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Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war: the day Was 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 highness
Cannot deny he hath done no Briton harm,

Though he have serv'd a Roman. Save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.


I have surely seen him:

His favour is familiar to me1.-Boy,

Thou hast look'd thyself into my grace,

And art mine own.-I know not why, nor wherefore2,

To say, live, boy: ne'er thank thy master; live,

And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty and thy state, I'll give it;
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!

9 SO FEAT,] So neat, ready, clever, in this instance: it also sometimes means fine or brave, according to Minsheu. See p. 141.

1 His FAVOUR is familiar to me.] Here, as in many other places, "favour"

is used for countenance. See Vol. vii. p. 24, &c.

I know not why, nor wherefore,] "Nor" was added by Rowe, and is necessary to the sense.

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,
That place them on the truth of girls and boys.—
Why stands he so perplex'd?


What would'st thou, boy?

I love thee more and more; think more and more What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on?


Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?

Imo. He is a Roman; no more kin to me,

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,

And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

Imo. Fidele, sir.

Cym. 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?

One sand another

Not more resembles: that sweet rosy lad,


Who died, and was Fidele.-What think you?
Gui. The same dead thing alive.

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.


But we saw him dead.

It is my mistress!

Bel. Be silent; let's see farther.
Pis. [Aside.]

Since she is living, let the time run on,

To good, or bad.


[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN come forward. Come, stand thou by our side:

Make thy demand aloud.-Sir, [To IACHIMO.] step you forth;

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.

Post. [Aside.]

What's that to him?

Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say,

How came it yours?

Iach. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that

Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.


How! me?

Iach. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that


Torments me to conceal. By villany

I got this ring: 'twas Leonatus' jewel ;

Whom thou didst banish; and (which more may grieve


As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er liv'd

"Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my


Cym. All that belongs to this.


That paragon, thy daughter,

For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits

Quail to remember,-Give me leave; I faint.
Cym. My daughter! what of her?


Renew thy

I had rather thou should'st live while nature will,
Than die ere I hear more.

Strive man, and speak.

Iach. Upon a time, (unhappy was the clock That struck the hour) it was in Rome, (accurs'd The mansion where) 'twas at a feast, (O! would

Our viands had been poison'd, or at least

Those which I heav'd to head) the good Posthumus,
(What should I say? he was too good to be
Where ill men were, and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones) sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy

For beauty, that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva3,
Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man

Loves woman for; besides, that hook of wiving,
Fairness, which strikes the eye:


Come to the matter.


I stand on fire.

All too soon I shall,

Unless thou would'st grieve quickly.-This Posthumus,

(Most like a noble lord in love, and one

That had a royal lover) took his hint;

And, not dispraising whom we prais'd, (therein

He was as calm as virtue) he began

His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being made, And then a mind put in't, either our brags

Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description

Prov'd us unspeaking sots.


Nay, nay, to the purpose.

Iach. Your daughter's chastity-there it begins. He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams,

And she alone were cold: whereat, I, wretch,

Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him
Pieces of gold 'gainst this, which then he wore
Upon his honour'd finger, to attain

In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring

3 - straight-PIGHT Minerva,] "Pight" is pitched or fixed. See Vol. vi. p. 135; Vol. vii. p. 393: "straight-pight" therefore seems to mean, standing upright in a fixed posture, and with this sense the compound epithet has great appropriateness.

By her's and mine adultery. He, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident

Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle

Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
"Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd,
That I return'd with simular proof, enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,

By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus, and thus; averring notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,
(O cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,-
Methinks, I see him now,—


Ay, so thou dost,
[Coming forward.

Italian fiend!-Ah me! most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing

That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come!-0, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I

That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,

4(0 cunning, how I got IT!)] "It," required by the sense and the metre, was added in the folio, 1632, and it is, of course, to be found in the two later impressions in the same form.

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