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Cymbeline
Act 5, scene 5

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Cymbeline, which takes place in ancient Britain, is filled with hidden identities, extraordinary schemes, and violent acts. Long ago, the…

Act 1, scene 1

At the court of King Cymbeline, the princess, Imogen, has secretly married a gentleman named Posthumus Leonatus. Imogen is the…

Act 1, scene 2

An encounter between Cloten and Posthumus, reported in 1.1, is here discussed by Cloten and two lords.

Act 1, scene 3

Posthumus’s servant, Pisanio, describes to the grieving Imogen the departure of Posthumus toward Rome.

Act 1, scene 4

Posthumus arrives in Rome, where an Italian gentleman, Iachimo, maneuvers him into placing a bet on Imogen’s chastity. Posthumus bets…

Act 1, scene 5

The queen obtains a box that she is told contains poison. (The audience is told that the box actually contains…

Act 1, scene 6

Iachimo arrives in Britain and begins his attempt to seduce Imogen by telling her that Posthumus is betraying her with…

Act 2, scene 1

Cloten and two lords discuss the arrival of Iachimo. The Second Lord, in soliloquy, expresses the hope that Imogen will…

Act 2, scene 2

As Imogen sleeps, the trunk that she is keeping for Iachimo opens, and Iachimo emerges. Before climbing back into it,…

Act 2, scene 3

Cloten serenades Imogen in an attempt to win her love. Imogen enrages Cloten by saying that he is not as…

Act 2, scene 4

Iachimo returns to Rome with his proofs of Imogen’s unfaithfulness: descriptions of her bedroom and of private marks on her…

Act 2, scene 5

Posthumus, in soliloquy, attacks women as the embodiment of all that is vicious.

Act 3, scene 1

Caius Lucius arrives as ambassador from Augustus Caesar, demanding that Cymbeline pay the tribute Britain owes to Rome. With the…

Act 3, scene 2

Pisanio receives two letters from Posthumus—one in which Pisanio is instructed to kill Imogen, and another written to Imogen, telling…

Act 3, scene 3

Three men enter as if from a cave, the two younger men protesting the limitations of their mountain lives. When…

Act 3, scene 4

On the journey to Milford Haven, Pisanio reveals to Imogen that he is supposed to kill her. She is so…

Act 3, scene 5

When Imogen’s absence from court is discovered, Cloten forces Pisanio to tell him where she is. Pisanio shows him the…

Act 3, scene 6

Imogen, disguised as a boy named Fidele, stumbles, exhausted and famished, into the cave of Belarius and the two young…

Act 3, scene 7

A Roman senator announces that the Roman army attacking Britain will be under the control of Caius Lucius and that…

Act 4, scene 1

Cloten, dressed in Posthumus’s garments, arrives at the spot where he plans to cut off Posthumus’s head and rape Imogen.

Act 4, scene 2

Imogen, not feeling well, takes the potion given her by Pisanio, thinking it is a restorative; the potion puts her…

Act 4, scene 3

Cymbeline finds himself alone in the face of the Roman attack, with Imogen and Cloten both missing and the queen…

Act 4, scene 4

The young princes persuade Belarius that the three of them should join with the Britons against Rome.

Act 5, scene 1

Posthumus, in Britain as part of the Roman army, repents Imogen’s (reported) murder and decides to seek death by joining…

Act 5, scene 2

In a series of battles, Posthumus (disguised as a peasant) defeats and disarms Iachimo; the Britons flee and Cymbeline is…

Act 5, scene 3

Posthumus, still seeking death and failing to find it as a poor British soldier, reverts to his earlier role as…

Act 5, scene 4

Posthumus, in chains, falls asleep and is visited by the ghosts of his dead family and by the god Jupiter,…

Act 5, scene 5

Cymbeline knights Belarius and the two young men in gratitude for their valor, and sends in search of the poor…

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Scene 5
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius as Morgan, Guiderius as
Polydor, Arviragus as Cadwal, Pisanio, Attendants,
and Lords.


CYMBELINE, to Morgan, Polydor, and Cadwal 
 Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made
 Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart
 That the poor soldier that so richly fought,
 Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast
5 Stepped before targes of proof, cannot be found.
 He shall be happy that can find him, if
 Our grace can make him so.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  I never saw
 Such noble fury in so poor a thing,
10 Such precious deeds in one that promised naught
 But beggary and poor looks.
CYMBELINE  No tidings of him?
PISANIO 
 He hath been searched among the dead and living,
 But no trace of him.

229
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

CYMBELINE, to Morgan, Polydor, and Cadwal 
15 To my grief, I am
 The heir of his reward, which I will add
 To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,
 By whom I grant she lives. ’Tis now the time
 To ask of whence you are. Report it.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 20 Sir,
 In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen.
 Further to boast were neither true nor modest,
 Unless I add we are honest.
CYMBELINE  Bow your knees.
They kneel. He taps their shoulders with his sword.
25 Arise my knights o’ th’ battle. I create you
 Companions to our person, and will fit you
 With dignities becoming your estates.They rise.

Enter Cornelius and Ladies.

 There’s business in these faces. Why so sadly
 Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,
30 And not o’ th’ court of Britain.
CORNELIUS  Hail, great king.
 To sour your happiness I must report
 The Queen is dead.
CYMBELINE  Who worse than a physician
35 Would this report become? But I consider
 By med’cine life may be prolonged, yet death
 Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
CORNELIUS 
 With horror, madly dying, like her life,
 Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
40 Most cruel to herself. What she confessed
 I will report, so please you. These her women
 Can trip me if I err, who with wet cheeks
 Were present when she finished.
CYMBELINE  Prithee, say.

231
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

CORNELIUS 
45 First, she confessed she never loved you, only
 Affected greatness got by you, not you;
 Married your royalty, was wife to your place,
 Abhorred your person.
CYMBELINE  She alone knew this,
50 And but she spoke it dying, I would not
 Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
CORNELIUS 
 Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
 With such integrity, she did confess
 Was as a scorpion to her sight, whose life,
55 But that her flight prevented it, she had
 Ta’en off by poison.
CYMBELINE  O, most delicate fiend!
 Who is ’t can read a woman? Is there more?
CORNELIUS 
 More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had
60 For you a mortal mineral which, being took,
 Should by the minute feed on life and, ling’ring,
 By inches waste you. In which time she purposed,
 By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
 O’ercome you with her show and, in time,
65 When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
 Her son into th’ adoption of the crown;
 But failing of her end by his strange absence,
 Grew shameless desperate; opened, in despite
 Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
70 The evils she hatched were not effected; so
 Despairing died.
CYMBELINE  Heard you all this, her women?
LADIES We did, so please your Highness.
CYMBELINE Mine eyes
75 Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
 Mine ears that heard her flattery; nor my heart,

233
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

 That thought her like her seeming. It had been vicious
 To have mistrusted her. Yet, O my daughter,
 That it was folly in me thou mayst say,
80 And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all.

Enter Lucius, Iachimo, Soothsayer, and other Roman
prisoners, Posthumus Leonatus behind, and Imogen
as Fidele, with Briton Soldiers as guards.


 Thou com’st not, Caius, now for tribute. That
 The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
 Of many a bold one, whose kinsmen have made suit
 That their good souls may be appeased with slaughter
85 Of you their captives, which ourself have granted.
 So think of your estate.
LUCIUS 
 Consider, sir, the chance of war. The day
 Was yours by accident. Had it gone with us,
 We should not, when the blood was cool, have
90 threatened
 Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
 Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
 May be called ransom, let it come. Sufficeth
 A Roman with a Roman’s heart can suffer.
95 Augustus lives to think on ’t; and so much
 For my peculiar care. This one thing only
 I will entreat: my boy, a Briton born,
 Let him be ransomed. Never master had
 A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
100 So tender over his occasions, true,
 So feat, so nurselike. Let his virtue join
 With my request, which I’ll make bold your Highness
 Cannot deny. He hath done no Briton harm,
 Though he have served a Roman. Save him, sir,
105 And spare no blood beside.
CYMBELINE  I have surely seen him.
 His favor is familiar to me.—Boy,

235
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

 Thou hast looked thyself into my grace
 And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,
110 To say “Live, boy.” Ne’er thank thy master. Live,
 And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
 Fitting my bounty and thy state, I’ll give it,
 Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
 The noblest ta’en.
IMOGEN, as Fidele 115 I humbly thank your Highness.
LUCIUS 
 I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
 And yet I know thou wilt.
IMOGEN, as Fidele  No, no, alack,
 There’s other work in hand. I see a thing
120 Bitter to me as death. Your life, good master,
 Must shuffle for itself.
LUCIUS  The boy disdains me,
 He leaves me, scorns me. Briefly die their joys
 That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
125 Why stands he so perplexed?
Imogen stares at Iachimo.
CYMBELINE  What would’st thou, boy?
 I love thee more and more. Think more and more
 What’s best to ask. Know’st him thou look’st on?
 Speak.
130 Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? Thy friend?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 He is a Roman, no more kin to me
 Than I to your Highness, who, being born your vassal,
 Am something nearer.
CYMBELINE  Wherefore ey’st him so?
IMOGEN, as Fidele 
135 I’ll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
 To give me hearing.
CYMBELINE  Ay, with all my heart,
 And lend my best attention. What’s thy name?

237
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

IMOGEN, as Fidele 
 Fidele, sir.
CYMBELINE 140 Thou ’rt my good youth, my page.
 I’ll be thy master. Walk with me. Speak freely.
Cymbeline and Imogen walk aside and talk.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Is not this boy revived from death?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  One sand another
 Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
145 Who died, and was Fidele. What think you?
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor The same dead thing alive.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Peace, peace. See further. He eyes us not. Forbear.
 Creatures may be alike. Were ’t he, I am sure
 He would have spoke to us.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 150 But we see him dead.
BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Be silent. Let’s see further.
PISANIO, aside  It is my mistress!
 Since she is living, let the time run on
 To good or bad.
Cymbeline and Imogen come forward.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen 155 Come, stand thou by our side.
 Make thy demand aloud. (To Iachimo.) Sir, step
 you forth.
 Give answer to this boy, and do it freely,
 Or by our greatness and the grace of it,
160 Which is our honor, bitter torture shall
 Winnow the truth from falsehood.—On. Speak to
 him.
IMOGEN, as Fidele, pointing to Iachimo’s hand 
 My boon is that this gentleman may render
 Of whom he had this ring.
POSTHUMUS, aside 165 What’s that to him?
CYMBELINE 
 That diamond upon your finger, say
 How came it yours.

239
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

IACHIMO 
 Thou ’lt torture me to leave unspoken that
 Which to be spoke would torture thee.
CYMBELINE 170 How? Me?
IACHIMO 
 I am glad to be constrained to utter that
 Which torments me to conceal. By villainy
 I got this ring. ’Twas Leonatus’ jewel,
 Whom thou didst banish, and—which more may
175 grieve thee,
 As it doth me—a nobler sir ne’er lived
 ’Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?
CYMBELINE 
 All that belongs to this.
IACHIMO  That paragon, thy daughter,
180 For whom my heart drops blood and my false spirits
 Quail to remember—Give me leave; I faint.
CYMBELINE 
 My daughter? What of her? Renew thy strength.
 I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will
 Than die ere I hear more. Strive, man, and speak.
IACHIMO 
185 Upon a time—unhappy was the clock
 That struck the hour!—it was in Rome—accursed
 The mansion where!—’twas at a feast—O, would
 Our viands had been poisoned, or at least
 Those which I heaved to head!—the good
190 Posthumus—
 What should I say? He was too good to be
 Where ill men were, and was the best of all
 Amongst the rar’st of good ones—sitting sadly,
 Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
195 For beauty that made barren the swelled boast
 Of him that best could speak; for feature, laming
 The shrine of Venus or straight-pight Minerva,
 Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,

