William Shakespeare: Cymbeline, Act V

Act V

Scene I

Britain. The Roman camp

Enter Posthumus, with a bloody handkerchief

Posthumus Leonatus

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 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 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, To have them fall no more: you some permit 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 blest to obey! I am brought hither Among the Italian gentry, and to fight Against my lady's kingdom: 'tis enough That, Britain, I have kill'd 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 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 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.