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A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel
Nor iron on his heel? I am asham'd
To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.

Guid. By heavens, I'll go:

If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
I'll take the better care; but if you will not,
The hazard therefore due fall on me, by
The hands of Romans!


Aro. So say I; Amen.
Bel. No reason I, since of your lives you set
So slight a valuation, should reserve [boys:
My crack'd one to more care. Have with you,
5 If in your country wars you chance to die,
That is my bed too, lads, and there I'll lie:
Lead, lead-The time seems long; their blood
thinks scorn,


A Field, between the British and Romish Camps.
Enter Posthumus, with a bloody handkerchief.
Post. YEA, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I




"Till it fly out, and shew them princes born.



115 Takes off my manhood: I have bely'd a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on 't
Revengingly enfeebles me; Or could this carle,
A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me,
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours,

Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married 20 As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.


[love, 30

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 liv'd to put on' this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent; and struck
Me, wretch, more worth your vengeance. But,
You snatch some hence for little faults; that's
To have them fall no more: you some permit
To second ills with ills, each elder worse2;
And make them dread it 3, 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 40

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,
Pity'd 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. [Exit.



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, Gui-
derius, and Arviragus.
[the ground;

Bel. Stand, stand! We have the advantage of
The lane is guarded: nothing routs us, but
The villainy of our fears.

Guid. Arv. Stand, stand! and fight!
Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons. They
rescue Cymbeline, and Exeunt.

Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and Imogen. Luc. Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;

For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hood-wink'd.

Iach. 'Tis their fresh supplies.

Luc. It is a day turn'd strangely: Or betimes Let's reinforce, or fly.




Another Part of the Field.
Enter Posthumus, and a British Lord.
Lord. Cam'st thou from where they made the

45 Post. I did:

[stand? Though you, it seems, come from the fliers. Lord. I did.

Post. No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost, But that the heavens fought: The king himself 50 Of his wings destitute, the army broken,

Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and the Roman Army at one 55
Door; and the British Army at another; Leonatus
Posthumus following it like a poor Soldier. They
march over, and go out. Then enter again in skir
mish Tachimo and Posthumus: he vanquisheth
and disarmeth Iachimo, and then leaves him.
Iach. The heaviness, and guilt, within my bosom



And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
Through a strait 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 strait pass was

With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen'd shame.

Lord. Where was this lane?
Post.Close by the battle,ditch'd,andwall'd with

1i. e, to incite, to instigate, i. e. Where corruptions are, they grow with years, and the oldest sinner is the greatest. You, gods, permit some to proceed in iniquity; and the older such are, the more their crime. 3i. e. according to Mr. Steevens, to make them persevere in the commission of dreadful actions. * Carle is used by our old writers in opposition to a gentleman.-Carlot is a word of the same signification, and occurs in our author's As You Like It,



Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,-
An honest one, I warrant; who deserv'd
So long a breeding, as his white beard came to,
In doing this for his 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 cas'd, or shame 2),
Made good the passage; cry'd 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 thousand confident, in act as many, [three,
(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 couldhaveturn'd
A distaff to a lance) gilded pale looks, [coward 20
Part, shame, part, spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd
But by example (O, a sin in war,

Damu'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,

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

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 Roman,
10 No more a Briton, I have resum'd 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.


Enter two British Captains, and Soldiers. 1 Cap. Great Jupiter be prais'd! Lucius is taken: 'Tis thought, the old man and his sons were angels. 2 Cap. There was a fourth man, in a silly' habit, That gave the affront' with them.

1 Cap. So 'tis reported;


25 But none of them can be found.-Stand! Who's Post. A Roman;

A rout, confusion thick: Forthwith, they fly
Chickens, thewaywhichtheystoop'deagles; slaves,
The strides they victors made: And now our cow-
(Like fragments in hard voyages, became [ards, 30
The life o' the need) having found the back-door

Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they
Some,slain before; some, dying; some, their friends
O'erborne i' the former wave: ten, chas'd by one, 35
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty:
Those, that would die or ere resist, are grown
The mortal bugs 'o' the field.

