Cymbeline

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Posthumus alone.

Post.
Yea bloody cloth, Ile keep thee: for I am wisht
Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murther Wiues much better then themselues
For wrying but a little? Oh Pisanio,
Euery good Seruant do's not all Commands:
No Bond, but to do iust ones. Gods, if you
Should haue 'tane vengeance on my faults, I neuer
Had liu'd to put on this: so had you saued
The noble Imogen, to repent, and strooke
Me (wretch) more worth your Vengeance. But alacke,
You snatch some hence for little faults; that's loue
To haue them fall no more: you some permit
To second illes with illes, each elder worse,
And make them dread it, to the dooers thrift.
But Imogen is your owne, do your best willes,
And make me blest to obey. I am brought hither
Among th'Italian Gentry, and to fight
Against my Ladies Kingdome: 'Tis enough
That (Britaine) I haue kill'd thy Mistris: Peace,
Ile giue no wound to thee: therefore good Heauens,
Heare patiently my purpose. Ile disrobe me
Of these Italian weedes, and suite my selfe
As do's a Britaine Pezant: so Ile fight
Against the part I come with: so Ile dye
For thee (O Imogen) euen for whom my life
Is euery breath, a death: and thus, vnknowne,
Pittied, nor hated, to the face of perill
My selfe Ile dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me, then my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o'th'Leonati in me:
To shame the guize o'th'world, I will begin,
The fashion lesse without, and more within.
Exit.
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and the Romane Army at one doore: and the
Britaine Army at another: Leonatus Posthumus following like a
poore Souldier. They march ouer, and goe out. Then enter againe in
Skirmish Iachimo and Posthumus: he vanquisheth and disarmeth
Iachimo, and then leaues him.

Iac.
The heauinesse and guilt within my bosome,
Takes off my manhood: I haue belyed a Lady,
The Princesse of this Country; and the ayre on't
Reuengingly enfeebles me, or could this Carle,
A very drudge of Natures, haue subdu'de me
In my profession? Knighthoods, and Honors borne
As I weare mine) are titles but of scorne.
If that thy Gentry (Britaine) go before
This Lowt, as he exceeds our Lords, the oddes
Is, that we scarse are men, and you are Goddes.
Exit.
The Battaile continues, the Britaines fly, Cymbeline is taken: Then enter
to his rescue, Bellarius, Guiderius, and Aruiragus.

Bel.
Stand, stand, we haue th'aduantage of the ground,
The Lane is guarded: Nothing rowts vs, but
The villany of our feares.

Gui. Arui.
Stand, stand, and fight.
Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britaines. They Rescue Cymbeline,
and Exeunt. Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and Imogen.

Luc.
Away boy from the Troopes, and saue thy selfe:
For friends kil friends, and the disorder's such
As warre were hood-wink'd.

Iac.
'Tis their fresh supplies.

Luc.
It is a day turn'd strangely: or betimes
Let's re-inforce, or fly.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Posthumus, and a Britaine Lord.

Lor.
Cam'st thou from where they made the stand?

Post.
I did,
Though you it seemes come from the Fliers?

Lo,
I did.

Post.
No blame be to you Sir, for all was lost,
But that the Heauens fought: the King himselfe
Of his wings destitute, the Army broken,
And but the backes of Britaines seene; all flying
Through a strait Lane, the Enemy full-heart'd,
Lolling the Tongue with slaught'ring: hauing worke
More plentifull, then Tooles to doo't: strooke downe
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Meerely through feare, that the strait passe was damm'd
With deadmen, hurt behinde, and Cowards liuing
To dye with length'ned shame.

Lo.
Where was this Lane?

Post.
Close by the battell, ditch'd, & wall'd with turph,
Which gaue aduantage to an ancient Soldiour
(An honest one I warrant) who deseru'd
So long a breeding, as his white beard came to,
In doing this for's Country. Athwart the Lane,
He, with two striplings (Lads more like to run
The Country base, then to commit such slaughter,
With faces fit for Maskes, or rather fayrer
Then those for preseruation cas'd, or shame)
Made good the passage, cryed to those that fled.
Our Britaines hearts dye flying, not our men,
To darknesse fleete soules that flye backwards; stand,
Or we are Romanes, and will giue you that
Like beasts, which you shun beastly, and may saue
But to looke backe in frowne: Stand, stand. These three,
Three thousand confident, in acte as many:
For three performers are the File, when all
The rest do nothing. With this word stand, stand,
Accomodated by the Place; more Charming
With their owne Noblenesse, which could haue turn'd
A Distaffe, to a Lance, guilded pale lookes;
Part shame, part spirit renew'd, that some turn'd coward
But by example (Oh a sinne in Warre,
Damn'd in the first beginners) gan to looke
The way that they did, and to grin like Lyons
Vpon the Pikes o'th'Hunters. Then beganne
A stop i'th'Chaser; a Retyre: Anon
A Rowt, confusion thicke: forthwith they flye
Chickens, the way which they stopt Eagles: Slaues
The strides the Victors made: and now our Cowards
Like Fragments in hard Voyages became
The life o'th'need: hauing found the backe doore open
Of the vnguarded hearts: heauens, how they wound,
Some slaine before some dying; some their Friends
Ore-borne i'th'former waue, ten chac'd by one,
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those that would dye, or ere resist, are growne
The mortall bugs o'th'Field.

Lord.
This was strange chance:
A narrow Lane, an old man, and two Boyes.

Post.
Nay, do not wonder at it: you are made
Rather to wonder at the things you heare,
Then to worke any. Will you Rime vpon't,
And vent it for a Mock'rie? Heere is one:
"Two Boyes, an Oldman (twice a Boy) a Lane,
"Preseru'd the Britaines, was the Romanes bane.

Lord.
Nay, be not angry Sir.

Post.
Lacke, to what end?
Who dares not stand his Foe, Ile be his Friend:
For if hee'l do, as he is made to doo,
I know hee'l quickly flye my friendship too.
You haue put me into Rime.

Lord.
Farewell, you're angry.
Exit.

Post.
Still going? This is a Lord: Oh Noble misery
To be i'th'Field, and aske what newes of me:
To day, how many would haue giuen their Honours
To haue sau'd their Carkasses? Tooke heele to doo't,
And yet dyed too. I, in mine owne woe charm'd
Could not finde death, where I did heare him groane,
Nor feele him where he strooke. Being an vgly Monster,
'Tis strange he hides him in fresh Cups, soft Beds,
Sweet words; or hath moe ministers then we
That draw his kniues i'th'War. Well I will finde him:
For being now a Fauourer to the Britaine,
No more a Britaine, I haue resum'd againe
The part I came in. Fight I will no more,
But yeeld me to the veriest Hinde, that shall
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
Heere made by'th'Romane; great the Answer be
Britaines must take. For me, my Ransome's death,
On eyther side I come to spend my breath;
Which neyther heere Ile keepe, nor beare agen,
But end it by some meanes for Imogen.
Enter two Captaines, and Soldiers.

1
Great Iupiter be prais'd, Lucius is taken,
'Tis thought the old man, and his sonnes, were Angels.

2
There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
That gaue th'Affront with them.

1
So 'tis reported:
But none of 'em can be found. Stand, who's there?

Post.
A Roman,
Who had not now beene drooping heere, if Seconds
Had answer'd him.

2
Lay hands on him: a Dogge,
A legge of Rome shall not returne to tell
What Crows haue peckt them here: he brags his seruice
As if he were of note: bring him to'th'King.
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Aruiragus, Pisanio,
and Romane Captiues. The Captaines present Posthumus to
Cymbeline, who deliuers him ouer to a Gaoler.
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Posthumus, and Gaoler.

Gao.
You shall not now be stolne, / You haue lockes vpon you:
So graze, as you finde Pasture.

2. Gao.
I, or a stomacke.

Post.
Most welcome bondage; for thou art a way
(I thinke) to liberty: yet am I better
Then one that's sicke o'th'Gowt, since he had rather
Groane so in perpetuity, then be cur'd
By'th'sure Physitian, Death; who is the key
T'vnbarre these Lockes. My Conscience, thou art fetter'd
More then my shanks, & wrists: you good Gods giue me
The penitent Instrument to picke that Bolt,
Then free for euer. Is't enough I am sorry?
So Children temporall Fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent,
I cannot do it better then in Gyues,
Desir'd, more then constrain'd, to satisfie
If of my Freedome 'tis the maine part, take
No stricter render of me, then my All.
I know you are more clement then vilde men,
Who of their broken Debtors take a third,
A sixt, a tenth, letting them thriue againe
On their abatement; that's not my desire.
For Imogens deere life, take mine, and though
'Tis not so deere, yet 'tis a life; you coyn'd it,
'Tweene man, and man, they waigh not euery stampe:
Though light, take Peeces for the figures sake,
(You rather) mine being yours: and so great Powres,
If you will take this Audit, take this life,
And cancell these cold Bonds. Oh Imogen,
Ile speake to thee in silence.

Solemne Musicke. Enter (as in an Apparation) Sicillius Leonatus, Father
to Posthumus, an old man, attyred like a warriour, leading in his hand
an ancient Matron (his wife, & Mother to Posthumus) with Musicke
before them. Then after other Musicke, followes the two young Leonati
(Brothers to Posthumus) with wounds as they died in the warrs. They
circle Posthumus round as he lies sleeping.

Sicil.
No more thou Thunder-Master shew
thy spight, on Mortall Flies:
With Mars fall out with Iuno chide,
that thy Adulteries
Rates, and Reuenges.
Hath my poore Boy done ought but well,
whose face I neuer saw:
I dy'de whil'st in the Wombe he staide,
attending Natures Law.
Whose Father then (as men report,
thou Orphanes Father art)
Thou should'st haue bin, and sheelded him,
from this earth-vexing smart.

Moth.
Lucina lent not me her ayde,
but tooke me in my Throwes,
That from me was Posthumus ript,
came crying 'mong'st his Foes.
A thing of pitty.

Sicil.
Great Nature like his Ancestrie,
moulded the stuffe so faire:
That he deseru'd the praise o'th'World,
as great Sicilius heyre.

1. Bro.
When once he was mature for man,
in Britaine where was hee
That could stand vp his paralell?
Or fruitfull obiect bee?
In eye of Imogen, that best
could deeme his dignitie.

Mo.
With Marriage wherefore was he mockt
to be exil'd, and throwne
From Leonati Seate, and cast
from her, his deerest one:
Sweete Imogen?

Sic.
Why did you suffer Iachimo,
slight thing of Italy,
To taint his Nobler hart & braine,
with needlesse ielousy,
And to become the geeke and scorne
o'th'others vilany?

2 Bro.
For this, from stiller Seats we came,
our Parents, and vs twaine,
That striking in our Countries cause,
fell brauely, and were slaine,
Our Fealty, & Tenantius right,
with Honor to maintaine.

1 Bro.
Like hardiment Posthumus hath
to Cymbeline perform'd:
Then Iupiter, yu King of Gods,
why hast yu thus adiourn'd
The Graces for his Merits due,
being all to dolors turn'd?

Sicil.
Thy Christall window ope; looke, / looke out,
no longer exercise
Vpon a valiant Race, thy harsh,
and potent iniuries:

Moth.
Since (Iupiter) our Son is good,
take off his miseries.

Sicil.
Peepe through thy Marble Mansion, helpe,
or we poore Ghosts will cry
To'th'shining Synod of the rest,
against thy Deity.

Brothers.
Helpe (Iupiter) or we appeale,
and from thy iustice flye.
Iupiter descends in Thunder and Lightning, sitting vppon an
Eagle: hee throwes a Thunder-bolt. The Ghostes fall on their knees.

Iupiter.
No more you petty Spirits of Region low
Offend our hearing: hush. How dare you Ghostes
Accuse the Thunderer, whose Bolt (you know)
Sky-planted, batters all rebelling Coasts.
Poore shadowes of Elizium, hence, and rest
Vpon your neuer-withering bankes of Flowres.
Be not with mortall accidents opprest,
No care of yours it is, you know 'tis ours.
Whom best I loue, I crosse; to make my guift
The more delay'd, delighted. Be content,
Your low-laide Sonne, our Godhead will vplift:
His Comforts thriue, his Trials well are spent:
Our Iouiall Starre 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 vpon his Brest, wherein
Our pleasure, his full Fortune, doth confine,
And so away: no farther with your dinne
Expresse Impatience, least you stirre vp mine:
Mount Eagle, to my Palace Christalline.
Ascends

Sicil.
He came in Thunder, his Celestiall breath
Was sulphurous to smell: the holy Eagle
Stoop'd, as to foote vs: his Ascension is
More sweet then our blest Fields: his Royall Bird
Prunes the immortall wing, and cloyes his Beake,
As when his God is pleas'd.

All.
Thankes Iupiter.

Sic.
The Marble Pauement clozes, he is enter'd
His radiant Roofe: Away, and to be blest
Let vs with care performe his great behest.
Vanish

Post.

Sleepe, thou hast bin a Grandsire, and begot
A Father to me: and thou hast created
A Mother, and two Brothers. But (oh scorne)
Gone, they went hence so soone as they were borne:
And so I am awake. Poore Wretches, that depend
On Greatnesse, Fauour; Dreame as I haue done,
Wake, and finde nothing. But (alas) I swerue:
Many Dreame not to finde, neither deserue,
And yet are steep'd in Fauours; so am I
That haue this Golden chance, and know not why:
What Fayeries haunt this ground? A Book? Oh rare one,
Be not, as is our fangled world, a Garment
Nobler then that it couers. Let thy effects
So follow, to be most vnlike our Courtiers,
As good, as promise.
Reades. WHen as a Lyons whelpe, shall to himselfe
vnknown, without seeking finde, and bee embrac'd
by a peece of tender Ayre: And when from a stately
Cedar shall be lopt branches, which being
dead many yeares, shall after reuiue, bee ioynted to
the old Stocke, and freshly grow, then shall
Posthumus end his miseries, Britaine be fortunate,
and flourish in Peace and Plentie.
'Tis still a Dreame: or else such stuffe as Madmen
Tongue, and braine not: either both, or nothing,
Or senselesse speaking, or a speaking such
As sense cannot vntye. Be what it is,
The Action of my life is like it, which Ile keepe
If but for simpathy.
Enter Gaoler.

Gao.
Come Sir, are you ready for death?

Post.
Ouer-roasted rather: ready long ago.

Gao.
Hanging is the word, Sir, if you bee readie for
that, you are well Cook'd.

Post.
So if I proue a good repast to the Spectators, the
dish payes the shot.

Gao.
A heauy reckoning for you Sir: But the comfort
is you shall be called to no more payments, fear
no more Tauerne Bils, which are often the sadnesse of
parting, as the procuring of mirth: you come in
faint for want of meate, depart reeling with too much
drinke: sorrie that you haue payed too much, and sorry
that you are payed too much: Purse and Braine, both
empty: the Brain the heauier, for being too light; the
Purse too light, being drawne of heauinesse. Oh, of this
contradiction you shall now be quit: Oh the charity
of a penny Cord, it summes vp thousands in a trice: you
haue no true Debitor, and Creditor but it: of what's
past, is, and to come, the discharge: your necke (Sis)
is Pen, Booke, and Counters; so the Acquittance
followes.

Post.
I am merrier to dye, then thou art to liue.

Gao.
Indeed Sir, he that sleepes, feeles not the Tooth-Ache:
but a man that were to sleepe your sleepe, and a
Hangman to helpe 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.

Gao.
Your death has eyes in's head then: I haue
not seene him so pictur'd: you must either bee
directed by some that take vpon them to know, or
to take vpon your selfe that which I am sure you do
not know: or iump the after-enquiry on your owne
perill: and how you shall speed in your iournies
end, I thinke you'l neuer returne to tell one.

Post.
I tell thee, Fellow, there are none want eyes, to
direct them the way I am going, but such as winke,
and will not vse them.

Gao.
What an infinite mocke is this, that a man
shold haue the best vse of eyes, to see the way of
blindnesse: I am sure hanging's the way of winking.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes.
Knocke off his Manacles, bring your Prisoner to
the King.

Post.
Thou bring'st good newes, I am call'd to bee made
free.

Gao.
Ile be hang'd then.

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

Gao.
Vnlesse a man would marry a Gallowes, &
beget yong Gibbets, I neuer saw one so prone: yet
on my Conscience, there are verier Knaues desire to
liue, for all he be a Roman; and there be some of
them too that dye against their willes; so should I, if
I were one. I would we were all of one minde, and
one minde good: O there were desolation of Gaolers
and Galowses: I speake against my present profit,
but my wish hath a preferment in't.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene V
Enter Cymbeline, Bellarius, Guiderius, Aruiragus,
Pisanio, and Lords.

Cym.
Stand by my side you, whom the Gods haue made
Preseruers of my Throne: woe is my heart,
That the poore Souldier that so richly fought,
Whose ragges, sham'd gilded Armes, whose naked brest
Stept before Targes of proofe, cannot be found:
He shall be happy that can finde him, if
Our Grace can make him so.

Bel.
I neuer saw
Such Noble fury in so poore a Thing;
Such precious deeds, in one that promist nought
But beggery, and poore lookes.

Cym.
No tydings of him?

Pisa.
He hath bin search'd among the dead, & liuing;
But no trace of him.

Cym.
To my greefe, I am
The heyre of his Reward, which I will adde
To you (the Liuer, Heart, and Braine of Britaine)
By whom (I grant) she liues. 'Tis now the time
To aske of whence you are. Report it.

Bel.
Sir,
In Cambria are we borne, and Gentlemen:
Further to boast, were neyther true, nor modest,
Vnlesse I adde, we are honest.

Cym.
Bow your knees:
Arise my Knights o'th'Battell, I create you
Companions to our person, and will fit you
With Dignities becomming your estates.
Enter Cornelius and Ladies.
There's businesse in these faces: why so sadly
Greet you our Victory? you looke like Romaines,
And not o'th'Court of Britaine.

Corn.
Hayle great King,
To sowre your happinesse, I must report
The Queene is dead.

Cym.
Who worse then a Physitian
Would this report become? But I consider,
By Med'cine 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 cruell to the world) concluded
Most cruell to her selfe. What she confest,
I will report, so please you. These her Women
Can trip me, if I erre, who with wet cheekes
Were present when she finish'd.

Cym.
Prythee say.

Cor.
First, she confest she neuer lou'd you: onely
Affected Greatnesse got by you: not you:
Married your Royalty, was wife to your place:
Abhorr'd your person.

Cym.
She alone knew this:
And but she spoke it dying, I would not
Beleeue her lips in opening it. Proceed.

Corn.
Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to loue
With such integrity, she did confesse
Was as a Scorpion to her sight, whose life
(But that her flight preuented it) she had
Tane off by poyson.

Cym.
O most delicate Fiend!
Who is't can reade a Woman? Is there more?

Corn.
More Sir, and worse. She did confesse she had
For you a mortall Minerall, which being tooke,
Should by the minute feede on life, and ling'ring,
By inches waste you. In which time, she purpos'd
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
Orecome you with her shew; and in time
(When she had fitted you with her craft, to worke
Her Sonne into th'adoption of the Crowne:
But fayling of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shamelesse desperate, open'd (in despight
Of Heauen, and Men) her purposes: repented
The euils she hatch'd, were not effected: so
Dispayring, dyed.

Cym.
Heard you all this, her Women?

La.
We did, so please your Highnesse.

Cym.
Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautifull:
Mine eares that heare her flattery, nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming. It had beene vicious
To haue mistrusted her: yet (Oh my Daughter)
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
And proue it in thy feeling. Heauen mend all.
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and other Roman
prisoners, Leonatus behind, and Imogen.
Thou comm'st not Caius now for Tribute, that
The Britaines haue rac'd out, though with the losse
Of many a bold one: whose Kinsmen haue made suite
That their good soules may be appeas'd, with slaughter
Of you their Captiues, which our selfe haue granted,
So thinke of your estate.

Luc.
Consider Sir, the chance of Warre, the day
Was yours by accident: had it gone with vs,
We should not when the blood was cool, haue threatend
Our Prisoners with the Sword. But since the Gods
Will haue it thus, that nothing but our liues
May be call'd ransome, let it come: Sufficeth,
A Roman, with a Romans heart can suffer:
Augustus liues to thinke on't: and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing onely
I will entreate, my Boy (a Britaine borne)
Let him be ransom'd: Neuer Master had
A Page so kinde, so duteous, diligent,
So tender ouer his occasions, true,
So feate, so Nurse-like: let his vertue ioyne
With my request, which Ile make bold, your Highnesse
Cannot deny: he hath done no Britaine harme,
Though he haue seru'd a Roman. Saue him (Sir)
And spare no blood beside.

Cym.
I haue surely seene him:
His fauour is familiar to me: Boy,
Thou hast look'd thy selfe into my grace,
And art mine owne. I know not why, wherefore,
To say, liue boy: ne're thanke thy Master, liue;
And aske of Cymbeline what Boone thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty, and thy state, Ile giue it:
Yea, though thou do demand a Prisoner
The Noblest tane.

Imo.
I humbly thanke your Highnesse.

Luc.
I do not bid thee begge my life, good Lad,
And yet I know thou wilt.

Imo.
No, no, alacke,
There's other worke in hand: I see a thing
Bitter to me, as death: your life, good Master,
Must shuffle for it selfe.

Luc.
The Boy disdaines me,
He leaues me, scornes me: briefely dye their ioyes,
That place them on the truth of Gyrles, and Boyes.
Why stands he so perplext?

Cym.
What would'st thou Boy?
I loue thee more, and more: thinke more and more
What's best to aske. Know'st him thou look'st on? speak
Wilt haue him liue? Is he thy Kin? thy Friend?

Imo.
He is a Romane, no more kin to me,
Then I to your Highnesse, who being born your vassaile
Am something neerer.

Cym.
Wherefore ey'st him so?

Imo.
Ile tell you (Sir) in priuate, if you please
To giue me hearing.

Cym.
I, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

Imo.
Fidele Sir.

Cym.
Thou'rt my good youth: my Page
Ile be thy Master: walke with me: speake freely.

Bel.
Is not this Boy reuiu'd from death?

Arui.
One Sand another
Not more resembles that sweet Rosie Lad:
Who dyed, and was Fidele: what thinke you?

Gui.
The same dead thing aliue.

Bel.
Peace, peace, see further: he eyes vs not, forbeare
Creatures may be alike: were't he, I am sure
He would haue spoke to vs.

Gui.
But we see him dead.

Bel.
Be silent: let's see further.

Pisa.
It is my Mistris:
Since she is liuing, let the time run on,
To good, or bad.

Cym.
Come, stand thou by our side,
Make thy demand alowd. Sir, step you forth,
Giue answer to this Boy, and do it freely,
Or by our Greatnesse, and the grace of it
(Which is our Honor) bitter torture shall
Winnow the truth from falshood. One speake to him.

Imo.
My boone is, that this Gentleman may render
Of whom he had this Ring.

Post.
What's that to him?

Cym.
That Diamond vpon your Finger, say
How came it yours?

Iach.
Thou'lt torture me to leaue vnspoken, that
Which to be spoke, wou'd torture thee.

Cym.
How? me?

Iach.
I am glad to be constrain'd to vtter that
Which torments me to conceale. By Villany
I got this Ring: 'twas Leonatus Iewell,
Whom thou did'st banish: and which more may greeue thee,
As it doth me: a Nobler Sir, ne're liu'd
'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou heare more my Lord?

Cym.
All that belongs to this.

Iach.
That Paragon, thy daughter,
For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
Quaile to remember. Giue me leaue, I faint.

