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Mess. 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
We must extend our notice.-Our dear son,
When you have given good-morning to your mis-

Attend the queen, and us: we shall have need
To employ you towards this Roman.--Come, our

[Exeunt CYM., QUEEN, Lords, and Mess. Clo. If she be up, I'll speak with her; if not, Let her lie still, and dream.-By your leave, ho![Knocks.

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
Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
Their deer to the stand of the stealer; and 'tis gold
Which makes the true man kill'd, and saves the

(To 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,
(One, bred of alms, and foster'd with cold dishes,
With scraps o' the court,) it is no contract, none
And though it be allow'd in meaner parties,
(Yet who than he more mean?) to knit their souls
On whom there is no more dependency
But brats and beggary) in self-figured knot:2

Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by
The consequence o' the crown; and must not soil
The precious note of it with a base slave,
A hilding3 for a livery, a squire's cloth,
A 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,
Even to the point of envy, if 'twere made
Comparative for your virtues, to be styl'd
The under-hangman of his kingdom; and hated
For being preferr'd so well.
The south-fog rot him!
Imo. He never can meet more mischance, than


To be but named of thee. His meanest garment,
That ever hath but clipp'd his body, is dearer,
In my respect, than all the hairs above thee,
Were they all made such men.-How now, Pisanio?

Clo. His garment? Now, the devil-
Imo. To Dorothy my woman hie thee present-
Clo. His garment?
I am sprighted with a fool
Frighted, and anger'd worse:-Go, bid my woman
[Knocks. Search for a jewel, that too casually

Nay, sometime, hangs both thief and true man: What
Can it not do, and undo? I will make
One of her women lawyer to me; for
I yet not understand the case myself.
By your leave.

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Hath left mine arm; it was thy master's: 'shrew me If I would lose it for a revenue

Of any king's in Europe. I do think,

I saw't this morning: confident I am
Last night 'twas on mine arm; I kiss'd it:
I hope, it be not gone, to tell my lord
That I kiss aught but he.


Imo. I hope so: go, and Clo.

His meanest garment?


Clo. There's gold for you; sell me your good report.

Lady. How! my good name? or to report of you What I shall think is good?-The princess

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Imo. But that you shall not say I yield, being silent,

I would not speak. I pray you, spare me: i' faith, I shall unfold equal discourtesy

To your best kindness; one of your great knowing Should learn, being taught, forbearance.

Clo. To leave you in your madness, 'twere my sin: I will not.

Imo. Fools are not mad folks. Clo. Do you call me fool? Imo. 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, You 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 the very truth of it, I care not for you; And am sa near the lack of charity,

'So verbose, so full of talk.


'Twill not be lost. search. [Exit PIs. You have abused me:

Ay; I said so, sir.

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I must die much your debtor.
I barely gratify your love; they failing,

Phi. Your very goodness, and your company,
O'erpays all I can do. By this, your king
Hath heard of great Augustus: Caius Lucius
Will do his commission thoroughly: And, I think,
He'll grant the tribute, send the arrearages,
Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
Is yet fresh in their grief.
I do believe,
(Statist though I am none, nor like to be,)
That this will prove a war; and you shall hear
The legions now in Gallia, sooner landed
Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
In our not-fearing Britian, than have tidings

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Good sir, we must, If you keep covenant: Had I not brought The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant We were to question further: but I now Profess myself the winner of her honor, Together with your ring; and not the wronger Of her, or you, having proceeded but By both your wills. Post. If you can make't apparent That you have tasted her in bed, my hand, And ring is yours: If not, the foul opinion You had of her pure honor, gains, or loses, Your sword, or mine; or masterless leaves both To who shall find them.


Sir, my circumstances, Being so near the truth, as I will make them, Must first induce you to believe: whose strength I will confirm with oath; which, I doubt not, You'll give me leave to spare, when you shall find You need it not.




First, her bed-chamber; (Where, I confess, I slept not; but, profess, Had that was well worth watching:) It was hang'd With tapestry of silk and silver; the story, Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman, And Cydnus swell'd above the banks, or for The press of boats, or pride: A piece of work So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive In workmanship and value; which I wonder'd Could be so rarely and exactly wrought, Since the true life on't was


This is true;

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This is a thing,

Post. Which you might from relation likewise reap; Being, as it is, much spoke of. Iach. The roof o' the chamber With golden cherubins is fretted: Her andirons? (I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely Depending on their brands.


This is her honor!

Let it be granted, you have seen all this, (and


Be given to your remembrance,) the description
Of what is in her chamber, nothing saves
The wager you have laid.

Then, if you can,
[Pulling out the Bracelet.
Be pale; I beg but leave to air this jewel: See!-
And now 'tis up again: It must be married
To that your diamond; I'll keep them.

Once more let me behold it: Is it that

Which I left with her?


She stripp'd it from her arm; I see her yet;
Sir, (I thank her,) that:
Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
And yet enrich'd it too: She gave it me, and said,
She priz'd it once.


To send it me. Iach.

May be, she pluck'd it off,

She writes so to you? doth she? Post. O, no, no, no; 'tis true. Here, take this too; [Gives the Ring.

It is a basilisk unto mine eye,

Kills me to look on't :-Let there be no honor, Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance,


Where there's another man: The vows of woman
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing:-
O, above measure, false!
Have patience, sir,
And take your ring again; 'tis not yet won:
It may be probable she lost it; or,
Who knows, if one of her women, being corrupted,
Hath stolen it from her?

Very true;
And so, I hope, he came by't:-Back my ring:-
Render to me some corporal sign about her,
More evident than this; for this was stolen.
Iach. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.
Post. Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears.
'Tis true;-nay, keep the ring-'tis true: I am

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Post. Is there no way for men to be, but women
Must be half-workers! We are bastards all;
And that most venerable man, which I
Did call my father, was I know not where
When I was stamp'd; some coiner with his tools
Made me a counterfeit. Yet my mother seem'd
The Dian of that time: so doth my wife

The nonpareil of this.-O vengeance, vengeance!
Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain'd,
And pray'd me, oft, forbearance: did it with
A pudency so rosy, the sweet view on't
Might well have warm'd old Saturn; that I thought


As chaste as unsunn'd snow :-0, all the devils!-
This yellow lachimo, in an hour,-was't not?-
Or less,-at first: Perchance he spoke not; but
Like a full-acorn'd boar, a German one,
Cry'd oh! and mounted: found no opposition
But what he look'd for should oppose, and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
The woman's part in me! For there's no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm

It is the woman's part: Be it lying, note it,
The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longing, slanders, mutability,

All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part, or all; but, rather, all:
For even to vice

They are not constant, but are changing still
One vice, but of a minute old, for one

Not half so old as that. I'll write against them, Detest them, curse them: -- Yet 'tis greater skill

In a true hate, to pray they have their will:
The very devils cannot plague them better.



SCENE I.-Britain. A Room of State in Cym- pay him tribute for light; else, sir, no more tribute,

beline's Palace.

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Ere such another Julius. Britain is

A world by itself; and we will nothing pay, For wearing our own noses.


That opportunity, Which then they had to take from us, to resume We have again.-Remember, sir, my liege, The kings your ancestors; together with The natural bravery of your isle; which stands As Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in With rocks unscaleable, and roaring waters; With sands, that will not bear your enemies' boats, But suck them up to the top-mast. A kind of conquest

Cæsar made here; but made not here his brag Of came, and saw, and overcame: with shame, (The first that ever touch'd him,) he was carried From off our coast, twice beaten: and his shipping (Poor ignorant baubles!) on our terrible seas, Like egg-shells moved upon their surges, crack'd As casily 'gainst our rocks; for joy whereof, The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point (0, giglot fortune!) to master Cæsar's sword, Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright, And Britons strut with courage.

Clo. Come, there's no more tribute to be paid: Our kingdom is stronger than it was at that time; and, as I said, there is no more such Cæsars: other of them may have crooked noses; but to owe1 such straight arins, none.

Cym. Son, let your mother end.

Clo. We have yet many among us can gripe as hard as Cassibelan: I do not say, I am one; but I have a hand.-Why tribute? why should we pay tribute? If Cæsar can hide the sun from us with a blanket, or put the moon in his pocket, we will 1 Own.

• Modesty.

pray you now.

