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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 bringest good news;-I am called to be made free.
Gaol. I'll be hanged then.
Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for the dead. [Exeunt Post. and Mess. Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my conscience, there are verier knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman: and there be some of them too, that die 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. [Exeunt.
SCENE V. CYMBELINE's Tent..
Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVI-
Our grace can make him so.
I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought
No tidings of him?
Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead and living, But no trace of him.
[To Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus. By whom, I grant, she lives; 'Tis now the time To ask of whence you are:-report it.
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen:
Enter CORNELIUS and Ladies.
There's business in these faces :-Why so sadly
Hail, great king! To sour your happiness, I must report The queen is dead. Cym. Whom worse than a physician Would 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. Pr'ythee, say. Cor. First, she confess'd she never lov'd you; only Affected greatness got by you, not you:
Married your royally, was wife to your place;
Abhorr'd your person.
She alone knew this:
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love With such integrity, she did confess
Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
Ta'en off by poison.
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, ling'ring, By inches waste you: In which time she purpos'd, 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; open'd, in despite Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so, Despairing, died.
Heard you all this, her women? Lady. We did so, please your highness. Cym.
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That it was folly in me, thou may'st say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!
Enter LUCIUS, LACHIMO, the Soothsayer, and other ROMAN Prisoners, guarded; POSTHUMUS behind, and IMOGEN.
Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war: the dayWas 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, 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, So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
With my request, which, I'll make bold, your high
Cannot deny; he hath done no Britain harm,
Though he have serv'd a Roman: save him, sir,
His favour is familiar to me.
I have surely seen him :
Boy, thou hast look'd thyself into my grace,
Aud art mine own.-I know not why, nor wherefore,
The noblest ta'en.
The boy disdains me,
He leaves me, scorns me: Briefly die their joys,
What wouldst thou, boy?
What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on? speak,
Than I to your highness; who, being born your vassal,
Wherefore ey'st him so? Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please To give me hearing.
Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?
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 reviv'd from death? Arv. Not more resembles; That sweet rosy lad, Who died, and was Fidele:-What think you? Gui. The same dead thing alive.
One sand another
[bear; Bel. Peace, peace! see further; he eyes us not; forCreatures may be alike: were't he, I am sure He would have spoke to us.
But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent; let's see further.
It is my mistress:
Since she is living, let the time run on,
[Cym, and Imo. come forward.
Come, stand thou by our side;
Make thy demand aloud. Sir, [To Iach.] step you forth;
Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it,
Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On, speak to him.'
What's that to him? [Aside. Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say,
How came it yours?
lach. Thou❜lt torture me to leave unspoken that Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.