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Cymbeline: Act 3, Scene 4

Cymbeline
Act 3, Scene 4

The country near Milford-Haven.

  1. Enter Pisanio and Imogen.

Imogen

2 - 19
  1. Thou toldst me, when we came from horse, the place
  2. Was near at hand. Ne’er long’d my mother so
  3. To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! Man!
  4. Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind
  5. That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh
  6. From th’ inward of thee? One but painted thus
  7. Would be interpreted a thing perplex’d
  8. Beyond self-explication. Put thyself
  9. Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness
  10. Vanquish my staider senses. What’s the matter?
  11. Why tender’st thou that paper to me with
  12. A look untender? If’t be summer news,
  13. Smile to’t before; if winterly, thou need’st
  14. But keep that count’nance still. My husband’s hand!
  15. That drug-damn’d Italy hath outcraftied him,
  16. And he’s at some hard point. Speak, man, thy tongue
  17. May take off some extremity, which to read
  18. Would be even mortal to me.

Pisanio

20 - 22
  1.                             Please you read,
  2. And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
  3. The most disdain’d of fortune.

Imogen

23 - 33
  1. Reads.
  2. Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath play’d the strumpet in my bed;
  3. the testimonies whereof lies bleeding in me. I speak not out
  4. of weak surmises, but from proof as strong as my grief and
  5. as certain as I expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio,
  6. must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach
  7. of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life. I shall
  8. give thee opportunity at Milford-Haven. She hath my letter
  9. for the purpose; where, if thou fear to strike and to make
  10. me certain it is done, thou art the pander to her dishonor
  11. and equally to me disloyal.”

Pisanio

34 - 41
  1. What shall I need to draw my sword, the paper
  2. Hath cut her throat already! No, ’tis slander,
  3. Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
  4. Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
  5. Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
  6. All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states,
  7. Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
  8. This viperous slander enters. What cheer, madam?

Imogen

42 - 46
  1. False to his bed? What is it to be false?
  2. To lie in watch there, and to think on him?
  3. To weep ’twixt clock and clock? If sleep charge nature,
  4. To break it with a fearful dream of him,
  5. And cry myself awake? That’s false to ’s bed? Is it?

Pisanio

47
  1. Alas, good lady!

Imogen

48 - 59
  1. I false? Thy conscience witness! Jachimo,
  2. Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;
  3. Thou then look’dst like a villain; now methinks
  4. Thy favor’s good enough. Some jay of Italy
  5. (Whose mother was her painting) hath betray’d him.
  6. Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion,
  7. And for I am richer than to hang by th’ walls,
  8. I must be ripp’d. To pieces with me! O!
  9. Men’s vows are women’s traitors. All good seeming,
  10. By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
  11. Put on for villainy; not born where’t grows,
  12. But worn a bait for ladies.

Pisanio

60
  1.                             Good madam, hear me.

Imogen

61 - 76
  1. True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,
  2. Were in his time thought false; and Sinon’s weeping
  3. Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity
  4. From most true wretchedness. So thou, Posthumus,
  5. Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
  6. Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjur’d
  7. From thy great fail.—Come, fellow, be thou honest,
  8. Do thou thy master’s bidding. When thou seest him,
  9. A little witness my obedience. Look
  10. I draw the sword myself, take it, and hit
  11. The innocent mansion of my love, my heart.
  12. Fear not, ’tis empty of all things but grief.
  13. Thy master is not there, who was indeed
  14. The riches of it. Do his bidding, strike.
  15. Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause,
  16. But now thou seem’st a coward.

Pisanio

77 - 78
  1.                                Hence, vile instrument!
  2. Thou shalt not damn my hand.

Imogen

79 - 103
  1.                              Why, I must die;
  2. And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
  3. No servant of thy master’s. Against self-slaughter
  4. There is a prohibition so divine
  5. That cravens my weak hand. Come, here’s my heart:
  6. Something’s afore’t. Soft, soft, we’ll no defense,
  7. Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
  8. The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
  9. All turn’d to heresy? Away, away,
  10. Corrupters of my faith! You shall no more
  11. Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools
  12. Believe false teachers. Though those that are betray’d
  13. Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
  14. Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus,
  15. That didst set up my disobedience ’gainst the King
  16. My father, and make me put into contempt the suits
  17. Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
  18. It is no act of common passage, but
  19. A strain of rareness; and I grieve myself
  20. To think, when thou shalt be disedg’d by her
  21. That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
  22. Will then be pang’d by me. Prithee dispatch,
  23. The lamb entreats the butcher. Where’s thy knife?
  24. Thou art too slow to do thy master’s bidding
  25. When I desire it too.

Pisanio

104 - 106
  1.                       O gracious lady!
  2. Since I receiv’d command to do this business
  3. I have not slept one wink.

Imogen

107
  1.                            Do’t, and to bed then.

Pisanio

108
  1. I’ll wake mine eyeballs out first.

Imogen

109 - 117
  1.                                    Wherefore then
  2. Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abus’d
  3. So many miles with a pretense? This place?
  4. Mine action? And thine own? Our horses’ labor?
  5. The time inviting thee? The perturb’d court
  6. For my being absent? Whereunto I never
  7. Purpose return. Why hast thou gone so far,
  8. To be unbent when thou hast ta’en thy stand,
  9. Th’ elected deer before thee?

Pisanio

118 - 121
  1.                               But to win time
  2. To lose so bad employment, in the which
  3. I have consider’d of a course. Good lady,
  4. Hear me with patience.

Imogen

122 - 125
  1.                        Talk thy tongue weary, speak.
  2. I have heard I am a strumpet, and mine ear,
  3. Therein false struck, can take no greater wound,
  4. Nor tent to bottom that. But speak.

Pisanio

126 - 127
  1.                                     Then, madam,
  2. I thought you would not back again.

Imogen

128 - 129
  1.                                     Most like,
  2. Bringing me here to kill me.

Pisanio

130 - 135
  1.                              Not so, neither;
  2. But if I were as wise as honest, then
  3. My purpose would prove well. It cannot be
  4. But that my master is abus’d. Some villain,
  5. Ay, and singular in his art, hath done you both
  6. This cursed injury.

Imogen

136
  1. Some Roman courtezan?

Pisanio

137 - 141
  1.                       No, on my life.
  2. I’ll give but notice you are dead, and send him
  3. Some bloody sign of it; for ’tis commanded
  4. I should do so. You shall be miss’d at court,
  5. And that will well confirm it.

Imogen

142 - 145
  1.                                Why, good fellow,
  2. What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
  3. Or in my life what comfort, when I am
  4. Dead to my husband?

Pisanio

146
  1.                     If you’ll back to th’ court

Imogen

147 - 150
  1. No court, no father, nor no more ado
  2. With that harsh, noble, simple nothing,
  3. That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
  4. As fearful as a siege.

Pisanio

151 - 152
  1.                        If not at court,
  2. Then not in Britain must you bide.

Imogen

153 - 158
  1.                                    Where then?
  2. Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day? Night?
  3. Are they not but in Britain? I’ th’ world’s volume
  4. Our Britain seems as of it, but not in’t;
  5. In a great pool a swan’s nest. Prithee think
  6. There’s livers out of Britain.

Pisanio

159 - 170
  1.                                I am most glad
  2. You think of other place. Th’ ambassador,
  3. Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven
  4. Tomorrow. Now, if you could wear a mind
  5. Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
  6. That which, t’ appear itself, must not yet be
  7. But by self-danger, you should tread a course
  8. Pretty and full of view; yea, happily, near
  9. The residence of Posthumus; so nigh, at least,
  10. That though his actions were not visible, yet
  11. Report should render him hourly to your ear
  12. As truly as he moves.

Imogen

171 - 173
  1.                       O, for such means,
  2. Though peril to my modesty, not death on’t,
  3. I would adventure.

Pisanio

174 - 186
  1.                    Well then, here’s the point:
  2. You must forget to be a woman; change
  3. Command into obedience; fear and niceness
  4. (The handmaids of all women, or more truly
  5. Woman it pretty self) into a waggish courage,
  6. Ready in gibes, quick-answer’d, saucy, and
  7. As quarrellous as the weasel; nay, you must
  8. Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
  9. Exposing it (but O, the harder heart!
  10. Alack, no remedy!) to the greedy touch
  11. Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
  12. Your laborsome and dainty trims, wherein
  13. You made great Juno angry.

Imogen

187 - 189
  1.                            Nay, be brief:
  2. I see into thy end, and am almost
  3. A man already.

Pisanio

190 - 202
  1.                First, make yourself but like one.
  2. Forethinking this, I have already fit
  3. (’Tis in my cloak-bag) doublet, hat, hose, all
  4. That answer to them. Would you in their serving
  5. (And with what imitation you can borrow
  6. From youth of such a season) ’fore noble Lucius
  7. Present yourself, desire his service, tell him
  8. Wherein you’re happy, which will make him know,
  9. If that his head have ear in music, doubtless
  10. With joy he will embrace you; for he’s honorable,
  11. And doubling that, most holy. Your means abroad
  12. You have me, rich, and I will never fail
  13. Beginning nor supplyment.

Imogen

203 - 208
  1.                           Thou art all the comfort
  2. The gods will diet me with. Prithee away,
  3. There’s more to be consider’d; but we’ll even
  4. All that good time will give us. This attempt
  5. I am soldier to, and will abide it with
  6. A prince’s courage. Away, I prithee.

Pisanio

209 - 217
  1. Well, madam, we must take a short farewell,
  2. Lest being miss’d, I be suspected of
  3. Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress,
  4. Here is a box, I had it from the Queen,
  5. What’s in’t is precious. If you are sick at sea,
  6. Or stomach-qualm’d at land, a dram of this
  7. Will drive away distemper. To some shade,
  8. And fit you to your manhood. May the gods
  9. Direct you to the best!

Imogen

218
  1.                         Amen! I thank thee.
  1. Exeunt severally.
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