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Cymbeline

Cymbeline Translation Act 2, Scene 4

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Enter POSTHUMUS and PHILARIO

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Fear it not, sir: I would I were so sureTo win the king as I am bold her honourWill remain hers.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Don't worry, sir. I wish I were as sure that the king would come around to my side as I am that she won't do anything dishonorable.

PHILARIO

What means do you make to him?

PHILARIO

What are you doing to try to contact the king?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Not any, but abide the change of time, Quake in the present winter's state and wish That warmer days would come: in these sear'd hopes, I barely gratify your love; they failing, I must die much your debtor.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Nothing, except wait for time to pass, like when you shiver with cold in winter and wish that warmer days would come. That change of season, by which I mean the king changing his mind, is the only hope I have to repay your kindness. If it fails, I'll die without having repaid you fully.

PHILARIO

Your very goodness and your company O'erpays all I can do. By this, your king Hath heard of great Augustus: Caius Lucius Will do's commission throughly: and I think He'll grant the tribute, send the arrearages, Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance Is yet fresh in their grief.

PHILARIO

Your goodness and your company are worth more than anything I can do for you. By this time, your king will have heard from great Augustus. Caius Lucius will do his job well. And I think the king will pay the emperor his tribute and send what he owes. Or else, he'll soon see the Romans again, and the country is still grieving over what happened last time the Romans invaded.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I do believe, Statist though I am none, nor like to be, That this will prove a war; and you shall hear The legions now in Gallia sooner landed In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen Are men more order'd than when Julius Caesar Smiled at their lack of skill, but found their courage Worthy his frowning at: their discipline, Now mingled with their courages, will make known To their approvers they are people such That mend upon the world.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I think, although I'm not a politician and probably never will be, that this will cause a war. It's far more likely that the Roman legions that are now in France will be sent to invade my fearless country of Britain than that any tribute will be paid. Our countrymen are more organized now than when Julius Caesar was amused at how incompetent they were but found that their courage was not so amusing. They now combine discipline with that courage, and anyone who attacks them will see that they have improved.

Enter IACHIMO

PHILARIO

See! Iachimo!

PHILARIO

Look! Iachimo!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

The swiftest harts have posted you by land;And winds of all the comers kiss'd your sails,To make your vessel nimble.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

The fastest deer carried you over land and all the winds filled your sails to make your ship go quickly.

PHILARIO

Welcome, sir.

PHILARIO

Welcome, sir.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I hope the briefness of your answer madeThe speediness of your return.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I hope you came back so quickly because the answer you got from my wife was so short.

IACHIMO

Your ladyIs one of the fairest that I have look'd upon.

IACHIMO

Your wife is one of the most beautiful women I've seen.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

And therewithal the best; or let her beautyLook through a casement to allure false heartsAnd be false with them.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

And also the best, or her beauty would be like a woman staring out of a window to trap disloyal hearts and betray them.

IACHIMO

Here are letters for you.

IACHIMO

Here are letters for you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Their tenor good, I trust.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I hope they contain good news.

IACHIMO

'Tis very like.

IACHIMO

Probably.

PHILARIO

Was Caius Lucius in the Britain courtWhen you were there?

PHILARIO

Was Caius Lucius at the British court when you were there?

IACHIMO

He was expected then,But not approach'd.

IACHIMO

They were expecting him, but he wasn't there yet.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

All is well yet.Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is't notToo dull for your good wearing?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Then everything's still fine. So is this jewel as bright as it used to be? Or has it grown too dull to wear?

IACHIMO

If I had lost it, I should have lost the worth of it in gold. I'll make a journey twice as far, to enjoy A second night of such sweet shortness which Was mine in Britain, for the ring is won.

IACHIMO

If I had lost it, I would only have lost its worth in gold. I would travel twice as far to enjoy another night as pleasantly short as the one I had in Britain. Because I won the ring.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

The stone's too hard to come by.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

No, it would be too hard to win this jewel.

IACHIMO

Not a whit,Your lady being so easy.

IACHIMO

Not at all, since your wife is so easy.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Make not, sir,Your loss your sport: I hope you know that weMust not continue friends.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Don't make up for your loss by messing with me. I hope you know that we're not going to be friends after this.

