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Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes ;
A thing of pity!
Moulded the stuff so fair,
As great Sicilius' heir.
In Britain where was he
Or fruitful object be
Could deem his dignity ?
Sweet Imogen ?
Slight thing of Italy,
With needless jealousy ;
O'the other's villainy?
Our parents and us twain,
Fell bravely and were slain,
With honour to maintain.
SCENE IV. (A British prison.] Enter POSTHUMUS and two GAOLERS. 1. Gaol. You shall not now be stolen, you
have locks upon you; So graze as you find pasture. 2. Gaol.
Ay, or a stomach.
(Exeunt Gaolers.] Post. Most welcome, bondage ! for thou art
a wan I 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 cur'd By the sure physician, Death, who is the key To un bar these locks. My conscience, thou art
fetter'd More than my shanks and wrists. You good
gods, give me The 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, Desir'd more than constrain d'; to satisfy, If of my freedom 't is the main part, take No stricter render of me than my all. 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 though 'T is not so dear, yet 't is a life; you coin'd
it. 'Tween man and man they weigh not every
stamp; Though light, take pieces for the figure's You rather mine, being yours; and so, great
(Sleeps.) Solemn music. Enter, as in an apparition, Sıcı,
LIUS LEONATUS, father to Posthumus, an old man, attired like a warrior ; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his wife, and mother to Posthumus, with music before them. Then, after other music, follow the two young LEONATI, brothers to Posthumus, with wounds as they died in the wars. They circle Posthumus
round, as he lies sleeping. Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, show 50
Thy spite on mortal flies :
Rates and revenges.
Whose face I never saw ?
Attending Nature's law;
Thou orphans' father art,
1. Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform'd.
Why hast thou thus adjourn'd
Being all to dolours turn'd ?
No longer exercise
And potent injuries.
Take off his miseries.
Or we poor ghosts will cry
Against thy deity.
And from thy justice fly. JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an eagle: he throws a thunderbolt.
The Ghosts fall on their knees. Jup. No more, you petty spirits of region low, Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know, a
Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts ? Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
Upon your never-withéring banks of flowBe not with mortal accidents opprest;
No care of yours it is; you know 't is ours. 100 Whom best I love I cross ; to make my gift,
The more delay'd, delighted. Be content; Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift.
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent. Our jovial star reign'd at his birth, and in
Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade. He shall be lord of Lady Imogen,
And happier much by his affliction made. This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine. 110 And so, away! No farther with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.
(Ascends. Sici. He came in thunder; his celestial
breath Was sulphurous to smell. The holy eagle Stoop'd, as to foot us. His ascension is More sweet than our blest fields. His royal bird Prunes the immortal wing and cloys his beak, As when his god is pleas'd. All.
Thanks, Jupiter ! Sici. The marble pavement closes, he is
enter'd His radiant roof. Away! and, to be blest, Let us with care perform his great behest.
(The Ghosts) vanish. Post. (Waking.) Sleep, thou hast been a
grandsire, and begot A father to me, and thou hast created A mother and two brothers; but, О scorn! Gone! they went hence so soon as they were
born. And so I am awake. Poor wretches that depend On greatness' favour dream as I have done, Wake and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve. Many dream not to find, neither deserve, And yet are steep'd in favours ; so am I, That have this golden chance and know not
why. What fairies haunt this ground? A book? O
(Reads.) Whenas a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd 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.'; 'T is still a dream, or else such stuff as madTongue and brain not; either both or nothing ; Or senseless speaking or a speaking such As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
The action of my life is like it, which
Gaol. Hanging is the word, sir. If you be ready for that, you are well cook'd.
Post. So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators, the dish pays the shot.
Gaol. A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort is, you shall be called to no 1.50 more payments, fear no more tavern-bills, which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of mirth. You come in faint for want of meat, de part reeling with too much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you are 195 paid too much; purse and brain both empty; the brain the heavier for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness. Ó, of this contradiction you shall now be quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up thou- [128 gands in a trice. You have no true debitor and creditor but it; of what 's past, is, and to come, the discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters; so the acquittance follows.
Post. I am merrier to die than thou art to live.
