List iconCymbeline:
Entire Play
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Entire Play



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Cymbeline, which takes place in ancient Britain, is filled with hidden identities, extraordinary schemes, and violent acts. Long ago, the…

Act 1, scene 1

At the court of King Cymbeline, the princess, Imogen, has secretly married a gentleman named Posthumus Leonatus. Imogen is the…

Act 1, scene 2

An encounter between Cloten and Posthumus, reported in 1.1, is here discussed by Cloten and two lords.

Act 1, scene 3

Posthumus’s servant, Pisanio, describes to the grieving Imogen the departure of Posthumus toward Rome.

Act 1, scene 4

Posthumus arrives in Rome, where an Italian gentleman, Iachimo, maneuvers him into placing a bet on Imogen’s chastity. Posthumus bets…

Act 1, scene 5

The queen obtains a box that she is told contains poison. (The audience is told that the box actually contains…

Act 1, scene 6

Iachimo arrives in Britain and begins his attempt to seduce Imogen by telling her that Posthumus is betraying her with…

Act 2, scene 1

Cloten and two lords discuss the arrival of Iachimo. The Second Lord, in soliloquy, expresses the hope that Imogen will…

Act 2, scene 2

As Imogen sleeps, the trunk that she is keeping for Iachimo opens, and Iachimo emerges. Before climbing back into it,…

Act 2, scene 3

Cloten serenades Imogen in an attempt to win her love. Imogen enrages Cloten by saying that he is not as…

Act 2, scene 4

Iachimo returns to Rome with his proofs of Imogen’s unfaithfulness: descriptions of her bedroom and of private marks on her…

Act 2, scene 5

Posthumus, in soliloquy, attacks women as the embodiment of all that is vicious.

Act 3, scene 1

Caius Lucius arrives as ambassador from Augustus Caesar, demanding that Cymbeline pay the tribute Britain owes to Rome. With the…

Act 3, scene 2

Pisanio receives two letters from Posthumus—one in which Pisanio is instructed to kill Imogen, and another written to Imogen, telling…

Act 3, scene 3

Three men enter as if from a cave, the two younger men protesting the limitations of their mountain lives. When…

Act 3, scene 4

On the journey to Milford Haven, Pisanio reveals to Imogen that he is supposed to kill her. She is so…

Act 3, scene 5

When Imogen’s absence from court is discovered, Cloten forces Pisanio to tell him where she is. Pisanio shows him the…

Act 3, scene 6

Imogen, disguised as a boy named Fidele, stumbles, exhausted and famished, into the cave of Belarius and the two young…

Act 3, scene 7

A Roman senator announces that the Roman army attacking Britain will be under the control of Caius Lucius and that…

Act 4, scene 1

Cloten, dressed in Posthumus’s garments, arrives at the spot where he plans to cut off Posthumus’s head and rape Imogen.

Act 4, scene 2

Imogen, not feeling well, takes the potion given her by Pisanio, thinking it is a restorative; the potion puts her…

Act 4, scene 3

Cymbeline finds himself alone in the face of the Roman attack, with Imogen and Cloten both missing and the queen…

Act 4, scene 4

The young princes persuade Belarius that the three of them should join with the Britons against Rome.

Act 5, scene 1

Posthumus, in Britain as part of the Roman army, repents Imogen’s (reported) murder and decides to seek death by joining…

Act 5, scene 2

In a series of battles, Posthumus (disguised as a peasant) defeats and disarms Iachimo; the Britons flee and Cymbeline is…

Act 5, scene 3

Posthumus, still seeking death and failing to find it as a poor British soldier, reverts to his earlier role as…

Act 5, scene 4

Posthumus, in chains, falls asleep and is visited by the ghosts of his dead family and by the god Jupiter,…

Act 5, scene 5

Cymbeline knights Belarius and the two young men in gratitude for their valor, and sends in search of the poor…

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Scene 1
Enter two Gentlemen.

 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?
5 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
10 Is outward sorrow, though I think the King
 Be touched at very heart.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  None but the King?
 He that hath lost her, too. So is the Queen,
 That most desired the match. But not a courtier,
15 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.
 He that hath missed the Princess is a thing
20 Too bad for bad report, and he that hath her—

ACT 1. SC. 1

 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
25 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.
 I do extend him, sir, within himself,
30 Crush him together rather than unfold
 His measure duly.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  What’s his name and birth?
 I cannot delve him to the root. His father
 Was called Sicilius, who did join his honor
35 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,
40 Two other sons, who in the wars o’ th’ time
 Died with their swords in hand. For which their
 Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
 That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
45 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 bedchamber,
 Puts to him all the learnings that his time
50 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

ACT 1. SC. 1

55 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
60 What kind of man he is.
 Even out of your report. But pray you tell me,
 Is she sole child to th’ King?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  His only child.
65 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 stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
 Which way they went.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 70How long is this ago?
FIRST GENTLEMAN Some twenty years.
 That a king’s children should be so conveyed,
 So slackly guarded, and the search so slow
 That could not trace them!
FIRST GENTLEMAN 75 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.
 We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
80 The Queen and Princess.
They exit.

Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.

 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 jailer shall deliver you the keys

ACT 1. SC. 1

85 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
90 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
95 The pangs of barred affections, though the King
 Hath charged you should not speak together.She exits.
 Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
 Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
100 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
105 But that there is this jewel in the world
 That I may see again.She weeps.
POSTHUMUS  My queen, my mistress!
 O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
 To be suspected of more tenderness
110 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,
115 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

ACT 1. SC. 1

 How much of his displeasure. (Aside.) Yet I’ll move
120 him
 To walk this way. I never do him wrong
 But he does buy my injuries, to be friends,
 Pays dear for my offenses.She exits.
POSTHUMUS  Should we be taking leave
125 As long a term as yet we have to live,
 The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu.
IMOGEN Nay, stay a little!
 Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
 Such parting were too petty. Look here, love:
130 This diamond was my mother’s. (She offers a
Take it, heart,
 But keep it till you woo another wife
 When Imogen is dead.
POSTHUMUS  How, how? Another?
135 You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
 And cere up my embracements from a next
 With bonds of death.(He puts the ring on his finger.)
 Remain, remain thou here,
 While sense can keep it on.—And sweetest, fairest,
140 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.
He offers a bracelet.
 It is a manacle of love. I’ll place it
 Upon this fairest prisoner.He puts it on her wrist.
IMOGEN 145 O the gods!
 When shall we see again?

Enter Cymbeline and Lords.

POSTHUMUS  Alack, the King.
 Thou basest thing, avoid hence, from my sight!
 If after this command thou fraught the court
150 With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away!
 Thou ’rt poison to my blood.

ACT 1. SC. 1

POSTHUMUS  The gods protect you,
 And bless the good remainders of the court.
 I am gone.He exits.
IMOGEN 155 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.
IMOGEN 160 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?
165 Past hope and in despair; that way past grace.
 That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!
 O, blessèd that I might not! I chose an eagle
 And did avoid a puttock.
 Thou took’st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
170 A seat for baseness.
IMOGEN  No, I rather added
 A luster to it.
CYMBELINE  O thou vile one!
175 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?
180 Almost, sir. Heaven restore me! Would I were
 A neatherd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
 Our neighbor shepherd’s son.She weeps.

ACT 1. SC. 1

CYMBELINE  Thou foolish thing!

Enter Queen.

 They were again together. You have done
185 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
190 comfort
 Out of your best advice.
CYMBELINE  Nay, let her languish
 A drop of blood a day, and being aged
 Die of this folly.He exits, with Lords.
QUEEN 195 Fie, you must give way.

Enter Pisanio.

 Here is your servant.—How now, sir? What news?
 My lord your son drew on my master.
 No harm, I trust, is done?
PISANIO 200 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.
205 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?
210 On his command. He would not suffer me
 To bring him to the haven, left these notes

ACT 1. SC. 2

 Of what commands I should be subject to
 When ’t pleased you to employ me.
QUEEN, to Imogen  This hath been
215 Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honor
 He will remain so.
PISANIO  I humbly thank your Highness.
QUEEN, to Imogen 
 Pray, walk awhile.
IMOGEN, to Pisanio  About some half hour hence,
220 Pray you, speak with me. You shall at least
 Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me.
They exit.

Scene 2
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 5If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I
 hurt him?
SECOND LORD, aside No, faith, not so much as his
FIRST LORD Hurt him? His body’s a passable carcass if
10 he be not hurt. It is a thoroughfare 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 15No, 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

ACT 1. SC. 3

SECOND LORD, aside 20As 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 25And 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
30 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
35 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 40Nay, come, let’s go together.
SECOND LORD Well, my lord.
They exit.

Scene 3
Enter Imogen and Pisanio.

 I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ th’ haven
 And questionedst every sail. If he should write
 And I not have it, ’twere a paper lost
 As offered mercy is. What was the last
5 That he spake to thee?
PISANIO  It was his queen, his queen!

ACT 1. SC. 3

 Then waved his handkerchief?
PISANIO  And kissed it, madam.
 Senseless linen, happier therein than I.
10 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
15 Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ’s mind
 Could best express how slow his soul sailed on,
 How swift his ship.
IMOGEN  Thou shouldst have made him
 As little as a crow, or less, ere left
20 To after-eye him.
PISANIO  Madam, so I did.
 I would have broke mine eyestrings, cracked them,
 To look upon him till the diminution
25 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 30 Be assured, madam,
 With his next vantage.
 I did not take my leave of him, but had
 Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
 How I would think on him at certain hours
35 Such thoughts and such; or I could make him swear
 The shes of Italy should not betray
 Mine interest and his honor; or have charged him
 At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight

ACT 1. SC. 4

 T’ encounter me with orisons, for then
40 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 45 The Queen, madam,
 Desires your Highness’ company.
IMOGEN, to Pisanio 
 Those things I bid you do, get them dispatched.
 I will attend the Queen.
PISANIO  Madam, I shall.
They exit.

Scene 4
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
5 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
10 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,
15 wherein he must be weighed rather by her value

ACT 1. SC. 4

 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
20 this lamentable divorce under her colors are wonderfully
 to extend him, be it but to fortify her judgment,
 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
25 acquaintance?
PHILARIO His father and I were soldiers together, to
 whom I have been often bound for no less than my

Enter Posthumus.

 Here comes the Briton. Let him be so entertained
30 amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your knowing,
 to a stranger of his quality.—I beseech you all,
 be better known to this gentleman, whom I commend
 to you as a noble friend of mine. How worthy
 he is I will leave to appear hereafter rather
35 than story him in his own hearing.
FRENCHMAN, to Posthumus 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
40 still.
FRENCHMAN Sir, you o’errate 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
45 of so slight and trivial a nature.
POSTHUMUS By your pardon, sir, I was then a young
 traveler, rather shunned to go even with what I
 heard than in my every action to be guided by others’
 experiences. But upon my mended judgment—

ACT 1. SC. 4

50 if I offend not to say it is mended—my
 quarrel was not altogether slight.
FRENCHMAN Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrament of
 swords, and by such two that would by all likelihood
 have confounded one the other or have fall’n
55 both.
IACHIMO Can we with manners ask what was the
FRENCHMAN Safely, I think. ’Twas a contention in public,
 which may without contradiction suffer the report.
60 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,
65 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 70You must not so far prefer her ’fore ours of
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 75As fair and as good—a kind of hand-in-hand
 comparison—had been something too fair and too
 good for any lady in Britain. If she went before
 others I have seen, as that diamond of yours outlusters
 many I have beheld, I could not but
80 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
IACHIMO What do you esteem it at?
POSTHUMUS 85More than the world enjoys.

ACT 1. SC. 4

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
90 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
95 know strange fowl light upon neighboring 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
100 first and last.
POSTHUMUS Your Italy contains none so accomplished
 a courtier to convince the honor of my mistress, if
 in the holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I
 do nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
105 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 110With 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.
IACHIMO 115I 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 offense herein too, I durst attempt it against
120 any lady in the world.
POSTHUMUS You are a great deal abused in too bold a

ACT 1. SC. 4

 persuasion, and I doubt not you sustain what
 you’re worthy of by your attempt.
IACHIMO What’s that?
POSTHUMUS 125A 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 130Would I had put my estate and my neighbor’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
135 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 honor of hers which you imagine so
POSTHUMUS 140I 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
145 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 150Will 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 155I 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

ACT 1. SC. 5

 bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand
 ducats are yours; so is your diamond too. If I come
160 off and leave her in such honor 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
165 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
170 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.(They shake hands.)
 We will have these things set down by lawful counsel,
175 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.Iachimo and Posthumus exit.
FRENCHMAN Will this hold, think you?
PHILARIO 180Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us
 follow ’em.
They exit.

Scene 5
Enter Queen, Ladies, and Cornelius.

 Whiles yet the dew’s on ground, gather those flowers.
 Make haste. Who has the note of them?
LADY  I, madam.
QUEEN Dispatch.Ladies exit.
5 Now, Master Doctor, have you brought those drugs?

ACT 1. SC. 5

 Pleaseth your Highness, ay. Here they are, madam.
He hands her a small box.
 But I beseech your Grace, without offense—
 My conscience bids me ask—wherefore you have
 Commanded of me these most poisonous
10 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
15 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
20 That I did amplify my judgment 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 vigor of them and apply
25 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
30 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?—
35 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.

ACT 1. SC. 5

QUEEN, to Pisanio  Hark thee, a word.
40 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,
45 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
50 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.He exits.
55 Weeps she still, sayst 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
60 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,
65 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? (She drops the box
 and Pisanio picks it up.) 
70Thou tak’st up
 Thou know’st not what. But take it for thy labor.
 It is a thing I made which hath the King

ACT 1. SC. 5

 Five times redeemed from death. I do not know
 What is more cordial. Nay, I prithee, take it.
75 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,
80 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.
85 Think on my words.Pisanio exits.
 A sly and constant knave,
 Not to be shaked; the agent for his master
 And the remembrancer of her to hold
 The handfast to her lord. I have given him that
90 Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
 Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
 Except she bend her humor, shall be assured
 To taste of too.

Enter Pisanio and Ladies carrying flowers.

To the Ladies.  So, so. Well done, well done.
95 The violets, cowslips, and the primroses
 Bear to my closet.—Fare thee well, Pisanio.
 Think on my words.Queen and Ladies exit.
PISANIO And shall do.
 But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
100 I’ll choke myself; there’s all I’ll do for you.
He exits.

ACT 1. SC. 6

Scene 6
Enter Imogen alone.

 A father cruel and a stepdame false,
 A foolish suitor to a wedded lady
 That hath her husband banished. O, that husband,
 My supreme crown of grief and those repeated
5 Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol’n,
 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.

10 Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome
 Comes from my lord with letters.
IACHIMO  Change you,
 The worthy Leonatus is in safety
15 And greets your Highness dearly.
He gives her a letter.
IMOGEN  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,
20 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.
IMOGEN reads: 25He is one of the noblest note, to whose
 kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
 him accordingly as you value your trust.

ACT 1. SC. 6

 So far I read aloud.
30 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 35 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
40 Upon the numbered beach, and can we not
 Partition make with spectacles so precious
 ’Twixt fair and foul?
IMOGEN  What makes your admiration?
 It cannot be i’ th’ eye, for apes and monkeys
45 ’Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
 Contemn with mows the other; nor i’ th’ judgment,
 For idiots in this case of favor would
 Be wisely definite; nor i’ th’ appetite—
 Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
50 Should make desire vomit emptiness,
 Not so allured to feed.
 What is the matter, trow?
IACHIMO  The cloyèd will,
 That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
55 Both filled and running, ravening first the lamb,
 Longs after for the garbage.
IMOGEN  What, dear sir,
 Thus raps you? Are you well?
IACHIMO  Thanks, madam, well.
60 (To Pisanio.) Beseech you, sir,
 Desire my man’s abode where I did leave him.
 He’s strange and peevish.

