/ Home / Library / Complete Shakespeare / Cymbeline / Act II Scene II
version of this page
Cymbeline: Act 2 Scene 2
Scene II Imogen's bedchamber in Cymbeline's palace: a trunk in one corner of it.
- [IMOGEN in bed, reading; a Lady attending]
- Who's there? my woman Helen?
- Please you, madam
- What hour is it?
- Almost midnight, madam.
- I have read three hours then: mine eyes are weak:
- Fold down the leaf where I have left: to bed:
- Take not away the taper, leave it burning;
- And if thou canst awake by four o' the clock,
- I prithee, call me. Sleep hath seized me wholly
- [Exit Lady]
- To your protection I commend me, gods.
- From fairies and the tempters of the night
- Guard me, beseech ye.
- [Sleeps. IACHIMO comes from the trunk]
- The crickets sing, and man's o'er-labour'd sense
- Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
- Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd
- The chastity he wounded. Cytherea,
- How bravely thou becomest thy bed, fresh lily,
- And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
- But kiss; one kiss! Rubies unparagon'd,
- How dearly they do't! 'Tis her breathing that
- Perfumes the chamber thus: the flame o' the taper
- Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
- To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
- Under these windows, white and azure laced
- With blue of heaven's own tinct. But my design,
- To note the chamber: I will write all down:
- Such and such pictures; there the window; such
- The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
- Why, such and such; and the contents o' the story.
- Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
- Above ten thousand meaner moveables
- Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
- O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
- And be her sense but as a monument,
- Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off:
- [Taking off her bracelet]
- As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
- 'Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
- As strongly as the conscience does within,
- To the madding of her lord. On her left breast
- A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
- I' the bottom of a cowslip: here's a voucher,
- Stronger than ever law could make: this secret
- Will force him think I have pick'd the lock and ta'en
- The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
- Why should I write this down, that's riveted,
- Screw'd to my memory? She hath been reading late
- The tale of Tereus; here the leaf's turn'd down
- Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
- To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
- Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
- May bare the raven's eye! I lodge in fear;
- Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
- [Clock strikes]
- One, two, three: time, time!
- [Goes into the trunk. The scene closes]