Till the injurious Romans did extort
Cym. You must know,

This tribute from us,we were free: Cæsar's ambition
(Which swell'd so much that it did almost stretch
The sides o' the world,) against all color, here
Did put the yoke upon us; which to shake off,
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
Ourselves to be. We do say then to Cæsar,
Our ancestor was that Mulmutius, which
Ordain'd our laws; (whose use the sword of Cæsar
Hath too much mangled; whose repair, and fran-

Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,
Though Rome be therefore angry;) Mulmutius,
Who was the first of Britain, which did put
His brows within a golden crown, and call'd
Himself a king.

I am sorry, Cymbeline,
That I am to pronounce Augustus Cæsar
(Cesar, that hath more kings his servants, than
Thyself domestic officers,) thine enemy:
Receive it from me, then :-War, and confusion,
In Cæsar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee: look
For fury not to be resisted:-Thus defied,
I thank thee for myself.

Cym. Thou art welcome, Caius. Thy Cæsar knighted me; my youth I spent Much under him; of him I gather'd honor; Which he, to seek of me again, perforce, Behooves me keep at utterance; I am perfect,3 That the Pannonians and Dalmatians, for Their liberties, are now in arms: a precedent Which, not to read, would show the Britons coldSo Cæsar shall not find them.

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She's punish'd for her truth; and undergoes,
More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
As would take in some virtue.-0, my master!
Thy mind to her is now as low, as were
Thy fortunes. How! that I should murder her?
Upon the love, and truth, and vows, which I
Have made to thy command?-I, her?- her

If it be so to do good service, never

Let me be counted serviceable. How look I
That I should seem to lack humanity

So much as this fact comes to? Do't: The letter [Reading.

That I have sent her, by her own command,
Shall give thee opportunity:-0 damn'd paper!
Black as the ink that's on thee! Senseless bauble,
Art thou a feodary for this act, and look'st
So virgin-like without? Lo, here she comes.

I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
Imo. How now, Pisanio?

Pis. Madam, here is a letter from my lord. Imo. Who? thy lord? that is my lord, Leonatus? O, learn'd indeed were that astronomer, That knew the stars, as I his characters; He'd lay the future open.-You good gods, Let what is here contain'd relish of love, Of my lord's health, of his content,-yet not, That we two are asunder, let that grieve him,(Some griefs are med cinable;) that is one of them, For it doth physic love;-of his content, All but in that!-Good wax, thy leave:-Bless'd be, You bees, that make these locks of counsel! Lovers, And men in dangerous bonds, pray not alike; Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet You clasp young Cupid's tables:-Good news, gods! [Reads. Justice, and your father's wrath, should he take me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, as you, Othe dearest of creatures, would not even renew me with your eyes. Take notice that I am in Cambria. at Milford-Haven. What your own love will, out of this, advise you, follow. So, he wishes you all happiness, that remains loyal to his vow, and your, increasing in love, LEONATUS POSTHUMUS.

O, for a horse with wings!-Hear'st thou, Pisanio?
He is at Milford-Haven: Read, and tell me
How far 'tis thither. If one of mean affairs
May plod it in a week, why may not I
Glide thither in a day?-Then, true Pisanio,
(Who long'st, like me, to see thy lord; who

O, let me 'bate,-but not like me:-yet long'st,-
But in a fainter kind;-0, not like me;
For mine's beyond beyond,) say, and speak thick,6
(Love's counsellor should fill the bores of hearing,
To the smothering of the sense,) how far it is
To this same blessed Milford: And, by the way,
Tell me how Wales was made so happy, as
To inherit such a haven: But, first of all,
How we may steal from hence; and for the gap
That we shall make in time, from our hence-going
And our return, to excuse :-but first, how get

Why should excuse be born or e'er begot?
We'll talk of that bereafter. Pr'ythee, speak,
How many score of miles may we well ride
'Twixt hour and hour?

One score, 'twixt sun and sun,
Madam, 's enough for you; and too much too.
Imo. Why, one that rode to his execution, man,
Could never go so slow: I have heard of riding

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Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd: To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded? beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. O, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check;
Richer, than doing nothing for a babe;
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours.
Gui. Out of your proof you speak: we, poor un-
Have never wing'd from view o' the nest; nor

know not

What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
With your stiff age; but, unto us, it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling a-bed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.2


What should we speak of, When we are old as you? when we shall hear The rain and wind beat dark December, how, In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing: We are beastly; subtle as the fox, for prey; Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat: Our valor is, to chase what flies; our cage We make a quire, as doth the prison bird, And sing our bondage freely.


