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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Cymbeline

Part 2 out of 3

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And for I am richer than to hang by th' walls
I must be ripp'd. To pieces with me! O,
Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming,
By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
Put on for villainy; not born where't grows,
But worn a bait for ladies.
PISANIO. Good madam, hear me.
IMOGEN. True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,
Were, in his time, thought false; and Sinon's weeping
Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity
From most true wretchedness. So thou, Posthumus,
Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men:
Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjur'd
From thy great fail. Come, fellow, be thou honest;
Do thou thy master's bidding; when thou seest him,
A little witness my obedience. Look!
I draw the sword myself; take it, and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart.
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things but grief;
Thy master is not there, who was indeed
The riches of it. Do his bidding; strike.
Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause,
But now thou seem'st a coward.
PISANIO. Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damn my hand.
IMOGEN. Why, I must die;
And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master's. Against self-slaughter
There is a prohibition so divine
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart-
Something's afore't. Soft, soft! we'll no defence!-
Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus
All turn'd to heresy? Away, away,
Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools
Believe false teachers; though those that are betray'd
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus,
That didst set up my disobedience 'gainst the King
My father, and make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
It is no act of common passage but
A strain of rareness; and I grieve myself
To think, when thou shalt be disedg'd by her
That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me. Prithee dispatch.
The lamp entreats the butcher. Where's thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it too.
PISANIO. O gracious lady,
Since I receiv'd command to do this busines
I have not slept one wink.
IMOGEN. Do't, and to bed then.
PISANIO. I'll wake mine eyeballs first.
IMOGEN. Wherefore then
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd
So many miles with a pretence? This place?
Mine action and thine own? our horses' labour?
The time inviting thee? the perturb'd court,
For my being absent?- whereunto I never
Purpose return. Why hast thou gone so far
To be unbent when thou hast ta'en thy stand,
Th' elected deer before thee?
PISANIO. But to win time
To lose so bad employment, in the which
I have consider'd of a course. Good lady,
Hear me with patience.
IMOGEN. Talk thy tongue weary- speak.
I have heard I am a strumpet, and mine ear,
Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
PISANIO. Then, madam,
I thought you would not back again.
IMOGEN. Most like-
Bringing me here to kill me.
PISANIO. Not so, neither;
But if I were as wise as honest, then
My purpose would prove well. It cannot be
But that my master is abus'd. Some villain,
Ay, and singular in his art, hath done you both
This cursed injury.
IMOGEN. Some Roman courtezan!
PISANIO. No, on my life!
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
Some bloody sign of it, for 'tis commanded
I should do so. You shall be miss'd at court,
And that will well confirm it.
IMOGEN. Why, good fellow,
What shall I do the while? where bide? how live?
Or in my life what comfort, when I am
Dead to my husband?
PISANIO. If you'll back to th' court-
IMOGEN. No court, no father, nor no more ado
With that harsh, noble, simple nothing-
That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
As fearful as a siege.
PISANIO. If not at court,
Then not in Britain must you bide.
IMOGEN. Where then?
Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
Are they not but in Britain? I' th' world's volume
Our Britain seems as of it, but not in't;
In a great pool a swan's nest. Prithee think
There's livers out of Britain.
PISANIO. I am most glad
You think of other place. Th' ambassador,
Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford Haven
To-morrow. Now, if you could wear a mind
Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
That which t' appear itself must not yet be
But by self-danger, you should tread a course
Pretty and full of view; yea, happily, near
The residence of Posthumus; so nigh, at least,
That though his actions were not visible, yet
Report should render him hourly to your ear
As truly as he moves.
IMOGEN. O! for such means,
Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,
I would adventure.
PISANIO. Well then, here's the point:
You must forget to be a woman; change
Command into obedience; fear and niceness-
The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
Woman it pretty self- into a waggish courage;
Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and
As quarrelous as the weasel. Nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it- but, O, the harder heart!
Alack, no remedy!- to the greedy touch
Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
Your laboursome and dainty trims wherein
You made great Juno angry.
IMOGEN. Nay, be brief;
I see into thy end, and am almost
A man already.
PISANIO. First, make yourself but like one.
Fore-thinking this, I have already fit-
'Tis in my cloak-bag- doublet, hat, hose, all
That answer to them. Would you, in their serving,
And with what imitation you can borrow
From youth of such a season, fore noble Lucius
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
Wherein you're happy- which will make him know
If that his head have ear in music; doubtless
With joy he will embrace you; for he's honourable,
And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad-
You have me, rich; and I will never fail
Beginning nor supplyment.
IMOGEN. Thou art all the comfort
The gods will diet me with. Prithee away!
There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
All that good time will give us. This attempt
I am soldier to, and will abide it with
A prince's courage. Away, I prithee.
PISANIO. Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of
Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
Here is a box; I had it from the Queen.
What's in't is precious. If you are sick at sea
Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this
Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
Direct you to the best!
IMOGEN. Amen. I thank thee. Exeunt severally

Britain. CYMBELINE'S palace


CYMBELINE. Thus far; and so farewell.
LUCIUS. Thanks, royal sir.
My emperor hath wrote; I must from hence,
And am right sorry that I must report ye
My master's enemy.
CYMBELINE. Our subjects, sir,
Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
To show less sovereignty than they, must needs
Appear unkinglike.
LUCIUS. So, sir. I desire of you
A conduct overland to Milford Haven.
Madam, all joy befall your Grace, and you!
CYMBELINE. My lords, you are appointed for that office;
The due of honour in no point omit.
So farewell, noble Lucius.
LUCIUS. Your hand, my lord.
CLOTEN. Receive it friendly; but from this time forth
I wear it as your enemy.
LUCIUS. Sir, the event
Is yet to name the winner. Fare you well.
CYMBELINE. Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
Till he have cross'd the Severn. Happiness!
QUEEN. He goes hence frowning; but it honours us
That we have given him cause.
CLOTEN. 'Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
CYMBELINE. Lucius hath wrote already to the Emperor
How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness.
The pow'rs that he already hath in Gallia
Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
His war for Britain.
QUEEN. 'Tis not sleepy business,
But must be look'd to speedily and strongly.
CYMBELINE. Our expectation that it would be thus
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
The duty of the day. She looks us like
A thing more made of malice than of duty;
We have noted it. Call her before us, for
We have been too slight in sufferance. Exit a MESSENGER
QUEEN. Royal sir,
Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd
Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
'Tis time must do. Beseech your Majesty,
Forbear sharp speeches to her; she's a lady
So tender of rebukes that words are strokes,
And strokes death to her.


