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Post. Thou bring'st good news. I am called to be made free.
Jail. I'll be hanged, then.
Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a jailor; no bolts for the dead. [Exeunt POSTHUMUS and Messenger. Jail. 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: oh, there were desolation of jailors, and gallowses! I speak against my present profit, but my wish hath a preferment in't.
Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS,
Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,
That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked breast
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one, that promis'd nought
But beggary and poor looks.
No tidings of him?
Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead and living, But no trace of him.
The heir of his reward; which I will add
To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain',
1 Stepp'd before TARGE of proof,] It is targes in the old impressions, and possibly it is right; but if so, it must be read in the time of a monosyllable.
2 the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,] Turning, of course, towards Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.
By whom, I grant, she lives. 'Tis now the time
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen.
Bow your knees.
Arise, my knights o' the battle: I create you
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.
Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life;
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.
She alone knew this;
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love3
- whom she bore in hand to love] i. e. Whom she pretended to love, or led to believe that she loved. In "Measure for Measure," A. i. sc. 5, we had the expression,
"Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action."
See also for the same expression Vol. iii. p. 435, where it rather seems to mean to keep in suspense.
With such integrity, she did confess
Oh most delicate fiend!
Who is't can read a woman ?--Is there more?
Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess, she had
Heard you all this, her women?
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming; it had been vicious
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
Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute: that
Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war: the day
Was your's by accident; had it gone with us,
Posthumus behind, and Imogen.] This is the old stage-direction, excepting that Posthumus is called Leonatus, and that we are not told that the Roman prisoners were guarded.
We should not, when the blood was cool, have threaten'd
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So feat, so nurse-like. Let his virtue join
With my request, which, I'll make bold, your highness
Though he have serv'd a Roman. Save him, sir,
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, nor wherefore,
To say, live, boy: ne'er thank thy master; live,
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
The noblest ta'en.
I humbly thank your highness. Luc. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad, And yet I know thou wilt.
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.
The boy disdains me,
He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys,
What wouldst thou, boy?
I love thee more and more; think more and more
5 SO FEAT,] So neat, ready, clever, in this instance: it also sometimes means
fine or brave, according to Minsheu. See "feated," in this play, p. 261.
6 His FAVOUR is familiar to me.]
Here, as in many other places, “favour" is
used for countenance, or features generally.
7 I know not why, NOR wherefore,] "Nor" was first added by Rowe.
What's best to ask.
Know'st him thou look'st on? speak;
Is he thy kin? thy friend?
Wilt have him live?
Than I to your highness; who, being born your vassal,
Am something nearer.
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,
What's thy name?
And lend my best attention.
Imo. Fidele, sir.
Thou art my good youth, my page;
[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN talk apart.
Bel. Is not this boy reviv'd from death?
One sand another
Not more resembles; that sweet rosy lad,
Bel. Peace, peace! see farther; he eyes us not: forbear. Creatures may be alike: were't he, I am sure,
He would have spoke to us.
Bel. Be silent; let's see farther.
But we saw him dead".
It is my mistress!
[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN come forward.
Since she is living, let the time run on,
To good, or bad.
Come, stand thou by our side:
Make thy demand aloud. - Sir, [To IACHIMO.] step you
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.
What's that to him?
Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say,
How came it your's?
Iach. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that,
8 But we saw him dead.] The old printer was here guilty of the ordinary vulgarism of putting the present for the past tense, "we see him dead." Even Rowe continued it.