Cymbeline

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Original text
Act I, Scene I
Enter two Gentlemen.

1. Gent.
YOu do not meet a man but Frownes. / Our bloods
no more obey the Heauens / Then our Courtiers:
Still seeme, as do's the Kings.

2 Gent.
But what's the matter?

1.
His daughter, and the heire of's kingdome (whom
He purpos'd to his wiues sole Sonne, a Widdow
That late he married) hath referr'd her selfe
Vnto a poore, but worthy Gentleman. She's wedded,
Her Husband banish'd; she imprison'd, all
Is outward sorrow, though I thinke the King
Be touch'd at very heart.

2
None but the King?

1
He that hath lost her too: so is the Queene,
That most desir'd the Match. But not a Courtier,
Although they weare their faces to the bent
Of the Kings lookes, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowle at.

2
And why so?

1
He that hath miss'd the Princesse, is a thing
Too bad, for bad report: and he that hath her,
(I meane, that married her, alacke good man,
And therefore banish'd) is a Creature, such,
As to seeke through the Regions of the Earth
For one, his like; there would be something failing
In him, that should compare. I do not thinke,
So faire an Outward, and such stuffe Within
Endowes a man, but hee.

2
You speake him farre.

1
I do extend him (Sir) within himselfe,
Crush him together, rather then vnfold
His measure duly.

2
What's his name, and Birth?

1
I cannot delue him to the roote: His Father
Was call'd Sicillius, who did ioyne his Honor
Against the Romanes, with Cassibulan,
But had his Titles by Tenantius, whom
He seru'd with Glory, and admir'd Successe:
So gain'd the Sur-addition, Leonatus.
And had (besides this Gentleman in question)
Two other Sonnes, who in the Warres o'th'time
Dy'de with their Swords in hand. For which, their Father
Then old, and fond of yssue, tooke such sorrow
That he quit Being; and his gentle Lady
Bigge of this Gentleman (our Theame) deceast
As he was borne. The King he takes the Babe
To his protection, cals him Posthumus Leonatus,
Breedes him, and makes him of his Bed-chamber,
Puts to him all the Learnings that his time
Could make him the receiuer of, which he tooke
As we do ayre, fast as 'twas ministred,
And in's Spring, became a Haruest: Liu'd in Court
(Which rare it is to do) most prais'd, most lou'd,
A sample to the yongest: to th'more Mature,
A glasse that feated them: and to the grauer,
A Childe that guided Dotards. To his Mistris,
(For whom he now is banish'd) her owne price
Proclaimes how she esteem'd him; and his Vertue
By her electiõ may be truly read,
what kind of man he is.

2
I honor him,
euen out of your report. / But pray you tell me,
is she sole childe to'th'King?

1
His onely childe:
He had two Sonnes (if this be worth your hearing,
Marke it) the eldest of them, at three yeares old
I'th'swathing cloathes, the other from their Nursery
Were stolne, and to this houre, no ghesse in knowledge
Which way they went.

2
How long is this ago?

1
Some twenty yeares.

2
That a Kings Children should be so conuey'd,
So slackely guarded, and the search so slow
That could not trace them.

1
Howsoere, 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at:
Yet is it true Sir.

2
I do well beleeue you.

1
We must forbeare. Heere comes the Gentleman,
The Queene, and Princesse.
Exeunt
Original text
Act I, Scene II
Enter the Queene, Posthumus, and Imogen.

Qu.
No, be assur'd you shall not finde me (Daughter)
After the slander of most Step-Mothers,
Euill-ey'd vnto you. You're my Prisoner, but
Your Gaoler shall deliuer you the keyes
That locke vp your restraint. For you Posthumus,
So soone as I can win th'offended King,
I will be knowne your Aduocate: marry yet
The fire of Rage is in him, and 'twere good
You lean'd vnto his Sentence, with what patience
Your wisedome may informe you.

Post.
'Please your Highnesse,
I will from hence to day.

Qu.
You know the perill:
Ile fetch a turne about the Garden, pittying
The pangs of barr'd Affections, though the King
Hath charg'd you should not speake together.
Exit

Imo.
O
dissembling Curtesie! How fine this Tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds? My deerest Husband,
I something feare my Fathers wrath, but nothing
(Alwayes reseru'd my holy duty) what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
And I shall heere abide the hourely shot
Of angry eyes: not comforted to liue,
But that there is this Iewell in the world,
That I may see againe.

Post.
My Queene, my Mistris:
O Lady, weepe no more, least I giue cause
To be suspected of more tendernesse
Then doth become a man. I will remaine
The loyall'st husband, that did ere plight troth.
My residence in Rome, at one Filorio's,
Who, to my Father was a Friend, to me
Knowne but by Letter; thither write (my Queene)
And with mine eyes, Ile drinke the words you send,
Though Inke be made of Gall.
Enter Queene.

Qu.
Be briefe, I pray you:
If the King come, I shall incurre, I know not
How much of his displeasure: yet Ile moue him
To walke this way: I neuer do him wrong,
But he do's buy my Iniuries, to be Friends:
Payes deere for my offences.

Post.
Should we be taking leaue
As long a terme as yet we haue to liue,
The loathnesse to depart, would grow: Adieu.

Imo.
Nay, stay a little:
Were you but riding forth to ayre your selfe,
Such parting were too petty. Looke heere (Loue)
This Diamond was my Mothers; take it (Heart)
But keepe it till you woo another Wife,
When Imogen is dead.

Post.
How, how? Another?
You gentle Gods, giue me but this I haue,
And seare vp my embracements from a next,
With bonds of death. Remaine, remaine thou heere,
While sense can keepe it on: And sweetest, fairest,
As I (my poore selfe) did exchange for you
To your so infinite losse; so in our trifles
I still winne of you. For my sake weare this,
It is a Manacle of Loue, Ile place it
Vpon this fayrest Prisoner.

Imo.
O the Gods!
When shall we see againe?
Enter Cymbeline, and Lords.

Post.
Alacke, the King.

Cym.
Thou basest thing, auoyd hence, from my sight:
If after this command thou fraught the Court
With thy vnworthinesse, thou dyest. Away,
Thou'rt poyson to my blood.

Post.
The Gods protect you,
And blesse the good Remainders of the Court:
I am gone.
Exit.

Imo.
There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharpe then this is.

