Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Modern)

Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen
No, be assured you shall not find me, Daughter,
85After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you. You're my prisoner, but
Your jailer shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win th'offended King,
90I will be known your advocate; marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him, and 'twere good
You leaned unto his sentence; with what patience,
Your wisdom may inform you.
Please Your Highness,
95I will from hence today.
You know the peril.
I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
The pangs of barred affections, though the King
Hath charged you should not speak together.
O dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father's wrath but nothing
(Always reserved my holy duty) what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
105And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.
My queen, my mistress,
110O lady, weep no more lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man. I will remain
The loyalest husband that did e'er plight troth.
My residence in Rome, at one Philario's,
115Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter. Thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send
Though ink be made of gall.
Enter Queen
Be brief, I pray you.
If the King come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure -- [Aside] yet I'll move him
To walk this way. I never do him wrong
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
125Pays dear for my offenses.
Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu.
Nay, stay a little:
130Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love,
This diamond was my mother's;
[Gives ring to Posthumus]
Take it, heart,
But keep it till you woo another wife
When Imogen is dead.
How, how? Another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have
And cere up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death. Remain, remain thou here
While sense can keep it on. And sweetest, fairest,
140As I my poor self did exchange for you
To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you. For my sake wear this;
[Gives bracelet to Imogen]
It is a manacle of love. I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.
O the gods!
When shall we see again?
Enter Cymbeline and Lords
Alack, the King!
Thou basest thing, avoid hence, from my sight!
150If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away:
Thou'rt poison to my blood.
The gods protect you
And bless the good remainders of the court.
155I am gone.
There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.
O disloyal thing
That shouldst repair my youth, thou heapst
160A year's age on me.
I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation.
I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all fears.
Past grace? Obedience?
Past hope and in despair, that way past grace.
That mightst have had the sole son of my Queen.
Oh, blessed that I might not! I chose an eagle
170And did avoid a puttock.
Thou tookst a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
A seat for baseness.
No, I rather added
A luster to it.
O thou vile one!
It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:
You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
A man worth any woman; over-buys me
Almost the sum he pays.
What? Art thou mad?
Almost, sir, Heaven restore me! Would I were
A neatherd's daughter and my Leonatus
Our neighbor shepherd's son.
Enter Queen
Thou foolish thing,
They were again together. You have done
Not after our command. Away with her
And pen her up.
Beseech your patience. -- Peace,
190Dear lady daughter, peace. -- Sweet sovereign,
Leave us to ourselves and make yourself some comfort
Out of your best advice.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day and, being aged,
195Die of this folly.
Enter Pisanio
Queen [To Imogen]
Fie! You must give way!
Here is your servant. -- How now, sir? What news?
My lord your son drew on my master.
No harm, I trust, is done?
There might have been,
But that my master rather played than fought
And had no help of anger. They were parted
205By gentlemen at hand.
I am very glad on't.
Your son's my father's friend: he takes his part
To draw upon an exile. Oh, brave sir!
I would they were in Afric both together,
210Myself by with a needle that I might prick
The goer-back. Why came you from your master?
On his command. He would not suffer me
To bring him to the haven; left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to
215When't pleased you to employ me.
This hath been
Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honor
He will remain so.
I humbly thank Your Highness.
220Queen [To Imogen]
Pray walk awhile.
Imogen [To Pisanio]
About some half hour hence, pray you speak with me;
You shall at least go see my lord aboard.
For this time, leave me.
Queen and Imogen exeunt together, Pisanio apart