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Cymbeline Scenes

Scene 5

Rome. Another room in Philario’s house.


Posthumus rants bitterly against all women. (35 lines)

Enter Posthumus.


Is there no way for men to be, but women

Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,

And that most venerable man which I

Did call my father, was I know not where

When I was stamp’d. Some coiner with his tools

Made me a counterfeit; yet my mother seem’d

The Dian of that time. So doth my wife

The nonpareil of this. O vengeance, vengeance!

Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain’d,

And pray’d me oft forbearance; did it with

A pudency so rosy the sweet view on’t

Might well have warm’d old Saturn; that I thought her

As chaste as unsunn’d snow. O, all the devils!

This yellow Jachimo, in an hour—was’t not?—

Or less—at first? Perchance he spoke not, but

Like a full-acorn’d boar, a German one,

Cried “O!” and mounted; found no opposition

But what he look’d 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

It 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,

All faults that 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,

Detest them, curse them; yet ’tis greater skill

In a true hate, to pray they have their will:

The very devils cannot plague them better.



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