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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)

    380The Tragedy of Cymbeline.
    Or lesse; at first? Perchance he spoke not, but
    Like a full Acorn'd Boare, a Iarmen on,
    1355Cry'de oh, and mounted; found no opposition
    But what he look'd for, should oppose, and she
    Should from encounter guard. Could I finde out
    The Womans part in me, for there's no motion
    That tends to vice in man, but I affirme
    1360It is the Womans part: be it Lying, note it,
    The womans: Flattering, hers; Deceiuing, hers:
    Lust, and ranke thoughts, hers, hers: Reuenges hers:
    Ambitions, Couetings, change of Prides, Disdaine,
    Nice-longing, Slanders, Mutability;
    1365All Faults that name, nay, that Hell knowes,
    Why hers, in part, or all: but rather all. For euen to Vice
    They are not constant, but are changing still;
    One Vice, but of a minute old, for one
    Not halfe so old as that. Ile write against them,
    1370Detest them, curse them: yet 'tis greater Skill
    In a true Hate, to pray they haue their will:
    The very Diuels cannot plague them better. Exit.

    Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

    Enter in State, Cymbeline, Queene, Clotten, and Lords at
    1375one doore, and at another, Caius, Lucius;
    and Attendants.

    Cym. Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with vs?
    Luc. When Iulius Caesar (whose remembrance yet
    Liues in mens eyes, and will to Eares and Tongues
    1380Be Theame, and hearing euer) was in this Britain,
    And Conquer'd it, Cassibulan thine Vnkle
    (Famous in Caesars prayses, no whit lesse
    Then in his Feats deseruing it) for him,
    And his Succession, granted Rome a Tribute,
    1385Yeerely three thousand pounds; which (by thee) lately
    Is left vntender'd.
    Qu. And to kill the meruaile,
    Shall be so euer.
    Clot. There be many Caesars,
    1390Ere such another Iulius: Britaine's a world
    By it selfe, and we will nothing pay
    For wearing our owne Noses.
    Qu. That opportunity
    Which then they had to take from's, to resume
    1395We haue againe. Remember Sir, my Liege,
    The Kings your Ancestors, together with
    The naturall brauery of your Isle, which stands
    As Neptunes Parke, ribb'd, and pal'd in
    With Oakes vnskaleable, and roaring Waters,
    1400With Sands that will not beare your Enemies Boates,
    But sucke them vp to'th' Top-mast. A kinde of Conquest
    Caesar made heere, but made not heere his bragge
    Of Came, and Saw, and Ouer-came: with shame
    (The first that euer touch'd him) he was carried
    1405From off our Coast, twice beaten: and his Shipping
    (Poore ignorant Baubles) on our terrible Seas
    Like Egge-shels mou'd vpon their Surges, crack'd
    As easily 'gainst our Rockes. For ioy whereof,
    The fam'd Cassibulan, who was once at point
    1410(Oh giglet Fortune) to master Caesars Sword,
    Made Luds-Towne with reioycing-Fires bright,
    And Britaines strut with Courage.
    Clot. Come, there's no more Tribute to be paid: our
    Kingdome is stronger then it was at that time: and (as I
    1415said) there is no mo such Caesars, other of them may haue
    crook'd Noses, but to owe such straite Armes, none.
    Cym. Son, let your Mother end.
    Clot. We haue yet many among vs, can gripe as hard
    as Cassibulan, I doe not say I am one: but I haue a hand.
    1420Why Tribute? Why should we pay Tribute? If Caesar
    can hide the Sun from vs with a Blanket, or put the Moon
    in his pocket, we will pay him Tribute for light: else Sir,
    no more Tribute, pray you now.
    Cym. You must know,
    1425Till the iniurious Romans, did extort
    This Tribute from vs, we were free. Caesars Ambition,
    Which swell'd so much, that it did almost stretch
    The sides o'th' World, against all colour heere,
    Did put the yoake vpon's; which to shake off
    1430Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
    Our selues to be, we do. Say then to Caesar,
    Our Ancestor was that Mulmutius, which
    Ordain'd our Lawes, whose vse the Sword of Caesar
    Hath too much mangled; whose repayre, and franchise,
    1435Shall (by the power we hold) be our good deed,
    Tho Rome be therfore angry. Mulmutius made our lawes
    Who was the first of Britaine, which did put
    His browes within a golden Crowne, and call'd
    Himselfe a King.
    1440Luc. I am sorry Cymbeline,
    That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar
    (Caesar, that hath moe Kings his Seruants, then
    Thy selfe Domesticke Officers) thine Enemy:
    Receyue it from me then. Warre, and Confusion
    1445In Caesars name pronounce I 'gainst thee: Looke
    For fury, not to be resisted. Thus defide,
    I thanke thee for my selfe.
    Cym. Thou art welcome Caius,
    Thy Caesar Knighted me; my youth I spent
    1450Much vnder him; of him, I gather'd Honour,
    Which he, to seeke of me againe, perforce,
    Behooues me keepe at vtterance. I am perfect,
    That the Pannonians and Dalmatians, for
    Their Liberties are now in Armes: a President
    1455Which not to reade, would shew the Britaines cold:
    So Caesar shall not finde them.
    Luc. Let proofe speake.
    Clot. His Maiesty biddes you welcome. Make pa-
    stime with vs, a day, or two, or longer: if you seek vs af-
    1460terwards in other tearmes, you shall finde vs in our Salt-
    water-Girdle: if you beate vs out of it, it is yours: if you
    fall in the aduenture, our Crowes shall fare the better for
    you: and there's an end.
    Luc. So sir.
    1465Cym. I know your Masters pleasure, and he mine:
    All the Remaine, is welcome. Exeunt.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter Pisanio reading of a Letter.
    Pis. How? of Adultery? Wherefore write you not
    1470What Monsters her accuse? Leonatus:
    Oh Master, what a strange infection