Cym.
My Daughter? what of hir? Renew thy strength
I had rather thou should'st liue, while Nature will,
Then dye ere I heare more: striue man, and speake.

Iach.
Vpon a time, vnhappy was the clocke
That strooke the houre: it was in Rome, accurst
The Mansion where: 'twas at a Feast, oh would
Our Viands had bin poyson'd (or at least
Those which I heau'd to head:) the good Posthumus,
(What should I say? he was too good to be
Where ill men were, and was the best of all
Among'st the rar'st of good ones) sitting sadly,
Hearing vs praise our Loues of Italy
For Beauty, that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speake: for Feature, laming
The Shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerua,
Postures, beyond breefe Nature. For Condition,
A shop of all the qualities, that man
Loues woman for, besides that hooke of Wiuing,
Fairenesse, which strikes the eye.

Cym.
I stand on fire.
Come to the matter.

Iach.
All too soone I shall,
Vnlesse thou would'st greeue quickly. This Posthumus,
Most like a Noble Lord, in loue, and one
That had a Royall Louer, tooke his hint,
And (not dispraising whom we prais'd, therein
He was as calme as vertue) he began
His Mistris picture, which, by his tongue, being made,
And then a minde put in't, either our bragges
Were crak'd of Kitchin-Trulles, or his description
Prou'd vs vnspeaking sottes.

Cym.
Nay, nay, to'th'purpose.

Iach.
Your daughters Chastity, (there it beginnes)
He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreames,
And she alone, were cold: Whereat, I wretch
Made scruple of his praise, and wager'd with him
Peeces of Gold, 'gainst this, which then he wore
Vpon his honour'd finger) to attaine
In suite the place of's bed, and winne this Ring
By hers, and mine Adultery: he (true Knight)
No lesser of her Honour confident
Then I did truly finde her, stakes this Ring,
And would so, had it beene a Carbuncle
Of Phobus Wheele; and might so safely, had it
Bin all the worth of's Carre. Away to Britaine
Poste I in this designe: Well may you (Sir)
Remember me at Court, where I was taught
Of your chaste Daughter, the wide difference
'Twixt Amorous, and Villanous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing; mine Italian braine,
Gan in your duller Britaine operate
Most vildely: for my vantage excellent.
And to be breefe, my practise so preuayl'd
That I return'd with simular proofe enough,
To make the Noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his beleefe in her Renowne,
With Tokens thus, and thus: auerring notes
Of Chamber-hanging, Pictures, this her Bracelet
(Oh cunning how I got) nay some markes
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But thinke her bond of Chastity quite crack'd,
I hauing 'tane the forfeyt. Whereupon,
Me thinkes I see him now.

Post.

I so thou do'st,
Italian Fiend. Aye me, most credulous Foole,
Egregious murtherer, Theefe, any thing
That's due to all the Villaines past, in being
To come. Oh giue me Cord, or knife, or poyson,
Some vpright Iusticer. Thou King, send out
For Torturors ingenious: it is I
That all th'abhorred things o'th'earth amend
By being worse then they. I am Posthumus,
That kill'd thy Daughter: Villain-like, I lye,
That caus'd a lesser villaine then my selfe,
A sacrilegious Theefe to doo't. The Temple
Of Vertue was she; yea, and she her selfe.
Spit, and throw stones, cast myre vpon me, set
The dogges o'th'street to bay me: euery villaine
Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus, and
Be villany lesse then 'twas. Oh Imogen!
My Queene, my life, my wife: oh Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen.

Imo.
Peace my Lord, heare, heare.

Post.
Shall's haue a play of this? / Thou scornfull Page,
there lye thy part.

Pis.
Oh Gentlemen, helpe,
Mine and your Mistris: Oh my Lord Posthumus,
You ne're kill'd Imogen till now: helpe, helpe,
Mine honour'd Lady.

Cym.
Does the world go round?

Posth.
How comes these staggers on mee?

Pisa.
Wake my Mistris.

Cym.
If this be so, the Gods do meane to strike me
To death, with mortall ioy.

Pisa.
How fares my Mistris?

Imo.
Oh get thee from my sight,
Thou gau'st me poyson: dangerous Fellow hence,
Breath not where Princes are.

Cym.
The tune of Imogen.

Pisa.
Lady,
the Gods throw stones of sulpher on me, if
That box I gaue you, was not thought by mee
A precious thing, I had it from the Queene.

Cym.
New matter still.

Imo.
It poyson'd me.

Corn.
Oh Gods!
I left out one thing which the Queene confest,
Which must approue thee honest. If Pasanio
Haue (said she) giuen his Mistris that Confection
Which I gaue him for Cordiall, she is seru'd,
As I would serue a Rat.

Cym.
What's this, Cornelius?

Corn.
The Queene (Sir) very oft importun'd me
To temper poysons for her, still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge, onely
In killing Creatures vilde, as Cats and Dogges
Of no esteeme. I dreading, that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certaine stuffe, which being tane, would cease
The present powre of life, but in short time,
All Offices of Nature, should againe
Do their due Functions. Haue you tane of it?

Imo.
Most like I did, for I was dead.

Bel.
My Boyes,
there was our error.

Gui.
This is sure Fidele.

Imo.
Why did you throw your wedded Lady frõ you?
Thinke that you are vpon a Rocke, and now
Throw me againe.

Post.
Hang there like fruite, my soule,
Till the Tree dye.

Cym.
How now, my Flesh? my Childe?
What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this Act?
Wilt thou not speake to me?

Imo.
Your blessing, Sir.

Bel.
Though you did loue this youth, I blame ye not,
You had a motiue for't.

Cym.
My teares that fall
Proue holy-water on thee; Imogen,
Thy Mothers dead.

Imo.
I am sorry for't, my Lord.

Cym.
Oh, she was naught; and long of her it was
That we meet heere so strangely: but her Sonne
Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

Pisa.
My Lord,
Now feare is from me, Ile speake troth. Lord Cloten
Vpon my Ladies missing, came to me
With his Sword drawne, foam'd at the mouth, and swore
If I discouer'd not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death. By accident,
I had a feigned Letter of my Masters
Then in my pocket, which directed him
To seeke her on the Mountaines neere to Milford,
Where in a frenzie, in my Masters Garments
(Which he inforc'd from me) away he postes
With vnchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My Ladies honor, what became of him,
I further know not.

Gui.
Let me end the Story:
I slew him there.

Cym.
Marry, the Gods forefend.
I would not thy good deeds, should from my lips
Plucke a hard sentence: Prythee valiant youth
Deny't againe.

Gui.
I haue spoke it, and I did it.

Cym.
He was a Prince.

Gui.
A most inciuill one. The wrongs he did mee
Were nothing Prince-like; for he did prouoke me
With Language that would make me spurne the Sea,
If it could so roare to me. I cut off's head,
And am right glad he is not standing heere
To tell this tale of mine.

Cym.
I am sorrow for thee:
By thine owne tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
Endure our Law: Thou'rt dead.

Imo.
That headlesse man
I thought had bin my Lord

Cym.
Binde the Offender,
And take him from our presence.

Bel.
Stay, Sir King.
This man is better then the man he slew,
As well descended as thy selfe, and hath
More of thee merited, then a Band of Clotens
Had euer scarre for. Let his Armes alone,
They were not borne for bondage.

Cym.
Why old Soldier:
Wilt thou vndoo the worth thou art vnpayd for
By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
As good as we?

Arui.
In that he spake too farre.

Cym.
And thou shalt dye for't.

Bel.
We will dye all three,
But I will proue that two one's are as good
As I haue giuen out him. My Sonnes, I must
For mine owne part, vnfold a dangerous speech,
Though haply well for you.

Arui.
Your danger's ours.

Guid.
And our good his.

Bel.
Haue at it then, by leaue
Thou hadd'st (great King) a Subiect, who
Was call'd Belarius.

Cym.
What of him? He is a banish'd Traitor.

Bel.
He it is, that hath
Assum'd this age: indeed a banish'd man,
I know not how, a Traitor.