Lord. This was strange chance;
A narrow lane! an old man, and two boys!
Post. 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 bys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
Preser'd the Britons, was the Romans' bane.
Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.
Post. '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 are angry.
Post. Still going-This is a lord: O noble

To be i' the field, and ask, what news, of me!
To-day,how many would have given their honours
To have sav'd their carcases? took heel to do't,




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

2 Cup. Lay hands on him; A dog!
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell [his service
What crows have peck'd them here: He brags
As if he were of note: bring him to the king.
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus,
Pisanio, and Roman Captives. The Captains
present Pos humus to Cymbeline, who delivers
him over to a Gaoler: after which, all go out.

A Prison.

Enter Posthumus, and two Gaolers. 1 Gaol. You shall not now be stolen, you have locks upon you*; So graze, as you find pasture.

2 Guol. Ay, or a stomach. [Exeunt Gaolers. Post. Most welcome, bondage! for thou art a 45 think, to liberty: Yet am I better [way, Than one that's sick o' the gout; since he had Groan so in perpetuity, than be cur'd [rather By the sure physician, death; who is the key To unbar these locks. My conscience! thou art fetter'd [give me More than my shanks, and wrists: You good gods, The penitent instrument, to pick that bolt, Then, free for ever! Is't enough, I am sorry? so children temporal fathers do appease; 55 Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent? I cannot do it better than in gyves, Desir'd, more than constrain'd: to satisfy, If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take

This alludes to a rustic game called prison-bars, vulgarly prison-base. 2 Shame for modesty. 3 i. e. terrors. *Alluding to the common superstition of charms being powerful enough to keep men unhurt in battle.-It was derived from our Saxon ancestors, and so is common to us with the Germans, who are, above all other people, given to this superstition; which made Erasmus, where, in his Moria Encomium, he gives to each nation its proper characteristic, say, "Germani corporum proceritate & magia cognitione sibi placent.” Answer, as once in this play before, means retaliation. Silly is simple or rustic. 'That is, that turned their faces to the enemy. This wit of the gaoler alludes to the custom of putting a lock on a horse's leg, when he is turned to pasture.




2 Bro. From this, from stiller seats we came,
Our parents, and us twain,
That, striking in our country's cause,
Fell bravely, and were slain;

5 Our fealty, and Tenantius' right,
With honour to maintain.

Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,

That he deserv'd the praise o'the world,
'As great Sicilius' heir.

1 Bro. 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 Imogen, that best

Could deem his dignity?

Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mock'd,
To be exil'd, and thrown

From Leonati' seat, and cast

From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen?

Sici. Why did you suffer lachimo,
Slight thing of Italy,

To taint his nobler heart and brain

With needless jealousy;

And to become the geck and scorn
O' the other's villainy?

Meaning, his life, if it is the main part, the

i. e. of his freedom from future punishment.

1 Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform'd:
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,

Why hast thou thus adjourn'd
The graces for his merits due;

Being all to dolours turn'd?

Sici. Thy crystal window ope; look out:
No longer exercise,

Upon a valiant race, thy harsh
And potent injuries:

Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,
Take off his miscries.

Sici. Peep through thy marble mansion; help!
Or we poor ghosts will cry

To the shining synod of the rest,
Against thy deity.

2 Bro. Help, Jupiter; or we appeal,
And from thy justice fly.

25 Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting
upon an eagle: he throws a thunder-bolt.


Jupit. No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush!-How dare you

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:
35 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 delay'd, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift;
40 His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star 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. 45 This tablet lay upon his breast; wherein

chief point, or principal condition of his freedom, A bird is said to prune himself when he clears his

feathers from superfluities. i. e. claws.-To claw their beaks, is an accustomed action with hawks

and eagles.

A mother,

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? Ó,

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.

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Post. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want 10eyes, to direct them the way I am going, but such as wink, and will not use them.

Gaol. 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 15 of winking. Enter a Messenger.

