Page images

piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which, being 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, The fit and apt construction of thy name, Being Leo-natus, doth import so much : The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,

[To Cymbeline. Which we call mollis aer ; and mollis aer We term it mulier : which mulier, I divine, Is this most constant wife : who, even now, Answering the letter of the oracle, Unknown to you, unsought, were clipped about With this most tender air.

Cym. This hath some seeming.

Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline, Personates thee: and thy lopped branches point Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stolen, For many years thought dead, are now revived, To the majestic cedar joined; whose issue Promises Britain peace and plenty.

Cym. Well,
My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,

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),
Hath laid most heavy hand.

Sooth. 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
Is full accomplished : for the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessened herself, and in the beams o'the sun
So vanished: which foreshewed our princely eagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.

Сут. Laud we the gods; And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils From our blessed altars ! Publish we this peace 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. Set on there.--Never was a war did cease, Ere bloody hands were washed, with such a peace.



« PreviousContinue »