Cym.
Take him hence,
The whole world shall not saue him.

Bel.
Not too hot;
First pay me for the Nursing of thy Sonnes,
And let it be confiscate all, so soone
As I haue receyu'd it.

Cym.
Nursing of my Sonnes?

Bel.
I am too blunt, and sawcy: heere's my knee:
Ere I arise, I will preferre my Sonnes,
Then spare not the old Father. Mighty Sir,
These two young Gentlemen that call me Father,
And thinke they are my Sonnes, are none of mine,
They are the yssue of your Loynes, my Liege,
And blood of your begetting.

Cym.
How? my Issue.

Bel.
So sure as you, your Fathers: I (old Morgan)
Am that Belarius, whom you sometime banish'd:
Your pleasure was my neere offence, my punishment
It selfe, and all my Treason that I suffer'd,
Was all the harme I did. These gentle Princes
(For such, and so they are) these twenty yeares
Haue I train'd vp; those Arts they haue, as I
Could put into them. My breeding was (Sir) / As
your Highnesse knowes: Their Nurse Euriphile
(Whom for the Theft I wedded) stole these Children
Vpon my Banishment: I moou'd her too't,
Hauing receyu'd the punishment before
For that which I did then. Beaten for Loyaltie,
Excited me to Treason. Their deere losse,
The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shap'd
Vnto my end of stealing them. But gracious Sir,
Heere are your Sonnes againe, and I must loose
Two of the sweet'st Companions in the World.
The benediction of these couering Heauens
Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthie
To in-lay Heauen with Starres.

Cym.
Thou weep'st, and speak'st:
The Seruice that you three haue done, is more
Vnlike, then this thou tell'st. I lost my Children,
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A payre of worthier Sonnes.

Bel.
Be pleas'd awhile;
This Gentleman, whom I call Polidore,
Most worthy Prince, as yours, is true Guiderius:
This Gentleman, my Cadwall, Aruiragus.
Your yonger Princely Son, he Sir, was lapt
In a most curious Mantle, wrought by th'hand
Of his Queene Mother, which for more probation
I can with ease produce.

Cym.
Guiderius had
Vpon his necke a Mole, a sanguine Starre,
It was a marke of wonder.

Bel.
This is he,
Who hath vpon him still that naturall stampe:
It was wise Natures end, in the donation
To be his euidence now.

Cym.
Oh, what am I
A Mother to the byrth of three? Nere Mother
Reioyc'd deliuerance more: Blest, pray you be,
That after this strange starting from your Orbes,
You may reigne in them now: Oh Imogen,
Thou hast lost by this a Kingdome.

Imo.
No, my Lord:
I haue got two Worlds by't. Oh my gentle Brothers,
Haue we thus met? Oh neuer say heereafter
But I am truest speaker. You call'd me Brother
When I was but your Sister: I you Brothers,
When we were so indeed.

Cym.
Did you ere meete?

Arui.
I my good Lord.

Gui.
And at first meeting lou'd,
Continew'd so, vntill we thought he dyed.

Corn.
By the Queenes Dramme she swallow'd.

Cym.
O rare instinct!
When shall I heare all through? This fierce abridgment,
Hath to it Circumstantiall branches, which
Distinction should be rich in. Where? how liu'd you?
And when came you to serue our Romane Captiue?
How parted with your Brother? How first met them?
Why fled you from the Court? And whether these?
And your three motiues to the Battaile? with
I know not how much more should be demanded,
And all the other by-dependances
From chance to chance? But nor the Time, nor Place
Will serue our long Interrogatories. See,
Posthumus Anchors vpon Imogen;
And she (like harmlesse Lightning) throwes her eye
On him: her Brothers, Me: her Master hitting
Each obiect with a Ioy: the Counter-change
Is seuerally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoake the Temple with our Sacrifices.
Thou art my Brother, so wee'l hold thee euer.

Imo.
You are my Father too, and did releeue me:
To see this gracious season.

Cym.
All ore-ioy'd
Saue these in bonds, let them be ioyfull too,
For they shall taste our Comfort.

Imo.
My good Master,
I will yet do you seruice.

Luc.
Happy be you.

Cym.
The forlorne Souldier, that no Nobly fought
He would haue well becom'd this place, and grac'd
The thankings of a King.

Post.
I am Sir
The Souldier that did company these three
In poore beseeming: 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow'd. That I was he,
Speake Iachimo, I had you downe, and might
Haue made you finish.

Iach.
I am downe againe:
But now my heauie Conscience sinkes my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you
Which I so often owe: but your Ring first,
And heere the Bracelet of the truest Princesse
That euer swore her Faith.

Post.
Kneele not to me:
The powre that I haue on you, is to spare you:
The malice towards you, to forgiue you. Liue
And deale with others better.

Cym.
Nobly doom'd:
Wee'l learne our Freenesse of a Sonne-in-Law:
Pardon's the word to all.

Arui.
You holpe vs Sir,
As you did meane indeed to be our Brother,
Ioy'd are we, that you are.

Post.
Your Seruant Princes. Good my Lord of Rome
Call forth your Sooth-sayer: As I slept, me thought
Great Iupiter vpon his Eagle back'd
Appear'd to me, with other sprightly shewes
Of mine owne Kindred. When I wak'd, I found
This Labell on my bosome; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardnesse, that I can
Make no Collection of it. Let him shew
His skill in the construction.

Luc.
Philarmonus.

Sooth.
Heere, my good Lord.

Luc.
Read, and declare the meaning.
Reades.
WHen as a Lyons whelpe, shall to himselfe
vnknown, without seeking finde, and bee embrac'd
by a peece of tender Ayre: And when from a
stately Cedar shall be lopt branches,which
being dead many yeares, shall after reuiue, bee
ioynted to the old Stocke, and freshly grow, then
shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britaine be fortunate,
and flourish in Peace and Plentie.
Thou Leonatus art the Lyons Whelpe,
The fit and apt Construction of thy name
Being Leonatus, doth import so much:
The peece of tender Ayre, thy vertuous Daughter,
Which we call Mollis Aer, and Mollis Aer
We terme it Mulier; which Mulier I diuine
Is this most constant Wife, who euen now
Answering the Letter of the Oracle,
Vnknowne to you vnsought, were clipt about
With this most tender Aire.

Cym.
This hath some seeming.

Sooth.
The lofty Cedar, Royall Cymbeline
Personates thee: And thy lopt Branches, point
Thy two Sonnes forth: who by Belarius stolne
For many yeares thought dead, are now reuiu'd
To the Maiesticke Cedar ioyn'd; whose Issue
Promises Britaine, Peace and Plenty.

Cym.
Well,
My Peace we will begin: And Caius Lucius,
Although the Victor, we submit to Casar,
And to the Romane Empire; promising
To pay our wonted Tribute, from the which
We were disswaded by our wicked Queene,
Whom heauens in Iustice both on her, and hers,
Haue laid most heauy hand.

Sooth.
The fingers of the Powres aboue, do tune
The harmony of this Peace: the Vision
Which I made knowne to Lucius ere the stroke
Of yet this scarse-cold-Battaile, at this instant
Is full accomplish'd. For the Romaine Eagle
From South to West, on wing soaring aloft
Lessen'd her selfe, and in the Beames o'th'Sun
So vanish'd; which fore-shew'd our Princely Eagle
Th'Imperiall Casar, should againe vnite
His Fauour, with the Radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines heere in the West.

Cym.
Laud we the Gods,
And let our crooked Smoakes climbe to their Nostrils
From our blest Altars. Publish we this Peace
To all our Subiects. Set we forward: Let
A Roman, and a Brittish Ensigne waue
Friendly together: so through Luds-Towne march,
And in the Temple of great Iupiter
Our Peace wee'l ratifie: Seale it with Feasts.
Set on there: Neuer was a Warre did cease
(Ere bloodie hands were wash'd) with such a Peace.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Posthumus alone

POSTHUMUS
Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee: for I wished
Thou shouldst be coloured thus. You married ones,
If each of you should 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 lived to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Innogen, 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 doers' thrift.
But Innogen is your own, do your best wills,
And make me blest to obey. I am brought hither
Among th' Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady's kingdom: 'tis 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, O Innogen, 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'th' Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o'th' world, I will begin,
The fashion less without, and more within.
Exit
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and the Roman Army at one door: and the
Briton Army at another: Leonatus Posthumus following, like a
poor soldier. They march over, and go out. Then enter again, in
skirmish, Iachimo and Posthumus: he vanquisheth and disarmeth
Iachimo, and then leaves him

IACHIMO
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
Revengingly enfeebles me, or could this carl,
A very drudge of Nature's, have subdued 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

BELARIUS
Stand, stand. We have th' advantage of the ground;
The lane is guarded: nothing routs us but
The villainy of our fears.

GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS
Stand, stand, and fight!
Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons. They rescue Cymbeline
and exeunt. Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and Innogen

LUCIUS
Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself:
For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hoodwinked.

IACHIMO
'Tis their fresh supplies.

LUCIUS
It is a day turned strangely: or betimes
Let's reinforce, or fly.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Posthumus and a Briton Lord

LORD
Cam'st thou from where they made the stand?

POSTHUMUS
I did,
Though you it seems come from the fliers.

LORD
I did.

POSTHUMUS
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 straight lane; the enemy full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaught'ring, having work
More plentiful than tools to do't, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touched, some falling
Merely through fear, that the strait pass was dammed
With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthened shame.

LORD
Where was this lane?

POSTHUMUS
Close by the battle, ditched, and walled with turf –
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier –
An honest one, I warrant – who deserved
So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
In doing this for's 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 cased, or shame –
Made good the passage, cried 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 save
But to look back in frown: stand, stand!’ These three,
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 turned
A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks;
Part shame, part spirit renewed, that some, turned coward
But by example – O, a sin in war,
Damned in the first beginners – 'gan to look
The way that they did, and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o'th' hunters. Then began
A stop i'th' chaser; a retire: anon
A rout, confusion thick: forthwith they fly
Chickens, the way which they stooped eagles: slaves,
The strides they victors made: and now our cowards
Like fragments in hard voyages became
The life o'th' 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'th' former wave, ten chased by one,
Are now each one the slaughterman of twenty:
Those that would die, or ere resist, are grown
The mortal bugs o'th' field.

LORD
This was strange chance:
A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.

POSTHUMUS
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 mock'ry? Here is one:
Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
Preserved the Britons, was the Romans' bane.

LORD
Nay, be not angry, sir.

POSTHUMUS
'Lack, to what end?
Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend:
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
Farewell, you're angry.
Exit Lord

POSTHUMUS
Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
To be i'th' field, and ask ‘ what news?’ of me!
Today how many would have given their honours
To have saved their carcasses? Took heel to do't,
And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charmed,
Could not find death where I did hear him groan,
Nor feel him where he struck. Being an ugly monster,
'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words; or hath moe ministers than we
That draw his knives i'th' war. Well, I will find him:
For being now a favourer to the Briton,
No more a Briton, I have resumed 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 th' Roman; great the answer be
Britons must take. For me, my ransom'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 Innogen.
Enter two British Captains and Soldiers

FIRST CAPTAIN
Great Jupiter be praised, Lucius is taken:
'Tis thought the old man, and his sons, were angels.

SECOND CAPTAIN
There was a fourth man, in a silly habit,
That gave th' affront with them.

FIRST CAPTAIN
So 'tis reported:
But none of 'em can be found. Stand! Who's there?

POSTHUMUS
A Roman,
Who had not now been drooping here if seconds
Had answered him.

SECOND CAPTAIN
Lay hands on him: a dog,
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have pecked them here: he brags his service
As if he were of note: bring him to th' king.
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus, Pisanio,
and Roman Captives. The Captains present Posthumus to
Cymbeline, who delivers him over to a Gaoler
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Posthumus and two Gaolers

FIRST GAOLER
You shall not now be stol'n, you have locks upon you:
So graze, as you find pasture.

SECOND GAOLER
Ay, or a stomach.
Exeunt Gaolers

POSTHUMUS
Most welcome bondage; for thou art a way,
I think to liberty: yet am I better
Than one that's sick o'th' gout, since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
By th' sure physician, Death; who is the key
T' unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fettered
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,
Desired more than constrained: to satisfy,
If of my freedom 'tis the mainport, 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 Innogen's dear life take mine, and though
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coined 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 powers,
If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Innogen,
I'll speak to thee in silence.
(sleeps)
Solemn music. Enter (as in 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 Posthumus round as he lies sleeping

SICILIUS
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 stayed,
attending Nature's law:
Whose father then – as men report
thou orphans' father art –
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
from this earth-vexing smart.

MOTHER
Lucina lent not me her aid,
but took me in my throes,
That from me was Posthumus ripped,
came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!

SICILIUS
Great nature, like his ancestry,
moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserved the praise o'th' world,
as great Sicilius' heir.

FIRST BROTHER
When once he was mature for man,
in Britain where was he
That could stand up his parallel,
or fruitful object be
In eye of Innogen, that best
could deem his dignity?

MOTHER
With marriage wherefore was he mocked
to be exiled, and thrown
From Leonati seat, and cast
from her his dearest one,
Sweet Innogen?

SICILIUS
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'th' other's villainy?

SECOND BROTHER
For this, from stiller seats we came,
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.

FIRST BROTHER
Like hardiment Posthumus hath
to Cymbeline performed:
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
why hast thou thus adjourned
The graces for his merits due,
being all to dolours turned?

SICILIUS
Thy crystal window ope; look out;
no longer exercise
Upon a valiant race thy harsh
and potent injuries.

MOTHER
Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
take off his miseries.

SICILIUS
Peep through thy marble mansion, help,
or we poor ghosts will cry
To th' shining synod of the rest
against thy deity.

BROTHERS
Help, Jupiter, or we appeal,
and from thy justice fly.
Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an
eagle: he throws a thunderbolt. The Ghosts fall on their knees

JUPITER
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 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 Innogen,
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

SICILIUS
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 blest fields: his royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleased.

ALL
Thanks, Jupiter!

SICILIUS
The marble pavement closes, he is entered
His radiant roof. Away! And to be blest
Let us with care perform his great behest.
The Ghosts vanish

POSTHUMUS
(waking)
Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire, 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 steeped in favours; so am I,
That have this golden chance, and know not why.
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare one,
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.
Enter Gaolers

FIRST GAOLER
Come, sir, are you ready for death?

POSTHUMUS
Overroasted rather: ready long ago.

FIRST GAOLER
Hanging is the word, sir: if you be ready for
that, you are well cooked.

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

FIRST GAOLER
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.

POSTHUMUS
I am merrier to die than thou art to live.

FIRST GAOLER
Indeed sir, he that sleeps feels not the toothache:
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.

POSTHUMUS
Yes, indeed do I, fellow.

FIRST GAOLER
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
to take upon yourself that which I am sure you do
not know, or jump the after-inquiry on your own
peril: and how you shall speed in your journey's
end, I think you'll never return to tell on.

POSTHUMUS
I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to
direct them the way I am going, but such as wink,
and will not use them.

FIRST GAOLER
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

MESSENGER
Knock off his manacles, bring your prisoner to
the king.

POSTHUMUS
Thou bring'st good news, I am called to be made
free.

FIRST GAOLER
I'll be hanged then.

POSTHUMUS
Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for
the dead.
Exeunt all but First Gaoler

FIRST GAOLER
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 in't.
Exit
Modern text
Act V, Scene V
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus,
Pisanio, Lords, Officers, and Attendants

CYMBELINE
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,
Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast
Stepped before targes of proof, cannot be found:
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.

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

CYMBELINE
No tidings of him?

PISANIO
He hath been searched among the dead and living;
But no trace of him.

CYMBELINE
To my grief, I am
The heir of his reward, (to Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus) which I will add
To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,
By whom – I grant – she lives. 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are. Report it.

BELARIUS
Sir,
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen:
Further to boast were neither true nor modest,
Unless I add we are honest.

CYMBELINE
Bow your knees:
Arise my knights o'th' battle. I create you
Companions to our person, and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.
Enter Cornelius and Ladies
There's business in these faces; why so sadly
Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,
And not o'th' court of Britain.

CORNELIUS
Hail, great king!
To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.

CYMBELINE
Who worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By med'cine life may be prolonged, yet death
Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?

CORNELIUS
With horror, madly dying, like her life,
Which – being cruel to the world – concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confessed
I will report, so please you. These her women
Can trip me, if I err, who with wet cheeks
Were present when she finished.

CYMBELINE
Prithee say.

CORNELIUS
First, she confessed she never loved you: only
Affected greatness got by you: not you:
Married your royalty, was wife to your place:
Abhorred your person.

CYMBELINE
She alone knew this:
And but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.

CORNELIUS
Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
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.

CYMBELINE
O most delicate fiend!
Who is't can read a woman? Is there more?

CORNELIUS
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 purposed
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O'ercome you with her show; and in time –
When she had fitted you with her craft – to work
Her son into th' adoption of the crown:
But, failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate, opened – in despite
Of heaven and men – her purposes: repented
The evils she hatched were not effected: so
Despairing died.

CYMBELINE
Heard you all this, her women?

LADIES
We did, so please your highness.

CYMBELINE
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 vicious
To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter,
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other Roman
Prisoners, guarded; Posthumus behind, and Innogen
Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one: whose kinsmen have made suit
That their good souls may be appeased with slaughter
Of you their captives, which ourself have granted:
So think of your estate.

LUCIUS
Consider, sir, the chance of war, the day
Was yours by accident: had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cool, have threatened
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be called ransom, let it come: sufficeth
A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer:
Augustus lives to think on't: and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing only
I will entreat, my boy – a Briton born –
Let him be ransomed: never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
With my request, which I'll make bold your highness
Cannot deny: he hath done no Briton harm,
Though he have served a Roman. Save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.

CYMBELINE
I have surely seen him:
His favour is familiar to me. Boy,
Thou hast looked thyself into my grace,
And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,
To say, live boy: ne'er thank thy master, live;
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty, and thy state, I'll give it:
Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
The noblest ta'en.

INNOGEN
I humbly thank your highness.

LUCIUS
I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
And yet I know thou wilt.

INNOGEN
No, no alack,
There's other work in hand: I see a thing
Bitter to me as death: your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.

LUCIUS
The boy disdains me,
He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys
That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
Why stands he so perplexed?

CYMBELINE
What wouldst thou, boy?
I love thee more and more: think more and more
What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on? Speak,
Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? Thy friend?

INNOGEN
He is a Roman, no more kin to me
Than I to your highness, who being born your vassal,
Am something nearer.

CYMBELINE
Wherefore ey'st him so?

INNOGEN
I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
To give me hearing.

CYMBELINE
Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

INNOGEN
Fidele, sir.

CYMBELINE
Thou'rt my good youth: my page
I'll be thy master: walk with me: speak freely.
(Cymbeline and Innogen walk aside)

BELARIUS
Is not this boy revived from death?

ARVIRAGUS
One sand another
Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad,
Who died, and was Fidele! What think you?

GUIDERIUS
The same dead thing alive.

BELARIUS
Peace, peace, see further: he eyes us not, forbear;
Creatures may be alike: were't he, I am sure
He would have spoke to us.

GUIDERIUS
But we see him dead.

BELARIUS
Be silent: let's see further.

PISANIO
(aside)
It is my mistress:
Since she is living, let the time run on,
To good, or bad.
(Cymbeline and Innogen come forward)

CYMBELINE
Come, stand thou by our side,
Make thy demand aloud. (to Iachimo) Sir, step you forth,
Give answer to this boy, and do it freely,
Or, by our greatness and the grace of it –
Which is our honour – bitter torture shall
Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak to him.

INNOGEN
My boon is, that this gentleman may render
Of whom he had this ring.

POSTHUMUS
(aside)
What's that to him?

CYMBELINE
That diamond upon your finger, say
How came it yours?

IACHIMO
Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that
Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.

CYMBELINE
How? Me?

IACHIMO
I am glad to be constrained to utter that
Which torments me to conceal. By villainy
I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel,
Whom thou didst banish: and – which more may grieve thee,
As it doth me – a nobler sir ne'er lived
'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?

CYMBELINE
All that belongs to this.

IACHIMO
That paragon, thy daughter,
For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
Quail to remember – Give me leave; I faint.

CYMBELINE
My daughter? What of her? Renew thy strength:
I had rather thou shouldst live, while Nature will,
Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak.

IACHIMO
Upon a time, unhappy was the clock
That struck the hour: it was in Rome, accursed
The mansion where: 'twas at a feast, O, would
Our viands had been poisoned – or at least
Those which I heaved to head – the good Posthumus –
What should I say? He was too good to be
Where ill men were, and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones – sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
For beauty, that made barren the swelled boast
Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
Postures, beyond brief Nature. For condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
Fairness, which strikes the eye.

CYMBELINE
I stand on fire.
Come to the matter.

IACHIMO
All too soon I shall,
Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
Most like a noble lord in love and one
That had a royal lover, took his hint,
And – not dispraising whom we praised, therein
He was as calm as virtue – he began
His mistress' picture, which, by his tongue, being made,
And then a mind put in't, either our brags
Were craked of kitchen-trulls, or his description
Proved us unspeaking sots.

CYMBELINE
Nay, nay, to th' purpose.

IACHIMO
Your daughter's chastity – there it begins –
He spoke of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: whereat I, wretch,
Made scruple of his praise, and wagered with him
Pieces of gold, 'gainst this – which he then wore
Upon his honoured finger – to attain
In suit the place of's bed, and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery: he, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring,
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of's car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
'Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quenched
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely: for my vantage, excellent.
And to be brief, my practice so prevailed,
That I returned with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown,
With tokens thus, and thus: averring notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet –
O cunning, how I got it! – nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite cracked,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon –
Methinks I see him now –

POSTHUMUS
(advancing)
Ay, so thou dost,
Italian fiend! Ay me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing
That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come. O, give me cord, or knife, or poison
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I
That all th' abhorred things o'th' earth amend
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
That killed thy daughter: villain-like, I lie;
That caused a lesser villain than myself,
A sacrilegious thief, to do't. The temple
Of Virtue was she; yea, and she herself.
Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
The dogs o'th' street to bay me: every villain
Be called Posthumus Leonatus, and
Be villainy less than 'twas. O Innogen!
My queen, my life, my wife, O Innogen,
Innogen, Innogen!

INNOGEN
Peace, my lord, hear, hear –

POSTHUMUS
Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
There lie thy part.
(striking her: she falls)

PISANIO
O, gentlemen, help!
Mine and your mistress: O, my lord Posthumus!
You ne'er killed Innogen till now. Help, help!
Mine honoured lady!

CYMBELINE
Does the world go round?

POSTHUMUS
How comes these staggers on me?

PISANIO
Wake, my mistress!

CYMBELINE
If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
To death with mortal joy.

PISANIO
How fares my mistress?

INNOGEN
O, get thee from my sight,
Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!
Breathe not where princes are.

CYMBELINE
The tune of Innogen!

PISANIO
Lady,
The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing: I had it from the queen.

CYMBELINE
New matter still.

INNOGEN
It poisoned me.

CORNELIUS
O gods!
I left out one thing which the queen confessed.
Which must approve thee honest. ‘ If Pisanio
Have,’ said she, ‘ given his mistress that confection
Which I gave him for cordial, she is served
As I would serve a rat.’

CYMBELINE
What's this, Cornelius?

CORNELIUS
The queen, sir, very oft importuned me
To temper poisons for her, still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge only
In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs
Of no esteem. I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which being ta'en would cease
The present power of life, but in short time
All offices of nature should again
Do their due functions. Have you ta'en of it?

INNOGEN
Most like I did, for I was dead.

BELARIUS
My boys,
There was our error.

GUIDERIUS
This is sure Fidele.

INNOGEN
Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
Think that you are upon a rock, and now
Throw me again.
(embracing him)

POSTHUMUS
Hang there like a fruit, my soul,
Till the tree die.

CYMBELINE
How now, my flesh, my child?
What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act?
Wilt thou not speak to me?

INNOGEN
(kneeling)
Your blessing, sir.

BELARIUS
(to Guiderius and Arviragus)
Though you did love this youth, I blame ye not,
You had a motive for't.

CYMBELINE
My tears that fall
Prove holy water on thee; Innogen,
Thy mother's dead.

INNOGEN
I am sorry for't, my lord.

CYMBELINE
O, she was naught; and long of her it was
That we meet here so strangely: but her son
Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

PISANIO
My lord,
Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Cloten,
Upon my lady's missing, came to me
With his sword drawn, foamed at the mouth, and swore,
If I discovered not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death. By accident,
I had a feigned letter of my master's
Then in my pocket, which directed him
To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments –
Which he enforced from me – away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him
I further know not.

GUIDERIUS
Let me end the story:
I slew him there.

CYMBELINE
Marry, the gods forfend!
I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard sentence: prithee, valiant youth,
Deny't again.

GUIDERIUS
I have spoke it, and I did it.

CYMBELINE
He was a prince.

GUIDERIUS
A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me
Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me
With language that would make me spurn the sea,
If it could so roar to me. I cut off's head,
And am right glad he is not standing here
To tell this tale of mine.

CYMBELINE
I am sorrow for thee:
By thine own tongue thou art condemned, and must
Endure our law: thou'rt dead.

INNOGEN
That headless man
I thought had been my lord.

CYMBELINE
Bind the offender,
And take him from our presence.

BELARIUS
Stay, sir king.
This man is better than the man he slew,
As well descended as thyself, and hath
More of thee merited than a band of Clotens
Had ever scar for. (to the Guard) Let his arms alone,
They were not born for bondage.

CYMBELINE
Why, old soldier:
Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for
By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
As good as we?

ARVIRAGUS
In that he spake too far.

CYMBELINE
And thou shalt die for't.

BELARIUS
We will die all three,
But I will prove that two on's are as good
As I have given out him. My sons, I must
For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
Though haply well for you.

ARVIRAGUS
Your danger's ours.

GUIDERIUS
And our good his.

BELARIUS
Have at it then, by leave:
Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who
Was called Belarius –

CYMBELINE
What of him? He is a banished traitor.

BELARIUS
He it is that hath
Assumed this age: indeed a banished man,
I know not how a traitor.

CYMBELINE
Take him hence,
The whole world shall not save him.

BELARIUS
Not too hot;
First pay me for the nursing of thy sons,
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
As I have received it.

CYMBELINE
Nursing of my sons?

BELARIUS
I am too blunt, and saucy: here's my knee:
Ere I arise I will prefer my sons;
Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
These two young gentlemen that call me father
And think they are my sons, are none of mine;
They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
And blood of your begetting.

CYMBELINE
How? My issue?

BELARIUS
So sure as you your father's. I – old Morgan –
Am that Belarius, whom you sometime banished:
Your pleasure was my ne'er-offence, my punishment
Itself, and all my treason: that I suffered
Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes –
For such and so they are – these twenty years
Have I trained up; those arts they have, as I
Could put into them. My breeding was, sir, as
Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile –
Whom for the theft I wedded – stole these children
Upon my banishment: I moved her to't,
Having received the punishment before
For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty
Excited me to treason. Their dear loss,
The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shaped
Unto my end of stealing them. But gracious sir,
Here are your sons again, and I must lose
Two of the sweet'st companions in the world.
The benediction of these covering heavens
Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthy
To inlay heaven with stars.

CYMBELINE
Thou weep'st, and speak'st:
The service that you three have done is more
Unlike than this thou tell'st. I lost my children:
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A pair of worthier sons.

BELARIUS
Be pleased awhile;
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius:
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus
Your younger princely son, he, sir, was lapped
In a most curious mantle, wrought by th' hand
Of his queen mother, which for more probation
I can with ease produce.

CYMBELINE
Guiderius had
Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
It was a mark of wonder.

BELARIUS
This is he,
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp:
It was wise Nature's end, in the donation
To be his evidence now.

CYMBELINE
O, what am I?
A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
Rejoiced deliverance more. Blest pray you be,
That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now! O Innogen,
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.

INNOGEN
No, my lord;
I have got two worlds by't. O my gentle brothers,
Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter
But I am truest speaker. You called me brother,
When I was but your sister: I you brothers,
When ye were so indeed.

CYMBELINE
Did you e'er meet?

ARVIRAGUS
Ay, my good lord.

GUIDERIUS
And at first meeting loved,
Continued so, until we thought he died.

CORNELIUS
By the queen's dram she swallowed.

CYMBELINE
O rare instinct!
When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgement
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in. Where? How lived you?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
How parted with your brothers? How first met them?
Why fled you from the court? And whither? These,
And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded
And all the other by-dependances,
From chance to chance. But nor the time nor place
Will serve our long inter'gatories. See,
Posthumus anchors upon Innogen;
And she – like harmless lightning – throws her eye
On him: her brothers, me: her master hitting
Each object with a joy: the counterchange
Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.
(to Belarius) Thou art my brother; so we'll hold thee ever.

INNOGEN
You are my father too, and did relieve me,
To see this gracious season.

CYMBELINE
All o'erjoyed,
Save these in bonds, let them be joyful too,
For they shall taste our comfort.

INNOGEN
My good master,
I will yet do you service.

LUCIUS
Happy be you!

CYMBELINE
The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought,
He would have well becomed this place, and graced
The thankings of a king.

POSTHUMUS
I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming: 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then followed. That I was he,
Speak, Iachimo: I had you down, and might
Have made you finish.

IACHIMO
(kneels)
I am down again:
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
Which I so often owe: but your ring first,
And here the bracelet of the truest princess
That ever swore her faith.

POSTHUMUS
Kneel not to me:
The power that I have on you, is to spare you:
The malice towards you, to forgive you. Live
And deal with others better.

CYMBELINE
Nobly doomed!
We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
Pardon's the word to all.

ARVIRAGUS
You holp us, sir,
As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Joyed are we that you are.

POSTHUMUS
Your servant, princes. Good my lord of Rome,
Call forth your soothsayer: as I slept, methought
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed,
Appeared to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred. When I waked, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it. Let him show
His skill in the construction.

LUCIUS
Philarmonus!

SOOTHSAYER
Here, my good lord.

LUCIUS
Read, and declare the meaning.

SOOTHSAYER
(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.
Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp,
The fit and apt construction of thy name,
Being Leo-natus, doth impart so much:
(to Cymbeline) The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,
Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
We term it mulier: which mulier I divine
Is this most constant wife, who even now,
Answering the letter of the oracle,
Unknown to you, unsought, were clipped about
With this most tender air.

CYMBELINE
This hath some seeming.

SOOTHSAYER
The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee: and thy lopped branches point
Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stol'n,
For many years thought dead, are now revived,
To the majestic cedar joined; whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.

CYMBELINE
Well,
My peace we will begin: and Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Caesar,
And to the Roman empire; promising
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen,
Whom heavens in justice both on her, and hers,
Have laid most heavy hand.

SOOTHSAYER
The fingers of the powers above do tune
The harmony of this peace. The vision,
Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
Of yet this scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplished. For the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessened herself and in the beams o' the sun
So vanished; which foreshadowed our princely eagle,
Th' imperial Caesar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.

CYMBELINE
Laud we the gods,
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our blest altars. Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward: let
A Roman, and a British ensign wave
Friendly together: so through Lud's town march,
And in the temple of great Jupiter
Our peace we'll ratify: seal it with feasts.
Set on there! Never was a war did cease –
Ere bloody hands were washed – with such a peace.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL