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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.
    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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