Page images

Mine eyes

Cym. O most delicate fiend ! Who is 't can read a woman ?-Is there more? Cor. 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 lingering, By inches waste you : in which time she purposed, By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to O'ercome you with her show: yes, and in time (When she had fitted you with her craft) to work Her son into the 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. Cym. Heard

you all this, her women ? Lady. We did, so please your highness.

Сут. 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 ! Enter Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other

Roman prisoners, guarded: Posthumus behind,

and Imogen. 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 Of you their captives, which ourself have granted: So think of your estate.

Luc. 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

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: 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, So tender over his occasions, true, So feat, so nurse-like: 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, And spare no blood beside.

Cym. I have surely seen him; His favour is familiar to me.Boy, thou hast looked thyself into my grace, And art mine own. I know not why nor wherefore 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.

Imo. 1 humbly thank your highness.

Luc. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad; And yet I know thou wilt.

Imo. No, no: alack, There's other work in hand; I see a thing Bitter to me as death: your life, good master, Must shuffle for itself.

Luc. The boy disdains me, He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys That place them on the truth of girls and boys. Why stands he so perplexed ?

Сут. What wouldst 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, Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?

Imo. He is a Roman; no more kin to me Than I to your highness; who, being born your

vassal, Am something nearer.

Сут. Wherefore ey'st him so?

Imo. I 'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please To give me hearing.

Сут. Ay, with all my heart, And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

Imo. Fidele, sir.

Сут. Thou art, my good youth, my page; I'll be thy master : walk with me; speak freely.

[CYMBELINE and Imogen converse apart. Bel. Is not this boy revived from death?

Arv. One sand another
Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
Who died, and was Fidele. What think you ?

Gui. The same dead thing alive.
Bel. 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.

Gui. But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent; let's see further.

Pisa, It is my mistress : [Aside.
Since she is living, let the time run on
To good or bad.

[CYMBELINE and Imogen come forward Cym. Come, stand thou by our side; Make thy demand aloud. — Sir [to Tachimo),

step you forth; Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;

[ocr errors]


my lord ?

Or by our greatness, and the grace of it,

And then a mind put in't, either our brags Which is our honour, bitter torture shall

Were cracked of kitchen trulls, or his description Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On; speak Proved us unspeaking sots. to him.

Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose. Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may render Iach. Your daughter's chastity-there it begins! Of whom he had this ring.

He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams, Post. What's that to him? [Aside. And she alone were cold: whereat, I, wretch!

Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say Made scruple of his praise; and wagered with him How came it yours?

Pieces of gold, 'gainst this, which then he wore Iach. Thou 'lt torture me to leave unspoken that Upon his honoured finger, to attain Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.

In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring Сут. How! me?

By hers and mine adultery : he, true knight, lach. I am glad to be constrained to utter that No lesser of her honour confident which

Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring; Torments me to conceal. By villany

And would so had it been a carbuncle I got this ring: 't was Leonatus' jewel;

Of Phæbus' wheel; and might so safely, had it Whom thou didst banish ; and (which more may Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain grieve thee,

Post I in this design: well may you, sir, As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er lived

Remember me at court, where I was taught 'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, Of your chaste daughter the wide difference

’T wixt amorous and villanous. Being thus Cym. All that belongs to this.

quenched Iach. That paragon, thy daughter, Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits 'Gan your duller Britain operate Quail to remember,-Give me leave; I faint. Most vilely! for my vantage, excellent; Cym. My daughter! what of her ? Renew thy And, to be brief, my practice so prevailed, strength:

That I returned with simular proof enough I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will, To make the noble Leonatus mad, Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak. By wounding his belief in her renown

Iach. Upon a time (unhappy was the clock With tokens, thus and thus; averring notes That struck the hour !)—it was in Rome (accursed Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet The mansion where!)—'t was at a feast (O 'would (0, cunning, how I got it!), nay, some marks Our viands had been poisoned ! or, at least, Of secret on her person, that he could not Those which I heaved to head !)-the good Post- But think her bond of chastity quite cracked, humus

I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,-
(What should I say? he was too good to be Methinks I see him now,-
Where ill men were; and was the best of all Post. Ay, so thou dost,
Amongst the rar'st of good ones), sitting sadly,

