Imatges de pÓgina
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What fairies haunt this ground ? A book ? O, 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 known,

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 Gaolers.

Gaol. Come, sir, are you ready for death?
Post. Over-roasted rather: ready long ago.

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

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

Gaol. 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 3: O! of this contradiction you shall now be quit. — O, the charity of a penny cord ! it sums up thousands in a trice : you have no true debitor 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.

Gaol. 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.

Gaol. 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-enquiry4 on your own peril: and how you shall speed in your journey's end, I think 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.

Gaol. 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.

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sorry

that
you

have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much ;] i. e. sorry that you have paid too much out of your pocket, and sorry that you are paid, or subdued, too much by the liquor.

being drawn of heaviness :) Drawn is embowelled, erenterated. - So in common language a fowl is said to be drawn, when its intestines are taken out.

jump the after-enquiry - ] That is, venture at it without thought.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the king.

Post. Thou bringest good news; - I am called to be made free.

Gaol. I'll be hanged then.

Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler; no bolts for the dead.

[Exeunt Posthumus and Messenger. Gaol. 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

I would we were all of one mind, and one mind good; 0, there were desolation of gaolers, and gallowses ! I speak against my present profit ; but my wish hạth a preferment in't.

[Exeunt,

were one.

SCENE V.6

Cymbeline's Tent,

Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS,

Pisanio, Lords, Officers, and Attendants. Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods have

made Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,

I never saw one so prone.] i.e. forward. 6 Scene V.] Let those who talk so confidently about the skill of Shakspeare's contemporary, Jonson, point out the conclusion of any one of his plays which is wrought with more artifice, and yet a less degree of dramatick violence than this. In the scene before us, all the surviving characters are assembled; and at the expence of whatever incongruity the former events may have been pro

That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked breast
Stepp'd before targe of proof, cannot be found:
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our
grace

can make him so. Bel.

I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing ;
Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought
But beggary and poor looks.
Cym.

No tidings of him?
Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead and

living,

But no trace of him.
Cym.

To my grief, I am
The heir of his reward; which I will add
To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,

[To BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
By whom, I grant, she lives : 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are: - report it.
Bel.

Sir,
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen :
Further to boast, were neither true nor modest,
Unless I add, we are honest.
Сут. .

Bow your knees :
Arise, my knights o'the battle; I create you
Companions to our person, and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.

Enter CORNELIUS and Ladies. There's business in these faces :- Why so sadly Greet you our victory ? you look like Romans, And not o'the court of Britain.

duced, perhaps little can be discovered on this occasion to offend the most scrupulous advocate for regularity: and, I think as little is found wanting to satisfy the spectator by a catastrophe which is intricate without confusion, and not more rich in ornament than in nature. STEEVENS.

Cor.

Hail, great king!
To sour your happiness, I must report
The
queen

is dead. Cym.

Whom worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolong'd, yet death
Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?

Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life;
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd,
I will report, so please you: These her women
Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks,
Were present when she finish’d.
Cym.

Pr’ythee, say.
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.
Cym.

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 love? With such integrity, she did confess Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life, But that her flight prevented it, she had Ta'en off by poison. Cym.

O most delicate fiend ! Who is't can read a woman ?- Is there more ?

Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess, she had For you a mortal mineral: which, being took, Should by the minute feed on life, and, ling’ring, By inches waste you: In which time she purpos’d, By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to O’ercome you with her show: yes, and in time, (When she had fitted you with her craft,) to work

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bore in hand to love-1 i. e. insidiously taught to depend on her love.

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