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Macbeth, ACT III
SCENE I. Forres. The palace.

Enter BANQUO

BANQUO
Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised, and, I fear,
Thou play’dst most foully for’t: yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them–
As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine–
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
And set me up in hope? But hush! no more.

Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as king, LADY MACBETH, as queen, LENNOX, ROSS, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants

MACBETH
Here’s our chief guest.

LADY MACBETH
If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all-thing unbecoming.

MACBETH
To-night we hold a solemn supper sir,
And I’ll request your presence.

BANQUO
Let your highness
Command upon me; to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.

MACBETH
Ride you this afternoon?

BANQUO
Ay, my good lord.

MACBETH
We should have else desired your good advice,
Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
In this day’s council; but we’ll take to-morrow.
Is’t far you ride?

BANQUO
As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
‘Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night
For a dark hour or twain.

MACBETH
Fail not our feast.

BANQUO
My lord, I will not.

MACBETH
We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow’d
In England and in Ireland, not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
With strange invention: but of that to-morrow,
When therewithal we shall have cause of state
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: adieu,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?

BANQUO
Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon ‘s.

MACBETH
I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs. Farewell.

Exit BANQUO

Let every man be master of his time
Till seven at night: to make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone: while then, God be with you!

Exeunt all but MACBETH, and an attendant

Sirrah, a word with you: attend those men
Our pleasure?

ATTENDANT
They are, my lord, without the palace gate.

MACBETH
Bring them before us.

Exit Attendant

To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus.–Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear’d: ’tis much he dares;
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said,
Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him: then prophet-like
They hail’d him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ‘t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder’d;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list.
And champion me to the utterance! Who’s there!

Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers

Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.

Exit Attendant

Was it not yesterday we spoke together?

First Murderer
It was, so please your highness.

MACBETH
Well then, now
Have you consider’d of my speeches? Know
That it was he in the times past which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self: this I made good to you
In our last conference, pass’d in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand, how cross’d,
the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say ‘Thus did Banquo.’

First Murderer
You made it known to us.

MACBETH
I did so, and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
That you can let this go? Are you so gospell’d
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow’d you to the grave
And beggar’d yours for ever?

First Murderer
We are men, my liege.

MACBETH
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men;
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept
All by the name of dogs: the valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
Particular addition. from the bill
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i’ the worst rank of manhood, say ‘t;
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.

Second Murderer
I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Have so incensed that I am reckless what
I do to spite the world.

First Murderer
And I another
So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune,
That I would set my lie on any chance,
To mend it, or be rid on’t.

MACBETH
Both of you
Know Banquo was your enemy.

Both Murderers
True, my lord.

MACBETH
So is he mine; and in such bloody distance,
That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near’st of life: and though I could
With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down; and thence it is,
That I to your assistance do make love,
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.

Second Murderer
We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.

First Murderer
Though our lives–

MACBETH
Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at most
I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ the time,
The moment on’t; for’t must be done to-night,
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness: and with him–
To leave no rubs nor botches in the work–
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart:
I’ll come to you anon.

Both Murderers
We are resolved, my lord.

MACBETH
I’ll call upon you straight: abide within.

Exeunt Murderers

It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.

Exit

SCENE II. The palace.

Enter LADY MACBETH and a Servant
LADY MACBETH
Is Banquo gone from court?

Servant
Ay, madam, but returns again to-night.

LADY MACBETH
Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.

Servant
Madam, I will.

Exit

LADY MACBETH
Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

Enter MACBETH

How now, my lord! why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what’s done is done.

MACBETH
We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it:
She’ll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the
worlds suffer,
Ere we will eat our meal in fear and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams
That shake us nightly: better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further.

LADY MACBETH
Come on;
Gentle my lord, sleek o’er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.

MACBETH
So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you:
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;
Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue:
Unsafe the while, that we
Must lave our honours in these flattering streams,
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.

LADY MACBETH
You must leave this.

MACBETH
O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

LADY MACBETH
But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.

MACBETH
There’s comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown
His cloister’d flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

LADY MACBETH
What’s to be done?

MACBETH
Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale! Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood:
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
While night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
Thou marvell’st at my words: but hold thee still;
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
So, prithee, go with me.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A park near the palace.

Enter three Murderers
First Murderer
But who did bid thee join with us?

Third Murderer
Macbeth.

Second Murderer
He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers
Our offices and what we have to do
To the direction just.

First Murderer
Then stand with us.
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day:
Now spurs the lated traveller apace
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
The subject of our watch.

Third Murderer
Hark! I hear horses.

BANQUO
[Within] Give us a light there, ho!

Second Murderer
Then ’tis he: the rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i’ the court.

First Murderer
His horses go about.

Third Murderer
Almost a mile: but he does usually,
So all men do, from hence to the palace gate
Make it their walk.

Second Murderer
A light, a light!

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch

Third Murderer
‘Tis he.

First Murderer
Stand to’t.

BANQUO
It will be rain to-night.

First Murderer
Let it come down.

They set upon BANQUO

BANQUO
O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge. O slave!

Dies. FLEANCE escapes

Third Murderer
Who did strike out the light?

First Murderer
Wast not the way?

Third Murderer
There’s but one down; the son is fled.

Second Murderer
We have lost
Best half of our affair.

First Murderer
Well, let’s away, and say how much is done.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. The same. Hall in the palace.

A banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, LADY MACBETH, ROSS, LENNOX, Lords, and Attendants
MACBETH
You know your own degrees; sit down: at first
And last the hearty welcome.

Lords
Thanks to your majesty.

MACBETH
Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
We will require her welcome.

LADY MACBETH
Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;
For my heart speaks they are welcome.

First Murderer appears at the door

MACBETH
See, they encounter thee with their hearts’ thanks.
Both sides are even: here I’ll sit i’ the midst:
Be large in mirth; anon we’ll drink a measure
The table round.

Approaching the door

There’s blood on thy face.

First Murderer
‘Tis Banquo’s then.

MACBETH
‘Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he dispatch’d?

First Murderer
My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

MACBETH
Thou art the best o’ the cut-throats: yet he’s good
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

First Murderer
Most royal sir,
Fleance is ‘scaped.

MACBETH
Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air:
But now I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo’s safe?

First Murderer
Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.

MACBETH
Thanks for that:
There the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for the present. Get thee gone: to-morrow
We’ll hear, ourselves, again.

Exit Murderer

LADY MACBETH
My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold
That is not often vouch’d, while ’tis a-making,
‘Tis given with welcome: to feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.

MACBETH
Sweet remembrancer!
Now, good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!

LENNOX
May’t please your highness sit.

The GHOST OF BANQUO enters, and sits in MACBETH’s place

MACBETH
Here had we now our country’s honour roof’d,
Were the graced person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!

ROSS
His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please’t your highness
To grace us with your royal company.

MACBETH
The table’s full.

LENNOX
Here is a place reserved, sir.

MACBETH
Where?

LENNOX
Here, my good lord. What is’t that moves your highness?

MACBETH
Which of you have done this?

Lords
What, my good lord?

MACBETH
Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

ROSS
Gentlemen, rise: his highness is not well.

LADY MACBETH
Sit, worthy friends: my lord is often thus,
And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat;
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well: if much you note him,
You shall offend him and extend his passion:
Feed, and regard him not. Are you a man?

MACBETH
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.

LADY MACBETH
O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear:
This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman’s story at a winter’s fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,
You look but on a stool.

MACBETH
Prithee, see there! behold! look! lo!
how say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel-houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

GHOST OF BANQUO vanishes

LADY MACBETH
What, quite unmann’d in folly?

MACBETH
If I stand here, I saw him.

LADY MACBETH
Fie, for shame!

MACBETH
Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ the olden time,
Ere human statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform’d
Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools: this is more strange
Than such a murder is.

LADY MACBETH
My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.

MACBETH
I do forget.
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends,
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health to all;
Then I’ll sit down. Give me some wine; fill full.
I drink to the general joy o’ the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss;
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.

Lords
Our duties, and the pledge.

Re-enter GHOST OF BANQUO

MACBETH
Avaunt! and quit my sight! let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!

LADY MACBETH
Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom: ’tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.

MACBETH
What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm’d rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger;
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble: or be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy sword;
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!

GHOST OF BANQUO vanishes

Why, so: being gone,
I am a man again. Pray you, sit still.

LADY MACBETH
You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting,
With most admired disorder.

MACBETH
Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer’s cloud,
Without our special wonder? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe,
When now I think you can behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine is blanched with fear.

ROSS
What sights, my lord?

LADY MACBETH
I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse;
Question enrages him. At once, good night:
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.

LENNOX
Good night; and better health
Attend his majesty!

LADY MACBETH
A kind good night to all!

Exeunt all but MACBETH and LADY MACBETH

MACBETH
It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood:
Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;
Augurs and understood relations have
By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth
The secret’st man of blood. What is the night?

LADY MACBETH
Almost at odds with morning, which is which.

MACBETH
How say’st thou, that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding?

LADY MACBETH
Did you send to him, sir?

MACBETH
I hear it by the way; but I will send:
There’s not a one of them but in his house
I keep a servant fee’d. I will to-morrow,
And betimes I will, to the weird sisters:
More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er:
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.

LADY MACBETH
You lack the season of all natures, sleep.

MACBETH
Come, we’ll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use:
We are yet but young in deed.

Exeunt

SCENE V. A Heath.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches meeting HECATE
First Witch
Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.

HECATE
Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call’d to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i’ the morning: thither he
Will come to know his destiny:
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and every thing beside.
I am for the air; this night I’ll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end:
Great business must be wrought ere noon:
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I’ll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that distill’d by magic sleights
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion:
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
He hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear:
And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.

Music and a song within: ‘Come away, come away,’ & c

Hark! I am call’d; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.

Exit

First Witch
Come, let’s make haste; she’ll soon be back again.

Exeunt

SCENE VI. Forres. The palace.

Enter LENNOX and another Lord
LENNOX
My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret further: only, I say,
Things have been strangely borne. The
gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead:
And the right-valiant Banquo walk’d too late;
Whom, you may say, if’t please you, Fleance kill’d,
For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? damned fact!
How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For ‘twould have anger’d any heart alive
To hear the men deny’t. So that, I say,
He has borne all things well: and I do think
That had he Duncan’s sons under his key–
As, an’t please heaven, he shall not–they
should find
What ’twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.
But, peace! for from broad words and ’cause he fail’d
His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear
Macduff lives in disgrace: sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?

Lord
The son of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth
Lives in the English court, and is received
Of the most pious Edward with such grace
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect: thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid
To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward:
That, by the help of these–with Him above
To ratify the work–we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
Do faithful homage and receive free honours:
All which we pine for now: and this report
Hath so exasperate the king that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.

LENNOX
Sent he to Macduff?

Lord
He did: and with an absolute ‘Sir, not I,’
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
And hums, as who should say ‘You’ll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer.’

LENNOX
And that well might
Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accursed!

Lord
I’ll send my prayers with him.

Exeunt


As You Like It, ACT V
SCENE I. The forest.

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY

TOUCHSTONE
We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

AUDREY
Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
gentleman’s saying.

TOUCHSTONE
A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile
Martext. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the
forest lays claim to you.

AUDREY
Ay, I know who ’tis; he hath no interest in me in
the world: here comes the man you mean.

TOUCHSTONE
It is meat and drink to me to see a clown: by my
troth, we that have good wits have much to answer
for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Enter WILLIAM

WILLIAM
Good even, Audrey.

AUDREY
God ye good even, William.

WILLIAM
And good even to you, sir.

TOUCHSTONE
Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

WILLIAM
Five and twenty, sir.

TOUCHSTONE
A ripe age. Is thy name William?

WILLIAM
William, sir.

TOUCHSTONE
A fair name. Wast born i’ the forest here?

WILLIAM
Ay, sir, I thank God.

TOUCHSTONE
‘Thank God;’ a good answer. Art rich?

WILLIAM
Faith, sir, so so.

TOUCHSTONE
‘So so’ is good, very good, very excellent good; and
yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?

WILLIAM
Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

TOUCHSTONE
Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying,
‘The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man
knows himself to be a fool.’ The heathen
philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape,
would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;
meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and
lips to open. You do love this maid?

WILLIAM
I do, sir.

TOUCHSTONE
Give me your hand. Art thou learned?

WILLIAM
No, sir.

TOUCHSTONE
Then learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it
is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out
of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty
the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse
is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

WILLIAM
Which he, sir?

TOUCHSTONE
He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
clown, abandon,–which is in the vulgar leave,–the
society,–which in the boorish is company,–of this
female,–which in the common is woman; which
together is, abandon the society of this female, or,
clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better
understanding, diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make
thee away, translate thy life into death, thy
liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with
thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy
with thee in faction; I will o’errun thee with
policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways:
therefore tremble and depart.

AUDREY
Do, good William.

WILLIAM
God rest you merry, sir.

Exit

Enter CORIN

CORIN
Our master and mistress seeks you; come, away, away!

TOUCHSTONE
Trip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The forest.

Enter ORLANDO and OLIVER
ORLANDO
Is’t possible that on so little acquaintance you
should like her? that but seeing you should love
her? and loving woo? and, wooing, she should
grant? and will you persever to enjoy her?

OLIVER
Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the
poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden
wooing, nor her sudden consenting; but say with me,
I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me;
consent with both that we may enjoy each other: it
shall be to your good; for my father’s house and all
the revenue that was old Sir Rowland’s will I
estate upon you, and here live and die a shepherd.

ORLANDO
You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow:
thither will I invite the duke and all’s contented
followers. Go you and prepare Aliena; for look
you, here comes my Rosalind.

Enter ROSALIND

ROSALIND
God save you, brother.

OLIVER
And you, fair sister.

Exit

ROSALIND
O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee
wear thy heart in a scarf!

ORLANDO
It is my arm.

ROSALIND
I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws
of a lion.

ORLANDO
Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.

ROSALIND
Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to
swoon when he showed me your handkerchief?

ORLANDO
Ay, and greater wonders than that.

ROSALIND
O, I know where you are: nay, ’tis true: there was
never any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams
and Caesar’s thrasonical brag of ‘I came, saw, and
overcame:’ for your brother and my sister no sooner
met but they looked, no sooner looked but they
loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner
sighed but they asked one another the reason, no
sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy;
and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs
to marriage which they will climb incontinent, or
else be incontinent before marriage: they are in
the very wrath of love and they will together; clubs
cannot part them.

ORLANDO
They shall be married to-morrow, and I will bid the
duke to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it
is to look into happiness through another man’s
eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at
the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I shall
think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.

ROSALIND
Why then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I can live no longer by thinking.

ROSALIND
I will weary you then no longer with idle talking.
Know of me then, for now I speak to some purpose,
that I know you are a gentleman of good conceit: I
speak not this that you should bear a good opinion
of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you are;
neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in
some little measure draw a belief from you, to do
yourself good and not to grace me. Believe then, if
you please, that I can do strange things: I have,
since I was three year old, conversed with a
magician, most profound in his art and yet not
damnable. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart
as your gesture cries it out, when your brother
marries Aliena, shall you marry her: I know into
what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is
not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient
to you, to set her before your eyes tomorrow human
as she is and without any danger.

ORLANDO
Speakest thou in sober meanings?

ROSALIND
By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I
say I am a magician. Therefore, put you in your
best array: bid your friends; for if you will be
married to-morrow, you shall, and to Rosalind, if you will.

Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE

Look, here comes a lover of mine and a lover of hers.

PHEBE
Youth, you have done me much ungentleness,
To show the letter that I writ to you.

ROSALIND
I care not if I have: it is my study
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:
You are there followed by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.

PHEBE
Good shepherd, tell this youth what ’tis to love.

SILVIUS
It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE
And I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO
And I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND
And I for no woman.

SILVIUS
It is to be all made of faith and service;
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE
And I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO
And I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND
And I for no woman.

SILVIUS
It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion and all made of wishes,
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance;
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE
And so am I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO
And so am I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND
And so am I for no woman.

PHEBE
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

SILVIUS
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

ORLANDO
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

ROSALIND
Who do you speak to, ‘Why blame you me to love you?’

ORLANDO
To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.

ROSALIND
Pray you, no more of this; ’tis like the howling
of Irish wolves against the moon.

To SILVIUS

I will help you, if I can:

To PHEBE

I would love you, if I could. To-morrow meet me all together.

To PHEBE

I will marry you, if ever I marry woman, and I’ll be
married to-morrow:

To ORLANDO

I will satisfy you, if ever I satisfied man, and you
shall be married to-morrow:

To SILVIUS

I will content you, if what pleases you contents
you, and you shall be married to-morrow.

To ORLANDO

As you love Rosalind, meet:

To SILVIUS

as you love Phebe, meet: and as I love no woman,
I’ll meet. So fare you well: I have left you commands.

SILVIUS
I’ll not fail, if I live.

PHEBE
Nor I.

ORLANDO
Nor I.

Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest.

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY
TOUCHSTONE
To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will
we be married.

AUDREY
I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is
no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the
world. Here comes two of the banished duke’s pages.

Enter two Pages

First Page
Well met, honest gentleman.

TOUCHSTONE
By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.

Second Page
We are for you: sit i’ the middle.

First Page
Shall we clap into’t roundly, without hawking or
spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only
prologues to a bad voice?

Second Page
I’faith, i’faith; and both in a tune, like two
gipsies on a horse.
SONG.
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
These pretty country folks would lie,
In spring time, & c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
In spring time, & c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, & c.

TOUCHSTONE
Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very
untuneable.

First Page
You are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.

TOUCHSTONE
By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear
such a foolish song. God be wi’ you; and God mend
your voices! Come, Audrey.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. The forest.

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, JAQUES, ORLANDO, OLIVER, and CELIA
DUKE SENIOR
Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
Can do all this that he hath promised?

ORLANDO
I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not;
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.

Enter ROSALIND, SILVIUS, and PHEBE

ROSALIND
Patience once more, whiles our compact is urged:
You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,
You will bestow her on Orlando here?

DUKE SENIOR
That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.

ROSALIND
And you say, you will have her, when I bring her?

ORLANDO
That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.

ROSALIND
You say, you’ll marry me, if I be willing?

PHEBE
That will I, should I die the hour after.

ROSALIND
But if you do refuse to marry me,
You’ll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?

PHEBE
So is the bargain.

ROSALIND
You say, that you’ll have Phebe, if she will?

SILVIUS
Though to have her and death were both one thing.

ROSALIND
I have promised to make all this matter even.
Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter;
You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter:
Keep your word, Phebe, that you’ll marry me,
Or else refusing me, to wed this shepherd:
Keep your word, Silvius, that you’ll marry her.
If she refuse me: and from hence I go,
To make these doubts all even.

Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA

DUKE SENIOR
I do remember in this shepherd boy
Some lively touches of my daughter’s favour.

ORLANDO
My lord, the first time that I ever saw him
Methought he was a brother to your daughter:
But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,
And hath been tutor’d in the rudiments
Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
Whom he reports to be a great magician,
Obscured in the circle of this forest.

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY

JAQUES
There is, sure, another flood toward, and these
couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of
very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.

TOUCHSTONE
Salutation and greeting to you all!

JAQUES
Good my lord, bid him welcome: this is the
motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in
the forest: he hath been a courtier, he swears.

TOUCHSTONE
If any man doubt that, let him put me to my
purgation. I have trod a measure; I have flattered
a lady; I have been politic with my friend, smooth
with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have
had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.

JAQUES
And how was that ta’en up?

TOUCHSTONE
Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
seventh cause.

JAQUES
How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.

DUKE SENIOR
I like him very well.

TOUCHSTONE
God ‘ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I
press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country
copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as
marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,
sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor
humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else
will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a
poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.

DUKE SENIOR
By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.

TOUCHSTONE
According to the fool’s bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.

JAQUES
But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the
quarrel on the seventh cause?

TOUCHSTONE
Upon a lie seven times removed:–bear your body more
seeming, Audrey:–as thus, sir. I did dislike the
cut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word,
if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the
mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.
If I sent him word again ‘it was not well cut,’ he
would send me word, he cut it to please himself:
this is called the Quip Modest. If again ‘it was
not well cut,’ he disabled my judgment: this is
called the Reply Churlish. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would answer, I spake not true: this
is called the Reproof Valiant. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would say I lied: this is called the
Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie
Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.

JAQUES
And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?

TOUCHSTONE
I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial,
nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we
measured swords and parted.

JAQUES
Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?

TOUCHSTONE
O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book; as you have
books for good manners: I will name you the degrees.
The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the
Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the
fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the
Countercheque Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with
Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. All
these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may
avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven
justices could not take up a quarrel, but when the
parties were met themselves, one of them thought but
of an If, as, ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ and
they shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is the
only peacemaker; much virtue in If.

JAQUES
Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? he’s as good at
any thing and yet a fool.

DUKE SENIOR
He uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under
the presentation of that he shoots his wit.

Enter HYMEN, ROSALIND, and CELIA

Still Music

HYMEN
Then is there mirth in heaven,
When earthly things made even
Atone together.
Good duke, receive thy daughter
Hymen from heaven brought her,
Yea, brought her hither,
That thou mightst join her hand with his
Whose heart within his bosom is.

ROSALIND
[To DUKE SENIOR] To you I give myself, for I am yours.

To ORLANDO

To you I give myself, for I am yours.

DUKE SENIOR
If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.

ORLANDO
If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.

PHEBE
If sight and shape be true,
Why then, my love adieu!

ROSALIND
I’ll have no father, if you be not he:
I’ll have no husband, if you be not he:
Nor ne’er wed woman, if you be not she.

HYMEN
Peace, ho! I bar confusion:
‘Tis I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events:
Here’s eight that must take hands
To join in Hymen’s bands,
If truth holds true contents.
You and you no cross shall part:
You and you are heart in heart
You to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord:
You and you are sure together,
As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning;
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.
SONG.
Wedding is great Juno’s crown:
O blessed bond of board and bed!
‘Tis Hymen peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured:
Honour, high honour and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!

DUKE SENIOR
O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree.

PHEBE
I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.

Enter JAQUES DE BOYS

JAQUES DE BOYS
Let me have audience for a word or two:
I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address’d a mighty power; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here and put him to the sword:
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;
Where meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world,
His crown bequeathing to his banish’d brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true,
I do engage my life.

DUKE SENIOR
Welcome, young man;
Thou offer’st fairly to thy brothers’ wedding:
To one his lands withheld, and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot:
And after, every of this happy number
That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall’n dignity
And fall into our rustic revelry.
Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap’d in joy, to the measures fall.

JAQUES
Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life
And thrown into neglect the pompous court?

JAQUES DE BOYS
He hath.

JAQUES
To him will I : out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn’d.

To DUKE SENIOR

You to your former honour I bequeath;
Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:

To ORLANDO

You to a love that your true faith doth merit:

To OLIVER

You to your land and love and great allies:

To SILVIUS

You to a long and well-deserved bed:

To TOUCHSTONE

And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victuall’d. So, to your pleasures:
I am for other than for dancing measures.

DUKE SENIOR
Stay, Jaques, stay.

JAQUES
To see no pastime I what you would have
I’ll stay to know at your abandon’d cave.

Exit

DUKE SENIOR
Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,
As we do trust they’ll end, in true delights.

A dance

EPILOGUE

ROSALIND
It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue;
but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord
the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs
no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no
epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes,
and good plays prove the better by the help of good
epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am
neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with
you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not
become me: my way is to conjure you; and I’ll begin
with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love
you bear to men, to like as much of this play as
please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women–as I perceive by your simpering,
none of you hates them–that between you and the
women the play may please. If I were a woman I
would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased
me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I
defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good
beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my
kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.

Exeunt


As You Like It, ACT IV
SCENE I. The forest.

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES
JAQUES
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted
with thee.

ROSALIND
They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JAQUES
I am so; I do love it better than laughing.

ROSALIND
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
fellows and betray themselves to every modern
censure worse than drunkards.

JAQUES
Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.

ROSALIND
Why then, ’tis good to be a post.

JAQUES
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is
emulation, nor the musician’s, which is fantastical,
nor the courtier’s, which is proud, nor the
soldier’s, which is ambitious, nor the lawyer’s,
which is politic, nor the lady’s, which is nice, nor
the lover’s, which is all these: but it is a
melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples,
extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry’s
contemplation of my travels, in which my often
rumination wraps me m a most humorous sadness.

ROSALIND
A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to
be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see
other men’s; then, to have seen much and to have
nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.

JAQUES
Yes, I have gained my experience.

ROSALIND
And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have
a fool to make me merry than experience to make me
sad; and to travel for it too!

Enter ORLANDO

ORLANDO
Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind!

JAQUES
Nay, then, God be wi’ you, an you talk in blank verse.

Exit

ROSALIND
Farewell, Monsieur Traveller: look you lisp and
wear strange suits, disable all the benefits of your
own country, be out of love with your nativity and
almost chide God for making you that countenance you
are, or I will scarce think you have swam in a
gondola. Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been
all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such
another trick, never come in my sight more.

ORLANDO
My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.

ROSALIND
Break an hour’s promise in love! He that will
divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but
a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the
affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid
hath clapped him o’ the shoulder, but I’ll warrant
him heart-whole.

ORLANDO
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.

ROSALIND
Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I
had as lief be wooed of a snail.

ORLANDO
Of a snail?

ROSALIND
Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he
carries his house on his head; a better jointure,
I think, than you make a woman: besides he brings
his destiny with him.

ORLANDO
What’s that?

ROSALIND
Why, horns, which such as you are fain to be
beholding to your wives for: but he comes armed in
his fortune and prevents the slander of his wife.

ORLANDO
Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.

ROSALIND
And I am your Rosalind.

CELIA
It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a
Rosalind of a better leer than you.

ROSALIND
Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday
humour and like enough to consent. What would you
say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I would kiss before I spoke.

ROSALIND
Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were
gravelled for lack of matter, you might take
occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are
out, they will spit; and for lovers lacking–God
warn us!–matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.

ORLANDO
How if the kiss be denied?

ROSALIND
Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.

ORLANDO
Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?

ROSALIND
Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress, or
I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.

ORLANDO
What, of my suit?

ROSALIND
Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.
Am not I your Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I take some joy to say you are, because I would be
talking of her.

ROSALIND
Well in her person I say I will not have you.

ORLANDO
Then in mine own person I die.

ROSALIND
No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is
almost six thousand years old, and in all this time
there was not any man died in his own person,
videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains
dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
could to die before, and he is one of the patterns
of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair
year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been
for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went
but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and being
taken with the cramp was drowned and the foolish
coroners of that age found it was ‘Hero of Sestos.’
But these are all lies: men have died from time to
time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

ORLANDO
I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind,
for, I protest, her frown might kill me.

ROSALIND
By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now
I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on
disposition, and ask me what you will. I will grant
it.

ORLANDO
Then love me, Rosalind.

ROSALIND
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.

ORLANDO
And wilt thou have me?

ROSALIND
Ay, and twenty such.

ORLANDO
What sayest thou?

ROSALIND
Are you not good?

ORLANDO
I hope so.

ROSALIND
Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?
Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.
Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you say, sister?

ORLANDO
Pray thee, marry us.

CELIA
I cannot say the words.

ROSALIND
You must begin, ‘Will you, Orlando–‘

CELIA
Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I will.

ROSALIND
Ay, but when?

ORLANDO
Why now; as fast as she can marry us.

ROSALIND
Then you must say ‘I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.’

ORLANDO
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

ROSALIND
I might ask you for your commission; but I do take
thee, Orlando, for my husband: there’s a girl goes
before the priest; and certainly a woman’s thought
runs before her actions.

ORLANDO
So do all thoughts; they are winged.

ROSALIND
Now tell me how long you would have her after you
have possessed her.

ORLANDO
For ever and a day.

ROSALIND
Say ‘a day,’ without the ‘ever.’ No, no, Orlando;
men are April when they woo, December when they wed:
maids are May when they are maids, but the sky
changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous
of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen,
more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more
new-fangled than an ape, more giddy in my desires
than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana
in the fountain, and I will do that when you are
disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and
that when thou art inclined to sleep.

ORLANDO
But will my Rosalind do so?

ROSALIND
By my life, she will do as I do.

ORLANDO
O, but she is wise.

ROSALIND
Or else she could not have the wit to do this: the
wiser, the waywarder: make the doors upon a woman’s
wit and it will out at the casement; shut that and
’twill out at the key-hole; stop that, ’twill fly
with the smoke out at the chimney.

ORLANDO
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say
‘Wit, whither wilt?’

ROSALIND
Nay, you might keep that cheque for it till you met
your wife’s wit going to your neighbour’s bed.

ORLANDO
And what wit could wit have to excuse that?

ROSALIND
Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall
never take her without her answer, unless you take
her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot
make her fault her husband’s occasion, let her
never nurse her child herself, for she will breed
it like a fool!

ORLANDO
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.

ROSALIND
Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.

ORLANDO
I must attend the duke at dinner: by two o’clock I
will be with thee again.

ROSALIND
Ay, go your ways, go your ways; I knew what you
would prove: my friends told me as much, and I
thought no less: that flattering tongue of yours
won me: ’tis but one cast away, and so, come,
death! Two o’clock is your hour?

ORLANDO
Ay, sweet Rosalind.

ROSALIND
By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend
me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous,
if you break one jot of your promise or come one
minute behind your hour, I will think you the most
pathetical break-promise and the most hollow lover
and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind that
may be chosen out of the gross band of the
unfaithful: therefore beware my censure and keep
your promise.

ORLANDO
With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
Rosalind: so adieu.

ROSALIND
Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
offenders, and let Time try: adieu.

Exit ORLANDO

CELIA
You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate:
we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your
head, and show the world what the bird hath done to
her own nest.

ROSALIND
O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou
didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But
it cannot be sounded: my affection hath an unknown
bottom, like the bay of Portugal.

CELIA
Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.

ROSALIND
No, that same wicked bastard of Venus that was begot
of thought, conceived of spleen and born of madness,
that blind rascally boy that abuses every one’s eyes
because his own are out, let him be judge how deep I
am in love. I’ll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out
of the sight of Orlando: I’ll go find a shadow and
sigh till he come.

CELIA
And I’ll sleep.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The forest.

Enter JAQUES, Lords, and Foresters
JAQUES
Which is he that killed the deer?

A Lord
Sir, it was I.

JAQUES
Let’s present him to the duke, like a Roman
conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer’s
horns upon his head, for a branch of victory. Have
you no song, forester, for this purpose?

Forester
Yes, sir.

JAQUES
Sing it: ’tis no matter how it be in tune, so it
make noise enough.
SONG.

Forester
What shall he have that kill’d the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.
Then sing him home;

The rest shall bear this burden

Take thou no scorn to wear the horn;
It was a crest ere thou wast born:
Thy father’s father wore it,
And thy father bore it:
The horn, the horn, the lusty horn
Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.

Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest.

Enter ROSALIND and CELIA
ROSALIND
How say you now? Is it not past two o’clock? and
here much Orlando!

CELIA
I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he
hath ta’en his bow and arrows and is gone forth to
sleep. Look, who comes here.

Enter SILVIUS

SILVIUS
My errand is to you, fair youth;
My gentle Phebe bid me give you this:
I know not the contents; but, as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenor: pardon me:
I am but as a guiltless messenger.

ROSALIND
Patience herself would startle at this letter
And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all:
She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me,
Were man as rare as phoenix. ‘Od’s my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:
Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of your own device.

SILVIUS
No, I protest, I know not the contents:
Phebe did write it.

ROSALIND
Come, come, you are a fool
And turn’d into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand.
A freestone-colour’d hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but ’twas her hands:
She has a huswife’s hand; but that’s no matter:
I say she never did invent this letter;
This is a man’s invention and his hand.

SILVIUS
Sure, it is hers.

ROSALIND
Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style.
A style for-challengers; why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian: women’s gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention
Such Ethiope words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?

SILVIUS
So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe’s cruelty.

ROSALIND
She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes.

Reads

Art thou god to shepherd turn’d,
That a maiden’s heart hath burn’d?
Can a woman rail thus?

SILVIUS
Call you this railing?

ROSALIND
[Reads]
Why, thy godhead laid apart,
Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart?
Did you ever hear such railing?
Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
That could do no vengeance to me.
Meaning me a beast.
If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect!
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers move!
He that brings this love to thee
Little knows this love in me:
And by him seal up thy mind;
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me and all that I can make;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I’ll study how to die.

SILVIUS
Call you this chiding?

CELIA
Alas, poor shepherd!

ROSALIND
Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity. Wilt
thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an
instrument and play false strains upon thee! not to
be endured! Well, go your way to her, for I see
love hath made thee a tame snake, and say this to
her: that if she love me, I charge her to love
thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless
thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover,
hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.

Exit SILVIUS

Enter OLIVER

OLIVER
Good morrow, fair ones: pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheep-cote fenced about with olive trees?

CELIA
West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom:
The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
But at this hour the house doth keep itself;
There’s none within.

OLIVER
If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description;
Such garments and such years: ‘The boy is fair,
Of female favour, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister: the woman low
And browner than her brother.’ Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?

CELIA
It is no boast, being ask’d, to say we are.

OLIVER
Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

ROSALIND
I am: what must we understand by this?

OLIVER
Some of my shame; if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkercher was stain’d.

CELIA
I pray you, tell it.

OLIVER
When last the young Orlando parted from you
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour, and pacing through the forest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell! he threw his eye aside,
And mark what object did present itself:
Under an oak, whose boughs were moss’d with age
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o’ergrown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back: about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself,
Who with her head nimble in threats approach’d
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlink’d itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush: under which bush’s shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir; for ’tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead:
This seen, Orlando did approach the man
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

CELIA
O, I have heard him speak of that same brother;
And he did render him the most unnatural
That lived amongst men.

OLIVER
And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.

ROSALIND
But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the suck’d and hungry lioness?

OLIVER
Twice did he turn his back and purposed so;
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.

CELIA
Are you his brother?

ROSALIND
Wast you he rescued?

CELIA
Was’t you that did so oft contrive to kill him?

OLIVER
‘Twas I; but ’tis not I I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

ROSALIND
But, for the bloody napkin?

OLIVER
By and by.
When from the first to last betwixt us two
Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed,
As how I came into that desert place:–
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother’s love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp’d himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover’d him, bound up his wound;
And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, stranger as I am,
To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise, and to give this napkin
Dyed in his blood unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

ROSALIND swoons

CELIA
Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!

OLIVER
Many will swoon when they do look on blood.

CELIA
There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!

OLIVER
Look, he recovers.

ROSALIND
I would I were at home.

CELIA
We’ll lead you thither.
I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

OLIVER
Be of good cheer, youth: you a man! you lack a
man’s heart.

ROSALIND
I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would
think this was well counterfeited! I pray you, tell
your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!

OLIVER
This was not counterfeit: there is too great
testimony in your complexion that it was a passion
of earnest.

ROSALIND
Counterfeit, I assure you.

OLIVER
Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.

ROSALIND
So I do: but, i’ faith, I should have been a woman by right.

CELIA
Come, you look paler and paler: pray you, draw
homewards. Good sir, go with us.

OLIVER
That will I, for I must bear answer back
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

ROSALIND
I shall devise something: but, I pray you, commend
my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?

Exeunt


As You Like It, ACT III
SCENE I. A room in the palace.

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, and OLIVER

DUKE FREDERICK
Not see him since? Sir, sir, that cannot be:
But were I not the better part made mercy,
I should not seek an absent argument
Of my revenge, thou present. But look to it:
Find out thy brother, wheresoe’er he is;
Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living
Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more
To seek a living in our territory.
Thy lands and all things that thou dost call thine
Worth seizure do we seize into our hands,
Till thou canst quit thee by thy brothers mouth
Of what we think against thee.

OLIVER
O that your highness knew my heart in this!
I never loved my brother in my life.

DUKE FREDERICK
More villain thou. Well, push him out of doors;
And let my officers of such a nature
Make an extent upon his house and lands:
Do this expediently and turn him going.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The forest.

Enter ORLANDO, with a paper
ORLANDO
Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress’ name that my full life doth sway.
O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;
That every eye which in this forest looks
Shall see thy virtue witness’d every where.
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.

Exit

Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE

CORIN
And how like you this shepherd’s life, Master Touchstone?

TOUCHSTONE
Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
life, but in respect that it is a shepherd’s life,
it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I
like it very well; but in respect that it is
private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it
is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in
respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As
is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well;
but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much
against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?

CORIN
No more but that I know the more one sickens the
worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money,
means and content is without three good friends;
that the property of rain is to wet and fire to
burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a
great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that
he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may
complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull kindred.

TOUCHSTONE
Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in
court, shepherd?

CORIN
No, truly.

TOUCHSTONE
Then thou art damned.

CORIN
Nay, I hope.

TOUCHSTONE
Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all
on one side.

CORIN
For not being at court? Your reason.

TOUCHSTONE
Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never sawest
good manners; if thou never sawest good manners,
then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is
sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous
state, shepherd.

CORIN
Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners
at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the
behavior of the country is most mockable at the
court. You told me you salute not at the court, but
you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be
uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.

TOUCHSTONE
Instance, briefly; come, instance.

CORIN
Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their
fells, you know, are greasy.

TOUCHSTONE
Why, do not your courtier’s hands sweat? and is not
the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of
a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.

CORIN
Besides, our hands are hard.

TOUCHSTONE
Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again.
A more sounder instance, come.

CORIN
And they are often tarred over with the surgery of
our sheep: and would you have us kiss tar? The
courtier’s hands are perfumed with civet.

TOUCHSTONE
Most shallow man! thou worms-meat, in respect of a
good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and
perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the
very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.

CORIN
You have too courtly a wit for me: I’ll rest.

TOUCHSTONE
Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man!
God make incision in thee! thou art raw.

CORIN
Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get
that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man’s
happiness, glad of other men’s good, content with my
harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes
graze and my lambs suck.

TOUCHSTONE
That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes
and the rams together and to offer to get your
living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a
bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a
twelvemonth to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not
damned for this, the devil himself will have no
shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst
‘scape.

CORIN
Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress’s brother.

Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading

ROSALIND
From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalind.
All the pictures fairest lined
Are but black to Rosalind.
Let no fair be kept in mind
But the fair of Rosalind.

TOUCHSTONE
I’ll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and
suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the
right butter-women’s rank to market.

ROSALIND
Out, fool!

TOUCHSTONE
For a taste:
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalind.
Winter garments must be lined,
So must slender Rosalind.
They that reap must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rosalind.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
Such a nut is Rosalind.
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love’s prick and Rosalind.
This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you
infect yourself with them?

ROSALIND
Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.

TOUCHSTONE
Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

ROSALIND
I’ll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it
with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit
i’ the country; for you’ll be rotten ere you be half
ripe, and that’s the right virtue of the medlar.

TOUCHSTONE
You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the
forest judge.

Enter CELIA, with a writing

ROSALIND
Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.

CELIA
[Reads]
Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No:
Tongues I’ll hang on every tree,
That shall civil sayings show:
Some, how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
Some, of violated vows
‘Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write,
Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charged
That one body should be fill’d
With all graces wide-enlarged:
Nature presently distill’d
Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra’s majesty,
Atalanta’s better part,
Sad Lucretia’s modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.

ROSALIND
O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love
have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never
cried ‘Have patience, good people!’

CELIA
How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little.
Go with him, sirrah.

TOUCHSTONE
Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.

Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE

CELIA
Didst thou hear these verses?

ROSALIND
O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of
them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.

CELIA
That’s no matter: the feet might bear the verses.

ROSALIND
Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear
themselves without the verse and therefore stood
lamely in the verse.

CELIA
But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name
should be hanged and carved upon these trees?

ROSALIND
I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder
before you came; for look here what I found on a
palm-tree. I was never so be-rhymed since
Pythagoras’ time, that I was an Irish rat, which I
can hardly remember.

CELIA
Trow you who hath done this?

ROSALIND
Is it a man?

CELIA
And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.
Change you colour?

ROSALIND
I prithee, who?

CELIA
O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to
meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes
and so encounter.

ROSALIND
Nay, but who is it?

CELIA
Is it possible?

ROSALIND
Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence,
tell me who it is.

CELIA
O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful
wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that,
out of all hooping!

ROSALIND
Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am
caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in
my disposition? One inch of delay more is a
South-sea of discovery; I prithee, tell me who is it
quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst
stammer, that thou mightst pour this concealed man
out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-
mouthed bottle, either too much at once, or none at
all. I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that
may drink thy tidings.

CELIA
So you may put a man in your belly.

ROSALIND
Is he of God’s making? What manner of man? Is his
head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?

CELIA
Nay, he hath but a little beard.

ROSALIND
Why, God will send more, if the man will be
thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if
thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.

CELIA
It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler’s
heels and your heart both in an instant.

ROSALIND
Nay, but the devil take mocking: speak, sad brow and
true maid.

CELIA
I’ faith, coz, ’tis he.

ROSALIND
Orlando?

CELIA
Orlando.

ROSALIND
Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and
hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said
he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes
him here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he?
How parted he with thee? and when shalt thou see
him again? Answer me in one word.

CELIA
You must borrow me Gargantua’s mouth first: ’tis a
word too great for any mouth of this age’s size. To
say ay and no to these particulars is more than to
answer in a catechism.

ROSALIND
But doth he know that I am in this forest and in
man’s apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the
day he wrestled?

CELIA
It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the
propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my
finding him, and relish it with good observance.
I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.

ROSALIND
It may well be called Jove’s tree, when it drops
forth such fruit.

CELIA
Give me audience, good madam.

ROSALIND
Proceed.

CELIA
There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded knight.

ROSALIND
Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well
becomes the ground.

CELIA
Cry ‘holla’ to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets
unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.

ROSALIND
O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.

CELIA
I would sing my song without a burden: thou bringest
me out of tune.

ROSALIND
Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must
speak. Sweet, say on.

CELIA
You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?

Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES

ROSALIND
‘Tis he: slink by, and note him.

JAQUES
I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had
as lief have been myself alone.

ORLANDO
And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you
too for your society.

JAQUES
God be wi’ you: let’s meet as little as we can.

ORLANDO
I do desire we may be better strangers.

JAQUES
I pray you, mar no more trees with writing
love-songs in their barks.

ORLANDO
I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading
them ill-favouredly.

JAQUES
Rosalind is your love’s name?

ORLANDO
Yes, just.

JAQUES
I do not like her name.

ORLANDO
There was no thought of pleasing you when she was
christened.

JAQUES
What stature is she of?

ORLANDO
Just as high as my heart.

JAQUES
You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been
acquainted with goldsmiths’ wives, and conned them
out of rings?

ORLANDO
Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from
whence you have studied your questions.

JAQUES
You have a nimble wit: I think ’twas made of
Atalanta’s heels. Will you sit down with me? and
we two will rail against our mistress the world and
all our misery.

ORLANDO
I will chide no breather in the world but myself,
against whom I know most faults.

JAQUES
The worst fault you have is to be in love.

ORLANDO
‘Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue.
I am weary of you.

JAQUES
By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found
you.

ORLANDO
He is drowned in the brook: look but in, and you
shall see him.

JAQUES
There I shall see mine own figure.

ORLANDO
Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.

JAQUES
I’ll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good
Signior Love.

ORLANDO
I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur
Melancholy.

Exit JAQUES

ROSALIND
[Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him, like a saucy
lackey and under that habit play the knave with him.
Do you hear, forester?

ORLANDO
Very well: what would you?

ROSALIND
I pray you, what is’t o’clock?

ORLANDO
You should ask me what time o’ day: there’s no clock
in the forest.

ROSALIND
Then there is no true lover in the forest; else
sighing every minute and groaning every hour would
detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.

ORLANDO
And why not the swift foot of Time? had not that
been as proper?

ROSALIND
By no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces with
divers persons. I’ll tell you who Time ambles
withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops
withal and who he stands still withal.

ORLANDO
I prithee, who doth he trot withal?

ROSALIND
Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the
contract of her marriage and the day it is
solemnized: if the interim be but a se’nnight,
Time’s pace is so hard that it seems the length of
seven year.

ORLANDO
Who ambles Time withal?

ROSALIND
With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that
hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because
he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because
he feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of lean
and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden
of heavy tedious penury; these Time ambles withal.

ORLANDO
Who doth he gallop withal?

ROSALIND
With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as
softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.

ORLANDO
Who stays it still withal?

ROSALIND
With lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep between
term and term and then they perceive not how Time moves.

ORLANDO
Where dwell you, pretty youth?

ROSALIND
With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the
skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.

ORLANDO
Are you native of this place?

ROSALIND
As the cony that you see dwell where she is kindled.

ORLANDO
Your accent is something finer than you could
purchase in so removed a dwelling.

ROSALIND
I have been told so of many: but indeed an old
religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was
in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship
too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard
him read many lectures against it, and I thank God
I am not a woman, to be touched with so many
giddy offences as he hath generally taxed their
whole sex withal.

ORLANDO
Can you remember any of the principal evils that he
laid to the charge of women?

ROSALIND
There were none principal; they were all like one
another as half-pence are, every one fault seeming
monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it.

ORLANDO
I prithee, recount some of them.

ROSALIND
No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that
are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that
abuses our young plants with carving ‘Rosalind’ on
their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies
on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of
Rosalind: if I could meet that fancy-monger I would
give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the
quotidian of love upon him.

ORLANDO
I am he that is so love-shaked: I pray you tell me
your remedy.

ROSALIND
There is none of my uncle’s marks upon you: he
taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage
of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.

ORLANDO
What were his marks?

ROSALIND
A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and
sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable
spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected,
which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for
simply your having in beard is a younger brother’s
revenue: then your hose should be ungartered, your
bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe
untied and every thing about you demonstrating a
careless desolation; but you are no such man; you
are rather point-device in your accoutrements as
loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.

ORLANDO
Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.

ROSALIND
Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you
love believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to
do than to confess she does: that is one of the
points in the which women still give the lie to
their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he
that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind
is so admired?

ORLANDO
I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of
Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.

ROSALIND
But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?

ORLANDO
Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

ROSALIND
Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves
as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and
the reason why they are not so punished and cured
is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers
are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.

ORLANDO
Did you ever cure any so?

ROSALIND
Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me
his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to
woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish
youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing
and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,
inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every
passion something and for no passion truly any
thing, as boys and women are for the most part
cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe
him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep
for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor
from his mad humour of love to a living humour of
madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of
the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic.
And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon
me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep’s
heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in’t.

ORLANDO
I would not be cured, youth.

ROSALIND
I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind
and come every day to my cote and woo me.

ORLANDO
Now, by the faith of my love, I will: tell me
where it is.

ROSALIND
Go with me to it and I’ll show it you and by the way
you shall tell me where in the forest you live.
Will you go?

ORLANDO
With all my heart, good youth.

ROSALIND
Nay you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go?

Exeunt

SCENE III. The forest.

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY; JAQUES behind
TOUCHSTONE
Come apace, good Audrey: I will fetch up your
goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? am I the man yet?
doth my simple feature content you?

AUDREY
Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!

TOUCHSTONE
I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most
capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.

JAQUES
[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove
in a thatched house!

TOUCHSTONE
When a man’s verses cannot be understood, nor a
man’s good wit seconded with the forward child
Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a
great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would
the gods had made thee poetical.

AUDREY
I do not know what ‘poetical’ is: is it honest in
deed and word? is it a true thing?

TOUCHSTONE
No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most
feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what
they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.

AUDREY
Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?

TOUCHSTONE
I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art
honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some
hope thou didst feign.

AUDREY
Would you not have me honest?

TOUCHSTONE
No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for
honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

JAQUES
[Aside] A material fool!

AUDREY
Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods
make me honest.

TOUCHSTONE
Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut
were to put good meat into an unclean dish.

AUDREY
I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.

TOUCHSTONE
Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness!
sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may
be, I will marry thee, and to that end I have been
with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next
village, who hath promised to meet me in this place
of the forest and to couple us.

JAQUES
[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.

AUDREY
Well, the gods give us joy!

TOUCHSTONE
Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart,
stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple
but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what
though? C ourage! As horns are odious, they are
necessary. It is said, ‘many a man knows no end of
his goods:’ right; many a man has good horns, and
knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of
his wife; ’tis none of his own getting. Horns?
Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest deer
hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man
therefore blessed? No: as a walled town is more
worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a
married man more honourable than the bare brow of a
bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no
skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to
want. Here comes Sir Oliver.

Enter SIR OLIVER MARTEXT

Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met: will you
dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go
with you to your chapel?

SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
Is there none here to give the woman?

TOUCHSTONE
I will not take her on gift of any man.

SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.

JAQUES
[Advancing]
Proceed, proceed I’ll give her.

TOUCHSTONE
Good even, good Master What-ye-call’t: how do you,
sir? You are very well met: God ‘ild you for your
last company: I am very glad to see you: even a
toy in hand here, sir: nay, pray be covered.

JAQUES
Will you be married, motley?

TOUCHSTONE
As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb and
the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and
as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.

JAQUES
And will you, being a man of your breeding, be
married under a bush like a beggar? Get you to
church, and have a good priest that can tell you
what marriage is: this fellow will but join you
together as they join wainscot; then one of you will
prove a shrunk panel and, like green timber, warp, warp.

TOUCHSTONE
[Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be
married of him than of another: for he is not like
to marry me well; and not being well married, it
will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.

JAQUES
Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

TOUCHSTONE
‘Come, sweet Audrey:
We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.
Farewell, good Master Oliver: not,–
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee: but,–
Wind away,
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.

Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY

SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
‘Tis no matter: ne’er a fantastical knave of them
all shall flout me out of my calling.

Exit

SCENE IV. The forest.

Enter ROSALIND and CELIA
ROSALIND
Never talk to me; I will weep.

CELIA
Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider
that tears do not become a man.

ROSALIND
But have I not cause to weep?

CELIA
As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.

ROSALIND
His very hair is of the dissembling colour.

CELIA
Something browner than Judas’s marry, his kisses are
Judas’s own children.

ROSALIND
I’ faith, his hair is of a good colour.

CELIA
An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.

ROSALIND
And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch
of holy bread.

CELIA
He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana: a nun
of winter’s sisterhood kisses not more religiously;
the very ice of chastity is in them.

ROSALIND
But why did he swear he would come this morning, and
comes not?

CELIA
Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.

ROSALIND
Do you think so?

CELIA
Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a
horse-stealer, but for his verity in love, I do
think him as concave as a covered goblet or a
worm-eaten nut.

ROSALIND
Not true in love?

CELIA
Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.

ROSALIND
You have heard him swear downright he was.

CELIA
‘Was’ is not ‘is:’ besides, the oath of a lover is
no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are
both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends
here in the forest on the duke your father.

ROSALIND
I met the duke yesterday and had much question with
him: he asked me of what parentage I was; I told
him, of as good as he; so he laughed and let me go.
But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a
man as Orlando?

CELIA
O, that’s a brave man! he writes brave verses,
speaks brave words, swears brave oaths and breaks
them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of
his lover; as a puisny tilter, that spurs his horse
but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble
goose: but all’s brave that youth mounts and folly
guides. Who comes here?

Enter CORIN

CORIN
Mistress and master, you have oft inquired
After the shepherd that complain’d of love,
Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
That was his mistress.

CELIA
Well, and what of him?

CORIN
If you will see a pageant truly play’d,
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,
Go hence a little and I shall conduct you,
If you will mark it.

ROSALIND
O, come, let us remove:
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
Bring us to this sight, and you shall say
I’ll prove a busy actor in their play.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Another part of the forest.

Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE
SILVIUS
Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe;
Say that you love me not, but say not so
In bitterness. The common executioner,
Whose heart the accustom’d sight of death makes hard,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
But first begs pardon: will you sterner be
Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind

PHEBE
I would not be thy executioner:
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell’st me there is murder in mine eye:
‘Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
That eyes, that are the frail’st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be call’d tyrants, butchers, murderers!
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:
Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;
Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.

SILVIUS
O dear Phebe,
If ever,–as that ever may be near,–
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
Then shall you know the wounds invisible
That love’s keen arrows make.

PHEBE
But till that time
Come not thou near me: and when that time comes,
Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
As till that time I shall not pity thee.

ROSALIND
And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,
That you insult, exult, and all at once,
Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty,–
As, by my faith, I see no more in you
Than without candle may go dark to bed–
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
I see no more in you than in the ordinary
Of nature’s sale-work. ‘Od’s my little life,
I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it:
‘Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
That can entame my spirits to your worship.
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain?
You are a thousand times a properer man
Than she a woman: ’tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favour’d children:
‘Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
And out of you she sees herself more proper
Than any of her lineaments can show her.
But, mistress, know yourself: down on your knees,
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love:
For I must tell you friendly in your ear,
Sell when you can: you are not for all markets:
Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer:
Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
So take her to thee, shepherd: fare you well.

PHEBE
Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together:
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.

ROSALIND
He’s fallen in love with your foulness and she’ll
fall in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as
she answers thee with frowning looks, I’ll sauce her
with bitter words. Why look you so upon me?

PHEBE
For no ill will I bear you.

ROSALIND
I pray you, do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine:
Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
‘Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
And be not proud: though all the world could see,
None could be so abused in sight as he.
Come, to our flock.

Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA and CORIN

PHEBE
Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?’

SILVIUS
Sweet Phebe,–

PHEBE
Ha, what say’st thou, Silvius?

SILVIUS
Sweet Phebe, pity me.

PHEBE
Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.

SILVIUS
Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermined.

PHEBE
Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?

SILVIUS
I would have you.

PHEBE
Why, that were covetousness.
Silvius, the time was that I hated thee,
And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
I will endure, and I’ll employ thee too:
But do not look for further recompense
Than thine own gladness that thou art employ’d.

SILVIUS
So holy and so perfect is my love,
And I in such a poverty of grace,
That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
To glean the broken ears after the man
That the main harvest reaps: loose now and then
A scatter’d smile, and that I’ll live upon.

PHEBE
Know’st now the youth that spoke to me erewhile?

SILVIUS
Not very well, but I have met him oft;
And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
That the old carlot once was master of.

PHEBE
Think not I love him, though I ask for him:
‘Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well;
But what care I for words? yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth: not very pretty:
But, sure, he’s proud, and yet his pride becomes him:
He’ll make a proper man: the best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he’s tall:
His leg is but so so; and yet ’tis well:
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mix’d in his cheek; ’twas just the difference
Between the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark’d him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
I love him not nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him:
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black:
And, now I am remember’d, scorn’d at me:
I marvel why I answer’d not again:
But that’s all one; omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it: wilt thou, Silvius?

SILVIUS
Phebe, with all my heart.

PHEBE
I’ll write it straight;
The matter’s in my head and in my heart:
I will be bitter with him and passing short.
Go with me, Silvius.

Exeunt


Cymbeline, ACT V
SCENE I. Britain. The Roman camp.
Cymbeline VI

Portrait of the Actor, William Powell (1735-1769), as ‘Posthumous’ in Cymbeline Act V, Scene I

Enter POSTHUMUS, with a bloody handkerchief

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wish’d
Thou shouldst be colour’d thus. You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves
For wrying but a little! O Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands:
No bond but to do just ones. Gods! if you
Should have ta’en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had lived to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
Me, wretch more worth your vengeance. But, alack,
You snatch some hence for little faults; that’s love,
To have them fall no more: you some permit
To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
And make them dread it, to the doers’ thrift.
But Imogen is your own: do your best wills,
And make me blest to obey! I am brought hither
Among the Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady’s kingdom: ’tis enough
That, Britain, I have kill’d thy mistress; peace!
I’ll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,
Hear patiently my purpose: I’ll disrobe me
Of these Italian weeds and suit myself
As does a Briton peasant: so I’ll fight
Against the part I come with; so I’ll die
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
Is every breath a death; and thus, unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I’ll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o’ the Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o’ the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without and more within.

Exit

SCENE II. Field of battle between the British and Roman camps.

Enter, from one side, LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and the Roman Army: from the other side, the British Army; POSTHUMUS LEONATUS following, like a poor soldier. They march over and go out. Then enter again, in skirmish, IACHIMO and POSTHUMUS LEONATUS he vanquisheth and disarmeth IACHIMO, and then leaves him
IACHIMO
The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
Takes off my manhood: I have belied a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on’t
Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature’s, have subdued me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne
As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.

Exit

The battle continues; the Britons fly; CYMBELINE is taken: then enter, to his rescue, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS
Stand, stand! We have the advantage of the ground;
The lane is guarded: nothing routs us but
The villany of our fears.

GUIDERIUS ARVIRAGUS
Stand, stand, and fight!

Re-enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, and seconds the Britons: they rescue CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then re-enter LUCIUS, and IACHIMO, with IMOGEN

CAIUS LUCIUS
Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
For friends kill friends, and the disorder’s such
As war were hoodwink’d.

IACHIMO
‘Tis their fresh supplies.

CAIUS LUCIUS
It is a day turn’d strangely: or betimes
Let’s reinforce, or fly.

Exeunt

SCENE III. Another part of the field.

Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and a British Lord
Lord
Camest thou from where they made the stand?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I did.
Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.

Lord
I did.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost,
But that the heavens fought: the king himself
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
Through a straight lane; the enemy full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, having work
More plentiful than tools to do’t, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch’d, some falling
Merely through fear; that the straight pass was damm’d
With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen’d shame.

Lord
Where was this lane?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Close by the battle, ditch’d, and wall’d with turf;
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
An honest one, I warrant; who deserved
So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
In doing this for’s country: athwart the lane,
He, with two striplings-lads more like to run
The country base than to commit such slaughter
With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
Than those for preservation 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
Like beasts which you shun beastly, and may save,
But to look back in frown: stand, stand.’
These three,
Three thousand confident, in act as many–
For three performers are the file when all
The rest do nothing–with this word ‘Stand, stand,’
Accommodated by the place, more charming
With their own nobleness, which could have turn’d
A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks,
Part shame, part spirit renew’d; that some,
turn’d coward
But by example–O, a sin in war,
Damn’d in the first beginners!–gan to look
The way that they did, and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o’ the hunters. Then began
A stop i’ the chaser, a retire, anon
A rout, confusion thick; forthwith they fly
Chickens, the way which they stoop’d eagles; slaves,
The strides they victors made: and now our cowards,
Like fragments in hard voyages, became
The life o’ the need: having found the backdoor open
Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
Some slain before; some dying; some their friends
O’er borne i’ the former wave: ten, chased by one,
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those that would die or ere resist are grown
The mortal bugs o’ the field.

Lord
This was strange chance
A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Nay, do not wonder at it: you are made
Rather to wonder at the things you hear
Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon’t,
And vent it for a mockery? Here is one:
‘Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
Preserved the Britons, was the Romans’ bane.’

Lord
Nay, be not angry, sir.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
‘Lack, to what end?
Who dares not stand his foe, I’ll be his friend;
For if he’ll do as he is made to do,
I know he’ll quickly fly my friendship too.
You have put me into rhyme.

Lord
Farewell; you’re angry.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Still going?

Exit Lord

This is a lord! O noble misery,
To be i’ the field, and ask ‘what news?’ of me!
To-day how many would have given their honours
To have saved their carcasses! took heel to do’t,
And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charm’d,
Could not find death where I did hear him groan,
Nor feel him where he struck: being an ugly monster,
‘Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words; or hath more ministers than we
That draw his knives i’ the war. Well, I will find him
For being now a favourer to the Briton,
No more a Briton, I have resumed again
The part I came in: fight I will no more,
But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
Here made by the Roman; great the answer be
Britons must take. For me, my ransom’s death;
On either side I come to spend my breath;
Which neither here I’ll keep nor bear again,
But end it by some means for Imogen.

Enter two British Captains and Soldiers

First Captain
Great Jupiter be praised! Lucius is taken.
‘Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.

Second Captain
There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
That gave the affront with them.

First Captain
So ’tis reported:
But none of ’em can be found. Stand! who’s there?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
A Roman,
Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds
Had answer’d him.

Second Captain
Lay hands on him; a dog!
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have peck’d them here. He brags
his service
As if he were of note: bring him to the king.

Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, Soldiers, Attendants, and Roman Captives. The Captains present POSTHUMUS LEONATUS to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Gaoler: then exeunt omnes

SCENE IV. A British prison.

Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and two Gaolers
First Gaoler
You shall not now be stol’n, you have locks upon you;
So graze as you find pasture.

Second Gaoler
Ay, or a stomach.

Exeunt Gaolers

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Most welcome, bondage! for thou art away,
think, to liberty: yet am I better
Than one that’s sick o’ the gout; since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
By the sure physician, death, who is the key
To unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter’d
More than my shanks and wrists: you good gods, give me
The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
Then, free for ever! Is’t enough I am sorry?
So children temporal fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent?
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desired more than constrain’d: to satisfy,
If of my freedom ’tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me than my all.
I know you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
On their abatement: that’s not my desire:
For Imogen’s dear life take mine; and though
‘Tis not so dear, yet ’tis a life; you coin’d it:
‘Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
Though light, take pieces for the figure’s sake:
You rather mine, being yours: and so, great powers,
If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I’ll speak to thee in silence.

Sleeps

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

Sicilius Leonatus
No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies:
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
That thy adulteries
Rates and revenges.
Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?
I died whilst in the womb he stay’d
Attending nature’s law:
Whose father then, as men report
Thou orphans’ father art,
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.

Mother
Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;
That from me was Posthumus ript,
Came crying ‘mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!

Sicilius Leonatus
Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserved the praise o’ the world,
As great Sicilius’ heir.

First Brother
When once he was mature for man,
In Britain where was he
That could stand up his parallel;
Or fruitful object be
In eye of Imogen, that best
Could deem his dignity?

Mother
With marriage wherefore was he mock’d,
To be exiled, and thrown
From Leonati seat, and cast
From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen?

Sicilius Leonatus
Why did you suffer Iachimo,
Slight thing of Italy,
To taint his nobler heart and brain
With needless jealosy;
And to become the geck and scorn
O’ th’ other’s villany?

Second Brother
For this from stiller seats we came,
Our parents and us twain,
That striking in our country’s cause
Fell bravely and were slain,
Our fealty and Tenantius’ right
With honour to maintain.

First Brother
Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform’d:
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
Why hast thou thus adjourn’d
The graces for his merits due,
Being all to dolours turn’d?

Sicilius Leonatus
Thy crystal window ope; look out;
No longer exercise
Upon a valiant race thy harsh
And potent injuries.

Mother
Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
Take off his miseries.

Sicilius Leonatus
Peep through thy marble mansion; help;
Or we poor ghosts will cry
To the shining synod of the rest
Against thy deity.

First Brother Second Brother
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 Apparitions fall on their knees

Jupiter
No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers:
Be not with mortal accidents opprest;
No care of yours it is; you know ’tis ours.
Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
The more delay’d, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift:
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reign’d at his birth, and in
Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade.
He shall be lord of lady Imogen,
And happier much by his affliction made.
This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine:
and so, away: no further with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.

Ascends

Sicilius Leonatus
He came in thunder; his celestial breath
Was sulphurous to smell: the holy eagle
Stoop’d as to foot us: his ascension is
More sweet than our blest fields: his royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleased.

All
Thanks, Jupiter!

Sicilius Leonatus
The marble pavement closes, he is enter’d
His radiant root. Away! and, to be blest,
Let us with care perform his great behest.

The Apparitions vanish

Posthumus Leonatus
[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:
And so I am awake. Poor wretches that depend
On greatness’ favour dream as I have done,
Wake and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve:
Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
And yet are steep’d in favours: so am I,
That have this golden chance and know not why.
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare one!
Be not, as is our fangled world, a garment
Nobler than that it covers: let thy effects
So follow, to be most unlike our courtiers,
As good as promise.

Reads

‘When as 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 after revive, be jointed to the old stock and
freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his miseries,
Britain be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty.’
‘Tis still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
Tongue and brain not; either both or nothing;
Or senseless speaking or a speaking such
As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
The action of my life is like it, which
I’ll keep, if but for sympathy.

Re-enter First Gaoler

First Gaoler
Come, sir, are you ready for death?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.

First Gaoler
Hanging is the word, sir: if
you be ready for that, you are well cooked.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
So, if I prove a good repast to the
spectators, the dish pays the shot.

First Gaoler
A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort is,
you shall be called to no more payments, fear no
more tavern-bills; which are often the sadness of
parting, as the procuring of mirth: you come in
flint for want of meat, depart reeling with too
much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and
sorry that you are paid too much; purse and brain
both empty; the brain the heavier for being too
light, the purse too light, being drawn of
heaviness: of this contradiction you shall now be
quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up
thousands in a trice: you have no true debitor and
creditor but it; of what’s past, is, and to come,
the discharge: your neck, sir, is pen, book and
counters; so the acquittance follows.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I am merrier to die than thou art to live.

First Gaoler
Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the
tooth-ache: but a man that were to sleep your
sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think he
would change places with his officer; for, look you,
sir, you know not which way you shall go.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Yes, indeed do I, fellow.

First Gaoler
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 do take upon
yourself that which I am sure you do not know, or
jump the after inquiry on your own peril: and how
you shall speed in your journey’s end, I think you’ll
never return to tell one.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to
direct them the way I am going, but such as wink and
will not use them.

First Gaoler
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
Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the king.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Thou bring’st good news; I am called to be made free.

First Gaoler
I’ll be hang’d then.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for the dead.

Exeunt POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and Messenger

First Gaoler
Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget young
gibbets, I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my
conscience, there are verier knaves desire to live,
for all he be a Roman: and there be some of them
too that die against their wills; so should I, if I
were one. I would we were all of one mind, and one
mind good; O, there were desolation of gaolers and
gallowses! I speak against my present profit, but
my wish hath a preferment in ‘t.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Cymbeline’s tent.

Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, Lords, Officers, and Attendants
CYMBELINE
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
Stepp’d before larges of proof, cannot be found:
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.

BELARIUS
I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one that promises nought
But beggary and poor looks.

CYMBELINE
No tidings of him?

PISANIO
He hath been search’d among the dead and living,
But no trace of him.

CYMBELINE
To my grief, I am
The heir of his reward;

To BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

which I will add
To you, the liver, heart and brain of Britain,
By whom I grant she lives. ‘Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are. Report it.

BELARIUS
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.
Arise my knights o’ the battle: I create you
Companions to our person and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.

Enter CORNELIUS and Ladies

There’s business in these faces. Why so sadly
Greet you our victory? you look like Romans,
And not o’ the court of Britain.

CORNELIUS
Hail, great king!
To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.

CYMBELINE
Who worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolong’d, yet death
Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?

CORNELIUS
With horror, madly dying, like her life,
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confess’d
I will report, so please you: these her women
Can trip me, if I err; who with wet cheeks
Were present when she finish’d.

CYMBELINE
Prithee, say.

CORNELIUS
First, she confess’d she never loved you, only
Affected greatness got by you, not you:
Married your royalty, was wife to your place;
Abhorr’d your person.

CYMBELINE
She alone knew this;
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.

CORNELIUS
Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
With such integrity, she did confess
Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
But that her flight prevented it, she had
Ta’en off by poison.

CYMBELINE
O most delicate fiend!
Who is ‘t can read a woman? Is there more?

CORNELIUS
More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had
For you a mortal mineral; which, being took,
Should by the minute feed on life and lingering
By inches waste you: in which time she purposed,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O’ercome you with her show, and in time,
When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown:
But, failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open’d, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatch’d were not effected; so
Despairing died.

CYMBELINE
Heard you all this, her women?

First Lady
We did, so please your highness.

CYMBELINE
Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming; it had
been vicious
To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!

Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, the Soothsayer, and other Roman Prisoners, guarded; POSTHUMUS LEONATUS behind, and IMOGEN

Thou comest 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
Of you their captives, which ourself have granted:
So think of your estate.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Consider, sir, the chance of war: the day
Was yours by accident; had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cool,
have threaten’d
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be call’d ransom, let it come: sufficeth
A Roman with a Roman’s heart can suffer:
Augustus lives to think on’t: and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing only
I will entreat; my boy, a Briton born,
Let him be ransom’d: never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
With my request, which I make bold your highness
Cannot deny; he hath done no Briton harm,
Though he have served a Roman: save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.

CYMBELINE
I have surely seen him:
His favour is familiar to me. Boy,
Thou hast look’d thyself into my grace,
And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,
To say ‘live, boy:’ ne’er thank thy master; live:
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty and thy state, I’ll give it;
Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
The noblest ta’en.

IMOGEN
I humbly thank your highness.

CAIUS LUCIUS
I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad;
And yet I know thou wilt.

IMOGEN
No, no: alack,
There’s other work in hand: I see a thing
Bitter to me as death: your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.

CAIUS LUCIUS
The boy disdains me,
He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys
That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
Why stands he so perplex’d?

CYMBELINE
What wouldst thou, boy?
I love thee more and more: think more and more
What’s best to ask. Know’st him thou look’st on? speak,
Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?

IMOGEN
He is a Roman; no more kin to me
Than I to your highness; who, being born your vassal,
Am something nearer.

CYMBELINE
Wherefore eyest him so?

IMOGEN
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?

IMOGEN
Fidele, sir.

CYMBELINE
Thou’rt my good youth, my page;
I’ll be thy master: walk with me; speak freely.

CYMBELINE and IMOGEN converse apart

BELARIUS
Is not this boy revived from death?

ARVIRAGUS
One sand another
Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
Who died, and was Fidele. What think you?

GUIDERIUS
The same dead thing alive.

BELARIUS
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
But we saw him dead.

BELARIUS
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
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,
Which is our honour, bitter torture shall
Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak to him.

IMOGEN
My boon is, that this gentleman may render
Of whom he had this ring.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
[Aside] What’s that to him?

CYMBELINE
That diamond upon your finger, say
How came it yours?

IACHIMO
Thou’lt torture me to leave unspoken that
Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.

CYMBELINE
How! me?

IACHIMO
I am glad to be constrain’d to utter that
Which torments me to conceal. By villany
I got this ring: ’twas Leonatus’ jewel;
Whom thou didst banish; and–which more may
grieve thee,
As it doth me–a nobler sir ne’er lived
‘Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?

CYMBELINE
All that belongs to this.

IACHIMO
That paragon, thy daughter,–
For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
Quail to remember–Give me leave; I faint.

CYMBELINE
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.

IACHIMO
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 poison’d, or at least
Those which I heaved to head!–the good Posthumus–
What should I say? he was too good to be
Where ill men were; and was the best of all
Amongst the rarest of good ones,–sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
For beauty that made barren the swell’d boast
Of him that best could speak, for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva.
Postures beyond brief nature, for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
Fairness which strikes the eye–

CYMBELINE
I stand on fire:
Come to the matter.

IACHIMO
All too soon I shall,
Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
Most like a noble lord in love and one
That had a royal lover, took his hint;
And, not dispraising whom we praised,–therein
He was as calm as virtue–he began
His mistress’ picture; which by his tongue
being made,
And then a mind put in’t, either our brags
Were crack’d of kitchen-trolls, or his description
Proved us unspeaking sots.

CYMBELINE
Nay, nay, to the purpose.

IACHIMO
Your daughter’s chastity–there it begins.
He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: whereat I, wretch,
Made scruple of his praise; and wager’d with him
Pieces of gold ‘gainst this which then he wore
Upon his honour’d finger, to attain
In suit the place of’s bed and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phoebus’ wheel, and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of’s car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
Remember me at court; where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
‘Twixt amorous and villanous. Being thus quench’d
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
‘Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent:
And, to be brief, my practise so prevail’d,
That I return’d with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus, and thus; averting notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,–
O cunning, how I got it!–nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack’d,
I having ta’en the forfeit. Whereupon–
Methinks, I see him now–

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
[Advancing] Ay, so thou dost,
Italian fiend! Ay me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing
That’s due to all the villains past, in being,
To come! O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I
That all the abhorred things o’ the earth amend
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
That kill’d thy daughter:–villain-like, I lie–
That caused a lesser villain than myself,
A sacrilegious thief, to do’t: the temple
Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself.
Spit, and throw stone s, cast mire upon me, set
The dogs o’ the street to bay me: every villain
Be call’d Posthumus Leonitus; and
Be villany less than ’twas! O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!

IMOGEN
Peace, my lord; hear, hear–

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Shall’s have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
There lie thy part.

Striking her: she falls

PISANIO
O, gentlemen, help!
Mine and your mistress! O, my lord Posthumus!
You ne’er kill’d Imogen til now. Help, help!
Mine honour’d lady!

CYMBELINE
Does the world go round?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
How come these staggers on me?

PISANIO
Wake, my mistress!

CYMBELINE
If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
To death with mortal joy.

PISANIO
How fares thy mistress?

IMOGEN
O, get thee from my sight;
Thou gavest me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!
Breathe not where princes are.

CYMBELINE
The tune of Imogen!

PISANIO
Lady,
The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing: I had it from the queen.

CYMBELINE
New matter still?

IMOGEN
It poison’d me.

CORNELIUS
O gods!
I left out one thing which the queen confess’d.
Which must approve thee honest: ‘If Pisanio
Have,’ said she, ‘given his mistress that confection
Which I gave him for cordial, she is served
As I would serve a rat.’

CYMBELINE
What’s this, Comelius?

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,
Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which, being ta’en, would cease
The present power of life, but in short time
All offices of nature should again
Do their due functions. Have you ta’en of it?

IMOGEN
Most like I did, for I was dead.

BELARIUS
My boys,
There was our error.

GUIDERIUS
This is, sure, Fidele.

IMOGEN
Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
Think that you are upon a rock; and now
Throw me again.

Embracing him

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Hang there like a fruit, my soul,
Till the tree die!

CYMBELINE
How now, my flesh, my child!
What, makest thou me a dullard in this act?
Wilt thou not speak to me?

IMOGEN
[Kneeling] Your blessing, sir.

BELARIUS
[To GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS] Though you did love
this youth, I blame ye not:
You had a motive for’t.

CYMBELINE
My tears that fall
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother’s dead.

IMOGEN
I am sorry for’t, my lord.

CYMBELINE
O, she was nought; 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 troth. Lord Cloten,
Upon my lady’s missing, came to me
With his sword drawn; foam’d at the mouth, and swore,
If I discover’d not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death. By accident,
had a feigned letter of my master’s
Then in my pocket; which directed him
To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master’s garments,
Which he enforced from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose and with oath to violate
My lady’s honour: what became of him
I further know not.

GUIDERIUS
Let me end the story:
I slew him there.

CYMBELINE
Marry, the gods forfend!
I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a bard sentence: prithee, valiant youth,
Deny’t again.

GUIDERIUS
I have spoke it, and I did it.

CYMBELINE
He was a prince.

GUIDERIUS
A most incivil one: the wrongs he did me
Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me
With language that would make me spurn the sea,
If it could so roar to me: I cut off’s head;
And am right glad he is not standing here
To tell this tale of mine.

CYMBELINE
I am sorry for thee:
By thine own tongue thou art condemn’d, and must
Endure our law: thou’rt dead.

IMOGEN
That headless man
I thought had been my lord.

CYMBELINE
Bind the offender,
And take him from our presence.

BELARIUS
Stay, sir king:
This man is better than the man he slew,
As well descended as thyself; and hath
More of thee merited than a band of Clotens
Had ever scar for.

To the Guard

Let his arms alone;
They were not born for bondage.

CYMBELINE
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
In that he spake too far.

CYMBELINE
And thou shalt die for’t.

BELARIUS
We will die all three:
But I will prove that two on’s are as good
As I have given out him. My sons, I must,
For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.

ARVIRAGUS
Your danger’s ours.

GUIDERIUS
And our good his.

BELARIUS
Have at it then, by leave.
Thou hadst, great king, a subject who
Was call’d Belarius.

CYMBELINE
What of him? he is
A banish’d traitor.

BELARIUS
He it is that hath
Assumed this age; indeed a banish’d man;
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;
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
As I have received it.

CYMBELINE
Nursing of my sons!

BELARIUS
I am too blunt and saucy: here’s my knee:
Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons;
Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
These two young gentlemen, that call me father
And think they are my sons, are none of mine;
They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
And blood of your begetting.

CYMBELINE
How! my issue!

BELARIUS
So sure as you your father’s. I, old Morgan,
Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish’d:
Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punishment
Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer’d
Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes–
For such and so they are–these twenty years
Have I train’d up: those arts they have as I
Could put into them; my breeding was, sir, as
Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile,
Whom for 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,
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
Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy
To inlay heaven with stars.

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:
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A pair of worthier sons.

BELARIUS
Be pleased awhile.
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius:
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
Your younger princely son; he, sir, was lapp’d
In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand
Of his queen mother, which for more probation
I can with ease produce.

CYMBELINE
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:
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,
That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
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,
Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter
But I am truest speaker you call’d me brother,
When I was but your sister; I you brothers,
When ye were so indeed.

CYMBELINE
Did you e’er meet?

ARVIRAGUS
Ay, my good lord.

GUIDERIUS
And at first meeting loved;
Continued so, until we thought he died.

CORNELIUS
By the queen’s dram she swallow’d.

CYMBELINE
O rare instinct!
When shall I hear all through? This fierce
abridgement
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in. Where? how lived You?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
How parted with your brothers? how first met them?
Why fled you from the court? and whither? These,
And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded;
And all the other by-dependencies,
From chance to chance: but nor the time nor place
Will serve our long inter’gatories. See,
Posthumus anchors upon Imogen,
And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brother, 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.

To BELARIUS

Thou art my brother; so we’ll hold thee ever.

IMOGEN
You are my father too, and did relieve me,
To see this gracious season.

CYMBELINE
All o’erjoy’d,
Save these in bonds: let them be joyful too,
For they shall taste our comfort.

IMOGEN
My good master,
I will yet do you service.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Happy be you!

CYMBELINE
The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought,
He would have well becomed this place, and graced
The thankings of a king.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming; ’twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow’d. That I was he,
Speak, Iachimo: I had you down and might
Have made you finish.

IACHIMO
[Kneeling] I am down again:
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
Which I so often owe: but your ring first;
And here the bracelet of the truest princess
That ever swore her faith.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Kneel not to me:
The power that I have on you is, to spare you;
The malice towards you to forgive you: live,
And deal with others better.

CYMBELINE
Nobly doom’d!
We’ll learn our freeness of a son-in-law;
Pardon’s the word to all.

ARVIRAGUS
You holp us, sir,
As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Joy’d are we that you are.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Your servant, princes. Good my lord of Rome,
Call forth your soothsayer: as I slept, methought
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back’d,
Appear’d to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred: when I waked, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it: let him show
His skill in the construction.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Philarmonus!

Soothsayer
Here, my good lord.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Read, and declare the meaning.

Soothsayer
[Reads] ‘When as 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 after revive, be jointed to the old
stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end
his miseries, Britain be fortunate and flourish in
peace and plenty.’
Thou, Leonatus, art the lion’s whelp;
The fit and apt construction of thy name,
Being Leonatus, doth import so much.

To CYMBELINE

The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,
Which we call ‘mollis aer;’ and ‘mollis aer’
We term it ‘mulier:’ which ‘mulier’ I divine
Is this most constant wife; who, even now,
Answering the letter of the oracle,
Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp’d about
With this most tender air.

CYMBELINE
This hath some seeming.

Soothsayer
The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee: and thy lopp’d branches point
Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stol’n,
For many years thought dead, are now revived,
To the majestic cedar join’d, whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.

CYMBELINE
Well
My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Caesar,
And to the Roman empire; promising
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
Whom heavens, in justice, both on her and hers,
Have laid most heavy hand.

Soothsayer
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
Is full accomplish’d; for the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen’d herself, and in the beams o’ the sun
So vanish’d: which foreshow’d our princely eagle,
The imperial Caesar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.

CYMBELINE
Laud we the gods;
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our blest altars. Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward: let
A Roman and a British ensign wave
Friendly together: so through Lud’s-town march:
And in the temple of great Jupiter
Our peace we’ll ratify; seal it with feasts.
Set on there! Never was a war did cease,
Ere bloody hands were wash’d, with such a peace.

Exeunt


Cymbeline, ACT IV
SCENE I. Wales: near the cave of Belarius.

File:James Smetham – Imogen and the Shepherds, from Cymbeline, Act IV

Enter CLOTEN

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

Exit

SCENE II. Before the cave of Belarius.

Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, and IMOGEN
BELARIUS
[To IMOGEN] You are not well: remain here in the cave;
We’ll come to you after hunting.

ARVIRAGUS
[To IMOGEN] Brother, stay here
Are we not brothers?

IMOGEN
So man and man should be;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.

GUIDERIUS
Go you to hunting; I’ll abide with him.

IMOGEN
So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick: so please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable: I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here:
I’ll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.

GUIDERIUS
I love thee; I have spoke it
How much the quantity, the weight as much,
As I do love my father.

BELARIUS
What! how! how!

ARVIRAGUS
If it be sin to say so, I yoke me
In my good brother’s fault: I know not why
I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
Love’s reason’s without reason: the bier at door,
And a demand who is’t shall die, I’d say
‘My father, not this youth.’

BELARIUS
[Aside] O noble strain!
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
Cowards father cowards and base things sire base:
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
I’m not their father; yet who this should be,
Doth miracle itself, loved before me.
‘Tis the ninth hour o’ the morn.

ARVIRAGUS
Brother, farewell.

IMOGEN
I wish ye sport.

ARVIRAGUS
You health. So please you, sir.

IMOGEN
[Aside] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies
I have heard!
Our courtiers say all’s savage but at court:
Experience, O, thou disprovest report!
The imperious seas breed monsters, for the dish
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still; heart-sick. Pisanio,
I’ll now taste of thy drug.

Swallows some

GUIDERIUS
I could not stir him:
He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.

ARVIRAGUS
Thus did he answer me: yet said, hereafter
I might know more.

BELARIUS
To the field, to the field!
We’ll leave you for this time: go in and rest.

ARVIRAGUS
We’ll not be long away.

BELARIUS
Pray, be not sick,
For you must be our housewife.

IMOGEN
Well or ill,
I am bound to you.

BELARIUS
And shalt be ever.

Exit IMOGEN, to the cave

This youth, how’er distress’d, appears he hath had
Good ancestors.

ARVIRAGUS
How angel-like he sings!

GUIDERIUS
But his neat cookery! he cut our roots
In characters,
And sauced our broths, as Juno had been sick
And he her dieter.

ARVIRAGUS
Nobly he yokes
A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
Was that it was, for not being such a smile;
The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
From so divine a temple, to commix
With winds that sailors rail at.

GUIDERIUS
I do note
That grief and patience, rooted in him both,
Mingle their spurs together.

ARVIRAGUS
Grow, patience!
And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root with the increasing vine!

BELARIUS
It is great morning. Come, away!–
Who’s there?

Enter CLOTEN

CLOTEN
I cannot find those runagates; that villain
Hath mock’d me. I am faint.

BELARIUS
‘Those runagates!’
Means he not us? I partly know him: ’tis
Cloten, the son o’ the queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know ’tis he. We are held as outlaws: hence!

GUIDERIUS
He is but one: you and my brother search
What companies are near: pray you, away;
Let me alone with him.

Exeunt BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS

CLOTEN
Soft! What are you
That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers?
I have heard of such. What slave art thou?

GUIDERIUS
A thing
More slavish did I ne’er than answering
A slave without a knock.

CLOTEN
Thou art a robber,
A law-breaker, a villain: yield thee, thief.

GUIDERIUS
To who? to thee? What art thou? Have not I
An arm as big as thine? a heart as big?
Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
Why I should yield to thee?

CLOTEN
Thou villain base,
Know’st me not by my clothes?

GUIDERIUS
No, nor thy tailor, 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
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.

GUIDERIUS
What’s thy name?

CLOTEN
Cloten, thou villain.

GUIDERIUS
Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
I cannot tremble at it: were it Toad, or
Adder, Spider,
‘Twould move me sooner.

CLOTEN
To thy further fear,
Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
I am son to the queen.

GUIDERIUS
I am sorry for ‘t; not seeming
So worthy as thy birth.

CLOTEN
Art not afeard?

GUIDERIUS
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,
I’ll follow those that even now fled hence,
And on the gates of Lud’s-town set your heads:
Yield, rustic mountaineer.

Exeunt, fighting

Re-enter BELARIUS and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS
No companies abroad?

ARVIRAGUS
None in the world: you did mistake him, sure.

BELARIUS
I cannot tell: long is it since I saw him,
But time hath nothing blurr’d those lines of favour
Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
And burst of speaking, were as his: I am absolute
‘Twas very Cloten.

ARVIRAGUS
In this place we left them:
I wish my brother make good time with him,
You say he is so fell.

BELARIUS
Being scarce made up,
I mean, to man, he had not apprehension
Of roaring terrors; for the effect of judgment
Is oft the cause of fear. But, see, thy brother.

Re-enter GUIDERIUS, with CLOTEN’S head

GUIDERIUS
This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse;
There was no money in’t: not Hercules
Could have knock’d out his brains, for he had none:
Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
My head as I do his.

BELARIUS
What hast thou done?

GUIDERIUS
I am perfect what: cut off one Cloten’s head,
Son to the queen, after his own report;
Who call’d me traitor, mountaineer, and swore
With his own single hand he’ld take us in
Displace our heads where–thank the gods!–they grow,
And set them on Lud’s-town.

BELARIUS
We are all undone.

GUIDERIUS
Why, worthy father, what have we to lose,
But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
Protects not us: then why should we be tender
To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
Play judge and executioner all himself,
For we do fear the law? What company
Discover you abroad?

BELARIUS
No single soul
Can we set eye on; but in all safe reason
He must have some attendants. Though his humour
Was nothing but mutation, ay, and that
From one bad thing to worse; not frenzy, not
Absolute madness could so far have raved
To bring him here alone; although perhaps
It may be heard at court that such as we
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
May make some stronger head; the which he hearing–
As it is like him–might break out, and swear
He’ld fetch us in; yet is’t not probable
To come alone, either he so undertaking,
Or they so suffering: then on good ground we fear,
If we do fear this body hath a tail
More perilous than the head.

ARVIRAGUS
Let ordinance
Come as the gods foresay it: howsoe’er,
My brother hath done well.

BELARIUS
I had no mind
To hunt this day: the boy Fidele’s sickness
Did make my way long forth.

GUIDERIUS
With his own sword,
Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta’en
His head from him: I’ll throw’t into the creek
Behind our rock; and let it to the sea,
And tell the fishes he’s the queen’s son, Cloten:
That’s all I reck.

Exit

BELARIUS
I fear ’twill be revenged:
Would, Polydote, thou hadst not done’t! though valour
Becomes thee well enough.

ARVIRAGUS
Would I had done’t
So the revenge alone pursued me! Polydore,
I love thee brotherly, but envy much
Thou hast robb’d me of this deed: I would revenges,
That possible strength might meet, would seek us through
And put us to our answer.

BELARIUS
Well, ’tis done:
We’ll hunt no more to-day, nor seek for danger
Where there’s no profit. I prithee, to our rock;
You and Fidele play the cooks: I’ll stay
Till hasty Polydote return, and bring him
To dinner presently.

ARVIRAGUS
Poor sick Fidele!
I’ll weringly to him: to gain his colour
I’ld let a parish of such Clotens’ blood,
And praise myself for charity.

Exit

BELARIUS
O thou goddess,
Thou divine Nature, how thyself thou blazon’st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchafed, as the rudest wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale. ‘Tis wonder
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearn’d, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other, valour
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
As if it had been sow’d. Yet still it’s strange
What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
Or what his death will bring us.

Re-enter GUIDERIUS

GUIDERIUS
Where’s my brother?
I have sent Cloten’s clotpoll down the stream,
In embassy to his mother: his body’s hostage
For his return.

Solemn music

BELARIUS
My ingenious instrument!
Hark, Polydore, it sounds! But what occasion
Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark!

GUIDERIUS
Is he at home?

BELARIUS
He went hence even now.

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

BELARIUS
Look, here he comes,
And brings the dire occasion in his arms
Of what we blame him for.

Re-enter ARVIRAGUS, with IMOGEN, as dead, bearing her in his arms

ARVIRAGUS
The bird is dead
That we have made so much on. I had rather
Have skipp’d from sixteen years of age to sixty,
To have turn’d my leaping-time into a crutch,
Than have seen this.

GUIDERIUS
O sweetest, fairest lily!
My brother wears thee not the one half so well
As when thou grew’st thyself.

BELARIUS
O melancholy!
Who ever yet could sound thy bottom? find
The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
Might easiliest harbour in? Thou blessed thing!
Jove knows what man thou mightst have made; but I,
Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy.
How found you him?

ARVIRAGUS
Stark, as you see:
Thus smiling, as some fly hid tickled slumber,
Not as death’s dart, being laugh’d at; his
right cheek
Reposing on a cushion.

GUIDERIUS
Where?

ARVIRAGUS
O’ the floor;
His arms thus leagued: I thought he slept, and put
My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
Answer’d my steps too loud.

GUIDERIUS
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
With fairest flowers
Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
I’ll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azured harebell, like thy veins, no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweeten’d not thy breath: the ruddock would,
With charitable bill,–O bill, sore-shaming
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie
Without a monument!–bring thee all this;
Yea, and furr’d moss besides, when flowers are none,
To winter-ground thy corse.

GUIDERIUS
Prithee, have done;
And do not play in wench-like words with that
Which is so serious. Let us bury him,
And not protract with admiration what
Is now due debt. To the grave!

