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character of manhood which she is enacting. Hence it is, that the indefinable captivation which, in her page's garb, she exercises over every beholder, never once occasions her sex to be suspected. Herein, therefore, the strength and subtlety of her intellect are especially conspicuous; the more so for the presence in her of that exquisitely feminine nature, which enhances the difficulty of her assuming the masculine character, by rendering it quite impossible for her to follow Pisanio's instruction that she should change “fear and niceness”

to a waggish courage, Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and As quarrellous as the weasel.

We must select two short passages which peculiarly illustrate this observation. The first is that where she comes out of the cave, when surprised by the return of Belarius and his youths from the chase. The “ fear and niceness” of “ woman its pretty self," exhibited in this charming scene, have been much remarked; yet these, we contend, form not the predominating qualities of her deportment on this casion,—which we take to be, her clear conception of her own position at the moment, and her ready fertility of thought and language suited to the emergency-in one word, as we have said before, her

, , practical sagacity. Having ever, as a princess, been

. taught that “all's savage but at court, the language of propitiation which here she so eloquently utters, proceeds rather from an undisturbed intelligence than from the agitation of fear,-appealing to the reason as irresistibly as to the feelings:

Good masters, harm me not.
Before I enter'd here, I call’d; and thought
To have begg’d, or bought, what I have took. Good troth,
I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had found
Gold strew'd o' the floor. Here's money for
I would have left it on the board, so soon
As I had made my meal; and parted
With prayers for the provider.

Money, youth!


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my meat :

Arviragus. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt !
As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.

I see, you are angry.
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
Have died had I not made it.

Whither bound?
Imo. To Milford-haven, sir.

What is

your name?
Imo. Fidele, sir: I have a kinsman, who
Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford ;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,

I am fallen in this offence. Again, how her strong understanding, no less than her noble heart, appears in the comment which she afterwards makes upon her undeception regarding the character of these mountaineers :

These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I have heard !
Our courtiers say, all's savage but at court:
Experience, oh, thou disprov'st report !
The imperious seas breed monsters; for the dish,

Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.

The other passage to which we have alluded, is that where she prevails on her outlaw entertainers to leave her, though unwell, alone at the cave, and attend to their daily occupation :

Bel. You are not well : remain here in the cave;
We'll come to you

after hunting.

Brother, stay here:
Are we not brothers ?

So man and man should be ;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.

Guid. Go you to hunting—I'll abide with him.

Imo. So sick I am not. Yet I am not well ;
But not so citizen a wanton, as
To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me.
Stick to your journal course : the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill; but your being by me
Cannot amend me: society is no comfort
To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here:
I'll rob none but myself; and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.

The exquisite pathos of the scenes where Belarius and the brothers lament over the seeming death of “the bird that they had made so much on," has been universally felt and acknowledged: yet an injury is done to it by the present mode of performing them at Drury-Lane, which, in justice to the dramatist, we feel bound to point out. The dirge by Collins, indeed, has been very properly dismissed as a piece of meretricious obtrusion; but the sort of duet into which the simply recited verses of Shakespeare have been converted, does hardly less violence to the spirit of the original passage. Shakespeare, in his every piece, like a true and great artist, keeps the musical in strict subordination to the dramatic,-a principle which, in dealing with his plays, no manager is at liberty to compromise. The poet, in the instance before us, is not seeking to regale the ears of his audience, but has the nobler purpose of striking deeply into their hearts. The affectionate grief of these artless youths for the loss of their lovely companion, whom we, the auditors, know to be their sister—with this it is that he cares to impress us, not with an admiration of their cultivated vocal powers, the incongruity of gifting them with which, under their homely training, was also, doubtless, present to his mind. We have already pointed out the beautiful contrast which he sets before us, between Iachimo's refined description of the sleeping Imogen, and Arviragus's simple effusion over the lifeless Fidele; and to us it is equally plain that Shakespeare designed the like opposition, in every way, between the “wonderful sweet air” of Cloten's serenade which follows upon Iachimo's oration, and the verses which the mourning brothers had, when children, sung over their foster-mother, but are now too much choked by manly grief to sing over the corpse of their adopted brother : Guid.

I cannot sing : I'll weep, and word it with thee;
For notes of sorrow, out of tune, are worse
Than priests and fanes that lie.

We'll speak it, then.


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Here, we do think, the poet should have been felt to have given a sufficient admonition to forbear converting into a sort of operatic chant the artless lines that follow, like the rough sighing of autumnal winds among the fallen and the falling leaves !

The awaking of Imogen from the trance into which Pisanio's potion had thrown her, and the recognition of what she supposes to be the headless corpse of her husband, is a scene of agony much akin to that of the waking of Juliet in the sepulchral vault. The revulsion of feeling is even more violent. The horror of recognizing Posthumus's person with such certainty, as she thinks, by the figure and the dress, but missing those adored features on which she had been wont to hang so fondly,—with the conviction flashing at the same moment across her mind that her husband, after all, was true to her, and her servant false, in league with their common enemy,—may well draw from her the exclamation

All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks,
And mine to boot, be darted on thee !

Here, again, the dramatist makes his heroine conduct herself in strict accordance with his general conception of her character. Left, she supposes, friendless in the world, by the death of her husband, and the treachery of the man whom they had believed to be their one faithful adherent, she yields to the sole offer of kindliness that presents itself to her upon earth, and attaches herself

, in her page's character, to the service of the Roman commander. And with what exquisite art is the greatest probability given to this passage-with what beautiful and pathetic truth of nature is it managed. How charmingly is her undeviating presence of mind, as to her masculine part and her page's attire, made to produce from her, in answer to the Roman's enquiry, “ What art thou ?" that touching expression of fond fidelity, which only the soul of an Imogen, and under that peculiar combination of circumstances, could have breathed


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I am nothing: or if not,
Nothing to be were better. This was my master,
A very valiant Briton, and a good,
That here by mountaineers lies slain. Alas!
There are no more such masters : I may

From east to occident, cry out for service,
Try many, all good, serve truly, never

Find such another master! Already she has been informed, of “noble Lucius," that “he's honourable, and, doubling that, most holy.” We are, therefore, prepared for his kind response to this tender lamentation, and for Imogen's consent to follow him :

'Lack, good youth!
Thou mov'st no less with thy complaining, than
Thy master in bleeding,
Wilt take thy chance with me? I will not say,
Thou shalt be so well master'd; but, be sure,
No less belov’d. The Roman emperor's letters,
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner
Than thine own worth prefer thee. Go with me.

Imogen. I'll follow, sir. But first, an't please the gods,
I'll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild-wood leaves and weeds I have strew'd his grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o'er,— I'll weep, and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.

Ay, good youth;
And rather father thee, than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties.
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can,
And make him, with our pikes and partisans,
A grave.

And here we see the honourable interment of her dear lord's remains, establishing already a bond of deepest gratitude in the noble heart of Imogen towards her new protector. How she discharged it, appears

in the terms in which Lucius afterwards entreats of Cymbeline to spare her life alone among the Roman prisoners

Never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,

Let us

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