Imatges de pÓgina

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.

Jail. 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.

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.

Jail. I'll be hanged then.

Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a jailer; no bolts for the dead. [Exeunt POSTHUMUS and Messenger. Jail. 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 were one. I would we were all of one mind, and one mind good. O, there were desolation of jailers and gallowses! I speak against my present profit; but my wish hath a preferment in't. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. Cymbeline's Tent.


Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,

That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,

Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast
Stepped before targe of proof, cannot be found.
He shall be happy that can find him, if

Our grace can make him so.


I never saw

Such noble fury in so poor a thing;

Such precious deeds in one that promised nought

But beggary and poor looks.


Pis. He hath been searched among the dead and living, But no trace of him.


No tidings of him?

To my grief, I am

The heir of his reward; which I will add

To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,


By whom, I grant, she lives. 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are;-report it.



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

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.


Hail, great king!

To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.

Whom worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolonged, 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 confessed,
I will report, so please you. These her women
Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks,
Were present when she finished.


Pr'ythee, say.

Cor. First, she confessed she never loved you; only Affected greatness got by you, not you;

Married your royalty, was wife to your place;

Abhorred your person.


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.


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, lingering,

By inches waste you. In which time she purposed,
By watching, weeping, tendence, kissing, to
O'ercome you with her show; yes, in time,
(When she had fitted you with her craft,) to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown.
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless desperate; opened, in despite
Of Heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatched were not effected; so,
Despairing, died.

Heard you all this, her women?
Lady. We did, so please your highness.

Mine eyes

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming; it had been vicious
To have mistrusted her. Yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,

And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!

Enter LUCIUS, IACHIMO, the Soothsayer, and other Roman
prisoners, guarded; POSTHUMUS behind, and IMOGEN.
Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made suit,
That their good souls may be appeased with slaughter
Of you their captives, which ourself have granted.
So, think of your estate.

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 threatened
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives.
May be called 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 ransomed; never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,

So feat, so nurselike. 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 served a Roman. Save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.


His favor is familiar to me.

I have surely seen him;

Boy, thou hast looked thyself into my grace,

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


There's other work in hand.

No, no; alack,

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 perplexed?

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


Thou art my good youth, my page; Walk with me; speak freely. [CYMBELINE and IMOGEN converse apart.

I'll be thy master.

One sand another

Bel. Is not this boy revived from death?
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 further; 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.

Bel. Be silent; let's see further.


It is my mistress; [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 LACH.] step you forth;
Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;

Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it,
Which is our honor, 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.


What's that to him? [Aside. 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 constrained to utter that which Torments me to conceal. By villany

I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel;

Whom thou didst banish; and (which more may grieve thee,

As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er lived

'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord? Cym. All that belongs to this.

Iach. 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 strength:
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, (accursed
The mansion where!) 'twas at a feast, (O, 'would
Our viands had been poisoned! or, at least,
Those which I heaved 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 swelled boast
Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
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;-

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