Act 5 - Scene 4
A British prison.
Enter POSTHUMUS LEONATUS and two Gaolers
You shall not now be stol'n, you have locks upon you;
So graze as you find pasture.
Ay, or a stomach.
Most welcome, bondage! for thou art away,
think, to liberty: yet am I better
Than one that's sick o' the gout; since
he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity than be cured
By the sure physician, death, who is the key
these locks. My conscience, thou art fetter'd
More than my shanks and wrists: you good gods, give me
penitent instrument to pick that bolt,
Then, free for ever! Is't enough I am sorry?
So children temporal
fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent?
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
more than constrain'd: to satisfy,
If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me than my
I know you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth,
letting them thrive again
On their abatement: that's not my desire:
For Imogen's dear life take mine; and
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coin'd it:
'Tween man and man they weigh not every stamp;
light, take pieces for the figure's sake:
You rather mine, being yours: and so, great powers,
If you will take
this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I'll speak to thee in silence.
Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition, SICILIUS LEONATUS, father to Posthumus Leonatus, an old
man, attired like a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his wife, and mother to Posthumus
Leonatus, with music before them: then, after other music, follow the two young Leonati, brothers to Posthumus
Leonatus, with wounds as they died in the wars. They circle Posthumus Leonatus round, as he lies
No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies:
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
Rates and revenges.
Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?
whilst in the womb he stay'd
Attending nature's law:
Whose father then, as men report
Thou orphans' father
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.
Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;
That from me was Posthumus ript,
'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!
Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserved the praise o' the world,
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