Imatges de pÓgina
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Cleo. Remember'st thou any that have died on't? Clown. Very many, men and women too. heard of one of them no longer than yesterday: a very honest woman, but something given to lie; as a woman should not do, but in the way of honesty: how she died of the biting of it, what pain she felt, -Truly, she makes a very good report o'the worm: But he that will believe all that they say, shall never be saved by half that they do: But this is most fallible, the worm's an odd worm.

Cleo. Get thee hence; farewell. Clown. I wish you all joy of the worm. Cleo. Farewell. [Clown sets down the basket. Clown. You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.3

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Re-enter Iras, with a robe, crown, &c. Cleo. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me: Now no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip:Yare, yare,4 good Iras; quick.-Methinks, I hear Antony call; I see him rouse himself To praise my noble act; I hear him mock The luck of Cæsar, which the gods give men To excuse their after wrath: Husband, I come; Now to that name my courage prove my title! I am fire, and air; my other elements I give to baser life.-So,-have you done? Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips. Farewell, kind Charmian ;-Iras, long farewell. [Kisses them. Iras falls and dies. Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, Which hurts, and is desir'd. Dost thou lie still? If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world It is not worth leave-taking.

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This proves me base:
If she first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her; and spend that kiss,
Which is my heaven to have. Come, mortal wretch,

With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
[To the asp, which she applies to her breast.
Of life at once untie : poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and despatch. O, could'st thou speak!
That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass
Unpolicied !5
Char.
Cleo.

O eastern star!

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Char.
O, break! O, break!
Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as
gentle,-

O Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too :-
[Applying another asp to her arm.
What should I stay- [Falls on a bed, and dies.
Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well.-
Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies
A lass unparallel'd.-Downy windows, close;
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
Of
eyes again so royal! Your crown's awry;
I'll mend it, and then play.

Enter the Guard, rushing in.

1 Guard. Where is the queen? Char.

Speak softly, wake her not.

1 Guard. Cæsar hath sentChar.

O, come; apace, despatch: 1 Guard. Approach, ho! sar's beguil'd.

Too slow a messenger.
[Applies the asp.
I partly feel thee.
All's not well: Cæ-

2 Guard. There's Dolabella sent from Cæsar;call him.

1 Guard. What work is here?-Charmian, is

this well done?

Char. It is well done, and fitting for a princess Descended of so many royal kings. Ah, soldier!

Enter Dolabella.

[Dies.

Dol. How goes it here? 2 Guard. All dead. Dol. Cæsar, thy thoughts Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou So sought'st to hinder.

[Within.] A way there, way for Cæsar!

Enter Cæsar, and Attendants. Dol. O, sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.

Cœs.

Bravest at the last : She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal, Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths? I do not see them bleed. Dol.

Who was last with them? 1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought her figs; This was his basket. Cœs.

1 Guard.

Poison'd then.

O Cæsar,

This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood, and spake:

I found her tri.nming up the diadem

(4) Make haste.

(5) Unpolitic, to leave me to myself.

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This play keeps curiosity always busy, and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick mind forward without intermission, from the first succession of one personage to another, call the act to the last. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the frequent changes of the scene; for, except the feminine arts, some of which are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not easily miss what he desired to find, has discov. ered that the language of Antony is, with great skill and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice. But I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others: the most tumid speech in the play is that which Cæsar makes to Octavia.

The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connection or care of disposition.

JOHNSON.

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ACT I.

SCENE I-Britain. The garden behind Cymbeline's palace. Enter Two Gentlemen. 1 Gentleman.

You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods!
No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers;
Still seem, as does the king's.
2 Gent.
But what's the matter?
1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his king-
dom, whom

He purpos'd to his wife's sole son (a widow,
That late he married,) hath referr'd herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman: She's wedded;
Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd: all
Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king
Be touch'd at very heart.

2 Gent.

None but the king? 1 Gent. He, that hath lost her, too: so is the queen,

That most desir'd the match: But not a courtier,
Although they wear their faces to the bent
Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowl at.

2 Gent. And why so? 1 Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess, is a thing Too bad for bad report: And he that hath her, (I mean, that married her,―alack, good man!And therefore banish'd) is a creature such As, to seek through the regions of the earth For one his like, there would be something failing In him that should compare. I do not think So fair an outward, and such stuff within, Endows a man but he.

You speak him far.2

2 Gent.
1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself;
Crush him together, rather than unfold

(1) Inclination, natural disposition.
(2) i. e. You praise him extensively.

(3) My praise, however extensive, is within his

merit.

VOL. II

His measure duly.*
2 Gent.
What's his name, and birth?
1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root: His father
Was call'd Sicilius, who did join his honour,
Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;
But had his titles by Tenantius,4 whom
He serv'd with glory and admir'd success:
So gain'd the sur-addition, Leonatus:
And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who, in the wars o'the time,
Died with their swords in hand; for which their
father

(Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow,
That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas'd
As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
To his protection; calls him Posthumus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber:
Puts him to all the learnings that his time
Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as 'twas minister'd; and
In his spring became a harvest: Liv'd in court,
(Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov'd:
A sample to the youngest; to the more mature,
A glass that feated them; and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards: to his mistress,
For whom he now is banish'd,-her own price
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue;
By her election may be truly read,
What kind of man he is.

I honour him

But, 'pray you, tell me,

2 Gent. Even out of your report. Is she sole child to the king? 1 Gent.

His only child. He had two sons (if this be worth your hearing, Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old, I'the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery Were stolen: and to this hour, no guess in knowledge Which way they went. 2 Gent.

How long is this ago? 1 Gent. Some twenty years.

(4) The father of Cymbeline.
(5) Formed their manners.
3 C

2 Gent. That a king's children should be so con- || You gentle gods, give me but this I have, vey'd!

So slackly guarded! And the search so slow,
That could not trace them!
1 Gent.

Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
Yet is it true, sir.
2 Gent.

I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen, and princess. [Exeunt. SCENE II-The same. Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.

Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter,

After the slander of most step-mothers,
Evil-ey'd unto you: you are my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win the offended king,

I will be known your advocate: marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him; and 'twere good,
You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

Post.

I will from hence to-day. Queen.

Please your highness,

You know the peril :

I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
The pangs of barr'd affections; though the king
Hath charg'd you should not speak together.

Imo.

[Exit Queen. 0,

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And sear up my embracements from a next With bonds of death!-Remain thou here

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That should'st repair my youth: thou heapest A year's age on me!

Imo. I beseech you, sir, Harm not yourself with your vexation; I Am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare Subdues all pangs, all fears.

Cym.

Past grace? obedience? Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past

grace.

Cym. That might'st have had the sole son of

my queen!

Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle,

And did avoid a puttock.6

Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have made my throne

A seat for baseness.

Imo.

A lustre to it.

Cym. Imo.

No; I rather added

O thou vile one!

Sir,

It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus :
You bred him as my playfellow; and he is
A man, worth any woman; overbuys me
Almost the sum he pays.
What!-art thou mad!
Cym.
Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me !-'Would
I were

A neat-herd's daughter! and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd's son !

Cym.

Re-enter Queen.

Thou foolish thing!-They were again together: you have done [To the Queen. Not after our command. Away with her, And pen her up.

Queen.

'Beseech your patience :-Peace, Dear lady daughter, peace;-Sweet sovereign, Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some

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