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For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.
By leave;-Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who
Assum'd this age: indeed, a banish'd man;
I know not how, a traitor.
The whole world shall not save him.
First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
As I have receiv'd it.
Bel. I am too blunt, and saucy: Here's my knee; 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.
How! my issue?
Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old Morgan,
Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd:
Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punishment
Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd,
Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes
(For such, and so they are), these twenty years
Have I train'd 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 mov'd her to't;
Having receiv'd the punishment before,
For that which I did then; Beaten for loyalty
Excited me to treason: Their dear loss,
The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shap'd
Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious sir,
Here are your sons again; and I must lose
Two of the sweet'st companions in the world:-
The benediction of these covering heavens
Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy
To inlay heaven with stars.
Thou weep'st and speak'st.
The service, that you three have done, is more
Unlike than this thou tell'st: I lost my children;
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A pair of worthier sons.
Be pleas'd awhile.—
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius;
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arvirágus,
Your younger princely son; he, sir, was lapp'd
In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand
Of his queen mother, which, for more probation,
I can with ease produce.
Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
It was a mark of wonder.
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp:
It was wise nature's end in the donation,
To be his evidence now.
O, what am I
A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
Rejoic'd deliverance more:-Bless'd may you be,
That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now!-O Imogen,
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.
I have got two worlds by't.-O my gentle brothers,
Have we thus met? O never say hereafter,
But I am truest speaker: you call'd me brother,
When I was but your sister; I you brothers,
When you were so indeed.
And at first meeting lov'd;
Arv. Ay, my good lord.
Continued so, until we thought he died.
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
O rare instinct!
When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgment
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in.-Where? how liv'd you?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
How parted with your brothers? how first met them?
you from the court? and whither? These,
And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded;
And all the other by-dependencies,
From chance to chance; but nor the time, nor place,
Will serve our long intergatories. See,
Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;
And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brothers, me, her master; hitting
Each object with a joy; the counterchange
Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.-
Thou art my brother; So we'll hold thee ever.
Imo. You are my father too; and did relieve me,
To see this gracious season.
Save these in bonds; let them be joyful too,
For they shall taste our comfort.
I will yet do you service.
Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought, He would have well becom'd this place, and grac'd The thankings of a king.
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow'd;-That I was he,
Speak, Tachimo; I had you down, and might
Have made you finish.
I am down again: [Kneeling.
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech you,
Which I so often owe: but, your ring first;
And here the bracelet of the truest princess,
That ever swore her faith.
The power that I have on you, is to spare you;
The malice towards you, to forgive you: Live,
And deal with others better.
We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law;
Pardon's the word to all.
As you did mean indeed to be our brother:
Joy'd are we, that you are.
Post. Your servant, princes.-Good, my lord of Rome, Call forth your soothsayer: As I slept, methought, Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back,
Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred: when I wak'd, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it; let him show
His skill in the construction.
Sooth. Here, my good lord.
Read, and declare the meaning. Sooth. [Reads] When as 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 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 Leornatus, doth import so much:
The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter, [To Cym.
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 clipp'd about
With this most tender air.
This hath some seeming. Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline, Personates thee: and thy lopp'd branches point Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stolen, For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd, To the majestic cedar join'd; whose issue Promises Britain peace and plenty.
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),
Have 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 accomplish'd: For the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o'the sun
So vanish'd: which foreshow'd our princely eagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our bless'd 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 wash'd with such a peace.