Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Next page
Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and
As quarrelous 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.
IMOGEN. Nay, be brief;
I see into thy end, and am almost
A man already.
PISANIO. 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
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
Wherein you're happy- which will make him know
If that his head have ear in music; 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.
IMOGEN. Thou art all the comfort
The gods will diet me with. Prithee away!
There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
All that good time will give us. This attempt
I am soldier to, and will abide it with
A prince's courage. Away, I prithee.
PISANIO. 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!
IMOGEN. Amen. I thank thee. Exeunt severally
Britain. CYMBELINE'S palace
Enter CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, LUCIUS, and LORDS
CYMBELINE. Thus far; and so farewell.
LUCIUS. Thanks, royal sir.
My emperor hath wrote; I must from hence,
And am right sorry that I must report ye
My master's enemy.
CYMBELINE. Our subjects, sir,
Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
To show less sovereignty than they, must needs
LUCIUS. So, sir. I desire of you
A conduct overland to Milford Haven.
Madam, all joy befall your Grace, and you!
CYMBELINE. My lords, you are appointed for that office;
The due of honour in no point omit.
So farewell, noble Lucius.
LUCIUS. Your hand, my lord.
CLOTEN. Receive it friendly; but from this time forth
I wear it as your enemy.
LUCIUS. Sir, the event
Is yet to name the winner. Fare you well.
CYMBELINE. Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
Till he have cross'd the Severn. Happiness!
Exeunt LUCIUS and LORDS
QUEEN. He goes hence frowning; but it honours us
That we have given him cause.
CLOTEN. 'Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
CYMBELINE. 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 pow'rs that he already hath in Gallia
Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
His war for Britain.
QUEEN. 'Tis not sleepy business,
But must be look'd to speedily and strongly.
CYMBELINE. 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;
We have noted it. Call her before us, for
We have been too slight in sufferance. Exit a MESSENGER
QUEEN. Royal sir,
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.
CYMBELINE. Where is she, sir? How
Can her contempt be answer'd?
MESSENGER. Please you, sir,
Her chambers are all lock'd, and there's no answer
That will be given to th' loud 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.
CYMBELINE. Her doors lock'd?
Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
Prove false! Exit
QUEEN. Son, I say, follow the King.
CLOTEN. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
I have not seen these two days.
QUEEN. Go, look after. Exit CLOTEN
Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus!
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 Posthumus. 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.
How now, my son?
CLOTEN. 'Tis certain she is fled.
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
CLOTEN. 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 Posthumus slanders so her judgment
That what's else rare is chok'd; and in that point
I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
To be reveng'd upon her. For when fools
Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
Come hither. Ah, you precious pander! Villain,
Where is thy lady? In a word, or else
Thou art straightway with the fiends.
PISANIO. O good my lord!
CLOTEN. Where is thy lady? or, by Jupiter-
I will not ask again. Close villain,
I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
A dram of worth be drawn.
PISANIO. Alas, my lord,
How can she be with him? When was she miss'd?
He is in Rome.
CLOTEN. Where is she, sir? Come nearer.
No farther halting! Satisfy me home
What is become of her.
PISANIO. O my all-worthy lord!
CLOTEN. 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.
PISANIO. Then, sir,
This paper is the history of my knowledge
Touching her flight. [Presenting a letter]
CLOTEN. Let's see't. I will pursue her
Even to Augustus' throne.
PISANIO. [Aside] Or this or perish.
She's far enough; and what he learns by this
May prove his travel, not her danger.
PISANIO. [Aside] I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen,
Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
CLOTEN. Sirrah, is this letter true?
PISANIO. Sir, as I think.
CLOTEN. It is Posthumus' hand; I know't. Sirrah, if thou wouldst
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 shouldst neither want my means for thy relief nor my voice
for thy preferment.
PISANIO. Well, my good lord.
CLOTEN. Wilt thou serve me? For since patiently and constantly thou
hast stuck to the bare fortune of that beggar Posthumus, thou