The Tragedy of Cymbeline
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- CYMBELINE, king of Britain.
- CLOTEN, son to the Queen by a former husband.
- POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, a gentleman, husband to Imogen.
- BELARIUS, a banished lord disguised under the name of Morgan.
- GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS, sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names of POLYDORE and CADWAL, supposed sons to Morgan.
- PHILARIO, Italian, friend to Posthumus.
- IACHIMO, Italian, friend to Philario.
- CAIUS LUCIUS, general of the Roman forces.
- PISANIO, servant to Posthumus.
- CORNELIUS, a physician.
- A Roman Captain.
- Two British Captains.
- A Frenchman, friend to Philario.
- Two Lords of Cymbeline's court.
- Two Gentlemen of the same.
- Two Gaolers.
- Queen, wife to Cymbeline.
- Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former Queen.
- Helen, a lady attending on Imogen.
- Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, a Soothsayer, a
- Dutchman, a Spaniard, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers,
- Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE: Britain; Rome.
SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline's palace.
- You do not meet a man but frowns. Our bloods
- No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
- Still seem as does the King.
- But what's the matter?
- His daughter, and the heir of's kingdom, whom
- He purpos'd to his wife's sole son—a widow
- That late he married—hath referr'd herself
- Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She's wedded,
- Her husband banish'd, she imprison'd; all
- Is outward sorrow; though I think the King
- Be touch'd at very heart.
- None but the King?
- He that hath lost her too; so is the Queen,
- That most desir'd the match: but not a courtier,
- Although they wear their faces to the bent
- Of the King's looks, hath a heart that is not
- Glad at the thing they scowl at.
- And why so?
- He that hath miss'd the Princess is a thing
- Too bad for bad report; and he that hath her—
- I mean, that married her, alack, good man!
- And therefore banish'd—is a creature such
- As, to seek through the regions of the earth
- For one his like, there would be something failing
- In him that should compare. I do not think
- So fair an outward and such stuff within
- Endows a man but he.
- You speak him far.
- I do extend him, sir, within himself;
- Crush him together rather than unfold
- His measure duly.
- What's his name and birth?
- I cannot delve him to the root. His father
- Was call'd Sicilius, who did join his honour
- Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
- But had his titles by Tenantius whom
- He serv'd with glory and admir'd success,
- So gain'd the sur-addition Leonatus;
- And had, besides this gentleman in question,
- Two other sons, who in the wars o' the time,
- Died with their swords in hand; for which their father,
- Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
- That he quit being, and his gentle lady,
- Big of this gentleman our theme, deceas'd
- As he was born. The King he takes the babe
- To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus,
- Breeds him and makes him of his bed-chamber,
- Puts to him all the learnings that his time
- Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
- As we do air, fast as 'twas minist'red,
- And in's spring became a harvest; liv'd in court—
- Which rare it is to do—most prais'd, most lov'd,
- A sample to the youngest, to the more mature
- A glass that feated them, and to the graver
- A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
- For whom he now is banish'd—her own price
- Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue;
- By her election may be truly read
- What kind of man he is.
- I honour him
- Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me,
- Is she sole child to the King?
- His only child.
- He had two sons,—if this be worth your hearing,
- Mark it—the eldest of them at three years old,
- I' the swathing-clothes the other, from their nursery
- Were stolen, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
- Which way they went.
- How long is this ago?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Some twenty years.
- That a king's children should be so convey'd,
- So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
- That could not trace them!
- Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
- Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
- Yet is it true, sir.
- I do well believe you.
- We must forbear; here comes the gentleman,
- The Queen, and Princess.
[Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.]
- No, be assur'd you shall not find me, daughter,
- After the slander of most stepmothers,
- Evil-ey'd unto you. You're my prisoner, but
- Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
- That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
- So soon as I can win the offended King,
- I will be known your advocate. Marry, yet
- The fire of rage is in him, and 'twere good
- You lean'd unto his sentence with what patience
- Your wisdom may inform you.
- Please your Highness,
- I will from hence to-day.
- You know the peril.
- I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
- The pangs of barr'd affections, though the King
- Hath charg'd 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 reserv'd my holy duty—what
- His rage can do on me. You must be gone;
- And 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!
- O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
- To be suspected of more tenderness
- Than doth become a man. I will remain
- The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth.
- My residence in Rome at one Philario's,
- Who 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.
- Be brief, I pray you.
- If the King come, I shall incur I know not
- How much of his displeasure.
Yet I'll move him
- To walk this way. I never do him wrong
- But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
- Pays dear for my offences.
- 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.
- Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
- Such parting were too petty. Look here, love;
- This diamond was my mother's. 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
[Putting on the ring.]
While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,
- As 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.
- It is a manacle of love; I'll place it
- Upon this fairest prisoner.
[Putting a bracelet upon her arm.]
- O the gods!
- When shall we see again?
[Enter CYMBELINE and LORDS.]
- Alack, the King!
- Thou basest thing, avoid! Hence, from my sight!
- If 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!
- I am gone.
- There cannot be a pinch in death
- More sharp than this is.
- O disloyal thing,
- That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st
- A 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!
- O blest, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
- And did avoid a puttock.
- Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne
- A seat for baseness.
- No; I rather added
- A lustre to it.
- O thou vile one!
- Sir, It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus.
- You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
- A man worth any woman; overbuys me
- Almost the sum he pays.
- What, art thou mad?
- Almost, sir; heaven restore me! Would I were
- A neat-herd's daughter, and my Leonatus
- Our neighbour shepherd's son!
CYMBELINE. 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,
- Dear 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,
- Die of this folly!
[Exeunt CYMBELINE and LORDS.]
- Fie! you must give way.
- Here is your servant. How now, sir! What news?
- My lord your son drew on my master.
- Ha! No harm, I trust, is done?
- There might have been,
- But that my master rather play'd than fought
- And had no help of anger. They were parted
- By 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. O brave sir!
- I would they were in Afric both together;
- Myself 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,
- When't pleas'd you to employ me.
- This hath been
- Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honour
- He will remain so.
- I humbly thank your Highness.
- Pray, walk a while.
- About some half-hour hence,
- I Pray you, speak with me; you shall at least
- Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me.
SCENE II. The same. A public place.
[Enter CLOTEN and two LORDS.]
- Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action
- hath made you reek as a sacrifice. Where air comes out, air
- comes in; there's none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.
- If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I hurt him?
No, faith; not so much as his patience.
- Hurt him! His body's a passable carcass, if he be not
- hurt; it is a throughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.
His steel was in debt; it went o' the backside the town.
- The villain would not stand me.
No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.
- Stand you! You have land enough of your own; but he
- added to your having, gave you some ground.
As many inches as you have oceans. Puppies!
- I would they had not come between us.
So would I, till you had measur'd how long a fool you
- were upon the ground.
- And that she should love this fellow and refuse me!
If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damn'd.
- Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go
- not together. She's a good sign, but I have seen small
- of her wit.
She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her.
- Come, I'll to my chamber. Would there had been some hurt
I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no
- great hurt.
- You'll go with us?
- I'll attend your lordship.
- Nay, come, let's go together.
- Well, my lord.
SCENE III. A room in CYMBELINE'S palace.
[Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO.]
- I would thou grew'st unto the shores o' the haven,
- And question'dst every sail. If he should write
- And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost,
- As offer'd mercy is. What was the last
- That he spake to thee?
- It was his queen, his queen!
- Then wav'd his handkerchief?
- And kiss'd it, madam.
- Senseless linen! happier therein than I!
- And that was all?
- No, madam; for so long
- As he could make me with this eye or ear
- Distinguish him from others, he did keep
- The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
- Still waving, as the fits and stirs of's mind
- Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on,
- How swift his ship.
- Thou shouldst have made him
- As little as a crow, or less, ere left
- To after-eye him.
- Madam, so I did.
- I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd them, but
- To look upon him, till the diminution
- Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
- Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from
- The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
- Have turn'd mine eye and wept. But, good Pisanio,
- When shall we hear from him?
- Be assured, madam,
- With his next vantage.
- I did not take my leave of him, but had
- Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
- How I would think on him at certain hours
- Such thoughts and such, or I could make him swear
- The shes of Italy should not betray
- Mine interest and his honour, or have charg'd him,
- At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
- To encounter me with orisons, for then
- I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
- Give him that parting kiss which I had set
- Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
- And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
- Shakes all our buds from growing.
[Enter a LADY.]
- The Queen, madam,
- Desires your Highness' company.
- Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch'd.
- I will attend the Queen.
- Madam, I shall.
SCENE IV. Rome. PHILARIO'S house.
[Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a FRENCHMAN, a DUTCHMAN, and a SPANIARD.]
- Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain. He was then of a
- crescent note, expected to prove so worthy as since he hath
- been allowed the name of; but I could then have look'd on him
- without the help of admiration, though the catalogue of his
- endowments had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by
- You speak of him when he was less furnish'd than now he
- is with that which makes him both without and within.
- I have seen him in France. We had very many there could
- behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.
- This matter of marrying his king's daughter, wherein he
- must be weighed rather by her value than his own, words him, I
- doubt not, a great deal from the matter.
- And then his banishment.
- Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this lamentable
- divorce under her colours are wonderfully to extend him; be it
- but to fortify her judgement, which else an easy battery might
- lay flat, for taking a beggar without less quality. But how
- comes it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps acquaintance?
- His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I have been
- often bound for no less than my life.
Here comes the Briton. Let him be so entertained amongst you as
- suits with gentlemen of your knowing to a stranger of his
- quality.—I beseech you all, be better known to this gentleman,
- whom I commend to you as a noble friend of mine. How worthy he
- is I will leave to appear hereafter, rather than story him in
- his own hearing.
- Sir, we have known together in Orleans.
- Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,
- which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.
- Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness. I was glad I did atone my
- countryman and you. It had been pity you should have been put
- together with so mortal a purpose as then each bore, upon
- importance of so slight and trivial a nature.
- By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller; rather shunn'd
- to go even with what I heard than in my every action to be guided
- by others' experiences: but upon my mended judgement—if I offend
- [not] to say it is mended—my quarrel was not altogether slight.
- Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords, and by such
- two that would by all likelihood have confounded one the other, or
- have fallen both.
- Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?
- Safely, I think; 'twas a contention in public, which may, without
- contradiction, suffer the report. It was much like an argument
- that fell out last night, where each of us fell in praise of our
- country-mistresses; this gentleman at that time vouching—and
- upon warrant of bloody affirmation—his to be more fair, virtuous,
- wise, chaste, constant, qualified, and less attemptable than any
- the rarest of our ladies in France.
- That lady is not now living, or this gentleman's opinion by this
- worn out.
- She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.
- You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.
- Being so far provok'd as I was in France, I would abate her
- nothing, though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.
- As fair and as good—a kind of hand-in-hand comparison—had been
- something too fair and too good for any lady in Britain. If she
- went before others I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres
- many I have beheld, I could not [but] believe she excelled many.
- But I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor you the
- I prais'd her as I rated her; so do I my stone.
- What do you esteem it at?
- More than the world enjoys.
- Either your unparagon'd mistress is dead, or she's outpriz'd by a
- You are mistaken. The one may be sold, or given, if there were
- wealth enough for the purchase, or merit for the gift; the other is
- not a thing for sale, and only the gift of the gods.
- Which the gods have given you?
- Which, by their graces, I will keep.
- You may wear her in title yours; but, you know, strange fowl
- light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen too;
- so your brace of unprizable estimations, the one is but frail
- and the other casual. A cunning thief, or a that-way-
- accomplish'd courtier, would hazard the winning both of first
- and last.
- Your Italy contains none so accomplish'd a courtier to convince
- the honour of my mistress, if, in the holding or loss of that,
- you term her frail. I do nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
- notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.
- Let us leave here, gentlemen.
- Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes
- no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.
- With five times so much conversation, I should get ground of your
- fair mistress, make her go back, even to the yielding, had I
- admittance, and opportunity to friend.
- No, no.
- I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to your ring;
- which, in my opinion, o'ervalues it something. But I make my
- wager rather against your confidence than her reputation; and,
- to bar your offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
- lady in the world.
- You are a great deal abus'd in too bold a persuasion; and I doubt
- not you sustain what you're worthy of by your attempt.
- What's that?
- A repulse; though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more,—a
- punishment too.
- Gentlemen, enough of this; it came in too suddenly. Let it die
- as it was born, and, I pray you, be better acquainted.
- Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the approbation
- of what I have spoke!
- What lady would you choose to assail?
- Yours, whom in constancy you think stands so safe. I will lay you
- ten thousand ducats to your ring, that, commend me to the court
- where your lady is, with no more advantage than the opportunity of
- a second conference, and I will bring from thence that honour of
- hers which you imagine so reserv'd.
- I will wage against your gold, gold to it. My ring I hold dear as
- my finger; 'tis part of it.
- You are afraid, and therein the wiser. If you buy ladies' flesh
- at a million a dram, you cannot preserve it from tainting. But I
- see you have some religion in you, that you fear.
- This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I
- I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo what's spoken,
- I swear.
- Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your return. Let
- there be covenants drawn between's. My mistress exceeds in
- goodness the hugeness of your unworthy thinking. I dare you to
- this match: here's my ring.