ACT 1. SC. 6

PISANIO  I was going, sir,
 To give him welcome.He exits.
65 Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?
IACHIMO Well, madam.
 Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.
 Exceeding pleasant. None a stranger there
 So merry and so gamesome. He is called
70 The Briton Reveler.
IMOGEN  When he was here
 He did incline to sadness, and ofttimes
 Not knowing why.
IACHIMO  I never saw him sad.
75 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,
80 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
 Assurèd bondage?”
IMOGEN 85 Will my lord say so?
 Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter.
 It is a recreation to be by
 And hear him mock the Frenchman. But heavens
90 Some men are much to blame.
IMOGEN  Not he, I hope.
 Not he—but yet heaven’s bounty towards him might
 Be used more thankfully. In himself ’tis much;

ACT 1. SC. 6

 In you, which I account his, beyond all talents.
95 Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
 To pity too.
IMOGEN  What do you pity, sir?
 Two creatures heartily.
IMOGEN  Am I one, sir?
100 You look on me. What wrack 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?
IMOGEN 105 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
110 It is an office of the gods to venge it,
 Not mine to speak on ’t.
IMOGEN  You do seem to know
 Something of me or what concerns me. Pray you,
 Since doubting things go ill often hurts more
115 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
120 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,
125 Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
 That mount the Capitol, join gripes with hands
 Made hard with hourly falsehood—falsehood as
 With labor; then by-peeping in an eye

ACT 1. SC. 6

 Base and illustrous as the smoky light
130 That’s fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
 That all the plagues of hell should at one time
 Encounter such revolt.
IMOGEN  My lord, I fear,
 Has forgot Britain.
IACHIMO 135 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.
IMOGEN 140 Let me hear no more.
 O dearest soul, your cause doth strike my heart
 With pity that doth make me sick. A lady
 So fair, and fastened to an empery
 Would make the great’st king double, to be partnered
145 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,
150 Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
 Recoil from your great stock.
IMOGEN Revenged?
 How should I be revenged? If this be true—
 As I have such a heart that both mine ears
155 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,
160 In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
 I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
 More noble than that runagate to your bed,

ACT 1. SC. 6

 And will continue fast to your affection,
 Still close as sure.
IMOGEN 165 What ho, Pisanio!
 Let me my service tender on your lips.
 Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
 So long attended thee. If thou wert honorable,
 Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
170 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 honor, and
 Solicits here a lady that disdains
 Thee and the devil alike.—What ho, Pisanio!—
175 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
180 He little cares for and a daughter who
 He not respects at all.—What ho, Pisanio!
 O happy Leonatus! I may say
 The credit that thy lady hath of thee
 Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
185 Her assured credit.—Blessèd 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
190 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.
IMOGEN 195 You make amends.

ACT 1. SC. 6

 He sits ’mongst men like a descended god.
 He hath a kind of honor sets him off
 More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
 Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
200 To try your taking of a false report, which hath
 Honored with confirmation your great judgment
 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,
205 Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.
 All’s well, sir. Take my power i’ th’ court for yours.
 My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
 T’ entreat your Grace but in a small request,
 And yet of moment too, for it concerns.
210 Your lord, myself, and other noble friends
 Are partners in the business.
IMOGEN  Pray, what is ’t?
 Some dozen Romans of us and your lord—
 The best feather of our wing—have mingled sums
215 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,
220 To have them in safe stowage. May it please you
 To take them in protection?
IMOGEN  Willingly;
 And pawn mine honor for their safety. Since
 My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
225 In my bedchamber.
IACHIMO  They are in a trunk
 Attended by my men. I will make bold

ACT 1. SC. 6

 To send them to you, only for this night.
 I must aboard tomorrow.
IMOGEN 230 O no, no.
 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.
IMOGEN 235 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.
240 I have outstood my time, which is material
 To th’ tender of our present.
IMOGEN  I will write.
 Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept
 And truly yielded you. You’re very welcome.
They exit.

Scene 1
Enter Cloten and the two Lords.

CLOTEN Was there ever man had such luck? When I
 kissed the jack, upon an upcast to be hit away? I
 had a hundred pound on ’t. And then a whoreson
 jackanapes must take me up for swearing, as if I
5 borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend
 them at my pleasure.
FIRST LORD What got he by that? You have broke his
 pate with your bowl.
SECOND LORD, aside If his wit had been like him that
10 broke it, it would have run all out.
CLOTEN When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is
 not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
SECOND LORD No, my lord, (aside) nor crop the ears
 of them.
CLOTEN 15Whoreson dog! I gave him satisfaction. Would
 he had been one of my rank.
SECOND LORD, aside To have smelled like a fool.
CLOTEN I am not vexed more at anything in th’ Earth.
 A pox on ’t! I had rather not be so noble as I am.
20 They dare not fight with me because of the Queen
 my mother. Every jack-slave hath his bellyful of
 fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock
 that nobody can match.

ACT 2. SC. 1

SECOND LORD, aside You are cock and capon too, and
25 you crow cock with your comb on.
CLOTEN Sayest thou?
SECOND LORD It is not fit your Lordship should undertake
 every companion that you give offense to.
CLOTEN No, I know that, but it is fit I should commit
30 offense to my inferiors.
SECOND LORD Ay, it is fit for your Lordship only.
CLOTEN Why, so I say.
FIRST LORD Did you hear of a stranger that’s come to
 court tonight?
CLOTEN 35A stranger, and I not know on ’t?
SECOND LORD, aside He’s a strange fellow himself and
 knows it not.
FIRST LORD There’s an Italian come, and ’tis thought
 one of Leonatus’ friends.
CLOTEN 40Leonatus? A banished rascal; and he’s another,
 whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?
FIRST LORD One of your Lordship’s pages.
CLOTEN Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no
 derogation in ’t?
SECOND LORD 45You cannot derogate, my lord.
CLOTEN Not easily, I think.
SECOND LORD, aside You are a fool granted; therefore
 your issues, being foolish, do not derogate.
CLOTEN Come, I’ll go see this Italian. What I have lost
50 today at bowls I’ll win tonight of him. Come, go.
SECOND LORD I’ll attend your Lordship.
Cloten and First Lord exit.
 That such a crafty devil as is his mother
 Should yield the world this ass! A woman that
 Bears all down with her brain, and this her son
55 Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart,
 And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
 Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur’st,
 Betwixt a father by thy stepdame governed,

ACT 2. SC. 2

 A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
60 More hateful than the foul expulsion is
 Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
 Of the divorce he’d make! The heavens hold firm
 The walls of thy dear honor, keep unshaked
 That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand
65 T’ enjoy thy banished lord and this great land.
He exits.

Scene 2
A trunk is brought in. Enter Imogen, reading, in her
bed, and a Lady.

 Who’s there? My woman Helen?
LADY  Please you, madam.
 What hour is it?
LADY  Almost midnight, madam.
5 I have read three hours then. Mine eyes are weak.
She hands the Lady her book.
 Fold down the leaf where I have left. To bed.
 Take not away the taper; leave it burning.
 And if thou canst awake by four o’ th’ clock,
 I prithee, call me. (Lady exits.) Sleep hath seized
10 me wholly.
 To your protection I commend me, gods.
 From fairies and the tempters of the night
 Guard me, beseech you.Sleeps.

Iachimo from the trunk.

 The crickets sing, and man’s o’erlabored sense
15 Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus

ACT 2. SC. 2

 Did softly press the rushes ere he wakened
 The chastity he wounded.—Cytherea,
 How bravely thou becom’st thy bed, fresh lily,
 And whiter than the sheets.—That I might touch!
20 But kiss, one kiss! Rubies unparagoned,
 How dearly they do ’t. ’Tis her breathing that
 Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame o’ th’ taper
 Bows toward her and would underpeep her lids
 To see th’ enclosèd lights, now canopied
25 Under these windows, white and azure-laced
 With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design:
 To note the chamber. I will write all down.
He begins to write.
 Such and such pictures; there the window; such
 Th’ adornment of her bed; the arras, figures,
30 Why, such and such; and the contents o’ th’ story.
He continues to write.
 Ah, but some natural notes about her body
 Above ten thousand meaner movables
 Would testify t’ enrich mine inventory.
 O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her,
35 And be her sense but as a monument
 Thus in a chapel lying. (He begins to remove her
Come off, come off;
 As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard.
 ’Tis mine, and this will witness outwardly
40 As strongly as the conscience does within
 To th’ madding of her lord. On her left breast
 A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
 I’ th’ bottom of a cowslip. Here’s a voucher
 Stronger than ever law could make. This secret
45 Will force him think I have picked the lock and ta’en
 The treasure of her honor. No more. To what end?
 Why should I write this down that’s riveted,
 Screwed to my memory? She hath been reading late

ACT 2. SC. 3

 The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turned down
50 Where Philomel gave up. I have enough.
 To th’ trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
 Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
 May bare the raven’s eye. I lodge in fear.
 Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
Clock strikes.
55 One, two, three. Time, time!
He exits into the trunk. The trunk
and bed are removed.

Scene 3
Enter Cloten and Lords.

FIRST LORD Your Lordship is the most patient man in
 loss, the most coldest that ever turned up ace.
CLOTEN It would make any man cold to lose.
FIRST LORD But not every man patient after the noble
5 temper of your Lordship. You are most hot and
 furious when you win.
CLOTEN Winning will put any man into courage. If I
 could get this foolish Imogen, I should have gold
 enough. It’s almost morning, is ’t not?
FIRST LORD 10Day, my lord.
CLOTEN I would this music would come. I am advised
 to give her music a-mornings; they say it will

Enter Musicians.

 Come on, tune. If you can penetrate her with your
15 fingering, so. We’ll try with tongue, too. If none
 will do, let her remain, but I’ll never give o’er. First,
 a very excellent good-conceited thing; after, a wonderful
 sweet air, with admirable rich words to it,
 and then let her consider.

ACT 2. SC. 3

Musicians begin to play.

 20 Hark, hark, the lark at heaven’s gate sings,
  And Phoebus gins arise,
 His steeds to water at those springs
  On chaliced flowers that lies;
 And winking Mary-buds begin
25  To ope their golden eyes.
 With everything that pretty is,
  My lady sweet, arise,
  Arise, arise.

CLOTEN So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will
30 consider your music the better. If it do not, it is a
 vice in her ears which horsehairs and calves’
 guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to boot, can
 never amend.
Musicians exit.

Enter Cymbeline and Queen, with Attendants.

SECOND LORD Here comes the King.
CLOTEN 35I am glad I was up so late, for that’s the reason
 I was up so early. He cannot choose but take this
 service I have done fatherly.—Good morrow to
 your Majesty and to my gracious mother.
 Attend you here the door of our stern daughter?
40 Will she not forth?
CLOTEN I have assailed her with musics, but she
 vouchsafes no notice.
 The exile of her minion is too new;
 She hath not yet forgot him. Some more time
45 Must wear the print of his remembrance on ’t,
 And then she’s yours.
QUEEN, to Cloten  You are most bound to th’ King,
 Who lets go by no vantages that may

ACT 2. SC. 3

 Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself
50 To orderly solicits and be friended
 With aptness of the season. Make denials
 Increase your services. So seem as if
 You were inspired to do those duties which
 You tender to her; that you in all obey her,
55 Save when command to your dismission tends,
 And therein you are senseless.
CLOTEN  Senseless? Not so.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER, to Cymbeline 
 So like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
 The one is Caius Lucius.Messenger exits.
CYMBELINE 60 A worthy fellow,
 Albeit he comes on angry purpose now.
 But that’s no fault of his. We must receive him
 According to the honor of his sender,
 And towards himself, his goodness forespent on us,
65 We must extend our notice.—Our dear son,
 When you have given good morning to your mistress,
 Attend the Queen and us. We shall have need
 T’ employ you towards this Roman.—Come, our
Cymbeline and Queen exit, with
Lords and Attendants.

70 If she be up, I’ll speak with her; if not,
 Let her lie still and dream. (He knocks.) By your
 leave, ho!—
 I know her women are about her. What
 If I do line one of their hands? ’Tis gold
75 Which buys admittance—oft it doth—yea, and makes
 Diana’s rangers false themselves, yield up
 Their deer to th’ stand o’ th’ stealer; and ’tis gold
 Which makes the true man killed and saves the thief,

ACT 2. SC. 3

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

Enter a Lady.

 Who’s there that knocks?
CLOTEN 85 A gentleman.
LADY  No more?
 Yes, and a gentlewoman’s son.
LADY  That’s more
 Than some whose tailors are as dear as yours
90 Can justly boast of. What’s your Lordship’s pleasure?
 Your lady’s person. Is she ready?
 To keep her chamber.
CLOTEN  There is gold for you.
95 Sell me your good report.He offers a purse.
 How, my good name? Or to report of you
 What I shall think is good?

Enter Imogen.

 The Princess.
Lady exits.
 Good morrow, fairest sister. Your sweet hand.
100 Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
 For purchasing but trouble. The thanks I give
 Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
 And scarce can spare them.

ACT 2. SC. 3

CLOTEN  Still I swear I love you.
105 If you but said so, ’twere as deep with me.
 If you swear still, your recompense is still
 That I regard it not.
CLOTEN  This is no answer.
 But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
110 I would not speak. I pray you, spare me. Faith,
 I shall unfold equal discourtesy
 To your best kindness. One of your great knowing
 Should learn, being taught, forbearance.
 To leave you in your madness ’twere my sin.
115 I will not.
 Fools are not mad folks.
CLOTEN  Do you call me fool?
IMOGEN As I am mad, I do.
 If you’ll be patient, I’ll no more be mad.
120 That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
 You put me to forget a lady’s manners
 By being so verbal; and learn now for all
 That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
 By th’ very truth of it, I care not for you,
125 And am so near the lack of charity
 To accuse myself I hate you—which I had rather
 You felt than make ’t my boast.
CLOTEN  You sin against
 Obedience, which you owe your father. For
130 The contract you pretend with that base wretch—
 One bred of alms and fostered with cold dishes,
 With scraps o’ th’ court—it is no contract, none;
 And though it be allowed in meaner parties—
 Yet who than he more mean?—to knit their souls,
135 On whom there is no more dependency

ACT 2. SC. 3

 But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot;
 Yet you are curbed from that enlargement by
 The consequence o’ th’ crown, and must not foil
 The precious note of it with a base slave,
140 A hilding for a livery, a squire’s cloth,
 A pantler—not so eminent.
IMOGEN  Profane fellow,
 Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
 But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
145 To be his groom. Thou wert dignified enough,
 Even to the point of envy, if ’twere made
 Comparative for your virtues to be styled
 The under-hangman of his kingdom and hated
 For being preferred so well.
CLOTEN 150 The south fog rot him!
 He never can meet more mischance than come
 To be but named of thee. His mean’st garment
 That ever hath but clipped his body is dearer
 In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
155 Were they all made such men.—How now, Pisanio!

Enter Pisanio.

CLOTEN “His garment? Now the devil—
IMOGEN, to Pisanio 
 To Dorothy, my woman, hie thee presently.
 “His garment”?
IMOGEN, to Pisanio  I am sprighted with a fool,
160 Frighted and angered worse. Go bid my woman
 Search for a jewel that too casually
 Hath left mine arm. It was thy master’s. Shrew me
 If I would lose it for a revenue
 Of any king’s in Europe. I do think
165 I saw ’t this morning. Confident I am
 Last night ’twas on mine arm; I kissed it.

ACT 2. SC. 4

 I hope it be not gone to tell my lord
 That I kiss aught but he.
PISANIO  ’Twill not be lost.
170 I hope so. Go and search.Pisanio exits.
CLOTEN  You have abused me.
 “His meanest garment”?
IMOGEN  Ay, I said so, sir.
 If you will make ’t an action, call witness to ’t.
175 I will inform your father.
IMOGEN  Your mother too.
 She’s my good lady and will conceive, I hope,
 But the worst of me. So I leave you, sir,
 To th’ worst of discontent.She exits.
180 I’ll be revenged! “His mean’st garment”? Well.
He exits.

Scene 4
Enter Posthumus and Philario.

 Fear it not, sir. I would I were so sure
 To win the King as I am bold her honor
 Will remain hers.
PHILARIO  What means do you make to him?
5 Not any, but abide the change of time,
 Quake in the present winter’s state, and wish
 That warmer days would come. In these feared
 I barely gratify your love; they failing,
10 I must die much your debtor.

ACT 2. SC. 4

 Your very goodness and your company
 O’erpays all I can do. By this, your king
 Hath heard of great Augustus. Caius Lucius
 Will do ’s commission throughly. And I think
15 He’ll grant the tribute, send th’ arrearages,
 Or look upon our Romans, whose remembrance
 Is yet fresh in their grief.
POSTHUMUS  I do believe,
 Statist though I am none nor like to be,
20 That this will prove a war; and you shall hear
 The legion now in Gallia sooner landed
 In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings
 Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
 Are men more ordered than when Julius Caesar
25 Smiled at their lack of skill but found their courage
 Worthy his frowning at. Their discipline,
 Now wingèd with their courages, will make known
 To their approvers they are people such
 That mend upon the world.

