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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)

    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)
    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.