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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.

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

Iach. What do you esteem it at ?
Post. More than the world enjoys.

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

Post. You are mistaken. The one may be sold, or given, or 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.

Iach. Which the gods have given you ?
Post. Which, by their graces, I will keep. 96

lach. 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.

Post. 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: Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen.

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

Iach. 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.

Post. No, no.

Iach. 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.

Post. 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.

Iach. What's that?

Post. A repulse ; though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more, - a punishment too. 123

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

Iach. Would I had put my estate and my neighbour's on the approbation of what I have spoke!

Post. What lady would you choose to assail ?

Iach. 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 confer

ence, and I will bring from thence that honour of hers which you imagine so reserv'd.

Post. I will wage against your gold, gold to it. My ring I hold dear as my finger; 't is part of it.

Iach. 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, 189

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

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

Post. 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.

Phi. I will have it no lay.

Iach. 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.

Post. 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.

Iach. 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. Post. Agreed.

(Exeunt Posthumus and Iachimo.] French. Will this hold, think you ?

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

[Ereunt. 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 ? 1. Lady.

I, madam. Queen. Dispatch.

[Ereunt Ladies. Now, master doctor, have you brought those

drugs? Cor. 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 com
















Which are the movers of a languishing death,
But though slow, deadly.

I wonder, doctor, 10 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 pro

ceeded, Unless thou think'st me devilish — is 't not

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

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

Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

0, content thee. Enter PISANIO. (Aside. Here comes a flattering rascal; upon

Will I first work. He's for his master,
And enemy to my son. How now, Pisanio !
Doctor, your service for this time is ended ;
Take your own way.

Cor. (Aside.) I do suspect you, madam ; But you

shall do no harm. Queen.

[To Pisanio.] Hark thee, a word. Cor. (Aside.) 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, 0 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. Cor. I humbly take my leave. 45

[Erit. 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

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 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.

(Exit Pisanio.

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, 80 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. Pis.

And shall do ; But when to my good lord I prove untrue, I 'll choke myself. There's all I'll do for you.

[Erit. SCENE (VI. The same. Another room in the


Enter IMOGEN. Imo. A father cruel, and a step-dame false; A foolish suitor to a wedded lady, That hath her husband banish'd ; -0, 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 ?


Enter Pisanio and IACHIMO. Pis. Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome, 1e Comes from my lord with letters. lach.

Change you, madam ?

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The worthy Leonatus is in safety
And greets your Highness dearly.

[Presents a letter.] Imo.

Thanks, good sir; You're kindly welcome. Iach. [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.

Imo. (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 take it thank

fully. You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I Have words to bid you, and shall find it so In all that I can do. lach.

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 36 Upon the number'd beach, and can we not Partition make with spectacles so precious 'Twixt fair and foul ?

Imo. What makes your admiration? Iach. 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

; Sluttery to such neat excellence

oppos' Should make desire vomit emptiness, Not so allur'd to feed.

Imo. What is the matter, trow ? lach.

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. Imo.

What, dear sír, Thus raps you? Are you well ? lach. Thanks, madam; well. (To Pisanio.)

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.

[Exit. 56 Imo. Continues well my lord ? His health,

beseech you? Iach. Well, madam. Imo. Is he dispos'd to mirth? I hope he is. Iach. 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

BritonYour lord, I mean – laughs from 's free lungs,

cries “0, Can my sides 'hold, to think that man, who

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?
Iach. Ay, madam, with his eyes in food with

laughter. It is a recreation to be by And hear him mock the Frenchman. But,

heavens know, Some men are much to blame. Imo.

Not he, I hope. lach. Not he; but yet heaven's bounty to

wards him might Be used more thankfully. In himself, it is

much; In you – which I account his — beyond all

Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
To pity too.

Imo. What do you pity, sir ?
Iach. Two creatures heartily.

Am I one, sir?
You look on me ; what wreck discern you in
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?

Iach. 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 no 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. Iach.

Had I this cheek To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose

touch, Whose every touch, would force the feeler's

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





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my heart





and you

That mount the Capitol; join gripes with

Made hard with hourly falsehood — falsehood,
With labour; then lie peeping in an eye
Base and illustrous as the smoky light
That's fed with stinking tallow: it were fit 110
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 't is your

graces That from my mutest conscience to my tongue Charms this report out. Imo.

Let me hear no more. lach. O dearest soul ! your cause doth strike 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 I with diseas'd

ventures That play with all infirmities for gold Which rottenness can lend nature ! such boil'd

As well might poison poison ! Be reveng'd;
Or she that bore you was no queen,
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

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! lach. Let me my service tender on your

lips. Imo. Away! I do condemn mine ears that

have So long attended thee. If thou wert honour

able, 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! 165
Iach. O happy Leonatus ! Í

may say.
The credit that thy lady hath of thee
Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect good-
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 par-

don. 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. Imo.

You make amends. Iach. 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 judge

ment 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. Imo. All's well, sir. Take my power i' the

court for yours. Iach. My humble thanks. I had almost for

got 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. Imo.

Pray, what is 't? Iach. Some dozen Romans of us and your

lordThe best feather of our wing - have mingled 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 ? Imo.

Willingly; And pawn mine honour for their safety. Since My lord hath interest in them, I will keep

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,

0, no, no. lach. Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my














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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!

0, I must, madam ; Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please 205 To greet your lord with writing; do 't to-night. I have outstood my time ; which is material To the tender of our present. Imo.

I will write. Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept, And truly yielded you.

You 're very wel

[Exeunt. 210

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2. Lord. You cannot derogate, my lord. Clo. Not easily, I think.

2. Lord. (Aside.) You are a fool granted; therefore your issues, being foolish, do not derogate.

Clo. Come, I 'll go see this Italian. What I have lost to-day at bowls I'll win to-night of him. Come, go. 2. Lord. I'll attend your lordship.

[Ereunt (Cloten and First Lord). That such a crafty devil as is his mother Should yield the world this ass ! A woman that Bears all down with her brain; and this her Cannot take two from twenty, for his beart, es And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess, Thou divine Imogen, what thou endurist, Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern'd, A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer More hateful than the foul expulsion is Of thy dear husband! Then that horrid act Of the divorce he'd make! The heavens hold

firm The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshak'd That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst

stand, To enjoy thy banish'd lord and this great land!

[Erit. * SCENE II. (Imogen's bedchamber in Cymbeline's

palace: a trunk in one corner of it.] IMOGEN in bed (reading]; a LADY [attending!

Imo. Who's there? My woman Helen ?

madam. Imo. What hour is it? Lady.

Almost midnight, madam. Imo. I have read three hours then. Mine eyes

are weak. Fold down the leaf where I have left. To

bed. Take not away the taper, leave it burning; And if thou canst awake by four o' the clock, I prithee, call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly.

[Erit Lady.) To your protection I commend me, gods. From fairies and the tempters of the night Guard me, beseech ye.

(Sleeps. Iachimo comes from the

trunk. Iach. The crickets sing, and man's o'er

labour'd sense Repairs itself by rest. Qur Tarquin thus Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd The chastity he wounded. Cytherea ! How bravely thou becom'st thy bed, fresh

lily, And whiter than the sheets! That I might

touch! But kiss one kiss ! Rubies unparagon'd, How dearly they do't ! 'Tis her breathing that Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame o' the

taper Bows toward her, and would under-peep her

lids To see the enclosed lights, now canopied Under these windows white and azure, lac'd


ACT II SCENE I. (Britain. Before Cymbeline's palace.]

Enter CLOTEN and two LORDS. Clo. Was there ever man had such luck! When I kiss'd the jack, upon an up-cast to be hit away! I had a hundred pound on 't; and then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing, as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure.

1. Lord. What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your bowl.

2. Lord. (Aside.] If his wit had been like him that broke it, it would have run all out.

Clo. When a gentleman is dispos'd to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?

2. Lord. No, my lord; (aside) nor crop the ears of them.

Clo. Whoreson dog! I give him satisfaction ? Would he had been one of my rank!

2. Lord. (Aside.] To have smelt like a fool. 18

Clo. I am not vex'd more at anything in the earth; a pox on't! I had rather not be so noble as I am. They dare not fight with me, because of the Queen my mother. Every Jack-slave hath his bellyful of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that nobody can match.

2. Lord. (Aside.) You are cock and capon too;, and you crow, cock, with your comb on.

Clo. Sayest thou ?

2. Lord. It is not fit your lordship should undertake every companion that you give offence to.

Clo. No, I know that; but it is fit I should commit offence to my inferiors.

2. Lord. Ay, it is fit for your lordship only. Clo. Why, so I say.

1. Lord. Did you hear of a stranger that's come to court to-night?

Clo. A stranger, and I not know on 't!

2. Lord. [Aside. He's a strange fellow himself, and knows it not.

1. Lord. There's an Italian come; and, 't is thought, one of Leonatus' friends.

Clo. Leonatus! a banish'd rascal; and he's another, whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger ? 1. Lord. One of your lordship's pages.

Clo. Is it fit I went to look upon him ? Is there no derogation in 't?

Please you,







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