IACHIMO

Good sir, we must, If you keep covenant. Had I not brought The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant We were to question further: but I now Profess myself the winner of her honour, Together with your ring; and not the wronger Of her or you, having proceeded but By both your wills.

IACHIMO

Sir, we have to, if you keep your promise. If I hadn't slept with your wife before coming home, the deal was that we'd fight. But now I've said I won her and your ring. I haven't done wrong by you or her, since you both went through with this willingly.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

If you can make't apparent That you have tasted her in bed, my hand And ring is yours; if not, the foul opinion You had of her pure honour gains or loses Your sword or mine, or masterless leaves both To who shall find them.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

If you can prove that you slept with her, my friendship and my ring are yours. If not, we'll fight over the fact that you had such a bad opinion of her reputation until one or the other or both of us is dead and our swords are left lying on the ground for whoever finds them.

IACHIMO

Sir, my circumstances, Being so near the truth as I will make them, Must first induce you to believe: whose strength I will confirm with oath; which, I doubt not, You'll give me leave to spare, when you shall find You need it not.

IACHIMO

Sir, what I can tell you will make you believe I'm telling the truth. I will confirm my story by swearing that what I say is true. But I don't think you'll make me do that, because I'll have already convinced you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Proceed.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Go on.

IACHIMO

First, her bedchamber,— Where, I confess, I slept not, but profess Had that was well worth watching—it was hang'd With tapesty of silk and silver; the story Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman, And Cydnus swell'd above the banks, or for The press of boats or pride: a piece of work So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive In workmanship and value; which I wonder'd Could be so rarely and exactly wrought, Since the true life on't was—

IACHIMO

First, her room. I admit I didn't sleep there, since I had such good reason to stay awake. The room was covered in tapestries made of silk and silver. They told the story of proud Cleopatra meeting her Roman lover, when the river Cydnus flooded either because of the weight of so many boats on it or because it was proud to carry them. That was such a beautiful piece of work, so expensive looking, that it was hard to tell which was worth more, the expert design or its valuable materials. I was amazed it was so unusually and beautifully made, since it looked so lifelike—

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

This is true;And this you might have heard of here, by me,Or by some other.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

This is true. But you could have heard that from me, right here, or from someone else.

IACHIMO

More particularsMust justify my knowledge.

IACHIMO

I must tell you more details to prove this to you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

So they must,Or do your honour injury.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

You must, or you will be dishonored.

IACHIMO

The chimney Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece Chaste Dian bathing: never saw I figures So likely to report themselves: the cutter Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her, Motion and breath left out.

IACHIMO

The chimney is in the south of the room, and it's carved with the virgin goddess Diana washing herself. I never saw carvings that looked so alive. The person who carved them was like a second creator of the world but without the ability to make things speak. He made her more beautiful than she is in real life, but without the ability to move or breathe.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

This is a thingWhich you might from relation likewise reap,Being, as it is, much spoke of.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

That's also something you could have heard about, since it's talked about a lot.

IACHIMO

The roof o' the chamber With golden cherubins is fretted: her andirons— I had forgot them—were two winking Cupids Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely Depending on their brands.

IACHIMO

The roof of the room is decorated with golden angels. The irons in her fireplace—I almost forgot them—were two sparkling silver statues of Cupid, each of them showing him standing on one foot and seeming to lean on the burning wood in the fire.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

This is her honour! Let it be granted you have seen all this—and praise Be given to your remembrance— the description Of what is in her chamber nothing saves The wager you have laid.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

These details aren't worth as much as her honor! Even if you did see all these things—and you have a great memory, by the way—describing the stuff in her room does not win the bet you made.

IACHIMO

Then, if you can,

IACHIMO

Well then, assuming you can...

Showing the bracelet

Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel; see! And now 'tis up again: it must be married To that your diamond; I'll keep them.

...then turn pale in shock. Please give me permission to take out this jewel. See! Now I've put it away again. It'll get married to your diamond. I'll keep them both.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Jove!Once more let me behold it: is it thatWhich I left with her?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

By Jove! Let me see that again. Is that the one I left with her?

IACHIMO

Sir—I thank her—that: She stripp'd it from her arm; I see her yet; Her pretty action did outsell her gift, And yet enrich'd it too: she gave it me, and said She prized it once.

