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Our courtiers


but at court :
Experience, O, thou disprov'st report !
The imperious seas breed monsters; for the dish,
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still; heart-sick :-Pisanio,
I'll now taste of thy drug.

I could not stir him :
He said, he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.

Arviragus. Thus did he answer me: yet said, hereafter I might know more.

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With fairest flowers, Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele, I'll sweeten thy sad grave : Thou shalt not lack The flower, that 's like thy face, pale primrose ; nor The azur'd hare-bell, like thy veins; no, nor The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander, Out-sweeten'd not thy breath : the ruddock would, With charitable bill (O bill, sore-shaming Those rich-left heirs, that let their fathers lie Without a monument !) bring thee all this; Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none, To winter-ground thy corse.


Posthumus. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I

Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married ones
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 livd 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 bless'd to obey !-I am brought hither 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 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 Imogen, even for whom my life Is, every breath, a death ; and thus, unknown, Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know More valour in me, than my habits show. Gods, put the strength o’the Leonati in me ! To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin The fashion, less without, and more within.


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 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.



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 should'st 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 (accurs’d The mansion where !) 't was at a feast, (O ’would Our viands had been poison'd! or, at least, Those which I heav'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 Amongst the rar'st of good ones), sitting sadly, Hearing us praise our loves of Italy For beauty that made barren the swell’d 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:



Ay, so thou dost,
Italian fiend! Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, anything
That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come !—0, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou king, send out
For torturers ingenious : it is I
That all the abhorred things o'the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
That kill'd thy daughter: -villain-like, I lie;
I caus'd 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'the street to bay me: every villain
Be call’d, Posthumus Leonatus ; and
Be villainy less than 'twas !—O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife ! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!

Peace, my lord; hear, hearPosthumus. Shall's have a play of this ? Thou scornful

page, There lie thy part.

[Striking her ; she falls. Pisanio.

O, gentlemen, help, help,
Mine, and your mistress :—0, my Lord Posthumus!
You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now :—Help, help!-
Mine honour'd lady!

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Imogen. Why did you throw your wedded lady from


and now

Think, that you are upon a rock ;
Throw me again.

[Embracing him. Posthumus. Hang there like fruit, my soul, Till the tree die !

Cymbeline. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought,
He would have well becom'd this place, and grac'd
The thankings of a king.

I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming ; 'twas a fitment for

purpose I then follow'd ;-That I was he, Speak, Iachimo; I had you down, and might Have made


finish. Iachimo.

I am down again : [Kneeling 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.

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