Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

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
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.