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POSTHUMUS. Alack, the King!
CYMBELINE. 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.
POSTHUMUS. The gods protect you,
And bless the good remainders of the court!
I am gone. Exit
IMOGEN. There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.
CYMBELINE. O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st
A year's age on me!
IMOGEN. 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.
CYMBELINE. Past grace? obedience?
IMOGEN. Past hope, and in despair; that way past grace.
CYMBELINE. That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!
IMOGEN. O blessed that I might not! I chose an eagle,
And did avoid a puttock.
CYMBELINE. Thou took'st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
A seat for baseness.
IMOGEN. No; I rather added
A lustre to it.
CYMBELINE. O thou vile one!
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.
CYMBELINE. What, art thou mad?
IMOGEN. Almost, sir. Heaven restore me! Would I were
A neat-herd's daughter, and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd's son!
CYMBELINE. Thou foolish thing!
[To the QUEEN] They were again together. You have done
Not after our command. Away with her,
And pen her up.
QUEEN. Beseech your patience.- Peace,
Dear lady daughter, peace!- Sweet sovereign,
Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some comfort
Out of your best advice.
CYMBELINE. Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day and, being aged,
Die of this folly. Exit, with LORDS
QUEEN. Fie! you must give way.
Here is your servant. How now, sir! What news?
PISANIO. My lord your son drew on my master.
No harm, I trust, is done?
PISANIO. 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.
QUEEN. I am very glad on't.
IMOGEN. 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?
PISANIO. 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.
QUEEN. This hath been
Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honour
He will remain so.
PISANIO. I humbly thank your Highness.
QUEEN. Pray walk awhile.
IMOGEN. About some half-hour hence,
Pray you speak with me. You shall at least
Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me. Exeunt
Britain. A public place
Enter CLOTEN and two LORDS
FIRST LORD. 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.
CLOTEN. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I hurt him?
SECOND LORD. [Aside] No, faith; not so much as his patience.
FIRST LORD. Hurt him! His body's a passable carcass if he be not
hurt. It is a throughfare for steel if it be not hurt.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] His steel was in debt; it went o' th' back
side the town.
CLOTEN. The villain would not stand me.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] No; but he fled forward still, toward your
FIRST LORD. Stand you? You have land enough of your own; but he
added to your having, gave you some ground.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] As many inches as you have oceans.
CLOTEN. I would they had not come between us.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] So would I, till you had measur'd how long a
fool you were upon the ground.
CLOTEN. And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!
SECOND LORD. [Aside] If it be a sin to make a true election, she is
FIRST LORD. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go
not together; she's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection
of her wit.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection
should hurt her.
CLOTEN. Come, I'll to my chamber. Would there had been some hurt
SECOND LORD. [Aside] I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of
an ass, which is no great hurt.
CLOTEN. You'll go with us?
FIRST LORD. I'll attend your lordship.
CLOTEN. Nay, come, let's go together.
SECOND LORD. Well, my lord. Exeunt
Britain. CYMBELINE'S palace
Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO
IMOGEN. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o' th' haven,
And questioned'st 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?
PISANIO. It was: his queen, his queen!
IMOGEN. Then wav'd his handkerchief?
PISANIO. And kiss'd it, madam.
IMOGEN. Senseless linen, happier therein than I!
And that was all?
PISANIO. No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with his eye, or care
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.
IMOGEN. Thou shouldst have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
PISANIO. Madam, so I did.
IMOGEN. I would have broke mine eyestrings, crack'd them but
To look upon him, till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
Nay, followed 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?
PISANIO. Be assur'd, madam,
With his next vantage.
IMOGEN. 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,
T' 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
LADY. The Queen, madam,
Desires your Highness' company.
IMOGEN. Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch'd.
I will attend the Queen.
PISANIO. Madam, I shall. Exeunt
Rome. PHILARIO'S house
Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, a FRENCHMAN, a DUTCHMAN, and a SPANIARD
IACHIMO. 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