Enter Iachimo.

PHILARIO 30 See, Iachimo!
 The swiftest harts have posted you by land,
 And winds of all the corners kissed your sails
 To make your vessel nimble.
PHILARIO  Welcome, sir.
35 I hope the briefness of your answer made
 The speediness of your return.
IACHIMO  Your lady
 Is one of the fairest that I have looked upon.
 And therewithal the best, or let her beauty
40 Look thorough a casement to allure false hearts
 And be false with them.

ACT 2. SC. 4

IACHIMO, handing him a paper  Here are letters for you.
 Their tenor good, I trust.
IACHIMO  ’Tis very like.
Posthumus reads the letter.
45 Was Caius Lucius in the Briton court
 When you were there?
 He was expected then, but not approached.
POSTHUMUS All is well yet.
 Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is ’t not
50 Too dull for your good wearing?
He indicates his ring.
IACHIMO  If I have lost it,
 I should have lost the worth of it in gold.
 I’ll make a journey twice as far t’ enjoy
 A second night of such sweet shortness which
55 Was mine in Britain, for the ring is won.
 The stone’s too hard to come by.
IACHIMO  Not a whit,
 Your lady being so easy.
POSTHUMUS  Make not, sir,
60 Your loss your sport. I hope you know that we
 Must not continue friends.
IACHIMO  Good sir, we must,
 If you keep covenant. Had I not brought
 The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant
65 We were to question farther; but I now
 Profess myself the winner of her honor,
 Together with your ring, and not the wronger
 Of her or you, having proceeded but
 By both your wills.
POSTHUMUS 70 If you can make ’t apparent
 That you have tasted her in bed, my hand

ACT 2. SC. 4

 And ring is yours. If not, the foul opinion
 You had of her pure honor gains or loses
 Your sword or mine, or masterless leave both
75 To who shall find them.
IACHIMO  Sir, my circumstances,
 Being so near the truth as I will make them,
 Must first induce you to believe; whose strength
 I will confirm with oath, which I doubt not
80 You’ll give me leave to spare when you shall find
 You need it not.
IACHIMO  First, her bedchamber—
 Where I confess I slept not, but profess
85 Had that was well worth watching—it was hanged
 With tapestry of silk and silver, the story
 Proud Cleopatra when she met her Roman
 And Cydnus swelled above the banks, or for
 The press of boats or pride. A piece of work
90 So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
 In workmanship and value, which I wondered
 Could be so rarely and exactly wrought
 Since the true life on ’t was—
POSTHUMUS  This is true,
95 And this you might have heard of here, by me
 Or by some other.
IACHIMO  More particulars
 Must justify my knowledge.
POSTHUMUS  So they must,
100 Or do your honor injury.
IACHIMO  The chimney
 Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece
 Chaste Dian bathing. Never saw I figures
 So likely to report themselves; the cutter
105 Was as another Nature, dumb, outwent her,
 Motion and breath left out.

ACT 2. SC. 4

POSTHUMUS  This is a thing
 Which you might from relation likewise reap,
 Being, as it is, much spoke of.
IACHIMO 110 The roof o’ th’ chamber
 With golden cherubins is fretted. Her andirons—
 I had forgot them—were two winking Cupids
 Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
 Depending on their brands.
POSTHUMUS 115 This is her honor?
 Let it be granted you have seen all this—and praise
 Be given to your remembrance—the description
 Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
 The wager you have laid.
IACHIMO 120 Then if you can
 Be pale, I beg but leave to air this jewel. See—
He shows the bracelet.
 And now ’tis up again. It must be married
 To that your diamond. I’ll keep them.
125 Once more let me behold it. Is it that
 Which I left with her?
IACHIMO  Sir, I thank her, that.
 She stripped it from her arm. I see her yet.
 Her pretty action did outsell her gift
130 And yet enriched it too. She gave it me
 And said she prized it once.
POSTHUMUS Maybe she plucked it off
 To send it me.
IACHIMO  She writes so to you, doth she?
135 O, no, no, no, ’tis true. Here, take this too.
He gives Iachimo the ring.
 It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
 Kills me to look on ’t. Let there be no honor
 Where there is beauty, truth where semblance, love
 Where there’s another man. The vows of women

ACT 2. SC. 4

140 Of no more bondage be to where they are made
 Than they are to their virtues, which is nothing.
 O, above measure false!
PHILARIO  Have patience, sir,
 And take your ring again. ’Tis not yet won.
145 It may be probable she lost it; or
 Who knows if one her women, being corrupted,
 Hath stol’n it from her.
POSTHUMUS  Very true,
 And so I hope he came by ’t.—Back, my ring!
He takes back the ring.
150 Render to me some corporal sign about her
 More evident than this, for this was stol’n.
 By Jupiter, I had it from her arm.
 Hark you, he swears! By Jupiter he swears.
 ’Tis true—nay, keep the ring—’tis true.
He holds out the ring.
155 I am sure
 She would not lose it. Her attendants are
 All sworn and honorable. They induced to steal it?
 And by a stranger? No, he hath enjoyed her.
 The cognizance of her incontinency
160 Is this. She hath bought the name of whore thus
 There, take thy hire, and all the fiends of hell
 Divide themselves between you!
He gives the ring to Iachimo.
PHILARIO  Sir, be patient.
165 This is not strong enough to be believed
 Of one persuaded well of.
POSTHUMUS  Never talk on ’t.
 She hath been colted by him.
IACHIMO  If you seek
170 For further satisfying, under her breast,

ACT 2. SC. 5

 Worthy the pressing, lies a mole, right proud
 Of that most delicate lodging. By my life,
 I kissed it, and it gave me present hunger
 To feed again, though full. You do remember
175 This stain upon her?
POSTHUMUS  Ay, and it doth confirm
 Another stain as big as hell can hold,
 Were there no more but it.
IACHIMO Will you hear more?
POSTHUMUS 180Spare your arithmetic;
 Never count the turns. Once, and a million!
IACHIMO I’ll be sworn—
POSTHUMUS No swearing.
 If you will swear you have not done ’t, you lie,
185 And I will kill thee if thou dost deny
 Thou ’st made me cuckold.
IACHIMO  I’ll deny nothing.
 O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
 I will go there and do ’t i’ th’ court, before
190 Her father. I’ll do something.He exits.
PHILARIO  Quite beside
 The government of patience. You have won.
 Let’s follow him and pervert the present wrath
 He hath against himself.
IACHIMO 195 With all my heart.
They exit.

Scene 5
Enter Posthumus.

 Is there no way for men to be, but women
 Must be half-workers? We are all bastards,
 And that most venerable man which I

ACT 2. SC. 5

 Did call my father was I know not where
5 When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools
 Made me a counterfeit; yet my mother seemed
 The Dian of that time; so doth my wife
 The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance!
 Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained
10 And prayed me oft forbearance; did it with
 A pudency so rosy the sweet view on ’t
 Might well have warmed old Saturn, that I thought
 As chaste as unsunned snow. O, all the devils!
15 This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was ’t not?
 Or less? At first? Perchance he spoke not, but,
 Like a full-acorned boar, a German one,
 Cried “O!” and mounted; found no opposition
 But what he looked for should oppose and she
20 Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
 The woman’s part in me—for there’s no motion
 That tends to vice in man but I affirm
 It is the woman’s part: be it lying, note it,
 The woman’s; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
25 Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
 Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
 Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
 All faults that have a name, nay, that hell knows,
 Why, hers, in part or all, but rather all.
30 For even to vice
 They are not constant, but are changing still
 One vice but of a minute old for one
 Not half so old as that. I’ll write against them,
 Detest them, curse them. Yet ’tis greater skill
35 In a true hate to pray they have their will;
 The very devils cannot plague them better.
He exits.

Scene 1
Enter in state Cymbeline, Queen, Cloten, and Lords at
one door, and, at another, Caius Lucius and Attendants.

 Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?
 When Julius Caesar, whose remembrance yet
 Lives in men’s eyes and will to ears and tongues
 Be theme and hearing ever, was in this Britain
5 And conquered it, Cassibelan, thine uncle,
 Famous in Caesar’s praises no whit less
 Than in his feats deserving it, for him
 And his succession granted Rome a tribute,
 Yearly three thousand pounds, which by thee lately
10 Is left untendered.
QUEEN  And, to kill the marvel,
 Shall be so ever.
CLOTEN  There be many Caesars
 Ere such another Julius. Britain’s a world
15 By itself, and we will nothing pay
 For wearing our own noses.
QUEEN  That opportunity
 Which then they had to take from ’s, to resume
 We have again.—Remember, sir, my liege,
20 The Kings your ancestors, together with
 The natural bravery of your isle, which stands

ACT 3. SC. 1

 As Neptune’s park, ribbed and palèd in
 With rocks unscalable and roaring waters,
 With sands that will not bear your enemies’ boats
25 But suck them up to th’ topmast. A kind of conquest
 Caesar made here, but made not here his brag
 Of “came, and saw, and overcame.” With shame—
 The first that ever touched him—he was carried
 From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping,
30 Poor ignorant baubles, on our terrible seas
 Like eggshells moved upon their surges, cracked
 As easily ’gainst our rocks. For joy whereof
 The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point—
 O, giglet Fortune!—to master Caesar’s sword,
35 Made Lud’s Town with rejoicing fires bright
 And Britons strut with courage.
CLOTEN Come, there’s no more tribute to be paid. Our
 kingdom is stronger than it was at that time, and,
 as I said, there is no more such Caesars. Other of
40 them may have crooked noses, but to owe such
 straight arms, none.
CYMBELINE Son, let your mother end.
CLOTEN We have yet many among us can grip as hard
 as Cassibelan. I do not say I am one, but I have a
45 hand. Why tribute? Why should we pay tribute? If
 Caesar can hide the sun from us with a blanket or
 put the moon in his pocket, we will pay him tribute
 for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you now.
CYMBELINE, to Lucius You must know,
50 Till the injurious Romans did extort
 This tribute from us, we were free. Caesar’s ambition,
 Which swelled so much that it did almost stretch
 The sides o’ th’ world, against all color here
 Did put the yoke upon ’s, which to shake off
55 Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
 Ourselves to be. We do say, then, to Caesar,
 Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which

ACT 3. SC. 1

 Ordained our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar
 Hath too much mangled, whose repair and franchise
60 Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,
 Though Rome be therefore angry. Mulmutius made
 our laws,
 Who was the first of Britain which did put
 His brows within a golden crown and called
65 Himself a king.
LUCIUS  I am sorry, Cymbeline,
 That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar—
 Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than
 Thyself domestic officers—thine enemy.
70 Receive it from me, then: war and confusion
 In Caesar’s name pronounce I ’gainst thee. Look
 For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,
 I thank thee for myself.
CYMBELINE Thou art welcome, Caius.
75 Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent
 Much under him. Of him I gathered honor,
 Which he to seek of me again perforce
 Behooves me keep at utterance. I am perfect
 That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for
80 Their liberties are now in arms, a precedent
 Which not to read would show the Britons cold.
 So Caesar shall not find them.
LUCIUS  Let proof speak.
CLOTEN His Majesty bids you welcome. Make pastime
85 with us a day or two, or longer. If you seek us afterwards
 in other terms, you shall find us in our saltwater
 girdle; if you beat us out of it, it is yours. If
 you fall in the adventure, our crows shall fare the
 better for you, and there’s an end.
LUCIUS 90So, sir.
 I know your master’s pleasure, and he mine.
 All the remain is welcome.
They exit.

ACT 3. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Pisanio reading of a letter.

 How? Of adultery? Wherefore write you not
 What monsters her accuse? Leonatus,
 O master, what a strange infection
 Is fall’n into thy ear! What false Italian,
5 As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevailed
 On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal? No.
 She’s punished for her truth and undergoes,
 More goddesslike than wifelike, such assaults
 As would take in some virtue. O my master,
10 Thy mind to her is now as low as were
 Thy fortunes. How? That I should murder her,
 Upon the love and truth and vows which I
 Have made to thy command? I her? Her blood?
 If it be so to do good service, never
15 Let me be counted serviceable. How look I
 That I should seem to lack humanity
 So much as this fact comes to? (He reads:) Do ’t!
 The letter
 That I have sent her, by her own command
20 Shall give thee opportunity.
 O damned paper,
 Black as the ink that’s on thee! Senseless bauble,
 Art thou a fedary for this act, and look’st
 So virginlike without? Lo, here she comes.

Enter Imogen.

 I am ignorant in what I am commanded.
IMOGEN 25How now, Pisanio?
 Madam, here is a letter from my lord.
He gives her a paper.
 Who, thy lord that is my lord, Leonatus?

ACT 3. SC. 2

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

 O, for a horse with wings! Hear’st thou, Pisanio?
 He is at Milford Haven. Read, and tell me
 How far ’tis thither. If one of mean affairs
 May plod it in a week, why may not I
55 Glide thither in a day? Then, true Pisanio,
 Who long’st like me to see thy lord, who long’st—
 O, let me bate—but not like me, yet long’st
 But in a fainter kind—O, not like me,
 For mine’s beyond beyond—say, and speak thick—
60 Love’s counselor should fill the bores of hearing
 To th’ smothering of the sense—how far it is
 To this same blessèd Milford. And by th’ way

ACT 3. SC. 3

 Tell me how Wales was made so happy as
 T’ inherit such a haven. But first of all,
65 How we may steal from hence, and for the gap
 That we shall make in time from our hence-going
 And our return, to excuse. But first, how get hence?
 Why should excuse be born or ere begot?
 We’ll talk of that hereafter. Prithee speak,
70 How many score of miles may we well rid
 ’Twixt hour and hour?
PISANIO  One score ’twixt sun and sun,
 Madam, ’s enough for you, and too much too.
 Why, one that rode to ’s execution, man,
75 Could never go so slow. I have heard of riding wagers
 Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
 That run i’ th’ clock’s behalf. But this is fool’ry.
 Go, bid my woman feign a sickness, say
 She’ll home to her father; and provide me presently
80 A riding suit no costlier than would fit
 A franklin’s huswife.
PISANIO  Madam, you’re best consider.
 I see before me, man. Nor here, nor here,
 Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them
85 That I cannot look through. Away, I prithee.
 Do as I bid thee. There’s no more to say.
 Accessible is none but Milford way.
They exit.

Scene 3
Enter, as from a cave, Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius
as Polydor, and Arviragus as Cadwal.

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 A goodly day not to keep house with such

ACT 3. SC. 3

 Whose roof’s as low as ours! Stoop, boys. This gate
 Instructs you how t’ adore the heavens and bows you
 To a morning’s holy office. The gates of monarchs
5 Are arched so high that giants may jet through
 And keep their impious turbans on, without
 Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair heaven!
 We house i’ th’ rock, yet use thee not so hardly
 As prouder livers do.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 10 Hail, heaven!
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Hail, heaven!
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Now for our mountain sport. Up to yond hill;
 Your legs are young. I’ll tread these flats. Consider,
 When you above perceive me like a crow,
15 That it is place which lessens and sets off,
 And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
 Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war.
 This service is not service, so being done,
 But being so allowed. To apprehend thus
20 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-winged eagle. O, this life
 Is nobler than attending for a check,
25 Richer than doing nothing for a robe,
 Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
 Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine
 Yet keeps his book uncrossed. No life to ours.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Out of your proof you speak. We poor unfledged
30 Have never winged from view o’ th’ nest, nor know
 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
35 With your stiff age; but unto us it is

ACT 3. SC. 3

 A cell of ignorance, traveling abed,
 A prison for a debtor that not dares
 To stride a limit.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  What should we speak of
40 When we are old as you? When we shall hear
 The rain and wind beat dark December, how
 In this our pinching cave shall we discourse
 The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing.
 We are beastly: subtle as the fox for prey,
45 Like warlike as the wolf for what we eat.
 Our valor is to chase what flies. Our cage
 We make a choir, as doth the prisoned bird,
 And sing our bondage freely.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  How you speak!
50 Did you but know the city’s usuries
 And felt them knowingly; the art o’ th’ court,
 As hard to leave as keep, whose top to climb
 Is certain falling, or so slipp’ry that
 The fear’s as bad as falling; the toil o’ th’ war,
55 A pain that only seems to seek out danger
 I’ th’ name of fame and honor, which dies i’ th’ search
 And hath as oft a sland’rous epitaph
 As record of fair act—nay, many times
 Doth ill deserve by doing well; what’s worse,
60 Must curtsy at the censure. O boys, this story
 The world may read in me. My body’s marked
 With Roman swords, and my report was once
 First with the best of note. Cymbeline loved me,
 And when a soldier was the theme, my name
65 Was not far off. Then was I as a tree
 Whose boughs did bend with fruit. But in one night
 A storm or robbery, call it what you will,
 Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
 And left me bare to weather.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 70 Uncertain favor!