Cym.
O disloyall thing,
That should'st repayre my youth, thou heap'st
A yeares age on mee.

Imo.
I beseech you Sir,
Harme not your selfe with your vexation,
I am senselesse of your Wrath; a Touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all feares.

Cym.
Past Grace? Obedience?

Imo.
Past hope, and in dispaire, that way past Grace.

Cym.
That might'st haue had / The sole Sonne of my Queene.

Imo.
O blessed, that I might not: I chose an Eagle,
And did auoyd a Puttocke.

Cym.
Thou took'st a Begger, would'st haue made my / Throne,
a Seate for basenesse.

Imo.
No, I rather added
a lustre to it.

Cym.
O thou vilde one!

Imo.
Sir,
It is your fault that I haue lou'd Posthumus:
You bred him as my Play-fellow, and he is
A man, worth any woman: Ouer-buyes mee
Almost the summe he payes.

Cym.
What? art thou mad?

Imo.
Almost Sir: Heauen restore me: would I were
A Neat-heards Daughter, and my Leonatus
Our Neighbour-Shepheards Sonne.

Cym.
Thou foolish thing;
Enter Queene.
They were againe together: you haue done
Not after our command. Away with her,
And pen her vp.

Qu.
Beseech your patience: Peace
Deere Lady daughter, peace. Sweet Soueraigne,
Leaue vs to our selues, and make your self some comfort
Out of your best aduice.

Cym.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day, and being aged
Dye of this Folly.
Exit.

Qu.
Fye, you must giue way:
Enter Pisanio.
Heere is your Seruant. How now Sir? What newes?

Pisa.
My Lord your Sonne, drew on my Master.

Qu.
Hah?
No harme I trust is done?

Pisa.
There might haue beene,
But that my Master rather plaid, then fought,
And had no helpe of Anger: they were parted
By Gentlemen, at hand.

Qu.
I am very glad on't.

Imo.
Your Son's my Fathers friend, he takes his part
To draw vpon an Exile. O braue Sir,
I would they were in Affricke both together,
My selfe by with a Needle, that I might pricke
The goer backe. Why came you from your Master?

Pisa.
On his command: he would not suffer mee
To bring him to the Hauen: left these Notes
Of what commands I should be subiect too,
When't pleas'd you to employ me.

Qu.
This hath beene
Your faithfull Seruant: I dare lay mine Honour
He will remaine so.

Pisa.
I humbly thanke your Highnesse.

Qu.
Pray walke a-while.

Imo.
About some halfe houre hence, / Pray you speake with me;
You shall (at least) go see my Lord aboord.
For this time leaue me.
Exeunt
Original text
Act I, Scene III
Enter Clotten, and two Lords.

1.
Sir, I would aduise you to shift a Shirt; the
Violence of Action hath made you reek as a Sacrifice:
where ayre comes out, ayre comes in: There's none
abroad so wholesome as that you vent.

Clot.
If my Shirt were bloody, then to shift it. / Haue I hurt
him?

2
No faith: not so much as his patience.

1
Hurt him? His bodie's a passable Carkasse if he
bee not hurt. It is a through-fare for Steele if it be not
hurt.

2

His Steele was in debt, it went o'th'Backe-side
the Towne.

Clot.
The Villaine would not stand me.

2

No, but he fled forward still, toward
your face.

1
Stand you? you haue Land enough of your
owne: / But he added to your hauing, gaue you some
ground.

2
As many Inches, as you haue Oceans
(Puppies.)

Clot.
I would they had not come betweene vs.

2
So would I, till you had measur'd how
long a Foole you were vpon the ground.

Clot.
And that shee should loue this Fellow, and refuse mee.

2

If it be a sin to make a true election, she
is damn'd.

1
Sir, as I told you alwayes: her Beauty & her
Braine go not together. Shee's a good signe, but I haue
seene small reflection of her wit.

2
She shines not vpon Fooles, least the reflection
Should hurt her.

Clot.
Come, Ile to my Chamber: would there had beene
some hurt done.

2
I wish not so, vnlesse it had bin the fall
of an Asse, which is no great hurt.

Clot.
You'l go with vs?

1
Ile attend your Lordship.

Clot.
Nay come, let's go together.

2
Well my Lord.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act I, Scene IV
Enter Imogen, and Pisanio.

Imo.
I would thou grew'st vnto the shores o'th'Hauen,
And questioned'st euery Saile: if he should write,
And I not haue it, 'twere a Paper lost
As offer'd mercy is: What was the last
That he spake to thee?

Pisa.
It was his Queene, his Queene.

Imo.
Then wau'd his Handkerchiefe?

Pisa.
And kist it, Madam.

Imo.
Senselesse Linnen, happier therein then I:
And that was all?

Pisa.
No Madam: for so long
As he could make me with his eye, or eare,
Distinguish him from others, he did keepe
The Decke, with Gloue, or Hat, or Handkerchife,
Still wauing, as the fits and stirres of's mind
Could best expresse how slow his Soule sayl'd on,
How swift his Ship.

Imo.
Thou should'st haue made him
As little as a Crow, or lesse, ere left
To after-eye him.

Pisa.
Madam, so I did.

Imo.
I would haue broke mine eye-strings;
Crack'd them, but to looke vpon him, till the diminution
Of space, had pointed him sharpe as my Needle:
Nay, followed him, till he had melted from
The smalnesse of a Gnat, to ayre: and then
Haue turn'd mine eye, and wept. But good Pisanio,
When shall we heare from him.

Pisa.
Be assur'd Madam,
With his next vantage.

Imo.
I did not take my leaue of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: Ere I could tell him
How I would thinke on him at certaine houres,
Such thoughts, and such: Or I could make him sweare,
The Shees of Italy should not betray
Mine Interest, and his Honour: or haue charg'd him
At the sixt houre of Morne, at Noone, at Midnight,
T'encounter me with Orisons, for then
I am in Heauen for him: Or ere I could,
Giue him that parting kisse, which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my Father,
And like the Tyrannous breathing of the North,
Shakes all our buddes from growing.
Enter a Lady.

La.
The Queene (Madam)
Desires your Highnesse Company.

Imo.
Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch'd,
I will attend the Queene.

Pisa.
Madam, I shall.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act I, Scene V
Enter Philario, Iachimo: a Frenchman, a Dutchman,
and a Spaniard.

Iach.
Beleeue it Sir, I haue seene him in Britaine; hee was then
of a Cressent note, expected to proue so woorthy, as
since he hath beene allowed the name of. But I could
then haue look'd on him, without the help of Admiration,
though the Catalogue of his endowments had
bin tabled by his side, and I to peruse him by Items.

Phil.
You speake of him when he was lesse furnish'd, then
now hee is, with that which makes him both without,
and within.

French.
I haue seene him in France: wee had very many
there, could behold the Sunne, with as firme eyes as hee.

Iach.
This matter of marrying his Kings Daughter, wherein
he must be weighed rather by her valew, then his
owne, words him (I doubt not) a great deale from the
matter.

French.
And then his banishment.

Iach.
I, and the approbation of those that weepe this
lamentable diuorce vnder her colours, are wonderfully
to extend him, be it but to fortifie her iudgement,
which else an easie battery might lay flat, for
taking a Begger without lesse quality. But how comes
it, he is to soiourne with you? How creepes
acquaintance?

Phil.
His Father and I were Souldiers together, to whom I
haue bin often bound for no lesse then my life.
Heere comes the Britaine. Let him be so entertained
among'st you, as suites with Gentlemen of your knowing,
to a Stranger of his quality.
Enter Posthumus.
I beseech you all be better knowne to this Gentleman,
whom I commend to you, as a Noble Friend of mine.
How Worthy he is, I will leaue to appeare hereafter,
rather then story him in his owne hearing.

French.
Sir, we haue knowne togither in Orleance.

Post.
Since when, I haue bin debtor to you for courtesies,
which I will be euer to pay, and yet pay still.

French.
Sir, you o're-rate my poore kindnesse, I was glad I
did attone my Countryman and you: it had beene pitty
you should haue beene put together, with so mortall a
purpose, as then each bore, vpon importance of so
slight and triuiall a nature.

Post.
By your pardon Sir, I was then a young Traueller,
rather shun'd to go euen with what I heard, then in
my euery action to be guided by others experiences:
but vpon my mended iudgement (if I offend to
say it is mended) my Quarrell was not altogether
slight.

French.
Faith yes, to be put to the arbiterment of Swords,
and by such two, that would by all likelyhood haue
confounded one the other, or haue falne both.

Iach.
Can we with manners, aske what was the difference?

French.
Safely, I thinke, 'twas a contention in publicke,
which may (without contradiction) suffer the report.
It was much like an argument that fell out last night,
where each of vs fell in praise of our Country-Mistresses.
This Gentleman, at that time vouching (and
vpon warrant of bloody affirmation) his to be more
Faire, Vertuous, Wise, Chaste, Constant, Qualified, and
lesse attemptible then any, the rarest of our Ladies in
Fraunce.

Iach.
That Lady is not now liuing; or this Gentlemans
opinion by this, worne out.

Post.
She holds her Vertue still, and I my mind.

Iach.
You must not so farre preferre her, 'fore ours of Italy.

Posth.
Being so farre prouok'd as I was in France: I would
abate her nothing, though I professe my selfe her
Adorer, not her Friend.

Iach.
As faire, and as good: a kind of hand in hand
comparison, had beene something too faire, and too good
for any Lady in Britanie; if she went before others. I
haue seene as that Diamond of yours out-lusters many
I haue beheld, I could not beleeue she excelled many:
but I haue not seene the most pretious Diamond that
is, nor you the Lady.

Post.
I prais'd her, as I rated her: so do I my Stone.

Iach.
What do you esteeme it at?

Post.
More then the world enioyes.

Iach.
Either your vnparagon'd Mistirs is dead, or she's
out-priz'd by a trifle.

Post.
You are mistaken: the one may be solde or giuen, or
if there were wealth enough for the purchases, or
merite for the guift. The other is not a thing for sale,
and onely the guift of the Gods.

Iach.
Which the Gods haue giuen you?

Post.
Which by their Graces I will keepe.

Iach.
You may weare her in title yours: but you know
strange Fowle light vpon neighbouring Ponds. Your
Ring may be stolne too, so your brace of vnprizeable
Estimations, the one is but fraile, and the other Casuall;.
A cunning Thiefe, or a (that way) accomplish'd Courtier,
would hazzard the winning both of first and last.

Post.
Your Italy, containes none so accomplish'd a Courtier
to conuince the Honour of my Mistris: if in the holding
or losse of that, you terme her fraile, I do nothing
doubt you haue store of Theeues, notwithstanding I
feare not my Ring.

Phil.
Let vs leaue heere, Gentlemen?

Post.
Sir, with all my heart. This worthy Signior I thanke
him, makes no stranger of me, we are familiar at
first.

Iach.
With fiue times so much conuersation, I should get
ground of your faire Mistris; make her go backe,
euen to the yeilding, had I admittance, and opportunitie
to friend.

Post.
No, no.

Iach.
I dare thereupon pawne the moytie of my Estate, to
your Ring, which in my opinion o're-values it something:
but I make my wager rather against your
Confidence, then her Reputation. And to barre your
offence heerein to, I durst attempt it against any
Lady in the world.

Post.
You are a great deale abus'd in too bold a perswasion,
and I doubt not you sustaine what y'are
worthy of, by your Attempt.

Iach.
What's that?

Posth.
A Repulse though your Attempt (as you call it)
deserue more; a punishment too.

Phi.
Gentlemen enough of this, it came in too sodainely,
let it dye as it was borne, and I pray you be better
acquainted.

Iach.
Would I had put my Estate, and my Neighbors on
th'approbation of what I haue spoke.

Post.
What Lady would you chuse to assaile?

Iach.
Yours, whom in constancie you thinke stands so safe.
I will lay you ten thousands Duckets to your Ring, that
commend me to the Court where your Lady is, with
no more aduantage then the opportunitie of a
second conference, and I will bring from thence, that
Honor of hers, which you imagine so reseru'd.

Posthmus.
I will wage against your Gold, Gold to
it: My Ring I holde deere as my finger, 'tis part of it.

Iach.
You are a Friend, and there in the wiser: if you buy
Ladies flesh at a Million a Dram, you cannot preseure
it from tainting; but I see you haue some Religion in
you, that you feare.

Posthu.
This is but a custome in your tongue: you beare a
grauer purpose I hope.

Iach.
I am the Master of my speeches, and would vnder-go
what's spoken, I sweare.

Posthu.
Will you? I shall but lend my Diamond till your
returne: let there be Couenants drawne between's.
My Mistris exceedes in goodnesse, the hugenesse of
your vnworthy thinking. I dare you to this match:
heere's my Ring.

Phil.
I will haue it no lay.

Iach.
By the Gods it is one: if I bring you no sufficient
testimony that I haue enioy'd the deerest bodily
part of your Mistris: my ten thousand Duckets are
yours, so is your Diamond too: if I come off, and
leaue her in such honour as you haue trust in; Shee
your Iewell, this your Iewell, and my Gold are yours:
prouided, I haue your commendation, for my more
free entertainment.

Post.
I embrace these Conditions, let vs haue Articles betwixt
vs: onely thus farre you shall answere, if you
make your voyage vpon her, and giue me directly
to vnderstand, you haue preuayl'd, I am no further
your Enemy, shee is not worth our debate. If shee
remaine vnseduc'd, you not making it appeare otherwise:
for your ill opinion, and th'assault you haue
made to her chastity, you shall answer me with your
Sword.

Iach.
Your hand, a Couenant: wee will haue these things
set downe by lawfull Counsell, and straight away for
Britaine, least the Bargaine should catch colde, and
sterue: I will fetch my Gold, and haue our two
Wagers recorded.

Post.
Agreed.

French.
Will this hold, thinke you.

Phil.
Signior Iachimo will not from it. / Pray let vs follow
'em.
Exeunt
Original text
Act I, Scene VI
Enter Queene, Ladies, and Cornelius.

Qu.
Whiles yet the dewe's on ground, / Gather those Flowers,
Make haste. Who ha's the note of them?

Lady.
I Madam.

Queen.
Dispatch.
Exit Ladies.
Now Master Doctor, haue you brought those drugges?

Cor.
Pleaseth your Highnes, I: here they are, Madam:
But I beseech your Grace, without offence
(My Conscience bids me aske) wherefore you haue
Commanded of me these most poysonous Compounds,
Which are the moouers of a languishing death:
But though slow, deadly.

Qu.
I wonder, Doctor,
Thou ask'st me such a Question: Haue I not bene
Thy Pupill long? Hast thou not learn'd me how
To make Perfumes? Distill? Preserue? Yea so,
That our great King himselfe doth woo me oft
For my Confections? Hauing thus farre proceeded,
(Vnlesse thou think'st me diuellish) is't not meete
That I did amplifie my iudgement in
Other Conclusions? I will try the forces
Of these thy Compounds, on such Creatures as
We count not worth the hanging (but none humane)
To try the vigour of them, and apply
Allayments to their Act, and by them gather
Their seuerall vertues, and effects.

Cor.
Your Highnesse
Shall from this practise, but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noysome, and infectious.

Qu.
O content thee.
Enter Pisanio.
Heere comes a flattering Rascall, vpon him
Will I first worke: Hee's for his Master,
And enemy to my Sonne. How now Pisanio?
Doctor, your seruice for this time is ended,
Take your owne way.

Cor.
I do suspect you, Madam,
But you shall do no harme.

Qu.
Hearke thee, a word.

Cor.
I do not like her. She doth thinke she ha's
Strange ling'ring poysons: I do know her spirit,
And will not trust one of her malice, with
A drugge of such damn'd Nature. Those she ha's,
Will stupifie and dull the Sense a-while,
Which first (perchance) shee'l proue on Cats and Dogs,
Then afterward vp higher: but there is
No danger in what shew of death it makes,
More then the locking vp the Spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reuiuing. She is fool'd
With a most false effect: and I, the truer,
So to be false with her.

Qu.
No further seruice, Doctor,
Vntill I send for thee.

Cor.
I humbly take my leaue.
Exit.

Qu.
Weepes she still (saist thou?) / Dost thou thinke in time
She will not quench, and let instructions enter
Where Folly now possesses? Do thou worke:
When thou shalt bring me word she loues my Sonne,
Ile tell thee on the instant, thou art then
As great as is thy Master: Greater, for
His Fortunes all lye speechlesse, and his name
Is at last gaspe. Returne he cannot, nor
Continue where he is: To shift his being,
Is to exchange one misery with another,
And euery day that comes, comes to decay
A dayes worke in him. What shalt thou expect
To be depender on a thing that leanes?
Who cannot be new built, nor ha's no Friends
So much, as but to prop him?
Thou tak'st vp
Thou know'st not what: But take it for thy labour,
It is a thing I made, which hath the King
Fiue times redeem'd from death. I do not know
What is more Cordiall. Nay, I prythee take it,
It is an earnest of a farther good
That I meane to thee. Tell thy Mistris how
The case stands with her: doo't, as from thy selfe;
Thinke what a chance thou changest on, but thinke
Thou hast thy Mistris still, to boote, my Sonne,
Who shall take notice of thee. Ile moue the King
To any shape of thy Preferment, such
As thou'lt desire: and then my selfe, I cheefely,
That set thee on to this desert, am bound
To loade thy merit richly. Call my women.
Thinke on my words.
Exit Pisa.
A slye, and constant knaue,
Not to be shak'd: the Agent for his Master,
And the Remembrancer of her, to hold
The hand-fast to her Lord. I haue giuen him that,
Which if he take, shall quite vnpeople her
Of Leidgers for her Sweete: and which, she after
Except she bend her humor, shall be assur'd
To taste of too.
Enter Pisanio, and Ladies.
So, so: Well done, well done:
The Violets, Cowslippes, and the Prime-Roses
Beare to my Closset: Fare thee well, Pisanio.
Thinke on my words.
Exit Qu. and Ladies

Pisa.
And shall do:
But when to my good Lord, I proue vntrue,
Ile choake my selfe: there's all Ile do for you.
Exit.
Original text
Act I, Scene VII
Enter Imogen alone.

Imo.
A Father cruell, and a Stepdame false,
A Foolish Suitor to a Wedded-Lady,
That hath her Husband banish'd: O, that Husband,
My supreame Crowne of griefe, and those repeated
Vexations of it. Had I bin Theefe-stolne,
As my two Brothers, happy: but most miserable
Is the desires that's glorious. Blessed be those
How meane so ere, that haue their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fye.
Enter Pisanio, and Iachimo.

Pisa.
Madam, a Noble Gentleman of Rome,
Comes from my Lord with Letters.

Iach.
Change you, Madam:
The Worthy Leonatus is in safety,
And greetes your Highnesse deerely.



Imo.
Thanks good Sir,
You're kindly welcome.

Iach.
All of her, that is out of doore, most rich:
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare
She is alone th'Arabian-Bird; and I
Haue lost the wager. Boldnesse be my Friend:
Arme me Audacitie from head to foote,
Orlike the Parthian I shall flying fight,
Rather directly fly.

Imogen
reads.
He is one of the Noblest note, to whose kindnesses
I am most infinitely tied. Reflect vpon him accordingly,
as you value your trust.
Leonatus.
So farre I reade aloud.
But euen the very middle of my heart
Is warm'd by'th'rest, and take it thankefully.
You are as welcome (worthy Sir) as I
Haue words to bid you, and shall finde it so
In all that I can do.

Iach.
Thankes fairest Lady:
What are men mad? Hath Nature giuen them eyes
To see this vaulted Arch, and the rich Crop
Of Sea and Land, which can distinguish 'twixt
The firie Orbes aboue, and the twinn'd Stones
Vpon the number'd Beach, and can we not
Partition make with Spectales so pretious
Twixt faire, and foule?

Imo.
What makes your admiration?

Iach.
It cannot be i'th'eye: for Apes, and Monkeys
'Twixt two such She's, would chatter this way, and
Contemne with mowes the other. Nor i'th'iudgment:
For Idiots in this case of fauour, would
Be wisely definit: Nor i'th'Appetite.
Sluttery to such neate Excellence, oppos'd
Should make desire vomit emptinesse,
Not so allur'd to feed.

Imo.
What is the matter trow?

Iach.
The Cloyed will:
That satiate yet vnsatisfi'd desire, that Tub
Both fill'd and running: Rauening first the Lambe,
Longs after for the Garbage.

Imo.
What, deere Sir,
Thus rap's you? Are you well?

Iach.
Thanks Madam well:
Beseech you Sir,
Desire my Man's abode, where I did leaue him:
He's strange and peeuish.

Pisa.
I was going Sir,
To giue him welcome.
Exit.

Imo.
Continues well my Lord? / His health beseech you?

Iach.
Well, Madam.

Imo.
Is he dispos'd to mirth? I hope he is.

Iach.
Exceeding pleasant: none a stranger there,
So merry, and so gamesome: he is call'd
The Britaine Reueller.

Imo.
When he was heere
He did incline to sadnesse, and oft times
Not knowiug why.

Iach.
I neuer saw him sad.
There is a Frenchman his Companion, one
An eminent Monsieur, that it seemes much loues
A Gallian-Girle at home. He furnaces
The thicke sighes from him; whiles the iolly Britaine,
(Your Lord I meane) laughes from's free lungs: cries oh,
Can my sides hold, to think that man who knowes
By History, Report, or his owne proofe
What woman is, yea what she cannot choose
But must be: will's free houres languish: / For
assured bondage?

Imo.
Will my Lord say so?

Iach.
I Madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter,
It is a Recreation to be by
And heare him mocke the Frenchman: / But Heauen's know
some men are much too blame.

Imo.
Not he I hope.

Iach.
Not he: But yet Heauen's bounty towards him, might
Be vs'd more thankfully. In himselfe 'tis much;
In you, which I account his beyond all Talents.
Whil'st I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pitty too.

Imo.
What do you pitty Sir?

Iach.
Two Creatures heartyly.

Imo.
Am I one Sir?
You looke on me: what wrack discerne you in me
Deserues your pitty?

Iach.
Lamentable: what
To hide me from the radiant Sun, and solace
I'th'Dungeon by a Snuffe.

Imo.
I pray you Sir,
Deliuer with more opennesse your answeres
To my demands. Why do you pitty me?

Iach.
That others do,
(I was about to say) enioy your--- but
It is an office of the Gods to venge it,
Not mine to speake on't.

Imo.
You do seeme to know
Something of me, or what concernes me; pray you
Since doubting things go ill, often hurts more
Then to be sure they do. For Certainties
Either are past remedies; or timely knowing,
The remedy then borne. Discouer to me
What both you spur and stop.

Iach'
Had I this cheeke
To bathe my lips vpon: this hand, whose touch,
(Whose euery touch) would force the Feelers soule
To'th'oath of loyalty. This obiect, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fiering it onely heere, should I (damn'd then)
Slauuer with lippes as common as the stayres
That mount the Capitoll: Ioyne gripes, with hands
Made hard with hourely falshood (falshood as
With labour:) then by peeping in an eye
Base and illustrious as the smoakie light
That's fed with stinking Tallow: it were fit
That all the plagues of Hell should at one time
Encounter such reuolt.

Imo.
My Lord, I feare
Has forgot Brittaine.

Iach.
And himselfe, not I
Inclin'd to this intelligence, pronounce
The Beggery of his change: but 'tis your Graces'
That from my mutest Conscience, to my tongue,
Charmes this report out.

Imo.
Let me heare no more.

Iach.
O deerest Soule: your Cause doth strike my hart
With pitty, that doth make me sicke. A Lady
So faire, and fasten'd to an Emperie
Would make the great'st King double, to be partner'd
With Tomboyes hyr'd, with that selfe exhibition
Which your owne Coffers yeeld: with diseas'd ventures
That play with all Infirmities for Gold,
Which rottennesse can lend Nature. Such boyl'd stuffe
As well might poyson Poyson. Be reueng'd,
Or she that bore you, was no Queene, and you
Recoyle from your great Stocke.

Imo.
Reueng'd:
How should I be reueng'd? If this be true,
(As I haue such a Heart, that both mine eares
Must not in haste abuse) if it be true,
How should I be reueng'd?

Iach.
Should he make me
Liue like Diana's Priest, betwixt cold sheets,
Whiles he is vaulting variable Rampes
In your despight, vpon your purse: reuenge it.
I dedicate my selfe to your sweet pleasure,
More Noble then that runnagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your Affection,
Still close, as sure.

Imo.
What hoa, Pisanio?

Iach.
Let me my seruice tender on your lippes.