- I will have it no lay.
- By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no sufficient testimony
- that I have enjoy'd the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my
- ten thousand ducats are yours; so is your diamond too. If I come
- off, and leave her in such honour as you have trust in, she your
- jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are yours; provided I have
- your commendation for my more free entertainment.
- I embrace these conditions; let us have articles betwixt us.
- Only, thus far you shall answer: if you make your voyage upon her
- and give me directly to understand you have prevail'd, I am no
- further your enemy; she is not worth our debate. If she remain
- unseduc'd, you not making it appear otherwise, for your ill
- opinion and the assault you have made to her chastity you shall
- answer me with your sword.
- Your hand; a covenant. We will have these things set down by
- lawful counsel, and straight away for Britain, lest the bargain
- should catch cold and starve. I will fetch my gold and have our
- two wagers recorded.
[Exeunt POSTHUMUS and IACHIMO.]
- Will this hold, think you?
- Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow 'em.
SCENE V. Britain. A room in CYMBELINE'S palace.
[Enter QUEEN, LADIES, and CORNELIUS.]
- Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;
- Make haste. Who has the note of them?
- I, madam.
Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?
- Pleaseth your Highness, ay. Here they are, madam.
[Presenting a small box.]
But I beseech your Grace, without offence,—
- My conscience bids me ask—wherefore you have
- Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds,
- Which are the movers of a languishing death,
- But though slow, deadly?
- I wonder, doctor,
- Thou ask'st me such a question. Have I not been
- Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
- To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so
- That our great king himself doth woo me oft
- For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,—
- Unless thou think'st me devilish—is't not meet
- That I did amplify my judgement in
- Other conclusions? I will try the forces
- Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
- We count not worth the hanging,—but none human—
- To try the vigour of them and apply
- Allayments to their act, and by them gather
- Their several virtues and effects.
- Your Highness
- Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.
- Besides, the seeing these effects will be
- Both noisome and infectious.
QUEEN. O, content thee.
Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him
- Will I first work. He's for his master,
- An enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio!
- Doctor, your service for this time is ended;
- Take your own way.
I do suspect you, madam;
- But you shall do no harm.
Hark thee, a word.
I do not like her. She doth think she has
- Strange ling'ring poisons. I do know her spirit,
- And will not trust one of her malice with
- A drug of such damn'd nature. Those she has
- Will stupefy and dull the sense a while,
- Which first, perchance, she'll prove on cats and dogs,
- Then afterward up higher; but there is
- No danger in what show of death it makes,
- More than the locking-up the spirits a time,
- To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool'd
- With a most false effect; and I the truer,
- So to be false with her.
- No further service, doctor,
- Until I send for thee.
- I humbly take my leave.
- Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost thou think in time
- She will not quench and let instructions enter
- Where folly now possesses? Do thou work.
- When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
- I'll tell thee on the instant thou art then
- As great as is thy master,—greater, for
- His fortunes all lie speechless and his name
- Is at last gasp. Return he cannot, nor
- Continue where he is. To shift his being
- Is to exchange one misery with another,
- And every day that comes comes to
- A day's work in him. What shalt thou expect,
- To be depender on a thing that leans,
- Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends
- So much as but to prop him?
[The QUEEN drops the box: PISANIO takes it up.]
Thou tak'st up
- Thou know'st not what; but take it for thy labour.
- It is a thing I made, which hath the King
- Five times redeem'd from death. I do not know
- What is more cordial. Nay, I prithee, take it;
- It is an earnest of a further good
- That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
- The case stands with her; do't as from thyself.
- Think what a chance thou changest on; but think
- Thou hast thy mistress still; to boot, my son,
- Who shall take notice of thee. I'll move the King
- To any shape of thy preferment such
- As thou'lt desire; and then myself, I chiefly,
- That set thee on to this desert, am bound
- To load thy merit richly. Call my women.
- Think on my words.
A sly and constant knave,
- Not to be shak'd; the agent for his master
- And the remembrancer of her to hold
- The hand-fast to her lord. I have given him that
- Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
- Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
- Except she bend her humour, shall be assur'd
- To taste of too.
[Re-enter PISANIO and LADIES.]
So, so; well done, well done.
- The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
- Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pisanio;
- Think on my words.
[Exeunt QUEEN and LADIES.]
- And shall do;
- But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
- I'll choke myself. There's all I'll do for you.
SCENE VI. The same. Another room in the palace.
- A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
- A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
- That hath her husband banish'd;—O, that husband!
- My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
- Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stolen,
- As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
- Is the desire that's glorious. Blessed be those,
- How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
- Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!
[Enter PISANIO and IACHIMO.]
- Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome
- Comes from my lord with letters.
- Change you, madam?
- The worthy Leonatus is in safety
- And greets your Highness dearly.
[Presents a letter]
- Thanks, good sir;
- You're kindly welcome.
All of her that is out of door most rich!
- If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
- She is alone, the Arabian bird, and I
- Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
- Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
- Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
- Rather, directly fly.
"—He is one of the noblest note, to whose
- kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon him
- accordingly, as you value your trust— LEONATUS"
So far I read aloud—
- But even the very middle of my heart
- Is warm'd by the rest—and take it thankfully.
- You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
- Have words to bid you; and shall find it so
- In all that I can do.
- Thanks, fairest lady.
- What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
- To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
- Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt
- The fiery orbs above and the twinn'd stones
- Upon the number'd beach, and can we not
- Partition make with spectacles so precious
- 'Twixt fair and foul?
- What makes your admiration?
- It cannot be i' the eye, for apes and monkeys
- 'Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
- Contemn with mows the other; nor i' the judgement,
- For idiots in this case of favour would
- Be wisely definite; nor i' the appetite;
- Sluttery to such neat excellence oppos'd
- Should make desire vomit emptiness,
- Not so allur'd to feed.
- What is the matter, trow?
- The cloyed will,—
- That satiate yet unsatisfi'd desire, that tub
- Both fill'd and running,—ravening first the lamb,
- Longs after for the garbage.
- What, dear sir,
- Thus raps you? Are you well?
- Thanks, madam; well.
Beseech you, sir, desire
- My man's abode where I did leave him.
- He is strange and peevish.
- I was going, sir,
- To give him welcome.
- Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?
- Well, madam.
- Is he dispos'd to mirth? I hope he is.
- Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
- So merry and so gamesome. He is call'd
- The Briton reveller.
- When he was here,
- He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
- Not knowing why.
- I never saw him sad.
- There is a Frenchman his companion, one
- An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much loves
- A Gallian girl at home. He furnaces
- The thick sighs from him; whiles the jolly Briton—
- Your lord, I mean—laughs from's free lungs, cries "O,
- Can my sides hold, to think that man, who knows
- By history, report, or his own proof,
- What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
- But must be, will his free hours languish for
- Assured bondage?"
- Will my lord say so?
- Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter.
- It is a recreation to be by
- And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
- Some men are much to blame.
- Not he, I hope.
- Not he; but yet heaven's bounty towards him might
- Be used more thankfully. In himself, 'tis much;
- In you—which I account his—beyond all talents.
- Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
- To pity too.
- What do you pity, sir?
- Two creatures heartily.
- Am I one, sir?
- You look on me; what wreck discern you in me
- Deserves your pity?
- Lamentable! What,
- To hide me from the radiant sun, and solace
- I' the dungeon by a snuff?
- I pray you, sir,
- Deliver with more openness your answers
- To my demands. Why do you pity me?
- That others do,
- I was about to say, enjoy your—But
- It is an office of the gods to venge it,
- Not mine to speak on't.
- You do seem to know
- Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,—
- Since doubting things go ill often hurts more
- Than to be sure they do; for certainties
- Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
- The remedy then born—discover to me
- What both you spur and stop.
- Had I this cheek
- To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
- Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
- To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
- Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
- Fixing it only here; should I, damn'd then,
- Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
- That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
- Made hard with hourly falsehood—falsehood, as
- With labour; then lie peeping in an eye
- Base and illustrious as the smoky light
- That's fed with stinking tallow: it were fit
- That all the plagues of hell should at one time
- Encounter such revolt.
- My lord, I fear,
- Has forgot Britain.
- And himself. Not I,
- Inclin'd to this intelligence, pronounce
- The beggary of his change; but 'tis your graces
- That from my mutest conscience to my tongue
- Charms this report out.
- Let me hear no more.
- O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart
- With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady
- So fair, and fasten'd to an empery
- Would make the great'st king double,—to be partner'd
- With tomboys hir'd with that self-exhibition
- Which your own coffers yield! with diseas'd ventures
- That play with all infirmities for gold
- Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff
- As well might poison poison! Be reveng'd;
- Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
- Recoil from your great stock.
- How should I be reveng'd? If this be true,
- As I have such a heart that both mine ears
- Must not in haste abuse—if it be true,
- How should I be reveng'd?
- Should he make me
- Live, like Diana's priest, betwixt cold sheets,
- Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
- In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
- I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
- More noble than that runagate to your bed,
- And will continue fast to your affection,
- Still close as sure.
- What ho, Pisanio!
- Let me my service tender on your lips.
- Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
- So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
- Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
- For such an end thou seek'st,—as base as strange.
- Thou wrong'st a gentleman, who is as far
- From thy report as thou from honour, and
- Solicit'st here a lady that disdains
- Thee and the devil alike. What, ho, Pisanio!
- The King my father shall be made acquainted
- Of thy assault. If he shall think it fit
- A saucy stranger in his court to mart
- As in a Romish stew, and to expound
- His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
- He little cares for and a daughter who
- He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!
- O happy Leonatus! I may say.
- The credit that thy lady hath of thee
- Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
- Her assur'd credit. Blessed live you long
- A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
- Country call'd his! and you his mistress, only
- For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
- I have spoke this, to know if your affiance
- Were deeply rooted, and shall make your lord,
- That which he is, new o'er; and he is one
- The truest manner'd, such a holy witch
- That he enchants societies into him;
- Half all men's hearts are his.
- You make amends.
- He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
- He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
- More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
- Most mighty princess, that I have adventur'd
- To try your taking of a false report; which hath
- Honour'd with confirmation your great judgement
- In the election of a sir so rare,
- Which you know cannot err. The love I bear him
- Made me to fan you thus; but the gods made you,
- Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.
- All's well, sir. Take my power i' the court for yours.
- My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
- To entreat your Grace but in a small request,
- And yet of moment too, for it concerns
- Your lord, myself, and other noble friends,
- Are partners in the business.
- Pray, what is't?
- Some dozen Romans of us and your lord—
- The best feather of our wing—have mingled sums
- To buy a present for the Emperor;
- Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
- In France. 'Tis plate of rare device, and jewels
- Of rich and exquisite form, their values great;
- And I am something curious, being strange,
- To have them in safe stowage. May it please you
- To take them in protection?
- And pawn mine honour for their safety. Since
- My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
- In my bedchamber.
- They are in a trunk,
- Attended by my men. I will make bold
- To send them to you, only for this night;
- I must aboard to-morrow.
- O, no, no.
- Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
- By lengthening my return. From Gallia
- I cross'd the seas on purpose and on promise
- To see your Grace.
- I thank you for your pains:
- But not away to-morrow!
- O, I must, madam;
- Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
- To greet your lord with writing; do't to-night.
- I have outstood my time; which is material
- To the tender of our present.
- I will write.
- Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,
- And truly yielded you. You're very welcome.
SCENE I. Britain. Before CYMBELINE'S palace.
[Enter CLOTEN and the two LORDS.]
- Was there ever man had such luck! When I kiss'd the jack,
- upon an up-cast to be hit away! I had a hundred pound on't; and
- then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing, as if I
- borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my
- What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your bowl.
If his wit had been like him that broke it, it would have run all
- When a gentleman is dispos'd to swear, it is not for any
- standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
- No, my lord;
nor crop the ears of them.
- Whoreson dog! I give him satisfaction? Would he had been one of
- my rank!
To have smelt like a fool.
- I am not vex'd more at anything in the earth; a pox on't! I had
- rather not be so noble as I am. They dare not fight with me,
- because of the Queen my mother. Every Jack-slave hath his
- bellyful of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock
- that nobody can match.
You are cock and capon too; and you crow, cock, with your comb
- Sayest thou?
- It is not fit your lordship should undertake every companion that
- you give offence to.
- No, I know that; but it is fit I should commit offence to my
- Ay, it is fit for your lordship only.
- Why, so I say.
- Did you hear of a stranger that's come to court to-night?
- A stranger, and I not known on't!
He's a strange fellow himself, and knows it not.
- There's an Italian come; and, 'tis thought, one of Leonatus'
- Leonatus! a banish'd rascal; and he's another, whatsoever he be.
- Who told you of this stranger?
- One of your lordship's pages.
- Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no derogation in't?
- You cannot derogate, my lord.
- Not easily, I think.
You are a fool granted; therefore your issues, being foolish, do
- not derogate.
- Come, I'll go see this Italian. What I have lost to-day at bowls
- I'll win to-night of him. Come, go.
- I'll attend your lordship.
[Exeunt CLOTEN and FIRST LORD.]
