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 Cymbeline, Lords, [a Messenger,] and Pisanio
    Cymbeline [To Messenger]
    Again, and bring me word how 'tis with her.
    [Exit Messenger]
    A fever with the absence of her son,
    2740A madness of which her life's in danger. Heavens,
    How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
    The great part of my comfort, gone; my Queen
    Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
    When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
    2745So needful for this present. It strikes me past
    The hope of comfort. But, for thee, fellow,
    Who needs must know of her departure and
    Dost seem so ignorant, we'll enforce it from thee
    By a sharp torture.
    Sir, my life is yours;
    I humbly set it at your will. But for my mistress,
    I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
    Nor when she purposes return. Beseech Your Highness,
    Hold me your loyal servant.
    Good my liege,
    The day that she was missing, he was here;
    I dare be bound he's true and shall perform
    All parts of his subjection loyally. For Clotten,
    There wants no diligence in seeking him,
    2760And will no doubt be found.
    The time is troublesome:
    We'll slip you for a season, but our jealousy
    Does yet depend.
    So please Your Majesty,
    2765The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
    Are landed on your coast with a supply
    Of Roman gentlemen by the senate sent.
    Now for the counsel of my son and Queen:
    I am amazed with matter.
    Good my liege,
    Your preparation can affront no less
    Than what you hear of; come, more, for more you're ready:
    The want is but to put those powers in motion
    That long to move.
    I thank you. Let's withdraw
    And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
    What can from Italy annoy us, but
    We grieve at chances here. Away.
    Exeunt all but Pisanio
    I heard no letter from my master since
    2780I wrote him Imogen was slain; 'tis strange;
    Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
    To yield me often tidings. Neither know I
    What is betid to Clotten but remain
    Perplexed in all. The heavens still must work:
    2785Wherein I am false, I am honest; not true, to be true.
    These present wars shall find I love my country
    Even to the note o'th' King, or I'll fall in them.
    All other doubts, by time let them be cleared;
    Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.