ACT 3. SC. 3

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 My fault being nothing, as I have told you oft,
 But that two villains, whose false oaths prevailed
 Before my perfect honor, swore to Cymbeline
 I was confederate with the Romans. So
75 Followed my banishment; and this twenty years
 This rock and these demesnes have been my world,
 Where I have lived at honest freedom, paid
 More pious debts to heaven than in all
 The fore-end of my time. But up to th’ mountains!
80 This is not hunters’ language. He that strikes
 The venison first shall be the lord o’ th’ feast;
 To him the other two shall minister,
 And we will fear no poison, which attends
 In place of greater state. I’ll meet you in the valleys.
Guiderius and Arviragus exit.
85 How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
 These boys know little they are sons to th’ King,
 Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
 They think they are mine, and, though trained up
 thus meanly,
90 I’ th’ cave wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
 The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
 In simple and low things to prince it much
 Beyond the trick of others. This Polydor,
 The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, who
95 The King his father called Guiderius—Jove!
 When on my three-foot stool I sit and tell
 The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
 Into my story; say “Thus mine enemy fell,
 And thus I set my foot on ’s neck,” even then
100 The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
 Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
 That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
 Once Arviragus, in as like a figure

ACT 3. SC. 4

 Strikes life into my speech and shows much more
105 His own conceiving. Hark, the game is roused!
 O Cymbeline, heaven and my conscience knows
 Thou didst unjustly banish me; whereon,
 At three and two years old I stole these babes,
 Thinking to bar thee of succession as
110 Thou refts me of my lands. Euriphile,
 Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their
 And every day do honor to her grave.
 Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan called,
115 They take for natural father. The game is up!
He exits.

Scene 4
Enter Pisanio and Imogen.

 Thou told’st me, when we came from horse, the place
 Was near at hand. Ne’er longed my mother so
 To see me first as I have now. Pisanio, man,
 Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind
5 That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that
 From th’ inward of thee? One but painted thus
 Would be interpreted a thing perplexed
 Beyond self-explication. Put thyself
10 Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness
 Vanquish my staider senses. What’s the matter?
Pisanio hands her a paper.
 Why tender’st thou that paper to me with
 A look untender? If ’t be summer news,
 Smile to ’t before; if winterly, thou need’st
15 But keep that count’nance still. My husband’s hand!

ACT 3. SC. 4

 That drug-damned Italy hath out-craftied him,
 And he’s at some hard point. Speak, man! Thy tongue
 May take off some extremity, which to read
 Would be even mortal to me.
PISANIO 20 Please you read,
 And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
 The most disdained of fortune.
IMOGEN reads: Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the
 strumpet in my bed, the testimonies whereof lies
25 bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises but
 from proof as strong as my grief and as certain as I
 expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio, must act
 for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of
 hers. Let thine own hands take away her life. I shall
30 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
 pander to her dishonor and equally to me disloyal.

PISANIO, aside 
 What shall I need to draw my sword? The paper
35 Hath cut her throat already. No, ’tis slander,
 Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
 Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
 Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
 All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states,
40 Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
 This viperous slander enters.—What cheer, madam?
 False to his bed? What is it to be false?
 To lie in watch there and to think on him?
 To weep ’twixt clock and clock? If sleep charge nature,
45 To break it with a fearful dream of him
 And cry myself awake? That’s false to ’s bed, is it?
PISANIO Alas, good lady!
 I false? Thy conscience witness! Iachimo,

ACT 3. SC. 4

 Thou didst accuse him of incontinency.
50 Thou then looked’st like a villain. Now methinks
 Thy favor’s good enough. Some jay of Italy,
 Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him.
 Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion,
 And, for I am richer than to hang by th’ walls,
55 I must be ripped. To pieces with me! O,
 Men’s vows are women’s traitors! All good seeming,
 By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
 Put on for villainy, not born where ’t grows,
 But worn a bait for ladies.
PISANIO 60 Good madam, hear me.
 True honest men, being heard like false Aeneas,
 Were in his time thought false, and Sinon’s weeping
 Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity
 From most true wretchedness. So thou, Posthumus,
65 Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
 Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured
 From thy great fail.—Come, fellow, be thou honest;
 Do thou thy master’s bidding. When thou seest him,
 A little witness my obedience. Look,
70 I draw the sword myself.
She draws Pisanio’s sword from its
scabbard and hands it to him.

 Take it, and hit
 The innocent mansion of my love, my heart.
 Fear not; ’tis empty of all things but grief.
 Thy master is not there, who was indeed
75 The riches of it. Do his bidding; strike.
 Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause,
 But now thou seem’st a coward.
PISANIO, throwing down the sword  Hence, vile
80 Thou shalt not damn my hand.
IMOGEN  Why, I must die,

ACT 3. SC. 4

 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
85 That cravens my weak hand. Come, here’s my heart—
 Something’s afore ’t. Soft, soft! We’ll no defense—
 Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
She takes papers from her bodice.
 The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
 All turned to heresy? Away, away!
She throws away the letters.
90 Corrupters of my faith, you shall no more
 Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools
 Believe false teachers. Though those that are betrayed
 Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
 Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus,
95 That didst set up
 My disobedience ’gainst the King my father
 And make me put into contempt the suits
 Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
 It is no act of common passage, but
100 A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself
 To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her
 That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
 Will then be panged by me.—Prithee, dispatch.
 The lamb entreats the butcher. Where’s thy knife?
105 Thou art too slow to do thy master’s bidding
 When I desire it too.
PISANIO  O gracious lady,
 Since I received command to do this business
 I have not slept one wink.
IMOGEN 110 Do ’t, and to bed, then.
 I’ll wake mine eyeballs out first.
IMOGEN  Wherefore then
 Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
 So many miles with a pretense? This place?

ACT 3. SC. 4

115 Mine action and thine own? Our horses’ labor?
 The time inviting thee? The perturbed 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,
120 Th’ elected deer before thee?
PISANIO  But to win time
 To lose so bad employment, in the which
 I have considered of a course. Good lady,
 Hear me with patience.
IMOGEN 125 Talk thy tongue weary.
 I have heard I am a strumpet, and mine ear,
 Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
 Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.
PISANIO 130 Then, madam,
 I thought you would not back again.
IMOGEN  Most like,
 Bringing me here to kill me.
PISANIO  Not so, neither.
135 But if I were as wise as honest, then
 My purpose would prove well. It cannot be
 But that my master is abused. Some villain,
 Ay, and singular in his art, hath done
 You both this cursèd injury.
140 Some Roman courtesan?
PISANIO  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 missed at court,
145 And that will well confirm it.
IMOGEN  Why, good fellow,
 What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
 Or in my life what comfort when I am
 Dead to my husband?

ACT 3. SC. 4

PISANIO 150 If you’ll back to th’ court—
 No court, no father, nor no more ado
 With that harsh, noble, simple nothing,
 That Cloten, whose love suit hath been to me
 As fearful as a siege.
PISANIO 155 If not at court,
 Then not in Britain must you bide.
IMOGEN  Where, then?
 Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
 Are they not but in Britain? I’ th’ world’s volume
160 Our Britain seems as of it, but not in ’t,
 In a great pool a swan’s nest. Prithee think
 There’s livers out of Britain.
PISANIO  I am most glad
 You think of other place. Th’ ambassador,
165 Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford Haven
 Tomorrow. Now, if you could wear a mind
 Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
 That which t’ appear itself must not yet be
 But by self-danger, you should tread a course
170 Pretty and full of view: yea, haply near
 The residence of Posthumus; so nigh, at least,
 That though his actions were not visible, yet
 Report should render him hourly to your ear
 As truly as he moves.
IMOGEN 175 O, for such means,
 Though peril to my modesty, not death on ’t,
 I would adventure.
PISANIO  Well then, here’s the point:
 You must forget to be a woman; change
180 Command into obedience, fear and niceness—
 The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
 Woman it pretty self—into a waggish courage,
 Ready in gibes, quick-answered, saucy, and

ACT 3. SC. 4

 As quarrelous as the weasel. Nay, you must
185 Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
 Exposing it—but O, the harder heart!
 Alack, no remedy—to the greedy touch
 Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
 Your laborsome and dainty trims, wherein
190 You made great Juno angry.
IMOGEN  Nay, be brief.
 I see into thy end and am almost
 A man already.
PISANIO  First, make yourself but like one.
195 Forethinking this, I have already fit—
 ’Tis in my cloakbag—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
200 Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
 Wherein you’re happy—which will make him know,
 If that his head have ear in music—doubtless
 With joy he will embrace you, for he’s honorable
 And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad:
205 You have me, rich, and I will never fail
 Beginning nor supplyment.
IMOGEN, taking the cloakbag Thou art all the comfort
 The gods will diet me with. Prithee, away.
 There’s more to be considered, but we’ll even
210 All that good time will give us. This attempt
 I am soldier to, and will abide it with
 A prince’s courage. Away, I prithee.
 Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
 Lest, being missed, I be suspected of
215 Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
 Here is a box. I had it from the Queen.
He hands her the box.

ACT 3. SC. 5

 What’s in ’t is precious. If you are sick at sea
 Or stomach-qualmed at land, a dram of this
 Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
220 And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
 Direct you to the best.
IMOGEN  Amen. I thank thee.
They exit.

Scene 5
Enter Cymbeline, Queen, Cloten, Lucius, Lords, and

 Thus far, and so farewell.
LUCIUS  Thanks, royal sir.
 My emperor hath wrote I must from hence,
 And am right sorry that I must report you
5 My master’s enemy.
CYMBELINE  Our subjects, sir,
 Will not endure his yoke, and for ourself
 To show less sovereignty than they must needs
 Appear unkinglike.
LUCIUS 10 So, sir. I desire of you
 A conduct overland to Milford Haven.—
 Madam, all joy befall your Grace—and you.
CYMBELINE, to Lords 
 My lords, you are appointed for that office.
 The due of honor in no point omit.—
15 So, farewell, noble Lucius.
LUCIUS, to Cloten  Your hand, my lord.
 Receive it friendly, but from this time forth
 I wear it as your enemy.
LUCIUS  Sir, the event
20 Is yet to name the winner. Fare you well.

ACT 3. SC. 5

 Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
 Till he have crossed the Severn. Happiness!
Exit Lucius and Lords.
 He goes hence frowning, but it honors us
 That we have given him cause.
CLOTEN 25 ’Tis all the better.
 Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
 Lucius hath wrote already to the Emperor
 How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
 Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness.
30 The powers that he already hath in Gallia
 Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
 His war for Britain.
QUEEN  ’Tis not sleepy business,
 But must be looked to speedily and strongly.
35 Our expectation that it would be thus
 Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
 Where is our daughter? She hath not appeared
 Before the Roman, nor to us hath tendered
 The duty of the day. She looks us like
40 A thing more made of malice than of duty.
 We have noted it.—Call her before us, for
 We have been too slight in sufferance.
An Attendant exits.
QUEEN  Royal sir,
 Since the exile of Posthumus, most retired
45 Hath her life been, the cure whereof, my lord,
 ’Tis time must do. Beseech your Majesty,
 Forbear sharp speeches to her. She’s a lady
 So tender of rebukes that words are strokes
 And strokes death to her.

Enter Attendant.

ACT 3. SC. 5

CYMBELINE 50 Where is she, sir? How
 Can her contempt be answered?
ATTENDANT  Please you, sir,
 Her chambers are all locked, and there’s no answer
 That will be given to th’ loud’st noise we make.
55 My lord, when last I went to visit her,
 She prayed me to excuse her keeping close;
 Whereto constrained by her infirmity,
 She should that duty leave unpaid to you
 Which daily she was bound to proffer. This
60 She wished me to make known, but our great court
 Made me to blame in memory.
CYMBELINE  Her doors locked?
 Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I
 Fear prove false!He exits with Attendant.
QUEEN 65 Son, I say, follow the King.
 That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant
 I have not seen these two days.
QUEEN  Go, look after.
Cloten exits.
 Aside. Pisanio, thou that stand’st so for Posthumus—
70 He hath a drug of mine. I pray his absence
 Proceed by swallowing that, for he believes
 It is a thing most precious. But for her,
 Where is she gone? Haply despair hath seized her,
 Or, winged with fervor of her love, she’s flown
75 To her desired Posthumus. Gone she is
 To death or to dishonor, and my end
 Can make good use of either. She being down,
 I have the placing of the British crown.

Enter Cloten.

 How now, my son?
CLOTEN 80 ’Tis certain she is fled.

ACT 3. SC. 5

 Go in and cheer the King. He rages; none
 Dare come about him.
QUEEN, aside  All the better. May
 This night forestall him of the coming day!
Queen exits, with Attendants.
85 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
90 Disdaining me and throwing favors on
 The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
 That what’s else rare is choked. And in that point
 I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
 To be revenged upon her. For, when fools
95 Shall—

Enter Pisanio.

 Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
 Come hither. Ah, you precious pander! Villain,
 Where is thy lady? In a word, or else
 Thou art straightway with the fiends.
He draws his sword.
PISANIO 100 O, good my lord—
 Where is thy lady? Or, by Jupiter—
 I will not ask again. Close villain,
 I’ll have this secret from thy heart or rip
 Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus,
105 From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
 A dram of worth be drawn?
PISANIO  Alas, my lord,
 How can she be with him? When was she missed?
 He is in Rome.
CLOTEN 110 Where is she, sir? Come nearer.

ACT 3. SC. 5

 No farther halting. Satisfy me home
 What is become of her.
 O, my all-worthy lord!
CLOTEN  All-worthy villain!
115 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.
PISANIO  Then, sir,
120 This paper is the history of my knowledge
 Touching her flight.He gives Cloten a paper.
CLOTEN  Let’s see ’t. I will pursue her
 Even to Augustus’ throne.
PISANIO, aside  Or this or perish.
125 She’s far enough, and what he learns by this
 May prove his travail, not her danger.
PISANIO, aside 
 I’ll write to my lord she’s dead. O Imogen,
 Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
CLOTEN 130Sirrah, is this letter true?
PISANIO Sir, as I think.
CLOTEN It is Posthumus’ hand, I know ’t. Sirrah, if
 thou wouldst not be a villain, but do me true service,
 undergo those employments wherein I should
135 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 shouldst neither want my means for thy
 relief nor my voice for thy preferment.
PISANIO 140Well, my good lord.
CLOTEN 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
145 mine. Wilt thou serve me?

ACT 3. SC. 5

PISANIO Sir, I will.
CLOTEN Give me thy hand. Here’s my purse. Gives
 him money. 
Hast any of thy late master’s garments
 in thy possession?
PISANIO 150I have, my lord, at my lodging the same suit he
 wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.
CLOTEN The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit
 hither. Let it be thy first service. Go.
PISANIO I shall, my lord.He exits.
CLOTEN 155Meet thee at Milford Haven!—I forgot to ask
 him one thing; I’ll remember ’t anon. Even there,
 thou villain Posthumus, will I kill thee. I would
 these garments were come. She said upon a time—
 the bitterness of it I now belch from my heart—
160 that she held the very garment of Posthumus in
 more respect than my noble and natural person,
 together with the adornment of my qualities. With
 that suit upon my back will I ravish her. First, kill
 him, and in her eyes. There shall she see my valor,
165 which will then be a torment to her contempt.
 He on the ground, my speech of insultment
 ended on his dead body, and when my lust hath
 dined—which, as I say, to vex her I will execute
 in the clothes that she so praised—to the court
170 I’ll knock her back, foot her home again. She hath
 despised me rejoicingly, and I’ll be merry in my

Enter Pisanio with the clothes.

 Be those the garments?
PISANIO Ay, my noble lord.
CLOTEN 175How long is ’t since she went to Milford Haven?
PISANIO She can scarce be there yet.
CLOTEN 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

ACT 3. SC. 6

180 design. Be but duteous, and true preferment shall
 tender itself to thee. My revenge is now at Milford.
 Would I had wings to follow it! Come, and be true.
He exits.
 Thou bidd’st me to my loss, for true to thee
 Were to prove false, which I will never be,
185 To him that is most true. To Milford go,
 And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
 You heavenly blessings, on her. This fool’s speed
 Be crossed with slowness. Labor be his meed.
He exits.

