Imágenes de páginas


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, who
The king his father call’d Guiderius,- Jove !
When on my three-foot stool I sit and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say “Thus mine enemy fell,
And thus I set my foot on 's neck;' even then
The princely blood flows 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 shows much more
His own conceiving.—Hark, the game is roused !
O Cymbeline! heaven and my conscience knovs
Thou didst unjustly banish me : whereon,
At three and two years old, I stole these babes
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft’st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their

And every day do honour to her grave :
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd,
They take for natural father.

The game is up.



86. trick, art.
87. who, whom.
94. nerves, muscles.

96. in as like a figure, 'acting my words 'as graphically as his brother. While Guiderius'

gestures reflect the immediate impression of Belarius' tale, Arviragus, a more imaginative hearer, heightens what he hears by his greater energy of conception.


Country near Milford-Haven.



Imo. Thou told'st me, when we

came from horse, the place Was near at hand : ne'er long'd my mother so To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! man! Where is Posthumus ? What 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't be summer news, Smile to't before; if winterly, thou need'st But keep that countenance still. My husband's

hand! That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-craftied him, And he's at some hard point. Speak, man: thy

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

Please you, read;
shall find

man, a thing The most disdain'd of fortune. Imo. [Reads] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath

] ' played the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies

me, wretched


8. self-explication, the power of accounting for himself.

9. haviour, posture.

15. drug-damn'd, detested for its (poisonous) drugs.

whereof lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises, but from proof as strong as my grief and as certain as I expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio, must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life : I shall give thee 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.'

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

Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
All corners of the world : kings, queens and

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

To break it with a fearful dream of him
And cry myself awake ? that's false to’s 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 methinhs Thy favour 's good enough. Some jay of Italy 39. states, men of high estate. 51. jay, bedizened barlot.

50 60

Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd

him : Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion ; And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls, I must be ripp'd :—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

weeping Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity From most true wretchedness: so thou, Posthu

Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;
Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured
From thy great fail. Come, fellow, be thou honest :
Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou see'st

A little witness my obedience : look!
I draw the sword myself: take it, and hit
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart :
Fear not; 'tis empty of all things but grief:
Thy master is not there, who was indeed
The riches of it: do his bidding; strike.

70 80

52. Whose mother was her 61. Sinon, who induced the painting, who is 'made' by her Trojans to admit the wooden painted face. Cf. iv. 2. 81: 'he horse into Troy by pretending made those clothes, which, as it to be a Greek deserter. seems, make thee.

62. scandal, put a scandal 54. for, because. 60. false Æneas, i.e. in his

upon, defame. betrayal of Dido.

64. proper, fair seeming.

Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause;
But now thou seem'st a coward.

Hence, vile instrument !
Thou shalt not damn my hand.

Why, I must die ;
And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master's. Against self-slaughter
There is a prohibition so divine
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my

Something 's afore't. Soft, soft! we'll no defence;
Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
All turn'd to heresy ? Away, away,
Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
Be stomachers to my heart. Thus

may poor

fools Believe false teachers: though those that are betray'd Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor Stands in worse case of woe. And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up My disobedience 'gainst the king. my father And make me put into contempt the suits Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find It is no act of common passage, but A strain of rareness : and I grieve myself To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her That now thou tirest on, how thy memory Will then be pang'd by me. Prithee, dispatch: The lamb entreats the butcher : where's thy knife?

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81. afore't. Rowe's emendation of Ff afoot.

83. scriptures, his letters, which she had once devoutly believed.

90. set up, instigate. 93. fellows, equals.

94. common passage, common occurrence.

95. A strain of rareness, a disposition rarely found.

96. disedged by, sated with. 97.

tirest ravenously feedest on rimarily said of birds of prey).


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