Gaol. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the toothache ; but a man that were to sleep your sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think he would change places with his officer; for, look you, sir, you know not which way you
Post. Yes, indeed do I, fellow.
Gaol. Your Death has eyes in 's head then ; I have not seen him so pictur’d. You must either be directed by some that take upon them to know, or to take upon yourself that which I am sure you do not know, or jump the after inquiry on your own peril; and how you shall speed in your journey's end, I think you 'll never return to tell one.
Post. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want eyes to direct them the way I am going, but such as wink and will not use them.
Gaol. What an infinite mock is this, that a man should have the best use of eyes to see the way of blindness! I am sure hanging 's the way of winking.
Enter a MESSENGER. Mess. Knock off his manacles ; bring your prisoner to the King:
Post. Thou bring'st good news; I am callid to be made free.
Gaol. I'll be hang'd then.
Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler ; no bolts for the dead.
(Exeunt all but the Gaoler.) Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so knowvees
Yet, on my conscience, there are verier and there be some of them too that die (216 against their wills. So should I, if I were one. I would we were all of one mind, and one mind
good. O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses! I speak against my present profit, but my wish hath a preferment in 't. (Exit. 215
SCENE V. (Cymbeline's tent.]
ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, Lords (Officers, and
breast Stepp'd before targes of proof, cannot be
I never saw
No tidings of him ? Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead
and living, But no trace of him. Сут.
To my grief, I am The heir of his reward ; (to Belarius, Guide
rius, and Arviragus) 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. Bel.
Sir, In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen. Further to boast were neither true nor modest, Unless I add, we are honest. Cym.
Bow your knees. Arise my knights o' the battle. I create you zo Companions to our person and will fit you With dignities becoming your estates.
Enter CORNELIUS and LADIES. There 's business in these faces. Why so sadly Greet you our victory? You look like Romans, And not o' the court of Britain. Cor.
Hail, great King! To sour your happiness, I must report The Queen is dead. Сут.
Who worse than a physician Wonld this report become? But I consider, By medicine life may be prolong'd, yet death Will seize the doctor too. How ended she ? Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her
life, Which, being cruel to the world, concluded Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd I will report, so please you. These her women Can trip me, if I err; who with wet cheeks Were present when she finish'd. Сут.
Prithee, say: Cor. First, she confess'd she never lov'd
you ; only Affected greatness got by you, not you; Married
your royalty, was wife to your place, Abhorr'd
your person. Cym.
She alone knew this ; 40
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
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, so Should by the minute feed on life, and ling'ring By inches waste you ; in which time she pur
pos’d, 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 the adoption of the crown; But, failing of her end by his strange ab
sence, Grew shameless-desperate ; open'd, in despite Of heaven and men, her purposes ; repented The evils she hatch'd were not effected ; so Despairing died.
Cym. Heard you all this, her women ? Lad. We did, so please your Highness.
Cym. Were not in fault, for she was beautiful; Mine ears, that heard her fattery; nor my
heart, That thought her like her seeming. It had
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 raz'd out, though with the
loss Of many a bold one, whose kinsmen have made
suit That their good souls may be appeas'd 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
threaten'd Our prisoners with the sword. But since the
gods Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives May be call'd ransom, let it come. Sufficeth 80 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 ransom’d. Never master had A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
my lord ?
So tender over his occasions, true,
sir, And spare no blood beside. Cym.
I have surely seen him ; His favour is familiar to me. Boy, Thou hast look'd thyself into my grace, And art mine own. I know not why, where
fore, 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. I 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, 105 He leaves me, scorns me. Briefly die their
joys That place them on the truth of girls and boys. Why stands he so perplex'd ? Сут.
What wouldst thou, boy? I love thee more and more; think more and 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. Cym.
Wherefore ey'st him so ? Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you
please To give me hearing. Cym.
Ay, with all my heart, And lend my best attention. What's thy
name? Imo. Fidele, sir. Cym. Thou 'rt my good youth, my page; I'll be thy master. Walk with me; speak freely.
(Cymbeline and Imogen talk apart.] Bel. Is not this boy, reviv'd from death,Ary.
One sand another Not more resembles, - that sweet rosy lad 121 Who died, and was Fidele ? What think you ?
