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Among the bands) may drive us to a render
Where we have liv'd; and so extort from us
That which we've done, whose answer would be The hands of Romans!

Enter POSTHUMUS, with a bloody handkerchief. Post. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I wish'd Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married


If each of you would take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves,
For wrying but a little? —O, Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands;
No bond, but to do just ones. —
Gods! if you
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had liv'd to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent; and struck
Me, wretch, more worth your vengeance.
You snatch some hence for little faults;
To have them fall no more: you some permi


O, I am known Of many in the army: many years, Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him



From my remembrance. And, besides, the king
Hath not deserv'd my service, nor your loves;
Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless
To have the courtesy your cradle promis'd,
But to be still hot summer's tanlings, and
The shrinking slaves of winter.
Than be so,


Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army:
I and my brother are not known; yourself,
So out of thought, and thereto so o'ergrown,
Cannot be question'd.

By this sun that shines, I'll thither: What thing is it, that I never Did see man die? scarce ever look'd on blood, But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison ? Never bestrid a horse, save one, that had

A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel Nor iron on his heel? I am asham'd

To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his bless'd beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.




By heavens, I'll go : you will bless me, sir, and give me leave, I'll take the better care; but if you will not, The hazard therefore due fall on me, by

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Hear patiently my purpose; I'll disrobe me
Of these Italian weeds, and suit myself
As does a Briton peasant: so I'll fight
Against the part I come with; so I'll die
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
Is, every breath, a death: and thus, unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril

Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me, than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o'the Leonati in me'
To shame the guise o'the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without, and more within. [Erit

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For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hood-wink'd.

The battle continues; the Britons fly; CYMBELINE is taken; then enter, to his rescue, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.

Bel. Stand, stand! We have the advantage of the

The lane is guarded; nothing routs us, but
The villainy of our fears.

Gui. Arv.
Stand, stand, and fight!
Enter POSTHUMUS, and seconds the Britons: They
rescue CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then, enter
Luc. Away, boy, from the troops, and save thy- The mortal bugs o'the field.


'Tis their fresh supplies. Luc. It is a day turn'd strangely: Or betimes Let's re-enforce, or fly. [Exeunt.

Post. Though you, Lord.

I did.

Post. No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost,
But that the heavens fought: The king himself
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, having work
More plentiful than tools to do't, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Merely through fear; that the strait pass was damm'd
With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen'd shame.


seems, come from the fliers.

Where was this lane? Post. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd with turf;

Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,—
An honest one, I warrant; who deserv'd

Made good the passage; cry'd to those that fled,
Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men:
To darkness fleet, souls that fly backwards! Stand;
Or we are Romans, and will give you that
Like beasts, which you shun beastly; and may sare,
But to look back in frown: stand, stand.

SCENE III. Another Part of the Field.
Enter POSTHUMUS and a British Lord.

'Lack, to what end? Lord. Cam'st thou from where they made 'he Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend: stand? For if he'll do, as he is made to do, I know, he'll quickly fly my friendship too. You have put me into rhyme. Lord.

( did;

So long a breeding, as his white beard came to,
In doing this for his country; athwart the lane,
He, with two striplings, (lads more like to run
The country base, than to commit such slaughter;
With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
Than those for preservation cas'd, or shame,)

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Three thousand confident, in act as many,
(For three performers are the file, when all
The rest do nothing,) with this word, stand, stand,
Accommodated by the place, more charming,
With their own nobleness, (which could have turn'd
A distaff to a lance,) gilded pale looks,

Part, shame, part, spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd

But by example (O, a sin in war,

Damn'd in the first beginners!) 'gan to look
The way that they did, and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o'the hunters.
Then began
A stop i'the chaser, a retire; anon,
A rout, confusion thick: Forthwith, they fly
Chickens, the way which they stoop'd eagles;

The strides they victors made: And now our cowards (Like fragments in hard voyages,) became

The life o'the need; having found the back-door


Of the unguarded hearts, Heavens, how they wound!
Some, slain before; some, dying; some, their friends
O'er-borne i'the former wave: ten, chac'd by one,
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those, that would die or ere resist, are grown


This was strange chance
A narrow lane! an old man, and two boys!

Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: You are made
Rather to wonder at the things you hear,
Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon't,
And vent it for a mockery? Here is one :
Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
Preserv'd the Britons, was the Romans' bane.
Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.


Farewell; you are angry [Erit. This is a lord! O noble

Post. Still going? -

To be i'the field, and ask, what news, of me!
To-day, how many would have given their honours
To have sav'd their carcasses? took heel to do't,
And yet died too? I, in mine own woe charm'd,
Could not find death, where I did hear him groan;
Nor feel him, where he struck: Being an ug-y


'Tis strange, he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words; or hath more ministers than we
That draw knives i'the war.- - Well, I will find


For being now a favourer to the Roman,
No more a Briton, I have resum'd again
The part I came in: Fight I will no more,
But yield me to the veriest hind, that shall
Once touch my shoulder.
Great the slaughter is
Here made by the Roman; great the answer be
Britons must take; For me, my ransome's death;
On either side I come to spend my breath;

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locks upon you; So, graze, as you find pasture. 2 Gaol.

Ay, or a stomach.
[Exeunt Gaolers.
Post. Most welcome, bondage! for thou art a way,
I think, to liberty: Yet am I better
Than one that's sick o'the gout: since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity, than be cur'd
By the sure physician, death; who is the key
To unbar these locks. My conscience! thou art

More than my shanks, and wrists: You good gods, give me


The penitent instrument, to pick that bolt,
Then, free for ever! Is't enough, I am sorry
So children temporal fathers do appease ;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent?
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desir'd, more than constrain'd: to satisfy,
If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me, than my all.
I know, you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
On their abatement: that's not my desire:
For Imogen's dear life, take mine; and though
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coin'd it:
'Tween man and man, they weigh not every stamp;
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake:
You rather mine, being yours: And so, great


If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I'll speak to thee in silence.

POSTHUMUS, with wounds, as they died in the wars. They circle POSTHUMUS round, as he les sleeping.

[He sleeps.

Solemn Musick. Enter, as an apparition, SICILIUS LEONATUS, father to POSTHUMUS, an old man, attired like a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his wife, and mother to POSTHUMUS, with musick before them. Then, after other musick, follow the Two young Leonati, brothers to

Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies :

With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
That thy adulteries
Rates and revenges.

Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?

Enter POSTHUMUS, and Two Gaolers.

1 Gaol. You shall not now be stolen, you have That could stand up his parallel ;

Or fruitful object be
In eye of Imogen, that best
Could deem his dignity?

I died, whilst in the womb he stay'd
Attending Nature's law.
Whose father then (as men report,
Thou orphans' father art,)
Thou should'st have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.

Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;
That from ine was Posthúmus ript,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!

Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,

That he deserv'd the praise o'the world,

As great Sicilius' heir.

1 Bro. When once he was mature for man, In Britain where was he

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2 Bro. Help, Jupiter; or we appeal,
And from thy justice fly.


JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
upon an eagle: he throws a thunder-bolt.
Ghosts fall on their knees.

Jup. No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing: hush!-How dare you ghosts,
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt you know,

Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence; and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers :
Be not with mortal accidents opprest;

No care of yours it is; you know, 'tis ours.
Whom best I love, I cross; to make my gift,
Be content;
The more delay'd, delighted.
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift :
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth, and in
Rise, and fade!-
Our temple was he married.
He shall be lord of lady Imogen,
And happier much by his affliction made.
This tablet lay upon his breast; wherein

Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine;
And so, away: no further with your din

Express impatience, lest you stir up mine. -
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline. [Ascends.
Sici. He came in thunder; his celestial breath
Was sulphurous to smell: the holy eagle
Stoop'd, as to foot us: his ascension is
More sweet than our bless'd fields: his royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleas'd.


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Thanks, Jupiter!
Sici. The marble pavement closes, he is enter'd
His radiant roof: Away! and, to be blest,
Let us with care perform his great behest.

Post. Over-roasted rather: ready long ago. Gaol. Hanging is the word, sir; if you be ready for that, you are well cooked.

Post. So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators, the dish pays the shot.

