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Navigate this workCymbeline
Cymbeline, which takes place in ancient Britain, is filled with hidden identities, extraordinary schemes, and violent acts. Long ago, the two sons of King Cymbeline were abducted, leaving Cymbeline with a daughter, Imogen. Cymbeline’s stepson, Cloten, is now his heir, and Cymbeline expects Imogen to marry him. She secretly marries Posthumus Leonatus instead.
Banished from court, Posthumus makes a foolish bet on Imogen’s chastity, which leads to false evidence that she has betrayed him. He plots to have her killed, and starts by sending her on a journey. Meanwhile, still angry about Imogen’s marriage, Cloten plans to find and rape her.
Imogen—now disguised as a boy, “Fidele”—unwittingly encounters her brothers, who have grown up in a mountain cave unaware of their princely origins. The brothers kill Cloten, but Imogen, horrified, believes they have slain Posthumus.
Cymbeline, meanwhile, refuses to pay a tribute to the Romans, who invade Britain. After the Romans are repelled in battle, Cymbeline agrees to the tribute, his sons are restored, and Imogen and Posthumus are reconciled.
0001 You do not meet a man but frowns. Our bloods
0002 No more obey the heavens than our courtiers’
0003 Still seem as does the King’s.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0004 But what’s the matter?
0005 5 His daughter, and the heir of ’s kingdom, whom
0006 He purposed to his wife’s sole son—a widow
0007 That late he married—hath referred herself
0008 Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She’s wedded,
0009 Her husband banished, she imprisoned. All
0010 10 Is outward sorrow, though I think the King
0011 Be touched at very heart.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0012 None but the King?
0013 He that hath lost her, too. So is the Queen,
0014 That most desired the match. But not a courtier,
0015 15 Although they wear their faces to the bent
0016 Of the King’s looks, hath a heart that is not
0017 Glad at the thing they scowl at.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0018 And why so?
0019 He that hath missed the Princess is a thing
0020 20 Too bad for bad report, and he that hath her—
0022 And therefore banished—is a creature such
0023 As, to seek through the regions of the Earth
0024 For one his like, there would be something failing
0025 25 In him that should compare. I do not think
0026 So fair an outward and such stuff within
0027 Endows a man but he.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0028 You speak him far.
0029 I do extend him, sir, within himself,
0030 30 Crush him together rather than unfold
0031 His measure duly.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0032 What’s his name and birth?
0033 I cannot delve him to the root. His father
0034 Was called Sicilius, who did join his honor
0035 35 Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
0036 But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
0037 He served with glory and admired success,
0038 So gained the sur-addition Leonatus;
0039 And had, besides this gentleman in question,
0040 40 Two other sons, who in the wars o’ th’ time
0041 Died with their swords in hand. For which their
0043 Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
0044 That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
0045 45 Big of this gentleman our theme, deceased
0046 As he was born. The King he takes the babe
0047 To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus,
0048 Breeds him and makes him of his bedchamber,
0049 Puts to him all the learnings that his time
0050 50 Could make him the receiver of, which he took
0051 As we do air, fast as ’twas ministered,
0052 And in ’s spring became a harvest; lived in court—
0053 Which rare it is to do—most praised, most loved,
0054 A sample to the youngest, to th’ more mature
0056 A child that guided dotards. To his mistress,
0057 For whom he now is banished, her own price
0058 Proclaims how she esteemed him; and his virtue
0059 By her election may be truly read
0060 60 What kind of man he is.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0061 I honor him
0062 Even out of your report. But pray you tell me,
0063 Is she sole child to th’ King?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0064 His only child.
0065 65 He had two sons—if this be worth your hearing,
0066 Mark it—the eldest of them at three years old,
0067 I’ th’ swathing clothes the other, from their nursery
0068 Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
0069 Which way they went.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0070 70How long is this ago?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0071 Some twenty years.
0072 That a king’s children should be so conveyed,
0073 So slackly guarded, and the search so slow
0074 That could not trace them!
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0075 75 Howsoe’er ’tis strange,
0076 Or that the negligence may well be laughed at,
0077 Yet is it true, sir.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0078 I do well believe you.
0079 We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
0080 80 The Queen and Princess.
Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.
0081 No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
0082 After the slander of most stepmothers,
0083 Evil-eyed unto you. You’re my prisoner, but
0084 Your jailer shall deliver you the keys
0086 So soon as I can win th’ offended king,
0087 I will be known your advocate. Marry, yet
0088 The fire of rage is in him, and ’twere good
0089 You leaned unto his sentence with what patience
0090 90 Your wisdom may inform you.
POSTHUMUS 0091 Please your Highness,
0092 I will from hence today.
QUEEN 0093 You know the peril.
0094 I’ll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
0095 95 The pangs of barred affections, though the King
0096 Hath charged you should not speak together.She exits.
IMOGEN 0097 O,
0098 Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
0099 Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
0100 100 I something fear my father’s wrath, but nothing—
0101 Always reserved my holy duty—what
0102 His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
0103 And I shall here abide the hourly shot
0104 Of angry eyes, not comforted to live
0105 105 But that there is this jewel in the world
0106 That I may see again.⌜She weeps.⌝
POSTHUMUS 0107 My queen, my mistress!
0108 O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
0109 To be suspected of more tenderness
0110 110 Than doth become a man. I will remain
0111 The loyal’st husband that did e’er plight troth.
0112 My residence in Rome at one Philario’s,
0113 Who to my father was a friend, to me
0114 Known but by letter; thither write, my queen,
0115 115 And with mine eyes I’ll drink the words you send,
0116 Though ink be made of gall.
QUEEN 0117 Be brief, I pray you.
0118 If the King come, I shall incur I know not
0120 120 him
0121 To walk this way. I never do him wrong
0122 But he does buy my injuries, to be friends,
0123 Pays dear for my offenses.⌜She exits.⌝
POSTHUMUS 0124 Should we be taking leave
0125 125 As long a term as yet we have to live,
0126 The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu.
IMOGEN 0127 Nay, stay a little!
0128 Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
0129 Such parting were too petty. Look here, love:
0130 130 This diamond was my mother’s. (⌜She offers a
ring.⌝) 0131 Take it, heart,
0132 But keep it till you woo another wife
0133 When Imogen is dead.
POSTHUMUS 0134 How, how? Another?
0135 135 You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
0136 And cere up my embracements from a next
0137 With bonds of death.(⌜He puts the ring on his finger.⌝)
0138 Remain, remain thou here,
0139 While sense can keep it on.—And sweetest, fairest,
0140 140 As I my poor self did exchange for you
0141 To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
0142 I still win of you. For my sake, wear this.
⌜He offers a bracelet.⌝
0143 It is a manacle of love. I’ll place it
0144 Upon this fairest prisoner.⌜He puts it on her wrist.⌝
IMOGEN 0145 145 O the gods!
0146 When shall we see again?
Enter Cymbeline and Lords.
POSTHUMUS 0147 Alack, the King.
0148 Thou basest thing, avoid hence, from my sight!
0149 If after this command thou fraught the court
0150 150 With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away!
0151 Thou ’rt poison to my blood.
0153 And bless the good remainders of the court.
0154 I am gone.He exits.
IMOGEN 0155 155 There cannot be a pinch in death
0156 More sharp than this is.
CYMBELINE 0157 O disloyal thing
0158 That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap’st
0159 A year’s age on me.
IMOGEN 0160 160 I beseech you, sir,
0161 Harm not yourself with your vexation.
0162 I am senseless of your wrath. A touch more rare
0163 Subdues all pangs, all fears.
CYMBELINE 0164 Past grace? Obedience?
0165 165 Past hope and in despair; that way past grace.
0166 That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!
0167 O, blessèd that I might not! I chose an eagle
0168 And did avoid a puttock.
0169 Thou took’st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
0170 170 A seat for baseness.
IMOGEN 0171 No, I rather added
0172 A luster to it.
CYMBELINE 0173 O thou vile one!
IMOGEN 0174 Sir,
0175 175 It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus.
0176 You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
0177 A man worth any woman, overbuys me
0178 Almost the sum he pays.
CYMBELINE 0179 What, art thou mad?
0180 180 Almost, sir. Heaven restore me! Would I were
0181 A neatherd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
0182 Our neighbor shepherd’s son.⌜She weeps.⌝
0184 They were again together. You have done
0185 185 Not after our command. Away with her
0186 And pen her up.
QUEEN 0187 Beseech your patience.—Peace,
0188 Dear lady daughter, peace.—Sweet sovereign,
0189 Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some
0190 190 comfort
0191 Out of your best advice.
CYMBELINE 0192 Nay, let her languish
0193 A drop of blood a day, and being aged
0194 Die of this folly.He exits, ⌜with Lords.⌝
QUEEN 0195 195 Fie, you must give way.
0196 Here is your servant.—How now, sir? What news?
0197 My lord your son drew on my master.
QUEEN 0198 Ha?
0199 No harm, I trust, is done?
PISANIO 0200 200 There might have been,
0201 But that my master rather played than fought
0202 And had no help of anger. They were parted
0203 By gentlemen at hand.
QUEEN 0204 I am very glad on ’t.
0205 205 Your son’s my father’s friend; he takes his part
0206 To draw upon an exile. O, brave sir!
0207 I would they were in Afric both together,
0208 Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
0209 The goer-back.—Why came you from your master?
0210 210 On his command. He would not suffer me
0211 To bring him to the haven, left these notes
0213 When ’t pleased you to employ me.
QUEEN, ⌜to Imogen⌝ 0214 This hath been
0215 215 Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honor
0216 He will remain so.
PISANIO 0217 I humbly thank your Highness.
QUEEN, ⌜to Imogen⌝
0218 Pray, walk awhile.
IMOGEN, ⌜to Pisanio⌝ 0219 About some half hour hence,
0220 220 Pray you, speak with me. You shall at least
0221 Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me.
FIRST LORD 0222 Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt. The
0223 violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice.
0224 Where air comes out, air comes in. There’s
0225 none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.
CLOTEN 0226 5If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I
0227 hurt him?
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0228 No, faith, not so much as his
FIRST LORD 0230 Hurt him? His body’s a passable carcass if
0231 10 he be not hurt. It is a thoroughfare for steel if it be
0232 not hurt.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0233 His steel was in debt; it went o’
0234 th’ backside the town.
CLOTEN 0235 The villain would not stand me.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0236 15No, but he fled forward still,
0237 toward your face.
FIRST LORD 0238 Stand you? You have land enough of your
0239 own, but he added to your having, gave you some
0242 oceans. Puppies!
CLOTEN 0243 I would they had not come between us.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0244 So would I, till you had measured
0245 how long a fool you were upon the ground.
CLOTEN 0246 25And that she should love this fellow and
0247 refuse me!
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0248 If it be a sin to make a true election,
0249 she is damned.
FIRST LORD 0250 Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and
0251 30 her brain go not together. She’s a good sign, but I
0252 have seen small reflection of her wit.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0253 She shines not upon fools, lest
0254 the reflection should hurt her.
CLOTEN 0255 Come, I’ll to my chamber. Would there had
0256 35 been some hurt done!
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0257 I wish not so, unless it had been
0258 the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt.
CLOTEN 0259 You’ll go with us?
FIRST LORD 0260 I’ll attend your Lordship.
CLOTEN 0261 40Nay, come, let’s go together.
SECOND LORD 0262 Well, my lord.
0263 I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ th’ haven
0264 And questionedst every sail. If he should write
0265 And I not have it, ’twere a paper lost
0266 As offered mercy is. What was the last
0267 5 That he spake to thee?
PISANIO 0268 It was his queen, his queen!
0269 Then waved his handkerchief?
PISANIO 0270 And kissed it, madam.
0271 Senseless linen, happier therein than I.
0272 10 And that was all?
PISANIO 0273 No, madam. For so long
0274 As he could make me with ⌜this⌝ eye or ear
0275 Distinguish him from others, he did keep
0276 The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief
0277 15 Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ’s mind
0278 Could best express how slow his soul sailed on,
0279 How swift his ship.
IMOGEN 0280 Thou shouldst have made him
0281 As little as a crow, or less, ere left
0282 20 To after-eye him.
PISANIO 0283 Madam, so I did.
0284 I would have broke mine eyestrings, cracked them,
0286 To look upon him till the diminution
0287 25 Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
0288 Nay, followed him till he had melted from
0289 The smallness of a gnat to air; and then
0290 Have turned mine eye and wept. But, good Pisanio,
0291 When shall we hear from him?
PISANIO 0292 30 Be assured, madam,
0293 With his next vantage.
0294 I did not take my leave of him, but had
0295 Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
0296 How I would think on him at certain hours
0297 35 Such thoughts and such; or I could make him swear
0298 The shes of Italy should not betray
0299 Mine interest and his honor; or have charged him
0300 At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight
0302 40 I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
0303 Give him that parting kiss which I had set
0304 Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father,
0305 And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
0306 Shakes all our buds from growing.
Enter a Lady.
LADY 0307 45 The Queen, madam,
0308 Desires your Highness’ company.
IMOGEN, ⌜to Pisanio⌝
0309 Those things I bid you do, get them dispatched.
0310 I will attend the Queen.
PISANIO 0311 Madam, I shall.
and a Spaniard.
IACHIMO 0312 Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain. He
0313 was then of a crescent note, expected to prove so
0314 worthy as since he hath been allowed the name of.
0315 But I could then have looked on him without the
0316 5 help of admiration, though the catalogue of his
0317 endowments had been tabled by his side and I to
0318 peruse him by items.
PHILARIO 0319 You speak of him when he was less furnished
0320 than now he is with that which makes him
0321 10 both without and within.
FRENCHMAN 0322 I have seen him in France. We had very
0323 many there could behold the sun with as firm eyes
0324 as he.
IACHIMO 0325 This matter of marrying his king’s daughter,
0326 15 wherein he must be weighed rather by her value
0328 from the matter.
FRENCHMAN 0329 And then his banishment.
IACHIMO 0330 Ay, and the approbation of those that weep
0331 20 this lamentable divorce under her colors are wonderfully
0332 to extend him, be it but to fortify her judgment,
0333 which else an easy battery might lay flat for
0334 taking a beggar without less quality.—But how
0335 comes it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps
0336 25 acquaintance?
PHILARIO 0337 His father and I were soldiers together, to
0338 whom I have been often bound for no less than my
0340 Here comes the Briton. Let him be so entertained
0341 30 amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your knowing,
0342 to a stranger of his quality.—I beseech you all,
0343 be better known to this gentleman, whom I commend
0344 to you as a noble friend of mine. How worthy
0345 he is I will leave to appear hereafter rather
0346 35 than story him in his own hearing.
FRENCHMAN, ⌜to Posthumus⌝ 0347 Sir, we have known together
0348 in Orleans.
POSTHUMUS 0349 Since when I have been debtor to you for
0350 courtesies which I will be ever to pay and yet pay
0351 40 still.
FRENCHMAN 0352 Sir, you o’errate my poor kindness. I was
0353 glad I did atone my countryman and you. It had
0354 been pity you should have been put together with
0355 so mortal a purpose as then each bore, upon importance
0356 45 of so slight and trivial a nature.
POSTHUMUS 0357 By your pardon, sir, I was then a young
0358 traveler, rather shunned to go even with what I
0359 heard than in my every action to be guided by others’
0360 experiences. But upon my mended judgment—
0362 quarrel was not altogether slight.
FRENCHMAN 0363 Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrament of
0364 swords, and by such two that would by all likelihood
0365 have confounded one the other or have fall’n
0366 55 both.
IACHIMO 0367 Can we with manners ask what was the
FRENCHMAN 0369 Safely, I think. ’Twas a contention in public,
0370 which may without contradiction suffer the report.
0371 60 It was much like an argument that fell out
0372 last night, where each of us fell in praise of our
0373 country mistresses, this gentleman at that time
0374 vouching—and upon warrant of bloody affirmation—
0375 his to be more fair, virtuous, wise, chaste,
0376 65 constant, qualified, and less attemptable than any
0377 the rarest of our ladies in France.
IACHIMO 0378 That lady is not now living, or this gentleman’s
0379 opinion by this worn out.
POSTHUMUS 0380 She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.
IACHIMO 0381 70You must not so far prefer her ’fore ours of
POSTHUMUS 0383 Being so far provoked as I was in France,
0384 I would abate her nothing, though I profess myself
0385 her adorer, not her friend.
IACHIMO 0386 75As fair and as good—a kind of hand-in-hand
0387 comparison—had been something too fair and too
0388 good for any lady in Britain. If she went before
0389 others I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlusters
0390 many I have beheld, I could not ⌜but⌝
0391 80 believe she excelled many. But I have not seen the
0392 most precious diamond that is, nor you the lady.
POSTHUMUS 0393 I praised her as I rated her. So do I my
IACHIMO 0395 What do you esteem it at?
POSTHUMUS 0396 85More than the world enjoys.
0398 she’s outprized by a trifle.
POSTHUMUS 0399 You are mistaken. The one may be sold or
0400 given, or if there were wealth enough for the ⌜purchase⌝
0401 90 or merit for the gift. The other is not a thing
0402 for sale, and only the gift of the gods.
IACHIMO 0403 Which the gods have given you?
POSTHUMUS 0404 Which, by their graces, I will keep.
IACHIMO 0405 You may wear her in title yours, but you
0406 95 know strange fowl light upon neighboring ponds.
0407 Your ring may be stolen too. So your brace of unprizable
0408 estimations, the one is but frail and the
0409 other casual. A cunning thief or a that-way-accomplished
0410 courtier would hazard the winning both of
0411 100 first and last.
POSTHUMUS 0412 Your Italy contains none so accomplished
0413 a courtier to convince the honor of my mistress, if
0414 in the holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I
0415 do nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
0416 105 notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.
PHILARIO 0417 Let us leave here, gentlemen.
POSTHUMUS 0418 Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior,
0419 I thank him, makes no stranger of me. We are
0420 familiar at first.
IACHIMO 0421 110With five times so much conversation I
0422 should get ground of your fair mistress, make her
0423 go back even to the yielding, had I admittance and
0424 opportunity to friend.
POSTHUMUS 0425 No, no.
IACHIMO 0426 115I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my
0427 estate to your ring, which in my opinion o’ervalues
0428 it something. But I make my wager rather against
0429 your confidence than her reputation, and, to bar
0430 your offense herein too, I durst attempt it against
0431 120 any lady in the world.
POSTHUMUS 0432 You are a great deal abused in too bold a
0434 you’re worthy of by your attempt.
IACHIMO 0435 What’s that?
POSTHUMUS 0436 125A repulse—though your attempt, as you
0437 call it, deserve more: a punishment, too.
PHILARIO 0438 Gentlemen, enough of this. It came in too
0439 suddenly. Let it die as it was born, and, I pray you,
0440 be better acquainted.
IACHIMO 0441 130Would I had put my estate and my neighbor’s
0442 on th’ approbation of what I have spoke.
POSTHUMUS 0443 What lady would you choose to assail?
IACHIMO 0444 Yours, whom in constancy you think stands
0445 so safe. I will lay you ten ⌜thousand⌝ ducats to your
0446 135 ring that, commend me to the court where your
0447 lady is, with no more advantage than the opportunity
0448 of a second conference, and I will bring from
0449 thence that honor of hers which you imagine so
POSTHUMUS 0451 140I will wage against your gold, gold to it.
0452 My ring I hold dear as my finger; ’tis part of it.
IACHIMO 0453 You are a friend, and therein the wiser. If you
0454 buy ladies’ flesh at a million a dram, you cannot
0455 preserve it from tainting. But I see you have some
0456 145 religion in you, that you fear.
POSTHUMUS 0457 This is but a custom in your tongue. You
0458 bear a graver purpose, I hope.
IACHIMO 0459 I am the master of my speeches and would
0460 undergo what’s spoken, I swear.
POSTHUMUS 0461 150Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till
0462 your return. Let there be covenants drawn between
0463 ’s. My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness
0464 of your unworthy thinking. I dare you to this
0465 match. Here’s my ring.
PHILARIO 0466 155I will have it no lay.
IACHIMO 0467 By the gods, it is one!—If I bring you no sufficient
0468 testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest
0470 ducats are yours; so is your diamond too. If I come
0471 160 off and leave her in such honor as you have trust
0472 in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are
0473 yours, provided I have your commendation for my
0474 more free entertainment.
POSTHUMUS 0475 I embrace these conditions. Let us have
0476 165 articles betwixt us. Only thus far you shall answer:
0477 if you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
0478 to understand you have prevailed, I am no
0479 further your enemy; she is not worth our debate. If
0480 she remain unseduced, you not making it appear
0481 170 otherwise, for your ill opinion and th’ assault you
0482 have made to her chastity, you shall answer me
0483 with your sword.
IACHIMO 0484 Your hand; a covenant.(⌜They shake hands.⌝)
0485 We will have these things set down by lawful counsel,
0486 175 and straight away for Britain, lest the bargain
0487 should catch cold and starve. I will fetch my gold
0488 and have our two wagers recorded.
POSTHUMUS 0489 Agreed.⌜Iachimo and Posthumus exit.⌝
FRENCHMAN 0490 Will this hold, think you?
PHILARIO 0491 180Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us
0492 follow ’em.
0493 Whiles yet the dew’s on ground, gather those flowers.
0494 Make haste. Who has the note of them?
LADY 0495 I, madam.
QUEEN 0496 Dispatch.Ladies exit.
0497 5 Now, Master Doctor, have you brought those drugs?
0498 Pleaseth your Highness, ay. Here they are, madam.
⌜He hands her a small box.⌝
0499 But I beseech your Grace, without offense—
0500 My conscience bids me ask—wherefore you have
0501 Commanded of me these most poisonous
0502 10 compounds,
0503 Which are the movers of a languishing death,
0504 But though slow, deadly.
QUEEN 0505 I wonder, doctor,
0506 Thou ask’st me such a question. Have I not been
0507 15 Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learned me how
0508 To make perfumes, distil, preserve—yea, so
0509 That our great king himself doth woo me oft
0510 For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,
0511 Unless thou think’st me devilish, is ’t not meet
0512 20 That I did amplify my judgment in
0513 Other conclusions? I will try the forces
0514 Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
0515 We count not worth the hanging—but none human—
0516 To try the vigor of them and apply
0517 25 Allayments to their act, and by them gather
0518 Their several virtues and effects.
CORNELIUS 0519 Your Highness
0520 Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.
0521 Besides, the seeing these effects will be
0522 30 Both noisome and infectious.
QUEEN 0523 O, content thee.
0524 ⌜Aside.⌝ Here comes a flattering rascal. Upon him
0525 Will I first work. He’s for his master
0526 And enemy to my son.—How now, Pisanio?—
0527 35 Doctor, your service for this time is ended.
0528 Take your own way.
CORNELIUS, ⌜aside⌝ 0529 I do suspect you, madam,
0530 But you shall do no harm.
0532 40 I do not like her. She doth think she has
0533 Strange ling’ring poisons. I do know her spirit,
0534 And will not trust one of her malice with
0535 A drug of such damned nature. Those she has
0536 Will stupefy and dull the sense awhile,
0537 45 Which first perchance she’ll prove on cats and dogs,
0538 Then afterward up higher. But there is
0539 No danger in what show of death it makes,
0540 More than the locking-up the spirits a time,
0541 To be more fresh, reviving. She is fooled
0542 50 With a most false effect, and I the truer
0543 So to be false with her.
QUEEN 0544 No further service, doctor,
0545 Until I send for thee.
CORNELIUS 0546 I humbly take my leave.He exits.
0547 55 Weeps she still, sayst thou? Dost thou think in time
0548 She will not quench and let instructions enter
0549 Where folly now possesses? Do thou work.
0550 When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
0551 I’ll tell thee on the instant thou art then
0552 60 As great as is thy master; greater, for
0553 His fortunes all lie speechless, and his name
0554 Is at last gasp. Return he cannot, nor
0555 Continue where he is. To shift his being
0556 Is to exchange one misery with another,
0557 65 And every day that comes comes to decay
0558 A day’s work in him. What shalt thou expect,
0559 To be depender on a thing that leans,
0560 Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends
0561 So much as but to prop him? (⌜She drops the box
and Pisanio picks it up.⌝) 0562 70Thou tak’st up
0563 Thou know’st not what. But take it for thy labor.
0564 It is a thing I made which hath the King
0566 What is more cordial. Nay, I prithee, take it.
0567 75 It is an earnest of a farther good
0568 That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
0569 The case stands with her. Do ’t as from thyself.
0570 Think what a chance thou changest on, but think
0571 Thou hast thy mistress still; to boot, my son,
0572 80 Who shall take notice of thee. I’ll move the King
0573 To any shape of thy preferment such
0574 As thou ’lt desire; and then myself, I chiefly,
0575 That set thee on to this desert, am bound
0576 To load thy merit richly. Call my women.
0577 85 Think on my words.Pisanio exits.
0578 A sly and constant knave,
0579 Not to be shaked; the agent for his master
0580 And the remembrancer of her to hold
0581 The handfast to her lord. I have given him that
0582 90 Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
0583 Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
0584 Except she bend her humor, shall be assured
0585 To taste of too.
Enter Pisanio and Ladies ⌜carrying flowers.⌝
⌜To the Ladies.⌝ 0586 So, so. Well done, well done.
0587 95 The violets, cowslips, and the primroses
0588 Bear to my closet.—Fare thee well, Pisanio.
0589 Think on my words.Queen and Ladies exit.
PISANIO 0590 And shall do.
0591 But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
0592 100 I’ll choke myself; there’s all I’ll do for you.
0593 A father cruel and a stepdame false,
0594 A foolish suitor to a wedded lady
0595 That hath her husband banished. O, that husband,
0596 My supreme crown of grief and those repeated
0597 5 Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol’n,
0598 As my two brothers, happy; but most miserable
0599 Is the ⌜desire⌝ that’s glorious. Blessed be those,
0600 How mean soe’er, that have their honest wills,
0601 Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!
Enter Pisanio and Iachimo.
0602 10 Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome
0603 Comes from my lord with letters.
IACHIMO 0604 Change you,
0606 The worthy Leonatus is in safety
0607 15 And greets your Highness dearly.
⌜He gives her a letter.⌝
IMOGEN 0608 Thanks, good sir.
0609 You’re kindly welcome.
0610 All of her that is out of door, most rich!
0611 If she be furnished with a mind so rare,
0612 20 She is alone th’ Arabian bird, and I
0613 Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend.
0614 Arm me, audacity, from head to foot,
0615 Or like the Parthian I shall flying fight—
0616 Rather, directly fly.
IMOGEN reads: 0617 25He is one of the noblest note, to whose
0618 kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
0619 him accordingly as you value your trust.
0622 30 But even the very middle of my heart
0623 Is warmed by th’ rest and ⌜takes⌝ it thankfully.—
0624 You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
0625 Have words to bid you, and shall find it so
0626 In all that I can do.
IACHIMO 0627 35 Thanks, fairest lady.—
0628 What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
0629 To see this vaulted arch and the rich crop
0630 Of sea and land, which can distinguish ’twixt
0631 The fiery orbs above and the twinned stones
0632 40 Upon the numbered beach, and can we not
0633 Partition make with spectacles so precious
0634 ’Twixt fair and foul?
IMOGEN 0635 What makes your admiration?
0636 It cannot be i’ th’ eye, for apes and monkeys
0637 45 ’Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
0638 Contemn with mows the other; nor i’ th’ judgment,
0639 For idiots in this case of favor would
0640 Be wisely definite; nor i’ th’ appetite—
0641 Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
0642 50 Should make desire vomit emptiness,
0643 Not so allured to feed.
0644 What is the matter, trow?
IACHIMO 0645 The cloyèd will,
0646 That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
0647 55 Both filled and running, ravening first the lamb,
0648 Longs after for the garbage.
IMOGEN 0649 What, dear sir,
0650 Thus raps you? Are you well?
IACHIMO 0651 Thanks, madam, well.
0652 60 (⌜To Pisanio.⌝) Beseech you, sir,
0653 Desire my man’s abode where I did leave him.
0654 He’s strange and peevish.
0656 To give him welcome.He exits.
0657 65 Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?
IACHIMO 0658 Well, madam.
0659 Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.
0660 Exceeding pleasant. None a stranger there
0661 So merry and so gamesome. He is called
0662 70 The Briton Reveler.
IMOGEN 0663 When he was here
0664 He did incline to sadness, and ofttimes
0665 Not knowing why.
IACHIMO 0666 I never saw him sad.
0667 75 There is a Frenchman his companion, one
0668 An eminent monsieur that, it seems, much loves
0669 A Gallian girl at home. He furnaces
0670 The thick sighs from him, whiles the jolly Briton—
0671 Your lord, I mean—laughs from ’s free lungs, cries “O,
0672 80 Can my sides hold to think that man who knows
0673 By history, report, or his own proof
0674 What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
0675 But must be, will ’s free hours languish for
0676 Assurèd bondage?”
IMOGEN 0677 85 Will my lord say so?
0678 Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter.
0679 It is a recreation to be by
0680 And hear him mock the Frenchman. But heavens
0682 90 Some men are much to blame.
IMOGEN 0683 Not he, I hope.
0684 Not he—but yet heaven’s bounty towards him might
0685 Be used more thankfully. In himself ’tis much;
0687 95 Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
0688 To pity too.
IMOGEN 0689 What do you pity, sir?
0690 Two creatures heartily.
IMOGEN 0691 Am I one, sir?
0692 100 You look on me. What wrack discern you in me
0693 Deserves your pity?
IACHIMO 0694 Lamentable! What,
0695 To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
0696 I’ th’ dungeon by a snuff?
IMOGEN 0697 105 I pray you, sir,
0698 Deliver with more openness your answers
0699 To my demands. Why do you pity me?
IACHIMO 0700 That others do—
0701 I was about to say, enjoy your—but
0702 110 It is an office of the gods to venge it,
0703 Not mine to speak on ’t.
IMOGEN 0704 You do seem to know
0705 Something of me or what concerns me. Pray you,
0706 Since doubting things go ill often hurts more
0707 115 Than to be sure they do—for certainties
0708 Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
0709 The remedy then born—discover to me
0710 What both you spur and stop.
IACHIMO 0711 Had I this cheek
0712 120 To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
0713 Whose every touch, would force the feeler’s soul
0714 To th’ oath of loyalty; this object which
0715 Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
0716 ⌜Fixing⌝ it only here; should I, damned then,
0717 125 Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
0718 That mount the Capitol, join gripes with hands
0719 Made hard with hourly falsehood—falsehood as
0720 With labor; then by-peeping in an eye
0722 130 That’s fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
0723 That all the plagues of hell should at one time
0724 Encounter such revolt.
IMOGEN 0725 My lord, I fear,
0726 Has forgot Britain.
IACHIMO 0727 135 And himself. Not I,
0728 Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
0729 The beggary of his change, but ’tis your graces
0730 That from my mutest conscience to my tongue
0731 Charms this report out.
IMOGEN 0732 140 Let me hear no more.
0733 O dearest soul, your cause doth strike my heart
0734 With pity that doth make me sick. A lady
0735 So fair, and fastened to an empery
0736 Would make the great’st king double, to be partnered
0737 145 With tomboys hired with that self exhibition
0738 Which your own coffers yield, with diseased ventures
0739 That play with all infirmities for gold
0740 Which rottenness can lend nature; such boiled stuff
0741 As well might poison poison. Be revenged,
0742 150 Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
0743 Recoil from your great stock.
IMOGEN 0744 Revenged?
0745 How should I be revenged? If this be true—
0746 As I have such a heart that both mine ears
0747 155 Must not in haste abuse—if it be true,
0748 How should I be revenged?
IACHIMO 0749 Should he make me
0750 Live like Diana’s priest betwixt cold sheets,
0751 Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
0752 160 In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
0753 I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
0754 More noble than that runagate to your bed,
0756 Still close as sure.
IMOGEN 0757 165 What ho, Pisanio!
0758 Let me my service tender on your lips.
0759 Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
0760 So long attended thee. If thou wert honorable,
0761 Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
0762 170 For such an end thou seek’st, as base as strange.
