Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)


Enter Posthumus.
Post. Is there no way for Men to be, but Women
Must be halfe-workers? We are all Bastards,
1340And that most venerable man, which I
Did call my Father, was, I know not where
When I was stampt. Some Coyner with his Tooles
Made me a counterfeit: yet my Mother seem'd
The Dian of that time: so doth my Wife
1345The Non-pareill of this. Oh Vengeance, Vengeance!
Me of my lawfull pleasure she restrain'd,
And pray'd me oft forbearance: did it with
A pudencie so Rosie, the sweet view on't
Might well haue warm'd olde Saturne;
1350That I thought her
As Chaste, as vn-Sunn'd Snow. Oh, all the Diuels!
This yellow Iachimo in an houre, was't not?
Or lesse; at first? Perchance he spoke not, but
Like a full Acorn'd Boare, a Iarmen on,
1355Cry'de oh, and mounted; found no opposition
But what he look'd for, should oppose, and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I finde out
The Womans part in me, for there's no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirme
1360It is the Womans part: be it Lying, note it,
The womans: Flattering, hers; Deceiuing, hers:
Lust, and ranke thoughts, hers, hers: Reuenges hers:
Ambitions, Couetings, change of Prides, Disdaine,
Nice-longing, Slanders, Mutability;
1365All Faults that name, nay, that Hell knowes,
Why hers, in part, or all: but rather all.For euen to Vice
They are not constant, but are changing still;
One Vice, but of a minute old, for one
Not halfe so old as that. Ile write against them,
1370Detest them, curse them: yet 'tis greater Skill
In a true Hate, to pray they haue their will:
The very Diuels cannot plague them better.
Exit.