Imatges de pÓgina

Britons must take. For me, my ransom's death;
On either side I come to spend my breath;
Which neither here I'll keep, nor bear again,
But end it by some means for Imogen.

Enter two British Captains and Soldiers.

1 Cap. Great Jupiter be praised! Lucius is taken. 'Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels. Cap. There was a fourth man, in a silly habit, That gave the affront with them.

1 Cap.

So 'tis reported;

But none of them can be found.-Stand! who is there? Post. A Roman;

Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds

Had answered him.

2 Cap.

Lay hands on him; a dog! A leg of Rome shall not return to tell

What crows have pecked them here. He brags his service As if he were of note; bring him to the king.

Enter CYMBELINE, attended; BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, PISANIO, and Roman Captives. The Captains present POSTHUMUS to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Jailer: after which, all go out.

SCENE IV. A Prison.

Enter POSTHUMUS and two Jailers.

1 Jail. You shall not now be stolen, you have locks

upon you;

So graze as you find pasture.

2 Jail.

Ay, or a stomach. [Exeunt Jailers.
Post. Most welcome, bondage! for thou art a way,
I think to liberty. Yet am I better

Than one that's sick o' the gout; since he had rather
Groan so in perpetuity, than be cured

By the sure physician, death; who is the key

To unbar these locks. My conscience! thou art fettered
More than my shanks and wrists. You good gods, give me
The penitent instrument to pick that bolt,

Then, free forever! Is't enough, I am sorry?
So children temporal fathers do appease;
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent?
I cannot do it better than in gyves,
Desired, more than constrained; to satisfy,

If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take
No stricter render of me, than my all.

I know you are more clement than vile men,
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
A sixth, a tenth, letting them thrive again
On their abatement; that's not my desire.
For Imogen's dear life, take mine; and though
'Tis not so dear, yet 'tis a life; you coined it,
"Tween man and man, they weigh not every stamp;
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake.
You rather mine, being yours; and so, great powers,
If you will take this audit, take this life,
And cancel these cold bonds. O Imogen!
I'll speak to thee in silence.

[He sleeps.

Solemn music. Enter, as an apparition, SICILIUS LEONATUS, father to POSTHUMUS, an old man, attired like a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his wife, and mother to POSTHUMUS, with music before them. Then, after other music, follow the two young Leonati, brothers to POSTHUMUS, with wounds, as they died in the wars. They circle POSTHUMUS round, as he lies sleeping. Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, show

Thy spite on mortal flies;

With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,

That thy adulteries

Rates and revenges.

Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?

I died, whilst in the womb he staid
Attending nature's law.

Whose father, then, (as men report,
Thou orphans' father art,)

Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.

Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;

That from me was Posthumus ripped,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!

Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,

That he deserved the praise o' the world,

As great Sicilius' heir.

1 Bro. When once he was mature for man, In Britain where was he

That could stand up his parallel;
Or fruitful object be

In eye of Imogen, that best
Could deem his dignity?

Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mocked,
To be exiled and thrown
From Leonati' seat, and cast
From her his dearest one,
Sweet Imogen?

Sici. Why did you suffer Iachimo,
Slight thing of Italy,

To taint his nobler heart and brain
With needless jealousy;

And to become the geck and scorn
O'the other's villany?

2 Bro. For this, from stiller seats we came,
Our parents, and us twain,
That, striking in our country's cause,
Fell bravely, and were slain;

Our fealty, and Tenantius' right,

With honor to maintain.

1 Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath
To Cymbeline performed.

Then Jupiter, thou king of gods,
Why hast thou thus adjourned

The graces, for his merits due;
Being all to dolors turned?

Sici. Thy crystal window ope; look out;
No longer exercise,

Upon a valiant race, thy harsh

And potent injuries.

Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,

Take off his miseries.

Sici. Peep through thy marble mansion, help;

Or we, poor ghosts, will cry

To the shining synod of the rest,

Against thy deity.

2 Bro. Help, Jupiter; or we appeal,

And from thy justice fly.

JUPITER descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an

eagle: he throws a thunderbolt.


The ghosts fall on their

Jup. No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you, ghosts,

Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,

Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts? Poor shadows of Elysium, hence; and rest Upon your never-withering banks of flowers. Be not with mortal accidents oppressed;

No care of yours it is; you know, 'tis ours.
Whom best I love, I cross; to make my gift,
The more delayed, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift;

His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reigned at his birth, and in
Our temple was he married.-Rise, and fade! -
He shall be lord of lady Imogen,

And happier much by his affliction made.
This tablet lay upon his breast; wherein
Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine;
And so, away: no further with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.-
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.


Sici. He came in thunder; his celestial breath.
Was sulphurous to smell; the holy eagle
Stooped, as to foot us: his ascension is

More sweet than our blessed fields; his royal bird
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak,
As when his god is pleased.


Thanks, Jupiter!

Sici. The marble pavement closes; he is entered His radiant roof.-Away! and, to be blessed,

Let us with care perform his great behest. [Ghosts vanish. Post. [Waking.] Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire, and begot

A father to me; and thou hast created

A mother and two brothers. But (0 scorn!)

Gone! they went hence so soon as they were born.
And so I am awake.-Poor wretches that depend

On greatness' favor, dream as I have done;

Wake, and find nothing.-But, alas, I swerve.
Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
And yet are steeped in favors; so am I,
That have this golden chance, and know not why.
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 a good promise.

[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.

'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 Jailers.

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

Jail. 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.

Jail. 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 the 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. O! of this contradiction you shall now be quit.-O the charity of a penny cord! it sums up thousands in trice; you have no true debtor 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.

Jail. 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.

Jail. 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-inquiry on your own peril; and how you shall speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never return to tell me.

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