0763 Thou wrong’st a gentleman who is as far
0764 From thy report as thou from honor, and
0765 Solicits here a lady that disdains
0766 Thee and the devil alike.—What ho, Pisanio!—
0767 175 The King my father shall be made acquainted
0768 Of thy assault. If he shall think it fit
0769 A saucy stranger in his court to mart
0770 As in a Romish stew and to expound
0771 His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
0772 180 He little cares for and a daughter who
0773 He not respects at all.—What ho, Pisanio!
0774 O happy Leonatus! I may say
0775 The credit that thy lady hath of thee
0776 Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
0777 185 Her assured credit.—Blessèd live you long,
0778 A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
0779 Country called his; and you his mistress, only
0780 For the most worthiest fit. Give me your pardon.
0781 I have spoke this to know if your affiance
0782 190 Were deeply rooted, and shall make your lord
0783 That which he is, new o’er; and he is one
0784 The truest mannered, such a holy witch
0785 That he enchants societies into him.
0786 Half all ⌜men’s⌝ hearts are his.
IMOGEN 0787 195 You make amends.
0788 He sits ’mongst men like a ⌜descended⌝ god.
0789 He hath a kind of honor sets him off
0790 More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
0791 Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
0792 200 To try your taking of a false report, which hath
0793 Honored with confirmation your great judgment
0794 In the election of a sir so rare,
0795 Which you know cannot err. The love I bear him
0796 Made me to fan you thus, but the gods made you,
0797 205 Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.
0798 All’s well, sir. Take my power i’ th’ court for yours.
0799 My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
0800 T’ entreat your Grace but in a small request,
0801 And yet of moment too, for it concerns.
0802 210 Your lord, myself, and other noble friends
0803 Are partners in the business.
IMOGEN 0804 Pray, what is ’t?
0805 Some dozen Romans of us and your lord—
0806 The best feather of our wing—have mingled sums
0807 215 To buy a present for the Emperor;
0808 Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
0809 In France. ’Tis plate of rare device and jewels
0810 Of rich and exquisite form, their values great.
0811 And I am something curious, being strange,
0812 220 To have them in safe stowage. May it please you
0813 To take them in protection?
IMOGEN 0814 Willingly;
0815 And pawn mine honor for their safety. Since
0816 My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
0817 225 In my bedchamber.
IACHIMO 0818 They are in a trunk
0819 Attended by my men. I will make bold
0821 I must aboard tomorrow.
IMOGEN 0822 230 O no, no.
0823 Yes, I beseech, or I shall short my word
0824 By length’ning my return. From Gallia
0825 I crossed the seas on purpose and on promise
0826 To see your Grace.
IMOGEN 0827 235 I thank you for your pains.
0828 But not away tomorrow.
IACHIMO 0829 O, I must, madam.
0830 Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
0831 To greet your lord with writing, do ’t tonight.
0832 240 I have outstood my time, which is material
0833 To th’ tender of our present.
IMOGEN 0834 I will write.
0835 Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept
0836 And truly yielded you. You’re very welcome.
CLOTEN 0837 Was there ever man had such luck? When I
0838 kissed the jack, upon an upcast to be hit away? I
0839 had a hundred pound on ’t. And then a whoreson
0840 jackanapes must take me up for swearing, as if I
0841 5 borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend
0842 them at my pleasure.
FIRST LORD 0843 What got he by that? You have broke his
0844 pate with your bowl.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0845 If his wit had been like him that
0846 10 broke it, it would have run all out.
CLOTEN 0847 When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is
0848 not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
SECOND LORD 0849 No, my lord, (⌜aside⌝) nor crop the ears
0850 of them.
CLOTEN 0851 15Whoreson dog! I gave him satisfaction. Would
0852 he had been one of my rank.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0853 To have smelled like a fool.
CLOTEN 0854 I am not vexed more at anything in th’ Earth.
0855 A pox on ’t! I had rather not be so noble as I am.
0856 20 They dare not fight with me because of the Queen
0857 my mother. Every jack-slave hath his bellyful of
0858 fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock
0859 that nobody can match.
0861 25 you crow cock with your comb on.
CLOTEN 0862 Sayest thou?
SECOND LORD 0863 It is not fit ⌜your⌝ Lordship should undertake
0864 every companion that you give offense to.
CLOTEN 0865 No, I know that, but it is fit I should commit
0866 30 offense to my inferiors.
SECOND LORD 0867 Ay, it is fit for your Lordship only.
CLOTEN 0868 Why, so I say.
FIRST LORD 0869 Did you hear of a stranger that’s come to
0870 court ⌜tonight⌝?
CLOTEN 0871 35A stranger, and I not know on ’t?
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0872 He’s a strange fellow himself and
0873 knows it not.
FIRST LORD 0874 There’s an Italian come, and ’tis thought
0875 one of Leonatus’ friends.
CLOTEN 0876 40Leonatus? A banished rascal; and he’s another,
0877 whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?
FIRST LORD 0878 One of your Lordship’s pages.
CLOTEN 0879 Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no
0880 derogation in ’t?
SECOND LORD 0881 45You cannot derogate, my lord.
CLOTEN 0882 Not easily, I think.
SECOND LORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0883 You are a fool granted; therefore
0884 your issues, being foolish, do not derogate.
CLOTEN 0885 Come, I’ll go see this Italian. What I have lost
0886 50 today at bowls I’ll win tonight of him. Come, go.
SECOND LORD 0887 I’ll attend your Lordship.
⌜Cloten and First Lord⌝ exit.
0888 That such a crafty devil as is his mother
0889 Should yield the world this ass! A woman that
0890 Bears all down with her brain, and this her son
0891 55 Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart,
0892 And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
0893 Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur’st,
0894 Betwixt a father by thy stepdame governed,
0896 60 More hateful than the foul expulsion is
0897 Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
0898 Of the divorce he’d make! The heavens hold firm
0899 The walls of thy dear honor, keep unshaked
0900 That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand
0901 65 T’ enjoy thy banished lord and this great land.
bed, and a Lady.
0902 Who’s there? My woman Helen?
LADY 0903 Please you, madam.
0904 What hour is it?
LADY 0905 Almost midnight, madam.
0906 5 I have read three hours then. Mine eyes are weak.
⌜She hands the Lady her book.⌝
0907 Fold down the leaf where I have left. To bed.
0908 Take not away the taper; leave it burning.
0909 And if thou canst awake by four o’ th’ clock,
0910 I prithee, call me. (⌜Lady exits.⌝) Sleep hath seized
0911 10 me wholly.
0912 To your protection I commend me, gods.
0913 From fairies and the tempters of the night
0914 Guard me, beseech you.Sleeps.
Iachimo from the trunk.
0915 The crickets sing, and man’s o’erlabored sense
0916 15 Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
0918 The chastity he wounded.—Cytherea,
0919 How bravely thou becom’st thy bed, fresh lily,
0920 And whiter than the sheets.—That I might touch!
0921 20 But kiss, one kiss! Rubies unparagoned,
0922 How dearly they do ’t. ’Tis her breathing that
0923 Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame o’ th’ taper
0924 Bows toward her and would underpeep her lids
0925 To see th’ enclosèd lights, now canopied
0926 25 Under these windows, white and azure-laced
0927 With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design:
0928 To note the chamber. I will write all down.
⌜He begins to write.⌝
0929 Such and such pictures; there the window; such
0930 Th’ adornment of her bed; the arras, figures,
0931 30 Why, such and such; and the contents o’ th’ story.
⌜He continues to write.⌝
0932 Ah, but some natural notes about her body
0933 Above ten thousand meaner movables
0934 Would testify t’ enrich mine inventory.
0935 O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her,
0936 35 And be her sense but as a monument
0937 Thus in a chapel lying. (⌜He begins to remove her
bracelet.⌝) 0938 Come off, come off;
0939 As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard.
0940 ’Tis mine, and this will witness outwardly
0941 40 As strongly as the conscience does within
0942 To th’ madding of her lord. On her left breast
0943 A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
0944 I’ th’ bottom of a cowslip. Here’s a voucher
0945 Stronger than ever law could make. This secret
0946 45 Will force him think I have picked the lock and ta’en
0947 The treasure of her honor. No more. To what end?
0948 Why should I write this down that’s riveted,
0949 Screwed to my memory? She hath been reading late
0951 50 Where Philomel gave up. I have enough.
0952 To th’ trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
0953 Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
0954 May bare the raven’s eye. I lodge in fear.
0955 Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
0956 55 One, two, three. Time, time!
He exits ⌜into the trunk. The trunk
and bed are removed.⌝
FIRST LORD 0957 Your Lordship is the most patient man in
0958 loss, the most coldest that ever turned up ace.
CLOTEN 0959 It would make any man cold to lose.
FIRST LORD 0960 But not every man patient after the noble
0961 5 temper of your Lordship. You are most hot and
0962 furious when you win.
⌜CLOTEN⌝ 0963 Winning will put any man into courage. If I
0964 could get this foolish Imogen, I should have gold
0965 enough. It’s almost morning, is ’t not?
FIRST LORD 0966 10Day, my lord.
CLOTEN 0967 I would this music would come. I am advised
0968 to give her music a-mornings; they say it will
0970 Come on, tune. If you can penetrate her with your
0971 15 fingering, so. We’ll try with tongue, too. If none
0972 will do, let her remain, but I’ll never give o’er. First,
0973 a very excellent good-conceited thing; after, a wonderful
0974 sweet air, with admirable rich words to it,
0975 and then let her consider.
0976 20 Hark, hark, the lark at heaven’s gate sings,
0977 And Phoebus gins arise,
0978 His steeds to water at those springs
0979 On chaliced flowers that lies;
0980 And winking Mary-buds begin
0981 25 To ope their golden eyes.
0982 With everything that pretty is,
0983 My lady sweet, arise,
0984 Arise, arise.
⌜CLOTEN⌝ 0985 So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will
0986 30 consider your music the better. If it do not, it is a
0987 ⌜vice⌝ in her ears which horsehairs and calves’
0988 guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to boot, can
0989 never amend.
Enter Cymbeline and Queen, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
SECOND LORD 0990 Here comes the King.
CLOTEN 0991 35I am glad I was up so late, for that’s the reason
0992 I was up so early. He cannot choose but take this
0993 service I have done fatherly.—Good morrow to
0994 your Majesty and to my gracious mother.
0995 Attend you here the door of our stern daughter?
0996 40 Will she not forth?
CLOTEN 0997 I have assailed her with musics, but she
0998 vouchsafes no notice.
0999 The exile of her minion is too new;
1000 She hath not yet forgot him. Some more time
1001 45 Must wear the print of his remembrance on ’t,
1002 And then she’s yours.
QUEEN, ⌜to Cloten⌝ 1003 You are most bound to th’ King,
1004 Who lets go by no vantages that may
1006 50 To orderly solicits and be friended
1007 With aptness of the season. Make denials
1008 Increase your services. So seem as if
1009 You were inspired to do those duties which
1010 You tender to her; that you in all obey her,
1011 55 Save when command to your dismission tends,
1012 And therein you are senseless.
CLOTEN 1013 Senseless? Not so.
⌜Enter a Messenger.⌝
MESSENGER, ⌜to Cymbeline⌝
1014 So like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
1015 The one is Caius Lucius.⌜Messenger exits.⌝
CYMBELINE 1016 60 A worthy fellow,
1017 Albeit he comes on angry purpose now.
1018 But that’s no fault of his. We must receive him
1019 According to the honor of his sender,
1020 And towards himself, his goodness forespent on us,
1021 65 We must extend our notice.—Our dear son,
1022 When you have given good morning to your mistress,
1023 Attend the Queen and us. We shall have need
1024 T’ employ you towards this Roman.—Come, our
⌜Cymbeline and Queen⌝ exit, ⌜with
Lords and Attendants.⌝
1026 70 If she be up, I’ll speak with her; if not,
1027 Let her lie still and dream. (⌜He knocks.⌝) By your
1028 leave, ho!—
1029 I know her women are about her. What
1030 If I do line one of their hands? ’Tis gold
1031 75 Which buys admittance—oft it doth—yea, and makes
1032 Diana’s rangers false themselves, yield up
1033 Their deer to th’ stand o’ th’ stealer; and ’tis gold
1034 Which makes the true man killed and saves the thief,
1036 80 Can it not do and undo? I will make
1037 One of her women lawyer to me, for
1038 I yet not understand the case myself.
1039 By your leave.Knocks.
Enter a Lady.
1040 Who’s there that knocks?
CLOTEN 1041 85 A gentleman.
LADY 1042 No more?
1043 Yes, and a gentlewoman’s son.
LADY 1044 That’s more
1045 Than some whose tailors are as dear as yours
1046 90 Can justly boast of. What’s your Lordship’s pleasure?
1047 Your lady’s person. Is she ready?
LADY 1048 Ay,
1049 To keep her chamber.
CLOTEN 1050 There is gold for you.
1051 95 Sell me your good report.⌜He offers a purse.⌝
1052 How, my good name? Or to report of you
1053 What I shall think is good?
1054 The Princess.
1055 Good morrow, fairest sister. Your sweet hand.
1056 100 Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
1057 For purchasing but trouble. The thanks I give
1058 Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
1059 And scarce can spare them.
1061 105 If you but said so, ’twere as deep with me.
1062 If you swear still, your recompense is still
1063 That I regard it not.
CLOTEN 1064 This is no answer.
1065 But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
1066 110 I would not speak. I pray you, spare me. Faith,
1067 I shall unfold equal discourtesy
1068 To your best kindness. One of your great knowing
1069 Should learn, being taught, forbearance.
1070 To leave you in your madness ’twere my sin.
1071 115 I will not.
1072 Fools are not mad folks.
CLOTEN 1073 Do you call me fool?
IMOGEN 1074 As I am mad, I do.
1075 If you’ll be patient, I’ll no more be mad.
1076 120 That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
1077 You put me to forget a lady’s manners
1078 By being so verbal; and learn now for all
1079 That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
1080 By th’ very truth of it, I care not for you,
1081 125 And am so near the lack of charity
1082 To accuse myself I hate you—which I had rather
1083 You felt than make ’t my boast.
CLOTEN 1084 You sin against
1085 Obedience, which you owe your father. For
1086 130 The contract you pretend with that base wretch—
1087 One bred of alms and fostered with cold dishes,
1088 With scraps o’ th’ court—it is no contract, none;
1089 And though it be allowed in meaner parties—
1090 Yet who than he more mean?—to knit their souls,
1091 135 On whom there is no more dependency
1093 Yet you are curbed from that enlargement by
1094 The consequence o’ th’ crown, and must not foil
1095 The precious note of it with a base slave,
1096 140 A hilding for a livery, a squire’s cloth,
1097 A pantler—not so eminent.
IMOGEN 1098 Profane fellow,
1099 Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
1100 But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
1101 145 To be his groom. Thou wert dignified enough,
1102 Even to the point of envy, if ’twere made
1103 Comparative for your virtues to be styled
1104 The under-hangman of his kingdom and hated
1105 For being preferred so well.
CLOTEN 1106 150 The south fog rot him!
1107 He never can meet more mischance than come
1108 To be but named of thee. His mean’st garment
1109 That ever hath but clipped his body is dearer
1110 In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
1111 155 Were they all made such men.—How now, Pisanio!
CLOTEN 1112 “His ⌜garment⌝”? Now the devil—
IMOGEN, ⌜to Pisanio⌝
1113 To Dorothy, my woman, hie thee presently.
1114 “His garment”?
IMOGEN, ⌜to Pisanio⌝ 1115 I am sprighted with a fool,
1116 160 Frighted and angered worse. Go bid my woman
1117 Search for a jewel that too casually
1118 Hath left mine arm. It was thy master’s. Shrew me
1119 If I would lose it for a revenue
1120 Of any king’s in Europe. I do think
1121 165 I saw ’t this morning. Confident I am
1122 Last night ’twas on mine arm; I kissed it.
1124 That I kiss aught but he.
PISANIO 1125 ’Twill not be lost.
1126 170 I hope so. Go and search.⌜Pisanio exits.⌝
CLOTEN 1127 You have abused me.
1128 “His meanest garment”?
IMOGEN 1129 Ay, I said so, sir.
1130 If you will make ’t an action, call witness to ’t.
1131 175 I will inform your father.
IMOGEN 1132 Your mother too.
1133 She’s my good lady and will conceive, I hope,
1134 But the worst of me. So I leave ⌜you,⌝ sir,
1135 To th’ worst of discontent.She exits.
1136 180 I’ll be revenged! “His mean’st garment”? Well.
1137 Fear it not, sir. I would I were so sure
1138 To win the King as I am bold her honor
1139 Will remain hers.
PHILARIO 1140 What means do you make to him?
1141 5 Not any, but abide the change of time,
1142 Quake in the present winter’s state, and wish
1143 That warmer days would come. In these feared
1145 I barely gratify your love; they failing,
1146 10 I must die much your debtor.