ARVIRAGUS
Say, where shall’s lay him?

GUIDERIUS
By good Euriphile, our mother.

ARVIRAGUS
Be’t so:
And let us, Polydore, though now our voices
Have got the mannish crack, sing him to the ground,
As once our mother; use like note and words,
Save that Euriphile must be Fidele.

GUIDERIUS
Cadwal,
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
We’ll speak it, then.

BELARIUS
Great griefs, I see, medicine the less; for Cloten
Is quite forgot. He was a queen’s son, boys;
And though he came our enemy, remember
He was paid for that: though mean and
mighty, rotting
Together, have one dust, yet reverence,
That angel of the world, doth make distinction
Of place ‘tween high and low. Our foe was princely
And though you took his life, as being our foe,
Yet bury him as a prince.

GUIDERIUS
Pray You, fetch him hither.
Thersites’ body is as good as Ajax’,
When neither are alive.

ARVIRAGUS
If you’ll go fetch him,
We’ll say our song the whilst. Brother, begin.

Exit BELARIUS

GUIDERIUS
Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the east;
My father hath a reason for’t.

ARVIRAGUS
‘Tis true.

GUIDERIUS
Come on then, and remove him.

ARVIRAGUS
So. Begin.

SONG

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

ARVIRAGUS
Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS
Fear no more the lightning flash,

ARVIRAGUS
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;

GUIDERIUS
Fear not slander, censure rash;

ARVIRAGUS
Thou hast finish’d joy and moan:

GUIDERIUS ARVIRAGUS
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

GUIDERIUS
No exorciser harm thee!

ARVIRAGUS
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!

GUIDERIUS
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!

ARVIRAGUS
Nothing ill come near thee!

GUIDERIUS ARVIRAGUS
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

Re-enter BELARIUS, with the body of CLOTEN

GUIDERIUS
We have done our obsequies: come, lay him down.

BELARIUS
Here’s a few flowers; but ’bout midnight, more:
The herbs that have on them cold dew o’ the night
Are strewings fitt’st for graves. Upon their faces.
You were as flowers, now wither’d: even so
These herblets shall, which we upon you strew.
Come on, away: apart upon our knees.
The ground that gave them first has them again:
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain.

Exeunt BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

IMOGEN
[Awaking] Yes, sir, to Milford-Haven; which is
the way?–
I thank you.–By yond bush?–Pray, how far thither?
‘Ods pittikins! can it be six mile yet?–
I have gone all night. ‘Faith, I’ll lie down and sleep.
But, soft! no bedfellow!–O god s and goddesses!

Seeing the body of CLOTEN

These flowers are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man, the care on’t. I hope I dream;
For so I thought I was a cave-keeper,
And cook to honest creatures: but ’tis not so;
‘Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes: our very eyes
Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble stiff with fear: but if there be
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
As a wren’s eye, fear’d gods, a part of it!
The dream’s here still: even when I wake, it is
Without me, as within me; not imagined, felt.
A headless man! The garments of Posthumus!
I know the shape of’s leg: this is his hand;
His foot Mercurial; his Martial thigh;
The brawns of Hercules: but his Jovial face
Murder in heaven?–How!–‘Tis gone. Pisanio,
All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
And mine to boot, be darted on thee! Thou,
Conspired with that irregulous devil, Cloten,
Hast here cut off my lord. To write and read
Be henceforth treacherous! Damn’d Pisanio
Hath with his forged letters,–damn’d Pisanio–
From this most bravest vessel of the world
Struck the main-top! O Posthumus! alas,
Where is thy head? where’s that? Ay me!
where’s that?
Pisanio might have kill’d thee at the heart,
And left this head on. How should this be? Pisanio?
‘Tis he and Cloten: malice and lucre in them
Have laid this woe here. O, ’tis pregnant, pregnant!
The drug he gave me, which he said was precious
And cordial to me, have I not found it
Murderous to the senses? That confirms it home:
This is Pisanio’s deed, and Cloten’s: O!
Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood,
That we the horrider may seem to those
Which chance to find us: O, my lord, my lord!

Falls on the body

Enter LUCIUS, a Captain and other Officers, and a Soothsayer

Captain
To them the legions garrison’d in Gailia,
After your will, have cross’d the sea, attending
You here at Milford-Haven with your ships:
They are in readiness.

CAIUS LUCIUS
But what from Rome?

Captain
The senate hath stirr’d up the confiners
And gentlemen of Italy, most willing spirits,
That promise noble service: and they come
Under the conduct of bold Iachimo,
Syenna’s brother.

CAIUS LUCIUS
When expect you them?

Captain
With the next benefit o’ the wind.

CAIUS LUCIUS
This forwardness
Makes our hopes fair. Command our present numbers
Be muster’d; bid the captains look to’t. Now, sir,
What have you dream’d of late of this war’s purpose?

Soothsayer
Last night the very gods show’d me a vision–
I fast and pray’d for their intelligence–thus:
I saw Jove’s bird, the Roman eagle, wing’d
From the spongy south to this part of the west,
There vanish’d in the sunbeams: which portends–
Unless my sins abuse my divination–
Success to the Roman host.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Dream often so,
And never false. Soft, ho! what trunk is here
Without his top? The ruin speaks that sometime
It was a worthy building. How! a page!
Or dead, or sleeping on him? But dead rather;
For nature doth abhor to make his bed
With the defunct, or sleep upon the dead.
Let’s see the boy’s face.

Captain
He’s alive, my lord.

CAIUS LUCIUS
He’ll then instruct us of this body. Young one,
Inform us of thy fortunes, for it seems
They crave to be demanded. Who is this
Thou makest thy bloody pillow? Or who was he
That, otherwise than noble nature did,
Hath alter’d that good picture? What’s thy interest
In this sad wreck? How came it? Who is it?
What art thou?

IMOGEN
I am nothing: or if not,
Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
A very valiant Briton and a good,
That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas!
There is no more such masters: I may wander
From east to occident, cry out for service,
Try many, all good, serve truly, never
Find such another master.

CAIUS LUCIUS
‘Lack, good youth!
Thou movest no less with thy complaining than
Thy master in bleeding: say his name, good friend.

IMOGEN
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?

CAIUS LUCIUS
Thy name?

IMOGEN
Fidele, sir.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Thou dost approve thyself the very same:
Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.
Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say
Thou shalt be so well master’d, but, be sure,
No less beloved. The Roman emperor’s letters,
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
Than thine own worth prefer thee: go with me.

IMOGEN
I’ll follow, sir. But first, an’t please the gods,
I’ll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha’ strew’d his grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Ay, good youth!
And rather father thee than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties: let us
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
And make him with our pikes and partisans
A grave: come, arm him. Boy, he is preferr’d
By thee to us, and he shall be interr’d
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes
Some falls are means the happier to arise.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter CYMBELINE, Lords, PISANIO, and Attendants
CYMBELINE
Again; and bring me word how ’tis with her.

Exit an Attendant

A fever with the absence of her son,
A madness, of which her life’s in danger. Heavens,
How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
So needful for this present: it strikes me, past
The hope of comfort. But for thee, fellow,
Who needs must know of her departure and
Dost seem so ignorant, we’ll enforce it from thee
By a sharp torture.

PISANIO
Sir, my life is yours;
I humbly set it at your will; but, for my mistress,
I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your highness,
Hold me your loyal servant.

First Lord
Good my liege,
The day that she was missing he was here:
I dare be bound he’s true and shall perform
All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
There wants no diligence in seeking him,
And will, no doubt, be found.

CYMBELINE
The time is troublesome.

To PISANIO

We’ll slip you for a season; but our jealousy
Does yet depend.

First Lord
So please your majesty,
The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
Are landed on your coast, with a supply
Of Roman gentlemen, by the senate sent.

CYMBELINE
Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
I am amazed with matter.

First Lord
Good my liege,
Your preparation can affront no less
Than what you hear of: come more, for more
you’re ready:
The want is but to put those powers in motion
That long to move.

CYMBELINE
I thank you. Let’s withdraw;
And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
What can from Italy annoy us; but
We grieve at chances here. Away!

Exeunt all but PISANIO

PISANIO
I heard no letter from my master since
I wrote him Imogen was slain: ’tis strange:
Nor hear I from my mistress who did promise
To yield me often tidings: neither know I
What is betid to Cloten; but remain
Perplex’d in all. The heavens still must work.
Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
These present wars shall find I love my country,
Even to the note o’ the king, or I’ll fall in them.
All other doubts, by time let them be clear’d:
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.

Exit

SCENE IV. Wales: before the cave of Belarius.

Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
GUIDERIUS
The noise is round about us.

BELARIUS
Let us from it.

ARVIRAGUS
What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
From action and adventure?

GUIDERIUS
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
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 muster’d
Among the bands–may drive us to a render
Where we have lived, and so extort from’s that
Which we have done, whose answer would be death
Drawn on with torture.

GUIDERIUS
This is, sir, a doubt
In such a time nothing becoming you,
Nor satisfying us.

ARVIRAGUS
It is not likely
That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
Behold their quarter’d fires, have both their eyes
And ears so cloy’d importantly as now,
That they will waste their time upon our note,
To know from whence we are.

BELARIUS
O, I am known
Of many in the army: many years,
Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him
From my remembrance. And, besides, the king
Hath not deserved my service nor your loves;
Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless
To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
But to be still hot summer’s tamings and
The shrinking slaves of winter.

GUIDERIUS
Than be so
Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army:
I and my brother are not known; yourself
So out of thought, and thereto so o’ergrown,
Cannot be question’d.

ARVIRAGUS
By this sun that shines,
I’ll thither: what thing is it that I never
Did see man die! scarce ever look’d on blood,
But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
Never bestrid a horse, save one that had
A rider like myself, who ne’er wore rowel
Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed
To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.

GUIDERIUS
By heavens, I’ll go:
If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
I’ll take the better care, but if you will not,
The hazard therefore due fall on me by
The hands of Romans!

ARVIRAGUS
So say I amen.

BELARIUS
No reason I, since of your lives you set
So slight a valuation, should reserve
My crack’d one to more care. Have with you, boys!
If in your country wars you chance to die,
That is my bed too, lads, an there I’ll lie:
Lead, lead.

Aside

The time seems long; their blood
thinks scorn,
Till it fly out and show them princes born.

Exeunt


Cymbeline, ACT I
SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter two Gentlemen

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

Second Gentleman
But what’s the matter?

First Gentleman
His daughter, and the heir of’s kingdom, whom
He purposed to his wife’s sole son–a widow
That late he married–hath referr’d herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman: she’s wedded;
Her husband banish’d; she imprison’d: all
Is outward sorrow; though I think the king
Be touch’d at very heart.

Second Gentleman
None but the king?

First Gentleman
He that hath lost her too; so is the queen,
That most desired the match; but not a courtier,
Although they wear their faces to the bent
Of the king’s look’s, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowl at.

Second Gentleman
And why so?

First Gentleman
He that hath miss’d the princess is a thing
Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her–
I mean, that married her, alack, good man!
And therefore banish’d–is a creature such
As, to seek through the regions of the earth
For one his like, there would be something failing
In him that should compare. I do not think
So fair an outward and such stuff within
Endows a man but he.

Second Gentleman
You speak him far.

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

Second Gentleman
What’s his name and birth?

First Gentleman
I cannot delve him to the root: his father
Was call’d Sicilius, who did join his honour
Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
But had his titles by Tenantius whom
He served with glory and admired success,
So gain’d the sur-addition Leonatus;
And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who in the wars o’ the time
Died with their swords in hand; for which
their father,
Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
That he quit being, and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman our theme, deceased
As he was born. The king he takes the babe
To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus,
Breeds him and makes him of his bed-chamber,
Puts to him all the learnings that his time
Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as ’twas minister’d,
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 the more mature
A glass that feated them, and to the graver
A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
For whom he now is banish’d, her own price
Proclaims how she esteem’d him and his virtue;
By her election may be truly read
What kind of man he is.

Second Gentleman
I honour him
Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me,
Is she sole child to the king?

First Gentleman
His only child.
He had two sons: if this be worth your hearing,
Mark it: the eldest of them at three years old,
I’ the swathing-clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
Which way they went.

Second Gentleman
How long is this ago?

First Gentleman
Some twenty years.

Second Gentleman
That a king’s children should be so convey’d,
So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
That could not trace them!

First Gentleman
Howsoe’er ’tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh’d at,
Yet is it true, sir.

Second Gentleman
I do well believe you.

First Gentleman
We must forbear: here comes the gentleman,
The queen, and princess.

Exeunt

Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, and IMOGEN

QUEEN
No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you: you’re my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win the offended king,
I will be known your advocate: marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him, and ’twere good
You lean’d unto his sentence with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Please your highness,
I will from hence to-day.

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

Exit

IMOGEN
O
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father’s wrath; but nothing–
Always reserved my holy duty–what
His rage can do on me: you must be gone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live,
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
My queen! my mistress!
O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man. I will remain
The loyal’st husband that did e’er plight troth:
My residence in Rome at one Philario’s,
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter: thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I’ll drink the words you send,
Though ink be made of gall.

Re-enter QUEEN

QUEEN
Be brief, I pray you:
If the king come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure.

Aside

Yet I’ll move him
To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences.

Exit

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Should we be taking leave
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;
This diamond was my mother’s: take it, heart;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
How, how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!

Putting on the ring

Remain, remain thou here
While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you: for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I’ll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.

Putting a bracelet upon her arm

IMOGEN
O the gods!
When shall we see again?

Enter CYMBELINE and Lords

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Alack, the king!

CYMBELINE
Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: away!
Thou’rt poison to my blood.

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

Exit

IMOGEN
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
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?

IMOGEN
Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.

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

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

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

IMOGEN
No; I rather added
A lustre to it.

CYMBELINE
O thou vile one!

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

CYMBELINE
What, art thou mad?

IMOGEN
Almost, sir: heaven restore me! Would I were
A neat-herd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd’s son!

CYMBELINE
Thou foolish thing!

Re-enter QUEEN

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

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

CYMBELINE
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
Die of this folly!

Exeunt CYMBELINE and Lords

QUEEN
Fie! you must give way.

Enter PISANIO

Here is your servant. How now, sir! What news?

PISANIO
My lord your son drew on my master.

QUEEN
Ha!
No harm, I trust, is done?

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

QUEEN
I am very glad on’t.

IMOGEN
Your son’s my father’s friend; he takes his part.
To draw upon an exile! O brave sir!
I would they were in Afric both together;
Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
The goer-back. Why came you from your master?

PISANIO
On his command: he would not suffer me
To bring him to the haven; left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to,
When ‘t pleased you to employ me.

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

PISANIO
I humbly thank your highness.

QUEEN
Pray, walk awhile.

IMOGEN
About some half-hour hence,
I pray you, speak with me: you shall at least
Go see my lord aboard: for this time leave me.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The same. A public place.

Enter CLOTEN and two Lords
First Lord
Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the
violence of action hath made you reek as a
sacrifice: where air comes out, air comes in:
there’s none abroad so wholesome as that you vent.

