Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Modern)


[4.3]

Enter Cymbeline, Lords, [a Messenger,] and Pisanio
Cymbeline [To Messenger] Again, and bring me word how 'tis with her.
[Exit Messenger]
A fever with the absence of her son,
2740A 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,
2745So 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.
2750Pisanio
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.
2755Lord
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 Clotten,
There wants no diligence in seeking him,
2760And will no doubt be found.
Cymbeline
The time is troublesome:
We'll slip you for a season, but our jealousy
Does yet depend.
Lord
So please Your Majesty,
2765The 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 amazed with matter.
2770Lord
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 powers in motion
That long to move.
2775Cymbeline
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
2780I wrote him Imogen was slain; 'tis strange;
Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
To yield me often tidings. Neither know I
What is betid to Clotten but remain
Perplexed in all. The heavens still must work:
2785Wherein 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 cleared;
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
Exit