Cymbeline: Act II, Scene ii


Cymbeline           Act 2, Scene 2          Iachimo

(This text is featured in our interview with Ben Steinfeld)

  1. The crickets sing, and man’s o’er-labour’d sense
  2. Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
  3. Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken’d
  4. The chastity he wounded.Cytherea,
  5. How bravely thou be comest thy bed, fresh lily,
  6. And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
  7. But kiss; one kiss! Rubies unparagon’d,
  8. How dearly they do’t! ‘Tis her breathing that
  9. Perfumes the chamber thus: the flame o’ the ta per
  10. Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
  11. To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
  12. Under these windows, white and azure laced
  13. With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design,
  14. To note the chamber: I will write all down:
  15. Such and such pictures; there the window; such
  16. The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
  17. Why, such and such; and the contents o’ the story.
  18. Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
  19. Above ten thousand meaner moveables
  20. Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
  21. Sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
  22. And be her sense but as a monument,
  23. Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off:

Taking off her bracelet

  1. As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
  2. ‘Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
  3. As strongly as the conscience does within,
  4. To the madding of her lord. On her left breast
  5. A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
  6. I’ the bottom of a cowslip: here’s a voucher,
  7. Stronger than ever law could make: this secret
  8. Will force him think I have pick’d the lock and ta’en
  9. The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
  10. Why should I write this down, that’s riveted,
  11. Screw’d to my memory? She hath been reading late
  12. The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turn’d down
  13. Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
  14. To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
  15. Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
  16. May bare the raven’s eye! I lodge in fear;
  17. Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.

Clock strikes

  1. One, two, three: time, time!

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