How you speak!
Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly, the art o' the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery, that

The fear's as bad as falling; the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I' the name of fame and honor; which dies i' the

And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must court'sy at the censure:-0, boys, this story
The world may read in me: My body's mark'd
With Roman swords; and my report was once
First with the best of note: Cymbeline lov'd me;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.

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This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world; | Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all

The fore-end of my time.-But, up to the mountains;

This is not hunters' language:-He that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord o' the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;

And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the val-
[Exeunt Go1. and ARV.
How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
These boys know little, they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think, they are mine: and, though train'd up
thus meanly

I' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,-
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call'd Guiderius,-Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say,-Thus mine enemy fell;
And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in

That acts my words. The younger brother,Cadwal, (Once, Arvirágus,) in as like a figure,

Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rous'd!-
O Cymbeline! heaven, and my conscience, knows,
Thou didst unjustly banish me: whereon,
At three, and two years old, I stole these babes;
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,

Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mother,

And every day do honor to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
They take for natural father. The game is up.

SCENE IV.-Near Milford-Haven.

Enter PISANIO and IMOgen.


Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse, the place

Was near at hand:--Ne'er long'd my mother so
To see me first, as I have now:-Pisanio! Man!
Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind,
That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks
that sigh

From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,
Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd
Beyond self-explication: Put thyself
Into a havior3 of less fear, ere wildness
Vanquish my staider senses. What's the matter?
Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender? If it be summer news,
Smile to't before: if winterly, thou need'st
But keep that countenance still.-My husband's

That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-craftied him, And he's at some hard point.-Speak, man; thy tongue

May take off some extremity, which to read
Would be even mortal to me.

Please you, read;
And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
The most disdain'd of fortune.

Imo. [Reads.] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath play'd the strumpet in my bed: the testimonies whereoflie bleeling in me. Ispeak not out of weak surmises, but from proof as strong as my grief, and as certain as I expect my revenge. That part, thou, Pisanio, must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life. I shall give thee opportunities at MilfordHaven: she hath my letter for the purpose: Where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pander to her dishonor, and equally to me disloyal.

Pis. What, shall I need to draw my sword! the

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Out-venoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world; kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters.-What cheer,madam?
Imo. False to his bed? What is to be false?
To lie in watch there, and to think on him?
To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge

To break it with a fearful dream of him,
And cry myself awake? That's false to his bed?
Is it?

Pis. Alas, good lady!

Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness:-Iachimo, Thou didst accuse him of incontinency; Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, methinks, Thy favor's good enough.-Some jay of Italy, Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him: Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion; And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls, I must be ripp'd:-To pieces with me!-0, Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought Put on for villany; not born, where't grows; But worn, a bait for ladies. Pis. Good madam, hear me. Imo. True honest men, being heard, like false Eneas,

Were, in his time, thought false: and Sinon's weeping

Did scandal many a holy tear; took pity
From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Post-

Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false and perjur'd,
From thy great fail.-Come, fellow, be thou honest:
Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou seest

A little witness my obedience: Look!

I draw the sword myself: take it, and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart:
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief:
Thy master is not there; who was, indeed,
The riches of it: Do his bidding; strike.
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause,
But now thou seem'st a coward.
Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damn my hand.

Why, I must die;
And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master's: Against self-slaughter
There is a prohibition so divine,
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my

Something's afore't:-Soft; soft; we'll no defence;
Obedient as the scabbard.-What is here!
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
All turn'd to heresy? Away, away,
Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
Be stomachers to my heart! Thus may poor fools
Believe false teachers: Though those that are be-

Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.

And thou, Posthúmus, thou that didst set up
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father,
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt thereafter find
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness; and I grieve myself,
To think, when thou shalt be disedg'd by her
That now thou tir'st on, how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me.-Prythee, despatch:
The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,
When I desire it too.
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business,
I have not slept one wink.


Do't, and to bed then. Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first. Imo. Wherefore then Did'st undertake it? Why hast thou abused So many miles with a pretence? this place? Mine action, and thine own? our horses' labor?

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