Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Cymbeline.
for the dead.
Gao. Vnlesse a man would marry a Gallowes, & be-
get yong Gibbets, I neuer saw one so prone: yet on my
3240Conscience, there are verier Knaues desire to liue, for all
he be a Roman; and there be some of them too that dye
against their willes; so should I, if I were one. I would
we were all of one minde, and one minde good: O there
were desolation of Gaolers and Galowses: I speake a-
3245gainst my present profit, but my wish hath a preferment

Scena Quinta.

Enter Cymbeline, Bellarius, Guiderius, Arui-
ragus, Pisanio, and Lords.
3250Cym. Stand by my side you, whom the Gods haue made
Preseruers of my Throne: woe is my heart,
That the poore Souldier that so richly fought,
Whose ragges, sham'd gilded Armes, whose naked brest
Stept before Targes of proofe, cannot be found:
3255He shall be happy that can finde him, if
Our Grace can make him so.
Bel. I neuer saw
Such Noble fury in so poore a Thing;
Such precious deeds, in one that promist nought
3260But beggery, and poore lookes.
Cym. No tydings of him?
Pisa. He hath bin search'd among the dead, & liuing;
But no trace of him.
Cym. To my greefe, I am
3265The heyre of his Reward, which I will adde
To you (the Liuer, Heart, and Braine of Britaine)
By whom (I grant) she liues. 'Tis now the time
To aske of whence you are. Report it.
Bel. Sir,
3270In Cambria are we borne, and Gentlemen:
Further to boast, were neyther true, nor modest,
Vnlesse I adde, we are honest.
Cym. Bow your knees:
Arise my Knights o'th'Battell, I create you
3275Companions to our person, and will fit you
With Dignities becomming your estates.
Enter Cornelius and Ladies.
There's businesse in these faces: why so sadly
Greet you our Victory? you looke like Romaines,
3280And not o'th'Court of Britaine.
Corn. Hayle great King,
To sowre your happinesse, I must report
The Queene is dead.
Cym. Who worse then a Physitian
3285Would this report become? But I consider,
By Med'cine life may be prolong'd, yet death
Will seize the Doctor too. How ended she?
Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life,
Which (being cruell to the world) concluded
3290Most cruell to her selfe. What she confest,
I will report, so please you. These her Women
Can trip me, if I erre, who with wet cheekes
Were present when she finish'd.
Cym. Prythee say.
3295Cor. First, she confest she neuer lou'd you: onely
Affected Greatnesse got by you: not you:
Married your Royalty, was wife to your place:
Abhorr'd your person.
Cym. She alone knew this:
3300And but she spoke it dying, I would not
Beleeue her lips in opening it. Proceed.
Corn. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to loue
With such integrity, she did confesse
Was as a Scorpion to her sight, whose life
3305(But that her flight preuented it) she had
Tane off by poyson.
Cym. O most delicate Fiend!
Who is't can reade a Woman? Is there more?
Corn. More Sir, and worse. She did confesse she had
3310For you a mortall Minerall, which being tooke,
Should by the minute feede on life, and ling'ring,
By inches waste you. In which time, she purpos'd
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
Orecome you with her shew; and in time
3315(When she had fitted you with her craft, to worke
Her Sonne into th'adoption of the Crowne:
But fayling of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shamelesse desperate, open'd (in despight
Of Heauen, and Men) her purposes: repented
3320The euils she hatch'd, were not effected: so
Dispayring, dyed.
Cym. Heard you all this, her Women?
La. We did, so please your Highnesse.
Cym. Mine eyes
3325Were not in fault, for she was beautifull:
Mine eares that heare her flattery, nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming. It had beene vicious
To haue mistrusted her: yet (Oh my Daughter)
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
3330And proue it in thy feeling. Heauen mend all.
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and other Roman prisoners,
Leonatus behind, and Imogen.
Thou comm'st not Caius now for Tribute, that
The Britaines haue rac'd out, though with the losse
3335Of many a bold one: whose Kinsmen haue made suite
That their good soules may be appeas'd, with slaughter
Of you their Captiues, which our selfe haue granted,
So thinke of your estate.
Luc. Consider Sir, the chance of Warre, the day
3340Was yours by accident: had it gone with vs,
We should not when the blood was cool, haue threatend
Our Prisoners with the Sword. But since the Gods
Will haue it thus, that nothing but our liues
May be call'd ransome, let it come: Sufficeth,
3345A Roman, with a Romans heart can suffer:
Augustus liues to thinke on't: and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing onely
I will entreate, my Boy (a Britaine borne)
Let him be ransom'd: Neuer Master had
3350A Page so kinde, so duteous, diligent,
So tender ouer his occasions, true,
So feate, so Nurse-like: let his vertue ioyne
With my request, which Ile make bold, your Highnesse
Cannot deny: he hath done no Britaine harme,
3355Though he haue seru'd a Roman. Saue him (Sir)
And spare no blood beside.
Cym. I haue surely seene him:
His fauour is familiar to me: Boy,
Thou hast look'd thy selfe into my grace,
3360And art mine owne. I know not why, wherefore,
To say, liue boy: ne're thanke thy Master, liue;
And aske of Cymbeline what Boone thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty, and thy state, Ile giue it: