Abbildungen der Seite

POSTHUMUS, with wounds as they died in the wars. They circle POSTHUMUS round, as he lies sleeping'

Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies:

With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,

That thy adulteries

Rates and revenges.

Hath my poor boy done aught but well?
Whose face I never saw;

I died, whilst in the womb he stay'd
Attending nature's law.

Whose father, then, (as men report,
Thou orphans' father art)

Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.

Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;
That from me was Posthumus ript,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!

Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,

That he deserv'd the praise o' the world,
As great Sicilius' heir.

1 Bro. When once he was mature for man,

In Britain where was he

That could stand up his parallel,

Or fruitful object be

In eye of Imogen, that best

Could deem his dignity?

Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mock'd,

To be exil'd, and thrown

From Leonati' seat, and cast
From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen ?


as he lies sleeping.] Such precisely is the descriptive stage-direction in the folio, 1623: several editors, who profess to follow the old wording, vary from it.

[blocks in formation]

2 Bro. For this from stiller seats we came,
Our parents, and us twain,

That striking in our country's cause
Fell bravely, and were slain;
Our fealty, and Tenantius' right,
With honour to maintain.

1 Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline perform'd 2:
Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,
Why hast thou thus adjourn'd

The graces for his merits due,

Being all to dolours turn'd?

Sici. Thy crystal window ope; look out":

No longer exercise,

Upon a valiant race, thy harsh

And potent injuries.

Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,

Take off his miseries.

Sici. Peep through thy marble mansion; help!

Or we poor ghosts will cry,

To the shining synod of the rest,

Against thy deity.

2 Bro. Help, Jupiter! or we appeal,
And from thy justice fly.

1 And to become the GECK and scorn] "Geck" is fool; and we have had it before used by Shakespeare in "Twelfth Night," Vol. ii. p. 722.


2 To Cymbeline perform'd :] We think it likely that the whole of this part of "Cymbeline" was a quotation from some well-known and popular work on the same story. Perform'd" may there have been the rhyme to " adjourn'd" and “turn'd;" but even if Shakespeare had himself been imitating that ballad-style of composition, he would hardly have been so lax-in his writing.

3 Thy crystal window ope; look out:] The folio, 1623, repeats "look," but, as the Rev. Mr. Dyce observes, ("Remarks," p. 260,) adding two notes of admiration, "it is a glaring error." We agree with him.

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 ghosts
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt you know,
Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts'?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence; and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers:
Be not with mortal accidents opprest,

No care of your's it is; you know, 'tis our's.
Whom best I love I cross, to make my gift,
The more delay'd, delighted'. Be content;
Your low-laid son our god-head 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;
And so, away: no farther with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.-
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.

[JUPITER 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 bless'd fields. His royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleas'd.


Thanks, Jupiter.

Sici. The marble pavement closes; he is enter'd

Sky-planted, batters all rebelling COASTS?] Is there not room to suspect that, if the emendations by the old corrector of the folio, 1632, in this part of the play had come down to us, we should have found hosts substituted for "coasts?" Still "coasts," in the sense of countries, may answer the purpose. The more delay'd, DELIGHTED.] i. e. Delighting, the passive for the active participle, exactly as in "Othello," this Vol. p. 32:


[ocr errors]

"If virtue no delighted beauty lack."

to FOOT us:] i. e. To grasp us in his talons. So Herbert, as quoted by Steevens:

"And till they foot and clutch their prey."

His radiant roof.-Away! and, to be blest,

Let us with care perform his great behest.

[Ghosts vanish.

Post. [Waking.] Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire, and


A father to me; and thou hast created

A mother, and two brothers. But (oh 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? Oh, rare one!
Be not, as is our fangled world', a garment
Nobler than that it covers: let thy effects
So follow, to be most unlike our courtiers,
As good as promise.

[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."

'Tis still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
Tongue, 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

I'll keep, if but for sympathy.

Re-enter Jailors.

Jail. Come, sir, are you ready for death?

Post. Over-roasted, rather; ready long ago.

Jail. Hanging is the word, sir: if you be ready for that, you are well cooked.

7 — our FANGLED world,] "Fangled" is almost invariably found with new before it, and only in this instance, as far as discoveries of the kind have gone, without it: the meaning seems to be much the same as new-fangled, and it has been derived from A. S. fengan, to undertake or attempt. The substantive fangle was in use by Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Post. So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators, the dish pays the shot.

Jail. A heavy reckoning for you, sir; but the comfort is, you shall be called to no 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, depart reeling with too much drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and brain both empty the brain the heavier for being too light, the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness. Oh! of this contradiction you shall now be quit.-Oh, the charity of a penny cord! it sums up thousands in a trice; you have no true debtor 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.

Jail. 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 shall go.

Post. Yes, indeed do I, fellow.

Jail. Your death has eyes in's head, then; I have not seen him so pictured: you must either be directed by some that take upon them to know, or 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, Ithink, 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.

Jail. 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.

which are often the sadness of parting, as the procuring of mirth.] Ought we not to read, "which are as often the sadness of parting, as," &c.?


or JUMP the after-inquiry on your own peril:] i. e. Risk the after-inquiry. See Vol. iv. p 658; Vol. v. p. 400. The latter instance, "We'd jump the life to come," is exactly in point.

« ZurückWeiter »