- That such a crafty devil as is his mother
- Should yield the world this ass! A woman that
- Bears all down with her brain; and this her son
- Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart,
- And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
- Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st,
- Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern'd,
- A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
- More hateful than the foul expulsion is
- Of thy dear husband! Then that horrid act
- Of the divorce he'd make! The heavens hold firm
- The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshak'd
- That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand
- To enjoy thy banish'd lord and this great land!
SCENE II. IMOGEN'S bedchamber in CYMBELINE'S palace
[A trunk in one corner of it]
[IMOGEN in bed [reading]; a LADY [attending.]]
- Who's there? My woman Helen?
- Please you, madam.
- What hour is it?
- Almost midnight, madam.
- I have read three hours then. Mine eyes are weak.
- Fold down the leaf where I have left. To bed.
- Take not away the taper, leave it burning;
- And if thou canst awake by four o' the clock,
- I prithee, call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly.
To your protection I commend me, gods.
- From fairies and the tempters of the night
- Guard me, beseech ye.
[Sleeps. IACHIMO comes from the trunk.]
- The crickets sing, and man's o'erlabour'd sense
- Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
- Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd
- The chastity he wounded. Cytherea!
- How bravely thou becom'st thy bed, fresh lily,
- And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
- But kiss one kiss! Rubies unparagon'd,
- How dearly they do't! 'Tis her breathing that
- Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame o' the taper
- Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids
- To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
- Under these windows white and azure, lac'd
- With blue of heaven's own tinct. But my design,
- To note the chamber. I will write all down:
- Such and such pictures; there the window; such
- The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
- Why, such and such; and the contents o' the story.
- Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
- Above ten thousand meaner moveables
- Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
- O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
- And be her sense but as a monument,
- Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off!
[Taking off her bracelet.]
As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
- 'Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
- As strongly as the conscience does within,
- To the madding of her lord. On her left breast
- A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
- I' the bottom of a cowslip. Here's a voucher,
- Stronger than ever law could make; this secret
- Will force him think I have pick'd the lock and ta'en
- The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
- Why should I write this down, that's riveted,
- Screw'd to my memory? She hath been reading late
- The tale of Tereus; here the leaf's turn'd down
- Where Philomel gave up. I have enough.
- To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
- Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
- May bare the raven's eye! I lodge in fear;
- Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
One, two, three; time, time!
[Goes into the trunk.]
SCENE III. An ante-chamber adjoining IMOGEN'S apartments.
[Enter CLOTEN and LORDS.]
- Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the most
- coldest that ever turn'd up ace.
- It would make any man cold to lose.
- But not every man patient after the noble temper of your
- You are most hot and furious when you win.
- Winning will put any man into courage. If I could get this
- Imogen, I should have gold enough. It's almost morning, is't not?
- Day, my lord.
- I would this music would come. I am advised to give her music o'
- mornings; they say it will penetrate.
Come 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 consider.
Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
- And Phoebus gins arise
- His steeds to water at those springs
- On chalic'd 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 music
- the better; if it do not, it is a vice in her ears, which
- horse-hairs and calves'-guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch
- to boot, can never amend.
[Enter CYMBELINE and QUEEN.]
- Here comes the King.
- I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up so
- 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?
- Will she not forth?
- I have assail'd 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
- Must wear the print of his remembrance on't,
- And then she's yours.
- You are most bound to the King,
- Who lets go by no vantages that may
- Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself
- To orderly soliciting, and be friended
- With aptness of the season; make denials
- Increase your services; so seem as if
- You were inspir'd to do those duties which
- You tender to her; that you in all obey her,
- Save when command to your dismission tends,
- And therein you are senseless.
- Senseless? Not so.
[Enter a 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 honour 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 mistress,
- Attend the Queen and us; we shall have need
- To employ you towards this Roman. Come, our queen.
[Exeunt all but CLOTEN.]
- 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
- Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
- Their deer to the stand o' the stealer; and 'tis gold
- Which makes the true man kill'd and saves the thief,
- 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.
[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,
- Can 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!
- Good morrow, fairest. Sister, your sweet hand.
- Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
- For 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.
- If 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,
- I 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,
- 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 so near the lack of charity
- 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 allowed 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-figur'd knot,
- Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by
- The consequence o' the crown, and must not foil
- The precious note of it with a base slave,
- A hilding 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!
- He never can meet more mischance than come
- To be but nam'd of thee. His mean'st 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?
[Missing the bracelet.]
- "His garments!" Now the devil—
- To Dorothy my woman hie thee presently—
- "His garment!"
- I am sprited with a fool,
- Frighted, and ang'red 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 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.
- 'Twill not be lost.
- I hope so; go and search.
- You have abus'd me
- "His meanest garment!"
- Ay, 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 the worst of discontent.
- I'll be reveng'd.
- "His meanest garment!" Well.
SCENE IV. Rome. PHILARIO'S house.
[Enter POSTHUMUS and PHILARIO.]
- Fear it not, sir; I would I were so sure
- To win the King as I am bold her honour
- Will remain hers.
- What means do you make to him?
- Not any, but abide the change of time,
- Quake in the present winter's state, and wish
- That warmer days would come. In these fear'd hopes,
- I barely gratify your love; they failing,
- I must die much your debtor.
- 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's commission throughly; 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
- In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings
- Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
- Are men more order'd than when Julius Caesar
- Smil'd at their lack of skill, but found their courage
- Worthy his frowning at. Their discipline,
- Now wing-led with their courages, will make known
- To their approvers they are people such
- That mend upon the world.
- See! Iachimo!
- The swiftest harts have posted you by land;
- And winds of all the comers kiss'd your sails,
- To make your vessel nimble.
- Welcome, sir.
- I hope the briefness of your answer made
- The speediness of your return.
- Your lady
- Is one of the fairest that I have look'd upon.
- And therewithal the best; or let her beauty
- Look through a casement to allure false hearts
- And be false with them.
- Here are letters for you.
- Their tenour good, I trust.
- 'Tis very like.
- Was Caius Lucius in the Britain court
- When you were there?
- He was expected then,
- But not approach'd.
- All is well yet.
- Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is't not
- Too dull for your good wearing?
- If I have lost it,
- I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
- I'll make a journey twice as far, to enjoy
- A second night of such sweet shortness which
- Was mine in Britain; for the ring is won.
- The stone's too hard to come by.
- Not a whit,
- Your lady being so easy.
- Make not, sir,
- Your loss your sport. I hope you know that we
- Must not continue friends.
- Good sir, we must,
- If you keep covenant. Had I not brought
- The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
- We were to question farther; but I now
- Profess myself the winner of her honour,
- Together with your ring; and not the wronger
- Of her or you, having proceeded but
- By both your wills.
- 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 honour 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 bedchamber,—
- 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;
- And this you might have heard of here, by me,
- Or by some other.
- More particulars
- Must justify my knowledge.
- So they must,
- Or do your honour injury.
- The chimney
- Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece
- Chaste Dian bathing. Never saw I figures
- So likely to report themselves. The cutter
- Was as another Nature, dumb; outwent her,
- Motion and breath left out.
- This is a thing
- Which you might from relation likewise reap,
- Being, as it is, much spoke of.
- 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 honour!
- Let it be granted you have seen all this—and praise
- Be given to your remembrance—the description
- Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
- The wager you have laid.
- Then, if you can,
[Showing 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?
- Sir—I thank her—that.
- She stripp'd it from her arm. I see her yet.
- Her pretty action did outsell her gift,
- And yet enrich'd it too. She gave it me, and said
- She priz'd it once.
- May be she pluck'd it off
- To send it me.
- She writes so to you, doth she?
- 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 honour
- Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love
- Where there's another man. The vows of women
- 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 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.
- By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.
- Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears.
- 'Tis true—nay, keep the ring—'tis true. I am sure
- She would not lose it. Her attendants are
- All sworn and honourable. They induced to steal it!
- And by a stranger! No, he hath enjoy'd her.
- The cognizance of her incontinency
- Is this. She hath bought the name of whore thus dearly.
- There, take thy hire; and all the fiends of hell
- Divide themselves between you!
- Sir, be patient.
- This is not strong enough to be believ'd
- Of one persuaded well of—
- Never talk on't;
- She hath been colted by him.
- If you seek
- For further satisfying, under her breast—
- Worthy the pressing—lies a mole, right proud
- Of that most delicate lodging. By my life,
- I kiss'd it; and it gave me present hunger
- To feed again, though full. You do remember
- This stain upon her?
- Ay, and it doth confirm
- Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
- Were there no more but it.
- Will you hear more?
- Spare your arithmetic; never count the turns;
- Once, and a million!
- I'll be sworn—
- No swearing.
- If you will swear you have not done't, you lie;
- And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
- Thou'st made me cuckold.
- I'll deny nothing.
- O, that I had her here, to tear her limbmeal!
- I will go there and do't, i' the court, before
- Her father. I'll do something—
- Quite besides
- The government of patience! You have won.
- Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath
- He hath against himself.
- With all my heart.
SCENE V. Another room in PHILARIO'S house.
- Is there no way for men to be, but women
- Must be half-workers? We are all bastards;
- 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 her
- As chaste as unsunn'd snow. O, all the devils!
- This yellow Iachimo, in an hour,—was't not?—
- Or less,—at first?—perchance he spoke not, but,
- Like a full-acorn'd boar, a German one,
- Cried "O!" 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 nam'd, 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 hall in Cymbeline's palace.
[Enter in state, CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, and Lords at one door, and at another, CAIUS LUCIUS and Attendants]
- Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?
- When Julius Caesar, whose remembrance yet
- Lives in men's eyes and will to ears and tongues
- Be theme and hearing ever, was in this Britain
- And conquer'd it, Cassibelan, thine uncle,—
- Famous in Caesar's praises, no whit less
- Than in his feats deserving it—for him
- And his succession granted Rome a tribute,
- Yearly three thousand pounds, which by thee lately
- Is left untender'd.
- And, to kill the marvel,
- Shall be so ever.
- There be many Caesars,
- 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 's, 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 unscalable and roaring waters,
- With sands that will not bear your enemies' boats,
- But suck them up to the topmast. A kind of conquest
- Caesar made here; but made not here his brag
- Of 'Came' and 'saw' and 'overcame: ' with shame—
- That first that ever touch'd him—he was carried
- From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping—
- Poor ignorant baubles!— upon our terrible seas,
- Like egg-shells moved upon their surges, crack'd
- As easily 'gainst our rocks: for joy whereof
- The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point—
- O giglot fortune!—to master Caesar's sword,
- Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright
- And Britons strut with courage.
- 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 moe such Caesars: other of
- them may have crook'd noses, but to owe such
- straight arms, none.
- Son, let your mother end.
- 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
- Caesar can hide the sun from us with a blanket, or
- put the moon in his pocket, we will pay him tribute
- for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you now.
- You must know,
- Till the injurious Romans did extort
- This tribute from us, we were free:
- Caesar's ambition,
- Which swell'd so much that it did almost stretch
- The sides o' the world, against all colour here
- Did put the yoke upon 's; which to shake off
- Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
- Ourselves to be.
CLOTEN & Lords
- We do.
- Say, then, to Caesar,
- Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which
- Ordain'd our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar
- Hath too much mangled; whose repair and franchise
- Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,
- Though Rome be therefore angry: Mulmutius made our laws,
- 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 Caesar—
- Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than
- Thyself domestic officers—thine enemy:
- Receive it from me, then: war and confusion
- In Caesar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee: look
- For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,
- I thank thee for myself.
- Thou art welcome, Caius.
- Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent
- Much under him; of him I gather'd honour;
- Which he to seek of me again, perforce,
- Behoves me keep at utterance. I am perfect
- That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for
- Their liberties are now in arms; a precedent
- Which not to read would show the Britons cold:
- So Caesar shall not find them.
- Let proof speak.
- His majesty bids you welcome. Make
- pastime with us a day or two, or longer: if
- you seek us afterwards in other terms, you
- shall find us in our salt-water girdle: if you
- beat us out of it, it is yours; if you fall in
- the adventure, our crows shall fare the better
- for you; and there's an end.
- So, sir.
- I know your master's pleasure and he mine:
- All the remain is 'Welcome!'
SCENE II Another room in the palace.
[Enter PISANIO, with a letter]
- How? of adultery? Wherefore write you not
- What monster's her accuser? Leonatus,
- O master! what a strange infection
- Is fall'n into thy ear! What false Italian,
- As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevail'd
- On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal! No:
- She's punish'd for her truth, and undergoes,
- More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
- As would take in some virtue. O 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 blood?
- 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
- that I have sent her, by her own command
- Shall give thee opportunity.' O 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.
- How now, Pisanio!
- Madam, here is a letter from my lord.
- Who? thy lord? that is my lord, Leonatus!
- O, learn'd indeed were that astronomer
- That knew the stars as I his characters;
- He'ld 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. Blest 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!
- 'Justice, and your father's wrath, should he take me
- in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, as
- you, O the dearest of creatures, would 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 long'st,—
- let me bate,-but not like me—yet long'st,
- But in a fainter kind:—O, not like me;
- For mine's beyond beyond—say, and speak thick;
- 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 hence:
- Why should excuse be born or e'er begot?
- We'll talk of that hereafter. Prithee, 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.