241
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

 A shop of all the qualities that man
200 Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
 Fairness which strikes the eye—
CYMBELINE  I stand on fire.
 Come to the matter.
IACHIMO  All too soon I shall,
205 Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,
 Most like a noble lord in love and one
 That had a royal lover, took his hint,
 And, not dispraising whom we praised—therein
 He was as calm as virtue—he began
210 His mistress’ picture; which by his tongue being made
 And then a mind put in ’t, either our brags
 Were cracked of kitchen trulls, or his description
 Proved us unspeaking sots.
CYMBELINE  Nay, nay, to th’ purpose.
IACHIMO 
215 Your daughter’s chastity—there it begins.
 He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams
 And she alone were cold; whereat I, wretch,
 Made scruple of his praise and wagered with him
 Pieces of gold ’gainst this, which then he wore
220 Upon his honored finger, to attain
 In suit the place of ’s bed and win this ring
 By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight,
 No lesser of her honor confident
 Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring,
225 And would so, had it been a carbuncle
 Of Phoebus’ wheel, and might so safely, had it
 Been all the worth of ’s car. Away to Britain
 Post I in this design. Well may you, sir,
 Remember me at court, where I was taught
230 Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
 ’Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quenched
 Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
 Gan in your duller Britain operate

243
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

 Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent.
235 And to be brief, my practice so prevailed
 That I returned with simular proof enough
 To make the noble Leonatus mad
 By wounding his belief in her renown
 With tokens thus and thus; averring notes
240 Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet—
 O, cunning how I got it!—nay, some marks
 Of secret on her person, that he could not
 But think her bond of chastity quite cracked,
 I having ta’en the forfeit. Whereupon—
245 Methinks I see him now—
POSTHUMUS, coming forward  Ay, so thou dost,
 Italian fiend.—Ay me, most credulous fool,
 Egregious murderer, thief, anything
 That’s due to all the villains past, in being,
250 To come. O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
 Some upright justicer.—Thou, king, send out
 For torturers ingenious. It is I
 That all th’ abhorrèd things o’ th’ Earth amend
 By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,
255 That killed thy daughter—villainlike, I lie—
 That caused a lesser villain than myself,
 A sacrilegious thief, to do ’t. The temple
 Of virtue was she, yea, and she herself.
 Spit and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
260 The dogs o’ th’ street to bay me. Every villain
 Be called Posthumus Leonatus, and
 Be villainy less than ’twas. O Imogen!
 My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
 Imogen, Imogen!
IMOGEN, running to Posthumus 265 Peace, my lord!
 Hear, hear—
POSTHUMUS 
 Shall ’s have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
 There lie thy part.He pushes her away; she falls.

245
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

PISANIO  O, gentlemen, help!—
270 Mine and your mistress! O my lord Posthumus,
 You ne’er killed Imogen till now! Help, help!
 Mine honored lady—
CYMBELINE  Does the world go round?
POSTHUMUS 
 How comes these staggers on me?
PISANIO 275 Wake, my mistress.
CYMBELINE 
 If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
 To death with mortal joy.
PISANIO How fares my mistress?
IMOGEN O, get thee from my sight!
280 Thou gav’st me poison. Dangerous fellow, hence.
 Breathe not where princes are.
CYMBELINE  The tune of Imogen!
PISANIO 
 Lady, the gods throw stones of sulfur on me if
 That box I gave you was not thought by me
285 A precious thing. I had it from the Queen.
CYMBELINE 
 New matter still.
IMOGEN  It poisoned me.
CORNELIUS  O gods!
 To Pisanio. I left out one thing which the Queen
290 confessed,
 Which must approve thee honest. “If Pisanio
 Have,” said she, “given his mistress that confection
 Which I gave him for cordial, she is served
 As I would serve a rat.”
CYMBELINE 295 What’s this, Cornelius?
CORNELIUS 
 The Queen, sir, very oft importuned me
 To temper poisons for her, still pretending
 The satisfaction of her knowledge only
 In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs,

247
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

300 Of no esteem. I, dreading that her purpose
 Was of more danger, did compound for her
 A certain stuff which, being ta’en, would cease
 The present power of life, but in short time
 All offices of nature should again
305 Do their due functions.—Have you ta’en of it?
IMOGEN 
 Most like I did, for I was dead.
BELARIUS, as Morgan, aside to Guiderius and Arviragus  My boys,
 There was our error.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  This is sure Fidele.
IMOGEN, to Posthumus 
310 Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
 Think that you are upon a rock, and now
 Throw me again.She embraces him.
POSTHUMUS  Hang there like fruit, my soul,
 Till the tree die.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen 315 How now, my flesh, my child?
 What, mak’st thou me a dullard in this act?
 Wilt thou not speak to me?
IMOGEN, kneeling  Your blessing, sir.
BELARIUS, as Morgan, aside to Guiderius and Arviragus 
 Though you did love this youth, I blame you not.
320 You had a motive for ’t.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen  My tears that fall
 Prove holy water on thee. Imogen,
 Thy mother’s dead.
IMOGEN  I am sorry for ’t, my lord.
She rises.
CYMBELINE 
325 O, she was naught, and long of her it was
 That we meet here so strangely. But her son
 Is gone, we know not how nor where.
PISANIO  My lord,
 Now fear is from me, I’ll speak truth. Lord Cloten,

249
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ACT 5. SC. 5

330 Upon my lady’s missing, came to me
 With his sword drawn, foamed at the mouth, and
 swore,
 If I discovered not which way she was gone,
 It was my instant death. By accident,
335 I had a feignèd letter of my master’s
 Then in my pocket, which directed him
 To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
 Where, in a frenzy, in my master’s garments,
 Which he enforced from me, away he posts
340 With unchaste purpose and with oath to violate
 My lady’s honor. What became of him
 I further know not.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  Let me end the story.
 I slew him there.
CYMBELINE 345 Marry, the gods forfend!
 I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
 Pluck a hard sentence. Prithee, valiant youth,
 Deny ’t again.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor  I have spoke it, and I did it.
CYMBELINE 350He was a prince.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me
 Were nothing princelike, for he did provoke me
 With language that would make me spurn the sea
 If it could so roar to me. I cut off ’s head,
355 And am right glad he is not standing here
 To tell this tale of mine.
CYMBELINE  I am sorrow for thee.
 By thine own tongue thou art condemned and must
 Endure our law. Thou ’rt dead.
IMOGEN 360 That headless man
 I thought had been my lord.
CYMBELINE  Bind the offender,
 And take him from our presence.
Attendants bind Guiderius.

251
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

BELARIUS, as Morgan  Stay, sir king.
365 This man is better than the man he slew,
 As well descended as thyself, and hath
 More of thee merited than a band of Clotens
 Had ever scar for.—Let his arms alone.
 They were not born for bondage.
CYMBELINE 370 Why, old soldier,
 Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for
 By tasting of our wrath? How of descent
 As good as we?
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  In that he spake too far.
CYMBELINE, to Morgan 
375 And thou shalt die for ’t.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  We will die all three
 But I will prove that two on ’s are as good
 As I have given out him.—My sons, I must
 For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
380 Though haply well for you.
ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Your danger’s ours.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor 
 And our good his.
BELARIUS, as Morgan  Have at it, then.—By leave,
 Thou hadst, great king, a subject who
385 Was called Belarius.
CYMBELINE  What of him? He is
 A banished traitor.
BELARIUS  He it is that hath
 Assumed this age; indeed a banished man,
390 I know not how a traitor.
CYMBELINE  Take him hence.
 The whole world shall not save him.
BELARIUS  Not too hot.
 First pay me for the nursing of thy sons
395 And let it be confiscate all, so soon
 As I have received it.
CYMBELINE  Nursing of my sons?

