SCENE: Britain; Rome.

SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline's palace.


You do not meet a man but frowns. Our bloods

No more obey the heavens than our courtiers

Still seem as does the King.


But what's the matter?


His daughter, and the heir of's kingdom, whom

He purpos'd 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.


None but the King?


He that hath lost her too; so is the Queen,

That most desir'd the match: but not a courtier,

Although they wear their faces to the bent

Of the King's looks, hath a heart that is not

Glad at the thing they scowl at.


And why so?


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.


You speak him far.


I do extend him, sir, within himself;

Crush him together rather than unfold

His measure duly.


What's his name and birth?


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 serv'd with glory and admir'd 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, deceas'd

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 minist'red,

And in's spring became a harvest; liv'd in court--

Which rare it is to do--most prais'd, most lov'd,

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.


I honour him

Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me,

Is she sole child to the King?


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 stolen, and to this hour no guess in knowledge

Which way they went.


How long is this ago?

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Some twenty years.


That a king's children should be so convey'd,

So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,

That could not trace them!


Howsoe'er 'tis strange,

Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,

Yet is it true, sir.


I do well believe you.


We must forbear; here comes the gentleman,

The Queen, and Princess.




No, be assur'd you shall not find me, daughter,

After the slander of most stepmothers,

Evil-ey'd 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.


Please your Highness,

I will from hence to-day.


You know the peril.

I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying

The pangs of barr'd affections, though the King

Hath charg'd you should not speak together.



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 reserv'd 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.


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.]


Be brief, I pray you.

If the King come, I shall incur I know not

How much of his displeasure.


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.



Should we be taking leave

As long a term as yet we have to live,

The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!


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.


How, how! another?

You gentle gods, give me but this I have,

And cere up my embracements from a next

With bonds of death! Remain, remain thou here

[Putting on the ring.]

While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,

As I my poor self did exchange for you,

To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles

I still win of you; for my sake wear this.

It is a manacle of love; I'll place it

Upon this fairest prisoner.

[Putting a bracelet upon her arm.]


O the gods!

When shall we see again?



Alack, the King!


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.


The gods protect you!

And bless the good remainders of the court!

I am gone.



There cannot be a pinch in death

More sharp than this is.


O disloyal thing,

That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st

A year's age on me!


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.


Past grace? obedience?


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


That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!


O blest, that I might not! I chose an eagle,

And did avoid a puttock.


Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne

A seat for baseness.


No; I rather added

A lustre to it.


O thou vile one!


Sir, It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus.

You bred him as my playfellow, and he is

A man worth any woman; overbuys me

Almost the sum he pays.


What, art thou mad?


Almost, sir; heaven restore me! Would I were

A neat-herd's daughter, and my Leonatus

Our neighbour shepherd's son!

[Re-enter QUEEN.]

CYMBELINE. Thou foolish thing!

--They were again together; you have done

Not after our command. Away with her,

And pen her up.


Beseech your patience. Peace,

Dear lady daughter, peace! Sweet sovereign,

Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some comfort

Out of your best advice.


Nay, let her languish

A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,

Die of this folly!


[Enter PISANIO.]


Fie! you must give way.

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


My lord your son drew on my master.


Ha! No harm, I trust, is done?


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.


I am very glad on't.


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?


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 pleas'd you to employ me.


This hath been

Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honour

He will remain so.


I humbly thank your Highness.


Pray, walk a while.


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.



The same. A public place.

[Enter CLOTEN and two LORDS.]


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.


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



No, faith; not so much as his patience.


Hurt him! His body's a passable carcass, if he be not

hurt; it is a throughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.



His steel was in debt; it went o' the backside the town.


The villain would not stand me.



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


Stand you! You have land enough of your own; but he

added to your having, gave you some ground.



As many inches as you have oceans. Puppies!


I would they had not come between us.



So would I, till you had measur'd how long a fool you

were upon the ground.


And that she should love this fellow and refuse me!



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


Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go

not together. She's a good sign, but I have seen small


of her wit.



She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her.


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




I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no

great hurt.


You'll go with us?


I'll attend your lordship.


