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on every side by a determination of purpose, whether in the shape of violence, wickedness, or folly, against which, under ordinary circumstances, innocence may be supposed to be an insufficient shield. But the very belplessness of Imogen is her protection. In the exquisite Second Scene of the Second Act, the perfect purity of Imogen, as interpreted by Shakspere, has converted what would have been a most dangerous situation in the hands of another poet, into one of the most refined delicacy.—The immediate danger is passed ; but there is a new danger approaching. The will of her unhappy husband, deceived into madness, is to be added to the evils which she has already received from violence and selfishness. Posthumus, intending to destroy her, writes “ Take notice that I am in Cambria at Milford-Haven; what your own love will out of this advise you, follow.” She does follow her own love ;-she has no other guide but the strength of her affections; that strength makes her hardy and fearless of consequences. It is the one duty, as well as the one pleasure, of her existence. How is that affection requited ? Pisanio places in her hand, when they have reached the deepest solitude of the mountains, that letter by which he is commanded to take away her life. One passing thought of herselfone faint reproach of her husband,--and she submits to the fate which is prepared for her. But her truth and innocence have already subdued the will of the sworn servant of her husband. He comforts her, but he necessarily leaves her in the wilderness. The spells of evil wills are still around hier:
"My noble mistress, Here is a box, I had it from the queen.”
Perhaps there is nothing in Shakspere more beautifully managed,
,-more touching in its romance,-more essentially true to nature,—than the scenes between Imogen and her unknown brothers. The gentleness, the grace, the “grief and patience," of the helpless Fidele, producing at once the deepest reverence and affection in the bold and daring mountaineers, still carry forward the character of Imogen under the same aspects. “The bird is dead;" she was sick, and we almost fear that the words of the dirge are true.--But she awakes, and she has still to endure the last and the worst evil-her husband, in her apprehension, lies dead before her. She has no wrongs to think of-“O my lord, my lord,” is all, in connexion with Posthumus, that escapes amidst her tears. The beauty and innocence which saved her from Iachimo,—which conquered Pisanio,—which won the wild hunters,-commend her to the Roman general-she is at once protected. But she bas holy duties still to perform. It is the unconquerable affection of Imogen which makes us pity Posthumus even while we blame him for the rash exercise of his revengeful will. But in his deep repentance we more than pity him. We see only another victim of worldly craft and selfishness.—In the prison scene his spirit is again united with hers.—The contest we now feel is over between the selfish and the unselfish, the craîty and the simple, the proud and the meek, the violent and the gentle.
CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
Act IV. sc. 3. Act V. sc. 5.
Act II. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act IIl. sc. 1 ;
sc. 5. Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 2,
SC. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 5.
name of Polydore, supposed son to Belarius. Appears, Act III. sc. 3 ; sc. 6. Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 4. Act V.
sc. 2; sc. 5. Arviragus, son to Cymbeline, disguised under the
name of Cadwal, supposed son to Belarius. Appears, Act III. sc. 3; sc. 6. Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 4. Act V.
sc. 2; sc. 5.
Appcars, Act I. sc. 5. Act II. sc. 4.
sc, 2; sc. 5.
Appears, Act I. sc. 5.
Caius Lucius, general of the Roman forces. Appears, Act III. sc. 1; sc. 5. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. se. 2 ;
A Roman Captain.
Appear, Act V. sc. 3.
CORNELIUS, a physician.
Appear, Act I. sc. 1.
Appear, Act V. sc. 4.
QUEEN, wife to Cymbeline. Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 6. • Act II. sc. 3. Act III. sc. I; sc. 5. Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline, by a former Queen.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 7. Act II. sc. 2; sc. 3. Act III. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 6. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. sc. 5.
HELEN, woman to Imogen.
Appears, Act II. sc. 2
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Appari.
tions, re Soothsayer, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants. SCENE-SOMETIMES IN BRITAIN; SOMETIMES
SCENE I.-Britain. The Garden behind Cymbe,
Enter Two Gentlemen. 1 Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns : our
bloods No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers Still seem as does the king.a 2 Gent.
But what's the matter ? 1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his kingdom,
None but the king ?
a Blood is used by Shakspere for natural disposition. The meaning of the passage then is-You do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods do not more obey the heavens than our courtiers still seem as the king seems.