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And rather father thee, than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties: Let us
Find out the prettiest daizied plot we can,
And make him with our pikes and partisans
A grave: Come; arm him. - Boy, he is preferr'd
By thee to us; and he shall be interr'd,
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes:
Some falls are means the happier to arise. [Ereunt.
SCENE III. - A Room in Cymbeline's Palace.
Enter CYMBELINE, Lords, and PISANIO.
Cym. Again; and bring me word, how 'tis with


A fever with the absence of her son;

A madness, of which her life's in danger:

How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
Upon a desperate bed; and in a time
When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
So needful for this present: It strikes me, past
The hope of comfort. But for thee, fellow,
Who needs must know of her departure, and
Dost seem so ignorant, we'll enforce it from thee
By a sharp torture.


Sir, my life is yours,

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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.

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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.

To second ills with ills, each elder worse;
And make them dread it to the doers' thrift.
But Imogen is your own: Do your best wills,
And make me bless'd to obey! I am brought

Among the Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady's kingdom: 'Tis enough
That, Britain, I have kill'd thy mistress; peace!
I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good


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
But, 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. [Exil

You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love,

To have them fall no more: you some permit

SCENE II. The same.

Enter at one side, LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and the Roman army; at the other side, the British army; LEONATUS POSTHUMUS following it, like a poor soldier. They march over, and go out. Alarums. Then enter again in skirmish, IACHIMO and POSTHUMUS: he vanquisheth and disarmeth IACHIMO, and then leaves him.

Iach. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom Takes off my manhood: I have belied a lady, The princess of this country, and the air on't Revengin gly enfeebles me; Or, could this carl, A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me, in my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn. If that thy gentry, Britain, go before

This lout, as he exceeds our lords, the odds

Is, that we scarce are men, and you are gods. [Exit.

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 ground;

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

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I did; I did.

Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.

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.


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

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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 coward

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; slaves,

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 open

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
The mortal bugs o'the field.

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

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;

Which neither here I'll keep, nor bear again,
But end it by some means for Imogen.

Enter Two British Captains, and Soldiers.
1 Cap. Great Jupiter be prais'd! Lucius is taken:
'Tis the ught, the old man and his sons were angels.
2 Cap. There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
That gave the affront with them.

1 Cap.

But none of them can be found.


Post. A Roman;

So 'tis reported:

Stand! who is

Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds

Had answer'd him.

2 Cap.

Lay hands on him; a dog!

A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have peck'd them here: He brags his


As if he were of note: bring him to the king.
ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, and Roman Captives. The
Captains present POSTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who
delivers him over to a Gaoler: after which, all
go out.

SCENE IV.A Prison.

Enter POSTHUMUS, and Two Gaolers.

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

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?

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 i
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

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

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


[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

Or fruitful object be

In eye of Imogen, that best

Could deem his dignity?

Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mock'd
To be exil'd, and thrown

From Leonati' seat, and cast

From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen?

Sici. Why did you suffer Iachimo,
Slight thing of Italy,

To taint his nobler heart and brain
With needless jealousy;
And to become the geck and scorn
O' the other's villainy?

2 Bro. For this, from stiller seats we cairc,
Our parents, and us twain,

That, striking in our country's cause,
Fell bravely, and were slain;
Our fealty, and Tenantius' right,

With honour to maintain.

1 Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform'd :
Then Jupiter, thou king of goas,

Why hast thou thus adjourn'd
The graces for his merits due;

Being all to dolours turn'd?

Sici. Thy crystal window ope; look out
No longer exercise,

Upon a valiant race, thy harsh

And potent injuries.

Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,

Take off his miseries.

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JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
upon an eagle: he throws a thunder-bolt. The
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,
The more delay'd, delighted. Be content;
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

Our temple was he married. — Rise, and fade !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.


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.

[Ghosts vanish.

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.

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,


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.

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

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

sire, and begot

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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.

[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.

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.

Re-enter Gaolers.

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

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

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 should I, if I were one. I would we were all of 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 [Ereuni.


SCENE V. - Cymbeline's Tent.

RAGUS, PISANIO, Lords, Officers, and Attendants.
Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods
have made

Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,
That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,

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