Nay, come, let's go together.


Well, my lord.



A room in CYMBELINE'S palace.



I would thou grew'st unto the shores o' the haven,

And question'dst every sail. If he should write

And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost,

As offer'd mercy is. What was the last

That he spake to thee?


It was his queen, his queen!


Then wav'd his handkerchief?


And kiss'd it, madam.


Senseless linen! happier therein than I!

And that was all?


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.


Thou shouldst have made him

As little as a crow, or less, ere left

To after-eye him.


Madam, so I did.


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?


Be assured, madam,

With his next vantage.


I did not take my leave of him, but had

Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him

How I would think on him at certain hours

Such thoughts and such, or I could make him swear

The shes of Italy should not betray

Mine interest and his honour, or have charg'd 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.]


The Queen, madam,

Desires your Highness' company.


Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch'd.

I will attend the Queen.


Madam, I shall.



Rome. PHILARIO'S house.




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 look'd 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



You speak of him when he was less furnish'd than now he

is with that which makes him both without and within.


I have seen him in France. We had very many there could

behold the sun with as firm eyes as he.


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.


And then his banishment.


Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this lamentable

divorce under her colours are wonderfully to extend him; be it

but to fortify her judgement, which else an easy battery might

lay flat, for taking a beggar without less quality. But how

comes it he is to sojourn with you? How creeps acquaintance?


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.--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.


Sir, we have known together in Orleans.


Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,

which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.


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.


By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller; rather shunn'd

to go even with what I heard than in my every action to be guided

by others' experiences: but upon my mended judgement--if I offend

[not] to say it is mended--my quarrel was not altogether slight.


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.


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


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.


That lady is not now living, or this gentleman's opinion by this

worn out.


She holds her virtue still, and I my mind.


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


Being so far provok'd as I was in France, I would abate her

nothing, though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.


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



I prais'd her as I rated her; so do I my stone.


What do you esteem it at?


More than the world enjoys.


Either your unparagon'd mistress is dead, or she's outpriz'd by a



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.


Which the gods have given you?


Which, by their graces, I will keep.


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-

accomplish'd courtier, would hazard the winning both of first

and last.


Your Italy contains none so accomplish'd 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.


Let us leave here, gentlemen.


Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes

no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.


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.


No, no.


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.


You are a great deal abus'd in too bold a persuasion; and I doubt

not you sustain what you're worthy of by your attempt.


What's that?


A repulse; though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more,--a

punishment too.


Gentlemen, enough of this; it came in too suddenly. Let it die

as it was born, and, I pray you, be better acquainted.


Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the approbation

of what I have spoke!


What lady would you choose to assail?


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 reserv'd.


I will wage against your gold, gold to it. My ring I hold dear as

my finger; 'tis part of it.


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.


This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I



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

I swear.


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.


I will have it no lay.


By the gods, it is one. If I bring you no sufficient testimony

that I have enjoy'd 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.


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 prevail'd, I am no

further your enemy; she is not worth our debate. If she remain

unseduc'd, 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.


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.





Will this hold, think you?


Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow 'em.



Britain. A room in CYMBELINE'S palace.



Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers;

Make haste. Who has the note of them?


I, madam.



[Exeunt LADIES.]

Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?


Pleaseth your Highness, ay. Here they are, madam.

[Presenting a small box.]

But I beseech your Grace, without offence,--

My conscience bids me ask--wherefore you have

Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds,

Which are the movers of a languishing death,

But though slow, deadly?


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 judgement in

Other conclusions? I will try the forces

Of these thy compounds on such creatures as

We count not worth the hanging,--but none human--

To try the vigour of them and apply

Allayments to their act, and by them gather

Their several virtues and effects.


Your Highness

Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.

Besides, the seeing these effects will be

Both noisome and infectious.

QUEEN. O, content thee.

[Enter PISANIO.]


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.



I do suspect you, madam;

But you shall do no harm.



Hark thee, a word.



I do not like her. She doth think she has

Strange ling'ring poisons. I do know her spirit,

And will not trust one of her malice with

A drug of such damn'd nature. Those she has

Will stupefy and dull the sense a while,

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.


