  Thus can my love excuse the slow offence,
  Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed,
  From where thou art, why should I haste me thence?
  Till I return of posting is no need.
  O what excuse will my poor beast then find,
  When swift extremity can seem but slow?
  Then should I spur though mounted on the wind,
  In winged speed no motion shall I know,
  Then can no horse with my desire keep pace,
  Therefore desire (of perfect'st love being made)
  Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his fiery race,
  But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade,
    Since from thee going, he went wilful-slow,
    Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.

  So am I as the rich whose blessed key,
  Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
  The which he will not every hour survey,
  For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
  Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
  Since seldom coming in that long year set,
  Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
  Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
  So is the time that keeps you as my chest
  Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
  To make some special instant special-blest,
  By new unfolding his imprisoned pride.
    Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,
    Being had to triumph, being lacked to hope.

  What is your substance, whereof are you made,
  That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
  Since every one, hath every one, one shade,
  And you but one, can every shadow lend:
  Describe Adonis and the counterfeit,
  Is poorly imitated after you,
  On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
  And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
  Speak of the spring, and foison of the year,
  The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
  The other as your bounty doth appear,
  And you in every blessed shape we know.
    In all external grace you have some part,
    But you like none, none you for constant heart.

  O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
  By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
  The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
  For that sweet odour, which doth in it live:
  The canker blooms have full as deep a dye,
  As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
  Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly,
  When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
  But for their virtue only is their show,
  They live unwooed, and unrespected fade,
  Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so,
  Of their sweet deaths, are sweetest odours made:
    And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
    When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.

  Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
  Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
  But you shall shine more bright in these contents
  Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
  When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
  And broils root out the work of masonry,
  Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn:
  The living record of your memory.
  'Gainst death, and all-oblivious enmity
  Shall you pace forth, your praise shall still find room,
  Even in the eyes of all posterity
  That wear this world out to the ending doom.
    So till the judgment that your self arise,
    You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

  Sweet love renew thy force, be it not said
  Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
  Which but to-day by feeding is allayed,
  To-morrow sharpened in his former might.
  So love be thou, although to-day thou fill
  Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulness,
  To-morrow see again, and do not kill
  The spirit of love, with a perpetual dulness:
  Let this sad interim like the ocean be
  Which parts the shore, where two contracted new,
  Come daily to the banks, that when they see:
  Return of love, more blest may be the view.
    Or call it winter, which being full of care,
    Makes summer's welcome, thrice more wished, more rare.

  Being your slave what should I do but tend,
  Upon the hours, and times of your desire?
  I have no precious time at all to spend;
  Nor services to do till you require.
  Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,
  Whilst I (my sovereign) watch the clock for you,
  Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
  When you have bid your servant once adieu.
  Nor dare I question with my jealous thought,
  Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
  But like a sad slave stay and think of nought
  Save where you are, how happy you make those.
    So true a fool is love, that in your will,
    (Though you do any thing) he thinks no ill.

  That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
  I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
  Or at your hand th' account of hours to crave,
  Being your vassal bound to stay your leisure.
  O let me suffer (being at your beck)
  Th' imprisoned absence of your liberty,
  And patience tame to sufferance bide each check,
  Without accusing you of injury.
  Be where you list, your charter is so strong,
  That you your self may privilage your time
  To what you will, to you it doth belong,
  Your self to pardon of self-doing crime.
    I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
    Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.

  If there be nothing new, but that which is,
  Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
  Which labouring for invention bear amis
  The second burthen of a former child!
  O that record could with a backward look,
  Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
  Show me your image in some antique book,
  Since mind at first in character was done.
  That I might see what the old world could say,
  To this composed wonder of your frame,
  Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
  Or whether revolution be the same.
    O sure I am the wits of former days,
    To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

  Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
  So do our minutes hasten to their end,
  Each changing place with that which goes before,
  In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
  Nativity once in the main of light,
  Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,
  Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
  And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.
  Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
  And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
  Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
  And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.
    And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand
    Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

  Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
  My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
  Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
  While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
  Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
  So far from home into my deeds to pry,
  To find out shames and idle hours in me,
  The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
  O no, thy love though much, is not so great,
  It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
  Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
  To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
    For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
    From me far off, with others all too near.

  Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
  And all my soul, and all my every part;
  And for this sin there is no remedy,
  It is so grounded inward in my heart.
  Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
  No shape so true, no truth of such account,
  And for my self mine own worth do define,
  As I all other in all worths surmount.
  But when my glass shows me my self indeed
  beated and chopt with tanned antiquity,
  Mine own self-love quite contrary I read:
  Self, so self-loving were iniquity.
    'Tis thee (my self) that for my self I praise,
    Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

  Against my love shall be as I am now
  With Time's injurious hand crushed and o'erworn,
  When hours have drained his blood and filled his brow
  With lines and wrinkles, when his youthful morn
  Hath travelled on to age's steepy night,
  And all those beauties whereof now he's king
  Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight,
  Stealing away the treasure of his spring:
  For such a time do I now fortify
  Against confounding age's cruel knife,
  That he shall never cut from memory
  My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life.
    His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
    And they shall live, and he in them still green.

  When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
  The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age,
  When sometime lofty towers I see down-rased,
  And brass eternal slave to mortal rage.
  When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
  Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
  And the firm soil win of the watery main,
  Increasing store with loss, and loss with store.
  When I have seen such interchange of State,
  Or state it self confounded, to decay,
  Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
  That Time will come and take my love away.
    This thought is as a death which cannot choose
    But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.

  Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
  But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
  How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
  Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
  O how shall summer's honey breath hold out,
  Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
  When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
  Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays?
  O fearful meditation, where alack,
  Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
  Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
  Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
    O none, unless this miracle have might,
    That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

  Tired with all these for restful death I cry,
  As to behold desert a beggar born,
  And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,
  And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
  And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
  And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
  And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
  And strength by limping sway disabled
  And art made tongue-tied by authority,
  And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
  And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
  And captive good attending captain ill.
    Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
    Save that to die, I leave my love alone.

  Ah wherefore with infection should he live,
  And with his presence grace impiety,
  That sin by him advantage should achieve,
  And lace it self with his society?
  Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
  And steal dead seeming of his living hue?
  Why should poor beauty indirectly seek,
  Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
  Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is,
  Beggared of blood to blush through lively veins,
  For she hath no exchequer now but his,
  And proud of many, lives upon his gains?
    O him she stores, to show what wealth she had,
    In days long since, before these last so bad.

  Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
  When beauty lived and died as flowers do now,
  Before these bastard signs of fair were born,
  Or durst inhabit on a living brow:
  Before the golden tresses of the dead,
  The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,
  To live a second life on second head,
  Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
  In him those holy antique hours are seen,
  Without all ornament, it self and true,
  Making no summer of another's green,
  Robbing no old to dress his beauty new,
    And him as for a map doth Nature store,
    To show false Art what beauty was of yore.

  Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view,
  Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend:
  All tongues (the voice of souls) give thee that due,
  Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
  Thy outward thus with outward praise is crowned,
  But those same tongues that give thee so thine own,
  In other accents do this praise confound
  By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
  They look into the beauty of thy mind,
  And that in guess they measure by thy deeds,
  Then churls their thoughts (although their eyes were kind)
  To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
    But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
    The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.

  That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
  For slander's mark was ever yet the fair,
  The ornament of beauty is suspect,
  A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
  So thou be good, slander doth but approve,
  Thy worth the greater being wooed of time,
  For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
  And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.
  Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
  Either not assailed, or victor being charged,
  Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
  To tie up envy, evermore enlarged,
    If some suspect of ill masked not thy show,
    Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.

  No longer mourn for me when I am dead,
  Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
  Give warning to the world that I am fled
  From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:
  Nay if you read this line, remember not,
  The hand that writ it, for I love you so,
  That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
  If thinking on me then should make you woe.
  O if (I say) you look upon this verse,
  When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
  Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
  But let your love even with my life decay.
    Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
    And mock you with me after I am gone.

  O lest the world should task you to recite,
  What merit lived in me that you should love
  After my death (dear love) forget me quite,
  For you in me can nothing worthy prove.
  Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
  To do more for me than mine own desert,
  And hang more praise upon deceased I,
  Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
  O lest your true love may seem false in this,
  That you for love speak well of me untrue,
  My name be buried where my body is,
  And live no more to shame nor me, nor you.
    For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
    And so should you, to love things nothing worth.

  That time of year thou mayst in me behold,
  When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
  Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
  Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
  In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
  As after sunset fadeth in the west,
  Which by and by black night doth take away,
  Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
  In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
  That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
  As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
  Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
    This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

  But be contented when that fell arrest,
  Without all bail shall carry me away,
  My life hath in this line some interest,
  Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
  When thou reviewest this, thou dost review,
  The very part was consecrate to thee,
  The earth can have but earth, which is his due,
  My spirit is thine the better part of me,
  So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
  The prey of worms, my body being dead,
  The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
  Too base of thee to be remembered,
    The worth of that, is that which it contains,
    And that is this, and this with thee remains.

  So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
  Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
  And for the peace of you I hold such strife
  As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
  Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
  Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
  Now counting best to be with you alone,
  Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure,
  Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
  And by and by clean starved for a look,
  Possessing or pursuing no delight
  Save what is had, or must from you be took.
    Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
    Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

  Why is my verse so barren of new pride?
  So far from variation or quick change?
  Why with the time do I not glance aside
  To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
  Why write I still all one, ever the same,
  And keep invention in a noted weed,
  That every word doth almost tell my name,
  Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
  O know sweet love I always write of you,
  And you and love are still my argument:
  So all my best is dressing old words new,
  Spending again what is already spent:
    For as the sun is daily new and old,
    So is my love still telling what is told.

  Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
  Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste,
  These vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
  And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste.
  The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show,
  Of mouthed graves will give thee memory,
  Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know,
  Time's thievish progress to eternity.
  Look what thy memory cannot contain,
  Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
  Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain,
  To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
    These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
    Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.

  So oft have I invoked thee for my muse,
  And found such fair assistance in my verse,
  As every alien pen hath got my use,
  And under thee their poesy disperse.
  Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing,
  And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
  Have added feathers to the learned's wing,
  And given grace a double majesty.
  Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
  Whose influence is thine, and born of thee,
  In others' works thou dost but mend the style,
  And arts with thy sweet graces graced be.
    But thou art all my art, and dost advance
    As high as learning, my rude ignorance.

  Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
  My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
  But now my gracious numbers are decayed,
  And my sick muse doth give an other place.
  I grant (sweet love) thy lovely argument
  Deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
  Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent,
  He robs thee of, and pays it thee again,
  He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word,
  From thy behaviour, beauty doth he give
  And found it in thy cheek: he can afford
  No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
    Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
    Since what he owes thee, thou thy self dost pay.

  O how I faint when I of you do write,
  Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
  And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
  To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame.
  But since your worth (wide as the ocean is)
  The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
  My saucy bark (inferior far to his)
  On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
  Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
  Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride,
  Or (being wrecked) I am a worthless boat,
  He of tall building, and of goodly pride.
    Then if he thrive and I be cast away,
    The worst was this, my love was my decay.

  Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
  Or you survive when I in earth am rotten,
  From hence your memory death cannot take,
  Although in me each part will be forgotten.
  Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
  Though I (once gone) to all the world must die,
  The earth can yield me but a common grave,
  When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie,
  Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
  Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
  And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,
  When all the breathers of this world are dead,
    You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen)
    Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

  I grant thou wert not married to my muse,
  And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
  The dedicated words which writers use
  Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
  Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
  Finding thy worth a limit past my praise,
  And therefore art enforced to seek anew,
  Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.
  And do so love, yet when they have devised,
  What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
  Thou truly fair, wert truly sympathized,
  In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend.
    And their gross painting might be better used,
    Where cheeks need blood, in thee it is abused.

  I never saw that you did painting need,
  And therefore to your fair no painting set,
  I found (or thought I found) you did exceed,
  That barren tender of a poet's debt:
  And therefore have I slept in your report,
  That you your self being extant well might show,
  How far a modern quill doth come too short,
  Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
  This silence for my sin you did impute,
  Which shall be most my glory being dumb,
  For I impair not beauty being mute,
  When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
    There lives more life in one of your fair eyes,
    Than both your poets can in praise devise.

  Who is it that says most, which can say more,
  Than this rich praise, that you alone, are you?
  In whose confine immured is the store,
  Which should example where your equal grew.
  Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
  That to his subject lends not some small glory,
  But he that writes of you, if he can tell,
  That you are you, so dignifies his story.
  Let him but copy what in you is writ,
  Not making worse what nature made so clear,
  And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
  Making his style admired every where.
    You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
    Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.

  My tongue-tied muse in manners holds her still,
  While comments of your praise richly compiled,
  Reserve their character with golden quill,
  And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
  I think good thoughts, whilst other write good words,
  And like unlettered clerk still cry Amen,
  To every hymn that able spirit affords,
  In polished form of well refined pen.
  Hearing you praised, I say 'tis so, 'tis true,
  And to the most of praise add something more,
  But that is in my thought, whose love to you
  (Though words come hindmost) holds his rank before,
    Then others, for the breath of words respect,
    Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

  Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
  Bound for the prize of (all too precious) you,
  That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
  Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
  Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write,
  Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
  No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
  Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
  He nor that affable familiar ghost
  Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
  As victors of my silence cannot boast,
  I was not sick of any fear from thence.
    But when your countenance filled up his line,
    Then lacked I matter, that enfeebled mine.

  Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
  And like enough thou know'st thy estimate,
  The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing:
  My bonds in thee are all determinate.
  For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
  And for that riches where is my deserving?
  The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
  And so my patent back again is swerving.
  Thy self thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
  Or me to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking,
  So thy great gift upon misprision growing,
  Comes home again, on better judgement making.
    Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,
    In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.

  When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
  And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
  Upon thy side, against my self I'll fight,
  And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn:
  With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
  Upon thy part I can set down a story
  Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted:
  That thou in losing me, shalt win much glory:
  And I by this will be a gainer too,
  For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
  The injuries that to my self I do,
  Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
    Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
    That for thy right, my self will bear all wrong.

  Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
  And I will comment upon that offence,
  Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt:
  Against thy reasons making no defence.
  Thou canst not (love) disgrace me half so ill,
  To set a form upon desired change,
  As I'll my self disgrace, knowing thy will,
  I will acquaintance strangle and look strange:
  Be absent from thy walks and in my tongue,
  Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
  Lest I (too much profane) should do it wronk:
  And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
    For thee, against my self I'll vow debate,
    For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.

  Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now,
  Now while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
  join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
  And do not drop in for an after-loss:
  Ah do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
  Come in the rearward of a conquered woe,
  Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
  To linger out a purposed overthrow.
  If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
  When other petty griefs have done their spite,
  But in the onset come, so shall I taste
  At first the very worst of fortune's might.
    And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
    Compared with loss of thee, will not seem so.

  Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
  Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
  Some in their garments though new-fangled ill:
  Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse.
  And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
  Wherein it finds a joy above the rest,
  But these particulars are not my measure,
  All these I better in one general best.
  Thy love is better than high birth to me,
  Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' costs,
  Of more delight than hawks and horses be:
  And having thee, of all men's pride I boast.
    Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take,
    All this away, and me most wretchcd make.

  But do thy worst to steal thy self away,
  For term of life thou art assured mine,
  And life no longer than thy love will stay,
  For it depends upon that love of thine.
  Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
  When in the least of them my life hath end,
  I see, a better state to me belongs
  Than that, which on thy humour doth depend.
  Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
  Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie,
  O what a happy title do I find,
  Happy to have thy love, happy to die!
    But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot?
    Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not.

  So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
  Like a deceived husband, so love's face,
  May still seem love to me, though altered new:
  Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place.
  For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
  Therefore in that I cannot know thy change,
  In many's looks, the false heart's history
  Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange.
  But heaven in thy creation did decree,
  That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell,
  Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
  Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
    How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
    If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show.

  They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
  That do not do the thing, they most do show,
  Who moving others, are themselves as stone,
  Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow:
  They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
  And husband nature's riches from expense,
  Tibey are the lords and owners of their faces,
  Others, but stewards of their excellence:
  The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
  Though to it self, it only live and die,
  But if that flower with base infection meet,
  The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds,
    Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.

  How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame,
  Which like a canker in the fragrant rose,
  Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
  O in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
  That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
  (Making lascivious comments on thy sport)
  Cannot dispraise, but in a kind of praise,
  Naming thy name, blesses an ill report.
  O what a mansion have those vices got,
  Which for their habitation chose out thee,
  Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
  And all things turns to fair, that eyes can see!
    Take heed (dear heart) of this large privilege,
    The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.

  Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness,
  Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport,
  Both grace and faults are loved of more and less:
  Thou mak'st faults graces, that to thee resort:
  As on the finger of a throned queen,
  The basest jewel will be well esteemed:
  So are those errors that in thee are seen,
  To truths translated, and for true things deemed.
  How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,
  If like a lamb he could his looks translate!
  How many gazers mightst thou lead away,
  if thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
    But do not so, I love thee in such sort,
    As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.

  How like a winter hath my absence been
  From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
  What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
  What old December's bareness everywhere!
  And yet this time removed was summer's time,
  The teeming autumn big with rich increase,
  Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
  Like widowed wombs after their lords' decease:
  Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
  But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit,
  For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
  And thou away, the very birds are mute.
    Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
    That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.

  From you have I been absent in the spring,
  When proud-pied April (dressed in all his trim)
  Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing:
  That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
  Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
  Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
  Could make me any summer's story tell:
  Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
  Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
  Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose,
  They were but sweet, but figures of delight:
  Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
    Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
    As with your shadow I with these did play.

  The forward violet thus did I chide,
  Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
  If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
  Which on thy soft check for complexion dwells,
  In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
  The lily I condemned for thy hand,
  And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair,
  The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
  One blushing shame, another white despair:
  A third nor red, nor white, had stol'n of both,
  And to his robbery had annexed thy breath,
  But for his theft in pride of all his growth
  A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
    More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
    But sweet, or colour it had stol'n from thee.

  Where art thou Muse that thou forget'st so long,
  To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
  Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
  Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
  Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,
  In gentle numbers time so idly spent,
  Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
  And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
  Rise resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
  If time have any wrinkle graven there,
  If any, be a satire to decay,
  And make time's spoils despised everywhere.
    Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
    So thou prevent'st his scythe, and crooked knife.

  O truant Muse what shall be thy amends,
  For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
  Both truth and beauty on my love depends:
  So dost thou too, and therein dignified:
  Make answer Muse, wilt thou not haply say,
  'Truth needs no colour with his colour fixed,
  Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay:
  But best is best, if never intermixed'?
  Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
  Excuse not silence so, for't lies in thee,
  To make him much outlive a gilded tomb:
  And to be praised of ages yet to be.
    Then do thy office Muse, I teach thee how,
    To make him seem long hence, as he shows now.

  My love is strengthened though more weak in seeming,
  I love not less, though less the show appear,
  That love is merchandized, whose rich esteeming,
  The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
  Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
  When I was wont to greet it with my lays,
  As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,
  And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:
  Not that the summer is less pleasant now
  Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
  But that wild music burthens every bough,
  And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
    Therefore like her, I sometime hold my tongue:
    Because I would not dull you with my song.

  Alack what poverty my muse brings forth,
  That having such a scope to show her pride,
  The argument all bare is of more worth
  Than when it hath my added praise beside.
  O blame me not if I no more can write!
  Look in your glass and there appears a face,
  That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
  Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
  Were it not sinful then striving to mend,
  To mar the subject that before was well?
  For to no other pass my verses tend,
  Than of your graces and your gifts to tell.
    And more, much more than in my verse can sit,
    Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.

  To me fair friend you never can be old,
  For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
  Such seems your beauty still: three winters cold,
  Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
  Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned,
  In process of the seasons have I seen,
  Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
  Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green.
  Ah yet doth beauty like a dial hand,
  Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived,
  So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand
  Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
    For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred,
    Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

  Let not my love be called idolatry,
  Nor my beloved as an idol show,
  Since all alike my songs and praises be
  To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
  Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
  Still constant in a wondrous excellence,
  Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
  One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
  Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
  Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words,
  And in this change is my invention spent,
  Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
    Fair, kind, and true, have often lived alone.
    Which three till now, never kept seat in one.

  When in the chronicle of wasted time,
  I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
  And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
  In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights,
  Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
  Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
  I see their antique pen would have expressed,
  Even such a beauty as you master now.
  So all their praises are but prophecies
  Of this our time, all you prefiguring,
  And for they looked but with divining eyes,
  They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
    For we which now behold these present days,
    Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

  Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul,
  Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come,
  Can yet the lease of my true love control,
  Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
  The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured,
  And the sad augurs mock their own presage,
  Incertainties now crown themselves assured,
  And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
  Now with the drops of this most balmy time,
  My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes,
  Since spite of him I'll live in this poor rhyme,
  While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes.
    And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
    When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.

  What's in the brain that ink may character,
  Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit,
  What's new to speak, what now to register,
  That may express my love, or thy dear merit?
  Nothing sweet boy, but yet like prayers divine,
  I must each day say o'er the very same,
  Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
  Even as when first I hallowed thy fair name.
  So that eternal love in love's fresh case,
  Weighs not the dust and injury of age,
  Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,
  But makes antiquity for aye his page,
    Finding the first conceit of love there bred,
    Where time and outward form would show it dead.

  O never say that I was false of heart,
  Though absence seemed my flame to qualify,
  As easy might I from my self depart,
  As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie:
  That is my home of love, if I have ranged,
  Like him that travels I return again,
  Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
  So that my self bring water for my stain,
  Never believe though in my nature reigned,
  All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
  That it could so preposterously be stained,
  To leave for nothing all thy sum of good:
    For nothing this wide universe I call,
    Save thou my rose, in it thou art my all.

  Alas 'tis true, I have gone here and there,
  And made my self a motley to the view,
  Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
  Made old offences of affections new.
  Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
  Askance and strangely: but by all above,
  These blenches gave my heart another youth,
  And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
  Now all is done, have what shall have no end,
  Mine appetite I never more will grind
  On newer proof, to try an older friend,
  A god in love, to whom I am confined.
    Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
    Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

  O for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
  The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
  That did not better for my life provide,
  Than public means which public manners breeds.
  Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
  And almost thence my nature is subdued
  To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
  Pity me then, and wish I were renewed,
  Whilst like a willing patient I will drink,
  Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection,
  No bitterness that I will bitter think,
  Nor double penance to correct correction.
    Pity me then dear friend, and I assure ye,
    Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

  Your love and pity doth th' impression fill,
  Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow,
  For what care I who calls me well or ill,
  So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
  You are my all the world, and I must strive,
  To know my shames and praises from your tongue,
  None else to me, nor I to none alive,
  That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.
  In so profound abysm I throw all care
  Of others' voices, that my adder's sense,
  To critic and to flatterer stopped are:
  Mark how with my neglect I do dispense.
    You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
    That all the world besides methinks are dead.

  Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,
  And that which governs me to go about,
  Doth part his function, and is partly blind,
  Seems seeing, but effectually is out:
  For it no form delivers to the heart
  Of bird, of flower, or shape which it doth latch,
  Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
  Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch:
  For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
  The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,
  The mountain, or the sea, the day, or night:
  The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.
    Incapable of more, replete with you,
    My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.

  Or whether doth my mind being crowned with you
  Drink up the monarch's plague this flattery?
  Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true,
  And that your love taught it this alchemy?
  To make of monsters, and things indigest,
  Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
  Creating every bad a perfect best
  As fast as objects to his beams assemble:
  O 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,
  And my great mind most kingly drinks it up,
  Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
  And to his palate doth prepare the cup.
    If it be poisoned, 'tis the lesser sin,
    That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.

  Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
  Even those that said I could not love you dearer,
  Yet then my judgment knew no reason why,
  My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer,
  But reckoning time, whose millioned accidents
  Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
  Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
  Divert strong minds to the course of alt'ring things:
  Alas why fearing of time's tyranny,
  Might I not then say 'Now I love you best,'
  When I was certain o'er incertainty,
  Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
    Love is a babe, then might I not say so
    To give full growth to that which still doth grow.

  Let me not to the marriage of true minds
  Admit impediments, love is not love
  Which alters when it alteration finds,
  Or bends with the remover to remove.
  O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
  That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
  It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
  Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
  Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
  Within his bending sickle's compass come,
  Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
  But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

  Accuse me thus, that I have scanted all,
  Wherein I should your great deserts repay,
  Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
  Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day,
  That I have frequent been with unknown minds,
  And given to time your own dear-purchased right,
  That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
  Which should transport me farthest from your sight.
  Book both my wilfulness and errors down,
  And on just proof surmise, accumulate,
  Bring me within the level of your frown,
  But shoot not at me in your wakened hate:
    Since my appeal says I did strive to prove
    The constancy and virtue of your love.

  Like as to make our appetite more keen
  With eager compounds we our palate urge,
  As to prevent our maladies unseen,
  We sicken to shun sickness when we purge.
  Even so being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
  To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;
  And sick of welfare found a kind of meetness,
  To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
  Thus policy in love t' anticipate
  The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
  And brought to medicine a healthful state
  Which rank of goodness would by ill be cured.
    But thence I learn and find the lesson true,
    Drugs poison him that so feil sick of you.

  What potions have I drunk of Siren tears
  Distilled from limbecks foul as hell within,
  Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,
  Still losing when I saw my self to win!
  What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
  Whilst it hath thought it self so blessed never!
  How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
  In the distraction of this madding fever!
  O benefit of ill, now I find true
  That better is, by evil still made better.
  And ruined love when it is built anew
  Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
    So I return rebuked to my content,
    And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.

  That you were once unkind befriends me now,
  And for that sorrow, which I then did feel,
  Needs must I under my transgression bow,
  Unless my nerves were brass or hammered steel.
  For if you were by my unkindness shaken
  As I by yours, y'have passed a hell of time,
  And I a tyrant have no leisure taken
  To weigh how once I suffered in your crime.
  O that our night of woe might have remembered
  My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
  And soon to you, as you to me then tendered
  The humble salve, which wounded bosoms fits!
    But that your trespass now becomes a fee,
    Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.

  'Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,
  When not to be, receives reproach of being,
  And the just pleasure lost, which is so deemed,
  Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing.
  For why should others' false adulterate eyes
  Give salutation to my sportive blood?
  Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
  Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
  No, I am that I am, and they that level
  At my abuses, reckon up their own,
  I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;
  By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown
    Unless this general evil they maintain,
    All men are bad and in their badness reign.

  Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
  Full charactered with lasting memory,
  Which shall above that idle rank remain
  Beyond all date even to eternity.
  Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
  Have faculty by nature to subsist,
  Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
  Of thee, thy record never can be missed:
  That poor retention could not so much hold,
  Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score,
  Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
  To trust those tables that receive thee more:
    To keep an adjunct to remember thee
    Were to import forgetfulness in me.

  No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change,
  Thy pyramids built up with newer might
  To me are nothing novel, nothing strange,
  They are but dressings Of a former sight:
  Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire,
  What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
  And rather make them born to our desire,
  Than think that we before have heard them told:
  Thy registers and thee I both defy,
  Not wond'ring at the present, nor the past,
  For thy records, and what we see doth lie,
  Made more or less by thy continual haste:
    This I do vow and this shall ever be,
    I will be true despite thy scythe and thee.

  If my dear love were but the child of state,
  It might for Fortune's bastard be unfathered,
  As subject to time's love or to time's hate,
  Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gathered.
  No it was builded far from accident,
  It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
  Under the blow of thralled discontent,
  Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls:
  It fears not policy that heretic,
  Which works on leases of short-numbered hours,
  But all alone stands hugely politic,
  That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with showers.
    To this I witness call the fools of time,
    Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.

  Were't aught to me I bore the canopy,
  With my extern the outward honouring,
  Or laid great bases for eternity,
  Which proves more short than waste or ruining?
  Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
  Lose all, and more by paying too much rent
  For compound sweet; forgoing simple savour,
  Pitiful thrivers in their gazing spent?
  No, let me be obsequious in thy heart,
  And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
  Which is not mixed with seconds, knows no art,
  But mutual render, only me for thee.
    Hence, thou suborned informer, a true soul
    When most impeached, stands least in thy control.

  O thou my lovely boy who in thy power,
  Dost hold Time's fickle glass his fickle hour:
  Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st,
  Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st.
  If Nature (sovereign mistress over wrack)
  As thou goest onwards still will pluck thee back,
  She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
  May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill.
  Yet fear her O thou minion of her pleasure,
  She may detain, but not still keep her treasure!
    Her audit (though delayed) answered must be,
    And her quietus is to render thee.

  In the old age black was not counted fair,
  Or if it were it bore not beauty's name:
  But now is black beauty's successive heir,
  And beauty slandered with a bastard shame,
  For since each hand hath put on nature's power,
  Fairing the foul with art's false borrowed face,
  Sweet beauty hath no name no holy bower,
  But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
  Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black,
  Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem,
  At such who not born fair no beauty lack,
  Slandering creation with a false esteem,
    Yet so they mourn becoming of their woe,
    That every tongue says beauty should look so.

  How oft when thou, my music, music play'st,
  Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
  With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway'st
  The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
  Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap,
  To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
  Whilst my poor lips which should that harvest reap,
  At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand.
  To be so tickled they would change their state
  And situation with those dancing chips,
  O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
  Making dead wood more blest than living lips,
    Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
    Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.

  Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
  Is lust in action, and till action, lust
  Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody full of blame,
  Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
  Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight,
  Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
  Past reason hated as a swallowed bait,
  On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
  Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
  Had, having, and in quest, to have extreme,
  A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe,
  Before a joy proposed behind a dream.
    All this the world well knows yet none knows well,
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

  My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,
  Coral is far more red, than her lips red,
  If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun:
  If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head:
  I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
  But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
  And in some perfumes is there more delight,
  Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
  I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
  That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
  I grant I never saw a goddess go,
  My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    And yet by heaven I think my love as rare,
    As any she belied with false compare.

  Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
  As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
  For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart
  Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
  Yet in good faith some say that thee behold,
  Thy face hath not the power to make love groan;
  To say they err, I dare not be so bold,
  Although I swear it to my self alone.
  And to be sure that is not false I swear,
  A thousand groans but thinking on thy face,
  One on another's neck do witness bear
  Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.
    In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
    And thence this slander as I think proceeds.

  Thine eyes I love, and they as pitying me,
  Knowing thy heart torment me with disdain,
  Have put on black, and loving mourners be,
  Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
  And truly not the morning sun of heaven
  Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east,
  Nor that full star that ushers in the even
  Doth half that glory to the sober west
  As those two mourning eyes become thy face:
  O let it then as well beseem thy heart
  To mourn for me since mourning doth thee grace,
  And suit thy pity like in every part.
    Then will I swear beauty herself is black,
    And all they foul that thy complexion lack.

  Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
  For that deep wound it gives my friend and me;
  Is't not enough to torture me alone,
  But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
  Me from my self thy cruel eye hath taken,
  And my next self thou harder hast engrossed,
  Of him, my self, and thee I am forsaken,
  A torment thrice three-fold thus to be crossed:
  Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward,
  But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail,
  Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard,
  Thou canst not then use rigour in my gaol.
    And yet thou wilt, for I being pent in thee,
    Perforce am thine and all that is in me.

  So now I have confessed that he is thine,
  And I my self am mortgaged to thy will,
  My self I'll forfeit, so that other mine,
  Thou wilt restore to be my comfort still:
  But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
  For thou art covetous, and he is kind,
  He learned but surety-like to write for me,
  Under that bond that him as fist doth bind.
  The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
  Thou usurer that put'st forth all to use,
  And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake,
  So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
    Him have I lost, thou hast both him and me,
    He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.

  Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy will,
  And 'Will' to boot, and 'Will' in over-plus,
  More than enough am I that vex thee still,
  To thy sweet will making addition thus.
  Wilt thou whose will is large and spacious,
  Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
  Shall will in others seem right gracious,
  And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
  The sea all water, yet receives rain still,
  And in abundance addeth to his store,
  So thou being rich in will add to thy will
  One will of mine to make thy large will more.
    Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill,
    Think all but one, and me in that one 'Will.'

  If thy soul check thee that I come so near,
  Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy 'Will',
  And will thy soul knows is admitted there,
  Thus far for love, my love-suit sweet fulfil.
  'Will', will fulfil the treasure of thy love,
  Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one,
  In things of great receipt with case we prove,
  Among a number one is reckoned none.
  Then in the number let me pass untold,
  Though in thy store's account I one must be,
  For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold,
  That nothing me, a something sweet to thee.
    Make but my name thy love, and love that still,
    And then thou lov'st me for my name is Will.

  Thou blind fool Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
  That they behold and see not what they see?
  They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
  Yet what the best is, take the worst to be.
  If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks,
  Be anchored in the bay where all men ride,
  Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
  Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
  Why should my heart think that a several plot,
  Which my heart knows the wide world's common place?
  Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not
  To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
    In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
    And to this false plague are they now transferred.

  When my love swears that she is made of truth,
  I do believe her though I know she lies,
  That she might think me some untutored youth,
  Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
  Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
  Although she knows my days are past the best,
  Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue,
  On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed:
  But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
  And wherefore say not I that I am old?
  O love's best habit is in seeming trust,
  And age in love, loves not to have years told.
    Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
    And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

  O call not me to justify the wrong,
  That thy unkindness lays upon my heart,
  Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue,
  Use power with power, and slay me not by art,
  Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere; but in my sight,
  Dear heart forbear to glance thine eye aside,
  What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
  Is more than my o'erpressed defence can bide?
  Let me excuse thee, ah my love well knows,
  Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
  And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
  That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
    Yet do not so, but since I am near slain,
    Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain.

  Be wise as thou art cruel, do not press
  My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain:
  Lest sorrow lend me words and words express,
  The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
  If I might teach thee wit better it were,
  Though not to love, yet love to tell me so,
  As testy sick men when their deaths be near,
  No news but health from their physicians know.
  For if I should despair I should grow mad,
  And in my madness might speak ill of thee,
  Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,
  Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be.
    That I may not be so, nor thou belied,
    Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.

  In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,
  For they in thee a thousand errors note,
  But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise,
  Who in despite of view is pleased to dote.
  Nor are mine cars with thy tongue's tune delighted,
  Nor tender feeling to base touches prone,
  Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
  To any sensual feast with thee alone:
  But my five wits, nor my five senses can
  Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
  Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,
  Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be:
    Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
    That she that makes me sin, awards me pain.

  Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
  Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving,
  O but with mine, compare thou thine own state,
  And thou shalt find it merits not reproving,
  Or if it do, not from those lips of thine,
  That have profaned their scarlet ornaments,
  And sealed false bonds of love as oft as mine,
  Robbed others' beds' revenues of their rents.
  Be it lawful I love thee as thou lov'st those,
  Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee,
  Root pity in thy heart that when it grows,
  Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
    If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
    By self-example mayst thou be denied.

  Lo as a careful huswife runs to catch,
  One of her feathered creatures broke away,
  Sets down her babe and makes all swift dispatch
  In pursuit of the thing she would have stay:
  Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
  Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent,
  To follow that which flies before her face:
  Not prizing her poor infant's discontent;
  So run'st thou after that which flies from thee,
  Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind,
  But if thou catch thy hope turn back to me:
  And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind.
    So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will,
    If thou turn back and my loud crying still.

  Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
  Which like two spirits do suggest me still,
  The better angel is a man right fair:
  The worser spirit a woman coloured ill.
  To win me soon to hell my female evil,
  Tempteth my better angel from my side,
  And would corrupt my saint to be a devil:
  Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
  And whether that my angel be turned fiend,
  Suspect I may, yet not directly tell,
  But being both from me both to each friend,
  I guess one angel in another's hell.
    Yet this shall I ne'er know but live in doubt,
    Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

  Those lips that Love's own hand did make,
  Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate',
  To me that languished for her sake:
  But when she saw my woeful state,
  Straight in her heart did mercy come,
  Chiding that tongue that ever sweet,
  Was used in giving gentle doom:
  And taught it thus anew to greet:
  'I hate' she altered with an end,
  That followed it as gentle day,
  Doth follow night who like a fiend
  From heaven to hell is flown away.
    'I hate', from hate away she threw,
    And saved my life saying 'not you'.

  Poor soul the centre of my sinful earth,
  My sinful earth these rebel powers array,
  Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth
  Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
  Why so large cost having so short a lease,
  Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
  Shall worms inheritors of this excess
  Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
  Then soul live thou upon thy servant's loss,
  And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
  Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
  Within be fed, without be rich no more,
    So shall thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
    And death once dead, there's no more dying then.

  My love is as a fever longing still,
  For that which longer nurseth the disease,
  Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
  Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please:
  My reason the physician to my love,
  Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
  Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
  Desire is death, which physic did except.
  Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
  And frantic-mad with evermore unrest,
  My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are,
  At random from the truth vainly expressed.
    For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
    Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

  O me! what eyes hath love put in my head,
  Which have no correspondence with true sight,
  Or if they have, where is my judgment fled,
  That censures falsely what they see aright?
  If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
  What means the world to say it is not so?
  If it be not, then love doth well denote,
  Love's eye is not so true as all men's: no,
  How can it? O how can love's eye be true,
  That is so vexed with watching and with tears?
  No marvel then though I mistake my view,
  The sun it self sees not, till heaven clears.
    O cunning love, with tears thou keep'st me blind,
    Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.

  Canst thou O cruel, say I love thee not,
  When I against my self with thee partake?
  Do I not think on thee when I forgot
  Am of my self, all-tyrant, for thy sake?
  Who hateth thee that I do call my friend,
  On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon,
  Nay if thou lour'st on me do I not spend
  Revenge upon my self with present moan?
  What merit do I in my self respect,
  That is so proud thy service to despise,
  When all my best doth worship thy defect,
  Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
    But love hate on for now I know thy mind,
    Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.

  O from what power hast thou this powerful might,
  With insufficiency my heart to sway,
  To make me give the lie to my true sight,
  And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
  Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
  That in the very refuse of thy deeds,
  There is such strength and warrantise of skill,
  That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds?
  Who taught thee how to make me love thee more,
  The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
  O though I love what others do abhor,
  With others thou shouldst not abhor my state.
    If thy unworthiness raised love in me,
    More worthy I to be beloved of thee.

  Love is too young to know what conscience is,
  Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
  Then gentle cheater urge not my amiss,
  Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.
  For thou betraying me, I do betray
  My nobler part to my gross body's treason,
  My soul doth tell my body that he may,
  Triumph in love, flesh stays no farther reason,
  But rising at thy name doth point out thee,
  As his triumphant prize, proud of this pride,
  He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
  To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
    No want of conscience hold it that I call,
    Her love, for whose dear love I rise and fall.

  In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,
  But thou art twice forsworn to me love swearing,
  In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn,
  In vowing new hate after new love bearing:
  But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
  When I break twenty? I am perjured most,
  For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee:
  And all my honest faith in thee is lost.
  For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness:
  Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy,
  And to enlighten thee gave eyes to blindness,
  Or made them swear against the thing they see.
    For I have sworn thee fair: more perjured I,
    To swear against the truth so foul a be.

  Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep,
  A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
  And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
  In a cold valley-fountain of that ground:
  Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love,
  A dateless lively heat still to endure,
  And grew a seeting bath which yet men prove,
  Against strange maladies a sovereign cure:
  But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired,
  The boy for trial needs would touch my breast,
  I sick withal the help of bath desired,
  And thither hied a sad distempered guest.
    But found no cure, the bath for my help lies,
    Where Cupid got new fire; my mistress' eyes.

  The little Love-god lying once asleep,
  Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
  Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep,
  Came tripping by, but in her maiden hand,
  The fairest votary took up that fire,
  Which many legions of true hearts had warmed,
  And so the general of hot desire,
  Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarmed.
  This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
  Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
  Growing a bath and healthful remedy,
  For men discased, but I my mistress' thrall,
    Came there for cure and this by that I prove,
    Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.





by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

  BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon
  LAFEU, an old lord
  PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram
  TWO FRENCH LORDS, serving with Bertram

  STEWARD, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon
  LAVACHE, a clown and Servant to the Countess of Rousillon
  A PAGE, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon

  COUNTESS OF ROUSILLON, mother to Bertram
  HELENA, a gentlewoman protected by the Countess
  DIANA, daughter to the Widow

  VIOLENTA, neighbour and friend to the Widow
  MARIANA, neighbour and friend to the Widow

Lords, Officers, Soldiers, etc., French and Florentine


SCENE: Rousillon; Paris; Florence; Marseilles

ACT I. SCENE 1. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  COUNTESS. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
  BERTRAM. And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew;
    but I must attend his Majesty's command, to whom I am now in
    ward, evermore in subjection.
  LAFEU. You shall find of the King a husband, madam; you, sir, a
    father. He that so generally is at all times good must of
    necessity hold his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it
    up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such
  COUNTESS. What hope is there of his Majesty's amendment?
  LAFEU. He hath abandon'd his physicians, madam; under whose
    practices he hath persecuted time with hope, and finds no other
    advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
  COUNTESS. This young gentlewoman had a father- O, that 'had,' how
    sad a passage 'tis!-whose skill was almost as great as his
    honesty; had it stretch'd so far, would have made nature
    immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for
    the King's sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of
    the King's disease.
  LAFEU. How call'd you the man you speak of, madam?
  COUNTESS. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his
    great right to be so- Gerard de Narbon.
  LAFEU. He was excellent indeed, madam; the King very lately spoke
    of him admiringly and mourningly; he was skilful enough to have
    liv'd still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
  BERTRAM. What is it, my good lord, the King languishes of?
  LAFEU. A fistula, my lord.
  BERTRAM. I heard not of it before.
  LAFEU. I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the
    daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
  COUNTESS. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my
    overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education
    promises; her dispositions she inherits, which makes fair gifts
    fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities,
    there commendations go with pity-they are virtues and traitors
    too. In her they are the better for their simpleness; she derives
    her honesty, and achieves her goodness.
  LAFEU. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
  COUNTESS. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in.
    The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart but the
    tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No
    more of this, Helena; go to, no more, lest it be rather thought
    you affect a sorrow than to have-
  HELENA. I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.
  LAFEU. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead: excessive
    grief the enemy to the living.
  COUNTESS. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it
    soon mortal.
  BERTRAM. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
  LAFEU. How understand we that?
  COUNTESS. Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
    In manners, as in shape! Thy blood and virtue
    Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
    Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
    Do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy
    Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
    Under thy own life's key; be check'd for silence,
    But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
    That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
    Fall on thy head! Farewell. My lord,
    'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
    Advise him.
  LAFEU. He cannot want the best
    That shall attend his love.
  COUNTESS. Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram. Exit
  BERTRAM. The best wishes that can be forg'd in your thoughts be
    servants to you! [To HELENA] Be comfortable to my mother, your
    mistress, and make much of her.
  LAFEU. Farewell, pretty lady; you must hold the credit of your
    father. Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU
  HELENA. O, were that all! I think not on my father;
    And these great tears grace his remembrance more
    Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
    I have forgot him; my imagination
    Carries no favour in't but Bertram's.
    I am undone; there is no living, none,
    If Bertram be away. 'Twere all one
    That I should love a bright particular star
    And think to wed it, he is so above me.
    In his bright radiance and collateral light
    Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
    Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
    The hind that would be mated by the lion
    Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
    To see him every hour; to sit and draw
    His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
    In our heart's table-heart too capable
    Of every line and trick of his sweet favour.
    But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
    Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?


    [Aside] One that goes with him. I love him for his sake;
    And yet I know him a notorious liar,
    Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
    Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him
    That they take place when virtue's steely bones
    Looks bleak i' th' cold wind; withal, full oft we see
    Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
  PAROLLES. Save you, fair queen!
  HELENA. And you, monarch!
  HELENA. And no.
  PAROLLES. Are you meditating on virginity?
  HELENA. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a
    question. Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it
    against him?
  PAROLLES. Keep him out.
  HELENA. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the
    defence, yet is weak. Unfold to us some warlike resistance.
  PAROLLES. There is none. Man, setting down before you, will
    undermine you and blow you up.
  HELENA. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers-up!
    Is there no military policy how virgins might blow up men?
  PAROLLES. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown
    up; marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves
     made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth
    of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational
    increase; and there was never virgin got till virginity was first
    lost. That you were made of is metal to make virgins. Virginity
    by being once lost may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it
    is ever lost. 'Tis too cold a companion; away with't.
  HELENA. I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a
  PAROLLES. There's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the rule
    of nature. To speak on the part of virginity is to accuse your
    mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs
    himself is a virgin; virginity murders itself, and should be
    buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate
    offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a
    cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with
    feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud,
    idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the
    canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with't.
    Within ten year it will make itself ten, which is a goodly
    increase; and the principal itself not much the worse. Away
  HELENA. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
  PAROLLES. Let me see. Marry, ill to like him that ne'er it likes.
    'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept,
    the less worth. Off with't while 'tis vendible; answer the time
    of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of
    fashion, richly suited but unsuitable; just like the brooch and
    the toothpick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your
    pie and your porridge than in your cheek. And your virginity,
    your old virginity, is like one of our French wither'd pears: it
    looks ill, it eats drily; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear; it was
    formerly better; marry, yet 'tis a wither'd pear. Will you
    anything with it?
  HELENA. Not my virginity yet.
    There shall your master have a thousand loves,
    A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
    A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
    A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
    A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
    His humble ambition, proud humility,
    His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
    His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
    Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms
    That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he-
    I know not what he shall. God send him well!
    The court's a learning-place, and he is one-
  PAROLLES. What one, i' faith?
  HELENA. That I wish well. 'Tis pity-
  PAROLLES. What's pity?
  HELENA. That wishing well had not a body in't
    Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born,
    Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
    Might with effects of them follow our friends
    And show what we alone must think, which never
    Returns us thanks.

Enter PAGE

  PAGE. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. Exit PAGE
  PAROLLES. Little Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I will
    think of thee at court.
  HELENA. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
  PAROLLES. Under Mars, I.
  HELENA. I especially think, under Mars.
  PAROLLES. Why under Man?
  HELENA. The wars hath so kept you under that you must needs be born
    under Mars.
  PAROLLES. When he was predominant.
  HELENA. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
  PAROLLES. Why think you so?
  HELENA. You go so much backward when you fight.
  PAROLLES. That's for advantage.
  HELENA. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: but the
    composition that your valour and fear makes in you is a virtue of
    a good wing, and I like the wear well.
  PAROLLES. I am so full of business I cannot answer thee acutely. I
    will return perfect courtier; in the which my instruction shall
    serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's
    counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else
    thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes
    thee away. Farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers;
    when thou hast none, remember thy friends. Get thee a good
    husband and use him as he uses thee. So, farewell.
  HELENA. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
    Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
    Gives us free scope; only doth backward pull
    Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
    What power is it which mounts my love so high,
    That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
    The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
    To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
    Impossible be strange attempts to those
    That weigh their pains in sense, and do suppose
    What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
    To show her merit that did miss her love?
    The King's disease-my project may deceive me,
    But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me. Exit

ACT I. SCENE 2. Paris. The KING'S palace

Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING OF FRANCE, with letters, and divers ATTENDANTS

  KING. The Florentines and Senoys are by th' ears;
    Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
    A braving war.
  FIRST LORD. So 'tis reported, sir.
  KING. Nay, 'tis most credible. We here receive it,
    A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
    With caution, that the Florentine will move us
    For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
    Prejudicates the business, and would seem
    To have us make denial.
  FIRST LORD. His love and wisdom,
    Approv'd so to your Majesty, may plead
    For amplest credence.
  KING. He hath arm'd our answer,
    And Florence is denied before he comes;
    Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see
    The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
    To stand on either part.
  SECOND LORD. It well may serve
    A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
    For breathing and exploit.
  KING. What's he comes here?


  FIRST LORD. It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord,
    Young Bertram.
  KING. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
    Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,
    Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts
    Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
  BERTRAM. My thanks and duty are your Majesty's.
  KING. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
    As when thy father and myself in friendship
    First tried our soldiership. He did look far
    Into the service of the time, and was
    Discipled of the bravest. He lasted long;
    But on us both did haggish age steal on,
    And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
    To talk of your good father. In his youth
    He had the wit which I can well observe
    To-day in our young lords; but they may jest
    Till their own scorn return to them unnoted
    Ere they can hide their levity in honour.
    So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
    Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
    His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
    Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
    Exception bid him speak, and at this time
    His tongue obey'd his hand. Who were below him
    He us'd as creatures of another place;
    And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
    Making them proud of his humility
    In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
    Might be a copy to these younger times;
    Which, followed well, would demonstrate them now
    But goers backward.
  BERTRAM. His good remembrance, sir,
    Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb;
    So in approof lives not his epitaph
    As in your royal speech.
  KING. Would I were with him! He would always say-
    Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words
    He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them
    To grow there, and to bear- 'Let me not live'-
    This his good melancholy oft began,
    On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
    When it was out-'Let me not live' quoth he
    'After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
    Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
    All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
    Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
    Expire before their fashions.' This he wish'd.
    I, after him, do after him wish too,
    Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
    I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
    To give some labourers room.
  SECOND LORD. You're loved, sir;
    They that least lend it you shall lack you first.
  KING. I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, Count,
    Since the physician at your father's died?
    He was much fam'd.
  BERTRAM. Some six months since, my lord.
  KING. If he were living, I would try him yet-
    Lend me an arm-the rest have worn me out
    With several applications. Nature and sickness
    Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, Count;
    My son's no dearer.
  BERTRAM. Thank your Majesty. Exeunt [Flourish]

ACT I. SCENE 3. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  COUNTESS. I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
  STEWARD. Madam, the care I have had to even your content I wish
    might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we
    wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings,
    when of ourselves we publish them.
  COUNTESS. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah. The
    complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe; 'tis my
    slowness that I do not, for I know you lack not folly to commit
    them and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.
  CLOWN. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
  COUNTESS. Well, sir.
  CLOWN. No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though many of
    the rich are damn'd; but if I may have your ladyship's good will
    to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
  COUNTESS. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
  CLOWN. I do beg your good will in this case.
  COUNTESS. In what case?
  CLOWN. In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no heritage; and I
    think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue o'
    my body; for they say bames are blessings.
  COUNTESS. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
  CLOWN. My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the
    flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
  COUNTESS. Is this all your worship's reason?
  CLOWN. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.
  COUNTESS. May the world know them?
  CLOWN. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh
    and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.
  COUNTESS. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
  CLOWN. I am out o' friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for
    my wife's sake.
  COUNTESS. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
  CLOWN. Y'are shallow, madam-in great friends; for the knaves come
    to do that for me which I am aweary of. He that ears my land
    spares my team, and gives me leave to in the crop. If I be his
    cuckold, he's my drudge. He that comforts my wife is the
    cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and
    blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood
    is my friend; ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men
    could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in
    marriage; for young Charbon the puritan and old Poysam the
    papist, howsome'er their hearts are sever'd in religion, their
    heads are both one; they may jowl horns together like any deer
    i' th' herd.
  COUNTESS. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?
  CLOWN. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:

              For I the ballad will repeat,
                Which men full true shall find:
              Your marriage comes by destiny,
                Your cuckoo sings by kind.

  COUNTESS. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
  STEWARD. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you.
    Of her I am to speak.
  COUNTESS. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen
    I mean.
  CLOWN. [Sings]

               'Was this fair face the cause' quoth she
                 'Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
               Fond done, done fond,
                 Was this King Priam's joy?'
               With that she sighed as she stood,
               With that she sighed as she stood,
                 And gave this sentence then:
               'Among nine bad if one be good,
               Among nine bad if one be good,
                 There's yet one good in ten.'

  COUNTESS. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the song, sirrah.
  CLOWN. One good woman in ten, madam, which is a purifying o' th'
    song. Would God would serve the world so all the year! We'd find
    no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten,
    quoth 'a! An we might have a good woman born before every blazing
    star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well: a man
    may draw his heart out ere 'a pluck one.
  COUNTESS. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you.
  CLOWN. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!
    Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will
    wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart.
    I am going, forsooth. The business is for Helen to come hither.
  COUNTESS. Well, now.
  STEWARD. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
  COUNTESS. Faith I do. Her father bequeath'd her to me; and she
    herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as
    much love as she finds. There is more owing her than is paid; and
    more shall be paid her than she'll demand.
  STEWARD. Madam, I was very late more near her than I think she
    wish'd me. Alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own
    words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they
    touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your
    son. Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such
    difference betwixt their two estates; Love no god, that would not
    extend his might only where qualities were level; Diana no queen
    of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight surpris'd without
    rescue in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This she
    deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard
    virgin exclaim in; which I held my duty speedily to acquaint you
    withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you
    something to know it.
  COUNTESS. YOU have discharg'd this honestly; keep it to yourself.
    Many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung so
    tott'ring in the balance that I could neither believe nor
    misdoubt. Pray you leave me. Stall this in your bosom; and I
    thank you for your honest care. I will speak with you further
    anon. Exit STEWARD


    Even so it was with me when I was young.
    If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
    Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
    Our blood to us, this to our blood is born.
    It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
    Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth.
    By our remembrances of days foregone,
    Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
    Her eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
  HELENA. What is your pleasure, madam?
  COUNTESS. You know, Helen,
    I am a mother to you.
  HELENA. Mine honourable mistress.
  COUNTESS. Nay, a mother.
    Why not a mother? When I said 'a mother,'
    Methought you saw a serpent. What's in 'mother'
    That you start at it? I say I am your mother,
    And put you in the catalogue of those
    That were enwombed mine. 'Tis often seen
    Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds
    A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
    You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
    Yet I express to you a mother's care.
    God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood
    To say I am thy mother? What's the matter,
    That this distempered messenger of wet,
    The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
    Why, that you are my daughter?
  HELENA. That I am not.
  COUNTESS. I say I am your mother.
  HELENA. Pardon, madam.
    The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother:
    I am from humble, he from honoured name;
    No note upon my parents, his all noble.
    My master, my dear lord he is; and I
    His servant live, and will his vassal die.
    He must not be my brother.
  COUNTESS. Nor I your mother?
  HELENA. You are my mother, madam; would you were-
    So that my lord your son were not my brother-
    Indeed my mother! Or were you both our mothers,
    I care no more for than I do for heaven,
    So I were not his sister. Can't no other,
    But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
  COUNTESS. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law.
    God shield you mean it not! 'daughter' and 'mother'
    So strive upon your pulse. What! pale again?
    My fear hath catch'd your fondness. Now I see
    The myst'ry of your loneliness, and find
    Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross
    You love my son; invention is asham'd,
    Against the proclamation of thy passion,
    To say thou dost not. Therefore tell me true;
    But tell me then, 'tis so; for, look, thy cheeks
    Confess it, th' one to th' other; and thine eyes
    See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours
    That in their kind they speak it; only sin
    And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
    That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so?
    If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
    If it be not, forswear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
    As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
    To tell me truly.
  HELENA. Good madam, pardon me.
  COUNTESS. Do you love my son?
  HELENA. Your pardon, noble mistress.
  COUNTESS. Love you my son?
  HELENA. Do not you love him, madam?
  COUNTESS. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond
    Whereof the world takes note. Come, come, disclose
    The state of your affection; for your passions
    Have to the full appeach'd.
  HELENA. Then I confess,
    Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
    That before you, and next unto high heaven,
    I love your son.
    My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love.
    Be not offended, for it hurts not him
    That he is lov'd of me; I follow him not
    By any token of presumptuous suit,
    Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
    Yet never know how that desert should be.
    I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
    Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
    I still pour in the waters of my love,
    And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like,
    Religious in mine error, I adore
    The sun that looks upon his worshipper
    But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
    Let not your hate encounter with my love,
    For loving where you do; but if yourself,
    Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
    Did ever in so true a flame of liking
    Wish chastely and love dearly that your Dian
    Was both herself and Love; O, then, give pity
    To her whose state is such that cannot choose
    But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
    That seeks not to find that her search implies,
    But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies!
  COUNTESS. Had you not lately an intent-speak truly-
    To go to Paris?
  HELENA. Madam, I had.
  COUNTESS. Wherefore? Tell true.
  HELENA. I will tell truth; by grace itself I swear.
    You know my father left me some prescriptions
    Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading
    And manifest experience had collected
    For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me
    In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them,
    As notes whose faculties inclusive were
    More than they were in note. Amongst the rest
    There is a remedy, approv'd, set down,
    To cure the desperate languishings whereof
    The King is render'd lost.
  COUNTESS. This was your motive
    For Paris, was it? Speak.
  HELENA. My lord your son made me to think of this,
    Else Paris, and the medicine, and the King,
    Had from the conversation of my thoughts
    Haply been absent then.
  COUNTESS. But think you, Helen,
    If you should tender your supposed aid,
    He would receive it? He and his physicians
    Are of a mind: he, that they cannot help him;
    They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit
    A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
    Embowell'd of their doctrine, have let off
    The danger to itself?
  HELENA. There's something in't
    More than my father's skill, which was the great'st
    Of his profession, that his good receipt
    Shall for my legacy be sanctified
    By th' luckiest stars in heaven; and, would your honour
    But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
    The well-lost life of mine on his Grace's cure.
    By such a day and hour.
  COUNTESS. Dost thou believe't?
  HELENA. Ay, madam, knowingly.
  COUNTESS. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love,
    Means and attendants, and my loving greetings
    To those of mine in court. I'll stay at home,
    And pray God's blessing into thy attempt.
    Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
    What I can help thee to thou shalt not miss. Exeunt


ACT II. SCENE 1. Paris. The KING'S palace

Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING with divers young LORDS taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM and PAROLLES; ATTENDANTS

  KING. Farewell, young lords; these war-like principles
    Do not throw from you. And you, my lords, farewell;
    Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
    The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,
    And is enough for both.
  FIRST LORD. 'Tis our hope, sir,
    After well-ent'red soldiers, to return
    And find your Grace in health.
  KING. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
    Will not confess he owes the malady
    That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords;
    Whether I live or die, be you the sons
    Of worthy Frenchmen; let higher Italy-
    Those bated that inherit but the fall
    Of the last monarchy-see that you come
    Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
    The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
    That fame may cry you aloud. I say farewell.
  SECOND LORD. Health, at your bidding, serve your Majesty!
  KING. Those girls of Italy, take heed of them;
    They say our French lack language to deny,
    If they demand; beware of being captives
    Before you serve.
    BOTH. Our hearts receive your warnings.
  KING. Farewell. [To ATTENDANTS] Come hither to me.
                                       The KING retires attended
  FIRST LORD. O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us!
  PAROLLES. 'Tis not his fault, the spark.
    SECOND LORD. O, 'tis brave wars!
  PAROLLES. Most admirable! I have seen those wars.
  BERTRAM. I am commanded here and kept a coil with
    'Too young' and next year' and "Tis too early.'
  PAROLLES. An thy mind stand to 't, boy, steal away bravely.
  BERTRAM. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
    Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
    Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn
    But one to dance with. By heaven, I'll steal away.
  FIRST LORD. There's honour in the theft.
  PAROLLES. Commit it, Count.
  SECOND LORD. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
  BERTRAM. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortur'd body.
  FIRST LORD. Farewell, Captain.
  SECOND LORD. Sweet Monsieur Parolles!
  PAROLLES. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and
    lustrous, a word, good metals: you shall find in the regiment of
    the Spinii one Captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of
    war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword
    entrench'd it. Say to him I live; and observe his reports for me.
  FIRST LORD. We shall, noble Captain.
  PAROLLES. Mars dote on you for his novices! Exeunt LORDS
    What will ye do?

Re-enter the KING

  BERTRAM. Stay; the King!
  PAROLLES. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have
    restrain'd yourself within the list of too cold an adieu. Be more
    expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the
    time; there do muster true gait; eat, speak, and move, under the
    influence of the most receiv'd star; and though the devil lead
    the measure, such are to be followed. After them, and take a more
    dilated farewell.
  BERTRAM. And I will do so.
  PAROLLES. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
                                     Exeunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES


  LAFEU. [Kneeling] Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.
  KING. I'll fee thee to stand up.
  LAFEU. Then here's a man stands that has brought his pardon.
    I would you had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy;
    And that at my bidding you could so stand up.
  KING. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
    And ask'd thee mercy for't.
  LAFEU. Good faith, across!
    But, my good lord, 'tis thus: will you be cur'd
    Of your infirmity?
  KING. No.
  LAFEU. O, will you eat
    No grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will
    My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
    Could reach them: I have seen a medicine
    That's able to breathe life into a stone,
    Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
    With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch
    Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay,
    To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand
    And write to her a love-line.
  KING. What her is this?
  LAFEU. Why, Doctor She! My lord, there's one arriv'd,
    If you will see her. Now, by my faith and honour,
    If seriously I may convey my thoughts
    In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
    With one that in her sex, her years, profession,
    Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz'd me more
    Than I dare blame my weakness. Will you see her,
    For that is her demand, and know her business?
    That done, laugh well at me.
  KING. Now, good Lafeu,
    Bring in the admiration, that we with the
    May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
    By wond'ring how thou took'st it.
  LAFEU. Nay, I'll fit you,
    And not be all day neither. Exit LAFEU
  KING. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

Re-enter LAFEU with HELENA

  LAFEU. Nay, come your ways.
  KING. This haste hath wings indeed.
  LAFEU. Nay, come your ways;
    This is his Majesty; say your mind to him.
    A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
    His Majesty seldom fears. I am Cressid's uncle,
    That dare leave two together. Fare you well. Exit
  KING. Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
  HELENA. Ay, my good lord.
    Gerard de Narbon was my father,
    In what he did profess, well found.
  KING. I knew him.
  HELENA. The rather will I spare my praises towards him;
    Knowing him is enough. On's bed of death
    Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
    Which, as the dearest issue of his practice,
    And of his old experience th' only darling,
    He bade me store up as a triple eye,
    Safer than mine own two, more dear. I have so:
    And, hearing your high Majesty is touch'd
    With that malignant cause wherein the honour
    Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
    I come to tender it, and my appliance,
    With all bound humbleness.
  KING. We thank you, maiden;
    But may not be so credulous of cure,
    When our most learned doctors leave us, and
    The congregated college have concluded
    That labouring art can never ransom nature
    From her inaidable estate-I say we must not
    So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
    To prostitute our past-cure malady
    To empirics; or to dissever so
    Our great self and our credit to esteem
    A senseless help, when help past sense we deem.
  HELENA. My duty then shall pay me for my pains.
    I will no more enforce mine office on you;
    Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
    A modest one to bear me back again.
  KING. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful.
    Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give
    As one near death to those that wish him live.
    But what at full I know, thou know'st no part;
    I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
  HELENA. What I can do can do no hurt to try,
    Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy.
    He that of greatest works is finisher
    Oft does them by the weakest minister.
    So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
    When judges have been babes. Great floods have flown
    From simple sources, and great seas have dried
    When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
    Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
    Where most it promises; and oft it hits
    Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits.
  KING. I must not hear thee. Fare thee well, kind maid;
    Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be paid;
    Proffers not took reap thanks for their reward.
  HELENA. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd.
    It is not so with Him that all things knows,
    As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows;
    But most it is presumption in us when
    The help of heaven we count the act of men.
    Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
    Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
    I am not an impostor, that proclaim
    Myself against the level of mine aim;
    But know I think, and think I know most sure,
    My art is not past power nor you past cure.
  KING. Art thou so confident? Within what space
    Hop'st thou my cure?
  HELENA. The greatest Grace lending grace.
    Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
    Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring,
    Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
    Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp,
    Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
    Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass,
    What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
    Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
  KING. Upon thy certainty and confidence
    What dar'st thou venture?
  HELENA. Tax of impudence,
    A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,
    Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name
    Sear'd otherwise; ne worse of worst-extended
    With vilest torture let my life be ended.
  KING. Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak
    His powerful sound within an organ weak;
    And what impossibility would slay
    In common sense, sense saves another way.
    Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
    Worth name of life in thee hath estimate:
    Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
    That happiness and prime can happy call.
    Thou this to hazard needs must intimate
    Skill infinite or monstrous desperate.
    Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
    That ministers thine own death if I die.
  HELENA. If I break time, or flinch in property
    Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die;
    And well deserv'd. Not helping, death's my fee;
    But, if I help, what do you promise me?
  KING. Make thy demand.
  HELENA. But will you make it even?
  KING. Ay, by my sceptre and my hopes of heaven.
  HELENA. Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand
    What husband in thy power I will command.
    Exempted be from me the arrogance
    To choose from forth the royal blood of France,
    My low and humble name to propagate
    With any branch or image of thy state;
    But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
    Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
  KING. Here is my hand; the premises observ'd,
    Thy will by my performance shall be serv'd.
    So make the choice of thy own time, for I,
    Thy resolv'd patient, on thee still rely.
    More should I question thee, and more I must,
    Though more to know could not be more to trust,
    From whence thou cam'st, how tended on. But rest
    Unquestion'd welcome and undoubted blest.
    Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed
    As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.
                                              [Flourish. Exeunt]

ACT II. SCENE 2. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  COUNTESS. Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your
  CLOWN. I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught. I know my
    business is but to the court.
  COUNTESS. To the court! Why, what place make you special, when you
    put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
  CLOWN. Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may
    easily put it off at court. He that cannot make a leg, put off's
    cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip,
    nor cap; and indeed such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for
    the court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all men.
  COUNTESS. Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all questions.
  CLOWN. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks-the pin
    buttock, the quatch buttock, the brawn buttock, or any buttock.
  COUNTESS. Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
  CLOWN. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your
    French crown for your taffety punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's
    forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for Mayday,
    as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding
    quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's
    mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.
  COUNTESS. Have you, I, say, an answer of such fitness for all
  CLOWN. From below your duke to beneath your constable, it will fit
    any question.
  COUNTESS. It must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit
    all demands.
  CLOWN. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should
    speak truth of it. Here it is, and all that belongs to't. Ask me
    if I am a courtier: it shall do you no harm to learn.
  COUNTESS. To be young again, if we could, I will be a fool in
    question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir,
    are you a courtier?
  CLOWN. O Lord, sir!-There's a simple putting off. More, more, a
    hundred of them.
  COUNTESS. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
  CLOWN. O Lord, sir!-Thick, thick; spare not me.
  COUNTESS. I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
  CLOWN. O Lord, sir!-Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
  COUNTESS. You were lately whipp'd, sir, as I think.
  CLOWN. O Lord, sir!-Spare not me.
  COUNTESS. Do you cry 'O Lord, sir!' at your whipping, and 'spare
    not me'? Indeed your 'O Lord, sir!' is very sequent to your
    whipping. You would answer very well to a whipping, if you were
    but bound to't.
  CLOWN. I ne'er had worse luck in my life in my 'O Lord, sir!' I see
    thing's may serve long, but not serve ever.
  COUNTESS. I play the noble housewife with the time,
    To entertain it so merrily with a fool.
  CLOWN. O Lord, sir!-Why, there't serves well again.
  COUNTESS. An end, sir! To your business: give Helen this,
    And urge her to a present answer back;
    Commend me to my kinsmen and my son. This is not much.
  CLOWN. Not much commendation to them?
  COUNTESS. Not much employment for you. You understand me?
  CLOWN. Most fruitfully; I am there before my legs.
  COUNTESS. Haste you again. Exeunt

ACT II. SCENE 3. Paris. The KING'S palace


  LAFEU. They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical
    persons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and
    causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors,
    ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge when we should submit
    ourselves to an unknown fear.
  PAROLLES. Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath shot
    out in our latter times.
  BERTRAM. And so 'tis.
  LAFEU. To be relinquish'd of the artists-
  PAROLLES. So I say-both of Galen and Paracelsus.
  LAFEU. Of all the learned and authentic fellows-
  PAROLLES. Right; so I say.
  LAFEU. That gave him out incurable-
  PAROLLES. Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
  LAFEU. Not to be help'd-
  PAROLLES. Right; as 'twere a man assur'd of a-
  LAFEU. Uncertain life and sure death.
  PAROLLES. Just; you say well; so would I have said.
  LAFEU. I may truly say it is a novelty to the world.
  PAROLLES. It is indeed. If you will have it in showing, you shall
    read it in what-do-ye-call't here.
  LAFEU. [Reading the ballad title] 'A Showing of a Heavenly
    Effect in an Earthly Actor.'
  PAROLLES. That's it; I would have said the very same.
  LAFEU. Why, your dolphin is not lustier. 'Fore me, I speak in
  PAROLLES. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange; that is the brief
    and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinerious spirit that
    will not acknowledge it to be the-
  LAFEU. Very hand of heaven.
  PAROLLES. Ay; so I say.
  LAFEU. In a most weak-
  PAROLLES. And debile minister, great power, great transcendence;
    which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made than alone
    the recov'ry of the King, as to be-
  LAFEU. Generally thankful.


