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Arv. 7 What should we speak of When we are as old as you? when we shall hear The rain and wind beat dark December, how, In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing: We are beastly; subtle as the fox for prey; Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat : Our valour is, to chace what flies; our cage We make a quire, as doth the prison'd bird, And fing our bondage freely.

Bel. 8 How you speak ! Did you but know the city's usuries, And felt them knowingly; the art o' the court, As hard to leave as keep; whose top to climb, Is certain falling, or so slipp’ry, that The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war, A pain, that only seems to seek out danger l' the name of fame and honour; which dies i' the

search, And hath as oft a Nanderous epitaph, As record of fair act; nay, many times Doth ill deserve by doing well: what's worse, Must curt'ly at the censure.-Oh, boys, this story The world may read in me: my body's mark'd With Roman swords; and my report was once First with the best of note : Cymbeline lov'd me; And when a soldier was the theme, my name Was not far off: then was I as a tree, Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one night, A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,

'What should we speak of ] This dread of an old age, unfupplied with matter for discourse and meditation, is a fentiment natural and noble. No state can be more deftitute than that of him who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind. JOHNSON,

How you speak!] Otway seems to have taken many hints for the conversation that passes between Acatto and his sons, from the scene before us. STEEVENS.


Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves, And left me bare to weather.

Guid. Uncertain favour!

Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told you oft) But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline, I was confederate with the Romans : so Followed my banishment; and, these twenty years, This rock and these demesnes have been


world : Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid More pious debts to heaven, than in all The fore-end of my time.—But, up to the mountain! This is not hunters' language: he, that strikes The venifon firft, shall be the lord o' the feaft; To him the other two shall minister; And we will fear no poison, which attends In place of greater

ftate. I'll meet you in the valleys. [Exeunt Guid. and Arv.

How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature !
These boys know little they are fons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think they are mine: and tho' train'd


thus meanly • l’ the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit The roof of palaces; and nature prompts them,

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' P' the cave, &c.] Mr. Pope reads,

Here in the cave, wherein their thoughts do hit

The roof of palaces;but the sentence breaks off imperfectly. The old editions read,

l' the cave, whereon the bow their thoughts do hit, &c. Mr. Rowe saw this likewise was faulty; and therefore amended it thus:

l' the cave, where, on the bow, their thoughts do hit, &c. I think it should be only with the alteration of one letter, and the addition of another;

l' the cave, there, on the brow, And so the grammar and syntax of the sentence is complete. We call the arching of a cavern, or averhanging of a hill,


In simple and low things, to prince it much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father callid Guiderius-Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I fit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say, “ thus mine enemy fell,
“ And thus I set my foot on his neck;" —even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,

metaphorically, the brow; and in like manner the Greeks and Latins used otpu'', and supercilium. THEOBALD.

tho' train'd up thus meanly, ľthe cave, THERE ON THE BROW, -] The old editions read,

l' the cave whereon the brow; which, though very corrupt, will direct us to the true reading; which, when rightly pointed, is thus,

though train'd up thus meanly l' the cave wherein they bosum i. e. Thus meanly brought up. Yet in this very cave, which is so low that they must bow or bend in entering it, yet are their thoughts so exalted, &c. This is the antithesis. Belarius had spoken before of the lowness of this cave:

A goodly day! not to keep house with such
Whose roof's as low as ours. See, boys ! this gate


how to adore the heaven's ; and bows you To morning's holy office. WARBURTON. HANMER reads,

I'the cave, here in this brow. I think the reading is this:

l'the cave, wherein the bow, &c. That is, they are trained up in the cave, where their thoughts in hitting the bow, or arch of their habitation, hit the roofs of palaces. In other words, though their condition is low, their thoughts are high. The sentence is at last, as THEOBALD remarks, abrupt, but perhaps no less suitable to Shakespeare. I know not whether Dr. WARBURTON's conjecture be not better than mine. JOHNSON.

This Polydore,] The old copy of this play (except in this first instance, where it can be only a blunder of the printer) calls this eldest son of Cymbeline, Polidore, as often as the name occurs. I have therefore replaced it. STEEVENS.


Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
That acts my words. The younger brother Cadwal,
(Once Arviragus) in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech, and shews much more
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rouz’d!
Oh Cymbeline! heaven and my conscience know,
Thou didst unjustly banish me; whereon,
At three and two years old ? I stole these babes;
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft’st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse ; they took thee for their

And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself Belarius, that am Morgan callid,
They take for natural father. The game's up. [Exit.

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Enter Pifanio and Imogen. Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse,

the place

Was near at hand. Ne'er long'd my mother so To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! man ! 1 Where is Posthumus ? What is in thy mind,

I ftole these babes ;] Shakespeare feems to intend Belarius for a good character, yet he makes him forget the injury which he has done to the young princes, whom he has robbed of a kingdom only to rob their father of heirs. The latter part of this liloquy is very inartificial, there being no particular reason why Belarius should now tell to himself what he could not know better by telling it. JOHNSON.

+ Where is Pofthumus ?--] Shakespeare's apparent ignorance of quantity is not the least, among many, proofs of his want of learning. Throughout this, play 'he calls Pofthumus, Pofthumus; and Arviragus, Arviragus. STEEVENS.


That makes thee ftare thus? wherefore breaks that figh
From the inward of thee? one, but painted chus,
Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd
Beyond self-explication. Put thyself
Into a 'haviour of less fear, ere wildness
Vanquish my staider fenses. What's the matter?
Why tender'st thou that paper to me with
A look untender? If it be fummer news,
Smile to't before: if winterly, thou need’It
But keep that countenance still

. My husband's hand! That ? drug-damn’d Italy hath out-crafted him, And he's at some hard point.--Speak, man; thy

May take off fome extremity, which to read
Would be e'en mortal to me.

Pif. Please you, read;
And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing
The most disdain’d of fortune.

Imogen reads. THY mistress, Pifanio, hath play'd the strumpet in

my bed; the testimonies whereof lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises; but from proof as strong as my grief, and as certain as I expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio, must att for me. If thy faith be not tainted with the breach of bers, let thine bands take away her life : I Mall give thee opportunity et MilfordHaven. She hath my letter for the purpose; where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pander to her dishonour, and equally in me disloyal. Pif. What shall I need to draw my sword ? the

paper Hath cut her throat already.---No, 'tis slander ;

drug-damn'd] This is another allufion to Italian poisons. JOHNSON,


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