Scene 6
Enter Imogen alone, dressed as a boy, Fidele.

 I see a man’s life is a tedious one.
 I have tired myself, and for two nights together
 Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick
 But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
5 When from the mountain top Pisanio showed thee,
 Thou wast within a ken. O Jove, I think
 Foundations fly the wretched—such, I mean,
 Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
 I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
10 That have afflictions on them, knowing ’tis
 A punishment or trial? Yes. No wonder,
 When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fullness
 Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
 Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord,
15 Thou art one o’ th’ false ones. Now I think on thee,
 My hunger’s gone; but even before, I was
 At point to sink for food. But what is this?
 Here is a path to ’t. ’Tis some savage hold.

ACT 3. SC. 6

 I were best not call; I dare not call. Yet famine,
20 Ere clean it o’erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
 Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
 Of hardiness is mother.—Ho! Who’s here?
 If anything that’s civil, speak; if savage,
 Take or lend. Ho!—No answer? Then I’ll enter.
25 Best draw my sword; an if mine enemy
 But fear the sword like me, he’ll scarcely look on ’t.
She draws her sword.
 Such a foe, good heavens!
She exits, as into the cave.

Enter Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius as Polydor, and
Arviragus as Cadwal.

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 You, Polydor, have proved best woodman and
 Are master of the feast. Cadwal and I
30 Will play the cook and servant; ’tis our match.
 The sweat of industry would dry and die
 But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
 Will make what’s homely savory. Weariness
 Can snore upon the flint when resty sloth
35 Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
 Poor house, that keep’st thyself.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor I am throughly weary.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 There is cold meat i’ th’ cave. We’ll browse on that
40 Whilst what we have killed be cooked.
BELARIUS, as Morgan, looking into the cave 
 Stay, come
 not in!
 But that it eats our victuals, I should think
 Here were a fairy.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 45 What’s the matter, sir?

ACT 3. SC. 6

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 By Jupiter, an angel! Or, if not,
 An earthly paragon. Behold divineness
 No elder than a boy.

Enter Imogen as Fidele.

IMOGEN, as Fidele  Good masters, harm me not.
50 Before I entered here, I called, and thought
 To have begged or bought what I have took. Good
 I have stol’n naught, nor would not, though I had
55 Gold strewed i’ th’ floor. Here’s money for my meat.
She offers money.
 I would have left it on the board so soon
 As I had made my meal, and parted
 With prayers for the provider.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Money, youth?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
60 All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
 As ’tis no better reckoned but of those
 Who worship dirty gods.
IMOGEN, as Fidele  I see you’re angry.
 Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
65 Have died had I not made it.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Whither bound?
IMOGEN, as Fidele To Milford Haven.
BELARIUS, as Morgan What’s your name?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
70 Is bound for Italy. He embarked at Milford,
 To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
 I am fall’n in this offense.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Prithee, fair youth,
 Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
75 By this rude place we live in. Well encountered!
 ’Tis almost night; you shall have better cheer

ACT 3. SC. 6

 Ere you depart, and thanks to stay and eat it.—
 Boys, bid him welcome.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Were you a woman, youth,
80 I should woo hard but be your groom in honesty,
 Ay, bid for you as I do buy.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  I’ll make ’t my comfort
 He is a man. I’ll love him as my brother.—
 And such a welcome as I’d give to him
85 After long absence, such is yours. Most welcome.
 Be sprightly, for you fall ’mongst friends.
IMOGEN, as Fidele  ’Mongst
 If brothers—(aside) Would it had been so, that they
90 Had been my father’s sons! Then had my prize
 Been less, and so more equal ballasting
 To thee, Posthumus.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  He wrings at some distress.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Would I could free ’t!
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 95 Or I, whate’er it be,
 What pain it cost, what danger. Gods!
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Hark, boys.
They talk aside.
IMOGEN Great men
 That had a court no bigger than this cave,
100 That did attend themselves and had the virtue
 Which their own conscience sealed them, laying by
 That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
 Could not outpeer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
 I’d change my sex to be companion with them,
105 Since Leonatus false.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  It shall be so.
 Boys, we’ll go dress our hunt.—Fair youth, come in.
 Discourse is heavy, fasting. When we have supped,
 We’ll mannerly demand thee of thy story
110 So far as thou wilt speak it.

ACT 3. SC. 7

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Pray, draw near.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 The night to th’ owl and morn to th’ lark less
IMOGEN, as Fidele Thanks, sir.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 115I pray, draw near.
They exit.

Scene 7
Enter two Roman Senators, and Tribunes.

 This is the tenor of the Emperor’s writ:
 That since the common men are now in action
 ’Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
 And that the legions now in Gallia are
5 Full weak to undertake our wars against
 The fall’n-off Britons, that we do incite
 The gentry to this business. He creates
 Lucius proconsul; and to you the tribunes
 For this immediate levy, he commends
10 His absolute commission. Long live Caesar!
 Is Lucius general of the forces?
 Remaining now in Gallia?
FIRST SENATOR  With those legions
15 Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
 Must be supplyant. The words of your commission
 Will tie you to the numbers and the time
 Of their dispatch.
TRIBUNE  We will discharge our duty.
They exit.

Scene 1
Enter Cloten alone, dressed in Posthumus’s garments.

CLOTEN I am near to th’ place where they should meet,
 if Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments
 serve me! Why should his mistress, who
 was made by him that made the tailor, not be fit
5 too? The rather, saving reverence of the word, for
 ’tis said a woman’s fitness comes by fits. Therein I
 must play the workman. I dare speak it to myself,
 for it is not vainglory for a man and his glass to
 confer in his own chamber. I mean, the lines of my
10 body are as well drawn as his, no less young, more
 strong; not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him
 in the advantage of the time, above him in birth,
 alike conversant in general services, and more remarkable
 in single oppositions. Yet this imperceiverant
15 thing loves him in my despite. What
 mortality is! Posthumus, thy head, which now is
 growing upon thy shoulders, shall within this hour
 be off, thy mistress enforced, thy garments cut to
 pieces before thy face; and all this done, spurn her
20 home to her father, who may haply be a little angry
 or my so rough usage. But my mother, having
 power of his testiness, shall turn all into my commendations.
 My horse is tied up safe. Out, sword,
 and to a sore purpose. Fortune, put them into my

ACT 4. SC. 2

25 hand! This is the very description of their meeting
 place, and the fellow dares not deceive me.
He draws his sword and exits.

Scene 2
Enter Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius as Polydor,
Arviragus as Cadwal, and Imogen as Fidele, from the

BELARIUS, as Morgan, to Fidele 
 You are not well. Remain here in the cave.
 We’ll come to you after hunting.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal, to Fidele  Brother, stay here.
 Are we not brothers?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 5 So man and man should be,
 But clay and clay differs in dignity,
 Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor, to Morgan and Cadwal 
 Go you to hunting. I’ll abide with him.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
10 But not so citizen a wanton as
 To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me.
 Stick to your journal course. The breach of custom
 Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
 Cannot amend me. Society is no comfort
15 To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
 Since I can reason of it. Pray you trust me here—
 I’ll rob none but myself—and let me die,
 Stealing so poorly.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 I love thee—I have spoke it—
20 How much the quantity, the weight as much
 As I do love my father.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  What? How, how?

ACT 4. SC. 2

ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me
 In my good brother’s fault. I know not why
25 I love this youth, and I have heard you say
 Love’s reason’s without reason. The bier at door,
 And a demand who is ’t shall die, I’d say
 “My father, not this youth.”
BELARIUS, aside  O, noble strain!
30 O, worthiness of nature, breed of greatness!
 Cowards father cowards and base things sire base;
 Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
 I’m not their father, yet who this should be
 Doth miracle itself, loved before me.—
35 ’Tis the ninth hour o’ th’ morn.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal, to Fidele  Brother, farewell.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 I wish you sport.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  You health.—So please you, sir.
IMOGEN, aside 
 These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I have heard!
40 Our courtiers say all’s savage but at court;
 Experience, O, thou disprov’st report!
 Th’ imperious seas breeds monsters; for the dish
 Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
 I am sick still, heart-sick. Pisanio,
45 I’ll now taste of thy drug.She swallows the drug.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor, to Morgan and Cadwal 
 I could not stir him.
 He said he was gentle but unfortunate,
 Dishonestly afflicted but yet honest.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 Thus did he answer me, yet said hereafter
50 I might know more.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  To th’ field, to th’ field!

ACT 4. SC. 2

 To Fidele. We’ll leave you for this time. Go in and
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 We’ll not be long away.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 55 Pray, be not sick,
 For you must be our huswife.
IMOGEN, as Fidele  Well or ill,
 I am bound to you.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  And shalt be ever.
Imogen exits as into the cave.
60 This youth, howe’er distressed, appears he hath had
 Good ancestors.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  How angel-like he sings!
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 But his neat cookery! He cut our roots in characters
 And sauced our broths as Juno had been sick
65 And he her dieter.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Nobly he yokes
 A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
 Was that it was for not being such a smile,
 The smile mocking the sigh that it would fly
70 From so divine a temple to commix
 With winds that sailors rail at.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  I do note
 That grief and patience, rooted in them both,
 Mingle their spurs together.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 75 Grow, patience,
 And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
 His perishing root with the increasing vine!
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 It is great morning. Come, away. Who’s there?

Enter Cloten.

CLOTEN, to himself 
 I cannot find those runagates. That villain
80 Hath mocked me. I am faint.

ACT 4. SC. 2

BELARIUS, as Morgan, to Polydor and Cadwal 
 “Those runagates”?
 Means he not us? I partly know him. ’Tis
 Cloten, the son o’ th’ Queen. I fear some ambush.
 I saw him not these many years, and yet
85 I know ’tis he. We are held as outlaws. Hence.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 He is but one. You and my brother search
 What companies are near. Pray you, away.
 Let me alone with him.Belarius and Arviragus exit.
CLOTEN  Soft, what are you
90 That fly me thus? Some villain mountaineers?
 I have heard of such.—What slave art thou?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  A thing
 More slavish did I ne’er than answering
 A slave without a knock.
CLOTEN 95 Thou art a robber,
 A lawbreaker, a villain. Yield thee, thief.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 To who? To thee? What art thou? Have not I
 An arm as big as thine? A heart as big?
 Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
100 My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
 Why I should yield to thee.
CLOTEN  Thou villain base,
 Know’st me not by my clothes?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  No, nor thy tailor,
105 rascal.
 Who is thy grandfather? He made those clothes,
 Which, as it seems, make thee.
CLOTEN  Thou precious varlet,
 My tailor made them not.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 110 Hence then, and thank
 The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool.
 I am loath to beat thee.
CLOTEN  Thou injurious thief,
 Hear but my name, and tremble.

ACT 4. SC. 2

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 115 What’s thy name?
CLOTEN Cloten, thou villain.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
 I cannot tremble at it. Were it Toad, or Adder, Spider,
 ’Twould move me sooner.
CLOTEN 120 To thy further fear,
 Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
 I am son to th’ Queen.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  I am sorry for ’t, not seeming
 So worthy as thy birth.
CLOTEN 125 Art not afeard?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Those that I reverence, those I fear—the wise;
 At fools I laugh, not fear them.
CLOTEN  Die the death!
 When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
130 I’ll follow those that even now fled hence
 And on the gates of Lud’s Town set your heads.
 Yield, rustic mountaineer!
They fight and exit.

Enter Belarius as Morgan and Arviragus as

BELARIUS, as Morgan No company’s abroad?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 None in the world. You did mistake him sure.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
135 I cannot tell. Long is it since I saw him,
 But time hath nothing blurred those lines of favor
 Which then he wore. The snatches in his voice
 And burst of speaking were as his. I am absolute
 ’Twas very Cloten.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 140 In this place we left them.
 I wish my brother make good time with him,
 You say he is so fell.

ACT 4. SC. 2

BELARIUS, as Morgan  Being scarce made up,
 I mean to man, he had not apprehension
145 Of roaring terrors; for defect of judgment
 Is oft the cause of fear.

Enter Guiderius as Polydor, carrying Cloten’s head.

 But see, thy brother.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
 There was no money in ’t. Not Hercules
150 Could have knocked out his brains, for he had none.
 Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
 My head as I do his.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  What hast thou done?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten’s head,
155 Son to the Queen, after his own report,
 Who called me traitor mountaineer, and swore
 With his own single hand he’d take us in,
 Displace our heads where, thank the gods, they
160 And set them on Lud’s Town.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  We are all undone.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Why, worthy father, what have we to lose
 But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
 Protects not us. Then why should we be tender
165 To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
 Play judge and executioner all himself,
 For we do fear the law? What company
 Discover you abroad?
BELARIUS, as Morgan  No single soul
170 Can we set eye on, but in all safe reason
 He must have some attendants. Though his humor
 Was nothing but mutation—ay, and that
 From one bad thing to worse—not frenzy,

ACT 4. SC. 2

 Not absolute madness could so far have raved
175 To bring him here alone. Although perhaps
 It may be heard at court that such as we
 Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
 May make some stronger head, the which he
180 As it is like him—might break out and swear
 He’d fetch us in, yet is ’t not probable
 To come alone, either he so undertaking
 Or they so suffering. Then on good ground we fear,
 If we do fear this body hath a tail
185 More perilous than the head.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Let ord’nance
 Come as the gods foresay it. Howsoe’er,
 My brother hath done well.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  I had no mind
190 To hunt this day. The boy Fidele’s sickness
 Did make my way long forth.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  With his own sword,
 Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta’en
 His head from him. I’ll throw ’t into the creek
195 Behind our rock, and let it to the sea
 And tell the fishes he’s the Queen’s son, Cloten.
 That’s all I reck.He exits.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  I fear ’twill be revenged.
 Would, Polydor, thou hadst not done ’t, though valor
200 Becomes thee well enough.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Would I had done ’t,
 So the revenge alone pursued me. Polydor,
 I love thee brotherly, but envy much
 Thou hast robbed me of this deed. I would revenges
205 That possible strength might meet would seek us
 And put us to our answer.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Well, ’tis done.
 We’ll hunt no more today, nor seek for danger

ACT 4. SC. 2

210 Where there’s no profit. I prithee, to our rock.
 You and Fidele play the cooks. I’ll stay
 Till hasty Polydor return, and bring him
 To dinner presently.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Poor sick Fidele.
215 I’ll willingly to him. To gain his color
 I’d let a parish of such Clotens blood,
 And praise myself for charity.He exits.
BELARIUS  O thou goddess,
 Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon’st
220 In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
 As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
 Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
 Their royal blood enchafed, as the rud’st wind
 That by the top doth take the mountain pine
225 And make him stoop to th’ vale. ’Tis wonder
 That an invisible instinct should frame them
 To royalty unlearned, honor untaught,
 Civility not seen from other, valor
 That wildly grows in them but yields a crop
230 As if it had been sowed. Yet still it’s strange
 What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
 Or what his death will bring us.

Enter Guiderius as Polydor.

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Where’s my brother?
 I have sent Cloten’s clotpole down the stream
235 In embassy to his mother. His body’s hostage
 For his return.Solemn music.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  My ingenious instrument!
 Hark, Polydor, it sounds! But what occasion
 Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
240 Is he at home?
BELARIUS, as Morgan  He went hence even now.

ACT 4. SC. 2

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 What does he mean? Since death of my dear’st
 It did not speak before. All solemn things
245 Should answer solemn accidents. The matter?
 Triumphs for nothing and lamenting toys
 Is jollity for apes and grief for boys.
 Is Cadwal mad?

Enter Arviragus as Cadwal, with Imogen as dead,
bearing her in his arms.