  PAROLLES. I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the King.
  LAFEU. Lustig, as the Dutchman says. I'll like a maid the better,
    whilst I have a tooth in my head. Why, he's able to lead her a
  PAROLLES. Mort du vinaigre! Is not this Helen?
  LAFEU. 'Fore God, I think so.
  KING. Go, call before me all the lords in court.
                                               Exit an ATTENDANT
    Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
    And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
    Thou has repeal'd, a second time receive
    The confirmation of my promis'd gift,
    Which but attends thy naming.

Enter three or four LORDS

    Fair maid, send forth thine eye. This youthful parcel
    Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
    O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
    I have to use. Thy frank election make;
    Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
  HELENA. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
    Fall, when love please. Marry, to each but one!
  LAFEU. I'd give bay Curtal and his furniture
    My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
    And writ as little beard.
  KING. Peruse them well.
    Not one of those but had a noble father.
  HELENA. Gentlemen,
    Heaven hath through me restor'd the King to health.
  ALL. We understand it, and thank heaven for you.
  HELENA. I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest
    That I protest I simply am a maid.
    Please it your Majesty, I have done already.
    The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me:
    'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
    Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever,
    We'll ne'er come there again.'
  KING. Make choice and see:
    Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.
  HELENA. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
    And to imperial Love, that god most high,
    Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?
  FIRST LORD. And grant it.
  HELENA. Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.
  LAFEU. I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace for my
  HELENA. The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
    Before I speak, too threat'ningly replies.
    Love make your fortunes twenty times above
    Her that so wishes, and her humble love!
  SECOND LORD. No better, if you please.
  HELENA. My wish receive,
    Which great Love grant; and so I take my leave.
  LAFEU. Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine I'd have
    them whipt; or I would send them to th' Turk to make eunuchs of.
  HELENA. Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
    I'll never do you wrong for your own sake.
    Blessing upon your vows; and in your bed
    Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
  LAFEU. These boys are boys of ice; they'll none have her.
    Sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got 'em.
  HELENA. You are too young, too happy, and too good,
    To make yourself a son out of my blood.
  FOURTH LORD. Fair one, I think not so.
  LAFEU. There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk wine-but
    if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known
    thee already.
  HELENA. [To BERTRAM] I dare not say I take you; but I give
    Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
    Into your guiding power. This is the man.
  KING. Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.
  BERTRAM. My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your Highness,
    In such a business give me leave to use
    The help of mine own eyes.
  KING. Know'st thou not, Bertram,
    What she has done for me?
  BERTRAM. Yes, my good lord;
    But never hope to know why I should marry her.
  KING. Thou know'st she has rais'd me from my sickly bed.
  BERTRAM. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
    Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
    She had her breeding at my father's charge.
    A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
    Rather corrupt me ever!
  KING. 'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
    I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
    Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
    Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
    In differences so mighty. If she be
    All that is virtuous-save what thou dislik'st,
    A poor physician's daughter-thou dislik'st
    Of virtue for the name; but do not so.
    From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
    The place is dignified by the doer's deed;
    Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
    It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
    Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
    The property by what it is should go,
    Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
    In these to nature she's immediate heir;
    And these breed honour. That is honour's scorn
    Which challenges itself as honour's born
    And is not like the sire. Honours thrive
    When rather from our acts we them derive
    Than our fore-goers. The mere word's a slave,
    Debauch'd on every tomb, on every grave
    A lying trophy; and as oft is dumb
    Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
    Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said?
    If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
    I can create the rest. Virtue and she
    Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.
  BERTRAM. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do 't.
  KING. Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.
  HELENA. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I'm glad.
    Let the rest go.
  KING. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
    I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,
    Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift,
    That dost in vile misprision shackle up
    My love and her desert; that canst not dream
    We, poising us in her defective scale,
    Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know
    It is in us to plant thine honour where
    We please to have it grow. Check thy contempt;
    Obey our will, which travails in thy good;
    Believe not thy disdain, but presently
    Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
    Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
    Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
    Into the staggers and the careless lapse
    Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
    Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,
    Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.
  BERTRAM. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
    My fancy to your eyes. When I consider
    What great creation and what dole of honour
    Flies where you bid it, I find that she which late
    Was in my nobler thoughts most base is now
    The praised of the King; who, so ennobled,
    Is as 'twere born so.
  KING. Take her by the hand,
    And tell her she is thine; to whom I promise
    A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
    A balance more replete.
  BERTRAM. I take her hand.
  KING. Good fortune and the favour of the King
    Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
    Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
    And be perform'd to-night. The solemn feast
    Shall more attend upon the coming space,
    Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her,
    Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.
              Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES who stay behind,
                                      commenting of this wedding
  LAFEU. Do you hear, monsieur? A word with you.
  PAROLLES. Your pleasure, sir?
  LAFEU. Your lord and master did well to make his recantation.
  PAROLLES. Recantation! My Lord! my master!
  LAFEU. Ay; is it not a language I speak?
  PAROLLES. A most harsh one, and not to be understood without bloody
    succeeding. My master!
  LAFEU. Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?
  PAROLLES. To any count; to all counts; to what is man.
  LAFEU. To what is count's man: count's master is of another style.
  PAROLLES. You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too
  LAFEU. I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which title age
    cannot bring thee.
  PAROLLES. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
  LAFEU. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise
    fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might
    pass. Yet the scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly
    dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I
    have now found thee; when I lose thee again I care not; yet art
    thou good for nothing but taking up; and that thou'rt scarce
  PAROLLES. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee-
  LAFEU. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy
    trial; which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good
    window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open,
    for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
  PAROLLES. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
  LAFEU. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
  PAROLLES. I have not, my lord, deserv'd it.
  LAFEU. Yes, good faith, ev'ry dram of it; and I will not bate thee
    a scruple.
  PAROLLES. Well, I shall be wiser.
  LAFEU. Ev'n as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack
    o' th' contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf and
    beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I
    have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my
    knowledge, that I may say in the default 'He is a man I know.'
  PAROLLES. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
  LAFEU. I would it were hell pains for thy sake, and my poor doing
    eternal; for doing I am past, as I will by thee, in what motion
    age will give me leave. Exit
  PAROLLES. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me:
    scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be patient; there
    is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can
    meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a
    lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I would have of-
    I'll beat him, and if I could but meet him again.

Re-enter LAFEU

  LAFEU. Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news for
    you; you have a new mistress.
  PAROLLES. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some
    reservation of your wrongs. He is my good lord: whom I serve
    above is my master.
  LAFEU. Who? God?
  PAROLLES. Ay, sir.
  LAFEU. The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up
    thy arms o' this fashion? Dost make hose of thy sleeves? Do other
    servants so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose
    stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat
    thee. Methink'st thou art a general offence, and every man should
    beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe
    themselves upon thee.
  PAROLLES. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
  LAFEU. Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel
    out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller;
    you are more saucy with lords and honourable personages than the
    commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are
    not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.


  PAROLLES. Good, very, good, it is so then. Good, very good; let it
    be conceal'd awhile.
  BERTRAM. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
  PAROLLES. What's the matter, sweetheart?
  BERTRAM. Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
    I will not bed her.
  PAROLLES. What, what, sweetheart?
  BERTRAM. O my Parolles, they have married me!
    I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
  PAROLLES. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
    The tread of a man's foot. To th' wars!
  BERTRAM. There's letters from my mother; what th' import is I know
    not yet.
  PAROLLES. Ay, that would be known. To th' wars, my boy, to th'
    He wears his honour in a box unseen
    That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
    Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
    Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
    Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions!
    France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
    Therefore, to th' war!
  BERTRAM. It shall be so; I'll send her to my house,
    Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
    And wherefore I am fled; write to the King
    That which I durst not speak. His present gift
    Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
    Where noble fellows strike. War is no strife
    To the dark house and the detested wife.
  PAROLLES. Will this capriccio hold in thee, art sure?
  BERTRAM. Go with me to my chamber and advise me.
    I'll send her straight away. To-morrow
    I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.
  PAROLLES. Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
    A young man married is a man that's marr'd.
    Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go.
    The King has done you wrong; but, hush, 'tis so. Exeunt

ACT II. SCENE 4. Paris. The KING'S palace


  HELENA. My mother greets me kindly; is she well?
  CLOWN. She is not well, but yet she has her health; she's very
    merry, but yet she is not well. But thanks be given, she's very
    well, and wants nothing i' th' world; but yet she is not well.
  HELENA. If she be very well, what does she ail that she's not very
  CLOWN. Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.
  HELENA. What two things?
  CLOWN. One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her quickly!
    The other, that she's in earth, from whence God send her quickly!


  PAROLLES. Bless you, my fortunate lady!
  HELENA. I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own good
  PAROLLES. You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them on,
    have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?
  CLOWN. So that you had her wrinkles and I her money, I would she
    did as you say.
  PAROLLES. Why, I say nothing.
  CLOWN. Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes
    out his master's undoing. To say nothing, to do nothing, to know
    nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your
    title, which is within a very little of nothing.
  PAROLLES. Away! th'art a knave.
  CLOWN. You should have said, sir, 'Before a knave th'art a knave';
    that's 'Before me th'art a knave.' This had been truth, sir.
  PAROLLES. Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.
  CLOWN. Did you find me in yourself, sir, or were you taught to find
    me? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find
    in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of
  PAROLLES. A good knave, i' faith, and well fed.
    Madam, my lord will go away to-night:
    A very serious business calls on him.
    The great prerogative and rite of love,
    Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge;
    But puts it off to a compell'd restraint;
    Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,
    Which they distil now in the curbed time,
    To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy
    And pleasure drown the brim.
  HELENA. What's his else?
  PAROLLES. That you will take your instant leave o' th' King,
    And make this haste as your own good proceeding,
    Strength'ned with what apology you think
    May make it probable need.
  HELENA. What more commands he?
  PAROLLES. That, having this obtain'd, you presently
    Attend his further pleasure.
  HELENA. In everything I wait upon his will.
  PAROLLES. I shall report it so.
  HELENA. I pray you. Exit PAROLLES
    Come, sirrah. Exeunt

ACT II. SCENE 5. Paris. The KING'S palace


  LAFEU. But I hope your lordship thinks not him a soldier.
  BERTRAM. Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof.
  LAFEU. You have it from his own deliverance.
  BERTRAM. And by other warranted testimony.
  LAFEU. Then my dial goes not true; I took this lark for a bunting.
  BERTRAM. I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in knowledge,
    and accordingly valiant.
  LAFEU. I have then sinn'd against his experience and transgress'd
    against his valour; and my state that way is dangerous, since I
    cannot yet find in my heart to repent. Here he comes; I pray you
    make us friends; I will pursue the amity


  PAROLLES. [To BERTRAM] These things shall be done, sir.
  LAFEU. Pray you, sir, who's his tailor?
  LAFEU. O, I know him well. Ay, sir; he, sir, 's a good workman, a
    very good tailor.
  BERTRAM. [Aside to PAROLLES] Is she gone to the King?
  PAROLLES. She is.
  BERTRAM. Will she away to-night?
  PAROLLES. As you'll have her.
  BERTRAM. I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure,
    Given order for our horses; and to-night,
    When I should take possession of the bride,
    End ere I do begin.
  LAFEU. A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner;
    but one that lies three-thirds and uses a known truth to pass a
    thousand nothings with, should be once heard and thrice beaten.
    God save you, Captain.
  BERTRAM. Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?
  PAROLLES. I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's
  LAFEU. You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs and all,
    like him that leapt into the custard; and out of it you'll run
    again, rather than suffer question for your residence.
  BERTRAM. It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.
  LAFEU. And shall do so ever, though I took him at's prayers.
    Fare you well, my lord; and believe this of me: there can be no
    kernal in this light nut; the soul of this man is his clothes;
    trust him not in matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them
    tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur; I have spoken
    better of you than you have or will to deserve at my hand; but we
    must do good against evil. Exit
  PAROLLES. An idle lord, I swear.
  BERTRAM. I think so.
  PAROLLES. Why, do you not know him?
  BERTRAM. Yes, I do know him well; and common speech
    Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.


  HELENA. I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
    Spoke with the King, and have procur'd his leave
    For present parting; only he desires
    Some private speech with you.
  BERTRAM. I shall obey his will.
    You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
    Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
    The ministration and required office
    On my particular. Prepar'd I was not
    For such a business; therefore am I found
    So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat you
    That presently you take your way for home,
    And rather muse than ask why I entreat you;
    For my respects are better than they seem,
    And my appointments have in them a need
    Greater than shows itself at the first view
    To you that know them not. This to my mother.
                                               [Giving a letter]
    'Twill be two days ere I shall see you; so
    I leave you to your wisdom.
  HELENA. Sir, I can nothing say
    But that I am your most obedient servant.
  BERTRAM. Come, come, no more of that.
  HELENA. And ever shall
    With true observance seek to eke out that
    Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
    To equal my great fortune.
  BERTRAM. Let that go.
    My haste is very great. Farewell; hie home.
  HELENA. Pray, sir, your pardon.
  BERTRAM. Well, what would you say?
  HELENA. I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
    Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is;
    But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
    What law does vouch mine own.
  BERTRAM. What would you have?
  HELENA. Something; and scarce so much; nothing, indeed.
    I would not tell you what I would, my lord.
    Faith, yes:
    Strangers and foes do sunder and not kiss.
  BERTRAM. I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
  HELENA. I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
  BERTRAM. Where are my other men, monsieur?
    Farewell! Exit HELENA
    Go thou toward home, where I will never come
    Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
    Away, and for our flight.
  PAROLLES. Bravely, coragio! Exeunt


ACT III. SCENE 1. Florence. The DUKE's palace

        Flourish. Enter the DUKE OF FLORENCE, attended; two
               FRENCH LORDS, with a TROOP OF SOLDIERS

  DUKE. So that, from point to point, now have you hear
    The fundamental reasons of this war;
    Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
    And more thirsts after.
  FIRST LORD. Holy seems the quarrel
    Upon your Grace's part; black and fearful
    On the opposer.
  DUKE. Therefore we marvel much our cousin France
    Would in so just a business shut his bosom
    Against our borrowing prayers.
  SECOND LORD. Good my lord,
    The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
    But like a common and an outward man
    That the great figure of a council frames
    By self-unable motion; therefore dare not
    Say what I think of it, since I have found
    Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
    As often as I guess'd.
  DUKE. Be it his pleasure.
  FIRST LORD. But I am sure the younger of our nature,
    That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
    Come here for physic.
  DUKE. Welcome shall they be
    And all the honours that can fly from us
    Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
    When better fall, for your avails they fell.
    To-morrow to th' field. Flourish. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE 2. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  COUNTESS. It hath happen'd all as I would have had it, save that he
    comes not along with her.
  CLOWN. By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy
  COUNTESS. By what observance, I pray you?
  CLOWN. Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the ruff and
    sing; ask questions and sing; pick his teeth and sing. I know a
    man that had this trick of melancholy sold a goodly manor for a
  COUNTESS. Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
                                              [Opening a letter]
  CLOWN. I have no mind to Isbel since I was at court. Our old ling
    and our Isbels o' th' country are nothing like your old ling and
    your Isbels o' th' court. The brains of my Cupid's knock'd out;
    and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
  COUNTESS. What have we here?
  CLOWN. E'en that you have there. Exit
  COUNTESS. [Reads] 'I have sent you a daughter-in-law; she hath
    recovered the King and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded
    her; and sworn to make the "not" eternal. You shall hear I am run
    away; know it before the report come. If there be breadth enough
    in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.
                                           Your unfortunate son,
    This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,
    To fly the favours of so good a king,
    To pluck his indignation on thy head
    By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous
    For the contempt of empire.

Re-enter CLOWN

  CLOWN. O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two soldiers
    and my young lady.
  COUNTESS. What is the -matter?
  CLOWN. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your
    son will not be kill'd so soon as I thought he would.
  COUNTESS. Why should he be kill'd?
  CLOWN. So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does the
    danger is in standing to 't; that's the loss of men, though it be
    the getting of children. Here they come will tell you more. For my
    part, I only hear your son was run away. Exit


  SECOND GENTLEMAN. Save you, good madam.
  HELENA. Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
  FIRST GENTLEMAN. Do not say so.
  COUNTESS. Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen-
    I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief
    That the first face of neither, on the start,
    Can woman me unto 't. Where is my son, I pray you?
  FIRST GENTLEMAN. Madam, he's gone to serve the Duke of Florence.
    We met him thitherward; for thence we came,
    And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
    Thither we bend again.
  HELENA. Look on this letter, madam; here's my passport.
    [Reads] 'When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which
    never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body
    that I am father to, then call me husband; but in such a "then" I
    write a "never."
    This is a dreadful sentence.
  COUNTESS. Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
    And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pains.
  COUNTESS. I prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
    If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
    Thou robb'st me of a moiety. He was my son;
    But I do wash his name out of my blood,
    And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
  COUNTESS. And to be a soldier?
  FIRST GENTLEMAN. Such is his noble purpose; and, believe 't,
    The Duke will lay upon him all the honour
    That good convenience claims.
  COUNTESS. Return you thither?
  SECOND GENTLEMAN. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
  HELENA. [Reads] 'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.'
    'Tis bitter.
  COUNTESS. Find you that there?
  HELENA. Ay, madam.
  SECOND GENTLEMAN. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand haply, which
    his heart was not consenting to.
  COUNTESS. Nothing in France until he have no wife!
    There's nothing here that is too good for him
    But only she; and she deserves a lord
    That twenty such rude boys might tend upon,
    And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
  SECOND GENTLEMAN. A servant only, and a gentleman
    Which I have sometime known.
  COUNTESS. Parolles, was it not?
  SECOND GENTLEMAN. Ay, my good lady, he.
  COUNTESS. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
    My son corrupts a well-derived nature
    With his inducement.
  SECOND GENTLEMAN. Indeed, good lady,
    The fellow has a deal of that too much
    Which holds him much to have.
  COUNTESS. Y'are welcome, gentlemen.
    I will entreat you, when you see my son,
    To tell him that his sword can never win
    The honour that he loses. More I'll entreat you
    Written to bear along.
  FIRST GENTLEMAN. We serve you, madam,
    In that and all your worthiest affairs.
  COUNTESS. Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
    Will you draw near? Exeunt COUNTESS and GENTLEMEN
  HELENA. 'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.'
    Nothing in France until he has no wife!
    Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France
    Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is't
    That chase thee from thy country, and expose
    Those tender limbs of thine to the event
    Of the non-sparing war? And is it I
    That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
    Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
    Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,
    That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
    Fly with false aim; move the still-piecing air,
    That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord.
    Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
    Whoever charges on his forward breast,
    I am the caitiff that do hold him to't;
    And though I kill him not, I am the cause
    His death was so effected. Better 'twere
    I met the ravin lion when he roar'd
    With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
    That all the miseries which nature owes
    Were mine at once. No; come thou home, Rousillon,
    Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,
    As oft it loses all. I will be gone.
    My being here it is that holds thee hence.
    Shall I stay here to do 't? No, no, although
    The air of paradise did fan the house,
    And angels offic'd all. I will be gone,
    That pitiful rumour may report my flight
    To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day.
    For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away. Exit

ACT III. SCENE 3. Florence. Before the DUKE's palace

Flourish. Enter the DUKE OF FLORENCE, BERTRAM, PAROLLES, SOLDIERS, drum and trumpets

  DUKE. The General of our Horse thou art; and we,
    Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
    Upon thy promising fortune.
  BERTRAM. Sir, it is
    A charge too heavy for my strength; but yet
    We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake
    To th' extreme edge of hazard.
  DUKE. Then go thou forth;
    And Fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
    As thy auspicious mistress!
  BERTRAM. This very day,
    Great Mars, I put myself into thy file;
    Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove
    A lover of thy drum, hater of love. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE 4. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  COUNTESS. Alas! and would you take the letter of her?
    Might you not know she would do as she has done
    By sending me a letter? Read it again.
  STEWARD. [Reads] 'I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone.
    Ambitious love hath so in me offended
    That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon,
    With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
    Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
    My dearest master, your dear son, may hie.
    Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
    His name with zealous fervour sanctify.
    His taken labours bid him me forgive;
    I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
    From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,
    Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth.
    He is too good and fair for death and me;
    Whom I myself embrace to set him free.'
  COUNTESS. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
    Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much
    As letting her pass so; had I spoke with her,
    I could have well diverted her intents,
    Which thus she hath prevented.
  STEWARD. Pardon me, madam;
    If I had given you this at over-night,
    She might have been o'er ta'en; and yet she writes
    Pursuit would be but vain.
  COUNTESS. What angel shall
    Bless this unworthy husband? He cannot thrive,
    Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
    And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
    Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
    To this unworthy husband of his wife;
    Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
    That he does weigh too light. My greatest grief,
    Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
    Dispatch the most convenient messenger.
    When haply he shall hear that she is gone
    He will return; and hope I may that she,
    Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
    Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
    Is dearest to me I have no skill in sense
    To make distinction. Provide this messenger.
    My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
    Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak. Exeunt


Without the walls of Florence
A tucket afar off. Enter an old WIDOW OF FLORENCE, her daughter DIANA,

  WIDOW. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city we shall lose
    all the sight.
  DIANA. They say the French count has done most honourable service.
  WIDOW. It is reported that he has taken their great'st commander;
    and that with his own hand he slew the Duke's brother. [Tucket]
    We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way. Hark! you
    may know by their trumpets.
  MARIANA. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the
    report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl; the
    honour of a maid is her name, and no legacy is so rich as
  WIDOW. I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited by a
    gentleman his companion.
  MARIANA. I know that knave, hang him! one Parolles; a filthy
    officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl. Beware of
    them, Diana: their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all
    these engines of lust, are not the things they go under; many a
    maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that
    so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that
    dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that
    threatens them. I hope I need not to advise you further; but I
    hope your own grace will keep you where you are, though there
    were no further danger known but the modesty which is so lost.
  DIANA. You shall not need to fear me.

Enter HELENA in the dress of a pilgrim

  WIDOW. I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim. I know she will lie
    at my house: thither they send one another. I'll question her.
    God save you, pilgrim! Whither are bound?
  HELENA. To Saint Jaques le Grand.
    Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
  WIDOW. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port.
  HELENA. Is this the way?
                                                  [A march afar]
  WIDOW. Ay, marry, is't. Hark you! They come this way.
    If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
    But till the troops come by,
    I will conduct you where you shall be lodg'd;
    The rather for I think I know your hostess
    As ample as myself.
  HELENA. Is it yourself?
  WIDOW. If you shall please so, pilgrim.
  HELENA. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
  WIDOW. You came, I think, from France?
  HELENA. I did so.
  WIDOW. Here you shall see a countryman of yours
    That has done worthy service.
  HELENA. His name, I pray you.
  DIANA. The Count Rousillon. Know you such a one?
  HELENA. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him;
    His face I know not.
  DIANA. What some'er he is,
    He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
    As 'tis reported, for the King had married him
    Against his liking. Think you it is so?
  HELENA. Ay, surely, mere the truth; I know his lady.
  DIANA. There is a gentleman that serves the Count
    Reports but coarsely of her.
  HELENA. What's his name?
  DIANA. Monsieur Parolles.
  HELENA. O, I believe with him,
    In argument of praise, or to the worth
    Of the great Count himself, she is too mean
    To have her name repeated; all her deserving
    Is a reserved honesty, and that
    I have not heard examin'd.
  DIANA. Alas, poor lady!
    'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
    Of a detesting lord.
  WIDOW. I sweet, good creature, wheresoe'er she is
    Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might do her
    A shrewd turn, if she pleas'd.
  HELENA. How do you mean?
    May be the amorous Count solicits her
    In the unlawful purpose.
  WIDOW. He does, indeed;
    And brokes with all that can in such a suit
    Corrupt the tender honour of a maid;
    But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
    In honestest defence.

    Enter, with drum and colours, BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the
                          whole ARMY

  MARIANA. The gods forbid else!
  WIDOW. So, now they come.
    That is Antonio, the Duke's eldest son;
    That, Escalus.
  HELENA. Which is the Frenchman?
  DIANA. He-
    That with the plume; 'tis a most gallant fellow.
    I would he lov'd his wife; if he were honester
    He were much goodlier. Is't not a handsome gentleman?
  HELENA. I like him well.
  DIANA. 'Tis pity he is not honest. Yond's that same knave
    That leads him to these places; were I his lady
    I would poison that vile rascal.
  HELENA. Which is he?
  DIANA. That jack-an-apes with scarfs. Why is he melancholy?
  HELENA. Perchance he's hurt i' th' battle.
  PAROLLES. Lose our drum! well.
  MARIANA. He's shrewdly vex'd at something.
    Look, he has spied us.
  WIDOW. Marry, hang you!
  MARIANA. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
                              Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and ARMY
  WIDOW. The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
    Where you shall host. Of enjoin'd penitents
    There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
    Already at my house.
  HELENA. I humbly thank you.
    Please it this matron and this gentle maid
    To eat with us to-night; the charge and thanking
    Shall be for me, and, to requite you further,
    I will bestow some precepts of this virgin,
    Worthy the note.
    BOTH. We'll take your offer kindly. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE 6. Camp before Florence

Enter BERTRAM, and the two FRENCH LORDS

  SECOND LORD. Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his way.
  FIRST LORD. If your lordship find him not a hiding, hold me no more
    in your respect.
  SECOND LORD. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
  BERTRAM. Do you think I am so far deceived in him?
  SECOND LORD. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge,
    without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a
    most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly
    promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your
    lordship's entertainment.
  FIRST LORD. It were fit you knew him; lest, reposing too far in his
    virtue, which he hath not, he might at some great and trusty
    business in a main danger fail you.
  BERTRAM. I would I knew in what particular action to try him.
  FIRST LORD. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which
    you hear him so confidently undertake to do.
  SECOND LORD. I with a troop of Florentines will suddenly surprise
    him; such I will have whom I am sure he knows not from the enemy.
    We will bind and hoodwink him so that he shall suppose no other
    but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries when
    we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship present at
    his examination; if he do not, for the promise of his life and in
    the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you and
    deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that
    with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my
    judgment in anything.
  FIRST LORD. O, for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum; he
    says he has a stratagem for't. When your lordship sees the bottom
    of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of
    ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's
    entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.


  SECOND LORD. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the honour of
    his design; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.
  BERTRAM. How now, monsieur! This drum sticks sorely in your
  FIRST LORD. A pox on 't; let it go; 'tis but a drum.
  PAROLLES. But a drum! Is't but a drum? A drum so lost! There was
    excellent command: to charge in with our horse upon our own
    wings, and to rend our own soldiers!
  FIRST LORD. That was not to be blam'd in the command of the
    service; it was a disaster of war that Caesar himself could not
    have prevented, if he had been there to command.
  BERTRAM. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success.
    Some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to
    be recovered.
  PAROLLES. It might have been recovered.
  BERTRAM. It might, but it is not now.
  PAROLLES. It is to be recovered. But that the merit of service is
    seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have
    that drum or another, or 'hic jacet.'
  BERTRAM. Why, if you have a stomach, to't, monsieur. If you think
    your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour
    again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise,
    and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit. If you
    speed well in it, the Duke shall both speak of it and extend to
    you what further becomes his greatness, even to the utmost
    syllable of our worthiness.
  PAROLLES. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
  BERTRAM. But you must not now slumber in it.
  PAROLLES. I'll about it this evening; and I will presently pen
    down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself
    into my mortal preparation; and by midnight look to hear further
    from me.
  BERTRAM. May I be bold to acquaint his Grace you are gone about it?
  PAROLLES. I know not what the success will be, my lord, but the
    attempt I vow.
  BERTRAM. I know th' art valiant; and, to the of thy soldiership,
    will subscribe for thee. Farewell.
  PAROLLES. I love not many words. Exit
  SECOND LORD. No more than a fish loves water. Is not this a strange
    fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems to undertake this
    business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do,
    and dares better be damn'd than to do 't.
  FIRST LORD. You do not know him, my lord, as we do. Certain it is
    that he will steal himself into a man's favour, and for a week
    escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out,
    you have him ever after.
  BERTRAM. Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of this that
    so seriously he does address himself unto?
  SECOND LORD. None in the world; but return with an invention, and
    clap upon you two or three probable lies. But we have almost
    emboss'd him. You shall see his fall to-night; for indeed he is
    not for your lordship's respect.
  FIRST LORD. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him.
    He was first smok'd by the old Lord Lafeu. When his disguise and
    he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you
    shall see this very night.
  SECOND LORD. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught.
  BERTRAM. Your brother, he shall go along with me.
  SECOND LORD. As't please your lordship. I'll leave you. Exit
  BERTRAM. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you
    The lass I spoke of.
  FIRST LORD. But you say she's honest.
  BERTRAM. That's all the fault. I spoke with her but once,
    And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
    By this same coxcomb that we have i' th' wind,
    Tokens and letters which she did re-send;
    And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature;
    Will you go see her?
  FIRST LORD. With all my heart, my lord. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE 7. Florence. The WIDOW'S house


  HELENA. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
    I know not how I shall assure you further
    But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
  WIDOW. Though my estate be fall'n, I was well born,
    Nothing acquainted with these businesses;
    And would not put my reputation now
    In any staining act.
  HELENA. Nor would I wish you.
  FIRST give me trust the Count he is my husband,
    And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
    Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
    By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
    Err in bestowing it.
  WIDOW. I should believe you;
    For you have show'd me that which well approves
    Y'are great in fortune.
  HELENA. Take this purse of gold,
    And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
    Which I will over-pay and pay again
    When I have found it. The Count he woos your daughter
    Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
    Resolv'd to carry her. Let her in fine consent,
    As we'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it.
    Now his important blood will nought deny
    That she'll demand. A ring the County wears
    That downward hath succeeded in his house
    From son to son some four or five descents
    Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds
    In most rich choice; yet, in his idle fire,
    To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
    Howe'er repented after.
  WIDOW. Now I see
    The bottom of your purpose.
  HELENA. You see it lawful then. It is no more
    But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
    Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter;
    In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
    Herself most chastely absent. After this,
    To marry her, I'll add three thousand crowns
    To what is pass'd already.
  WIDOW. I have yielded.
    Instruct my daughter how she shall persever,
    That time and place with this deceit so lawful
    May prove coherent. Every night he comes
    With musics of all sorts, and songs compos'd
    To her unworthiness. It nothing steads us
    To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
    As if his life lay on 't.
  HELENA. Why then to-night
    Let us assay our plot; which, if it speed,
    Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
    And lawful meaning in a lawful act;
    Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
    But let's about it. Exeunt


ACT IV. SCENE 1. Without the Florentine camp

Enter SECOND FRENCH LORD with five or six other SOLDIERS in ambush

  SECOND LORD. He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner.
    When you sally upon him, speak what terrible language you will;
    though you understand it not yourselves, no matter; for we must
    not seem to understand him, unless some one among us, whom we
    must produce for an interpreter.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Good captain, let me be th' interpreter.
  SECOND LORD. Art not acquainted with him? Knows he not thy voice?
  FIRST SOLDIER. No, sir, I warrant you.
  SECOND LORD. But what linsey-woolsey has thou to speak to us again?
  FIRST SOLDIER. E'en such as you speak to me.
  SECOND LORD. He must think us some band of strangers i' th'
    adversary's entertainment. Now he hath a smack of all
    neighbouring languages, therefore we must every one be a man of
    his own fancy; not to know what we speak one to another, so we
    seem to know, is to know straight our purpose: choughs' language,
    gabble enough, and good enough. As for you, interpreter, you must
    seem very politic. But couch, ho! here he comes; to beguile two
    hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear the lies he forges.


  PAROLLES. Ten o'clock. Within these three hours 'twill be time
    enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a
    very plausive invention that carries it. They begin to smoke me;
    and disgraces have of late knock'd to often at my door. I find my
    tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars
    before it, and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my
  SECOND LORD. This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was
    guilty of.
  PAROLLES. What the devil should move me to undertake the recovery
    of this drum, being not ignorant of the impossibility, and
    knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some hurts, and
    say I got them in exploit. Yet slight ones will not carry it.
    They will say 'Came you off with so little?' And great ones I
    dare not give. Wherefore, what's the instance? Tongue, I must put
    you into a butterwoman's mouth, and buy myself another of
    Bajazet's mule, if you prattle me into these perils.
  SECOND LORD. Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that
    he is?
  PAROLLES. I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn,
    or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
  SECOND LORD. We cannot afford you so.
  PAROLLES. Or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in
  SECOND LORD. 'Twould not do.
  PAROLLES. Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripp'd.
  SECOND LORD. Hardly serve.
  PAROLLES. Though I swore I leap'd from the window of the citadel-
  SECOND LORD. How deep?
  PAROLLES. Thirty fathom.
  SECOND LORD. Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
  PAROLLES. I would I had any drum of the enemy's; I would swear I
    recover'd it.
  SECOND LORD. You shall hear one anon. [Alarum within]
  PAROLLES. A drum now of the enemy's!
  SECOND LORD. Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
  ALL. Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.
  PAROLLES. O, ransom, ransom! Do not hide mine eyes.
                                            [They blindfold him]
  FIRST SOLDIER. Boskos thromuldo boskos.
  PAROLLES. I know you are the Muskos' regiment,
    And I shall lose my life for want of language.
    If there be here German, or Dane, Low Dutch,
    Italian, or French, let him speak to me;
    I'll discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Boskos vauvado. I understand thee, and can speak thy
    tongue. Kerely-bonto, sir, betake thee to thy faith, for
    seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
  FIRST SOLDIER. O, pray, pray, pray! Manka revania dulche.
  SECOND LORD. Oscorbidulchos volivorco.
  FIRST SOLDIER. The General is content to spare thee yet;
    And, hoodwink'd as thou art, will lead thee on
    To gather from thee. Haply thou mayst inform
    Something to save thy life.
  PAROLLES. O, let me live,
    And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
    Their force, their purposes. Nay, I'll speak that
    Which you will wonder at.
  FIRST SOLDIER. But wilt thou faithfully?
  PAROLLES. If I do not, damn me.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Acordo linta.
    Come on; thou art granted space.
                   Exit, PAROLLES guarded. A short alarum within
  SECOND LORD. Go, tell the Count Rousillon and my brother
    We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
    Till we do hear from them.
  SECOND SOLDIER. Captain, I will.
  SECOND LORD. 'A will betray us all unto ourselves-
    Inform on that.
  SECOND SOLDIER. So I will, sir.
  SECOND LORD. Till then I'll keep him dark and safely lock'd.

ACT IV. SCENE 2. Florence. The WIDOW'S house


  BERTRAM. They told me that your name was Fontibell.
  DIANA. No, my good lord, Diana.
  BERTRAM. Titled goddess;
    And worth it, with addition! But, fair soul,
    In your fine frame hath love no quality?
    If the quick fire of youth light not your mind,
    You are no maiden, but a monument;
    When you are dead, you should be such a one
    As you are now, for you are cold and stern;
    And now you should be as your mother was
    When your sweet self was got.
  DIANA. She then was honest.
  BERTRAM. So should you be.
  DIANA. No.
    My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
    As you owe to your wife.
  BERTRAM. No more o'that!
    I prithee do not strive against my vows.
    I was compell'd to her; but I love the
    By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
    Do thee all rights of service.
  DIANA. Ay, so you serve us
    Till we serve you; but when you have our roses
    You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
    And mock us with our bareness.
  BERTRAM. How have I sworn!
  DIANA. 'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
    But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
    What is not holy, that we swear not by,
    But take the High'st to witness. Then, pray you, tell me:
    If I should swear by Jove's great attributes
    I lov'd you dearly, would you believe my oaths
    When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
    To swear by him whom I protest to love
    That I will work against him. Therefore your oaths
    Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd-
    At least in my opinion.
  BERTRAM. Change it, change it;
    Be not so holy-cruel. Love is holy;
    And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts
    That you do charge men with. Stand no more off,
    But give thyself unto my sick desires,
    Who then recovers. Say thou art mine, and ever
    My love as it begins shall so persever.
  DIANA. I see that men make ropes in such a scarre
    That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
  BERTRAM. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
    To give it from me.
  DIANA. Will you not, my lord?
  BERTRAM. It is an honour 'longing to our house,
    Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
    Which were the greatest obloquy i' th' world
    In me to lose.
  DIANA. Mine honour's such a ring:
    My chastity's the jewel of our house,
    Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
    Which were the greatest obloquy i' th' world
    In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
    Brings in the champion Honour on my part
    Against your vain assault.
  BERTRAM. Here, take my ring;
    My house, mine honour, yea, my life, be thine,
    And I'll be bid by thee.
  DIANA. When midnight comes, knock at my chamber window;
    I'll order take my mother shall not hear.
    Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
    When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
    Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:
    My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them
    When back again this ring shall be deliver'd.
    And on your finger in the night I'll put
    Another ring, that what in time proceeds
    May token to the future our past deeds.
    Adieu till then; then fail not. You have won
    A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
  BERTRAM. A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
  DIANA. For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
    You may so in the end.
    My mother told me just how he would woo,
    As if she sat in's heart; she says all men
    Have the like oaths. He had sworn to marry me
    When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him
    When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
    Marry that will, I live and die a maid.
    Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin
    To cozen him that would unjustly win. Exit

ACT IV. SCENE 3. The Florentine camp

Enter the two FRENCH LORDS, and two or three SOLDIERS

  SECOND LORD. You have not given him his mother's letter?
  FIRST LORD. I have deliv'red it an hour since. There is something
    in't that stings his nature; for on the reading it he chang'd
    almost into another man.
  SECOND LORD. He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking off
    so good a wife and so sweet a lady.
  FIRST LORD. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure
    of the King, who had even tun'd his bounty to sing happiness to
    him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly
    with you.
  SECOND LORD. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave
    of it.
  FIRST LORD. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence,
    of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in
    the spoil of her honour. He hath given her his monumental ring,
    and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
  SECOND LORD. Now, God delay our rebellion! As we are ourselves,
    what things are we!
  FIRST LORD. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of
    all treasons we still see them reveal themselves till they attain
    to their abhorr'd ends; so he that in this action contrives
    against his own nobility, in his proper stream, o'erflows
  SECOND LORD. Is it not meant damnable in us to be trumpeters of our
    unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
  FIRST LORD. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
  SECOND LORD. That approaches apace. I would gladly have him see his
    company anatomiz'd, that he might take a measure of his own
    judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.
  FIRST LORD. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his
    presence must be the whip of the other.
  SECOND LORD. In the meantime, what hear you of these wars?
  FIRST LORD. I hear there is an overture of peace.
  SECOND LORD. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
  FIRST LORD. What will Count Rousillon do then? Will he travel
    higher, or return again into France?
  SECOND LORD. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether
    of his counsel.
  FIRST LORD. Let it be forbid, sir! So should I be a great deal
    of his act.
  SECOND LORD. Sir, his wife, some two months since, fled from his
    house. Her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le Grand;
    which holy undertaking with most austere sanctimony she
    accomplish'd; and, there residing, the tenderness of her nature
    became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last
    breath, and now she sings in heaven.
  FIRST LORD. How is this justified?
  SECOND LORD. The stronger part of it by her own letters, which
    makes her story true even to the point of her death. Her death
    itself, which could not be her office to say is come, was
    faithfully confirm'd by the rector of the place.
  FIRST LORD. Hath the Count all this intelligence?
  SECOND LORD. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from
    point, to the full arming of the verity.
  FIRST LORD. I am heartily sorry that he'll be glad of this.
  SECOND LORD. How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our
  FIRST LORD. And how mightily some other times we drown our gain in
    tears! The great dignity that his valour hath here acquir'd for
    him shall at home be encount'red with a shame as ample.
  SECOND LORD. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill
    together. Our virtues would be proud if our faults whipt them
    not; and our crimes would despair if they were not cherish'd by
    our virtues.


    How now? Where's your master?
  SERVANT. He met the Duke in the street, sir; of whom he hath taken
    a solemn leave. His lordship will next morning for France. The
    Duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the King.
  SECOND LORD. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were
    more than they can commend.
  FIRST LORD. They cannot be too sweet for the King's tartness.
    Here's his lordship now.


    How now, my lord, is't not after midnight?
  BERTRAM. I have to-night dispatch'd sixteen businesses, a month's
    length apiece; by an abstract of success: I have congied with the
    Duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried a wife, mourn'd for
    her; writ to my lady mother I am returning; entertain'd my
    convoy; and between these main parcels of dispatch effected many
    nicer needs. The last was the greatest, but that I have not ended
  SECOND LORD. If the business be of any difficulty and this morning
    your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship.
  BERTRAM. I mean the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it
    hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue between the Fool and
    the Soldier? Come, bring forth this counterfeit module has
    deceiv'd me like a double-meaning prophesier.
  SECOND LORD. Bring him forth. [Exeunt SOLDIERS] Has sat i' th'
    stocks all night, poor gallant knave.
  BERTRAM. No matter; his heels have deserv'd it, in usurping his
    spurs so long. How does he carry himself?
  SECOND LORD. I have told your lordship already the stocks carry
    him. But to answer you as you would be understood: he weeps like
    a wench that had shed her milk; he hath confess'd himself to
    Morgan, whom he supposes to be a friar, from the time of his
    remembrance to this very instant disaster of his setting i' th'
    stocks. And what think you he hath confess'd?
  BERTRAM. Nothing of me, has 'a?
  SECOND LORD. His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his
    face; if your lordship be in't, as I believe you are, you must
    have the patience to hear it.

                   Enter PAROLLES guarded, and
                  FIRST SOLDIER as interpreter

  BERTRAM. A plague upon him! muffled! He can say nothing of me.
  SECOND LORD. Hush, hush! Hoodman comes. Portotartarossa.
  FIRST SOLDIER. He calls for the tortures. What will you say without
  PAROLLES. I will confess what I know without constraint; if ye
    pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Bosko chimurcho.
  SECOND LORD. Boblibindo chicurmurco.
  FIRST SOLDIER. YOU are a merciful general. Our General bids you
    answer to what I shall ask you out of a note.
  PAROLLES. And truly, as I hope to live.
  FIRST SOLDIER. 'First demand of him how many horse the Duke is
    strong.' What say you to that?
  PAROLLES. Five or six thousand; but very weak and unserviceable.
    The troops are all scattered, and the commanders very poor
    rogues, upon my reputation and credit, and as I hope to live.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Shall I set down your answer so?
  PAROLLES. Do; I'll take the sacrament on 't, how and which way you
  BERTRAM. All's one to him. What a past-saving slave is this!
  SECOND LORD. Y'are deceiv'd, my lord; this is Monsieur Parolles,
    the gallant militarist-that was his own phrase-that had the whole
    theoric of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the
    chape of his dagger.
  FIRST LORD. I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword
    clean; nor believe he can have everything in him by wearing his
    apparel neatly.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Well, that's set down.
  PAROLLES. 'Five or six thousand horse' I said-I will say true- 'or
    thereabouts' set down, for I'll speak truth.
  SECOND LORD. He's very near the truth in this.
  BERTRAM. But I con him no thanks for't in the nature he delivers it.
  PAROLLES. 'Poor rogues' I pray you say.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Well, that's set down.
  PAROLLES. I humbly thank you, sir. A truth's a truth-the rogues are
    marvellous poor.
  FIRST SOLDIER. 'Demand of him of what strength they are a-foot.'
    What say you to that?
  PAROLLES. By my troth, sir, if I were to live this present hour, I
    will tell true. Let me see: Spurio, a hundred and fifty;
    Sebastian, so many; Corambus, so many; Jaques, so many; Guiltian,
    Cosmo, Lodowick, and Gratii, two hundred fifty each; mine own
    company, Chitopher, Vaumond, Bentii, two hundred fifty each; so
    that the muster-file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not
    to fifteen thousand poll; half of the which dare not shake the
    snow from off their cassocks lest they shake themselves to
  BERTRAM. What shall be done to him?
  SECOND LORD. Nothing, but let him have thanks. Demand of him my
    condition, and what credit I have with the Duke.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Well, that's set down. 'You shall demand of him
    whether one Captain Dumain be i' th' camp, a Frenchman; what his
    reputation is with the Duke, what his valour, honesty, expertness
    in wars; or whether he thinks it were not possible, with
    well-weighing sums of gold, to corrupt him to a revolt.' What say
    you to this? What do you know of it?
  PAROLLES. I beseech you, let me answer to the particular of the
    inter'gatories. Demand them singly.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Do you know this Captain Dumain?
  PAROLLES. I know him: 'a was a botcher's prentice in Paris, from
    whence he was whipt for getting the shrieve's fool with child-a
    dumb innocent that could not say him nay.
  BERTRAM. Nay, by your leave, hold your hands; though I know his
    brains are forfeit to the next tile that falls.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Well, is this captain in the Duke of Florence's
  PAROLLES. Upon my knowledge, he is, and lousy.
  SECOND LORD. Nay, look not so upon me; we shall hear of your
    lordship anon.
  FIRST SOLDIER. What is his reputation with the Duke?
  PAROLLES. The Duke knows him for no other but a poor officer of
    mine; and writ to me this other day to turn him out o' th' band.
    I think I have his letter in my pocket.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Marry, we'll search.
  PAROLLES. In good sadness, I do not know; either it is there or it
    is upon a file with the Duke's other letters in my tent.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Here 'tis; here's a paper. Shall I read it to you?
  PAROLLES. I do not know if it be it or no.
  BERTRAM. Our interpreter does it well.
  SECOND LORD. Excellently.
  FIRST SOLDIER. [Reads] 'Dian, the Count's a fool, and full of
  PAROLLES. That is not the Duke's letter, sir; that is an
    advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one Diana, to take
    heed of the allurement of one Count Rousillon, a foolish idle
    boy, but for all that very ruttish. I pray you, sir, put it up
  FIRST SOLDIER. Nay, I'll read it first by your favour.
  PAROLLES. My meaning in't, I protest, was very honest in the behalf
    of the maid; for I knew the young Count to be a dangerous and
    lascivious boy, who is a whale to virginity, and devours up all
    the fry it finds.
  BERTRAM. Damnable both-sides rogue!
    'When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it;
    After he scores, he never pays the score.
    Half won is match well made; match, and well make it;
    He ne'er pays after-debts, take it before.
    And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this:
    Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss;
    For count of this, the Count's a fool, I know it,
    Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
    Thine, as he vow'd to thee in thine ear,
  BERTRAM. He shall be whipt through the army with this rhyme in's
  FIRST LORD. This is your devoted friend, sir, the manifold
    linguist, and the amnipotent soldier.
  BERTRAM. I could endure anything before but a cat, and now he's a
    cat to me.
  FIRST SOLDIER. I perceive, sir, by our General's looks we shall be
    fain to hang you.
  PAROLLES. My life, sir, in any case! Not that I am afraid to die,
    but that, my offences being many, I would repent out the
    remainder of nature. Let me live, sir, in a dungeon, i' th'
    stocks, or anywhere, so I may live.
  FIRST SOLDIER. We'll see what may be done, so you confess freely;
    therefore, once more to this Captain Dumain: you have answer'd to
    his reputation with the Duke, and to his valour; what is his
  PAROLLES. He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister; for rapes
    and ravishments he parallels Nessus. He professes not keeping of
    oaths; in breaking 'em he is stronger than Hercules. He will lie,
    sir, with such volubility that you would think truth were a fool.
    Drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk; and
    in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bedclothes about
    him; but they know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have
    but little more to say, sir, of his honesty. He has everything
    that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should
    have he has nothing.
  SECOND LORD. I begin to love him for this.
  BERTRAM. For this description of thine honesty? A pox upon him! For
    me, he's more and more a cat.
  FIRST SOLDIER. What say you to his expertness in war?
  PAROLLES. Faith, sir, has led the drum before the English
    tragedians-to belie him I will not-and more of his soldier-ship
    I know not, except in that country he had the honour to be the
    officer at a place there called Mile-end to instruct for the
    doubling of files-I would do the man what honour I can-but of
    this I am not certain.
  SECOND LORD. He hath out-villain'd villainy so far that the rarity
    redeems him.
  BERTRAM. A pox on him! he's a cat still.
  FIRST SOLDIER. His qualities being at this poor price, I need not
    to ask you if gold will corrupt him to revolt.
  PAROLLES. Sir, for a cardecue he will sell the fee-simple of his
    salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut th' entail from all
    remainders and a perpetual succession for it perpetually.
  FIRST SOLDIER. What's his brother, the other Captain Dumain?
  FIRST LORD. Why does he ask him of me?
  FIRST SOLDIER. What's he?
  PAROLLES. E'en a crow o' th' same nest; not altogether so great as
    the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil. He
    excels his brother for a coward; yet his brother is reputed one
    of the best that is. In a retreat he outruns any lackey: marry,
    in coming on he has the cramp.
  FIRST SOLDIER. If your life be saved, will you undertake to betray
    the Florentine?
  PAROLLES. Ay, and the Captain of his Horse, Count Rousillon.
  FIRST SOLDIER. I'll whisper with the General, and know his
  PAROLLES. [Aside] I'll no more drumming. A plague of all drums!
    Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of
    that lascivious young boy the Count, have I run into this danger.
    Yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?
  FIRST SOLDIER. There is no remedy, sir, but you must die.
    The General says you that have so traitorously discover'd the
    secrets of your army, and made such pestiferous reports of men
    very nobly held, can serve the world for no honest use; therefore
    you must die. Come, headsman, of with his head.
  PAROLLES. O Lord, sir, let me live, or let me see my death!
  FIRST SOLDIER. That shall you, and take your leave of all your
    friends. [Unmuffling him] So look about you; know you any here?
  BERTRAM. Good morrow, noble Captain.
  FIRST LORD. God bless you, Captain Parolles.
  SECOND LORD. God save you, noble Captain.
  FIRST LORD. Captain, what greeting will you to my Lord Lafeu? I am
    for France.
  SECOND LORD. Good Captain, will you give me a copy of the sonnet
    you writ to Diana in behalf of the Count Rousillon? An I were not
    a very coward I'd compel it of you; but fare you well.
                                        Exeunt BERTRAM and LORDS
  FIRST SOLDIER. You are undone, Captain, all but your scarf; that
    has a knot on 't yet.
  PAROLLES. Who cannot be crush'd with a plot?
  FIRST SOLDIER. If you could find out a country where but women were
    that had received so much shame, you might begin an impudent
    nation. Fare ye well, sir; I am for France too; we shall speak of
    you there. Exit with SOLDIERS
  PAROLLES. Yet am I thankful. If my heart were great,
    'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
    But I will eat, and drink, and sleep as soft
    As captain shall. Simply the thing I am
    Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
    Let him fear this; for it will come to pass
    That every braggart shall be found an ass.
    Rust, sword; cool, blushes; and, Parolles, live
    Safest in shame. Being fool'd, by fool'ry thrive.
    There's place and means for every man alive.
    I'll after them. Exit



  HELENA. That you may well perceive I have not wrong'd you!
    One of the greatest in the Christian world
    Shall be my surety; fore whose throne 'tis needful,
    Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel.
    Time was I did him a desired office,
    Dear almost as his life; which gratitude
    Through flinty Tartar's bosom would peep forth,
    And answer 'Thanks.' I duly am inform'd
    His Grace is at Marseilles, to which place
    We have convenient convoy. You must know
    I am supposed dead. The army breaking,
    My husband hies him home; where, heaven aiding,
    And by the leave of my good lord the King,
    We'll be before our welcome.
  WIDOW. Gentle madam,
    You never had a servant to whose trust
    Your business was more welcome.
  HELENA. Nor you, mistress,
    Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
    To recompense your love. Doubt not but heaven
    Hath brought me up to be your daughter's dower,
    As it hath fated her to be my motive
    And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
    That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
    When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
    Defiles the pitchy night. So lust doth play
    With what it loathes, for that which is away.
    But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
    Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
    Something in my behalf.
  DIANA. Let death and honesty
    Go with your impositions, I am yours
    Upon your will to suffer.
  HELENA. Yet, I pray you:
    But with the word the time will bring on summer,
    When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns
    And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
    Our waggon is prepar'd, and time revives us.
    All's Well that Ends Well. Still the fine's the crown.
    Whate'er the course, the end is the renown. Exeunt

ACT IV SCENE 5. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  LAFEU. No, no, no, son was misled with a snipt-taffeta fellow
    there, whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbak'd
    and doughy youth of a nation in his colour. Your daughter-in-law
    had been alive at this hour, and your son here at home, more
    advanc'd by the King than by that red-tail'd humble-bee I speak
  COUNTESS. I would I had not known him. It was the death of the most
    virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had praise for creating. If
    she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a
    mother. I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
  LAFEU. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady. We may pick a thousand
    sallets ere we light on such another herb.
  CLOWN. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the sallet, or,
    rather, the herb of grace.
  LAFEU. They are not sallet-herbs, you knave; they are nose-herbs.
  CLOWN. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir; I have not much skill in
  LAFEU. Whether dost thou profess thyself-a knave or a fool?
  CLOWN. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
  LAFEU. Your distinction?
  CLOWN. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
  LAFEU. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
  CLOWN. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.
  LAFEU. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.
  CLOWN. At your service.
  LAFEU. No, no, no.
  CLOWN. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a
    prince as you are.
  LAFEU. Who's that? A Frenchman?
  CLOWN. Faith, sir, 'a has an English name; but his fisnomy is more
    hotter in France than there.
  LAFEU. What prince is that?
  CLOWN. The Black Prince, sir; alias, the Prince of Darkness; alias,
    the devil.
  LAFEU. Hold thee, there's my purse. I give thee not this to suggest
    thee from thy master thou talk'st of; serve him still.
  CLOWN. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire;
    and the master I speak of ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he
    is the prince of the world; let his nobility remain in's court. I
    am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too
    little for pomp to enter. Some that humble themselves may; but
    the many will be too chill and tender: and they'll be for the
    flow'ry way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire.
  LAFEU. Go thy ways, I begin to be aweary of thee; and I tell thee
    so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways;
    let my horses be well look'd to, without any tricks.
  CLOWN. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades'
    tricks, which are their own right by the law of nature.
  LAFEU. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.
  COUNTESS. So 'a is. My lord that's gone made himself much sport
    out of him. By his authority he remains here, which he thinks is
    a patent for his sauciness; and indeed he has no pace, but runs
    where he will.
  LAFEU. I like him well; 'tis not amiss. And I was about to tell
    you, since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord
    your son was upon his return home, I moved the King my master to
    speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of
    them both, his Majesty out of a self-gracious remembrance did
    first propose. His Highness hath promis'd me to do it; and, to
    stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there
    is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
  COUNTESS. With very much content, my lord; and I wish it happily
  LAFEU. His Highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as
    when he number'd thirty; 'a will be here to-morrow, or I am
    deceiv'd by him that in such intelligence hath seldom fail'd.
  COUNTESS. It rejoices me that I hope I shall see him ere I die.
    I have letters that my son will be here to-night. I shall beseech
    your lordship to remain with me tal they meet together.
  LAFEU. Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might safely be
  COUNTESS. You need but plead your honourable privilege.
  LAFEU. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my
    God, it holds yet.

Re-enter CLOWN

  CLOWN. O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet
    on's face; whether there be a scar under 't or no, the velvet
    knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet. His left cheek is a
    cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
  LAFEU. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good liv'ry of
    honour; so belike is that.
  CLOWN. But it is your carbonado'd face.
  LAFEU. Let us go see your son, I pray you;
    I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
  CLOWN. Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats, and
    most courteous feathers, which bow the head and nod at every man.


ACT V. SCENE 1. Marseilles. A street


  HELENA. But this exceeding posting day and night
    Must wear your spirits low; we cannot help it.
    But since you have made the days and nights as one,
    To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
    Be bold you do so grow in my requital
    As nothing can unroot you.


    In happy time!
    This man may help me to his Majesty's ear,
    If he would spend his power. God save you, sir.
  GENTLEMAN. And you.
  HELENA. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
  GENTLEMAN. I have been sometimes there.
  HELENA. I do presume, sir, that you are not fall'n
    From the report that goes upon your goodness;
    And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
    Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
    The use of your own virtues, for the which
    I shall continue thankful.
  GENTLEMAN. What's your will?
  HELENA. That it will please you
    To give this poor petition to the King;
    And aid me with that store of power you have
    To come into his presence.
  GENTLEMAN. The King's not here.
  HELENA. Not here, sir?
  GENTLEMAN. Not indeed.
    He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
    Than is his use.
  WIDOW. Lord, how we lose our pains!
  HELENA. All's Well That Ends Well yet,
    Though time seem so adverse and means unfit.
    I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
  GENTLEMAN. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
    Whither I am going.
  HELENA. I do beseech you, sir,
    Since you are like to see the King before me,
    Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
    Which I presume shall render you no blame,
    But rather make you thank your pains for it.
    I will come after you with what good speed
    Our means will make us means.
  GENTLEMAN. This I'll do for you.
  HELENA. And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd,
    Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again;
    Go, go, provide. Exeunt

ACT V SCENE 2. Rousillon. The inner court of the COUNT'S palace


  PAROLLES. Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this letter. I
    have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held
    familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in
    Fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong
  CLOWN. Truly, Fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell
    so strongly as thou speak'st of. I will henceforth eat no fish
    of Fortune's butt'ring. Prithee, allow the wind.
  PAROLLES. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spake but by
    a metaphor.
  CLOWN. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or
    against any man's metaphor. Prithee, get thee further.
  PAROLLES. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
  CLOWN. Foh! prithee stand away. A paper from Fortune's close-stool
    to give to a nobleman! Look here he comes himself.


    Here is a pur of Fortune's, sir, or of Fortune's cat, but not
    a musk-cat, that has fall'n into the unclean fishpond of her
    displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, sir,
    use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed,
    ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress
    in my similes of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.
  PAROLLES. My lord, I am a man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratch'd.
  LAFEU. And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to pare her
    nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with Fortune, that
    she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady and would
    not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a cardecue for
    you. Let the justices make you and Fortune friends; I am for
    other business.
  PAROLLES. I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.
  LAFEU. You beg a single penny more; come, you shall ha't; save your
  PAROLLES. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
  LAFEU. You beg more than word then. Cox my passion! give me your
    hand. How does your drum?
  PAROLLES. O my good lord, you were the first that found me.
  LAFEU. Was I, in sooth? And I was the first that lost thee.
  PAROLLES. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for
    you did bring me out.
  LAFEU. Out upon thee, knave! Dost thou put upon me at once both the
    office of God and the devil? One brings the in grace, and the
    other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound] The King's coming; I
    know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had
    talk of you last night. Though you are a fool and a knave, you
    shall eat. Go to; follow.
  PAROLLES. I praise God for you. Exeunt

ACT V SCENE 3. Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace


  KING. We lost a jewel of her, and our esteem
    Was made much poorer by it; but your son,
    As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
    Her estimation home.
  COUNTESS. 'Tis past, my liege;
    And I beseech your Majesty to make it
    Natural rebellion, done i' th' blaze of youth,
    When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
    O'erbears it and burns on.
  KING. My honour'd lady,
    I have forgiven and forgotten all;
    Though my revenges were high bent upon him
    And watch'd the time to shoot.
  LAFEU. This I must say-
    But first, I beg my pardon: the young lord
    Did to his Majesty, his mother, and his lady,
    Offence of mighty note; but to himself
    The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
    Whose beauty did astonish the survey
    Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive;
    Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
    Humbly call'd mistress.
  KING. Praising what is lost
    Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither;
    We are reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill
    All repetition. Let him not ask our pardon;
    The nature of his great offence is dead,
    And deeper than oblivion do we bury
    Th' incensing relics of it; let him approach,
    A stranger, no offender; and inform him
    So 'tis our will he should.
  GENTLEMAN. I shall, my liege. Exit GENTLEMAN
  KING. What says he to your daughter? Have you spoke?
  LAFEU. All that he is hath reference to your Highness.
  KING. Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me
    That sets him high in fame.


  LAFEU. He looks well on 't.
  KING. I am not a day of season,
    For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
    In me at once. But to the brightest beams
    Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
    The time is fair again.
  BERTRAM. My high-repented blames,
    Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
  KING. All is whole;
    Not one word more of the consumed time.
    Let's take the instant by the forward top;
    For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
    Th' inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
    Steals ere we can effect them. You remember
    The daughter of this lord?
  BERTRAM. Admiringly, my liege. At first
    I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
    Durst make too bold herald of my tongue;
    Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
    Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
    Which warp'd the line of every other favour,
    Scorn'd a fair colour or express'd it stol'n,
    Extended or contracted all proportions
    To a most hideous object. Thence it came
    That she whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
    Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye
    The dust that did offend it.
  KING. Well excus'd.
    That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away
    From the great compt; but love that comes too late,
    Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
    To the great sender turns a sour offence,
    Crying 'That's good that's gone.' Our rash faults
    Make trivial price of serious things we have,
    Not knowing them until we know their grave.
    Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
    Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust;
    Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
    While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
    Be this sweet Helen's knell. And now forget her.
    Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin.
    The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
    To see our widower's second marriage-day.
  COUNTESS. Which better than the first, O dear heaven, bless!
    Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse!
  LAFEU. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
    Must be digested; give a favour from you,
    To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
    That she may quickly come.
                                          [BERTRAM gives a ring]
    By my old beard,
    And ev'ry hair that's on 't, Helen, that's dead,
    Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this,
    The last that e'er I took her leave at court,
    I saw upon her finger.
  BERTRAM. Hers it was not.
  KING. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye,
    While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't.
    This ring was mine; and when I gave it Helen
    I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
    Necessitied to help, that by this token
    I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her
    Of what should stead her most?
  BERTRAM. My gracious sovereign,
    Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
    The ring was never hers.
  COUNTESS. Son, on my life,
    I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
    At her life's rate.
  LAFEU. I am sure I saw her wear it.
  BERTRAM. You are deceiv'd, my lord; she never saw it.
    In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
    Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
    Of her that threw it. Noble she was, and thought
    I stood engag'd; but when I had subscrib'd
    To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully
    I could not answer in that course of honour
    As she had made the overture, she ceas'd,
    In heavy satisfaction, and would never
    Receive the ring again.
  KING. Plutus himself,
    That knows the tinct and multiplying med'cine,
    Hath not in nature's mystery more science
    Than I have in this ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
    Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know
    That you are well acquainted with yourself,
    Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
    You got it from her. She call'd the saints to surety
    That she would never put it from her finger
    Unless she gave it to yourself in bed-
    Where you have never come- or sent it us
    Upon her great disaster.
  BERTRAM. She never saw it.
  KING. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour;
    And mak'st conjectural fears to come into me
    Which I would fain shut out. If it should prove
    That thou art so inhuman- 'twill not prove so.
    And yet I know not- thou didst hate her deadly,
    And she is dead; which nothing, but to close
    Her eyes myself, could win me to believe
    More than to see this ring. Take him away.
                                          [GUARDS seize BERTRAM]
    My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
    Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
    Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him.
    We'll sift this matter further.
  BERTRAM. If you shall prove
    This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
    Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
    Where she yet never was. Exit, guarded
  KING. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.


  GENTLEMAN. Gracious sovereign,
    Whether I have been to blame or no, I know not:
    Here's a petition from a Florentine,
    Who hath, for four or five removes, come short
    To tender it herself. I undertook it,
    Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
    Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
    Is here attending; her business looks in her
    With an importing visage; and she told me
    In a sweet verbal brief it did concern
    Your Highness with herself.
  KING. [Reads the letter] 'Upon his many protestations to marry me
    when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the
    Count Rousillon a widower; his vows are forfeited to me, and my
    honour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave,
    and I follow him to his country for justice. Grant it me, O King!
    in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor
    maid is undone.
                                                DIANA CAPILET.'
  LAFEU. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for this.
    I'll none of him.
  KING. The heavens have thought well on thee, Lafeu,
    To bring forth this discov'ry. Seek these suitors.
    Go speedily, and bring again the Count.
                                               Exeunt ATTENDANTS
    I am afeard the life of Helen, lady,
    Was foully snatch'd.
  COUNTESS. Now, justice on the doers!

Enter BERTRAM, guarded

  KING. I wonder, sir, sith wives are monsters to you.
    And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
    Yet you desire to marry.
                                           Enter WIDOW and DIANA
    What woman's that?
  DIANA. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
    Derived from the ancient Capilet.
    My suit, as I do understand, you know,
    And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
  WIDOW. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
    Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
    And both shall cease, without your remedy.
  KING. Come hither, Count; do you know these women?
  BERTRAM. My lord, I neither can nor will deny
    But that I know them. Do they charge me further?
  DIANA. Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
  BERTRAM. She's none of mine, my lord.
  DIANA. If you shall marry,
    You give away this hand, and that is mine;
    You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
    You give away myself, which is known mine;
    For I by vow am so embodied yours
    That she which marries you must marry me,
    Either both or none.
  LAFEU. [To BERTRAM] Your reputation comes too short for
    my daughter; you are no husband for her.
  BERTRAM. My lord, this is a fond and desp'rate creature
    Whom sometime I have laugh'd with. Let your Highness
    Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour
    Than for to think that I would sink it here.
  KING. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
    Till your deeds gain them. Fairer prove your honour
    Than in my thought it lies!
  DIANA. Good my lord,
    Ask him upon his oath if he does think
    He had not my virginity.
  KING. What say'st thou to her?
  BERTRAM. She's impudent, my lord,
    And was a common gamester to the camp.
  DIANA. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so
    He might have bought me at a common price.
    Do not believe him. o, behold this ring,
    Whose high respect and rich validity
    Did lack a parallel; yet, for all that,
    He gave it to a commoner o' th' camp,
    If I be one.
  COUNTESS. He blushes, and 'tis it.
    Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
    Conferr'd by testament to th' sequent issue,
    Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife:
    That ring's a thousand proofs.
  KING. Methought you said
    You saw one here in court could witness it.
  DIANA. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
    So bad an instrument; his name's Parolles.
  LAFEU. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
  KING. Find him, and bring him hither. Exit an ATTENDANT
  BERTRAM. What of him?
    He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
    With all the spots o' th' world tax'd and debauch'd,
    Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth.
    Am I or that or this for what he'll utter
    That will speak anything?
  KING. She hath that ring of yours.
  BERTRAM. I think she has. Certain it is I lik'd her,
    And boarded her i' th' wanton way of youth.
    She knew her distance, and did angle for me,
    Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
    As all impediments in fancy's course
    Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
    Her infinite cunning with her modern grace
    Subdu'd me to her rate. She got the ring;
    And I had that which any inferior might
    At market-price have bought.
  DIANA. I must be patient.
    You that have turn'd off a first so noble wife
    May justly diet me. I pray you yet-
    Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband-
    Send for your ring, I will return it home,
    And give me mine again.
  BERTRAM. I have it not.
  KING. What ring was yours, I pray you?
  DIANA. Sir, much like
    The same upon your finger.
  KING. Know you this ring? This ring was his of late.
  DIANA. And this was it I gave him, being abed.
  KING. The story, then, goes false you threw it him
    Out of a casement.
  DIANA. I have spoke the truth.


  BERTRAM. My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
  KING. You boggle shrewdly; every feather starts you.
    Is this the man you speak of?
  DIANA. Ay, my lord.
  KING. Tell me, sirrah-but tell me true I charge you,
    Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
    Which, on your just proceeding, I'll keep off-
    By him and by this woman here what know you?
  PAROLLES. So please your Majesty, my master hath been an honourable
    gentleman; tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
  KING. Come, come, to th' purpose. Did he love this woman?
  PAROLLES. Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
  KING. How, I pray you?
  PAROLLES. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
  KING. How is that?
  PAROLLES. He lov'd her, sir, and lov'd her not.
  KING. As thou art a knave and no knave.
    What an equivocal companion is this!
  PAROLLES. I am a poor man, and at your Majesty's command.
  LAFEU. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
  DIANA. Do you know he promis'd me marriage?
  PAROLLES. Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
  KING. But wilt thou not speak all thou know'st?
  PAROLLES. Yes, so please your Majesty. I did go between them, as I
    said; but more than that, he loved her-for indeed he was mad for
    her, and talk'd of Satan, and of Limbo, and of Furies, and I know
    not what. Yet I was in that credit with them at that time that I
    knew of their going to bed; and of other motions, as promising
    her marriage, and things which would derive me ill will to speak
    of; therefore I will not speak what I know.
  KING. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are
    married; but thou art too fine in thy evidence; therefore stand
    This ring, you say, was yours?
  DIANA. Ay, my good lord.
  KING. Where did you buy it? Or who gave it you?
  DIANA. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
  KING. Who lent it you?
  DIANA. It was not lent me neither.
  KING. Where did you find it then?
  DIANA. I found it not.
  KING. If it were yours by none of all these ways,
    How could you give it him?
  DIANA. I never gave it him.
  LAFEU. This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes of and on at
  KING. This ring was mine, I gave it his first wife.
  DIANA. It might be yours or hers, for aught I know.
  KING. Take her away, I do not like her now;
    To prison with her. And away with him.
    Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring,
    Thou diest within this hour.
  DIANA. I'll never tell you.
  KING. Take her away.
  DIANA. I'll put in bail, my liege.
  KING. I think thee now some common customer.
  DIANA. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you.
  KING. Wherefore hast thou accus'd him all this while?
  DIANA. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty.
    He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't:
    I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.
    Great King, I am no strumpet, by my life;
    I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
                                             [Pointing to LAFEU]
  KING. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her.
  DIANA. Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir;
                                                      Exit WIDOW
    The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
    And he shall surety me. But for this lord
    Who hath abus'd me as he knows himself,
    Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him.
    He knows himself my bed he hath defil'd;
    And at that time he got his wife with child.
    Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick;
    So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick-
    And now behold the meaning.

Re-enter WIDOW with HELENA

  KING. Is there no exorcist
    Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
    Is't real that I see?
  HELENA. No, my good lord;
    'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
    The name and not the thing.
  BERTRAM. Both, both; o, pardon!
  HELENA. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid,
    I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring,
    And, look you, here's your letter. This it says:
    'When from my finger you can get this ring,
    And are by me with child,' etc. This is done.
    Will you be mine now you are doubly won?
  BERTRAM. If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
    I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
  HELENA. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
    Deadly divorce step between me and you!
    O my dear mother, do I see you living?
  LAFEU. Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon. [To PAROLLES]
    Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher. So, I
    thank thee. Wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee;
    let thy curtsies alone, they are scurvy ones.
  KING. Let us from point to point this story know,
    To make the even truth in pleasure flow.
    [To DIANA] If thou beest yet a fresh uncropped flower,
    Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;
    For I can guess that by thy honest aid
    Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.-
    Of that and all the progress, more and less,
    Resolvedly more leisure shall express.
    All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
    The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet. [Flourish]


  KING. The King's a beggar, now the play is done.
    All is well ended if this suit be won,
    That you express content; which we will pay
    With strife to please you, day exceeding day.
    Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;
    Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
                                                    Exeunt omnes





by William Shakespeare


  MARK ANTONY, Triumvirs
  DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS, friend to Antony
  VENTIDIUS, " " "
  EROS, " " "
  SCARUS, " " "
  DERCETAS, " " "
  DEMETRIUS, " " "
  PHILO, " " "
  MAECENAS, friend to Caesar
  AGRIPPA, " " "
  DOLABELLA, " " "
  THYREUS, " " "
  GALLUS, " " "
  MENAS, friend to Pompey
  VARRIUS, " " "
  TAURUS, Lieutenant-General to Caesar
  CANIDIUS, Lieutenant-General to Antony
  SILIUS, an Officer in Ventidius's army
  EUPHRONIUS, an Ambassador from Antony to Caesar
  ALEXAS, attendant on Cleopatra
  MARDIAN, " " "
  SELEUCUS, " " "
  DIOMEDES, " " "

  CLEOPATRA, Queen of Egypt
  OCTAVIA, sister to Caesar and wife to Antony
  CHARMIAN, lady attending on Cleopatra
  IRAS, " " " "

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and Attendants


SCENE: The Roman Empire

ACT I. SCENE I. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  PHILO. Nay, but this dotage of our general's
    O'erflows the measure. Those his goodly eyes,
    That o'er the files and musters of the war
    Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
    The office and devotion of their view
    Upon a tawny front. His captain's heart,
    Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
    The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
    And is become the bellows and the fan
    To cool a gipsy's lust.

     Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her LADIES, the train,
                    with eunuchs fanning her

    Look where they come!
    Take but good note, and you shall see in him
    The triple pillar of the world transform'd
    Into a strumpet's fool. Behold and see.
  CLEOPATRA. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
  ANTONY. There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.
  CLEOPATRA. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
  ANTONY. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.


  MESSENGER. News, my good lord, from Rome.
  ANTONY. Grates me the sum.
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, hear them, Antony.
    Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
    If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
    His pow'rful mandate to you: 'Do this or this;
    Take in that kingdom and enfranchise that;
    Perform't, or else we damn thee.'
  ANTONY. How, my love?
  CLEOPATRA. Perchance? Nay, and most like,
    You must not stay here longer; your dismission
    Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony.
    Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say? Both?
    Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's Queen,
    Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine
    Is Caesar's homager. Else so thy cheek pays shame
    When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
  ANTONY. Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
    Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space.
    Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
    Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
    Is to do thus [emhracing], when such a mutual pair
    And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
    On pain of punishment, the world to weet
    We stand up peerless.
  CLEOPATRA. Excellent falsehood!
    Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
    I'll seem the fool I am not. Antony
    Will be himself.
  ANTONY. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
    Now for the love of Love and her soft hours,
    Let's not confound the time with conference harsh;
    There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
    Without some pleasure now. What sport to-night?
  CLEOPATRA. Hear the ambassadors.
  ANTONY. Fie, wrangling queen!
    Whom everything becomes- to chide, to laugh,
    To weep; whose every passion fully strives
    To make itself in thee fair and admir'd.
    No messenger but thine, and all alone
    To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
    The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
    Last night you did desire it. Speak not to us.
                     Exeunt ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with the train
  DEMETRIUS. Is Caesar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
  PHILO. Sir, sometimes when he is not Antony,
    He comes too short of that great property
    Which still should go with Antony.
  DEMETRIUS. I am full sorry
    That he approves the common liar, who
    Thus speaks of him at Rome; but I will hope
    Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! Exeunt

SCENE II. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CHARMIAN. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost
    most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you prais'd so
    to th' Queen? O that I knew this husband, which you say must
    charge his horns with garlands!
  ALEXAS. Soothsayer!
  SOOTHSAYER. Your will?
  CHARMIAN. Is this the man? Is't you, sir, that know things?
  SOOTHSAYER. In nature's infinite book of secrecy
    A little I can read.
  ALEXAS. Show him your hand.


  ENOBARBUS. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough
    Cleopatra's health to drink.
  CHARMIAN. Good, sir, give me good fortune.
  SOOTHSAYER. I make not, but foresee.
  CHARMIAN. Pray, then, foresee me one.
  SOOTHSAYER. You shall be yet far fairer than you are.
  CHARMIAN. He means in flesh.
  IRAS. No, you shall paint when you are old.
  CHARMIAN. Wrinkles forbid!
  ALEXAS. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
  SOOTHSAYER. You shall be more beloving than beloved.
  CHARMIAN. I had rather heat my liver with drinking.
  ALEXAS. Nay, hear him.
  CHARMIAN. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to
    three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all. Let me have a
    child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage. Find me to
    marry me with Octavius Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.
  SOOTHSAYER. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
  CHARMIAN. O, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
  SOOTHSAYER. You have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune
    Than that which is to approach.
  CHARMIAN. Then belike my children shall have no names.
    Prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
  SOOTHSAYER. If every of your wishes had a womb,
    And fertile every wish, a million.
  CHARMIAN. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
  ALEXAS. You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
  CHARMIAN. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
  ALEXAS. We'll know all our fortunes.
  ENOBARBUS. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be-
    drunk to bed.
  IRAS. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
  CHARMIAN. E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.
  IRAS. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
  CHARMIAN. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I
    cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee, tell her but worky-day fortune.
  SOOTHSAYER. Your fortunes are alike.
  IRAS. But how, but how? Give me particulars.
  SOOTHSAYER. I have said.
  IRAS. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?
  CHARMIAN. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I,
    where would you choose it?
  IRAS. Not in my husband's nose.
  CHARMIAN. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas- come, his
    fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a woman that cannot go,
    sweet Isis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a
    worse! And let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow
    him laughing to his grave, fiftyfold a cuckold! Good Isis, hear
    me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good
    Isis, I beseech thee!
  IRAS. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! For, as
    it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man loose-wiv'd, so it is
    a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded. Therefore,
    dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
  ALEXAS. Lo now, if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they
    would make themselves whores but they'ld do't!


  ENOBARBUS. Hush! Here comes Antony.
  CHARMIAN. Not he; the Queen.
  CLEOPATRA. Saw you my lord?
  ENOBARBUS. No, lady.
  CLEOPATRA. Was he not here?
  CHARMIAN. No, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden
    A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!
  CLEOPATRA. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Alexas?
  ALEXAS. Here, at your service. My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER and attendants

  CLEOPATRA. We will not look upon him. Go with us.
                       Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, and the rest
  MESSENGER. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
  ANTONY. Against my brother Lucius?
    But soon that war had end, and the time's state
    Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst Caesar,
    Whose better issue in the war from Italy
    Upon the first encounter drave them.
  ANTONY. Well, what worst?
  MESSENGER. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
  ANTONY. When it concerns the fool or coward. On!
    Things that are past are done with me. 'Tis thus:
    Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
    I hear him as he flatter'd.
  MESSENGER. Labienus-
    This is stiff news- hath with his Parthian force
    Extended Asia from Euphrates,
    His conquering banner shook from Syria
    To Lydia and to Ionia,
  ANTONY. Antony, thou wouldst say.
  MESSENGER. O, my lord!
  ANTONY. Speak to me home; mince not the general tongue;
    Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome.
    Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase, and taunt my faults
    With such full licence as both truth and malice
    Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds
    When our quick minds lie still, and our ills told us
    Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.
  MESSENGER. At your noble pleasure. Exit
  ANTONY. From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!
  FIRST ATTENDANT. The man from Sicyon- is there such an one?
  SECOND ATTENDANT. He stays upon your will.
  ANTONY. Let him appear.
    These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
    Or lose myself in dotage.

Enter another MESSENGER with a letter

    What are you?
  SECOND MESSENGER. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
  ANTONY. Where died she?
    Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
    Importeth thee to know, this bears. [Gives the letter]
  ANTONY. Forbear me. Exit MESSENGER
    There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it.
    What our contempts doth often hurl from us
    We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
    By revolution low'ring, does become
    The opposite of itself. She's good, being gone;
    The hand could pluck her back that shov'd her on.
    I must from this enchanting queen break off.
    Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
    My idleness doth hatch. How now, Enobarbus!


  ENOBARBUS. What's your pleasure, sir?
  ANTONY. I must with haste from hence.
  ENOBARBUS. Why, then we kill all our women. We see how mortal an
    unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the
  ANTONY. I must be gone.
  ENOBARBUS. Under a compelling occasion, let women die. It were pity
    to cast them away for nothing, though between them and a great
    cause they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but
    the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die
    twenty times upon far poorer moment. I do think there is mettle
    in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a
    celerity in dying.
  ANTONY. She is cunning past man's thought.
  ENOBARBUS. Alack, sir, no! Her passions are made of nothing but the
    finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters
    sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than
    almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she
    makes a show'r of rain as well as Jove.
  ANTONY. Would I had never seen her!
  ENOBARBUS. O Sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of
    work, which not to have been blest withal would have discredited
    your travel.
  ANTONY. Fulvia is dead.
  ANTONY. Fulvia is dead.
  ENOBARBUS. Fulvia?
  ANTONY. Dead.
  ENOBARBUS. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it
    pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it
    shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein that
    when old robes are worn out there are members to make new. If
    there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut,
    and the case to be lamented. This grief is crown'd with
    consolation: your old smock brings forth a new petticoat; and
    indeed the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow.
  ANTONY. The business she hath broached in the state
    Cannot endure my absence.
  ENOBARBUS. And the business you have broach'd here cannot be
    without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends
    on your abode.
  ANTONY. No more light answers. Let our officers
    Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
    The cause of our expedience to the Queen,
    And get her leave to part. For not alone
    The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
    Do strongly speak to us; but the letters to
    Of many our contriving friends in Rome
    Petition us at home. Sextus Pompeius
    Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
    The empire of the sea; our slippery people,
    Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
    Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
    Pompey the Great and all his dignities
    Upon his son; who, high in name and power,
    Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
    For the main soldier; whose quality, going on,
    The sides o' th' world may danger. Much is breeding
    Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life
    And not a serpent's poison. Say our pleasure,
    To such whose place is under us, requires
    Our quick remove from hence.
  ENOBARBUS. I shall do't. Exeunt

SCENE III. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CLEOPATRA. Where is he?
  CHARMIAN. I did not see him since.
  CLEOPATRA. See where he is, who's with him, what he does.
    I did not send you. If you find him sad,
    Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
    That I am sudden sick. Quick, and return. Exit ALEXAS
  CHARMIAN. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
    You do not hold the method to enforce
    The like from him.
  CLEOPATRA. What should I do I do not?
  CHARMIAN. In each thing give him way; cross him in nothing.
  CLEOPATRA. Thou teachest like a fool- the way to lose him.
  CHARMIAN. Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear;
    In time we hate that which we often fear.


    But here comes Antony.
  CLEOPATRA. I am sick and sullen.
  ANTONY. I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose-
  CLEOPATRA. Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall.
    It cannot be thus long; the sides of nature
    Will not sustain it.
  ANTONY. Now, my dearest queen-
  CLEOPATRA. Pray you, stand farther from me.
  ANTONY. What's the matter?
  CLEOPATRA. I know by that same eye there's some good news.
    What says the married woman? You may go.
    Would she had never given you leave to come!
    Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here-
    I have no power upon you; hers you are.
  ANTONY. The gods best know-
  CLEOPATRA. O, never was there queen
    So mightily betray'd! Yet at the first
    I saw the treasons planted.
  ANTONY. Cleopatra-
  CLEOPATRA. Why should I think you can be mine and true,
    Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
    Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
    To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
    Which break themselves in swearing!
  ANTONY. Most sweet queen-
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, pray you seek no colour for your going,
    But bid farewell, and go. When you sued staying,
    Then was the time for words. No going then!
    Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
    Bliss in our brows' bent, none our parts so poor
    But was a race of heaven. They are so still,
    Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
    Art turn'd the greatest liar.
  ANTONY. How now, lady!
  CLEOPATRA. I would I had thy inches. Thou shouldst know
    There were a heart in Egypt.
  ANTONY. Hear me, queen:
    The strong necessity of time commands
    Our services awhile; but my full heart
    Remains in use with you. Our Italy
    Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
    Makes his approaches to the port of Rome;
    Equality of two domestic powers
    Breed scrupulous faction; the hated, grown to strength,
    Are newly grown to love. The condemn'd Pompey,
    Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
    Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
    Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
    And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
    By any desperate change. My more particular,
    And that which most with you should safe my going,
    Is Fulvia's death.
  CLEOPATRA. Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
     It does from childishness. Can Fulvia die?
  ANTONY. She's dead, my Queen.
    Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
    The garboils she awak'd. At the last, best.
    See when and where she died.
  CLEOPATRA. O most false love!
    Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
    With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
    In Fulvia's death how mine receiv'd shall be.
  ANTONY. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know
    The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
    As you shall give th' advice. By the fire
    That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
    Thy soldier, servant, making peace or war
    As thou affects.
  CLEOPATRA. Cut my lace, Charmian, come!
    But let it be; I am quickly ill and well-
    So Antony loves.
  ANTONY. My precious queen, forbear,
    And give true evidence to his love, which stands
    An honourable trial.
  CLEOPATRA. So Fulvia told me.
    I prithee turn aside and weep for her;
    Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
    Belong to Egypt. Good now, play one scene
    Of excellent dissembling, and let it look
    Like perfect honour.
  ANTONY. You'll heat my blood; no more.
  CLEOPATRA. You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
  ANTONY. Now, by my sword-
  CLEOPATRA. And target. Still he mends;
    But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
    How this Herculean Roman does become
    The carriage of his chafe.
  ANTONY. I'll leave you, lady.
  CLEOPATRA. Courteous lord, one word.
    Sir, you and I must part- but that's not it.
    Sir, you and I have lov'd- but there's not it.
    That you know well. Something it is I would-
    O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
    And I am all forgotten!
  ANTONY. But that your royalty
    Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
    For idleness itself.
  CLEOPATRA. 'Tis sweating labour
    To bear such idleness so near the heart
    As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
    Since my becomings kill me when they do not
    Eye well to you. Your honour calls you hence;
    Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly,
    And all the gods go with you! Upon your sword
    Sit laurel victory, and smooth success
    Be strew'd before your feet!
  ANTONY. Let us go. Come.
    Our separation so abides and flies
    That thou, residing here, goes yet with me,
    And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.
    Away! Exeunt

SCENE IV. Rome. CAESAR'S house

Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter; LEPIDUS, and their train

  CAESAR. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
    It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate
    Our great competitor. From Alexandria
    This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
    The lamps of night in revel; is not more manlike
    Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy
    More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
    Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners. You shall find there
    A man who is the abstract of all faults
    That all men follow.
  LEPIDUS. I must not think there are
    Evils enow to darken all his goodness.
    His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
    More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary
    Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change
    Than what he chooses.
  CAESAR. You are too indulgent. Let's grant it is not
    Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy,
    To give a kingdom for a mirth, to sit
    And keep the turn of tippling with a slave,
    To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
    With knaves that smell of sweat. Say this becomes him-
    As his composure must be rare indeed
    Whom these things cannot blemish- yet must Antony
    No way excuse his foils when we do bear
    So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd
    His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
    Full surfeits and the dryness of his bones
    Call on him for't! But to confound such time
    That drums him from his sport and speaks as loud
    As his own state and ours- 'tis to be chid
    As we rate boys who, being mature in knowledge,
    Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
    And so rebel to judgment.


  LEPIDUS. Here's more news.
  MESSENGER. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,
    Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report
    How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea,
    And it appears he is belov'd of those
    That only have fear'd Caesar. To the ports
    The discontents repair, and men's reports
    Give him much wrong'd.
  CAESAR. I should have known no less.
    It hath been taught us from the primal state
    That he which is was wish'd until he were;
    And the ebb'd man, ne'er lov'd till ne'er worth love,
    Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This common body,
    Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
    Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
    To rot itself with motion.
  MESSENGER. Caesar, I bring thee word
    Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
    Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound
    With keels of every kind. Many hot inroads
    They make in Italy; the borders maritime
    Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt.
    No vessel can peep forth but 'tis as soon
    Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more
    Than could his war resisted.
  CAESAR. Antony,
    Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
    Was beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
    Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
    Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
    Though daintily brought up, with patience more
    Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink
    The stale of horses and the gilded puddle
    Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did deign
    The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
    Yea, like the stag when snow the pasture sheets,
    The barks of trees thou brows'd. On the Alps
    It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh,
    Which some did die to look on. And all this-
    It wounds thine honour that I speak it now-
    Was borne so like a soldier that thy cheek
    So much as lank'd not.
  LEPIDUS. 'Tis pity of him.
  CAESAR. Let his shames quickly
    Drive him to Rome. 'Tis time we twain
    Did show ourselves i' th' field; and to that end
    Assemble we immediate council. Pompey
    Thrives in our idleness.
  LEPIDUS. To-morrow, Caesar,
    I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
    Both what by sea and land I can be able
    To front this present time.
  CAESAR. Till which encounter
    It is my business too. Farewell.
  LEPIDUS. Farewell, my lord. What you shall know meantime
    Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
    To let me be partaker.
  CAESAR. Doubt not, sir;
    I knew it for my bond. Exeunt

SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CLEOPATRA. Charmian!
  CHARMIAN. Madam?
  CLEOPATRA. Ha, ha!
    Give me to drink mandragora.
  CHARMIAN. Why, madam?
  CLEOPATRA. That I might sleep out this great gap of time
    My Antony is away.
  CHARMIAN. You think of him too much.
  CLEOPATRA. O, 'tis treason!
  CHARMIAN. Madam, I trust, not so.
  CLEOPATRA. Thou, eunuch Mardian!
  MARDIAN. What's your Highness' pleasure?
  CLEOPATRA. Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure
    In aught an eunuch has. 'Tis well for thee
    That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
    May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
  MARDIAN. Yes, gracious madam.
  CLEOPATRA. Indeed?
  MARDIAN. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
    But what indeed is honest to be done.
    Yet have I fierce affections, and think
    What Venus did with Mars.
  CLEOPATRA. O Charmian,
    Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he or sits he?
    Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?
    O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
    Do bravely, horse; for wot'st thou whom thou mov'st?
    The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
    And burgonet of men. He's speaking now,
    Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?'
    For so he calls me. Now I feed myself
    With most delicious poison. Think on me,
    That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
    And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
    When thou wast here above the ground, I was
    A morsel for a monarch; and great Pompey
    Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
    There would he anchor his aspect and die
    With looking on his life.


  ALEXAS. Sovereign of Egypt, hail!
  CLEOPATRA. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!
    Yet, coming from him, that great med'cine hath
    With his tinct gilded thee.
    How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?
  ALEXAS. Last thing he did, dear Queen,
    He kiss'd- the last of many doubled kisses-
    This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my heart.
  CLEOPATRA. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
  ALEXAS. 'Good friend,' quoth he
    'Say the firm Roman to great Egypt sends
    This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot,
    To mend the petty present, I will piece
    Her opulent throne with kingdoms. All the East,
    Say thou, shall call her mistress.' So he nodded,
    And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed,
    Who neigh'd so high that what I would have spoke
    Was beastly dumb'd by him.
  CLEOPATRA. What, was he sad or merry?
  ALEXAS. Like to the time o' th' year between the extremes
    Of hot and cold; he was nor sad nor merry.
  CLEOPATRA. O well-divided disposition! Note him,
    Note him, good Charmian; 'tis the man; but note him!
    He was not sad, for he would shine on those
    That make their looks by his; he was not merry,
    Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay
    In Egypt with his joy; but between both.
    O heavenly mingle! Be'st thou sad or merry,
    The violence of either thee becomes,
    So does it no man else. Met'st thou my posts?
  ALEXAS. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
    Why do you send so thick?
  CLEOPATRA. Who's born that day
    When I forget to send to Antony
    Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.
    Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
    Ever love Caesar so?
  CHARMIAN. O that brave Caesar!
  CLEOPATRA. Be chok'd with such another emphasis!
    Say 'the brave Antony.'
  CHARMIAN. The valiant Caesar!
  CLEOPATRA. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth
    If thou with Caesar paragon again
    My man of men.
  CHARMIAN. By your most gracious pardon,
    I sing but after you.
  CLEOPATRA. My salad days,
    When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
    To say as I said then. But come, away!
    Get me ink and paper.
    He shall have every day a several greeting,
    Or I'll unpeople Egypt. Exeunt


ACT II. SCENE I. Messina. POMPEY'S house

Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in warlike manner

  POMPEY. If the great gods be just, they shall assist
    The deeds of justest men.
  MENECRATES. Know, worthy Pompey,
    That what they do delay they not deny.
  POMPEY. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
    The thing we sue for.
  MENECRATES. We, ignorant of ourselves,
    Beg often our own harms, which the wise pow'rs
    Deny us for our good; so find we profit
    By losing of our prayers.
  POMPEY. I shall do well.
    The people love me, and the sea is mine;
    My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
    Says it will come to th' full. Mark Antony
    In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
    No wars without doors. Caesar gets money where
    He loses hearts. Lepidus flatters both,
    Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves,
    Nor either cares for him.
  MENAS. Caesar and Lepidus
    Are in the field. A mighty strength they carry.
  POMPEY. Where have you this? 'Tis false.
  MENAS. From Silvius, sir.
  POMPEY. He dreams. I know they are in Rome together,
    Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
    Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip!
    Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both;
    Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
    Keep his brain fuming. Epicurean cooks
    Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite,
    That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
    Even till a Lethe'd dullness-


    How now, Varrius!
  VARRIUS. This is most certain that I shall deliver:
    Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
    Expected. Since he went from Egypt 'tis
    A space for farther travel.
  POMPEY. I could have given less matter
    A better ear. Menas, I did not think
    This amorous surfeiter would have donn'd his helm
    For such a petty war; his soldiership
    Is twice the other twain. But let us rear
    The higher our opinion, that our stirring
    Can from the lap of Egypt's widow pluck
    The ne'er-lust-wearied Antony.
  MENAS. I cannot hope
    Caesar and Antony shall well greet together.
    His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar;
    His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think,
    Not mov'd by Antony.
  POMPEY. I know not, Menas,
    How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
    Were't not that we stand up against them all,
    'Twere pregnant they should square between themselves;
    For they have entertained cause enough
    To draw their swords. But how the fear of us
    May cement their divisions, and bind up
    The petty difference we yet not know.
    Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands
    Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
    Come, Menas. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rome. The house of LEPIDUS


  LEPIDUS. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
    And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
    To soft and gentle speech.
  ENOBARBUS. I shall entreat him
    To answer like himself. If Caesar move him,
    Let Antony look over Caesar's head
    And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
    Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
    I would not shave't to-day.
  LEPIDUS. 'Tis not a time
    For private stomaching.
  ENOBARBUS. Every time
    Serves for the matter that is then born in't.
  LEPIDUS. But small to greater matters must give way.
  ENOBARBUS. Not if the small come first.
  LEPIDUS. Your speech is passion;
    But pray you stir no embers up. Here comes
    The noble Antony.


ENOBARBUS. And yonder, Caesar.


  ANTONY. If we compose well here, to Parthia.
    Hark, Ventidius.
  CAESAR. I do not know, Maecenas. Ask Agrippa.
  LEPIDUS. Noble friends,
    That which combin'd us was most great, and let not
    A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
    May it be gently heard. When we debate
    Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
    Murder in healing wounds. Then, noble partners,
    The rather for I earnestly beseech,
    Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
    Nor curstness grow to th' matter.
  ANTONY. 'Tis spoken well.
    Were we before our arinies, and to fight,
    I should do thus. [Flourish]
  CAESAR. Welcome to Rome.
  ANTONY. Thank you.
  CAESAR. Sit.
  ANTONY. Sit, sir.
  CAESAR. Nay, then. [They sit]
  ANTONY. I learn you take things ill which are not so,
    Or being, concern you not.
  CAESAR. I must be laugh'd at
    If, or for nothing or a little,
    Should say myself offended, and with you
    Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at that I should
    Once name you derogately when to sound your name
    It not concern'd me.
  ANTONY. My being in Egypt, Caesar,
    What was't to you?
  CAESAR. No more than my residing here at Rome
    Might be to you in Egypt. Yet, if you there
    Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
    Might be my question.
  ANTONY. How intend you- practis'd?
  CAESAR. You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent
    By what did here befall me. Your wife and brother
    Made wars upon me, and their contestation
    Was theme for you; you were the word of war.
  ANTONY. You do mistake your business; my brother never
    Did urge me in his act. I did inquire it,
    And have my learning from some true reports
    That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
    Discredit my authority with yours,
    And make the wars alike against my stomach,
    Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
    Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
    As matter whole you have not to make it with,
    It must not be with this.
  CAESAR. You praise yourself
    By laying defects of judgment to me; but
    You patch'd up your excuses.
  ANTONY. Not so, not so;
    I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
    Very necessity of this thought, that I,
    Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
    Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
    Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
    I would you had her spirit in such another!
    The third o' th' world is yours, which with a snaffle
    You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
  ENOBARBUS. Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to
    wars with the women!
  ANTONY. So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar,
    Made out of her impatience- which not wanted
    Shrewdness of policy too- I grieving grant
    Did you too much disquiet. For that you must
    But say I could not help it.
  CAESAR. I wrote to you
    When rioting in Alexandria; you
    Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
    Did gibe my missive out of audience.
  ANTONY. Sir,
    He fell upon me ere admitted. Then
    Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
    Of what I was i' th' morning; but next day
    I told him of myself, which was as much
    As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
    Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
    Out of our question wipe him.
  CAESAR. You have broken
    The article of your oath, which you shall never
    Have tongue to charge me with.
  LEPIDUS. Soft, Caesar!
    Lepidus, let him speak.
    The honour is sacred which he talks on now,
    Supposing that I lack'd it. But on, Caesar:
    The article of my oath-
  CAESAR. To lend me arms and aid when I requir'd them,
    The which you both denied.
  ANTONY. Neglected, rather;
    And then when poisoned hours had bound me up
    From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
    I'll play the penitent to you; but mine honesty
    Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
    Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia,
    To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
    For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
    So far ask pardon as befits mine honour
    To stoop in such a case.
  LEPIDUS. 'Tis noble spoken.
  MAECENAS. If it might please you to enforce no further
    The griefs between ye- to forget them quite
    Were to remember that the present need
    Speaks to atone you.
  LEPIDUS. Worthily spoken, Maecenas.
  ENOBARBUS. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant,
    you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again.
    You shall have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to
  ANTONY. Thou art a soldier only. Speak no more.
  ENOBARBUS. That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
  ANTONY. You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.
  ENOBARBUS. Go to, then- your considerate stone!
  CAESAR. I do not much dislike the matter, but
    The manner of his speech; for't cannot be
    We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
    So diff'ring in their acts. Yet if I knew
    What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge
    O' th' world, I would pursue it.
  AGRIPPA. Give me leave, Caesar.
  CAESAR. Speak, Agrippa.
  AGRIPPA. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
    Admir'd Octavia. Great Mark Antony
    Is now a widower.
  CAESAR. Say not so, Agrippa.
    If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
    Were well deserv'd of rashness.
  ANTONY. I am not married, Caesar. Let me hear
    Agrippa further speak.
  AGRIPPA. To hold you in perpetual amity,
    To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
    With an unslipping knot, take Antony
    Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims
    No worse a husband than the best of men;
    Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
    That which none else can utter. By this marriage
    All little jealousies, which now seem great,
    And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
    Would then be nothing. Truths would be tales,
    Where now half tales be truths. Her love to both
    Would each to other, and all loves to both,
    Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke;
    For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
    By duty ruminated.
  ANTONY. Will Caesar speak?
  CAESAR. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
    With what is spoke already.
  ANTONY. What power is in Agrippa,
    If I would say 'Agrippa, be it so,'
    To make this good?
  CAESAR. The power of Caesar, and
    His power unto Octavia.
  ANTONY. May I never
    To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
    Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand.
    Further this act of grace; and from this hour
    The heart of brothers govern in our loves
    And sway our great designs!
  CAESAR. There is my hand.
    A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
    Did ever love so dearly. Let her live
    To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
    Fly off our loves again!
  LEPIDUS. Happily, amen!
  ANTONY. I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
    For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
    Of late upon me. I must thank him only,
    Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
    At heel of that, defy him.
  LEPIDUS. Time calls upon's.
    Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
    Or else he seeks out us.
  ANTONY. Where lies he?
  CAESAR. About the Mount Misenum.
  ANTONY. What is his strength by land?
  CAESAR. Great and increasing; but by sea
    He is an absolute master.
  ANTONY. So is the fame.
    Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it.
    Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
    The business we have talk'd of.
  CAESAR. With most gladness;
    And do invite you to my sister's view,
    Whither straight I'll lead you.
  ANTONY. Let us, Lepidus,
    Not lack your company.
  LEPIDUS. Noble Antony,
    Not sickness should detain me. [Flourish]
                     Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS, AGRIPPA, MAECENAS
  MAECENAS. Welcome from Egypt, sir.
  ENOBARBUS. Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Maecenas! My honourable
    friend, Agrippa!
  AGRIPPA. Good Enobarbus!
  MAECENAS. We have cause to be glad that matters are so well
    digested. You stay'd well by't in Egypt.
  ENOBARBUS. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance and made
    the night light with drinking.
  MAECENAS. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but
    twelve persons there. Is this true?
  ENOBARBUS. This was but as a fly by an eagle. We had much more
    monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
  MAECENAS. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.
  ENOBARBUS. When she first met Mark Antony she purs'd up his heart,
    upon the river of Cydnus.
  AGRIPPA. There she appear'd indeed! Or my reporter devis'd well for
  ENOBARBUS. I will tell you.
    The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
    Burn'd on the water. The poop was beaten gold;
    Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
    The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
    Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
    The water which they beat to follow faster,
    As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
    It beggar'd all description. She did lie
    In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold, of tissue,
    O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
    The fancy out-work nature. On each side her
    Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
    With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
    To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
    And what they undid did.
  AGRIPPA. O, rare for Antony!
  ENOBARBUS. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
    So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
    And made their bends adornings. At the helm
    A seeming mermaid steers. The silken tackle
    Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
    That yarely frame the office. From the barge
    A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
    Her people out upon her; and Antony,
    Enthron'd i' th' market-place, did sit alone,
    Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
    Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
    And made a gap in nature.
  AGRIPPA. Rare Egyptian!
  ENOBARBUS. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
    Invited her to supper. She replied
    It should be better he became her guest;
    Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
    Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak,
    Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
    And for his ordinary pays his heart
    For what his eyes eat only.
  AGRIPPA. Royal wench!
    She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed.
    He ploughed her, and she cropp'd.
  ENOBARBUS. I saw her once
    Hop forty paces through the public street;
    And, having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
    That she did make defect perfection,
    And, breathless, pow'r breathe forth.
  MAECENAS. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
  ENOBARBUS. Never! He will not.
    Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
    Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
    The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
    Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
    Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
    Bless her when she is riggish.
  MAECENAS. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
    The heart of Antony, Octavia is
    A blessed lottery to him.
  AGRIPPA. Let us go.
    Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
    Whilst you abide here.
  ENOBARBUS. Humbly, sir, I thank you. Exeunt


Enter ANTONY, CAESAR, OCTAVIA between them

  ANTONY. The world and my great office will sometimes
    Divide me from your bosom.
  OCTAVIA. All which time
    Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
    To them for you.
  ANTONY. Good night, sir. My Octavia,
    Read not my blemishes in the world's report.
    I have not kept my square; but that to come
    Shall all be done by th' rule. Good night, dear lady.
  OCTAVIA. Good night, sir.
  CAESAR. Good night. Exeunt CAESAR and OCTAVIA


  ANTONY. Now, sirrah, you do wish yourself in Egypt?
  SOOTHSAYER. Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither!
  ANTONY. If you can- your reason.
  SOOTHSAYER. I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue; but
    yet hie you to Egypt again.
  ANTONY. Say to me,
    Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?
  SOOTHSAYER. Caesar's.
    Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side.
    Thy daemon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is
    Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
    Where Caesar's is not; but near him thy angel
    Becomes a fear, as being o'erpow'r'd. Therefore
    Make space enough between you.
  ANTONY. Speak this no more.
  SOOTHSAYER. To none but thee; no more but when to thee.
    If thou dost play with him at any game,
    Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck
    He beats thee 'gainst the odds. Thy lustre thickens
    When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
    Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
    But, he away, 'tis noble.
  ANTONY. Get thee gone.
    Say to Ventidius I would speak with him.
                                                 Exit SOOTHSAYER
    He shall to Parthia.- Be it art or hap,
    He hath spoken true. The very dice obey him;
    And in our sports my better cunning faints
    Under his chance. If we draw lots, he speeds;
    His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
    When it is all to nought, and his quails ever
    Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt;
    And though I make this marriage for my peace,
    I' th' East my pleasure lies.


    O, come, Ventidius,
    You must to Parthia. Your commission's ready;
    Follow me and receive't. Exeunt

SCENE IV. Rome. A street


  LEPIDUS. Trouble yourselves no further. Pray you hasten
    Your generals after.
  AGRIPPA. Sir, Mark Antony
    Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.
  LEPIDUS. Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
    Which will become you both, farewell.
  MAECENAS. We shall,
    As I conceive the journey, be at th' Mount
    Before you, Lepidus.
  LEPIDUS. Your way is shorter;
    My purposes do draw me much about.
    You'll win two days upon me.
  BOTH. Sir, good success!
  LEPIDUS. Farewell. Exeunt

SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CLEOPATRA. Give me some music- music, moody food
    Of us that trade in love.
  ALL. The music, ho!

Enter MARDIAN the eunuch

  CLEOPATRA. Let it alone! Let's to billiards. Come, Charmian.
  CHARMIAN. My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.
  CLEOPATRA. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
    As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me, sir?
  MARDIAN. As well as I can, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. And when good will is show'd, though't come too short,
    The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now.
    Give me mine angle- we'll to th' river. There,
    My music playing far off, I will betray
    Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
    Their slimy jaws; and as I draw them up
    I'll think them every one an Antony,
    And say 'Ah ha! Y'are caught.'
  CHARMIAN. 'Twas merry when
    You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
    Did hang a salt fish on his hook, which he
    With fervency drew up.
  CLEOPATRA. That time? O times
    I laughed him out of patience; and that night
    I laugh'd him into patience; and next morn,
    Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed,
    Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
    I wore his sword Philippan.


    O! from Italy?
    Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
    That long time have been barren.
  MESSENGER. Madam, madam-
  CLEOPATRA. Antony's dead! If thou say so, villain,
    Thou kill'st thy mistress; but well and free,
    If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
    My bluest veins to kiss- a hand that kings
    Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.
  MESSENGER. First, madam, he is well.
  CLEOPATRA. Why, there's more gold.
    But, sirrah, mark, we use
    To say the dead are well. Bring it to that,
    The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
    Down thy ill-uttering throat.
  MESSENGER. Good madam, hear me.
  CLEOPATRA. Well, go to, I will.
    But there's no goodness in thy face. If Antony
    Be free and healthful- why so tart a favour
    To trumpet such good tidings? If not well,
    Thou shouldst come like a Fury crown'd with snakes,
    Not like a formal man.
  MESSENGER. Will't please you hear me?
  CLEOPATRA. I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st.
    Yet, if thou say Antony lives, is well,
    Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
    I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
    Rich pearls upon thee.
  MESSENGER. Madam, he's well.
  CLEOPATRA. Well said.
  MESSENGER. And friends with Caesar.
  CLEOPATRA. Th'art an honest man.
  MESSENGER. Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.
  CLEOPATRA. Make thee a fortune from me.
  MESSENGER. But yet, madam-
  CLEOPATRA. I do not like 'but yet.' It does allay
    The good precedence; fie upon 'but yet'!
    'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
    Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
    Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
    The good and bad together. He's friends with Caesar;
    In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say'st, free.
  MESSENGER. Free, madam! No; I made no such report.
    He's bound unto Octavia.
  CLEOPATRA. For what good turn?
  MESSENGER. For the best turn i' th' bed.
  CLEOPATRA. I am pale, Charmian.
  MESSENGER. Madam, he's married to Octavia.
  CLEOPATRA. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!
                                              [Strikes him down]
  MESSENGER. Good madam, patience.
  CLEOPATRA. What say you? Hence, [Strikes him]
    Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
    Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head;
                                     [She hales him up and down]
    Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire and stew'd in brine,
    Smarting in ling'ring pickle.
  MESSENGER. Gracious madam,
    I that do bring the news made not the match.
  CLEOPATRA. Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
    And make thy fortunes proud. The blow thou hadst
    Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
    And I will boot thee with what gift beside
    Thy modesty can beg.
  MESSENGER. He's married, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long. [Draws a knife]
  MESSENGER. Nay, then I'll run.
    What mean you, madam? I have made no fault. Exit
  CHARMIAN. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
    The man is innocent.
  CLEOPATRA. Some innocents scape not the thunderbolt.
    Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
    Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again.
    Though I am mad, I will not bite him. Call!
  CHARMIAN. He is afear'd to come.
  CLEOPATRA. I will not hurt him.
    These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
    A meaner than myself; since I myself
    Have given myself the cause.

Enter the MESSENGER again

    Come hither, sir.
    Though it be honest, it is never good
    To bring bad news. Give to a gracious message
    An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
    Themselves when they be felt.
  MESSENGER. I have done my duty.
  CLEOPATRA. Is he married?
    I cannot hate thee worser than I do
    If thou again say 'Yes.'
  MESSENGER. He's married, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. The gods confound thee! Dost thou hold there still?
  MESSENGER. Should I lie, madam?
  CLEOPATRA. O, I would thou didst,
    So half my Egypt were submerg'd and made
    A cistern for scal'd snakes! Go, get thee hence.
    Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
    Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?
  MESSENGER. I crave your Highness' pardon.
  CLEOPATRA. He is married?
  MESSENGER. Take no offence that I would not offend you;
    To punish me for what you make me do
    Seems much unequal. He's married to Octavia.
  CLEOPATRA. O, that his fault should make a knave of thee
    That art not what th'art sure of! Get thee hence.
    The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
    Are all too dear for me. Lie they upon thy hand,
    And be undone by 'em! Exit MESSENGER
  CHARMIAN. Good your Highness, patience.
  CLEOPATRA. In praising Antony I have disprais'd Caesar.
  CHARMIAN. Many times, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. I am paid for't now. Lead me from hence,
    I faint. O Iras, Charmian! 'Tis no matter.
    Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
    Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
    Her inclination; let him not leave out
    The colour of her hair. Bring me word quickly.
                                                     Exit ALEXAS
    Let him for ever go- let him not, Charmian-
    Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
    The other way's a Mars. [To MARDIAN]
    Bid you Alexas
    Bring me word how tall she is.- Pity me, Charmian,
    But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber. Exeunt

SCENE VI. Near Misenum

Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one door, with drum and trumpet; at another, CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, ENOBARBUS, MAECENAS, AGRIPPA, with soldiers marching

  POMPEY. Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
    And we shall talk before we fight.
  CAESAR. Most meet
    That first we come to words; and therefore have we
    Our written purposes before us sent;
    Which if thou hast considered, let us know
    If 'twill tie up thy discontented sword
    And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
    That else must perish here.
  POMPEY. To you all three,
    The senators alone of this great world,
    Chief factors for the gods: I do not know
    Wherefore my father should revengers want,
    Having a son and friends, since Julius Caesar,
    Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
    There saw you labouring for him. What was't
    That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire? and what
    Made the all-honour'd honest Roman, Brutus,
    With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
    To drench the Capitol, but that they would
    Have one man but a man? And that is it
    Hath made me rig my navy, at whose burden
    The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
    To scourge th' ingratitude that despiteful Rome
    Cast on my noble father.
  CAESAR. Take your time.
  ANTONY. Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails;
    We'll speak with thee at sea; at land thou know'st
    How much we do o'er-count thee.
  POMPEY. At land, indeed,
    Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house.
    But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
    Remain in't as thou mayst.
  LEPIDUS. Be pleas'd to tell us-
    For this is from the present- how you take
    The offers we have sent you.
  CAESAR. There's the point.
  ANTONY. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
    What it is worth embrac'd.
  CAESAR. And what may follow,
    To try a larger fortune.
  POMPEY. You have made me offer
    Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
    Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
    Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon,
    To part with unhack'd edges and bear back
    Our targes undinted.
  ALL. That's our offer.
  POMPEY. Know, then,
    I came before you here a man prepar'd
    To take this offer; but Mark Antony
    Put me to some impatience. Though I lose
    The praise of it by telling, you must know,
    When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
    Your mother came to Sicily and did find
    Her welcome friendly.
  ANTONY. I have heard it, Pompey,
    And am well studied for a liberal thanks
    Which I do owe you.
  POMPEY. Let me have your hand.
    I did not think, sir, to have met you here.
  ANTONY. The beds i' th' East are soft; and thanks to you,
    That call'd me timelier than my purpose hither;
    For I have gained by't.
  CAESAR. Since I saw you last
    There is a change upon you.
  POMPEY. Well, I know not
    What counts harsh fortune casts upon my face;
    But in my bosom shall she never come
    To make my heart her vassal.
  LEPIDUS. Well met here.
  POMPEY. I hope so, Lepidus. Thus we are agreed.
    I crave our composition may be written,
    And seal'd between us.
  CAESAR. That's the next to do.
  POMPEY. We'll feast each other ere we part, and let's
    Draw lots who shall begin.
  ANTONY. That will I, Pompey.
  POMPEY. No, Antony, take the lot;
    But, first or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
    Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
    Grew fat with feasting there.
  ANTONY. You have heard much.
  POMPEY. I have fair meanings, sir.
  ANTONY. And fair words to them.
  POMPEY. Then so much have I heard;
    And I have heard Apollodorus carried-
  ENOBARBUS. No more of that! He did so.
  POMPEY. What, I pray you?
  ENOBARBUS. A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.
  POMPEY. I know thee now. How far'st thou, soldier?
    And well am like to do, for I perceive
    Four feasts are toward.
  POMPEY. Let me shake thy hand.
    I never hated thee; I have seen thee fight,
    When I have envied thy behaviour.
    I never lov'd you much; but I ha' prais'd ye
    When you have well deserv'd ten times as much
    As I have said you did.
  POMPEY. Enjoy thy plainness;
    It nothing ill becomes thee.
    Aboard my galley I invite you all.
    Will you lead, lords?
  ALL. Show's the way, sir.
  POMPEY. Come. Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS and MENAS
  MENAS. [Aside] Thy father, Pompey, would ne'er have made this
    treaty.- You and I have known, sir.
  ENOBARBUS. At sea, I think.
  MENAS. We have, sir.
  ENOBARBUS. You have done well by water.
  MENAS. And you by land.
  ENOBARBUS. I Will praise any man that will praise me; though it
    cannot be denied what I have done by land.
  MENAS. Nor what I have done by water.
  ENOBARBUS. Yes, something you can deny for your own safety: you
    have been a great thief by sea.
  MENAS. And you by land.
  ENOBARBUS. There I deny my land service. But give me your hand,
    Menas; if our eyes had authority, here they might take two
    thieves kissing.
  MENAS. All men's faces are true, whatsome'er their hands are.
  ENOBARBUS. But there is never a fair woman has a true face.
  MENAS. No slander: they steal hearts.
  ENOBARBUS. We came hither to fight with you.
  MENAS. For my part, I am sorry it is turn'd to a drinking.
    Pompey doth this day laugh away his fortune.
  ENOBARBUS. If he do, sure he cannot weep't back again.
  MENAS. Y'have said, sir. We look'd not for Mark Antony here. Pray
    you, is he married to Cleopatra?
  ENOBARBUS. Caesar' sister is call'd Octavia.
  MENAS. True, sir; she was the wife of Caius Marcellus.
  ENOBARBUS. But she is now the wife of Marcus Antonius.
  MENAS. Pray ye, sir?
  ENOBARBUS. 'Tis true.
  MENAS. Then is Caesar and he for ever knit together.
  ENOBARBUS. If I were bound to divine of this unity, I would not
    prophesy so.
  MENAS. I think the policy of that purpose made more in the marriage
    than the love of the parties.
  ENOBARBUS. I think so too. But you shall find the band that seems
    to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of
    their amity: Octavia is of a holy, cold, and still conversation.
  MENAS. Who would not have his wife so?
  ENOBARBUS. Not he that himself is not so; which is Mark Antony. He
    will to his Egyptian dish again; then shall the sighs of Octavia
    blow the fire up in Caesar, and, as I said before, that which is
    the strength of their amity shall prove the immediate author of
    their variance. Antony will use his affection where it is; he
    married but his occasion here.
  MENAS. And thus it may be. Come, sir, will you aboard? I have a
    health for you.
  ENOBARBUS. I shall take it, sir. We have us'd our throats in Egypt.
  MENAS. Come, let's away. Exeunt

                           SCENE VII.
             On board POMPEY'S galley, off Misenum

Music plays. Enter two or three SERVANTS with a banquet

  FIRST SERVANT. Here they'll be, man. Some o' their plants are
    ill-rooted already; the least wind i' th' world will blow them
  SECOND SERVANT. Lepidus is high-colour'd.
  FIRST SERVANT. They have made him drink alms-drink.
  SECOND SERVANT. As they pinch one another by the disposition, he
    cries out 'No more!'; reconciles them to his entreaty and himself
    to th' drink.
  FIRST SERVANT. But it raises the greater war between him and his
  SECOND SERVANT. Why, this it is to have a name in great men's
    fellowship. I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service
    as a partizan I could not heave.
  FIRST SERVANT. To be call'd into a huge sphere, and not to be seen
    to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully
    disaster the cheeks.

           A sennet sounded. Enter CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS,
                         with other CAPTAINS

  ANTONY. [To CAESAR] Thus do they, sir: they take the flow o' th'
    By certain scales i' th' pyramid; they know
    By th' height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth
    Or foison follow. The higher Nilus swells
    The more it promises; as it ebbs, the seedsman
    Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
    And shortly comes to harvest.
  LEPIDUS. Y'have strange serpents there.
  ANTONY. Ay, Lepidus.
  LEPIDUS. Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the
    operation of your sun; so is your crocodile.
  ANTONY. They are so.
  POMPEY. Sit- and some wine! A health to Lepidus!
  LEPIDUS. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.
  ENOBARBUS. Not till you have slept. I fear me you'll be in till
  LEPIDUS. Nay, certainly, I have heard the Ptolemies' pyramises are
    very goodly things. Without contradiction I have heard that.
  MENAS. [Aside to POMPEY] Pompey, a word.
  POMPEY. [Aside to MENAS] Say in mine ear; what is't?
  MENAS. [Aside to POMPEY] Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee,
    And hear me speak a word.
  POMPEY. [ Whispers in's ear ] Forbear me till anon-
    This wine for Lepidus!
  LEPIDUS. What manner o' thing is your crocodile?
  ANTONY. It is shap'd, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it
    hath breadth; it is just so high as it is, and moves with it own
    organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and the elements
    once out of it, it transmigrates.
  LEPIDUS. What colour is it of?
  ANTONY. Of it own colour too.
  LEPIDUS. 'Tis a strange serpent.
  ANTONY. 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
  CAESAR. Will this description satisfy him?
  ANTONY. With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very
  POMPEY. [Aside to MENAS] Go, hang, sir, hang! Tell me of that!
    Do as I bid you.- Where's this cup I call'd for?
  MENAS. [Aside to POMPEY] If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear
    Rise from thy stool.
  POMPEY. [Aside to MENAS] I think th'art mad. [Rises and walks
    aside] The matter?
  MENAS. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.
  POMPEY. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith. What's else to say?-
    Be jolly, lords.
  ANTONY. These quicksands, Lepidus,
    Keep off them, for you sink.
  MENAS. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?
  POMPEY. What say'st thou?
  MENAS. Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice.
  POMPEY. How should that be?
  MENAS. But entertain it,
    And though you think me poor, I am the man
    Will give thee all the world.
  POMPEY. Hast thou drunk well?
  MENAS. No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.
    Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove;
    Whate'er the ocean pales or sky inclips
    Is thine, if thou wilt ha't.
  POMPEY. Show me which way.
  MENAS. These three world-sharers, these competitors,
    Are in thy vessel. Let me cut the cable;
    And when we are put off, fall to their throats.
    All there is thine.
  POMPEY. Ah, this thou shouldst have done,
    And not have spoke on't. In me 'tis villainy:
    In thee't had been good service. Thou must know
    'Tis not my profit that does lead mine honour:
    Mine honour, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue
    Hath so betray'd thine act. Being done unknown,
    I should have found it afterwards well done,
    But must condemn it now. Desist, and drink.
  MENAS. [Aside] For this,
    I'll never follow thy pall'd fortunes more.
    Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd,
    Shall never find it more.
  POMPEY. This health to Lepidus!
  ANTONY. Bear him ashore. I'll pledge it for him, Pompey.
  ENOBARBUS. Here's to thee, Menas!
  MENAS. Enobarbus, welcome!
  POMPEY. Fill till the cup be hid.
  ENOBARBUS. There's a strong fellow, Menas.
               [Pointing to the servant who carries off LEPIDUS]
  MENAS. Why?
  ENOBARBUS. 'A bears the third part of the world, man; see'st not?
  MENAS. The third part, then, is drunk. Would it were all,
    That it might go on wheels!
  ENOBARBUS. Drink thou; increase the reels.
  MENAS. Come.
  POMPEY. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast.
  ANTONY. It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho!
    Here's to Caesar!
  CAESAR. I could well forbear't.
    It's monstrous labour when I wash my brain
    And it grows fouler.
  ANTONY. Be a child o' th' time.
  CAESAR. Possess it, I'll make answer.
    But I had rather fast from all four days
    Than drink so much in one.
  ENOBARBUS. [To ANTONY] Ha, my brave emperor!
    Shall we dance now the Egyptian Bacchanals
    And celebrate our drink?
  POMPEY. Let's ha't, good soldier.
  ANTONY. Come, let's all take hands,
    Till that the conquering wine hath steep'd our sense
    In soft and delicate Lethe.
  ENOBARBUS. All take hands.
    Make battery to our ears with the loud music,
    The while I'll place you; then the boy shall sing;
    The holding every man shall bear as loud
    As his strong sides can volley.
               [Music plays. ENOBARBUS places them hand in hand]

                        THE SONG
            Come, thou monarch of the vine,
            Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
            In thy fats our cares be drown'd,
            With thy grapes our hairs be crown'd.
            Cup us till the world go round,
            Cup us till the world go round!

  CAESAR. What would you more? Pompey, good night. Good brother,
    Let me request you off; our graver business
    Frowns at this levity. Gentle lords, let's part;
    You see we have burnt our cheeks. Strong Enobarb
    Is weaker than the wine, and mine own tongue
    Splits what it speaks. The wild disguise hath almost
    Antick'd us all. What needs more words? Good night.
    Good Antony, your hand.
  POMPEY. I'll try you on the shore.
  ANTONY. And shall, sir. Give's your hand.
  POMPEY. O Antony,
    You have my father's house- but what? We are friends.
    Come, down into the boat.
  ENOBARBUS. Take heed you fall not.
                              Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS and MENAS
    Menas, I'll not on shore.
  MENAS. No, to my cabin.
    These drums! these trumpets, flutes! what!
    Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell
    To these great fellows. Sound and be hang'd, sound out!
                                  [Sound a flourish, with drums]
  ENOBARBUS. Hoo! says 'a. There's my cap.
  MENAS. Hoo! Noble Captain, come. Exeunt
                     ACT III. SCENE I.
                     A plain in Syria

       Enter VENTIDIUS, as it were in triumph, with SILIUS
      and other Romans, OFFICERS and soldiers; the dead body
                of PACORUS borne before him

  VENTIDIUS. Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck, and now
    Pleas'd fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
    Make me revenger. Bear the King's son's body
    Before our army. Thy Pacorus, Orodes,
    Pays this for Marcus Crassus.
  SILIUS. Noble Ventidius,
    Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm
    The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media,
    Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
    The routed fly. So thy grand captain, Antony,
    Shall set thee on triumphant chariots and
    Put garlands on thy head.
  VENTIDIUS. O Silius, Silius,
    I have done enough. A lower place, note well,
    May make too great an act; for learn this, Silius:
    Better to leave undone than by our deed
    Acquire too high a fame when him we serve's away.
    Caesar and Antony have ever won
    More in their officer, than person. Sossius,
    One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant,
    For quick accumulation of renown,
    Which he achiev'd by th' minute, lost his favour.
    Who does i' th' wars more than his captain can
    Becomes his captain's captain; and ambition,
    The soldier's virtue, rather makes choice of loss
    Than gain which darkens him.
    I could do more to do Antonius good,
    But 'twould offend him; and in his offence
    Should my performance perish.
  SILIUS. Thou hast, Ventidius, that
    Without the which a soldier and his sword
    Grants scarce distinction. Thou wilt write to Antony?
  VENTIDIUS. I'll humbly signify what in his name,
    That magical word of war, we have effected;
    How, with his banners, and his well-paid ranks,
    The ne'er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
    We have jaded out o' th' field.
  SILIUS. Where is he now?
  VENTIDIUS. He purposeth to Athens; whither, with what haste
    The weight we must convey with's will permit,
    We shall appear before him.- On, there; pass along.

                            SCENE II. Rome. CAESAR'S house

Enter AGRIPPA at one door, ENOBARBUS at another

  AGRIPPA. What, are the brothers parted?
  ENOBARBUS. They have dispatch'd with Pompey; he is gone;
    The other three are sealing. Octavia weeps
    To part from Rome; Caesar is sad; and Lepidus,
    Since Pompey's feast, as Menas says, is troubled
    With the green sickness.
  AGRIPPA. 'Tis a noble Lepidus.
  ENOBARBUS. A very fine one. O, how he loves Caesar!
  AGRIPPA. Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark Antony!
  ENOBARBUS. Caesar? Why he's the Jupiter of men.
  AGRIPPA. What's Antony? The god of Jupiter.
  ENOBARBUS. Spake you of Caesar? How! the nonpareil!
  AGRIPPA. O, Antony! O thou Arabian bird!
  ENOBARBUS. Would you praise Caesar, say 'Caesar'- go no further.
  AGRIPPA. Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.
  ENOBARBUS. But he loves Caesar best. Yet he loves Antony.
    Hoo! hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets, cannot
    Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number- hoo!-
    His love to Antony. But as for Caesar,
    Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.
  AGRIPPA. Both he loves.
  ENOBARBUS. They are his shards, and he their beetle. [Trumpets
      within] So-
    This is to horse. Adieu, noble Agrippa.
  AGRIPPA. Good fortune, worthy soldier, and farewell.


  ANTONY. No further, sir.
  CAESAR. You take from me a great part of myself;
    Use me well in't. Sister, prove such a wife
    As my thoughts make thee, and as my farthest band
    Shall pass on thy approof. Most noble Antony,
    Let not the piece of virtue which is set
    Betwixt us as the cement of our love
    To keep it builded be the ram to batter
    The fortress of it; for better might we
    Have lov'd without this mean, if on both parts
    This be not cherish'd.
  ANTONY. Make me not offended
    In your distrust.
  CAESAR. I have said.
  ANTONY. You shall not find,
    Though you be therein curious, the least cause
    For what you seem to fear. So the gods keep you,
    And make the hearts of Romans serve your ends!
    We will here part.
  CAESAR. Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well.
    The elements be kind to thee and make
    Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.
  OCTAVIA. My noble brother!
  ANTONY. The April's in her eyes. It is love's spring,
    And these the showers to bring it on. Be cheerful.
  OCTAVIA. Sir, look well to my husband's house; and-
  CAESAR. What, Octavia?
  OCTAVIA. I'll tell you in your ear.
  ANTONY. Her tongue will not obey her heart, nor can
    Her heart inform her tongue- the swan's down feather,
    That stands upon the swell at the full of tide,
    And neither way inclines.
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA] Will Caesar weep?
  AGRIPPA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS] He has a cloud in's face.
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA] He were the worse for that, were he a
    So is he, being a man.
  AGRIPPA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS] Why, Enobarbus,
    When Antony found Julius Caesar dead,
    He cried almost to roaring; and he wept
    When at Philippi he found Brutus slain.
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside to AGRIPPA] That year, indeed, he was troubled
      with a rheum;
    What willingly he did confound he wail'd,
    Believe't- till I weep too.
  CAESAR. No, sweet Octavia,
    You shall hear from me still; the time shall not
    Out-go my thinking on you.
  ANTONY. Come, sir, come;
    I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love.
    Look, here I have you; thus I let you go,
    And give you to the gods.
  CAESAR. Adieu; be happy!
  LEPIDUS. Let all the number of the stars give light
    To thy fair way!
  CAESAR. Farewell, farewell! [Kisses OCTAVIA]
  ANTONY. Farewell! Trumpets sound. Exeunt

                          SCENE III.
              Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CLEOPATRA. Where is the fellow?
  ALEXAS. Half afeard to come.
  CLEOPATRA. Go to, go to.

Enter the MESSENGER as before

    Come hither, sir.
  ALEXAS. Good Majesty,
    Herod of Jewry dare not look upon you
    But when you are well pleas'd.
  CLEOPATRA. That Herod's head
    I'll have. But how, when Antony is gone,
    Through whom I might command it? Come thou near.
  MESSENGER. Most gracious Majesty!
  CLEOPATRA. Didst thou behold Octavia?
  MESSENGER. Ay, dread Queen.
  MESSENGER. Madam, in Rome
    I look'd her in the face, and saw her led
    Between her brother and Mark Antony.
  CLEOPATRA. Is she as tall as me?
  MESSENGER. She is not, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. Didst hear her speak? Is she shrill-tongu'd or low?
  MESSENGER. Madam, I heard her speak: she is low-voic'd.
  CLEOPATRA. That's not so good. He cannot like her long.
  CHARMIAN. Like her? O Isis! 'tis impossible.
  CLEOPATRA. I think so, Charmian. Dull of tongue and dwarfish!
    What majesty is in her gait? Remember,
    If e'er thou look'dst on majesty.
  MESSENGER. She creeps.
    Her motion and her station are as one;
    She shows a body rather than a life,
    A statue than a breather.
  CLEOPATRA. Is this certain?
  MESSENGER. Or I have no observance.
  CHARMIAN. Three in Egypt
    Cannot make better note.
  CLEOPATRA. He's very knowing;
    I do perceive't. There's nothing in her yet.
    The fellow has good judgment.
  CHARMIAN. Excellent.
  CLEOPATRA. Guess at her years, I prithee.
    She was a widow.
  CLEOPATRA. Widow? Charmian, hark!
  MESSENGER. And I do think she's thirty.
  CLEOPATRA. Bear'st thou her face in mind? Is't long or round?
  MESSENGER. Round even to faultiness.
  CLEOPATRA. For the most part, too, they are foolish that are so.
    Her hair, what colour?
  MESSENGER. Brown, madam; and her forehead
    As low as she would wish it.
  CLEOPATRA. There's gold for thee.
    Thou must not take my former sharpness ill.
    I will employ thee back again; I find thee
    Most fit for business. Go make thee ready;
    Our letters are prepar'd. Exeunt MESSENGER
  CHARMIAN. A proper man.
  CLEOPATRA. Indeed, he is so. I repent me much
    That so I harried him. Why, methinks, by him,
    This creature's no such thing.
  CHARMIAN. Nothing, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. The man hath seen some majesty, and should know.
  CHARMIAN. Hath he seen majesty? Isis else defend,
    And serving you so long!
  CLEOPATRA. I have one thing more to ask him yet, good Charmian.
    But 'tis no matter; thou shalt bring him to me
    Where I will write. All may be well enough.
  CHARMIAN. I warrant you, madam. Exeunt

                          SCENE IV.
                  Athens. ANTONY'S house


  ANTONY. Nay, nay, Octavia, not only that-
    That were excusable, that and thousands more
    Of semblable import- but he hath wag'd
    New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and read it
    To public ear;
    Spoke scandy of me; when perforce he could not
    But pay me terms of honour, cold and sickly
    He vented them, most narrow measure lent me;
    When the best hint was given him, he not took't,
    Or did it from his teeth.
  OCTAVIA. O my good lord,
    Believe not all; or if you must believe,
    Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,
    If this division chance, ne'er stood between,
    Praying for both parts.
    The good gods will mock me presently
    When I shall pray 'O, bless my lord and husband!'
    Undo that prayer by crying out as loud
    'O, bless my brother!' Husband win, win brother,
    Prays, and destroys the prayer; no mid-way
    'Twixt these extremes at all.
  ANTONY. Gentle Octavia,
    Let your best love draw to that point which seeks
    Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honour,
    I lose myself; better I were not yours
    Than yours so branchless. But, as you requested,
    Yourself shall go between's. The meantime, lady,
    I'll raise the preparation of a war
    Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste;
    So your desires are yours.
  OCTAVIA. Thanks to my lord.
    The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak,
    Your reconciler! Wars 'twixt you twain would be
    As if the world should cleave, and that slain men
    Should solder up the rift.
  ANTONY. When it appears to you where this begins,
    Turn your displeasure that way, for our faults
    Can never be so equal that your love
    Can equally move with them. Provide your going;
    Choose your own company, and command what cost
    Your heart has mind to. Exeunt

                           SCENE V.
                   Athens. ANTONY'S house

Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting

  ENOBARBUS. How now, friend Eros!
  EROS. There's strange news come, sir.
  ENOBARBUS. What, man?
  EROS. Caesar and Lepidus have made wars upon Pompey.
  ENOBARBUS. This is old. What is the success?
  EROS. Caesar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst Pompey,
    presently denied him rivality, would not let him partake in the
    glory of the action; and not resting here, accuses him of letters
    he had formerly wrote to Pompey; upon his own appeal, seizes him.
    So the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.
  ENOBARBUS. Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps- no more;
    And throw between them all the food thou hast,
    They'll grind the one the other. Where's Antony?
  EROS. He's walking in the garden- thus, and spurns
    The rush that lies before him; cries 'Fool Lepidus!'
    And threats the throat of that his officer
    That murd'red Pompey.
  ENOBARBUS. Our great navy's rigg'd.
  EROS. For Italy and Caesar. More, Domitius:
    My lord desires you presently; my news
    I might have told hereafter.
  ENOBARBUS. 'Twill be naught;
    But let it be. Bring me to Antony.
  EROS. Come, sir. Exeunt

                          SCENE VI.
                   Rome. CAESAR'S house


  CAESAR. Contemning Rome, he has done all this and more
    In Alexandria. Here's the manner of't:
    I' th' market-place, on a tribunal silver'd,
    Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold
    Were publicly enthron'd; at the feet sat
    Caesarion, whom they call my father's son,
    And all the unlawful issue that their lust
    Since then hath made between them. Unto her
    He gave the stablishment of Egypt; made her
    Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,
    Absolute queen.
  MAECENAS. This in the public eye?
  CAESAR. I' th' common show-place, where they exercise.
    His sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings:
    Great Media, Parthia, and Armenia,
    He gave to Alexander; to Ptolemy he assign'd
    Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia. She
    In th' habiliments of the goddess Isis
    That day appear'd; and oft before gave audience,
    As 'tis reported, so.
  MAECENAS. Let Rome be thus
  AGRIPPA. Who, queasy with his insolence
    Already, will their good thoughts call from him.
  CAESAR. The people knows it, and have now receiv'd
    His accusations.
  AGRIPPA. Who does he accuse?
  CAESAR. Caesar; and that, having in Sicily
    Sextus Pompeius spoil'd, we had not rated him
    His part o' th' isle. Then does he say he lent me
    Some shipping, unrestor'd. Lastly, he frets
    That Lepidus of the triumvirate
    Should be depos'd; and, being, that we detain
    All his revenue.
  AGRIPPA. Sir, this should be answer'd.
  CAESAR. 'Tis done already, and messenger gone.
    I have told him Lepidus was grown too cruel,
    That he his high authority abus'd,
    And did deserve his change. For what I have conquer'd
    I grant him part; but then, in his Armenia
    And other of his conquer'd kingdoms,
    Demand the like.
  MAECENAS. He'll never yield to that.
  CAESAR. Nor must not then be yielded to in this.