Coming forward. Hearing us praise our loves of Italy

Italian fiend !-Ah me, most credulous fool, For beauty that made barren the swelled boast Egregious murderer, thief, anything Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming That's due to all the villains past, in being, The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva, To come! O, give me cord, or knife, or poison, Postures beyond brief nature; for condition, Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out A shop of all the qualities that man

For torturers ingenious : it is I Loves woman for; besides, that hook of wiving, That all the abhorréd things o'the earth amend, Fairness, which strikes the


By being worse than they. I am Posthumus, Сут. I stand on fire :

That killed thy daughter :-villain-like, I lie ; Come to the matter.

That caused a lesser villain than myself, lach. All too soon I shall,

A sacrilegious thief, to do't:—the temple Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly.—This Post- Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself. humus

Spit and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set (Most like a noble lord in love, and one

The dogs o' the street to bay me: every villain That had a royal lover) took his hint;

Be called Posthumus Leonatus; and
And, not dispraising whom we praised (therein Be villany less than 't was!—O Imogen!
He was as calm as virtue), he began

My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen
His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being Imogen, Imogen!

Imo. Peace, my lord; hear, hear!

[ocr errors]

Post. Shall 's have a play of this ? Thou Which must approve thee honest : “ If Pisanio scornful page,

Have," said she, "given his mistress that confection There lie thy part. [Striking her: she falls. Which I gave him for cordial, she is served Pisa. O, gentlemen, help

As I would serve a rat." Mine and your mistress, O, my lord Posthumus! Сут. What's this, Cornelius? You ne'er killed Imogen till now.-Help, help! Cor. The queen, sir, very oft importuned me Mine honoured lady!

To temper poisons for her; still pretending Cym. Does the world go round? The satisfaction of her knowledge only Post. How come these staggers on me? In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs Pisa. Wake, my mistress !

Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose Cym. If this be so, the gods do mcan to strike me Was of more danger, did compound for her To death with mortal joy.

A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease Pisa. How fares my mistress !

The present power of life; but, in short time, Imo. O, get thee from my sight;

All offices of nature should again Thou gav'st me poison : dangerous fellow, hence! Do their due functions.—Have you ta'en of it? Breathe not where princes are.

Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead. Cym. The tune of Imogen!

Bel. My boys, Pisa. Lady,

There was our error. The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if

Gui. This is, sure, Fidele. That box I gave you was not thought by me Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady A precious thing. I had it from the queen.

from you? Cym. New matter still !

Think that you are upon a rock; and now Imo. It poisoned me.

Throw me again. [Embracing Posthumus. Cor. O gods !

Post. Hang there like fruit, my soul, I left out one thing which the queen confessed, Till the tree die!

[ocr errors][graphic]


Cym... How now, my flesh, my child!
What mak'st thou me a dullard in this act ?
Wilt thou aot speak to me?

Bro. Your blessing, sir. [Kneeling.
Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame

ge not; [To GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS. You had a motive for it.

Cym. My tears that fall
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother's dead.

I am sorry for 't, my lord.
Cym. 0, she was naught; and ’long of her it was
That we meet here so strangely: but her son
Is gone, w, know not how nor where.

My lord, Now fear is from me, I 'll speak truth. Lord Cloten, Upon my lady's missing, came to me With his sword drawn; foamed at the mouth, and


Сут. Why, old soldier,
Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for,
By tasting of our wrath ?—How of descent
As good as we?

Arv. In that he spake too far.
Cym. And thou shalt die for 't.

Bel. We will die all three :
But I will prove that two of us are as good
As I have given out him.-My sons, I must,
For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.

Arv. Your danger's ours.
Gui. Avd our good his.

Bel. Have at it, then.-
By leave :—thou hadst, great king, a subject who
Was called Belarius.

Сут. What of him? he is
A banished traitor.

Bel. He it is that hath
Assumed this age: indeed, a banished man;
I know not how a traitor.

Сут. Take him hence;
The whole world shall not save him.

Bel. Not too hot:
First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
As I have received it.

