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For mine's beyond beyond,) say, and speak thick,
(Love's counsellor should fill the bores of hearing,
To the smothering of the sense,) how far it is
To this same blessed Milford: And, by the way,
Tell me how Wales was made so happy, as
To inherit such a haven: But, first of all,
How we may steal from hence; and, for the gap
That we shall make in time, from our hence-going,
And our return, to excuse : — but first, how get

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Madam, you're best consider. Imo. I see before me, man, nor here, nor here, Nor what ensues; but have a fog in them, That I cannot look through. Away, I pr'ythee; Do as I bid thee: There's no more to say; Accessible is none but Milford way.

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[Exeunt. SCENE III. Wales. A mountainous Country, with a Cave. Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.

Bel. A goodly day not to keep house, with such Whose roof's as low as ours! Stoop, boys: This gate Instructs you how to adore the heavens; and bows you To morning's holy office: The gates of monarchs Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through And keep their impious turbands on, without Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair heaven! We house i'the rock, yet use thee not so hardly As prouder livers do.

Hail, heaven!

Have never wing'd from view o'the nest; nor know


What airs from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
With your stiff age: but, unto us, it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling abed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.


Arv. Hail, heaven! Bel. Now for our mountain sport: Up to yon hill, Your legs are young; I'll tread these flats. Consider, When you above perceive me like a crow, That it is place, which lessens, and sets off. And you may then revolve what tales I have told you Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war: This service is not service, so being done, But being so allow'd: To apprehend thus, Draws us a profit from all things we see : And often, to our comfort, shall we find The sharded beetle in a safer hold Than is the full-wing'd eagle. O, this life Is nobler, than attending for a check Richer than doing nothing for a babe ; Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk : Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine, Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours. Gui. Out of your proof you speak: we, poor unfledg'd,


Arv. What should we speak of, When we are old as you? when we shall hear The rain and wind beat dark December, how, In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing. We are beastly; subtle as the fox, for prey; Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat : Our valour is, to chase what flies; our cage We make a quire, as doth the prison'd bird, And sing our bondage freely.


How you speak!
Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly the art o'the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery, that

The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I'the name of fame, and honour; which dies i'the

And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,


Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must coun'sey at the censure: - O, boys, this story
The world may read in me: My body's mark'd
With Roman swords; and my report was once
First with the best of note: Cymbeline lov'd me;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit : but, in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.


Uncertain favour! Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told you oft,)

But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline,
I was confederate with the Romans: so,
Follow'd my banishment; and, this twenty years,
This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world:
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The fore-end of my time.

But, up to the moun

tains ; This is not hunters' language: - He, that strikes The venison first, shall be the lord o'the feast; To him the other two shall minister; And we will fear no poison, which attends

In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the valleys. [Exeunt Gui. and ARV. How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature! These boys know little, they are sons to the king; Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive. They think, they are mine: and, though .rain'd up thus meanly

I'the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things, to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore, —
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call'd Guiderius, —- Jove !

When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say, Thus mine enemy fell;
And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in

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That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
(Once Arvirágus,) in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rous'd! -
O Cymbeline! heaven, and my conscience, knows,
Thou didst unjustly banish me: whereon,
At three, and two years old, I stole these babes;
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their

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

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Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters. What cheer, madam?
Imo. False to his bed! What is it, to be false?
To lie in watch there, and to think on him?

To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge nature,

To break it with a fearful dream of him,
And cry myself awake? that's false to his bed?
Is it?

Pis. Alas, good lady!

Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness: - Iachimo,

Please you, read; And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing The most disdain'd of fortune.

Imo. [Reads.] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof le bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises; but from proof as strong as my grief, and as certain as I expect my revenge. That part, thou, Pisanio, must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life: I shall give thee opportunities at Milford-Haven: she hath my letter for the purpose: Where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour, and equally to me disloyal.

Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword? the

Hath cut her throat already. —No, 'tis slander;
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,

Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, methinks,
Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy,
Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him:
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion;
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,
I must be ripp'd :· -to pieces with me! — O,
Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming,
By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
Put on for villainy; not born, where't grows;
But worn, a bait for ladies.

Good madam, hear me.
Imo. True honest men being heard, like falsc

Were, in his time, thought false and Sinon's weeping

Did scandal many a holy tear; took pity

From most true wretchedness: So, thou, Posthúmus,
Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false, and perjur'd,
From thy great fail. - Come, fellow, be thou honest:
Do thou thy master's bidding: When thou see'st

A little witness my obedience: Look!

I draw the sword myself: take it; and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart:
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things, but grief:
Thy master is not there; who was, indeed,
The riches of it: Do his bidding; strike.
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward.
Hence, vile instrument!
Thou shalt not damr my hand.



Why, I must die;

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


That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my
Something's afore't:- - Soft, soft; we'll no defence;
Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
All turn'd to heresy? Away, away,
Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
Be stomachers to my heart! Thus may poor fools
Believe false teachers: Though those that are be

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

And thou, Posthúmus, thou that did'st set up
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father,
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself,
To think, when thou shalt be disedg'd by her
That now thou tir'st on, how thy memory

Will then be pang'd by me. Pr'ythee, despatch:

The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy knife? Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding, When I desire it too.


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


Do't, and to bed then. Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first. Imo. Wherefore then Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus'd So many miles, with a pretence? this place? Mine action, and thine own? our horses' labour? The time inviting thee? the perturb'd court, For my being absent; whereunto I never Purpose return? Why hast thou gone so far, To be unbent, when thou hast ta'en thy stand, The elected deer before thee?


But to win time To lose so bad employment: in the which I have consider'd of a course; Good lady, Hear me with patience.

Imo. Talk thy tongue weary; speak: I have heard, I am a strumpet; and mine ear, Therein false struck, can take no greater wound, Nor tent to bottom that. But speak. Pis. I thought you would not back again. Imo.

Bringing me here to kill me.

Not so, neither:
But if I were as wise as honest, then
My purpose would prove well. It cannot be,
But that my master is abus'd:
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art
Hath done you both this cursed injury.
Imo. Some Roman courtezan.

No, on my life. I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded I should do so: You shall be miss'd at court, And that will well confirm it.

Why, good fellow,
What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
Or in my life what comfort, when I am
Dead to my husband?

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

Pis. If not at court, Then not in Britain must you bide. Imo. Where then? Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night, Are they not but in Britain? I'the world's volume Our Britain seems as of it, but not in it; In a great pool, a swan's nest; Pr'ythee, think There's livers out of Britain.


O, for such means! Though peril to my modesty, not death on't, I would adventure.

First, make yourself but like one Fore-thinking this, I have already fit, ('Tis in my cloak-bag,) doublet, hat, hose, all That answer to them: Would you, in their serving, And with what imitation you can borrow From youth of such a season, 'fore noble Lucius Then, madam, Present yourself, desire his service, tell him Wherein you are happy, (which you'll make him know,

Most like;

Pis. I am most glad You think of other place. The embassador, Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven To-morrow; Now, if you could wear a mind Dark as your fortune is; and but disguise That, which, to appear itself, must not yet be, But by self-danger; you should tread a course Pretty, and full of view: yea, haply, near The residence of Posthumus: so nigh, at least, That though his actions were not visible, yet Report should render him hourly to your ear, As truly as he moves.

Pis. Well then, here's the point: You must forget to be a woman; change Command into obedience; fear, and niceness, (The handmaids of all women, or, more truly, Woman its pretty self,) to a waggish courage; | Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and As quarrellous as the weasel; nay, you must Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek, Exposing it (but, O, the harder heart! Alack no remedy !) to the greedy touch Of common-kissing Titan: and forget Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein You made great Juno angry.


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

Nay, be brief:

If that his head have ear in musick,) doubtless With joy he will embrace you; for he's honourable, And, doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad You have me, rich; and I will never fail Beginning, nor supplyment.


Thou art all the comfor

The gods will diet me with. Pr'ythee, away:
There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
All that good time will give us :
This attempt
I'm soldier to, and will abide it with
A prince's courage. Away, I pr'ythee.

Pis. Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of
Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
Here is a box: I had it from the queen;
What's in't is precious; if you are sick at sea,
Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this
Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
And fit you to your manhood:- - May the gods
Direct you to the best!

Amen: I thank thee. [Exeunt. SCENE V. A Room in Cymbeline's Palace. Enter CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, LUCIUS, and Lords. Cym. Thus far; and so farewell. Luc. Thanks, royal sir. My emperor hath wrote; I must from hence; And am right sorry, that I must report ye My master's enemy.

Cym. Our subjects, sir, Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself To show less sovereignty than they, must needs Appear unkinglike.


So, sir, I desire of you A conduct over land, to Milford-Haven. Madam, all joy befal your grace, and you!

Cym. My lords, you are appointed for that office; The due of honour in no point omit⚫ So, farewell, noble Lucius.

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Clo. 'Tis all the better; Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it. Cym. Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor How it goes here. It fits us therefore, ripely, Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness: The powers that he already hath in Gallia Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves His war for Britain.


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

[Exit an Attendant. Royal sir,

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Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd
Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
'Tis time must do. 'Beseech your majesty,
Forbear sharp speeches to her: She's a lady
So tender of rebukes, that words are strokes,
And strokes death to her.

Re-enter an Attendant.

Cym. Where is she, sir? How Can her contempt be answer'd?

Please you, sir,
Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer
That will be given to the loud'st of noise we make.
Queen. My lord, when last I went to visit her,
She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close;
Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity,

She should that duty leave unpaid to you,
Which daily she was bound to proffer: this
She wish'd me to make known; but our great court
Made me to blame in memory.


Her doors lock'd? Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that, which I fear, Prove false ! [Exit.

Queen. Son, I say, follow the king.
Clo. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,

I have not seen these two days.


Go, look after. [Exit CLOTEN. Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthúmus! He hath a drug of mine: I pray, his absence Proceed by swallowing that; for he believes It is a thing most precious. But for her, Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seiz'd her; Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she's flown To her desir'd Posthúmus: Gone she is

To death, or to dishonour; and my end
Can make good use of either: She being down,
I have the placing of the British crown.

Re-enter CLOTEN.

How now, my son?
'Tis certain, she is filed:
Go in, and cheer the king; he rages; none
Dare come about him.

Queen. All the better: May This night forestall him of the coming day! [Exit QUEEN.

Clo. I love, and hate her: for she's fair and royal; And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one The best she hath, and she, of all compounded, Outsells them all: I love her therefore; But, Disdaining me, and throwing favours on The low Posthúmus, slanders so her judgment, That what's else rare, is chok'd; and, in that point, I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed, For, when fools

To be reveng'd upon her.

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Alas, my lord, How can she be with him? When was she miss'd? He is in Rome.

Clo. Where is she, sir? Come nearer ; No further halting: satisfy me home, What is become of her?

Pis. O, my all-worthy lord! Clo. All-worthy villain! Discover where thy mistress is, at once, At the next word, No more of worthy lord, — Speak, or thy silence on the instant is Thy condemnation and thy death.


Then, sir, This paper is the history of my knowledge ouching her flight. [Presenting a letter. Let's see't: :- I will pursue her Even to Augustus' throne.



Or this, or perish. She's far enough; and what he learns by this,

May prove his travel, not her danger.

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Pis. I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen, Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again! [Aside. Clo. Sirrah, is this letter true?

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


Pis. Well, my good lord.

Clo. Wilt thou serve me? For since patiently

and constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not in the course of gratitude but be a diligent follower of mine. Wilt thou serve me? Pis. Sir, I will.

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

Clo. The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit hither: let it be thy first service; go.

Pis. I shall, my lord.

[Exit. Clo. Meet thee at Milford-Haven: - I forgot to ask him one thing; I'll remember't anon : — . Even there thou villain, Posthumus, will I kill thee. — I would, these garments were come. She said upon a time, (the bitterness of it I row belch from my heart,) that she held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect than my noble and natural person, together with the adornment of my qualities. With that suit upon my back, will I ravish her: First kill him, and in her eyes; there shall she see my valour, which will then be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my speech of insultment ended on his dead body, and when my lust hath dined, (which, as I say, to vex her, I will execute in the clothes that she so praised,) to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home again. She hath despised me rejoicingly, and I'll be merry in my revenge.

Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes.

Be those the garments?

Pis. Ay, my noble lord.

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

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Is worse in kings, than beggars. My dear lord!
Thou art one o'the false ones: Now I think on thee,
My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to it: 'Tis some savage hold:
I were best not call; I dare not call: yet famine,
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty, and peace, breeds cowards; hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here?
If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage,
Take, or lend.-Ho!-No answer? then I'll enter.
Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy
But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
Such a foe, good heavens! [She goes into the cave.

But that my resolution helps me. — Milford,
When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think,
Foundations fly the wretched: such, I mean,
Where they should be reliev'd. Two beggars told me,
I could not miss my way: Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them; knowing 'tis
A punishment, or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true: To lapse in fulness
Is sorer, than to lie for need; and falsehood


Bel. You, Polydore, have prov'd best woodman, and

Are master of the feast: Cadwal, and I,
Will play the cook, and servant; 'tis our match:
The sweat of industry would dry, and die,
But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
Will make what's homely, savoury: Weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when restive sloth
Finds the down pillow hard. · - Now, peace be here,
Poor house, that keep'st thyself!

I am throughly weary.
Arv. I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
Gui. There is cold meat i'the cave; we'll browze
on that

Pis. Thou bidd'st me to my loss: for, true to thee, I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had
Were to prove false, which I will never be,
To him that is most true. To Milford go,

Gold strew'd o'the floor.

Here's money for my

Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.


Stay; come not in : [Looking in. But that it eats our victuals, I should think Here were a fairy.

Gui. What's the matter, sir? Bel. By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not, An earthly paragon! - Behold divineness No elder than a boy!


Imo. Good masters, harm me not: Before I enter'd here, I call'd ; and thought To have begg'd, or bought what I have took : Good troth,

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