1147 Your very goodness and your company
1148 O’erpays all I can do. By this, your king
1149 Hath heard of great Augustus. Caius Lucius
1150 Will do ’s commission throughly. And I think
1151 15 He’ll grant the tribute, send th’ arrearages,
1152 Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
1153 Is yet fresh in their grief.
POSTHUMUS 1154 I do believe,
1155 Statist though I am none nor like to be,
1156 20 That this will prove a war; and you shall hear
1157 The legion now in Gallia sooner landed
1158 In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings
1159 Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
1160 Are men more ordered than when Julius Caesar
1161 25 Smiled at their lack of skill but found their courage
1162 Worthy his frowning at. Their discipline,
1163 Now ⌜wingèd⌝ with their courages, will make known
1164 To their approvers they are people such
1165 That mend upon the world.
PHILARIO 1166 30 See, Iachimo!
1167 The swiftest harts have posted you by land,
1168 And winds of all the corners kissed your sails
1169 To make your vessel nimble.
PHILARIO 1170 Welcome, sir.
1171 35 I hope the briefness of your answer made
1172 The speediness of your return.
IACHIMO 1173 Your lady
1174 Is one of the fairest that I have looked upon.
1175 And therewithal the best, or let her beauty
1176 40 Look thorough a casement to allure false hearts
1177 And be false with them.
1179 Their tenor good, I trust.
IACHIMO 1180 ’Tis very like.
⌜Posthumus reads the letter.⌝
1181 45 Was Caius Lucius in the Briton court
1182 When you were there?
1183 He was expected then, but not approached.
POSTHUMUS 1184 All is well yet.
1185 Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is ’t not
1186 50 Too dull for your good wearing?
⌜He indicates his ring.⌝
IACHIMO 1187 If I have lost it,
1188 I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
1189 I’ll make a journey twice as far t’ enjoy
1190 A second night of such sweet shortness which
1191 55 Was mine in Britain, for the ring is won.
1192 The stone’s too hard to come by.
IACHIMO 1193 Not a whit,
1194 Your lady being so easy.
POSTHUMUS 1195 Make ⌜not,⌝ sir,
1196 60 Your loss your sport. I hope you know that we
1197 Must not continue friends.
IACHIMO 1198 Good sir, we must,
1199 If you keep covenant. Had I not brought
1200 The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
1201 65 We were to question farther; but I now
1202 Profess myself the winner of her honor,
1203 Together with your ring, and not the wronger
1204 Of her or you, having proceeded but
1205 By both your wills.
POSTHUMUS 1206 70 If you can make ’t apparent
1207 That ⌜you⌝ have tasted her in bed, my hand
1209 You had of her pure honor gains or loses
1210 Your sword or mine, or masterless leave both
1211 75 To who shall find them.
IACHIMO 1212 Sir, my circumstances,
1213 Being so near the truth as I will make them,
1214 Must first induce you to believe; whose strength
1215 I will confirm with oath, which I doubt not
1216 80 You’ll give me leave to spare when you shall find
1217 You need it not.
POSTHUMUS 1218 Proceed.
IACHIMO 1219 First, her bedchamber—
1220 Where I confess I slept not, but profess
1221 85 Had that was well worth watching—it was hanged
1222 With tapestry of silk and silver, the story
1223 Proud Cleopatra when she met her Roman
1224 And Cydnus swelled above the banks, or for
1225 The press of boats or pride. A piece of work
1226 90 So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
1227 In workmanship and value, which I wondered
1228 Could be so rarely and exactly wrought
1229 Since the true life on ’t was—
POSTHUMUS 1230 This is true,
1231 95 And this you might have heard of here, by me
1232 Or by some other.
IACHIMO 1233 More particulars
1234 Must justify my knowledge.
POSTHUMUS 1235 So they must,
1236 100 Or do your honor injury.
IACHIMO 1237 The chimney
1238 Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece
1239 Chaste Dian bathing. Never saw I figures
1240 So likely to report themselves; the cutter
1241 105 Was as another Nature, dumb, outwent her,
1242 Motion and breath left out.
1244 Which you might from relation likewise reap,
1245 Being, as it is, much spoke of.
IACHIMO 1246 110 The roof o’ th’ chamber
1247 With golden cherubins is fretted. Her andirons—
1248 I had forgot them—were two winking Cupids
1249 Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
1250 Depending on their brands.
POSTHUMUS 1251 115 This is her honor?
1252 Let it be granted you have seen all this—and praise
1253 Be given to your remembrance—the description
1254 Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
1255 The wager you have laid.
IACHIMO 1256 120 Then if you can
1257 Be pale, I beg but leave to air this jewel. See—
⌜He shows the bracelet.⌝
1258 And now ’tis up again. It must be married
1259 To that your diamond. I’ll keep them.
POSTHUMUS 1260 Jove!
1261 125 Once more let me behold it. Is it that
1262 Which I left with her?
IACHIMO 1263 Sir, I thank her, that.
1264 She stripped it from her arm. I see her yet.
1265 Her pretty action did outsell her gift
1266 130 And yet enriched it too. She gave it me
1267 And said she prized it once.
POSTHUMUS 1268 Maybe she plucked it off
1269 To send it me.
IACHIMO 1270 She writes so to you, doth she?
1271 135 O, no, no, no, ’tis true. Here, take this too.
⌜He gives Iachimo the ring.⌝
1272 It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
1273 Kills me to look on ’t. Let there be no honor
1274 Where there is beauty, truth where semblance, love
1275 Where there’s another man. The vows of women
1277 Than they are to their virtues, which is nothing.
1278 O, above measure false!
PHILARIO 1279 Have patience, sir,
1280 And take your ring again. ’Tis not yet won.
1281 145 It may be probable she lost it; or
1282 Who knows if one her women, being corrupted,
1283 Hath stol’n it from her.
POSTHUMUS 1284 Very true,
1285 And so I hope he came by ’t.—Back, my ring!
⌜He takes back the ring.⌝
1286 150 Render to me some corporal sign about her
1287 More evident than this, for this was stol’n.
1288 By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.
1289 Hark you, he swears! By Jupiter he swears.
1290 ’Tis true—nay, keep the ring—’tis true.
⌜He holds out the ring.⌝
1291 155 I am sure
1292 She would not lose it. Her attendants are
1293 All sworn and honorable. They induced to steal it?
1294 And by a stranger? No, he hath enjoyed her.
1295 The cognizance of her incontinency
1296 160 Is this. She hath bought the name of whore thus
1298 There, take thy hire, and all the fiends of hell
1299 Divide themselves between you!
⌜He gives the ring to Iachimo.⌝
PHILARIO 1300 Sir, be patient.
1301 165 This is not strong enough to be believed
1302 Of one persuaded well of.
POSTHUMUS 1303 Never talk on ’t.
1304 She hath been colted by him.
IACHIMO 1305 If you seek
1306 170 For further satisfying, under her breast,
1308 Of that most delicate lodging. By my life,
1309 I kissed it, and it gave me present hunger
1310 To feed again, though full. You do remember
1311 175 This stain upon her?
POSTHUMUS 1312 Ay, and it doth confirm
1313 Another stain as big as hell can hold,
1314 Were there no more but it.
IACHIMO 1315 Will you hear more?
POSTHUMUS 1316 180Spare your arithmetic;
1317 Never count the turns. Once, and a million!
IACHIMO 1318 I’ll be sworn—
POSTHUMUS 1319 No swearing.
1320 If you will swear you have not done ’t, you lie,
1321 185 And I will kill thee if thou dost deny
1322 Thou ’st made me cuckold.
IACHIMO 1323 I’ll deny nothing.
1324 O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
1325 I will go there and do ’t i’ th’ court, before
1326 190 Her father. I’ll do something.He exits.
PHILARIO 1327 Quite beside
1328 The government of patience. You have won.
1329 Let’s follow him and pervert the present wrath
1330 He hath against himself.
IACHIMO 1331 195 With all my heart.
1332 Is there no way for men to be, but women
1333 Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,
1334 And that most venerable man which I
1336 5 When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools
1337 Made me a counterfeit; yet my mother seemed
1338 The Dian of that time; so doth my wife
1339 The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance!
1340 Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained
1341 10 And prayed me oft forbearance; did it with
1342 A pudency so rosy the sweet view on ’t
1343 Might well have warmed old Saturn, that I thought
1345 As chaste as unsunned snow. O, all the devils!
1346 15 This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was ’t not?
1347 Or less? At first? Perchance he spoke not, but,
1348 Like a full-acorned boar, a German one,
1349 Cried “O!” and mounted; found no opposition
1350 But what he looked for should oppose and she
1351 20 Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
1352 The woman’s part in me—for there’s no motion
1353 That tends to vice in man but I affirm
1354 It is the woman’s part: be it lying, note it,
1355 The woman’s; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
1356 25 Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
1357 Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
1358 Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
1359 All faults that ⌜have a⌝ name, nay, that hell knows,
1360 Why, hers, in part or all, but rather all.
1361 30 For even to vice
1362 They are not constant, but are changing still
1363 One vice but of a minute old for one
1364 Not half so old as that. I’ll write against them,
1365 Detest them, curse them. Yet ’tis greater skill
1366 35 In a true hate to pray they have their will;
1367 The very devils cannot plague them better.
one door, and, at another, Caius Lucius and Attendants.
1368 Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?
1369 When Julius Caesar, whose remembrance yet
1370 Lives in men’s eyes and will to ears and tongues
1371 Be theme and hearing ever, was in this Britain
1372 5 And conquered it, Cassibelan, thine uncle,
1373 Famous in Caesar’s praises no whit less
1374 Than in his feats deserving it, for him
1375 And his succession granted Rome a tribute,
1376 Yearly three thousand pounds, which by thee lately
1377 10 Is left untendered.
QUEEN 1378 And, to kill the marvel,
1379 Shall be so ever.
CLOTEN 1380 There be many Caesars
1381 Ere such another Julius. Britain’s a world
1382 15 By itself, and we will nothing pay
1383 For wearing our own noses.
QUEEN 1384 That opportunity
1385 Which then they had to take from ’s, to resume
1386 We have again.—Remember, sir, my liege,
1387 20 The Kings your ancestors, together with
1388 The natural bravery of your isle, which stands
1390 With ⌜rocks⌝ unscalable and roaring waters,
1391 With sands that will not bear your enemies’ boats
1392 25 But suck them up to th’ topmast. A kind of conquest
1393 Caesar made here, but made not here his brag
1394 Of “came, and saw, and overcame.” With shame—
1395 The first that ever touched him—he was carried
1396 From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping,
1397 30 Poor ignorant baubles, on our terrible seas
1398 Like eggshells moved upon their surges, cracked
1399 As easily ’gainst our rocks. For joy whereof
1400 The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point—
1401 O, giglet Fortune!—to master Caesar’s sword,
1402 35 Made Lud’s Town with rejoicing fires bright
1403 And Britons strut with courage.
CLOTEN 1404 Come, there’s no more tribute to be paid. Our
1405 kingdom is stronger than it was at that time, and,
1406 as I said, there is no more such Caesars. Other of
1407 40 them may have crooked noses, but to owe such
1408 straight arms, none.
CYMBELINE 1409 Son, let your mother end.
CLOTEN 1410 We have yet many among us can grip as hard
1411 as Cassibelan. I do not say I am one, but I have a
1412 45 hand. Why tribute? Why should we pay tribute? If
1413 Caesar can hide the sun from us with a blanket or
1414 put the moon in his pocket, we will pay him tribute
1415 for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you now.
CYMBELINE, ⌜to Lucius⌝ 1416 You must know,
1417 50 Till the injurious Romans did extort
1418 This tribute from us, we were free. Caesar’s ambition,
1419 Which swelled so much that it did almost stretch
1420 The sides o’ th’ world, against all color here
1421 Did put the yoke upon ’s, which to shake off
1422 55 Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
1423 Ourselves to be. We do say, then, to Caesar,
1424 Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which
1426 Hath too much mangled, whose repair and franchise
1427 60 Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,
1428 Though Rome be therefore angry. Mulmutius made
1429 our laws,
1430 Who was the first of Britain which did put
1431 His brows within a golden crown and called
1432 65 Himself a king.
LUCIUS 1433 I am sorry, Cymbeline,
1434 That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar—
1435 Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than
1436 Thyself domestic officers—thine enemy.
1437 70 Receive it from me, then: war and confusion
1438 In Caesar’s name pronounce I ’gainst thee. Look
1439 For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,
1440 I thank thee for myself.
CYMBELINE 1441 Thou art welcome, Caius.
1442 75 Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent
1443 Much under him. Of him I gathered honor,
1444 Which he to seek of me again perforce
1445 Behooves me keep at utterance. I am perfect
1446 That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for
1447 80 Their liberties are now in arms, a precedent
1448 Which not to read would show the Britons cold.
1449 So Caesar shall not find them.
LUCIUS 1450 Let proof speak.
CLOTEN 1451 His Majesty bids you welcome. Make pastime
1452 85 with us a day or two, or longer. If you seek us afterwards
1453 in other terms, you shall find us in our saltwater
1454 girdle; if you beat us out of it, it is yours. If
1455 you fall in the adventure, our crows shall fare the
1456 better for you, and there’s an end.
LUCIUS 1457 90So, sir.
1458 I know your master’s pleasure, and he mine.
1459 All the remain is welcome.
1460 How? Of adultery? Wherefore write you not
1461 What monsters her accuse? Leonatus,
1462 O master, what a strange infection
1463 Is fall’n into thy ear! What false Italian,
1464 5 As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevailed
1465 On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal? No.
1466 She’s punished for her truth and undergoes,
1467 More goddesslike than wifelike, such assaults
1468 As would take in some virtue. O my master,
1469 10 Thy mind to her is now as low as were
1470 Thy fortunes. How? That I should murder her,
1471 Upon the love and truth and vows which I
1472 Have made to thy command? I her? Her blood?
1473 If it be so to do good service, never
1474 15 Let me be counted serviceable. How look I
1475 That I should seem to lack humanity
1476 So much as this fact comes to? (⌜He reads:⌝) Do ’t!
1477 The letter
1478 That I have sent her, by her own command
1479 20 Shall give thee opportunity. O damned paper,
1480 Black as the ink that’s on thee! Senseless bauble,
1481 Art thou a fedary for this act, and look’st
1482 So virginlike without? Lo, here she comes.
1483 I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
IMOGEN 1484 25How now, Pisanio?
1485 Madam, here is a letter from my lord.
⌜He gives her a paper.⌝
1486 Who, thy lord that is my lord, Leonatus?
1488 That knew the stars as I his characters!
1489 30 He’d lay the future open. You good gods,
1490 Let what is here contained relish of love,
1491 Of my lord’s health, of his content (yet not
1492 That we two are asunder; let that grieve him.
1493 Some griefs are med’cinable; that is one of them,
1494 35 For it doth physic love) of his content
1495 All but in that. Good wax, thy leave.
⌜She opens the letter.⌝
1496 Blest be
1497 You bees that make these locks of counsel. Lovers
1498 And men in dangerous bonds pray not alike;
1499 40 Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet
1500 You clasp young Cupid’s tables. Good news, gods!
1501 ⌜Reads.⌝ Justice and your father’s wrath, should he
1502 take me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me
1503 as you, O the dearest of creatures, would even renew
1504 45 me with your eyes. Take notice that I am in Cambria
1505 at Milford Haven. What your own love will out of
1506 this advise you, follow. So he wishes you all happiness,
1507 that remains loyal to his vow, and your increasing
1508 in love.
1509 50 Leonatus Posthumus.
1510 O, for a horse with wings! Hear’st thou, Pisanio?
1511 He is at Milford Haven. Read, and tell me
1512 How far ’tis thither. If one of mean affairs
1513 May plod it in a week, why may not I
1514 55 Glide thither in a day? Then, true Pisanio,
1515 Who long’st like me to see thy lord, who long’st—
1516 O, let me bate—but not like me, yet long’st
1517 But in a fainter kind—O, not like me,
1518 For mine’s beyond beyond—say, and speak thick—
1519 60 Love’s counselor should fill the bores of hearing
1520 To th’ smothering of the sense—how far it is
1521 To this same blessèd Milford. And by th’ way
1523 T’ inherit such a haven. But first of all,
1524 65 How we may steal from hence, and for the gap
1525 That we shall make in time from our hence-going
1526 And our return, to excuse. But first, how get hence?
1527 Why should excuse be born or ere begot?
1528 We’ll talk of that hereafter. Prithee speak,
1529 70 How many ⌜score⌝ of miles may we well rid
1530 ’Twixt hour and hour?
PISANIO 1531 One score ’twixt sun and sun,
1532 Madam, ’s enough for you, and too much too.
1533 Why, one that rode to ’s execution, man,
1534 75 Could never go so slow. I have heard of riding wagers
1535 Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
1536 That run i’ th’ clock’s behalf. But this is fool’ry.
1537 Go, bid my woman feign a sickness, say
1538 She’ll home to her father; and provide me presently
1539 80 A riding suit no costlier than would fit
1540 A franklin’s huswife.
PISANIO 1541 Madam, you’re best consider.
1542 I see before me, man. Nor here, ⌜nor⌝ here,
1543 Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them
1544 85 That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee.
1545 Do as I bid thee. There’s no more to say.
1546 Accessible is none but Milford way.
⌜as Polydor,⌝ and Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal.⌝
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
1547 A goodly day not to keep house with such
1549 Instructs you how t’ adore the heavens and bows you
1550 To a morning’s holy office. The gates of monarchs
1551 5 Are arched so high that giants may jet through
1552 And keep their impious turbans on, without
1553 Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair heaven!
1554 We house i’ th’ rock, yet use thee not so hardly
1555 As prouder livers do.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 1556 10 Hail, heaven!
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 1557 Hail, heaven!
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
1558 Now for our mountain sport. Up to yond hill;
1559 Your legs are young. I’ll tread these flats. Consider,
1560 When you above perceive me like a crow,
1561 15 That it is place which lessens and sets off,
1562 And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
1563 Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war.
1564 This service is not service, so being done,
1565 But being so allowed. To apprehend thus
1566 20 Draws us a profit from all things we see,
1567 And often, to our comfort, shall we find
1568 The sharded beetle in a safer hold
1569 Than is the full-winged eagle. O, this life
1570 Is nobler than attending for a check,
1571 25 Richer than doing nothing for a ⌜robe,⌝
1572 Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
1573 Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine
1574 Yet keeps his book uncrossed. No life to ours.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
1575 Out of your proof you speak. We poor unfledged
1576 30 Have never winged from view o’ th’ nest, nor ⌜know⌝
1578 What air ’s from home. Haply this life is best
1579 If quiet life be best, sweeter to you
1580 That have a sharper known, well corresponding
1581 35 With your stiff age; but unto us it is
1583 A prison ⌜for⌝ a debtor that not dares
1584 To stride a limit.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 1585 What should we speak of
1586 40 When we are old as you? When we shall hear
1587 The rain and wind beat dark December, how
1588 In this our pinching cave shall we discourse
1589 The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing.
1590 We are beastly: subtle as the fox for prey,
1591 45 Like warlike as the wolf for what we eat.
1592 Our valor is to chase what flies. Our cage
1593 We make a choir, as doth the prisoned bird,
1594 And sing our bondage freely.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 1595 How you speak!
1596 50 Did you but know the city’s usuries
1597 And felt them knowingly; the art o’ th’ court,
1598 As hard to leave as keep, whose top to climb
1599 Is certain falling, or so slipp’ry that
1600 The fear’s as bad as falling; the toil o’ th’ war,
1601 55 A pain that only seems to seek out danger
1602 I’ th’ name of fame and honor, which dies i’ th’ search
1603 And hath as oft a sland’rous epitaph
1604 As record of fair act—nay, many times
1605 Doth ill deserve by doing well; what’s worse,
1606 60 Must curtsy at the censure. O boys, this story
1607 The world may read in me. My body’s marked
1608 With Roman swords, and my report was once
1609 First with the best of note. Cymbeline loved me,
1610 And when a soldier was the theme, my name
1611 65 Was not far off. Then was I as a tree
1612 Whose boughs did bend with fruit. But in one night
1613 A storm or robbery, call it what you will,
1614 Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
1615 And left me bare to weather.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 1616 70 Uncertain favor!
1617 My fault being nothing, as I have told you oft,
1618 But that two villains, whose false oaths prevailed
1619 Before my perfect honor, swore to Cymbeline
1620 I was confederate with the Romans. So
1621 75 Followed my banishment; and this twenty years
1622 This rock and these demesnes have been my world,
1623 Where I have lived at honest freedom, paid
1624 More pious debts to heaven than in all
1625 The fore-end of my time. But up to th’ mountains!
1626 80 This is not hunters’ language. He that strikes
1627 The venison first shall be the lord o’ th’ feast;
1628 To him the other two shall minister,
1629 And we will fear no poison, which attends
1630 In place of greater state. I’ll meet you in the valleys.
⌜Guiderius and Arviragus⌝ exit.
1631 85 How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
1632 These boys know little they are sons to th’ King,
1633 Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
1634 They think they are mine, and, though trained up
1635 thus meanly,
1636 90 I’ th’ cave ⌜wherein they⌝ bow, their thoughts do hit
1637 The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
1638 In simple and low things to prince it much
1639 Beyond the trick of others. This Polydor,
1640 The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, who
1641 95 The King his father called Guiderius—Jove!
1642 When on my three-foot stool I sit and tell
1643 The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
1644 Into my story; say “Thus mine enemy fell,
1645 And thus I set my foot on ’s neck,” even then
1646 100 The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
1647 Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
1648 That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
1649 Once Arviragus, in as like a figure
1651 105 His own conceiving. Hark, the game is roused!
1652 O Cymbeline, heaven and my conscience knows
1653 Thou didst unjustly banish me; whereon,
1654 At three and two years old I stole these babes,
1655 Thinking to bar thee of succession as
1656 110 Thou refts me of my lands. Euriphile,
1657 Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their
1659 And every day do honor to her grave.
1660 Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan called,
1661 115 They take for natural father. The game is up!
1662 Thou told’st me, when we came from horse, the place
1663 Was near at hand. Ne’er longed my mother so
1664 To see me first as I have now. Pisanio, man,
1665 Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind
1666 5 That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that
1668 From th’ inward of thee? One but painted thus
1669 Would be interpreted a thing perplexed
1670 Beyond self-explication. Put thyself
1671 10 Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness
1672 Vanquish my staider senses. What’s the matter?
⌜Pisanio hands her a paper.⌝
1673 Why tender’st thou that paper to me with
1674 A look untender? If ’t be summer news,
1675 Smile to ’t before; if winterly, thou need’st
1676 15 But keep that count’nance still. My husband’s hand!
1678 And he’s at some hard point. Speak, man! Thy tongue
1679 May take off some extremity, which to read
1680 Would be even mortal to me.
PISANIO 1681 20 Please you read,
1682 And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
1683 The most disdained of fortune.
IMOGEN reads: 1684 Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the
1685 strumpet in my bed, the testimonies whereof lies
1686 25 bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises but
1687 from proof as strong as my grief and as certain as I
1688 expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio, must act
1689 for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of
1690 hers. Let thine own hands take away her life. I shall
1691 30 give thee opportunity at Milford Haven—she hath
1692 my letter for the purpose—where, if thou fear to
1693 strike and to make me certain it is done, thou art the
1694 pander to her dishonor and equally to me disloyal.
1695 What shall I need to draw my sword? The paper
1696 35 Hath cut her throat already. No, ’tis slander,
1697 Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
1698 Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
1699 Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
1700 All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states,
1701 40 Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
1702 This viperous slander enters.—What cheer, madam?
1703 False to his bed? What is it to be false?
1704 To lie in watch there and to think on him?
1705 To weep ’twixt clock and clock? If sleep charge nature,
1706 45 To break it with a fearful dream of him
1707 And cry myself awake? That’s false to ’s bed, is it?
PISANIO 1708 Alas, good lady!
1709 I false? Thy conscience witness! Iachimo,
1711 50 Thou then looked’st like a villain. Now methinks
1712 Thy favor’s good enough. Some jay of Italy,
1713 Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him.
1714 Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion,
1715 And, for I am richer than to hang by th’ walls,
1716 55 I must be ripped. To pieces with me! O,
1717 Men’s vows are women’s traitors! All good seeming,
1718 By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
1719 Put on for villainy, not born where ’t grows,
1720 But worn a bait for ladies.
PISANIO 1721 60 Good madam, hear me.
1722 True honest men, being heard like false Aeneas,
1723 Were in his time thought false, and Sinon’s weeping
1724 Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity
1725 From most true wretchedness. So thou, Posthumus,
1726 65 Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
1727 Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured
1728 From thy great fail.—Come, fellow, be thou honest;
1729 Do thou thy master’s bidding. When thou seest him,
1730 A little witness my obedience. Look,
1731 70 I draw the sword myself.
⌜She draws Pisanio’s sword from its
scabbard and hands it to him.⌝
1732 Take it, and hit
1733 The innocent mansion of my love, my heart.
1734 Fear not; ’tis empty of all things but grief.
1735 Thy master is not there, who was indeed
1736 75 The riches of it. Do his bidding; strike.
1737 Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause,
1738 But now thou seem’st a coward.
PISANIO, ⌜throwing down the sword⌝ 1739 Hence, vile
1741 80 Thou shalt not damn my hand.
IMOGEN 1742 Why, I must die,
1744 No servant of thy master’s. Against self-slaughter
1745 There is a prohibition so divine
1746 85 That cravens my weak hand. Come, here’s my heart—
1747 Something’s ⌜afore ’t.⌝ Soft, soft! We’ll no defense—
1748 Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
⌜She takes papers from her bodice.⌝
1749 The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
1750 All turned to heresy? Away, away!
⌜She throws away the letters.⌝
1751 90 Corrupters of my faith, you shall no more
1752 Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools
1753 Believe false teachers. Though those that are betrayed
1754 Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
1755 Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus,
1756 95 That didst set up
1757 My disobedience ’gainst the King my father
1758 And ⌜make⌝ me put into contempt the suits
1759 Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
1760 It is no act of common passage, but
1761 100 A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself
1762 To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her
1763 That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
1764 Will then be panged by me.—Prithee, dispatch.
1765 The lamb entreats the butcher. Where’s thy knife?
1766 105 Thou art too slow to do thy master’s bidding
1767 When I desire it too.
PISANIO 1768 O gracious lady,
1769 Since I received command to do this business
1770 I have not slept one wink.
IMOGEN 1771 110 Do ’t, and to bed, then.
1772 I’ll wake mine eyeballs ⌜out⌝ first.
IMOGEN 1773 Wherefore then
1774 Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
1775 So many miles with a pretense? This place?
1777 The time inviting thee? The perturbed court
1778 For my being absent, whereunto I never
1779 Purpose return? Why hast thou gone so far
1780 To be unbent when thou hast ta’en thy stand,
1781 120 Th’ elected deer before thee?
PISANIO 1782 But to win time
1783 To lose so bad employment, in the which
1784 I have considered of a course. Good lady,
1785 Hear me with patience.
IMOGEN 1786 125 Talk thy tongue weary.
1788 I have heard I am a strumpet, and mine ear,
1789 Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
1790 Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
PISANIO 1791 130 Then, madam,
1792 I thought you would not back again.
IMOGEN 1793 Most like,
1794 Bringing me here to kill me.
PISANIO 1795 Not so, neither.
1796 135 But if I were as wise as honest, then
1797 My purpose would prove well. It cannot be
1798 But that my master is abused. Some villain,
1799 Ay, and singular in his art, hath done
1800 You both this cursèd injury.
1801 140 Some Roman courtesan?
PISANIO 1802 No, on my life.
1803 I’ll give but notice you are dead, and send him
1804 Some bloody sign of it, for ’tis commanded
1805 I should do so. You shall be missed at court,
1806 145 And that will well confirm it.
IMOGEN 1807 Why, good fellow,
1808 What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
1809 Or in my life what comfort when I am
1810 Dead to my husband?
1812 No court, no father, nor no more ado
1813 With that harsh, noble, simple nothing,
1814 That Cloten, whose love suit hath been to me
1815 As fearful as a siege.
PISANIO 1816 155 If not at court,
1817 Then not in Britain must you bide.
IMOGEN 1818 Where, then?
1819 Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
1820 Are they not but in Britain? I’ th’ world’s volume
1821 160 Our Britain seems as of it, but not in ’t,
1822 In a great pool a swan’s nest. Prithee think
1823 There’s livers out of Britain.
PISANIO 1824 I am most glad
1825 You think of other place. Th’ ambassador,
1826 165 Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford Haven
1827 Tomorrow. Now, if you could wear a mind
1828 Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
1829 That which t’ appear itself must not yet be
1830 But by self-danger, you should tread a course
1831 170 Pretty and full of view: yea, haply near
1832 The residence of Posthumus; so nigh, at least,
1833 That though his actions were not visible, yet
1834 Report should render him hourly to your ear
1835 As truly as he moves.
IMOGEN 1836 175 O, for such means,
1837 Though peril to my modesty, not death on ’t,
1838 I would adventure.
PISANIO 1839 Well then, here’s the point:
1840 You must forget to be a woman; change
1841 180 Command into obedience, fear and niceness—
1842 The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
1843 Woman it pretty self—into a waggish courage,
1844 Ready in gibes, quick-answered, saucy, and
1846 185 Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
1847 Exposing it—but O, the harder heart!
1848 Alack, no remedy—to the greedy touch
1849 Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
1850 Your laborsome and dainty trims, wherein
1851 190 You made great Juno angry.
IMOGEN 1852 Nay, be brief.
1853 I see into thy end and am almost
1854 A man already.
PISANIO 1855 First, make yourself but like one.
1856 195 Forethinking this, I have already fit—
1857 ’Tis in my cloakbag—doublet, hat, hose, all
1858 That answer to them. Would you, in their serving,
1859 And with what imitation you can borrow
1860 From youth of such a season, ’fore noble Lucius
1861 200 Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
1862 Wherein you’re happy—which will make him know,
1863 If that his head have ear in music—doubtless
1864 With joy he will embrace you, for he’s honorable
1865 And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad:
1866 205 You have me, rich, and I will never fail
1867 Beginning nor supplyment.
IMOGEN, ⌜taking the cloakbag⌝ 1868 Thou art all the comfort
1869 The gods will diet me with. Prithee, away.
1870 There’s more to be considered, but we’ll even
1871 210 All that good time will give us. This attempt
1872 I am soldier to, and will abide it with
1873 A prince’s courage. Away, I prithee.
1874 Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
1875 Lest, being missed, I be suspected of
1876 215 Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
1877 Here is a box. I had it from the Queen.
⌜He hands her the box.⌝
1879 Or stomach-qualmed at land, a dram of this
1880 Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
1881 220 And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
1882 Direct you to the best.
IMOGEN 1883 Amen. I thank thee.
1884 Thus far, and so farewell.
LUCIUS 1885 Thanks, royal sir.
1886 My emperor hath wrote I must from hence,
1887 And am right sorry that I must report you
1888 5 My master’s enemy.
CYMBELINE 1889 Our subjects, sir,
1890 Will not endure his yoke, and for ourself
1891 To show less sovereignty than they must needs
1892 Appear unkinglike.
LUCIUS 1893 10 So, sir. I desire of you
1894 A conduct overland to Milford Haven.—
1895 Madam, all joy befall your Grace—and you.
CYMBELINE, ⌜to Lords⌝
1896 My lords, you are appointed for that office.
1897 The due of honor in no point omit.—
1898 15 So, farewell, noble Lucius.
LUCIUS, ⌜to Cloten⌝ 1899 Your hand, my lord.
1900 Receive it friendly, but from this time forth
1901 I wear it as your enemy.
LUCIUS 1902 Sir, the event
1903 20 Is yet to name the winner. Fare you well.
1904 Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
1905 Till he have crossed the Severn. Happiness!
Exit Lucius ⌜and Lords.⌝
1906 He goes hence frowning, but it honors us
1907 That we have given him cause.
CLOTEN 1908 25 ’Tis all the better.
1909 Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
1910 Lucius hath wrote already to the Emperor
1911 How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
1912 Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness.
1913 30 The powers that he already hath in Gallia
1914 Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
1915 His war for Britain.
QUEEN 1916 ’Tis not sleepy business,
1917 But must be looked to speedily and strongly.
1918 35 Our expectation that it would be thus
1919 Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
1920 Where is our daughter? She hath not appeared
1921 Before the Roman, nor to us hath tendered
1922 The duty of the day. She ⌜looks⌝ us like
1923 40 A thing more made of malice than of duty.
