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 Tragedy of Cymbeline.
    I know not how, a Traitor.
    Cym. Take him hence,
    3630The whole world shall not saue him.
    Bel. Not too hot;
    First pay me for the Nursing of thy Sonnes,
    And let it be confiscate all, so soone
    As I haue receyu'd it.
    3635Cym. Nursing of my Sonnes?
    Bel. I am too blunt, and sawcy: heere's my knee:
    Ere I arise, I will preferre my Sonnes,
    Then spare not the old Father. Mighty Sir,
    These two young Gentlemen that call me Father,
    3640And thinke they are my Sonnes, are none of mine,
    They are the yssue of your Loynes, my Liege,
    And blood of your begetting.
    Cym. How? my Issue.
    Bel. So sure as you, your Fathers: I (old Morgan)
    3645Am that Belarius, whom you sometime banish'd:
    Your pleasure was my neere offence, my punishment
    It selfe, and all my Treason that I suffer'd,
    Was all the harme I did. These gentle Princes
    (For such, and so they are) these twenty yeares
    3650Haue I train'd vp; those Arts they haue, as I
    Could put into them. My breeding was (Sir)
    As your Highnesse knowes: Their Nurse Euriphile
    (Whom for the Theft I wedded) stole these Children
    Vpon my Banishment: I moou'd her too't,
    3655Hauing receyu'd the punishment before
    For that which I did then. Beaten for Loyaltie,
    Excited me to Treason. Their deere losse,
    The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shap'd
    Vnto my end of stealing them. But gracious Sir,
    3660Heere are your Sonnes againe, and I must loose
    Two of the sweet'st Companions in the World.
    The benediction of these couering Heauens
    Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthie
    To in-lay Heauen with Starres.
    3665Cym. Thou weep'st, and speak'st:
    The Seruice that you three haue done, is more
    Vnlike, then this thou tell'st. I lost my Children,
    If these be they, I know not how to wish
    A payre of worthier Sonnes.
    3670Bel. Be pleas'd awhile;
    This Gentleman, whom I call Polidore,
    Most worthy Prince, as yours, is true Guiderius:
    This Gentleman, my Cadwall, Aruiragus.
    Your yonger Princely Son, he Sir, was lapt
    3675In a most curious Mantle, wrought by th' hand
    Of his Queene Mother, which for more probation
    I can with ease produce.
    Cym. Guiderius had
    Vpon his necke a Mole, a sanguine Starre,
    3680It was a marke of wonder.
    Bel. This is he,
    Who hath vpon him still that naturall stampe:
    It was wise Natures end, in the donation
    To be his euidence now.
    3685Cym. Oh, what am I
    A Mother to the byrth of three? Nere Mother
    Reioyc'd deliuerance more: Blest, pray you be,
    That after this strange starting from your Orbes,
    You may reigne in them now: Oh Imogen,
    3690Thou hast lost by this a Kingdome.
    Imo. No, my Lord:
    I haue got two Worlds by't. Oh my gentle Brothers,
    Haue we thus met? Oh neuer say heereafter
    But I am truest speaker. You call'd me Brother
    3695When I was but your Sister: I you Brothers,
    When we were so indeed.
    Cym. Did you ere meete?
    Arui. I my good Lord.
    Gui. And at first meeting lou'd,
    3700Continew'd so, vntill we thought he dyed.
    Corn. By the Queenes Dramme she swallow'd.
    Cym. O rare instinct!
    When shall I heare all through? This fierce abridgment,
    Hath to it Circumstantiall branches, which
    3705Distinction should be rich in. Where? how liu'd you?
    And when came you to serue our Romane Captiue?
    How parted with your Brother? How first met them?
    Why fled you from the Court? And whether these?
    And your three motiues to the Battaile? with
    3710I know not how much more should be demanded,
    And all the other by-dependances
    From chance to chance? But nor the Time, nor Place
    Will serue our long Interrogatories. See,
    Posthumus Anchors vpon Imogen;
    3715And she (like harmlesse Lightning) throwes her eye
    On him: her Brothers, Me: her Master hitting
    Each obiect with a Ioy: the Counter-change
    Is seuerally in all. Let's quit this ground,
    And smoake the Temple with our Sacrifices.
    3720Thou art my Brother, so wee'l hold thee euer.
    Imo. You are my Father too, and did releeue me:
    To see this gracious season.
    Cym. All ore-ioy'd
    Saue these in bonds, let them be ioyfull too,
    3725For they shall taste our Comfort.
    Imo. My good Master, I will yet do you seruice.
    Luc. Happy be you.
    Cym. The forlorne Souldier, that no Nobly fought
    He would haue well becom'd this place, and grac'd
    3730The thankings of a King.
    Post. I am Sir
    The Souldier that did company these three
    In poore beseeming: 'twas a fitment for
    The purpose I then follow'd. That I was he,
    3735Speake Iachimo, I had you downe, and might
    Haue made you finish.
    Iach. I am downe againe:
    But now my heauie Conscience sinkes my knee,
    As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you
    3740Which I so often owe: but your Ring first,
    And heere the Bracelet of the truest Princesse
    That euer swore her Faith.
    Post. Kneele not to me:
    The powre that I haue on you, is to spare you:
    3745The malice towards you, to forgiue you. Liue
    And deale with others better.
    Cym. Nobly doom'd:
    Wee'l learne our Freenesse of a Sonne-in-Law:
    Pardon's the word to all.
    3750Arui. You holpe vs Sir,
    As you did meane indeed to be our Brother,
    Ioy'd are we, that you are.
    Post. Your Seruant Princes. Good my Lord of Rome
    Call forth your Sooth-sayer: As I slept, me thought
    3755Great Iupiter vpon his Eagle back'd
    Appear'd to me, with other sprightly shewes
    Of mine owne Kindred. When I wak'd, I found
    This Labell on my bosome; whose containing
    Is so from sense in hardnesse, that I can