CYMBELINE. Where is she, sir? How
Can her contempt be answer'd?
MESSENGER. Please you, sir,
Her chambers are all lock'd, and there's no answer
That will be given to th' loud of noise we make.
QUEEN. My lord, when last I went to visit her,
She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close;
Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity
She should that duty leave unpaid to you
Which daily she was bound to proffer. This
She wish'd me to make known; but our great court
Made me to blame in memory.
CYMBELINE. Her doors lock'd?
Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
Prove false! Exit
QUEEN. Son, I say, follow the King.
CLOTEN. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
I have not seen these two days.
QUEEN. Go, look after. Exit CLOTEN
Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus!
He hath a drug of mine. I pray his absence
Proceed by swallowing that; for he believes
It is a thing most precious. But for her,
Where is she gone? Haply despair hath seiz'd her;
Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown
To her desir'd Posthumus. Gone she is
To death or to dishonour, and my end
Can make good use of either. She being down,
I have the placing of the British crown.

Re-enter CLOTEN

How now, my son?
CLOTEN. 'Tis certain she is fled.
Go in and cheer the King. He rages; none
Dare come about him.
QUEEN. All the better. May
This night forestall him of the coming day! Exit
CLOTEN. I love and hate her; for she's fair and royal,
And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
Than lady, ladies, woman. From every one
The best she hath, and she, of all compounded,
Outsells them all. I love her therefore; but
Disdaining me and throwing favours on
The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
That what's else rare is chok'd; and in that point
I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
To be reveng'd upon her. For when fools


Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
Come hither. Ah, you precious pander! Villain,
Where is thy lady? In a word, or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.
PISANIO. O good my lord!
CLOTEN. Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter-
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
A dram of worth be drawn.
PISANIO. Alas, my lord,
How can she be with him? When was she miss'd?
He is in Rome.
CLOTEN. Where is she, sir? Come nearer.
No farther halting! Satisfy me home
What is become of her.
PISANIO. O my all-worthy lord!
CLOTEN. All-worthy villain!
Discover where thy mistress is at once,
At the next word. No more of 'worthy lord'!
Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
Thy condemnation and thy death.
PISANIO. Then, sir,
This paper is the history of my knowledge
Touching her flight. [Presenting a letter]
CLOTEN. Let's see't. I will pursue her
Even to Augustus' throne.
PISANIO. [Aside] Or this or perish.
She's far enough; and what he learns by this
May prove his travel, not her danger.
PISANIO. [Aside] I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen,
Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
CLOTEN. Sirrah, is this letter true?
PISANIO. Sir, as I think.
CLOTEN. It is Posthumus' hand; I know't. Sirrah, if thou
not be a villain, but do me true service, undergo those
employments wherein I should have cause to use thee with a
serious industry- that is, what villainy soe'er I bid thee
do, to
perform it directly and truly- I would think thee an honest
thou shouldst neither want my means for thy relief nor my
for thy preferment.
PISANIO. Well, my good lord.
CLOTEN. Wilt thou serve me? For since patiently and constantly
hast stuck to the bare fortune of that beggar Posthumus, thou
canst not, in the course of gratitude, but be a diligent
of mine. Wilt thou serve me?
PISANIO. Sir, I will.
CLOTEN. Give me thy hand; here's my purse. Hast any of thy late
master's garments in thy possession?
PISANIO. I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same suit he wore
he took leave of my lady and mistress.
CLOTEN. The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit hither.
it be thy first service; go.
PISANIO. I shall, my lord. Exit
CLOTEN. Meet thee at Milford Haven! I forgot to ask him one
I'll remember't anon. Even there, thou villain Posthumus,
will I
kill thee. I would these garments were come. She said upon a
time- the bitterness of it I now belch from my heart- that
held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect than my
and natural person, together with the adornment of my
With that suit upon my back will I ravish her; first kill
and in her eyes. There shall she see my valour, which will
be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my speech of
insultment ended on his dead body, and when my lust hath
which, as I say, to vex her I will execute in the clothes
she so prais'd- to the court I'll knock her back, foot her
again. She hath despis'd me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in

Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes

Be those the garments?
PISANIO. Ay, my noble lord.
CLOTEN. How long is't since she went to Milford Haven?
PISANIO. She can scarce be there yet.
CLOTEN. Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second
that I have commanded thee. The third is that thou wilt be a
voluntary mute to my design. Be but duteous and true,
shall tender itself to thee. My revenge is now at Milford,
I had wings to follow it! Come, and be true. Exit
PISANIO. Thou bid'st me to my loss; for true to thee
Were to prove false, which I will never be,
To him that is most true. To Milford go,
And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
Be cross'd with slowness! Labour be his meed! Exit

Wales. Before the cave of BELARIUS

Enter IMOGEN alone, in boy's clothes

IMOGEN. I see a man's life is a tedious one.
I have tir'd myself, and for two nights together
Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick
But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
Thou wast within a ken. O Jove! I think
Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be reliev'd. Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
Is sorer than to lie for need; and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
Thou art one o' th' false ones. Now I think on thee
My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to't; 'tis some savage hold.
I were best not call; I dare not call. Yet famine,
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here?
If anything that's civil, speak; if savage,
Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I'll enter.
Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy
But fear the sword, like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
Such a foe, good heavens! Exit into the cave


BELARIUS. You, Polydore, have prov'd best woodman and
Are master of the feast. Cadwal and I
Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match.
The sweat of industry would dry and die
But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
Will make what's homely savoury; weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Finds the down pillow hard. Now, peace be here,
Poor house, that keep'st thyself!
GUIDERIUS. I am thoroughly weary.
ARVIRAGUS. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
GUIDERIUS. There is cold meat i' th' cave; we'll browse on that
Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
BELARIUS. [Looking into the cave] Stay, come not in.
But that it eats our victuals, I should think
Here were a fairy.
GUIDERIUS. What's the matter, sir?
BELARIUS.. By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
No elder than a boy!

Re-enter IMOGEN

IMOGEN. Good masters, harm me not.
Before I enter'd here I call'd, and thought
To have begg'd or bought what I have took. Good troth,
I have stol'n nought; nor would not though I had found
Gold strew'd i' th' floor. Here's money for my meat.
I would have left it on the board, so soon
As I had made my meal, and parted
With pray'rs for the provider.
GUIDERIUS. Money, youth?
ARVIRAGUS. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
As 'tis no better reckon'd but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
IMOGEN. I see you're angry.
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
Have died had I not made it.
BELARIUS. Whither bound?
IMOGEN. To Milford Haven.
BELARIUS. What's your name?
IMOGEN. Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
I am fall'n in this offence.
BELARIUS. Prithee, fair youth,
Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd!
'Tis almost night; you shall have better cheer
Ere you depart, and thanks to stay and eat it.
Boys, bid him welcome.
GUIDERIUS. Were you a woman, youth,
I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty
I bid for you as I'd buy.
ARVIRAGUS. I'll make't my comfort
He is a man. I'll love him as my brother;
And such a welcome as I'd give to him
After long absence, such is yours. Most welcome!
Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
IMOGEN. 'Mongst friends,
If brothers. [Aside] Would it had been so that they
Had been my father's sons! Then had my prize
Been less, and so more equal ballasting
To thee, Posthumus.
BELARIUS. He wrings at some distress.
GUIDERIUS. Would I could free't!
ARVIRAGUS. Or I, whate'er it be,
What pain it cost, what danger! Gods!
BELARIUS. [Whispering] Hark, boys.
IMOGEN. [Aside] Great men,
That had a court no bigger than this cave,
That did attend themselves, and had the virtue
Which their own conscience seal'd them, laying by
That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
Since Leonatus' false.
BELARIUS. It shall be so.
Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in.
Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd,
We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
So far as thou wilt speak it.
GUIDERIUS. Pray draw near.
ARVIRAGUS. The night to th' owl and morn to th' lark less
IMOGEN. Thanks, sir.
ARVIRAGUS. I pray draw near. Exeunt