Сут. Nursing of my sons?
Bel. I am too blunt and saucy : here 's my

Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons;
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.

Cym. How! my issue ?

Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old Morgan, Am that Belarius whom you sometime banished: Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punish

If I discovered not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death : by accident
I had a feignéd 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 inforced from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oaths to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him,
I further know not.

Gui. Let me end the story :
I slew him there.

Сут. Marry, the gods forfend!
I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard sentence: pr’ythee, valiant youth,
Deny 't again.

Gui. I have spoken it, and I did it.
Cym. He was a prince.

Gui. A most uncivil one. The wrongs he did me
Were nothing prince-like; 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;
And am right glad he is not standing here
To tell this tale of mine.

Сут. I am sorry for thee: By thine own tongue thou art condemned, and must Endure our law: thou art dead.

Imo. That headless man I thought had been my lord.

Cym. Bind the offender,
And take him from our presence.

Bel. Stay, sir king;
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;

[To the Guard. They were not born for bondage.



Itself, and all my treason; that I suffered,
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,
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,
The more of you ’t was 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 coinpanions in the world.
The benediction of these covering heavens

Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye To inlay heaven with stars.

On him, her brothers, me, her master; hitting Сут. Thou weep'st and speak'st, Each object with a joy; the counterchange The service that you three have done, is more Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground, Unlike than this thou teliest. I lost my children : And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.If these be they, I know not how to wish

Thou art my brother; so we 'll hold thee ever. A pair of worthier sons.

[To Belarius. Bel. Be pleased a while.

Imo. You are my father too; and did relieve me, This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,

To see this gracious season. Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius : Cym.

All o'erjoyed, This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,

Save these in bonds : let them be joyful too, Your younger princely son; he sir, was lapped For they shail taste our comfort. In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand Imo. My good master, Of his queen mother, which, for more probation, I will yet do you service. I can with ease produce.

Luc. Happy be you! Cym. Guiderius had

Cym. The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought, Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;

He would have well becomed this place, aud graced It was a mark of wonder.

The thankings of a king.
Bel. This is he;

Post. I am, sir,
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp The soldier that did company these three,
It was wise nature's end in the donation,

In poor beseeming; 't was a fitment for
To be his evidence now.


I then followed.-That I was he, Cym. O, what, am I

Speak, Iachimo; I had you down, and might A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother Have made you finish. Rejoiced deliverance more !— Blessed may you be, Iach. I am down again;

[Kneeling. That, after this strange starting from your orbs, But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, You may reign in them now!-O Imogen, As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech you, Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.

Which I so often owe: but your ring first; Imo. No, my lord;

And here the bracelet of the truest princess I have got two worlds by 't.-0, my gentle That ever swore her faith. brothers,

Post. Kneel not to me: Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter The power that I have on you, is to spare you; But I am truest speaker: you called me brother, The malice towards you, to forgive you: live, When I was but your sister; I you brothers, And deal with others better. When you were so indeed.

Сут, Nobly doomed: Сут. Did you e'er meet?

We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law: Arv. Ay, my good lord.

Pardon 's the word to all. Gui. And at first meeting loved ;

Arv. You holp us, sir,
Continued so, until we thought he died.

As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallowed. Joyed are we that you are.
Cym. 0, rare instinct !

Post. Your servant, princes.—Good my lord of When shall I hear all through? This fierce

Rome, abridgment

Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought Hath to it circumstantial branches, which Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back, Distinction should be rich in.-Where? how Appeared to me, with other sprightly shows lived you?

Of mine own kindred: when I waked, I found
And when came you to serve our Roman captive? | This label on my bosom; whose containing
How parted with your brothers ? how first met Is so from sense in hardness, that I can

Make no collection of it: let him shew
Whyfled you from the court; and whither? These, His skill in the construction.
your three motives to the battle, with

Luc. Philarmonus,--
I know not how much more, should be demanded; Sooth. Here, my good lord.
And all the other by-dependencies,

Luc. Read, and declare the meaning. From chance to chance; but nor the time, nor place,

Soothsayer reads. Will serve our long inter’gatories. See,

“When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself unPosthumus anchors upon Imogen ;

known, without seeking, find, and be embraced bvs

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »