Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Modern)
  • Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
  • ISBN: 1-55058-300-X

    Copyright Jennifer Forsyth. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
    Peer Reviewed

    Cymbeline (Modern)


    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.