Rome. A public place


FIRST SENATOR. This is the tenour of the Emperor's writ:
That since the common men are now in action
'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
And that the legions now in Gallia are
Full weak to undertake our wars against
The fall'n-off Britons, that we do incite
The gentry to this business. He creates
Lucius proconsul; and to you, the tribunes,
For this immediate levy, he commands
His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!
TRIBUNE. Is Lucius general of the forces?
TRIBUNE. Remaining now in Gallia?
FIRST SENATOR. With those legions
Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
Must be supplyant. The words of your commission
Will tie you to the numbers and the time
Of their dispatch.
TRIBUNE. We will discharge our duty. Exeunt

Wales. Near the cave of BELARIUS

Enter CLOTEN alone

CLOTEN. I am near to th' place where they should meet, if
have mapp'd it truly. How fit his garments serve me! Why
his mistress, who was made by him that made the tailor, not
fit too? The rather- saving reverence of the word- for 'tis
a woman's fitness comes by fits. Therein I must play the
I dare speak it to myself, for it is not vain-glory for a man
his glass to confer in his own chamber- I mean, the lines of
body are as well drawn as his; no less young, more strong,
beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the advantage of the
above him in birth, alike conversant in general services, and
more remarkable in single oppositions. Yet this
thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is! Posthumus,
head, which now is growing upon thy shoulders, shall within
hour be off; thy mistress enforced; thy garments cut to
before her face; and all this done, spurn her home to her
who may, haply, be a little angry for my so rough usage; but
mother, having power of his testiness, shall turn all into my

commendations. My horse is tied up safe. Out, sword, and to a
sore purpose! Fortune, put them into my hand. This is the
description of their meeting-place; and the fellow dares not
deceive me. Exit

Wales. Before the cave of BELARIUS


BELARIUS. [To IMOGEN] You are not well. Remain here in the
We'll come to you after hunting.
ARVIRAGUS. [To IMOGEN] Brother, stay here.
Are we not brothers?
IMOGEN. So man and man should be;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.
GUIDERIUS. Go you to hunting; I'll abide with him.
IMOGEN. So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course. The breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you trust me here.
I'll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.
GUIDERIUS. I love thee; I have spoke it.
How much the quantity, the weight as much
As I do love my father.
BELARIUS. What? how? how?
ARVIRAGUS. If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me
In my good brother's fault. I know not why
I love this youth, and I have heard you say
Love's reason's without reason. The bier at door,
And a demand who is't shall die, I'd say
'My father, not this youth.'
BELARIUS. [Aside] O noble strain!
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
Cowards father cowards and base things sire base.
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
I'm not their father; yet who this should be
Doth miracle itself, lov'd before me.-
'Tis the ninth hour o' th' morn.
ARVIRAGUS. Brother, farewell.
IMOGEN. I wish ye sport.
ARVIRAGUS. Your health. [To BELARIUS] So please you, sir.
IMOGEN. [Aside] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I
Our courtiers say all's savage but at court.
Experience, O, thou disprov'st report!
Th' imperious seas breed monsters; for the dish,
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still; heart-sick. Pisanio,
I'll now taste of thy drug. [Swallows some]
GUIDERIUS. I could not stir him.
He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.
ARVIRAGUS. Thus did he answer me; yet said hereafter
I might know more.
BELARIUS. To th' field, to th' field!
We'll leave you for this time. Go in and rest.
ARVIRAGUS. We'll not be long away.
BELARIUS. Pray be not sick,
For you must be our huswife.
IMOGEN. Well, or ill,
I am bound to you.
BELARIUS. And shalt be ever. Exit IMOGEN into the cave
This youth, howe'er distress'd, appears he hath had
Good ancestors.
ARVIRAGUS. How angel-like he sings!
GUIDERIUS. But his neat cookery! He cut our roots in
And sauc'd our broths as Juno had been sick,
And he her dieter.
ARVIRAGUS. Nobly he yokes
A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
Was that it was for not being such a smile;
The smile mocking the sigh that it would fly
From so divine a temple to commix
With winds that sailors rail at.
GUIDERIUS. I do note
That grief and patience, rooted in him both,
Mingle their spurs together.
ARVIRAGUS. Grow patience!
And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root with the increasing vine!
BELARIUS. It is great morning. Come, away! Who's there?


CLOTEN. I cannot find those runagates; that villain
Hath mock'd me. I am faint.
BELARIUS. Those runagates?
Means he not us? I partly know him; 'tis
Cloten, the son o' th' Queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know 'tis he. We are held as outlaws. Hence!
GUIDERIUS. He is but one; you and my brother search
What companies are near. Pray you away;
Let me alone with him. Exeunt BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS
CLOTEN. Soft! What are you
That fly me thus? Some villain mountaineers?
I have heard of such. What slave art thou?
More slavish did I ne'er than answering
'A slave' without a knock.
CLOTEN. Thou art a robber,
A law-breaker, a villain. Yield thee, thief.
GUIDERIUS. To who? To thee? What art thou? Have not I
An arm as big as thine, a heart as big?
Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art;
Why I should yield to thee.
CLOTEN. Thou villain base,
Know'st me not by my clothes?
GUIDERIUS. No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
Who is thy grandfather; he made those clothes,
Which, as it seems, make thee.
CLOTEN. Thou precious varlet,
My tailor made them not.
GUIDERIUS. Hence, then, and thank
The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool;
I am loath to beat thee.
CLOTEN. Thou injurious thief,
Hear but my name, and tremble.
GUIDERIUS. What's thy name?
CLOTEN. Cloten, thou villain.
GUIDERIUS. Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
I cannot tremble at it. Were it toad, or adder, spider,
'Twould move me sooner.
CLOTEN. To thy further fear,
Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
I am son to th' Queen.
GUIDERIUS. I'm sorry for't; not seeming
So worthy as thy birth.
CLOTEN. Art not afeard?
GUIDERIUS. Those that I reverence, those I fear- the wise:
At fools I laugh, not fear them.
CLOTEN. Die the death.
When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
I'll follow those that even now fled hence,
And on the gates of Lud's Town set your heads.
Yield, rustic mountaineer. Exeunt, fighting


BELARIUS. No company's abroad.
ARVIRAGUS. None in the world; you did mistake him, sure.
BELARIUS. I cannot tell; long is it since I saw him,
But time hath nothing blurr'd those lines of favour
Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
And burst of speaking, were as his. I am absolute
'Twas very Cloten.
ARVIRAGUS. In this place we left them.
I wish my brother make good time with him,
You say he is so fell.
BELARIUS. Being scarce made up,
I mean to man, he had not apprehension
Or roaring terrors; for defect of judgment
Is oft the cease of fear.

