Abbildungen der Seite

The service, that you three have done, is more
Unlike than this thou tell'st. I lost my children:
If these be they, I know not how to wish

A pair of worthier sons.


Be pleas'd a while.—
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,

Most worthy prince, as your's is true Guiderius:
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,

Your younger princely son: he, sir, was lapp'd
In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand
Of his queen mother, which, for more probation,
I can with ease produce.


Guiderius had
Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star:
It was a mark of wonder.


This is he,

Who hath upon him still that natural stamp.
It was wise nature's end in the donation,

To be his evidence now.


O! what am I

A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
Rejoic'd deliverance more.-Bless'd pray you be',
That after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now.-O Imogen!
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.


No, my lord;

I have got two worlds by't.-O, my gentle brothers!
Have we thus met? O! never say hereafter,

But I am truest speaker: you call'd me brother,

When I was but your sister; I

When you were so indeed.

Arv. Ay, my good lord.

you brothers,

Did you e'er meet?

7 Bless'd PRAY you be,] i. e. I pray that you may be blessed. Modern editors needlessly change "pray" of all the old copies into may.

8 When you were so indeed.] The folio has we for "you;" probably a misprint, which was corrected by Rowe.

[ocr errors]


And at first meeting lov'd;

Continued so, until we thought he died.

Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
O rare instinct!
When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgment
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which

Distinction should be rich in.-Where? how liv'd you?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive?
How parted with your brothers? how first met them?
Why fled you from the court, and whither? These,
And your three motives to the battle, with

I know not how much more, should be demanded,
And all the other by-dependencies,

From chance to chance; but nor the time, nor place,
Will serve our long inter'gatories'. See,
Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;

And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting
Each object with a joy: the counterchange
Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.--
Thou art my brother: so we'll hold thee ever.

[TO BELARIUS. Imo. You are my father, too; and did relieve me, To see this gracious season.


All o'erjoy'd,

Save these in bonds: let them be joyful too,

For they shall taste our comfort.


My good master,

I will yet do you


This FIERCE abridgment] Shakespeare here, and in a few other places in his works, uses the epithet "fierce" with some peculiarity: in "Love's Labour's Lost" we have had "fierce endeavour," and in "Timon of Athens," "fierce wretchedness."

1 Will serve our long INTER'GATORIES.] Apparently so pronounced in the time of Shakespeare, and sometimes so printed, as in "All's Well that Ends Well," Vol. iii. p. 287, where the sentence is only prose; and in "The Merchant of Venice," Vol. ii. p. 563, where the word occurs in verse twice. In the passage in our text it is printed interrogatories.


Happy be you!

Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought, He would have well become this place', and grac'd The thankings of a king.

[blocks in formation]

The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming: 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow'd.-That I was he,
Speak, Iachimo: I had you down, and might
Have made you finish.


I am down again;

But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,


As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,
Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
And here the bracelet of the truest princess,
That ever swore her faith.


Kneel not to me:

The power that I have on you is to spare you;
The malice towards you to forgive you. Live,
And deal with others better.


We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:

Pardon's the word to all.


Nobly doom'd.

You holp us, sir,

As you did mean indeed to be our brother;

Joy'd are we, that you are.

Post. Your servant, princes. Good my lord of

Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought,
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd3,

Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows

2 He would have well BECOME this place,] In the folio, 1623, "become" is printed becom❜d, probably a mere error of the press; but it has been adopted by Malone, and by modern editors who have followed his text.


[ocr errors]

- upon his eagle BACK'D] So all the folios; but modern editors strangely prefer ❝ upon his eagle back:" if they thought fit to make this change in the text, they ought to have printed "upon his eagle's back."

Of mine own kindred: when I wak'd, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it: let him show

His skill in the construction.


Sooth. Here, my good lord.


[Coming forward.

Read, and declare the meaning. Sooth. [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."

Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp;

The fit and apt construction of thy name,
Being Leo-natus, doth import so much.
The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,


Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
We term it mulier: which mulier, 1 divine,
Is this most constant wife; who, even now,
Answering the letter of the oracle,

Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about
With this most tender air.

Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee; and thy lopp'd branches point
Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stolen,
For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd,

This hath some seeming.

When as a lion's whelp-] It is not easy to conjecture," says Coleridge, (Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 128) "why Shakespeare should have introduced this ludierous scroll, which answers no one purpose, either propulsive or explicatory, unless as a joke on etymology." It is very possible that the scroll and the vision were parts of an older play.

To the majestic cedar join'd, whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.


My peace we will begin.-And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,
And to the Roman empire; promising
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
Whom heavens, in justice, both on her and hers,
Have laid most heavy hand.

Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune
The harmony of this peace. The vision,
Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
Of this yet' scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplish'd; for the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun
So vanish'd: which foreshow'd our princely eagle,
Th' imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.


Laud we the gods;

And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our bless'd altars. Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward. Let
A Roman and a British ensign wave

Friendly together; so through Lud's town march,
And in the temple of great Jupiter

Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts.—
Set on there.-Never was a war did cease,

Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a peace.


5 Of this yet-] The folio, 1623, accidentally inverts these words, "Of yet this." The correction was made in the folio, 1664.

« ZurückWeiter »