Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Cymbeline
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Cymbeline
 
Act V. Scene I.
 
Britain.  The Roman Camp.
 
Enter POSTHUMUS, with a bloody handkerchief.
  Post.  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        5
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        10
Had liv’d to put on this; so had you sav’d
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        15
To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
And make them dread it, to the doers’ thrift.
But Imogen is your own; do your best wills,
And make me bless’d to obey. I am brought hither
Among the Italian gentry, and to fight        20
Against my lady’s kingdom; ’tis enough
That, Britain, I have kill’d thy mistress-piece!
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        25
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,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril        30
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.        35
 
 
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