253
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

BELARIUS 
 I am too blunt and saucy. Here’s my knee.
He kneels.
 Ere I arise I will prefer my sons,
400 Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
 These two young gentlemen that call me father
 And think they are my sons are none of mine.
 They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
 And blood of your begetting.
CYMBELINE 405 How? My issue?
BELARIUS 
 So sure as you your father’s. I, old Morgan,
 Am that Belarius whom you sometime banished.
 Your pleasure was my mere offense, my punishment
 Itself, and all my treason. That I suffered
410 Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes—
 For such and so they are—these twenty years
 Have I trained up; those arts they have as I
 Could put into them. My breeding was, sir, as
 Your Highness knows. Their nurse Euriphile,
415 Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children
 Upon my banishment. I moved her to ’t,
 Having received the punishment before
 For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty
 Excited me to treason. Their dear loss,
420 The more of you ’twas felt, the more it shaped
 Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious sir,
 Here are your sons again, and I must lose
 Two of the sweet’st companions in the world.
 The benediction of these covering heavens
425 Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthy
 To inlay heaven with stars.He weeps.
CYMBELINE  Thou weep’st and speak’st.
 The service that you three have done is more
 Unlike than this thou tell’st. I lost my children.
430 If these be they, I know not how to wish
 A pair of worthier sons.

255
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 5

BELARIUS  Be pleased awhile.
 This gentleman whom I call Polydor,
 Most worthy prince, as yours is true Guiderius;
435 This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
 Your younger princely son. He, sir, was lapped
 In a most curious mantle, wrought by th’ hand
 Of his queen mother, which for more probation
 I can with ease produce.
CYMBELINE 440 Guiderius had
 Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star.
 It was a mark of wonder.
BELARIUS  This is he,
 Who hath upon him still that natural stamp.
445 It was wise Nature’s end in the donation
 To be his evidence now.
CYMBELINE  O, what am I,
 A mother to the birth of three? Ne’er mother
 Rejoiced deliverance more.—Blest pray you be,
450 That after this strange starting from your orbs,
 You may reign in them now.—O Imogen,
 Thou hast lost by this a kingdom!
IMOGEN  No, my lord.
 I have got two worlds by ’t.—O my gentle brothers,
455 Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter
 But I am truest speaker. You called me “brother”
 When I was but your sister; I you “brothers”
 When we were so indeed.
CYMBELINE  Did you e’er meet?
ARVIRAGUS 
460 Ay, my good lord.
GUIDERIUS  And at first meeting loved,
 Continued so until we thought he died.
CORNELIUS 
 By the Queen’s dram she swallowed.
CYMBELINE, to Imogen  O, rare instinct!

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ACT 5. SC. 5

465 When shall I hear all through? This fierce
 abridgment
 Hath to it circumstantial branches which
 Distinction should be rich in. Where, how lived you?
 And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
470 How parted with your brothers? How first met
 them?
 Why fled you from the court? And whither?
 To Belarius. These,
 And your three motives to the battle, with
475 I know not how much more, should be demanded,
 And all the other by-dependences
 From chance to chance; but nor the time nor place
 Will serve our long interrogatories. See,
 Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;
480 And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
 On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting
 Each object with a joy; the counterchange
 Is severally in all. Let’s quit this ground,
 And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.
485 Thou art my brother, so we’ll hold thee ever.
IMOGEN, to Belarius 
 You are my father too, and did relieve me
 To see this gracious season.
CYMBELINE  All o’erjoyed
 Save these in bonds; let them be joyful too,
490 For they shall taste our comfort.
IMOGEN, to Lucius  My good master,
 I will yet do you service.
LUCIUS  Happy be you!
CYMBELINE 
 The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought,
495 He would have well becomed this place and graced
 The thankings of a king.
POSTHUMUS  I am, sir,
 The soldier that did company these three