No further service, doctor,

Until I send for thee.


I humbly take my leave.



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

A day's work in him. What shalt thou expect,

To be depender on a thing that leans,

Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends

So much as but to prop him?

[The QUEEN drops the box: PISANIO takes it up.]

Thou tak'st up

Thou know'st not what; but take it for thy labour.

It is a thing I made, which hath the King

Five times redeem'd from death. I do not know

What is more cordial. Nay, I prithee, 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.


A sly and constant knave,

Not to be shak'd; 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 assur'd

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.]


And shall do;

But when to my good lord I prove untrue,

I'll choke myself. There's all I'll do for you.



The same. Another room in the palace.

[Enter 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-stolen,

As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable

Is the desire that's glorious. Blessed be those,

How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,

Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!



Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome

Comes from my lord with letters.


Change you, madam?

The worthy Leonatus is in safety

And greets your Highness dearly.

[Presents a letter]


Thanks, good sir;

You're kindly welcome.



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.



"--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 take 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.


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?


What makes your admiration?


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 judgement,

For idiots in this case of favour would

Be wisely definite; nor i' the appetite;

Sluttery to such neat excellence oppos'd

Should make desire vomit emptiness,

Not so allur'd to feed.


What is the matter, trow?


The cloyed will,--

That satiate yet unsatisfi'd desire, that tub

Both fill'd and running,--ravening first the lamb,

Longs after for the garbage.


What, dear sir,

Thus raps you? Are you well?


Thanks, madam; well.


Beseech you, sir, desire

My man's abode where I did leave him.

He is strange and peevish.


I was going, sir,

To give him welcome.



Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?


Well, madam.


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


Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there

So merry and so gamesome. He is call'd

The Briton reveller.


When he was here,

He did incline to sadness, and oft-times

Not knowing why.


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?"


Will my lord say so?


Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter.

It is a recreation to be by

And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,

Some men are much to blame.


Not he, I hope.


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.


What do you pity, sir?


Two creatures heartily.


Am I one, sir?

You look on me; what wreck discern you in me

Deserves your pity?


Lamentable! What,

To hide me from the radiant sun, and solace

I' the dungeon by a snuff?


I pray you, sir,

Deliver with more openness your answers

To my demands. Why do you pity me?


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.


You do seem to know

Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,--

Since doubting things go ill often hurts more

Than to be sure they do; for certainties

Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,

The remedy then born--discover to me

What both you spur and stop.


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 lie peeping in an eye

Base and illustrious 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.


My lord, I fear,

Has forgot Britain.


And himself. Not I,

Inclin'd to this intelligence, pronounce

The beggary of his change; but 'tis your graces

That from my mutest conscience to my tongue

Charms this report out.


Let me hear no more.


O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart

With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady

So fair, and fasten'd to an empery

Would make the great'st king double,--to be partner'd

With tomboys hir'd with that self-exhibition

Which your own coffers yield! with diseas'd ventures

That play with all infirmities for gold

Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff

As well might poison poison! Be reveng'd;

Or she that bore you was no queen, and you

Recoil from your great stock.



How should I be reveng'd? 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 reveng'd?


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.


What ho, Pisanio!


Let me my service tender on your lips.


Away! I do condemn mine ears that have

So long attended thee. If thou wert 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!


O happy Leonatus! I may say.

The credit that thy lady hath of thee

Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness

Her assur'd 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.


You make amends.


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 adventur'd

To try your taking of a false report; which hath

Honour'd with confirmation your great judgement

In the election of a sir so rare,

Which you know cannot err. The love I bear him

Made me to fan you thus; but the gods made you,

Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.


All's well, sir. Take my power i' the court for yours.


My humble thanks. I had almost forgot

To entreat your Grace but in a small request,

And yet of moment too, for it concerns

Your lord, myself, and other noble friends,

Are partners in the business.


Pray, what is't?


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?



And pawn mine honour for their safety. Since

My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them

In my bedchamber.


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.


O, no, no.


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.


I thank you for your pains:

But not away to-morrow!


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.


I will write.

Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,

And truly yielded you. You're very welcome.