Enter OCTAVIA, with her train

  OCTAVIA. Hail, Caesar, and my lord! hail, most dear Caesar!
  CAESAR. That ever I should call thee cast-away!
  OCTAVIA. You have not call'd me so, nor have you cause.
  CAESAR. Why have you stol'n upon us thus? You come not
    Like Caesar's sister. The wife of Antony
    Should have an army for an usher, and
    The neighs of horse to tell of her approach
    Long ere she did appear. The trees by th' way
    Should have borne men, and expectation fainted,
    Longing for what it had not. Nay, the dust
    Should have ascended to the roof of heaven,
    Rais'd by your populous troops. But you are come
    A market-maid to Rome, and have prevented
    The ostentation of our love, which left unshown
    Is often left unlov'd. We should have met you
    By sea and land, supplying every stage
    With an augmented greeting.
  OCTAVIA. Good my lord,
    To come thus was I not constrain'd, but did it
    On my free will. My lord, Mark Antony,
    Hearing that you prepar'd for war, acquainted
    My grieved ear withal; whereon I begg'd
    His pardon for return.
  CAESAR. Which soon he granted,
    Being an obstruct 'tween his lust and him.
  OCTAVIA. Do not say so, my lord.
  CAESAR. I have eyes upon him,
    And his affairs come to me on the wind.
    Where is he now?
  OCTAVIA. My lord, in Athens.
  CAESAR. No, my most wronged sister: Cleopatra
    Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his empire
    Up to a whore, who now are levying
    The kings o' th' earth for war. He hath assembled
    Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus
    Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king
    Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;
    King Manchus of Arabia; King of Pont;
    Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king
    Of Comagene; Polemon and Amyntas,
    The kings of Mede and Lycaonia, with
    More larger list of sceptres.
  OCTAVIA. Ay me most wretched,
    That have my heart parted betwixt two friends,
    That does afflict each other!
  CAESAR. Welcome hither.
    Your letters did withhold our breaking forth,
    Till we perceiv'd both how you were wrong led
    And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart;
    Be you not troubled with the time, which drives
    O'er your content these strong necessities,
    But let determin'd things to destiny
    Hold unbewail'd their way. Welcome to Rome;
    Nothing more dear to me. You are abus'd
    Beyond the mark of thought, and the high gods,
    To do you justice, make their ministers
    Of us and those that love you. Best of comfort,
    And ever welcome to us.
  AGRIPPA. Welcome, lady.
  MAECENAS. Welcome, dear madam.
    Each heart in Rome does love and pity you;
    Only th' adulterous Antony, most large
    In his abominations, turns you off,
    And gives his potent regiment to a trull
    That noises it against us.
  OCTAVIA. Is it so, sir?
  CAESAR. Most certain. Sister, welcome. Pray you
    Be ever known to patience. My dear'st sister! Exeunt

                          SCENE VII.
                  ANTONY'S camp near Actium


  CLEOPATRA. I will be even with thee, doubt it not.
  ENOBARBUS. But why, why,
  CLEOPATRA. Thou hast forspoke my being in these wars,
    And say'st it is not fit.
  ENOBARBUS. Well, is it, is it?
  CLEOPATRA. Is't not denounc'd against us? Why should not we
    Be there in person?
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside] Well, I could reply:
    If we should serve with horse and mares together
    The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear
    A soldier and his horse.
  CLEOPATRA. What is't you say?
  ENOBARBUS. Your presence needs must puzzle Antony;
    Take from his heart, take from his brain, from's time,
    What should not then be spar'd. He is already
    Traduc'd for levity; and 'tis said in Rome
    That Photinus an eunuch and your maids
    Manage this war.
  CLEOPATRA. Sink Rome, and their tongues rot
    That speak against us! A charge we bear i' th' war,
    And, as the president of my kingdom, will
    Appear there for a man. Speak not against it;
    I will not stay behind.


  ENOBARBUS. Nay, I have done.
    Here comes the Emperor.
  ANTONY. Is it not strange, Canidius,
    That from Tarentum and Brundusium
    He could so quickly cut the Ionian sea,
    And take in Toryne?- You have heard on't, sweet?
  CLEOPATRA. Celerity is never more admir'd
    Than by the negligent.
  ANTONY. A good rebuke,
    Which might have well becom'd the best of men
    To taunt at slackness. Canidius, we
    Will fight with him by sea.
  CLEOPATRA. By sea! What else?
  CANIDIUS. Why will my lord do so?
  ANTONY. For that he dares us to't.
  ENOBARBUS. So hath my lord dar'd him to single fight.
  CANIDIUS. Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia,
    Where Caesar fought with Pompey. But these offers,
    Which serve not for his vantage, he shakes off;
    And so should you.
  ENOBARBUS. Your ships are not well mann'd;
    Your mariners are muleteers, reapers, people
    Ingross'd by swift impress. In Caesar's fleet
    Are those that often have 'gainst Pompey fought;
    Their ships are yare; yours heavy. No disgrace
    Shall fall you for refusing him at sea,
    Being prepar'd for land.
  ANTONY. By sea, by sea.
  ENOBARBUS. Most worthy sir, you therein throw away
    The absolute soldiership you have by land;
    Distract your army, which doth most consist
    Of war-mark'd footmen; leave unexecuted
    Your own renowned knowledge; quite forgo
    The way which promises assurance; and
    Give up yourself merely to chance and hazard
    From firm security.
  ANTONY. I'll fight at sea.
  CLEOPATRA. I have sixty sails, Caesar none better.
  ANTONY. Our overplus of shipping will we burn,
    And, with the rest full-mann'd, from th' head of Actium
    Beat th' approaching Caesar. But if we fail,
    We then can do't at land.


    Thy business?
  MESSENGER. The news is true, my lord: he is descried;
    Caesar has taken Toryne.
  ANTONY. Can he be there in person? 'Tis impossible-
    Strange that his power should be. Canidius,
    Our nineteen legions thou shalt hold by land,
    And our twelve thousand horse. We'll to our ship.
    Away, my Thetis!


    How now, worthy soldier?
  SOLDIER. O noble Emperor, do not fight by sea;
    Trust not to rotten planks. Do you misdoubt
    This sword and these my wounds? Let th' Egyptians
    And the Phoenicians go a-ducking; we
    Have us'd to conquer standing on the earth
    And fighting foot to foot.
  ANTONY. Well, well- away.
                         Exeunt ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, and ENOBARBUS
  SOLDIER. By Hercules, I think I am i' th' right.
  CANIDIUS. Soldier, thou art; but his whole action grows
    Not in the power on't. So our leader's led,
    And we are women's men.
  SOLDIER. You keep by land
    The legions and the horse whole, do you not?
  CANIDIUS. Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
    Publicola, and Caelius are for sea;
    But we keep whole by land. This speed of Caesar's
    Carries beyond belief.
  SOLDIER. While he was yet in Rome,
    His power went out in such distractions as
    Beguil'd all spies.
  CANIDIUS. Who's his lieutenant, hear you?
  SOLDIER. They say one Taurus.
  CANIDIUS. Well I know the man.


  MESSENGER. The Emperor calls Canidius.
  CANIDIUS. With news the time's with labour and throes forth
    Each minute some. Exeunt

                          SCENE VIII.
                      A plain near Actium

Enter CAESAR, with his army, marching

  CAESAR. Taurus!
  TAURUS. My lord?
  CAESAR. Strike not by land; keep whole; provoke not battle
    Till we have done at sea. Do not exceed
    The prescript of this scroll. Our fortune lies
    Upon this jump. Exeunt

                           SCENE IX.
                  Another part of the plain


  ANTONY. Set we our squadrons on yon side o' th' hill,
    In eye of Caesar's battle; from which place
    We may the number of the ships behold,
    And so proceed accordingly. Exeunt

                           SCENE X.
                 Another part of the plain

        CANIDIUS marcheth with his land army one way
        over the stage, and TAURUS, the Lieutenant of
      CAESAR, the other way. After their going in is heard
                   the noise of a sea-fight

Alarum. Enter ENOBARBUS

  ENOBARBUS. Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold no longer.
    Th' Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,
    With all their sixty, fly and turn the rudder.
    To see't mine eyes are blasted.


  SCARUS. Gods and goddesses,
    All the whole synod of them!
  ENOBARBUS. What's thy passion?
  SCARUS. The greater cantle of the world is lost
    With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away
    Kingdoms and provinces.
  ENOBARBUS. How appears the fight?
  SCARUS. On our side like the token'd pestilence,
    Where death is sure. Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt-
    Whom leprosy o'ertake!- i' th' midst o' th' fight,
    When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd,
    Both as the same, or rather ours the elder-
    The breese upon her, like a cow in June-
    Hoists sails and flies.
  ENOBARBUS. That I beheld;
    Mine eyes did sicken at the sight and could not
    Endure a further view.
  SCARUS. She once being loof'd,
    The noble ruin of her magic, Antony,
    Claps on his sea-wing, and, like a doting mallard,
    Leaving the fight in height, flies after her.
    I never saw an action of such shame;
    Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before
    Did violate so itself.
  ENOBARBUS. Alack, alack!


  CANIDIUS. Our fortune on the sea is out of breath,
    And sinks most lamentably. Had our general
    Been what he knew himself, it had gone well.
    O, he has given example for our flight
    Most grossly by his own!
  ENOBARBUS. Ay, are you thereabouts?
    Why then, good night indeed.
  CANIDIUS. Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.
  SCARUS. 'Tis easy to't; and there I will attend
    What further comes.
  CANIDIUS. To Caesar will I render
    My legions and my horse; six kings already
    Show me the way of yielding.
  ENOBARBUS. I'll yet follow
    The wounded chance of Antony, though my reason
    Sits in the wind against me. Exeunt

                         SCENE XI.
              Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace

Enter ANTONY With attendants

  ANTONY. Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon't;
    It is asham'd to bear me. Friends, come hither.
    I am so lated in the world that I
    Have lost my way for ever. I have a ship
    Laden with gold; take that; divide it. Fly,
    And make your peace with Caesar.
  ALL. Fly? Not we!
  ANTONY. I have fled myself, and have instructed cowards
    To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
    I have myself resolv'd upon a course
    Which has no need of you; be gone.
    My treasure's in the harbour, take it. O,
    I follow'd that I blush to look upon.
    My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
    Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
    For fear and doting. Friends, be gone; you shall
    Have letters from me to some friends that will
    Sweep your way for you. Pray you look not sad,
    Nor make replies of loathness; take the hint
    Which my despair proclaims. Let that be left
    Which leaves itself. To the sea-side straight way.
    I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
    Leave me, I pray, a little; pray you now;
    Nay, do so, for indeed I have lost command;
    Therefore I pray you. I'll see you by and by. [Sits down]

            Enter CLEOPATRA, led by CHARMIAN and IRAS,
                         EROS following

  EROS. Nay, gentle madam, to him! Comfort him.
  IRAS. Do, most dear Queen.
  CHARMIAN. Do? Why, what else?
  CLEOPATRA. Let me sit down. O Juno!
  ANTONY. No, no, no, no, no.
  EROS. See you here, sir?
  ANTONY. O, fie, fie, fie!
  CHARMIAN. Madam!
  IRAS. Madam, O good Empress!
  EROS. Sir, sir!
  ANTONY. Yes, my lord, yes. He at Philippi kept
    His sword e'en like a dancer, while I struck
    The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and 'twas I
    That the mad Brutus ended; he alone
    Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practice had
    In the brave squares of war. Yet now- no matter.
  CLEOPATRA. Ah, stand by!
  EROS. The Queen, my lord, the Queen!
  IRAS. Go to him, madam, speak to him.
    He is unqualitied with very shame.
  CLEOPATRA. Well then, sustain me. O!
 EROS. Most noble sir, arise; the Queen approaches.
    Her head's declin'd, and death will seize her but
    Your comfort makes the rescue.
  ANTONY. I have offended reputation-
    A most unnoble swerving.
  EROS. Sir, the Queen.
  ANTONY. O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See
    How I convey my shame out of thine eyes
    By looking back what I have left behind
    'Stroy'd in dishonour.
  CLEOPATRA. O my lord, my lord,
    Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought
    You would have followed.
  ANTONY. Egypt, thou knew'st too well
    My heart was to thy rudder tied by th' strings,
    And thou shouldst tow me after. O'er my spirit
    Thy full supremacy thou knew'st, and that
    Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
    Command me.
  CLEOPATRA. O, my pardon!
  ANTONY. Now I must
    To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
    And palter in the shifts of lowness, who
    With half the bulk o' th' world play'd as I pleas'd,
    Making and marring fortunes. You did know
    How much you were my conqueror, and that
    My sword, made weak by my affection, would
    Obey it on all cause.
  CLEOPATRA. Pardon, pardon!
  ANTONY. Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
    All that is won and lost. Give me a kiss;
    Even this repays me.
    We sent our schoolmaster; is 'a come back?
    Love, I am full of lead. Some wine,
    Within there, and our viands! Fortune knows
    We scorn her most when most she offers blows. Exeunt

                         SCENE XII.
                   CAESAR'S camp in Egypt


  CAESAR. Let him appear that's come from Antony.
    Know you him?
  DOLABELLA. Caesar, 'tis his schoolmaster:
    An argument that he is pluck'd, when hither
    He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,
    Which had superfluous kings for messengers
    Not many moons gone by.

Enter EUPHRONIUS, Ambassador from ANTONY

  CAESAR. Approach, and speak.
  EUPHRONIUS. Such as I am, I come from Antony.
    I was of late as petty to his ends
    As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
    To his grand sea.
  CAESAR. Be't so. Declare thine office.
  EUPHRONIUS. Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and
    Requires to live in Egypt; which not granted,
    He lessens his requests and to thee sues
    To let him breathe between the heavens and earth,
    A private man in Athens. This for him.
    Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness,
    Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
    The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
    Now hazarded to thy grace.
  CAESAR. For Antony,
    I have no ears to his request. The Queen
    Of audience nor desire shall fail, so she
    From Egypt drive her all-disgraced friend,
    Or take his life there. This if she perform,
    She shall not sue unheard. So to them both.
  EUPHRONIUS. Fortune pursue thee!
  CAESAR. Bring him through the bands. Exit EUPHRONIUS
    [To THYREUS] To try thy eloquence, now 'tis time. Dispatch;
    From Antony win Cleopatra. Promise,
    And in our name, what she requires; add more,
    From thine invention, offers. Women are not
    In their best fortunes strong; but want will perjure
    The ne'er-touch'd vestal. Try thy cunning, Thyreus;
    Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
    Will answer as a law.
  THYREUS. Caesar, I go.
  CAESAR. Observe how Antony becomes his flaw,
    And what thou think'st his very action speaks
    In every power that moves.
  THYREUS. Caesar, I shall. Exeunt

                           SCENE XIII.
               Alexandria. CLEOPATRA'S palace


  CLEOPATRA. What shall we do, Enobarbus?
  ENOBARBUS. Think, and die.
  CLEOPATRA. Is Antony or we in fault for this?
  ENOBARBUS. Antony only, that would make his will
    Lord of his reason. What though you fled
    From that great face of war, whose several ranges
    Frighted each other? Why should he follow?
    The itch of his affection should not then
    Have nick'd his captainship, at such a point,
    When half to half the world oppos'd, he being
    The mered question. 'Twas a shame no less
    Than was his loss, to course your flying flags
    And leave his navy gazing.
  CLEOPATRA. Prithee, peace.

Enter EUPHRONIUS, the Ambassador; with ANTONY

  ANTONY. Is that his answer?
  EUPHRONIUS. Ay, my lord.
  ANTONY. The Queen shall then have courtesy, so she
    Will yield us up.
  EUPHRONIUS. He says so.
  ANTONY. Let her know't.
    To the boy Caesar send this grizzled head,
    And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
    With principalities.
  CLEOPATRA. That head, my lord?
  ANTONY. To him again. Tell him he wears the rose
    Of youth upon him; from which the world should note
    Something particular. His coin, ships, legions,
    May be a coward's whose ministers would prevail
    Under the service of a child as soon
    As i' th' command of Caesar. I dare him therefore
    To lay his gay comparisons apart,
    And answer me declin'd, sword against sword,
    Ourselves alone. I'll write it. Follow me.
                                    Exeunt ANTONY and EUPHRONIUS
  EUPHRONIUS. [Aside] Yes, like enough high-battled Caesar will
    Unstate his happiness, and be stag'd to th' show
    Against a sworder! I see men's judgments are
    A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward
    Do draw the inward quality after them,
    To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
    Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will
    Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdu'd
    His judgment too.


  SERVANT. A messenger from Caesar.
  CLEOPATRA. What, no more ceremony? See, my women!
    Against the blown rose may they stop their nose
    That kneel'd unto the buds. Admit him, sir. Exit SERVANT
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside] Mine honesty and I begin to square.
    The loyalty well held to fools does make
    Our faith mere folly. Yet he that can endure
    To follow with allegiance a fall'n lord
    Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
    And earns a place i' th' story.


  CLEOPATRA. Caesar's will?
  THYREUS. Hear it apart.
  CLEOPATRA. None but friends: say boldly.
  THYREUS. So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
  ENOBARBUS. He needs as many, sir, as Caesar has,
    Or needs not us. If Caesar please, our master
    Will leap to be his friend. For us, you know
    Whose he is we are, and that is Caesar's.
    Thus then, thou most renown'd: Caesar entreats
    Not to consider in what case thou stand'st
    Further than he is Caesar.
  CLEOPATRA. Go on. Right royal!
  THYREUS. He knows that you embrace not Antony
    As you did love, but as you fear'd him.
  THYREUS. The scars upon your honour, therefore, he
    Does pity, as constrained blemishes,
    Not as deserv'd.
  CLEOPATRA. He is a god, and knows
    What is most right. Mine honour was not yielded,
    But conquer'd merely.
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside] To be sure of that,
    I will ask Antony. Sir, sir, thou art so leaky
    That we must leave thee to thy sinking, for
    Thy dearest quit thee. Exit
  THYREUS. Shall I say to Caesar
    What you require of him? For he partly begs
    To be desir'd to give. It much would please him
    That of his fortunes you should make a staff
    To lean upon. But it would warm his spirits
    To hear from me you had left Antony,
    And put yourself under his shroud,
    The universal landlord.
  CLEOPATRA. What's your name?
  THYREUS. My name is Thyreus.
  CLEOPATRA. Most kind messenger,
    Say to great Caesar this: in deputation
    I kiss his conquring hand. Tell him I am prompt
    To lay my crown at 's feet, and there to kneel.
    Tell him from his all-obeying breath I hear
    The doom of Egypt.
  THYREUS. 'Tis your noblest course.
    Wisdom and fortune combating together,
    If that the former dare but what it can,
    No chance may shake it. Give me grace to lay
    My duty on your hand.
  CLEOPATRA. Your Caesar's father oft,
    When he hath mus'd of taking kingdoms in,
    Bestow'd his lips on that unworthy place,
    As it rain'd kisses.


  ANTONY. Favours, by Jove that thunders!
    What art thou, fellow?
  THYREUS. One that but performs
    The bidding of the fullest man, and worthiest
    To have command obey'd.
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside] You will be whipt.
  ANTONY. Approach there.- Ah, you kite!- Now, gods and devils!
    Authority melts from me. Of late, when I cried 'Ho!'
    Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth
    And cry 'Your will?' Have you no ears? I am
    Antony yet.

Enter servants

    Take hence this Jack and whip him.
  ENOBARBUS. 'Tis better playing with a lion's whelp
    Than with an old one dying.
  ANTONY. Moon and stars!
    Whip him. Were't twenty of the greatest tributaries
    That do acknowledge Caesar, should I find them
    So saucy with the hand of she here- what's her name
    Since she was Cleopatra? Whip him, fellows,
    Till like a boy you see him cringe his face,
    And whine aloud for mercy. Take him hence.
  THYMUS. Mark Antony-
  ANTONY. Tug him away. Being whipt,
    Bring him again: the Jack of Caesar's shall
    Bear us an errand to him. Exeunt servants with THYREUS
    You were half blasted ere I knew you. Ha!
    Have I my pillow left unpress'd in Rome,
    Forborne the getting of a lawful race,
    And by a gem of women, to be abus'd
    By one that looks on feeders?
  CLEOPATRA. Good my lord-
  ANTONY. You have been a boggler ever.
    But when we in our viciousness grow hard-
    O misery on't!- the wise gods seel our eyes,
    In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us
    Adore our errors, laugh at's while we strut
    To our confusion.
  CLEOPATRA. O, is't come to this?
  ANTONY. I found you as a morsel cold upon
    Dead Caesar's trencher. Nay, you were a fragment
    Of Cneius Pompey's, besides what hotter hours,
    Unregist'red in vulgar fame, you have
    Luxuriously pick'd out; for I am sure,
    Though you can guess what temperance should be,
    You know not what it is.
  CLEOPATRA. Wherefore is this?
  ANTONY. To let a fellow that will take rewards,
    And say 'God quit you!' be familiar with
    My playfellow, your hand, this kingly seal
    And plighter of high hearts! O that I were
    Upon the hill of Basan to outroar
    The horned herd! For I have savage cause,
    And to proclaim it civilly were like
    A halter'd neck which does the hangman thank
    For being yare about him.

Re-enter a SERVANT with THYREUS

    Is he whipt?
  SERVANT. Soundly, my lord.
  ANTONY. Cried he? and begg'd 'a pardon?
  SERVANT. He did ask favour.
  ANTONY. If that thy father live, let him repent
    Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry
    To follow Caesar in his triumph, since
    Thou hast been whipt for following him. Henceforth
    The white hand of a lady fever thee!
    Shake thou to look on't. Get thee back to Caesar;
    Tell him thy entertainment; look thou say
    He makes me angry with him; for he seems
    Proud and disdainful, harping on what I am,
    Not what he knew I was. He makes me angry;
    And at this time most easy 'tis to do't,
    When my good stars, that were my former guides,
    Have empty left their orbs and shot their fires
    Into th' abysm of hell. If he mislike
    My speech and what is done, tell him he has
    Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom
    He may at pleasure whip or hang or torture,
    As he shall like, to quit me. Urge it thou.
    Hence with thy stripes, be gone. Exit THYREUS
  CLEOPATRA. Have you done yet?
  ANTONY. Alack, our terrene moon
    Is now eclips'd, and it portends alone
    The fall of Antony.
  CLEOPATRA. I must stay his time.
  ANTONY. To flatter Caesar, would you mingle eyes
    With one that ties his points?
  CLEOPATRA. Not know me yet?
  ANTONY. Cold-hearted toward me?
  CLEOPATRA. Ah, dear, if I be so,
    From my cold heart let heaven engender hail,
    And poison it in the source, and the first stone
    Drop in my neck; as it determines, so
    Dissolve my life! The next Caesarion smite!
    Till by degrees the memory of my womb,
    Together with my brave Egyptians all,
    By the discandying of this pelleted storm,
    Lie graveless, till the flies and gnats of Nile
    Have buried them for prey.
  ANTONY. I am satisfied.
    Caesar sits down in Alexandria, where
    I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
    Hath nobly held; our sever'd navy to
    Have knit again, and fleet, threat'ning most sea-like.
    Where hast thou been, my heart? Dost thou hear, lady?
    If from the field I shall return once more
    To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood.
    I and my sword will earn our chronicle.
    There's hope in't yet.
  CLEOPATRA. That's my brave lord!
  ANTONY. I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd,
    And fight maliciously. For when mine hours
    Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives
    Of me for jests; but now I'll set my teeth,
    And send to darkness all that stop me. Come,
    Let's have one other gaudy night. Call to me
    All my sad captains; fill our bowls once more;
    Let's mock the midnight bell.
  CLEOPATRA. It is my birthday.
    I had thought t'have held it poor; but since my lord
    Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.
  ANTONY. We will yet do well.
  CLEOPATRA. Call all his noble captains to my lord.
  ANTONY. Do so, we'll speak to them; and to-night I'll force
    The wine peep through their scars. Come on, my queen,
    There's sap in't yet. The next time I do fight
    I'll make death love me; for I will contend
    Even with his pestilent scythe. Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
  ENOBARBUS. Now he'll outstare the lightning. To be furious
    Is to be frighted out of fear, and in that mood
    The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still
    A diminution in our captain's brain
    Restores his heart. When valour preys on reason,
    It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek
    Some way to leave him. Exit

                      ACT IV. SCENE I.
              CAESAR'S camp before Alexandria

      Enter CAESAR, AGRIPPA, and MAECENAS, with his army;
                 CAESAR reading a letter

  CAESAR. He calls me boy, and chides as he had power
    To beat me out of Egypt. My messenger
    He hath whipt with rods; dares me to personal combat,
    Caesar to Antony. Let the old ruffian know
    I have many other ways to die, meantime
    Laugh at his challenge.
  MAECENAS. Caesar must think
    When one so great begins to rage, he's hunted
    Even to falling. Give him no breath, but now
    Make boot of his distraction. Never anger
    Made good guard for itself.
  CAESAR. Let our best heads
    Know that to-morrow the last of many battles
    We mean to fight. Within our files there are
    Of those that serv'd Mark Antony but late
    Enough to fetch him in. See it done;
    And feast the army; we have store to do't,
    And they have earn'd the waste. Poor Antony! Exeunt

                          SCENE II.
               Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace

                     ALEXAS, with others

  ANTONY. He will not fight with me, Domitius?
  ANTONY. Why should he not?
  ENOBARBUS. He thinks, being twenty times of better fortune,
    He is twenty men to one.
  ANTONY. To-morrow, soldier,
    By sea and land I'll fight. Or I will live,
    Or bathe my dying honour in the blood
    Shall make it live again. Woo't thou fight well?
  ENOBARBUS. I'll strike, and cry 'Take all.'
  ANTONY. Well said; come on.
    Call forth my household servants; let's to-night
    Be bounteous at our meal.

Enter three or four servitors

    Give me thy hand,
    Thou has been rightly honest. So hast thou;
    Thou, and thou, and thou. You have serv'd me well,
    And kings have been your fellows.
  CLEOPATRA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS] What means this?
  ENOBARBUS. [Aside to CLEOPATRA] 'Tis one of those odd tricks which
      sorrow shoots
    Out of the mind.
  ANTONY. And thou art honest too.
    I wish I could be made so many men,
    And all of you clapp'd up together in
    An Antony, that I might do you service
    So good as you have done.
  SERVANT. The gods forbid!
  ANTONY. Well, my good fellows, wait on me to-night.
    Scant not my cups, and make as much of me
    As when mine empire was your fellow too,
    And suffer'd my command.
  CLEOPATRA. [Aside to ENOBARBUS] What does he mean?
    ENOBARBUS. [Aside to CLEOPATRA] To make his followers weep.
  ANTONY. Tend me to-night;
    May be it is the period of your duty.
    Haply you shall not see me more; or if,
    A mangled shadow. Perchance to-morrow
    You'll serve another master. I look on you
    As one that takes his leave. Mine honest friends,
    I turn you not away; but, like a master
    Married to your good service, stay till death.
    Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
    And the gods yield you for't!
  ENOBARBUS. What mean you, sir,
    To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;
    And I, an ass, am onion-ey'd. For shame!
    Transform us not to women.
  ANTONY. Ho, ho, ho!
    Now the witch take me if I meant it thus!
    Grace grow where those drops fall! My hearty friends,
    You take me in too dolorous a sense;
    For I spake to you for your comfort, did desire you
    To burn this night with torches. Know, my hearts,
    I hope well of to-morrow, and will lead you
    Where rather I'll expect victorious life
    Than death and honour. Let's to supper, come,
    And drown consideration. Exeunt

                          SCENE III.
             Alexandria. Before CLEOPATRA's palace

Enter a company of soldiers

  FIRST SOLDIER. Brother, good night. To-morrow is the day.
  SECOND SOLDIER. It will determine one way. Fare you well.
    Heard you of nothing strange about the streets?
  FIRST SOLDIER. Nothing. What news?
  SECOND SOLDIER. Belike 'tis but a rumour. Good night to you.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Well, sir, good night.
                                      [They meet other soldiers]
  SECOND SOLDIER. Soldiers, have careful watch.
  FIRST SOLDIER. And you. Good night, good night.
                [The two companies separate and place themselves
                                   in every corner of the stage]
  SECOND SOLDIER. Here we. And if to-morrow
    Our navy thrive, I have an absolute hope
    Our landmen will stand up.
  THIRD SOLDIER. 'Tis a brave army,
    And full of purpose.
                      [Music of the hautboys is under the stage]
  SECOND SOLDIER. Peace, what noise?
  THIRD SOLDIER. List, list!
  THIRD SOLDIER. Music i' th' air.
  FOURTH SOLDIER. Under the earth.
  THIRD SOLDIER. It signs well, does it not?
  THIRD SOLDIER. Peace, I say!
    What should this mean?
  SECOND SOLDIER. 'Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony lov'd,
    Now leaves him.
  THIRD SOLDIER. Walk; let's see if other watchmen
    Do hear what we do.
  SECOND SOLDIER. How now, masters!
  SOLDIERS. [Speaking together] How now!
    How now! Do you hear this?
  FIRST SOLDIER. Ay; is't not strange?
  THIRD SOLDIER. Do you hear, masters? Do you hear?
  FIRST SOLDIER. Follow the noise so far as we have quarter;
    Let's see how it will give off.
  SOLDIERS. Content. 'Tis strange. Exeunt

                           SCENE IV.
               Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace

                          with others

  ANTONY. Eros! mine armour, Eros!
  CLEOPATRA. Sleep a little.
  ANTONY. No, my chuck. Eros! Come, mine armour, Eros!

Enter EROS with armour

    Come, good fellow, put mine iron on.
    If fortune be not ours to-day, it is
    Because we brave her. Come.
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, I'll help too.
    What's this for?
  ANTONY. Ah, let be, let be! Thou art
    The armourer of my heart. False, false; this, this.
  CLEOPATRA. Sooth, la, I'll help. Thus it must be.
  ANTONY. Well, well;
    We shall thrive now. Seest thou, my good fellow?
    Go put on thy defences.
  EROS. Briefly, sir.
  CLEOPATRA. Is not this buckled well?
  ANTONY. Rarely, rarely!
    He that unbuckles this, till we do please
    To daff't for our repose, shall hear a storm.
    Thou fumblest, Eros, and my queen's a squire
    More tight at this than thou. Dispatch. O love,
    That thou couldst see my wars to-day, and knew'st
    The royal occupation! Thou shouldst see
    A workman in't.

Enter an armed SOLDIER

    Good-morrow to thee. Welcome.
    Thou look'st like him that knows a warlike charge.
    To business that we love we rise betime,
    And go to't with delight.
  SOLDIER. A thousand, sir,
    Early though't be, have on their riveted trim,
    And at the port expect you.
                            [Shout. Flourish of trumpets within]

Enter CAPTAINS and soldiers

  CAPTAIN. The morn is fair. Good morrow, General.
  ALL. Good morrow, General.
  ANTONY. 'Tis well blown, lads.
    This morning, like the spirit of a youth
    That means to be of note, begins betimes.
    So, so. Come, give me that. This way. Well said.
    Fare thee well, dame, whate'er becomes of me.
    This is a soldier's kiss. Rebukeable,
    And worthy shameful check it were, to stand
    On more mechanic compliment; I'll leave thee
    Now like a man of steel. You that will fight,
    Follow me close; I'll bring you to't. Adieu.
                      Exeunt ANTONY, EROS, CAPTAINS and soldiers
  CHARMIAN. Please you retire to your chamber?
  CLEOPATRA. Lead me.
    He goes forth gallantly. That he and Caesar might
    Determine this great war in single fight!
    Then, Antony- but now. Well, on. Exeunt

                          SCENE V.
                  Alexandria. ANTONY'S camp

        Trumpets sound. Enter ANTONY and EROS, a SOLDIER
                       meeting them

  SOLDIER. The gods make this a happy day to Antony!
  ANTONY. Would thou and those thy scars had once prevail'd
    To make me fight at land!
  SOLDIER. Hadst thou done so,
    The kings that have revolted, and the soldier
    That has this morning left thee, would have still
    Followed thy heels.
  ANTONY. Who's gone this morning?
    One ever near thee. Call for Enobarbus,
    He shall not hear thee; or from Caesar's camp
    Say 'I am none of thine.'
  ANTONY. What say'st thou?
    He is with Caesar.
  EROS. Sir, his chests and treasure
    He has not with him.
  ANTONY. Is he gone?
  SOLDIER. Most certain.
  ANTONY. Go, Eros, send his treasure after; do it;
    Detain no jot, I charge thee. Write to him-
    I will subscribe- gentle adieus and greetings;
    Say that I wish he never find more cause
    To change a master. O, my fortunes have
    Corrupted honest men! Dispatch. Enobarbus! Exeunt

                         SCENE VI.
                 Alexandria. CAESAR'S camp

       Flourish. Enter AGRIPPA, CAESAR, With DOLABELLA
                       and ENOBARBUS

  CAESAR. Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight.
    Our will is Antony be took alive;
    Make it so known.
  AGRIPPA. Caesar, I shall. Exit
  CAESAR. The time of universal peace is near.
    Prove this a prosp'rous day, the three-nook'd world
    Shall bear the olive freely.


    Is come into the field.
  CAESAR. Go charge Agrippa
    Plant those that have revolted in the vant,
    That Antony may seem to spend his fury
    Upon himself. Exeunt all but ENOBARBUS
  ENOBARBUS. Alexas did revolt and went to Jewry on
    Affairs of Antony; there did dissuade
    Great Herod to incline himself to Caesar
    And leave his master Antony. For this pains
    Casaer hath hang'd him. Canidius and the rest
    That fell away have entertainment, but
    No honourable trust. I have done ill,
    Of which I do accuse myself so sorely
    That I will joy no more.


  SOLDIER. Enobarbus, Antony
    Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with
    His bounty overplus. The messenger
    Came on my guard, and at thy tent is now
    Unloading of his mules.
  ENOBARBUS. I give it you.
  SOLDIER. Mock not, Enobarbus.
    I tell you true. Best you saf'd the bringer
    Out of the host. I must attend mine office,
    Or would have done't myself. Your emperor
    Continues still a Jove. Exit
  ENOBARBUS. I am alone the villain of the earth,
    And feel I am so most. O Antony,
    Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid
    My better service, when my turpitude
    Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart.
    If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
    Shall outstrike thought; but thought will do't, I feel.
    I fight against thee? No! I will go seek
    Some ditch wherein to die; the foul'st best fits
    My latter part of life. Exit

                          SCENE VII.
             Field of battle between the camps

         Alarum. Drums and trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA
                        and others

  AGRIPPA. Retire. We have engag'd ourselves too far.
    Caesar himself has work, and our oppression
    Exceeds what we expected. Exeunt

Alarums. Enter ANTONY, and SCARUS wounded

  SCARUS. O my brave Emperor, this is fought indeed!
    Had we done so at first, we had droven them home
    With clouts about their heads.
  ANTONY. Thou bleed'st apace.
  SCARUS. I had a wound here that was like a T,
    But now 'tis made an H.
  ANTONY. They do retire.
  SCARUS. We'll beat'em into bench-holes. I have yet
    Room for six scotches more.

Enter EROS

  EROS. They are beaten, sir, and our advantage serves
    For a fair victory.
  SCARUS. Let us score their backs
    And snatch 'em up, as we take hares, behind.
    'Tis sport to maul a runner.
  ANTONY. I will reward thee
    Once for thy sprightly comfort, and tenfold
    For thy good valour. Come thee on.
    SCARUS. I'll halt after. Exeunt

                         SCENE VIII.
               Under the walls of Alexandria

        Alarum. Enter ANTONY, again in a march; SCARUS
                        with others

  ANTONY. We have beat him to his camp. Run one before
    And let the Queen know of our gests. To-morrow,
    Before the sun shall see's, we'll spill the blood
    That has to-day escap'd. I thank you all;
    For doughty-handed are you, and have fought
    Not as you serv'd the cause, but as't had been
    Each man's like mine; you have shown all Hectors.
    Enter the city, clip your wives, your friends,
    Tell them your feats; whilst they with joyful tears
    Wash the congealment from your wounds and kiss
    The honour'd gashes whole.

Enter CLEOPATRA, attended

    [To SCARUS] Give me thy hand-
    To this great fairy I'll commend thy acts,
    Make her thanks bless thee. O thou day o' th' world,
    Chain mine arm'd neck. Leap thou, attire and all,
    Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
    Ride on the pants triumphing.
  CLEOPATRA. Lord of lords!
    O infinite virtue, com'st thou smiling from
    The world's great snare uncaught?
  ANTONY. Mine nightingale,
    We have beat them to their beds. What, girl! though grey
    Do something mingle with our younger brown, yet ha' we
    A brain that nourishes our nerves, and can
    Get goal for goal of youth. Behold this man;
    Commend unto his lips thy favouring hand-
    Kiss it, my warrior- he hath fought to-day
    As if a god in hate of mankind had
    Destroyed in such a shape.
  CLEOPATRA. I'll give thee, friend,
    An armour all of gold; it was a king's.
  ANTONY. He has deserv'd it, were it carbuncled
    Like holy Phoebus' car. Give me thy hand.
    Through Alexandria make a jolly march;
    Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them.
    Had our great palace the capacity
    To camp this host, we all would sup together,
    And drink carouses to the next day's fate,
    Which promises royal peril. Trumpeters,
    With brazen din blast you the city's ear;
    Make mingle with our rattling tabourines,
    That heaven and earth may strike their sounds together
    Applauding our approach. Exeunt

                         SCENE IX.
                      CAESAR'S camp

Enter a CENTURION and his company; ENOBARBUS follows

  CENTURION. If we be not reliev'd within this hour,
    We must return to th' court of guard. The night
    Is shiny, and they say we shall embattle
    By th' second hour i' th' morn.
  FIRST WATCH. This last day was
    A shrewd one to's.
  ENOBARBUS. O, bear me witness, night-
  SECOND WATCH. What man is this?
  FIRST WATCH. Stand close and list him.
  ENOBARBUS. Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon,
    When men revolted shall upon record
    Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
    Before thy face repent!
  CENTURION. Enobarbus?
    Hark further.
  ENOBARBUS. O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
    The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
    That life, a very rebel to my will,
    May hang no longer on me. Throw my heart
    Against the flint and hardness of my fault,
    Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
    And finish all foul thoughts. O Antony,
    Nobler than my revolt is infamous,
    Forgive me in thine own particular,
    But let the world rank me in register
    A master-leaver and a fugitive!
    O Antony! O Antony! [Dies]
  FIRST WATCH. Let's speak to him.
  CENTURION. Let's hear him, for the things he speaks
    May concern Caesar.
  SECOND WATCH. Let's do so. But he sleeps.
  CENTURION. Swoons rather; for so bad a prayer as his
    Was never yet for sleep.
  FIRST WATCH. Go we to him.
  SECOND WATCH. Awake, sir, awake; speak to us.
  FIRST WATCH. Hear you, sir?
  CENTURION. The hand of death hath raught him.
    [Drums afar off ] Hark! the drums
    Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him
    To th' court of guard; he is of note. Our hour
    Is fully out.
  SECOND WATCH. Come on, then;
    He may recover yet. Exeunt with the body

                          SCENE X.
                    Between the two camps

Enter ANTONY and SCARUS, with their army

  ANTONY. Their preparation is to-day by sea;
    We please them not by land.
  SCARUS. For both, my lord.
  ANTONY. I would they'd fight i' th' fire or i' th' air;
    We'd fight there too. But this it is, our foot
    Upon the hills adjoining to the city
    Shall stay with us- Order for sea is given;
    They have put forth the haven-
    Where their appointment we may best discover
    And look on their endeavour. Exeunt

                         SCENE XI.
                    Between the camps

Enter CAESAR and his army

  CAESAR. But being charg'd, we will be still by land,
    Which, as I take't, we shall; for his best force
    Is forth to man his galleys. To the vales,
    And hold our best advantage. Exeunt

                         SCENE XII.
                  A hill near Alexandria


  ANTONY. Yet they are not join'd. Where yond pine does stand
    I shall discover all. I'll bring thee word
    Straight how 'tis like to go. Exit
  SCARUS. Swallows have built
    In Cleopatra's sails their nests. The augurers
    Say they know not, they cannot tell; look grimly,
    And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony
    Is valiant and dejected; and by starts
    His fretted fortunes give him hope and fear
    Of what he has and has not.
                            [Alarum afar off, as at a sea-fight]

Re-enter ANTONY

  ANTONY. All is lost!
    This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me.
    My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder
    They cast their caps up and carouse together
    Like friends long lost. Triple-turn'd whore! 'tis thou
    Hast sold me to this novice; and my heart
    Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly;
    For when I am reveng'd upon my charm,
    I have done all. Bid them all fly; begone. Exit SCARUS
    O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more!
    Fortune and Antony part here; even here
    Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
    That spaniel'd me at heels, to whom I gave
    Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
    On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is bark'd
    That overtopp'd them all. Betray'd I am.
    O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm-
    Whose eye beck'd forth my wars and call'd them home,
    Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end-
    Like a right gypsy hath at fast and loose
    Beguil'd me to the very heart of loss.
    What, Eros, Eros!


    Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!
  CLEOPATRA. Why is my lord enrag'd against his love?
  ANTONY. Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving
    And blemish Caesar's triumph. Let him take thee
    And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians;
    Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
    Of all thy sex; most monster-like, be shown
    For poor'st diminutives, for doits, and let
    Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
    With her prepared nails. Exit CLEOPATRA
    'Tis well th'art gone,
    If it be well to live; but better 'twere
    Thou fell'st into my fury, for one death
    Might have prevented many. Eros, ho!
    The shirt of Nessus is upon me; teach me,
    Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage;
    Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' th' moon,
    And with those hands that grasp'd the heaviest club
    Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die.
    To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
    Under this plot. She dies for't. Eros, ho! Exit

                          SCENE XIII.
               Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace


  CLEOPATRA. Help me, my women. O, he is more mad
    Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly
    Was never so emboss'd.
  CHARMIAN. To th'monument!
    There lock yourself, and send him word you are dead.
    The soul and body rive not more in parting
    Than greatness going off.
  CLEOPATRA. To th' monument!
    Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself;
    Say that the last I spoke was 'Antony'
    And word it, prithee, piteously. Hence, Mardian,
    And bring me how he takes my death. To th' monument!

                          SCENE XIV.
                     CLEOPATRA'S palace


  ANTONY. Eros, thou yet behold'st me?
  EROS. Ay, noble lord.
  ANTONY. Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish;
    A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
    A tower'd citadel, a pendent rock,
    A forked mountain, or blue promontory
    With trees upon't that nod unto the world
    And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs;
    They are black vesper's pageants.
  EROS. Ay, my lord.
  ANTONY. That which is now a horse, even with a thought
    The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
    As water is in water.
  EROS. It does, my lord.
  ANTONY. My good knave Eros, now thy captain is
    Even such a body. Here I am Antony;
    Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
    I made these wars for Egypt; and the Queen-
    Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine,
    Which, whilst it was mine, had annex'd unto't
    A million moe, now lost- she, Eros, has
    Pack'd cards with Caesar, and false-play'd my glory
    Unto an enemy's triumph.
    Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
    Ourselves to end ourselves.


    O, thy vile lady!
    She has robb'd me of my sword.
  MARDIAN. No, Antony;
    My mistress lov'd thee, and her fortunes mingled
    With thine entirely.
  ANTONY. Hence, saucy eunuch; peace!
    She hath betray'd me, and shall die the death.
  MARDIAN. Death of one person can be paid but once,
    And that she has discharg'd. What thou wouldst do
    Is done unto thy hand. The last she spake
    Was 'Antony! most noble Antony!'
    Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
    The name of Antony; it was divided
    Between her heart and lips. She rend'red life,
    Thy name so buried in her.
  ANTONY. Dead then?
  MARDIAN. Dead.
  ANTONY. Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done,
    And we must sleep. That thou depart'st hence safe
    Does pay thy labour richly. Go. Exit MARDIAN
    Off, pluck off!
    The sevenfold shield of Ajax cannot keep
    The battery from my heart. O, cleave, my sides!
    Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
    Crack thy frail case. Apace, Eros, apace.-
    No more a soldier. Bruised pieces, go;
    You have been nobly borne.- From me awhile. Exit EROS
    I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
    Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
    All length is torture. Since the torch is out,
    Lie down, and stray no farther. Now all labour
    Mars what it does; yea, very force entangles
    Itself with strength. Seal then, and all is done.
    Eros!- I come, my queen.- Eros!- Stay for me;
    Where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
    And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze.
    Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
    And all the haunt be ours.- Come, Eros, Eros!

Re-enter EROS

  EROS. What would my lord?
  ANTONY. Since Cleopatra died,
    I have liv'd in such dishonour that the gods
    Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
    Quarter'd the world, and o'er green Neptune's back
    With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
    The courage of a woman; less noble mind
    Than she which by her death our Caesar tells
    'I am conqueror of myself.' Thou art sworn, Eros,
    That, when the exigent should come- which now
    Is come indeed- when I should see behind me
    Th' inevitable prosecution of
    Disgrace and horror, that, on my command,
    Thou then wouldst kill me. Do't; the time is come.
    Thou strik'st not me; 'tis Caesar thou defeat'st.
    Put colour in thy cheek.
  EROS. The gods withhold me!
    Shall I do that which all the Parthian darts,
    Though enemy, lost aim and could not?
  ANTONY. Eros,
    Wouldst thou be window'd in great Rome and see
    Thy master thus with pleach'd arms, bending down
    His corrigible neck, his face subdu'd
    To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel'd seat
    Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
    His baseness that ensued?
  EROS. I would not see't.
  ANTONY. Come, then; for with a wound I must be cur'd.
    Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
    Most useful for thy country.
  EROS. O, sir, pardon me!
  ANTONY. When I did make thee free, swor'st thou not then
    To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once,
    Or thy precedent services are all
    But accidents unpurpos'd. Draw, and come.
  EROS. Turn from me then that noble countenance,
    Wherein the worship of the whole world lies.
  ANTONY. Lo thee! [Turning from him]
  EROS. My sword is drawn.
  ANTONY. Then let it do at once
    The thing why thou hast drawn it.
  EROS. My dear master,
    My captain and my emperor, let me say,
    Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.
  ANTONY. 'Tis said, man; and farewell.
  EROS. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now?
  ANTONY. Now, Eros.
  EROS. Why, there then! Thus do I escape the sorrow
    Of Antony's death. [Kills himself
  ANTONY. Thrice nobler than myself!
    Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
    I should, and thou couldst not. My queen and Eros
    Have, by their brave instruction, got upon me
    A nobleness in record. But I will be
    A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
    As to a lover's bed. Come, then; and, Eros,
    Thy master dies thy scholar. To do thus
                                          [Falling on his sword]
    I learn'd of thee. How? not dead? not dead?-
    The guard, ho! O, dispatch me!

Enter DERCETAS and a guard

  FIRST GUARD. What's the noise?
  ANTONY. I have done my work ill, friends. O, make an end
    Of what I have begun.
  SECOND GUARD. The star is fall'n.
  FIRST GUARD. And time is at his period.
  ALL. Alas, and woe!
  ANTONY. Let him that loves me, strike me dead.
  THIRD GUARD. Nor any one. Exeunt guard
  DERCETAS. Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.
    This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,
    Shall enter me with him.


  DIOMEDES. Where's Antony?
  DERCETAS. There, Diomed, there.
  DIOMEDES. Lives he?
    Wilt thou not answer, man? Exit DERCETAS
  ANTONY. Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword and give me
    Sufficing strokes for death.
  DIOMEDES. Most absolute lord,
    My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.
  ANTONY. When did she send thee?
  DIOMEDES. Now, my lord.
  ANTONY. Where is she?
  DIOMEDES. Lock'd in her monument. She had a prophesying fear
    Of what hath come to pass; for when she saw-
    Which never shall be found- you did suspect
    She had dispos'd with Caesar, and that your rage
    Would not be purg'd, she sent you word she was dead;
    But fearing since how it might work, hath sent
    Me to proclaim the truth; and I am come,
    I dread, too late.
  ANTONY. Too late, good Diomed. Call my guard, I prithee.
  DIOMEDES. What, ho! the Emperor's guard! The guard, what ho!
    Come, your lord calls!

Enter four or five of the guard of ANTONY

  ANTONY. Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
    'Tis the last service that I shall command you.
  FIRST GUARD. Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
    All your true followers out.
  ALL. Most heavy day!
  ANTONY. Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
    To grace it with your sorrows. Bid that welcome
    Which comes to punish us, and we punish it,
    Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up.
    I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends,
    And have my thanks for all. Exeunt, hearing ANTONY
                         SCENE XV.
                   Alexandria. A monument

      Enter CLEOPATRA and her maids aloft, with CHARMIAN
                         and IRAS

  CLEOPATRA. O Charmian, I will never go from hence!
  CHARMIAN. Be comforted, dear madam.
  CLEOPATRA. No, I will not.
    All strange and terrible events are welcome,
    But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
    Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
    As that which makes it.

Enter DIOMEDES, below

    How now! Is he dead?
  DIOMEDES. His death's upon him, but not dead.
    Look out o' th' other side your monument;
    His guard have brought him thither.

Enter, below, ANTONY, borne by the guard

    Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in! Darkling stand
    The varying shore o' th' world. O Antony,
    Antony, Antony! Help, Charmian; help, Iras, help;
    Help, friends below! Let's draw him hither.
  ANTONY. Peace!
    Not Caesar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
    But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.
  CLEOPATRA. So it should be, that none but Antony
    Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!
  ANTONY. I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
    I here importune death awhile, until
    Of many thousand kisses the poor last
    I lay upon thy lips.
  CLEOPATRA. I dare not, dear.
    Dear my lord, pardon! I dare not,
    Lest I be taken. Not th' imperious show
    Of the full-fortun'd Caesar ever shall
    Be brooch'd with me. If knife, drugs, serpents, have
    Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe.
    Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
    And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
    Demuring upon me. But come, come, Antony-
    Help me, my women- we must draw thee up;
    Assist, good friends.
  ANTONY. O, quick, or I am gone.
  CLEOPATRA. Here's sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!
    Our strength is all gone into heaviness;
    That makes the weight. Had I great Juno's power,
    The strong-wing'd Mercury should fetch thee up,
    And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little.
    Wishers were ever fools. O come, come,
                          [They heave ANTONY aloft to CLEOPATRA]
    And welcome, welcome! Die where thou hast liv'd.
    Quicken with kissing. Had my lips that power,
    Thus would I wear them out.
  ALL. A heavy sight!
  ANTONY. I am dying, Egypt, dying.
    Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
  CLEOPATRA. No, let me speak; and let me rail so high
    That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
    Provok'd by my offence.
  ANTONY. One word, sweet queen:
    Of Caesar seek your honour, with your safety. O!
  CLEOPATRA. They do not go together.
  ANTONY. Gentle, hear me:
    None about Caesar trust but Proculeius.
  CLEOPATRA. My resolution and my hands I'll trust;
    None about Caesar
  ANTONY. The miserable change now at my end
    Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts
    In feeding them with those my former fortunes
    Wherein I liv'd the greatest prince o' th' world,
    The noblest; and do now not basely die,
    Not cowardly put off my helmet to
    My countryman- a Roman by a Roman
    Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going
    I can no more.
  CLEOPATRA. Noblest of men, woo't die?
    Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide
    In this dull world, which in thy absence is
    No better than a sty? O, see, my women, [Antony dies]
    The crown o' th' earth doth melt. My lord!
    O, wither'd is the garland of the war,
    The soldier's pole is fall'n! Young boys and girls
    Are level now with men. The odds is gone,
    And there is nothing left remarkable
    Beneath the visiting moon. [Swoons]
  CHARMIAN. O, quietness, lady!
  IRAS. She's dead too, our sovereign.
  IRAS. Madam!
  CHARMIAN. O madam, madam, madam!
  IRAS. Royal Egypt, Empress!
  CHARMIAN. Peace, peace, Iras!
  CLEOPATRA. No more but e'en a woman, and commanded
    By such poor passion as the maid that milks
    And does the meanest chares. It were for me
    To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods;
    To tell them that this world did equal theirs
    Till they had stol'n our jewel. All's but nought;
    Patience is sottish, and impatience does
    Become a dog that's mad. Then is it sin
    To rush into the secret house of death
    Ere death dare come to us? How do you, women?
    What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian!
    My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look,
    Our lamp is spent, it's out! Good sirs, take heart.
    We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble,
    Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
    And make death proud to take us. Come, away;
    This case of that huge spirit now is cold.
    Ah, women, women! Come; we have no friend
    But resolution and the briefest end.
                   Exeunt; those above hearing off ANTONY'S body

                       ACT V. SCENE I.
                  Alexandria. CAESAR'S camp

          PROCULEIUS, and others, his Council of War

  CAESAR. Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield;
    Being so frustrate, tell him he mocks
    The pauses that he makes.
  DOLABELLA. Caesar, I shall. Exit

Enter DERCETAS With the sword of ANTONY

  CAESAR. Wherefore is that? And what art thou that dar'st
    Appear thus to us?
  DERCETAS. I am call'd Dercetas;
    Mark Antony I serv'd, who best was worthy
    Best to be serv'd. Whilst he stood up and spoke,
    He was my master, and I wore my life
    To spend upon his haters. If thou please
    To take me to thee, as I was to him
    I'll be to Caesar; if thou pleasest not,
    I yield thee up my life.
  CAESAR. What is't thou say'st?
  DERCETAS. I say, O Caesar, Antony is dead.
  CAESAR. The breaking of so great a thing should make
    A greater crack. The round world
    Should have shook lions into civil streets,
    And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony
    Is not a single doom; in the name lay
    A moiety of the world.
  DERCETAS. He is dead, Caesar,
    Not by a public minister of justice,
    Nor by a hired knife; but that self hand
    Which writ his honour in the acts it did
    Hath, with the courage which the heart did lend it,
    Splitted the heart. This is his sword;
    I robb'd his wound of it; behold it stain'd
    With his most noble blood.
  CAESAR. Look you sad, friends?
    The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings
    To wash the eyes of kings.
  AGRIPPA. And strange it is
    That nature must compel us to lament
    Our most persisted deeds.
  MAECENAS. His taints and honours
    Wag'd equal with him.
  AGRIPPA. A rarer spirit never
    Did steer humanity. But you gods will give us
    Some faults to make us men. Caesar is touch'd.
  MAECENAS. When such a spacious mirror's set before him,
    He needs must see himself.
  CAESAR. O Antony,
    I have follow'd thee to this! But we do lance
    Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce
    Have shown to thee such a declining day
    Or look on thine; we could not stall together
    In the whole world. But yet let me lament,
    With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts,
    That thou, my brother, my competitor
    In top of all design, my mate in empire,
    Friend and companion in the front of war,
    The arm of mine own body, and the heart
    Where mine his thoughts did kindle- that our stars,
    Unreconciliable, should divide
    Our equalness to this. Hear me, good friends-


    But I will tell you at some meeter season.
    The business of this man looks out of him;
    We'll hear him what he says. Whence are you?
  EGYPTIAN. A poor Egyptian, yet the Queen, my mistress,
    Confin'd in all she has, her monument,
    Of thy intents desires instruction,
    That she preparedly may frame herself
    To th' way she's forc'd to.
  CAESAR. Bid her have good heart.
    She soon shall know of us, by some of ours,
    How honourable and how kindly we
    Determine for her; for Caesar cannot learn
    To be ungentle.
  EGYPTIAN. So the gods preserve thee! Exit
  CAESAR. Come hither, Proculeius. Go and say
    We purpose her no shame. Give her what comforts
    The quality of her passion shall require,
    Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke
    She do defeat us; for her life in Rome
    Would be eternal in our triumph. Go,
    And with your speediest bring us what she says,
    And how you find her.
  PROCULEIUS. Caesar, I shall. Exit
  CAESAR. Gallus, go you along. Exit GALLUS
    Where's Dolabella, to second Proculeius?
  ALL. Dolabella!
  CAESAR. Let him alone, for I remember now
    How he's employ'd; he shall in time be ready.
    Go with me to my tent, where you shall see
    How hardly I was drawn into this war,
    How calm and gentle I proceeded still
    In all my writings. Go with me, and see
    What I can show in this. Exeunt

                         SCENE II.
                Alexandria. The monument


  CLEOPATRA. My desolation does begin to make
    A better life. 'Tis paltry to be Caesar:
    Not being Fortune, he's but Fortune's knave,
    A minister of her will; and it is great
    To do that thing that ends all other deeds,
    Which shackles accidents and bolts up change,
    Which sleeps, and never palates more the dug,
    The beggar's nurse and Caesar's.

       Enter, to the gates of the monument, PROCULEIUS, GALLUS,
                          and soldiers

  PROCULEIUS. Caesar sends greetings to the Queen of Egypt,
    And bids thee study on what fair demands
    Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.
  CLEOPATRA. What's thy name?
  PROCULEIUS. My name is Proculeius.
    Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but
    I do not greatly care to be deceiv'd,
    That have no use for trusting. If your master
    Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him
    That majesty, to keep decorum, must
    No less beg than a kingdom. If he please
    To give me conquer'd Egypt for my son,
    He gives me so much of mine own as I
    Will kneel to him with thanks.
  PROCULEIUS. Be of good cheer;
    Y'are fall'n into a princely hand; fear nothing.
    Make your full reference freely to my lord,
    Who is so full of grace that it flows over
    On all that need. Let me report to him
    Your sweet dependency, and you shall find
    A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness
    Where he for grace is kneel'd to.
  CLEOPATRA. Pray you tell him
    I am his fortune's vassal and I send him
    The greatness he has got. I hourly learn
    A doctrine of obedience, and would gladly
    Look him i' th' face.
  PROCULEIUS. This I'll report, dear lady.
    Have comfort, for I know your plight is pitied
    Of him that caus'd it.
  GALLUS. You see how easily she may be surpris'd.

      Here PROCULEIUS and two of the guard ascend the
       monument by a ladder placed against a window,
       and come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the guard
                unbar and open the gates

    Guard her till Caesar come. Exit
  IRAS. Royal Queen!
  CHARMIAN. O Cleopatra! thou art taken, Queen!
  CLEOPATRA. Quick, quick, good hands. [Drawing a dagger]
  PROCULEIUS. Hold, worthy lady, hold, [Disarms her]
    Do not yourself such wrong, who are in this
    Reliev'd, but not betray'd.
  CLEOPATRA. What, of death too,
    That rids our dogs of languish?
  PROCULEIUS. Cleopatra,
    Do not abuse my master's bounty by
    Th' undoing of yourself. Let the world see
    His nobleness well acted, which your death
    Will never let come forth.
  CLEOPATRA. Where art thou, death?
    Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
    Worth many babes and beggars!
  PROCULEIUS. O, temperance, lady!
  CLEOPATRA. Sir, I will eat no meat; I'll not drink, sir;
    If idle talk will once be necessary,
    I'll not sleep neither. This mortal house I'll ruin,
    Do Caesar what he can. Know, sir, that I
    Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court,
    Nor once be chastis'd with the sober eye
    Of dull Octavia. Shall they hoist me up,
    And show me to the shouting varletry
    Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
    Be gentle grave unto me! Rather on Nilus' mud
    Lay me stark-nak'd, and let the water-flies
    Blow me into abhorring! Rather make
    My country's high pyramides my gibbet,
    And hang me up in chains!
  PROCULEIUS. You do extend
    These thoughts of horror further than you shall
    Find cause in Caesar.


  DOLABELLA. Proculeius,
    What thou hast done thy master Caesar knows,
    And he hath sent for thee. For the Queen,
    I'll take her to my guard.
  PROCULEIUS. So, Dolabella,
    It shall content me best. Be gentle to her.
    [To CLEOPATRA] To Caesar I will speak what you shall please,
    If you'll employ me to him.
  CLEOPATRA. Say I would die.
                                  Exeunt PROCULEIUS and soldiers
  DOLABELLA. Most noble Empress, you have heard of me?
  CLEOPATRA. I cannot tell.
  DOLABELLA. Assuredly you know me.
  CLEOPATRA. No matter, sir, what I have heard or known.
    You laugh when boys or women tell their dreams;
    Is't not your trick?
  DOLABELLA. I understand not, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. I dreamt there was an Emperor Antony-
    O, such another sleep, that I might see
    But such another man!
  DOLABELLA. If it might please ye-
  CLEOPATRA. His face was as the heav'ns, and therein stuck
    A sun and moon, which kept their course and lighted
    The little O, the earth.
  DOLABELLA. Most sovereign creature-
  CLEOPATRA. His legs bestrid the ocean; his rear'd arm
    Crested the world. His voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
    That grew the more by reaping. His delights
    Were dolphin-like: they show'd his back above
    The element they liv'd in. In his livery
    Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropp'd from his pocket.
  DOLABELLA. Cleopatra-
  CLEOPATRA. Think you there was or might be such a man
    As this I dreamt of?
  DOLABELLA. Gentle madam, no.
  CLEOPATRA. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
    But if there be nor ever were one such,
    It's past the size of drearning. Nature wants stuff
    To vie strange forms with fancy; yet t' imagine
    An Antony were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
    Condemning shadows quite.
  DOLABELLA. Hear me, good madam.
    Your loss is, as yourself, great; and you bear it
    As answering to the weight. Would I might never
    O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel,
    By the rebound of yours, a grief that smites
    My very heart at root.
  CLEOPATRA. I thank you, sir.
    Know you what Caesar means to do with me?
  DOLABELLA. I am loath to tell you what I would you knew.
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, pray you, sir.
  DOLABELLA. Though he be honourable-
  CLEOPATRA. He'll lead me, then, in triumph?
  DOLABELLA. Madam, he will. I know't. [Flourish]
                              [Within: 'Make way there-Caesar!']

                     and others of his train

  CAESAR. Which is the Queen of Egypt?
  DOLABELLA. It is the Emperor, madam. [CLEOPATPA kneels]
  CAESAR. Arise, you shall not kneel.
    I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt.
  CLEOPATRA. Sir, the gods
    Will have it thus; my master and my lord
    I must obey.
  CAESAR. Take to you no hard thoughts.
    The record of what injuries you did us,
    Though written in our flesh, we shall remember
    As things but done by chance.
  CLEOPATRA. Sole sir o' th' world,
    I cannot project mine own cause so well
    To make it clear, but do confess I have
    Been laden with like frailties which before
    Have often sham'd our sex.
  CAESAR. Cleopatra, know
    We will extenuate rather than enforce.
    If you apply yourself to our intents-
    Which towards you are most gentle- you shall find
    A benefit in this change; but if you seek
    To lay on me a cruelty by taking
    Antony's course, you shall bereave yourself
    Of my good purposes, and put your children
    To that destruction which I'll guard them from,
    If thereon you rely. I'll take my leave.
  CLEOPATRA. And may, through all the world. 'Tis yours, and we,
    Your scutcheons and your signs of conquest, shall
    Hang in what place you please. Here, my good lord.
  CAESAR. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.
  CLEOPATRA. This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels,
    I am possess'd of. 'Tis exactly valued,
    Not petty things admitted. Where's Seleucus?
  SELEUCUS. Here, madam.
  CLEOPATRA. This is my treasurer; let him speak, my lord,
    Upon his peril, that I have reserv'd
    To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.
  SELEUCUS. Madam,
    I had rather seal my lips than to my peril
    Speak that which is not.
  CLEOPATRA. What have I kept back?
  SELEUCUS. Enough to purchase what you have made known.
  CAESAR. Nay, blush not, Cleopatra; I approve
    Your wisdom in the deed.
  CLEOPATRA. See, Caesar! O, behold,
    How pomp is followed! Mine will now be yours;
    And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine.
    The ingratitude of this Seleucus does
    Even make me wild. O slave, of no more trust
    Than love that's hir'd! What, goest thou back? Thou shalt
    Go back, I warrant thee; but I'll catch thine eyes
    Though they had wings. Slave, soulless villain, dog!
    O rarely base!
  CAESAR. Good Queen, let us entreat you.
  CLEOPATRA. O Caesar, what a wounding shame is this,
    That thou vouchsafing here to visit me,
    Doing the honour of thy lordliness
    To one so meek, that mine own servant should
    Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
    Addition of his envy! Say, good Caesar,
    That I some lady trifles have reserv'd,
    Immoment toys, things of such dignity
    As we greet modern friends withal; and say
    Some nobler token I have kept apart
    For Livia and Octavia, to induce
    Their mediation- must I be unfolded
    With one that I have bred? The gods! It smites me
    Beneath the fall I have. [To SELEUCUS] Prithee go hence;
    Or I shall show the cinders of my spirits
    Through th' ashes of my chance. Wert thou a man,
    Thou wouldst have mercy on me.
  CAESAR. Forbear, Seleucus. Exit SELEUCUS
  CLEOPATRA. Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought
    For things that others do; and when we fall
    We answer others' merits in our name,
    Are therefore to be pitied.
  CAESAR. Cleopatra,
    Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg'd,
    Put we i' th' roll of conquest. Still be't yours,
    Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe
    Caesar's no merchant, to make prize with you
    Of things that merchants sold. Therefore be cheer'd;
    Make not your thoughts your prisons. No, dear Queen;
    For we intend so to dispose you as
    Yourself shall give us counsel. Feed and sleep.
    Our care and pity is so much upon you
    That we remain your friend; and so, adieu.
  CLEOPATRA. My master and my lord!
  CAESAR. Not so. Adieu.
                           Flourish. Exeunt CAESAR and his train
  CLEOPATRA. He words me, girls, he words me, that I should not
    Be noble to myself. But hark thee, Charmian!
                                             [Whispers CHARMIAN]
  IRAS. Finish, good lady; the bright day is done,
    And we are for the dark.
  CLEOPATRA. Hie thee again.
    I have spoke already, and it is provided;
    Go put it to the haste.
  CHARMIAN. Madam, I will.


