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Changes to a Forest in Wales, with a Cave.
Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.
Bel. 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 20


Art. What should we speak of,

5 When we are as 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 flics; our cage
We make a quire, as doth the prison'd bird,
And sing our bondage freely.


A cell of ignorance; travelling abed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit *.

To morning's holy office: The gates of monarchs
Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through
And keep their impious turbands' 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.

Guid. Hail, Heaven!
Art. Hail, Heaven!

Bel. Now for our mountain sport: up to yon hill, 30
Your legs are young; I'lltreadthese flats. Consider,
When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place, which lessens, and sets off.
And you maythen revolvewhat talesIhavetoldyou,
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd: To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded' beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. O, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check
Richer, than doing nothing for a babe 7;
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours.
Guid. Out of your proof you speak: we, poor
[know not
Have never wing'd from view o' the nest; nor
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

Bel. How you speak!

15 Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly: the art o' the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery, that
The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I'the name of fame, and honour; which dies i' the

And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,


As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well: what's worse,
Must curt'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 lov'd me;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree, [night;
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay,my leaves,
35 And left me bare to weather.

Guid. Uncertain favour!


Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told you But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline, 40I was confederate with the Romans: So,

Follow'd my banishment; and these twenty years, This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world:


Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; pay'd
More pious debts to heaven, than in all [tains;
The fore-end of my time.--But, up to the moun
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'llmeet you in thevalleys.
[Exeunt Guid, and Aro,
How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature!



This fantastical expression means no more than sand in an hour-glass, used to measure time. 2 A franklin is literally a freeholder, with a small estate, neither villan, nor vassal. That is, "I can see neither one way nor other, before me nor behind me; but all the ways are covered with an impenetra ble fog." The idea of a giant was, among the readers of romances, who were almost all the readers of those times, always confounded with that of a Saracen. 'i. e. the beetle, whose wings are enclosed within two dry husks or shards. • Check may mean in this place a reproof; but it rather seems to signify command, controul. 'Dr. Johnson suspects, that the right reading of this passage is as follows: "Richer than doing nothing for a brabe."-Brabium is a badge of honour, or the ensign of an honour, or any thing worn as a mark of dignity. The word is found (he adds) in Holyoak's Dictionary, who terms it a reward; and that Cooper, in his Thesaurus, defines it to be a prize, or reward for any game. To overpass his bound.



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
1' the cave, wherein they bow', their thoughts do
The roots of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things, to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,→
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call'd Guiderius,-Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say,Thus mine enemy fell;
And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats, 15
Strains his young nerves, and putshimself in posture
That acts my words. The younger brother Cad-
(Once, Arviragus) in as like a figure, [wal,
Strikes life into my speech, and shews much more
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rouz'd!
OCymbeline! 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. Euriphilè,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their


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And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
They take for natural father.The game is up. 30


And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
The most disdain'd of fortune.
Imogen reads.

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

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

Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath play'd the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises; but from proof us 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 pundar to her dishonour, and equally to me disloyal. Pisan. 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

Out-venoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belye
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states",
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
Thisviperous slander enters.--What cheer,madam?
Imo. 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


To break it with a fearful dream of him,

And cry myself awake? that's false to his bed?
Is it?

Pisan. Alas, good lady!

Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness:-Iachimo,
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
35 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
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion; [him:
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,
40I must be ript:-to pieces with me!-0, [ing,
Men's vows are women's traitors!-All good seem-
By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
Put on for villainy; not born, where 't grows;
But worn, a bait for ladies.


Pisan. Good madam, hear me.

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


That drug-damn'd Italy 2 hath out-crafted 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.

Pisan. Please you, read;

Imo. True honest men being heard, like false
Were, in his time, thought false: and Sinon's
Did scandal many a holy tear; took pity [humus,
50 From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Post-
Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false and perjur'd,
From thy great fail.-Come,fellow,be thou honest:
Do thou thy master's bidding:-When thou see'st

A little witness my obedience: Look!
I draw the sword inyself: take it; and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart:
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief:


1i. e. Thus meanly brought up :-Yet in this very cave, which is so low that they must bow or bend in entering it, yet are their thoughts so exalted, &c. This is another allusion to Italian poisons. Serpents and dragons by the old writers were called worms. Persons of highest rank. That is, Some jay of Italy, made by art the creature, not of nature, but of painting.—In his sense, painting may be not improperly termed her mother.


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Thy master is not there; who was, indeed,
The riches of it: Do his bidding, strike.-
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward..

Pisan. Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damn my hand.
Imo. Why, I must die;

And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master's: Against self-slaughter
There is a prohibition so divine,

That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my
Something's afore 't:-Soft, soft; we'll no de-
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

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

And thou, Posthumus, that diddest set up
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father,
And mad'st 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 dis-edg'd by her
That now thou tir'st on', how thy memory
Will then be pang'd by me.-Pr'ythee, 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.

Pisan. O gracious lady!

Since I receiv'd command to do this business,
I have not slept one wink.

Imo. Do't, and to bed then.

Pisan. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
Imo. Wherefore then

Did'st undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd
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?
Pisan. 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.

Pisan. 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 abus'd:

5 Some villain, ay, and singular in his art,
Hath done you both this cursed injury.
Imo. Some Roman courtezan.

Pisan. Then, madam,

I thought you would not back again.

Imo. Most like;

Bringing me here to kill me.

Pisan. 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.

Imo. Why, good fellow,


What shall I do the while? where bide? how 15 Or in my life what comfort, when I am Dead to my husband?

Pisan. If you'll back to the court,

Imo. No court, no father; nor no more ado
With that harsh, noble, simple, nothing;
20 That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
As fearful as a siege.

Pisan. If not at court,

Then not in Britain must you bide.

Imo. Where then?

25 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 it;

In a great pool, a swan's nest: Pr'ythee, think
There's livers out of Britain.


Pisan. I am most glad

You think of other place. The embassador,
Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven
To-morrow: Now, if you could wear a mind
Dark as your fortune is; and but disguise
35 That, which to appear itself, must not yet be,
But by self-danger2; 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
40 Report should render him hourly to your ear,
As truly as he moves.

Imo. O, for such means!

Though peril to my modesty, not death on 't,
I would adventure.


Pisan. 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;
50 Ready in gybes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and
As quarrellous as the weazel: nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it, (but, O the harder heart!
Alack, no remedy!) to the greedy touch

Imo. Talk thy tongue weary; speak:
I have heard, I am a strumpet; and mine ear,
Therein false struck, can take no greater wound, 55 Of common-kissing Titan; and forget

Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.

Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein
You made great Juno angry.

Imo. Nay, be brief:

I see into thy end, and am almost 160A man already.

A hawk is said to tire upon that which he pecks; from tirer, French. * The meaning is, " You must disguise that greatness, which, to appear hereafter in its proper form, cannot yet appear without great danger to itself." i. e. with opportunities of examining your affairs with your own eyes.


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Pisan. 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 are happy, (which you'll make him know,

If that his head have ear in music) doubtless, Withjoy 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.

Imo. Thou art all the comfort

The gods will diet me with. Pr'ythee, 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 pr'ythee.

[well; 20

Pisan. Well, madam, we must take a short fareLest, 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 drain of this Will drive away distemper.To some shade, And fit you to your manhood:-May the gods Direct you to the best! [Exeunt. 30

Imo. Amen: I thank thee.

My emperor hath wrote: I must from hence; And am right sorry, that I must report ye My master's enemy.

Cym. Our subjects, sir,

Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
To shew less sovereignty than they, must needs
Appear unkinglike.

Luc. So, sir, I desire of you

Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.

Cym. 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
His war for Britain.


A conduct over land, to Milford-Haven.-
'Madam,all joy befall your grace, and you ! [fice;
Cym. My lords, you are appointed for that of
The due of honour in no point omit:-
So, farewell, noble Lucius.

Queen. 'Tis not sleepy business;


But must be look'd to speedily, and strongly.
Cym. Our expectation that it should be thus,
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
The duty of the day: She looks us like
15A thing more made of malice than of duty;
We have noted it.-Call her before us; for
We have been too light in sufferance.
[Exit a Sercant.


The Palace of Cymbeline.

Enter Cymbeline, Queen, Cloten, Lucius, and Lords. 35
Cym. Thus far; and so farewell.
Luc. Thanks, royal sir.

Queen. Royal sir, Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd 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, 25 And strokes death to her.

Re-enter the Servant.

Cymb. Where is she, sir? How Can her contempt be answer'd? Serv. Please you, sir,

[swer Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no anThat will be given to the loud of 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.

140]. Cym. Her doors lock'd?


Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that, which I
Prove false!

Queen. Son, I say, follow the king.

Clot. That man of hers, Pisanio her old servant,


I have not seen these two days.
Queen. 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, [her:
Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seiz'd
Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown
To her desir'd Posthumus: Gone she is


Luc. Your hand, my lord.

Clot. Receive it friendly: but from this time forth I wear it as your enemy.

Luc. Sir, the event

Is yet to name the winner: Fare you well. [lords,
Cym. Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my
"Till he have cross'd the Severn.-Happiness!
[Exeunt Lucius, &c.
Queen. He goes hence frowning: but it honours
That we have given him cause.
[us, 60
Clot. 'Tis all the better;

To death, or to dishonour; and my end


have the placing of the British crown.
Can make good use of either: She being down,

Re-enter Cloten.
How now, my son?

Clot. 'Tis certain, she is fled:

Go in, and cheer the king; he rages, none
Dare come about him.

i. e. we'll make our work even with our time; we'll do what time will allow. inlisted and bound myself to it.

? i, e. I have


Queen. All the better: May
This night fore-stall him of the coming day!

[Exit Queen. Clot. 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 judgement,
That what's else rare, is choak'd; and, in that
I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed, [point,
To be reveng'd upon her. For, when fools
Enter Pisanio.
Shall-Who is here? What! are you packing,

Come hither: Ah, you precious pandar! Villain,
Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.

Pisan. O, good my lord!


Clot. 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.

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Pisan. O, my all-worthy lord!
Clot. 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.

Pisan. Then, sir,

This paper is the history of my knowledge
Touching her flight..

Clot. Let's see 't:-I will pursue her
Even to Augustus' throne.


Pisan. Or this, or perish.
She's far enough; and what he learns by[Aside.
May prove his travel, not her danger.

Clot. Humh!

Pisan. I'll write to my lord, she's dead. O,


Clot. 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 nine. Wilt thou serve me?

Pisan. Sir, I will.

Clot. Give me thy hand, here's my purse. Hast any of thy late master's garments in thy possession? Pisan. I have, my lord, at my lodging, the 10 same suit he wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.

Clot. The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit hither: let it be thy first service; go. Pisan. I shall, my lord.


[Exit. Clot. Meet thee at Milford-Haven :- -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 20 belch froni my heart) that she held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect than my noble and natural person, together with the adorn ment of my qualities. With that suit upon my back, will I ravish her: First kill him, and in her 25 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 30 the clothes that she so prais'd) to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home again. She hath despis'd me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in my revenge.

Pisan. She can scarce be there yet.


Clot. 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 truc preferment
shall tender itself to thee.-My revenge is now
45 at Milford; would I had wings to follow it!-
Come, and be true.
Pisan. Thou bidd'st me to my loss: for, true to

Were to prove false, which I will never be,
[Aside. 50 To him that is most true.-To Milford go, [flow,
And find not her whom thou pursu'st. Flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
Be crost with slowness; labour be his meed! [Erit.


Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again!
Clot. Sirrah, is this letter true?

Pisan. Sir, as I think.

Clot. It is Posthumus' hand; I know 't.-Sirrah, If thou would'st not be a villain, but do me true 55 service; undergo those employments, wherein I should have cause to use thee, with a serious industry, that is, what villainy soe'er I bid thee do, to perform it, directly and truly,-I would think thee an honest man: thou should'st neither 60 want my means for thy relief, nor my voice for thy preferment.

Pisan. Well, my good lord.

Re-enter Pisanio, with the clothes. 35 Be those the garments?

Pisan. Ay, my noble lord.

Clot. How long is 't since she went to MilfordHaven?


The Forest and Cave.

Enter Imogen, in boy's clothes.

Imo. I see, a man's life is a tedious one:
I have tir'd 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 shew'd thee,
Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think,

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That is, I must either give him the paper freely, or perish in my attempt to keep it.

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