- Why, one that rode to's execution, man,
- Could never go so slow: I have heard of
- riding wagers,
- Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
- That run i' the clock's behalf. But this is foolery:
- Go bid my woman feign a sickness; say
- She'll home to her father: and provide me presently
- A riding-suit, no costlier than would fit
- A franklin's housewife.
- Madam, you're best consider.
- I see before me, man: nor here, nor here,
- Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them,
- That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee;
- Do as I bid thee: there's no more to say,
- Accessible is none but Milford way.
SCENE III Wales: a mountainous country with a cave.
[Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS; GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS following]
- A goodly day not to keep house, with such
- Whose roof's as low as ours! Stoop, boys; this gate
- Instructs you how to adore the heavens and bows you
- To a morning's holy office: the gates of monarchs
- Are arch'd so high that giants may jet through
- And keep their impious turbans on, without
- Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair heaven!
- We house i' the rock, yet use thee not so hardly
- As prouder livers do.
- Hail, heaven!
- Hail, heaven!
- Now for our mountain sport: up to yond hill;
- Your legs are young; I'll tread these flats. Consider,
- When you above perceive me like a crow,
- That it is place which lessens and sets off;
- And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
- 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 cheque,
- Richer than doing nothing for a bauble,
- Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
- Such gain the cap of him that makes 'em fine,
- Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours.
- Out of your proof you speak: we, poor unfledged,
- 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.
- 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 valour is to chase what flies; our cage
- We make a quire, as doth the prison'd 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 o' the war,
- A pain that only seems to seek out danger
- I' the name of fame and honour; which dies i'
- the search,
- 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:—O 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 loved 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.
- Uncertain favour!
- My fault being nothing—as I have told you oft—
- But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd
- Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline
- I was confederate with the Romans: so
- Follow'd my banishment, and this twenty years
- This rock and these demesnes have been my world;
- Where I have lived 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 valleys.
[Exeunt GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS]
- 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, who
- 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 's neck;' even then
- The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
- Strains his young nerves and puts himself in posture
- That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
- Once Arviragus, in as like a figure,
- Strikes life into my speech and shows much more
- His own conceiving.—Hark, the game is roused!
- 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 honour to her grave:
- Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
- They take for natural father. The game is up.
SCENE IV Country near Milford-Haven.
[Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN]
- 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 havior 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't be summer news,
- Smile to't before; if winterly, thou need'st
- But keep that countenance still. My husband's hand!
- 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.
- [Reads] 'Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the
- strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie
- bleeding in me. I speak 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 opportunity at
- Milford-Haven. She hath my letter for the purpose
- where, if thou fear to strike and to make me certain
- it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour and
- equally to me disloyal.'
- What shall I need to draw my sword? the paper
- Hath cut her throat already. No, 'tis slander,
- Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
- Outvenoms 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?
- False to his bed! What is it to be false?
- To lie in watch there and to think on him?
- To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep
- charge nature,
- To break it with a fearful dream of him
- And cry myself awake? that's false to's bed, is it?
- Alas, good lady!
- I false! Thy conscience witness: Iachimo,
- Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
- Thou then look'dst like a villain; now methinks
- Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy
- Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd 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!—O,
- 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.
- Good madam, hear me.
- True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,
- Were in his time thought false, and Sinon's weeping
- Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity
- From most true wretchedness: so thou, Posthumus,
- Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
- Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured
- From thy great fall. Come, fellow, be thou honest:
- Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou see'st him,
- 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 mayst 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 heart.
- 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 betray'd
- Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
- Stands in worse case of woe.
- And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up
- My disobedience 'gainst the king my father
- And make me put into contempt the suits
- Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
- It is no act of common passage, but
- A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself
- To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her
- That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
- Will then be pang'd by me. Prithee, dispatch:
- 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.
IMOGEN Do't, and to bed then.
- I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
- Wherefore then
- Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
- So many miles with a pretence? this place?
- Mine action and thine own? our horses' labour?
- The time inviting thee? the perturb'd court,
- For my being absent? whereunto I never
- Purpose return. Why hast thou gone so far,
- To be unbent when thou hast ta'en thy stand,
- The elected deer before thee?
- But to win time
- To lose so bad employment; in the which
- I have consider'd of a course. Good lady,
- Hear me with patience.
- Talk thy tongue weary; speak
- I have heard I am a strumpet; and mine ear
- Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
- Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
- Then, madam,
- I thought you would not back again.
- Most like;
- Bringing me here to kill me.
- Not so, neither:
- But if I were as wise as honest, then
- My purpose would prove well. It cannot be
- But that my master is abused:
- Some villain, ay, and singular in his art.
- Hath done you both this cursed injury.
- Some Roman courtezan.
- No, on my life.
- I'll give but notice you are dead and send him
- Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded
- I should do so: you shall be miss'd at court,
- And that will well confirm it.
- Why good fellow,
- What shall I do the where? where bide? how live?
- Or in my life what comfort, when I am
- Dead to my husband?
- If you'll back to the court—
- No court, no father; nor no more ado
- With that harsh, noble, simple nothing,
- That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
- As fearful as a siege.
PISANIO If not at court,
- Then not in Britain must you bide.
- Where then
- Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
- Are they not but in Britain? I' the world's volume
- Our Britain seems as of it, but not in 't;
- In a great pool a swan's nest: prithee, think
- There's livers out of Britain.
- I am most glad
- You think of other place. The ambassador,
- Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven
- To-morrow: now, if you could wear a mind
- Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
- That which, to appear itself, must not yet be
- But by self-danger, you should tread a course
- Pretty and full of view; yea, haply, near
- The residence of Posthumus; so nigh at least
- That though his actions were not visible, yet
- Report should render him hourly to your ear
- As truly as he moves.
- O, for such means!
- Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,
- I would adventure.
- Well, then, here's the point:
- You must forget to be a woman; change
- Command into obedience: fear and niceness—
- The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
- Woman its pretty self—into a waggish courage:
- Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy and
- As quarrelous as the weasel; nay, you must
- Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
- Exposing it—but, O, the harder heart!
- Alack, no remedy!—to the greedy touch
- Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
- Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein
- You made great Juno angry.
- Nay, be brief
- I see into thy end, and am almost
- A man already.
- First, make yourself but like one.
- Fore-thinking this, I have already fit—
- 'Tis in my cloak-bag—doublet, hat, hose, all
- That answer to them: would you in their serving,
- And with what imitation you can borrow
- From youth of such a season, 'fore noble Lucius
- Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
- wherein you're happy,—which you'll make him know,
- If that his head have ear in music,—doubtless
- With joy he will embrace you, for he's honourable
- And doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad,
- You have me, rich; and I will never fail
- Beginning nor supplyment.
- Thou art all the comfort
- The gods will diet me with. Prithee, away:
- There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
- All that good time will give us: this attempt
- I am soldier to, and will abide it with
- A prince's courage. Away, I prithee.
- Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
- Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of
- Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
- Here is a box; I had it from the queen:
- What's in't is precious; if you are sick at sea,
- Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this
- Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
- And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
- Direct you to the best!
- Amen: I thank thee.
SCENE V A room in Cymbeline's palace.
[Enter CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, LUCIUS, Lords, and Attendants]
- Thus far; and so farewell.
- Thanks, royal sir.
- My emperor hath wrote, I must from hence;
- And am right sorry that I must report ye
- My master's enemy.
- Our subjects, sir,
- Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
- To show less sovereignty than they, must needs
- Appear unkinglike.
- So, sir: I desire of you
- A conduct over-land to Milford-Haven.
- Madam, all joy befal your grace!
- And you!
- My lords, you are appointed for that office;
- The due of honour in no point omit.
- So farewell, noble Lucius.
- Your hand, my lord.
- Receive it friendly; but from this time forth
- I wear it as your enemy.
- Sir, the event
- Is yet to name the winner: fare you well.
- Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
- Till he have cross'd the Severn. Happiness!
[Exeunt LUCIUS and Lords]
- He goes hence frowning: but it honours us
- That we have given him cause.
- 'Tis all the better;
- Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
- Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor
- How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
- Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness:
- The powers that he already hath in Gallia
- Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
- His war for Britain.
- 'Tis not sleepy business;
- But must be look'd to speedily and strongly.
- Our expectation that it would be thus
- Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
- Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
- Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
- The duty of the day: she looks us like
- A thing more made of malice than of duty:
- We have noted it. Call her before us; for
- We have been too slight in sufferance.
[Exit an Attendant]
- Royal sir,
- Since the exile of Posthumus, most retired
- Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
- 'Tis time must do. Beseech your majesty,
- Forbear sharp speeches to her: she's a lady
- So tender of rebukes that words are strokes
- And strokes death to her.
- Where is she, sir? How
- Can her contempt be answer'd?
- Please you, sir,
- Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer
- That will be given to the loudest noise we make.
QUEEN My lord, when last I went to visit her,
- She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close,
- Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity,
- She should that duty leave unpaid to you,
- Which daily she was bound to proffer: this
- She wish'd me to make known; but our great court
- Made me to blame in memory.
- Her doors lock'd?
- Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
- Prove false!
- Son, I say, follow the king.
- That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
- have not seen these two days.
- Go, look after.
- Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus!
- He hath a drug of mine; I pray his absence
- Proceed by swallowing that, for he believes
- It is a thing most precious. But for her,
- Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seized her,
- Or, wing'd with fervor of her love, she's flown
- To her desired Posthumus: gone she is
- To death or to dishonour; and my end
- Can make good use of either: she being down,
- I have the placing of the British crown.
- How now, my son!
- 'Tis certain she is fled.
- Go in and cheer the king: he rages; none
- Dare come about him.
- [Aside] All the better: may
- This night forestall him of the coming day!
- I love and hate her: for she's fair and royal,
- And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
- Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one
- The best she hath, and she, of all compounded,
- Outsells them all; I love her therefore: but
- Disdaining me and throwing favours on
- The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
- That what's else rare is choked; and in that point
- I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
- To be revenged upon her. For when fools Shall—
- Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
- Come hither: ah, you precious pander! Villain,
- Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
- Thou art straightway with the fiends.
- O, good my lord!
- Where is thy lady? Or, by Jupiter,—
- I will not ask again. Close villain,
- I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
- Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
- From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
- A dram of worth be drawn.
- Alas, my lord,
- How can she be with him? When was she missed?
- He is in Rome.
- Where is she, sir? Come nearer;
- No further halting: satisfy me home
- What is become of her.
- O, my all-worthy lord!
- All-worthy villain!
- Discover where thy mistress is at once,
- At the next word: no more of 'worthy lord!'
- Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
- Thy condemnation and thy death.
- Then, sir,
- This paper is the history of my knowledge
- Touching her flight.
[Presenting a letter]
- Let's see't. I will pursue her
- Even to Augustus' throne.
- [Aside] Or this, or perish.
- She's far enough; and what he learns by this
- May prove his travel, not her danger.
- [Aside] I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen,
- Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
- Sirrah, is this letter true?
- Sir, as I think.
- It is Posthumus' hand; I know't. Sirrah, if thou
- wouldst not be a villain, but do me true service,
- undergo those employments wherein I should have
- cause to use thee with a serious industry, that is,
- what villany soe'er I bid thee do, to perform it
- directly and truly, I would think thee an honest
- man: thou shouldst neither want my means for thy
- relief nor my voice for thy preferment.
- Well, my good lord.
- Wilt thou serve me? for since patiently and
- constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of
- that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not, in the
- course of gratitude, but be a diligent follower of
- mine: wilt thou serve me?
- Sir, I will.
- Give me thy hand; here's my purse. Hast any of thy
- late master's garments in thy possession?
- I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same suit he
- wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.
- The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit
- hither: let it be thy lint service; go.
- I shall, my lord.
- Meet thee at Milford-Haven!—I forgot to ask him one
- thing; I'll remember't anon:—even there, thou
- villain Posthumus, will I kill thee. I would these
- garments were come. She said upon a time—the
- bitterness of it I now belch from my heart—that she
- held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect
- than my noble and natural person together with the
- adornment of my qualities. With that suit upon my
- back, will I ravish her: first kill him, and in her
- eyes; there shall she see my valour, which will then
- be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my
- speech of insultment ended on his dead body, and
- when my lust hath dined,—which, as I say, to vex
- her I will execute in the clothes that she so
- praised,—to the court I'll knock her back, foot
- her home again. She hath despised me rejoicingly,
- and I'll be merry in my revenge.
[Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes]
- Be those the garments?
- Ay, my noble lord.
- How long is't since she went to Milford-Haven?
- She can scarce be there yet.
- Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second
- thing that I have commanded thee: the third is,
- that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my design. Be
- but duteous, and true preferment shall tender itself
- to thee. My revenge is now at Milford: would I had
- wings to follow it! Come, and be true.
- Thou bid'st me to my loss: for true to thee
- Were to prove false, which I will never be,
- To him that is most true. To Milford go,
- And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
- You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
- Be cross'd with slowness; labour be his meed!
SCENE VI Wales. Before the cave of Belarius.
[Enter IMOGEN, in boy's clothes]
- I see a man's life is a tedious one:
- I have tired myself, and for two nights together
- Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick,
- But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
- When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
- Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think
- Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
- Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
- I could not miss my way: will poor folks lie,
- That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
- A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
- When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
- Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
- Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
- Thou art one o' the false ones. Now I think on thee,
- My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
- At point to sink for food. But what is this?