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ACT 5. SC. 5

 In poor beseeming; ’twas a fitment for
500 The purpose I then followed. That I was he,
 Speak, Iachimo. I had you down and might
 Have made you finish.
IACHIMO, kneeling  I am down again,
 But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
505 As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
 Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
 And here the bracelet of the truest princess
 That ever swore her faith.
He holds out the ring and bracelet.
POSTHUMUS  Kneel not to me.
510 The power that I have on you is to spare you;
 The malice towards you to forgive you. Live
 And deal with others better.
CYMBELINE  Nobly doomed.
 We’ll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
515 Pardon’s the word to all.Iachimo rises.
ARVIRAGUS, to Posthumus  You holp us, sir,
 As you did mean indeed to be our brother.
 Joyed are we that you are.
POSTHUMUS 
 Your servant, princes.—Good my lord of Rome,
520 Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought
 Great Jupiter upon his eagle backed
 Appeared to me, with other spritely shows
 Of mine own kindred. When I waked, I found
 This label on my bosom, whose containing
525 Is so from sense in hardness that I can
 Make no collection of it. Let him show
 His skill in the construction.
LUCIUS  Philarmonus!
SOOTHSAYER, coming forward 
 Here, my good lord.
LUCIUS 530 Read, and declare the meaning.
SOOTHSAYER reads. Whenas a lion’s whelp shall, to

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ACT 5. SC. 5

 himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced
 by a piece of tender air; and when from a
 stately cedar shall be lopped branches which, being
535 dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the
 old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus
 end his miseries, Britain be fortunate and flourish
 in peace and plenty.

 Thou, Leonatus, art the lion’s whelp.
540 The fit and apt construction of thy name,
 Being Leo-natus, doth import so much.
 To Cymbeline. The piece of tender air thy virtuous
 daughter,
 Which we call “mollis aer,” and “mollis aer”
545 We term it “mulier,” which “mulier” I divine
 Is this most constant wife; who, even now,
 Answering the letter of the oracle,
 To Posthumus Unknown to you, unsought, were
 clipped about
550 With this most tender air.
CYMBELINE  This hath some seeming.
SOOTHSAYER 
 The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
 Personates thee; and thy lopped branches point
 Thy two sons forth, who, by Belarius stol’n,
555 For many years thought dead, are now revived,
 To the majestic cedar joined, whose issue
 Promises Britain peace and plenty.
CYMBELINE  Well,
 My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
560 Although the victor, we submit to Caesar
 And to the Roman Empire, promising
 To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
 We were dissuaded by our wicked queen,
 Whom heavens in justice both on her and hers
565 Have laid most heavy hand.

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SOOTHSAYER 
 The fingers of the powers above do tune
 The harmony of this peace. The vision
 Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
 Of this yet scarce-cold battle at this instant
570 Is full accomplished. For the Roman eagle,
 From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
 Lessened herself and in the beams o’ th’ sun
 So vanished; which foreshowed our princely eagle,
 Th’ imperial Caesar, should again unite
575 His favor with the radiant Cymbeline,
 Which shines here in the west.
CYMBELINE  Laud we the gods,
 And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
 From our blest altars. Publish we this peace
580 To all our subjects. Set we forward. Let
 A Roman and a British ensign wave
 Friendly together. So through Lud’s Town march,
 And in the temple of great Jupiter
 Our peace we’ll ratify, seal it with feasts.
585 Set on there. Never was a war did cease,
 Ere bloody hands were washed, with such a peace.
They exit.