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Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made Preservers of my throne

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
Stepped before targes of proof, cannot be found.
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.

By med’cine life may be prolonged, yet death
Will seize the doctor too.

Belarius, as Morgan
I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing,
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.
Cymbeline, to Morgan, Polydor, and Cadwal
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
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.
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,
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

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
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.

Cornelius
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,

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,
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
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,
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
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

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
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,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all.

Source:
Act 5
Scene 5
Line 1

Source Type:

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