Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Modern)


[5.1]

Enter Posthumus alone [with a bloody cloth]
Posthumus Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee, for I am wished
Thou shouldst be colored thus. You married ones,
2860If 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
2865Should 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,
2870To 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 blessed to obey. I am brought hither
2875Among th'Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady's kingdom. 'Tis enough
That, Britain, I have killed thy mistress; peace,
I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good heavens,
Hear patiently my purpose: I'll disrobe me
2880Of 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,
2885Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valor in me than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o'th' Leonati in me.
To shame the guise o'th' world, I will begin,
2890The fashion less without and more within.
Exit