Imo.
Away, I do condemne mine eares, that haue
So long attended thee. If thou wert Honourable
Thou would'st haue told this tale for Vertue, not
For such an end thou seek'st, as base, as strange:
Thou wrong'st a Gentleman, who is as farre
From thy report, as thou from Honor: and
Solicites heere a Lady, that disdaines
Thee, and the Diuell alike. What hoa, Pisanio?
The King my Father shall be made acquainted
Of thy Assault: if he shall thinke it fit,
A sawcy Stranger in his Court, to Mart
As in a Romish Stew, and to expound
His beastly minde to vs; he hath a Court
He little cares for, and a Daughter, who
He not respects at all. What hoa, Pisanio?

Iach.
O happy Leonatus I may say,
The credit that thy Lady hath of thee
Deserues thy trust, and thy most perfect goodnesse
Her assur'd credit. Blessed liue you long,
A Lady to the worthiest Sir, that euer
Country call'd his; and you his Mistris, onely
For the most worthiest fit. Giue me your pardon,
I haue spoke this to know if your Affiance
Were deeply rooted, and shall make your Lord,
That which he is, new o're: And he is one
The truest manner'd: such a holy Witch,
That he enchants Societies into him:
Halfe all men hearts are his.

Imo.
You make amends.

Iach.
He sits 'mongst men, like a defended God;
He hath a kinde of Honor sets him off,
More then a mortall seeming. Be not angrie
(Most mighty Princesse) that I haue aduentur'd
To try your taking of a false report, which hath
Honour'd with confirmation your great Iudgement,
In the election of a Sir, so rare,
Which you know, cannot erre. The loue I beare him,
Made me to fan you thus, but the Gods made you
(Vnlike all others) chaffelesse. Pray your pardon.

Imo.
All's well Sir: / Take my powre i'th'Court for yours.

Iach.
My humble thankes: I had almost forgot
T'intreat your Grace, but in a small request,
And yet of moment too, for it concernes:
Your Lord, my selfe, and other Noble Friends
Are partners in the businesse.

Imo.
Pray what is't?

Iach.
Some dozen Romanes of vs, and your Lord
(The best Feather of our wing) haue mingled summes
To buy a Present for the Emperor:
Which I (the Factor for the rest) haue done
In France: 'tis Plate of rare deuice, and Iewels
Of rich, and exquisite forme, their valewes great,
And I am something curious, being strange
To haue them in safe stowage: May it please you
To take them in protection.

Imo.
Willingly:
And pawne mine Honor for their safety, since
My Lord hath interest in them, I will keepe them
In my Bed-chamber.

Iach.
They are in a Trunke
Attended by my men: I will make bold
To send them to you, onely for this night:
I must aboord to morrow.

Imo.
O no, no.

Iach.
Yes I beseech: or I shall short my word
By length'ning my returne. From Gallia,
I crost the Seas on purpose, and on promise
To see your Grace.

Imo.
I thanke you for your paines:
But not away to morrow.

Iach.
O I must Madam.
Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
To greet your Lord with writing, doo't to night,
I haue out-stood my time, which is materiall
To'th'tender of our Present.

Imo.
I will write:
Send your Trunke to me, it shall safe be kept,
And truely yeelded you: you're very welcome.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene I
Enter two Gentlemen

FIRST GENTLEMAN
You do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the king's.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
But what's the matter?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
His daughter, and the heir of's kingdom – whom
He purposed to his wife's sole son, a widow
That late he married – hath referred herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She's wedded,
Her husband banished; she imprisoned, all
Is outward sorrow, though I think the king
Be touched at very heart.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
None but the king?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
He that hath lost her too: so is the queen,
That most desired 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.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
And why so?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
He that hath missed 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 banished – 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.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
You speak him far.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
I do extend him, sir, within himself,
Crush him together, rather than unfold
His measure duly.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
What's his name and birth?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
I cannot delve him to the root: his father
Was called Sicilius, who did join his honour
Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
He served with glory and admired success:
So gained the sur-addition Leonatus:
And had – besides this gentleman in question –
Two other sons, who in the wars o'th' 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 – deceased
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 ministered,
And in's spring became a harvest; lived in court –
Which rare it is to do – most praised, most loved;
A sample to the youngest, to th' more mature
A glass that feated them, and to the graver
A child that guided dotards. To his mistress –
For whom he now is banished – her own price
Proclaims how she esteemed him; and his virtue
By her election may be truly read
What kind of man he is.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
I honour him
Even out of your report. But pray you tell me,
Is she sole child to th' king?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
His only child.
He had two sons – if this be worth your hearing,
Mark it – the eldest of them at three years old,
I'th' swathing-clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stolen; and to this hour no guess in knowledge
Which way they went.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
How long is this ago?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Some twenty years.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
That a king's children should be so conveyed,
So slackly guarded, and the search so slow
That could not trace them!

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laughed at,
Yet is it true, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
I do well believe you.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
The queen, and princess.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene II
Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Innogen

QUEEN
No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed 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 th' offended king,
I will be known your advocate: marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him, and 'twere good
You leaned unto his sentence, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

POSTHUMUS
Please your highness,
I will from hence today.

QUEEN
You know the peril.
I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
The pangs of barred affections, though the king
Hath charged you should not speak together.
Exit

INNOGEN
O
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father's wrath, but nothing –
Always reserved my holy duty – what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
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.

POSTHUMUS
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.
Enter Queen

QUEEN
Be brief, I pray you:
If the king come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure: (aside) yet I'll move him
To walk this way: I never do him wrong
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends:
Pays dear for my offences.
Exit

POSTHUMUS
Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

INNOGEN
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 Innogen is dead.

POSTHUMUS
How, how? Another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear 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 on her arm)

INNOGEN
O the gods!
When shall we see again?
Enter Cymbeline and Lords

POSTHUMUS
Alack, the king!

CYMBELINE
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.

POSTHUMUS
The gods protect you,
And bless the good remainders of the court!
I am gone.
Exit

INNOGEN
There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.

CYMBELINE
O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st
A year's age on me!

INNOGEN
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.

CYMBELINE
Past grace? Obedience?

INNOGEN
Past hope, and in despair, that way past grace.

CYMBELINE
That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!

INNOGEN
O blessed, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
And did avoid a puttock.

CYMBELINE
Thou took'st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
A seat for baseness.

INNOGEN
No, I rather added
A lustre to it.

CYMBELINE
O thou vile one!

INNOGEN
Sir,
It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:
You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
A man worth any woman: overbuys me
Almost the sum he pays.

CYMBELINE
What? Art thou mad?

