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.
    Slauuer with lippes as common as the stayres
    That mount the Capitoll: Ioyne gripes, with hands
    Made hard with hourely falshood (falshood as
    720With labour:) then by peeping in an eye
    Base and illustrious as the smoakie light
    That's fed with stinking Tallow: it were fit
    That all the plagues of Hell should at one time
    Encounter such reuolt.
    725Imo. My Lord, I feare
    Has forgot Brittaine.
    Iach. And himselfe, not I
    Inclin'd to this intelligence, pronounce
    The Beggery of his change: but 'tis your Graces'
    730That from my mutest Conscience, to my tongue,
    Charmes this report out.
    Imo. Let me heare no more.
    Iach. O deerest Soule: your Cause doth strike my hart
    With pitty, that doth make me sicke. A Lady
    735So faire, and fasten'd to an Emperie
    Would make the great'st King double, to be partner'd
    With Tomboyes hyr'd, with that selfe exhibition
    Which your owne Coffers yeeld: with diseas'd ventures
    That play with all Infirmities for Gold,
    740Which rottennesse can lend Nature. Such boyl'd stuffe
    As well might poyson Poyson. Be reueng'd,
    Or she that bore you, was no Queene, and you
    Recoyle from your great Stocke.
    Imo. Reueng'd:
    745How should I be reueng'd? If this be true,
    (As I haue such a Heart, that both mine eares
    Must not in haste abuse) if it be true,
    How should I be reueng'd?
    Iach. Should he make me
    750Liue like Diana's Priest, betwixt cold sheets,
    Whiles he is vaulting variable Rampes
    In your despight, vpon your purse: reuenge it.
    I dedicate my selfe to your sweet pleasure,
    More Noble then that runnagate to your bed,
    755And will continue fast to your Affection,
    Still close, as sure.
    Imo. What hoa, Pisanio?
    Iach. Let me my seruice tender on your lippes.
    Imo. Away, I do condemne mine eares, that haue
    760So long attended thee. If thou wert Honourable
    Thou would'st haue told this tale for Vertue, not
    For such an end thou seek'st, as base, as strange:
    Thou wrong'st a Gentleman, who is as farre
    From thy report, as thou from Honor: and
    765Solicites heere a Lady, that disdaines
    Thee, and the Diuell alike. What hoa, Pisanio?
    The King my Father shall be made acquainted
    Of thy Assault: if he shall thinke it fit,
    A sawcy Stranger in his Court, to Mart
    770As in a Romish Stew, and to expound
    His beastly minde to vs; he hath a Court
    He little cares for, and a Daughter, who
    He not respects at all. What hoa, Pisanio?
    Iach. O happy Leonatus I may say,
    775The credit that thy Lady hath of thee
    Deserues thy trust, and thy most perfect goodnesse
    Her assur'd credit. Blessed liue you long,
    A Lady to the worthiest Sir, that euer
    Country call'd his; and you his Mistris, onely
    780For the most worthiest fit. Giue me your pardon,
    I haue spoke this to know if your Affiance
    Were deeply rooted, and shall make your Lord,
    That which he is, new o're: And he is one
    The truest manner'd: such a holy Witch,
    785That he enchants Societies into him:
    Halfe all men hearts are his.
    Imo. You make amends.
    Iach. He sits 'mongst men, like a defended God;
    He hath a kinde of Honor sets him off,
    790More then a mortall seeming. Be not angrie
    (Most mighty Princesse) that I haue aduentur'd
    To try your taking of a false report, which hath
    Honour'd with confirmation your great Iudgement,
    In the election of a Sir, so rare,
    795Which you know, cannot erre. The loue I beare him,
    Made me to fan you thus, but the Gods made you
    (Vnlike all others) chaffelesse. Pray your pardon.
    Imo. All's well Sir:
    Take my powre i'th' Court for yours.
    800Iach. My humble thankes: I had almost forgot
    T' intreat your Grace, but in a small request,
    And yet of moment too, for it concernes:
    Your Lord, my selfe, and other Noble Friends
    Are partners in the businesse.
    805Imo. Pray what is't?
    Iach. Some dozen Romanes of vs, and your Lord
    (The best Feather of our wing) haue mingled summes
    To buy a Present for the Emperor:
    Which I (the Factor for the rest) haue done
    810In France: 'tis Plate of rare deuice, and Iewels
    Of rich, and exquisite forme, their valewes great,
    And I am something curious, being strange
    To haue them in safe stowage: May it please you
    To take them in protection.
    815Imo. Willingly:
    And pawne mine Honor for their safety, since
    My Lord hath interest in them, I will keepe them
    In my Bed-chamber.
    Iach. They are in a Trunke
    820Attended by my men: I will make bold
    To send them to you, onely for this night:
    I must aboord to morrow.
    Imo. O no, no.
    Iach. Yes I beseech: or I shall short my word
    825By length'ning my returne. From Gallia,
    I crost the Seas on purpose, and on promise
    To see your Grace.
    Imo. I thanke you for your paines:
    But not away to morrow.
    830Iach. O I must Madam.
    Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
    To greet your Lord with writing, doo't to night,
    I haue out-stood my time, which is materiall
    To'th' tender of our Present.
    835Imo. I will write:
    Send your Trunke to me, it shall safe be kept,
    And truely yeelded you: you're very welcome.

    Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.

    Enter Clotten, and the two Lords.
    840Clot. Was there euer man had such lucke? when I kist
    the Iacke vpon an vp-cast, to be hit away? I had a hun-
    dred pound on't: and then a whorson Iacke-an-Apes,