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ACT II Scene IIIAn ante-chamber adjoining Imogen’s apartments.
Enter CLOTEN and Lords
First LordYour lordship is the most patient man in loss, the
most coldest that ever turned up ace.
CLOTENIt would make any man cold to lose.
First LordBut not every man patient after the noble temper of 5
your lordship. You are most hot and furious when you win.
CLOTENWinning 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 LordDay, my lord. 10
CLOTENI 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. 15
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, 20
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, 25
My lady sweet, arise:
Arise, arise.’
CLOTENSo, 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 30
calves’-guts, nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to
boot, can never amend.
Exeunt Musicians.
Second LordHere comes the king.
CLOTENI am glad I was up so late; for that’s the reason I
was up so early: he cannot choose but take this 35
service I have done fatherly.
Good morrow to your majesty and to my gracious mother.
CYMBELINEAttend you here the door of our stern daughter?
Will she not forth?
CLOTENI have assailed her with music, but she vouchsafes no notice. 40
CYMBELINEThe 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.
QUEENYou are most bound to the king, 45
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 50
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.
CLOTENSenseless! not so. 55
Enter a Messenger.
MessengerSo like you, sir, ambassadors from Rome;
The one is Caius Lucius.
CYMBELINEA worthy fellow,
Albeit he comes on angry purpose now;
But that’s no fault of his: we must receive him 60
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 65
To employ you towards this Roman. Come, our queen.
Exeunt all but CLOTEN.
CLOTENIf 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 70
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; 75
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. 80
Enter a Lady.
LadyWho’s there that knocks?
CLOTENA gentleman.
LadyNo more?
CLOTENYes, and a gentlewoman’s son.
LadyAside. That’s more 85
Than some, whose tailors are as dear as yours,
Can justly boast of. What’s your lordship’s pleasure?
CLOTENYour lady’s person: is she ready?
To keep her chamber. 90
CLOTENThere is gold for you;
Sell me your good report.
LadyHow! my good name? or to report of you
What I shall think is good? –The princess!
CLOTENGood morrow, fairest: sister, your sweet hand. 95
Exit Lady.
IMOGENGood 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.
CLOTENStill, I swear I love you. 100
IMOGENIf you but said so, ’twere as deep with me:
If you swear still, your recompense is still
That I regard it not.
CLOTENThis is no answer.
IMOGENBut that you shall not say I yield being silent, 105
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.
CLOTENTo leave you in your madness, ’twere my sin: 110
I will not.
IMOGENFools are not mad folks.
CLOTENDo you call me fool?
IMOGENAs I am mad, I do:
If you’ll be patient, I’ll no more be mad; 115
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, 120
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.
CLOTENYou sin against
Obedience, which you owe your father. For 125
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, 130
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. 135
A hilding for a livery, a squire’s cloth,
A pantler, not so eminent.
IMOGENProfane fellow
Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
But what thou art besides, thou wert too base 140
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. 145
CLOTENThe south-fog rot him!
IMOGENHe 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, 150
Were they all made such men. How now, Pisanio!
CLOTEN‘His garment!’ Now the devil–
IMOGENTo Dorothy my woman hie thee presently–
CLOTEN‘His garment!’
IMOGENI am sprited with a fool. 155
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 160
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.
PISANIO‘Twill not be lost. 165
IMOGENI hope so: go and search.
CLOTENYou have abused me:
‘His meanest garment!’
IMOGENAy, I said so, sir:
If you will make’t an action, call witness to’t. 170
CLOTENI will inform your father.
IMOGENYour 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. 175
CLOTENI’ll be revenged:
‘His meanest garment!’ Well.

Cymbeline, Act 2, Scene 4