Re-enter GUIDERIUS with CLOTEN'S head

But, see, thy brother.
GUIDERIUS. This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
There was no money in't. Not Hercules
Could have knock'd out his brains, for he had none;
Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
My head as I do his.
BELARIUS. What hast thou done?
GUIDERIUS. I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten's head,
Son to the Queen, after his own report;
Who call'd me traitor, mountaineer, and swore
With his own single hand he'd take us in,
Displace our heads where- thank the gods!- they grow,
And set them on Lud's Town.
BELARIUS. We are all undone.
GUIDERIUS. Why, worthy father, what have we to lose
But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
Protects not us; then why should we be tender
To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
Play judge and executioner all himself,
For we do fear the law? What company
Discover you abroad?
BELARIUS. No single soul
Can we set eye on, but in all safe reason
He must have some attendants. Though his humour
Was nothing but mutation- ay, and that
From one bad thing to worse- not frenzy, not
Absolute madness could so far have rav'd,
To bring him here alone. Although perhaps
It may be heard at court that such as we
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
May make some stronger head- the which he hearing,
As it is like him, might break out and swear
He'd fetch us in; yet is't not probable
To come alone, either he so undertaking
Or they so suffering. Then on good ground we fear,
If we do fear this body hath a tail
More perilous than the head.
ARVIRAGUS. Let ordinance
Come as the gods foresay it. Howsoe'er,
My brother hath done well.
BELARIUS. I had no mind
To hunt this day; the boy Fidele's sickness
Did make my way long forth.
GUIDERIUS. With his own sword,
Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta'en
His head from him. I'll throw't into the creek
Behind our rock, and let it to the sea
And tell the fishes he's the Queen's son, Cloten.
That's all I reck. Exit
BELARIUS. I fear 'twill be reveng'd.
Would, Polydore, thou hadst not done't! though valour
Becomes thee well enough.
ARVIRAGUS. Would I had done't,
So the revenge alone pursu'd me! Polydore,
I love thee brotherly, but envy much
Thou hast robb'd me of this deed. I would revenges,
That possible strength might meet, would seek us through,
And put us to our answer.
BELARIUS. Well, 'tis done.
We'll hunt no more to-day, nor seek for danger
Where there's no profit. I prithee to our rock.
You and Fidele play the cooks; I'll stay
Till hasty Polydore return, and bring him
To dinner presently.
ARVIRAGUS. Poor sick Fidele!
I'll willingly to him; to gain his colour
I'd let a parish of such Cloten's blood,
And praise myself for charity. Exit
BELARIUS. O thou goddess,
Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchaf'd, as the rud'st wind
That by the top doth take the mountain pine
And make him stoop to th' vale. 'Tis wonder
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearn'd, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other, valour
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
As if it had been sow'd. Yet still it's strange
What Cloten's being here to us portends,
Or what his death will bring us.


GUIDERIUS. Where's my brother?
I have sent Cloten's clotpoll down the stream,
In embassy to his mother; his body's hostage
For his return. [Solemn music]
BELARIUS. My ingenious instrument!
Hark, Polydore, it sounds. But what occasion
Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark!
GUIDERIUS. Is he at home?
BELARIUS. He went hence even now.
GUIDERIUS. What does he mean? Since death of my dear'st mother
It did not speak before. All solemn things
Should answer solemn accidents. The matter?
Triumphs for nothing and lamenting toys
Is jollity for apes and grief for boys.
Is Cadwal mad?

Re-enter ARVIRAGUS, with IMOGEN as dead, bearing
her in his arms

BELARIUS. Look, here he comes,
And brings the dire occasion in his arms
Of what we blame him for!
ARVIRAGUS. The bird is dead
That we have made so much on. I had rather
Have skipp'd from sixteen years of age to sixty,
To have turn'd my leaping time into a crutch,
Than have seen this.
GUIDERIUS. O sweetest, fairest lily!
My brother wears thee not the one half so well
As when thou grew'st thyself.
BELARIUS. O melancholy!
Who ever yet could sound thy bottom? find
The ooze to show what coast thy sluggish care
Might'st easiliest harbour in? Thou blessed thing!
Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy.
How found you him?
ARVIRAGUS. Stark, as you see;
Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber,
Not as death's dart, being laugh'd at; his right cheek
Reposing on a cushion.
ARVIRAGUS. O' th' floor;
His arms thus leagu'd. I thought he slept, and put
My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
Answer'd my steps too loud.
GUIDERIUS. Why, he but sleeps.
If he be gone he'll make his grave a bed;
With female fairies will his tomb be haunted,
And worms will not come to thee.
ARVIRAGUS. With fairest flowers,
Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
I'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose; nor
The azur'd hare-bell, like thy veins; no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweet'ned not thy breath. The ruddock would,
With charitable bill- O bill, sore shaming
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
Without a monument!- bring thee all this;
Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flow'rs are none,
To winter-ground thy corse-
GUIDERIUS. Prithee have done,
And do not play in wench-like words with that
Which is so serious. Let us bury him,
And not protract with admiration what
Is now due debt. To th' grave.
ARVIRAGUS. Say, where shall's lay him?
GUIDERIUS. By good Euriphile, our mother.
And let us, Polydore, though now our voices
Have got the mannish crack, sing him to th' ground,
As once to our mother; use like note and words,
Save that Euriphile must be Fidele.
I cannot sing. I'll weep, and word it with thee;
For notes of sorrow out of tune are worse
Than priests and fanes that lie.
ARVIRAGUS. We'll speak it, then.
BELARIUS. Great griefs, I see, med'cine the less, for Cloten
Is quite forgot. He was a queen's son, boys;
And though he came our enemy, remember
He was paid for that. Though mean and mighty rotting
Together have one dust, yet reverence-
That angel of the world- doth make distinction
Of place 'tween high and low. Our foe was princely;
And though you took his life, as being our foe,
Yet bury him as a prince.
GUIDERIUS. Pray you fetch him hither.
Thersites' body is as good as Ajax',
When neither are alive.
ARVIRAGUS. If you'll go fetch him,
We'll say our song the whilst. Brother, begin.
GUIDERIUS. Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to th' East;
My father hath a reason for't.
ARVIRAGUS. 'Tis true.
GUIDERIUS. Come on, then, and remove him.