1924 We have noted it.—Call her before us, for
1925 We have been too slight in sufferance.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
QUEEN 1926 Royal sir,
1927 Since the exile of Posthumus, most retired
1928 45 Hath her life been, the cure whereof, my lord,
1929 ’Tis time must do. Beseech your Majesty,
1930 Forbear sharp speeches to her. She’s a lady
1931 So tender of rebukes that words are ⌜strokes⌝
1932 And strokes death to her.
1934 Can her contempt be answered?
⌜ATTENDANT⌝ 1935 Please you, sir,
1936 Her chambers are all locked, and there’s no answer
1937 That will be given to th’ ⌜loud’st⌝ noise we make.
1938 55 My lord, when last I went to visit her,
1939 She prayed me to excuse her keeping close;
1940 Whereto constrained by her infirmity,
1941 She should that duty leave unpaid to you
1942 Which daily she was bound to proffer. This
1943 60 She wished me to make known, but our great court
1944 Made me to blame in memory.
CYMBELINE 1945 Her doors locked?
1946 Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I
1947 Fear prove false!He exits ⌜with Attendant.⌝
QUEEN 1948 65 Son, I say, follow the King.
1949 That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant
1950 I have not seen these two days.
QUEEN 1951 Go, look after.
1952 ⌜Aside.⌝ Pisanio, thou that stand’st so for Posthumus—
1953 70 He hath a drug of mine. I pray his absence
1954 Proceed by swallowing that, for he believes
1955 It is a thing most precious. But for her,
1956 Where is she gone? Haply despair hath seized her,
1957 Or, winged with fervor of her love, she’s flown
1958 75 To her desired Posthumus. Gone she is
1959 To death or to dishonor, and my end
1960 Can make good use of either. She being down,
1961 I have the placing of the British crown.
1962 How now, my son?
CLOTEN 1963 80 ’Tis certain she is fled.
1965 Dare come about him.
QUEEN, ⌜aside⌝ 1966 All the better. May
1967 This night forestall him of the coming day!
Queen exits, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
1968 85 I love and hate her, for she’s fair and royal,
1969 And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
1970 Than lady, ladies, woman. From every one
1971 The best she hath, and she, of all compounded,
1972 Outsells them all. I love her therefore, but
1973 90 Disdaining me and throwing favors on
1974 The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
1975 That what’s else rare is choked. And in that point
1976 I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
1977 To be revenged upon her. For, when fools
1978 95 Shall—
1979 Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
1980 Come hither. Ah, you precious pander! Villain,
1981 Where is thy lady? In a word, or else
1982 Thou art straightway with the fiends.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
PISANIO 1983 100 O, good my lord—
1984 Where is thy lady? Or, by Jupiter—
1985 I will not ask again. Close villain,
1986 I’ll have this secret from thy heart or rip
1987 Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus,
1988 105 From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
1989 A dram of worth be drawn?
PISANIO 1990 Alas, my lord,
1991 How can she be with him? When was she missed?
1992 He is in Rome.
CLOTEN 1993 110 Where is she, sir? Come nearer.
1995 What is become of her.
1996 O, my all-worthy lord!
CLOTEN 1997 All-worthy villain!
1998 115 Discover where thy mistress is at once,
1999 At the next word. No more of “worthy lord”!
2000 Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
2001 Thy condemnation and thy death.
PISANIO 2002 Then, sir,
2003 120 This paper is the history of my knowledge
2004 Touching her flight.⌜He gives Cloten a paper.⌝
CLOTEN 2005 Let’s see ’t. I will pursue her
2006 Even to Augustus’ throne.
PISANIO, ⌜aside⌝ 2007 Or this or perish.
2008 125 She’s far enough, and what he learns by this
2009 May prove his travail, not her danger.
CLOTEN 2010 Humh!
2011 I’ll write to my lord she’s dead. O Imogen,
2012 Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
CLOTEN 2013 130Sirrah, is this letter true?
PISANIO 2014 Sir, as I think.
CLOTEN 2015 It is Posthumus’ hand, I know ’t. Sirrah, if
2016 thou wouldst not be a villain, but do me true service,
2017 undergo those employments wherein I should
2018 135 have cause to use thee with a serious industry—
2019 that is, what villainy soe’er I bid thee do to perform
2020 it directly and truly—I would think thee an honest
2021 man. Thou shouldst neither want my means for thy
2022 relief nor my voice for thy preferment.
PISANIO 2023 140Well, my good lord.
CLOTEN 2024 Wilt thou serve me? For since patiently and
2025 constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of
2026 that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not in the
2027 course of gratitude but be a diligent follower of
2028 145 mine. Wilt thou serve me?
CLOTEN 2030 Give me thy hand. Here’s my purse. ⌜Gives
him money.⌝ 2031 Hast any of thy late master’s garments
2032 in thy possession?
PISANIO 2033 150I have, my lord, at my lodging the same suit he
2034 wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.
CLOTEN 2035 The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit
2036 hither. Let it be thy first service. Go.
PISANIO 2037 I shall, my lord.He exits.
CLOTEN 2038 155Meet thee at Milford Haven!—I forgot to ask
2039 him one thing; I’ll remember ’t anon. Even there,
2040 thou villain Posthumus, will I kill thee. I would
2041 these garments were come. She said upon a time—
2042 the bitterness of it I now belch from my heart—
2043 160 that she held the very garment of Posthumus in
2044 more respect than my noble and natural person,
2045 together with the adornment of my qualities. With
2046 that suit upon my back will I ravish her. First, kill
2047 him, and in her eyes. There shall she see my valor,
2048 165 which will then be a torment to her contempt.
2049 He on the ground, my speech of insultment
2050 ended on his dead body, and when my lust hath
2051 dined—which, as I say, to vex her I will execute
2052 in the clothes that she so praised—to the court
2053 170 I’ll knock her back, foot her home again. She hath
2054 despised me rejoicingly, and I’ll be merry in my
Enter Pisanio ⌜with the clothes.⌝
2056 Be those the garments?
PISANIO 2057 Ay, my noble lord.
CLOTEN 2058 175How long is ’t since she went to Milford Haven?
PISANIO 2059 She can scarce be there yet.
CLOTEN 2060 Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the
2061 second thing that I have commanded thee. The
2062 third is that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my
2064 tender itself to thee. My revenge is now at Milford.
2065 Would I had wings to follow it! Come, and be true.
2066 Thou bidd’st me to my loss, for true to thee
2067 Were to prove false, which I will never be,
2068 185 To him that is most true. To Milford go,
2069 And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
2070 You heavenly blessings, on her. This fool’s speed
2071 Be crossed with slowness. Labor be his meed.
2072 I see a man’s life is a tedious one.
2073 I have tired myself, and for two nights together
2074 Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick
2075 But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
2076 5 When from the mountain top Pisanio showed thee,
2077 Thou wast within a ken. O Jove, I think
2078 Foundations fly the wretched—such, I mean,
2079 Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
2080 I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
2081 10 That have afflictions on them, knowing ’tis
2082 A punishment or trial? Yes. No wonder,
2083 When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fullness
2084 Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
2085 Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord,
2086 15 Thou art one o’ th’ false ones. Now I think on thee,
2087 My hunger’s gone; but even before, I was
2088 At point to sink for food. But what is this?
2089 Here is a path to ’t. ’Tis some savage hold.
2091 20 Ere clean it o’erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
2092 Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
2093 Of hardiness is mother.—Ho! Who’s here?
2094 If anything that’s civil, speak; if savage,
2095 Take or lend. Ho!—No answer? Then I’ll enter.
2096 25 Best draw my sword; an if mine enemy
2097 But fear the sword like me, he’ll scarcely look on ’t.
⌜She draws her sword.⌝
2098 Such a foe, good heavens!
She exits, ⌜as into the cave.⌝
Enter Belarius ⌜as Morgan,⌝ Guiderius ⌜as Polydor,⌝ and
Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal.⌝
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2099 You, Polydor, have proved best woodman and
2100 Are master of the feast. Cadwal and I
2101 30 Will play the cook and servant; ’tis our match.
2102 The sweat of industry would dry and die
2103 But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
2104 Will make what’s homely savory. Weariness
2105 Can snore upon the flint when resty sloth
2106 35 Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
2107 Poor house, that keep’st thyself.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2108 I am throughly weary.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2109 I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2110 There is cold meat i’ th’ cave. We’ll browse on that
2111 40 Whilst what we have killed be cooked.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan, looking into the cave⌝
2112 Stay, come
2113 not in!
2114 But that it eats our victuals, I should think
2115 Here were a fairy.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2116 45 What’s the matter, sir?
2117 By Jupiter, an angel! Or, if not,
2118 An earthly paragon. Behold divineness
2119 No elder than a boy.
Enter Imogen ⌜as Fidele.⌝
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2120 Good masters, harm me not.
2121 50 Before I entered here, I called, and thought
2122 To have begged or bought what I have took. Good
2124 I have stol’n naught, nor would not, though I had
2126 55 Gold strewed i’ th’ floor. Here’s money for my meat.
⌜She offers money.⌝
2127 I would have left it on the board so soon
2128 As I had made my meal, and parted
2129 With prayers for the provider.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2130 Money, youth?
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2131 60 All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
2132 As ’tis no better reckoned but of those
2133 Who worship dirty gods.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2134 I see you’re angry.
2135 Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
2136 65 Have died had I not made it.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2137 Whither bound?
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2138 To Milford Haven.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2139 What’s your name?
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝
2140 Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
2141 70 Is bound for Italy. He embarked at Milford,
2142 To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
2143 I am fall’n in this offense.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2144 Prithee, fair youth,
2145 Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
2146 75 By this rude place we live in. Well encountered!
2147 ’Tis almost night; you shall have better cheer
2149 Boys, bid him welcome.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2150 Were you a woman, youth,
2151 80 I should woo hard but be your groom in honesty,
2152 Ay, bid for you as I do buy.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2153 I’ll make ’t my comfort
2154 He is a man. I’ll love him as my brother.—
2155 And such a welcome as I’d give to him
2156 85 After long absence, such is yours. Most welcome.
2157 Be sprightly, for you fall ’mongst friends.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2158 ’Mongst
2160 If brothers—(⌜aside⌝) Would it had been so, that they
2161 90 Had been my father’s sons! Then had my prize
2162 Been less, and so more equal ballasting
2163 To thee, Posthumus.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2164 He wrings at some distress.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2165 Would I could free ’t!
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2166 95 Or I, whate’er it be,
2167 What pain it cost, what danger. Gods!
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2168 Hark, boys.
⌜They talk aside.⌝
IMOGEN 2169 Great men
2170 That had a court no bigger than this cave,
2171 100 That did attend themselves and had the virtue
2172 Which their own conscience sealed them, laying by
2173 That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
2174 Could not outpeer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
2175 I’d change my sex to be companion with them,
2176 105 Since Leonatus false.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2177 It shall be so.
2178 Boys, we’ll go dress our hunt.—Fair youth, come in.
2179 Discourse is heavy, fasting. When we have supped,
2180 We’ll mannerly demand thee of thy story
2181 110 So far as thou wilt speak it.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2183 The night to th’ owl and morn to th’ lark less
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2185 Thanks, sir.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2186 115I pray, draw near.
2187 This is the tenor of the Emperor’s writ:
2188 That since the common men are now in action
2189 ’Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
2190 And that the legions now in Gallia are
2191 5 Full weak to undertake our wars against
2192 The fall’n-off Britons, that we do incite
2193 The gentry to this business. He creates
2194 Lucius proconsul; and to you the tribunes
2195 For this immediate levy, he commends
2196 10 His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!
2197 Is Lucius general of the forces?
SECOND SENATOR 2198 Ay.
2199 Remaining now in Gallia?
FIRST SENATOR 2200 With those legions
2201 15 Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
2202 Must be supplyant. The words of your commission
2203 Will tie you to the numbers and the time
2204 Of their dispatch.
TRIBUNE 2205 We will discharge our duty.
CLOTEN 2206 I am near to th’ place where they should meet,
2207 if Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments
2208 serve me! Why should his mistress, who
2209 was made by him that made the tailor, not be fit
2210 5 too? The rather, saving reverence of the word, for
2211 ’tis said a woman’s fitness comes by fits. Therein I
2212 must play the workman. I dare speak it to myself,
2213 for it is not vainglory for a man and his glass to
2214 confer in his own chamber. I mean, the lines of my
2215 10 body are as well drawn as his, no less young, more
2216 strong; not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him
2217 in the advantage of the time, above him in birth,
2218 alike conversant in general services, and more remarkable
2219 in single oppositions. Yet this imperceiverant
2220 15 thing loves him in my despite. What
2221 mortality is! Posthumus, thy head, which now is
2222 growing upon thy shoulders, shall within this hour
2223 be off, thy mistress enforced, thy garments cut to
2224 pieces before thy face; and all this done, spurn her
2225 20 home to her father, who may haply be a little angry
2226 or my so rough usage. But my mother, having
2227 power of his testiness, shall turn all into my commendations.
2228 My horse is tied up safe. Out, sword,
2229 and to a sore purpose. Fortune, put them into my
2231 place, and the fellow dares not deceive me.
He ⌜draws his sword and⌝ exits.
Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal,⌝ and Imogen ⌜as Fidele,⌝ from the
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan, to Fidele⌝
2232 You are not well. Remain here in the cave.
2233 We’ll come to you after hunting.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal, to Fidele⌝ 2234 Brother, stay here.
2235 Are we not brothers?
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2236 5 So man and man should be,
2237 But clay and clay differs in dignity,
2238 Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor, to Morgan and Cadwal⌝
2239 Go you to hunting. I’ll abide with him.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝
2240 So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
2241 10 But not so citizen a wanton as
2242 To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me.
2243 Stick to your journal course. The breach of custom
2244 Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
2245 Cannot amend me. Society is no comfort
2246 15 To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
2247 Since I can reason of it. Pray you trust me here—
2248 I’ll rob none but myself—and let me die,
2249 Stealing so poorly.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2250 I love thee—I have spoke it—
2251 20 How much the quantity, the weight as much
2252 As I do love my father.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2253 What? How, how?
2254 If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me
2255 In my good brother’s fault. I know not why
2256 25 I love this youth, and I have heard you say
2257 Love’s reason’s without reason. The bier at door,
2258 And a demand who is ’t shall die, I’d say
2259 “My father, not this youth.”
BELARIUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2260 O, noble strain!
2261 30 O, worthiness of nature, breed of greatness!
2262 Cowards father cowards and base things sire base;
2263 Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
2264 I’m not their father, yet who this should be
2265 Doth miracle itself, loved before me.—
2266 35 ’Tis the ninth hour o’ th’ morn.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal, to Fidele⌝ 2267 Brother, farewell.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝
2268 I wish you sport.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2269 You health.—So please you, sir.
2270 These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I have heard!
2271 40 Our courtiers say all’s savage but at court;
2272 Experience, O, thou disprov’st report!
2273 Th’ imperious seas breeds monsters; for the dish
2274 Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
2275 I am sick still, heart-sick. Pisanio,
2276 45 I’ll now taste of thy drug.⌜She swallows the drug.⌝
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor, to Morgan and Cadwal⌝
2277 I could not stir him.
2278 He said he was gentle but unfortunate,
2279 Dishonestly afflicted but yet honest.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2280 Thus did he answer me, yet said hereafter
2281 50 I might know more.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2282 To th’ field, to th’ field!
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2285 We’ll not be long away.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2286 55 Pray, be not sick,
2287 For you must be our huswife.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2288 Well or ill,
2289 I am bound to you.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2290 And shalt be ever.
⌜Imogen⌝ exits ⌜as into the cave.⌝
2291 60 This youth, howe’er distressed, appears he hath had
2292 Good ancestors.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2293 How angel-like he sings!
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2294 But his neat cookery! He cut our roots in characters
2295 And sauced our broths as Juno had been sick
2296 65 And he her dieter.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2297 Nobly he yokes
2298 A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
2299 Was that it was for not being such a smile,
2300 The smile mocking the sigh that it would fly
2301 70 From so divine a temple to commix
2302 With winds that sailors rail at.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2303 I do note
2304 That grief and patience, rooted in them both,
2305 Mingle their spurs together.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2306 75 Grow, ⌜patience,⌝
2307 And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
2308 His perishing root with the increasing vine!
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2309 It is great morning. Come, away. Who’s there?
CLOTEN, ⌜to himself⌝
2310 I cannot find those runagates. That villain
2311 80 Hath mocked me. I am faint.