- Here is a path to't: 'tis some savage hold:
- I were best not to call; I dare not call:
- yet famine,
- Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant,
- Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever
- Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here?
- If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage,
- Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I'll enter.
- Best draw my sword: and if mine enemy
- But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
- Such a foe, good heavens!
[Exit, to the cave]
[Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS]
- You, Polydote, have proved best woodman and
- Are master of the feast: Cadwal and I
- Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match:
- The sweat of industry would dry and die,
- But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
- Will make what's homely savoury: weariness
- Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
- Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
- Poor house, that keep'st thyself!
- I am thoroughly weary.
- I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
- There is cold meat i' the cave; we'll browse on that,
- Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
BELARIUS [Looking into the cave]
- Stay; come not in.
- But that it eats our victuals, I should think
- Here were a fairy.
- What's the matter, sir?
- By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
- An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
- No elder than a boy!
- Good masters, harm me not:
- Before I enter'd here, I call'd; and thought
- To have begg'd or bought what I have took:
- good troth,
- I have stol'n nought, nor would not, though I had found
- Gold strew'd i' the floor. Here's money for my meat:
- I would have left it on the board so soon
- As I had made my meal, and parted
- With prayers for the provider.
- Money, youth?
- All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
- As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
- Who worship dirty gods.
- I see you're angry:
- Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
- Have died had I not made it.
- Whither bound?
- To Milford-Haven.
- What's your name?
- Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
- Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford;
- To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
- I am fall'n in this offence.
- Prithee, fair youth,
- Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
- By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd!
- 'Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer
- Ere you depart: and thanks to stay and eat it.
- Boys, bid him welcome.
- Were you a woman, youth,
- I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty,
- I bid for you as I'd buy.
- I'll make't my comfort
- He is a man; I'll love him as my brother:
- And such a welcome as I'd give to him
- After long absence, such is yours: most welcome!
- Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
- 'Mongst friends,
- If brothers.
- Would it had been so, that they
- Had been my father's sons! then had my prize
- Been less, and so more equal ballasting
- To thee, Posthumus.
- He wrings at some distress.
- Would I could free't!
- Or I, whate'er it be,
- What pain it cost, what danger. God's!
- Hark, boys.
- Great men,
- That had a court no bigger than this cave,
- That did attend themselves and had the virtue
- Which their own conscience seal'd them—laying by
- That nothing-gift of differing multitudes—
- Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
- I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
- Since Leonatus's false.
- It shall be so.
- Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in:
- Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd,
- We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
- So far as thou wilt speak it.
- Pray, draw near.
- The night to the owl and morn to the lark
- less welcome.
- Thanks, sir.
- I pray, draw near.
SCENE VII Rome. A public place.
[Enter two Senators and Tribunes]
- This is the tenor of the emperor's writ:
- That since the common men are now in action
- 'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
- And that the legions now in Gallia are
- Full weak to undertake our wars against
- The fall'n-off Britons, that we do incite
- The gentry to this business. He creates
- Lucius preconsul: and to you the tribunes,
- For this immediate levy, he commends
- His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!
- Is Lucius general of the forces?
- Remaining now in Gallia?
- With those legions
- Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
- Must be supplyant: the words of your commission
- Will tie you to the numbers and the time
- Of their dispatch.
- We will discharge our duty.
SCENE I Wales: near the cave of Belarius.
- I am near to the place where they should meet, if
- Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments
- serve me! Why should his mistress, who was made by
- him that made the tailor, not be fit too? the
- rather—saving reverence of the word—for 'tis said
- a woman's fitness comes by fits. Therein I must
- play the workman. I dare speak it to myself—for it
- is not vain-glory for a man and his glass to confer
- in his own chamber—I mean, the lines of my body are
- as well drawn as his; no less young, more strong,
- not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the
- advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike
- conversant in general services, and more remarkable
- in single oppositions: yet this imperceiverant
- thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is!
- Posthumus, thy head, which now is growing upon thy
- shoulders, shall within this hour be off; thy
- mistress enforced; thy garments cut to pieces before
- thy face: and all this done, spurn her home to her
- father; who may haply be a little angry for my so
- rough usage; but my mother, having power of his
- testiness, shall turn all into my commendations. My
- horse is tied up safe: out, sword, and to a sore
- purpose! Fortune, put them into my hand! This is
- the very description of their meeting-place; and
- the fellow dares not deceive me.
SCENE II Before the cave of Belarius.
[Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, and IMOGEN]
- [To IMOGEN] You are not well: remain here in the cave;
- We'll come to you after hunting.
- [To IMOGEN] Brother, stay here
- Are we not brothers?
- So man and man should be;
- But clay and clay differs in dignity,
- Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.
- Go you to hunting; I'll abide with him.
- So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
- But not so citizen a wanton as
- To seem to die ere sick: so please you, leave me;
- Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom
- Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
- Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
- To one not sociable: I am not very sick,
- Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here:
- I'll rob none but myself; and let me die,
- Stealing so poorly.
- I love thee; I have spoke it
- How much the quantity, the weight as much,
- As I do love my father.
- What! how! how!
- If it be sin to say so, I yoke me
- In my good brother's fault: I know not why
- I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
- Love's reason's without reason: the bier at door,
- And a demand who is't shall die, I'd say
- 'My father, not this youth.'
- [Aside] O noble strain!
- O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
- Cowards father cowards and base things sire base:
- Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
- I'm not their father; yet who this should be,
- Doth miracle itself, loved before me.
- 'Tis the ninth hour o' the morn.
- Brother, farewell.
- I wish ye sport.
- You health. So please you, sir.
- [Aside] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies
- I have heard!
- Our courtiers say all's savage but at court:
- Experience, O, thou disprovest report!
- The imperious seas breed monsters, for the dish
- Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
- I am sick still; heart-sick. Pisanio,
- I'll now taste of thy drug.
- I could not stir him:
- He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
- Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.
- Thus did he answer me: yet said, hereafter
- I might know more.
- To the field, to the field!
- We'll leave you for this time: go in and rest.
- We'll not be long away.
- Pray, be not sick,
- For you must be our housewife.
- Well or ill,
- I am bound to you.
- And shalt be ever.
[Exit IMOGEN, to the cave]
- This youth, how'er distress'd, appears he hath had
- Good ancestors.
- How angel-like he sings!
- But his neat cookery! he cut our roots
- In characters,
- And sauced our broths, as Juno had been sick
- And he her dieter.
- Nobly he yokes
- A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
- Was that it was, for not being such a smile;
- The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
- From so divine a temple, to commix
- With winds that sailors rail at.
- I do note
- That grief and patience, rooted in him both,
- Mingle their spurs together.
- Grow, patience!
- And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
- His perishing root with the increasing vine!
- It is great morning. Come, away!—
- Who's there?
- I cannot find those runagates; that villain
- Hath mock'd me. I am faint.
- 'Those runagates!'
- Means he not us? I partly know him: 'tis
- Cloten, the son o' the queen. I fear some ambush.
- I saw him not these many years, and yet
- I know 'tis he. We are held as outlaws: hence!
- He is but one: you and my brother search
- What companies are near: pray you, away;
- Let me alone with him.
[Exeunt BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS]
- Soft! What are you
- That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers?
- I have heard of such. What slave art thou?
- A thing
- More slavish did I ne'er than answering
- A slave without a knock.
- Thou art a robber,
- A law-breaker, a villain: yield thee, thief.
- To who? to thee? What art thou? Have not I
- An arm as big as thine? a heart as big?
- Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
- My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
- Why I should yield to thee?
- Thou villain base,
- Know'st me not by my clothes?
- No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
- Who is thy grandfather: he made those clothes,
- Which, as it seems, make thee.
- Thou precious varlet,
- My tailor made them not.
- Hence, then, and thank
- The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool;
- I am loath to beat thee.
- Thou injurious thief,
- Hear but my name, and tremble.
- What's thy name?
- Cloten, thou villain.
- Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
- I cannot tremble at it: were it Toad, or
- Adder, Spider,
- 'Twould move me sooner.
- To thy further fear,
- Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
- I am son to the queen.
- I am sorry for 't; not seeming
- So worthy as thy birth.
- Art not afeard?
- Those that I reverence those I fear, the wise:
- At fools I laugh, not fear them.
- Die the death:
- When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
- I'll follow those that even now fled hence,
- And on the gates of Lud's-town set your heads:
- Yield, rustic mountaineer.
[Re-enter BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS]
- No companies abroad?
- None in the world: you did mistake him, sure.
- I cannot tell: long is it since I saw him,
- But time hath nothing blurr'd those lines of favour
- Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
- And burst of speaking, were as his: I am absolute
- 'Twas very Cloten.
- In this place we left them:
- I wish my brother make good time with him,
- You say he is so fell.
- Being scarce made up,
- I mean, to man, he had not apprehension
- Of roaring terrors; for the effect of judgment
- Is oft the cause of fear. But, see, thy brother.
[Re-enter GUIDERIUS, with CLOTEN'S head]
- This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
- There was no money in't: not Hercules
- Could have knock'd out his brains, for he had none:
- Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
- My head as I do his.
- What hast thou done?
- I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten's head,
- Son to the queen, after his own report;
- Who call'd me traitor, mountaineer, and swore
- With his own single hand he'ld take us in
- Displace our heads where—thank the gods!—they grow,
- And set them on Lud's-town.
BELARIUS We are all undone.
- Why, worthy father, what have we to lose,
- But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
- Protects not us: then why should we be tender
- To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
- Play judge and executioner all himself,
- For we do fear the law? What company
- Discover you abroad?
- No single soul
- Can we set eye on; but in all safe reason
- He must have some attendants. Though his humour
- Was nothing but mutation, ay, and that
- From one bad thing to worse; not frenzy, not
- Absolute madness could so far have raved
- To bring him here alone; although perhaps
- It may be heard at court that such as we
- Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
- May make some stronger head; the which he hearing—
- As it is like him—might break out, and swear
- He'ld fetch us in; yet is't not probable
- To come alone, either he so undertaking,
- Or they so suffering: then on good ground we fear,
- If we do fear this body hath a tail
- More perilous than the head.
- Let ordinance
- Come as the gods foresay it: howsoe'er,
- My brother hath done well.
- I had no mind
- To hunt this day: the boy Fidele's sickness
- Did make my way long forth.
- With his own sword,
- Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta'en
- His head from him: I'll throw't into the creek
- Behind our rock; and let it to the sea,
- And tell the fishes he's the queen's son, Cloten:
- That's all I reck.
- I fear 'twill be revenged:
- Would, Polydote, thou hadst not done't! though valour
- Becomes thee well enough.
- Would I had done't
- So the revenge alone pursued me! Polydore,
- I love thee brotherly, but envy much
- Thou hast robb'd me of this deed: I would revenges,
- That possible strength might meet, would seek us through
- And put us to our answer.
- Well, 'tis done:
- We'll hunt no more to-day, nor seek for danger
- Where there's no profit. I prithee, to our rock;
- You and Fidele play the cooks: I'll stay
- Till hasty Polydote return, and bring him
- To dinner presently.
- Poor sick Fidele!
- I'll weringly to him: to gain his colour
- I'ld let a parish of such Clotens' blood,
- And praise myself for charity.
- O thou goddess,
- Thou divine Nature, how thyself thou blazon'st
- In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
- As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
- Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
- Their royal blood enchafed, as the rudest wind,
- That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
- And make him stoop to the vale. 'Tis wonder
- That an invisible instinct should frame them
- To royalty unlearn'd, honour untaught,
- Civility not seen from other, valour
- That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
- As if it had been sow'd. Yet still it's strange
- What Cloten's being here to us portends,
- Or what his death will bring us.
- Where's my brother?
- I have sent Cloten's clotpoll down the stream,
- In embassy to his mother: his body's hostage
- For his return.
- My ingenious instrument!
- Hark, Polydore, it sounds! But what occasion
- Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark!
- Is he at home?
- He went hence even now.
- What does he mean? since death of my dear'st mother
- it did not speak before. All solemn things
- Should answer solemn accidents. The matter?
- Triumphs for nothing and lamenting toys
- Is jollity for apes and grief for boys.
- Is Cadwal mad?
- Look, here he comes,
- And brings the dire occasion in his arms
- Of what we blame him for.
[Re-enter ARVIRAGUS, with IMOGEN, as dead, bearing her in his arms]
- The bird is dead
- That we have made so much on. I had rather
- Have skipp'd from sixteen years of age to sixty,
- To have turn'd my leaping-time into a crutch,
- Than have seen this.
- O sweetest, fairest lily!
- My brother wears thee not the one half so well
- As when thou grew'st thyself.
- O melancholy!
- Who ever yet could sound thy bottom? find
- The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
- Might easiliest harbour in? Thou blessed thing!
- Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
- Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy.
- How found you him?
- Stark, as you see:
- Thus smiling, as some fly hid tickled slumber,
- Not as death's dart, being laugh'd at; his
- right cheek
- Reposing on a cushion.
- O' the floor;
- His arms thus leagued: I thought he slept, and put
- My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
- Answer'd my steps too loud.