  DOLABELLA. Where's the Queen?
  CHARMIAN. Behold, sir. Exit
  CLEOPATRA. Dolabella!
  DOLABELLA. Madam, as thereto sworn by your command,
    Which my love makes religion to obey,
    I tell you this: Caesar through Syria
    Intends his journey, and within three days
    You with your children will he send before.
    Make your best use of this; I have perform'd
    Your pleasure and my promise.
  CLEOPATRA. Dolabella,
    I shall remain your debtor.
  DOLABELLA. I your servant.
    Adieu, good Queen; I must attend on Caesar.
  CLEOPATRA. Farewell, and thanks. Exit DOLABELLA
    Now, Iras, what think'st thou?
    Thou an Egyptian puppet shall be shown
    In Rome as well as I. Mechanic slaves,
    With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
    Uplift us to the view; in their thick breaths,
    Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
    And forc'd to drink their vapour.
  IRAS. The gods forbid!
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras. Saucy lictors
    Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
    Ballad us out o' tune; the quick comedians
    Extemporally will stage us, and present
    Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
    Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
    Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness
    I' th' posture of a whore.
  IRAS. O the good gods!
  CLEOPATRA. Nay, that's certain.
  IRAS. I'll never see't, for I am sure mine nails
    Are stronger than mine eyes.
  CLEOPATRA. Why, that's the way
    To fool their preparation and to conquer
    Their most absurd intents.


    Now, Charmian!
    Show me, my women, like a queen. Go fetch
    My best attires. I am again for Cydnus,
    To meet Mark Antony. Sirrah, Iras, go.
    Now, noble Charmian, we'll dispatch indeed;
    And when thou hast done this chare, I'll give thee leave
    To play till doomsday. Bring our crown and all.
                                       Exit IRAS. A noise within
    Wherefore's this noise?


  GUARDSMAN. Here is a rural fellow
    That will not be denied your Highness' presence.
    He brings you figs.
  CLEOPATRA. Let him come in. Exit GUARDSMAN
    What poor an instrument
    May do a noble deed! He brings me liberty.
    My resolution's plac'd, and I have nothing
    Of woman in me. Now from head to foot
    I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
    No planet is of mine.

Re-enter GUARDSMAN and CLOWN, with a basket

  GUARDSMAN. This is the man.
  CLEOPATRA. Avoid, and leave him. Exit GUARDSMAN
    Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there
    That kills and pains not?
  CLOWN. Truly, I have him. But I would not be the party that should
    desire you to touch him, for his biting is immortal; those that
    do die of it do seldom or never recover.
  CLEOPATRA. Remember'st thou any that have died on't?
  CLOWN. Very many, men and women too. I heard of one of them no
    longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given
    to lie, as a woman should not do but in the way of honesty; how
    she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt- truly she makes
    a very good report o' th' worm. But he that will believe all that
    they say shall never be saved by half that they do. But this is
    most falliable, the worm's an odd worm.
  CLEOPATRA. Get thee hence; farewell.
  CLOWN. I wish you all joy of the worm.
                                          [Sets down the basket]
  CLEOPATRA. Farewell.
  CLOWN. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his
  CLEOPATRA. Ay, ay; farewell.
  CLOWN. Look you, the worm is not to be trusted but in the keeping
    of wise people; for indeed there is no goodness in the worm.
  CLEOPATRA. Take thou no care; it shall be heeded.
  CLOWN. Very good. Give it nothing, I pray you, for it is not worth
    the feeding.
  CLEOPATRA. Will it eat me?
  CLOWN. You must not think I am so simple but I know the devil
    himself will not eat a woman. I know that a woman is a dish for
    the gods, if the devil dress her not. But truly, these same
    whoreson devils do the gods great harm in their women, for in
    every ten that they make the devils mar five.
  CLEOPATRA. Well, get thee gone; farewell.
  CLOWN. Yes, forsooth. I wish you joy o' th' worm. Exit

Re-enter IRAS, with a robe, crown, &c.

  CLEOPATRA. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
    Immortal longings in me. Now no more
    The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip.
    Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear
    Antony call. I see him rouse himself
    To praise my noble act. I hear him mock
    The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
    To excuse their after wrath. Husband, I come.
    Now to that name my courage prove my title!
    I am fire and air; my other elements
    I give to baser life. So, have you done?
    Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
    Farewell, kind Charmian. Iras, long farewell.
                              [Kisses them. IRAS falls and dies]
    Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
    If thus thou and nature can so gently part,
    The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,
    Which hurts and is desir'd. Dost thou lie still?
    If thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world
    It is not worth leave-taking.
  CHARMIAN. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say
    The gods themselves do weep.
  CLEOPATRA. This proves me base.
    If she first meet the curled Antony,
    He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
    Which is my heaven to have. Come, thou mortal wretch,
                    [To an asp, which she applies to her breast]
    With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
    Of life at once untie. Poor venomous fool,
    Be angry and dispatch. O couldst thou speak,
    That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
  CHARMIAN. O Eastern star!
  CLEOPATRA. Peace, peace!
    Dost thou not see my baby at my breast
    That sucks the nurse asleep?
  CHARMIAN. O, break! O, break!
  CLEOPATRA. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle-
    O Antony! Nay, I will take thee too:
                               [Applying another asp to her arm]
    What should I stay- [Dies]
  CHARMIAN. In this vile world? So, fare thee well.
    Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
    A lass unparallel'd. Downy windows, close;
    And golden Phoebus never be beheld
    Of eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry;
    I'll mend it and then play-

Enter the guard, rushing in

  FIRST GUARD. Where's the Queen?
  CHARMIAN. Speak softly, wake her not.
  FIRST GUARD. Caesar hath sent-
  CHARMIAN. Too slow a messenger. [Applies an asp]
    O, come apace, dispatch. I partly feel thee.
  FIRST GUARD. Approach, ho! All's not well: Caesar's beguil'd.
  SECOND GUARD. There's Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.
  FIRST GUARD. What work is here! Charmian, is this well done?
  CHARMIAN. It is well done, and fitting for a princes
    Descended of so many royal kings.
    Ah, soldier! [CHARMIAN dies]


  DOLABELLA. How goes it here?
  SECOND GUARD. All dead.
  DOLABELLA. Caesar, thy thoughts
    Touch their effects in this. Thyself art coming
    To see perform'd the dreaded act which thou
    So sought'st to hinder.
                      [Within: 'A way there, a way for Caesar!']

Re-enter CAESAR and all his train

  DOLABELLA. O sir, you are too sure an augurer:
    That you did fear is done.
  CAESAR. Bravest at the last,
    She levell'd at our purposes, and being royal,
    Took her own way. The manner of their deaths?
    I do not see them bleed.
  DOLABELLA. Who was last with them?
  FIRST GUARD. A simple countryman that brought her figs.
    This was his basket.
  CAESAR. Poison'd then.
  FIRST GUARD. O Caesar,
    This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood and spake.
    I found her trimming up the diadem
    On her dead mistress. Tremblingly she stood,
    And on the sudden dropp'd.
  CAESAR. O noble weakness!
    If they had swallow'd poison 'twould appear
    By external swelling; but she looks like sleep,
    As she would catch another Antony
    In her strong toil of grace.
  DOLABELLA. Here on her breast
    There is a vent of blood, and something blown;
    The like is on her arm.
  FIRST GUARD. This is an aspic's trail; and these fig-leaves
    Have slime upon them, such as th' aspic leaves
    Upon the caves of Nile.
  CAESAR. Most probable
    That so she died; for her physician tells me
    She hath pursu'd conclusions infinite
    Of easy ways to die. Take up her bed,
    And bear her women from the monument.
    She shall be buried by her Antony;
    No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
    A pair so famous. High events as these
    Strike those that make them; and their story is
    No less in pity than his glory which
    Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall
    In solemn show attend this funeral,
    And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
    High order in this great solemnity. Exeunt





by William Shakespeare


  DUKE, living in exile
  FREDERICK, his brother, and usurper of his dominions
  AMIENS, lord attending on the banished Duke
  JAQUES, " " " " " "
  LE BEAU, a courtier attending upon Frederick
  CHARLES, wrestler to Frederick
  OLIVER, son of Sir Rowland de Boys
  JAQUES, " " " " " "
  ORLANDO, " " " " " "
  ADAM, servant to Oliver
  DENNIS, " " "
  TOUCHSTONE, the court jester
  CORIN, shepherd
  WILLIAM, a country fellow, in love with Audrey
  A person representing HYMEN

  ROSALIND, daughter to the banished Duke
  CELIA, daughter to Frederick
  PHEBE, a shepherdes
  AUDREY, a country wench

Lords, Pages, Foresters, and Attendants


SCENE: OLIVER'S house; FREDERICK'S court; and the Forest of Arden

ACT I. SCENE I. Orchard of OLIVER'S house


ORLANDO. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou say'st, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well; and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are bred better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly hir'd; but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from me. He lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.


  ADAM. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
  ORLANDO. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me
    up. [ADAM retires]
  OLIVER. Now, sir! what make you here?
  ORLANDO. Nothing; I am not taught to make any thing.
  OLIVER. What mar you then, sir?
  ORLANDO. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a
    poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
  OLIVER. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be nought awhile.
  ORLANDO. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What
    prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?
  OLIVER. Know you where you are, sir?
  ORLANDO. O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.
  OLIVER. Know you before whom, sir?
  ORLANDO. Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are
    my eldest brother; and in the gentle condition of blood, you
    should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better
    in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not
    away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us. I have as
    much of my father in me as you, albeit I confess your coming
    before me is nearer to his reverence.
  OLIVER. What, boy! [Strikes him]
  ORLANDO. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
  OLIVER. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
  ORLANDO. I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
    Boys. He was my father; and he is thrice a villain that says such
    a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not
    take this hand from thy throat till this other had pull'd out thy
    tongue for saying so. Thou has rail'd on thyself.
  ADAM. [Coming forward] Sweet masters, be patient; for your father's
    remembrance, be at accord.
  OLIVER. Let me go, I say.
  ORLANDO. I will not, till I please; you shall hear me. My father
    charg'd you in his will to give me good education: you have
    train'd me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all
    gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
    me, and I will no longer endure it; therefore allow me such
    exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor
    allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy
    my fortunes.
  OLIVER. And what wilt thou do? Beg, when that is spent? Well, sir,
    get you in. I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have
    some part of your will. I pray you leave me.
  ORLANDO. I no further offend you than becomes me for my good.
  OLIVER. Get you with him, you old dog.
  ADAM. Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in
    your service. God be with my old master! He would not have spoke
    such a word.
                                         Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM
  OLIVER. Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will physic
    your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla,


  DENNIS. Calls your worship?
  OLIVER. not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?
  DENNIS. So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access
    to you.
  OLIVER. Call him in. [Exit DENNIS] 'Twill be a good way; and
    to-morrow the wrestling is.


  CHARLES. Good morrow to your worship.
  OLIVER. Good Monsieur Charles! What's the new news at the new
  CHARLES. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news; that
    is, the old Duke is banished by his younger brother the new Duke;
    and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary
    exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new Duke;
    therefore he gives them good leave to wander.
  OLIVER. Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter, be banished
    with her father?
  CHARLES. O, no; for the Duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her,
    being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have
    followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at
    the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own
    daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.
  OLIVER. Where will the old Duke live?
  CHARLES. They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many
    merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
    of England. They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day,
    and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
  OLIVER. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke?
  CHARLES. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a
    matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger
    brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'd against
    me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he
    that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well.
    Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would
    be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come
    in; therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint
    you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment,
    or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is
    thing of his own search and altogether against my will.
  OLIVER. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt
    find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my
    brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to
    dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee,
    Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of
    ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret
    and villainous contriver against me his natural brother.
    Therefore use thy discretion: I had as lief thou didst break his
    neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou
    dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace
    himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap
    thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he
    hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I
    assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one
    so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly
    of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush
    and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.
  CHARLES. I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
    to-morrow I'll give him his payment. If ever he go alone again,
    I'll never wrestle for prize more. And so, God keep your worship!
  OLIVER. Farewell, good Charles. Now will I stir this gamester. I
    hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,
    hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never school'd and
    yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly
    beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and
    especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am
    altogether misprised. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler
    shall clear all. Nothing remains but that I kindle the boy
    thither, which now I'll go about. Exit


SCENE II. A lawn before the DUKE'S palace


  CELIA. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
  ROSALIND. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and
    would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget
    a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any
    extraordinary pleasure.
  CELIA. Herein I see thou lov'st me not with the full weight that I
    love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had banished thy
    uncle, the Duke my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I
    could have taught my love to take thy father for mine; so wouldst
    thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously temper'd
    as mine is to thee.
  ROSALIND. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
    rejoice in yours.
  CELIA. You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to
    have; and, truly, when he dies thou shalt be his heir; for what
    he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee
    again in affection. By mine honour, I will; and when I break that
    oath, let me turn monster; therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear
    Rose, be merry.
  ROSALIND. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports.
    Let me see; what think you of falling in love?
  CELIA. Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal; but love no man
    in good earnest, nor no further in sport neither than with safety
    of a pure blush thou mayst in honour come off again.
  ROSALIND. What shall be our sport, then?
  CELIA. Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her
    wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
  ROSALIND. I would we could do so; for her benefits are mightily
    misplaced; and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her
    gifts to women.
  CELIA. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes
    honest; and those that she makes honest she makes very
  ROSALIND. Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's:
    Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of


  CELIA. No; when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by
    Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature hath given us wit to
    flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to cut off
    the argument?
  ROSALIND. Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
    Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
  CELIA. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but
    Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of
    such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for
    always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How
    now, wit! Whither wander you?
  TOUCHSTONE. Mistress, you must come away to your father.
  CELIA. Were you made the messenger?
  TOUCHSTONE. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
  ROSALIND. Where learned you that oath, fool?
  TOUCHSTONE. Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were
    good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught.
    Now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard
    was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.
  CELIA. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
  ROSALIND. Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
  TOUCHSTONE. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
    by your beards that I am a knave.
  CELIA. By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
  TOUCHSTONE. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were. But if you
    swear by that that not, you are not forsworn; no more was this
    knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he
    had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancackes or
    that mustard.
  CELIA. Prithee, who is't that thou mean'st?
  TOUCHSTONE. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
  CELIA. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough, speak no
    more of him; you'll be whipt for taxation one of these days.
  TOUCHSTONE. The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise
    men do foolishly.
  CELIA. By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little wit that
    fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men have
    makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.


  ROSALIND. With his mouth full of news.
  CELIA. Which he will put on us as pigeons feed their young.
  ROSALIND. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
  CELIA. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour,
    Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?
  LE BEAU. Fair Princess, you have lost much good sport.
  CELIA. Sport! of what colour?
  LE BEAU. What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?
  ROSALIND. As wit and fortune will.
  TOUCHSTONE. Or as the Destinies decrees.
  CELIA. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.
  TOUCHSTONE. Nay, if I keep not my rank-
  ROSALIND. Thou losest thy old smell.
  LE BEAU. You amaze me, ladies. I would have told you of good
    wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
  ROSALIND. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
  LE BEAU. I will tell you the beginning, and, if it please your
    ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is yet to do; and
    here, where you are, they are coming to perform it.
  CELIA. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
  LE BEAU. There comes an old man and his three sons-
  CELIA. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
  LE BEAU. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.
  ROSALIND. With bills on their necks: 'Be it known unto all men by
    these presents'-
  LE BEAU. The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the Duke's
    wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of
    his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him. So he serv'd
    the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man,
    their father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the
    beholders take his part with weeping.
  TOUCHSTONE. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have
  LE BEAU. Why, this that I speak of.
  TOUCHSTONE. Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time
    that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
  CELIA. Or I, I promise thee.
  ROSALIND. But is there any else longs to see this broken music in
    his sides? Is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking? Shall we
    see this wrestling, cousin?
  LE BEAU. You must, if you stay here; for here is the place
    appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
  CELIA. Yonder, sure, they are coming. Let us now stay and see it.

           Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, LORDS, ORLANDO,
                     CHARLES, and ATTENDANTS

  FREDERICK. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own
    peril on his forwardness.
  ROSALIND. Is yonder the man?
  LE BEAU. Even he, madam.
  CELIA. Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.
  FREDERICK. How now, daughter and cousin! Are you crept hither to
    see the wrestling?
  ROSALIND. Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave.
  FREDERICK. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you,
    there is such odds in the man. In pity of the challenger's youth
    I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated. Speak to
    him, ladies; see if you can move him.
  CELIA. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
  FREDERICK. Do so; I'll not be by.
                                     [DUKE FREDERICK goes apart]
  LE BEAU. Monsieur the Challenger, the Princess calls for you.
  ORLANDO. I attend them with all respect and duty.
  ROSALIND. Young man, have you challeng'd Charles the wrestler?
  ORLANDO. No, fair Princess; he is the general challenger. I come
    but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
  CELIA. Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your years.
    You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength; if you saw
    yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment, the
    fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal
    enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own
    safety and give over this attempt.
  ROSALIND. Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be
    misprised: we will make it our suit to the Duke that the
    wrestling might not go forward.
  ORLANDO. I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts,
    wherein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent
    ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go
    with me to my trial; wherein if I be foil'd there is but one
    sham'd that was never gracious; if kill'd, but one dead that is
    willing to be so. I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none
    to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only
    in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when
    I have made it empty.
  ROSALIND. The little strength that I have, I would it were with
  CELIA. And mine to eke out hers.
  ROSALIND. Fare you well. Pray heaven I be deceiv'd in you!
  CELIA. Your heart's desires be with you!
  CHARLES. Come, where is this young gallant that is so desirous to
    lie with his mother earth?
  ORLANDO. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
  FREDERICK. You shall try but one fall.
  CHARLES. No, I warrant your Grace, you shall not entreat him to a
    second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.
  ORLANDO. You mean to mock me after; you should not have mock'd me
    before; but come your ways.
  ROSALIND. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!
  CELIA. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the
    leg. [They wrestle]
  ROSALIND. O excellent young man!
  CELIA. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should
                                      [CHARLES is thrown. Shout]
  FREDERICK. No more, no more.
  ORLANDO. Yes, I beseech your Grace; I am not yet well breath'd.
  FREDERICK. How dost thou, Charles?
  LE BEAU. He cannot speak, my lord.
  FREDERICK. Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?
  ORLANDO. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
  FREDERICK. I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
    The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
    But I did find him still mine enemy.
    Thou shouldst have better pleas'd me with this deed,
    Hadst thou descended from another house.
    But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth;
    I would thou hadst told me of another father.
                                 Exeunt DUKE, train, and LE BEAU
  CELIA. Were I my father, coz, would I do this?
  ORLANDO. I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
    His youngest son- and would not change that calling
    To be adopted heir to Frederick.
  ROSALIND. My father lov'd Sir Rowland as his soul,
    And all the world was of my father's mind;
    Had I before known this young man his son,
    I should have given him tears unto entreaties
    Ere he should thus have ventur'd.
  CELIA. Gentle cousin,
    Let us go thank him, and encourage him;
    My father's rough and envious disposition
    Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserv'd;
    If you do keep your promises in love
    But justly as you have exceeded all promise,
    Your mistress shall be happy.
  ROSALIND. Gentleman, [Giving him a chain from her neck]
    Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune,
    That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
    Shall we go, coz?
  CELIA. Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.
  ORLANDO. Can I not say 'I thank you'? My better parts
    Are all thrown down; and that which here stands up
    Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.
  ROSALIND. He calls us back. My pride fell with my fortunes;
    I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
    Sir, you have wrestled well, and overthrown
    More than your enemies.
  CELIA. Will you go, coz?
  ROSALIND. Have with you. Fare you well.
                                       Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
  ORLANDO. What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
    I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
    O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
    Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Re-enter LE BEAU

  LE BEAU. Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
    To leave this place. Albeit you have deserv'd
    High commendation, true applause, and love,
    Yet such is now the Duke's condition
    That he misconstrues all that you have done.
    The Duke is humorous; what he is, indeed,
    More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
  ORLANDO. I thank you, sir; and pray you tell me this:
    Which of the two was daughter of the Duke
    That here was at the wrestling?
  LE BEAU. Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
    But yet, indeed, the smaller is his daughter;
    The other is daughter to the banish'd Duke,
    And here detain'd by her usurping uncle,
    To keep his daughter company; whose loves
    Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
    But I can tell you that of late this Duke
    Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
    Grounded upon no other argument
    But that the people praise her for her virtues
    And pity her for her good father's sake;
    And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
    Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well.
    Hereafter, in a better world than this,
    I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
  ORLANDO. I rest much bounden to you; fare you well.
                                                    Exit LE BEAU
    Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
    From tyrant Duke unto a tyrant brother.
    But heavenly Rosalind! Exit

SCENE III. The DUKE's palace


  CELIA. Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy!
    Not a word?
  ROSALIND. Not one to throw at a dog.
  CELIA. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs;
    throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.
  ROSALIND. Then there were two cousins laid up, when the one should
    be lam'd with reasons and the other mad without any.
  CELIA. But is all this for your father?
  ROSALIND. No, some of it is for my child's father. O, how full of
    briers is this working-day world!
  CELIA. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday
    foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats
    will catch them.
  ROSALIND. I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my
  CELIA. Hem them away.
  ROSALIND. I would try, if I could cry 'hem' and have him.
  CELIA. Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.
  ROSALIND. O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.
  CELIA. O, a good wish upon you! You will try in time, in despite of
    a fall. But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in
    good earnest. Is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall
    into so strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?
  ROSALIND. The Duke my father lov'd his father dearly.
  CELIA. Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son dearly?
    By this kind of chase I should hate him, for my father hated his
    father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.
  ROSALIND. No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.
  CELIA. Why should I not? Doth he not deserve well?


  ROSALIND. Let me love him for that; and do you love him because I
    do. Look, here comes the Duke.
  CELIA. With his eyes full of anger.
  FREDERICK. Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste,
    And get you from our court.
  ROSALIND. Me, uncle?
  FREDERICK. You, cousin.
    Within these ten days if that thou beest found
    So near our public court as twenty miles,
    Thou diest for it.
  ROSALIND. I do beseech your Grace,
    Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me.
    If with myself I hold intelligence,
    Or have acquaintance with mine own desires;
    If that I do not dream, or be not frantic-
    As I do trust I am not- then, dear uncle,
    Never so much as in a thought unborn
    Did I offend your Highness.
  FREDERICK. Thus do all traitors;
    If their purgation did consist in words,
    They are as innocent as grace itself.
    Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
  ROSALIND. Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.
    Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.
  FREDERICK. Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.
  ROSALIND. SO was I when your Highness took his dukedom;
    So was I when your Highness banish'd him.
    Treason is not inherited, my lord;
    Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
    What's that to me? My father was no traitor.
    Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
    To think my poverty is treacherous.
  CELIA. Dear sovereign, hear me speak.
  FREDERICK. Ay, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake,
    Else had she with her father rang'd along.
  CELIA. I did not then entreat to have her stay;
    It was your pleasure, and your own remorse;
    I was too young that time to value her,
    But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
    Why so am I: we still have slept together,
    Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together;
    And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,
    Still we went coupled and inseparable.
  FREDERICK. She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
    Her very silence and her patience,
    Speak to the people, and they pity her.
    Thou art a fool. She robs thee of thy name;
    And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous
    When she is gone. Then open not thy lips.
    Firm and irrevocable is my doom
    Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.
  CELIA. Pronounce that sentence, then, on me, my liege;
    I cannot live out of her company.
  FREDERICK. You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself.
    If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,
    And in the greatness of my word, you die.
                                           Exeunt DUKE and LORDS
  CELIA. O my poor Rosalind! Whither wilt thou go?
    Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.
    I charge thee be not thou more griev'd than I am.
  ROSALIND. I have more cause.
  CELIA. Thou hast not, cousin.
    Prithee be cheerful. Know'st thou not the Duke
    Hath banish'd me, his daughter?
  ROSALIND. That he hath not.
  CELIA. No, hath not? Rosalind lacks, then, the love
    Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.
    Shall we be sund'red? Shall we part, sweet girl?
    No; let my father seek another heir.
    Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
    Whither to go, and what to bear with us;
    And do not seek to take your charge upon you,
    To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out;
    For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
    Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.
  ROSALIND. Why, whither shall we go?
  CELIA. To seek my uncle in the Forest of Arden.
  ROSALIND. Alas, what danger will it be to us,
    Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
    Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
  CELIA. I'll put myself in poor and mean attire,
    And with a kind of umber smirch my face;
    The like do you; so shall we pass along,
    And never stir assailants.
  ROSALIND. Were it not better,
    Because that I am more than common tall,
    That I did suit me all points like a man?
    A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
    A boar spear in my hand; and- in my heart
    Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will-
    We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,
    As many other mannish cowards have
    That do outface it with their semblances.
  CELIA. What shall I call thee when thou art a man?
  ROSALIND. I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page,
    And therefore look you call me Ganymede.
    But what will you be call'd?
  CELIA. Something that hath a reference to my state:
    No longer Celia, but Aliena.
  ROSALIND. But, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal
    The clownish fool out of your father's court?
    Would he not be a comfort to our travel?
  CELIA. He'll go along o'er the wide world with me;
    Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,
    And get our jewels and our wealth together;
    Devise the fittest time and safest way
    To hide us from pursuit that will be made
    After my flight. Now go we in content
    To liberty, and not to banishment. Exeunt


ACT II. SCENE I. The Forest of Arden

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three LORDS, like foresters

  DUKE SENIOR. Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
    Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
    Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
    More free from peril than the envious court?
    Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
    The seasons' difference; as the icy fang
    And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
    Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
    Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
    'This is no flattery; these are counsellors
    That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
    Sweet are the uses of adversity,
    Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
    Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
    And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
    I would not change it.
  AMIENS. Happy is your Grace,
    That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
    Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
  DUKE SENIOR. Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
    And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
    Being native burghers of this desert city,
    Should, in their own confines, with forked heads
    Have their round haunches gor'd.
  FIRST LORD. Indeed, my lord,
    The melancholy Jaques grieves at that;
    And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
    Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
    To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself
    Did steal behind him as he lay along
    Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
    Upon the brook that brawls along this wood!
    To the which place a poor sequest'red stag,
    That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
    Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord,
    The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans
    That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
    Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
    Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
    In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
    Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
    Stood on th' extremest verge of the swift brook,
    Augmenting it with tears.
  DUKE SENIOR. But what said Jaques?
    Did he not moralize this spectacle?
  FIRST LORD. O, yes, into a thousand similes.
    First, for his weeping into the needless stream:
    'Poor deer,' quoth he 'thou mak'st a testament
    As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
    To that which had too much.' Then, being there alone,
    Left and abandoned of his velvet friends:
    ''Tis right'; quoth he 'thus misery doth part
    The flux of company.' Anon, a careless herd,
    Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
    And never stays to greet him. 'Ay,' quoth Jaques
    'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
    'Tis just the fashion. Wherefore do you look
    Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
    Thus most invectively he pierceth through
    The body of the country, city, court,
    Yea, and of this our life; swearing that we
    Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
    To fright the animals, and to kill them up
    In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.
  DUKE SENIOR. And did you leave him in this contemplation?
  SECOND LORD. We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
    Upon the sobbing deer.
  DUKE SENIOR. Show me the place;
    I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
    For then he's full of matter.
  FIRST LORD. I'll bring you to him straight. Exeunt

SCENE II. The DUKE'S palace


  FREDERICK. Can it be possible that no man saw them?
    It cannot be; some villains of my court
    Are of consent and sufferance in this.
  FIRST LORD. I cannot hear of any that did see her.
    The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
    Saw her abed, and in the morning early
    They found the bed untreasur'd of their mistress.
  SECOND LORD. My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft
    Your Grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.
    Hisperia, the Princess' gentlewoman,
    Confesses that she secretly o'erheard
    Your daughter and her cousin much commend
    The parts and graces of the wrestler
    That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles;
    And she believes, wherever they are gone,
    That youth is surely in their company.
  FREDERICK. Send to his brother; fetch that gallant hither.
    If he be absent, bring his brother to me;
    I'll make him find him. Do this suddenly;
    And let not search and inquisition quail
    To bring again these foolish runaways. Exeunt

SCENE III. Before OLIVER'S house

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

  ORLANDO. Who's there?
  ADAM. What, my young master? O my gentle master!
    O my sweet master! O you memory
    Of old Sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?
    Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?
    And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
    Why would you be so fond to overcome
    The bonny prizer of the humorous Duke?
    Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
    Know you not, master, to some kind of men
    Their graces serve them but as enemies?
    No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master,
    Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
    O, what a world is this, when what is comely
    Envenoms him that bears it!
  ORLANDO. Why, what's the matter?
  ADAM. O unhappy youth!
    Come not within these doors; within this roof
    The enemy of all your graces lives.
    Your brother- no, no brother; yet the son-
    Yet not the son; I will not call him son
    Of him I was about to call his father-
    Hath heard your praises; and this night he means
    To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
    And you within it. If he fail of that,
    He will have other means to cut you off;
    I overheard him and his practices.
    This is no place; this house is but a butchery;
    Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.
  ORLANDO. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?
  ADAM. No matter whither, so you come not here.
  ORLANDO. What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food,
    Or with a base and boist'rous sword enforce
    A thievish living on the common road?
    This I must do, or know not what to do;
    Yet this I will not do, do how I can.
    I rather will subject me to the malice
    Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.
  ADAM. But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
    The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father,
    Which I did store to be my foster-nurse,
    When service should in my old limbs lie lame,
    And unregarded age in corners thrown.
    Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed,
    Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
    Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;
    All this I give you. Let me be your servant;
    Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
    For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
    Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
    The means of weakness and debility;
    Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you;
    I'll do the service of a younger man
    In all your business and necessities.
  ORLANDO. O good old man, how well in thee appears
    The constant service of the antique world,
    When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
    Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
    Where none will sweat but for promotion,
    And having that do choke their service up
    Even with the having; it is not so with thee.
    But, poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree
    That cannot so much as a blossom yield
    In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
    But come thy ways, we'll go along together,
    And ere we have thy youthful wages spent
    We'll light upon some settled low content.
  ADAM. Master, go on; and I will follow the
    To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
    From seventeen years till now almost four-score
    Here lived I, but now live here no more.
    At seventeen years many their fortunes seek,
    But at fourscore it is too late a week;
    Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
    Than to die well and not my master's debtor. Exeunt

SCENE IV. The Forest of Arden


  ROSALIND. O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!
  TOUCHSTONE. I Care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.
  ROSALIND. I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel,
    and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as
    doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat;
    therefore, courage, good Aliena.
  CELIA. I pray you bear with me; I cannot go no further.
  TOUCHSTONE. For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you;
    yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you; for I think you
    have no money in your purse.
  ROSALIND. Well,. this is the Forest of Arden.
  TOUCHSTONE. Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I; when I was at
    home I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.


  ROSALIND. Ay, be so, good Touchstone. Look you, who comes here, a
    young man and an old in solemn talk.
  CORIN. That is the way to make her scorn you still.
  SILVIUS. O Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her!
  CORIN. I partly guess; for I have lov'd ere now.
  SILVIUS. No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
    Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
    As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow.
    But if thy love were ever like to mine,
    As sure I think did never man love so,
    How many actions most ridiculous
    Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?
  CORIN. Into a thousand that I have forgotten.
  SILVIUS. O, thou didst then never love so heartily!
    If thou rememb'rest not the slightest folly
    That ever love did make thee run into,
    Thou hast not lov'd;
    Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
    Wearing thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
    Thou hast not lov'd;
    Or if thou hast not broke from company
    Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
    Thou hast not lov'd.
    O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe! Exit Silvius
  ROSALIND. Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,
    I have by hard adventure found mine own.
  TOUCHSTONE. And I mine. I remember, when I was in love, I broke my
    sword upon a stone, and bid him take that for coming a-night to
    Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batler, and the
    cow's dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milk'd; and I remember
    the wooing of peascod instead of her; from whom I took two cods,
    and giving her them again, said with weeping tears 'Wear these
    for my sake.' We that are true lovers run into strange capers;
    but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal
    in folly.
  ROSALIND. Thou speak'st wiser than thou art ware of.
  TOUCHSTONE. Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I break
    my shins against it.
  ROSALIND. Jove, Jove! this shepherd's passion
    Is much upon my fashion.
  TOUCHSTONE. And mine; but it grows something stale with me.
  CELIA. I pray you, one of you question yond man
    If he for gold will give us any food;
    I faint almost to death.
  TOUCHSTONE. Holla, you clown!
  ROSALIND. Peace, fool; he's not thy Ensman.
  CORIN. Who calls?
  TOUCHSTONE. Your betters, sir.
  CORIN. Else are they very wretched.
  ROSALIND. Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.
  CORIN. And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.
  ROSALIND. I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold
    Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
    Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed.
    Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd,
    And faints for succour.
  CORIN. Fair sir, I pity her,
    And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,
    My fortunes were more able to relieve her;
    But I am shepherd to another man,
    And do not shear the fleeces that I graze.
    My master is of churlish disposition,
    And little recks to find the way to heaven
    By doing deeds of hospitality.
    Besides, his cote, his flocks, and bounds of feed,
    Are now on sale; and at our sheepcote now,
    By reason of his absence, there is nothing
    That you will feed on; but what is, come see,
    And in my voice most welcome shall you be.
  ROSALIND. What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?
  CORIN. That young swain that you saw here but erewhile,
    That little cares for buying any thing.
  ROSALIND. I pray thee, if it stand with honesty,
    Buy thou the cottage, pasture, and the flock,
    And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.
  CELIA. And we will mend thy wages. I like this place,
    And willingly could waste my time in it.
  CORIN. Assuredly the thing is to be sold.
    Go with me; if you like upon report
    The soil, the profit, and this kind of life,
    I will your very faithful feeder be,
    And buy it with your gold right suddenly. Exeunt

SCENE V. Another part of the forest


  AMIENS. Under the greenwood tree
               Who loves to lie with me,
               And turn his merry note
               Unto the sweet bird's throat,
             Come hither, come hither, come hither.
               Here shall he see
               No enemy
             But winter and rough weather.

  JAQUES. More, more, I prithee, more.
  AMIENS. It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.
  JAQUES. I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck melancholy
    out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs. More, I prithee, more.
  AMIENS. My voice is ragged; I know I cannot please you.
  JAQUES. I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to sing.
    Come, more; another stanzo. Call you 'em stanzos?
  AMIENS. What you will, Monsieur Jaques.
  JAQUES. Nay, I care not for their names; they owe me nothing. Will
    you sing?
  AMIENS. More at your request than to please myself.
  JAQUES. Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank you; but
    that they call compliment is like th' encounter of two dog-apes;
    and when a man thanks me heartily, methinks have given him a
    penny, and he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing; and you
    that will not, hold your tongues.
  AMIENS. Well, I'll end the song. Sirs, cover the while; the Duke
    will drink under this tree. He hath been all this day to look
  JAQUES. And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is to
    disputable for my company. I think of as many matters as he; but
    I give heaven thanks, and make no boast of them. Come, warble,

              [All together here]

           Who doth ambition shun,
           And loves to live i' th' sun,
           Seeking the food he eats,
           And pleas'd with what he gets,
         Come hither, come hither, come hither.
           Here shall he see
           No enemy
           But winter and rough weather.

  JAQUES. I'll give you a verse to this note that I made yesterday in
    despite of my invention.
  AMIENS. And I'll sing it.
  JAQUES. Thus it goes:

             If it do come to pass
             That any man turn ass,
             Leaving his wealth and ease
             A stubborn will to please,
           Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame;
             Here shall he see
             Gross fools as he,
             An if he will come to me.

  AMIENS. What's that 'ducdame'?
  JAQUES. 'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I'll
    go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the
    first-born of Egypt.
  AMIENS. And I'll go seek the Duke; his banquet is prepar'd.
                                                Exeunt severally

SCENE VI. The forest


  ADAM. Dear master, I can go no further. O, I die for food! Here lie
    I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind master.
  ORLANDO. Why, how now, Adam! No greater heart in thee? Live a
    little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little. If this uncouth
    forest yield anything savage, I will either be food for it or
    bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy
    powers. For my sake be comfortable; hold death awhile at the
    arm's end. I will here be with the presently; and if I bring thee
    not something to eat, I will give thee leave to die; but if thou
    diest before I come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said!
    thou look'st cheerly; and I'll be with thee quickly. Yet thou
    liest in the bleak air. Come, I will bear thee to some shelter;
    and thou shalt not die for lack of a dinner, if there live
    anything in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam! Exeunt

SCENE VII. The forest

A table set out. Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and LORDS, like outlaws

  DUKE SENIOR. I think he be transform'd into a beast;
    For I can nowhere find him like a man.
  FIRST LORD. My lord, he is but even now gone hence;
    Here was he merry, hearing of a song.
  DUKE SENIOR. If he, compact of jars, grow musical,
    We shall have shortly discord in the spheres.
    Go seek him; tell him I would speak with him.


  FIRST LORD. He saves my labour by his own approach.
  DUKE SENIOR. Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this,
    That your poor friends must woo your company?
    What, you look merrily!
  JAQUES. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' th' forest,
    A motley fool. A miserable world!
    As I do live by food, I met a fool,
    Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
    And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,
    In good set terms- and yet a motley fool.
    'Good morrow, fool,' quoth I; 'No, sir,' quoth he,
    'Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune.'
    And then he drew a dial from his poke,
    And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
    Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock;
    Thus we may see,' quoth he, 'how the world wags;
    'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine;
    And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;
    And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
    And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
    And thereby hangs a tale.' When I did hear
    The motley fool thus moral on the time,
    My lungs began to crow like chanticleer
    That fools should be so deep contemplative;
    And I did laugh sans intermission
    An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
    A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.
  DUKE SENIOR. What fool is this?
  JAQUES. O worthy fool! One that hath been a courtier,
    And says, if ladies be but young and fair,
    They have the gift to know it; and in his brain,
    Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
    After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
    With observation, the which he vents
    In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!
    I am ambitious for a motley coat.
  DUKE SENIOR. Thou shalt have one.
  JAQUES. It is my only suit,
    Provided that you weed your better judgments
    Of all opinion that grows rank in them
    That I am wise. I must have liberty
    Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
    To blow on whom I please, for so fools have;
    And they that are most galled with my folly,
    They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so?
    The why is plain as way to parish church:
    He that a fool doth very wisely hit
    Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
    Not to seem senseless of the bob; if not,
    The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd
    Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool.
    Invest me in my motley; give me leave
    To speak my mind, and I will through and through
    Cleanse the foul body of th' infected world,
    If they will patiently receive my medicine.
  DUKE SENIOR. Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
  JAQUES. What, for a counter, would I do but good?
  DUKE SENIOR. Most Mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin;
    For thou thyself hast been a libertine,
    As sensual as the brutish sting itself;
    And all th' embossed sores and headed evils
    That thou with license of free foot hast caught
    Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
  JAQUES. Why, who cries out on pride
    That can therein tax any private party?
    Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
    Till that the wearer's very means do ebb?
    What woman in the city do I name
    When that I say the city-woman bears
    The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
    Who can come in and say that I mean her,
    When such a one as she such is her neighbour?
    Or what is he of basest function
    That says his bravery is not on my cost,
    Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits
    His folly to the mettle of my speech?
    There then! how then? what then? Let me see wherein
    My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,
    Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,
    Why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies,
    Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?

Enter ORLANDO with his sword drawn

  ORLANDO. Forbear, and eat no more.
  JAQUES. Why, I have eat none yet.
  ORLANDO. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv'd.
  JAQUES. Of what kind should this cock come of?
  DUKE SENIOR. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress?
    Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
    That in civility thou seem'st so empty?
  ORLANDO. You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point
    Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
    Of smooth civility; yet arn I inland bred,
    And know some nurture. But forbear, I say;
    He dies that touches any of this fruit
    Till I and my affairs are answered.
  JAQUES. An you will not be answer'd with reason, I must die.
  DUKE SENIOR. What would you have? Your gentleness shall force
    More than your force move us to gentleness.
  ORLANDO. I almost die for food, and let me have it.
  DUKE SENIOR. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.
  ORLANDO. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you;
    I thought that all things had been savage here,
    And therefore put I on the countenance
    Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are
    That in this desert inaccessible,
    Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
    Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
    If ever you have look'd on better days,
    If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church,
    If ever sat at any good man's feast,
    If ever from your eyelids wip'd a tear,
    And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied,
    Let gentleness my strong enforcement be;
    In the which hope I blush, and hide my sword.
  DUKE SENIOR. True is it that we have seen better days,
    And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church,
    And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes
    Of drops that sacred pity hath engend'red;
    And therefore sit you down in gentleness,
    And take upon command what help we have
    That to your wanting may be minist'red.
  ORLANDO. Then but forbear your food a little while,
    Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn,
    And give it food. There is an old poor man
    Who after me hath many a weary step
    Limp'd in pure love; till he be first suffic'd,
    Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,
    I will not touch a bit.
  DUKE SENIOR. Go find him out.
    And we will nothing waste till you return.
  ORLANDO. I thank ye; and be blest for your good comfort!
  DUKE SENIOR. Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
    This wide and universal theatre
    Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
    Wherein we play in.
  JAQUES. All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
    Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

Re-enter ORLANDO with ADAM

  DUKE SENIOR. Welcome. Set down your venerable burden.
    And let him feed.
  ORLANDO. I thank you most for him.
  ADAM. So had you need;
    I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.
  DUKE SENIOR. Welcome; fall to. I will not trouble you
    As yet to question you about your fortunes.
    Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing.

            Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
            Thou art not so unkind
              As man's ingratitude;
            Thy tooth is not so keen,
            Because thou art not seen,
              Although thy breath be rude.
    Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly.
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
            Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
              This life is most jolly.

            Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
            That dost not bite so nigh
              As benefits forgot;
            Though thou the waters warp,
            Thy sting is not so sharp
              As friend rememb'red not.
    Heigh-ho! sing, &c.

  DUKE SENIOR. If that you were the good Sir Rowland's son,
    As you have whisper'd faithfully you were,
    And as mine eye doth his effigies witness
    Most truly limn'd and living in your face,
    Be truly welcome hither. I am the Duke
    That lov'd your father. The residue of your fortune,
    Go to my cave and tell me. Good old man,
    Thou art right welcome as thy master is.
    Support him by the arm. Give me your hand,
    And let me all your fortunes understand. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE I. The palace


  FREDERICK. Not see him since! Sir, sir, that cannot be.
    But were I not the better part made mercy,
    I should not seek an absent argument
    Of my revenge, thou present. But look to it:
    Find out thy brother wheresoe'er he is;
    Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living
    Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more
    To seek a living in our territory.
    Thy lands and all things that thou dost call thine
    Worth seizure do we seize into our hands,
    Till thou canst quit thee by thy brother's mouth
    Of what we think against thee.
  OLIVER. O that your Highness knew my heart in this!
    I never lov'd my brother in my life.
  FREDERICK. More villain thou. Well, push him out of doors;
    And let my officers of such a nature
    Make an extent upon his house and lands.
    Do this expediently, and turn him going. Exeunt

SCENE II. The forest

Enter ORLANDO, with a paper

  ORLANDO. Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love;
    And thou, thrice-crowned Queen of Night, survey
    With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
    Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
    O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books,
    And in their barks my thoughts I'll character,
    That every eye which in this forest looks
    Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where.
    Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree,
    The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she. Exit


  CORIN. And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?
  TOUCHSTONE. Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
    life; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is nought.
    In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in
    respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in
    respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect
    it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life,
    look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty
    in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in
    thee, shepherd?
  CORIN. No more but that I know the more one sickens the worse at
    ease he is; and that he that wants money, means, and content, is
    without three good friends; that the property of rain is to wet,
    and fire to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep; and that a
    great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that he that hath
    learned no wit by nature nor art may complain of good breeding,
    or comes of a very dull kindred.
  TOUCHSTONE. Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in
    court, shepherd?
  CORIN. No, truly.
  TOUCHSTONE. Then thou art damn'd.
  CORIN. Nay, I hope.
  TOUCHSTONE. Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on
    one side.
  CORIN. For not being at court? Your reason.
  TOUCHSTONE. Why, if thou never wast at court thou never saw'st good
    manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must
    be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art
    in a parlous state, shepherd.
  CORIN. Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at the
    court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour of the
    country is most mockable at the court. You told me you salute not
    at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be
    uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.
  TOUCHSTONE. Instance, briefly; come, instance.
  CORIN. Why, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, you
    know, are greasy.
  TOUCHSTONE. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? And is not the
    grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow,
    shallow. A better instance, I say; come.
  CORIN. Besides, our hands are hard.
  TOUCHSTONE. Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A
    more sounder instance; come.
  CORIN. And they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of our
    sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are
    perfum'd with civet.
  TOUCHSTONE. Most shallow man! thou worm's meat in respect of a good
    piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is
    of a baser birth than tar- the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend
    the instance, shepherd.
  CORIN. You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest.
  TOUCHSTONE. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God help thee, shallow man! God
    make incision in thee! thou art raw.
  CORIN. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I
    wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other
    men's good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is
    to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.
  TOUCHSTONE. That is another simple sin in you: to bring the ewes
    and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the
    copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bell-wether, and to betray
    a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
    out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not damn'd for this,
    the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how
    thou shouldst scape.
  CORIN. Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.

Enter ROSALIND, reading a paper

  ROSALIND. 'From the east to western Inde,
              No jewel is like Rosalinde.
              Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
              Through all the world bears Rosalinde.
              All the pictures fairest lin'd
              Are but black to Rosalinde.
              Let no face be kept in mind
              But the fair of Rosalinde.'
  TOUCHSTONE. I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners, and
    suppers, and sleeping hours, excepted. It is the right
    butter-women's rank to market.
  ROSALIND. Out, fool!
  TOUCHSTONE. For a taste:
                If a hart do lack a hind,
                Let him seek out Rosalinde.
                If the cat will after kind,
                So be sure will Rosalinde.
                Winter garments must be lin'd,
                So must slender Rosalinde.
                They that reap must sheaf and bind,
                Then to cart with Rosalinde.
                Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
                Such a nut is Rosalinde.
                He that sweetest rose will find
                Must find love's prick and Rosalinde.
    This is the very false gallop of verses; why do you infect
    yourself with them?
  ROSALIND. Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.
  TOUCHSTONE. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
  ROSALIND. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a
    medlar. Then it will be the earliest fruit i' th' country; for
    you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right
    virtue of the medlar.
  TOUCHSTONE. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest

Enter CELIA, with a writing

  ROSALIND. Peace!
    Here comes my sister, reading; stand aside.
  CELIA. 'Why should this a desert be?
             For it is unpeopled? No;
           Tongues I'll hang on every tree
             That shall civil sayings show.
           Some, how brief the life of man
             Runs his erring pilgrimage,
           That the streching of a span
             Buckles in his sum of age;
           Some, of violated vows
             'Twixt the souls of friend and friend;
           But upon the fairest boughs,
             Or at every sentence end,
           Will I Rosalinda write,
             Teaching all that read to know
           The quintessence of every sprite
             Heaven would in little show.
           Therefore heaven Nature charg'd
             That one body should be fill'd
           With all graces wide-enlarg'd.
             Nature presently distill'd
           Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
             Cleopatra's majesty,
           Atalanta's better part,
             Sad Lucretia's modesty.
           Thus Rosalinde of many parts
             By heavenly synod was devis'd,
           Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
             To have the touches dearest priz'd.
           Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
           And I to live and die her slave.'
  ROSALIND. O most gentle pulpiter! What tedious homily of love have
    you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried 'Have
    patience, good people.'
  CELIA. How now! Back, friends; shepherd, go off a little; go with
    him, sirrah.
  TOUCHSTONE. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
    though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
                                     Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE
  CELIA. Didst thou hear these verses?
  ROSALIND. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them
    had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
  CELIA. That's no matter; the feet might bear the verses.
  ROSALIND. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves
    without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
  CELIA. But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name should be
    hang'd and carved upon these trees?
  ROSALIND. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you
    came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree. I was never so
    berhym'd since Pythagoras' time that I was an Irish rat, which I
    can hardly remember.
  CELIA. Trow you who hath done this?
  ROSALIND. Is it a man?
  CELIA. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.
    Change you colour?
  ROSALIND. I prithee, who?
  CELIA. O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but
    mountains may be remov'd with earthquakes, and so encounter.
  ROSALIND. Nay, but who is it?
  CELIA. Is it possible?
  ROSALIND. Nay, I prithee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell
    me who it is.
  CELIA. O wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful wonderful, and yet
    again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!
  ROSALIND. Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am
    caparison'd like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my
    disposition? One inch of delay more is a South Sea of discovery.
    I prithee tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. I would
    thou could'st stammer, that thou mightst pour this conceal'd man
    out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of narrow-mouth'd bottle-
    either too much at once or none at all. I prithee take the cork
    out of thy mouth that I may drink thy tidings.
  CELIA. So you may put a man in your belly.
  ROSALIND. Is he of God's making? What manner of man?
    Is his head worth a hat or his chin worth a beard?
  CELIA. Nay, he hath but a little beard.
  ROSALIND. Why, God will send more if the man will be thankful. Let
    me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the
    knowledge of his chin.
  CELIA. It is young Orlando, that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels
    and your heart both in an instant.
  ROSALIND. Nay, but the devil take mocking! Speak sad brow and true
  CELIA. I' faith, coz, 'tis he.
  ROSALIND. Orlando?
  CELIA. Orlando.
  ROSALIND. Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose?
    What did he when thou saw'st him? What said he? How look'd he?
    Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where
    remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him
    again? Answer me in one word.
  CELIA. You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first; 'tis a word too
    great for any mouth of this age's size. To say ay and no to these
    particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.
  ROSALIND. But doth he know that I am in this forest, and in man's
    apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the day he wrestled?
  CELIA. It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the
    propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my finding him, and
    relish it with good observance. I found him under a tree, like a
    dropp'd acorn.
  ROSALIND. It may well be call'd Jove's tree, when it drops forth
    such fruit.
  CELIA. Give me audience, good madam.
  ROSALIND. Proceed.
  CELIA. There lay he, stretch'd along like a wounded knight.
  ROSALIND. Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well becomes
    the ground.
  CELIA. Cry 'Holla' to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets
    unseasonably. He was furnish'd like a hunter.
  ROSALIND. O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.
  CELIA. I would sing my song without a burden; thou bring'st me out
    of tune.
  ROSALIND. Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak.
    Sweet, say on.
  CELIA. You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?


ROSALIND. 'Tis he; slink by, and note him. JAQUES. I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone. ORLANDO. And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you too for your society. JAQUES. God buy you; let's meet as little as we can. ORLANDO. I do desire we may be better strangers. JAQUES. I pray you mar no more trees with writing love songs in their barks. ORLANDO. I pray you mar no more of my verses with reading them ill-favouredly. JAQUES. Rosalind is your love's name? ORLANDO. Yes, just. JAQUES. I do not like her name. ORLANDO. There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christen'd. JAQUES. What stature is she of? ORLANDO. Just as high as my heart. JAQUES. You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conn'd them out of rings? ORLANDO. Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions. JAQUES. You have a nimble wit; I think 'twas made of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? and we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery. ORLANDO. I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults. JAQUES. The worst fault you have is to be in love. ORLANDO. 'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you. JAQUES. By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found you. ORLANDO. He is drown'd in the brook; look but in, and you shall see him. JAQUES. There I shall see mine own figure. ORLANDO. Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher. JAQUES. I'll tarry no longer with you; farewell, good Signior Love. ORLANDO. I am glad of your departure; adieu, good Monsieur Melancholy. Exit JAQUES ROSALIND. [Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him.- Do you hear, forester? ORLANDO. Very well; what would you? ROSALIND. I pray you, what is't o'clock? ORLANDO. You should ask me what time o' day; there's no clock in the forest. ROSALIND. Then there is no true lover in the forest, else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock. ORLANDO. And why not the swift foot of Time? Had not that been as proper? ROSALIND. By no means, sir. Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal. ORLANDO. I prithee, who doth he trot withal? ROSALIND. Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the contract of her marriage and the day it is solemniz'd; if the interim be but a se'nnight, Time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven year. ORLANDO. Who ambles Time withal? ROSALIND. With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that hath not the gout; for the one sleeps easily because he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because he feels no pain; the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury. These Time ambles withal. ORLANDO. Who doth he gallop withal? ROSALIND. With a thief to the gallows; for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there. ORLANDO. Who stays it still withal? ROSALIND. With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves. ORLANDO. Where dwell you, pretty youth? ROSALIND. With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat. ORLANDO. Are you native of this place? ROSALIND. As the coney that you see dwell where she is kindled. ORLANDO. Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling. ROSALIND. I have been told so of many; but indeed an old religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it; and I thank God I am not a woman, to be touch'd with so many giddy offences as he hath generally tax'd their whole sex withal. ORLANDO. Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid to the charge of women? ROSALIND. There were none principal; they were all like one another as halfpence are; every one fault seeming monstrous till his fellow-fault came to match it. ORLANDO. I prithee recount some of them. ROSALIND. No; I will not cast away my physic but on those that are sick. There is a man haunts the forest that abuses our young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies on brambles; all, forsooth, deifying the name of Rosalind. If I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him. ORLANDO. I am he that is so love-shak'd; I pray you tell me your remedy. ROSALIND. There is none of my uncle's marks upon you; he taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner. ORLANDO. What were his marks? ROSALIND. A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have not; a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for simply your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue. Then your hose should be ungarter'd, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbutton'd, your shoe untied, and every thing about you demonstrating a careless desolation. But you are no such man; you are rather point-device in your accoutrements, as loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other. ORLANDO. Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love. ROSALIND. Me believe it! You may as soon make her that you love believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to do than to confess she does. That is one of the points in the which women still give the lie to their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he that hangs the verses on the trees wherein Rosalind is so admired? ORLANDO. I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he. ROSALIND. But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak? ORLANDO. Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much. ROSALIND. Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do; and the reason why they are not so punish'd and cured is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel. ORLANDO. Did you ever cure any so? ROSALIND. Yes, one; and in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me; at which time would I, being but a moonish youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles; for every passion something and for no passion truly anything, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of the world and to live in a nook merely monastic. And thus I cur'd him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in 't. ORLANDO. I would not be cured, youth. ROSALIND. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote and woo me. ORLANDO. Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me where it is. ROSALIND. Go with me to it, and I'll show it you; and, by the way, you shall tell me where in the forest you live. Will you go? ORLANDO. With all my heart, good youth. ROSALIND. Nay, you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go? Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest


  TOUCHSTONE. Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats,
    Audrey. And how, Audrey, am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature
    content you?
  AUDREY. Your features! Lord warrant us! What features?
  TOUCHSTONE. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most
    capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.
  JAQUES. [Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a
    thatch'd house!
  TOUCHSTONE. When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's
    good wit seconded with the forward child understanding, it
    strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
    Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
  AUDREY. I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and
    word? Is it a true thing?
  TOUCHSTONE. No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning,
    and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry may
    be said as lovers they do feign.
  AUDREY. Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me poetical?
  TOUCHSTONE. I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me thou art honest;
    now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst
  AUDREY. Would you not have me honest?
  TOUCHSTONE. No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favour'd; for honesty
    coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.
  JAQUES. [Aside] A material fool!
  AUDREY. Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me
  TOUCHSTONE. Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were
    to put good meat into an unclean dish.
  AUDREY. I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.
  TOUCHSTONE. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness;
    sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will
    marry thee; and to that end I have been with Sir Oliver Martext,
    the vicar of the next village, who hath promis'd to meet me in
    this place of the forest, and to couple us.
  JAQUES. [Aside] I would fain see this meeting.
  AUDREY. Well, the gods give us joy!
  TOUCHSTONE. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger
    in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no
    assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage! As horns are
    odious, they are necessary. It is said: 'Many a man knows no end
    of his goods.' Right! Many a man has good horns and knows no end
    of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his
    own getting. Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest
    deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore
    blessed? No; as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so
    is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare
    brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no
    skill, by so much is horn more precious than to want. Here comes
    Sir Oliver.


    Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met. Will you dispatch us here
    under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?
  MARTEXT. Is there none here to give the woman?
  TOUCHSTONE. I will not take her on gift of any man.
  MARTEXT. Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
  JAQUES. [Discovering himself] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.
  TOUCHSTONE. Good even, good Master What-ye-call't; how do you, sir?
    You are very well met. Goddild you for your last company. I am
    very glad to see you. Even a toy in hand here, sir. Nay; pray be
  JAQUES. Will you be married, motley?
  TOUCHSTONE. As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and
    the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons
    bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.
  JAQUES. And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married
    under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church and have a good
    priest that can tell you what marriage is; this fellow will but
    join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will
    prove a shrunk panel, and like green timber warp, warp.
  TOUCHSTONE. [Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be
    married of him than of another; for he is not like to marry me
    well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me
    hereafter to leave my wife.
  JAQUES. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.
  TOUCHSTONE. Come, sweet Audrey;
    We must be married or we must live in bawdry.
    Farewell, good Master Oliver. Not-
               O sweet Oliver,
               O brave Oliver,
           Leave me not behind thee.
                 Wind away,
               Begone, I say,
           I will not to wedding with thee.
                           Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE, and AUDREY
  MARTEXT. 'Tis no matter; ne'er a fantastical knave of them all
    shall flout me out of my calling. Exit

SCENE IV. The forest


  ROSALIND. Never talk to me; I will weep.
  CELIA. Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that tears
    do not become a man.
  ROSALIND. But have I not cause to weep?
  CELIA. As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.
  ROSALIND. His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
  CELIA. Something browner than Judas's.
    Marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.
  ROSALIND. I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.
  CELIA. An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.
  ROSALIND. And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of
    holy bread.
  CELIA. He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana. A nun of
    winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of
    chastity is in them.
  ROSALIND. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and
    comes not?
  CELIA. Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.
  ROSALIND. Do you think so?
  CELIA. Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horse-stealer; but
    for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as covered
    goblet or a worm-eaten nut.
  ROSALIND. Not true in love?
  CELIA. Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.
  ROSALIND. You have heard him swear downright he was.
  CELIA. 'Was' is not 'is'; besides, the oath of a lover is no
    stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmer
    of false reckonings. He attends here in the forest on the Duke,
    your father.
  ROSALIND. I met the Duke yesterday, and had much question with him.
    He asked me of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as
    he; so he laugh'd and let me go. But what talk we of fathers when
    there is such a man as Orlando?
  CELIA. O, that's a brave man! He writes brave verses, speaks brave
    words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite
    traverse, athwart the heart of his lover; as a puny tilter, that
    spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble
    goose. But all's brave that youth mounts and folly guides. Who
    comes here?


  CORIN. Mistress and master, you have oft enquired
    After the shepherd that complain'd of love,
    Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
    Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
    That was his mistress.
  CELIA. Well, and what of him?
  CORIN. If you will see a pageant truly play'd
    Between the pale complexion of true love
    And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,
    Go hence a little, and I shall conduct you,
    If you will mark it.
  ROSALIND. O, come, let us remove!
    The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
    Bring us to this sight, and you shall say
    I'll prove a busy actor in their play. Exeunt

SCENE V. Another part of the forest


  SILVIUS. Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe.
    Say that you love me not; but say not so
    In bitterness. The common executioner,
    Whose heart th' accustom'd sight of death makes hard,
    Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
    But first begs pardon. Will you sterner be
    Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, at a distance

  PHEBE. I would not be thy executioner;
    I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
    Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye.
    'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
    That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
    Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
    Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!
    Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
    And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee.
    Now counterfeit to swoon; why, now fall down;
    Or, if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
    Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers.
    Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee.
    Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
    Some scar of it; lean upon a rush,
    The cicatrice and capable impressure
    Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
    Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not;
    Nor, I am sure, there is not force in eyes
    That can do hurt.
  SILVIUS. O dear Phebe,
    If ever- as that ever may be near-
    You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
    Then shall you know the wounds invisible
    That love's keen arrows make.
  PHEBE. But till that time
    Come not thou near me; and when that time comes,
    Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
    As till that time I shall not pity thee.
  ROSALIND. [Advancing] And why, I pray you? Who might be your
    That you insult, exult, and all at once,
    Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty-
    As, by my faith, I see no more in you
    Than without candle may go dark to bed-
    Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
    Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
    I see no more in you than in the ordinary
    Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,
    I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
    No faith, proud mistress, hope not after it;
    'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
    Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
    That can entame my spirits to your worship.
    You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
    Like foggy south, puffing with wind and rain?
    You are a thousand times a properer man
    Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you
    That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children.
    'Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
    And out of you she sees herself more proper
    Than any of her lineaments can show her.
    But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees,
    And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love;
    For I must tell you friendly in your ear:
    Sell when you can; you are not for all markets.
    Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer;
    Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
    So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.
  PHEBE. Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together;
    I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.
  ROSALIND. He's fall'n in love with your foulness, and she'll fall
    in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as she answers thee
    with frowning looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words. Why look
    you so upon me?
  PHEBE. For no ill will I bear you.
  ROSALIND. I pray you do not fall in love with me,
    For I am falser than vows made in wine;
    Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
    'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
    Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
    Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
    And be not proud; though all the world could see,
    None could be so abus'd in sight as he.
    Come, to our flock. Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN
  PHEBE. Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might:
    'Who ever lov'd that lov'd not at first sight?'
  SILVIUS. Sweet Phebe.
  PHEBE. Ha! what say'st thou, Silvius?
  SILVIUS. Sweet Phebe, pity me.
  PHEBE. Why, I arn sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
  SILVIUS. Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.
    If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
    By giving love, your sorrow and my grief
    Were both extermin'd.
  PHEBE. Thou hast my love; is not that neighbourly?
  SILVIUS. I would have you.
  PHEBE. Why, that were covetousness.
    Silvius, the time was that I hated thee;
    And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
    But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
    Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
    I will endure; and I'll employ thee too.
    But do not look for further recompense
    Than thine own gladness that thou art employ'd.
  SILVIUS. So holy and so perfect is my love,
    And I in such a poverty of grace,
    That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
    To glean the broken ears after the man
    That the main harvest reaps; loose now and then
    A scatt'red smile, and that I'll live upon.
  PHEBE. Know'st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
  SILVIUS. Not very well; but I have met him oft;
    And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
    That the old carlot once was master of.
  PHEBE. Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
    'Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well.
    But what care I for words? Yet words do well
    When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
    It is a pretty youth- not very pretty;
    But, sure, he's proud; and yet his pride becomes him.
    He'll make a proper man. The best thing in him
    Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
    Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
    He is not very tall; yet for his years he's tall;
    His leg is but so-so; and yet 'tis well.
    There was a pretty redness in his lip,
    A little riper and more lusty red
    Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the difference
    Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
    There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd him
    In parcels as I did, would have gone near
    To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
    I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet
    I have more cause to hate him than to love him;
    For what had he to do to chide at me?
    He said mine eyes were black, and my hair black,
    And, now I am rememb'red, scorn'd at me.
    I marvel why I answer'd not again;
    But that's all one: omittance is no quittance.
    I'll write to him a very taunting letter,
    And thou shalt bear it; wilt thou, Silvius?
  SILVIUS. Phebe, with all my heart.
  PHEBE. I'll write it straight;
    The matter's in my head and in my heart;
    I will be bitter with him and passing short.
    Go with me, Silvius. Exeunt


ACT IV. SCENE I. The forest


  JAQUES. I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with
  ROSALIND. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
  JAQUES. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
  ROSALIND. Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
    fellows, and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than
  JAQUES. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
  ROSALIND. Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
  JAQUES. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is
    emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the
    courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is
    ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's,
    which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these; but it is a
    melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted
    from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my
    travels; in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous
  ROSALIND. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be
    sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men's; then
    to have seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes and
    poor hands.
  JAQUES. Yes, I have gain'd my experience.


  ROSALIND. And your experience makes you sad. I had rather have a
    fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad- and to
    travel for it too.
  ORLANDO. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!
  JAQUES. Nay, then, God buy you, an you talk in blank verse.
  ROSALIND. Farewell, Monsieur Traveller; look you lisp and wear
    strange suits, disable all the benefits of your own country, be
    out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making
    you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have
    swam in a gondola. [Exit JAQUES] Why, how now, Orlando! where
    have you been all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such
    another trick, never come in my sight more.
  ORLANDO. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
  ROSALIND. Break an hour's promise in love! He that will divide a
    minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the
    thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said
    of him that Cupid hath clapp'd him o' th' shoulder, but I'll
    warrant him heart-whole.
  ORLANDO. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I had
    as lief be woo'd of a snail.
  ORLANDO. Of a snail!
  ROSALIND. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries
    his house on his head- a better jointure, I think, than you make
    a woman; besides, he brings his destiny with him.
  ORLANDO. What's that?
  ROSALIND. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholding to
    your wives for; but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents
    the slander of his wife.
  ORLANDO. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.
  ROSALIND. And I am your Rosalind.
  CELIA. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a
    better leer than you.
  ROSALIND. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour,
    and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now, an I
    were your very very Rosalind?
  ORLANDO. I would kiss before I spoke.
  ROSALIND. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were
    gravell'd for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
    Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for
    lovers lacking- God warn us!- matter, the cleanliest shift is to
  ORLANDO. How if the kiss be denied?
  ROSALIND. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new
  ORLANDO. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
  ROSALIND. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I
    should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
  ORLANDO. What, of my suit?
  ROSALIND. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.
    Am not I your Rosalind?
  ORLANDO. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking
    of her.
  ROSALIND. Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.
  ORLANDO. Then, in mine own person, I die.
  ROSALIND. No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six
    thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man
    died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had
    his brains dash'd out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
    could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love.
    Leander, he would have liv'd many a fair year, though Hero had
    turn'd nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for,
    good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and,
    being taken with the cramp, was drown'd; and the foolish
    chroniclers of that age found it was- Hero of Sestos. But these
    are all lies: men have died from time to time, and worms have
    eaten them, but not for love.
  ORLANDO. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I
    protest, her frown might kill me.
  ROSALIND. By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now I
    will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me
    what you will, I will grant it.
  ORLANDO. Then love me, Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays, and all.
  ORLANDO. And wilt thou have me?
  ROSALIND. Ay, and twenty such.
  ORLANDO. What sayest thou?
  ROSALIND. Are you not good?
  ORLANDO. I hope so.
  ROSALIND. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? Come,
    sister, you shall be the priest, and marry us. Give me your hand,
    Orlando. What do you say, sister?
  ORLANDO. Pray thee, marry us.
  CELIA. I cannot say the words.
  ROSALIND. You must begin 'Will you, Orlando'-
  CELIA. Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
  ORLANDO. I will.
  ROSALIND. Ay, but when?
  ORLANDO. Why, now; as fast as she can marry us.
  ROSALIND. Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.'
  ORLANDO. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
  ROSALIND. I might ask you for your commission; but- I do take thee,
    Orlando, for my husband. There's a girl goes before the priest;
    and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
  ORLANDO. So do all thoughts; they are wing'd.
  ROSALIND. Now tell me how long you would have her, after you have
    possess'd her.
  ORLANDO. For ever and a day.
  ROSALIND. Say 'a day' without the 'ever.' No, no, Orlando; men are
    April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when
    they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will
    be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen,
    more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled than
    an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey. I will weep for
    nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you
    are dispos'd to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when
    thou are inclin'd to sleep.
  ORLANDO. But will my Rosalind do so?
  ROSALIND. By my life, she will do as I do.
  ORLANDO. O, but she is wise.
  ROSALIND. Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The wiser,
    the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman's wit, and it will out
    at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop
    that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
  ORLANDO. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say 'Wit,
    whither wilt?' ROSALIND. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your
    wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
  ORLANDO. And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
  ROSALIND. Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall never
    take her without her answer, unless you take her without her
    tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her fault her husband's
    occasion, let her never nurse her child herself, for she will
    breed it like a fool!
  ORLANDO. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
  ROSALIND. Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!
  ORLANDO. I must attend the Duke at dinner; by two o'clock I will be
    with thee again.
  ROSALIND. Ay, go your ways, go your ways. I knew what you would
    prove; my friends told me as much, and I thought no less. That
    flattering tongue of yours won me. 'Tis but one cast away, and
    so, come death! Two o'clock is your hour?
  ORLANDO. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and
    by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot
    of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will
    think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow
    lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may
    be chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful. Therefore
    beware my censure, and keep your promise.
  ORLANDO. With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
    Rosalind; so, adieu.
  ROSALIND. Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
    offenders, and let Time try. Adieu. Exit ORLANDO
  CELIA. You have simply misus'd our sex in your love-prate. We must
    have your doublet and hose pluck'd over your head, and show the
    world what the bird hath done to her own nest.
  ROSALIND. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst
    know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded;
    my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.
  CELIA. Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection
    in, it runs out.
  ROSALIND. No; that same wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of
    thought, conceiv'd of spleen, and born of madness; that blind
    rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are
    out- let him be judge how deep I am in love. I'll tell thee,
    Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I'll go find a
    shadow, and sigh till he come.
  CELIA. And I'll sleep. Exeunt

SCENE II. The forest

Enter JAQUES and LORDS, in the habit of foresters

  JAQUES. Which is he that killed the deer?
  LORD. Sir, it was I.
  JAQUES. Let's present him to the Duke, like a Roman conqueror; and
    it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head for a
    branch of victory. Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?
  LORD. Yes, sir.
  JAQUES. Sing it; 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise


      What shall he have that kill'd the deer?
      His leather skin and horns to wear.
                              [The rest shall hear this burden:]
           Then sing him home.

