Speeches (Lines) for Posthumus Leonatus
in "Cymbeline"

Total: 77

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,94

Please your highness,
I will from hence to-day.

2

I,1,111

My queen! my mistress!
O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
To be suspected of more tenderness
Than doth become a man. I will remain
The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth:
My residence in Rome at one Philario's,
Who to my father was a friend, to me
Known but by letter: thither write, my queen,
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send,
Though ink be made of gall.

3

I,1,131

Should we be taking leave
As long a term as yet we have to live,
The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

4

I,1,140

How, how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!
[Putting on the ring]
Remain, remain thou here
While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you: for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.

5

I,1,156

Alack, the king!

6

I,1,161

The gods protect you!
And bless the good remainders of the court! I am gone.

7

I,4,355

Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies,
which I will be ever to pay and yet pay still.

8

I,4,362

By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller;
rather shunned to go even with what I heard than in
my every action to be guided by others' experiences:
but upon my mended judgment—if I offend not to say
it is mended—my quarrel was not altogether slight.

9

I,4,382

She holds her virtue still and I my mind.

10

I,4,384

Being so far provoked as I was in France, I would
abate her nothing, though I profess myself her
adorer, not her friend.

11

I,4,394

I praised her as I rated her: so do I my stone.

12

I,4,396

More than the world enjoys.

13

I,4,399

You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given, if
there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit
for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale,
and only the gift of the gods.

14

I,4,404

Which, by their graces, I will keep.

15

I,4,411

Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier
to convince the honour of my mistress, if, in the
holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do
nothing doubt you have store of thieves;
notwithstanding, I fear not my ring.

16

I,4,417

Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I
thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

17

I,4,422

No, no.

18

I,4,429

You are a great deal abused in too bold a
persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're
worthy of by your attempt.

19

I,4,433

A repulse: though your attempt, as you call it,
deserve more; a punishment too.

20

I,4,440

What lady would you choose to assail?

21

I,4,447

I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring
I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.

22

I,4,453

This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a
graver purpose, I hope.

23

I,4,457

Will you? I shall but lend my diamond till your
return: let there be covenants drawn between's: my
mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your
unworthy thinking: I dare you to this match: here's my ring.

24

I,4,470

I embrace these conditions; let us have articles
betwixt us. Only, thus far you shall answer: if
you make your voyage upon her and give me directly
to understand you have prevailed, I am no further
your enemy; she is not worth our debate: if she
remain unseduced, you not making it appear
otherwise, for your ill opinion and the assault you
have made to her chastity you shall answer me with
your sword.

25

I,4,484

Agreed.

26

II,4,1171

Fear it not, sir: I would I were so sure
To win the king as I am bold her honour
Will remain hers.

27

II,4,1175

Not any, but abide the change of time,
Quake in the present winter's state and wish
That warmer days would come: in these sear'd hopes,
I barely gratify your love; they failing,
I must die much your debtor.

28

II,4,1187

I do believe,
Statist though I am none, nor like to be,
That this will prove a war; and you shall hear
The legions now in Gallia sooner landed
In our not-fearing Britain than have tidings
Of any penny tribute paid. Our countrymen
Are men more order'd than when Julius Caesar
Smiled at their lack of skill, but found
their courage
Worthy his frowning at: their discipline,
Now mingled with their courages, will make known
To their approvers they are people such
That mend upon the world.

29

II,4,1202

The swiftest harts have posted you by land;
And winds of all the comers kiss'd your sails,
To make your vessel nimble.

30

II,4,1206

I hope the briefness of your answer made
The speediness of your return.

31

II,4,1210

And therewithal the best; or let her beauty
Look through a casement to allure false hearts
And be false with them.

32

II,4,1214

Their tenor good, I trust.

33

II,4,1220

All is well yet.
Sparkles this stone as it was wont? or is't not
Too dull for your good wearing?

34

II,4,1228

The stone's too hard to come by.

35

II,4,1231

Make not, sir,
Your loss your sport: I hope you know that we
Must not continue friends.

36

II,4,1242

If you can make't apparent
That you have tasted her in bed, my hand
And ring is yours; if not, the foul opinion
You had of her pure honour gains or loses
Your sword or mine, or masterless leaves both
To who shall find them.

37

II,4,1254

Proceed.

38

II,4,1266

This is true;
And this you might have heard of here, by me,
Or by some other.

39

II,4,1271

So they must,
Or do your honour injury.

40

II,4,1279

This is a thing
Which you might from relation likewise reap,
Being, as it is, much spoke of.

41

II,4,1287

This is her honour!
Let it be granted you have seen all this—and praise
Be given to your remembrance—the description
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
The wager you have laid.

42

II,4,1297

Jove!
Once more let me behold it: is it that
Which I left with her?

43

II,4,1305

May be she pluck'd it off
To send it me.

44

II,4,1308

O, no, no, no! 'tis true. Here, take this too;
[Gives the ring]
It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
Kills me to look on't. Let there be no honour
Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love,
Where there's another man: the vows of women
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing.
O, above measure false!

45

II,4,1322

Very true;
And so, I hope, he came by't. Back my ring:
Render to me some corporal sign about her,
More evident than this; for this was stolen.

