Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)


    Enter Clotten and the two Lords
    840Clotten Was there ever man had such luck, when I kissed the jack, upon an upcast to be hit away? I had a hundred pound on't. And then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure.
    8451 Lord What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your bowl.
    2 Lord [Aside] If his wit had been like him that broke it, it would have run all out.
    Clotten When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is 850not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths. Ha?
    2 Lord [Aside] No, my Lord, nor crop the ears of them.
    Clotten Whoreson dog. I gave him satisfaction! Would he had been one of my rank.
    2 Lord [Aside] To have smelled like a fool.
    855Clotten I am not vexed more at anything in th'earth. A pox on't! I had rather not be so noble as I am. They dare not fight with me because of the Queen my mother. Every jack-slave hath his belly full of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that nobody 860can match.
    2 Lord [Aside] You are cock and capon too, and you crow, cock, with your comb on.
    Clotten Sayst thou?
    2 Lord It is not fit your lordship should undertake every 865companion that you give offense to.
    Clotten No, I know that; but it is fit I should commit offense to my inferiors.
    2 Lord Aye, it is fit for your lordship only.
    Clotten Why, so I say.
    8701 Lord Did you hear of a stranger that's come to court tonight?
    Clotten A stranger, and I not know on't?
    2 Lord [Aside] He's a strange fellow himself and knows it not.
    1 Lord There's an Italian come, and 'tis thought one of 875Leonatus' friends.
    Clotten Leonatus? A banished rascal, and he's another, whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?
    1 Lord One of your lordship's pages.
    Clotten Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no 880derogation in't?
    2 Lord You cannot derogate, my Lord.
    Clotten Not easily, I think.
    2 Lord [Aside] You are a fool granted; therefore, your issues, being foolish, do not derogate.
    885Clotten Come, I'll go see this Italian. What I have lost today at bowls, I'll win tonight of him. Come; go.
    2 Lord I'll attend your lordship.
    [Exit Clotten or 1 Lord]
    That such a crafty devil as is his mother
    Should yield the world this ass! A woman that
    890Bears all down with her brain, and this her son
    Cannot take two from twenty for his heart
    And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
    Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st
    Betwixt a father by thy stepdame governed,
    895A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
    More hateful than the foul expulsion is
    Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
    Of the divorce he'd make. The heavens hold firm
    The walls of thy dear honor. Keep unshaked
    900That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand
    T'enjoy thy banished lord and this great land.