      Take thou no scorn to wear the horn;
      It was a crest ere thou wast born.
           Thy father's father wore it;
           And thy father bore it.
      The horn, the horn, the lusty horn,
      Is not a thing to laugh to scorn. Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest


  ROSALIND. How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock?
    And here much Orlando!
  CELIA. I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he hath
    ta'en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth- to sleep. Look, who
    comes here.


  SILVIUS. My errand is to you, fair youth;
    My gentle Phebe did bid me give you this.
    I know not the contents; but, as I guess
    By the stern brow and waspish action
    Which she did use as she was writing of it,
    It bears an angry tenour. Pardon me,
    I am but as a guiltless messenger.
  ROSALIND. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
    And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all.
    She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;
    She calls me proud, and that she could not love me,
    Were man as rare as Phoenix. 'Od's my will!
    Her love is not the hare that I do hunt;
    Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
    This is a letter of your own device.
  SILVIUS. No, I protest, I know not the contents;
    Phebe did write it.
  ROSALIND. Come, come, you are a fool,
    And turn'd into the extremity of love.
    I saw her hand; she has a leathern hand,
    A freestone-colour'd hand; I verily did think
    That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;
    She has a huswife's hand- but that's no matter.
    I say she never did invent this letter:
    This is a man's invention, and his hand.
  SILVIUS. Sure, it is hers.
  ROSALIND. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style;
    A style for challengers. Why, she defies me,
    Like Turk to Christian. Women's gentle brain
    Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
    Such Ethiope words, blacker in their effect
    Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
  SILVIUS. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
    Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.
  ROSALIND. She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes.

            'Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,
            That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?'

    Can a woman rail thus?
  SILVIUS. Call you this railing?
  ROSALIND. 'Why, thy godhead laid apart,
             Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?'

Did you ever hear such railing?

            'Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
            That could do no vengeance to me.'

Meaning me a beast.

            'If the scorn of your bright eyne
            Have power to raise such love in mine,
            Alack, in me what strange effect
            Would they work in mild aspect!
            Whiles you chid me, I did love;
            How then might your prayers move!
            He that brings this love to the
            Little knows this love in me;
            And by him seal up thy mind,
            Whether that thy youth and kind
            Will the faithful offer take
            Of me and all that I can make;
            Or else by him my love deny,
            And then I'll study how to die.'
  SILVIUS. Call you this chiding?
  CELIA. Alas, poor shepherd!
  ROSALIND. Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity. Wilt thou love
    such a woman? What, to make thee an instrument, and play false
    strains upon thee! Not to be endur'd! Well, go your way to her,
    for I see love hath made thee tame snake, and say this to her-
    that if she love me, I charge her to love thee; if she will not,
    I will never have her unless thou entreat for her. If you be a
    true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.
                                                    Exit SILVIUS


  OLIVER. Good morrow, fair ones; pray you, if you know,
    Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
    A sheep-cote fenc'd about with olive trees?
  CELIA. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom.
    The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
    Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
    But at this hour the house doth keep itself;
    There's none within.
  OLIVER. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
    Then should I know you by description-
    Such garments, and such years: 'The boy is fair,
    Of female favour, and bestows himself
    Like a ripe sister; the woman low,
    And browner than her brother.' Are not you
    The owner of the house I did inquire for?
  CELIA. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.
  OLIVER. Orlando doth commend him to you both;
    And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
    He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
  ROSALIND. I am. What must we understand by this?
  OLIVER. Some of my shame; if you will know of me
    What man I am, and how, and why, and where,
    This handkercher was stain'd.
  CELIA. I pray you, tell it.
  OLIVER. When last the young Orlando parted from you,
    He left a promise to return again
    Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest,
    Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
    Lo, what befell! He threw his eye aside,
    And mark what object did present itself.
    Under an oak, whose boughs were moss'd with age,
    And high top bald with dry antiquity,
    A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair,
    Lay sleeping on his back. About his neck
    A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself,
    Who with her head nimble in threats approach'd
    The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
    Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
    And with indented glides did slip away
    Into a bush; under which bush's shade
    A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
    Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
    When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
    The royal disposition of that beast
    To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead.
    This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
    And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
  CELIA. O, I have heard him speak of that same brother;
    And he did render him the most unnatural
    That liv'd amongst men.
  OLIVER. And well he might so do,
    For well I know he was unnatural.
  ROSALIND. But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,
    Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness?
  OLIVER. Twice did he turn his back, and purpos'd so;
    But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
    And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
    Made him give battle to the lioness,
    Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling
    From miserable slumber I awak'd.
  CELIA. Are you his brother?
  ROSALIND. Was't you he rescu'd?
  CELIA. Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
  OLIVER. 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
    To tell you what I was, since my conversion
    So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
  ROSALIND. But for the bloody napkin?
  OLIVER. By and by.
    When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
    Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
    As how I came into that desert place-
    In brief, he led me to the gentle Duke,
    Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
    Committing me unto my brother's love;
    Who led me instantly unto his cave,
    There stripp'd himself, and here upon his arm
    The lioness had torn some flesh away,
    Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
    And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
    Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound,
    And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
    He sent me hither, stranger as I am,
    To tell this story, that you might excuse
    His broken promise, and to give this napkin,
    Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
    That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
                                               [ROSALIND swoons]
  CELIA. Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!
  OLIVER. Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
  CELIA. There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!
  OLIVER. Look, he recovers.
  ROSALIND. I would I were at home.
  CELIA. We'll lead you thither.
    I pray you, will you take him by the arm?
  OLIVER. Be of good cheer, youth. You a man!
    You lack a man's heart.
  ROSALIND. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would think
    this was well counterfeited. I pray you tell your brother how
    well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!
  OLIVER. This was not counterfeit; there is too great testimony in
    your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.
  ROSALIND. Counterfeit, I assure you.
  OLIVER. Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.
  ROSALIND. So I do; but, i' faith, I should have been a woman by
  CELIA. Come, you look paler and paler; pray you draw homewards.
    Good sir, go with us.
  OLIVER. That will I, for I must bear answer back
    How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. I shall devise something; but, I pray you, commend my
    counterfeiting to him. Will you go? Exeunt


ACT V. SCENE I. The forest


  TOUCHSTONE. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.
  AUDREY. Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
    gentleman's saying.
  TOUCHSTONE. A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Martext.
    But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to
  AUDREY. Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in the
    world; here comes the man you mean.


  TOUCHSTONE. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth,
    we that have good wits have much to answer for: we shall be
    flouting; we cannot hold.
  WILLIAM. Good ev'n, Audrey.
  AUDREY. God ye good ev'n, William.
  WILLIAM. And good ev'n to you, sir.
  TOUCHSTONE. Good ev'n, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
    head; nay, prithee be cover'd. How old are you, friend?
  WILLIAM. Five and twenty, sir.
  TOUCHSTONE. A ripe age. Is thy name William?
  WILLIAM. William, sir.
  TOUCHSTONE. A fair name. Wast born i' th' forest here?
  WILLIAM. Ay, sir, I thank God.
  TOUCHSTONE. 'Thank God.' A good answer.
    Art rich?
  WILLIAM. Faith, sir, so so.
  TOUCHSTONE. 'So so' is good, very good, very excellent good; and
    yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?
  WILLIAM. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
  TOUCHSTONE. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying: 'The
    fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
    a fool.' The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a
    grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning
    thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open. You do
    love this maid?
  WILLIAM. I do, sir.
  TOUCHSTONE. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
  WILLIAM. No, sir.
  TOUCHSTONE. Then learn this of me: to have is to have; for it is a
    figure in rhetoric that drink, being pour'd out of cup into a
    glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your
    writers do consent that ipse is he; now, you are not ipse, for I
    am he.
  WILLIAM. Which he, sir?
  TOUCHSTONE. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
    clown, abandon- which is in the vulgar leave- the society- which
    in the boorish is company- of this female- which in the common is
    woman- which together is: abandon the society of this female; or,
    clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest;
    or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into
    death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee,
    or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction;
    will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and
    fifty ways; therefore tremble and depart.
  AUDREY. Do, good William.
  WILLIAM. God rest you merry, sir. Exit


  CORIN. Our master and mistress seeks you; come away, away.
  TOUCHSTONE. Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey. I attend, I attend.

SCENE II. The forest


  ORLANDO. Is't possible that on so little acquaintance you should
    like her? that but seeing you should love her? and loving woo?
    and, wooing, she should grant? and will you persever to enjoy
  OLIVER. Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the poverty
    of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden wooing, nor her sudden
    consenting; but say with me, I love Aliena; say with her that she
    loves me; consent with both that we may enjoy each other. It
    shall be to your good; for my father's house and all the revenue
    that was old Sir Rowland's will I estate upon you, and here live
    and die a shepherd.
  ORLANDO. You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow.
    Thither will I invite the Duke and all's contented followers. Go
    you and prepare Aliena; for, look you, here comes my Rosalind.


  ROSALIND. God save you, brother.
  OLIVER. And you, fair sister. Exit
  ROSALIND. O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee wear
    thy heart in a scarf!
  ORLANDO. It is my arm.
  ROSALIND. I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws of a
  ORLANDO. Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.
  ROSALIND. Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to swoon
    when he show'd me your handkercher?
  ORLANDO. Ay, and greater wonders than that.
  ROSALIND. O, I know where you are. Nay, 'tis true. There was never
    any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams and Caesar's
    thrasonical brag of 'I came, saw, and overcame.' For your brother
    and my sister no sooner met but they look'd; no sooner look'd but
    they lov'd; no sooner lov'd but they sigh'd; no sooner sigh'd but
    they ask'd one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but
    they sought the remedy- and in these degrees have they made pair
    of stairs to marriage, which they will climb incontinent, or else
    be incontinent before marriage. They are in the very wrath of
    love, and they will together. Clubs cannot part them.
  ORLANDO. They shall be married to-morrow; and I will bid the Duke
    to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into
    happiness through another man's eyes! By so much the more shall I
    to-morrow be at the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I
    shall think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.
  ROSALIND. Why, then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for
  ORLANDO. I can live no longer by thinking.
  ROSALIND. I will weary you, then, no longer with idle talking. Know
    of me then- for now I speak to some purpose- that I know you are
    a gentleman of good conceit. I speak not this that you should
    bear a good opinion of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you
    are; neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in some
    little measure draw a belief from you, to do yourself good, and
    not to grace me. Believe then, if you please, that I can do
    strange things. I have, since I was three year old, convers'd
    with a magician, most profound in his art and yet not damnable.
    If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries
    it out, when your brother marries Aliena shall you marry her. I
    know into what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is not
    impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient to you, to set
    her before your eyes to-morrow, human as she is, and without any
  ORLANDO. Speak'st thou in sober meanings?
  ROSALIND. By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say I
    am a magician. Therefore put you in your best array, bid your
    friends; for if you will be married to-morrow, you shall; and to
    Rosalind, if you will.


    Look, here comes a lover of mine, and a lover of hers.
  PHEBE. Youth, you have done me much ungentleness
    To show the letter that I writ to you.
  ROSALIND. I care not if I have. It is my study
    To seem despiteful and ungentle to you.
    You are there follow'd by a faithful shepherd;
    Look upon him, love him; he worships you.
  PHEBE. Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.
  SILVIUS. It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
    And so am I for Phebe.
  PHEBE. And I for Ganymede.
  ORLANDO. And I for Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. And I for no woman.
  SILVIUS. It is to be all made of faith and service;
    And so am I for Phebe.
  PHEBE. And I for Ganymede.
  ORLANDO. And I for Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. And I for no woman.
  SILVIUS. It is to be all made of fantasy,
    All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
    All adoration, duty, and observance,
    All humbleness, all patience, and impatience,
    All purity, all trial, all obedience;
    And so am I for Phebe.
  PHEBE. And so am I for Ganymede.
  ORLANDO. And so am I for Rosalind.
  ROSALIND. And so am I for no woman.
  PHEBE. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
  SILVIUS. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
  ORLANDO. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
  ROSALIND. Why do you speak too, 'Why blame you me to love you?'
  ORLANDO. To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.
  ROSALIND. Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling of Irish
    wolves against the moon. [To SILVIUS] I will help you if I can.
    [To PHEBE] I would love you if I could.- To-morrow meet me all
    together. [ To PHEBE ] I will marry you if ever I marry woman,
    and I'll be married to-morrow. [To ORLANDO] I will satisfy you if
    ever I satisfied man, and you shall be married to-morrow. [To
    Silvius] I will content you if what pleases you contents you, and
    you shall be married to-morrow. [To ORLANDO] As you love
    Rosalind, meet. [To SILVIUS] As you love Phebe, meet;- and as I
    love no woman, I'll meet. So, fare you well; I have left you
  SILVIUS. I'll not fail, if I live.
  PHEBE. Nor I.
  ORLANDO. Nor I. Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest


  TOUCHSTONE. To-morrow is the joyful day, Audre'y; to-morrow will we
    be married.
  AUDREY. I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no
    dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here come
    two of the banish'd Duke's pages.

Enter two PAGES

  FIRST PAGE. Well met, honest gentleman.
  TOUCHSTONE. By my troth, well met. Come sit, sit, and a song.
  SECOND PAGE. We are for you; sit i' th' middle.
  FIRST PAGE. Shall we clap into't roundly, without hawking, or
    spitting, or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues
    to a bad voice?
  SECOND PAGE. I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies
    on a horse.

        It was a lover and his lass,
          With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        That o'er the green corn-field did pass
          In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
        When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.
        Sweet lovers love the spring.

        Between the acres of the rye,
          With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        These pretty country folks would lie,
          In the spring time, &c.

        This carol they began that hour,
          With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        How that a life was but a flower,
          In the spring time, &c.

        And therefore take the present time,
          With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        For love is crowned with the prime,
          In the spring time, &c.

  TOUCHSTONE. Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
    matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.
  FIRST PAGE. YOU are deceiv'd, sir; we kept time, we lost not our
  TOUCHSTONE. By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such
    a foolish song. God buy you; and God mend your voices. Come,
    Audrey. Exeunt

SCENE IV. The forest


  DUKE SENIOR. Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
    Can do all this that he hath promised?
  ORLANDO. I sometimes do believe and sometimes do not:
    As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.


  ROSALIND. Patience once more, whiles our compact is urg'd:
    You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,
    You will bestow her on Orlando here?
  DUKE SENIOR. That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.
  ROSALIND. And you say you will have her when I bring her?
  ORLANDO. That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.
  ROSALIND. You say you'll marry me, if I be willing?
  PHEBE. That will I, should I die the hour after.
  ROSALIND. But if you do refuse to marry me,
    You'll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?
  PHEBE. So is the bargain.
  ROSALIND. You say that you'll have Phebe, if she will?
  SILVIUS. Though to have her and death were both one thing.
  ROSALIND. I have promis'd to make all this matter even.
    Keep you your word, O Duke, to give your daughter;
    You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter;
    Keep your word, Phebe, that you'll marry me,
    Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd;
    Keep your word, Silvius, that you'll marry her
    If she refuse me; and from hence I go,
    To make these doubts all even.
                                       Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
  DUKE SENIOR. I do remember in this shepherd boy
    Some lively touches of my daughter's favour.
  ORLANDO. My lord, the first time that I ever saw him
    Methought he was a brother to your daughter.
    But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,
    And hath been tutor'd in the rudiments
    Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
    Whom he reports to be a great magician,
    Obscured in the circle of this forest.


  JAQUES. There is, sure, another flood toward, and these couples are
    coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts which
    in all tongues are call'd fools.
  TOUCHSTONE. Salutation and greeting to you all!
  JAQUES. Good my lord, bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded
    gentleman that I have so often met in the forest. He hath been a
     courtier, he swears.
  TOUCHSTONE. If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation.
    I have trod a measure; I have flatt'red a lady; I have been
    politic with my friend, smooth with mine enemy; I have undone
    three tailors; I have had four quarrels, and like to have fought
  JAQUES. And how was that ta'en up?
  TOUCHSTONE. Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
    seventh cause.
  JAQUES. How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.
  DUKE SENIOR. I like him very well.
  TOUCHSTONE. God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I press in
    here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear
    and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. A
    poor virgin, sir, an ill-favour'd thing, sir, but mine own; a
    poor humour of mine, sir, to take that that man else will. Rich
    honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house; as your pearl
    in your foul oyster.
  DUKE SENIOR. By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
  TOUCHSTONE. According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet
  JAQUES. But, for the seventh cause: how did you find the quarrel on
    the seventh cause?
  TOUCHSTONE. Upon a lie seven times removed- bear your body more
    seeming, Audrey- as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain
    courtier's beard; he sent me word, if I said his beard was not
    cut well, he was in the mind it was. This is call'd the Retort
    Courteous. If I sent him word again it was not well cut, he would
    send me word he cut it to please himself. This is call'd the Quip
    Modest. If again it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment.
    This is call'd the Reply Churlish. If again it was not well cut,
    he would answer I spake not true. This is call'd the Reproof
    Valiant. If again it was not well cut, he would say I lie. This
    is call'd the Countercheck Quarrelsome. And so to the Lie
    Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.
  JAQUES. And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?
  TOUCHSTONE. I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial, nor
    he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we measur'd swords
    and parted.
  JAQUES. Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?
  TOUCHSTONE. O, sir, we quarrel in print by the book, as you have
    books for good manners. I will name you the degrees. The first,
    the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the
    Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the
    Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance;
    the seventh, the Lie Direct. All these you may avoid but the Lie
    Direct; and you may avoid that too with an If. I knew when seven
    justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were
    met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as: 'If you
    said so, then I said so.' And they shook hands, and swore
    brothers. Your If is the only peace-maker; much virtue in If.
  JAQUES. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord?
    He's as good at any thing, and yet a fool.
  DUKE SENIOR. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the
    presentation of that he shoots his wit:


    HYMEN. Then is there mirth in heaven,
              When earthly things made even
                Atone together.
              Good Duke, receive thy daughter;
              Hymen from heaven brought her,
                Yea, brought her hither,
              That thou mightst join her hand with his,
              Whose heart within his bosom is.
  ROSALIND. [To DUKE] To you I give myself, for I am yours.
    [To ORLANDO] To you I give myself, for I am yours.
  DUKE SENIOR. If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.
  ORLANDO. If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.
  PHEBE. If sight and shape be true,
    Why then, my love adieu!
  ROSALIND. I'll have no father, if you be not he;
    I'll have no husband, if you be not he;
    Nor ne'er wed woman, if you be not she.
  HYMEN. Peace, ho! I bar confusion;
            'Tis I must make conclusion
              Of these most strange events.
            Here's eight that must take hands
            To join in Hymen's bands,
              If truth holds true contents.
            You and you no cross shall part;
            You and you are heart in heart;
            You to his love must accord,
            Or have a woman to your lord;
            You and you are sure together,
            As the winter to foul weather.
            Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
            Feed yourselves with questioning,
            That reason wonder may diminish,
            How thus we met, and these things finish.

            Wedding is great Juno's crown;
              O blessed bond of board and bed!
            'Tis Hymen peoples every town;
              High wedlock then be honoured.
            Honour, high honour, and renown,
            To Hymen, god of every town!

  DUKE SENIOR. O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
    Even daughter, welcome in no less degree.
  PHEBE. I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
    Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.


  JAQUES de BOYS. Let me have audience for a word or two.
    I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
    That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
    Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
    Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
    Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot,
    In his own conduct, purposely to take
    His brother here, and put him to the sword;
    And to the skirts of this wild wood he came,
    Where, meeting with an old religious man,
    After some question with him, was converted
    Both from his enterprise and from the world;
    His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,
    And all their lands restor'd to them again
    That were with him exil'd. This to be true
    I do engage my life.
  DUKE SENIOR. Welcome, young man.
    Thou offer'st fairly to thy brothers' wedding:
    To one, his lands withheld; and to the other,
    A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
    First, in this forest let us do those ends
    That here were well begun and well begot;
    And after, every of this happy number,
    That have endur'd shrewd days and nights with us,
    Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
    According to the measure of their states.
    Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity,
    And fall into our rustic revelry.
    Play, music; and you brides and bridegrooms all,
    With measure heap'd in joy, to th' measures fall.
  JAQUES. Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
    The Duke hath put on a religious life,
    And thrown into neglect the pompous court.
  JAQUES DE BOYS. He hath.
  JAQUES. To him will I. Out of these convertites
    There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.
    [To DUKE] You to your former honour I bequeath;
    Your patience and your virtue well deserves it.
    [To ORLANDO] You to a love that your true faith doth merit;
    [To OLIVER] You to your land, and love, and great allies
    [To SILVIUS] You to a long and well-deserved bed;
    [To TOUCHSTONE] And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
    Is but for two months victuall'd.- So to your pleasures;
    I am for other than for dancing measures.
  DUKE SENIOR. Stay, Jaques, stay.
  JAQUES. To see no pastime I. What you would have
    I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave. Exit
  DUKE SENIOR. Proceed, proceed. We will begin these rites,
    As we do trust they'll end, in true delights. [A dance] Exeunt

  ROSALIND. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but
    it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it
    be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play
    needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and
    good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a
    case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot
    insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
    furnish'd like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me. My
    way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge
    you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of
    this play as please you; and I charge you, O men, for the love
    you bear to women- as I perceive by your simp'ring none of you
    hates them- that between you and the women the play may please.
    If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that
    pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that I defied
    not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces,
    or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy,
    bid me farewell.




by William Shakespeare



SOLINUS, Duke of Ephesus
AEGEON, a merchant of Syracuse

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS twin brothers and sons to

DROMIO OF EPHESUS twin brothers, and attendants on
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE the two Antipholuses

BALTHAZAR, a merchant
ANGELO, a goldsmith
FIRST MERCHANT, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse
SECOND MERCHANT, to whom Angelo is a debtor
PINCH, a schoolmaster

AEMILIA, wife to AEgeon; an abbess at Ephesus
ADRIANA, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus
LUCIANA, her sister
LUCE, servant to Adriana


Gaoler, Officers, Attendants

SCENE: Ephesus




A hall in the DUKE'S palace

Enter the DUKE OF EPHESUS, AEGEON, the Merchant of Syracuse, GAOLER, OFFICERS, and other ATTENDANTS

AEGEON. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
  And by the doom of death end woes and all.
DUKE. Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more;
  I am not partial to infringe our laws.
  The enmity and discord which of late
  Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
  To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
  Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,
  Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods,
  Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.
  For, since the mortal and intestine jars
  'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
  It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
  Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,
  To admit no traffic to our adverse towns;
  Nay, more: if any born at Ephesus
  Be seen at any Syracusian marts and fairs;
  Again, if any Syracusian born
  Come to the bay of Ephesus-he dies,
  His goods confiscate to the Duke's dispose,
  Unless a thousand marks be levied,
  To quit the penalty and to ransom him.
  Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
  Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;
  Therefore by law thou art condemn'd to die.
AEGEON. Yet this my comfort: when your words are done,
  My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
DUKE. Well, Syracusian, say in brief the cause
  Why thou departed'st from thy native home,
  And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
AEGEON. A heavier task could not have been impos'd
  Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable;
  Yet, that the world may witness that my end
  Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
  I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
  In Syracuse was I born, and wed
  Unto a woman, happy but for me,
  And by me, had not our hap been bad.
  With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd
  By prosperous voyages I often made
  To Epidamnum; till my factor's death,
  And the great care of goods at random left,
  Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:
  From whom my absence was not six months old,
  Before herself, almost at fainting under
  The pleasing punishment that women bear,
  Had made provision for her following me,
  And soon and safe arrived where I was.
  There had she not been long but she became
  A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
  And, which was strange, the one so like the other
  As could not be disdnguish'd but by names.
  That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
  A mean woman was delivered
  Of such a burden, male twins, both alike.
  Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,
  I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
  My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
  Made daily motions for our home return;
  Unwilling, I agreed. Alas! too soon
  We came aboard.
  A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd
  Before the always-wind-obeying deep
  Gave any tragic instance of our harm:
  But longer did we not retain much hope,
  For what obscured light the heavens did grant
  Did but convey unto our fearful minds
  A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
  Which though myself would gladly have embrac'd,
  Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
  Weeping before for what she saw must come,
  And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
  That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
  Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
  And this it was, for other means was none:
  The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
  And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us;
  My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
  Had fast'ned him unto a small spare mast,
  Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;
  To him one of the other twins was bound,
  Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
  The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,
  Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
  Fast'ned ourselves at either end the mast,
  And, floating straight, obedient to the stream,
  Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.
  At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
  Dispers'd those vapours that offended us;
  And, by the benefit of his wished light,
  The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
  Two ships from far making amain to us-
  Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.
  But ere they came-O, let me say no more!
  Gather the sequel by that went before.
DUKE. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off so;
  For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
AEGEON. O, had the gods done so, I had not now
  Worthily term'd them merciless to us!
  For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,
  We were encount'red by a mighty rock,
  Which being violently borne upon,
  Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;
  So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
  Fortune had left to both of us alike
  What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
  Her part, poor soul, seeming as burdened
  With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
  Was carried with more speed before the wind;
  And in our sight they three were taken up
  By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
  At length another ship had seiz'd on us;
  And, knowing whom it was their hap to save,
  Gave healthful welcome to their ship-wreck'd guests,
  And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
  Had not their bark been very slow of sail;
  And therefore homeward did they bend their course.
  Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss,
  That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,
  To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
DUKE. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,
  Do me the favour to dilate at full
  What have befall'n of them and thee till now.
AEGEON. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
  At eighteen years became inquisitive
  After his brother, and importun'd me
  That his attendant-so his case was like,
  Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name-
  Might bear him company in the quest of him;
  Whom whilst I laboured of a love to see,
  I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
  Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
  Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,
  And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;
  Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought
  Or that or any place that harbours men.
  But here must end the story of my life;
  And happy were I in my timely death,
  Could all my travels warrant me they live.
DUKE. Hapless, Aegeon, whom the fates have mark'd
  To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
  Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,
  Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
  Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
  My soul should sue as advocate for thee.
  But though thou art adjudged to the death,
  And passed sentence may not be recall'd
  But to our honour's great disparagement,
  Yet will I favour thee in what I can.
  Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day
  To seek thy help by beneficial hap.
  Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
  Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
  And live; if no, then thou art doom'd to die.
  Gaoler, take him to thy custody.
GAOLER. I will, my lord.
AEGEON. Hopeless and helpless doth Aegeon wend,
  But to procrastinate his lifeless end.


The mart


FIRST MERCHANT. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,
  Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
  This very day a Syracusian merchant
  Is apprehended for arrival here;
  And, not being able to buy out his life,
  According to the statute of the town,
  Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
  There is your money that I had to keep.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host.
  And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
  Within this hour it will be dinner-time;
  Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
  Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
  And then return and sleep within mine inn;
  For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
  Get thee away.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Many a man would take you at your word,
  And go indeed, having so good a mean.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
  When I am dull with care and melancholy,
  Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
  What, will you walk with me about the town,
  And then go to my inn and dine with me?
FIRST MERCHANT. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
  Of whom I hope to make much benefit;
  I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,
  Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
  And afterward consort you till bed time.
  My present business calls me from you now.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,
  And wander up and down to view the city.
FIRST MERCHANT. Sir, I commend you to your own content.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. He that commends me to mine own content
  Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
  I to the world am like a drop of water
  That in the ocean seeks another drop,
  Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
  Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.
  So I, to find a mother and a brother,
  In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.


  Here comes the almanac of my true date.
  What now? How chance thou art return'd so soon?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd too late.
  The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit;
  The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell-
  My mistress made it one upon my cheek;
  She is so hot because the meat is cold,
  The meat is cold because you come not home,
  You come not home because you have no stomach,
  You have no stomach, having broke your fast;
  But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
  Are penitent for your default to-day.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:
  Where have you left the money that I gave you?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O-Sixpence that I had a Wednesday last
  To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper?
  The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I am not in a sportive humour now;
  Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?
  We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust
  So great a charge from thine own custody?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I pray you jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.
  I from my mistress come to you in post;
  If I return, I shall be post indeed,
  For she will score your fault upon my pate.
  Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock,
  And strike you home without a messenger.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season;
  Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.
  Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.
  ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
  And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
  Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.
  My mistress and her sister stays for you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me
  In what safe place you have bestow'd my money,
  Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
  That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd.
  Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
  Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
  But not a thousand marks between you both.
  If I should pay your worship those again,
  Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thy mistress' marks! What mistress, slave, hast thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;
  She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
  And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
  Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
[Beats him]
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. What mean you, sir? For God's sake hold your hands!
  Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Upon my life, by some device or other
  The villain is o'erraught of all my money.
  They say this town is full of cozenage;
  As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
  Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
  Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
  Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
  And many such-like liberties of sin;
  If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
  I'll to the Centaur to go seek this slave.
  I greatly fear my money is not safe.




Enter ADRIANA, wife to ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS, with LUCIANA, her sister

ADRIANA. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd
  That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
  Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.
LUCIANA. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
  And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner;
  Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.
  A man is master of his liberty;
  Time is their master, and when they see time,
  They'll go or come. If so, be patient, sister.
ADRIANA. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
LUCIANA. Because their business still lies out o' door.
ADRIANA. Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
LUCIANA. O, know he is the bridle of your will.
ADRIANA. There's none but asses will be bridled so.
LUCIANA. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
  There's nothing situate under heaven's eye
  But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky.
  The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
  Are their males' subjects, and at their controls.
  Man, more divine, the master of all these,
  Lord of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
  Indu'd with intellectual sense and souls,
  Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
  Are masters to their females, and their lords;
  Then let your will attend on their accords.
ADRIANA. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
LUCIANA. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
ADRIANA. But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
LUCIANA. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey.
ADRIANA. How if your husband start some other where?
LUCIANA. Till he come home again, I would forbear.
ADRIANA. Patience unmov'd! no marvel though she pause:
  They can be meek that have no other cause.
  A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
  We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
  But were we burd'ned with like weight of pain,
  As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
  So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
  With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
  But if thou live to see like right bereft,
  This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
LUCIANA. Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
  Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.


ADRIANA. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two
  ears can witness.
ADRIANA. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know'st thou his mind?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear.
  Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
LUCIANA. Spake he so doubtfully thou could'st not feel his meaning?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, he struck so plainly I could to
  well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could
  scarce understand them.
ADRIANA. But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
  It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
ADRIANA. Horn-mad, thou villain!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I mean not cuckold-mad;
  But, sure, he is stark mad.
  When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
  He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold.
  "Tis dinner time' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
  'Your meat doth burn' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
  'Will you come home?' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
  'Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?'
  'The pig' quoth I 'is burn'd'; 'My gold!' quoth he.
  'My mistress, sir,' quoth I; 'Hang up thy mistress;
  I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress.'
LUCIANA. Quoth who?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Quoth my master.
  'I know' quoth he 'no house, no wife, no mistress.'
  So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
  I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
  For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
ADRIANA. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Go back again, and be new beaten home?
  For God's sake, send some other messenger.
ADRIANA. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. And he will bless that cross with other beating;
  Between you I shall have a holy head.
ADRIANA. Hence, prating peasant! Fetch thy master home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Am I so round with you, as you with me,
  That like a football you do spurn me thus?
  You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither;
  If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
LUCIANA. Fie, how impatience loureth in your face!
ADRIANA. His company must do his minions grace,
  Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
  Hath homely age th' alluring beauty took
  From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
  Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
  If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
  Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
  Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
  That's not my fault; he's master of my state.
  What ruins are in me that can be found
  By him not ruin'd? Then is he the ground
  Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
  A sunny look of his would soon repair.
  But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
  And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
LUCIANA. Self-harming jealousy! fie, beat it hence.
ADRIANA. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
  I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
  Or else what lets it but he would be here?
  Sister, you know he promis'd me a chain;
  Would that alone a love he would detain,
  So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
  I see the jewel best enamelled
  Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still
  That others touch and, often touching, will
  Where gold; and no man that hath a name
  By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
  Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
  I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
LUCIANA. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!


The mart


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
  Safe at the Centaur, and the heedful slave
  Is wand'red forth in care to seek me out.
  By computation and mine host's report
  I could not speak with Dromio since at first
  I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes.


  How now, sir, is your merry humour alter'd?
  As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
  You know no Centaur! You receiv'd no gold!
  Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner!
  My house was at the Phoenix! Wast thou mad,
  That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. What answer, sir? When spake I such a word?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I did not see you since you sent me hence,
  Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt,
  And told'st me of a mistress and a dinner;
  For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I am glad to see you in this merry vein.
  What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
  Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
[Beating him]
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Hold, sir, for God's sake! Now your jest is earnest.
  Upon what bargain do you give it me?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Because that I familiarly sometimes
  Do use you for my fool and chat with you,
  Your sauciness will jest upon my love,
  And make a common of my serious hours.
  When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport,
  But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
  If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
  And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
  Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Sconce, call you it? So you would
  leave battering, I had rather have it a head. An you use
  these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and
  insconce it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders.
  But I pray, sir, why am I beaten?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Dost thou not know?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Shall I tell you why?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say
  every why hath a wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, first for flouting me; and then wherefore,
  For urging it the second time to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
  When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?
  Well, sir, I thank you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thank me, sir! for what?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave
  me for nothing.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I'll make you amends next, to
  give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, sir; I think the meat wants that I have.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. In good time, sir, what's that?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me
  another dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time;
  there's a time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I durst have denied that, before you
  were so choleric.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. By what rule, sir?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the
  plain bald pate of Father Time himself.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. There's no time for a man to recover
  his hair that grows bald by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. May he not do it by fine and recovery?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and
  recover the lost hair of another man.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why is Time such a niggard of
  hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Because it is a blessing that he bestows
  on beasts, and what he hath scanted men in hair he hath
  given them in wit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, but there's many a man
  hath more hair than wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Not a man of those but he hath the
  wit to lose his hair.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, thou didst conclude hairy
  men plain dealers without wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost;
  yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. For two; and sound ones too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Nay, not sound I pray you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Sure ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Certain ones, then.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. The one, to save the money that he spends in
  tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. You would all this time have prov'd there
  is no time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover
  hair lost by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. But your reason was not substantial, why
  there is no time to recover.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald,
  and therefore to the world's end will have bald followers.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I knew 't'would be a bald conclusion. But,
  soft, who wafts us yonder?


ADRIANA. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown.
  Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects;
  I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.
  The time was once when thou unurg'd wouldst vow
  That never words were music to thine ear,
  That never object pleasing in thine eye,
  That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
  That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste,
  Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carv'd to thee.
  How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it,
  That thou art then estranged from thyself?
  Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
  That, undividable, incorporate,
  Am better than thy dear self's better part.
  Ah, do not tear away thyself from me;
  For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall
  A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
  And take unmingled thence that drop again
  Without addition or diminishing,
  As take from me thyself, and not me too.
  How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
  Should'st thou but hear I were licentious,
  And that this body, consecrate to thee,
  By ruffian lust should be contaminate!
  Wouldst thou not spit at me and spurn at me,
  And hurl the name of husband in my face,
  And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow,
  And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring,
  And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
  I know thou canst, and therefore see thou do it.
  I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;
  My blood is mingled with the crime of lust;
  For if we two be one, and thou play false,
  I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
  Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
  Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed;
  I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not:
  In Ephesus I am but two hours old,
  As strange unto your town as to your talk,
  Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd,
  Wants wit in all one word to understand.
LUCIANA. Fie, brother, how the world is chang'd with you!
  When were you wont to use my sister thus?
  She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.
ADRIANA. By thee; and this thou didst return from him-
  That he did buffet thee, and in his blows
  Denied my house for his, me for his wife.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
  What is the course and drift of your compact?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I, Sir? I never saw her till this time.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Villain, thou liest; for even her very words
  Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I never spake with her in all my life.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. How can she thus, then, call us by our names,
  Unless it be by inspiration?
ADRIANA. How ill agrees it with your gravity
  To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
  Abetting him to thwart me in my mood!
  Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
  But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
  Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine;
  Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
  Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
  Makes me with thy strength to communicate.
  If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
  Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
  Who all, for want of pruning, with intrusion
  Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
  What, was I married to her in my dream?
  Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this?
  What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
  Until I know this sure uncertainty,
  I'll entertain the offer'd fallacy.
LUCIANA. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O, for my beads! I cross me for sinner.
  This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!
  We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites.
  If we obey them not, this will ensue:
  They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
LUCIANA. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer'st not?
  Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I am transformed, master, am not I?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thou hast thine own form.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, I am an ape.
LUCIANA. If thou art chang'd to aught, 'tis to an ass.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. 'Tis true; she rides me, and I long for grass.
  'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be
  But I should know her as well as she knows me.
ADRIANA. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
  To put the finger in the eye and weep,
  Whilst man and master laughs my woes to scorn.
  Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.
  Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day,
  And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
  Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
  Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.
  Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
  Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advis'd?
  Known unto these, and to myself disguis'd!
  I'll say as they say, and persever so,
  And in this mist at all adventures go.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
ADRIANA. Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
LUCIANA. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.



Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Good Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all;
  My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours.
  Say that I linger'd with you at your shop
  To see the making of her carcanet,
  And that to-morrow you will bring it home.
  But here's a villain that would face me down
  He met me on the mart, and that I beat him,
  And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold,
  And that I did deny my wife and house.
  Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by this?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Say what you will, sir, but I know what I know.
  That you beat me at the mart I have your hand to show;
  If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave were ink,
  Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I think thou art an ass.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Marry, so it doth appear
  By the wrongs I suffer and the blows I bear.
  I should kick, being kick'd; and being at that pass,
  You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Y'are sad, Signior Balthazar; pray God our cheer
  May answer my good will and your good welcome here.
BALTHAZAR. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your welcome dear.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
  A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish.
BALTHAZAR. Good meat, sir, is common; that every churl affords.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And welcome more common; for that's nothing
  but words.
BALTHAZAR. Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Ay, to a niggardly host and more sparing guest.
  But though my cates be mean, take them in good part;
  Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart.
  But, soft, my door is lock'd; go bid them let us in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, Ginn!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch!
  Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the hatch.
  Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for such store,
  When one is one too many? Go get thee from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. What patch is made our porter?
  My master stays in the street.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Let him walk from whence he came,
    lest he catch cold on's feet.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Who talks within there? Ho, open the door!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Right, sir; I'll tell you when,
    an you'll tell me wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Wherefore? For my dinner;
    I have not din'd to-day.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Nor to-day here you must not;
    come again when you may.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. What art thou that keep'st me out
    from the house I owe?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] The porter for this time,
    sir, and my name is Dromio.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O Villain, thou hast stol'n both mine
    office and my name!
  The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
  If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place,
  Thou wouldst have chang'd thy face for a name, or thy name for an ass.

Enter LUCE, within

LUCE. [Within] What a coil is there, Dromio? Who are those at the gate?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Let my master in, Luce.
LUCE. [Within] Faith, no, he comes too late;
  And so tell your master.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O Lord, I must laugh!
  Have at you with a proverb: Shall I set in my staff?
LUCE. [Within] Have at you with another: that's-when? can you tell?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] If thy name be called Luce
    -Luce, thou hast answer'd him well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Do you hear, you minion? You'll let us in, I hope?
LUCE. [Within] I thought to have ask'd you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] And you said no.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. SO, Come, help: well struck! there was blow for blow.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Thou baggage, let me in.
LUCE. [Within] Can you tell for whose sake?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Master, knock the door hard.
LUCE. [Within] Let him knock till it ache.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You'll cry for this, minion, if beat the door down.
LUCE. [Within] What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?

Enter ADRIANA, within

ADRIANA. [Within] Who is that at the door, that keeps all this noise?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] By my troth, your town is
    troubled with unruly boys.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Are you there, wife? You might
    have come before.
ADRIANA. [Within] Your wife, sir knave! Go get you from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. If YOU went in pain, master, this 'knave' would go sore.
ANGELO. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome; we would fain have either.
BALTHAZAR. In debating which was best, we shall part with neither.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. They stand at the door, master; bid them welcome hither.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. There is something in the wind, that we cannot get in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. You would say so, master, if your garments were thin.
  Your cake here is warm within; you stand here in the cold;
  It would make a man mad as a buck to be so bought and sold.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Go fetch me something; I'll break ope the gate.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Break any breaking here,
    and I'll break your knave's pate.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. A man may break a word with you,
    sir; and words are but wind;
  Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] It seems thou want'st breaking;
    out upon thee, hind!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Here's too much 'out upon thee!' pray thee let me in.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Ay, when fowls have no
    feathers and fish have no fin.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Well, I'll break in; go borrow me a crow.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. A crow without feather? Master, mean you so?
  For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a feather;
  If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow together.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Go get thee gone; fetch me an iron crow.
BALTHAZAR. Have patience, sir; O, let it not be so!
  Herein you war against your reputation,
  And draw within the compass of suspect
  Th' unviolated honour of your wife.
  Once this-your long experience of her wisdom,
  Her sober virtue, years, and modesty,
  Plead on her part some cause to you unknown;
  And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
  Why at this time the doors are made against you.
  Be rul'd by me: depart in patience,
  And let us to the Tiger all to dinner;
  And, about evening, come yourself alone
  To know the reason of this strange restraint.
  If by strong hand you offer to break in
  Now in the stirring passage of the day,
  A vulgar comment will be made of it,
  And that supposed by the common rout
  Against your yet ungalled estimation
  That may with foul intrusion enter in
  And dwell upon your grave when you are dead;
  For slander lives upon succession,
  For ever hous'd where it gets possession.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You have prevail'd. I will depart in quiet,
  And in despite of mirth mean to be merry.
  I know a wench of excellent discourse,
  Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle;
  There will we dine. This woman that I mean,
  My wife-but, I protest, without desert-
  Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal;
  To her will we to dinner. [To ANGELO] Get you home
  And fetch the chain; by this I know 'tis made.
  Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine;
  For there's the house. That chain will I bestow-
  Be it for nothing but to spite my wife-
  Upon mine hostess there; good sir, make haste.
  Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
  I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me.
ANGELO. I'll meet you at that place some hour hence.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Do so; this jest shall cost me some expense.


Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS


LUCIANA. And may it be that you have quite forgot
  A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
  Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?
  Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous?
  If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
  Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kindness;
  Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth;
  Muffle your false love with some show of blindness;
  Let not my sister read it in your eye;
  Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;
  Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
  Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;
  Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;
  Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
  Be secret-false. What need she be acquainted?
  What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
  'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed
  And let her read it in thy looks at board;
  Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
  Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word.
  Alas, poor women! make us but believe,
  Being compact of credit, that you love us;
  Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;
  We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
  Then, gentle brother, get you in again;
  Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife.
  'Tis holy sport to be a little vain
  When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Sweet mistress-what your name is else, I know not,
  Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine-
  Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not
  Than our earth's wonder-more than earth, divine.
  Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak;
  Lay open to my earthy-gross conceit,
  Smoth'red in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
  The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
  Against my soul's pure truth why labour you
  To make it wander in an unknown field?
  Are you a god? Would you create me new?
  Transform me, then, and to your pow'r I'll yield.
  But if that I am I, then well I know
  Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
  Nor to her bed no homage do I owe;
  Far more, far more, to you do I decline.
  O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
  To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears.
  Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote;
  Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
  And as a bed I'll take them, and there he;
  And in that glorious supposition think
  He gains by death that hath such means to die.
  Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink.
LUCIANA. What, are you mad, that you do reason so?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Not mad, but mated; how, I do not know.
LUCIANA. It is a fault that springeth from your eye.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.
LUCIANA. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your sight.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.
LUCIANA. Why call you me love? Call my sister so.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thy sister's sister.
LUCIANA. That's my sister.
  It is thyself, mine own self's better part;
  Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,
  My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim,
  My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.
LUCIANA. All this my sister is, or else should be.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I am thee;
  Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life;
  Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife.
  Give me thy hand.
LUCIANA. O, soft, sir, hold you still;
  I'll fetch my sister to get her good will.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, how now, Dromio! Where run'st thou
  so fast?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio?
  Am I your man? Am I myself?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thou art Dromio, thou art my
  man, thou art thyself.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and besides
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What woman's man, and how besides thyself?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due
  to a woman-one that claims me, one that haunts me, one
  that will have me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What claim lays she to thee?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, such claim as you would
  lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beast: not
  that, I being a beast, she would have me; but that she,
  being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. A very reverent body; ay, such a one
  as a man may not speak of without he say 'Sir-reverence.'
  I have but lean luck in the match, and yet is she a
  wondrous fat marriage.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. How dost thou mean a fat marriage?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench,
  and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to but
  to make a lamp of her and run from her by her own light.
  I warrant, her rags and the tallow in them will burn
  Poland winter. If she lives till doomsday, she'll burn
  week longer than the whole world.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What complexion is she of?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Swart, like my shoe; but her face
  nothing like so clean kept; for why, she sweats, a man may
  go over shoes in the grime of it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. That's a fault that water will mend.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood
  could not do it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nell, sir; but her name and three
  quarters, that's an ell and three quarters, will not measure
  her from hip to hip.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Then she bears some breadth?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No longer from head to foot than
  from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could find
  out countries in her.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. In what part of her body stands Ireland?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by
  the bogs.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I found it by the barrenness, hard in
  the palm of the hand.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. In her forehead, arm'd and reverted,
  making war against her heir.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I look'd for the chalky cliffs, but I
  could find no whiteness in them; but I guess it stood in her
  chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Faith, I saw it not, but I felt it hot in
  her breath.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Where America, the Indies?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O, sir, upon her nose, an o'er embellished with
  rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the
  hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadoes of caracks to be
  ballast at her nose.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O, Sir, I did not look so low. To
  conclude: this drudge or diviner laid claim to me; call'd me
  Dromio; swore I was assur'd to her; told me what privy
  marks I had about me, as, the mark of my shoulder, the
  mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I,
  amaz'd, ran from her as a witch.
  And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith,
    and my heart of steel,
  She had transform'd me to a curtal dog, and made me turn i' th' wheel.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Go hie thee presently post to the road;
  An if the wind blow any way from shore,
  I will not harbour in this town to-night.
  If any bark put forth, come to the mart,
  Where I will walk till thou return to me.
  If every one knows us, and we know none,
  'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. As from a bear a man would run for life,
  So fly I from her that would be my wife.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. There's none but witches do inhabit here,
  And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence.
  She that doth call me husband, even my soul
  Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair sister,
  Possess'd with such a gentle sovereign grace,
  Of such enchanting presence and discourse,
  Hath almost made me traitor to myself;
  But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong,
  I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song.

Enter ANGELO with the chain

ANGELO. Master Antipholus!
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Ay, that's my name.
ANGELO. I know it well, sir. Lo, here is the chain.
  I thought to have ta'en you at the Porpentine;
  The chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What is your will that I shall do with this?
ANGELO. What please yourself, sir; I have made it for you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not.
ANGELO. Not once nor twice, but twenty times you have.
  Go home with it, and please your wife withal;
  And soon at supper-time I'll visit you,
  And then receive my money for the chain.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I pray you, sir, receive the money now,
  For fear you ne'er see chain nor money more.
ANGELO. You are a merry man, sir; fare you well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What I should think of this cannot tell:
  But this I think, there's no man is so vain
  That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain.
  I see a man here needs not live by shifts,
  When in the streets he meets such golden gifts.
  I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay;
  If any ship put out, then straight away.



A public place


SECOND MERCHANT. You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
  And since I have not much importun'd you;
  Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
  To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage.
  Therefore make present satisfaction,
  Or I'll attach you by this officer.
ANGELO. Even just the sum that I do owe to you
  Is growing to me by Antipholus;
  And in the instant that I met with you
  He had of me a chain; at five o'clock
  I shall receive the money for the same.
  Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,
  I will discharge my bond, and thank you too.


OFFICER. That labour may you save; see where he comes.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou
  And buy a rope's end; that will I bestow
  Among my wife and her confederates,
  For locking me out of my doors by day.
  But, soft, I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone;
  Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I buy a thousand pound a year; I buy a rope.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. A man is well holp up that trusts to you!
  I promised your presence and the chain;
  But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me.
  Belike you thought our love would last too long,
  If it were chain'd together, and therefore came not.
ANGELO. Saving your merry humour, here's the note
  How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat,
  The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion,
  Which doth amount to three odd ducats more
  Than I stand debted to this gentleman.
  I pray you see him presently discharg'd,
  For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I am not furnish'd with the present money;
  Besides, I have some business in the town.
  Good signior, take the stranger to my house,
  And with you take the chain, and bid my wife
  Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof.
  Perchance I will be there as soon as you.
ANGELO. Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. No; bear it with you, lest I come not time enough.
ANGELO. Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have;
  Or else you may return without your money.
ANGELO. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain;
  Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,
  And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Good Lord! you use this dalliance to excuse
  Your breach of promise to the Porpentine;
  I should have chid you for not bringing it,
  But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
SECOND MERCHANT. The hour steals on; I pray you, sir, dispatch.
ANGELO. You hear how he importunes me-the chain!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your money.
ANGELO. Come, come, you know I gave it you even now.
  Either send the chain or send by me some token.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Fie, now you run this humour out of breath!
  Come, where's the chain? I pray you let me see it.
SECOND MERCHANT. My business cannot brook this dalliance.
  Good sir, say whe'r you'll answer me or no;
  If not, I'll leave him to the officer.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I answer you! What should I answer you?
ANGELO. The money that you owe me for the chain.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I owe you none till I receive the chain.
ANGELO. You know I gave it you half an hour since.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You gave me none; you wrong me much to say so.
ANGELO. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it.
  Consider how it stands upon my credit.
SECOND MERCHANT. Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.
OFFICER. I do; and charge you in the Duke's name to obey me.
ANGELO. This touches me in reputation.
  Either consent to pay this sum for me,
  Or I attach you by this officer.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Consent to pay thee that I never had!
  Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar'st.
ANGELO. Here is thy fee; arrest him, officer.
  I would not spare my brother in this case,
  If he should scorn me so apparently.
OFFICER. I do arrest you, sir; you hear the suit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I do obey thee till I give thee bail.
  But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear
  As all the metal in your shop will answer.
ANGELO. Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus,
  To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.

Enter DROMIO OF SYRACUSE, from the bay

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, there's a bark of Epidamnum
  That stays but till her owner comes aboard,
  And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
  I have convey'd aboard; and I have bought
  The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitx.
  The ship is in her trim; the merry wind
  Blows fair from land; they stay for nought at an
  But for their owner, master, and yourself.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. How now! a madman? Why, thou peevish sheep,
  What ship of Epidamnum stays for me?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. THOU drunken slave! I sent the for a rope;
  And told thee to what purpose and what end.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. YOU sent me for a rope's end as soon-
  You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I Will debate this matter at more leisure,
  And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
  To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight;
  Give her this key, and tell her in the desk
  That's cover'd o'er with Turkish tapestry
  There is a purse of ducats; let her send it.
  Tell her I am arrested in the street,
  And that shall bail me; hie thee, slave, be gone.
  On, officer, to prison till it come.
<Exeunt all but DROMIO
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. To Adriana! that is where we din'd,
  Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband.
  She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
  Thither I must, although against my will,
  For servants must their masters' minds fulfil.




ADRIANA. Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
  Might'st thou perceive austerely in his eye
  That he did plead in earnest? Yea or no?
  Look'd he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
  What observation mad'st thou in this case
  Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face?
LUCIANA. First he denied you had in him no right.
ADRIANA. He meant he did me none-the more my spite.
LUCIANA. Then swore he that he was a stranger here.
ADRIANA. And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
LUCIANA. Then pleaded I for you.
ADRIANA. And what said he?
LUCIANA. That love I begg'd for you he begg'd of me.
ADRIANA. With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
LUCIANA. With words that in an honest suit might move.
  First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
ADRIANA. Didst speak him fair?
LUCIANA. Have patience, I beseech.
ADRIANA. I cannot, nor I will not hold me still;
  My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
  He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
  Ill-fac'd, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere;
  Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind;
  Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
LUCIANA. Who would be jealous then of such a one?
  No evil lost is wail'd when it is gone.
ADRIANA. Ah, but I think him better than I say,
  And yet would herein others' eyes were worse.
  Far from her nest the lapwing cries away;
  My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Here go-the desk, the purse. Sweet
  now, make haste.
LUCIANA. How hast thou lost thy breath?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. By running fast.
ADRIANA. Where is thy master, Dromio? Is he well?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse than hell.
  A devil in an everlasting garment hath him;
  One whose hard heart is button'd up with steel;
  A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
  A wolf, nay worse, a fellow all in buff;
  A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermands
  The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;
  A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well;
  One that, before the Judgment, carries poor souls to hell.
ADRIANA. Why, man, what is the matter?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I do not know the matter; he is rested on the case.
ADRIANA. What, is he arrested? Tell me, at whose suit?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
  But he's in a suit of buff which 'rested him, that can I tell.
  Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in his desk?
ADRIANA. Go fetch it, sister. [Exit LUCIANA] This I wonder at:
  Thus he unknown to me should be in debt.
  Tell me, was he arrested on a band?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. on a band, but on a stronger thing,
  A chain, a chain. Do you not hear it ring?
ADRIANA. What, the chain?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, no, the bell; 'tis time that I were gone.
  It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one.
ADRIANA. The hours come back! That did I never hear.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O yes. If any hour meet a sergeant,
    'a turns back for very fear.
ADRIANA. As if Time were in debt! How fondly dost thou reason!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes
    more than he's worth to season.
  Nay, he's a thief too: have you not heard men say
  That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
  If 'a be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
  Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?

Re-enter LUCIANA with a purse

ADRIANA. Go, Dromio, there's the money; bear it straight,
  And bring thy master home immediately.
  Come, sister; I am press'd down with conceit-
  Conceit, my comfort and my injury.


The mart


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
  As if I were their well-acquainted friend;
  And every one doth call me by my name.
  Some tender money to me, some invite me,
  Some other give me thanks for kindnesses,
  Some offer me commodities to buy;
  Even now a tailor call'd me in his shop,
  And show'd me silks that he had bought for me,
  And therewithal took measure of my body.
  Sure, these are but imaginary wiles,
  And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, here's the gold you sent me
  for. What, have you got the picture of old Adam new-apparell'd?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What gold is this? What Adam dost thou mean?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Not that Adam that kept the Paradise,
  but that Adam that keeps the prison; he that goes in the
  calf's skin that was kill'd for the Prodigal; he that came behind
  you, sir, like an evil angel, and bid you forsake your liberty.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I understand thee not.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No? Why, 'tis a plain case: he that
  went, like a bass-viol, in a case of leather; the man, sir,
  that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a sob, and rest
  them; he, sir, that takes pity on decayed men, and give
  them suits of durance; he that sets up his rest to do more
  exploits with his mace than a morris-pike.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What, thou mean'st an officer?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band;
  that brings any man to answer it that breaks his band; on
  that thinks a man always going to bed, and says 'God give
  you good rest!'
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Well, sir, there rest in your foolery. Is
  there any ship puts forth to-night? May we be gone?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Why, sir, I brought you word an
  hour since that the bark Expedition put forth to-night; and
  then were you hind'red by the sergeant, to tarry for the
  boy Delay. Here are the angels that you sent for to deliver you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. The fellow is distract, and so am I;
  And here we wander in illusions.
  Some blessed power deliver us from hence!


COURTEZAN. Well met, well met, Master Antipholus.
  I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now.
  Is that the chain you promis'd me to-day?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Satan, avoid! I charge thee, tempt me not.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, is this Mistress Satan?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's
  dam, and here she comes in the habit of a light wench; and
  thereof comes that the wenches say 'God damn me!' That's
  as much to say 'God make me a light wench!' It is written
  they appear to men like angels of light; light is an effect
  of fire, and fire will burn; ergo, light wenches will burn.
  Come not near her.
COURTEZAN. Your man and you are marvellous merry, sir.
  Will you go with me? We'll mend our dinner here.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, if you do, expect spoon-meat,
  or bespeak a long spoon.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, he must have a long spoon
  that must eat with the devil.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Avoid then, fiend! What tell'st thou me of supping?
  Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress;
  I conjure thee to leave me and be gone.
COURTEZAN. Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner,
  Or, for my diamond, the chain you promis'd,
  And I'll be gone, sir, and not trouble you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Some devils ask but the parings of one's nail,
  A rush, a hair, a drop of blood, a pin,
  A nut, a cherry-stone;
  But she, more covetous, would have a chain.
  Master, be wise; an if you give it her,
  The devil will shake her chain, and fright us with it.
COURTEZAN. I pray you, sir, my ring, or else the chain;
  I hope you do not mean to cheat me so.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Avaunt, thou witch! Come, Dromio, let us go.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. 'Fly pride' says the peacock. Mistress, that you know.
COURTEZAN. Now, out of doubt, Antipholus is mad,
  Else would he never so demean himself.
  A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats,
  And for the same he promis'd me a chain;
  Both one and other he denies me now.
  The reason that I gather he is mad,
  Besides this present instance of his rage,
  Is a mad tale he told to-day at dinner
  Of his own doors being shut against his entrance.
  Belike his wife, acquainted with his fits,
  On purpose shut the doors against his way.
  My way is now to hie home to his house,
  And tell his wife that, being lunatic,
  He rush'd into my house and took perforce
  My ring away. This course I fittest choose,
  For forty ducats is too much to lose.


A street


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Fear me not, man; I will not break away.
  I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money,
  To warrant thee, as I am 'rested for.
  My wife is in a wayward mood to-day,
  And will not lightly trust the messenger.
  That I should be attach'd in Ephesus,
  I tell you 'twill sound harshly in her cars.

Enter DROMIO OF EPHESUS, with a rope's-end

Here comes my man; I think he brings the money. How now, sir! Have you that I sent you for? DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Here's that, I warrant you, will pay them all. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. But where's the money? DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Five hundred ducats, villain, for rope? DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the rate. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. To what end did I bid thee hie thee home? DROMIO OF EPHESUS. To a rope's-end, sir; and to that end am I return'd. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And to that end, sir, I will welcome you. [Beating him] OFFICER. Good sir, be patient. DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient; I am in adversity. OFFICER. Good now, hold thy tongue. DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Thou whoreson, senseless villain! DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I would I were senseless, sir, that I might not feel your blows. ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, and so is an ass. DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I am an ass indeed; you may prove it by my long 'ears. I have served him from the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at his hands for my service but blows. When I am cold he heats me with beating; when I am warm he cools me with beating. I am wak'd with it when I sleep; rais'd with it when I sit; driven out of doors with it when I go from home; welcom'd home with it when I return; nay, I bear it on my shoulders as beggar wont her brat; and I think, when he hath lam'd me, I shall beg with it from door to door.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Come, go along; my wife is coming yonder.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Mistress, 'respice finem,' respect your end; or
  rather, to prophesy like the parrot, 'Beware the rope's-end.'
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Wilt thou still talk?
[Beating him]
COURTEZAN. How say you now? Is not your husband mad?
ADRIANA. His incivility confirms no less.
  Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer:
  Establish him in his true sense again,
  And I will please you what you will demand.
LUCIANA. Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks!
COURTEZAN. Mark how he trembles in his ecstasy.
PINCH. Give me your hand, and let me feel your pulse.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. There is my hand, and let it feel your ear.
[Striking him]
PINCH. I charge thee, Satan, hous'd within this man,
  To yield possession to my holy prayers,
  And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight.
  I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Peace, doting wizard, peace! I am not mad.
ADRIANA. O, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You minion, you, are these your customers?
  Did this companion with the saffron face
  Revel and feast it at my house to-day,
  Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut,
  And I denied to enter in my house?
ADRIANA. O husband, God doth know you din'd at home,
  Where would you had remain'd until this time,
  Free from these slanders and this open shame!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Din'd at home! Thou villain, what sayest thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Sir, Sooth to say, you did not dine at home.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Were not my doors lock'd up and I shut out?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Perdie, your doors were lock'd and you shut out.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And did not she herself revile me there?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Certes, she did; the kitchen-vestal scorn'd you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And did not I in rage depart from thence?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. In verity, you did. My bones bear witness,
  That since have felt the vigour of his rage.
ADRIANA. Is't good to soothe him in these contraries?
PINCH. It is no shame; the fellow finds his vein,
  And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to arrest me.
ADRIANA. Alas, I sent you money to redeem you,
  By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Money by me! Heart and goodwill you might,
  But surely, master, not a rag of money.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Went'st not thou to her for purse of ducats?
ADRIANA. He came to me, and I deliver'd it.
LUCIANA. And I am witness with her that she did.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. God and the rope-maker bear me witness
  That I was sent for nothing but a rope!
PINCH. Mistress, both man and master is possess'd;
  I know it by their pale and deadly looks.
  They must be bound, and laid in some dark room.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Say, wherefore didst thou lock me forth to-day?
  And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?
ADRIANA. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. And, gentle master, I receiv'd no gold;
  But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out.
ADRIANA. Dissembling villain, thou speak'st false in both.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all,
  And art confederate with a damned pack
  To make a loathsome abject scorn of me;
  But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes
  That would behold in me this shameful sport.
ADRIANA. O, bind him, bind him; let him not come near me.
PINCH. More company! The fiend is strong within him.

Enter three or four, and offer to bind him. He strives

LUCIANA. Ay me, poor man, how pale and wan he looks!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. What, will you murder me? Thou gaoler, thou,
  I am thy prisoner. Wilt thou suffer them
  To make a rescue?
OFFICER. Masters, let him go;
  He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.
PINCH. Go bind this man, for he is frantic too.
[They bind DROMIO]
ADRIANA. What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
  Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
  Do outrage and displeasure to himself?
OFFICER. He is my prisoner; if I let him go,
  The debt he owes will be requir'd of me.
ADRIANA. I will discharge thee ere I go from thee;
  Bear me forthwith unto his creditor,
  And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it.
  Good Master Doctor, see him safe convey'd
  Home to my house. O most unhappy day!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. O most unhappy strumpet!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Master, I am here ent'red in bond for you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Out on thee, villian! Wherefore
  dost thou mad me?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Will you be bound for nothing?
  Be mad, good master; cry 'The devil!'
LUCIANA. God help, poor souls, how idly do they talk!
ADRIANA. Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.
  Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?
OFFICER. One Angelo, a goldsmith; do you know him?
ADRIANA. I know the man. What is the sum he owes?
OFFICER. Two hundred ducats.
ADRIANA. Say, how grows it due?
OFFICER. Due for a chain your husband had of him.
ADRIANA. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.
COURTEZAN. When as your husband, all in rage, to-day
  Came to my house, and took away my ring-
  The ring I saw upon his finger now-
  Straight after did I meet him with a chain.
ADRIANA. It may be so, but I did never see it.
  Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is;
  I long to know the truth hereof at large.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, with his rapier drawn, and

LUCIANA. God, for thy mercy! they are loose again. ADRIANA. And come with naked swords. Let's call more help to have them bound again. OFFICER. Away, they'll kill us! <Exeunt all but ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE as fast as may be, frighted ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I see these witches are afraid of swords. DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. She that would be your wife now ran from you. ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuff from thence. I long that we were safe and sound aboard. DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Faith, stay here this night; they will surely do us no harm; you saw they speak us fair, give us gold; methinks they are such a gentle nation that, but for the mountain of mad flesh that claims marriage of me, could find in my heart to stay here still and turn witch. ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I will not stay to-night for all the town; Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard. <Exeunt



A street before a priory


ANGELO. I am sorry, sir, that I have hind'red you;
  But I protest he had the chain of me,
  Though most dishonestly he doth deny it.
SECOND MERCHANT. How is the man esteem'd here in the city?
ANGELO. Of very reverend reputation, sir,
  Of credit infinite, highly belov'd,
  Second to none that lives here in the city;
  His word might bear my wealth at any time.
SECOND MERCHANT. Speak softly; yonder, as I think, he walks.


ANGELO. 'Tis so; and that self chain about his neck
  Which he forswore most monstrously to have.
  Good sir, draw near to me, I'll speak to him.
  Signior Andpholus, I wonder much
  That you would put me to this shame and trouble;
  And, not without some scandal to yourself,
  With circumstance and oaths so to deny
  This chain, which now you wear so openly.
  Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
  You have done wrong to this my honest friend;
  Who, but for staying on our controversy,
  Had hoisted sail and put to sea to-day.
  This chain you had of me; can you deny it?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I think I had; I never did deny it.
SECOND MERCHANT. Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Who heard me to deny it or forswear it?
SECOND MERCHANT. These ears of mine, thou know'st, did hear thee.
  Fie on thee, wretch! 'tis pity that thou liv'st
  To walk where any honest men resort.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thou art a villain to impeach me thus;
  I'll prove mine honour and mine honesty
  Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand.
SECOND MERCHANT. I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.
[They draw]


ADRIANA. Hold, hurt him not, for God's sake! He is mad.
  Some get within him, take his sword away;
  Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Run, master, run; for God's sake take a house.
  This is some priory. In, or we are spoil'd.


