Imágenes de páginas

SCENE II. Field of battle between the British

and Roman camps.

Enter, from one side, LUCIUS, IACHIMO, and

the Roman Army; from the other side, the British Army; LEONATUS POSTHUMUS fol. lowing, like a poor soldier. They march over and go out. Then enter again, in skirmish, IACHIMO and POSTHUMUS: he vanquisheth

and disarmeth IACHIMO, and then leaves him. Iach. The heaviness and guilt within my

Takes off my manhood : I have belied a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on 't
Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature's, have subdued me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours,

As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.


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The battle continues; the Britons fly; CYMBE

LINE is taken : then enter, to his rescue,

Bel. Stand, stand! We have the advantage

of the ground:
The lane is guarded : nothing routs us but
The villany of our fears.

Stand, stand, and fight !
4. cari, churl.

12. lane, narrow defile.


Re-enter POSTHUMUS, and seconds the Britons ;

they rescue CYMBELINE, and exeunt. Then

re-enter Lucius, and IACHIMO, with IMOGEN. Luc, Away, boy, from the troops, and save

For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
As war were hoodwink'd.

'Tis their fresh supplies. Luc. It is a day turn'd strangely: or betimes Let's re-inforce, or fly.


SCENE III. Another part of the field.

Enter POSTHUMUS and a British Lord.

Lord. Camest thou from where they made the

stand ? Post.

I did :
Though you, it seems, come from the fliers.

I did.
Post. No blame be to you, sir ; for all was lost,
But that the heavens fought : the king himself
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
Through a strait lane; the enemy full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, having work
More plentiful than tools to do’t, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Merely through fear; that the strait pass was

damm'd With dead men hurt behind, and cowards living To die with lengthen'd shame. 8. Lolling the tongue ; a mark of bloodthirstiness in wild beasts.

IO 20


Where was this lane?
Post. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd

with turf;
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier,
An honest one, I warrant; who deserved
So long a breeding as his white beard came to,
In doing this for 's country : at

art the lane,
He, with two striplings—lads more like to run
The country base than to commit such slaughter ;
With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer
Than those for preservation cased, or shame,-
Made good the passage; cried to those that fled,
• Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men:
To darkness fleet souls that fly backwards. Stand ;
Or we are Romans and will give you that
Like beasts which you shun beastly, and may

But to look back in frown: stand, stand.' These

Three thousand confident, in act as many—
For three performers are the file when all
The rest do nothing—with this word 'Stand,

Accommociated by the place, more charming
With their own nobleness, which could have

turn'd A distaff to a lance, gilded pale looks, Part shame, part spirit renew'd; that some,


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turn'd coward


The country base, the 30. the file, the whole force. game of prisoner's base.

32. charming, prevailing as 22. those, i.e. ladies' faces, masked for the sake of their

by a charm. complexion or to avoid exposure. 34. gilded, flushed. The 27. beastly, beastlike.

word was idiomatically used for 28. But to look, merely by 'to make red,' especially with looking

blood or wine.



But by example—0, a sin in war,
Damn'd in the first beginners !-gan to look
The way that they did, and to grin like lions
Upon the pikes o' the hunters.

Then began
A stop i' the chaser, a retire, anon
A rout, confusion thick; forth with they fly
Chickens, the way which they stoop'd eagles; ;

slaves, The strides they victors made: and now

cowards, Like fragments in hard voyages, became The life o' the need : having found the back-door

open Of the unguarded hearts, heavens, how they

wound ! Some slain before ; some dying ; some their friends O’er-borne i’ the former wave : ten, chased by one, Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty: Those that would die or ere resist are grown The mortal bugs o' the field. Lord.

This was strange chance:
A narrow lane, an old man, and two boys.

Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: you are made
Rather to wonder at the things you hear
Than to work any. Will you rhyme upon’t,
And vent it for a mockery? Here is one:
'Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane,
Preserved the Britons, was the Romans' bane.'

Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir.


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43. they; Theobald's excellent preserved us in the emergency. correction of Ff the. The bold


mortal buss, deadly use of apposition is one of the terrors. marks of Shakespeare's latest 53. Nay, do not wonder at it: style.

you are made, etc., i.e. the deed 44. fragments, remnants of was only wonderful in the food.

eyes of weaklings who could do 44. became the life o' the need, nothing but wonder.

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’Lack, to what end?
Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend ;
For if he 'll do as he is made to do,
I know he 'll quickly fly my friendship too.
You have put me into rhyme.

Farewell ; you


angry. Post. Still going ? [Exit Lord.] This is a

lord ! O noble misery,
To be i' the field, and ask 'what news?' of me!
To-day how many would have given their honours
To have saved their carcases ! took heel to do't,
And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charm’d,
Could not find death where I did hear him groan,
Nor feel him where he struck: being an ugly

'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words; or bath more ministers than we
That draw his knives i' the war. Well, I will find

him :
For being now a favourer to the Briton,
No more a Briton, I have resumed again
The part I came in : fight I will no more,
But yield me to the veriest hind that shall
Once touch


shoulder. Great the slaughter is Here made by the Roman; great the answer be Britons must take. For me, my ransom 's death ; 80 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. First Cap. Great Jupiter be praised! Lucius

is taken. Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels.

75. No more a Briton; i.e. at heart, resumes the Roman side, Posthumus, though still a Briton and perhaps the Roman dress.

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