INNOGEN
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! –
Enter Queen
They were again together: you have done
Not after our command. Away with her,
And pen her up.

QUEEN
Beseech your patience. Peace
Dear lady daughter, peace! – Sweet sovereign,
Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some comfort
Out of your best advice.

CYMBELINE
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day, and being aged
Die of this folly.
Exeunt Cymbeline and Lords

QUEEN
Fie! You must give way.
Enter Pisanio
Here is your servant. How now, sir? What news?

PISANIO
My lord your son drew on my master.

QUEEN
Ha?
No harm I trust is done?

PISANIO
There might have been,
But that my master rather played than fought
And had no help of anger: they were parted
By gentlemen at hand.

QUEEN
I am very glad on't.

INNOGEN
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?

PISANIO
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 pleased you to employ me.

QUEEN
This hath been
Your faithful servant: I dare lay mine honour
He will remain so.

PISANIO
I humbly thank your highness.

QUEEN
Pray, walk awhile.

INNOGEN
About some half-hour hence, pray you, speak with me;
You shall – at least – go see my lord aboard.
For this time leave me.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene III
Enter Cloten and two Lords

FIRST LORD
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.

CLOTEN
If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I hurt
him?

SECOND LORD
(aside)
No, faith: not so much as his patience.

FIRST LORD
Hurt him? His body's a passable carcass, if he
be not hurt. It is a throughfare for steel, if it be not
hurt

SECOND LORD
(aside)
His steel was in debt, it went o'th' backside
the town.

CLOTEN
The villain would not stand me.

SECOND LORD
(aside)
No, but he fled forward still, toward
your face.

FIRST LORD
Stand you? You have land enough of your
own: but he added to your having, gave you some
ground.

SECOND LORD
(aside)
As many inches as you have oceans.
Puppies!

CLOTEN
I would they had not come between us.

SECOND LORD
(aside)
So would I, till you had measured how
long a fool you were upon the ground.

CLOTEN
And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!

SECOND LORD
(aside)
If it be a sin to make a true election, she
is damned.

FIRST LORD
Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her
brain go not together. She's a good sign, but I have
seen small reflection of her wit.

SECOND LORD
(aside)
She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection
should hurt her.

CLOTEN
Come, I'll to my chamber. Would there had been
some hurt done!

SECOND LORD
(aside)
I wish not so, unless it had been the fall
of an ass, which is no great hurt.

CLOTEN
You'll go with us?

FIRST LORD
I'll attend your lordship.

CLOTEN
Nay come, let's go together.

SECOND LORD
Well my lord.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene IV
Enter Innogen and Pisanio

INNOGEN
I would thou grew'st unto the shores o'th' haven,
And question'dst every sail: if he should write,
And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost
As offered mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?

PISANIO
It was, his queen, his queen!

INNOGEN
Then waved his handkerchief?

PISANIO
And kissed it, madam.

INNOGEN
Senseless linen, happier therein than I!
And that was all?

PISANIO
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 sailed on,
How swift his ship.

INNOGEN
Thou shouldst have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.

PISANIO
Madam, so I did.

INNOGEN
I would have broke mine eye-strings, cracked them, but
To look upon him, till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle:
Nay, followed him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat, to air: and then
Have turned mine eye, and wept. But, good Pisanio,
When shall we hear from him?

PISANIO
Be assured, madam,
With his next vantage.

INNOGEN
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 charged him,
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
T' 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

LADY
The queen, madam,
Desires your highness' company.

INNOGEN
Those things I bid you do, get them dispatched. –
I will attend the queen.

PISANIO
Madam, I shall.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene V
Enter Philario, Iachimo, a Frenchman, a Dutchman,
and a Spaniard

IACHIMO
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 looked 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 items.

PHILARIO
You speak of him when he was less furnished than
now he is with that which makes him both without
and within.

FRENCHMAN
I have seen him in France: we had very many
there could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.

IACHIMO
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.

FRENCHMAN
And then his banishment.

IACHIMO
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?

PHILARIO
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.
Enter Posthumus
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.

FRENCHMAN
Sir, we have known together in Orleans.

POSTHUMUS
Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies
which I will be ever to pay, and yet pay still.

FRENCHMAN
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.

POSTHUMUS
By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller,
rather shunned 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.

FRENCHMAN
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.

IACHIMO
Can we with manners ask what was the difference?

FRENCHMAN
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.

IACHIMO
That lady is not now living; or this gentleman's
opinion, by this, worn out.

POSTHUMUS
She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.

IACHIMO
You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.

POSTHUMUS
Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
adorer, not her friend.

IACHIMO
As fair, and as good – a kind of hand-in-hand
comparison – had been something too fair, and too good
for any lady in Britany. If she went before others I
have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres many
I have beheld, I could not believe she excelled many:
but I have not seen the most precious diamond that
is, nor you the lady.

POSTHUMUS
I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.

IACHIMO
What do you esteem it at?

POSTHUMUS
More than the world enjoys.

IACHIMO
Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's
outprized by a trifle.

POSTHUMUS
You are mistaken: the one may be sold or given, or
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.

IACHIMO
Which the gods have given you?

POSTHUMUS
Which by their graces I will keep.

IACHIMO
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 – accomplished courtier,
would hazard the winning both of first and last.

POSTHUMUS
Your Italy contains none so accomplished 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.

PHILARIO
Let us leave here, gentlemen.

POSTHUMUS
Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank
him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at
first.

IACHIMO
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.

POSTHUMUS
No, no.

IACHIMO
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.

POSTHUMUS
You are a great deal abused in too bold a persuasion,
and I doubt not you sustain what you're
worthy of by your attempt.

IACHIMO
What's that?

POSTHUMUS
A repulse: though your attempt – as you call it –
deserve more; a punishment too.

PHILARIO
Gentlemen, enough of this, it came in too suddenly;
let it die as it was born, and I pray you be better
acquainted.

IACHIMO
Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on
th' approbation of what I have spoke!

POSTHUMUS
What lady would you choose to assail?

IACHIMO
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 reserved.

POSTHUMUS
I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I
hold dear as my finger, 'tis part of it.

IACHIMO
You are a friend, 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.

POSTHUMUS
This is but a custom in your tongue: you bear a
graver purpose I hope.

IACHIMO
I am the master of my speeches, and would undergo
what's spoken, I swear.

POSTHUMUS
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.