ABBESS. Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?
ADRIANA. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
  Let us come in, that we may bind him fast,
  And bear him home for his recovery.
ANGELO. I knew he was not in his perfect wits.
SECOND MERCHANT. I am sorry now that I did draw on him.
ABBESS. How long hath this possession held the man?
ADRIANA. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
  And much different from the man he was;
  But till this afternoon his passion
  Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.
ABBESS. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck of sea?
  Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye
  Stray'd his affection in unlawful love?
  A sin prevailing much in youthful men
  Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing.
  Which of these sorrows is he subject to?
ADRIANA. To none of these, except it be the last;
  Namely, some love that drew him oft from home.
ABBESS. You should for that have reprehended him.
ADRIANA. Why, so I did.
ABBESS. Ay, but not rough enough.
ADRIANA. As roughly as my modesty would let me.
ABBESS. Haply in private.
ADRIANA. And in assemblies too.
ABBESS. Ay, but not enough.
ADRIANA. It was the copy of our conference.
  In bed, he slept not for my urging it;
  At board, he fed not for my urging it;
  Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
  In company, I often glanced it;
  Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.
ABBESS. And thereof came it that the man was mad.
  The venom clamours of a jealous woman
  Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
  It seems his sleeps were hind'red by thy railing,
  And thereof comes it that his head is light.
  Thou say'st his meat was sauc'd with thy upbraidings:
  Unquiet meals make ill digestions;
  Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
  And what's a fever but a fit of madness?
  Thou say'st his sports were hind'red by thy brawls.
  Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue
  But moody and dull melancholy,
  Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
  And at her heels a huge infectious troop
  Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
  In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest,
  To be disturb'd would mad or man or beast.
  The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
  Hath scar'd thy husband from the use of wits.
LUCIANA. She never reprehended him but mildly,
  When he demean'd himself rough, rude, and wildly.
  Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?
ADRIANA. She did betray me to my own reproof.
  Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.
ABBESS. No, not a creature enters in my house.
ADRIANA. Then let your servants bring my husband forth.
ABBESS. Neither; he took this place for sanctuary,
  And it shall privilege him from your hands
  Till I have brought him to his wits again,
  Or lose my labour in assaying it.
ADRIANA. I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
  Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
  And will have no attorney but myself;
  And therefore let me have him home with me.
ABBESS. Be patient; for I will not let him stir
  Till I have us'd the approved means I have,
  With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
  To make of him a formal man again.
  It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
  A charitable duty of my order;
  Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.
ADRIANA. I will not hence and leave my husband here;
  And ill it doth beseem your holiness
  To separate the husband and the wife.
ABBESS. Be quiet, and depart; thou shalt not have him.
LUCIANA. Complain unto the Duke of this indignity.
ADRIANA. Come, go; I will fall prostrate at his feet,
  And never rise until my tears and prayers
  Have won his Grace to come in person hither
  And take perforce my husband from the Abbess.
SECOND MERCHANT. By this, I think, the dial points at five;
  Anon, I'm sure, the Duke himself in person
  Comes this way to the melancholy vale,
  The place of death and sorry execution,
  Behind the ditches of the abbey here.
ANGELO. Upon what cause?
SECOND MERCHANT. To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,
  Who put unluckily into this bay
  Against the laws and statutes of this town,
  Beheaded publicly for his offence.
ANGELO. See where they come; we will behold his death.
LUCIANA. Kneel to the Duke before he pass the abbey.

Enter the DUKE, attended; AEGEON, bareheaded; with the HEADSMAN and other OFFICERS

DUKE. Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
  If any friend will pay the sum for him,
  He shall not die; so much we tender him.
ADRIANA. Justice, most sacred Duke, against the Abbess!
DUKE. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady;
  It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.
ADRIANA. May it please your Grace, Antipholus, my husband,
  Who I made lord of me and all I had
  At your important letters-this ill day
  A most outrageous fit of madness took him,
  That desp'rately he hurried through the street,
  With him his bondman all as mad as he,
  Doing displeasure to the citizens
  By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
  Rings, jewels, anything his rage did like.
  Once did I get him bound and sent him home,
  Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,
  That here and there his fury had committed.
  Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,
  He broke from those that had the guard of him,
  And with his mad attendant and himself,
  Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
  Met us again and, madly bent on us,
  Chas'd us away; till, raising of more aid,
  We came again to bind them. Then they fled
  Into this abbey, whither we pursu'd them;
  And here the Abbess shuts the gates on us,
  And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
  Nor send him forth that we may bear him hence.
  Therefore, most gracious Duke, with thy command
  Let him be brought forth and borne hence for help.
DUKE. Long since thy husband serv'd me in my wars,
  And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,
  When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
  To do him all the grace and good I could.
  Go, some of you, knock at the abbey gate,
  And bid the Lady Abbess come to me,
  I will determine this before I stir.


MESSENGER. O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself!
  My master and his man are both broke loose,
  Beaten the maids a-row and bound the doctor,
  Whose beard they have sing'd off with brands of fire;
  And ever, as it blaz'd, they threw on him
  Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair.
  My master preaches patience to him, and the while
  His man with scissors nicks him like a fool;
  And sure, unless you send some present help,
  Between them they will kill the conjurer.
ADRIANA. Peace, fool! thy master and his man are here,
  And that is false thou dost report to us.
MESSENGER. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true;
  I have not breath'd almost since I did see it.
  He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you,
  To scorch your face, and to disfigure you.
[Cry within]
  Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress; fly, be gone!
DUKE. Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard with halberds.
ADRIANA. Ay me, it is my husband! Witness you
  That he is borne about invisible.
  Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here,
  And now he's there, past thought of human reason.


ANTIPHOLUS OFEPHESUS. Justice, most gracious Duke; O, grant me justice!
  Even for the service that long since I did thee,
  When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
  Deep scars to save thy life; even for the blood
  That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.
AEGEON. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
  I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio.
ANTIPHOLUS OFEPHESUS. Justice, sweet Prince, against that woman there!
  She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife,
  That hath abused and dishonoured me
  Even in the strength and height of injury.
  Beyond imagination is the wrong
  That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
DUKE. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
ANTIPHOLUS OFEPHESUS. This day, great Duke, she shut the doors upon me,
  While she with harlots feasted in my house.
DUKE. A grievous fault. Say, woman, didst thou so?
ADRIANA. No, my good lord. Myself, he, and my sister,
  To-day did dine together. So befall my soul
  As this is false he burdens me withal!
LUCIANA. Ne'er may I look on day nor sleep on night
  But she tells to your Highness simple truth!
ANGELO. O peflur'd woman! They are both forsworn.
  In this the madman justly chargeth them.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. My liege, I am advised what I say;
  Neither disturbed with the effect of wine,
  Nor heady-rash, provok'd with raging ire,
  Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad.
  This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner;
  That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her,
  Could witness it, for he was with me then;
  Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
  Promising to bring it to the Porpentine,
  Where Balthazar and I did dine together.
  Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
  I went to seek him. In the street I met him,
  And in his company that gentleman.
  There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down
  That I this day of him receiv'd the chain,
  Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which
  He did arrest me with an officer.
  I did obey, and sent my peasant home
  For certain ducats; he with none return'd.
  Then fairly I bespoke the officer
  To go in person with me to my house.
  By th' way we met my wife, her sister, and a rabble more
  Of vile confederates. Along with them
  They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac'd villain,
  A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
  A threadbare juggler, and a fortune-teller,
  A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
  A living dead man. This pernicious slave,
  Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer,
  And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
  And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
  Cries out I was possess'd. Then all together
  They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence,
  And in a dark and dankish vault at home
  There left me and my man, both bound together;
  Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
  I gain'd my freedom, and immediately
  Ran hither to your Grace; whom I beseech
  To give me ample satisfaction
  For these deep shames and great indignities.
ANGELO. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him,
  That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out.
DUKE. But had he such a chain of thee, or no?
ANGELO. He had, my lord, and when he ran in here,
  These people saw the chain about his neck.
SECOND MERCHANT. Besides, I will be sworn these ears of mine
  Heard you confess you had the chain of him,
  After you first forswore it on the mart;
  And thereupon I drew my sword on you,
  And then you fled into this abbey here,
  From whence, I think, you are come by miracle.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I never came within these abbey walls,
  Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me;
  I never saw the chain, so help me Heaven!
  And this is false you burden me withal.
DUKE. Why, what an intricate impeach is this!
  I think you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
  If here you hous'd him, here he would have been;
  If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly.
  You say he din'd at home: the goldsmith here
  Denies that saying. Sirrah, what say you?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Sir, he din'd with her there, at the Porpentine.
COURTEZAN. He did; and from my finger snatch'd that ring.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. 'Tis true, my liege; this ring I had of her.
DUKE. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here?
COURTEZAN. As sure, my liege, as I do see your Grace.
DUKE. Why, this is strange. Go call the Abbess hither.
  I think you are all mated or stark mad.
<Exit one to the ABBESS
AEGEON. Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a word:
  Haply I see a friend will save my life
  And pay the sum that may deliver me.
DUKE. Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.
AEGEON. Is not your name, sir, call'd Antipholus?
  And is not that your bondman Dromio?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Within this hour I was his bondman, sir,
  But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords
  Now am I Dromio and his man unbound.
AEGEON. I am sure you both of you remember me.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you;
  For lately we were bound as you are now.
  You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?
AEGEON. Why look you strange on me? You know me well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I never saw you in my life till now.
AEGEON. O! grief hath chang'd me since you saw me last;
  And careful hours with time's deformed hand
  Have written strange defeatures in my face.
  But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?
AEGEON. Dromio, nor thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. No, trust me, sir, nor I.
AEGEON. I am sure thou dost.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not; and
  whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.
AEGEON. Not know my voice! O time's extremity,
  Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue
  In seven short years that here my only son
  Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares?
  Though now this grained face of mine be hid
  In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
  And all the conduits of my blood froze up,
  Yet hath my night of life some memory,
  My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
  My dull deaf ears a little use to hear;
  All these old witnesses-I cannot err-
  Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I never saw my father in my life.
AEGEON. But seven years since, in Syracuse, boy,
  Thou know'st we parted; but perhaps, my son,
  Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. The Duke and all that know me in
  the city Can witness with me that it is not so:
  I ne'er saw Syracuse in my life.
DUKE. I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years
  Have I been patron to Antipholus,
  During which time he ne'er saw Syracuse.
  I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.


ABBESS. Most mighty Duke, behold a man much wrong'd.
[All gather to see them]
ADRIANA. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.
DUKE. One of these men is genius to the other;
  And so of these. Which is the natural man,
  And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I, sir, am Dromio; command him away.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I, Sir, am Dromio; pray let me stay.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Aegeon, art thou not? or else his
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O, my old master! who hath bound
ABBESS. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds,
  And gain a husband by his liberty.
  Speak, old Aegeon, if thou be'st the man
  That hadst a wife once call'd Aemilia,
  That bore thee at a burden two fair sons.
  O, if thou be'st the same Aegeon, speak,
  And speak unto the same Aemilia!
AEGEON. If I dream not, thou art Aemilia.
  If thou art she, tell me where is that son
  That floated with thee on the fatal raft?
ABBESS. By men of Epidamnum he and I
  And the twin Dromio, all were taken up;
  But by and by rude fishermen of Corinth
  By force took Dromio and my son from them,
  And me they left with those of Epidamnum.
  What then became of them I cannot tell;
  I to this fortune that you see me in.
DUKE. Why, here begins his morning story right.
  These two Antipholus', these two so like,
  And these two Dromios, one in semblance-
  Besides her urging of her wreck at sea-
  These are the parents to these children,
  Which accidentally are met together.
  Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth first?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse.
DUKE. Stay, stand apart; I know not which is which.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. And I with him.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior,
  Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.
ADRIANA. Which of you two did dine with me to-day?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I, gentle mistress.
ADRIANA. And are not you my husband?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. No; I say nay to that.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. And so do I, yet did she call me so;
  And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
  Did call me brother. [To LUCIANA] What I told you then,
  I hope I shall have leisure to make good;
  If this be not a dream I see and hear.
ANGELO. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I think it be, sir; I deny it not.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.
ANGELO. I think I did, sir; I deny it not.
ADRIANA. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
  By Dromio; but I think he brought it not.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. No, none by me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. This purse of ducats I receiv'd from you,
  And Dromio my man did bring them me.
  I see we still did meet each other's man,
  And I was ta'en for him, and he for me,
  And thereupon these ERRORS are arose.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. These ducats pawn I for my father here.
DUKE. It shall not need; thy father hath his life.
COURTEZAN. Sir, I must have that diamond from you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. There, take it; and much thanks for my
  good cheer.
ABBESS. Renowned Duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
  To go with us into the abbey here,
  And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes;
  And all that are assembled in this place
  That by this sympathized one day's error
  Have suffer'd wrong, go keep us company,
  And we shall make full satisfaction.
  Thirty-three years have I but gone in travail
  Of you, my sons; and till this present hour
  My heavy burden ne'er delivered.
  The Duke, my husband, and my children both,
  And you the calendars of their nativity,
  Go to a gossips' feast, and go with me;
  After so long grief, such nativity!
DUKE. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this feast.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embark'd?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. He speaks to me. I am your master, Dromio.
  Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon.
  Embrace thy brother there; rejoice with him.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. There is a fat friend at your master's house,
  That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner;
  She now shall be my sister, not my wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother;
  I see by you I am a sweet-fac'd youth.
  Will you walk in to see their gossiping?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. That's a question; how shall we try it?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. We'll draw cuts for the senior; till then,
    lead thou first.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, then, thus:
  We came into the world like brother and brother,
  And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another.





by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae


    Generals against the Volscians

MENENIUS AGRIPPA, friend to Coriolanus

    Tribunes of the People

  YOUNG MARCIUS, son to Coriolanus
  NICANOR, a Roman
  TULLUS AUFIDIUS, General of the Volscians
  LIEUTENANT, to Aufidius
  CONSPIRATORS, With Aufidius
  ADRIAN, a Volscian
  A CITIZEN of Antium

  VOLUMNIA, mother to Coriolanus
  VIRGILIA, wife to Coriolanus
  VALERIA, friend to Virgilia
  GENTLEWOMAN attending on Virgilia

  Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Aediles, Lictors,
    Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Aufidius, and other


SCENE: Rome and the neighbourhood; Corioli and the neighbourhood; Antium

ACT I. SCENE I. Rome. A street

Enter a company of mutinous citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons

  FIRST CITIZEN. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
  ALL. Speak, speak.
  FIRST CITIZEN. YOU are all resolv'd rather to die than to famish?
  ALL. Resolv'd, resolv'd.
  FIRST CITIZEN. First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the
  ALL. We know't, we know't.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own
    price. Is't a verdict?
  ALL. No more talking on't; let it be done. Away, away!
  SECOND CITIZEN. One word, good citizens.
  FIRST CITIZEN. We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.
    What authority surfeits on would relieve us; if they would yield
    us but the superfluity while it were wholesome, we might guess
    they relieved us humanely; but they think we are too dear. The
    leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an
    inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a
    gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes ere we become
    rakes; for the gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in
    thirst for revenge.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?
  FIRST CITIZEN. Against him first; he's a very dog to the
  SECOND CITIZEN. Consider you what services he has done for his
  FIRST CITIZEN. Very well, and could be content to give him good
    report for't but that he pays himself with being proud.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
  FIRST CITIZEN. I say unto you, what he hath done famously he did it
    to that end; though soft-conscienc'd men can be content to say it
    was for his country, he did it to please his mother and to be
    partly proud, which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.
  SECOND CITIZEN. What he cannot help in his nature you account a
    vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.
  FIRST CITIZEN. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
    he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts
    within] What shouts are these? The other side o' th' city is
    risen. Why stay we prating here? To th' Capitol!
  ALL. Come, come.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Soft! who comes here?


  SECOND CITIZEN. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always lov'd
    the people.
  FIRST CITIZEN. He's one honest enough; would all the rest were so!
  MENENIUS. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where go you
    With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Our business is not unknown to th' Senate; they have
    had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, which now we'll
    show 'em in deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths;
    they shall know we have strong arms too.
  MENENIUS. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
    Will you undo yourselves?
  FIRST CITIZEN. We cannot, sir; we are undone already.
  MENENIUS. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
    Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
    Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
    Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
    Against the Roman state; whose course will on
    The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
    Of more strong link asunder than can ever
    Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
    The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
    Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
    You are transported by calamity
    Thither where more attends you; and you slander
    The helms o' th' state, who care for you like fathers,
    When you curse them as enemies.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er car'd for us
    yet. Suffer us to famish, and their storehouses cramm'd with
    grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily
    any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more
    piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain the poor. If the
    wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear
  MENENIUS. Either you must
    Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
    Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you
    A pretty tale. It may be you have heard it;
    But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
    To stale't a little more.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Well, I'll hear it, sir; yet you must not think to
    fob off our disgrace with a tale. But, an't please you, deliver.
  MENENIUS. There was a time when all the body's members
    Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it:
    That only like a gulf it did remain
    I' th' midst o' th' body, idle and unactive,
    Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
    Like labour with the rest; where th' other instruments
    Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
    And, mutually participate, did minister
    Unto the appetite and affection common
    Of the whole body. The belly answer'd-
  FIRST CITIZEN. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
  MENENIUS. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
    Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus-
    For look you, I may make the belly smile
    As well as speak- it tauntingly replied
    To th' discontented members, the mutinous parts
    That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
    As you malign our senators for that
    They are not such as you.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Your belly's answer- What?
    The kingly crowned head, the vigilant eye,
    The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
    Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
    With other muniments and petty helps
    Is this our fabric, if that they-
  MENENIUS. What then?
    Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? What then?
  FIRST CITIZEN. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,
    Who is the sink o' th' body-
  MENENIUS. Well, what then?
  FIRST CITIZEN. The former agents, if they did complain,
    What could the belly answer?
  MENENIUS. I will tell you;
    If you'll bestow a small- of what you have little-
    Patience awhile, you'st hear the belly's answer.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Y'are long about it.
  MENENIUS. Note me this, good friend:
    Your most grave belly was deliberate,
    Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered.
    'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he
    'That I receive the general food at first
    Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
    Because I am the storehouse and the shop
    Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,
    I send it through the rivers of your blood,
    Even to the court, the heart, to th' seat o' th' brain;
    And, through the cranks and offices of man,
    The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
    From me receive that natural competency
    Whereby they live. And though that all at once
    You, my good friends'- this says the belly; mark me.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Ay, sir; well, well.
  MENENIUS. 'Though all at once cannot
    See what I do deliver out to each,
    Yet I can make my audit up, that all
    From me do back receive the flour of all,
    And leave me but the bran.' What say you to' t?
  FIRST CITIZEN. It was an answer. How apply you this?
  MENENIUS. The senators of Rome are this good belly,
    And you the mutinous members; for, examine
    Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
    Touching the weal o' th' common, you shall find
    No public benefit which you receive
    But it proceeds or comes from them to you,
    And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
    You, the great toe of this assembly?
  FIRST CITIZEN. I the great toe? Why the great toe?
  MENENIUS. For that, being one o' th' lowest, basest, poorest,
    Of this most wise rebellion, thou goest foremost.
    Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
    Lead'st first to win some vantage.
    But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs.
    Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
    The one side must have bale.


    Hail, noble Marcius!
  MARCIUS. Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues
    That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
    Make yourselves scabs?
  FIRST CITIZEN. We have ever your good word.
  MARCIUS. He that will give good words to thee will flatter
    Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
    That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you,
    The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
    Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
    Where foxes, geese; you are no surer, no,
    Than is the coal of fire upon the ice
    Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
    To make him worthy whose offence subdues him,
    And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness
    Deserves your hate; and your affections are
    A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
    Which would increase his evil. He that depends
    Upon your favours swims with fins of lead,
    And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
    With every minute you do change a mind
    And call him noble that was now your hate,
    Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter
    That in these several places of the city
    You cry against the noble Senate, who,
    Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
    Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?
  MENENIUS. For corn at their own rates, whereof they say
    The city is well stor'd.
  MARCIUS. Hang 'em! They say!
    They'll sit by th' fire and presume to know
    What's done i' th' Capitol, who's like to rise,
    Who thrives and who declines; side factions, and give out
    Conjectural marriages, making parties strong,
    And feebling such as stand not in their liking
    Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's grain enough!
    Would the nobility lay aside their ruth
    And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry
    With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
    As I could pick my lance.
  MENENIUS. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
    For though abundantly they lack discretion,
    Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
    What says the other troop?
  MARCIUS. They are dissolv'd. Hang 'em!
    They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs-
    That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
    That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
    Corn for the rich men only. With these shreds
    They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
    And a petition granted them- a strange one,
    To break the heart of generosity
    And make bold power look pale- they threw their caps
    As they would hang them on the horns o' th' moon,
    Shouting their emulation.
  MENENIUS. What is granted them?
  MARCIUS. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
    Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus-
    Sicinius Velutus, and I know not. 'Sdeath!
    The rabble should have first unroof'd the city
    Ere so prevail'd with me; it will in time
    Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
    For insurrection's arguing.
  MENENIUS. This is strange.
  MARCIUS. Go get you home, you fragments.

Enter a MESSENGER, hastily

  MESSENGER. Where's Caius Marcius?
  MARCIUS. Here. What's the matter?
  MESSENGER. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.
  MARCIUS. I am glad on't; then we shall ha' means to vent
    Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

         Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, with other SENATORS;

  FIRST SENATOR. Marcius, 'tis true that you have lately told us:
    The Volsces are in arms.
  MARCIUS. They have a leader,
    Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
    I sin in envying his nobility;
    And were I anything but what I am,
    I would wish me only he.
  COMINIUS. You have fought together?
  MARCIUS. Were half to half the world by th' ears, and he
    Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make
    Only my wars with him. He is a lion
    That I am proud to hunt.
  FIRST SENATOR. Then, worthy Marcius,
    Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
  COMINIUS. It is your former promise.
  MARCIUS. Sir, it is;
    And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou
    Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.
    What, art thou stiff? Stand'st out?
  LARTIUS. No, Caius Marcius;
    I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t'other
    Ere stay behind this business.
  MENENIUS. O, true bred!
  FIRST SENATOR. Your company to th' Capitol; where, I know,
    Our greatest friends attend us.
  LARTIUS. [To COMINIUS] Lead you on.
    [To MARCIUS] Follow Cominius; we must follow you;
    Right worthy you priority.
  COMINIUS. Noble Marcius!
  FIRST SENATOR. [To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone.
  MARCIUS. Nay, let them follow.
    The Volsces have much corn: take these rats thither
    To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutineers,
    Your valour puts well forth; pray follow.
         Ciitzens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS and BRUTUS
  SICINIUS. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?
  BRUTUS. He has no equal.
  SICINIUS. When we were chosen tribunes for the people-
  BRUTUS. Mark'd you his lip and eyes?
  SICINIUS. Nay, but his taunts!
  BRUTUS. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird the gods.
  SICINIUS. Bemock the modest moon.
  BRUTUS. The present wars devour him! He is grown
    Too proud to be so valiant.
  SICINIUS. Such a nature,
    Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
    Which he treads on at noon. But I do wonder
    His insolence can brook to be commanded
    Under Cominius.
  BRUTUS. Fame, at the which he aims-
    In whom already he is well grac'd- cannot
    Better be held nor more attain'd than by
    A place below the first; for what miscarries
    Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
    To th' utmost of a man, and giddy censure
    Will then cry out of Marcius 'O, if he
    Had borne the business!'
  SICINIUS. Besides, if things go well,
    Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall
    Of his demerits rob Cominius.
  BRUTUS. Come.
    Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,
    Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
    To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed
    In aught he merit not.
  SICINIUS. Let's hence and hear
    How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
    More than his singularity, he goes
    Upon this present action.
  BRUTUS. Let's along. Exeunt

SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate House.


  FIRST SENATOR. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
    That they of Rome are ent'red in our counsels
    And know how we proceed.
  AUFIDIUS. Is it not yours?
    What ever have been thought on in this state
    That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
    Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone
    Since I heard thence; these are the words- I think
    I have the letter here;.yes, here it is:
    [Reads] 'They have press'd a power, but it is not known
    Whether for east or west. The dearth is great;
    The people mutinous; and it is rumour'd,
    Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
    Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
    And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
    These three lead on this preparation
    Whither 'tis bent. Most likely 'tis for you;
    Consider of it.'
  FIRST SENATOR. Our army's in the field;
    We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
    To answer us.
  AUFIDIUS. Nor did you think it folly
    To keep your great pretences veil'd till when
    They needs must show themselves; which in the hatching,
    It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery
    We shall be short'ned in our aim, which was
    To take in many towns ere almost Rome
    Should know we were afoot.
  SECOND SENATOR. Noble Aufidius,
    Take your commission; hie you to your bands;
    Let us alone to guard Corioli.
    If they set down before's, for the remove
    Bring up your army; but I think you'll find
    Th' have not prepar'd for us.
  AUFIDIUS. O, doubt not that!
    I speak from certainties. Nay more,
    Some parcels of their power are forth already,
    And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
    If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
    'Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
    Till one can do no more.
  ALL. The gods assist you!
  AUFIDIUS. And keep your honours safe!
  FIRST SENATOR. Farewell.
  ALL. Farewell. Exeunt


Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA, mother and wife to MARCIUS; they set them down on two low stools and sew

  VOLUMNIA. I pray you, daughter, sing, or express yourself in a more
    comfortable sort. If my son were my husband, I should freelier
    rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour than in the
    embracements of his bed where he would show most love. When yet
    he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth
    with comeliness pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of
    kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her
    beholding; I, considering how honour would become such a person-
    that it was no better than picture-like to hang by th' wall, if
    renown made it not stir- was pleas'd to let him seek danger where
    he was to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him, from whence he
    return'd his brows bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I
    sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child than
    now in first seeing he had proved himself a man.
  VIRGILIA. But had he died in the business, madam, how then?
  VOLUMNIA. Then his good report should have been my son; I therein
    would have found issue. Hear me profess sincerely: had I a dozen
    sons, each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my
    good Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country
    than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.


  GENTLEWOMAN. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.
  VIRGILIA. Beseech you give me leave to retire myself.
  VOLUMNIA. Indeed you shall not.
    Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum;
    See him pluck Aufidius down by th' hair;
    As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him.
    Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus:
    'Come on, you cowards! You were got in fear,
    Though you were born in Rome.' His bloody brow
    With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes,
    Like to a harvest-man that's task'd to mow
    Or all or lose his hire.
  VIRGILIA. His bloody brow? O Jupiter, no blood!
  VOLUMNIA. Away, you fool! It more becomes a man
    Than gilt his trophy. The breasts of Hecuba,
    When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier
    Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood
    At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria
    We are fit to bid her welcome. Exit GENTLEWOMAN
  VIRGILIA. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
  VOLUMNIA. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee
    And tread upon his neck.

Re-enter GENTLEWOMAN, With VALERIA and an usher

  VALERIA. My ladies both, good day to you.
  VOLUMNIA. Sweet madam!
  VIRGILIA. I am glad to see your ladyship.
  VALERIA. How do you both? You are manifest housekeepers. What are
    you sewing here? A fine spot, in good faith. How does your little
  VIRGILIA. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.
  VOLUMNIA. He had rather see the swords and hear a drum than look
    upon his schoolmaster.
  VALERIA. O' my word, the father's son! I'll swear 'tis a very
    pretty boy. O' my troth, I look'd upon him a Wednesday half an
    hour together; has such a confirm'd countenance! I saw him run
    after a gilded butterfly; and when he caught it he let it go
    again, and after it again, and over and over he comes, and up
    again, catch'd it again; or whether his fall enrag'd him, or how
    'twas, he did so set his teeth and tear it. O, I warrant, how he
    mammock'd it!
  VOLUMNIA. One on's father's moods.
  VALERIA. Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.
  VIRGILIA. A crack, madam.
  VALERIA. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the
    idle huswife with me this afternoon.
  VIRGILIA. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.
  VALERIA. Not out of doors!
  VOLUMNIA. She shall, she shall.
  VIRGILIA. Indeed, no, by your patience; I'll not over the threshold
    till my lord return from the wars.
  VALERIA. Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably; come, you
    must go visit the good lady that lies in.
  VIRGILIA. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my
    prayers; but I cannot go thither.
  VOLUMNIA. Why, I pray you?
  VIRGILIA. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.
  VALERIA. You would be another Penelope; yet they say all the yarn
    she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill Ithaca full of moths.
    Come, I would your cambric were sensible as your finger, that you
    might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.
  VIRGILIA. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed I will not forth.
  VALERIA. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you excellent news
    of your husband.
  VIRGILIA. O, good madam, there can be none yet.
  VALERIA. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from him
    last night.
  VIRGILIA. Indeed, madam?
  VALERIA. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it
    is: the Volsces have an army forth; against whom Cominius the
    general is gone, with one part of our Roman power. Your lord and
    Titus Lartius are set down before their city Corioli; they
    nothing doubt prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true,
    on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.
  VIRGILIA. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in everything
  VOLUMNIA. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will but disease
    our better mirth.
  VALERIA. In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then. Come,
    good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy solemness out o'
    door and go along with us.
  VIRGILIA. No, at a word, madam; indeed I must not. I wish you much
  VALERIA. Well then, farewell. Exeunt

SCENE IV. Before Corioli

Enter MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, with drum and colours, with CAPTAINS and soldiers. To them a MESSENGER

  MARCIUS. Yonder comes news; a wager- they have met.
  LARTIUS. My horse to yours- no.
  MARCIUS. 'Tis done.
  LARTIUS. Agreed.
  MARCIUS. Say, has our general met the enemy?
  MESSENGER. They lie in view, but have not spoke as yet.
  LARTIUS. So, the good horse is mine.
  MARCIUS. I'll buy him of you.
  LARTIUS. No, I'll nor sell nor give him; lend you him I will
    For half a hundred years. Summon the town.
  MARCIUS. How far off lie these armies?
  MESSENGER. Within this mile and half.
  MARCIUS. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
    Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
    That we with smoking swords may march from hence
    To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.

          They sound a parley. Enter two SENATORS with others,
                      on the walls of Corioli

    Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
  FIRST SENATOR. No, nor a man that fears you less than he:
    That's lesser than a little. [Drum afar off] Hark, our drums
    Are bringing forth our youth. We'll break our walls
    Rather than they shall pound us up; our gates,
    Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes;
    They'll open of themselves. [Alarum far off] Hark you far off!
    There is Aufidius. List what work he makes
    Amongst your cloven army.
  MARCIUS. O, they are at it!
  LARTIUS. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!

Enter the army of the Volsces

  MARCIUS. They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
    Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
    With hearts more proof than shields. Advance, brave Titus.
    They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
    Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows.
    He that retires, I'll take him for a Volsce,
    And he shall feel mine edge.

          Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches.
                      Re-enter MARCIUS, cursing

  MARCIUS. All the contagion of the south light on you,
    You shames of Rome! you herd of- Boils and plagues
    Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
    Farther than seen, and one infect another
    Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese
    That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
    From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
    All hurt behind! Backs red, and faces pale
    With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
    Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe
    And make my wars on you. Look to't. Come on;
    If you'll stand fast we'll beat them to their wives,
    As they us to our trenches. Follow me.

         Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and MARCIUS follows
                          them to the gates

    So, now the gates are ope; now prove good seconds;
    'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
    Not for the fliers. Mark me, and do the like.

[MARCIUS enters the gates]

  FIRST SOLDIER. Fool-hardiness; not I.
  SECOND SOLDIER. Not I. [MARCIUS is shut in]
  FIRST SOLDIER. See, they have shut him in.
  ALL. To th' pot, I warrant him. [Alarum continues]


  LARTIUS. What is become of Marcius?
  ALL. Slain, sir, doubtless.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Following the fliers at the very heels,
    With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
    Clapp'd to their gates. He is himself alone,
    To answer all the city.
  LARTIUS. O noble fellow!
    Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
    And when it bows stand'st up. Thou art left, Marcius;
    A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
    Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
    Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible
    Only in strokes; but with thy grim looks and
    The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds
    Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world
    Were feverous and did tremble.

Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy

  FIRST SOLDIER. Look, sir.
  LARTIUS. O, 'tis Marcius!
    Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike.
                            [They fight, and all enter the city]

SCENE V. Within Corioli. A street

Enter certain Romans, with spoils

  FIRST ROMAN. This will I carry to Rome.
  SECOND ROMAN. And I this.
  THIRD ROMAN. A murrain on 't! I took this for silver.
                               [Alarum continues still afar off]

Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS With a trumpeter

  MARCIUS. See here these movers that do prize their hours
    At a crack'd drachma! Cushions, leaden spoons,
    Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
    Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
    Ere yet the fight be done, pack up. Down with them!
                                                Exeunt pillagers
    And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
    There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,
    Piercing our Romans; then, valiant Titus, take
    Convenient numbers to make good the city;
    Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
    To help Cominius.
  LARTIUS. Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
    Thy exercise hath been too violent
    For a second course of fight.
  MARCIUS. Sir, praise me not;
    My work hath yet not warm'd me. Fare you well;
    The blood I drop is rather physical
    Than dangerous to me. To Aufidius thus
    I will appear, and fight.
  LARTIUS. Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
    Fall deep in love with thee, and her great charms
    Misguide thy opposers' swords! Bold gentleman,
    Prosperity be thy page!
  MARCIUS. Thy friend no less
    Than those she placeth highest! So farewell.
  LARTIUS. Thou worthiest Marcius! Exit MARCIUS
    Go sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
    Call thither all the officers o' th' town,
    Where they shall know our mind. Away! Exeunt

SCENE VI. Near the camp of COMINIUS

Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with soldiers

  COMINIUS. Breathe you, my friends. Well fought; we are come off
    Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands
    Nor cowardly in retire. Believe me, sirs,
    We shall be charg'd again. Whiles we have struck,
    By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
    The charges of our friends. The Roman gods,
    Lead their successes as we wish our own,
    That both our powers, with smiling fronts encount'ring,
    May give you thankful sacrifice!


    Thy news?
  MESSENGER. The citizens of Corioli have issued
    And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle;
    I saw our party to their trenches driven,
    And then I came away.
  COMINIUS. Though thou speak'st truth,
    Methinks thou speak'st not well. How long is't since?
  MESSENGER. Above an hour, my lord.
  COMINIUS. 'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums.
    How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
    And bring thy news so late?
  MESSENGER. Spies of the Volsces
    Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel
    Three or four miles about; else had I, sir,
    Half an hour since brought my report.


  COMINIUS. Who's yonder
    That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods!
    He has the stamp of Marcius, and I have
    Before-time seen him thus.
  MARCIUS. Come I too late?
  COMINIUS. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabor
    More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue
    From every meaner man.
  MARCIUS. Come I too late?
  COMINIUS. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
    But mantled in your own.
  MARCIUS. O! let me clip ye
    In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart
    As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
    And tapers burn'd to bedward.
  COMINIUS. Flower of warriors,
    How is't with Titus Lartius?
  MARCIUS. As with a man busied about decrees:
    Condemning some to death and some to exile;
    Ransoming him or pitying, threat'ning th' other;
    Holding Corioli in the name of Rome
    Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
    To let him slip at will.
  COMINIUS. Where is that slave
    Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
    Where is he? Call him hither.
  MARCIUS. Let him alone;
    He did inform the truth. But for our gentlemen,
    The common file- a plague! tribunes for them!
    The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge
    From rascals worse than they.
  COMINIUS. But how prevail'd you?
  MARCIUS. Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
    Where is the enemy? Are you lords o' th' field?
    If not, why cease you till you are so?
  COMINIUS. Marcius,
    We have at disadvantage fought, and did
    Retire to win our purpose.
  MARCIUS. How lies their battle? Know you on which side
    They have plac'd their men of trust?
  COMINIUS. As I guess, Marcius,
    Their bands i' th' vaward are the Antiates,
    Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
    Their very heart of hope.
  MARCIUS. I do beseech you,
    By all the battles wherein we have fought,
    By th' blood we have shed together, by th' vows
    We have made to endure friends, that you directly
    Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
    And that you not delay the present, but,
    Filling the air with swords advanc'd and darts,
    We prove this very hour.
  COMINIUS. Though I could wish
    You were conducted to a gentle bath
    And balms applied to you, yet dare I never
    Deny your asking: take your choice of those
    That best can aid your action.
  MARCIUS. Those are they
    That most are willing. If any such be here-
    As it were sin to doubt- that love this painting
    Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
    Lesser his person than an ill report;
    If any think brave death outweighs bad life
    And that his country's dearer than himself;
    Let him alone, or so many so minded,
    Wave thus to express his disposition,
    And follow Marcius. [They all shout and wave their
       swords, take him up in their arms and cast up their caps]
    O, me alone! Make you a sword of me?
    If these shows be not outward, which of you
    But is four Volsces? None of you but is
    Able to bear against the great Aufidius
    A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
    Though thanks to all, must I select from all; the rest
    Shall bear the business in some other fight,
    As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
    And four shall quickly draw out my command,
    Which men are best inclin'd.
  COMINIUS. March on, my fellows;
    Make good this ostentation, and you shall
    Divide in all with us. Exeunt

SCENE VII. The gates of Corioli

TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going with drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with a LIEUTENANT, other soldiers, and a scout

  LARTIUS. So, let the ports be guarded; keep your duties
    As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
    Those centuries to our aid; the rest will serve
    For a short holding. If we lose the field
    We cannot keep the town.
  LIEUTENANT. Fear not our care, sir.
  LARTIUS. Hence, and shut your gates upon's.
    Our guider, come; to th' Roman camp conduct us. Exeunt

SCENE VIII. A field of battle between the Roman and the Volscian camps

Alarum, as in battle. Enter MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS at several doors

  MARCIUS. I'll fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee
    Worse than a promise-breaker.
  AUFIDIUS. We hate alike:
    Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
    More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
  MARCIUS. Let the first budger die the other's slave,
    And the gods doom him after!
  AUFIDIUS. If I fly, Marcius,
    Halloa me like a hare.
  MARCIUS. Within these three hours, Tullus,
    Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
    And made what work I pleas'd. 'Tis not my blood
    Wherein thou seest me mask'd. For thy revenge
    Wrench up thy power to th' highest.
  AUFIDIUS. Wert thou the Hector
    That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny,
    Thou shouldst not scape me here.

       Here they fight, and certain Volsces come in the aid
        of AUFIDIUS. MARCIUS fights till they be driven in

    Officious, and not valiant, you have sham'd me
    In your condemned seconds. Exeunt

SCENE IX. The Roman camp

Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Enter, at one door,
COMINIUS with the Romans; at another door, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf

  COMINIUS. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,
    Thou't not believe thy deeds; but I'll report it
    Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles;
    Where great patricians shall attend, and shrug,
    I' th' end admire; where ladies shall be frighted
    And, gladly quak'd, hear more; where the dull tribunes,
    That with the fusty plebeians hate thine honours,
    Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods
    Our Rome hath such a soldier.'
    Yet cam'st thou to a morsel of this feast,
    Having fully din'd before.

Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit

  LARTIUS. O General,
    Here is the steed, we the caparison.
    Hadst thou beheld-
  MARCIUS. Pray now, no more; my mother,
    Who has a charter to extol her blood,
    When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
    As you have done- that's what I can; induc'd
    As you have been- that's for my country.
    He that has but effected his good will
    Hath overta'en mine act.
  COMINIUS. You shall not be
    The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
    The value of her own. 'Twere a concealment
    Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
    To hide your doings and to silence that
    Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
    Would seem but modest. Therefore, I beseech you,
    In sign of what you are, not to reward
    What you have done, before our army hear me.
  MARCIUS. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
    To hear themselves rememb'red.
  COMINIUS. Should they not,
    Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude
    And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses-
    Whereof we have ta'en good, and good store- of all
    The treasure in this field achiev'd and city,
    We render you the tenth; to be ta'en forth
    Before the common distribution at
    Your only choice.
  MARCIUS. I thank you, General,
    But cannot make my heart consent to take
    A bribe to pay my sword. I do refuse it,
    And stand upon my common part with those
    That have beheld the doing.

           A long flourish. They all cry 'Marcius, Marcius!'
   cast up their caps and lances. COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare

    May these same instruments which you profane
    Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall
    I' th' field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
    Made all of false-fac'd soothing. When steel grows
    Soft as the parasite's silk, let him be made
    An overture for th' wars. No more, I say.
    For that I have not wash'd my nose that bled,
    Or foil'd some debile wretch, which without note
    Here's many else have done, you shout me forth
    In acclamations hyperbolical,
    As if I lov'd my little should be dieted
    In praises sauc'd with lies.
  COMINIUS. Too modest are you;
    More cruel to your good report than grateful
    To us that give you truly. By your patience,
    If 'gainst yourself you be incens'd, we'll put you-
    Like one that means his proper harm- in manacles,
    Then reason safely with you. Therefore be it known,
    As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
    Wears this war's garland; in token of the which,
    My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
    With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
    For what he did before Corioli, can him
    With all th' applause-and clamour of the host,
    Caius Marcius Coriolanus.
    Bear th' addition nobly ever!
                           [Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums]
  ALL. Caius Marcius Coriolanus!
  CORIOLANUS. I will go wash;
    And when my face is fair you shall perceive
    Whether I blush or no. Howbeit, I thank you;
    I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
    To undercrest your good addition
    To th' fairness of my power.
  COMINIUS. So, to our tent;
    Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
    To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,
    Must to Corioli back. Send us to Rome
    The best, with whom we may articulate
    For their own good and ours.
  LARTIUS. I shall, my lord.
  CORIOLANUS. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
    Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg
    Of my Lord General.
  COMINIUS. Take't- 'tis yours; what is't?
  CORIOLANUS. I sometime lay here in Corioli
    At a poor man's house; he us'd me kindly.
    He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
    But then Aufidius was within my view,
    And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity. I request you
    To give my poor host freedom.
  COMINIUS. O, well begg'd!
    Were he the butcher of my son, he should
    Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.
  LARTIUS. Marcius, his name?
  CORIOLANUS. By Jupiter, forgot!
    I am weary; yea, my memory is tir'd.
    Have we no wine here?
  COMINIUS. Go we to our tent.
    The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time
    It should be look'd to. Come. Exeunt

SCENE X. The camp of the Volsces

A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS bloody, with two or three soldiers

  AUFIDIUS. The town is ta'en.
  FIRST SOLDIER. 'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.
  AUFIDIUS. Condition!
    I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
    Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition?
    What good condition can a treaty find
    I' th' part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
    I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me;
    And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
    As often as we eat. By th' elements,
    If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
    He's mine or I am his. Mine emulation
    Hath not that honour in't it had; for where
    I thought to crush him in an equal force,
    True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way,
    Or wrath or craft may get him.
  FIRST SOLDIER. He's the devil.
  AUFIDIUS. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd
    With only suff'ring stain by him; for him
    Shall fly out of itself. Nor sleep nor sanctuary,
    Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
    The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
    Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
    Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
    My hate to Marcius. Where I find him, were it
    At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
    Against the hospitable canon, would I
    Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to th' city;
    Learn how 'tis held, and what they are that must
    Be hostages for Rome.
  FIRST SOLDIER. Will not you go?
  AUFIDIUS. I am attended at the cypress grove; I pray you-
    'Tis south the city mills- bring me word thither
    How the world goes, that to the pace of it
    I may spur on my journey.
  FIRST SOLDIER. I shall, sir. Exeunt


ACT II. SCENE I. Rome. A public place

Enter MENENIUS, with the two Tribunes of the people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS

  MENENIUS. The augurer tells me we shall have news tonight.
  BRUTUS. Good or bad?
  MENENIUS. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love
    not Marcius.
  SICINIUS. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
  MENENIUS. Pray you, who does the wolf love?
  SICINIUS. The lamb.
  MENENIUS. Ay, to devour him, as the hungry plebeians would the
    noble Marcius.
  BRUTUS. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.
  MENENIUS. He's a bear indeed, that lives fike a lamb. You two are
    old men; tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Well, sir.
  MENENIUS. In what enormity is Marcius poor in that you two have not
    in abundance?
  BRUTUS. He's poor in no one fault, but stor'd with all.
  SICINIUS. Especially in pride.
  BRUTUS. And topping all others in boasting.
  MENENIUS. This is strange now. Do you two know how you are censured
    here in the city- I mean of us o' th' right-hand file? Do you?
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Why, how are we censur'd?
  MENENIUS. Because you talk of pride now- will you not be angry?
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Well, well, sir, well.
  MENENIUS. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
    occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience. Give your
    dispositions the reins, and be angry at your pleasures- at the
    least, if you take it as a pleasure to you in being so. You blame
    Marcius for being proud?
  BRUTUS. We do it not alone, sir.
  MENENIUS. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps are
    many, or else your actions would grow wondrous single: your
    abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone. You talk of
    pride. O that you could turn your eyes toward the napes of your
    necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! O
    that you could!
  BOTH TRIBUNES. What then, sir?
  MENENIUS. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,
    proud, violent, testy magistrates-alias fools- as any in Rome.
  SICINIUS. Menenius, you are known well enough too.
  MENENIUS. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves
    a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in't; said to
    be something imperfect in favouring the first complaint, hasty
    and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one that converses more
    with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the
    morning. What I think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath.
    Meeting two such wealsmen as you are- I cannot call you
    Lycurguses- if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I
    make a crooked face at it. I cannot say your worships have
    deliver'd the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with
    the major part of your syllables; and though I must be content to
    bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie
    deadly that tell you you have good faces. If you see this in the
    map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too?
    What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this
    character, if I be known well enough too?
  BRUTUS. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.
  MENENIUS. You know neither me, yourselves, nor any thing. You are
    ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs; you wear out a good
    wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orange-wife and
    a fosset-seller, and then rejourn the controversy of threepence
    to a second day of audience. When you are hearing a matter
    between party and party, if you chance to be pinch'd with the
    colic, you make faces like mummers, set up the bloody flag
    against all patience, and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss
    the controversy bleeding, the more entangled by your hearing. All
    the peace you make in their cause is calling both the parties
    knaves. You are a pair of strange ones.
  BRUTUS. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber
    for the table than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
  MENENIUS. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
    encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When you speak
    best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your
    beards; and your beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to
    stuff a botcher's cushion or to be entomb'd in an ass's
    pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying Marcius is proud; who, in a
    cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion;
    though peradventure some of the best of 'em were hereditary
    hangmen. God-den to your worships. More of your conversation
    would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly
    plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave of you.
                                  [BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside]


    How now, my as fair as noble ladies- and the moon, were she
    earthly, no nobler- whither do you follow your eyes so fast?
  VOLUMNIA. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for the
    love of Juno, let's go.
  MENENIUS. Ha! Marcius coming home?
  VOLUMNIA. Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most prosperous
  MENENIUS. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!
    Marcius coming home!
  VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA. Nay, 'tis true.
  VOLUMNIA. Look, here's a letter from him; the state hath another,
    his wife another; and I think there's one at home for you.
  MENENIUS. I will make my very house reel to-night. A letter for me?
  VIRGILIA. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw't.
  MENENIUS. A letter for me! It gives me an estate of seven years'
    health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician. The
    most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutic and, to
    this preservative, of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he
    not wounded? He was wont to come home wounded.
  VIRGILIA. O, no, no, no.
  VOLUMNIA. O, he is wounded, I thank the gods for't.
  MENENIUS. So do I too, if it be not too much. Brings a victory in
    his pocket? The wounds become him.
  VOLUMNIA. On's brows, Menenius, he comes the third time home with
    the oaken garland.
  MENENIUS. Has he disciplin'd Aufidius soundly?
  VOLUMNIA. Titus Lartius writes they fought together, but Aufidius
    got off.
  MENENIUS. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that; an he
    had stay'd by him, I would not have been so fidius'd for all the
    chests in Corioli and the gold that's in them. Is the Senate
    possess'd of this?
  VOLUMNIA. Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes: the Senate has
    letters from the general, wherein he gives my son the whole name
    of the war; he hath in this action outdone his former deeds
  VALERIA. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
  MENENIUS. Wondrous! Ay, I warrant you, and not without his true
  VIRGILIA. The gods grant them true!
  VOLUMNIA. True! pow, waw.
  MENENIUS. True! I'll be sworn they are true. Where is he wounded?
    [To the TRIBUNES] God save your good worships! Marcius is coming
    home; he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?
  VOLUMNIA. I' th' shoulder and i' th' left arm; there will be large
    cicatrices to show the people when he shall stand for his place.
    He received in the repulse of Tarquin seven hurts i' th' body.
  MENENIUS. One i' th' neck and two i' th' thigh- there's nine that I
  VOLUMNIA. He had before this last expedition twenty-five wounds
    upon him.
  MENENIUS. Now it's twenty-seven; every gash was an enemy's grave.
    [A shout and flourish] Hark! the trumpets.
  VOLUMNIA. These are the ushers of Marcius. Before him he carries
      noise, and behind him he leaves tears;
    Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie,
    Which, being advanc'd, declines, and then men die.

            A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the
              GENERAL, and TITUS LARTIUS; between them,
           CORIOLANUS, crown'd with an oaken garland; with
                   CAPTAINS and soldiers and a HERALD

  HERALD. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight
    Within Corioli gates, where he hath won,
    With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these
    In honour follows Coriolanus.
    Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus! [Flourish]
  ALL. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!
  CORIOLANUS. No more of this, it does offend my heart.
    Pray now, no more.
  COMINIUS. Look, sir, your mother!
    You have, I know, petition'd all the gods
    For my prosperity! [Kneels]
  VOLUMNIA. Nay, my good soldier, up;
    My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and
    By deed-achieving honour newly nam'd-
    What is it? Coriolanus must I can thee?
    But, O, thy wife!
  CORIOLANUS. My gracious silence, hail!
    Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home,
    That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear,
    Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
    And mothers that lack sons.
  MENENIUS. Now the gods crown thee!
  CORIOLANUS. And live you yet? [To VALERIA] O my sweet lady,
  VOLUMNIA. I know not where to turn.
    O, welcome home! And welcome, General.
    And y'are welcome all.
  MENENIUS. A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
    And I could laugh; I am light and heavy. Welcome!
    A curse begin at very root on's heart
    That is not glad to see thee! You are three
    That Rome should dote on; yet, by the faith of men,
    We have some old crab trees here at home that will not
    Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors.
    We call a nettle but a nettle, and
    The faults of fools but folly.
  COMINIUS. Ever right.
  CORIOLANUS. Menenius ever, ever.
  HERALD. Give way there, and go on.
  CORIOLANUS. [To his wife and mother] Your hand, and yours.
    Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
    The good patricians must be visited;
    From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings,
    But with them change of honours.
  VOLUMNIA. I have lived
    To see inherited my very wishes,
    And the buildings of my fancy; only
    There's one thing wanting, which I doubt not but
    Our Rome will cast upon thee.
  CORIOLANUS. Know, good mother,
    I had rather be their servant in my way
    Than sway with them in theirs.
  COMINIUS. On, to the Capitol.
                 [Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before]

BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward

  BRUTUS. All tongues speak of him and the bleared sights
    Are spectacled to see him. Your prattling nurse
    Into a rapture lets her baby cry
    While she chats him; the kitchen malkin pins
    Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,
    Clamb'ring the walls to eye him; stalls, bulks, windows,
    Are smother'd up, leads fill'd and ridges hors'd
    With variable complexions, all agreeing
    In earnestness to see him. Seld-shown flamens
    Do press among the popular throngs and puff
    To win a vulgar station; our veil'd dames
    Commit the war of white and damask in
    Their nicely gawded cheeks to th' wanton spoil
    Of Phoebus' burning kisses. Such a pother,
    As if that whatsoever god who leads him
    Were slily crept into his human powers,
    And gave him graceful posture.
  SICINIUS. On the sudden
    I warrant him consul.
  BRUTUS. Then our office may
    During his power go sleep.
  SICINIUS. He cannot temp'rately transport his honours
    From where he should begin and end, but will
    Lose those he hath won.
  BRUTUS. In that there's comfort.
  SICINIUS. Doubt not
    The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
    Upon their ancient malice will forget
    With the least cause these his new honours; which
    That he will give them make I as little question
    As he is proud to do't.
  BRUTUS. I heard him swear,
    Were he to stand for consul, never would he
    Appear i' th' market-place, nor on him put
    The napless vesture of humility;
    Nor, showing, as the manner is, his wounds
    To th' people, beg their stinking breaths.
  SICINIUS. 'Tis right.
  BRUTUS. It was his word. O, he would miss it rather
    Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him
    And the desire of the nobles.
  SICINIUS. I wish no better
    Than have him hold that purpose, and to put it
    In execution.
  BRUTUS. 'Tis most like he will.
  SICINIUS. It shall be to him then as our good wills:
    A sure destruction.
  BRUTUS. So it must fall out
    To him or our authorities. For an end,
    We must suggest the people in what hatred
    He still hath held them; that to's power he would
    Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and
    Dispropertied their freedoms; holding them
    In human action and capacity
    Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
    Than camels in their war, who have their provand
    Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
    For sinking under them.
  SICINIUS. This, as you say, suggested
    At some time when his soaring insolence
    Shall touch the people- which time shall not want,
    If he be put upon't, and that's as easy
    As to set dogs on sheep- will be his fire
    To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
    Shall darken him for ever.


  BRUTUS. What's the matter?
  MESSENGER. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis thought
    That Marcius shall be consul.
    I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and
    The blind to hear him speak; matrons flung gloves,
    Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,
    Upon him as he pass'd; the nobles bended
    As to Jove's statue, and the commons made
    A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts.
    I never saw the like.
  BRUTUS. Let's to the Capitol,
    And carry with us ears and eyes for th' time,
    But hearts for the event.
  SICINIUS. Have with you. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rome. The Capitol

Enter two OFFICERS, to lay cushions, as it were in the Capitol

  FIRST OFFICER. Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand for
  SECOND OFFICER. Three, they say; but 'tis thought of every one
    Coriolanus will carry it.
  FIRST OFFICER. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud and
    loves not the common people.
  SECOND OFFICER. Faith, there have been many great men that have
    flatter'd the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many
    that they have loved, they know not wherefore; so that, if they
    love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground.
    Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or
    hate him manifests the true knowledge he has in their
    disposition, and out of his noble carelessness lets them plainly
  FIRST OFFICER. If he did not care whether he had their love or no,
    he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good nor harm;
    but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can
    render it him, and leaves nothing undone that may fully discover
    him their opposite. Now to seem to affect the malice and
    displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he dislikes- to
    flatter them for their love.
  SECOND OFFICER. He hath deserved worthily of his country; and his
    ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who, having been
    supple and courteous to the people, bonneted, without any further
    deed to have them at all, into their estimation and report; but
    he hath so planted his honours in their eyes and his actions in
    their hearts that for their tongues to be silent and not confess
    so much were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise
    were a malice that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof
    and rebuke from every car that heard it.
  FIRST OFFICER. No more of him; he's a worthy man. Make way, they
    are coming.

         A sennet. Enter the PATRICIANS and the TRIBUNES
         OF THE PEOPLE, LICTORS before them; CORIOLANUS,
            MENENIUS, COMINIUS the Consul. SICINIUS and
               BRUTUS take their places by themselves.
                         CORIOLANUS stands

  MENENIUS. Having determin'd of the Volsces, and
    To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
    As the main point of this our after-meeting,
    To gratify his noble service that
    Hath thus stood for his country. Therefore please you,
    Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
    The present consul and last general
    In our well-found successes to report
    A little of that worthy work perform'd
    By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom
    We met here both to thank and to remember
    With honours like himself. [CORIOLANUS sits]
  FIRST SENATOR. Speak, good Cominius.
    Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
    Rather our state's defective for requital
    Than we to stretch it out. Masters o' th' people,
    We do request your kindest ears; and, after,
    Your loving motion toward the common body,
    To yield what passes here.
  SICINIUS. We are convented
    Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
    Inclinable to honour and advance
    The theme of our assembly.
  BRUTUS. Which the rather
    We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember
    A kinder value of the people than
    He hath hereto priz'd them at.
  MENENIUS. That's off, that's off;
    I would you rather had been silent. Please you
    To hear Cominius speak?
  BRUTUS. Most willingly.
    But yet my caution was more pertinent
    Than the rebuke you give it.
  MENENIUS. He loves your people;
    But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
    Worthy Cominius, speak.
                       [CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away]
    Nay, keep your place.
  FIRST SENATOR. Sit, Coriolanus, never shame to hear
    What you have nobly done.
  CORIOLANUS. Your Honours' pardon.
    I had rather have my wounds to heal again
    Than hear say how I got them.
  BRUTUS. Sir, I hope
    My words disbench'd you not.
  CORIOLANUS. No, sir; yet oft,
    When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
    You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not. But your people,
    I love them as they weigh-
  MENENIUS. Pray now, sit down.
  CORIOLANUS. I had rather have one scratch my head i' th' sun
    When the alarum were struck than idly sit
    To hear my nothings monster'd. Exit
  MENENIUS. Masters of the people,
    Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter-
    That's thousand to one good one- when you now see
    He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
    Than one on's ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.
  COMINIUS. I shall lack voice; the deeds of Coriolanus
    Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held
    That valour is the chiefest virtue and
    Most dignifies the haver. If it be,
    The man I speak of cannot in the world
    Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years,
    When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
    Beyond the mark of others; our then Dictator,
    Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight
    When with his Amazonian chin he drove
    The bristled lips before him; he bestrid
    An o'erpress'd Roman and i' th' consul's view
    Slew three opposers; Tarquin's self he met,
    And struck him on his knee. In that day's feats,
    When he might act the woman in the scene,
    He prov'd best man i' th' field, and for his meed
    Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
    Man-ent'red thus, he waxed like a sea,
    And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
    He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this last,
    Before and in Corioli, let me say
    I cannot speak him home. He stopp'd the fliers,
    And by his rare example made the coward
    Turn terror into sport; as weeds before
    A vessel under sail, so men obey'd
    And fell below his stem. His sword, death's stamp,
    Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
    He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
    Was tim'd with dying cries. Alone he ent'red
    The mortal gate of th' city, which he painted
    With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
    And with a sudden re-enforcement struck
    Corioli like a planet. Now all's his.
    When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
    His ready sense, then straight his doubled spirit
    Re-quick'ned what in flesh was fatigate,
    And to the battle came he; where he did
    Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
    'Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we call'd
    Both field and city ours he never stood
    To ease his breast with panting.
  MENENIUS. Worthy man!
  FIRST SENATOR. He cannot but with measure fit the honours
    Which we devise him.
  COMINIUS. Our spoils he kick'd at,
    And look'd upon things precious as they were
    The common muck of the world. He covets less
    Than misery itself would give, rewards
    His deeds with doing them, and is content
    To spend the time to end it.
  MENENIUS. He's right noble;
    Let him be call'd for.
  FIRST SENATOR. Call Coriolanus.
    OFFICER. He doth appear.


  MENENIUS. The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd
    To make thee consul.
  CORIOLANUS. I do owe them still
    My life and services.
  MENENIUS. It then remains
    That you do speak to the people.
  CORIOLANUS. I do beseech you
    Let me o'erleap that custom; for I cannot
    Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them
    For my wounds' sake to give their suffrage. Please you
    That I may pass this doing.
  SICINIUS. Sir, the people
    Must have their voices; neither will they bate
    One jot of ceremony.
  MENENIUS. Put them not to't.
    Pray you go fit you to the custom, and
    Take to you, as your predecessors have,
    Your honour with your form.
  CORIOLANUS. It is a part
    That I shall blush in acting, and might well
    Be taken from the people.
  BRUTUS. Mark you that?
  CORIOLANUS. To brag unto them 'Thus I did, and thus!'
    Show them th' unaching scars which I should hide,
    As if I had receiv'd them for the hire
    Of their breath only!
  MENENIUS. Do not stand upon't.
    We recommend to you, Tribunes of the People,
    Our purpose to them; and to our noble consul
    Wish we all joy and honour.
  SENATORS. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
                             [Flourish. Cornets. Then exeunt all
                                        but SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
  BRUTUS. You see how he intends to use the people.
  SICINIUS. May they perceive's intent! He will require them
    As if he did contemn what he requested
    Should be in them to give.
  BRUTUS. Come, we'll inform them
    Of our proceedings here. On th' market-place
    I know they do attend us. Exeunt

SCENE III. Rome. The Forum

Enter seven or eight citizens

  FIRST CITIZEN. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to
    deny him.
  SECOND CITIZEN. We may, sir, if we will.
  THIRD CITIZEN. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a
    power that we have no power to do; for if he show us his wounds
    and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those
    wounds and speak for them; so, if he tell us his noble deeds, we
    must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is
    monstrous, and for the multitude to be ingrateful were to make a
    monster of the multitude; of the which we being members should
    bring ourselves to be monstrous members.
  FIRST CITIZEN. And to make us no better thought of, a little help
    will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck
    not to call us the many-headed multitude.
  THIRD CITIZEN. We have been call'd so of many; not that our heads
    are some brown, some black, some abram, some bald, but that our
    wits are so diversely colour'd; and truly I think if all our wits
    were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, north,
    south, and their consent of one direct way should be at once to
    all the points o' th' compass.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would
  THIRD CITIZEN. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's
    will- 'tis strongly wedg'd up in a block-head; but if it were at
    liberty 'twould sure southward.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Why that way?
  THIRD CITIZEN. To lose itself in a fog; where being three parts
   melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for
    conscience' sake, to help to get thee a wife.
  SECOND CITIZEN. YOU are never without your tricks; you may, you
  THIRD CITIZEN. Are you all resolv'd to give your voices? But that's
    no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if he would
    incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.

                Enter CORIOLANUS, in a gown of humility,
                               with MENENIUS

    Here he comes, and in the gown of humility. Mark his behaviour.
    We are not to stay all together, but to come by him where he
    stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his
    requests by particulars, wherein every one of us has a single
    honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues;
    therefore follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall go by him.
  ALL. Content, content. Exeunt citizens
  MENENIUS. O sir, you are not right; have you not known
    The worthiest men have done't?
  CORIOLANUS. What must I say?
    'I pray, sir'- Plague upon't! I cannot bring
    My tongue to such a pace. 'Look, sir, my wounds
    I got them in my country's service, when
    Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran
    From th' noise of our own drums.'
  MENENIUS. O me, the gods!
    You must not speak of that. You must desire them
    To think upon you.
  CORIOLANUS. Think upon me? Hang 'em!
    I would they would forget me, like the virtues
    Which our divines lose by 'em.
  MENENIUS. You'll mar all.
    I'll leave you. Pray you speak to 'em, I pray you,
    In wholesome manner. Exit

Re-enter three of the citizens

  CORIOLANUS. Bid them wash their faces
    And keep their teeth clean. So, here comes a brace.
    You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.
  THIRD CITIZEN. We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you to't.
  CORIOLANUS. Mine own desert.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Your own desert?
  CORIOLANUS. Ay, not mine own desire.
  THIRD CITIZEN. How, not your own desire?
  CORIOLANUS. No, sir, 'twas never my desire yet to trouble the poor
    with begging.
  THIRD CITIZEN. YOU MUST think, if we give you anything, we hope to
    gain by you.
  CORIOLANUS. Well then, I pray, your price o' th' consulship?
  FIRST CITIZEN. The price is to ask it kindly.
  CORIOLANUS. Kindly, sir, I pray let me ha't. I have wounds to show
    you, which shall be yours in private. Your good voice, sir; what
    say you?
  SECOND CITIZEN. You shall ha' it, worthy sir.
  CORIOLANUS. A match, sir. There's in all two worthy voices begg'd.
    I have your alms. Adieu.
  THIRD CITIZEN. But this is something odd.
  SECOND CITIZEN. An 'twere to give again- but 'tis no matter.
                                       Exeunt the three citizens

Re-enter two other citizens

  CORIOLANUS. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your
    voices that I may be consul, I have here the customary gown.
  FOURTH CITIZEN. You have deserved nobly of your country, and you
    have not deserved nobly.
  CORIOLANUS. Your enigma?
  FOURTH CITIZEN. You have been a scourge to her enemies; you have
    been a rod to her friends. You have not indeed loved the common
  CORIOLANUS. You should account me the more virtuous, that I have
    not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my sworn
    brother, the people, to earn a dearer estimation of them; 'tis a
    condition they account gentle; and since the wisdom of their
    choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise
    the insinuating nod and be off to them most counterfeitly. That
    is, sir, I will counterfeit the bewitchment of some popular man
    and give it bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you I
    may be consul.
  FIFTH CITIZEN. We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give
    you our voices heartily.
  FOURTH CITIZEN. You have received many wounds for your country.
  CORIOLANUS. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I
    will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no farther.
  BOTH CITIZENS. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!
                                                 Exeunt citizens
  CORIOLANUS. Most sweet voices!
    Better it is to die, better to starve,
    Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
    Why in this wolvish toge should I stand here
    To beg of Hob and Dick that do appear
    Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't.
    What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
    The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
    And mountainous error be too highly heap'd
    For truth to o'erpeer. Rather than fool it so,
    Let the high office and the honour go
    To one that would do thus. I am half through:
    The one part suffered, the other will I do.

Re-enter three citizens more

    Here come moe voices.
    Your voices. For your voices I have fought;
    Watch'd for your voices; for your voices bear
    Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
    I have seen and heard of; for your voices have
    Done many things, some less, some more. Your voices?
    Indeed, I would be consul.
  SIXTH CITIZEN. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest
    man's voice.
  SEVENTH CITIZEN. Therefore let him be consul. The gods give him
    joy, and make him good friend to the people!
  ALL. Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul!
                                                 Exeunt citizens
  CORIOLANUS. Worthy voices!


  MENENIUS. You have stood your limitation, and the tribunes
    Endue you with the people's voice. Remains
    That, in th' official marks invested, you
    Anon do meet the Senate.
  CORIOLANUS. Is this done?
  SICINIUS. The custom of request you have discharg'd.
    The people do admit you, and are summon'd
    To meet anon, upon your approbation.
  CORIOLANUS. Where? At the Senate House?
  SICINIUS. There, Coriolanus.
  CORIOLANUS. May I change these garments?
  SICINIUS. You may, sir.
  CORIOLANUS. That I'll straight do, and, knowing myself again,
    Repair to th' Senate House.
  MENENIUS. I'll keep you company. Will you along?
  BRUTUS. We stay here for the people.
  SICINIUS. Fare you well.
                                  Exeunt CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS
    He has it now; and by his looks methinks
    'Tis warm at's heart.
  BRUTUS. With a proud heart he wore
    His humble weeds. Will you dismiss the people?

