« ZurückWeiter »
Enter POSTHUMUS, disguised, and seconds the Britons: they rescue CYMBELINE, and exeunt: then, enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and IMOGEN.
Luc. Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such,
As war were hood-wink'd.
'Tis their fresh supplies.
Luc. It is a day turn'd strangely: or betimes Let's re-enforce, or fly.
Another Part of the Field.
Enter POSTHUMUS and a British Lord.
Lord. Cam'st thou from where they made the stand?
Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.
Post. No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost,
Where was this lane?
Post. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd with turf';
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
An honest one, I warrant; who deserv'd
So long a breeding, as his white beard came to,
In doing this for's country: athwart the lane,
3- ditch'd, and wall'd with turf;] Malone refers to Holinshed's Scotland for a similar incident, where Hay and his sons actually performed the parts assigned to Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus in saving the king.
The country base, than to commit such slaughter;
To darkness fleet, souls that fly backwards! Stand ;
Like beasts, which you shun beastly, and may save,
(For three performers are the file, when all
The rest do nothing) with this word, "stand, stand!”
With their own nobleness (which could have turn'd
Part shame, part spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd coward
Damn'd in the first beginners!) 'gan to look
A rout, confusion thick: forthwith they fly,
The life o' the need: having found the back-door open
This was strange chance:
A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys!
Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: you are made Rather to wonder at the things you hear,
The country BASE,] i. e. The country game of prison-base, or prison-bars, mentioned by many old writers by the name of base; but by Drayton in his "Polyolbion," Song 30, called "prison-base." See also "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," A. i. sc. 2.
5 The mortal BUGS o' the field ] The mortal terrors or bugbears of the field. See Vol. ii. p. 467; Vol. iii. p. 52; Vol. iv. p. 199. In "Hamlet," A. v. sc. 2, Vol. v. p. 596, "bugs" and "goblins" are coupled. According to etymologists "bug" is only another form of Puck, which Ben Jonson spells Pug.
Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon't,
'Lack! to what end?
Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend;
For if he'll do, as he is made to do,
I know, he'll quickly fly my friendship too.
You have put me into rhyme.
Farewell; you are angry.
Post. Still going?—This is a lord. Oh noble misery!
That draw his knives i' the war.-Well, I will find him;
No more a Briton, I have resum'd again
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
Enter two British Captains, and Soldiers.
1 Capt. Great Jupiter be prais'd! Lucius is taken. "Tis thought, the old man and his sons were angels. 2 Capt. There was a fourth man, in a silly habit",
a favourer to the ROMAN,] Posthumus has put off his disguise as a Briton, in which he aided in the rescue of Cymbeline, and now again appears in his Italian costume, seeking death at the hands of the Britons. For "Roman" the folios read Britaine, and Sir T. Hanmer first made the change.
in a SILLY habit,] i. e. In a simple habit. The commentators say that 'silly" or sely means also rustic, but that can only be in the sense of simple: in our day it has been almost restricted to foolish.
That gave th' affront with them.
So 'tis reported;
But none of them can be found.-Stand! who is there?
Post. A Roman,
Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds
Had answer'd him.
Lay hands on him; a dog!
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell
What crows have peck'd them here. He brags his service As if he were of note: bring him to the king.
Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, and Roman Captives. The Captains present POSTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Jailor; after which, all go out.
Enter POSTHUMUS in fetters, and two Jailors.
1 Jail. You shall not now be stolen; you have locks upon
So, graze as you find pasture'.
after which, all go out.] These are the only words not in the old direction. It was not unusual on our early stage to begin a scene with a dumb show, as scene 2 of this Act; but it was by no means common so to terminate a scene. Ritson was evidently mistaken, when he said that "the business of this scene was entirely performed in dumb show," unless he considered this dumb show a scene by itself. Dumb shows were commonly resorted to for the purpose of briefly dismissing a portion of the story, that would have occupied an inconvenient amount of time, if represented in dialogue.
9 So, GRAZE as you find pasture.] To "graze" and grass have clearly the same etymology, A. S. graes, but they are not the same word; and the Rev. Mr. Dyce has confounded them in a passage in Webster's "White Devil" (Works, i. 126), where Cornelia is made to say of one of her sons, who has been killed,
"One arrow's graz'd already."
This does not mean that "one arrow" has only "graz'd," because the contrary is the fact; but it is a figure from archery, where "to grass an arrow is technical for losing it in the grass: Cornelia has lost one son, and, anxious to save the life of the other, she adds,
"it were vain
T' lose this for that will ne'er be found again." The whole passage must indisputably be read as follows:
Ay, or a stomach.
Post. Most welcome, bondage, for thou art a way
I think, to liberty. Yet am I better
Than one that's sick o' the gout; since he had rather
By the sure physician, death, who is the key
T'unbar 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?
Solemn music, &c. Enter, as in an apparition, SICILIUS 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
"One arrow's grass'd already: it were vain
T' lose this for that will ne'er be found again."
It is clearly no fault of the Rev. Mr. Dyce, that he is not an archer.
10 Desir'd, more than constrain'd: to satisfy,] In the old copies there is only a comma after "constrain'd," but the meaning seems to be, "If my freedom be the main part of what I possess, take no stricter render of me, in order to satisfy you, than my all." This is, of course, addressed to the gods, and "my all" must mean his life, since his freedom, the main part, was already gone. The passage is obscure and probably corrupt.