46

II,4,1327

Hark you, he swears; by Jupiter he swears.
'Tis true:—nay, keep the ring—'tis true: I am sure
She would not lose it: her attendants are
All sworn and honourable:—they induced to steal it!
And by a stranger!—No, he hath enjoyed her:
The cognizance of her incontinency
Is this: she hath bought the name of whore
thus dearly.
There, take thy hire; and all the fiends of hell
Divide themselves between you!

47

II,4,1340

Never talk on't;
She hath been colted by him.

48

II,4,1349

Ay, and it doth confirm
Another stain, as big as hell can hold,
Were there no more but it.

49

II,4,1353

Spare your arithmetic: never count the turns;
Once, and a million!

50

II,4,1356

No swearing.
If you will swear you have not done't, you lie;
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny
Thou'st made me cuckold.

51

II,4,1361

O, that I had her here, to tear her limb-meal!
I will go there and do't, i' the court, before
Her father. I'll do something—

52

II,5,1372

Is there no way for men to be but women
Must be half-workers? We are all bastards;
And that most venerable man which I
Did call my father, was I know not where
When I was stamp'd; some coiner with his tools
Made me a counterfeit: yet my mother seem'd
The Dian of that time so doth my wife
The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance!
Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain'd
And pray'd me oft forbearance; did it with
A pudency so rosy the sweet view on't
Might well have warm'd old Saturn; that I thought her
As chaste as unsunn'd snow. O, all the devils!
This yellow Iachimo, in an hour,—wast not?—
Or less,—at first?—perchance he spoke not, but,
Like a full-acorn'd boar, a German one,
Cried 'O!' and mounted; found no opposition
But what he look'd for should oppose and she
Should from encounter guard. Could I find out
The woman's part in me! For there's no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm
It is the woman's part: be it lying, note it,
The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all;
For even to vice
They are not constant but are changing still
One vice, but of a minute old, for one
Not half so old as that. I'll write against them,
Detest them, curse them: yet 'tis greater skill
In a true hate, to pray they have their will:
The very devils cannot plague them better.

53

V,1,2952

Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee, for I wish'd
Thou shouldst be colour'd 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 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 doers' thrift.
But Imogen is your own: do your best wills,
And make me blest 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.

54

V,3,3023

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

55

V,3,3026

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 slaughtering, having work
More plentiful than tools to do't, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Merely through fear; that the straight pass was damm'd
With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen'd shame.

56

V,3,3038

Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd 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 turn'd
A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks,
Part shame, part spirit renew'd; that some,
turn'd coward
But by example—O, a sin in war,
Damn'd in the first beginners!—gan to look
The way that they did, and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o' the hunters. Then began
A stop i' the chaser, a retire, anon
A rout, confusion thick; forthwith they fly
Chickens, the way which they stoop'd eagles; slaves,
The strides they victors made: and now our cowards,
Like fragments in hard voyages, became
The life o' the need: having found the backdoor open
Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they wound!
Some slain before; some dying; some their friends
O'er borne i' the former wave: ten, chased by one,
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those that would die or ere resist are grown
The mortal bugs o' the field.

57

V,3,3080

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

58

V,3,3087

'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.

59

V,3,3093

Still going?
[Exit Lord]
This is a lord! O noble misery,
To be i' the field, and ask 'what news?' of me!
To-day 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 charm'd,
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 more ministers than we
That draw his knives i' the 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 the 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 Imogen.

60

V,3,3122

A Roman,
Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds
Had answer'd him.

61

V,4,3140

Most welcome, bondage! for thou art away,
think, to liberty: yet am I better
Than one that's sick o' the gout; since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
By the sure physician, death, who is the key
To unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter'd
More than my shanks and wrists: you good gods, give me
The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
Then, free for ever! Is't enough I am sorry?
So children temporal fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent?
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desired more than constrain'd: to satisfy,
If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me than my all.
I know you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
On their abatement: that's not my desire:
For Imogen's dear life take mine; and though
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coin'd it:
'Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake:
You rather mine, being yours: and so, great powers,
If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I'll speak to thee in silence.
[Sleeps]
[Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition,]
SICILIUS LEONATUS, father to Posthumus Leonatus,
an old man, attired like a warrior; leading in
his hand an ancient matron, his wife, and mother
to Posthumus Leonatus, with music before them:
then, after other music, follow the two young
Leonati, brothers to Posthumus Leonatus, with
wounds as they died in the wars. They circle
Posthumus Leonatus round, as he lies sleeping]

62

V,4,3276

[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 steep'd in favours: so am I,
That have this golden chance and know not why.
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O rare 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.

63

V,4,3307

Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.

64

V,4,3310

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

65

V,4,3327

I am merrier to die than thou art to live.

66

V,4,3333

Yes, indeed do I, fellow.

67

V,4,3341

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.

68

V,4,3349

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

69

V,4,3351

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

70

V,5,3537

[Aside] What's that to him?

71

V,5,3618

[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 the abhorred things o' the earth amend
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
That kill'd 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' the street to bay me: every villain
Be call'd Posthumus Leonitus; and
Be villany less than 'twas! O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!

72

V,5,3638

Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
There lie thy part.

73

V,5,3646

How come these staggers on me?

74

V,5,3686

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

75

V,5,3871

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

76

V,5,3883

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.

77

V,5,3893

Your servant, princes. Good my lord of Rome,
Call forth your soothsayer: as I slept, methought
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
Appear'd 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.

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