2312 “Those runagates”?
2313 Means he not us? I partly know him. ’Tis
2314 Cloten, the son o’ th’ Queen. I fear some ambush.
2315 I saw him not these many years, and yet
2316 85 I know ’tis he. We are held as outlaws. Hence.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2317 He is but one. You and my brother search
2318 What companies are near. Pray you, away.
2319 Let me alone with him.⌜Belarius and Arviragus exit.⌝
CLOTEN 2320 Soft, what are you
2321 90 That fly me thus? Some villain mountaineers?
2322 I have heard of such.—What slave art thou?
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2323 A thing
2324 More slavish did I ne’er than answering
2325 A slave without a knock.
CLOTEN 2326 95 Thou art a robber,
2327 A lawbreaker, a villain. Yield thee, thief.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2328 To who? To thee? What art thou? Have not I
2329 An arm as big as thine? A heart as big?
2330 Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
2331 100 My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
2332 Why I should yield to thee.
CLOTEN 2333 Thou villain base,
2334 Know’st me not by my clothes?
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2335 No, nor thy tailor,
2336 105 rascal.
2337 Who is thy grandfather? He made those clothes,
2338 Which, as it seems, make thee.
CLOTEN 2339 Thou precious varlet,
2340 My tailor made them not.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2341 110 Hence then, and thank
2342 The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool.
2343 I am loath to beat thee.
CLOTEN 2344 Thou injurious thief,
2345 Hear but my name, and tremble.
CLOTEN 2347 Cloten, thou villain.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2348 Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
2349 I cannot tremble at it. Were it Toad, or Adder, Spider,
2350 ’Twould move me sooner.
CLOTEN 2351 120 To thy further fear,
2352 Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
2353 I am son to th’ Queen.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2354 I am sorry for ’t, not seeming
2355 So worthy as thy birth.
CLOTEN 2356 125 Art not afeard?
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2357 Those that I reverence, those I fear—the wise;
2358 At fools I laugh, not fear them.
CLOTEN 2359 Die the death!
2360 When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
2361 130 I’ll follow those that even now fled hence
2362 And on the gates of Lud’s Town set your heads.
2363 Yield, rustic mountaineer!
They fight and exit.
Enter Belarius ⌜as Morgan⌝ and Arviragus ⌜as
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2364 No company’s abroad?
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2365 None in the world. You did mistake him sure.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2366 135 I cannot tell. Long is it since I saw him,
2367 But time hath nothing blurred those lines of favor
2368 Which then he wore. The snatches in his voice
2369 And burst of speaking were as his. I am absolute
2370 ’Twas very Cloten.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2371 140 In this place we left them.
2372 I wish my brother make good time with him,
2373 You say he is so fell.
2375 I mean to man, he had not apprehension
2376 145 Of roaring terrors; for defect of judgment
2377 Is oft the cause of fear.
Enter Guiderius ⌜as Polydor, carrying Cloten’s head.⌝
2378 But see, thy brother.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2379 This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
2380 There was no money in ’t. Not Hercules
2381 150 Could have knocked out his brains, for he had none.
2382 Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
2383 My head as I do his.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2384 What hast thou done?
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2385 I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten’s head,
2386 155 Son to the Queen, after his own report,
2387 Who called me traitor mountaineer, and swore
2388 With his own single hand he’d take us in,
2389 Displace our heads where, ⌜thank⌝ the gods, they
2391 160 And set them on Lud’s Town.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2392 We are all undone.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2393 Why, worthy father, what have we to lose
2394 But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
2395 Protects not us. Then why should we be tender
2396 165 To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
2397 Play judge and executioner all himself,
2398 For we do fear the law? What company
2399 Discover you abroad?
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2400 No single soul
2401 170 Can we set eye on, but in all safe reason
2402 He must have some attendants. Though his ⌜humor⌝
2403 Was nothing but mutation—ay, and that
2404 From one bad thing to worse—not frenzy,
2406 175 To bring him here alone. Although perhaps
2407 It may be heard at court that such as we
2408 Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
2409 May make some stronger head, the which he
2411 180 As it is like him—might break out and swear
2412 He’d fetch us in, yet is ’t not probable
2413 To come alone, either he so undertaking
2414 Or they so suffering. Then on good ground we fear,
2415 If we do fear this body hath a tail
2416 185 More perilous than the head.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2417 Let ord’nance
2418 Come as the gods foresay it. Howsoe’er,
2419 My brother hath done well.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2420 I had no mind
2421 190 To hunt this day. The boy Fidele’s sickness
2422 Did make my way long forth.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2423 With his own sword,
2424 Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta’en
2425 His head from him. I’ll throw ’t into the creek
2426 195 Behind our rock, and let it to the sea
2427 And tell the fishes he’s the Queen’s son, Cloten.
2428 That’s all I reck.He exits.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2429 I fear ’twill be revenged.
2430 Would, Polydor, thou hadst not done ’t, though valor
2431 200 Becomes thee well enough.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2432 Would I had done ’t,
2433 So the revenge alone pursued me. Polydor,
2434 I love thee brotherly, but envy much
2435 Thou hast robbed me of this deed. I would revenges
2436 205 That possible strength might meet would seek us
2438 And put us to our answer.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2439 Well, ’tis done.
2440 We’ll hunt no more today, nor seek for danger
2442 You and Fidele play the cooks. I’ll stay
2443 Till hasty Polydor return, and bring him
2444 To dinner presently.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2445 Poor sick Fidele.
2446 215 I’ll willingly to him. To gain his color
2447 I’d let a parish of such Clotens blood,
2448 And praise myself for charity.He exits.
BELARIUS 2449 O thou goddess,
2450 Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon’st
2451 220 In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
2452 As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
2453 Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
2454 Their royal blood enchafed, as the rud’st wind
2455 That by the top doth take the mountain pine
2456 225 And make him stoop to th’ vale. ’Tis wonder
2457 That an invisible instinct should frame them
2458 To royalty unlearned, honor untaught,
2459 Civility not seen from other, valor
2460 That wildly grows in them but yields a crop
2461 230 As if it had been sowed. Yet still it’s strange
2462 What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
2463 Or what his death will bring us.
Enter Guiderius ⌜as Polydor.⌝
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2464 Where’s my brother?
2465 I have sent Cloten’s clotpole down the stream
2466 235 In embassy to his mother. His body’s hostage
2467 For his return.Solemn music.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2468 My ⌜ingenious⌝ instrument!
2469 Hark, Polydor, it sounds! But what occasion
2470 Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2471 240 Is he at home?
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2472 He went hence even now.
2473 What does he mean? Since death of my dear’st
2475 It did not speak before. All solemn things
2476 245 Should answer solemn accidents. The matter?
2477 Triumphs for nothing and lamenting toys
2478 Is jollity for apes and grief for boys.
2479 Is Cadwal mad?
Enter Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal,⌝ with Imogen ⌜as⌝ dead,
bearing her in his arms.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2480 Look, here he comes,
2481 250 And brings the dire occasion in his arms
2482 Of what we blame him for.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2483 The bird is dead
2484 That we have made so much on. I had rather
2485 Have skipped from sixteen years of age to sixty,
2486 255 To have turned my leaping time into a crutch,
2487 Than have seen this.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2488 O sweetest, fairest lily!
2489 My brother wears thee not the one half so well
2490 As when thou grew’st thyself.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2491 260 O melancholy,
2492 Whoever yet could sound thy bottom, find
2493 The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish ⌜crare⌝
2494 ⌜Might⌝ eas’liest harbor in?—Thou blessèd thing,
2495 Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
2496 265 Thou died’st, a most rare boy, of melancholy.—
2497 How found you him?
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2498 Stark, as you see;
2499 Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber,
2500 Not as Death’s dart being laughed at; his right cheek
2501 270 Reposing on a cushion.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2502 Where?
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2503 O’ th’ floor,
2504 His arms thus leagued. I thought he slept, and put
2506 275 Answered my steps too loud.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2507 Why, he but sleeps.
2508 If he be gone, he’ll make his grave a bed;
2509 With female fairies will his tomb be haunted—
2510 And worms will not come to thee.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2511 280 With fairest flowers,
2512 Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
2513 I’ll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
2514 The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose; nor
2515 The azured harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
2516 285 The leaf of eglantine whom, not to slander,
2517 Out-sweetened not thy breath. The ruddock would
2518 With charitable bill—O bill, sore shaming
2519 Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
2520 Without a monument—bring thee all this,
2521 290 Yea, and furred moss besides, when flowers are none
2522 To winter-ground thy corse.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2523 Prithee, have done,
2524 And do not play in wench-like words with that
2525 Which is so serious. Let us bury him
2526 295 And not protract with admiration what
2527 Is now due debt. To th’ grave.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2528 Say, where shall ’s lay
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2530 By good Euriphile, our mother.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2531 300 Be ’t so.
2532 And let us, Polydor, though now our voices
2533 Have got the mannish crack, sing him to th’ ground
2534 As once to our mother; use like note and words,
2535 Save that “Euriphile” must be “Fidele.”
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2536 305Cadwal,
2537 I cannot sing. I’ll weep, and word it with thee,
2538 For notes of sorrow, out of tune, are worse
2539 Than priests and fanes that lie.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2540 We’ll speak it then.
2541 310 Great griefs, I see, med’cine the less, for Cloten
2542 Is quite forgot. He was a queen’s son, boys,
2543 And though he came our enemy, remember
2544 He was paid for that. Though mean and mighty,
2545 Rotting together, have one dust, yet reverence,
2546 315 That angel of the world, doth make distinction
2547 Of place ’tween high and low. Our foe was princely,
2548 And though you took his life as being our foe,
2549 Yet bury him as a prince.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor, to Morgan⌝ 2550 Pray you fetch him
2551 320 hither.
2552 Thersites’ body is as good as Ajax’
2553 When neither are alive.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal, to Morgan⌝ 2554 If you’ll go fetch
2556 325 We’ll say our song the whilst.—Brother, begin.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2557 Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to th’ east;
2558 My father hath a reason for ’t.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2559 ’Tis true.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2560 Come on then, and remove him.
⌜They move Imogen’s body.⌝
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2561 330 So, begin.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2562 Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun,
2563 Nor the furious winter’s rages;
2564 Thou thy worldly task hast done,
2565 Home art gone and ta’en thy wages.
2566 335 Golden lads and girls all must,
2567 As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2568 Fear no more the frown o’ th’ great;
2569 Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke.
2571 340 To thee the reed is as the oak.
2572 The scepter, learning, physic must
2573 All follow this and come to dust.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2574 Fear no more the lightning flash.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2575 Nor th’ all-dreaded thunderstone.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2576 345 Fear not slander, censure rash;
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2577 Thou hast finished joy and moan.
BOTH 2578 All lovers young, all lovers must
2579 Consign to thee and come to dust.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2580 No exorciser harm thee,
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2581 350 Nor no witchcraft charm thee.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2582 Ghost unlaid forbear thee.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝
2583 Nothing ill come near thee.
BOTH 2584 Quiet consummation have,
2585 And renownèd be thy grave.
Enter Belarius ⌜as Morgan,⌝ with the body of Cloten.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2586 355 We have done our obsequies. Come, lay him down.
⌜Cloten’s body is placed by Imogen’s.⌝
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2587 Here’s a few flowers, but ’bout midnight more.
2588 The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ th’ night
2589 Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.—
2590 You were as flowers, now withered. Even so
2592 Come on, away; apart upon our knees.
2593 The ground that gave them first has them again.
2594 Their pleasures here are past; so ⌜is⌝ their pain.
2595 Yes, sir, to Milford Haven. Which is the way?
2596 365 I thank you. By yond bush? Pray, how far thither?
2597 Ods pittikins, can it be six mile yet?
2598 I have gone all night. Faith, I’ll lie down and sleep.
⌜She sees Cloten’s headless body.⌝
2599 But soft! No bedfellow? O gods and goddesses!
2600 These flowers are like the pleasures of the world,
2601 370 This bloody man the care on ’t. I hope I dream,
2602 For so I thought I was a cave-keeper
2603 And cook to honest creatures. But ’tis not so.
2604 ’Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
2605 Which the brain makes of fumes. Our very eyes
2606 375 Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
2607 I tremble still with fear; but if there be
2608 Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
2609 As a wren’s eye, feared gods, a part of it!
2610 The dream’s here still. Even when I wake it is
2611 380 Without me as within me, not imagined, felt.
2612 A headless man? The garments of Posthumus?
2613 I know the shape of ’s leg. This is his hand,
2614 His foot Mercurial, his Martial thigh,
2615 The brawns of Hercules; but his Jovial face—
2616 385 Murder in heaven! How? ’Tis gone. Pisanio,
2617 All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
2618 And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
2619 Conspired with that irregulous devil Cloten,
2620 Hath here cut off my lord. To write and read
2622 Hath with his forgèd letters—damned Pisanio—
2623 From this most bravest vessel of the world
2624 Struck the maintop. O Posthumus, alas,
2625 Where is thy head? Where’s that? Ay me, where’s that?
2626 395 Pisanio might have killed thee at the heart
2627 And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
2628 ’Tis he and Cloten. Malice and lucre in them
2629 Have laid this woe here. O, ’tis pregnant, pregnant!
2630 The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
2631 400 And cordial to me, have I not found it
2632 Murd’rous to th’ senses? That confirms it home.
2633 This is Pisanio’s deed, and Cloten. O,
2634 Give color to my pale cheek with thy blood,
2635 That we the horrider may seem to those
2636 405 Which chance to find us. O my lord! My lord!
Enter Lucius, Captains, ⌜Soldiers,⌝ and a Soothsayer.
2637 To them the legions garrisoned in Gallia,
2638 After your will, have crossed the sea, attending
2639 You here at Milford Haven with your ships.
2640 They are here in readiness.
LUCIUS 2641 410 But what from Rome?
2642 The Senate hath stirred up the confiners
2643 And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits
2644 That promise noble service, and they come
2645 Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
2646 415 Siena’s brother.
LUCIUS 2647 When expect you them?
2648 With the next benefit o’ th’ wind.
LUCIUS 2649 This forwardness
2650 Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers
2652 What have you dreamed of late of this war’s purpose?
2653 Last night the very gods showed me a vision—
2654 I fast and prayed for their intelligence—thus:
2655 I saw Jove’s bird, the Roman eagle, winged
2656 425 From the spongy south to this part of the west,
2657 There vanished in the sunbeams, which portends—
2658 Unless my sins abuse my divination—
2659 Success to th’ Roman host.
LUCIUS 2660 Dream often so,
2661 430 And never false.—Soft, ho, what trunk is here
2662 Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
2663 It was a worthy building. How, a page?
2664 Or dead or sleeping on him? But dead rather,
2665 For nature doth abhor to make his bed
2666 435 With the defunct or sleep upon the dead.
2667 Let’s see the boy’s face.
CAPTAIN 2668 He’s alive, my lord.
2669 He’ll then instruct us of this body.—Young one,
2670 Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
2671 440 They crave to be demanded. Who is this
2672 Thou mak’st thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
2673 That, otherwise than noble nature did,
2674 Hath altered that good picture? What’s thy interest
2675 In this sad wrack? How came ’t? Who is ’t?
2676 445 What art thou?
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2677 I am nothing; or if not,
2678 Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
2679 A very valiant Briton, and a good,
2680 That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas,
2681 450 There is no more such masters. I may wander
2682 From east to occident, cry out for service,
2683 Try many, all good, serve truly, never
2684 Find such another master.
LUCIUS 2685 ’Lack, good youth,
2686 455 Thou mov’st no less with thy complaining than
2687 Thy master in bleeding. Say his name, good friend.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝
2688 Richard du Champ. ⌜Aside.⌝ If I do lie and do
2689 No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
2690 They’ll pardon it.—Say you, sir?
LUCIUS 2691 460 Thy name?
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝ 2692 Fidele, sir.
2693 Thou dost approve thyself the very same;
2694 Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
2695 Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
2696 465 Thou shalt be so well mastered, but be sure
2697 No less beloved. The Roman Emperor’s letters
2698 Sent by a consul to me should not sooner
2699 Than thine own worth prefer thee. Go with me.
IMOGEN, ⌜as Fidele⌝
2700 I’ll follow, sir. But first, an ’t please the gods,
2701 470 I’ll hide my master from the flies as deep
2702 As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
2703 With wild-wood leaves and weeds I ha’ strewed his
2705 And on it said a century of prayers,
2706 475 Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh,
2707 And leaving so his service, follow you,
2708 So please you entertain me.
LUCIUS 2709 Ay, good youth,
2710 And rather father thee than master thee.—My friends,
2711 480 The boy hath taught us manly duties. Let us
2712 Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
2713 And make him with our pikes and partisans
2714 A grave. Come, arm him.—Boy, he’s preferred
2715 By thee to us, and he shall be interred
2716 485 As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes.
