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ACT II SCENE IBritain. Before Cymbeline’s palace.
Enter CLOTEN and two Lords.
CLOTENWas 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 5
oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure.
First LordWhat got he by that? You have broke his pate with
your bowl.
Second LordAside If his wit had been like him that broke it,
it would have run all out.
CLOTENWhen a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for 10
any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
Second LordNo my lord;
Aside nor crop the ears of them.
CLOTENWhoreson dog! I give him satisfaction?
Would he had been one of my rank! 15
Second LordAside To have smelt like a fool.
CLOTENI am not vexed more 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 bellyful of
fighting, and I must go up and down like a cock that 20
nobody can match.
Second LordAside You are cock and capon too; and you crow,
cock, with your comb on.
CLOTENSayest thou?
Second LordIt is not fit your lordship should undertake every
companion that you give offence to. 25
CLOTENNo, I know that: but it is fit I should commit
offence to my inferiors.
Second LordAy, it is fit for your lordship only.
CLOTENWhy, so I say.
First LordDid you hear of a stranger that’s come to court to-night? 30
CLOTENA stranger, and I not know on’t!
Second LordAside He’s a strange fellow himself, and knows it not.
First LordThere’s an Italian come; and, ’tis thought, one of
Leonatus’ friends.
CLOTENLeonatus! a banished rascal; and he’s another, 35
whatsoever he be. Who told you of this stranger?
First LordOne of your lordship’s pages.
CLOTENIs it fit I went to look upon him? is there no
derogation in’t?
Second LordYou cannot derogate, my lord. 40
CLOTENNot easily, I think.
Second LordAside You are a fool, granted; therefore your
issues, being foolish, do not derogate.
CLOTENCome, I’ll go see this Italian: what I have lost
to-day at bowls I’ll win to-night of him. Come, go.
Second LordI’ll attend your lordship. 45
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, 50
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endurest,
Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern’d,
A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
More hateful than the foul expulsion is
Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act 55
Of the divorce he’ld make! The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshaked
That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand,
To enjoy thy banish’d lord and this great land!

Cymbeline, Act 2, Scene 2