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    Act 2, Scene II

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    Chapter 8
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    SCENE II. Imogen's bedchamber in Cymbeline's palace:
    a trunk in one corner of it.

    IMOGEN in bed, reading; a Lady attending

    Who's there? my woman Helen?

    Please you, madam

    What hour is it?

    Almost midnight, madam.

    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' the clock,
    I prithee, call me. Sleep hath seized me wholly

    Exit Lady

    To your protection I commend me, gods.
    From fairies and the tempters of the night
    Guard me, beseech ye.

    Sleeps. IACHIMO comes from the trunk

    The crickets sing, and man's o'er-labour'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 becomest 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' the taper
    Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
    To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
    Under these windows, white and azure laced
    With blue of heaven's own tinct. But my design,
    To note the chamber: I will write all down:
    Such and such pictures; there the window; such
    The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
    Why, such and such; and the contents o' the story.
    Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
    Above ten thousand meaner moveables
    Would testify, to 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 the madding of her lord. On her left breast
    A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
    I' the 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 honour. 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 Philomel gave up. I have enough:
    To the 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!

    Goes into the trunk. The scene closes

    Scene III
    An ante-chamber adjoining Imogen's apartments.

    Enter CLOTEN and Lords

    First Lord
    Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the
    most coldest that ever turned up ace.

    It would make any man cold to lose.

    First Lord
    But not every man patient after the noble temper of
    your lordship. You are most hot and furious when you win.

    Winning will put any man into courage. If I could
    get this foolish Imogen, I should have gold enough.
    It's almost morning, is't not?

    First Lord
    Day, my lord.

    I would this music would come: I am advised to give
    her music o' mornings; they say it will penetrate.

    Enter Musicians

    Come on; tune: if you can penetrate her with your
    fingering, so; we'll try with tongue too: if none
    will do, let her remain; but I'll never give o'er.
    First, a very excellent good-conceited thing;
    after, a wonderful sweet air, with admirable rich
    words to it: and then let her consider.


    Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus 'gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    On chaliced flowers that lies;
    And winking Mary-buds begin
    To ope their golden eyes:
    With every thing that pretty is,
    My lady sweet, arise:
    Arise, arise.

    So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will
    consider your music the better: if it do not, it is
    a vice in her ears, which horse-hairs and
    calves'-guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to
    boot, can never amend.

    Exeunt Musicians

    Second Lord
    Here comes the king.

    I am glad I was up so late; for that's the reason I
    was up so early: he cannot choose but take this
    service I have done fatherly.


    Good morrow to your majesty and to my gracious mother.

    Attend you here the door of our stern daughter?
    Will she not forth?

    I have assailed her with music, but she vouchsafes no notice.

    The exile of her minion is too new;
    She hath not yet forgot him: some more time
    Must wear the print of his remembrance out,
    And then she's yours.

    You are most bound to the king,
    Who lets go by no vantages that may
    Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself
    To orderly soliciting, and be friended
    With aptness of the season; make denials
    Increase your services; so seem as if
    You were inspired to do those duties which
    You tender to her; that you in all obey her,
    Save when command to your dismission tends,
    And therein you are senseless.

    Senseless! not so.

    Enter a Messenger

    So like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
    The one is Caius Lucius.

    A worthy fellow,
    Albeit he comes on angry purpose now;
    But that's no fault of his: we must receive him
    According to the honour of his sender;
    And towards himself, his goodness forespent on us,
    We must extend our notice. Our dear son,
    When you have given good morning to your mistress,
    Attend the queen and us; we shall have need
    To employ you towards this Roman. Come, our queen.

    Exeunt all but CLOTEN

    If she be up, I'll speak with her; if not,
    Let her lie still and dream.


    By your leave, ho!
    I Know her women are about her: what
    If I do line one of their hands? 'Tis gold
    Which buys admittance; oft it doth; yea, and makes
    Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
    Their deer to the stand o' the stealer; and 'tis gold
    Which makes the true man kill'd and saves the thief;
    Nay, sometime hangs both thief and true man: what
    Can it not do and undo? I will make
    One of her women lawyer to me, for
    I yet not understand the case myself.


    By your leave.

    Enter a Lady

    Who's there that knocks?

    A gentleman.

    No more?

    Yes, and a gentlewoman's son.

    That's more
    Than some, whose tailors are as dear as yours,
    Can justly boast of. What's your lordship's pleasure?

    Your lady's person: is she ready?

    To keep her chamber.

    There is gold for you;
    Sell me your good report.

    How! my good name? or to report of you
    What I shall think is good?--The princess!

    Enter IMOGEN

    Good morrow, fairest: sister, your sweet hand.

    Exit Lady

    Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
    For purchasing but trouble; the thanks I give
    Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
    And scarce can spare them.

    Still, I swear I love you.

    If you but said so, 'twere as deep with me:
    If you swear still, your recompense is still
    That I regard it not.

    This is no answer.

    But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
    I would not speak. I pray you, spare me: 'faith,
    I shall unfold equal discourtesy
    To your best kindness: one of your great knowing
    Should learn, being taught, forbearance.

    To leave you in your madness, 'twere my sin:
    I will not.

    Fools are not mad folks.

    Do you call me fool?

    As I am mad, I do:
    If you'll be patient, I'll no more be mad;
    That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
    You put me to forget a lady's manners,
    By being so verbal: and learn now, for all,
    That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
    By the very truth of it, I care not for you,
    And am so near the lack of charity--
    To accuse myself--I hate you; which I had rather
    You felt than make't my boast.

    You sin against
    Obedience, which you owe your father. For
    The contract you pretend with that base wretch,
    One bred of alms and foster'd with cold dishes,
    With scraps o' the court, it is no contract, none:
    And though it be allow'd in meaner parties--
    Yet who than he more mean?--to knit their souls,
    On whom there is no more dependency
    But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot;
    Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by
    The consequence o' the crown, and must not soil
    The precious note of it with a base slave.
    A hilding for a livery, a squire's cloth,
    A pantler, not so eminent.

    Profane fellow
    Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
    But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
    To be his groom: thou wert dignified enough,
    Even to the point of envy, if 'twere made
    Comparative for your virtues, to be styled
    The under-hangman of his kingdom, and hated
    For being preferred so well.

    The south-fog rot him!

    He never can meet more mischance than come
    To be but named of thee. His meanest garment,
    That ever hath but clipp'd his body, is dearer
    In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
    Were they all made such men. How now, Pisanio!

    Enter PISANIO

    'His garment!' Now the devil--

    To Dorothy my woman hie thee presently--

    'His garment!'

    I am sprited with a fool.
    Frighted, and anger'd worse: go bid my woman
    Search for a jewel that too casually
    Hath left mine arm: it was thy master's: 'shrew me,
    If I would lose it for a revenue
    Of any king's in Europe. I do think
    I saw't this morning: confident I am
    Last night 'twas on mine arm; I kiss'd it:
    I hope it be not gone to tell my lord
    That I kiss aught but he.

    'Twill not be lost.

    I hope so: go and search.

    Exit PISANIO

    You have abused me:
    'His meanest garment!'

    Ay, I said so, sir:
    If you will make't an action, call witness to't.

    I will inform your father.

    Your mother too:
    She's my good lady, and will conceive, I hope,
    But the worst of me. So, I leave you, sir,
    To the worst of discontent.


    I'll be revenged:
    'His meanest garment!' Well.


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