- Why, he but sleeps:
- If he be gone, he'll make his grave a bed;
- With female fairies will his tomb be haunted,
- And worms will not come to thee.
- With fairest flowers
- Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
- I'll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
- The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
- The azured harebell, like thy veins, no, nor
- The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
- Out-sweeten'd not thy breath: the ruddock would,
- With charitable bill,—O bill, sore-shaming
- Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
- Without a monument!—bring thee all this;
- Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none,
- To winter-ground thy corse.
- Prithee, have done;
- And do not play in wench-like words with that
- Which is so serious. Let us bury him,
- And not protract with admiration what
- Is now due debt. To the grave!
- Say, where shall's lay him?
- By good Euriphile, our mother.
- Be't so:
- And let us, Polydore, though now our voices
- Have got the mannish crack, sing him to the ground,
- As once our mother; use like note and words,
- Save that Euriphile must be Fidele.
- I cannot sing: I'll weep, and word it with thee;
- For notes of sorrow out of tune are worse
- Than priests and fanes that lie.
- We'll speak it, then.
- Great griefs, I see, medicine the less; for Cloten
- Is quite forgot. He was a queen's son, boys;
- And though he came our enemy, remember
- He was paid for that: though mean and
- mighty, rotting
- Together, have one dust, yet reverence,
- That angel of the world, doth make distinction
- Of place 'tween high and low. Our foe was princely
- And though you took his life, as being our foe,
- Yet bury him as a prince.
- Pray You, fetch him hither.
- Thersites' body is as good as Ajax',
- When neither are alive.
- If you'll go fetch him,
- We'll say our song the whilst. Brother, begin.
- Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the east;
- My father hath a reason for't.
- 'Tis true.
- Come on then, and remove him.
- So. Begin.
- Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
- Nor the furious winter's rages;
- Thou thy worldly task hast done,
- Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
- Golden lads and girls all must,
- As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
- Fear no more the frown o' the great;
- Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
- Care no more to clothe and eat;
- To thee the reed is as the oak:
- The sceptre, learning, physic, must
- All follow this, and come to dust.
- Fear no more the lightning flash,
- Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
- Fear not slander, censure rash;
- Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
GUIDERIUS & ARVIRAGUS
- All lovers young, all lovers must
- Consign to thee, and come to dust.
- No exorciser harm thee!
- Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
- Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
- Nothing ill come near thee!
GUIDERIUS & ARVIRAGUS
- Quiet consummation have;
- And renowned be thy grave!
[Re-enter BELARIUS, with the body of CLOTEN]
- We have done our obsequies: come, lay him down.
- Here's a few flowers; but 'bout midnight, more:
- The herbs that have on them cold dew o' the night
- Are strewings fitt'st for graves. Upon their faces.
- You were as flowers, now wither'd: even so
- These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.
- Come on, away: apart upon our knees.
- The ground that gave them first has them again:
- Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.
[Exeunt BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS]
- [Awaking] Yes, sir, to Milford-Haven; which is
- the way?—
- I thank you.—By yond bush?—Pray, how far thither?
- 'Ods pittikins! can it be six mile yet?—
- I have gone all night. 'Faith, I'll lie down and sleep.
- But, soft! no bedfellow!—O gods and goddesses!
[Seeing the body of CLOTEN]
- These flowers are like the pleasures of the world;
- This bloody man, the care on't. I hope I dream;
- For so I thought I was a cave-keeper,
- And cook to honest creatures: but 'tis not so;
- 'Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
- Which the brain makes of fumes: our very eyes
- Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
- I tremble stiff with fear: but if there be
- Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
- As a wren's eye, fear'd gods, a part of it!
- The dream's here still: even when I wake, it is
- Without me, as within me; not imagined, felt.
- A headless man! The garments of Posthumus!
- I know the shape of's leg: this is his hand;
- His foot Mercurial; his Martial thigh;
- The brawns of Hercules: but his Jovial face
- Murder in heaven?—How!—'Tis gone. Pisanio,
- All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
- And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
- Conspired with that irregulous devil, Cloten,
- Hast here cut off my lord. To write and read
- Be henceforth treacherous! Damn'd Pisanio
- Hath with his forged letters,—damn'd Pisanio—
- From this most bravest vessel of the world
- Struck the main-top! O Posthumus! alas,
- Where is thy head? where's that? Ay me!
- where's that?
- Pisanio might have kill'd thee at the heart,
- And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
- 'Tis he and Cloten: malice and lucre in them
- Have laid this woe here. O, 'tis pregnant, pregnant!
- The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
- And cordial to me, have I not found it
- Murderous to the senses? That confirms it home:
- This is Pisanio's deed, and Cloten's: O!
- Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood,
- That we the horrider may seem to those
- Which chance to find us: O, my lord, my lord!
[Falls on the body]
[Enter LUCIUS, a Captain and other Officers, and a Soothsayer]
- Captain To them the legions garrison'd in Gailia,
- After your will, have cross'd the sea, attending
- You here at Milford-Haven with your ships:
- They are in readiness.
- But what from Rome?
- The senate hath stirr'd up the confiners
- And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits,
- That promise noble service: and they come
- Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
- Syenna's brother.
- When expect you them?
- With the next benefit o' the wind.
- This forwardness
- Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers
- Be muster'd; bid the captains look to't. Now, sir,
- What have you dream'd of late of this war's purpose?
- Last night the very gods show'd me a vision—
- I fast and pray'd for their intelligence—thus:
- I saw Jove's bird, the Roman eagle, wing'd
- From the spongy south to this part of the west,
- There vanish'd in the sunbeams: which portends—
- Unless my sins abuse my divination—
- Success to the Roman host.
- Dream often so,
- And never false. Soft, ho! what trunk is here
- Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
- It was a worthy building. How! a page!
- Or dead, or sleeping on him? But dead rather;
- For nature doth abhor to make his bed
- With the defunct, or sleep upon the dead.
- Let's see the boy's face.
- He's alive, my lord.
- He'll then instruct us of this body. Young one,
- Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
- They crave to be demanded. Who is this
- Thou makest thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
- That, otherwise than noble nature did,
- Hath alter'd that good picture? What's thy interest
- In this sad wreck? How came it? Who is it?
- What art thou?
- I am nothing: or if not,
- Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
- A very valiant Briton and a good,
- That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas!
- There is no more such masters: I may wander
- From east to occident, cry out for service,
- Try many, all good, serve truly, never
- Find such another master.
- 'Lack, good youth!
- Thou movest no less with thy complaining than
- Thy master in bleeding: say his name, good friend.
- Richard du Champ.
- If I do lie and do
- No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
- They'll pardon it.—Say you, sir?
- Thy name?
- Fidele, sir.
- Thou dost approve thyself the very same:
- Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
- Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
- Thou shalt be so well master'd, but, be sure,
- No less beloved. The Roman emperor's letters,
- Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
- Than thine own worth prefer thee: go with me.
- I'll follow, sir. But first, an't please the gods,
- I'll hide my master from the flies, as deep
- As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
- With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha' strew'd his grave,
- And on it said a century of prayers,
- Such as I can, twice o'er, I'll weep and sigh;
- And leaving so his service, follow you,
- So please you entertain me.
- Ay, good youth!
- And rather father thee than master thee.
- My friends,
- The boy hath taught us manly duties: let us
- Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
- And make him with our pikes and partisans
- A grave: come, arm him. Boy, he is preferr'd
- By thee to us, and he shall be interr'd
- As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes
- Some falls are means the happier to arise.
SCENE III A room in Cymbeline's palace.
[Enter CYMBELINE, Lords, PISANIO, and Attendants]
- Again; and bring me word how 'tis with her.
[Exit an Attendant]
- A fever with the absence of her son,
- A 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,
- So 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.
- First Lord 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 Cloten,
- There wants no diligence in seeking him,
- And 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,
- The 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
- I 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 Cloten; but remain
- Perplex'd in all. The heavens still must work.
- Wherein 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' the king, or I'll fall in them.
- All other doubts, by time let them be clear'd:
- Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer'd.
SCENE IV Wales: before the cave of Belarius.
[Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.]
- The noise is round about us.
- Let us from it.
- What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
- From action and adventure?
- Nay, what hope
- Have we in hiding us? This way, the Romans
- Must or for Britons slay us, or receive us
- For barbarous and unnatural revolts
- During their use, and slay us after.
- We'll higher to the mountains; there secure us.
- To the king's party there's no going: newness
- Of Cloten's death—we being not known, not muster'd
- Among the bands—may drive us to a render
- Where we have lived, and so extort from's that
- Which we have done, whose answer would be death
- Drawn on with torture.
- This is, sir, a doubt
- In such a time nothing becoming you,
- Nor satisfying us.
- It is not likely
- That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
- Behold their quarter'd fires, have both their eyes
- And ears so cloy'd importantly as now,
- That they will waste their time upon our note,
- To know from whence we are.
- O, I am known
- Of many in the army: many years,
- Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him
- From my remembrance. And, besides, the king
- Hath not deserved my service nor your loves;
- Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
- The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless
- To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
- But to be still hot summer's tamings and
- The shrinking slaves of winter.
- Than be so
- Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army:
- I and my brother are not known; yourself
- So out of thought, and thereto so o'ergrown,
- Cannot be question'd.
- By this sun that shines,
- I'll thither: what thing is it that I never
- Did see man die! scarce ever look'd on blood,
- But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
- Never bestrid a horse, save one that had
- A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel
- Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed
- To look upon the holy sun, to have
- The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
- So long a poor unknown.
- By heavens, I'll go:
- If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
- I'll take the better care, but if you will not,
- The hazard therefore due fall on me by
- The hands of Romans!
- So say I amen.
- No reason I, since of your lives you set
- So slight a valuation, should reserve
- My crack'd one to more care. Have with you, boys!
- If in your country wars you chance to die,
- That is my bed too, lads, an there I'll lie:
- Lead, lead.
- The time seems long; their blood
- thinks scorn,
- Till it fly out and show them princes born.
SCENE I. Britain. The Roman camp.
[Enter POSTHUMUS [with a bloody handkerchief.]
- Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee, for I wish'd
- Thou shouldst be colour'd thus. You married ones,
- If each of you should take this course, how many
- Must murder wives much better than themselves
- For wrying but a little! O Pisanio!
- Every good servant does not all commands;
- No bond but to do just ones. Gods! if you
- Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never
- Had liv'd to put on this; so had you saved
- The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
- Me, wretch, more worth your vengeance. But, alack,
- You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love,
- To have them fall no more: you some permit
- To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
- And make them dread it, to the doer's thrift.
- But Imogen is your own; do your best wills,
- And make me blest to obey! I am brought hither
- Among the Italian gentry, and to fight
- Against my lady's kingdom. 'Tis enough
- That, Britain, I have kill'd thy mistress; peace!
- I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,
- Hear patiently my purpose: I'll disrobe me
- Of these Italian weeds, and suit myself
- As does a Briton peasant; so I'll fight
- Against the part I come with; so I'll die
- For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
- Is every breath a death; and thus, unknown,
- Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
- Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
- More valour in me than my habits show.
- Gods, put the strength o' the Leonati in me!
- To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin
- The fashion, less without and more within.
SCENE II. Field of battle between the British and Roman camps.
[Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and the Roman Army at one door; and the Briton army at another; LEONATUS POSTHUMUS following, like a poor soldier. They march over and go out. Alarums. Then enter again, in skirmish, IACHIMO, and POSTHUMUS: he vanquisheth and disarmeth IACHIMO, and then leaves him.]
- The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
- Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
- The Princess of this country, and the air on't
- Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
- A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me
- In my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne
- As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
- If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
- This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
- Is that we scarce are men, and you are gods.
[The battle continues; the BRITONS fly; CYMBELINE is taken:
- then enter, to his rescue, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.]
- Stand, stand! We have the advantage of the ground;
- The lane is guarded. Nothing routs us but
- The villainy of our fears.
GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS.
- Stand, stand, and fight!
[Re-enter POSTHUMUS, and seconds the Britons. They rescue
- CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then re-enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO,
- and IMOGEN.]
- Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
- For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
- As war were hoodwink'd.
- 'Tis their fresh supplies.
- It is a day turn'd strangely. Or betimes
- Let's reinforce, or fly.
SCENE III. Another part of the field.
[Enter POSTHUMUS and a Briton LORD.]
- Cam'st thou from where they made the stand?
- I did;
- Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.
- I did.
- No blame be to you, sir, for all was lost,
- But that the heavens fought; the King himself
- Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
- And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying,
- Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
- Lolling the tongue with slaught'ring, having work
- More plentiful than tools to do't, struck down
- Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
- Merely through fear, that the straight pass was damm'd
- With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living
- To die with length'ned shame.
- Where was this lane?
- Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd with turf;
- Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
- An honest one, I warrant; who deserv'd
- So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
- In doing this for's country. Athwart the lane,
- He, with two striplings—lads more like to run
- The country base than to commit such slaughter;
- With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
- Than those for preservation cas'd, or shame,—
- Made good the passage; cried to those that fled,
- "Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men.
- To darkness fleet souls that fly backwards. Stand!
- Or we are Romans and will give you that
- Like beasts which you shun beastly, and may save
- But to look back in frown. Stand, stand!" These three,
- Three thousand confident, in act as many—
- For three performers are the file when all
- The rest do nothing—with this word "Stand, stand!"
