Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    Enter Clotten and Lords
    1 Lord
    Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the most coldest that ever turned up ace.
    It would make any man cold to lose.
    9651 Lord
    But not every man patient after the noble temper of your lordship: you are most hot and furious when you win.
    Winning will put any man into courage. If I could get this foolish Imogen, I should have gold enough. It's 970almost morning, is't not?
    1 Lord
    Day, my Lord.
    I would this music would come. I am advised to give her music o' mornings; they say it will penetrate.
    Enter Musicians
    975Come on, tune. If you can penetrate her with your fingering, so; we'll try with tongue, too. If none will do, let her remain, but I'll never give o'er. First, a very excellent good conceited thing; after, a wonderful sweet air with admirable rich words to it, and then let her 980consider.
    [Musicians and possibly Clotten]
    Hark, hark, the lark at Heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    985On chaliced flowers that lies,
    And winking Mary-buds begin to ope their golden eyes;
    With every thing that pretty is, my lady sweet, arise,
    Arise, arise.
    So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will consider your 990music the better; if it do not, it is a voice in her ears which horse-hairs and calves' guts nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to boot can never amend.
    [Exeunt Musicians]
    Enter Cymbeline and Queen
    2 Lord
    Here comes the King.
    I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up so early. He cannot choose but take this service I have done fatherly. -- Good morrow to Your Majesty and to my gracious mother.
    Attend you here the door of our stern daughter?
    1000Will she not forth?
    I have assailed her with musics, but she vouchsafes no notice.
    The exile of her minion is too new;
    She hath not yet forgot him. Some more time
    1005Must wear the print of his remembrance on't,
    And then she's yours.
    You are most bound to th' King,
    Who lets go by no vantages that may
    Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself
    1010To orderly solicits and be friended
    With aptness of the season; make denials
    Increase your services; so seem as if
    You were inspired to do those duties which
    You tender to her, that you in all obey her
    1015Save when command to your dismission tends,
    And therein you are senseless.
    Senseless? Not so.
    [Enter Messenger]
    So like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
    The one is Caius Lucius.
    A worthy fellow
    Albeit he comes on angry purpose now,
    But that's no fault of his. We must receive him
    According to the honor of his sender,
    And towards himself, his goodness forespent on us,
    1025We must extend our notice. Our dear son,
    When you have given good morning to your mistress,
    Attend the Queen and us; we shall have need
    T'employ you towards this Roman. Come, our Queen.
    Exeunt [all but Clotten]
    If she be up, I'll speak with her; if not,
    Let her lie still and dream. -- By your leave, ho! --
    I know her women are about her; what
    If I do line one of their hands? 'Tis gold
    Which buys admittance (oft it doth), yea, and makes
    1035Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
    Their deer to th' stand o'th' stealer; and 'tis gold
    Which makes the true man killed and saves the thief --
    Nay, sometime hangs both thief and true man. What
    Can it not do, and undo? I will make
    1040One of her women lawyer to me, for
    I yet not understand the case myself. --
    By your leave.
    Enter a Lady
    Who's there that knocks?
    A gentleman.
    No more?
    Yes, and a gentlewoman's son.
    That's more
    Than some whose tailors are as dear as yours
    1050Can justly boast of. What's your lordship's pleasure?
    Your lady's person. Is she ready?
    To keep her chamber.
    There is gold for you;
    Sell me your good report.
    How, my good name?
    Or to report of you what I shall think
    Is good? The princess.
    Enter Imogen
    Good morrow, fairest; Sister, your sweet hand.
    Good morrow, sir; you lay out too much pains
    1060For purchasing but trouble. The thanks I give
    Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
    And scarce can spare them.
    Still I swear I love you.
    If you but said so, 'twere as deep with me;
    1065If you swear still, your recompense is still
    That I regard it not.
    This is no answer.
    But that you shall not say I yield, being silent,
    I would not speak. I pray you spare me; faith,
    1070I shall unfold equal discourtesy
    To your best kindness. One of your great knowing
    Should learn, being taught, forbearance.
    To leave you in your madness 'twere my sin;
    I will not.
    Fools are not mad folks.
    Do you call me fool?
    As I am mad, I do:
    If you'll be patient, I'll no more be mad;
    That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
    1080You put me to forget a lady's manners
    By being so verbal; and learn now, for all,
    That I which know my heart do here pronounce
    By th' very truth of it, I care not for you
    And am so near the lack of charity --
    1085To accuse myself -- I hate you, which I had rather
    You felt than make't my boast.
    You sin against
    Obedience which you owe your father, for
    The contract you pretend with that base wretch,
    1090One bred of alms and fostered with cold dishes,
    With scraps o'th' court, it is no contract, none.
    And though it be allowed in meaner parties --
    Yet who than he more mean? -- to knit their souls,
    On whom there is no more dependency
    1095But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot,
    Yet you are curbed from that enlargement by
    The consequence o'th' crown and must not foil
    The precious note of it with a base slave,
    A hilding for a livery, a squire's cloth,
    1100A pantler -- not so eminent.
    Profane fellow!
    Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
    But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
    To be his groom. Thou wert dignified enough
    1105Even to the point of envy if 'twere made
    Comparative for your virtues to be styled
    The under-hangman of his kingdom, and hated
    For being preferred so well.
    The south fog rot him!
    He never can meet more mischance than come
    To be but named of thee. His meanest garment
    That ever hath but clipped his body is dearer
    In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
    Were they all made such men. How now, Pisanio?
    1115Enter Pisanio
    His garment? Now the devil!
    Imogen [To Pisanio]
    To Dorothy my woman hie thee presently.
    His garment?
    Imogen [To Pisanio]
    I am sprighted with a fool,
    1120Frighted, and angered worse. Go bid my woman
    Search for a jewel that too casually
    Hath left mine arm; it was thy master's. Shrew me
    If I would loose it for a revenue
    Of any king's in Europe. I do think
    1125I saw't this morning; confident I am,
    Last night 'twas on mine arm; I kissed it.
    I hope it be not gone to tell my lord
    That I kiss aught but he.
    'Twill not be lost.
    I hope so; go and search.
    [Exit Pisanio]
    You have abused me.
    His meanest garment?
    Aye, I said so, sir;
    If you will make't an action, call witness to't.
    I will inform your father.
    Your mother, too:
    She's my good lady and will conceive, I hope,
    But the worst of me. So I leave you, sir,
    To th' worst of discontent.
    I'll be revenged:
    His meanest garment? Well.