Bel. My fault being nothing (as I haue told you oft) But that two Villaines, whose false Oathes preuayl'd Before my perfect Honor, swore to Cymbeline, I was Confederate with the Romanes: so Followed my Banishment, and this twenty yeeres, This Rocke, and these Demesnes, haue bene my World, Where I haue liu'd at honest freedome, payed More pious debts to Heauen, then in all The fore-end of my time. But, vp to'th' Mountaines, This is not Hunters Language; he that strikes The Venison first, shall be the Lord o'th' Feast, To him the other two shall minister, And we will feare no poyson, which attends In place of greater State: Ile meete you in the Valleyes.


How hard it is to hide the sparkes of Nature? These Boyes know little they are Sonnes to'th' King, Nor Cymbeline dreames that they are aliue. They thinke they are mine, And though train'd vp thus meanely I'th' Caue, whereon the Bowe their thoughts do hit, The Roofes of Palaces, and Nature prompts them In simple and lowe things, to Prince it, much Beyond the tricke of others. This Paladour, The heyre of Cymbeline and Britaine, who The King his Father call'd Guiderius. Ioue, When on my three-foot stoole I sit, and tell The warlike feats I haue done, his spirits flye out Into my Story: say thus mine Enemy fell, And thus I set my foote on's necke, euen then The Princely blood flowes in his Cheeke, he sweats, Straines his yong Nerues, and puts himselfe in posture That acts my words. The yonger Brother Cadwall, Once Aruiragus, in as like a figure Strikes life into my speech, and shewes much more His owne conceyuing. Hearke, the Game is rows'd, Oh Cymbeline, Heauen and my Conscience knowes Thou didd'st vniustly banish me: whereon At three, and two yeeres old, I stole these Babes, Thinking to barre thee of Succession, as Thou refts me of my Lands. Euriphile, Thou was't their Nurse, they took thee for their mother, And euery day do honor to her graue: My selfe Belarius, that am Mergan call'd They take for Naturall Father. The Game is vp. Enter.

Scena Quarta.

Enter Pisanio and Imogen.

Imo. Thou told'st me when we came fro[m] horse, y place Was neere at hand: Ne're long'd my Mother so To see me first, as I haue now. Pisanio, Man: Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh From th' inward of thee? One, but painted thus Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd Beyond selfe-explication. Put thy selfe Into a hauiour of lesse feare, ere wildnesse Vanquish my stayder Senses. What's the matter? Why render'st thou that Paper to me, with A looke vntender? If't be Summer Newes Smile too't before: if Winterly, thou need'st But keepe that count'nance stil. My Husbands hand? That Drug-damn'd Italy, hath out-craftied him, And hee's at some hard point. Speake man, thy Tongue May take off some extreamitie, which to reade Would be euen mortall to me

Pis. Please you reade, And you shall finde me (wretched man) a thing The most disdain'd of Fortune

Imogen reades. Thy Mistris (Pisanio) hath plaide the Strumpet in my Bed: the Testimonies whereof, lyes bleeding in me. I speak not out of weake Surmises, but from proofe as strong as my greefe, and as certaine as I expect my Reuenge. That part, thou (Pisanio) must acte for me, if thy Faith be not tainted with the breach of hers; let thine owne hands take away her life: I shall giue thee opportunity at Milford Hauen. She hath my Letter for the purpose; where, if thou feare to strike, and to make mee certaine it is done, thou art the Pander to her dishonour, and equally to me disloyall

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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