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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.
    Imogen awakes.
    Yes Sir, to Milford-Hauen, which is the way?
    I thanke you: by yond bush? pray how farre thether?
    2615'Ods pittikins: can it be sixe mile yet?
    I haue gone all night: 'Faith, Ile lye downe, and sleepe.
    But soft; no Bedfellow? Oh Gods, and Goddesses!
    These Flowres are like the pleasures of the World;
    This bloody man the care on't. I hope I dreame:
    2620For so I thought I was a Caue-keeper,
    And Cooke to honest Creatures. But 'tis not so:
    'Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
    Which the Braine makes of Fumes. Our very eyes,
    Are sometimes like our Iudgements, blinde. Good faith
    2625I tremble still with feare: but if there be
    Yet left in Heauen, as small a drop of pittie
    As a Wrens eye; fear'd Gods, a part of it.
    The Dreame's heere still: euen when I wake it is
    Without me, as within me: not imagin'd, felt.
    2630A headlesse man? The Garments of Posthumus?
    I know the shape of's Legge: this is his Hand:
    His Foote Mercuriall: his martiall Thigh
    The brawnes of Hercules: but his Iouiall face---
    Murther in heauen? How? 'tis gone. Pisanio,
    2635All Curses madded Hecuba gaue the Greekes,
    And mine to boot, be darted on thee: thou
    Conspir'd with that Irregulous diuell Cloten,
    Hath heere cut off my Lord. To write, and read,
    Be henceforth treacherous. Damn'd Pisanio,
    2640Hath with his forged Letters (damn'd Pisanio)
    From this most brauest vessell of the world
    Strooke the maine top! Oh Posthumus, alas,
    Where is thy head? where's that? Aye me! where's that?
    Pisanio might haue kill'd thee at the heart,
    2645And left this head on. How should this be, Pisanio?
    'Tis he, and Cloten: Malice, and Lucre in them
    Haue laid this Woe heere. Oh 'tis pregnant, pregnant!
    The Drugge he gaue me, which hee said was precious
    And Cordiall to me, haue I not found it
    2650Murd'rous to'th' Senses? That confirmes it home:
    This is Pisanio's deede, and Cloten: Oh!
    Giue colour to my pale cheeke with thy blood,
    That we the horrider may seeme to those
    Which chance to finde vs. Oh, my Lord! my Lord!
    Enter Lucius, Captaines, and a Soothsayer.
    Cap. To them, the Legions garrison'd in Gallia
    After your will, haue crost the Sea, attending
    You heere at Milford-Hauen, with your Shippes:
    They are heere in readinesse.
    2660Luc. But what from Rome?
    Cap, The Senate hath stirr'd vp the Confiners,
    And Gentlemen of Italy, most willing Spirits,
    That promise Noble Seruice: and they come
    Vnder the Conduct of bold Iachimo,
    2665Syenna's Brother.
    Luc. When expect you them?
    Cap. With the next benefit o'th' winde.
    Luc. This forwardnesse
    Makes our hopes faire. Command our present numbers
    2670Be muster'd: bid the Captaines looke too't. Now Sir,
    What haue you dream'd of late of this warres purpose.
    Sooth. Last night, the very Gods shew'd me a vision
    (I fast, and pray'd for their Intelligence) thus:
    I saw Ioues Bird, the Roman Eagle wing'd
    2675From the spungy South, to this part of the West,
    There vanish'd in the Sun-beames, which portends
    (Vnlesse my sinnes abuse my Diuination)
    Successe to th' Roman hoast.
    Luc. Dreame often so,
    2680And neuer false. Soft hoa, what truncke is heere?
    Without his top? The ruine speakes, that sometime
    It was a worthy building. How? a Page?
    Or dead, or sleeping on him? But dead rather:
    For Nature doth abhorre to make his bed
    2685With the defunct, or sleepe vpon the dead.
    Let's see the Boyes face.
    Cap. Hee's aliue my Lord.
    Luc. Hee'l then instruct vs of this body: Young one,
    Informe vs of thy Fortunes, for it seemes
    2690They craue to be demanded: who is this
    Thou mak'st thy bloody Pillow? Or who was he
    That (otherwise then noble Nature did)
    Hath alter'd that good Picture? What's thy interest
    In this sad wracke? How came't? Who is't?
    2695What art thou?
    Imo. I am nothing; or if not,
    Nothing to be were better: This was my Master,
    A very valiant Britaine, and a good,
    That heere by Mountaineers lyes slaine: Alas,
    2700There is no more such Masters: I may wander
    From East to Occident, cry out for Seruice,
    Try many, all good: serue truly: neuer
    Finde such another Master.
    Luc. 'Lacke, good youth:
    2705Thou mou'st no lesse with thy complaining, then
    Thy Maister in bleeding: say his name, good Friend.
    Imo. Richard du Champ: If I do lye, and do
    No harme by it, though the Gods heare, I hope
    They'l pardon it. Say you Sir?
    2710Luc. Thy name?
    Imo. Fidele Sir.
    Luc. Thou doo'st approue thy selfe the very same:
    Thy Name well fits thy Faith; thy Faith, thy Name:
    Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
    2715Thou shalt be so well master'd, but be sure
    No lesse belou'd. The Romane Emperors Letters
    Sent by a Consull to me, should not sooner
    Then thine owne worth preferre thee: Go with me.
    Imo. Ile follow Sir. But first, and't please the Gods,
    2720Ile hide my Master from the Flies, as deepe
    As these poore Pickaxes can digge: and when
    With wild wood-leaues & weeds, I ha' strew'd his graue
    And on it said a Century of prayers
    (Such as I can) twice o're, Ile weepe, and sighe,
    2725And leauing so his seruice, follow you,
    So please you entertaine mee.
    Luc. I good youth,
    And rather Father thee, then Master thee: My Friends,
    The Boy hath taught vs manly duties: Let vs
    2730Finde out the prettiest Dazied-Plot we can,
    And make him with our Pikes and Partizans
    A Graue: Come, Arme him: Boy hee's preferr'd
    By thee, to vs, and he shall be interr'd
    As Souldiers can. Be cheerefull; wipe thine eyes,
    2735Some Falles are meanes the happier to arise.

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter Cymbeline, Lords, and Pisanio.
    Cym. Againe: and bring me word how 'tis with her,
    A Feauour with the absence of her Sonne;