Act V, Scene 1
Britain. The Roman camp.
- Enter Posthumus alone with a bloody handkerchief.
Posthumus1 - 33
- Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wish’d
- Thou shouldst be color’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 liv’d 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 th’ 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 Britain 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 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
- The fashion: less without and more within.