- Accommodated by the place, more charming
- With their own nobleness, which could have turn'd
- A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks.
- Part shame, part spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd coward
- But by example—O, a sin in war,
- Damn'd in the first beginners!—gan to look
- The way that they did, and to grin like lions
- Upon the pikes o' the hunters. Then began
- A stop i' the chaser, a retire, anon
- A rout, confusion thick. Forthwith they fly
- Chickens, the way which they stoop'd eagles; slaves,
- The strides they victors made: and now our cowards,
- Like fragments in hard voyages, became
- The life o' the need. Having found the back-door open
- Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
- Some slain before; some dying; some their friends
- O'erborne i' the former wave; ten, chas'd by one,
- Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty.
- Those that would die or ere resist are grown
- The mortal bugs o' the field.
- This was strange chance.
- A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys!
- Nay, do not wonder at it; you are made
- Rather to wonder at the things you hear
- Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon't,
- And vent it for a mockery? Here is one:
- "Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
- Preserv'd the Britons, was the Romans' bane."
- Nay, be not angry, sir.
- 'Lack, to what end?
- Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend;
- For if he'll do as he is made to do,
- I know he'll quickly fly my friendship too.
- You have put me into rhyme.
- Farewell; you're angry.
- Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
- To be i' the field and ask "what news?" of me!
- To-day how many would have given their honours
- To have sav'd their carcasses! took heel to do't,
- And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charm'd,
- Could not find Death where I did hear him groan,
- Nor feel him where he struck. Being an ugly monster,
- 'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
- Sweet words; or hath moe ministers than we
- That draw his knives i' the war. Well, I will find him;
- For being now a favourer to the Briton,
- No more a Briton, I have resum'd again
- The part I came in. Fight I will no more,
- But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
- Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
- Here made by the Roman; great the answer be
- Britons must take. For me, my ransom's death.
- On either side I come to spend my breath;
- Which neither here I'll keep nor bear again,
- But end it by some means for Imogen.
[Enter two [BRITISH] CAPTAINS and soldiers.]
- Great Jupiter be prais'd! Lucius is taken.
- 'Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.
- There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
- That gave the affront with them.
- So 'tis reported;
- But none of 'em can be found. Stand! who's there?
- A Roman,
- Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds
- Had answer'd him.
- Lay hands on him; a dog!
- A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
- What crows have peck'd them here. He brags his service,
- As if he were of note. Bring him to the King.
[Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS,
- PISANIO, [SOLDIERS, ATTENDANTS] and Roman captives.
- The CAPTAINS present POSTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who
- delivers him over to a Gaoler. [Then exeunt omnes.]
SCENE IV. A British prison.
[Enter POSTHUMUS and two GAOLERS.]
- You shall not now be stolen, you have locks upon you;
- So graze as you find pasture.
- Ay, or a stomach.
- Most welcome bondage! for thou art a way,
- I think, to liberty; yet am I better
- Than one that's sick o' the gout; since he had rather
- Groan so in perpetuity than be cur'd
- By the sure physician, Death, who is the key
- To unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter'd
- More than my shanks and wrists. You good gods, give me
- The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
- Then, free for ever! Is't enough I am sorry?
- So children temporal fathers do appease;
- Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent,
- I cannot do it better than in gyves,
- Desir'd more than constrain'd: to satisfy,
- If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
- No stricter render of me than my all.
- I know you are more clement than vile men,
- Who of their broken debtors take a third,
- A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
- On their abatement. That's not my desire.
- For Imogen's dear life take mine; and though
- 'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coin'd it.
- 'Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
- Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake;
- You rather mine, being yours; and so, great powers,
- If you will take this audit, take this life,
- And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
- I'll speak to thee in silence.
[Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition, SICILIUS
- LEONATUS, father to POSTHUMUS, an old man, attired
- like a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his wife,
- and mother to POSTHUMUS, with music before them. Then,
- after other music, follow the two young LEONATI, brothers
- to POSTHUMUS, with wounds as they died in the wars. They
- circle POSTHUMUS round, as he lies sleeping.]
- No more, thou thunder-master, show
- Thy spite on mortal flies:
- With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
- That thy adulteries
- Rates and revenges.
- Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
- Whose face I never saw?
- I died whilst in the womb he stay'd
- Attending Nature's law;
- Whose father then, as men report
- Thou orphans' father art,
- Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
- From this earth-vexing smart.
- Lucina lent not me her aid,
- But took me in my throes,
- That from me was Posthumus ript,
- Came crying 'mongst his foes,
- A thing of pity!
- Great Nature, like his ancestry,
- Moulded the stuff so fair,
- That he deserv'd the praise o' the world,
- As great Sicilius' heir.
- When once he was mature for man,
- In Britain where was he
- That could stand up his parallel,
- Or fruitful object be
- In eye of Imogen, that best
- Could deem his dignity?
- With marriage wherefore was he mock'd,
- To be exil'd, and thrown
- From Leonati seat, and cast
- From her his dearest one,
- Sweet Imogen?
- Why did you suffer Iachimo,
- Slight thing of Italy,
- To taint his nobler heart and brain
- With needless jealousy;
- And to become the geck and scorn
- O' the other's villainy?
- For this from stiller seats we came,
- Our parents and us twain,
- That striking in our country's cause
- Fell bravely and were slain,
- Our fealty and Tenantius' right
- With honour to maintain.
- Like hardiment Posthumus hath
- To Cymbeline perform'd.
- Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
- Why hast thou thus adjourn'd
- The graces for his merits due,
- Being all to dolours turn'd?
- Thy crystal window ope; look out;
- No longer exercise
- Upon a valiant race thy harsh
- And potent injuries.
- Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
- Take off his miseries.
- Peep through thy marble mansion; help;
- Or we poor ghosts will cry
- To the shining synod of the rest
- Against thy deity.
- Help, Jupiter; or we appeal,
- And from thy justice fly.
[JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
- upon an eagle; he throws a thunderbolt. The GHOSTS
- fall on their knees.]
- No more, you petty spirits of region low,
- Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
- Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
- Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts?
- Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
- Upon your never-withering banks of flowers.
- Be not with mortal accidents opprest:
- No care of yours it is; you know 'tis ours.
- Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
- The more delay'd, delighted. Be content;
- Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift.
- His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
- Our jovial star reign'd at his birth, and in
- Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade.
- He shall be lord of Lady Imogen,
- And happier much by his affliction made.
- This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
- Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine.
- And so, away! No farther with your din
- Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.
- Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.
- He came in thunder; his celestial breath
- Was sulphurous to smell. The holy eagle
- Stoop'd, as to foot us. His ascension is
- More sweet than our blest fields. His royal bird
- Prunes the immortal wing and cloys his beak,
- As when his god is pleas'd.
- Thanks, Jupiter!
- The marble pavement closes, he is enter'd
- His radiant roof. Away! and, to be blest,
- Let us with care perform his great behest.
[The GHOSTS] vanish.]
Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire, and begot
- A father to me, and thou hast created
- A mother and two brothers; but, O scorn!
- Gone! they went hence so soon as they were born.
- And so I am awake. Poor wretches that depend
- On greatness' favour dream as I have done,
- Wake and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve.
- Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
- And yet are steep'd in favours; so am I,
- That have this golden chance and know not why.
- What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare one!
- Be not, as is our fangled world, a garment
- Nobler than that it covers! Let thy effects
- So follow, to be most unlike our courtiers,
- As good as promise!
"Whenas a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without
- seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and
- when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd branches, which,
- being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old
- stock and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his miseries,
- Britain be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty."
'Tis still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
- Tongue and brain not; either both or nothing,
- Or senseless speaking or a speaking such
- As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
- The action of my life is like it, which
- I'll keep, if but for sympathy.
- Come, sir, are you ready for death?
- Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.
- Hanging is the word, sir If you be ready for that, you are
- well cook'd.
- So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators, the dish
- pays the shot.
- A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort is, you shall
- be called to no more payments, fear no more tavern-bills,
- which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of
- mirth. You come in faint for want of meat, depart reeling with
- too much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that
- you are paid too much; purse and brain both empty; the brain the
- heavier for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of
- heaviness. O, of this contradiction you shall now be quit. O, the
- charity of a penny cord! It sums up thousands in a trice. You
- have no true debitor and creditor but it; of what's past, is, and
- to come, the discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters;
- so the acquittance follows.
- I am merrier to die than thou art to live.
- Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the toothache; but a man
- that were to sleep your sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I
- think he would change places with his officer; for, look you, sir,
- you know not which way you shall go.
- Yes, indeed do I, fellow.
- Your Death has eyes in's head, then; I have not seen him so
- pictur'd. You must either be directed by some that take upon them
- to know, or to take upon yourself that which I am sure you do not
- know, or jump the after inquiry on your own peril. And how you
- shall speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never return to
- tell one.
- I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to direct them the
- way I am going, but such as wink and will not use them.
- What an infinite mock is this, that a man should have the best
- use of eyes to see the way of blindness! I am sure hanging's the
- way of winking.
[Enter a MESSENGER.]
- Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the King.
- Thou bring'st good news; I am call'd to be made free.
- I'll be hang'd then.
- Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for the dead.
[Exeunt all but the GAOLER.]
- Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget young gibbets, I
- never saw one so prone. Yet, on my conscience, there are verier
- knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman; and there be some
- of them too that die against their wills. So should I, if I were
- one. I would we were all of one mind, and one mind good. O, there
- were desolation of gaolers and gallowses! I speak against my
- present profit, but my wish hath a preferment in't.
SCENE V. CYMBELINE'S tent.
[Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO,
- LORDS, [OFFICERS, and Attendants.]
- Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made
- Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart
- That the poor soldier that so richly fought,
- Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked breast
- Stepp'd before targes of proof, cannot be found.
- He shall be happy that can find him, if
- Our grace can make him so.
- I never saw
- Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
- Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought
- But beggary and poor looks.
- No tidings of him?
- He hath been search'd among the dead and living,
- But no trace of him.
- To my grief, I am
- The heir of his reward;
[To BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.]
which I will add
- To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,
- By whom I grant she lives. 'Tis now the time
- To ask of whence you are. Report it.
- In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen.
- Further to boast were neither true nor modest,
- Unless I add, we are honest.
- Bow your knees.
- Arise my knights o' the battle. I create you
- Companions to our person and will fit you
- With dignities becoming your estates.
[Enter CORNELIUS and LADIES.]
There's business in these faces. Why so sadly
- Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,
- And not o' the court of Britain.
- Hail, great King!
- To sour your happiness, I must report
- The Queen is dead.
- Who worse than a physician
- Would this report become? But I consider
- By medicine life may be prolong'd, yet death
- Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
- With horror, madly dying, like her life,
- Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
- Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd
- I will report, so please you. These her women
- Can trip me, if I err; who with wet cheeks
- Were present when she finish'd.
- Prithee, say.
- First, she confess'd she never lov'd you; only
- Affected greatness got by you, not you;
- Married your royalty, was wife to your place,
- Abhorr'd your person.
- She alone knew this;
- And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
- Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
- Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
- With such integrity, she did confess
- Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
- But that her flight prevented it, she had
- Ta'en off by poison.
- O most delicate fiend!
- Who is't can read a woman? Is there more?
- More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had
- For you a mortal mineral, which, being took,
- Should by the minute feed on life, and ling'ring
- By inches waste you; in which time she purpos'd,
- By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
- O'ercome you with her show, and, in time,
- When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
- Her son into the adoption of the crown;
- But, failing of her end by his strange absence,
- Grew shameless-desperate; open'd, in despite
- Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
- The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so
- Despairing died.
- Heard you all this, her women?
- We did, so please your Highness.
- Mine eyes
- Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
- Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
- That thought her like her seeming. It had been vicious
- To have mistrusted her; yet, O my daughter!
- That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
- And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!
[Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, [the SOOTHSAYER] and other
- Roman prisoners [guarded]; POSTHUMUS behind, and IMOGEN.]
Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
- The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss
- Of many a bold one, whose kinsmen have made suit
- That their good souls may be appeas'd with slaughter
- Of you their captives, which ourself have granted.
- So think of your estate.
- Consider, sir, the chance of war. The day
- Was yours by accident. Had it gone with us,
- We should not, when the blood was cool, have threaten'd
- Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
- Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
- May be call'd ransom, let it come. Sufficeth
- A Roman, with a Roman's heart can suffer.
- Augustus lives to think on't; and so much
- For my peculiar care. This one thing only
- I will entreat: my boy, a Briton born,
- Let him be ransom'd. Never master had
- A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
- So tender over his occasions, true,
- So feat, so nurse-like. Let his virtue join
- With my request, which I'll make bold your Highness
- Cannot deny. He hath done no Briton harm,
- Though he have serv'd a Roman. Save him, sir,
- And spare no blood beside.
- I have surely seen him;
- His favour is familiar to me. Boy,
- Thou hast look'd thyself into my grace,
- And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,
- To say "Live, boy." Ne'er thank thy master; live,
- And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
- Fitting my bounty and thy state, I'll give it,
- Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
- The noblest ta'en.
- I humbly thank your Highness.