"When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself un66 known, without seeking find, and be embrac'd "by a piece of tender air; and when from a "stately cedar shall be lopt branches, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, be joint-20 "ed 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.

Re-enter Gaolers.

Gaol. Come, sir, are you ready for death? Post. Over-roasted rather: ready long ago. Gaol. Hanging is the word, sír; if you be ready for that, you are well cook'd.

Mes. Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the king.

Post. Thou bring'st good news; I am call'd to be made free.

Gaol. I'll be hang'd then.

Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no boltsfor the dead. [Exeunt Posthumus & Messenger.

Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows, 25 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 30 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.

Post. So, if I prove a good repast to the spec-35 tators, the dish pays the shot.

Gaol. A heavy reckoning for you, sir: But the comfort is, you shall be call'dto no more payments, fear no more tavern bills; which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of mirth: you 40 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 much2; purse and brain both empty: the brain the heavier, for being too light; the purse too light, be- 45 ing drawn of heaviness: O! of this contradiction you shall be now 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.


Post. I am merrier to die, than thou art to live. Gaol. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the tooth-ache: But a man that were to sleep your 55 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. Post. Yes, indeed, do I, fellow.

Cymbeline's Tent.

Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arciragus,
Pisanio, and Lords.

Cym. Stand by my side, you, whom the gods
have made

Preservers of my throne. Woe is iny heart,
That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked


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The meaning, according to Dr. Johnson, is this: "This is a dream or madness, or both,—or nothing:-but whether it be a speech without consciousness, as in a dream, or a speech unintelligible, as in madness, be it as it is, it is like my course of life." i. e. sorry that you have paid too much

out of your pocket, and sorry that you are paid or subdued, too much by the liquor. 3 Drawn is embowell'd, exenterated. Debitor and creditor for an accounting book, That is, venture at it without thought.

⚫ i. e. forward.


Bel. Sir,

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

Cym. Bow your knees:

Arise my knights o' the 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 Roinans,
And not o' the court of Britain.

Cor. Hail, great king!

To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.

Cym. Whom worse than a physician Would this report become? But I consider, By medicine 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 cruel to the world, concluded Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd, I will report, so please you: These her women Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks, Were present when she finish'd,

Cym. Pr'ythee, say.

Cor.First,she confess'd she never lov'dyou; only Affected greatness 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
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.


Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to

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.

Cym. O most delicate fiend!

Who is 't can read a woman?Is there more? Cor. 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 purpos'd,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O'ercome you with her shew: yes, and in time,
(When she had fitted you with her craft) to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown.
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open'd, in despight
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The ills she hatch'd were not effected; so,
Despairing, dy'd.

Cym. Heard you all this, her women?
Lady. We did, so please your highness.
Cym. Mine eyes

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;

And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all ! Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and other Roman prisoners; Posthumus behind, and Imogen.

Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that 5 The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made suit

[ter That their good souls may be appeas'd with slaughOf you their captives, which ourself have granted: 10 so think of your estate.

Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war: the day
Was yours by accident: had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cold, have.

15 Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be call'd 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 ransom'd: never master had
A gage so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,


25 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 serv'd a Roman: save him, sir,. And spare no blood beside.

Cym. I have surely seen him:

His favour is familiar to me :-Boy,

Thou hast look'd thyself into my grace, and art Mine own. I know not why, wherefore, I say, 35 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.




Imo. I humbly thank your highness.

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

Imo. No, no; alack,

There's another work in hand: I see a thing
Bitter to me as death: your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.

Luc. 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 perplex'd?

Cym. What would'st thou, boy?

love thee more and more; think more and more. What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on?


55 Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend? In.o. He is a Roman; no more kin to me, Than I to your highness; who, being born your Am something nearer. [vassal,

Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart, That thought her like her seeming; it had been 60


To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter! That it was folly in me, thou may'st say,

į. e. so ready; so dexterous in waiting.

Cym. Wherefore ey'st him so? Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please To give me hearing.

Cym. Ay, with all my heart,

And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

? i, e. his countenance.

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