PHILARIO
I will have it no lay.

IACHIMO
By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no sufficient
testimony that I have enjoyed 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.

POSTHUMUS
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 prevailed, I am no further
your enemy; she is not worth our debate. If she
remain unseduced, you not making it appear otherwise,
for your ill opinion, and th' assault you have
made to her chastity, you shall answer me with your
sword.

IACHIMO
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.

POSTHUMUS
Agreed.
Exeunt Posthumus and Iachimo

FRENCHMAN
Will this hold, think you?

PHILARIO
Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow
'em.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene VI
Enter Queen, Ladies, and Cornelius

QUEEN
Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;
Make haste. Who has the note of them?

FIRST LADY
I, madam.

QUEEN
Dispatch.
Exeunt Ladies
Now master doctor, have you brought those drugs?

CORNELIUS
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.

QUEEN
I wonder, doctor,
Thou ask'st me such a question. Have I not been
Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learned 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.

CORNELIUS
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.
Enter Pisanio
(aside) Here comes a flattering rascal, upon him
Will I first work: he's for his master,
And enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio?
Doctor, your service for this time is ended,
Take your own way.

CORNELIUS
(aside)
I do suspect you, madam;
But you shall do no harm.

QUEEN
(to Pisanio)
Hark thee, a word.

CORNELIUS
(aside)
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 damned nature. Those she has
Will stupefy and dull the sense awhile;
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 fooled
With a most false effect; and I the truer,
So to be false with her.

QUEEN
No further service, doctor,
Until I send for thee.

CORNELIUS
I humbly take my leave.
Exit

QUEEN
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 decay
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 redeemed from death. I do not know
What is more cordial. Nay, I prithee take it;
It is an earnest of a farther 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.
Exit Pisanio
A sly and constant knave.
Not to be shaked: 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 assured
To taste of too.
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

PISANIO
And shall do:
But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
I'll choke myself: there's all I'll do for you.
Exit
Modern text
Act I, Scene VII
Enter Innogen alone

INNOGEN
A father cruel, and a step-dame false,
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
That hath her husband banished. – 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

PISANIO
Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome,
Comes from my lord with letters.

IACHIMO
Change you, madam:
The worthy Leonatus is in safety,
And greets your highness dearly.
Presents a letter

INNOGEN
Thanks, good sir:
You're kindly welcome.

IACHIMO
(aside)
All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnished with a mind so rare,
She is alone th' 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.

INNOGEN
(reads)
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 warmed by th' rest, and takes 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.

IACHIMO
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 twinned stones
Upon the numbered beach, and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
'Twixt fair, and foul?

INNOGEN
What makes your admiration?

IACHIMO
It cannot be i'th' 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'th' appetite.
Sluttery, to such neat excellence opposed
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allured to feed.

INNOGEN
What is the matter, trow?

IACHIMO
The cloyed will –
That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
Both filled and running – ravening first the lamb,
Longs after for the garbage.

INNOGEN
What, dear sir,
Thus raps you? Are you well?

IACHIMO
Thanks madam, well:
(to Pisanio) Beseech you sir,
Desire my man's abode where I did leave him:
He's strange and peevish.

PISANIO
I was going, sir,
To give him welcome.
Exit

INNOGEN
Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?

IACHIMO
Well, madam.

INNOGEN
Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.

IACHIMO
Exceeding pleasant: none a stranger there,
So merry and so gamesome: he is called
The Briton reveller.

INNOGEN
When he was here,
He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
Not knowing why.

IACHIMO
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's free hours languish for
Assured bondage?’

INNOGEN
Will my lord say so?

IACHIMO
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.

INNOGEN
Not he, I hope.

IACHIMO
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.

INNOGEN
What do you pity, sir?

IACHIMO
Two creatures heartily.

INNOGEN
Am I one, sir?
You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
Deserves your pity?

IACHIMO
Lamentable! What
To hide me from the radiant sun, and solace
I'th' dungeon by a snuff?

INNOGEN
I pray you, sir,
Deliver with more openness your answers
To my demands. Why do you pity me?

IACHIMO
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.

INNOGEN
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.

IACHIMO
Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon: this hand, whose touch –
Whose every touch – would force the feeler's soul
To th' oath of loyalty: this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I – damned 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 by-peeping in an eye
Base and illustrous 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.

INNOGEN
My lord, I fear,
Has forgot Britain.

IACHIMO
And himself. Not I,
Inclined 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.

INNOGEN
Let me hear no more.

IACHIMO
O dearest soul: your cause doth strike my heart
With pity that doth make me sick! A lady
So fair, and fastened to an empery
Would make the great'st king double, to be partnered
With tomboys hired with that self exhibition
Which your own coffers yield! with diseased ventures,
That play with all infirmities for gold
Which rottenness can lend Nature! Such boiled stuff
As well might poison poison! Be revenged,
Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
Recoil from your great stock.

INNOGEN
Revenged!
How should I be revenged? 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 revenged?

IACHIMO
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.

INNOGEN
What ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO
Let me my service tender on your lips.

INNOGEN
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
Solicits 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!

IACHIMO
O happy Leonatus! I may say:
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
Her assured credit. Blessed live you long!
A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
Country called 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 mannered: such a holy witch
That he enchants societies into him:
Half all men's hearts are his.

INNOGEN
You make amends.

IACHIMO
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 adventured
To try your taking of a false report, which hath
Honoured 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.

INNOGEN
All's well, sir: take my power i'th' court for yours.

IACHIMO
My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
T' 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.

INNOGEN
Pray, what is't?

IACHIMO
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?

INNOGEN
Willingly:
And pawn mine honour for their safety, since
My lord hath interest in them; I will keep them
In my bedchamber.

IACHIMO
They are in a trunk,
Attended by my men: I will make bold
To send them to you, only for this night:
I must abroad tomorrow.

INNOGEN
O, no, no.

IACHIMO
Yes, I beseech: or I shall short my word
By length'ning my return. From Gallia
I crossed the seas on purpose and on promise
To see your grace.

INNOGEN
I thank you for your pains:
But not away tomorrow!

IACHIMO
O, I must, madam.
Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
To greet your lord with writing, do't tonight:
I have outstood my time, which is material
To th' tender of our present.

INNOGEN
I will write.
Send your trunk to me, it shall safe be kept,
And truly yielded you: you're very welcome.
Exeunt
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