GUIDERIUS. Fear no more the heat o' th' sun
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

ARVIRAGUS. Fear no more the frown o' th' great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke.
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS. Fear no more the lightning flash,
ARVIRAGUS. Nor th' all-dreaded thunder-stone;
GUIDERIUS. Fear not slander, censure rash;
ARVIRAGUS. Thou hast finish'd joy and moan.
BOTH. All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS. No exorciser harm thee!
ARVIRAGUS. Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
GUIDERIUS. Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
ARVIRAGUS. Nothing ill come near thee!
BOTH. Quiet consummation have,
And renowned be thy grave!

Re-enter BELARIUS with the body of CLOTEN

GUIDERIUS. We have done our obsequies. Come, lay him down.
BELARIUS. Here's a few flowers; but 'bout midnight, more.
The herbs that have on them cold dew o' th' night
Are strewings fit'st for graves. Upon their faces.
You were as flow'rs, now wither'd. Even so
These herblets shall which we upon you strew.
Come on, away. Apart upon our knees.
The ground that gave them first has them again.
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.
Exeunt all but IMOGEN
IMOGEN. [Awaking] Yes, sir, to Milford Haven. Which is the way?
I thank you. By yond bush? Pray, how far thither?
'Ods pittikins! can it be six mile yet?
I have gone all night. Faith, I'll lie down and sleep.
But, soft! no bedfellow. O gods and goddesses!
[Seeing the body]
These flow'rs are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man, the care on't. I hope I dream;
For so I thought I was a cave-keeper,
And cook to honest creatures. But 'tis not so;
'Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes. Our very eyes
Are sometimes, like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble still with fear; but if there be
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
As a wren's eye, fear'd gods, a part of it!
The dream's here still. Even when I wake it is
Without me, as within me; not imagin'd, felt.
A headless man? The garments of Posthumus?
I know the shape of's leg; this is his hand,
His foot Mercurial, his Martial thigh,
The brawns of Hercules; but his Jovial face-
Murder in heaven! How! 'Tis gone. Pisanio,
All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
Conspir'd with that irregulous devil, Cloten,
Hath here cut off my lord. To write and read
Be henceforth treacherous! Damn'd Pisanio
Hath with his forged letters- damn'd Pisanio-
From this most bravest vessel of the world
Struck the main-top. O Posthumus! alas,
Where is thy head? Where's that? Ay me! where's that?
Pisanio might have kill'd thee at the heart,
And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
'Tis he and Cloten; malice and lucre in them
Have laid this woe here. O, 'tis pregnant, pregnant!
The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
And cordial to me, have I not found it
Murd'rous to th' senses? That confirms it home.
This is Pisanio's deed, and Cloten. O!
Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood,
That we the horrider may seem to those
Which chance to find us. O, my lord, my lord!
[Falls fainting on the body]


CAPTAIN. To them the legions garrison'd in Gallia,
After your will, have cross'd the sea, attending
You here at Milford Haven; with your ships,
They are in readiness.
LUCIUS. But what from Rome?
CAPTAIN. The Senate hath stirr'd up the confiners
And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits,
That promise noble service; and they come
Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
Sienna's brother.
LUCIUS. When expect you them?
CAPTAIN. With the next benefit o' th' wind.
LUCIUS. This forwardness
Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers
Be muster'd; bid the captains look to't. Now, sir,
What have you dream'd of late of this war's purpose?
SOOTHSAYER. Last night the very gods show'd me a vision-
I fast and pray'd for their intelligence- thus:
I saw Jove's bird, the Roman eagle, wing'd
From the spongy south to this part of the west,
There vanish'd in the sunbeams; which portends,
Unless my sins abuse my divination,
Success to th' Roman host.
LUCIUS. Dream often so,
And never false. Soft, ho! what trunk is here
Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
It was a worthy building. How? a page?
Or dead or sleeping on him? But dead, rather;
For nature doth abhor to make his bed
With the defunct, or sleep upon the dead.
Let's see the boy's face.
CAPTAIN. He's alive, my lord.
LUCIUS. He'll then instruct us of this body. Young one,
Inform us of thy fortunes; for it seems
They crave to be demanded. Who is this
Thou mak'st thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
That, otherwise than noble nature did,
Hath alter'd that good picture? What's thy interest
In this sad wreck? How came't? Who is't? What art thou?
IMOGEN. I am nothing; or if not,
Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
A very valiant Briton and a good,
That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas!
There is no more such masters. I may wander
From east to occident; cry out for service;
Try many, all good; serve truly; never
Find such another master.
LUCIUS. 'Lack, good youth!
Thou mov'st no less with thy complaining than
Thy master in bleeding. Say his name, good friend.
IMOGEN. Richard du Champ. [Aside] If I do lie, and do
No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
They'll pardon it.- Say you, sir?
LUCIUS. Thy name?
IMOGEN. Fidele, sir.
LUCIUS. Thou dost approve thyself the very same;
Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
Thou shalt be so well master'd; but, be sure,
No less belov'd. The Roman Emperor's letters,
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
Than thine own worth prefer thee. Go with me.
IMOGEN. I'll follow, sir. But first, an't please the gods,
I'll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha' strew'd his grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o'er, I'll weep and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.
LUCIUS. Ay, good youth;
And rather father thee than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties; let us
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
And make him with our pikes and partisans
A grave. Come, arm him. Boy, he is preferr'd
By thee to us; and he shall be interr'd
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes.
Some falls are means the happier to arise. Exeunt

Britain. CYMBELINE'S palace

Enter CYMBELINE, LORDS, PISANIO, and attendants

CYMBELINE. Again! and bring me word how 'tis with her.
Exit an attendant
A fever with the absence of her son;
A madness, of which her life's in danger. Heavens,
How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
So needful for this present. It strikes me past
The hope of comfort. But for thee, fellow,
Who needs must know of her departure and
Dost seem so ignorant, we'll enforce it from thee
By a sharp torture.
PISANIO. Sir, my life is yours;
I humbly set it at your will; but for my mistress,
I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your Highness,
Hold me your loyal servant.
LORD. Good my liege,
The day that she was missing he was here.
I dare be bound he's true and shall perform
All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
There wants no diligence in seeking him,
And will no doubt be found.
CYMBELINE. The time is troublesome.
[To PISANIO] We'll slip you for a season; but our jealousy
Does yet depend.
LORD. So please your Majesty,
The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
Are landed on your coast, with a supply
Of Roman gentlemen by the Senate sent.
CYMBELINE. Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
I am amaz'd with matter.
LORD. Good my liege,
Your preparation can affront no less
Than what you hear of. Come more, for more you're ready.
The want is but to put those pow'rs in motion
That long to move.
CYMBELINE. I thank you. Let's withdraw,
And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
What can from Italy annoy us; but
We grieve at chances here. Away! Exeunt all but PISANIO
PISANIO. I heard no letter from my master since
I wrote him Imogen was slain. 'Tis strange.
Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
To yield me often tidings. Neither know
What is betid to Cloten, but remain
Perplex'd in all. The heavens still must work.
Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
These present wars shall find I love my country,
Even to the note o' th' King, or I'll fall in them.
All other doubts, by time let them be clear'd:
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer'd. Exit

Wales. Before the cave of BELARIUS


GUIDERIUS. The noise is round about us.
BELARIUS. Let us from it.
ARVIRAGUS. What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
From action and adventure?
GUIDERIUS. Nay, what hope
Have we in hiding us? This way the Romans
Must or for Britons slay us, or receive us
For barbarous and unnatural revolts
During their use, and slay us after.
We'll higher to the mountains; there secure us.
To the King's party there's no going. Newness
Of Cloten's death- we being not known, not muster'd
Among the bands-may drive us to a render
Where we have liv'd, and so extort from's that
Which we have done, whose answer would be death,
Drawn on with torture.
GUIDERIUS. This is, sir, a doubt
In such a time nothing becoming you
Nor satisfying us.
ARVIRAGUS. It is not likely
That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
Behold their quarter'd fires, have both their eyes
And ears so cloy'd importantly as now,
That they will waste their time upon our note,
To know from whence we are.
BELARIUS. O, I am known
Of many in the army. Many years,
Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him
From my remembrance. And, besides, the King
Hath not deserv'd my service nor your loves,
Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless
To have the courtesy your cradle promis'd,
But to be still hot summer's tanlings and
The shrinking slaves of winter.
GUIDERIUS. Than be so,
Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to th' army.
I and my brother are not known; yourself
So out of thought, and thereto so o'ergrown,
Cannot be questioned.
ARVIRAGUS. By this sun that shines,
I'll thither. What thing is't that I never
Did see man die! scarce ever look'd on blood
But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
Never bestrid a horse, save one that had
A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel
Nor iron on his heel! I am asham'd
To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.
GUIDERIUS. By heavens, I'll go!
If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
I'll take the better care; but if you will not,
The hazard therefore due fall on me by
The hands of Romans!
ARVIRAGUS. So say I. Amen.
BELARIUS. No reason I, since of your lives you set
So slight a valuation, should reserve
My crack'd one to more care. Have with you, boys!
If in your country wars you chance to die,
That is my bed too, lads, and there I'll lie.
Lead, lead. [Aside] The time seems long; their blood thinks
Till it fly out and show them princes born. Exeunt


Britain. The Roman camp

Enter POSTHUMUS alone, with a bloody handkerchief

POSTHUMUS. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I wish'd
Thou shouldst be colour'd thus. You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves
For wrying but a little! O Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands;
No bond but to do just ones. Gods! if you
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had liv'd to put on this; so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
Me, wretch more worth your vengeance. But alack,
You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love,
To have them fall no more. You some permit
To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
And make them dread it, to the doer's thrift.
But Imogen is your own. Do your best wills,
And make me blest to obey. I am brought hither
Among th' Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady's kingdom. 'Tis enough
That, Britain, I have kill'd thy mistress; peace!
I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,
Hear patiently my purpose. I'll disrobe me
Of these Italian weeds, and suit myself
As does a Britain peasant. So I'll fight
Against the part I come with; so I'll die
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
Is every breath a death. And thus unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o' th' Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o' th' world, I will begin
The fashion- less without and more within. Exit

Britain. A field of battle between the British and Roman camps

Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and the Roman army at one door, and the
British army
at another, LEONATUS POSTHUMUS following like a poor soldier.
They march over and go out. Alarums. Then enter again, in
IACHIMO and POSTHUMUS. He vanquisheth and disarmeth IACHIMO,
and then leaves him

IACHIMO. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
The Princess of this country, and the air on't
Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours borne
As I wear mine are titles but of scorn.
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
Is that we scarce are men, and you are gods. Exit

The battle continues; the BRITONS fly; CYMBELINE is taken.
Then enter to his rescue BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS. Stand, stand! We have th' advantage of the ground;
The lane is guarded; nothing routs us but
The villainy of our fears.
GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS. Stand, stand, and fight!

Re-enter POSTHUMUS, and seconds the Britons; they rescue
CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then re-enter LUCIUS and IACHIMO,

LUCIUS. Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hoodwink'd.
IACHIMO. 'Tis their fresh supplies.
LUCIUS. It is a day turn'd strangely. Or betimes
Let's reinforce or fly. Exeunt

Another part of the field

Enter POSTHUMUS and a Britain LORD

LORD. Cam'st thou from where they made the stand?
Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.
LORD. I did.
POSTHUMUS. No blame be to you, sir, for all was lost,
But that the heavens fought. The King himself
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying,
Through a strait lane- the enemy, full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaught'ring, having work
More plentiful than tools to do't, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Merely through fear, that the strait pass was damm'd
With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with length'ned shame.
LORD. Where was this lane?
POSTHUMUS. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd with turf,

Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier-
An honest one, I warrant, who deserv'd
So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
In doing this for's country. Athwart the lane
He, with two striplings- lads more like to run
The country base than to commit such slaughter;
With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
Than those for preservation cas'd or shame-
Made good the passage, cried to those that fled
'Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men.
To darkness fleet souls that fly backwards! Stand;
Or we are Romans and will give you that,
Like beasts, which you shun beastly, and may save
But to look back in frown. Stand, stand!' These three,
Three thousand confident, in act as many-
For three performers are the file when all
The rest do nothing- with this word 'Stand, stand!'
Accommodated by the place, more charming
With their own nobleness, which could have turn'd
A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks,
Part shame, part spirit renew'd; that some turn'd coward
But by example- O, a sin in war
Damn'd in the first beginners!- gan to look
The way that they did and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o' th' hunters. Then began
A stop i' th' chaser, a retire; anon
A rout, confusion thick. Forthwith they fly,
Chickens, the way which they stoop'd eagles; slaves,
The strides they victors made; and now our cowards,
Like fragments in hard voyages, became
The life o' th' need. Having found the back-door open
Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
Some slain before, some dying, some their friends
O'erborne i' th' former wave. Ten chas'd by one
Are now each one the slaughterman of twenty.
Those that would die or ere resist are grown
The mortal bugs o' th' field.
LORD. This was strange chance:
A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.
POSTHUMUS. Nay, do not wonder at it; you are made
Rather to wonder at the things you hear
Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon't,
And vent it for a mock'ry? Here is one:
'Two boys, an old man (twice a boy), a lane,
Preserv'd the Britons, was the Romans' bane.'
LORD. Nay, be not angry, sir.
POSTHUMUS. 'Lack, to what end?
Who dares not stand his foe I'll be his friend;
For if he'll do as he is made to do,
I know he'll quickly fly my friendship too.
You have put me into rhyme.
LORD. Farewell; you're angry. Exit
POSTHUMUS. Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
To be i' th' field and ask 'What news?' of me!
To-day how many would have given their honours
To have sav'd their carcasses! took heel to do't,
And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charm'd,
Could not find death where I did hear him groan,
Nor feel him where he struck. Being an ugly monster,
'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words; or hath moe ministers than we
That draw his knives i' th' war. Well, I will find him;
For being now a favourer to the Briton,
No more a Briton, I have resum'd again
The part I came in. Fight I will no more,
But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
Here made by th' Roman; great the answer be
Britons must take. For me, my ransom's death;
On either side I come to spend my breath,
Which neither here I'll keep nor bear again,
But end it by some means for Imogen.

Enter two BRITISH CAPTAINS and soldiers

FIRST CAPTAIN. Great Jupiter be prais'd! Lucius is taken.
'Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.
SECOND CAPTAIN. There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
That gave th' affront with them.
FIRST CAPTAIN. So 'tis reported;
But none of 'em can be found. Stand! who's there?
Who had not now been drooping here if seconds
Had answer'd him.
SECOND CAPTAIN. Lay hands on him; a dog!
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have peck'd them here. He brags his service,
As if he were of note. Bring him to th' King.

captives. The CAPTAINS present POSTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who
him over to a gaoler. Exeunt omnes

Britain. A prison


FIRST GAOLER. You shall not now be stol'n, you have locks upon
So graze as you find pasture.
SECOND GAOLER. Ay, or a stomach. Exeunt GAOLERS
POSTHUMUS. Most welcome, bondage! for thou art a way,
I think, to liberty. Yet am I better
Than one that's sick o' th' gout, since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity than be cur'd
By th' sure physician death, who is the key
T' unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter'd
More than my shanks and wrists; you good gods, give me
The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
Then, free for ever! Is't enough I am sorry?
So children temporal fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent,
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desir'd more than constrain'd. To satisfy,
If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me than my all.
I know you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
On their abatement; that's not my desire.
For Imogen's dear life take mine; and though
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coin'd it.
'Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake;
You rather mine, being yours. And so, great pow'rs,
If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I'll speak to thee in silence. [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 lies sleeping

SICILIUS. No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies.
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
That thy adulteries
Rates and revenges.
Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?
I died whilst in the womb he stay'd
Attending nature's law;
Whose father then, as men report
Thou orphans' father art,
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.

MOTHER. Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes,
That from me was Posthumus ripp'd,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity.

SICILIUS. Great Nature like his ancestry
Moulded the stuff so fair
That he deserv'd the praise o' th' world
As great Sicilius' heir.

FIRST BROTHER. When once he was mature for man,
In Britain where was he
That could stand up his parallel,
Or fruitful object be
In eye of Imogen, that best
Could deem his dignity?

MOTHER. With marriage wherefore was he mock'd,
To be exil'd and thrown
From Leonati seat and cast
From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen?

SICILIUS. Why did you suffer Iachimo,
Slight thing of Italy,
To taint his nobler heart and brain
With needless jealousy,
And to become the geck and scorn
O' th' other's villainy?

SECOND BROTHER. For this from stiller seats we came,
Our parents and us twain,
That, striking in our country's cause,
Fell bravely and were slain,
Our fealty and Tenantius' right
With honour to maintain.

FIRST BROTHER. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform'd.
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
Why hast thou thus adjourn'd
The graces for his merits due,
Being all to dolours turn'd?

SICILIUS. Thy crystal window ope; look out;
No longer exercise
Upon a valiant race thy harsh
And potent injuries.

MOTHER. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
Take off his miseries.

SICILIUS. Peep through thy marble mansion. Help!
Or we poor ghosts will cry
To th' shining synod of the rest
Against thy deity.

BROTHERS. Help, Jupiter! or we appeal,
And from thy justice fly.

JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
upon an eagle. He throws a thunderbolt. The GHOSTS
fall on their knees

JUPITER. No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
Accuse the Thunderer whose bolt, you know,
Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flow'rs.
Be not with mortal accidents opprest:
No care of yours it is; you know 'tis ours.
Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
The more delay'd, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift;
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth, and in
Our temple was he married. Rise and fade!
He shall be lord of Lady Imogen,
And happier much by his affliction made.
This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine;
And so, away; no farther with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline. [Ascends]
SICILIUS. He came in thunder; his celestial breath
Was sulpherous to smell; the holy eagle
Stoop'd as to foot us. His ascension is
More sweet than our blest fields. His royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleas'd.
ALL. Thanks, Jupiter!
SICILIUS. The marble pavement closes, he is enter'd
His radiant roof. Away! and, to be blest,
Let us with care perform his great behest. [GHOSTS vanish]

POSTHUMUS. [Waking] Sleep, thou has been a grandsire and begot
A father to me; and thou hast created
A mother and two brothers. But, O scorn,
Gone! They went hence so soon as they were born.
And so I am awake. Poor wretches, that depend
On greatness' favour, dream as I have done;
Wake and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve;
Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
And yet are steep'd in favours; so am I,
That have this golden chance, and know not why.
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare one!
Be not, as is our fangled world, a garment
Nobler than that it covers. Let thy effects
So follow to be most unlike our courtiers,
As good as promise.

[Reads] 'When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown,
without seeking find, and be embrac'd by a piece of tender
and when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd branches which,
being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the
stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his
Britain be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty.'

'Tis still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
Tongue, and brain not; either both or nothing,
Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such
As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
The action of my life is like it, which
I'll keep, if but for sympathy.

Re-enter GAOLER

GAOLER. Come, sir, are you ready for death?
POSTHUMUS. Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.
GAOLER. Hanging is the word, sir; if you be ready for that, you
well cook'd.
POSTHUMUS. So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators, the
pays the shot.
GAOLER. A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort is, you
shall be called to no more payments, fear no more tavern
which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of
You come in faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too
drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you
paid too much; purse and brain both empty; the brain the
for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of
heaviness. O, of this contradiction you shall now be quit. O,
charity of a penny cord! It sums up thousands in a trice. You
have no true debitor and creditor but it; of what's past, is,
to come, the discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and
counters; so the acquittance follows.
POSTHUMUS. I am merrier to die than thou art to live.
GAOLER. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the toothache.
But a
man that were to sleep your sleep, and a hangman to help him
bed, I think he would change places with his officer; for
you, sir, you know not which way you shall go.
POSTHUMUS. Yes indeed do I, fellow.
GAOLER. Your death has eyes in's head, then; I have not seen
him so
pictur'd. You must either be directed by some that take upon
to know, or to take upon yourself that which I am sure you do
know, or jump the after-inquiry on your own peril. And how
shall speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never
return to
tell one.
POSTHUMUS. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to
them the way I am going, but such as wink and will not use
GAOLER. What an infinite mock is this, that a man should have
best use of eyes to see the way of blindness! I am sure
the way of winking.


