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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.
IMOGEN. Let me hear no more.
IACHIMO. 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?
IACHIMO. 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.
IMOGEN. What ho, Pisanio!
IACHIMO. Let me my service tender on your lips.
IMOGEN. 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
Solicits 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!
IACHIMO. 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.
IMOGEN. You make amends.
IACHIMO. He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
He hath a kind of honour sets him of
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 judgment
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.
IMOGEN. All's well, sir; take my pow'r i' th' court for yours.
IACHIMO. My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
T' 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.
IMOGEN. Pray what is't?
IACHIMO. 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.
IACHIMO. 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.
IMOGEN. O, no, no.
IACHIMO. Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
By length'ning my return. From Gallia
I cross'd the seas on purpose and on promise
To see your Grace.
IMOGEN. I thank you for your pains.
But not away to-morrow!
IACHIMO. 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 th' tender of our present.
IMOGEN. I will write.
Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept
And truly yielded you. You're very welcome. Exeunt
ACT II. SCENE I.
Britain. Before CYMBELINE'S palace
Enter CLOTEN and the two LORDS
CLOTEN. 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
FIRST LORD. What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your
SECOND LORD. [Aside] If his wit had been like him that broke it, it
would have run all out.
CLOTEN. When a gentleman is dispos'd to swear, it is not for any
standers-by to curtail his oaths. Ha?
SECOND LORD. No, my lord; [Aside] nor crop the ears of them.
CLOTEN. Whoreson dog! I give him satisfaction? Would he had been
one of my rank!
SECOND LORD. [Aside] To have smell'd like a fool.
CLOTEN. I am not vex'd more at anything in th' 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 jackslave hath his bellyful
of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that nobody
SECOND LORD. [Aside] You are cock and capon too; and you crow,
cock, with your comb on.
CLOTEN. Sayest thou?
SECOND LORD. It is not fit your lordship should undertake every
companion that you give offence to.
CLOTEN. No, I know that; but it is fit I should commit offence to
SECOND LORD. Ay, it is fit for your lordship only.
CLOTEN. Why, so I say.
FIRST LORD. Did you hear of a stranger that's come to court
CLOTEN. A stranger, and I not known on't?
SECOND LORD. [Aside] He's a strange fellow himself, and knows it
FIRST LORD. There's an Italian come, and, 'tis thought, one of
CLOTEN. Leonatus? A banish'd rascal; and he's another, whatsoever
he be. Who told you of this stranger?
FIRST LORD. One of your lordship's pages.
CLOTEN. Is it fit I went to look upon him? Is there no derogation
SECOND LORD. You cannot derogate, my lord.
CLOTEN. Not easily, I think.
SECOND LORD. [Aside] You are a fool granted; therefore your issues,
being foolish, do not derogate.
CLOTEN. Come, I'll go see this Italian. What I have lost to-day at
bowls I'll win to-night of him. Come, go.
SECOND LORD. I'll attend your lordship.
Exeunt 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 son
Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart,
And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st,
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, than 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
T' enjoy thy banish'd lord and this great land! Exit
Britain. IMOGEN'S bedchamber in CYMBELINE'S palace; a trunk in one corner
Enter IMOGEN in her bed, and a LADY attending
IMOGEN. Who's there? My woman? Helen?
LADY. Please you, madam.
IMOGEN. What hour is it?
LADY. Almost midnight, madam.
IMOGEN. 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' th' clock,
I prithee call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly. Exit LADY
To your protection I commend me, gods.
From fairies and the tempters of the night
Guard me, beseech ye!