IACHIMO

Sir, it is, and I'm thankful to her for giving it to me. She took it off her arm. It's as though I can still see her doing it. Her beautiful movement was worth more than the present, but it also made it more valuable. She gave it to me and said it used to be important to her.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

May be she pluck'd it offTo send it me.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Maybe she took it off to send it to me.

IACHIMO

She writes so to you, doth she?

IACHIMO

Does she write that in her letter to you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

O, no, no, no! 'tis true. Here, take this too;

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Oh, no, no, no! It's true. Here, take this too.

Gives the ring

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

It is a basilisk unto mine eye, Kills me to look on't. Let there be no honour Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love, Where there's another man: the vows of women Of no more bondage be, to where they are made, Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing. O, above measure false!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Looking at that ring is like looking a basilisk in the eye: looking at it kills me. Beauty and honor should never go together, or truth and outward appearances, or love where there's another man. The promises of women shouldn't be trusted any more women can be trusted to act virtuously, which is not at all. Oh, she was so horribly unfaithful!

PHILARIO

Have patience, sir, And take your ring again; 'tis not yet won: It may be probable she lost it; or Who knows if one of her women, being corrupted, Hath stol'n it from her?

PHILARIO

Wait, sir, and take your ring back. He hasn't won it yet. She probably lost it, or maybe one of her women was convinced to steal it from her.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Very true; And so, I hope, he came by't. Back my ring: Render to me some corporal sign about her, More evident than this; for this was stolen.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

That's very true. I hope that's how he got it. Give me back my ring. Tell me some mark on her body that's better proof than this, because this was stolen.

IACHIMO

By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.

IACHIMO

I swear by Jupiter, I got it straight from her own arm.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears. 'Tis true:—nay, keep the ring—'tis true: I am sure She would not lose it: her attendants are All sworn and honourable:—they induced to steal it! And by a stranger!—No, he hath enjoyed her: The cognizance of her incontinency Is this: she hath bought the name of whore thus dearly. There, take thy hire; and all the fiends of hell Divide themselves between you!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Listen, he swears. He swears by Jupiter. It's true—no, keep the ring. It's true. I'm sure she wouldn't lose it. Her attendants are all loyal and honorable. They couldn't be convinced to steal it by a stranger! No, he's slept with her. This is a sign she went out of control. All she got in return was the name "whore." There, take your pay. May all the devils in hell divide their punishments between you and her!

PHILARIO

Sir, be patient:This is not strong enough to be believedOf one persuaded well of—

PHILARIO

Sir, wait. This isn't good enough evidence for anyone who has faith in—

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Never talk on't;She hath been colted by him.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Never talk about it. They slept together.

IACHIMO

If you seek For further satisfying, under her breast— Worthy the pressing—lies a mole, right proud Of that most delicate lodging: by my life, I kiss'd it; and it gave me present hunger To feed again, though full. You do remember This stain upon her?

IACHIMO

If you want more evidence, under her breast (which is worth squeezing) there's a mole, which seems proud to live there. I swear, I kissed it. And it made me desire her again, even though I was satisfied. You do remember this mark like a stain on her, don't you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Ay, and it doth confirm Another stain, as big as hell can hold, Were there no more but it.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Yes, and it confirms that she's stained in a different way. Her sins would fill Hell up completely, even if there were no other sins in there.

IACHIMO

Will you hear more?

IACHIMO

Do you want to hear more?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

Spare your arithmetic: never count the turns;Once, and a million!

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

That's enough math. Don't count the things you did, whether there were one or a million!

IACHIMO

I'll be sworn—

IACHIMO

I promise—

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

No swearing. If you will swear you have not done't, you lie; And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny Thou'st made me cuckold.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

No promising. If you promise you didn't do it, you're lying. And I'll kill you if you deny you slept with my wife.

IACHIMO

I'll deny nothing.

IACHIMO

I won't deny anything.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal! I will go there and do't, i' the court, before Her father. I'll do something—

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I wish I had her here, so I could tear her apart! I'll go there and do it, in the court, in front of her father. I'll do something—

Exit

PHILARIO

Quite besides The government of patience! You have won: Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath He hath against himself.

PHILARIO

I can't stand this any more! You won. Let's follow him, and talk him out of doing anything terrible to himself.

IACHIMO

With all my heart.

IACHIMO

Absolutely.

Exeunt

Cymbeline
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