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CLOTEN son to the Queen by a former husband
BELARIUS banished Lord, disguised under the name of Morgan sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names
GUIDERIUS of Polydore and Cadwal, supposed sons
IMOGEN daughter to Cymbeline by a former Queen, disguised under the name of Fidele

Scene I

Wales. The Forest, near the Cave of Belarius. Enter CLOTEN.
CLOTEN: I am near to the place where they should meet, if Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments serve me! Why should his mistress, who was made by him that made the tailor, not be fit too? The rather – saving reverence of the word – for ‘tis said a woman’s fitness comes by fits. Therein I must play the workman. I dare speak it to myself – for it is not vain-glory, for a man and his glass to confer in his own chamber – I mean, the lines of my body are as well drawn as his; no less young, moreb, not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike conversant in general services, and more remarkable in single oppositions; yet this imperceiverant thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is! Posthumus, thy head, which now is growing upon thy shoulders, shall within this hour be off; thy mistress enforced, thy garments cut to pieces before thy face; and all this done, spurn her home to her father, who may haply be a little angry for my so rough usage, but my mother, having power of his testiness, shall turn all into my commendations. My horse is tied up safe; out, sword, and to a sore purpose! Fortune, put them into my hand! This is the very description of their meeting-place; and the fellow dares not deceive me. (Exit.)

Scene II

Before the Cave of BELARIUS. Enter, from the Cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, and IMOGEN.
BELARIUS: [To IMOGEN.] You are not well; remain here in the cave;
We’ll come to you after hunting.
ARVIRAGUS: [To IMOGEN.] Brother, stay here;
Are we not brothers?
IMOGEN: So man and man should be,
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.
GUIDERIUS: Go you to hunting; I’ll abide with him.
IMOGEN: So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course; the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill; but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it; pray you, trust me here,
I’ll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.
GUIDERIUS: I love thee; I have spoke it;
How much the quantity, the weight as much,
As I do love my father.
BELARIUS: What! how! how!
ARVIRAGUS: If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me
In my good brother’s fault: I know not why
I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
Love’s reason’s without reason: the bier at door,
And a demand who is’t shall die, I’d say
‘My father, not this youth.’
BELARIUS: [Aside.] O noble strain!
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base:
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace.
I’m not their father; yet who this should be,
Doth miracle itself, lov’d before me.
‘Tis the ninth hour o’ the morn.
Brother, farewell.
IMOGEN I wish ye sport.
ARVIRAGUS: Your health. So please you, sir.
IMOGEN [Aside.] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I have heard!
Our courtiers say all’s savage but at court:
Experience, O! thou disprov’st report.
The imperious seas breed monsters, for the dish
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still, heart-sick. Pisanio,
I’ll now taste of thy drug. [Swallows some.]
GUIDERIUS: I could not stir him;
He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.
ARVIRAGUS: Thus did he answer me; yet said hereafter
I might know more.
BELARIUS: To the field, to the field!
[To IMOGEN.] We’ll leave you for this time; go in and rest.
ARVIRAGUS: We’ll not be long away.
BELARIUS: Pray, be not sick,
For you must be our housewife.
IMOGEN Well or ill,
I am bound to you.
BELARIUS: And shalt be ever.
[Exit IMOGEN.]
This youth, howe’er distress’d, appears he hath had
Good ancestors.
ARVIRAGUS: How angel-like he sings!
GUIDERIUS: But his neat cookery! he cuts our roots
In characters,
And saus’d our broths as Juno had been sick
And he her dieter.
ARVIRAGUS: Nobly he yokes
A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
Was that it was, for not being such a smile;
The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
From so divine a temple to commix
With winds that sailors rail at.
GUIDERIUS: I do note
That grief and patience rooted in him, both
Mingle their spurs together.
ARVIRAGUS: Grow, patience!
And let the stinking-elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root with the increasing vine!
BELARIUS: It is great morning. Come, away! –
Who’s there?
CLOTEN: I cannot find those runagates; that villain
Hath mock’d me. I am faint.
BELARIUS: “Those runagates!”
Means he not us? I partly know him; ‘tis
Cloten, the son o’ the queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not this many years, and yet
I know ‘tis he. We are held as outlaws: hence!
GUIDERIUS: He is but one. You and my brother search
What companies are near; pray you, away;
Let me alone with him.
CLOTEN: Soft! What are you
That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers?
I have heard of such. What slave art thou?
More slavish did I ne’er than answering
A ‘slave’ without a knock.
CLOTEN: Thou art a robber,
A law-breaker, a villain. Yield thee, thief.
GUIDERIUS: To who? To thee? What art thou? Have not I
An arm as big as thine? A heart as big?
Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear not
My dagger in my mouth. Say what thou art,
Why should I yield to thee?
CLOTEN: Thou villain base,
Know’st me not by my clothes?
GUIDERIUS: No, not thy tailor, rascal,
Who is thy father: he made those clothes,
Which, as it seems, make thee.
CLOTEN: Thou precious varlet,
My tailor made them not.
GUIDERIUS: Hence then, and thank
The man that gave them thee. Thou art some fool;
I am loath to beat thee.
CLOTEN: Thou injurious thief
Hear but my name, and tremble.
GUIDERIUS: What’s thy name?
CLOTEN: Cloten, thou villain.
GUIDERIUS: Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
I cannot tremble at it; were it Toad, or Adder, Spider,
’Twould move me sooner.
CLOTEN: To thy further fear,
Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know
I am son to the queen.
GUIDERIUS: I am sorry for’t, not seeming
So worthy as thy birth.
CLOTEN: Art not afeard?
GUIDERIUS: Those that I reverence those I fear, the wise;
At fools I laugh, not fear them.
CLOTEN: Die the death:
When I have slain thee with my proper hand,
I’ll follow those that even now fled hence,
And on the gates of Lud’s town set your heads:
Yield, rustic mountaineer. [Exeunt fighting.]
BELARIUS: No companies abroad.
ARVIRAGUS: None in the world. You did mistake him, sure.
BELARIUS: I cannot tell; long is it since I saw him,
But time hath nothing blurr’d those lines of favour
Which then he wore; the snatches in his voice,
And burst of speaking, were as his. I am absolute
’Twas very Cloten.
ARVIRAGUS: In this place we left them:
I wish my brother make good time with him,
You say he is so fell.
BELARIUS: Being scarce made up,
I mean, to man, he had not apprehension
Of roaring terrors; for defect of judgement
Is oft the cease of fear. But see, thy brother.
Re-enter GUIDERIUS, with CLOTEN’S head.
GUIDERIUS: This Cloten was a fool, an empty purse,
There was no money in’t. Not Hercules
Could have knocked out his brains, for he had none;
Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne
My head as do his.
BELARIUS: What hast thou done?
GUIDERIUS: I am perfect what cut off one Cloten’s head.
Son to the queen, after his own report;
Who call’d me traitor, mountaineer, and swore,
With his own single hand he’d take us in,
Displace our heads where -thank the gods! – they grow,
And set them on Lud’s town.
BELARIUS: We are all undone.