Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
  • ISBN: 1-55058-300-X

    Copyright Jennifer Forsyth. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
    Peer Reviewed

    Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Cymbeline.
    Then Lady, Ladies, Woman, from euery one
    1980The best she hath, and she of all compounded
    Out-selles them all. I loue her therefore, but
    Disdaining me, and throwing Fauours on
    The low Posthumus, slanders so her iudgement,
    That what's else rare, is choak'd: and in that point
    1985I will conclude to hate her, nay indeede,
    To be reueng'd vpon her. For, when Fooles shall---
    Enter Pisanio.
    Who is heere? What, are you packing sirrah?
    Come hither: Ah you precious Pandar, Villaine,
    1990Where is thy Lady? In a word, or else
    Thou art straightway with the Fiends.
    Pis. Oh, good my Lord.
    Clo. Where is thy Lady? Or, by Iupiter,
    I will not aske againe. Close Villaine,
    1995Ile haue this Secret from thy heart, or rip
    Thy heart to finde it. Is she with Posthumus?
    From whose so many waights of basenesse, cannot
    A dram of worth be drawne.
    Pis. Alas, my Lord,
    2000How can she be with him? When was she miss'd?
    He is in Rome.
    Clot. Where is she Sir? Come neerer:
    No farther halting: satisfie me home,
    What is become of her?
    2005Pis. Oh, my all-worthy Lord.
    Clo. All-worthy Villaine,
    Discouer where thy Mistris is, at once,
    At the next word: no more of worthy Lord:
    Speake, or thy silence on the instant, is
    2010Thy condemnation, and thy death.
    Pis. Then Sir:
    This Paper is the historie of my knowledge
    Touching her flight.
    Clo. Let's see't: I will pursue her
    2015Euen to Augustus Throne.
    Pis. Or this, or perish.
    She's farre enough, and what he learnes by this,
    May proue his trauell, not her danger.
    Clo. Humh.
    2020Pis. Ile write to my Lord she's dead: Oh Imogen,
    Safe mayst thou wander, safe returne agen.
    Clot. Sirra, is this Letter true?
    Pis. Sir, as I thinke.
    Clot. It is Posthumus hand, I know't. Sirrah, if thou
    2025would'st not be a Villain, but do me true seruice: vnder-
    go those Imployments wherin I should haue cause to vse
    thee with a serious industry, that is, what villainy soere I
    bid thee do to performe it, directly and truely, I would
    thinke thee an honest man: thou should'st neither want
    2030my meanes for thy releefe, nor my voyce for thy prefer-
    Pis. Well, my good Lord.
    Clot. Wilt thou serue mee? For since patiently and
    constantly thou hast stucke to the bare Fortune of that
    2035Begger Posthumus, thou canst not in the course of grati-
    tude, but be a diligent follower of mine. Wilt thou serue
    Pis. Sir, I will.
    Clo. Giue mee thy hand, heere's my purse. Hast any
    2040of thy late Masters Garments in thy possession?
    Pisan. I haue (my Lord) at my Lodging, the same
    Suite he wore, when he tooke leaue of my Ladie & Mi-
    Clo. The first seruice thou dost mee, fetch that Suite
    2045hither, let it be thy first seruice, go.
    Pis. I shall my Lord.
    Clo. Meet thee at Milford-Hauen: (I forgot to aske
    him one thing, Ile remember't anon:) euen there, thou
    villaine Posthumus will I kill thee. I would these Gar-
    2050ments were come. She saide vpon a time (the bitternesse
    of it, I now belch from my heart) that shee held the very
    Garment of Posthumus, in more respect, then my Noble
    and naturall person; together with the adornement of
    my Qualities. With that Suite vpon my backe wil I ra-
    2055uish her: first kill him, and in her eyes; there shall she see
    my valour, which wil then be a torment to hir contempt.
    He on the ground, my speech of insulment ended on his
    dead bodie, and when my Lust hath dined (which, as I
    say, to vex her, I will execute in the Cloathes that she so
    2060prais'd:) to the Court Ile knock her backe, foot her home
    againe. She hath despis'd mee reioycingly, and Ile bee
    merry in my Reuenge.
    Enter Pisanio.
    Be those the Garments?
    2065Pis. I, my Noble Lord.
    Clo. How long is't since she went to Milford-Hauen?
    Pis. She can scarse be there yet.
    Clo. Bring this Apparrell to my Chamber, that is
    the second thing that I haue commanded thee. The third
    2070is, that thou wilt be a voluntarie Mute to my designe. Be
    but dutious, and true preferment shall tender it selfe to
    thee. My Reuenge is now at Milford, would I had wings
    to follow it. Come, and be true.
    Pis. Thou bid'st me to my losse: for true to thee,
    2075Were to proue false, which I will neuer bee
    To him that is most true. To Milford go,
    And finde not her, whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow
    You Heauenly blessings on her: This Fooles speede
    Be crost with slownesse; Labour be his meede.

    Scena Sexta.

    Enter Imogen alone.
    Imo. I see a mans life is a tedious one,
    I haue tyr'd my selfe: and for two nights together
    Haue made the ground my bed. I should be sicke,
    2085But that my resolution helpes me: Milford,
    When from the Mountaine top, Pisanio shew'd thee,
    Thou was't within a kenne. Oh Ioue, I thinke
    Foundations flye the wretched: such I meane,
    Where they should be releeu'd. Two Beggers told me,
    2090I could not misse my way. Will poore Folkes lye
    That haue Afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
    A punishment, or Triall? Yes; no wonder,
    When Rich-ones scarse tell true. To lapse in Fulnesse
    Is sorer, then to lye for Neede: and Falshood
    2095Is worse in Kings, then Beggers. My deere Lord,
    Thou art one o'th' false Ones: Now I thinke on thee,
    My hunger's gone; but euen before, I was
    At point to sinke, for Food. But what is this?
    Heere is a path too't: 'tis some sauage hold:
    2100I were best not call; I dare not call: yet Famine
    Ere cleane it o're-throw Nature, makes it valiant.
    Plentie, and Peace breeds Cowards: Hardnesse euer
    Of Hardinesse is Mother. Hoa? who's heere?
    If any thing that's ciuill, speake: if sauage,