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Home > Cymbeline > ACT III - SCENE V. A room in Cymbeline's palace.

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ACT III - SCENE V. A room in Cymbeline's palace.
CYMBELINE
1    Thus far; and so farewell.
CAIUS LUCIUS
2    Thanks, royal sir.
3    My emperor hath wrote, I must from hence;
4    And am right sorry that I must report ye
5    My master's enemy.
CYMBELINE
6    Our subjects, sir,
7    Will not endure his yoke; and for ourself
8    To show less sovereignty than they, must needs
9    Appear unkinglike.
CAIUS LUCIUS
10   So, sir: I desire of you
11   A conduct over-land to Milford-Haven.
12   Madam, all joy befal your grace!
QUEEN
13   And you!
CYMBELINE
14   My lords, you are appointed for that office;
15   The due of honour in no point omit.
16   So farewell, noble Lucius.
CAIUS LUCIUS
17   Your hand, my lord.
CLOTEN
18   Receive it friendly; but from this time forth
19   I wear it as your enemy.
CAIUS LUCIUS
20   Sir, the event
21   Is yet to name the winner: fare you well.
CYMBELINE
22   Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my lords,
23   Till he have cross'd the Severn. Happiness!
Exeunt LUCIUS and Lords

QUEEN
24   He goes hence frowning: but it honours us
25   That we have given him cause.
CLOTEN
26   'Tis all the better;
27   Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
CYMBELINE
28   Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor
29   How it goes here. It fits us therefore ripely
30   Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness:
31   The powers that he already hath in Gallia
32   Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he moves
33   His war for Britain.
QUEEN
34   'Tis not sleepy business;
35   But must be look'd to speedily and strongly.
CYMBELINE
36   Our expectation that it would be thus
37   Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
38   Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
39   Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
40   The duty of the day: she looks us like
41   A thing more made of malice than of duty:
42   We have noted it. Call her before us; for
43   We have been too slight in sufferance.
Exit an Attendant

QUEEN
44   Royal sir,
45   Since the exile of Posthumus, most retired
46   Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord,
47   'Tis time must do. Beseech your majesty,
48   Forbear sharp speeches to her: she's a lady
49   So tender of rebukes that words are strokes
50   And strokes death to her.
Re-enter Attendant

CYMBELINE
51   Where is she, sir? How
52   Can her contempt be answer'd?
Attendant
53   Please you, sir,
54   Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer
55   That will be given to the loudest noise we make.
QUEEN
56   My lord, when last I went to visit her,
57   She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close,
58   Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity,
59   She should that duty leave unpaid to you,
60   Which daily she was bound to proffer: this
61   She wish'd me to make known; but our great court
62   Made me to blame in memory.
CYMBELINE
63   Her doors lock'd?
64   Not seen of late? Grant, heavens, that which I fear
65   Prove false!
Exit

QUEEN
66   Son, I say, follow the king.
CLOTEN
67   That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant,
68   have not seen these two days.
QUEEN
69   Go, look after.
Exit CLOTEN
70   Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus!
71   He hath a drug of mine; I pray his absence
72   Proceed by swallowing that, for he believes
73   It is a thing most precious. But for her,
74   Where is she gone? Haply, despair hath seized her,
75   Or, wing'd with fervor of her love, she's flown
76   To her desired Posthumus: gone she is
77   To death or to dishonour; and my end
78   Can make good use of either: she being down,
79   I have the placing of the British crown.
Re-enter CLOTEN
80   How now, my son!
CLOTEN
81   'Tis certain she is fled.
82   Go in and cheer the king: he rages; none
83   Dare come about him.
QUEEN
Aside
84    All the better: may
85   This night forestall him of the coming day!
Exit