2717 Some falls are means the happier to arise.
They exit, ⌜the Soldiers carrying Cloten’s body.⌝
2718 Again, and bring me word how ’tis with her.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
2719 A fever, with the absence of her son;
2720 A madness, of which her life’s in danger. Heavens,
2721 How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
2722 5 The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
2723 Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
2724 When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
2725 So needful for this present. It strikes me past
2726 The hope of comfort.—But for thee, fellow,
2727 10 Who needs must know of her departure and
2728 Dost seem so ignorant, we’ll enforce it from thee
2729 By a sharp torture.
PISANIO 2730 Sir, my life is yours.
2731 I humbly set it at your will. But for my mistress,
2732 15 I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
2733 Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your
2735 Hold me your loyal servant.
LORD 2736 Good my liege,
2737 20 The day that she was missing, he was here.
2738 I dare be bound he’s true and shall perform
2739 All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
2740 There wants no diligence in seeking him,
2741 And will no doubt be found.
CYMBELINE 2742 25 The time is troublesome.
2743 ⌜To Pisanio.⌝ We’ll slip you for a season, but our jealousy
2744 Does yet depend.
LORD 2745 So please your Majesty,
2746 The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
2747 30 Are landed on your coast with a supply
2748 Of Roman gentlemen by the Senate sent.
2749 Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
2750 I am amazed with matter.
LORD 2751 Good my liege,
2752 35 Your preparation can affront no less
2753 Than what you hear of. Come more, for more you’re
2755 The want is but to put those powers in motion
2756 That long to move.
CYMBELINE 2757 40 I thank you. Let’s withdraw,
2758 And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
2759 What can from Italy annoy us, but
2760 We grieve at chances here. Away.
They exit. ⌜Pisanio remains.⌝
2761 I heard no letter from my master since
2762 45 I wrote him Imogen was slain. ’Tis strange.
2763 Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
2764 To yield me often tidings. Neither know I
2765 What is ⌜betid⌝ to Cloten, but remain
2766 Perplexed in all. The heavens still must work.
2767 50 Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
2768 These present wars shall find I love my country,
2769 Even to the note o’ th’ King, or I’ll fall in them.
2770 All other doubts, by time let them be cleared.
2771 Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
and Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal.⌝
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝
2772 The noise is round about us.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2773 Let us from it.
2774 What pleasure, sir, ⌜find we⌝ in life, to lock it
2775 From action and adventure?
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2776 5 Nay, what hope
2777 Have we in hiding us? This way the Romans
2778 Must or for Britons slay us or receive us
2779 For barbarous and unnatural revolts
2780 During their use, and slay us after.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2781 10 Sons,
2782 We’ll higher to the mountains, there secure us.
2783 To the King’s party there’s no going. Newness
2784 Of Cloten’s death—we being not known, not mustered
2785 Among the bands—may drive us to a render
2786 15 Where we have lived, and so extort from ’s that
2787 Which we have done, whose answer would be death
2788 Drawn on with torture.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2789 This is, sir, a doubt
2790 In such a time nothing becoming you
2791 20 Nor satisfying us.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2792 It is not likely
2793 That when they hear ⌜the⌝ Roman horses neigh,
2794 Behold their quartered fires, have both their eyes
2795 And ears so cloyed importantly as now,
2796 25 That they will waste their time upon our note,
2797 To know from whence we are.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝ 2798 O, I am known
2799 Of many in the army. Many years,
2800 Though Cloten then but young, you see not wore him
2801 30 From my remembrance. And besides, the King
2802 Hath not deserved my service nor your loves,
2803 Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
2804 The certainty of this hard life, aye hopeless
2805 To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
2806 35 But to be still hot summer’s tanlings and
2807 The shrinking slaves of winter.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2808 Than be so
2810 I and my brother are not known; yourself
2811 40 So out of thought, and thereto so o’ergrown,
2812 Cannot be questioned.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2813 By this sun that shines,
2814 I’ll thither. What thing is ’t that I never
2815 Did see man die, scarce ever looked on blood
2816 45 But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
2817 Never bestrid a horse save one that had
2818 A rider like myself, who ne’er wore rowel
2819 Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed
2820 To look upon the holy sun, to have
2821 50 The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
2822 So long a poor unknown.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor⌝ 2823 By heavens, I’ll go!
2824 If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
2825 I’ll take the better care, but if you will not,
2826 55 The hazard therefore due fall on me by
2827 The hands of Romans.
ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2828 So say I. Amen.
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2829 No reason I—since of your lives you set
2830 So slight a valuation—should reserve
2831 60 My cracked one to more care. Have with you, boys!
2832 If in your country wars you chance to die,
2833 That is my bed, too, lads, and there I’ll lie.
2834 Lead, lead. ⌜Aside.⌝ The time seems long; their
2835 blood thinks scorn
2836 65 Till it fly out and show them princes born.
carrying a bloody cloth.⌝
2837 Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wished
2838 Thou shouldst be colored thus. You married ones,
2839 If each of you should take this course, how many
2840 Must murder wives much better than themselves
2841 5 For wrying but a little! O Pisanio,
2842 Every good servant does not all commands;
2843 No bond but to do just ones. Gods, if you
2844 Should have ta’en vengeance on my faults, I never
2845 Had lived to put on this; so had you saved
2846 10 The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
2847 Me, wretch more worth your vengeance. But, alack,
2848 You snatch some hence for little faults; that’s love,
2849 To have them fall no more; you some permit
2850 To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
2851 15 And make them dread it, to the doers’ thrift.
2852 But Imogen is your own. Do your best wills,
2853 And make me blest to obey. I am brought hither
2854 Among th’ Italian gentry, and to fight
2855 Against my lady’s kingdom. ’Tis enough
2856 20 That, Britain, I have killed thy mistress. Peace,
2857 I’ll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,
2859 Of these Italian weeds and suit myself
2860 As does a Briton peasant. So I’ll fight
2861 25 Against the part I come with; so I’ll die
2862 For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
2863 Is every breath a death. And thus, unknown,
2864 Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
2865 Myself I’ll dedicate. Let me make men know
2866 30 More valor in me than my habits show.
2867 Gods, put the strength o’ th’ Leonati in me.
2868 To shame the guise o’ th’ world, I will begin
2869 The fashion: less without and more within.
door, and the Briton army at another, Leonatus Posthumus
following like a poor soldier. They march over and
go out. Then enter again, in skirmish, Iachimo and
Posthumus. He vanquisheth and disarmeth Iachimo,
and then leaves him.
2870 The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
2871 Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
2872 The Princess of this country, and the air on ’t
2873 Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
2874 5 A very drudge of nature’s, have subdued me
2875 In my profession? Knighthoods and honors, borne
2876 As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
2877 If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
2878 This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
2879 10 Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.
taken. Then enter, to his rescue, Belarius ⌜as Morgan,⌝
Guiderius ⌜as Polydor,⌝ and Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal.⌝
BELARIUS, ⌜as Morgan⌝
2880 Stand, stand! We have th’ advantage of the ground.
2881 The lane is guarded. Nothing routs us but
2882 The villainy of our fears.
GUIDERIUS, ⌜as Polydor,⌝ and ARVIRAGUS, ⌜as Cadwal⌝ 2883 Stand, stand, and fight!
Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons. They rescue
Cymbeline and exit. Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and
Imogen ⌜as Fidele.⌝
LUCIUS, ⌜to Fidele⌝
2884 15 Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself,
2885 For friends kill friends, and the disorder’s such
2886 As war were hoodwinked.
IACHIMO 2887 ’Tis their fresh supplies.
2888 It is a day turned strangely. Or betimes
2889 20 Let’s reinforce, or fly.
2890 Cam’st thou from where they made the stand?
POSTHUMUS 2891 I did,
2892 Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.
LORD 2893 ⌜Ay.⌝
2894 5 No blame be to you, sir, for all was lost,
2895 But that the heavens fought. The King himself
2897 And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
2898 Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
2899 10 Lolling the tongue with slaught’ring, having work
2900 More plentiful than tools to do ’t, struck down
2901 Some mortally, some slightly touched, some falling
2902 Merely through fear, that the strait pass was dammed
2903 With dead men hurt behind and cowards living
2904 15 To die with lengthened shame.
LORD 2905 Where was this lane?
2906 Close by the battle, ditched, and walled with turf;
2907 Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
2908 An honest one, I warrant, who deserved
2909 20 So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
2910 In doing this for ’s country. Athwart the lane,
2911 He with two striplings—lads more like to run
2912 The country base than to commit such slaughter,
2913 With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
2914 25 Than those for preservation cased or shame—
2915 Made good the passage, cried to those that fled
2916 “Our Britain’s harts die flying, not our men.
2917 To darkness fleet souls that fly backwards. Stand,
2918 Or we are Romans and will give you that
2919 30 Like beasts which you shun beastly, and may save
2920 But to look back in frown. Stand, stand!” These three,
2921 Three thousand confident, in act as many—
2922 For three performers are the file when all
2923 The rest do nothing—with this word “Stand, stand,”
2924 35 Accommodated by the place, more charming
2925 With their own nobleness, which could have turned
2926 A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks,
2927 Part shame, part spirit renewed; that some, turned
2929 40 But by example—O, a sin in war,
2930 Damned in the first beginners!—gan to look
2932 Upon the pikes o’ th’ hunters. Then began
2933 A stop i’ th’ chaser, a retire; anon
2934 45 A rout, confusion thick. Forthwith they fly
2935 Chickens the way which they ⌜stooped⌝ eagles; slaves
2936 The strides ⌜they⌝ victors made; and now our
2938 Like fragments in hard voyages, became
2939 50 The life o’ th’ need. Having found the backdoor open
2940 Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
2941 Some slain before, some dying, some their friends
2942 O’erborne i’ th’ former wave, ten chased by one,
2943 Are now each one the slaughterman of twenty.
2944 55 Those that would die or ere resist are grown
2945 The mortal bugs o’ th’ field.
LORD 2946 This was strange chance:
2947 A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.
2948 Nay, do not wonder at it. You are made
2949 60 Rather to wonder at the things you hear
2950 Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon ’t
2951 And vent it for a mock’ry? Here is one:
2952 “Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
2953 Preserved the Britons, was the Romans’ bane.”
2954 65 Nay, be not angry, sir.
POSTHUMUS 2955 ’Lack, to what end?
2956 Who dares not stand his foe, I’ll be his friend;
2957 For if he’ll do as he is made to do,
2958 I know he’ll quickly fly my friendship too.
2959 70 You have put me into rhyme.
LORD 2960 Farewell. You’re angry.
2961 Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
2962 To be i’ th’ field and ask “What news?” of me!
2964 75 To have saved their carcasses, took heel to do ’t,
2965 And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charmed,
2966 Could not find Death where I did hear him groan,
2967 Nor feel him where he struck. Being an ugly monster,
2968 ’Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
2969 80 Sweet words, or hath more ministers than we
2970 That draw his knives i’ th’ war. Well, I will find him;
2971 For being now a favorer to the Briton,
2972 No more a Briton. (⌜He removes his peasant
costume.⌝) 2973 I have resumed again
2974 85 The part I came in. Fight I will no more,
2975 But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
2976 Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
2977 Here made by th’ Roman; great the answer be
2978 Britons must take. For me, my ransom’s death.
2979 90 On either side I come to spend my breath,
2980 Which neither here I’ll keep nor bear again,
2981 But end it by some means for Imogen.
Enter two ⌜Briton⌝ Captains, and Soldiers.
2982 Great Jupiter be praised, Lucius is taken!
2983 ’Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.
2984 95 There was a fourth man in a silly habit
2985 That gave th’ affront with them.
FIRST CAPTAIN 2986 So ’tis reported,
2987 But none of ’em can be found.—Stand. Who’s there?
POSTHUMUS 2988 A Roman,
2989 100 Who had not now been drooping here if seconds
2990 Had answered him.
SECOND CAPTAIN 2991 Lay hands on him. A dog,
2992 A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
2993 What crows have pecked them here. He brags his
2994 105 service
2995 As if he were of note. Bring him to th’ King.
Guiderius ⌜as Polydor,⌝ Arviragus ⌜as Cadwal,⌝ Pisanio,
⌜Soldiers,⌝ and Roman captives. The Captains present
Posthumus to Cymbeline, who delivers him over to a
2996 You shall not now be stol’n; you have locks upon you.
2997 So graze as you find pasture.
SECOND JAILER 2998 Ay, or a stomach.
2999 Most welcome, bondage, for thou art a way,
3000 5 I think, to liberty. Yet am I better
3001 Than one that’s sick o’ th’ gout, since he had rather
3002 Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
3003 By th’ sure physician, Death, who is the key
3004 T’ unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fettered
3005 10 More than my shanks and wrists. You good gods,
3006 give me
3007 The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
3008 Then free forever. Is ’t enough I am sorry?
3009 So children temporal fathers do appease;
3010 15 Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent,
3011 I cannot do it better than in gyves,
3012 Desired more than constrained. To satisfy,
3013 If of my freedom ’tis the main part, take
3014 No stricter render of me than my all.
3015 20 I know you are more clement than vile men,
3016 Who of their broken debtors take a third,
3017 A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
3019 For Imogen’s dear life take mine; and though
3020 25 ’Tis not so dear, yet ’tis a life; you coined it.
3021 ’Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
3022 Though light, take pieces for the figure’s sake;
3023 You rather mine, being yours. And so, great powers,
3024 If you will take this audit, take this life
3025 30 And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen,
3026 I’ll speak to thee in silence.⌜He lies down and sleeps.⌝
Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition, Sicilius
Leonatus, father to Posthumus, an old man attired like
a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his
wife and mother to Posthumus, with music before
them. Then, after other music, follows the two young
Leonati, brothers to Posthumus, with wounds as they
died in the wars. They circle Posthumus round as he
3027 No more, thou Thunder-master, show
3028 Thy spite on mortal flies.
3029 With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
3030 35 That thy adulteries
3031 Rates and revenges.
3032 Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
3033 Whose face I never saw?
3034 I died whilst in the womb he stayed,
3035 40 Attending nature’s law;
3036 Whose father then—as men report
3037 Thou orphans’ father art—
3038 Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
3039 From this earth-vexing smart.
3040 45 Lucina lent not me her aid,
3041 But took me in my throes,
3043 Came crying ’mongst his foes,
3044 A thing of pity.
3045 50 Great Nature, like his ancestry,
3046 Molded the stuff so fair
3047 That he deserved the praise o’ th’ world
3048 As great Sicilius’ heir.
3049 When once he was mature for man,
3050 55 In Britain where was he
3051 That could stand up his parallel
3052 Or fruitful object be
3053 In eye of Imogen, that best
3054 Could deem his dignity?
3055 60 With marriage wherefore was he mocked,
3056 To be exiled and thrown
3057 From Leonati seat, and cast
3058 From her, his dearest one,
3059 Sweet Imogen?
3060 65 Why did you suffer Iachimo,
3061 Slight thing of Italy,
3062 To taint his nobler heart and brain
3063 With needless jealousy,
3064 And to become the geck and scorn
3065 70 O’ th’ other’s villainy?
3066 For this, from stiller seats we came,
3067 Our parents and us twain,
3068 That striking in our country’s cause
3069 Fell bravely and were slain,
3070 75 Our fealty and Tenantius’ right
3071 With honor to maintain.
3072 Like hardiment Posthumus hath
3073 To Cymbeline performed.
3074 Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
3075 80 Why hast thou thus adjourned
3076 The graces for his merits due,
3077 Being all to dolors turned?
3078 Thy crystal window ope; look out.
3079 No longer exercise
3080 85 Upon a valiant race thy harsh
3081 And potent injuries.
3082 Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
3083 Take off his miseries.
3084 Peep through thy marble mansion. Help,
3085 90 Or we poor ghosts will cry
3086 To th’ shining synod of the rest
3087 Against thy deity.
3088 Help, Jupiter, or we appeal
3089 And from thy justice fly.
Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon
an eagle. He throws a thunderbolt. The Ghosts fall on