Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Cymbeline.
2740A madnesse, of which her life's in danger: Heauens,
How deeply you at once do touch me. Imogen,
The great part of my comfort, gone: My Queene
Vpon a desperate bed, and in a time
When fearefull Warres point at me: Her Sonne gone,
2745So needfull for this present? It strikes me, past
The hope of comfort. But for thee, Fellow,
Who needs must know of her departure, and
Dost seeme so ignorant, wee'l enforce it from thee
By a sharpe Torture.
2750Pis. Sir, my life is yours,
I humbly set it at your will: But for my Mistris,
I nothing know where she remaines: why gone,
Nor when she purposes returne. Beseech your Highnes,
Hold me your loyall Seruant.
2755Lord. Good my Liege,
The day that she was missing, he was heere;
I dare be bound hee's true, and shall performe
All parts of his subiection loyally. For Cloten,
There wants no diligence in seeking him,
2760And will no doubt be found.
Cym. The time is troublesome:
Wee'l slip you for a season, but our iealousie
Do's yet depend.
Lord. So please your Maiesty,
2765The Romaine Legions, all from Gallia drawne,
Are landed on your Coast, with a supply
Of Romaine Gentlemen, by the Senate sent.
Cym. Now for the Counsaile of my Son and Queen,
I am amaz'd with matter.
2770Lord. Good my Liege,
Your preparation can affront no lesse
Then what you heare of. Come more, for more you're
The want is, but to put those Powres in motion,
That long to moue.
2775Cym. I thanke you: let's withdraw
And meete the Time, as it seekes vs. We feare not
What can from Italy annoy vs, but
We greeue at chances heere. Away.
Pisa. I heard no Letter from my Master, since
2780I wrote him Imogen was slaine. 'Tis strange:
Nor heare I from my Mistris, who did promise
To yeeld me often tydings. Neither know I
What is betide to Cloten, but remaine
Perplext in all. The Heauens still must worke:
2785Wherein I am false, I am honest: not true, to be true.
These present warres shall finde I loue my Country,
Euen to the note o'th'King, or Ile fall in them:
All other doubts, by time let them be cleer'd,
Fortune brings in some Boats, that are not steer'd.

Scena Quarta.

Enter Belarius, Guiderius, & Aruiragus.
Gui. The noyse is round about vs.
Bel. Let vs from it.
Arui. What pleasure Sir, we finde in life, to locke it
2795From Action, and Aduenture.
Gui. Nay, what hope
Haue we in hiding vs? This way the Romaines
Must, or for Britaines slay vs or receiue vs
For barbarous and vnnaturall Reuolts
2800During their vse, and slay vs after.
Bel. Sonnes,
Wee'l higher to the Mountaines, there secure v..
To the Kings party there's no going: newnesse
Of Clotens death (we being not knowne, not muster'd
2805Among the Bands) may driue vs to a render
Where we haue liu'd; and so extort from's that
Which we haue done, whose answer would be death
Drawne on with Torture.
Gui. This is (Sir) a doubt
2810In such a time, nothing becomming you,
Nor satisfying vs.
Arui. It is not likely,
That when they heare their Roman horses neigh,
Behold their quarter'd Fires; haue both their eyes
2815And eares so cloyd importantly as now,
That they will waste their time vpon our note,
To know from whence we are.
Bel. Oh, I am knowne
Of many in the Army: Many yeeres
2820(Though Cloten then but young) you see, not wore him
From my remembrance. And besides, the King
Hath not deseru'd my Seruice, nor your Loues,
Who finde in my Exile, the want of Breeding;
The certainty of this heard life, aye hopelesse
2825To haue the courtesie your Cradle promis'd,
But to be still hot Summers Tanlings, and
The shrinking Slaues of Winter.
Gui. Then be so,
Better to cease to be. Pray Sir, to'th'Army:
2830I, and my Brother are not knowne; your selfe
So out of thought, and thereto so ore-growne,
Cannot be question'd.
Arui. By this Sunne that shines
Ile thither: What thing is't, that I neuer
2835Did see man dye, scarse euer look'd on blood,
But that of Coward Hares, hot Goats, and Venison?
Neuer bestrid a Horse saue one, that had
A Rider like my selfe, who ne're wore Rowell,
Nor Iron on his heele? I am asham'd
2840To looke vpon the holy Sunne, to haue
The benefit of his blest Beames, remaining
So long a poore vnknowne.
Gui. By heauens Ile go,
If you will blesse me Sir, and giue me leaue,
2845Ile take the better care: but if you will not,
The hazard therefore due fall on me, by
The hands of Romaines.
Arui. So say I, Amen.
Bel. No reason I (since of your liues you set
2850So slight a valewation) should reserue
My crack'd one to more care. Haue with you Boyes:
If in your Country warres you chance to dye,
That is my Bed too (Lads) and there Ile lye.
Lead, lead; the time seems long, their blood thinks scorn
2855Till it flye out, and shew them Princes borne.

Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.

Enter Posthumus alone.
Post. Yea bloody cloth, Ile keep thee: for I am wisht
Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married ones,
2860If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murther Wiues much better then themselues
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