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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)

    The Tragedie of Cymbeline. 381
    Is falne into thy eare? What false Italian,
    (As poysonous tongu'd, as handed) hath preuail'd
    On thy too ready hearing? Disloyall? No.
    1475She's punish'd for her Truth; and vndergoes
    More Goddesse-like, then Wife-like; such Assaults
    As would take in some Vertue. Oh my Master,
    Thy mind to her, is now as lowe, as were
    Thy Fortunes. How? That I should murther her,
    1480Vpon the Loue, and Truth, and Vowes; which I
    Haue made to thy command? I her? Her blood?
    If it be so, to do good seruice, neuer
    Let me be counted seruiceable. How looke I,
    That I should seeme to lacke humanity,
    1485So much as this Fact comes to? Doo't: The Letter.
    That I haue sent her, by her owne command,
    Shall giue thee opportunitie. Oh damn'd paper,
    Blacke as the Inke that's on thee: senselesse bauble,
    Art thou a Foedarie for this Act; and look'st
    1490So Virgin-like without? Loe here she comes.
    Enter Imogen.
    I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
    Imo. How now Pisanio?
    Pis. Madam, heere is a Letter from my Lord.
    1495Imo. Who, thy Lord? That is my Lord Leonatus?
    Oh, learn'd indeed were that Astronomer
    That knew the Starres, as I his Characters,
    Heel'd lay the Future open. You good Gods,
    Let what is heere contain'd, rellish of Loue,
    1500Of my Lords health, of his content: yet not
    That we two are asunder, let that grieue him;
    Some griefes are medcinable, that is one of them,
    For it doth physicke Loue, of his content,
    All but in that. Good Wax, thy leaue: blest be
    1505You Bees that make these Lockes of counsaile. Louers,
    And men in dangerous Bondes pray not alike,
    Though Forfeytours you cast in prison, yet
    You claspe young Cupids Tables: good Newes Gods.

    IVstice and your Fathers wrath (should he take me in his
    1510Dominion) could not be so cruell to me, as you: (oh the dee-
    rest of Creatures) would euen renew me with your eyes. Take
    notice that I am in Cambria at Milford-Hauen: what your
    owne Loue, will out of this aduise you, follow. So he wishes you
    all happinesse, that remaines loyall to his Vow, and your encrea-
    1515sing in Loue. Leonatus Posthumus.

    Oh for a Horse with wings: Hear'st thou Pisanio?
    He is at Milford-Hauen: Read, and tell me
    How farre 'tis thither. If one of meane affaires
    May plod it in a weeke, why may not I
    1520Glide thither in a day? Then true Pisanio,
    Who long'st like me, to see thy Lord; who long'st
    (Oh let me bate) but not like me: yet long'st
    But in a fainter kinde. Oh not like me:
    For mine's beyond, beyond: say, and speake thicke
    1525(Loues Counsailor should fill the bores of hearing,
    To'th' smothering of the Sense) how farre it is
    To this same blessed Milford. And by'th' way
    Tell me how Wales was made so happy, as
    T' inherite such a Hauen. But first of all,
    1530How we may steale from hence: and for the gap
    That we shall make in Time, from our hence-going,
    And our returne, to excuse: but first, how get hence.
    Why should excuse be borne or ere begot?
    Weele talke of that heereafter. Prythee speake,
    1535How many store of Miles may we well rid
    Twixt houre, and houre?
    Pis. One score 'twixt Sun, and Sun,
    Madam's enough for you: and too much too.
    Imo. Why, one that rode to's Execution Man,
    1540Could neuer go so slow: I haue heard of Riding wagers,
    Where Horses haue bin nimbler then the Sands
    That run i'th' Clocks behalfe. But this is Foolrie,
    Go, bid my Woman faigne a Sicknesse, say
    She'le home to her Father; and prouide me presently
    1545A Riding Suit: No costlier then would fit
    A Franklins Huswife.
    Pisa. Madam, you're best consider.
    Imo. I see before me (Man) nor heere, not heere;
    Nor what ensues but haue a Fog in them
    1550That I cannot looke through. Away, I prythee,
    Do as I bid thee: There's no more to say:
    Accessible is none but Milford way. Exeunt.

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Aruiragus.

    1555Bel. A goodly day, not to keepe house with such,
    Whose Roofe's as lowe as ours: Sleepe Boyes, this gate
    Instructs you how t'adore the Heauens; and bowes you
    To a mornings holy office. The Gates of Monarches
    Are Arch'd so high, that Giants may iet through
    1560And keepe their impious Turbonds on, without
    Good morrow to the Sun. Haile thou faire Heauen,
    We house i'th' Rocke, yet vse thee not so hardly
    As prouder liuers do.
    Guid. Haile Heauen.
    1565Aruir. Haile Heauen.
    Bela. Now for our Mountaine sport, vp to yond hill
    Your legges are yong: Ile tread these Flats. Consider,
    When you aboue perceiue me like a Crow,
    That it is Place, which lessen's, and sets off,
    1570And you may then reuolue what Tales, I haue told you,
    Of Courts, of Princes; of the Tricks in Warre.
    This Seruice, is not Seruice; so being done,
    But being so allowed. To apprehend thus,
    Drawes vs a profit from all things we see:
    1575And often to our comfort, shall we finde
    The sharded-Beetle, in a safer hold
    Then is the full-wing'd Eagle. Oh this life,
    Is Nobler, then attending for a checke:
    Richer, then doing nothing for a Babe:
    1580Prouder, then rustling in vnpayd-for Silke:
    Such gaine the Cap of him, that makes him fine,
    Yet keepes his Booke vncros'd: no life to ours.
    Gui. Out of your proofe you speak: we poore vnfledg'd
    Haue neuer wing'd from view o'th' nest; nor knowes not
    1585What Ayre's from home. Hap'ly this life is best,
    (If quiet life be best) sweeter to you
    That haue a sharper knowne. Well corresponding
    With your stiffe Age; but vnto vs, it is
    A Cell of Ignorance: trauailing a bed,
    1590A Prison, or a Debtor, that not dares
    To stride a limit.
    Arui. What should we speake of
    When we are old as you? When we shall heare
    The Raine and winde beate darke December? How
    1595In this our pinching Caue, shall we discourse
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