Imatges de pÓgina
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The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger

230 I'the name of fame, and honour; which dies i' the

search;
And hath as oft á slánderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must curt'sy at the censure:-0, 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,

240
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my melow hangings, nay, my leavės,
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,
Follow'd my banishment; and, these twenty years,
This rock, and these demeśnies, have been my world :
Where I have liv'd at ho freedom; pay'd 252
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The forc-end 'of my time. But, 'up to the moun-

tains ; This is not hunters' language : He, that strikes

The

The venison first, shall be the lord o’the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the vallies.

[Exeunt Guid, and Arv. How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature !

260 These boys know little, they are sons to the king; Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive. They think, they are mine : and, though train'd up

thus meanly l'the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them, 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 sit, and tell 270 The 'warlike féats I have done, his spirits fly out Into my story: say—Thus mine enemy fell; And thus / set my foot on his néck ; even then The princely blood Rows in his cheek, he sweats, 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! o Cymbeline 1 heaven, and my conscience, knows, Thou didst unjustly banish me : whereon, 285 At three, and two years old, I stole these babes; Thinking to bar thee of succession, as

Thou

Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse ; they took thee for their

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

[Exit,

SCENE IV.

Near Milford-Haven. Enter PISANIO, 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 290 To see me first, as I have now :-Pisanio! Man ! Where is Posthumus ? Whạt is in thy mind, That makes thee stare thus ? Wherefore breaks that

sigh From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus, Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd Beyond self-explication : Put thyself Into a haviour of less fear, ere wildness Vanquish my staider senses. What's the matter ? Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with A look untender? If it be summer news, 300 Smile to't before : if winterly, thou need'st But keep that countenance still.- My husband's

hand! That drug-damnd Italy hath out-crafted him,

And

And he's at some hard point. Speak, man; thy

tongue May take off some extremity, which to read Would be even mortal to me,

Pis. Please you, read; And you

shall find me, wretched man, a thing The most disdain'd of fortuné.

309

IMOGEN reads.

Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath play'd the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmisés ; but froin 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 her's. Let thine own hands take away her life: I shall give the opportunity at Milford-Haven: she hath my letter for the purpose : Where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour, and equally to 'me disloyal. 319

Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword ? the

paper Hath cut her throat already.--No, 'tis slander; Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue Out-venoms all the worms of Nile ; whose breath Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie All corners of the world : kings, queens, and states, Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave This viperous slander enters.--What cheer, madam?

Imo. False to his bed! What is it, to be false ?

To

To lie in watch there, and to think on him? To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge nature,

330 To break it with a fearful dream of him, And cry myself awake ? that's false to his bed ? Is it?

Pis. Alas, good lady!

Imo. I false? Thy conscience witness :--Iachimo, Thou didst accuse him of incontinency; Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, methinks, Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy, Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him : Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion ;

340 And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls, I must be ript:--to pieces with me!--0, Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming, By thy revolt, О husband, shall be thought Put on for villany; not born, where't grows; But worn, a bait for ladies.

Pis. Good madam, hear me.

Imo. True honest men being heard, like false Æneas, Were, in his time, thought false : and Sinon's weep

ing Did scandal many a holy tear; took pity 350 From most true wretchedness : So, thou, Posthumus, Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men; Goodly, and gallant, shall be false, and perjur'd, From thy great fail.—Come, fellow, be thou honest : Do thou thy master's bidding: When thou see'st him, A little witness my obedience : Look!

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