Re-enter citizens

  SICINIUS. How now, my masters! Have you chose this man?
  FIRST CITIZEN. He has our voices, sir.
  BRUTUS. We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Amen, sir. To my poor unworthy notice,
    He mock'd us when he begg'd our voices.
  THIRD CITIZEN. Certainly;
    He flouted us downright.
  FIRST CITIZEN. No, 'tis his kind of speech- he did not mock us.
  SECOND CITIZEN. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says
    He us'd us scornfully. He should have show'd us
    His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for's country.
  SICINIUS. Why, so he did, I am sure.
  ALL. No, no; no man saw 'em.
  THIRD CITIZEN. He said he had wounds which he could show in
    And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
    'I would be consul,' says he; 'aged custom
    But by your voices will not so permit me;
    Your voices therefore.' When we granted that,
    Here was 'I thank you for your voices. Thank you,
    Your most sweet voices. Now you have left your voices,
    I have no further with you.' Was not this mockery?
  SICINIUS. Why either were you ignorant to see't,
    Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
    To yield your voices?
  BRUTUS. Could you not have told him-
    As you were lesson'd- when he had no power
    But was a petty servant to the state,
    He was your enemy; ever spake against
    Your liberties and the charters that you bear
    I' th' body of the weal; and now, arriving
    A place of potency and sway o' th' state,
    If he should still malignantly remain
    Fast foe to th' plebeii, your voices might
    Be curses to yourselves? You should have said
    That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
    Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
    Would think upon you for your voices, and
    Translate his malice towards you into love,
    Standing your friendly lord.
  SICINIUS. Thus to have said,
    As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his spirit
    And tried his inclination; from him pluck'd
    Either his gracious promise, which you might,
    As cause had call'd you up, have held him to;
    Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,
    Which easily endures not article
    Tying him to aught. So, putting him to rage,
    You should have ta'en th' advantage of his choler
    And pass'd him unelected.
  BRUTUS. Did you perceive
    He did solicit you in free contempt
    When he did need your loves; and do you think
    That his contempt shall not be bruising to you
    When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
    No heart among you? Or had you tongues to cry
    Against the rectorship of judgment?
  SICINIUS. Have you
    Ere now denied the asker, and now again,
    Of him that did not ask but mock, bestow
    Your su'd-for tongues?
  THIRD CITIZEN. He's not confirm'd: we may deny him yet.
  SECOND CITIZENS. And will deny him;
    I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.
  FIRST CITIZEN. I twice five hundred, and their friends to piece
  BRUTUS. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends
    They have chose a consul that will from them take
    Their liberties, make them of no more voice
    Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking
    As therefore kept to do so.
  SICINIUS. Let them assemble;
    And, on a safer judgment, all revoke
    Your ignorant election. Enforce his pride
    And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
    With what contempt he wore the humble weed;
    How in his suit he scorn'd you; but your loves,
    Thinking upon his services, took from you
    Th' apprehension of his present portance,
    Which, most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
    After the inveterate hate he bears you.
    A fault on us, your tribunes, that we labour'd,
    No impediment between, but that you must
    Cast your election on him.
  SICINIUS. Say you chose him
    More after our commandment than as guided
    By your own true affections; and that your minds,
    Pre-occupied with what you rather must do
    Than what you should, made you against the grain
    To voice him consul. Lay the fault on us.
  BRUTUS. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you,
    How youngly he began to serve his country,
    How long continued; and what stock he springs of-
    The noble house o' th' Marcians; from whence came
    That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,
    Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;
    Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
    That our best water brought by conduits hither;
    And Censorinus, nobly named so,
    Twice being by the people chosen censor,
    Was his great ancestor.
  SICINIUS. One thus descended,
    That hath beside well in his person wrought
    To be set high in place, we did commend
    To your remembrances; but you have found,
    Scaling his present bearing with his past,
    That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke
    Your sudden approbation.
  BRUTUS. Say you ne'er had done't-
    Harp on that still- but by our putting on;
    And presently, when you have drawn your number,
    Repair to th' Capitol.
  CITIZENS. will will so; almost all
    Repent in their election. Exeunt plebeians
  BRUTUS. Let them go on;
    This mutiny were better put in hazard
    Than stay, past doubt, for greater.
    If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
    With their refusal, both observe and answer
    The vantage of his anger.
  SICINIUS. To th' Capitol, come.
    We will be there before the stream o' th' people;
    And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
    Which we have goaded onward. Exeunt

ACT III. SCENE I. Rome. A street


  CORIOLANUS. Tullus Aufidius, then, had made new head?
  LARTIUS. He had, my lord; and that it was which caus'd
    Our swifter composition.
  CORIOLANUS. So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
    Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road
    Upon's again.
  COMINIUS. They are worn, Lord Consul, so
    That we shall hardly in our ages see
    Their banners wave again.
  CORIOLANUS. Saw you Aufidius?
  LARTIUS. On safeguard he came to me, and did curse
    Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely
    Yielded the town. He is retir'd to Antium.
  CORIOLANUS. Spoke he of me?
  LARTIUS. He did, my lord.
  CORIOLANUS. How? What?
  LARTIUS. How often he had met you, sword to sword;
    That of all things upon the earth he hated
    Your person most; that he would pawn his fortunes
    To hopeless restitution, so he might
    Be call'd your vanquisher.
  CORIOLANUS. At Antium lives he?
  LARTIUS. At Antium.
  CORIOLANUS. I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
    To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.


    Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
    The tongues o' th' common mouth. I do despise them,
    For they do prank them in authority,
    Against all noble sufferance.
  SICINIUS. Pass no further.
  CORIOLANUS. Ha! What is that?
  BRUTUS. It will be dangerous to go on- no further.
  CORIOLANUS. What makes this change?
  MENENIUS. The matter?
  COMINIUS. Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?
  BRUTUS. Cominius, no.
  CORIOLANUS. Have I had children's voices?
  FIRST SENATOR. Tribunes, give way: he shall to th' market-place.
  BRUTUS. The people are incens'd against him.
    Or all will fall in broil.
  CORIOLANUS. Are these your herd?
    Must these have voices, that can yield them now
    And straight disclaim their tongues? What are your offices?
    You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
    Have you not set them on?
  MENENIUS. Be calm, be calm.
  CORIOLANUS. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot,
    To curb the will of the nobility;
    Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule
    Nor ever will be rul'd.
  BRUTUS. Call't not a plot.
    The people cry you mock'd them; and of late,
    When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd;
    Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, call'd them
    Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.
  CORIOLANUS. Why, this was known before.
  BRUTUS. Not to them all.
  CORIOLANUS. Have you inform'd them sithence?
  BRUTUS. How? I inform them!
  COMINIUS. You are like to do such business.
  BRUTUS. Not unlike
    Each way to better yours.
  CORIOLANUS. Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
    Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
    Your fellow tribune.
  SICINIUS. You show too much of that
    For which the people stir; if you will pass
    To where you are bound, you must enquire your way,
    Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
    Or never be so noble as a consul,
    Nor yoke with him for tribune.
  MENENIUS. Let's be calm.
  COMINIUS. The people are abus'd; set on. This palt'ring
    Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
    Deserved this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely
    I' th' plain way of his merit.
  CORIOLANUS. Tell me of corn!
    This was my speech, and I will speak't again-
  MENENIUS. Not now, not now.
  FIRST SENATOR. Not in this heat, sir, now.
  CORIOLANUS. Now, as I live, I will.
    My nobler friends, I crave their pardons.
    For the mutable, rank-scented meiny, let them
    Regard me as I do not flatter, and
    Therein behold themselves. I say again,
    In soothing them we nourish 'gainst our Senate
    The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
    Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd, and scatter'd,
    By mingling them with us, the honour'd number,
    Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
    Which they have given to beggars.
  MENENIUS. Well, no more.
  FIRST SENATOR. No more words, we beseech you.
  CORIOLANUS. How? no more!
    As for my country I have shed my blood,
    Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
    Coin words till their decay against those measles
    Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
    The very way to catch them.
  BRUTUS. You speak o' th' people
    As if you were a god, to punish; not
    A man of their infirmity.
  SICINIUS. 'Twere well
    We let the people know't.
  MENENIUS. What, what? his choler?
    Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
    By Jove, 'twould be my mind!
  SICINIUS. It is a mind
    That shall remain a poison where it is,
    Not poison any further.
  CORIOLANUS. Shall remain!
    Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark you
    His absolute 'shall'?
  COMINIUS. 'Twas from the canon.
  CORIOLANUS. 'Shall'!
    O good but most unwise patricians! Why,
    You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
    Given Hydra here to choose an officer
    That with his peremptory 'shall,' being but
    The horn and noise o' th' monster's, wants not spirit
    To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,
    And make your channel his? If he have power,
    Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
    Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd,
    Be not as common fools; if you are not,
    Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
    If they be senators; and they are no less,
    When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
    Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate;
    And such a one as he, who puts his 'shall,'
    His popular 'shall,' against a graver bench
    Than ever frown'd in Greece. By Jove himself,
    It makes the consuls base; and my soul aches
    To know, when two authorities are up,
    Neither supreme, how soon confusion
    May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take
    The one by th' other.
  COMINIUS. Well, on to th' market-place.
  CORIOLANUS. Whoever gave that counsel to give forth
    The corn o' th' storehouse gratis, as 'twas us'd
    Sometime in Greece-
  MENENIUS. Well, well, no more of that.
  CORIOLANUS. Though there the people had more absolute pow'r-
    I say they nourish'd disobedience, fed
    The ruin of the state.
  BRUTUS. Why shall the people give
    One that speaks thus their voice?
  CORIOLANUS. I'll give my reasons,
    More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
    Was not our recompense, resting well assur'd
    They ne'er did service for't; being press'd to th' war
    Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,
    They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
    Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' th' war,
    Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd
    Most valour, spoke not for them. Th' accusation
    Which they have often made against the Senate,
    All cause unborn, could never be the native
    Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
    How shall this bosom multiplied digest
    The Senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
    What's like to be their words: 'We did request it;
    We are the greater poll, and in true fear
    They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase
    The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
    Call our cares fears; which will in time
    Break ope the locks o' th' Senate and bring in
    The crows to peck the eagles.
  MENENIUS. Come, enough.
  BRUTUS. Enough, with over measure.
  CORIOLANUS. No, take more.
    What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
    Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
    Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
    Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom,
    Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
    Of general ignorance- it must omit
    Real necessities, and give way the while
    To unstable slightness. Purpose so barr'd, it follows
    Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you-
    You that will be less fearful than discreet;
    That love the fundamental part of state
    More than you doubt the change on't; that prefer
    A noble life before a long, and wish
    To jump a body with a dangerous physic
    That's sure of death without it- at once pluck out
    The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
    The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonour
    Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
    Of that integrity which should become't,
    Not having the power to do the good it would,
    For th' ill which doth control't.
  BRUTUS. Has said enough.
  SICINIUS. Has spoken like a traitor and shall answer
    As traitors do.
  CORIOLANUS. Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!
    What should the people do with these bald tribunes,
    On whom depending, their obedience fails
    To the greater bench? In a rebellion,
    When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
    Then were they chosen; in a better hour
    Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
    And throw their power i' th' dust.
  BRUTUS. Manifest treason!
  SICINIUS. This a consul? No.
  BRUTUS. The aediles, ho!

Enter an AEDILE

    Let him be apprehended.
  SICINIUS. Go call the people, [Exit AEDILE] in whose name myself
    Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
    A foe to th' public weal. Obey, I charge thee,
    And follow to thine answer.
  CORIOLANUS. Hence, old goat!
  PATRICIANS. We'll surety him.
  COMINIUS. Ag'd sir, hands off.
  CORIOLANUS. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones
    Out of thy garments.
  SICINIUS. Help, ye citizens!

Enter a rabble of plebeians, with the AEDILES

  MENENIUS. On both sides more respect.
  SICINIUS. Here's he that would take from you all your power.
  BRUTUS. Seize him, aediles.
    PLEBEIANS. Down with him! down with him!
  SECOND SENATOR. Weapons, weapons, weapons!
                              [They all bustle about CORIOLANUS]
  ALL. Tribunes! patricians! citizens! What, ho! Sicinius!
    Brutus! Coriolanus! Citizens!
  PATRICIANS. Peace, peace, peace; stay, hold, peace!
  MENENIUS. What is about to be? I am out of breath;
    Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You tribunes
    To th' people- Coriolanus, patience!
    Speak, good Sicinius.
  SICINIUS. Hear me, people; peace!
  PLEBEIANS. Let's hear our tribune. Peace! Speak, speak, speak.
  SICINIUS. You are at point to lose your liberties.
    Marcius would have all from you; Marcius,
    Whom late you have nam'd for consul.
  MENENIUS. Fie, fie, fie!
    This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
  FIRST SENATOR. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.
  SICINIUS. What is the city but the people?
    The people are the city.
  BRUTUS. By the consent of all we were establish'd
    The people's magistrates.
  PLEBEIANS. You so remain.
  MENENIUS. And so are like to do.
  COMINIUS. That is the way to lay the city flat,
    To bring the roof to the foundation,
    And bury all which yet distinctly ranges
    In heaps and piles of ruin.
  SICINIUS. This deserves death.
  BRUTUS. Or let us stand to our authority
    Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
    Upon the part o' th' people, in whose power
    We were elected theirs: Marcius is worthy
    Of present death.
  SICINIUS. Therefore lay hold of him;
    Bear him to th' rock Tarpeian, and from thence
    Into destruction cast him.
  BRUTUS. AEdiles, seize him.
  PLEBEIANS. Yield, Marcius, yield.
  MENENIUS. Hear me one word; beseech you, Tribunes,
    Hear me but a word.
  AEDILES. Peace, peace!
  MENENIUS. Be that you seem, truly your country's friend,
    And temp'rately proceed to what you would
    Thus violently redress.
  BRUTUS. Sir, those cold ways,
    That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous
    Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him
    And bear him to the rock.
                                    [CORIOLANUS draws his sword]
  CORIOLANUS. No: I'll die here.
    There's some among you have beheld me fighting;
    Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.
  MENENIUS. Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.
  BRUTUS. Lay hands upon him.
  MENENIUS. Help Marcius, help,
    You that be noble; help him, young and old.
  PLEBEIANS. Down with him, down with him!
                      [In this mutiny the TRIBUNES, the AEDILES,
                                     and the people are beat in]
  MENENIUS. Go, get you to your house; be gone, away.
    All will be nought else.
  SECOND SENATOR. Get you gone.
  CORIOLANUS. Stand fast;
    We have as many friends as enemies.
  MENENIUS. Shall it be put to that?
  FIRST SENATOR. The gods forbid!
    I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
    Leave us to cure this cause.
  MENENIUS. For 'tis a sore upon us
    You cannot tent yourself; be gone, beseech you.
  COMINIUS. Come, sir, along with us.
  CORIOLANUS. I would they were barbarians, as they are,
    Though in Rome litter'd; not Romans, as they are not,
    Though calved i' th' porch o' th' Capitol.
  MENENIUS. Be gone.
    Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;
    One time will owe another.
  CORIOLANUS. On fair ground
    I could beat forty of them.
  MENENIUS. I could myself
    Take up a brace o' th' best of them; yea, the two tribunes.
  COMINIUS. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic,
    And manhood is call'd foolery when it stands
    Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,
    Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend
    Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear
    What they are us'd to bear.
  MENENIUS. Pray you be gone.
    I'll try whether my old wit be in request
    With those that have but little; this must be patch'd
    With cloth of any colour.
  COMINIUS. Nay, come away.
                     Exeunt CORIOLANUS and COMINIUS, with others
  PATRICIANS. This man has marr'd his fortune.
  MENENIUS. His nature is too noble for the world:
    He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
    Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth;
    What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
    And, being angry, does forget that ever
    He heard the name of death. [A noise within]
    Here's goodly work!
  PATRICIANS. I would they were a-bed.
  MENENIUS. I would they were in Tiber.
    What the vengeance, could he not speak 'em fair?

Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, the rabble again

  SICINIUS. Where is this viper
    That would depopulate the city and
    Be every man himself?
  MENENIUS. You worthy Tribunes-
  SICINIUS. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
    With rigorous hands; he hath resisted law,
    And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
    Than the severity of the public power,
    Which he so sets at nought.
  FIRST CITIZEN. He shall well know
    The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
    And we their hands.
  PLEBEIANS. He shall, sure on't.
  MENENIUS. Sir, sir-
  SICINIUS. Peace!
  MENENIUS. Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt
    With modest warrant.
  SICINIUS. Sir, how comes't that you
    Have holp to make this rescue?
  MENENIUS. Hear me speak.
    As I do know the consul's worthiness,
    So can I name his faults.
  SICINIUS. Consul! What consul?
  MENENIUS. The consul Coriolanus.
  BRUTUS. He consul!
  PLEBEIANS. No, no, no, no, no.
  MENENIUS. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,
    I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;
    The which shall turn you to no further harm
    Than so much loss of time.
  SICINIUS. Speak briefly, then,
    For we are peremptory to dispatch
    This viperous traitor; to eject him hence
    Were but one danger, and to keep him here
    Our certain death; therefore it is decreed
    He dies to-night.
  MENENIUS. Now the good gods forbid
    That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
    Towards her deserved children is enroll'd
    In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
    Should now eat up her own!
  SICINIUS. He's a disease that must be cut away.
  MENENIUS. O, he's a limb that has but a disease-
    Mortal, to cut it off: to cure it, easy.
    What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?
    Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost-
    Which I dare vouch is more than that he hath
    By many an ounce- he dropt it for his country;
    And what is left, to lose it by his country
    Were to us all that do't and suffer it
    A brand to th' end o' th' world.
  SICINIUS. This is clean kam.
  BRUTUS. Merely awry. When he did love his country,
    It honour'd him.
  SICINIUS. The service of the foot,
    Being once gangren'd, is not then respected
    For what before it was.
  BRUTUS. We'll hear no more.
    Pursue him to his house and pluck him thence,
    Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
    Spread further.
  MENENIUS. One word more, one word
    This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
    The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late,
    Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process,
    Lest parties- as he is belov'd- break out,
    And sack great Rome with Romans.
  BRUTUS. If it were so-
  SICINIUS. What do ye talk?
    Have we not had a taste of his obedience-
    Our aediles smote, ourselves resisted? Come!
  MENENIUS. Consider this: he has been bred i' th' wars
    Since 'a could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
    In bolted language; meal and bran together
    He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
    I'll go to him and undertake to bring him
    Where he shall answer by a lawful form,
    In peace, to his utmost peril.
  FIRST SENATOR. Noble Tribunes,
    It is the humane way; the other course
    Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
    Unknown to the beginning.
  SICINIUS. Noble Menenius,
    Be you then as the people's officer.
    Masters, lay down your weapons.
  BRUTUS. Go not home.
  SICINIUS. Meet on the market-place. We'll attend you there;
    Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
    In our first way.
  MENENIUS. I'll bring him to you.
    [To the SENATORS] Let me desire your company; he must come,
    Or what is worst will follow.
  FIRST SENATOR. Pray you let's to him. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rome. The house of CORIOLANUS


  CORIOLANUS. Let them pull all about mine ears, present me
    Death on the wheel or at wild horses' heels;
    Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
    That the precipitation might down stretch
    Below the beam of sight; yet will I still
    Be thus to them.
  FIRST PATRICIAN. You do the nobler.
  CORIOLANUS. I muse my mother
    Does not approve me further, who was wont
    To call them woollen vassals, things created
    To buy and sell with groats; to show bare heads
    In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
    When one but of my ordinance stood up
    To speak of peace or war.


    I talk of you:
    Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
    False to my nature? Rather say I play
    The man I am.
  VOLUMNIA. O, sir, sir, sir,
    I would have had you put your power well on
    Before you had worn it out.
  VOLUMNIA. You might have been enough the man you are
    With striving less to be so; lesser had been
    The thwartings of your dispositions, if
    You had not show'd them how ye were dispos'd,
    Ere they lack'd power to cross you.
  CORIOLANUS. Let them hang.
  VOLUMNIA. Ay, and burn too.


  MENENIUS. Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;
    You must return and mend it.
  FIRST SENATOR. There's no remedy,
    Unless, by not so doing, our good city
    Cleave in the midst and perish.
  VOLUMNIA. Pray be counsell'd;
    I have a heart as little apt as yours,
    But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
    To better vantage.
  MENENIUS. Well said, noble woman!
    Before he should thus stoop to th' herd, but that
    The violent fit o' th' time craves it as physic
    For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
    Which I can scarcely bear.
  CORIOLANUS. What must I do?
  MENENIUS. Return to th' tribunes.
  CORIOLANUS. Well, what then, what then?
  MENENIUS. Repent what you have spoke.
  CORIOLANUS. For them! I cannot do it to the gods;
    Must I then do't to them?
  VOLUMNIA. You are too absolute;
    Though therein you can never be too noble
    But when extremities speak. I have heard you say
    Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
    I' th' war do grow together; grant that, and tell me
    In peace what each of them by th' other lose
    That they combine not there.
  CORIOLANUS. Tush, tush!
  MENENIUS. A good demand.
  VOLUMNIA. If it be honour in your wars to seem
    The same you are not, which for your best ends
    You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse
    That it shall hold companionship in peace
    With honour as in war; since that to both
    It stands in like request?
  CORIOLANUS. Why force you this?
  VOLUMNIA. Because that now it lies you on to speak
    To th' people, not by your own instruction,
    Nor by th' matter which your heart prompts you,
    But with such words that are but roted in
    Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables
    Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.
    Now, this no more dishonours you at all
    Than to take in a town with gentle words,
    Which else would put you to your fortune and
    The hazard of much blood.
    I would dissemble with my nature where
    My fortunes and my friends at stake requir'd
    I should do so in honour. I am in this
    Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
    And you will rather show our general louts
    How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon 'em
    For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
    Of what that want might ruin.
  MENENIUS. Noble lady!
    Come, go with us, speak fair; you may salve so,
    Not what is dangerous present, but the los
    Of what is past.
  VOLUMNIA. I prithee now, My son,
    Go to them with this bonnet in thy hand;
    And thus far having stretch'd it- here be with them-
    Thy knee bussing the stones- for in such busines
    Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant
    More learned than the ears- waving thy head,
    Which often thus correcting thy-stout heart,
    Now humble as the ripest mulberry
    That will not hold the handling. Or say to them
    Thou art their soldier and, being bred in broils,
    Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,
    Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
    In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
    Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
    As thou hast power and person.
  MENENIUS. This but done
    Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
    For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
    As words to little purpose.
  VOLUMNIA. Prithee now,
    Go, and be rul'd; although I know thou hadst rather
    Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
    Than flatter him in a bower.


    Here is Cominius.
  COMINIUS. I have been i' th' market-place; and, sir, 'tis fit
    You make strong party, or defend yourself
    By calmness or by absence; all's in anger.
  MENENIUS. Only fair speech.
  COMINIUS. I think 'twill serve, if he
    Can thereto frame his spirit.
  VOLUMNIA. He must and will.
    Prithee now, say you will, and go about it.
  CORIOLANUS. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce? Must I
    With my base tongue give to my noble heart
    A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do't;
    Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
    This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
    And throw't against the wind. To th' market-place!
    You have put me now to such a part which never
    I shall discharge to th' life.
  COMINIUS. Come, come, we'll prompt you.
  VOLUMNIA. I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
    My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
    To have my praise for this, perform a part
    Thou hast not done before.
  CORIOLANUS. Well, I must do't.
    Away, my disposition, and possess me
    Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,
    Which quier'd with my drum, into a pipe
    Small as an eunuch or the virgin voice
    That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves
    Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys' tears take up
    The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
    Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees,
    Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
    That hath receiv'd an alms! I will not do't,
    Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
    And by my body's action teach my mind
    A most inherent baseness.
  VOLUMNIA. At thy choice, then.
    To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour
    Than thou of them. Come all to ruin. Let
    Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear
    Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death
    With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list.
    Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me;
    But owe thy pride thyself.
  CORIOLANUS. Pray be content.
    Mother, I am going to the market-place;
    Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,
    Cog their hearts from them, and come home belov'd
    Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going.
    Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul,
    Or never trust to what my tongue can do
    I' th' way of flattery further.
  VOLUMNIA. Do your will. Exit
  COMINIUS. Away! The tribunes do attend you. Arm yourself
    To answer mildly; for they are prepar'd
    With accusations, as I hear, more strong
    Than are upon you yet.
  CORIOLANUS. The word is 'mildly.' Pray you let us go.
    Let them accuse me by invention; I
    Will answer in mine honour.
  MENENIUS. Ay, but mildly.
  CORIOLANUS. Well, mildly be it then- mildly. Exeunt

SCENE III. Rome. The Forum


  BRUTUS. In this point charge him home, that he affects
    Tyrannical power. If he evade us there,
    Enforce him with his envy to the people,
    And that the spoil got on the Antiates
    Was ne'er distributed.

Enter an AEDILE

    What, will he come?
  AEDILE. He's coming.
  BRUTUS. How accompanied?
  AEDILE. With old Menenius, and those senators
    That always favour'd him.
  SICINIUS. Have you a catalogue
    Of all the voices that we have procur'd,
    Set down by th' poll?
  AEDILE. I have; 'tis ready.
  SICINIUS. Have you corrected them by tribes?
  AEDILE. I have.
  SICINIUS. Assemble presently the people hither;
    And when they hear me say 'It shall be so
    I' th' right and strength o' th' commons' be it either
    For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them,
    If I say fine, cry 'Fine!'- if death, cry 'Death!'
    Insisting on the old prerogative
    And power i' th' truth o' th' cause.
  AEDILE. I shall inform them.
  BRUTUS. And when such time they have begun to cry,
    Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd
    Enforce the present execution
    Of what we chance to sentence.
  AEDILE. Very well.
  SICINIUS. Make them be strong, and ready for this hint,
    When we shall hap to give't them.
  BRUTUS. Go about it. Exit AEDILE
    Put him to choler straight. He hath been us'd
    Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
    Of contradiction; being once chaf'd, he cannot
    Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
    What's in his heart, and that is there which looks
    With us to break his neck.


  SICINIUS. Well, here he comes.
  MENENIUS. Calmly, I do beseech you.
  CORIOLANUS. Ay, as an ostler, that for th' poorest piece
    Will bear the knave by th' volume. Th' honour'd gods
    Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
    Supplied with worthy men! plant love among's!
    Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
    And not our streets with war!
  FIRST SENATOR. Amen, amen!
  MENENIUS. A noble wish.

Re-enter the.AEDILE,with the plebeians

  SICINIUS. Draw near, ye people.
  AEDILE. List to your tribunes. Audience! peace, I say!
  CORIOLANUS. First, hear me speak.
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Well, say. Peace, ho!
  CORIOLANUS. Shall I be charg'd no further than this present?
    Must all determine here?
  SICINIUS. I do demand,
    If you submit you to the people's voices,
    Allow their officers, and are content
    To suffer lawful censure for such faults
    As shall be prov'd upon you.
  CORIOLANUS. I am content.
  MENENIUS. Lo, citizens, he says he is content.
    The warlike service he has done, consider; think
    Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
    Like graves i' th' holy churchyard.
  CORIOLANUS. Scratches with briers,
    Scars to move laughter only.
  MENENIUS. Consider further,
    That when he speaks not like a citizen,
    You find him like a soldier; do not take
    His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
    But, as I say, such as become a soldier
    Rather than envy you.
  COMINIUS. Well, well! No more.
  CORIOLANUS. What is the matter,
    That being pass'd for consul with full voice,
    I am so dishonour'd that the very hour
    You take it off again?
  SICINIUS. Answer to us.
  CORIOLANUS. Say then; 'tis true, I ought so.
  SICINIUS. We charge you that you have contriv'd to take
    From Rome all season'd office, and to wind
    Yourself into a power tyrannical;
    For which you are a traitor to the people.
  CORIOLANUS. How- traitor?
  MENENIUS. Nay, temperately! Your promise.
  CORIOLANUS. The fires i' th' lowest hell fold in the people!
    Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
    Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
    In thy hands clutch'd as many millions, in
    Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say
    'Thou liest' unto thee with a voice as free
    As I do pray the gods.
  SICINIUS. Mark you this, people?
  PLEBEIANS. To th' rock, to th' rock, with him!
  SICINIUS. Peace!
    We need not put new matter to his charge.
    What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
    Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
    Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
    Those whose great power must try him- even this,
    So criminal and in such capital kind,
    Deserves th' extremest death.
  BRUTUS. But since he hath
    Serv'd well for Rome-
  CORIOLANUS. What do you prate of service?
  BRUTUS. I talk of that that know it.
  MENENIUS. Is this the promise that you made your mother?
  COMINIUS. Know, I pray you-
  CORIOLANUS. I'll know no further.
    Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
    Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger
    But with a grain a day, I would not buy
    Their mercy at the price of one fair word,
    Nor check my courage for what they can give,
    To have't with saying 'Good morrow.'
  SICINIUS. For that he has-
    As much as in him lies- from time to time
    Envied against the people, seeking means
    To pluck away their power; as now at last
    Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
    Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
    That do distribute it- in the name o' th' people,
    And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
    Ev'n from this instant, banish him our city,
    In peril of precipitation
    From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
    To enter our Rome gates. I' th' people's name,
    I say it shall be so.
  PLEBEIANS. It shall be so, it shall be so! Let him away!
    He's banish'd, and it shall be so.
  COMINIUS. Hear me, my masters and my common friends-
  SICINIUS. He's sentenc'd; no more hearing.
  COMINIUS. Let me speak.
    I have been consul, and can show for Rome
    Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love
    My country's good with a respect more tender,
    More holy and profound, than mine own life,
    My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase
    And treasure of my loins. Then if I would
    Speak that-
  SICINIUS. We know your drift. Speak what?
  BRUTUS. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd,
    As enemy to the people and his country.
    It shall be so.
  PLEBEIANS. It shall be so, it shall be so.
  CORIOLANUS. YOU common cry of curs, whose breath I hate
    As reek o' th' rotten fens, whose loves I prize
    As the dead carcasses of unburied men
    That do corrupt my air- I banish you.
    And here remain with your uncertainty!
    Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts;
    Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
    Fan you into despair! Have the power still
    To banish your defenders, till at length
    Your ignorance- which finds not till it feels,
    Making but reservation of yourselves
    Still your own foes- deliver you
    As most abated captives to some nation
    That won you without blows! Despising
    For you the city, thus I turn my back;
    There is a world elsewhere.
                                              Exeunt CORIOLANUS,
                   COMINIUS, MENENIUS, with the other PATRICIANS
  AEDILE. The people's enemy is gone, is gone!
                        [They all shout and throw up their caps]
  PLEBEIANS. Our enemy is banish'd, he is gone! Hoo-oo!
  SICINIUS. Go see him out at gates, and follow him,
    As he hath follow'd you, with all despite;
    Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard
    Attend us through the city.
  PLEBEIANS. Come, come, let's see him out at gates; come!
    The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come. Exeunt


ACT IV. SCENE I. Rome. Before a gate of the city


  CORIOLANUS. Come, leave your tears; a brief farewell. The beast
    With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
    Where is your ancient courage? You were us'd
    To say extremities was the trier of spirits;
    That common chances common men could bear;
    That when the sea was calm all boats alike
    Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,
    When most struck home, being gentle wounded craves
    A noble cunning. You were us'd to load me
    With precepts that would make invincible
    The heart that conn'd them.
  VIRGILIA. O heavens! O heavens!
  CORIOLANUS. Nay, I prithee, woman-
  VOLUMNIA. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
    And occupations perish!
  CORIOLANUS. What, what, what!
    I shall be lov'd when I am lack'd. Nay, mother,
    Resume that spirit when you were wont to say,
    If you had been the wife of Hercules,
    Six of his labours you'd have done, and sav'd
    Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
    Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother.
    I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
    Thy tears are salter than a younger man's
    And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime General,
    I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
    Heart-hard'ning spectacles; tell these sad women
    'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
    As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well
    My hazards still have been your solace; and
    Believe't not lightly- though I go alone,
    Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
    Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen- your son
    Will or exceed the common or be caught
    With cautelous baits and practice.
  VOLUMNIA. My first son,
    Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
    With thee awhile; determine on some course
    More than a wild exposture to each chance
    That starts i' th' way before thee.
  VIRGILIA. O the gods!
  COMINIUS. I'll follow thee a month, devise with the
    Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us,
    And we of thee; so, if the time thrust forth
    A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
    O'er the vast world to seek a single man,
    And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
    I' th' absence of the needer.
  CORIOLANUS. Fare ye well;
    Thou hast years upon thee, and thou art too full
    Of the wars' surfeits to go rove with one
    That's yet unbruis'd; bring me but out at gate.
    Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
    My friends of noble touch; when I am forth,
    Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come.
    While I remain above the ground you shall
    Hear from me still, and never of me aught
    But what is like me formerly.
  MENENIUS. That's worthily
    As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.
    If I could shake off but one seven years
    From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
    I'd with thee every foot.
  CORIOLANUS. Give me thy hand.
    Come. Exeunt

SCENE II. Rome. A street near the gate

Enter the two Tribunes, SICINIUS and BRUTUS with the AEDILE

  SICINIUS. Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.
    The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided
    In his behalf.
  BRUTUS. Now we have shown our power,
    Let us seem humbler after it is done
    Than when it was a-doing.
  SICINIUS. Bid them home.
    Say their great enemy is gone, and they
    Stand in their ancient strength.
  BRUTUS. Dismiss them home. Exit AEDILE
    Here comes his mother.


  SICINIUS. Let's not meet her.
  BRUTUS. Why?
  SICINIUS. They say she's mad.
  BRUTUS. They have ta'en note of us; keep on your way.
  VOLUMNIA. O, Y'are well met; th' hoarded plague o' th' gods
    Requite your love!
  MENENIUS. Peace, peace, be not so loud.
  VOLUMNIA. If that I could for weeping, you should hear-
    Nay, and you shall hear some. [To BRUTUS] Will you be gone?
  VIRGILIA. [To SICINIUS] You shall stay too. I would I had the
    To say so to my husband.
  SICINIUS. Are you mankind?
  VOLUMNIA. Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this, fool:
    Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
    To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
    Than thou hast spoken words?
  SICINIUS. O blessed heavens!
  VOLUMNIA. Moe noble blows than ever thou wise words;
    And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what- yet go!
    Nay, but thou shalt stay too. I would my son
    Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
    His good sword in his hand.
  SICINIUS. What then?
  VIRGILIA. What then!
    He'd make an end of thy posterity.
  VOLUMNIA. Bastards and all.
    Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
  MENENIUS. Come, come, peace.
  SICINIUS. I would he had continued to his country
    As he began, and not unknit himself
    The noble knot he made.
  BRUTUS. I would he had.
  VOLUMNIA. 'I would he had!' 'Twas you incens'd the rabble-
    Cats that can judge as fitly of his worth
    As I can of those mysteries which heaven
    Will not have earth to know.
  BRUTUS. Pray, let's go.
  VOLUMNIA. Now, pray, sir, get you gone;
    You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:
    As far as doth the Capitol exceed
    The meanest house in Rome, so far my son-
    This lady's husband here, this, do you see?-
    Whom you have banish'd does exceed you an.
  BRUTUS. Well, well, we'll leave you.
  SICINIUS. Why stay we to be baited
    With one that wants her wits? Exeunt TRIBUNES
  VOLUMNIA. Take my prayers with you.
    I would the gods had nothing else to do
    But to confirm my curses. Could I meet 'em
    But once a day, it would unclog my heart
    Of what lies heavy to't.
  MENENIUS. You have told them home,
    And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?
  VOLUMNIA. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let's go.
    Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,
    In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.
                                    Exeunt VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA
  MENENIUS. Fie, fie, fie! Exit

SCENE III. A highway between Rome and Antium

Enter a ROMAN and a VOLSCE, meeting

  ROMAN. I know you well, sir, and you know me; your name, I think,
    is Adrian.
  VOLSCE. It is so, sir. Truly, I have forgot you.
  ROMAN. I am a Roman; and my services are, as you are, against 'em.
    Know you me yet?
  VOLSCE. Nicanor? No!
  ROMAN. The same, sir.
  VOLSCE. YOU had more beard when I last saw you, but your favour is
    well appear'd by your tongue. What's the news in Rome? I have a
    note from the Volscian state, to find you out there. You have
    well saved me a day's journey.
  ROMAN. There hath been in Rome strange insurrections: the people
    against the senators, patricians, and nobles.
  VOLSCE. Hath been! Is it ended, then? Our state thinks not so; they
    are in a most warlike preparation, and hope to come upon them in
    the heat of their division.
  ROMAN. The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing would make
    it flame again; for the nobles receive so to heart the banishment
    of that worthy Coriolanus that they are in a ripe aptness to take
    all power from the people, and to pluck from them their tribunes
    for ever. This lies glowing, I can tell you, and is almost mature
    for the violent breaking out.
  VOLSCE. Coriolanus banish'd!
  ROMAN. Banish'd, sir.
  VOLSCE. You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.
  ROMAN. The day serves well for them now. I have heard it said the
    fittest time to corrupt a man's wife is when she's fall'n out
    with her husband. Your noble Tullus Aufidius will appear well in
    these wars, his great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no
    request of his country.
  VOLSCE. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate thus accidentally to
    encounter you; you have ended my business, and I will merrily
    accompany you home.
  ROMAN. I shall between this and supper tell you most strange things
    from Rome, all tending to the good of their adversaries. Have you
    an army ready, say you?
  VOLSCE. A most royal one: the centurions and their charges,
    distinctly billeted, already in th' entertainment, and to be on
    foot at an hour's warning.
  ROMAN. I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the man, I
    think, that shall set them in present action. So, sir, heartily
    well met, and most glad of your company.
  VOLSCE. You take my part from me, sir. I have the most cause to be
    glad of yours.
  ROMAN. Well, let us go together.

SCENE IV. Antium. Before AUFIDIUS' house

Enter CORIOLANUS, in mean apparel, disguis'd and muffled

  CORIOLANUS. A goodly city is this Antium. City,
    'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir
    Of these fair edifices fore my wars
    Have I heard groan and drop. Then know me not.
    Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones,
    In puny battle slay me.


    Save you, sir.
  CITIZEN. And you.
  CORIOLANUS. Direct me, if it be your will,
    Where great Aufidius lies. Is he in Antium?
  CITIZEN. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
    At his house this night.
  CORIOLANUS. Which is his house, beseech you?
  CITIZEN. This here before you.
  CORIOLANUS. Thank you, sir; farewell. Exit CITIZEN
    O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
    Whose double bosoms seems to wear one heart,
    Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
    Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love,
    Unseparable, shall within this hour,
    On a dissension of a doit, break out
    To bitterest enmity; so fellest foes,
    Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep
    To take the one the other, by some chance,
    Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
    And interjoin their issues. So with me:
    My birthplace hate I, and my love's upon
    This enemy town. I'll enter. If he slay me,
    He does fair justice: if he give me way,
    I'll do his country service.

SCENE V. Antium. AUFIDIUS' house

Music plays. Enter A SERVINGMAN

FIRST SERVANT. Wine, wine, wine! What service is here! I think our fellows are asleep. Exit

Enter another SERVINGMAN

  SECOND SERVANT.Where's Cotus? My master calls for him.
    Cotus! Exit


  CORIOLANUS. A goodly house. The feast smells well, but I
    Appear not like a guest.

Re-enter the first SERVINGMAN

  FIRST SERVANT. What would you have, friend?
    Whence are you? Here's no place for you: pray go to the door.
  CORIOLANUS. I have deserv'd no better entertainment
    In being Coriolanus.

Re-enter second SERVINGMAN

  SECOND SERVANT. Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his eyes in his
    head that he gives entrance to such companions? Pray get you out.
  SECOND SERVANT. Away? Get you away.
  CORIOLANUS. Now th' art troublesome.
  SECOND SERVANT. Are you so brave? I'll have you talk'd with anon.

Enter a third SERVINGMAN. The first meets him

  THIRD SERVANT. What fellow's this?
  FIRST SERVANT. A strange one as ever I look'd on. I cannot get him
    out o' th' house. Prithee call my master to him.
  THIRD SERVANT. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you avoid the
  CORIOLANUS. Let me but stand- I will not hurt your hearth.
  THIRD SERVANT. What are you?
  CORIOLANUS. A gentleman.
  THIRD SERVANT. A marv'llous poor one.
  CORIOLANUS. True, so I am.
  THIRD SERVANT. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other
    station; here's no place for you. Pray you avoid. Come.
  CORIOLANUS. Follow your function, go and batten on cold bits.
                                      [Pushes him away from him]
  THIRD SERVANT. What, you will not? Prithee tell my master what a
    strange guest he has here.
  SECOND SERVANT. And I shall. Exit
  THIRD SERVANT. Where dwell'st thou?
  CORIOLANUS. Under the canopy.
  THIRD SERVANT. Under the canopy?
  THIRD SERVANT. Where's that?
  CORIOLANUS. I' th' city of kites and crows.
  THIRD SERVANT. I' th' city of kites and crows!
    What an ass it is! Then thou dwell'st with daws too?
  CORIOLANUS. No, I serve not thy master.
  THIRD SERVANT. How, sir! Do you meddle with my master?
  CORIOLANUS. Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
    mistress. Thou prat'st and prat'st; serve with thy trencher;
    hence! [Beats him away]

Enter AUFIDIUS with the second SERVINGMAN

  AUFIDIUS. Where is this fellow?
  SECOND SERVANT. Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for
    disturbing the lords within.
  AUFIDIUS. Whence com'st thou? What wouldst thou? Thy name?
    Why speak'st not? Speak, man. What's thy name?
  CORIOLANUS. [Unmuffling] If, Tullus,
    Not yet thou know'st me, and, seeing me, dost not
    Think me for the man I am, necessity
    Commands me name myself.
  AUFIDIUS. What is thy name?
  CORIOLANUS. A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
    And harsh in sound to thine.
  AUFIDIUS. Say, what's thy name?
    Thou has a grim appearance, and thy face
    Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn,
    Thou show'st a noble vessel. What's thy name?
  CORIOLANUS. Prepare thy brow to frown- know'st thou me yet?
  AUFIDIUS. I know thee not. Thy name?
  CORIOLANUS. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
    To thee particularly, and to all the Volsces,
    Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
    My surname, Coriolanus. The painful service,
    The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
    Shed for my thankless country, are requited
    But with that surname- a good memory
    And witness of the malice and displeasure
    Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name remains;
    The cruelty and envy of the people,
    Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
    Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest,
    An suffer'd me by th' voice of slaves to be
    Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity
    Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope,
    Mistake me not, to save my life; for if
    I had fear'd death, of all the men i' th' world
    I would have 'voided thee; but in mere spite,
    To be full quit of those my banishers,
    Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
    A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
    Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
    Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight
    And make my misery serve thy turn. So use it
    That my revengeful services may prove
    As benefits to thee; for I will fight
    Against my cank'red country with the spleen
    Of all the under fiends. But if so be
    Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
    Th'art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am
    Longer to live most weary, and present
    My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
    Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
    Since I have ever followed thee with hate,
    Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
    And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
    It be to do thee service.
  AUFIDIUS. O Marcius, Marcius!
    Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
    A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
    Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
    And say ''Tis true,' I'd not believe them more
    Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine
    Mine arms about that body, where against
    My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
    And scarr'd the moon with splinters; here I clip
    The anvil of my sword, and do contest
    As hotly and as nobly with thy love
    As ever in ambitious strength I did
    Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
    I lov'd the maid I married; never man
    Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
    Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart
    Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
    Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars, I tell the
    We have a power on foot, and I had purpose
    Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
    Or lose mine arm for't. Thou hast beat me out
    Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
    Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me-
    We have been down together in my sleep,
    Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat-
    And wak'd half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
    Had we no other quarrel else to Rome but that
    Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
    From twelve to seventy, and, pouring war
    Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
    Like a bold flood o'erbeat. O, come, go in,
    And take our friendly senators by th' hands,
    Who now are here, taking their leaves of me
    Who am prepar'd against your territories,
    Though not for Rome itself.
  CORIOLANUS. You bless me, gods!
  AUFIDIUS. Therefore, most. absolute sir, if thou wilt have
    The leading of thine own revenges, take
    Th' one half of my commission, and set down-
    As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
    Thy country's strength and weakness- thine own ways,
    Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
    Or rudely visit them in parts remote
    To fright them ere destroy. But come in;
    Let me commend thee first to those that shall
    Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
    And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
    Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand; most welcome!
                                  Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS

The two SERVINGMEN come forward

  FIRST SERVANT. Here's a strange alteration!
  SECOND SERVANT. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with
    a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me his clothes made a false report
    of him.
  FIRST SERVANT. What an arm he has! He turn'd me about with his
    finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.
  SECOND SERVANT. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in
    him; he had, sir, a kind of face, methought- I cannot tell how to
    term it.
  FIRST SERVANT. He had so, looking as it were- Would I were hang'd,
    but I thought there was more in him than I could think.
  SECOND SERVANT. So did I, I'll be sworn. He is simply the rarest
    man i' th' world.
  FIRST SERVANT. I think he is; but a greater soldier than he you wot
  SECOND SERVANT. Who, my master?
  FIRST SERVANT. Nay, it's no matter for that.
  SECOND SERVANT. Worth six on him.
  FIRST SERVANT. Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the
    greater soldier.
  SECOND SERVANT. Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that;
    for the defence of a town our general is excellent.
  FIRST SERVANT. Ay, and for an assault too.

Re-enter the third SERVINGMAN

  THIRD SERVANT. O slaves, I can tell you news- news, you rascals!
  BOTH. What, what, what? Let's partake.
  THIRD SERVANT. I would not be a Roman, of all nations;
    I had as lief be a condemn'd man.
  BOTH. Wherefore? wherefore?
  THIRD SERVANT. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general-
    Caius Marcius.
  FIRST SERVANT. Why do you say 'thwack our general'?
  THIRD SERVANT. I do not say 'thwack our general,' but he was always
    good enough for him.
  SECOND SERVANT. Come, we are fellows and friends. He was ever too
    hard for him, I have heard him say so himself.
  FIRST SERVANT. He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth
    on't; before Corioli he scotch'd him and notch'd him like a
  SECOND SERVANT. An he had been cannibally given, he might have
    broil'd and eaten him too.
  FIRST SERVANT. But more of thy news!
  THIRD SERVANT. Why, he is so made on here within as if he were son
    and heir to Mars; set at upper end o' th' table; no question
    asked him by any of the senators but they stand bald before him.
    Our general himself makes a mistress of him, sanctifies himself
    with's hand, and turns up the white o' th' eye to his discourse.
    But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' th' middle
    and but one half of what he was yesterday, for the other has half
    by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says,
    and sowl the porter of Rome gates by th' ears; he will mow all
    down before him, and leave his passage poll'd.
  SECOND SERVANT. And he's as like to do't as any man I can imagine.
  THIRD SERVANT. Do't! He will do't; for look you, sir, he has as
    many friends as enemies; which friends, sir, as it were, durst
    not- look you, sir- show themselves, as we term it, his friends,
    whilst he's in directitude.
  FIRST SERVANT. Directitude? What's that?
  THIRD SERVANT. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again and
    the man in blood, they will out of their burrows, like conies
    after rain, and revel an with him.
  FIRST SERVANT. But when goes this forward?
  THIRD SERVANT. To-morrow, to-day, presently. You shall have the
    drum struck up this afternoon; 'tis as it were parcel of their
    feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.
  SECOND SERVANT. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again.
    This peace is nothing but to rust iron, increase tailors, and
    breed ballad-makers.
  FIRST SERVANT. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as
    day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent.
    Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mull'd, deaf, sleepy,
    insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war's a
    destroyer of men.
  SECOND SERVANT. 'Tis so; and as war in some sort may be said to be
    a ravisher, so it cannot be denied but peace is a great maker of
  FIRST SERVANT. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.
  THIRD SERVANT. Reason: because they then less need one another. The
    wars for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volscians.
    They are rising, they are rising.
  BOTH. In, in, in, in! Exeunt

SCENE VI. Rome. A public place

Enter the two Tribunes, SICINIUS and BRUTUS

  SICINIUS. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him.
    His remedies are tame. The present peace
    And quietness of the people, which before
    Were in wild hurry, here do make his friends
    Blush that the world goes well; who rather had,
    Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
    Dissentious numbers pest'ring streets than see
    Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
    About their functions friendly.


  BRUTUS. We stood to't in good time. Is this Menenius?
  SICINIUS. 'Tis he, 'tis he. O, he is grown most kind
    Of late. Hail, sir!
  MENENIUS. Hail to you both!
  SICINIUS. Your Coriolanus is not much miss'd
    But with his friends. The commonwealth doth stand,
    And so would do, were he more angry at it.
  MENENIUS. All's well, and might have been much better
    He could have temporiz'd.
  SICINIUS. Where is he, hear you?
  MENENIUS. Nay, I hear nothing; his mother and his wife
    Hear nothing from him.

Enter three or four citizens

  CITIZENS. The gods preserve you both!
  SICINIUS. God-den, our neighbours.
  BRUTUS. God-den to you all, god-den to you an.
  FIRST CITIZEN. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees
    Are bound to pray for you both.
  SICINIUS. Live and thrive!
  BRUTUS. Farewell, kind neighbours; we wish'd Coriolanus
    Had lov'd you as we did.
  CITIZENS. Now the gods keep you!
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Farewell, farewell. Exeunt citizens
  SICINIUS. This is a happier and more comely time
    Than when these fellows ran about the streets
    Crying confusion.
  BRUTUS. Caius Marcius was
    A worthy officer i' the war, but insolent,
    O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
  SICINIUS. And affecting one sole throne,
    Without assistance.
  MENENIUS. I think not so.
  SICINIUS. We should by this, to all our lamentation,
    If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
  BRUTUS. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
    Sits safe and still without him.

Enter an AEDILE

  AEDILE. Worthy tribunes,
    There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
    Reports the Volsces with several powers
    Are ent'red in the Roman territories,
    And with the deepest malice of the war
    Destroy what lies before 'em.
  MENENIUS. 'Tis Aufidius,
    Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
    Thrusts forth his horns again into the world,
    Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,
    And durst not once peep out.
  SICINIUS. Come, what talk you of Marcius?
  BRUTUS. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
    The Volsces dare break with us.
  MENENIUS. Cannot be!
    We have record that very well it can;
    And three examples of the like hath been
    Within my age. But reason with the fellow
    Before you punish him, where he heard this,
    Lest you shall chance to whip your information
    And beat the messenger who bids beware
    Of what is to be dreaded.
  SICINIUS. Tell not me.
    I know this cannot be.
  BRUTUS. Not Possible.


  MESSENGER. The nobles in great earnestness are going
    All to the Senate House; some news is come
    That turns their countenances.
  SICINIUS. 'Tis this slave-
    Go whip him fore the people's eyes- his raising,
    Nothing but his report.
  MESSENGER. Yes, worthy sir,
    The slave's report is seconded, and more,
    More fearful, is deliver'd.
  SICINIUS. What more fearful?
  MESSENGER. It is spoke freely out of many mouths-
    How probable I do not know- that Marcius,
    Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
    And vows revenge as spacious as between
    The young'st and oldest thing.
  SICINIUS. This is most likely!
  BRUTUS. Rais'd only that the weaker sort may wish
    Good Marcius home again.
  SICINIUS. The very trick on 't.
  MENENIUS. This is unlikely.
    He and Aufidius can no more atone
    Than violent'st contrariety.

Enter a second MESSENGER

  SECOND MESSENGER. You are sent for to the Senate.
    A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius
    Associated with Aufidius, rages
    Upon our territories, and have already
    O'erborne their way, consum'd with fire and took
    What lay before them.


  COMINIUS. O, you have made good work!
  MENENIUS. What news? what news?
  COMINIUS. You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
    To melt the city leads upon your pates,
    To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses-
  MENENIUS. What's the news? What's the news?
  COMINIUS. Your temples burned in their cement, and
    Your franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd
    Into an auger's bore.
  MENENIUS. Pray now, your news?
    You have made fair work, I fear me. Pray, your news.
    If Marcius should be join'd wi' th' Volscians-
    He is their god; he leads them like a thing
    Made by some other deity than Nature,
    That shapes man better; and they follow him
    Against us brats with no less confidence
    Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
    Or butchers killing flies.
  MENENIUS. You have made good work,
    You and your apron men; you that stood so much
    Upon the voice of occupation and
    The breath of garlic-eaters!
  COMINIUS. He'll shake
    Your Rome about your ears.
  MENENIUS. As Hercules
    Did shake down mellow fruit. You have made fair work!
  BRUTUS. But is this true, sir?
  COMINIUS. Ay; and you'll look pale
    Before you find it other. All the regions
    Do smilingly revolt, and who resists
    Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
    And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
    Your enemies and his find something in him.
  MENENIUS. We are all undone unless
    The noble man have mercy.
  COMINIUS. Who shall ask it?
    The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
    Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
    Does of the shepherds; for his best friends, if they
    Should say 'Be good to Rome'- they charg'd him even
    As those should do that had deserv'd his hate,
    And therein show'd fike enemies.
  MENENIUS. 'Tis true;
    If he were putting to my house the brand
    That should consume it, I have not the face
    To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
    You and your crafts! You have crafted fair!
  COMINIUS. You have brought
    A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
    S' incapable of help.
  BOTH TRIBUNES. Say not we brought it.
  MENENIUS. How! Was't we? We lov'd him, but, like beasts
    And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
    Who did hoot him out o' th' city.
  COMINIUS. But I fear
    They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
    The second name of men, obeys his points
    As if he were his officer. Desperation
    Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
    That Rome can make against them.

Enter a troop of citizens

  MENENIUS. Here comes the clusters.
    And is Aufidius with him? You are they
    That made the air unwholesome when you cast
    Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
    Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming,
    And not a hair upon a soldier's head
    Which will not prove a whip; as many coxcombs
    As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
    And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
    If he could burn us all into one coal
    We have deserv'd it.
  PLEBEIANS. Faith, we hear fearful news.
  FIRST CITIZEN. For mine own part,
    When I said banish him, I said 'twas pity.
  SECOND CITIZEN. And so did I.
  THIRD CITIZEN. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
    many of us. That we did, we did for the best; and though we
    willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our
  COMINIUS. Y'are goodly things, you voices!
  MENENIUS. You have made
    Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?
  COMINIUS. O, ay, what else?
                                    Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS
  SICINIUS. Go, masters, get you be not dismay'd;
    These are a side that would be glad to have
    This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
    And show no sign of fear.
  FIRST CITIZEN. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I
    ever said we were i' th' wrong when we banish'd him.
  SECOND CITIZEN. So did we all. But come, let's home.
                                                 Exeunt citizens
  BRUTUS. I do not like this news.
  BRUTUS. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
    Would buy this for a lie!
  SICINIUS. Pray let's go. Exeunt

SCENE VII. A camp at a short distance from Rome


  AUFIDIUS. Do they still fly to th' Roman?
  LIEUTENANT. I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but
    Your soldiers use him as the grace fore meat,
    Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
    And you are dark'ned in this action, sir,
    Even by your own.
  AUFIDIUS. I cannot help it now,
    Unless by using means I lame the foot
    Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
    Even to my person, than I thought he would
    When first I did embrace him; yet his nature
    In that's no changeling, and I must excuse
    What cannot be amended.
  LIEUTENANT. Yet I wish, sir-
    I mean, for your particular- you had not
    Join'd in commission with him, but either
    Had borne the action of yourself, or else
    To him had left it solely.
  AUFIDIUS. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
    When he shall come to his account, he knows not
    What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
    And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
    To th' vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly
    And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,
    Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
    As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
    That which shall break his neck or hazard mine
    Whene'er we come to our account.
  LIEUTENANT. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?
  AUFIDIUS. All places yield to him ere he sits down,
    And the nobility of Rome are his;
    The senators and patricians love him too.
    The tribunes are no soldiers, and their people
    Will be as rash in the repeal as hasty
    To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome
    As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
    By sovereignty of nature. First he was
    A noble servant to them, but he could not
    Carry his honours even. Whether 'twas pride,
    Which out of daily fortune ever taints
    The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
    To fail in the disposing of those chances
    Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
    Not to be other than one thing, not moving
    From th' casque to th' cushion, but commanding peace
    Even with the same austerity and garb
    As he controll'd the war; but one of these-
    As he hath spices of them all- not all,
    For I dare so far free him- made him fear'd,
    So hated, and so banish'd. But he has a merit
    To choke it in the utt'rance. So our virtues
    Lie in th' interpretation of the time;
    And power, unto itself most commendable,
    Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
    T' extol what it hath done.
    One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
    Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.
    Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
    Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.


ACT V. SCENE I. Rome. A public place

Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS and BRUTUS, the two Tribunes, with others

  MENENIUS. No, I'll not go. You hear what he hath said
    Which was sometime his general, who lov'd him
    In a most dear particular. He call'd me father;
    But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him:
    A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
    The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coy'd
    To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.
  COMINIUS. He would not seem to know me.
  MENENIUS. Do you hear?
  COMINIUS. Yet one time he did call me by my name.
    I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
    That we have bled together. 'Coriolanus'
    He would not answer to; forbid all names;
    He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
    Till he had forg'd himself a name i' th' fire
    Of burning Rome.
  MENENIUS. Why, so! You have made good work.
    A pair of tribunes that have wrack'd for Rome
    To make coals cheap- a noble memory!
  COMINIUS. I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
    When it was less expected; he replied,
    It was a bare petition of a state
    To one whom they had punish'd.
  MENENIUS. Very well.
    Could he say less?
  COMINIUS. I offer'd to awaken his regard
    For's private friends; his answer to me was,
    He could not stay to pick them in a pile
    Of noisome musty chaff. He said 'twas folly,
    For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt
    And still to nose th' offence.
  MENENIUS. For one poor grain or two!
    I am one of those. His mother, wife, his child,
    And this brave fellow too- we are the grains:
    You are the musty chaff, and you are smelt
    Above the moon. We must be burnt for you.
  SICINIUS. Nay, pray be patient; if you refuse your aid
    In this so never-needed help, yet do not
    Upbraid's with our distress. But sure, if you
    Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
    More than the instant army we can make,
    Might stop our countryman.
  MENENIUS. No; I'll not meddle.
  SICINIUS. Pray you go to him.
  MENENIUS. What should I do?
  BRUTUS. Only make trial what your love can do
    For Rome, towards Marcius.
  MENENIUS. Well, and say that Marcius
    Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
    Unheard- what then?
    But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
    With his unkindness? Say't be so?
  SICINIUS. Yet your good will
    Must have that thanks from Rome after the measure
    As you intended well.
  MENENIUS. I'll undertake't;
    I think he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip
    And hum at good Cominius much unhearts me.
    He was not taken well: he had not din'd;
    The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
    We pout upon the morning, are unapt
    To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
    These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
    With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
    Than in our priest-like fasts. Therefore I'll watch him
    Till he be dieted to my request,
    And then I'll set upon him.
  BRUTUS. You know the very road into his kindness
    And cannot lose your way.
  MENENIUS. Good faith, I'll prove him,
    Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
    Of my success. Exit
  COMINIUS. He'll never hear him.
  COMINIUS. I tell you he does sit in gold, his eye
    Red as 'twould burn Rome, and his injury
    The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
    'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise'; dismiss'd me
    Thus with his speechless hand. What he would do,
    He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
    Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions;
    So that all hope is vain,
    Unless his noble mother and his wife,
    Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
    For mercy to his country. Therefore let's hence,
    And with our fair entreaties haste them on. Exeunt

SCENE II. The Volscian camp before Rome

Enter MENENIUS to the WATCH on guard

  FIRST WATCH. Stay. Whence are you?
  SECOND WATCH. Stand, and go back.
  MENENIUS. You guard like men, 'tis well; but, by your leave,
    I am an officer of state and come
    To speak with Coriolanus.
  FIRST WATCH. From whence?
  MENENIUS. From Rome.
  FIRST WATCH. YOU may not pass; you must return. Our general
    Will no more hear from thence.
  SECOND WATCH. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire before
    You'll speak with Coriolanus.
  MENENIUS. Good my friends,
    If you have heard your general talk of Rome
    And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks
    My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Menenius.
  FIRST WATCH. Be it so; go back. The virtue of your name
    Is not here passable.
  MENENIUS. I tell thee, fellow,
    Thy general is my lover. I have been
    The book of his good acts whence men have read
    His fame unparallel'd haply amplified;
    For I have ever verified my friends-
    Of whom he's chief- with all the size that verity
    Would without lapsing suffer. Nay, sometimes,
    Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
    I have tumbled past the throw, and in his praise
    Have almost stamp'd the leasing; therefore, fellow,
    I must have leave to pass.
  FIRST WATCH. Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf
    as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here;
    no, though it were as virtuous to lie as to live chastely.
    Therefore go back.
  MENENIUS. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always
    factionary on the party of your general.
  SECOND WATCH. Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you
    have, I am one that, telling true under him, must say you cannot
    pass. Therefore go back.
  MENENIUS. Has he din'd, canst thou tell? For I would not speak with
    him till after dinner.
  FIRST WATCH. You are a Roman, are you?
  MENENIUS. I am as thy general is.
  FIRST WATCH. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when
    you have push'd out your gates the very defender of them, and in
    a violent popular ignorance given your enemy your shield, think
    to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the
    virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied
    intercession of such a decay'd dotant as you seem to be? Can you
    think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame
    in with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceiv'd; therefore
    back to Rome and prepare for your execution. You are condemn'd;
    our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.
  MENENIUS. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me
    with estimation.
  FIRST WATCH. Come, my captain knows you not.
  MENENIUS. I mean thy general.
  FIRST WATCH. My general cares not for you. Back, I say; go, lest I
    let forth your half pint of blood. Back- that's the utmost of
    your having. Back.
  MENENIUS. Nay, but fellow, fellow-


  CORIOLANUS. What's the matter?
  MENENIUS. Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you; you shall
    know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack
    guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus. Guess but by my
    entertainment with him if thou stand'st not i' th' state of
    hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship and crueller
    in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come
    upon thee. The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy
    particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father
    Menenius does! O my son! my son! thou art preparing fire for us;
    look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come
    to thee; but being assured none but myself could move thee, I
    have been blown out of your gates with sighs, and conjure thee to
    pardon Rome and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage
    thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here; this,
    who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.
  MENENIUS. How! away!
  CORIOLANUS. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
    Are servanted to others. Though I owe
    My revenge properly, my remission lies
    In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
    Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison rather
    Than pity note how much. Therefore be gone.
    Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
    Your gates against my force. Yet, for I lov'd thee,
    Take this along; I writ it for thy sake [Gives a letter]
    And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius,
    I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
    Was my belov'd in Rome; yet thou behold'st.
  AUFIDIUS. You keep a constant temper.
                                  Exeunt CORIOLANUS and Aufidius
  FIRST WATCH. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?
  SECOND WATCH. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power! You know the
    way home again.
  FIRST WATCH. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your
    greatness back?
  SECOND WATCH. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?
  MENENIUS. I neither care for th' world nor your general; for such
    things as you, I can scarce think there's any, y'are so slight.
    He that hath a will to die by himself fears it not from another.
    Let your general do his worst. For you, be that you are, long;
    and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was
    said to: Away! Exit
  FIRST WATCH. A noble fellow, I warrant him.
  SECOND WATCH. The worthy fellow is our general; he's the rock, the
    oak not to be wind-shaken. Exeunt


Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others

  CORIOLANUS. We will before the walls of Rome to-morrow
    Set down our host. My partner in this action,
    You must report to th' Volscian lords how plainly
    I have borne this business.
  AUFIDIUS. Only their ends
    You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
    The general suit of Rome; never admitted
    A private whisper- no, not with such friends
    That thought them sure of you.
  CORIOLANUS. This last old man,
    Whom with crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
    Lov'd me above the measure of a father;
    Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
    Was to send him; for whose old love I have-
    Though I show'd sourly to him- once more offer'd
    The first conditions, which they did refuse
    And cannot now accept. To grace him only,
    That thought he could do more, a very little
    I have yielded to; fresh embassies and suits,
    Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
    Will I lend ear to. [Shout within] Ha! what shout is this?
    Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
    In the same time 'tis made? I will not.

       Enter, in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, VALERIA,
                   YOUNG MARCIUS, with attendants

    My wife comes foremost, then the honour'd mould
    Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
    The grandchild to her blood. But out, affection!
    All bond and privilege of nature, break!
    Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.
    What is that curtsy worth? or those doves' eyes,
    Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
    Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows,
    As if Olympus to a molehill should
    In supplication nod; and my young boy
    Hath an aspect of intercession which
    Great nature cries 'Deny not.' Let the Volsces
    Plough Rome and harrow Italy; I'll never
    Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand
    As if a man were author of himself
    And knew no other kin.
  VIRGILIA. My lord and husband!
  CORIOLANUS. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.
  VIRGILIA. The sorrow that delivers us thus chang'd
    Makes you think so.
  CORIOLANUS. Like a dull actor now
    I have forgot my part and I am out,
    Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
    Forgive my tyranny; but do not say,
    For that, 'Forgive our Romans.' O, a kiss
    Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
    Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
    I carried from thee, dear, and my true lip
    Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,
    And the most noble mother of the world
    Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i' th' earth; [Kneels]
    Of thy deep duty more impression show
    Than that of common sons.
  VOLUMNIA. O, stand up blest!
    Whilst with no softer cushion than the flint
    I kneel before thee, and unproperly
    Show duty, as mistaken all this while
    Between the child and parent. [Kneels]
  CORIOLANUS. What's this?
    Your knees to me, to your corrected son?
    Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
    Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
    Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun,
    Murd'ring impossibility, to make
    What cannot be slight work.
  VOLUMNIA. Thou art my warrior;
    I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
  CORIOLANUS. The noble sister of Publicola,
    The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
    That's curdied by the frost from purest snow,
    And hangs on Dian's temple- dear Valeria!
  VOLUMNIA. This is a poor epitome of yours,
    Which by th' interpretation of full time
    May show like all yourself.
  CORIOLANUS. The god of soldiers,
    With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
    Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst prove
    To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' th' wars
    Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
    And saving those that eye thee!
  VOLUMNIA. Your knee, sirrah.
  CORIOLANUS. That's my brave boy.
  VOLUMNIA. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself,
    Are suitors to you.
  CORIOLANUS. I beseech you, peace!
    Or, if you'd ask, remember this before:
    The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
    Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
    Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
    Again with Rome's mechanics. Tell me not
    Wherein I seem unnatural; desire not
    T'allay my rages and revenges with
    Your colder reasons.
  VOLUMNIA. O, no more, no more!
    You have said you will not grant us any thing-
    For we have nothing else to ask but that
    Which you deny already; yet we will ask,
    That, if you fail in our request, the blame
    May hang upon your hardness; therefore hear us.
  CORIOLANUS. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll
    Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?
  VOLUMNIA. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
    And state of bodies would bewray what life
    We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
    How more unfortunate than all living women
    Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which should
    Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
    Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow,
    Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
    The son, the husband, and the father, tearing
    His country's bowels out. And to poor we
    Thine enmity's most capital: thou bar'st us
    Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
    That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
    Alas, how can we for our country pray,
    Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
    Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose
    The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
    Our comfort in the country. We must find
    An evident calamity, though we had
    Our wish, which side should win; for either thou
    Must as a foreign recreant be led
    With manacles through our streets, or else
    Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
    And bear the palm for having bravely shed
    Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
    I purpose not to wait on fortune till
    These wars determine; if I can not persuade thee
    Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
    Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
    March to assault thy country than to tread-
    Trust to't, thou shalt not- on thy mother's womb
    That brought thee to this world.
  VIRGILIA. Ay, and mine,
    That brought you forth this boy to keep your name
    Living to time.
  BOY. 'A shall not tread on me!
    I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
  CORIOLANUS. Not of a woman's tenderness to be
    Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
    I have sat too long. [Rising]
  VOLUMNIA. Nay, go not from us thus.
    If it were so that our request did tend
    To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
    The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us
    As poisonous of your honour. No, our suit
    Is that you reconcile them: while the Volsces
    May say 'This mercy we have show'd,' the Romans
    'This we receiv'd,' and each in either side
    Give the all-hail to thee, and cry 'Be blest
    For making up this peace!' Thou know'st, great son,
    The end of war's uncertain; but this certain,
    That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
    Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name
    Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses;
    Whose chronicle thus writ: 'The man was noble,
    But with his last attempt he wip'd it out,
    Destroy'd his country, and his name remains
    To th' ensuing age abhorr'd.' Speak to me, son.
    Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
    To imitate the graces of the gods,
    To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' th' air,
    And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
    That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?