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

Second Lord
[Aside] No, ‘faith; not so much as his patience.

First Lord
Hurt him! his body’s a passable carcass, if he be
not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.

Second Lord
[Aside] His steel was in debt; it went o’ the
backside the town.

CLOTEN
The villain would not stand me.

Second Lord
[Aside] No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.

First Lord
Stand you! You have land enough of your own: but
he added to your having; gave you some ground.

Second Lord
[Aside] As many inches as you have oceans. Puppies!

CLOTEN
I would they had not come between us.

Second Lord
[Aside] So would I, till you had measured how long
a fool you were upon the ground.

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

Second Lord
[Aside] If it be a sin to make a true election, she
is damned.

First Lord
Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain
go not together: she’s a good sign, but I have seen
small reflection of her wit.

Second Lord
[Aside] She shines not upon fools, lest the
reflection should hurt her.

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

Second Lord
[Aside] I wish not so; unless it had been the fall
of an ass, which is no great hurt.

CLOTEN
You’ll go with us?

First Lord
I’ll attend your lordship.

CLOTEN
Nay, come, let’s go together.

Second Lord
Well, my lord.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO
IMOGEN
I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ the haven,
And question’dst every sail: if he should write
And not have it, ’twere a paper lost,
As offer’d mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?

PISANIO
It was his queen, his queen!

IMOGEN
Then waved his handkerchief?

PISANIO
And kiss’d it, madam.

IMOGEN
Senseless Linen! happier therein than I!
And that was all?

PISANIO
No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ‘s mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail’d on,
How swift his ship.

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

PISANIO
Madam, so I did.

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

PISANIO
Be assured, madam,
With his next vantage.

IMOGEN
I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours
Such thoughts and such, or I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest and his honour, or have charged him,
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
To encounter me with orisons, for then
I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.

Enter a Lady

Lady
The queen, madam,
Desires your highness’ company.

IMOGEN
Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch’d.
I will attend the queen.

PISANIO
Madam, I shall.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. Rome. Philario’s house.

Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a Frenchman, a Dutchman, and a Spaniard
IACHIMO
Believe it, sir, I have seen him in Britain: he was
then of a crescent note, expected to prove so worthy
as since he hath been allowed the name of; but I
could then have looked on him without the help of
admiration, though the catalogue of his endowments
had been tabled by his side and I to peruse him by items.

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

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

IACHIMO
This matter of marrying his king’s daughter, wherein
he must be weighed rather by her value than his own,
words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.

Frenchman
And then his banishment.

IACHIMO
Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this
lamentable divorce under her colours are wonderfully
to extend him; be it but to fortify her 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
acquaintance?

PHILARIO
His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I
have been often bound for no less than my life.
Here comes the Briton: let him be so entertained
amongst you as suits, with gentlemen of your
knowing, to a stranger of his quality.

Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS

I beseech you all, be better known to this
gentleman; whom I commend to you as a noble friend
of mine: how worthy he is I will leave to appear
hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.

Frenchman
Sir, we have known together in Orleans.

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

Frenchman
Sir, you o’er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I
did atone my countryman and you; it had been pity
you should have been put together with so mortal a
purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so
slight and trivial a nature.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
my every action to be guided by others’ experiences:
but upon my mended judgment–if I offend not to say
it is mended–my quarrel was not altogether slight.

Frenchman
‘Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords,
and by such two that would by all likelihood have
confounded one the other, or have fallen both.

IACHIMO
Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?

Frenchman
Safely, I think: ’twas a contention in public,
which may, without contradiction, suffer the report.
It was much like an argument that fell out last
night, where each of us fell in praise of our
country mistresses; this gentleman at that time
vouching–and upon warrant of bloody
affirmation–his to be more fair, virtuous, wise,
chaste, constant-qualified and less attemptable
than any the rarest of our ladies in France.

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

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

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

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

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

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

IACHIMO
What do you esteem it at?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
More than the world enjoys.

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

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if
there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit
for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale,
and only the gift of the gods.

IACHIMO
Which the gods have given you?

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Which, by their graces, I will keep.

IACHIMO
You may wear her in title yours: but, you know,
strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your
ring may be stolen too: so your brace of unprizable
estimations; the one is but frail and the other
casual; a cunning thief, or a that way accomplished
courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier
to convince the honour of my mistress, if, in the
holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do
nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.

PHILARIO
Let us leave here, gentlemen.

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

IACHIMO
With five times so much conversation, I should get
ground of your fair mistress, make her go back, even
to the yielding, had I admittance and opportunity to friend.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
No, no.

IACHIMO
I dare thereupon pawn the moiety of my estate to
your ring; which, in my opinion, o’ervalues it
something: but I make my wager rather against your
confidence than her reputation: and, to bar your
offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any
lady in the world.

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

IACHIMO
What’s that?

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

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

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

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
What lady would you choose to assail?

IACHIMO
Yours; whom in constancy you think stands so safe.
I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring,
that, commend me to the court where your lady is,
with no more advantage than the opportunity of a
second conference, and I will bring from thence
that honour of hers which you imagine so reserved.

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

IACHIMO
You are afraid, and therein the wiser. If you buy
ladies’ flesh at a million a dram, you cannot
preserve it from tainting: but I see you have some
religion in you, that you fear.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
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 LEONATUS
Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your
return: let there be covenants drawn between’s: my
mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your
unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here’s my ring.

PHILARIO
I will have it no lay.

IACHIMO
By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no
sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest
bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats
are yours; so is your diamond too: if I come off,
and leave her in such honour as you have trust in,
she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are
yours: provided I have your commendation for my more
free entertainment.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
I embrace these conditions; let us have articles
betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if
you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
to understand you have prevailed, I am no further
your enemy; she is not worth our debate: if she
remain unseduced, you not making it appear
otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you
have made to her chastity you shall answer me with
your sword.

IACHIMO
Your hand; a covenant: we will have these things set
down by lawful counsel, and straight away for
Britain, lest the bargain should catch cold and
starve: I will fetch my gold and have our two
wagers recorded.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Agreed.

Exeunt POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and IACHIMO

Frenchman
Will this hold, think you?

PHILARIO
Signior Iachimo will not from it.
Pray, let us follow ’em.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Britain. A room in Cymbeline’s palace.

Enter QUEEN, Ladies, and CORNELIUS
QUEEN
Whiles yet the dew’s on ground, gather those flowers;
Make haste: who has the note of them?

First Lady
I, madam.

QUEEN
Dispatch.

Exeunt Ladies

Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?

CORNELIUS
Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, madam:

Presenting a small box

But I beseech your grace, without offence,–
My conscience bids me ask–wherefore you have
Commanded of me those most poisonous compounds,
Which are the movers of a languishing death;
But though slow, deadly?

QUEEN
I wonder, doctor,
Thou ask’st me such a question. Have I not been
Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn’d me how
To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so
That our great king himself doth woo me oft
For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,–
Unless thou think’st me devilish–is’t not meet
That I did amplify my 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 vigour of them and apply
Allayments to their act, and by them gather
Their several virtues and effects.

CORNELIUS
Your highness
Shall from this practise but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

QUEEN
O, content thee.

Enter PISANIO

Aside

Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him
Will I first work: he’s for his master,
An enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio!
Doctor, your service for this time is ended;
Take your own way.

CORNELIUS
[Aside] I do suspect you, madam;
But you shall do no harm.

QUEEN
[To PISANIO] Hark thee, a word.

CORNELIUS
[Aside] I do not like her. She doth think she has
Strange lingering poisons: I do know her spirit,
And will not trust one of her malice with
A drug of such damn’d nature. Those she has
Will stupefy and dull the sense awhile;
Which first, perchance, she’ll prove on
cats and dogs,
Then afterward up higher: but there is
No danger in what show of death it makes,
More than the locking-up the spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool’d
With a most false effect; and I the truer,
So to be false with her.

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

CORNELIUS
I humbly take my leave.

Exit

QUEEN
Weeps she still, say’st thou? Dost thou think in time
She will not quench and let instructions enter
Where folly now possesses? Do thou work:
When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son,
I’ll tell thee on the instant thou art then
As great as is thy master, greater, for
His fortunes all lie speechless and his name
Is at last gasp: return he cannot, nor
Continue where he is: to shift his being
Is to exchange one misery with another,
And every day that comes comes to decay
A day’s work in him. What shalt thou expect,
To be depender on a thing that leans,
Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends,
So much as but to prop him?

The QUEEN drops the box: PISANIO takes it up

Thou takest up
Thou know’st not what; but take it for thy labour:
It is a thing I made, which hath the king
Five times redeem’d from death: I do not know
What is more cordial. Nay, I prethee, take it;
It is an earnest of a further good
That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
The case stands with her; do’t as from thyself.
Think what a chance thou changest on, but think
Thou hast thy mistress still, to boot, my son,
Who shall take notice of thee: I’ll move the king
To any shape of thy preferment such
As thou’lt desire; and then myself, I chiefly,
That set thee on to this desert, am bound
To load thy merit richly. Call my women:
Think on my words.

Exit PISANIO

A sly and constant knave,
Not to be shaked; the agent for his master
And the remembrancer of her to hold
The hand-fast to her lord. I have given him that
Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her
Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after,
Except she bend her humour, shall be assured
To taste of too.

Re-enter PISANIO and Ladies

So, so: well done, well done:
The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pisanio;
Think on my words.

Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies

PISANIO
And shall do:
But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
I’ll choke myself: there’s all I’ll do for you.

Exit

SCENE VI. The same. Another room in the palace.

Enter IMOGEN
IMOGEN
A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
That hath her husband banish’d;–O, that husband!
My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol’n,
As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
Is the desire that’s glorious: blest be those,
How mean soe’er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!

Enter PISANIO and IACHIMO

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

IACHIMO
Change you, madam?
The worthy Leonatus is in safety
And greets your highness dearly.

Presents a letter

IMOGEN
Thanks, good sir:
You’re kindly welcome.

IACHIMO
[Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish’d with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
Rather directly fly.

IMOGEN
[Reads] ‘He is one of the noblest note, to whose
kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
him accordingly, as you value your trust–
LEONATUS.’
So far I read aloud:
But even the very middle of my heart
Is warm’d by the rest, and takes it thankfully.
You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
Have words to bid you, and shall find it so
In all that I can do.

IACHIMO
Thanks, fairest lady.
What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
Of sea and land, which can distinguish ‘twixt
The fiery orbs above and the twinn’d stones
Upon the number’d beach? and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
‘Twixt fair and foul?

IMOGEN
What makes your admiration?

IACHIMO
It cannot be i’ the eye, for apes and monkeys
‘Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
Contemn with mows the other; nor i’ the judgment,
For idiots in this case of favour would
Be wisely definite; nor i’ the appetite;
Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allured to feed.

IMOGEN
What is the matter, trow?

IACHIMO
The cloyed will,
That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
Both fill’d 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.

To PISANIO

Beseech you, sir, desire
My man’s abode where I did leave him: he
Is strange and peevish.

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

Exit

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

IACHIMO
Well, madam.

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

IACHIMO
Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
So merry and so gamesome: he is call’d
The Briton reveller.

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

IACHIMO
I never saw him sad.
There is a Frenchman his companion, one
An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much loves
A Gallian girl at home; he furnaces
The thick sighs from him, whiles the jolly Briton–
Your lord, I mean–laughs from’s free lungs, cries ‘O,
Can my sides hold, to think that man, who knows
By history, report, or his own proof,
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
But must be, will his free hours languish for
Assured bondage?’

IMOGEN
Will my lord say so?

IACHIMO
Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter:
It is a recreation to be by
And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
Some men are much to blame.

IMOGEN
Not he, I hope.

IACHIMO
Not he: but yet heaven’s bounty towards him might
Be used more thankfully. In himself, ’tis much;
In you, which I account his beyond all talents,
Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pity too.

IMOGEN
What do you pity, sir?

IACHIMO
Two creatures heartily.

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

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

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

IACHIMO
That others do–
I was about to say–enjoy your–But
It is an office of the gods to venge it,
Not mine to speak on ‘t.

IMOGEN
You do seem to know
Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,–
Since doubling things go ill often hurts more
Than to be sure they do; for certainties
Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born–discover to me
What both you spur and stop.

IACHIMO
Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
Whose every touch, would force the feeler’s soul
To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I, damn’d then,
Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
Made hard with hourly falsehood–falsehood, as
With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
Base and unlustrous as the smoky light
That’s fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
That all the plagues of hell should at one time
Encounter such revolt.

IMOGEN
My lord, I fear,
Has forgot Britain.

IACHIMO
And himself. Not I,
Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
The beggary of his change; but ’tis your graces
That from pay mutest conscience to my tongue
Charms this report out.

IMOGEN
Let me hear no more.

IACHIMO
O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart
With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady
So fair, and fasten’d to an empery,
Would make the great’st king double,–to be partner’d
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 boil’d stuff
As well might poison poison! Be revenged;
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
Must not in haste abuse–if it be true,
How should I be revenged?

IACHIMO
Should he make me
Live, like Diana’s priest, betwixt cold sheets,
Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
More noble than that runagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your affection,
Still close as sure.

IMOGEN
What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO
Let me my service tender on your lips.

IMOGEN
Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
For such an end thou seek’st,–as base as strange.
Thou wrong’st a gentleman, who is as far
From thy report as thou from honour, and
Solicit’st here a lady that disdains
Thee and the devil alike. What ho, Pisanio!
The king my father shall be made acquainted
Of thy assault: if he shall think it fit,
A saucy stranger in his court to mart
As in a Romish stew and to expound
His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
He little cares for and a daughter who
He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO
O happy Leonatus! I may say
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
Her assured credit. Blessed live you long!
A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
Country call’d his! and you his mistress, only
For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
I have spoke this, to know if your affiance
Were deeply rooted; and shall make your lord,
That which he is, new o’er: and he is one
The truest manner’d; such a holy witch
That he enchants societies into him;
Half all men’s hearts are his.

IMOGEN
You make amends.

IACHIMO
He sits ‘mongst men like a descended god:
He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
To try your taking a false report; which hath
Honour’d 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,
Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.

IMOGEN
All’s well, sir: take my power i’ the court
for yours.

IACHIMO
My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
To entreat your grace but in a small request,
And yet of moment to, for it concerns
Your lord; myself and other noble friends,
Are partners in the business.

IMOGEN
Pray, what is’t?

IACHIMO
Some dozen Romans of us and your lord–
The best feather of our wing–have mingled sums
To buy a present for the emperor
Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
In France: ’tis plate of rare device, and jewels
Of rich and exquisite form; their values great;
And I am something curious, being strange,
To have them in safe stowage: may it please you
To take them in protection?

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

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

IMOGEN
O, no, no.

IACHIMO
Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
By lengthening my return. From Gallia
I cross’d the seas on purpose and on promise
To see your grace.

IMOGEN
I thank you for your pains:
But not away to-morrow!

IACHIMO
O, I must, madam:
Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
To greet your lord with writing, do’t to-night:
I have outstood my time; which is material
To the tender of our present.

IMOGEN
I will write.
Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,
And truly yielded you. You’re very welcome.

Exeunt