[Ghosts vanish.

Post. [Waking.] Sleep, thou hast been a grand- wink, and will not use them. sire, and begot

A father to me: and thou hast created

A mother, and two brothers: But (O scorn!)
Gone! they went hence so soon as they were born.
And so I am awake. - Poor wretches that depend
On greatness' favour, dream as I have done;
Wake, and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve:
Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
And yet are steep'd in favours; so am I,

That have this golden chance, and know not why.
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O, rare

Be not, as is our fangled world, a garment
Nobler than that it covers: let thy effects
So follow, to be most unlike our courtiers,
As good as promise.

Gaol. A heavy reckoning for you, sir: But the comfort is, you shall be called to no more payments, fear no more tavern bills; which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of mirth: you come in faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and brain both empty: the brain the heavier for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness: O! of this contradiction you shall now be quit. - O, the charity of a penny cord! it sums up thousands in a trice: you have no true debitor and creditor but it; of what's past, is, and to come, the discharge: - Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters; so the acquittance follows.

Post. I am merrier to die, than thou art to live. Gaol. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the tooth-ache: But a man that were to sleep your sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think, he would change places with his officer: for, look you, sir, you know not which way you shall go. Post. Yes, indeed, do I, fellow.

Gaol. Your death has eyes in's head then; I have not seen him so pictured: you must either be directed by some that take upon them to know; or take upon yourself that, which I am sure you do not know; or jump the after-enquiry on your own peril and how you shall speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never return to tell one.

Tis still a dream; or else such stuff as madmen
Tongue, and brain not: either both, or nothing:
Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such
As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
The action of my life is like it, which
I'll keep, if but for sympathy.

[Reads.] When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow; then shall POSTHUMUS end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and flourish in peace and plenty.

Re-enter Gaolers.

Gaol. Come, sir, are you ready for death?

Post. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to direct them the way I am going, but such as

Gaol. What an infinite mock is this, that a man should have the best use of eyes, to see the way the of blindness! I am sure, hanging's winking.

way of

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the king.

Post. Thou bringest good news; - I am called to be made free.

Gaol. I'll be hanged then.

Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for the dead.

[Exeunt POSTHUMUS and Messenger Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my conscience, there are verier knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman: and there be some of them too, that die against their wills; so I would we were all of should I, if I were one. one mind, and one mind good; O, there were desolation of gaolers, and gallowses! I speak against my present profit; but my wish hath a preferment [Exeunt.


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Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked | (When she had fitted you with her craft,) to



Stepp'd before targe of proof, cannot be found:
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.


I never saw Such noble fury in so poor a thing; Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought But beggary and poor looks.


No tidings of him? Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead and living,

But no trace of him.

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Enter CORNELIUS and Ladies.

There's business in these faces: - Why so sadly Greet you our victory? you look like Romans, And not o'the court of Britain.

Cor. Hail, great king! To sour your happiness, I must report The queen is dead. Cym. Whom worse than a physician Would this report become? But I consider, By medicine life may be prolong'd, yet death Will seize the doctor too. How ended she? Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life; Which, being cruel to the world, concluded Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd I will report, so please you: These her women Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks, Were present when she finish'd.

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Pr'ythee, say.

Cor. First, she confess'd she never lov'd you;


Affected greatness got by you, not you :
Married your royalty, was wife to your place,
Abhorr'd your person.

She alone knew this:
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to

With such integrity, she did confess
Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
But that her flight prevented it, she had
Ta'en off by poison.


O most delicate fiend! Who is't can read a woman? Is there more? Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess, she had

For you a mortal mineral; which, being took, Should by the minute feed on life, and, ling'ring, By inches waste you : In which time she


By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to O'ercome you with her show: yes, and in time,

Her son into the adoption of the crown.
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open'd, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so,
Despairing, died.

Heard you all this, her women?
Lady. We did so, please your highness.
Mine eyes

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming it had been

To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me, thou may'st say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all !
Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, the Soothsayer, and other
Roman prisoners, guarded; POSTHUMUS behind,

Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made


That their good souls may be appeas'd with slaughter

Of you their captives, which ourselves have granted : So, think of your estate.

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