Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Cymbeline > Act I, scene VI

	[Enter IMOGEN]

IMOGEN: A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
	A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
	That hath her husband banish'd;--O, that husband!
	My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
	Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol'n,
	As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
	Is the desire that's glorious: blest be those,
	How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
	Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? Fie!


PISANIO: Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome,
	Comes from my lord with letters.

IACHIMO: Change you, madam?
	The worthy Leonatus is in safety
	And greets your highness dearly.

	[Presents a letter]

IMOGEN: Thanks, good sir:
	You're kindly welcome.

IACHIMO: [Aside]  All of her that is out of door most rich!
	If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
	She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
	Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
	Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
	Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
	Rather directly fly.

IMOGEN: [Reads]  'He is one of the noblest note, to whose
	kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon
	him accordingly, as you value your trust--
	So far I read aloud:
	But even the very middle of my heart
	Is warm'd by the rest, and takes it thankfully.
	You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I
	Have words to bid you, and shall find it so
	In all that I can do.

IACHIMO: Thanks, fairest lady.
	What, are men mad? Hath nature given them eyes
	To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
	Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt
	The fiery orbs above and the twinn'd stones
	Upon the number'd beach? and can we not
	Partition make with spectacles so precious
	'Twixt fair and foul?

IMOGEN: What makes your admiration?

IACHIMO: It cannot be i' the eye, for apes and monkeys
	'Twixt two such shes would chatter this way and
	Contemn with mows the other; nor i' the judgment,
	For idiots in this case of favour would
	Be wisely definite; nor i' the appetite;
	Sluttery to such neat excellence opposed
	Should make desire vomit emptiness,
	Not so allured to feed.

IMOGEN: What is the matter, trow?

IACHIMO: The cloyed will,
	That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, that tub
	Both fill'd and running, ravening first the lamb
	Longs after for the garbage.

IMOGEN: What, dear sir,
	Thus raps you? Are you well?

IACHIMO: Thanks, madam; well.


		 Beseech you, sir, desire
	My man's abode where I did leave him: he
	Is strange and peevish.

PISANIO: I was going, sir,
	To give him welcome.


IMOGEN: Continues well my lord? His health, beseech you?

IACHIMO: Well, madam.

IMOGEN: Is he disposed to mirth? I hope he is.

IACHIMO: Exceeding pleasant; none a stranger there
	So merry and so gamesome: he is call'd
	The Briton reveller.

IMOGEN: When he was here,
	He did incline to sadness, and oft-times
	Not knowing why.

IACHIMO:                   I never saw him sad.
	There is a Frenchman his companion, one
	An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much loves
	A Gallian girl at home; he furnaces
	The thick sighs from him, whiles the jolly Briton--
	Your lord, I mean--laughs from's free lungs, cries 'O,
	Can my sides hold, to think that man, who knows
	By history, report, or his own proof,
	What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
	But must be, will his free hours languish for
	Assured bondage?'

IMOGEN:                   Will my lord say so?

IACHIMO: Ay, madam, with his eyes in flood with laughter:
	It is a recreation to be by
	And hear him mock the Frenchman. But, heavens know,
	Some men are much to blame.

IMOGEN: Not he, I hope.

IACHIMO: Not he: but yet heaven's bounty towards him might
	Be used more thankfully. In himself, 'tis much;
	In you, which I account his beyond all talents,
	Whilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound
	To pity too.

IMOGEN:                   What do you pity, sir?

IACHIMO: Two creatures heartily.

IMOGEN: Am I one, sir?
	You look on me: what wreck discern you in me
	Deserves your pity?

IACHIMO: Lamentable! What,
	To hide me from the radiant sun and solace
	I' the dungeon by a snuff?

IMOGEN: I pray you, sir,
	Deliver with more openness your answers
	To my demands. Why do you pity me?

IACHIMO: That others do--
	I was about to say--enjoy your--But
	It is an office of the gods to venge it,
	Not mine to speak on 't.

IMOGEN: You do seem to know
	Something of me, or what concerns me: pray you,--
	Since doubling things go ill often hurts more
	Than to be sure they do; for certainties
	Either are past remedies, or, timely knowing,
	The remedy then born--discover to me
	What both you spur and stop.

