An honest one, I warrant; who desery'd
So long a breeding, as his white beard came to,
In doing this for’s country: ath wart 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)
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,
(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 (0, 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: forth with 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 back-door open Of the unguarded hearts, Heavens, how they wound ! Some slain before; some dying ; some, their friends,

1 The country Base,] i.e. The country game of prison-base, or prison-bars, mentioned by many old writers by the name of base; but by Drayton in his “ Polyolbion,” Song 30, called “ prison-base."

O’er-borne i’ the former wave: ten chac'd 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 ?.

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:

Preserv'd the Britons, was the Romans' bane.”

Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.

'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.

Farewell; you are angry.

Post. Still going ?-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 sav'd their carcases ? 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

For being now a favourer to the Briton,
No more a Briton, I have resum'd again
The part I came in. Fight I will no more,

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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 th' affront with them. 1 Cap.

So 'tis reported;
But none of them can be found.-Stand! who is there?

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

Lay hands on him ; a dog !
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have peck’d them here. He brags his

service As if he were of note. Bring him to the king.




ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, and Roman Captives. The Captains present PosTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Jailer; after which, all go out.

3 - after which, all go out.] It was not unusual on our old stage to begin a scene with a dumb show, as scene 2 of this Act; but it was by no means common to terminate a scene in this way. Ritson was evidently mistaken, when he said that “the business of the scene was entirely performed in dumb show," unless he considered the dumb show a scene by itself.


A Prison.

Enter PostHUMUS, and Two Jailers.

1 Jail. You shall not now be stolen; you have locks

upon you: So, graze as you find pasture. 2 Jail.

Ay, or a stomach.

[Exeunt Jailers. Post. Most welcome, bondage, for thou art a way I 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 cur'd . By the sure physician, death, who is the key T' unbar these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter'd More than my shanks, and wrists: you good gods, give


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,
Desir'd, 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.

[He sleeps. Solemn Music Enter, as 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.

Sici. 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 stay'd

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.
Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,

But took me in my throes;
That from me was Posthumus ript,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,

A thing of pity!
Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,

Moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserv’d the praise o' the world,

As great Sicilius' heir.

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