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SCENE I.-Court before Cymbeline's Palace.

Enter CLOTEN and Two Lords.

Clo. Was there ever man had such luck! when I kissed the jack upon an up-cast, to be hit away! I had a hundred pound on't: And then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him, and might not spend them at my pleasure.

1 Lord. What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your bowl.

2 Lord. If his wit had been like him that broke it, it would have ran all out.

[Aside. Clo. When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers by to curtail his oaths: Ha?

2 Lord. No, my lord; nor [aside.] crop the ears of them.

Clo. Whoreson dog!-I give him satisfaction? 'Would, he had been one of my rank?


2 Lord. To have smelt like a fool. Clo. I am not more vexed at any thing in the earth, A pox on't! I had rather not be so noble as I am; they dare not fight with me, because of the queen my mother: every jack-slave hath his belly full of fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that nobody can match.

2 Lord. You are a cock and capon too; and you crow, cock, with your comb on. [Aside.


kissed the jack upon an up-cast,] He is describing his fate at bowls. The jack is the small bowl at which the others are aimed He who is nearest to it wins. To kiss the jack is a state of great advantage.

Clo. Sayest thou?

1 Lord. It is not fit, your lordship should undertake every companion that you give offence to.

Clo. No, I know that: but it is fit, I should commit offence to my inferiors.

2 Lord. Ay, it is fit for your lordship only.

Clo. Why, so I say.

1 Lord. Did you hear of a stranger, that's come to court to-night?

Clo. A stranger! and I not know on't!

2 Lord. He's a strange fellow himself, and knows it not.

[Aside. 1 Lord. There's an Italian come; and, 'tis thought, one of Leonatus' friends.

Clo. Leonatus! a banished rascal; and, he's another, whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger? 1 Lord. One of your lordship's pages.

Clo. Is it fit, I went to look upon him? Is there no derogation in't?

1 Lord. You cannot derogate, my lord.

Clo. Not easily, I think.

2 Lord. You are a fool granted; therefore your issues being foolish, do not derogate. [Aside. Clo. Come, I'll go see this Italian: What I have lost to-day at bowls, I'll win to-night of him. Come, go. 2 Lord. I'll attend your lordship.

[Exeunt CLOTEN and first Lord. That such a crafty devil as is his mother Should yield the world this ass! a woman, that Bears all down with her brain; and this her son Cannot take two from twenty for his heart, And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess, Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st! Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern'd; A mother hourly coining plots; a wooer,


every companion -] The use of companion was the same as of fellow now. It was a word of contempt.

More hateful than the foul expulsion is
Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act

Of the divorce he'd make? The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour; keep unshak'd
That temple, thy fair mind; that thou may'st stand,
To enjoy thy banish'd lord, and this great land!



A Bed-chamber; in one part of it a Trunk.

IMOGEN reading in her Bed; a Lady attending.

Imo. Who's there? my woman Helen?


Imo. What hour is it?


Please you, madam.

Almost midnight, madam.

Imo. I have read three hours then: mine eyes are


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 pr'ythee, call me. Sleep hath seiz'd me wholly.

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

[Exit Lady.

[Sleeps. IACHIMO from the Trunk.

Iach. The crickets sing, and man's o'er-labour'd sense

Repairs itself by rest: Our Tarquin thus

Did softly press the rushes1, 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!

4 - press the rushes,] It was the custom in the time of our author to strew chambers with rushes, as we now cover them with carpets.

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, lac'd
With blue of heavens 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
And the contents o'the


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.3 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 rivetted,

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:

2 Under these windows:] i. e. her eyelids.

3 like the crimson drops

I'the bottom of a cowslip.] This simile contains the smallest out of a thousand proofs that Shakspeare was an observer of nature, though, in this instance, no very accurate describer of it, for the drops alluded to are of a deep yellow. STEEVENS.

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.

One, two, three, -Time, time!

[Clock strikes.

[Goes into the Trunk. The Scene closes.


An Ante-Chamber adjoining Imogen's Apartment.

Enter CLOTEN and Lords.

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

Clo. It would make any man cold to lose.

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

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

1 Lord. Day, my lord.

Clo. I would this musick would come: I am advised to give her musick 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.


-you dragons of the night!] The task of drawing the chariot of night was assigned to dragons, on account of their supposed watchfulness.

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