IACHIMO: Had I this cheek
	To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
	Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
	To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
	Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
	Fixing it only here; should I, damn'd then,
	Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
	That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
	Made hard with hourly falsehood--falsehood, as
	With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
	Base and unlustrous as the smoky light
	That's fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
	That all the plagues of hell should at one time
	Encounter such revolt.

IMOGEN: My lord, I fear,
	Has forgot Britain.

IACHIMO: And himself. Not I,
	Inclined to this intelligence, pronounce
	The beggary of his change; but 'tis your graces
	That from pay mutest conscience to my tongue
	Charms this report out.

IMOGEN: Let me hear no more.

IACHIMO: O dearest soul! your cause doth strike my heart
	With pity, that doth make me sick. A lady
	So fair, and fasten'd to an empery,
	Would make the great'st king double,--to be partner'd
	With tomboys hired with that self-exhibition
	Which your own coffers yield! with diseased ventures
	That play with all infirmities for gold
	Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd stuff
	As well might poison poison! Be revenged;
	Or she that bore you was no queen, and you
	Recoil from your great stock.

IMOGEN: Revenged!
	How should I be revenged? If this be true,--
	As I have such a heart that both mine ears
	Must not in haste abuse--if it be true,
	How should I be revenged?

IACHIMO: Should he make me
	Live, like Diana's priest, betwixt cold sheets,
	Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps,
	In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it.
	I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
	More noble than that runagate to your bed,
	And will continue fast to your affection,
	Still close as sure.

IMOGEN: What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO: Let me my service tender on your lips.

IMOGEN: Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
	So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
	Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
	For such an end thou seek'st,--as base as strange.
	Thou wrong'st a gentleman, who is as far
	From thy report as thou from honour, and
	Solicit'st here a lady that disdains
	Thee and the devil alike. What ho, Pisanio!
	The king my father shall be made acquainted
	Of thy assault: if he shall think it fit,
	A saucy stranger in his court to mart
	As in a Romish stew and to expound
	His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
	He little cares for and a daughter who
	He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!

IACHIMO: O happy Leonatus! I may say
	The credit that thy lady hath of thee
	Deserves thy trust, and thy most perfect goodness
	Her assured credit. Blessed live you long!
	A lady to the worthiest sir that ever
	Country call'd his! and you his mistress, only
	For the most worthiest fit! Give me your pardon.
	I have spoke this, to know if your affiance
	Were deeply rooted; and shall make your lord,
	That which he is, new o'er: and he is one
	The truest manner'd; such a holy witch
	That he enchants societies into him;
	Half all men's hearts are his.

IMOGEN: You make amends.

IACHIMO: He sits 'mongst men like a descended god:
	He hath a kind of honour sets him off,
	More than a mortal seeming. Be not angry,
	Most mighty princess, that I have adventured
	To try your taking a false report; which hath
	Honour'd with confirmation your great judgment
	In the election of a sir so rare,
	Which you know cannot err: the love I bear him
	Made me to fan you thus, but the gods made you,
	Unlike all others, chaffless. Pray, your pardon.

IMOGEN: All's well, sir: take my power i' the court
	for yours.

IACHIMO: My humble thanks. I had almost forgot
	To entreat your grace but in a small request,
	And yet of moment to, for it concerns
	Your lord; myself and other noble friends,
	Are partners in the business.

IMOGEN: Pray, what is't?

IACHIMO: Some dozen Romans of us and your lord--
	The best feather of our wing--have mingled sums
	To buy a present for the emperor
	Which I, the factor for the rest, have done
	In France: 'tis plate of rare device, and jewels
	Of rich and exquisite form; their values great;
	And I am something curious, being strange,
	To have them in safe stowage: may it please you
	To take them in protection?

IMOGEN: Willingly;
	And pawn mine honour for their safety: since
	My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them
	In my bedchamber.

IACHIMO: They are in a trunk,
	Attended by my men: I will make bold
	To send them to you, only for this night;
	I must aboard to-morrow.

IMOGEN: O, no, no.

IACHIMO: Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my word
	By lengthening my return. From Gallia
	I cross'd the seas on purpose and on promise
	To see your grace.

IMOGEN: I thank you for your pains:
	But not away to-morrow!

IACHIMO: O, I must, madam:
	Therefore I shall beseech you, if you please
	To greet your lord with writing, do't to-night:
	I have outstood my time; which is material
	To the tender of our present.

IMOGEN: I will write.
	Send your trunk to me; it shall safe be kept,
	And truly yielded you. You're very welcome.



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