MESSENGER. Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the
POSTHUMUS. Thou bring'st good news: I am call'd to be made
GAOLER. I'll be hang'd then.
POSTHUMUS. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for
GAOLER. Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget young
I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my conscience, there are
knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman; and there be
of them too that die against their wills; so should I, if I
one. I would we were all of one mind, and one mind good. O,
were desolation of gaolers and gallowses! I speak against my
present profit, but my wish hath a preferment in't. Exit

Britain. CYMBELINE'S tent

OFFICERS, and attendants

CYMBELINE. Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made
Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart
That the poor soldier that so richly fought,
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked breast
Stepp'd before targes of proof, cannot be found.
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.
BELARIUS. I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought
But beggary and poor looks.
CYMBELINE. No tidings of him?
PISANIO. He hath been search'd among the dead and living,
But no trace of him.
CYMBELINE. To my grief, I am
The heir of his reward; [To BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and
which I will add
To you, the liver, heart, and brain, of Britain,
By whom I grant she lives. 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are. Report it.
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen;
Further to boast were neither true nor modest,
Unless I add we are honest.
CYMBELINE. Bow your knees.
Arise my knights o' th' battle; I create you
Companions to our person, and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.


There's business in these faces. Why so sadly
Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,
And not o' th' court of Britain.
CORNELIUS. Hail, great King!
To sour your happiness I must report
The Queen is dead.
CYMBELINE. Who worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider
By med'cine life may be prolong'd, yet death
Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
CORNELIUS. With horror, madly dying, like her life;
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd
I will report, so please you; these her women
Can trip me if I err, who with wet cheeks
Were present when she finish'd.
CYMBELINE. Prithee say.
CORNELIUS. First, she confess'd she never lov'd you; only
Affected greatness got by you, not you;
Married your royalty, was wife to your place;
Abhorr'd your person.
CYMBELINE. She alone knew this;
And but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
CORNELIUS. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
With such integrity, she did confess
Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
But that her flight prevented it, she had
Ta'en off by poison.
CYMBELINE. O most delicate fiend!
Who is't can read a woman? Is there more?
CORNELIUS. More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had
For you a mortal mineral, which, being took,
Should by the minute feed on life, and ling'ring,
By inches waste you. In which time she purpos'd,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O'ercome you with her show; and in time,
When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
Her son into th' adoption of the crown;
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate, open'd, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes, repented
The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so,
Despairing, died.
CYMBELINE. Heard you all this, her women?
LADY. We did, so please your Highness.
CYMBELINE. Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart
That thought her like her seeming. It had been vicious
To have mistrusted her; yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me thou mayst say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!

Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, the SOOTHSAYER, and other
Roman prisoners, guarded; POSTHUMUS behind, and IMOGEN

Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one, whose kinsmen have made suit
That their good souls may be appeas'd with slaughter
Of you their captives, which ourself have granted;
So think of your estate.
LUCIUS. Consider, sir, the chance of war. The day
Was yours by accident; had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cool, have threaten'd
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be call'd ransom, let it come. Sufficeth
A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer.
Augustus lives to think on't; and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing only
I will entreat: my boy, a Briton born,
Let him be ransom'd. Never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like; let his virtue join
With my request, which I'll make bold your Highness
Cannot deny; he hath done no Briton harm
Though he have serv'd a Roman. Save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.
CYMBELINE. I have surely seen him;
His favour is familiar to me. Boy,
Thou hast look'd thyself into my grace,
And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore
To say 'Live, boy.' Ne'er thank thy master. Live;
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty and thy state, I'll give it;
Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
The noblest ta'en.
IMOGEN. I humbly thank your Highness.
LUCIUS. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
And yet I know thou wilt.
IMOGEN. No, no! Alack,
There's other work in hand. I see a thing
Bitter to me as death; your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.
LUCIUS. The boy disdains me,
He leaves me, scorns me. Briefly die their joys
That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
Why stands he so perplex'd?
CYMBELINE. What wouldst thou, boy?
I love thee more and more; think more and more
What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on? Speak,
Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?
IMOGEN. He is a Roman, no more kin to me
Than I to your Highness; who, being born your vassal,
Am something nearer.
CYMBELINE. Wherefore ey'st him so?
IMOGEN. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
To give me hearing.
CYMBELINE. Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?
IMOGEN. Fidele, sir.
CYMBELINE. Thou'rt my good youth, my page;
I'll be thy master. Walk with me; speak freely.
[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN converse apart]
BELARIUS. Is not this boy reviv'd from death?
ARVIRAGUS. One sand another
Not more resembles- that sweet rosy lad
Who died and was Fidele. What think you?
GUIDERIUS. The same dead thing alive.
BELARIUS. Peace, peace! see further. He eyes us not; forbear.
Creatures may be alike; were't he, I am sure
He would have spoke to us.
GUIDERIUS. But we saw him dead.
BELARIUS. Be silent; let's see further.
PISANIO. [Aside] It is my mistress.
Since she is living, let the time run on
To good or bad. [CYMBELINE and IMOGEN advance]
CYMBELINE. Come, stand thou by our side;
Make thy demand aloud. [To IACHIMO] Sir, step you forth;
Give answer to this boy, and do it freely,
Or, by our greatness and the grace of it,
Which is our honour, bitter torture shall
Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak to him.
IMOGEN. My boon is that this gentleman may render
Of whom he had this ring.
POSTHUMUS. [Aside] What's that to him?
CYMBELINE. That diamond upon your finger, say
How came it yours?
IACHIMO. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that
Which to be spoke would torture thee.
IACHIMO. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that
Which torments me to conceal. By villainy
I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel,
Whom thou didst banish; and- which more may grieve thee,
As it doth me- a nobler sir ne'er liv'd
'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?
CYMBELINE. All that belongs to this.
IACHIMO. That paragon, thy daughter,
For whom my heart drops blood and my false spirits
Quail to remember- Give me leave, I faint.
CYMBELINE. My daughter? What of her? Renew thy strength;
I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will
Than die ere I hear more. Strive, man, and speak.
IACHIMO. Upon a time- unhappy was the clock
That struck the hour!- was in Rome- accurs'd
The mansion where!- 'twas at a feast- O, would
Our viands had been poison'd, or at least
Those which I heav'd to head!- the good Posthumus-
What should I say? he was too good to be
Where ill men were, and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones- sitting sadly
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speak; for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus or straight-pight Minerva,
Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for; besides that hook of wiving,
Fairness which strikes the eye-
CYMBELINE. I stand on fire.
Come to the matter.
IACHIMO. All too soon I shall,
Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
Most like a noble lord in love and one
That had a royal lover, took his hint;
And not dispraising whom we prais'd- therein
He was as calm as virtue- he began
His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being made,
And then a mind put in't, either our brags
Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description
Prov'd us unspeaking sots.
CYMBELINE. Nay, nay, to th' purpose.
IACHIMO. Your daughter's chastity- there it begins.
He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams
And she alone were cold; whereat I, wretch,
Made scruple of his praise, and wager'd with him
Pieces of gold 'gainst this which then he wore
Upon his honour'd finger, to attain
In suit the place of's bed, and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of's car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design. Well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
'Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd
That I return'd with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus and thus; averring notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet-
O cunning, how I got it!- nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon-
Methinks I see him now-

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