- I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
- And yet I know thou wilt.
- No, no, alack,
- There's other work in hand. I see a thing
- Bitter to me as death; your life, good master,
- Must shuffle for itself.
- The boy disdains me,
- He leaves me, scorns me. Briefly die their joys
- That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
- Why stands he so perplex'd?
- What wouldst thou, boy?
- I love thee more and more; think more and more
- What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on? Speak,
- Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?
- He is a Roman, no more kin to me
- Than I to your Highness; who, being born your vassal,
- Am something nearer.
- Wherefore ey'st him so?
- I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
- To give me hearing.
- Ay, with all my heart,
- And lend my best attention. What's thy name?
- Fidele, sir.
- Thou'rt my good youth, my page;
- I'll be thy master. Walk with me; speak freely.
[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN talk apart.]
- Is not this boy, reviv'd from death,—
- One sand another
- Not more resembles,—that sweet rosy lad
- Who died, and was Fidele. What think you?
- The same dead thing alive.
- Peace, peace! see further. He eyes us not; forbear;
- Creatures may be alike. Were't he, I am sure
- He would have spoke to us.
- But we saw him dead.
- Be silent; let's see further.
It is my mistress.
- Since she is living, let the time run on
- To good or bad.
[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN come forward.]
- Come, stand thou by our side;
- Make thy demand aloud.
Sir, step you forth;
- Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;
- Or, by our greatness and the grace of it,
- Which is our honour, bitter torture shall
- Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak to him.
- My boon is, that this gentleman may render
- Of whom he had this ring.
What's that to him?
- That diamond upon your finger, say
- How came it yours?
- Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that
- Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.
- How! me?
- I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that
- Which torments me to conceal. By villainy
- I got this ring. 'Twas Leonatus' jewel,
- Whom thou didst banish; and—which more may grieve thee,
- As it doth me—a nobler sir ne'er liv'd
- 'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?
- All that belongs to this.
- That paragon, thy daughter,—
- For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
- Quail to remember,—Give me leave; I faint.
- My daughter! What of her? Renew thy strength.
- I had rather thou shouldst live while Nature will
- Than die ere I hear more. Strive, man, and speak.
- Upon a time,—unhappy was the clock
- That struck the hour!—it was in Rome,—accurs'd
- The mansion where!—'twas at a feast,—O, would
- Our viands had been poison'd, or at least
- Those which I heav'd to head!—the good Posthumus—
- What should I say? He was too good to be
- Where ill men were; and was the best of all
- Amongst the rar'st of good ones,—sitting sadly,
- Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
- For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast
- Of him that best could speak, for feature, laming
- The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
- Postures beyond brief nature, for condition,
- A shop of all the qualities that man
- Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
- Fairness which strikes the eye—
- I stand on fire:
- Come to the matter.
- All too soon I shall,
- Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
- Most like a noble lord in love and one
- That had a royal lover, took his hint;
- And not dispraising whom we prais'd,—therein
- He was as calm as virtue,—he began
- His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being made,
- And then a mind put in't, either our brags
- Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description
- Prov'd us unspeaking sots.
- Nay, nay, to th' purpose.
- Your daughter's chastity—there it begins.
- He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
- And she alone were cold; whereat I, wretch,
- Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him
- Pieces of gold 'gainst this which then he wore
- Upon his honour'd finger, to attain
- In suit the place of's bed and win this ring
- By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
- No lesser of her honour confident
- Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
- And would so, had it been a carbuncle
- Of Phoebus' wheel, and might so safely, had it
- Been all the worth of's car. Away to Britain
- Post I in this design. Well may you, sir,
- Remember me at court, where I was taught
- Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
- 'Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quench'd
- Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
- Gan in your duller Britain operate
- Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
- And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd,
- That I return'd with similar proof enough
- To make the noble Leonatus mad,
- By wounding his belief in her renown
- With tokens thus, and thus; averring notes
- Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,—
- O cunning, how I got it!—nay, some marks
- Of secret on her person, that he could not
- But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
- I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon—
- Methinks, I see him now—
Ay, so thou dost,
- Italian fiend! Ay me, most credulous fool,
- Egregious murderer, thief, anything
- That's due to all the villains past, in being,
- To come! O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
- Some upright justicer! Thou, King, send out
- For torturers ingenious; it is I
- That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend
- By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
- That kill'd thy daughter:—villain-like, I lie—
- That caused a lesser villain than myself,
- A sacrilegious thief, to do't. The temple
- Of Virtue was she; yea, and she herself.
- Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
- The dogs o' the street to bay me; every villain
- Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus; and
- Be villainy less than 'twas! O Imogen
- My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
- Imogen, Imogen!
- Peace, my lord; hear, hear—
- Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
- There lies thy part.
[Striking her; she falls.]
- O gentlemen, help
- Mine and your mistress! O, my lord Posthumus!
- You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now. Help, help!
- Mine honour'd lady!
- Does the world go round?
- How comes these staggers on me?
- Wake, my mistress!
- If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
- To death with mortal joy.
- How fares my mistress?
- O, get thee from my sight;
- Thou gav'st me poison. Dangerous fellow, hence!
- Breathe not where princes are.
- The tune of Imogen!
- The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
- That box I gave you was not thought by me
- A precious thing! I had it from the Queen.
- New matter still?
- It poison'd me.
- O gods!
- I left out one thing which the Queen confess'd,
- Which must approve thee honest. "If Pisanio
- Have," said she "given his mistress that confection
- Which I gave him for cordial, she is serv'd
- As I would serve a rat."
- What's this, Cornelius?
- The Queen, sir, very oft importun'd me
- To temper poisons for her, still pretending
- The satisfaction of her knowledge only
- In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs,
- Of no esteem. I, dreading that her purpose
- Was of more danger, did compound for her
- A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease
- The present power of life, but in short time
- All offices of nature should again
- Do their due functions. Have you ta'en of it?
- Most like I did, for I was dead.
- My boys,
- There was our error.
- This is, sure, Fidele.
- Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
- Think that you are upon a rock, and now
- Throw me again.
- Hang there like fruit, my soul,
- Till the tree die!
- How now, my flesh, my child!
- What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act?
- Wilt thou not speak to me?
Your blessing, sir.
[To GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS.]
Though you did love this youth, I blame ye not;
- You had a motive for't.
- My tears that fall
- Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
- Thy mother's dead.
- I am sorry for't, my lord.
- O, she was naught; and long of her it was
- That we meet here so strangely; but her son
- Is gone, we know not how nor where.
- My lord,
- Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Cloten,
- Upon my lady's missing, came to me
- With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, and swore,
- If I discover'd not which way she was gone,
- It was my instant death. By accident,
- I had a feigned letter of my master's
- Then in my pocket, which directed him
- To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
- Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
- Which he enforc'd from me, away he posts
- With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
- My lady's honour. What became of him
- I further know not.
- Let me end the story:
- I slew him there.
- Marry, the gods forfend!
- I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
- Pluck a hard sentence. Prithee, valiant youth,
- Deny't again.
- I have spoke it, and I did it.
- He was a prince.
- A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me
- Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me
- With language that would make me spurn the sea,
- If it could so roar to me. I cut off's head;
- And am right glad he is not standing here
- To tell this tale of mine.
- I am sorry for thee.
- By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
- Endure our law. Thou'rt dead.
- That headless man
- I thought had been my lord.
- Bind the offender,
- And take him from our presence.
- Stay, sir King;
- This man is better than the man he slew,
- As well descended as thyself; and hath
- More of thee merited than a band of Clotens
- Had ever scar for.
[To the Guard.]
Let his arms alone;
- They were not born for bondage.
- Why, old soldier,
- Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for,
- By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
- As good as we?
- In that he spake too far.
- And thou shalt die for't.
- We will die all three
- But I will prove that two on's are as good
- As I have given out him. My sons, I must
- For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
- Though, haply, well for you.
- Your danger's ours.
- And our good his.
- Have at it then, by leave.
- Thou hadst, great King, a subject who
- Was call'd Belarius.
- What of him? He is
- A banish'd traitor.
- He it is that hath
- Assum'd this age, indeed a banish'd man;
- I know not how a traitor.
- Take him hence,
- The whole world shall not save him.
- Not too hot.
- First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
- And let it be confiscate all so soon
- As I have receiv'd it.
- Nursing of my sons!
- I am too blunt and saucy; here's my knee.
- Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons;
- Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
- These two young gentlemen, that call me father,
- And think they are my sons, are none of mine;
- They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
- And blood of your begetting.
- How! my issue!
- So sure as you your father's. I, old Morgan,
- Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd.
- Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punishment
- Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd
- Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes—
- For such and so they are—these twenty years
- Have I train'd up. Those arts they have as
- Could put into them; my breeding was, sir, as
- Your Highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile,
- Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children.
- Upon my banishment I mov'd her to't,
- Having receiv'd the punishment before,
- For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty
- Excited me to treason. Their dear loss,
- The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shap'd
- Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious sir,
- Here are your sons again; and I must lose
- Two of the sweet'st companions in the world.
- The benediction of these covering heavens
- Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy
- To inlay heaven with stars.
- Thou weep'st, and speak'st.
- The service that you three have done is more
- Unlike than this thou tell'st. I lost my children;
- If these be they, I know not how to wish
- A pair of worthier sons.
- Be pleas'd awhile.
- This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
- Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius;
- This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
- Your younger princely son. He, sir, was lapp'd
- In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand
- Of his queen mother, which for more probation
- I can with ease produce.
- Guiderius had
- Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
- It was a mark of wonder.
- This is he,
- Who hath upon him still that natural stamp.
- It was wise Nature's end in the donation,
- To be his evidence now.
- O, what, am I
- A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
- Rejoic'd deliverance more. Blest pray you be,
- That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
- You may reign in them now! O Imogen,
- Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.
- No, my lord;
- I have got two worlds by 't. O my gentle brothers,
- Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter
- But I am truest speaker. You call'd me brother,
- When I was but your sister; I you brothers,
- When ye were so indeed.
- Did you e'er meet?
- Ay, my good lord.
- And at first meeting lov'd;
- Continu'd so, until we thought he died.
- By the Queen's dram she swallow'd.
- O rare instinct!
- When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgment
- Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
- Distinction should be rich in. Where, how liv'd you?
- And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
- How parted with your brothers? How first met them?
- Why fled you from the court? and whither? These,
- And your three motives to the battle, with
- I know not how much more, should be demanded;
- And all the other by-dependencies,
- From chance to chance; but nor the time nor place
- Will serve our long inter'gatories. See,
- Posthumus anchors upon Imogen,
- And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
- On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting
- Each object with a joy; the counterchange
- Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
- And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.
Thou art my brother; so we'll hold thee ever.
- You are my father too, and did relieve me,
- To see this gracious season.
- All o'erjoy'd,
- Save these in bonds. Let them be joyful too,
- For they shall taste our comfort.
- My good master,
- I will yet do you service.
- Happy be you!
- The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought,
- He would have well becom'd this place, and grac'd
- The thankings of a king.
- I am, sir,
- The soldier that did company these three
- In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
- The purpose I then follow'd. That I was he,
- Speak, Iachimo. I had you down and might
- Have made you finish.
I am down again;
- But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
- As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
- Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
- And here the bracelet of the truest princess
- That ever swore her faith.
- Kneel not to me.
- The power that I have on you is to spare you,
- The malice towards you to forgive you. Live,
- And deal with others better.
- Nobly doom'd!
- We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law;
- Pardon's the word to all.
- You holp us, sir,
- As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
- Joy'd are we that you are.
- Your servant, Princes. Good my lord of Rome,
- Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought
- Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
- Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
- Of mine own kindred. When I wak'd, I found
- This label on my bosom; whose containing
- Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
- Make no collection of it. Let him show
- His skill in the construction.
- Here, my good lord.
- Read, and declare the meaning.
"Whenas a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without
- seeking find, and be embrac'd by a piece of tender air; and
- when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd branches, which,
- being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the
- old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his
- miseries, Britain be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty."
- Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp;
- The fit and apt construction of thy name,
- Being leo-natus, doth import so much.
The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,
- Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
- We term it mulier; which mulier I divine
- Is this most constant wife, who, even now
- Answering the letter of the oracle,
- Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about
- With this most tender air.
- This hath some seeming.
- The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
- Personates thee; and thy lopp'd branches point
- Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stolen,
- For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd,
- To the majestic cedar join'd, whose issue
- Promises Britain peace and plenty.
- My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
- Although the victor, we submit to Caesar,
- And to the Roman empire, promising
- To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
- We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
- Whom heavens, in justice, both on her and hers,
- Have laid most heavy hand.
- The fingers of the powers above do tune
- The harmony of this peace. The vision
- Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke
- Of yet this scarce-cold battle, at this instant
- Is full accomplish'd; for the Roman eagle,
- From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
- Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun
- So vanish'd; which foreshow'd our princely eagle,
- The imperial Caesar, should again unite
- His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
- Which shines here in the west.
- Laud we the gods;
- And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
- From our bless'd altars. Publish we this peace
- To all our subjects. Set we forward. Let
- A Roman and a British ensign wave
- Friendly together. So through Lud's town march;
- And in the temple of great Jupiter
- Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts.
- Set on there! Never was a war did cease,
- Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a peace.