CLOTEN
86   I love and hate her: for she's fair and royal,
87   And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
88   Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one
89   The best she hath, and she, of all compounded,
90   Outsells them all; I love her therefore: but
91   Disdaining me and throwing favours on
92   The low Posthumus slanders so her judgment
93   That what's else rare is choked; and in that point
94   I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed,
95   To be revenged upon her. For when fools Shall--
Enter PISANIO
96   Who is here? What, are you packing, sirrah?
97   Come hither: ah, you precious pander! Villain,
98   Where is thy lady? In a word; or else
99   Thou art straightway with the fiends.
PISANIO
100  O, good my lord!
CLOTEN
101  Where is thy lady? Or, by Jupiter,--
102  I will not ask again. Close villain,
103  I'll have this secret from thy heart, or rip
104  Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus?
105  From whose so many weights of baseness cannot
106  A dram of worth be drawn.
PISANIO
107  Alas, my lord,
108  How can she be with him? When was she missed?
109  He is in Rome.
CLOTEN
110  Where is she, sir? Come nearer;
111  No further halting: satisfy me home
112  What is become of her.
PISANIO
113  O, my all-worthy lord!
CLOTEN
114  All-worthy villain!
115  Discover where thy mistress is at once,
116  At the next word: no more of 'worthy lord!'
117  Speak, or thy silence on the instant is
118  Thy condemnation and thy death.
PISANIO
119  Then, sir,
120  This paper is the history of my knowledge
121  Touching her flight.
Presenting a letter

CLOTEN
122  Let's see't. I will pursue her
123  Even to Augustus' throne.
PISANIO
Aside
124   Or this, or perish.
125  She's far enough; and what he learns by this
126  May prove his travel, not her danger.
CLOTEN
127  Hum!
PISANIO
Aside
128   I'll write to my lord she's dead. O Imogen,
129  Safe mayst thou wander, safe return again!
CLOTEN
130  Sirrah, is this letter true?
PISANIO
131  Sir, as I think.
CLOTEN
132  It is Posthumus' hand; I know't. Sirrah, if thou
133  wouldst not be a villain, but do me true service,
134  undergo those employments wherein I should have
135  cause to use thee with a serious industry, that is,
136  what villany soe'er I bid thee do, to perform it
137  directly and truly, I would think thee an honest
138  man: thou shouldst neither want my means for thy
139  relief nor my voice for thy preferment.
PISANIO
140  Well, my good lord.
CLOTEN
141  Wilt thou serve me? for since patiently and
142  constantly thou hast stuck to the bare fortune of
143  that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not, in the
144  course of gratitude, but be a diligent follower of
145  mine: wilt thou serve me?
PISANIO
146  Sir, I will.
CLOTEN
147  Give me thy hand; here's my purse. Hast any of thy
148  late master's garments in thy possession?
PISANIO
149  I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same suit he
150  wore when he took leave of my lady and mistress.
CLOTEN
151  The first service thou dost me, fetch that suit
152  hither: let it be thy lint service; go.
PISANIO
153  I shall, my lord.
Exit

CLOTEN
154  Meet thee at Milford-Haven!--I forgot to ask him one
155  thing; I'll remember't anon:--even there, thou
156  villain Posthumus, will I kill thee. I would these
157  garments were come. She said upon a time--the
158  bitterness of it I now belch from my heart--that she
159  held the very garment of Posthumus in more respect
160  than my noble and natural person together with the
161  adornment of my qualities. With that suit upon my
162  back, will I ravish her: first kill him, and in her
163  eyes; there shall she see my valour, which will then
164  be a torment to her contempt. He on the ground, my
165  speech of insultment ended on his dead body, and
166  when my lust hath dined,--which, as I say, to vex
167  her I will execute in the clothes that she so
168  praised,--to the court I'll knock her back, foot
169  her home again. She hath despised me rejoicingly,
170  and I'll be merry in my revenge.
Re-enter PISANIO, with the clothes
171  Be those the garments?
PISANIO
172  Ay, my noble lord.
CLOTEN
173  How long is't since she went to Milford-Haven?
PISANIO
174  She can scarce be there yet.
CLOTEN
175  Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the second
176  thing that I have commanded thee: the third is,
177  that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my design. Be
178  but duteous, and true preferment shall tender itself
179  to thee. My revenge is now at Milford: would I had
180  wings to follow it! Come, and be true.
Exit

PISANIO
181  Thou bid'st me to my loss: for true to thee
182  Were to prove false, which I will never be,
183  To him that is most true. To Milford go,
184  And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
185  You heavenly blessings, on her! This fool's speed
186  Be cross'd with slowness; labour be his meed!
Exit

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IVACT III, SCENE VI (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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