Gui. The same dead thing alive.
But we saw him dead. Bel. Be silent; let's see further. Pis.
(Aside.) It is my mistress.
Since she is living, let the time run on
(Cymbeline and Imogen come for.
ward.) Cym. 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, Which is our honour, bitter torture shall Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak
to him. Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may
render Of whom he had this ring.
Post. [Aside.) What's that to him ?
Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say How came it yours? Iach. Thou 'lt torture me to leave unspoken
that Which, to be spoke, would torture thee. Cym.
How ! me? Iach. I am glad to be constrain'd to atter
that Which torments me to conceal. By villainy I got this ring. 'Twas Leonatus' jewel, Whom thou didst banish ; and — which more
may grieve thee, As it doth me - a nobler sir ne'er liv'd 'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more,
Cym. All that belongs to this.
Iach. That paragon, thy daughter, For whom my heart drops blood, and my false
spirits Quail to remember, - Give me leave; I faint. Cym. 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. Iach. Upon a time, unhappy was the clock That struck the hour! - it was in Rome,
accurs'd The mansion where! -'t was at a feast,
0, would Our viands had been poison'd, or at least Those which I heav'd to head ! — the good
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 For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast Of him that best could speak, for feature, lam
ing The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva, Postures beyond brief nature, for condition, 165 A shop of all the qualities that man Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving, Fairness which strikes the eyeCym.
I stand on fire : Come to the matter. Iach.
All too soon I shall, Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This
Most like a noble lord in love and one
therein He was as calm as virtue, - he began His mistress picture ; which by his tongue
being made, And then a mind put in 't, either our brags Were crack'd of kitchen-trulls, or his descrip
tion Prov'd us unspeaking sots. Cym.
Nay, nay, to the purpose. lach. 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 wager'd with
him Pieces of gold 'gainst this which then he wore Upon his honour'd finger, to attain In suit the place of 's bed and win this ring 186 By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight, No lesser of her honour confident Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring ; And would so, had it been a carbuncle Of Phæbus' 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 Of your chaste daughter the wide difference 'Twixt amorous and villanous. Being thus
quench'd Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain Gan in your duller Britain operate, Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent; And, to be brief, my practice so prevaild, That I return'd with simular proof enough To make the noble Leonatus mad, By wounding his belief in her renown With tokens thus, and thus ; averting notes Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her brace
let, 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 crack'l, I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon Methinks, I see him now
Post. (Advancing.) Ay, so thou dost, Italian fiend! Ay me, most credulous fool, 210 Egregious murderer, thief, anything That's due to all the villains past, in being, To come! O, give me cord, or knife, or poison, Some upright justicer! Thou, King, send out For torturers ingenious; it is I Thas all the abhorred things o' the earth amend By being worse than they. I am Posthumus, That kill'd thy daughter: – villain-like, I
lieThat 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 The dogs o' the street to bay me; every vil
lain Be call’d Posthumus Leonatus; and Be villainy less than 't was! O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife ! O Imogen,
Peace, my lord ; hear, hear
scornful page, There lie thy part. [Striking her ; she falls.] Pis.
O, gentlemen, help
Does the world go round ?
Wake, my mistress !
strike me To death with mortal joy. Pis.
How fares my mistress ? Imo. O, get thee from my sight; Thou gav'st me poison. Dangerous fellow, hence! Breathe not where princes are. Cym.
The tune of Imogen ! Pis. Lady, The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if That box I gave you was not thought
by me A precious thing. I had it from the Queen.
Cym. New matter still ?
It poison'd me.
O gods ! I left out one thing which the Queen confess'd, Which must approve thee honest. “ If Pisanio Have," said she, "given his mistress that con
What's this, Cornelius ?
Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.
This is, sure, Fidele. 200 Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady
? Think that you are upon a lock, and now Throw me again.
[Embracing him. Post.
Hang there like fruit, my soul, Till the tree die !
Cym. How now, my flesh, my child ! What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act ? Wilt thou not speak to me ?
Imo. [Kneeling.) Your blessing, sir. 266
you did love this youth, I blame ye not; You had a motive for 't. Cym.
My tears that fall