Act 2, Scene 2
Britain. Imogen’s bedchamber in Cymbeline’s palace.
- Enter Imogen in her bed, and a Lady. A trunk in one corner.
- Who’s there? My woman? Helen?
- Please you, madam.
- What hour is it?
- Almost midnight, madam.
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- 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 Helen.
- To your protection I commend me, gods,
- From fairies and the tempters of the night
- Guard me, beseech ye.
- Imogen sleeps.
- Jachimo from the trunk.
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- The crickets sing, and man’s o’erlabor’d sense
- Repairs itself by rest. Our 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’ th’ taper
- Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
- To see th’ enclosed lights, now canopied
- Under these windows, white and azure lac’d
- With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design!
- To note the chamber, I will write all down:
- Takes out his tables.
- Such and such pictures; there the window; such
- Th’ adornment of her bed; the arras, figures,
- Why, such and such; and the contents o’ th’ story.
- Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
- Above ten thousand meaner moveables
- Would testify, t’ enrich mine inventory.
- O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her,
- And be her sense but as a monument,
- Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off;
- Taking off her bracelet.
- As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
- ’Tis mine, and this will witness outwardly,
- As strongly as the conscience does within,
- To th’ madding of her lord. On her left breast
- A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
- I’ th’ bottom of a cowslip. Here’s a voucher,
- Stronger than ever law could make; this secret
- Will force him think I have pick’d the lock and ta’en
- The treasure of her honor. No more: to what end?
- Why should I write this down that’s riveted,
- Screw’d to my memory? She hath been reading late
- The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turn’d down
- Where Philomele gave up. I have enough;
- To th’ trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
- Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
- May bare the raven’s eye! I lodge in fear;
- Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
- Clock strikes.
- One, two, three: time, time!
- Exit into the trunk.