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Who’s there? My woman Helen?

Who’s there? My woman Helen?
Please you, madam.

To your protection I commend me, gods.
From fairies and the tempters of the night
Guard me, beseech you.

What hour is it?
Almost midnight, madam.
I have read three hours then. Mine eyes are weak.
 She hands the Lady her book.
Fold down the leaf where I have left. To bed.
Take not away the taper; leave it burning.
And if thou canst awake by four o’ th’ clock,
I prithee, call me. (Lady exits.) Sleep hath seized me wholly.
To your protection I commend me, gods.
From fairies and the tempters of the night
Guard me, beseech you.
 Iachimo from the trunk.
The crickets sing, and man’s o’erlabored sense
Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes ere he wakened
The chastity he wounded.—Cytherea,
How bravely thou becom’st thy bed, fresh lily,
And whiter than the sheets.—That I might touch!
But kiss, one kiss! Rubies unparagoned,
How dearly they do ’t. ’Tis her breathing that
Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame o’ th’ taper
Bows toward her and would underpeep her lids
To see th’ enclosèd lights, now canopied
Under these windows, white and azure-laced
With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design:
To note the chamber. I will write all down.
 He begins to write.
Such and such pictures; there the window; such
Th’ adornment of her bed; the arras, figures,
Why, such and such; and the contents o’ th’ story.
 He continues to write.
Ah, but some natural notes about her body
Above ten thousand meaner movables
Would testify t’ enrich mine inventory.
O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her,
And be her sense but as a monument
Thus in a chapel lying. (He begins to remove her
bracelet.) Come off, come off;
As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard.
’Tis mine, and this will witness outwardly
As strongly as the conscience does within
To th’ madding of her lord. On her left breast
A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
I’ th’ bottom of a cowslip. Here’s a voucher
Stronger than ever law could make. This secret
Will force him think I have picked the lock and ta’en
The treasure of her honor. No more. To what end?
Why should I write this down that’s riveted,
Screwed to my memory? She hath been reading late
The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turned down
Where Philomel gave up. I have enough.
To th’ trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
May bare the raven’s eye. I lodge in fear.
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
 Clock strikes.
One, two, three. Time, time!
 He exits into the trunk. The trunk and bed are removed.

Act 2
Scene 2
Line 1

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