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)

    Scena Secunda.
    Enter Imogen, in her Bed, and a Lady.
    Imo. Who's there? My woman: Helene?
    905La. Please you Madam.
    Imo. What houre is it?
    Lady. Almost midnight, Madam.
    Imo. I haue read three houres then:
    Mine eyes are weake,
    910Fold downe the leafe where I haue left: to bed.
    Take not away the Taper, leaue it burning:
    And if thou canst awake by foure o'th' clock,
    I prythee call me: Sleepe hath ceiz'd me wholly.
    To your protection I commend me, Gods,
    915From Fayries, and the Tempters of the night,
    Guard me beseech yee.
    Iachimo from the Trunke.
    Iach. The Crickets sing, and mans ore-labor'd sense
    Repaires it selfe by rest: Our Tarquine thus
    920Did softly presse the Rushes, ere he waken'd
    The Chastitie he wounded. Cytherea,
    How brauely thou becom'st thy Bed; fresh Lilly,
    And whiter then the Sheetes: that I might touch,
    But kisse, one kisse. Rubies vnparagon'd,
    925How deerely they doo't: 'Tis her breathing that
    Perfumes the Chamber thus: the Flame o'th' Taper
    Bowes toward her, and would vnder-peepe her lids.
    To see th' inclosed Lights, now Canopied
    Vnder these windowes, White and Azure lac'd
    930With Blew of Heauens owne tinct. But my designe.
    To note the Chamber, I will write all downe,
    Such, and such pictures: There the window, such
    Th' adornement of her Bed; the Arras, Figures,
    Why such, and such: and the Contents o'th' Story.
    935Ah, but some naturall notes about her Body,
    Aboue ten thousand meaner Moueables
    Would testifie, t' enrich mine Inuentorie.
    O sleepe, thou Ape of death, lye dull vpon her,
    And be her Sense but as a Monument,
    940Thus in a Chappell lying. Come off, come off;
    As slippery as the Gordian-knot was hard.
    'Tis mine, and this will witnesse outwardly,
    As strongly as the Conscience do's within:
    To'th' madding of her Lord. On her left brest
    945A mole Cinque-spotted: Like the Crimson drops
    I'th' bottome of a Cowslippe. Heere's a Voucher,
    Stronger then euer Law could make; this Secret
    Will force him thinke I haue pick'd the lock, and t'ane
    The treasure of her Honour. No more: to what end?
    950Why should I write this downe, that's riueted,
    Screw'd to my memorie. She hath bin reading late,
    The Tale of Tereus, heere the leaffe's turn'd downe
    Where Philomele gaue vp. I haue enough,
    To'th' Truncke againe, and shut the spring of it.
    955Swift, swift, you Dragons of the night, that dawning
    May beare the Rauens eye: I lodge in feare,
    Though this a heauenly Angell: hell is heere.
    Clocke strikes
    One, two, three: time, time.