Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Cymbeline. 397
Some vpright Iusticer. Thou King, send out
For Torturors ingenious: it is I
That all th' abhorred things o'th' earth amend
By being worse then they. I am Posthumus,
3500That kill'd thy Daughter: Villain-like, I lye,
That caus'd a lesser villaine then my selfe,
A sacrilegious Theefe to doo't. The Temple
Of Vertue was she; yea, and she her selfe.
Spit, and throw stones, cast myre vpon me, set
3505The dogges o'th' street to bay me: euery villaine
Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus, and
Be villany lesse then 'twas. Oh Imogen!
My Queene, my life, my wife: oh Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen.
3510Imo. Peace my Lord, heare, heare.
Post. Shall's haue a play of this?
Thou scornfull Page, there lye thy part.
Pi s. Oh Gentlemen, helpe,
Mine and your Mistris: Oh my Lord Posthumus,
3515You ne're kill'd Imogen till now: helpe, helpe,
Mine honour'd Lady.
Cym. Does the world go round?
Posth. How comes these staggers on mee?
Pisa. Wake my Mistris.
3520Cym. If this be so, the Gods do meane to strike me
To death, with mortall ioy.
Pisa. How fares my Mistris?
Imo. Oh get thee from my sight,
Thou gau'st me poyson: dangerous Fellow hence,
3525Breath not where Princes are.
Cym. The tune of Imogen.
Pisae. Lady, the Gods throw stones of sulpher on me, if
That box I gaue you, was not thought by mee
A precious thing, I had it from the Queene.
3530Cym. New matter still.
Imo. It poyson'd me.
Corn. Oh Gods!
I left out one thing which the Queene confest,
Which must approue thee honest. If Pasanio
3535Haue (said she) giuen his Mistris that Confection
Which I gaue him for Cordiall, she is seru'd,
As I would serue a Rat.
Cym. What's this, Cornelius?
Corn. The Queene (Sir) very oft importun'd me
3540To temper poysons for her, still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge, onely
In killing Creatures vilde, as Cats and Dogges
Of no esteeme. I dreading, that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
3545A certaine stuffe, which being tane, would cease
The present powre of life, but in short time,
All Offices of Nature, should againe
Do their due Functions. Haue you tane of it?
Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.
3550Bel. My Boyes, there was our error.
Gui. This is sure Fidele.
Imo. Why did you throw your wedded Lady fro you?
Thinke that you are vpon a Rocke, and now
Throw me againe.
3555Post. Hang there like fruite, my soule,
Till the Tree dye.
Cym. How now, my Flesh? my Childe?
What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this Act?
Wilt thou not speake to me?
3560Imo. Your blessing, Sir.
Bel. Though you did loue this youth, I blame ye not,
You had a motiue for't.
Cym. My teares that fall
Proue holy-water on thee; Imogen,
3565Thy Mothers dead.
Imo. I am sorry for't, my Lord.
Cym. Oh, she was naught; and long of her it was
That we meet heere so strangely: but her Sonne
Is gone, we know not how, nor where.
3570Pisa. My Lord,
Now feare is from me, Ile speake troth. Lord Cloten
Vpon my Ladies missing, came to me
With his Sword drawne, foam'd at the mouth, and swore
If I discouer'd not which way she was gone,
3575It was my instant death. By accident,
I had a feigned Letter of my Masters
Then in my pocket, which directed him
To seeke her on the Mountaines neere to Milford,
Where in a frenzie, in my Masters Garments
3580(Which he inforc'd from me) away he postes
With vnchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My Ladies honor, what became of him,
I further know not.
Gui. Let me end the Story: I slew him there.
3585Cym. Marry, the Gods forefend.
I would not thy good deeds, should from my lips
Plucke a hard sentence: Prythee valiant youth
Deny't againe.
Gui. I haue spoke it, and I did it.
3590Cym. He was a Prince.
Gui. A most inciuill one. The wrongs he did mee
Were nothing Prince-like; for he did prouoke me
With Language that would make me spurne the Sea,
If it could so roare to me. I cut off's head,
3595And am right glad he is not standing heere
To tell this tale of mine.
Cym. I am sorrow for thee:
By thine owne tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
Endure our Law: Thou'rt dead.
3600Imo. That headlesse man I thought had bin my Lord
Cym. Binde the Offender,
And take him from our presence.
Bel. Stay, Sir King.
This man is better then the man he slew,
3605As well descended as thy selfe, and hath
More of thee merited, then a Band of Clotens
Had euer scarre for. Let his Armes alone,
They were not borne for bondage.
Cym. Why old Soldier:
3610Wilt thou vndoo the worth thou art vnpayd for
By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
As good as we?
Arui. In that he spake too farre.
Cym. And thou shalt dye for't.
3615Bel. We will dye all three,
But I will proue that two one's are as good
As I haue giuen out him. My Sonnes, I must
For mine owne part, vnfold a dangerous speech,
Though haply well for you.
3620Arui. Your danger's ours.
Guid. And our good his.
Bel. Haue at it then, by leaue
Thou hadd'st (great King) a Subiect, who
Was call'd Belarius.
3625Cym. What of him? He is a banish'd Traitor.
Bel. He it is, that hath
Assum'd this age: indeed a banish'd man,