BELARIUS, as Morgan Look, here he comes,
250 And brings the dire occasion in his arms
 Of what we blame him for.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  The bird is dead
 That we have made so much on. I had rather
 Have skipped from sixteen years of age to sixty,
255 To have turned my leaping time into a crutch,
 Than have seen this.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  O sweetest, fairest lily!
 My brother wears thee not the one half so well
 As when thou grew’st thyself.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 260 O melancholy,
 Whoever yet could sound thy bottom, find
 The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
 Might eas’liest harbor in?—Thou blessèd thing,
 Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
265 Thou died’st, a most rare boy, of melancholy.—
 How found you him?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal Stark, as you see;
 Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber,
 Not as Death’s dart being laughed at; his right cheek
270 Reposing on a cushion.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Where?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  O’ th’ floor,
 His arms thus leagued. I thought he slept, and put

ACT 4. SC. 2

 My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
275 Answered my steps too loud.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Why, he but sleeps.
 If he be gone, he’ll make his grave a bed;
 With female fairies will his tomb be haunted—
 And worms will not come to thee.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 280 With fairest flowers,
 Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
 I’ll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
 The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose; nor
 The azured harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
285 The leaf of eglantine whom, not to slander,
 Out-sweetened not thy breath. The ruddock would
 With charitable bill—O bill, sore shaming
 Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
 Without a monument—bring thee all this,
290 Yea, and furred moss besides, when flowers are none
 To winter-ground thy corse.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Prithee, have done,
 And do not play in wench-like words with that
 Which is so serious. Let us bury him
295 And not protract with admiration what
 Is now due debt. To th’ grave.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Say, where shall ’s lay
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 By good Euriphile, our mother.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 300 Be ’t so.
 And let us, Polydor, though now our voices
 Have got the mannish crack, sing him to th’ ground
 As once to our mother; use like note and words,
 Save that “Euriphile” must be “Fidele.”
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 305Cadwal,
 I cannot sing. I’ll weep, and word it with thee,
 For notes of sorrow, out of tune, are worse
 Than priests and fanes that lie.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  We’ll speak it then.

ACT 4. SC. 2

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
310 Great griefs, I see, med’cine the less, for Cloten
 Is quite forgot. He was a queen’s son, boys,
 And though he came our enemy, remember
 He was paid for that. Though mean and mighty,
 Rotting together, have one dust, yet reverence,
315 That angel of the world, doth make distinction
 Of place ’tween high and low. Our foe was princely,
 And though you took his life as being our foe,
 Yet bury him as a prince.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor, to Morgan Pray you fetch him
320 hither.
 Thersites’ body is as good as Ajax’
 When neither are alive.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal, to Morgan  If you’ll go fetch
325 We’ll say our song the whilst.—Brother, begin.
Belarius exits.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to th’ east;
 My father hath a reason for ’t.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  ’Tis true.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Come on then, and remove him.
They move Imogen’s body.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 330 So, begin.


GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun,
  Nor the furious winter’s rages;
 Thou thy worldly task hast done,
  Home art gone and ta’en thy wages.
335 Golden lads and girls all must,
 As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 Fear no more the frown o’ th’ great;
  Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke.

ACT 4. SC. 2

 Care no more to clothe and eat;
340  To thee the reed is as the oak.
 The scepter, learning, physic must
 All follow this and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Fear no more the lightning flash.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
  Nor th’ all-dreaded thunderstone.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
345 Fear not slander, censure rash;
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
  Thou hast finished joy and moan.
BOTH  All lovers young, all lovers must
 Consign to thee and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 No exorciser harm thee,
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
350 Nor no witchcraft charm thee.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 Ghost unlaid forbear thee.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 Nothing ill come near thee.
BOTH  Quiet consummation have,
 And renownèd be thy grave.

Enter Belarius as Morgan, with the body of Cloten.

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
355 We have done our obsequies. Come, lay him down.
Cloten’s body is placed by Imogen’s.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Here’s a few flowers, but ’bout midnight more.
 The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ th’ night
 Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.—
 You were as flowers, now withered. Even so

ACT 4. SC. 2

360 These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.—
 Come on, away; apart upon our knees.
 The ground that gave them first has them again.
 Their pleasures here are past; so is their pain.
They exit.

Imogen awakes.

 Yes, sir, to Milford Haven. Which is the way?
365 I thank you. By yond bush? Pray, how far thither?
 Ods pittikins, can it be six mile yet?
 I have gone all night. Faith, I’ll lie down and sleep.
She sees Cloten’s headless body.
 But soft! No bedfellow? O gods and goddesses!
 These flowers are like the pleasures of the world,
370 This bloody man the care on ’t. I hope I dream,
 For so I thought I was a cave-keeper
 And cook to honest creatures. But ’tis not so.
 ’Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
 Which the brain makes of fumes. Our very eyes
375 Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
 I tremble still with fear; but if there be
 Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
 As a wren’s eye, feared gods, a part of it!
 The dream’s here still. Even when I wake it is
380 Without me as within me, not imagined, felt.
 A headless man? The garments of Posthumus?
 I know the shape of ’s leg. This is his hand,
 His foot Mercurial, his Martial thigh,
 The brawns of Hercules; but his Jovial face—
385 Murder in heaven! How? ’Tis gone. Pisanio,
 All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
 And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
 Conspired with that irregulous devil Cloten,
 Hath here cut off my lord. To write and read

ACT 4. SC. 2

390 Be henceforth treacherous. Damned Pisanio
 Hath with his forgèd letters—damned Pisanio—
 From this most bravest vessel of the world
 Struck the maintop. O Posthumus, alas,
 Where is thy head? Where’s that? Ay me, where’s that?
395 Pisanio might have killed thee at the heart
 And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
 ’Tis he and Cloten. Malice and lucre in them
 Have laid this woe here. O, ’tis pregnant, pregnant!
 The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
400 And cordial to me, have I not found it
 Murd’rous to th’ senses? That confirms it home.
 This is Pisanio’s deed, and Cloten. O,
 Give color to my pale cheek with thy blood,
 That we the horrider may seem to those
405 Which chance to find us. O my lord! My lord!

Enter Lucius, Captains, Soldiers, and a Soothsayer.

 To them the legions garrisoned in Gallia,
 After your will, have crossed the sea, attending
 You here at Milford Haven with your ships.
 They are here in readiness.
LUCIUS 410 But what from Rome?
 The Senate hath stirred up the confiners
 And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits
 That promise noble service, and they come
 Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
415 Siena’s brother.
LUCIUS  When expect you them?
 With the next benefit o’ th’ wind.
LUCIUS  This forwardness
 Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers

ACT 4. SC. 2

420 Be mustered; bid the Captains look to ’t.—Now, sir,
 What have you dreamed of late of this war’s purpose?
 Last night the very gods showed me a vision—
 I fast and prayed for their intelligence—thus:
 I saw Jove’s bird, the Roman eagle, winged
425 From the spongy south to this part of the west,
 There vanished in the sunbeams, which portends—
 Unless my sins abuse my divination—
 Success to th’ Roman host.
LUCIUS  Dream often so,
430 And never false.—Soft, ho, what trunk is here
 Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
 It was a worthy building. How, a page?
 Or dead or sleeping on him? But dead rather,
 For nature doth abhor to make his bed
435 With the defunct or sleep upon the dead.
 Let’s see the boy’s face.
CAPTAIN  He’s alive, my lord.
 He’ll then instruct us of this body.—Young one,
 Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
440 They crave to be demanded. Who is this
 Thou mak’st thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
 That, otherwise than noble nature did,
 Hath altered that good picture? What’s thy interest
 In this sad wrack? How came ’t? Who is ’t?
445 What art thou?
IMOGEN, as Fidele  I am nothing; or if not,
 Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
 A very valiant Briton, and a good,
 That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas,
450 There is no more such masters. I may wander
 From east to occident, cry out for service,
 Try many, all good, serve truly, never
 Find such another master.

ACT 4. SC. 2

LUCIUS  ’Lack, good youth,
455 Thou mov’st no less with thy complaining than
 Thy master in bleeding. Say his name, good friend.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 Richard du Champ. Aside. If I do lie and do
 No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
 They’ll pardon it.—Say you, sir?
LUCIUS 460 Thy name?
IMOGEN, as Fidele  Fidele, sir.
 Thou dost approve thyself the very same;
 Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
 Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
465 Thou shalt be so well mastered, but be sure
 No less beloved. The Roman Emperor’s letters
 Sent by a consul to me should not sooner
 Than thine own worth prefer thee. Go with me.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 I’ll follow, sir. But first, an ’t please the gods,
470 I’ll hide my master from the flies as deep
 As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
 With wild-wood leaves and weeds I ha’ strewed his
 And on it said a century of prayers,
475 Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh,
 And leaving so his service, follow you,
 So please you entertain me.
LUCIUS  Ay, good youth,
 And rather father thee than master thee.—My friends,
480 The boy hath taught us manly duties. Let us
 Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
 And make him with our pikes and partisans
 A grave. Come, arm him.—Boy, he’s preferred
 By thee to us, and he shall be interred
485 As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes.
 Some falls are means the happier to arise.
They exit, the Soldiers carrying Cloten’s body.

ACT 4. SC. 3

Scene 3
Enter Cymbeline, Lords, Pisanio, and Attendants.

 Again, and bring me word how ’tis with her.
An Attendant exits.
 A fever, with the absence of her son;
 A madness, of which her life’s in danger. Heavens,
 How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
5 The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
 Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
 When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
 So needful for this present. It strikes me past
 The hope of comfort.—But for thee, fellow,
10 Who needs must know of her departure and
 Dost seem so ignorant, we’ll enforce it from thee
 By a sharp torture.
PISANIO  Sir, my life is yours.
 I humbly set it at your will. But for my mistress,
15 I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
 Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your
 Hold me your loyal servant.
LORD  Good my liege,
20 The day that she was missing, he was here.
 I dare be bound he’s true and shall perform
 All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
 There wants no diligence in seeking him,
 And will no doubt be found.
CYMBELINE 25 The time is troublesome.
 To Pisanio. We’ll slip you for a season, but our jealousy
 Does yet depend.
LORD  So please your Majesty,
 The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
30 Are landed on your coast with a supply
 Of Roman gentlemen by the Senate sent.

ACT 4. SC. 4

 Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
 I am amazed with matter.
LORD  Good my liege,
35 Your preparation can affront no less
 Than what you hear of. Come more, for more you’re
 The want is but to put those powers in motion
 That long to move.
CYMBELINE 40 I thank you. Let’s withdraw,
 And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
 What can from Italy annoy us, but
 We grieve at chances here. Away.
They exit. Pisanio remains.
 I heard no letter from my master since
45 I wrote him Imogen was slain. ’Tis strange.
 Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
 To yield me often tidings. Neither know I
 What is betid to Cloten, but remain
 Perplexed in all. The heavens still must work.
50 Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
 These present wars shall find I love my country,
 Even to the note o’ th’ King, or I’ll fall in them.
 All other doubts, by time let them be cleared.
 Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
He exits.

Scene 4
Enter Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius as Polydor,
and Arviragus as Cadwal.

GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 The noise is round about us.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Let us from it.

ACT 4. SC. 4

ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal 
 What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
 From action and adventure?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 5 Nay, what hope
 Have we in hiding us? This way the Romans
 Must or for Britons slay us or receive us
 For barbarous and unnatural revolts
 During their use, and slay us after.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 10 Sons,
 We’ll higher to the mountains, there secure us.
 To the King’s party there’s no going. Newness
 Of Cloten’s death—we being not known, not mustered
 Among the bands—may drive us to a render
15 Where we have lived, and so extort from ’s that
 Which we have done, whose answer would be death
 Drawn on with torture.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  This is, sir, a doubt
 In such a time nothing becoming you
20 Nor satisfying us.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  It is not likely
 That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
 Behold their quartered fires, have both their eyes
 And ears so cloyed importantly as now,
25 That they will waste their time upon our note,
 To know from whence we are.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  O, I am known
 Of many in the army. Many years,
 Though Cloten then but young, you see not wore him
30 From my remembrance. And besides, the King
 Hath not deserved my service nor your loves,
 Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
 The certainty of this hard life, aye hopeless
 To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
35 But to be still hot summer’s tanlings and
 The shrinking slaves of winter.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Than be so

ACT 4. SC. 4

 Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to th’ army.
 I and my brother are not known; yourself
40 So out of thought, and thereto so o’ergrown,
 Cannot be questioned.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  By this sun that shines,
 I’ll thither. What thing is ’t that I never
 Did see man die, scarce ever looked on blood
45 But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
 Never bestrid a horse save one that had
 A rider like myself, who ne’er wore rowel
 Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed
 To look upon the holy sun, to have
50 The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
 So long a poor unknown.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  By heavens, I’ll go!
 If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
 I’ll take the better care, but if you will not,
55 The hazard therefore due fall on me by
 The hands of Romans.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  So say I. Amen.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 No reason I—since of your lives you set
 So slight a valuation—should reserve
60 My cracked one to more care. Have with you, boys!
 If in your country wars you chance to die,
 That is my bed, too, lads, and there I’ll lie.
 Lead, lead. Aside. The time seems long; their
 blood thinks scorn
65 Till it fly out and show them princes born.
They exit.

Scene 1
Enter Posthumus alone, wearing Roman garments and
carrying a bloody cloth.

 Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wished
 Thou shouldst be colored thus. You married ones,
 If each of you should take this course, how many
 Must murder wives much better than themselves
5 For wrying but a little! O Pisanio,
 Every good servant does not all commands;
 No bond but to do just ones. Gods, if you
 Should have ta’en vengeance on my faults, I never
 Had lived to put on this; so had you saved
10 The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
 Me, wretch more worth your vengeance. But, alack,
 You snatch some hence for little faults; that’s love,
 To have them fall no more; you some permit
 To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
15 And make them dread it, to the doers’ thrift.
 But Imogen is your own. Do your best wills,
 And make me blest to obey. I am brought hither
 Among th’ Italian gentry, and to fight
 Against my lady’s kingdom. ’Tis enough
20 That, Britain, I have killed thy mistress. Peace,
 I’ll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,

ACT 5. SC. 2

 Hear patiently my purpose. I’ll disrobe me
 Of these Italian weeds and suit myself
 As does a Briton peasant. So I’ll fight
25 Against the part I come with; so I’ll die
 For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
 Is every breath a death. And thus, unknown,
 Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
 Myself I’ll dedicate. Let me make men know
30 More valor in me than my habits show.
 Gods, put the strength o’ th’ Leonati in me.
 To shame the guise o’ th’ world, I will begin
 The fashion: less without and more within.
He exits.

Scene 2
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and the Roman army at one
door, and the Briton army at another, Leonatus Posthumus
following like a poor soldier. They march over and
go out.
 Then enter again, in skirmish, Iachimo and
 He vanquisheth and disarmeth Iachimo,
and then leaves him.

 The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
 Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
 The Princess of this country, and the air on ’t
 Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
5 A very drudge of nature’s, have subdued me
 In my profession? Knighthoods and honors, borne
 As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
 If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
 This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
10 Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.
He exits.

ACT 5. SC. 3

The battle continues. The Britons fly; Cymbeline is
taken. Then enter, to his rescue, Belarius as Morgan,
Guiderius as Polydor, and Arviragus as Cadwal.

BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Stand, stand! We have th’ advantage of the ground.
 The lane is guarded. Nothing routs us but
 The villainy of our fears.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor, and ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Stand, stand, and fight!

Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons. They rescue
Cymbeline and exit.
 Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and
Imogen as Fidele.

LUCIUS, to Fidele 
15 Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself,
 For friends kill friends, and the disorder’s such
 As war were hoodwinked.
IACHIMO  ’Tis their fresh supplies.
 It is a day turned strangely. Or betimes
20 Let’s reinforce, or fly.
They exit.

Scene 3
Enter Posthumus and a Briton Lord.

 Cam’st thou from where they made the stand?
 Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.
5 No blame be to you, sir, for all was lost,
 But that the heavens fought. The King himself

ACT 5. SC. 3

 Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
 And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
 Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
10 Lolling the tongue with slaught’ring, having work
 More plentiful than tools to do ’t, struck down
 Some mortally, some slightly touched, some falling
 Merely through fear, that the strait pass was dammed
 With dead men hurt behind and cowards living
15 To die with lengthened shame.
LORD  Where was this lane?
 Close by the battle, ditched, and walled with turf;
 Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
 An honest one, I warrant, who deserved
20 So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
 In doing this for ’s country. Athwart the lane,
 He with two striplings—lads more like to run
 The country base than to commit such slaughter,
 With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
25 Than those for preservation cased or shame—
 Made good the passage, cried to those that fled
 “Our Britain’s harts die flying, not our men.
 To darkness fleet souls that fly backwards. Stand,
 Or we are Romans and will give you that
30 Like beasts which you shun beastly, and may save
 But to look back in frown. Stand, stand!” These three,
 Three thousand confident, in act as many—
 For three performers are the file when all
 The rest do nothing—with this word “Stand, stand,”
35 Accommodated by the place, more charming
 With their own nobleness, which could have turned
 A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks,
 Part shame, part spirit renewed; that some, turned
40 But by example—O, a sin in war,
 Damned in the first beginners!—gan to look

ACT 5. SC. 3

 The way that they did and to grin like lions
 Upon the pikes o’ th’ hunters. Then began
 A stop i’ th’ chaser, a retire; anon
45 A rout, confusion thick. Forthwith they fly
 Chickens the way which they stooped eagles; slaves
 The strides they victors made; and now our
 Like fragments in hard voyages, became
50 The life o’ th’ need. Having found the backdoor open
 Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
 Some slain before, some dying, some their friends
 O’erborne i’ th’ former wave, ten chased by one,
 Are now each one the slaughterman of twenty.
55 Those that would die or ere resist are grown
 The mortal bugs o’ th’ field.
LORD  This was strange chance:
 A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.
 Nay, do not wonder at it. You are made
60 Rather to wonder at the things you hear
 Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon ’t
 And vent it for a mock’ry? Here is one:
 “Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
 Preserved the Britons, was the Romans’ bane.”
65 Nay, be not angry, sir.
POSTHUMUS  ’Lack, to what end?
 Who dares not stand his foe, I’ll be his friend;
 For if he’ll do as he is made to do,
 I know he’ll quickly fly my friendship too.
70 You have put me into rhyme.
LORD  Farewell. You’re angry.
He exits.
 Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
 To be i’ th’ field and ask “What news?” of me!

ACT 5. SC. 3

 Today how many would have given their honors
75 To have saved their carcasses, took heel to do ’t,
 And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charmed,
 Could not find Death where I did hear him groan,
 Nor feel him where he struck. Being an ugly monster,
 ’Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
80 Sweet words, or hath more ministers than we
 That draw his knives i’ th’ war. Well, I will find him;
 For being now a favorer to the Briton,
 No more a Briton. (He removes his peasant
I have resumed again
85 The part I came in. Fight I will no more,
 But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
 Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
 Here made by th’ Roman; great the answer be
 Britons must take. For me, my ransom’s death.
90 On either side I come to spend my breath,
 Which neither here I’ll keep nor bear again,
 But end it by some means for Imogen.

Enter two Briton Captains, and Soldiers.

 Great Jupiter be praised, Lucius is taken!
 ’Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.
95 There was a fourth man in a silly habit
 That gave th’ affront with them.
FIRST CAPTAIN  So ’tis reported,
 But none of ’em can be found.—Stand. Who’s there?
100 Who had not now been drooping here if seconds
 Had answered him.
SECOND CAPTAIN  Lay hands on him. A dog,
 A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
 What crows have pecked them here. He brags his
105 service
 As if he were of note. Bring him to th’ King.

ACT 5. SC. 4

Enter Cymbeline, Attendants, Belarius as Morgan,
Guiderius as Polydor, Arviragus as Cadwal, Pisanio,
Soldiers, and Roman captives.
 The Captains present
Posthumus to Cymbeline, who delivers him over to a

They exit.

Scene 4
Enter Posthumus in chains, and two Jailers.

 You shall not now be stol’n; you have locks upon you.
 So graze as you find pasture.
SECOND JAILER  Ay, or a stomach.
Jailers exit.
 Most welcome, bondage, for thou art a way,
5 I think, to liberty. Yet am I better
 Than one that’s sick o’ th’ gout, since he had rather
 Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
 By th’ sure physician, Death, who is the key
 T’ unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fettered
10 More than my shanks and wrists. You good gods,
 give me
 The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
 Then free forever. Is ’t enough I am sorry?
 So children temporal fathers do appease;
15 Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent,
 I cannot do it better than in gyves,
 Desired more than constrained. To satisfy,
 If of my freedom ’tis the main part, take
 No stricter render of me than my all.
20 I know you are more clement than vile men,
 Who of their broken debtors take a third,
 A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again

ACT 5. SC. 4

 On their abatement. That’s not my desire.
 For Imogen’s dear life take mine; and though
25 ’Tis not so dear, yet ’tis a life; you coined it.
 ’Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
 Though light, take pieces for the figure’s sake;
 You rather mine, being yours. And so, great powers,
 If you will take this audit, take this life
30 And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen,
 I’ll speak to thee in silence.He lies down and sleeps.

Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition, Sicilius
Leonatus, father to Posthumus, an old man attired like
a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his
wife and mother to Posthumus, with music before
them. Then, after other music, follows the two young
Leonati, brothers to Posthumus, with wounds as they
died in the wars. They circle Posthumus round as he
lies sleeping.

 No more, thou Thunder-master, show
  Thy spite on mortal flies.
 With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
35  That thy adulteries
  Rates and revenges.
 Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
  Whose face I never saw?
 I died whilst in the womb he stayed,
40  Attending nature’s law;
 Whose father then—as men report
  Thou orphans’ father art—
 Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
  From this earth-vexing smart.
45 Lucina lent not me her aid,
  But took me in my throes,

ACT 5. SC. 4

 That from me was Posthumus ripped,
  Came crying ’mongst his foes,
  A thing of pity.
50 Great Nature, like his ancestry,
  Molded the stuff so fair
 That he deserved the praise o’ th’ world
  As great Sicilius’ heir.
 When once he was mature for man,
55  In Britain where was he
 That could stand up his parallel
  Or fruitful object be
 In eye of Imogen, that best
  Could deem his dignity?
60 With marriage wherefore was he mocked,
  To be exiled and thrown
 From Leonati seat, and cast
  From her, his dearest one,
  Sweet Imogen?
65 Why did you suffer Iachimo,
  Slight thing of Italy,
 To taint his nobler heart and brain
  With needless jealousy,
 And to become the geck and scorn
70  O’ th’ other’s villainy?
 For this, from stiller seats we came,
  Our parents and us twain,
 That striking in our country’s cause
  Fell bravely and were slain,
75 Our fealty and Tenantius’ right
  With honor to maintain.

ACT 5. SC. 4

 Like hardiment Posthumus hath
  To Cymbeline performed.
 Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
80  Why hast thou thus adjourned
 The graces for his merits due,
  Being all to dolors turned?
 Thy crystal window ope; look out.
  No longer exercise
85 Upon a valiant race thy harsh
  And potent injuries.
 Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
  Take off his miseries.
 Peep through thy marble mansion. Help,
90  Or we poor ghosts will cry
 To th’ shining synod of the rest
  Against thy deity.
 Help, Jupiter, or we appeal
  And from thy justice fly.

Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon
an eagle.
 He throws a thunderbolt. The Ghosts fall on
their knees.

95 No more, you petty spirits of region low,
  Offend our hearing! Hush. How dare you ghosts
 Accuse the Thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
  Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts.
 Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
100  Upon your never-withering banks of flowers.
 Be not with mortal accidents oppressed.
  No care of yours it is; you know ’tis ours.

ACT 5. SC. 4

 Whom best I love I cross, to make my gift,
  The more delayed, delighted. Be content.
105 Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift.
  His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
 Our Jovial star reigned at his birth, and in
  Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade.
 He shall be lord of Lady Imogen,
110  And happier much by his affliction made.
He hands Sicilius a tablet.
 This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
  Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine.
 And so away. No farther with your din
  Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.—
115  Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.Ascends.
 He came in thunder. His celestial breath
 Was sulphurous to smell. The holy eagle
 Stooped as to foot us. His ascension is
 More sweet than our blest fields; his royal bird
120 Preens the immortal wing and cloys his beak,
 As when his god is pleased.
ALL  Thanks, Jupiter.
 The marble pavement closes; he is entered
 His radiant roof. Away, and, to be blest,
125 Let us with care perform his great behest.
He places the tablet on Posthumus’ breast. They vanish.
POSTHUMUS, waking 
 Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire and begot
 A father to me, and thou hast created
 A mother and two brothers. But, O scorn,
 Gone! They went hence so soon as they were born.
130 And so I am awake. Poor wretches that depend
 On greatness’ favor dream as I have done,
 Wake, and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve.
 Many dream not to find, neither deserve,

ACT 5. SC. 4

 And yet are steeped in favors; so am I
135 That have this golden chance and know not why.
Finding the tablet.
 What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare one,
 Be not, as is our fangled world, a garment
 Nobler than that it covers. Let thy effects
 So follow, to be, most unlike our courtiers,
140 As good as promise.
 Whenas a lion’s whelp shall, to himself unknown,
 without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of
 tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be
 lopped branches which, being dead many years, shall
145 after revive, be jointed to the old stock, and freshly
 grow, then shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain
 be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty.

 ’Tis still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
 Tongue and brain not; either both or nothing,
150 Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such
 As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
 The action of my life is like it, which
 I’ll keep, if but for sympathy.

Enter Jailer.

JAILER Come, sir, are you ready for death?
POSTHUMUS 155Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.
JAILER Hanging is the word, sir. If you be ready for
 that, you are well cooked.
POSTHUMUS So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators,
 the dish pays the shot.
JAILER 160A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort
 is, you shall be called to no more payments, fear
 no more tavern bills, which are often the sadness
 of parting as the procuring of mirth. You come in
 faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too
165 much drink; sorry that you have paid too much,

ACT 5. SC. 4

 and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and
 brain both empty; the brain the heavier for being
 too light; the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness.
 O, of this contradiction you shall now be
170 quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up
 thousands in a trice. You have no true debitor and
 creditor but it; of what’s past, is, and to come, the
 discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters;
 so the acquittance follows.
POSTHUMUS 175I am merrier to die than thou art to live.
JAILER Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the
 toothache. But a man that were to sleep your
 sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think
 he would change places with his officer; for, look
180 you, sir, you know not which way you shall go.
POSTHUMUS Yes, indeed do I, fellow.
JAILER Your Death has eyes in ’s head, then. I have not
 seen him so pictured. You must either be directed
 by some that take upon them to know, or to take
185 upon yourself that which I am sure you do not
 know, or jump the after-inquiry on your own peril.
 And how you shall speed in your journey’s end, I
 think you’ll never return to tell one.
POSTHUMUS I tell thee, fellow, there are none want
190 eyes to direct them the way I am going but such as
 wink and will not use them.
JAILER What an infinite mock is this, that a man
 should have the best use of eyes to see the way of
 blindness! I am sure hanging’s the way of winking.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER 195Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner
 to the King.
POSTHUMUS Thou bring’st good news. I am called to be
 made free.

ACT 5. SC. 5

JAILER I’ll be hanged then.
He removes Posthumus’s chains.
POSTHUMUS 200Thou shalt be then freer than a jailer. No
 bolts for the dead.All but the Jailer exit.
JAILER Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget
 young gibbets, I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my
 conscience, there are verier knaves desire to live,
205 for all he be a Roman; and there be some of them
 too that die against their wills. So should I, if I
 were one. I would we were all of one mind, and
 one mind good. O, there were desolation of jailers
 and gallowses! I speak against my present profit,
210 but my wish hath a preferment in ’t.
He exits.

Scene 5
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius as
Polydor, Arviragus as Cadwal, Pisanio, Attendants,
and Lords.

CYMBELINE, to Morgan, Polydor, and Cadwal 
 Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made
 Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart
 That the poor soldier that so richly fought,
 Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast
5 Stepped before targes of proof, cannot be found.
 He shall be happy that can find him, if
 Our grace can make him so.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  I never saw
 Such noble fury in so poor a thing,
10 Such precious deeds in one that promised naught
 But beggary and poor looks.
CYMBELINE  No tidings of him?
 He hath been searched among the dead and living,
 But no trace of him.

ACT 5. SC. 5

CYMBELINE, to Morgan, Polydor, and Cadwal 
15 To my grief, I am
 The heir of his reward, which I will add
 To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,
 By whom I grant she lives. ’Tis now the time
 To ask of whence you are. Report it.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 20 Sir,
 In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen.
 Further to boast were neither true nor modest,
 Unless I add we are honest.
CYMBELINE  Bow your knees.
They kneel. He taps their shoulders with his sword.
25 Arise my knights o’ th’ battle. I create you
 Companions to our person, and will fit you
 With dignities becoming your estates.They rise.

Enter Cornelius and Ladies.

 There’s business in these faces. Why so sadly
 Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,
30 And not o’ th’ court of Britain.
CORNELIUS  Hail, great king.
 To sour your happiness I must report
 The Queen is dead.
CYMBELINE  Who worse than a physician
35 Would this report become? But I consider
 By med’cine life may be prolonged, yet death
 Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
 With horror, madly dying, like her life,
 Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
40 Most cruel to herself. What she confessed
 I will report, so please you. These her women
 Can trip me if I err, who with wet cheeks
 Were present when she finished.
CYMBELINE  Prithee, say.

ACT 5. SC. 5

45 First, she confessed she never loved you, only
 Affected greatness got by you, not you;
 Married your royalty, was wife to your place,
 Abhorred your person.
CYMBELINE  She alone knew this,
50 And but she spoke it dying, I would not
 Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
 Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
 With such integrity, she did confess
 Was as a scorpion to her sight, whose life,
55 But that her flight prevented it, she had
 Ta’en off by poison.
CYMBELINE  O, most delicate fiend!
 Who is ’t can read a woman? Is there more?
 More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had
60 For you a mortal mineral which, being took,
 Should by the minute feed on life and, ling’ring,
 By inches waste you. In which time she purposed,
 By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
 O’ercome you with her show and, in time,
65 When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
 Her son into th’ adoption of the crown;
 But failing of her end by his strange absence,
 Grew shameless desperate; opened, in despite
 Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
70 The evils she hatched were not effected; so
 Despairing died.
CYMBELINE  Heard you all this, her women?
LADIES We did, so please your Highness.
75 Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
 Mine ears that heard her flattery; nor my heart,

ACT 5. SC. 5

 That thought her like her seeming. It had been vicious
 To have mistrusted her. Yet, O my daughter,
 That it was folly in me thou mayst say,
80 And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all.

Enter Lucius, Iachimo, Soothsayer, and other Roman
prisoners, Posthumus Leonatus behind, and Imogen
as Fidele, with Briton Soldiers as guards.

 Thou com’st not, Caius, now for tribute. That
 The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
 Of many a bold one, whose kinsmen have made suit
 That their good souls may be appeased with slaughter
85 Of you their captives, which ourself have granted.
 So think of your estate.
 Consider, sir, the chance of war. The day
 Was yours by accident. Had it gone with us,
 We should not, when the blood was cool, have
90 threatened
 Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
 Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
 May be called ransom, let it come. Sufficeth
 A Roman with a Roman’s heart can suffer.
95 Augustus lives to think on ’t; and so much
 For my peculiar care. This one thing only
 I will entreat: my boy, a Briton born,
 Let him be ransomed. Never master had
 A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
100 So tender over his occasions, true,
 So feat, so nurselike. Let his virtue join
 With my request, which I’ll make bold your Highness
 Cannot deny. He hath done no Briton harm,
 Though he have served a Roman. Save him, sir,
105 And spare no blood beside.
CYMBELINE  I have surely seen him.
 His favor is familiar to me.—Boy,

ACT 5. SC. 5

 Thou hast looked thyself into my grace
 And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,
110 To say “Live, boy.” Ne’er thank thy master. Live,
 And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
 Fitting my bounty and thy state, I’ll give it,
 Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
 The noblest ta’en.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 115 I humbly thank your Highness.
 I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
 And yet I know thou wilt.
IMOGEN, as Fidele  No, no, alack,
 There’s other work in hand. I see a thing
120 Bitter to me as death. Your life, good master,
 Must shuffle for itself.
LUCIUS  The boy disdains me,
 He leaves me, scorns me. Briefly die their joys
 That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
125 Why stands he so perplexed?
Imogen stares at Iachimo.
CYMBELINE  What would’st thou, boy?
 I love thee more and more. Think more and more
 What’s best to ask. Know’st him thou look’st on?
130 Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? Thy friend?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 He is a Roman, no more kin to me
 Than I to your Highness, who, being born your vassal,
 Am something nearer.
CYMBELINE  Wherefore ey’st him so?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
135 I’ll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
 To give me hearing.
CYMBELINE  Ay, with all my heart,
 And lend my best attention. What’s thy name?

ACT 5. SC. 5

IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 Fidele, sir.
CYMBELINE 140 Thou ’rt my good youth, my page.
 I’ll be thy master. Walk with me. Speak freely.
Cymbeline and Imogen walk aside and talk.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Is not this boy revived from death?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  One sand another
 Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
145 Who died, and was Fidele. What think you?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor The same dead thing alive.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Peace, peace. See further. He eyes us not. Forbear.
 Creatures may be alike. Were ’t he, I am sure
 He would have spoke to us.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 150 But we see him dead.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Be silent. Let’s see further.
PISANIO, aside  It is my mistress!
 Since she is living, let the time run on
 To good or bad.
Cymbeline and Imogen come forward.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen 155 Come, stand thou by our side.
 Make thy demand aloud. (To Iachimo.) Sir, step
 you forth.
 Give answer to this boy, and do it freely,
 Or by our greatness and the grace of it,
160 Which is our honor, bitter torture shall
 Winnow the truth from falsehood.—On. Speak to
IMOGEN, as Fidele, pointing to Iachimo’s hand 
 My boon is that this gentleman may render
 Of whom he had this ring.
POSTHUMUS, aside 165 What’s that to him?
 That diamond upon your finger, say
 How came it yours.

ACT 5. SC. 5

 Thou ’lt torture me to leave unspoken that
 Which to be spoke would torture thee.
CYMBELINE 170 How? Me?
 I am glad to be constrained to utter that
 Which torments me to conceal. By villainy
 I got this ring. ’Twas Leonatus’ jewel,
 Whom thou didst banish, and—which more may
175 grieve thee,
 As it doth me—a nobler sir ne’er lived
 ’Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?
 All that belongs to this.
IACHIMO  That paragon, thy daughter,
180 For whom my heart drops blood and my false spirits
 Quail to remember—Give me leave; I faint.
 My daughter? What of her? Renew thy strength.
 I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will
 Than die ere I hear more. Strive, man, and speak.
185 Upon a time—unhappy was the clock
 That struck the hour!—it was in Rome—accursed
 The mansion where!—’twas at a feast—O, would
 Our viands had been poisoned, or at least
 Those which I heaved to head!—the good
190 Posthumus—
 What should I say? He was too good to be
 Where ill men were, and was the best of all
 Amongst the rar’st of good ones—sitting sadly,
 Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
195 For beauty that made barren the swelled boast
 Of him that best could speak; for feature, laming
 The shrine of Venus or straight-pight Minerva,
 Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,

ACT 5. SC. 5

 A shop of all the qualities that man
200 Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
 Fairness which strikes the eye—
CYMBELINE  I stand on fire.
 Come to the matter.
IACHIMO  All too soon I shall,
205 Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
 Most like a noble lord in love and one
 That had a royal lover, took his hint,
 And, not dispraising whom we praised—therein
 He was as calm as virtue—he began
210 His mistress’ picture; which by his tongue being made
 And then a mind put in ’t, either our brags
 Were cracked of kitchen trulls, or his description
 Proved us unspeaking sots.
CYMBELINE  Nay, nay, to th’ purpose.
215 Your daughter’s chastity—there it begins.
 He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams
 And she alone were cold; whereat I, wretch,
 Made scruple of his praise and wagered with him
 Pieces of gold ’gainst this, which then he wore
220 Upon his honored finger, to attain
 In suit the place of ’s bed and win this ring
 By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
 No lesser of her honor confident
 Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring,
225 And would so, had it been a carbuncle
 Of Phoebus’ wheel, and might so safely, had it
 Been all the worth of ’s car. Away to Britain
 Post I in this design. Well may you, sir,
 Remember me at court, where I was taught
230 Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
 ’Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quenched
 Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
 Gan in your duller Britain operate

ACT 5. SC. 5

 Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent.
235 And to be brief, my practice so prevailed
 That I returned with simular proof enough
 To make the noble Leonatus mad
 By wounding his belief in her renown
 With tokens thus and thus; averring notes
240 Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet—
 O, cunning how I got it!—nay, some marks
 Of secret on her person, that he could not
 But think her bond of chastity quite cracked,
 I having ta’en the forfeit. Whereupon—
245 Methinks I see him now—
POSTHUMUS, coming forward  Ay, so thou dost,
 Italian fiend.—Ay me, most credulous fool,
 Egregious murderer, thief, anything
 That’s due to all the villains past, in being,
250 To come. O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
 Some upright justicer.—Thou, king, send out
 For torturers ingenious. It is I
 That all th’ abhorrèd things o’ th’ Earth amend
 By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
255 That killed thy daughter—villainlike, I lie—
 That caused a lesser villain than myself,
 A sacrilegious thief, to do ’t. The temple
 Of virtue was she, yea, and she herself.
 Spit and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
260 The dogs o’ th’ street to bay me. Every villain
 Be called Posthumus Leonatus, and
 Be villainy less than ’twas. O Imogen!
 My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
 Imogen, Imogen!
IMOGEN, running to Posthumus 265 Peace, my lord!
 Hear, hear—
 Shall ’s have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
 There lie thy part.He pushes her away; she falls.

ACT 5. SC. 5

PISANIO  O, gentlemen, help!—
270 Mine and your mistress! O my lord Posthumus,
 You ne’er killed Imogen till now! Help, help!
 Mine honored lady—
CYMBELINE  Does the world go round?
 How comes these staggers on me?
PISANIO 275 Wake, my mistress.
 If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
 To death with mortal joy.
PISANIO How fares my mistress?
IMOGEN O, get thee from my sight!
280 Thou gav’st me poison. Dangerous fellow, hence.
 Breathe not where princes are.
CYMBELINE  The tune of Imogen!
 Lady, the gods throw stones of sulfur on me if
 That box I gave you was not thought by me
285 A precious thing. I had it from the Queen.
 New matter still.
IMOGEN  It poisoned me.
 To Pisanio. I left out one thing which the Queen
290 confessed,
 Which must approve thee honest. “If Pisanio
 Have,” said she, “given his mistress that confection
 Which I gave him for cordial, she is served
 As I would serve a rat.”
CYMBELINE 295 What’s this, Cornelius?
 The Queen, sir, very oft importuned me
 To temper poisons for her, still pretending
 The satisfaction of her knowledge only
 In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs,

ACT 5. SC. 5

300 Of no esteem. I, dreading that her purpose
 Was of more danger, did compound for her
 A certain stuff which, being ta’en, would cease
 The present power of life, but in short time
 All offices of nature should again
305 Do their due functions.—Have you ta’en of it?
 Most like I did, for I was dead.
BELARIUS, as Morgan, aside to Guiderius and Arviragus  My boys,
 There was our error.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  This is sure Fidele.
IMOGEN, to Posthumus 
310 Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
 Think that you are upon a rock, and now
 Throw me again.She embraces him.
POSTHUMUS  Hang there like fruit, my soul,
 Till the tree die.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen 315 How now, my flesh, my child?
 What, mak’st thou me a dullard in this act?
 Wilt thou not speak to me?
IMOGEN, kneeling  Your blessing, sir.
BELARIUS, as Morgan, aside to Guiderius and Arviragus 
 Though you did love this youth, I blame you not.
320 You had a motive for ’t.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen  My tears that fall
 Prove holy water on thee. Imogen,
 Thy mother’s dead.
IMOGEN  I am sorry for ’t, my lord.
She rises.
325 O, she was naught, and long of her it was
 That we meet here so strangely. But her son
 Is gone, we know not how nor where.
PISANIO  My lord,
 Now fear is from me, I’ll speak truth. Lord Cloten,

ACT 5. SC. 5

330 Upon my lady’s missing, came to me
 With his sword drawn, foamed at the mouth, and
 If I discovered not which way she was gone,
 It was my instant death. By accident,
335 I had a feignèd letter of my master’s
 Then in my pocket, which directed him
 To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
 Where, in a frenzy, in my master’s garments,
 Which he enforced from me, away he posts
340 With unchaste purpose and with oath to violate
 My lady’s honor. What became of him
 I further know not.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Let me end the story.
 I slew him there.
CYMBELINE 345 Marry, the gods forfend!
 I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
 Pluck a hard sentence. Prithee, valiant youth,
 Deny ’t again.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  I have spoke it, and I did it.
CYMBELINE 350He was a prince.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me
 Were nothing princelike, for he did provoke me
 With language that would make me spurn the sea
 If it could so roar to me. I cut off ’s head,
355 And am right glad he is not standing here
 To tell this tale of mine.
CYMBELINE  I am sorrow for thee.
 By thine own tongue thou art condemned and must
 Endure our law. Thou ’rt dead.
IMOGEN 360 That headless man
 I thought had been my lord.
CYMBELINE  Bind the offender,
 And take him from our presence.
Attendants bind Guiderius.

ACT 5. SC. 5

BELARIUS, as Morgan  Stay, sir king.
365 This man is better than the man he slew,
 As well descended as thyself, and hath
 More of thee merited than a band of Clotens
 Had ever scar for.—Let his arms alone.
 They were not born for bondage.
CYMBELINE 370 Why, old soldier,
 Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for
 By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
 As good as we?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  In that he spake too far.
CYMBELINE, to Morgan 
375 And thou shalt die for ’t.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  We will die all three
 But I will prove that two on ’s are as good
 As I have given out him.—My sons, I must
 For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
380 Though haply well for you.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Your danger’s ours.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 And our good his.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Have at it, then.—By leave,
 Thou hadst, great king, a subject who
385 Was called Belarius.
CYMBELINE  What of him? He is
 A banished traitor.
BELARIUS  He it is that hath
 Assumed this age; indeed a banished man,
390 I know not how a traitor.
CYMBELINE  Take him hence.
 The whole world shall not save him.
BELARIUS  Not too hot.
 First pay me for the nursing of thy sons
395 And let it be confiscate all, so soon
 As I have received it.
CYMBELINE  Nursing of my sons?

ACT 5. SC. 5

 I am too blunt and saucy. Here’s my knee.
He kneels.
 Ere I arise I will prefer my sons,
400 Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
 These two young gentlemen that call me father
 And think they are my sons are none of mine.
 They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
 And blood of your begetting.
CYMBELINE 405 How? My issue?
 So sure as you your father’s. I, old Morgan,
 Am that Belarius whom you sometime banished.
 Your pleasure was my mere offense, my punishment
 Itself, and all my treason. That I suffered
410 Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes—
 For such and so they are—these twenty years
 Have I trained up; those arts they have as I
 Could put into them. My breeding was, sir, as
 Your Highness knows. Their nurse Euriphile,
415 Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children
 Upon my banishment. I moved her to ’t,
 Having received the punishment before
 For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty
 Excited me to treason. Their dear loss,
420 The more of you ’twas felt, the more it shaped
 Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious sir,
 Here are your sons again, and I must lose
 Two of the sweet’st companions in the world.
 The benediction of these covering heavens
425 Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthy
 To inlay heaven with stars.He weeps.
CYMBELINE  Thou weep’st and speak’st.
 The service that you three have done is more
 Unlike than this thou tell’st. I lost my children.
430 If these be they, I know not how to wish
 A pair of worthier sons.

ACT 5. SC. 5

BELARIUS  Be pleased awhile.
 This gentleman whom I call Polydor,
 Most worthy prince, as yours is true Guiderius;
435 This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
 Your younger princely son. He, sir, was lapped
 In a most curious mantle, wrought by th’ hand
 Of his queen mother, which for more probation
 I can with ease produce.
CYMBELINE 440 Guiderius had
 Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star.
 It was a mark of wonder.
BELARIUS  This is he,
 Who hath upon him still that natural stamp.
445 It was wise Nature’s end in the donation
 To be his evidence now.
CYMBELINE  O, what am I,
 A mother to the birth of three? Ne’er mother
 Rejoiced deliverance more.—Blest pray you be,
450 That after this strange starting from your orbs,
 You may reign in them now.—O Imogen,
 Thou hast lost by this a kingdom!
IMOGEN  No, my lord.
 I have got two worlds by ’t.—O my gentle brothers,
455 Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter
 But I am truest speaker. You called me “brother”
 When I was but your sister; I you “brothers”
 When we were so indeed.
CYMBELINE  Did you e’er meet?
460 Ay, my good lord.
GUIDERIUS  And at first meeting loved,
 Continued so until we thought he died.
 By the Queen’s dram she swallowed.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen  O, rare instinct!

ACT 5. SC. 5

465 When shall I hear all through? This fierce
 Hath to it circumstantial branches which
 Distinction should be rich in. Where, how lived you?
 And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
470 How parted with your brothers? How first met
 Why fled you from the court? And whither?
 To Belarius. These,
 And your three motives to the battle, with
475 I know not how much more, should be demanded,
 And all the other by-dependences
 From chance to chance; but nor the time nor place
 Will serve our long interrogatories. See,
 Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;
480 And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
 On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting
 Each object with a joy; the counterchange
 Is severally in all. Let’s quit this ground,
 And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.
485 Thou art my brother, so we’ll hold thee ever.
IMOGEN, to Belarius 
 You are my father too, and did relieve me
 To see this gracious season.
CYMBELINE  All o’erjoyed
 Save these in bonds; let them be joyful too,
490 For they shall taste our comfort.
IMOGEN, to Lucius  My good master,
 I will yet do you service.
LUCIUS  Happy be you!
 The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought,
495 He would have well becomed this place and graced
 The thankings of a king.
POSTHUMUS  I am, sir,
 The soldier that did company these three

ACT 5. SC. 5

 In poor beseeming; ’twas a fitment for
500 The purpose I then followed. That I was he,
 Speak, Iachimo. I had you down and might
 Have made you finish.
IACHIMO, kneeling  I am down again,
 But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
505 As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
 Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
 And here the bracelet of the truest princess
 That ever swore her faith.
He holds out the ring and bracelet.
POSTHUMUS  Kneel not to me.
510 The power that I have on you is to spare you;
 The malice towards you to forgive you. Live
 And deal with others better.
CYMBELINE  Nobly doomed.
 We’ll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
515 Pardon’s the word to all.Iachimo rises.
ARVIRAGUS, to Posthumus  You holp us, sir,
 As you did mean indeed to be our brother.
 Joyed are we that you are.
 Your servant, princes.—Good my lord of Rome,
520 Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought
 Great Jupiter upon his eagle backed
 Appeared to me, with other spritely shows
 Of mine own kindred. When I waked, I found
 This label on my bosom, whose containing
525 Is so from sense in hardness that I can
 Make no collection of it. Let him show
 His skill in the construction.
LUCIUS  Philarmonus!
SOOTHSAYER, coming forward 
 Here, my good lord.
LUCIUS 530 Read, and declare the meaning.
SOOTHSAYER reads. Whenas a lion’s whelp shall, to

ACT 5. SC. 5

 himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced
 by a piece of tender air; and when from a
 stately cedar shall be lopped branches which, being
535 dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the
 old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus
 end his miseries, Britain be fortunate and flourish
 in peace and plenty.

 Thou, Leonatus, art the lion’s whelp.
540 The fit and apt construction of thy name,
 Being Leo-natus, doth import so much.
 To Cymbeline. The piece of tender air thy virtuous
 Which we call “mollis aer,” and “mollis aer”
545 We term it “mulier,” which “mulier” I divine
 Is this most constant wife; who, even now,
 Answering the letter of the oracle,
 To Posthumus Unknown to you, unsought, were
 clipped about
550 With this most tender air.
CYMBELINE  This hath some seeming.
 The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
 Personates thee; and thy lopped branches point
 Thy two sons forth, who, by Belarius stol’n,
555 For many years thought dead, are now revived,
 To the majestic cedar joined, whose issue
 Promises Britain peace and plenty.
 My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
560 Although the victor, we submit to Caesar
 And to the Roman Empire, promising
 To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
 We were dissuaded by our wicked queen,
 Whom heavens in justice both on her and hers
565 Have laid most heavy hand.

ACT 5. SC. 5

 The fingers of the powers above do tune
 The harmony of this peace. The vision
 Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
 Of this yet scarce-cold battle at this instant
570 Is full accomplished. For the Roman eagle,
 From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
 Lessened herself and in the beams o’ th’ sun
 So vanished; which foreshowed our princely eagle,
 Th’ imperial Caesar, should again unite
575 His favor with the radiant Cymbeline,
 Which shines here in the west.
CYMBELINE  Laud we the gods,
 And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
 From our blest altars. Publish we this peace
580 To all our subjects. Set we forward. Let
 A Roman and a British ensign wave
 Friendly together. So through Lud’s Town march,
 And in the temple of great Jupiter
 Our peace we’ll ratify, seal it with feasts.
585 Set on there. Never was a war did cease,
 Ere bloody hands were washed, with such a peace.
They exit.