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CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
LEONATUS POSTHUMOUS, Husband to Imogen.
PISANIO, Servant to Posthumus.
IACHIMO, Friend to Philario.
IMOGEN, Daughter to Cymbeline by former Qucen.
HELEN, Woman to Imogen.
DISSEMBLING courtesy! How fine this
Can tickle where she wounds !—My dearest
I something fear my father's wrath ; but nothing
(Always reserv'd my holy duty) what
His rage can do on me: You must be gone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes; not comforted to live,
But that there is this jewel in the world,
That I may see again.
My queen! my mistress!
O, lady, weep no more ; lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man ! I will remain
The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth ;
My residence in Rome at one Philario's,
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter; thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send,
Though ink be made of gall.
Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow : Adieu !
Imogen. Nay, stay a little ;
Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love :
This diamond was my mother's; take it, heart;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.
How ! how ! another ?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death! Remain, remain thou here
[Putting on the ring.
While sense can keep it on. And sweetest, fairest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss; so, in our trifles
I still win of you : For my sake, wear this ;
It is a manacle of love ; I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.
[Putting a bracelet on her arm. Imogen.
O, the gods! When shall we see again?
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.
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!
Imogen. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o'the
And question’dst every sail : if he should write,
And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost
is. What was the last That he spake to thee ? Pisanio.
'Twas, 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 ?
No, madam ; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of his mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on,
How swift his ship.
Thou should'st have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
Madam, so I did. Imogen. I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd them,
To look upon him ; till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle:
Nay, follow'd 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 ?
Be assurd, 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,
To 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.
Iachimo. I dare, thereon, 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.
Posthumus. What lady would you choose to assail ?
Iachimo. 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 conference, and I will bring from thence that honour of hers, which you imagine so reserved.
Imogen. 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 ? Fye!
Enter PISANIO and IACHIMO.
Pisanio. Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome
Comes from my lord with letters.
Change you, madam ?
The worthy Leonatus is in safety,
And greets your highness dearly. [Presents a letter.
Thanks, good sir :
You are kindly welcome.
Iachimo. All of her, that is out of door, most rich.
[Aside. If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,