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SCENE 1.-A Field between the British and Roman
Enter PosthuMUS, with a bloody Handkerchief. Post. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I wished Thou shouldst be coloured thus. You married ones, If each of you would take this course, how many Must murder wives much better than themselves, For wrying but a little !-0, 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 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 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 bless’d to obey !-I am brought hither Among the 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
Of these Italian weeds, and suit myself
SCENE II.-The same.
Enter at one Side, Lucius, Iachimo, and the Roman
Army; at the other Side, the British Army; LEONATus PostHUMUS following it, like a poor Soldier. They march over, and go out. Alarums. Then enter again in skirmish, IACHIMO and PostHUMUS: he vanquisheth and disarmeth IACHIMO, and then leaves him.
Iach. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom Takes off my manhood : I have belied a lady, The princess of this country, and the air on't Revengingly enfeebles me; Or could this carl, A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me, In my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn. 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, Guide
RIUS, and ARVIRAGUS. · Bel. Stand, stand! We have the advantage of the
Enter PosthUMUS, and seconds the Britons : They rescue Cymbeline, and ereunt. 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 re-enforce, or fly.
SCENE III.-- Another Part of the Field.
Enter Posthumus and a British Lord.
Post. I did:
Lord. I did.
Post. No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost,
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 damın'd With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living To die with lengthened shame.
Lord. Where was this lane ?
Post. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall’d with ; turf; . 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,) 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, 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 turned A distaff to a lance,) gilded pale looks, Part, shame, part, spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd
But by example (0, a sin in war,
Lord. This was strange chance:
Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: You are made
Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.
Post. ’Lack, to what end?
[Erit. Post. Still going?—This is a lord! O noble misery!