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.

    Scena Septima.

    Enter Imogen alone.
    Imo. A Father cruell, and a Stepdame false,
    A Foolish Suitor to a Wedded-Lady,
    595That hath her Husband banish'd: O, that Husband,
    My supreame Crowne of griefe, and those repeated
    Vexations of it. Had I bin Theefe-stolne,
    As my two Brothers, happy: but most miserable
    Is the desires that's glorious. Blessed be those
    600How meane so ere, that haue their honest wills,
    Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fye.

    Enter Pisanio, and Iachimo.

    Pisa. Madam, a Noble Gentleman of Rome,
    Comes from my Lord with Letters.
    605Iach. Change you, Madam:
    The Worthy Leonatus is in safety,
    And greetes your Highnesse deerely.
    Imo. Thanks good Sir,
    You're kindly welcome.
    610Iach. All of her, that is out of doore, most rich:
    If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare
    She is alone th' Arabian-Bird; and I
    Haue lost the wager. Boldnesse be my Friend:
    Arme me Audacitie from head to foote,
    615Or like the Parthian I shall flying fight,
    Rather directly fly.
    Imogen reads.
    He is one of the Noblest note, to whose kindnesses I am most in-
    finitely tied. Reflect vpon him accordingly, as you value your
    So farre I reade aloud.
    But euen the very middle of my heart
    Is warm'd by'th' rest, and take it thankefully.
    You are as welcome (worthy Sir) as I
    625Haue words to bid you, and shall finde it so
    In all that I can do.
    Iach. Thankes fairest Lady:
    What are men mad? Hath Nature giuen them eyes
    To see this vaulted Arch, and the rich Crop
    630Of Sea and Land, which can distinguish 'twixt
    The firie Orbes aboue, and the twinn'd Stones
    Vpon the number'd Beach, and can we not
    Partition make with Spectales so pretious
    Twixt faire, and foule?
    635Imo. What makes your admiration?
    Iach. It cannot be i'th' eye: for Apes, and Monkeys
    'Twixt two such She's, would chatter this way, and
    Contemne with mowes the other. Nor i'th' iudgment:
    For Idiots in this case of fauour, would
    640Be wisely definit: Nor i'th' Appetite.
    Sluttery to such neate Excellence, oppos'd
    Should make desire vomit emptinesse,
    Not so allur'd to feed.
    Imo. What is the matter trow?
    645Iach. The Cloyed will:
    That satiate yet vnsatisfi'd desire, that Tub
    Both fill'd and running: Rauening first the Lambe,
    Longs after for the Garbage.
    Imo. What, deere Sir,
    650Thus rap's you? Are you well?
    Iach. Thanks Madam well: Beseech you Sir,
    Desire my Man's abode, where I did leaue him:
    He's strange and peeuish.
    Pisa. I was going Sir,
    655To giue him welcome.
    Imo. Continues well my Lord?
    His health beseech you?
    Iach. Well, Madam.
    Imo. Is he dispos'd to mirth? I hope he is.
    660Iach. Exceeding pleasant: none a stranger there,
    So merry, and so gamesome: he is call'd
    The Britaine Reueller.
    Imo. When he was heere
    He did incline to sadnesse, and oft times
    665Not knowiug why.
    Iach. I neuer saw him sad.
    There is a Frenchman his Companion, one
    An eminent Monsieur, that it seemes much loues
    A Gallian-Girle at home. He furnaces
    670The thicke sighes from him; whiles the iolly Britaine,
    (Your Lord I meane) laughes from's free lungs: cries oh,
    Can my sides hold, to think that man who knowes
    By History, Report, or his owne proofe
    What woman is, yea what she cannot choose
    675But must be: will's free houres languish:
    For assured bondage?
    Imo. Will my Lord say so?
    Iach. I Madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter,
    It is a Recreation to be by
    680And heare him mocke the Frenchman:
    But Heauen's know some men are much too blame.
    Imo. Not he I hope.
    Iach. Not he:
    But yet Heauen's bounty towards him, might
    685Be vs'd more thankfully. In himselfe 'tis much;
    In you, which I account his beyond all Talents.
    Whil'st I am bound to wonder, I am bound
    To pitty too.
    Imo. What do you pitty Sir?
    690Iach. Two Creatures heartyly.
    Imo. Am I one Sir?
    You looke on me: what wrack discerne you in me
    Deserues your pitty?
    Iach. Lamentable: what
    695To hide me from the radiant Sun, and solace
    I'th' Dungeon by a Snuffe.
    Imo. I pray you Sir,
    Deliuer with more opennesse your answeres
    To my demands. Why do you pitty me?
    700Iach. That others do,
    (I was about to say) enioy your--- but
    It is an office of the Gods to venge it,
    Not mine to speake on't.
    Imo. You do seeme to know
    705Something of me, or what concernes me; pray you
    Since doubting things go ill, often hurts more
    Then to be sure they do. For Certainties
    Either are past remedies; or timely knowing,
    The remedy then borne. Discouer to me
    710What both you spur and stop.
    Iach' Had I this cheeke
    To bathe my lips vpon: this hand, whose touch,
    (Whose euery touch) would force the Feelers soule
    To'th' oath of loyalty. This obiect, which
    715Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
    Fiering it onely heere, should I (damn'd then)