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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Modern)

Enter Posthumus
Is there no way for men to be but women
Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,
1340And that most venerable man which I
Did call my father was I know not where
When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools
Made me a counterfeit, yet my mother seemed
The Dian of that time; so doth my wife
1345The nonpareil of this. Oh, vengeance, vengeance!
Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained
And prayed me oft forbearance, did it with
A pudency so rosy the sweet view on't
Might well have warmed old Saturn 1350that I thought her
As chaste as unsunned snow. Oh, all the devils!
This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was't not?
Or less? At first perchance he spoke not but
Like a full-acorned boar, a German one,
1355Cried "Oh" and mounted; found no opposition
But what he looked for should oppose, and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
The woman's part in me -- for there's no motion
That tends to vice in man but I affirm
1360It is the woman's part -- be it lying, note it,
The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice-longing, slanders, mutability --
1365All faults that [have a] name, nay, that Hell knows, Why, hers, in part, or all -- but rather all,
For even to vice
They are not constant but are changing still,
One vice but of a minute old for one
Not half so old as that. I'll write against them,
1370Detest them, curse them, yet 'tis greater skill
In a true hate to pray they have their will:
The very devils cannot plague them better.