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Cymbeline, King of Britain

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Act V, Scene 1

Britain. The Roman camp.


[Enter POSTHUMUS, with a bloody handkerchief]

  • Posthumus Leonatus. 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 2955
    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 2960
    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, 2965
    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 2970
    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 2975
    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 2980
    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.