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Scene I.--A Field between the British und Roman
Camps. Enter Posthumus, with a bloody handkerchief. Post. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I
wished Thou shouldst be coloured thus. You married
ones, If each of you would take this course, how many Must murder wives much better than them
selves, For wrying but a little !—0, 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 lived to put on this : so had you saved The noble Imogen to repent; and struck Me, wretch, more worth your vengeance. But
alack, You snatch some hence for little faults; that's
love, To have them fall no more : you some permit To second ills with ills, each elder worse; And make them dread it to the doer's thrift. But Imogen is your own. Do your best wills,
And make me blessed to obey !-I am brought
hither Among the Italtan gentry, and to fight Against my lady's kingdom: 't is enough That, Britain, I have killed thy mistress : peace! I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good
heavens, 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, () 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 shew. 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. [Exit.
Scene II.— The same.
Enter, at one side, Lucius, Iachimo, and the Ro
man army; at the other side, the British army; Leonatus Posthumus following it, like a poor
Soldier. They march over, and go out. Alarums. | Some mortally, some slightly touched, some Then enter again in skirmish, Iachimo and
falling PostiiumUS; he vanquisheth and disarmeth Merely through fear; that the strait pass was Iachino, and then leaves him.
dammed lach. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living Takes off my manhood: I have belied a lady,
To die with lengthened shame. The princess of this country, and the air on 't
Lord. Where was this lane? Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
Post. Close by the battle, ditched, and walled A very drudge of nature's, have subdued me
with turf; In my profession? Knighthoods and honours,
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier, borne
An honest one, I warrant; who deserved As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
So long a breeding as his white beard came to, If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
In doing this for his country ;-athwart the This lout, as he exceeds our lords, the odds
lane, Is that we scarce are men, and you are gods.
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 The battle continues ; the Britons fly ; CYMBELINE Than those for preservation cased, or shame),
is taken; then enter, to his rescue, BELARIUS, Made good the passage; cried to those that filed, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
“Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men: Bel. Stand, stand! We have the advantage of
To darkness fleet, souls that fly backwards ! the ground;
Stand; The lane is guarded: nothing routs us but
Or we are Romans, and will give you that The villany of our fears.
Like beasts, which you shun beastly; and may Gui. )
save, Stand, stand, and fight! Arv.
But to look back in frown. Stand, stand!”—These
three, Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons: they | Three thousand confident, in act as many
rescue CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then enter (For three performers are the file when all Lucius, Lachimo, and Imogen.
The rest do nothing), with this word, “Stand, Luc. Away, boy, from the troops, and save
Accommodated by the place, more charming For friends kill friends, and the disorder 's such With their own nobleness (which could have As war were hoodwinked.
turned Iach. "T is their fresh supplies.
A distaff to a lance), gilded pale looks, Luc. It is a day turned strangely :-or betimes
Part, shame,-part, spirit renewed; that some, Let's reinforce, or fly.
Upon the pikes o' the hunters. Then began Scene III.- Another Part of the Field.
A stop i’ the chaser, a retire; anon,
A rout, confusion thick: forthwith, they fly Enter Posthumus and a British Lord.
Chickens, the way which they stooped eagles ; Lord. Cam'st thou from where they made the
The strides they victors made. And now our Post. I did:
cowards Though you, it seems, come from the fliers. (Like fragments in hard voyages) became Lord. I did.
The life o'the need : having found the back-door Post. No blame be to you, sir ; for all was lost
open But that the heavens fought. The king himself Of the unguarded hearts, Heavens, how they Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
wound! And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying Some, slain before; some, dying; some, their Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
friends Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, having O'er-borne i' the former wave: ten, chaced by
work More plentiful than tools to do’t, struck down Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those that would die or ere resist, are grown Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds The mortal bugs o’the field.
| Had answered him. Lord. This was strange chance :
2nd Cap. Lay hands on him; a dog ! A narrow lane! an old man, and two boys! A leg of Rome shall not return to tell Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: you are What crows have pecked them here. He brags his made
service Rather to wonder at the things you hear, As if he were of note: bring him to the king. Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon 't, And vent it for a mockery ? here is one:
Enter CYMBELINE, attended; BELARIUS, GUI“ Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
DERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, Pisanio, and Roman Preserved the Britons, was the Romans' bane."
Captives. The Captains present PostHUMUS Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.
to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Post. 'Lack, to what end?
Gaoler; after which, all go out.
Scene IV.-A Prison.
Enter Posthumus, and two Gaolers.
! Ist Gaol. You shall not now be stolen ; you have To be i’the field, and ask, what news, of me!
locks upon you; To-day, how many would have given their ho- | So graze, as you find pasture.
2nd Gaol. Ay, or a stomach. To have saved their carcasses? took heel to do't,
[Exeunt Gaolers. And yet died too? I, in mine own woe charmed, Post. Most welcome, bondage! for thou art a Could not find Death where I did hear him groan,
way, Nor feel him where he struck: being an ugly | I think, to liberty: yet am I better monster,
Than one that's sick o'the gout: since he had 'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft
Groan so in perpetuity, than be cured Sweet words; or hath more ministers than we
By the sure physician, Death, who is the key That draw his knives i' the war.-Well, I will find
To unbar these locks. My conscience! thou art him :
fettered For being now a favourer to the Roman, More than my shanks and wrists : you good gods, No more a Briton, I have resumed again
give me The part I came in : fight I will no more, The penitent instrument, to pick that bolt, But yield me to the veriest hind that shall Then, free for ever! Is't enough I am sorry? Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaugh So children temporal fathers do appease ; ter is
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent? Here made by the Romans; great the answer I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desired more than constrained: to satisfy, Britons must take: for me, my ransom's death; If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take On either side I come to spend my breath; No stricter render of me than my all. Which neither here I 'll keep, nor bear again, I know you are more clement than vile men, But end it by some means for Imogen.
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again Enter two British Captains, and Soldiers.
On their abatement; that's not my desire : 1st Cap. Great Jupiter be praised ! Lucius is For Imogen’s dear life, take mine; and though taken. "T is thought the old man and his sons 'Tis not so dear, yet 't is a life; you coined it: were angels.
"Tween man and man they weigh not every 2nd Cap. There was a fourth man, in a silly
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake: That gave the front with them.
You rather mine, being yours : and so great 1st Cap. So 't is reported :
powers, But none of them can be found.-Stand! who is If you will take this audit, take this life, there?
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen! Post. A Roman;
I'll speak to thee in silence. [He sleeps.
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
Why hast thou thus adjourned
Being all to dolours turned ?
No longer exercise,
And potent injuries :
Take off his miseries.
Or we poor ghosts will cry
Against thy deity.
And from thy justice fly.
Solemn Music. 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 music before them. Then, after other music, follow the two young LEONATI, brothers to PosTHUMUS, with wounds, as they died in the wars. They circle PostuUMUS
round, as he lies sleeping.
Thy spite on mortal flies:
Rates and revenges.
Whose face I never saw ?
Attending Nature's law.
Thou orphans' father art)
From this earth-vexing smart.
But took me in my throes;
A thing of pity!
Moulded the stuff so fair,
As great Sicilius' heir.
In Britain where was he
Or fruitful object be
Could deem his dignity?
To be exiled, and thrown
Slight thing of Italy,
With needless jealousy ;
O'the other's villany?
Our parents, and us twain,
Fell bravely, and were slain ;
With honour to maintain.
To Cymbeline performed :
JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
upon un eagle ; he throws a thunder-bolt. The
Ghosts fall on their knees.
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 oppressed;
No care of yours it is; you know t'is ours. Whom best I love, I cross; to make my gift,
The more delayed, delighted. Be content; Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift:
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent. Our Jovial star reigned 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 farther 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 Stooped, as to foot us; his ascension is More sweet than our blessed fields : his royal bird Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak, As when his god is pleased.
All. Thanks, Jupiter!
Sici. The marble pavement closes, he is entered His radiant roof. Away! and, to be blessed, Let us with care perform his great behest.
[Ghosts vanish. Post. [waking). Sleep, thou hast been a grand
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.