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 Posthumus
    Posthumus Is there no way for men to be but women
    Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,
    1340And that most venerable man which I
    Did call my father was I know not where
    When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools
    Made me a counterfeit, yet my mother seemed
    The Dian of that time; so doth my wife
    1345The nonpareil of this. Oh, vengeance, vengeance!
    Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained
    And prayed me oft forbearance, did it with
    A pudency so rosy the sweet view on't
    Might well have warmed old Saturn 1350that I thought her
    As chaste as unsunned snow. Oh, all the devils!
    This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was't not?
    Or less? At first perchance he spoke not but
    Like a full-acorned boar, a German one,
    1355Cried "Oh" and mounted; found no opposition
    But what he looked for should oppose, and she
    Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
    The woman's part in me -- for there's no motion
    That tends to vice in man but I affirm
    1360It is the woman's part -- be it lying, note it,
    The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
    Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
    Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
    Nice-longing, slanders, mutability --
    1365All faults that [have a] name, nay, that Hell knows, Why, hers, in part, or all -- but rather all,
    For even to vice
    They are not constant but are changing still,
    One vice but of a minute old for one
    Not half so old as that. I'll write against them,
    1370Detest them, curse them, yet 'tis greater skill
    In a true hate to pray they have their will:
    The very devils cannot plague them better.