Wales: near the cave of Belarius.



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.


SCENE II. Before the cave of Belarius.



[To IMOGEN] You are not well: remain here in the cave;

We'll come to you after hunting.


[To IMOGEN] Brother, stay here

Are we not brothers?


So man and man should be;

But clay and clay differs in dignity,

Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.


Go you to hunting; I'll abide with him.


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.


I love thee; I have spoke it

How much the quantity, the weight as much,

As I do love my father.


What! how! how!


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.'


[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.


Brother, farewell.


I wish ye sport.


You health. So please you, sir.


[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


I could not stir him:

He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;

Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.


Thus did he answer me: yet said, hereafter

I might know more.


To the field, to the field!

We'll leave you for this time: go in and rest.


We'll not be long away.


Pray, be not sick,

For you must be our housewife.


Well or ill,

I am bound to you.


And shalt be ever.

Exit IMOGEN, to the cave

This youth, how'er distress'd, appears he hath had

Good ancestors.


How angel-like he sings!


But his neat cookery! he cut our roots

In characters,

And sauced our broths, as Juno had been sick

And he her dieter.


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.


I do note

That grief and patience, rooted in him both,

Mingle their spurs together.


Grow, patience!

And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine

His perishing root with the increasing vine!


It is great morning. Come, away!--

Who's there?



I cannot find those runagates; that villain

Hath mock'd me. I am faint.


'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!


He is but one: you and my brother search

What companies are near: pray you, away;

Let me alone with him.



Soft! What are you

That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers?

I have heard of such. What slave art thou?


A thing

More slavish did I ne'er than answering

A slave without a knock.


Thou art a robber,

A law-breaker, a villain: yield thee, thief.


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?


Thou villain base,

Know'st me not by my clothes?


No, nor thy tailor, rascal,

Who is thy grandfather: he made those clothes,

Which, as it seems, make thee.


Thou precious varlet,

My tailor made them not.


Hence, then, and thank

The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool;

I am loath to beat thee.


Thou injurious thief,

Hear but my name, and tremble.


What's thy name?


Cloten, thou villain.


Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,

I cannot tremble at it: were it Toad, or

Adder, Spider,

'Twould move me sooner.


To thy further fear,

Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know

I am son to the queen.


I am sorry for 't; not seeming

So worthy as thy birth.


Art not afeard?


Those that I reverence those I fear, the wise:

At fools I laugh, not fear them.


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



No companies abroad?


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


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.


In this place we left them:

I wish my brother make good time with him,

You say he is so fell.


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


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.


What hast thou done?


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.


We are all undone.


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?


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.


Let ordinance

Come as the gods foresay it: howsoe'er,

My brother hath done well.


I had no mind

To hunt this day: the boy Fidele's sickness

Did make my way long forth.


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.



I fear 'twill be revenged:

Would, Polydote, thou hadst not done't! though valour

Becomes thee well enough.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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


My ingenious instrument!

Hark, Polydore, it sounds! But what occasion

Hath Cadwal now to give it motion? Hark!


Is he at home?


He went hence even now.


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?


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


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.


O sweetest, fairest lily!

My brother wears thee not the one half so well

As when thou grew'st thyself.


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?


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.




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.


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.


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.


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!


Say, where shall's lay him?


By good Euriphile, our mother.


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.



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.


We'll speak it, then.


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.


Pray You, fetch him hither.

Thersites' body is as good as Ajax',

When neither are alive.


If you'll go fetch him,

We'll say our song the whilst. Brother, begin.



Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the east;

My father hath a reason for't.


'Tis true.


Come on then, and remove him.


So. Begin.



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.


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.


Fear no more the lightning flash,


Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;


Fear not slander, censure rash;


Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:


All lovers young, all lovers must

Consign to thee, and come to dust.


No exorciser harm thee!


Nor no witchcraft charm thee!


Ghost unlaid forbear thee!


Nothing ill come near thee!


Quiet consummation have;

And renowned be thy grave!

Re-enter BELARIUS, with the body of CLOTEN


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


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.



[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


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.


But what from Rome?


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.


When expect you them?


With the next benefit o' the wind.


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?


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.


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.


He's alive, my lord.


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?


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.


'Lack, good youth!

Thou movest no less with thy complaining than

Thy master in bleeding: say his name, good friend.


Richard du Champ.


If I do lie and do

No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope

They'll pardon it.--Say you, sir?


Thy name?


Fidele, sir.


Thou dost approve thyself the very same:

Thy name well fits thy faith, thy faith thy name.

Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say

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.


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.


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.


SCENE III. A room in Cymbeline's palace.

Enter CYMBELINE, Lords, PISANIO, and Attendants


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.


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.


The time is troublesome.


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.


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.


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


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.


SCENE IV. Wales: before the cave of Belarius.



The noise is round about us.


Let us from it.


What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it

From action and adventure?


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.



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.


This is, sir, a doubt

In such a time nothing becoming you,

Nor satisfying us.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


So say I amen.


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.


The time seems long; their blood

thinks scorn,

Till it fly out and show them princes born.