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A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for; besides, that hook of wiving,
Fairness, which strikes the eye.

Cym. I stand on fire.
Come to the matter.

Iach. All too soon I shall,
Unless thou wouldīt grieve quickly. This Podhumus,
(Most like a noble lord in love, and one
That had a royal lover) took his hint;
And, not dispraising whom we prais'd (therein
He was as calm as virtue) he began
His mistress' picture ; which by his tongue being

And then a mind put in’t, either our brags
Were crack'd of kitchen-trulls; or his description
Prov'd us unspeaking fots.

Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose.

lach. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins.
He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: whereat, I, wretch!
Made fcruple of his praise; and wag'd with him
Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wore

last quotation from Scaliger well explains what Shakespeare meant by-brief nature ;-i. e. inelaborate, hafty, and careless as to the elegance of form, in respect of art, which uses the peculiar address, above explained, to arrive at perfection.

WARBURTON. I cannot help adding, that passages of this kind are but weak proofs that the poet was conversant with what we call at present the fine arts. The pantheons of his own age (several of which I have seen) give a most minute and particular account of the different degrees of beauty imputed to the different deities; and as Shakespeare had at least an opportunity of reading Chapman's trallation of Homer, the first part of which was published in 1596, and with additions in 1598, he might have taken these ideas from thence, without being at all indebted to his own particular observation or knowledge of the fine arts. It is surely more for the honour of our poet to remark how well he has employed the little knowledge he appears to have had of ftatuary or mythology, than from his frequent allusions to them to suppose he was intimately acquairted with either. Steev.

T 4


Upon his honour'd finger, to attain
In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery: he, true knight,
No lesier of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle 7
Of Phæbus' wheel; and might so fafely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, Sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaite daughter, the wide difference
*Twixt amorous, and villainous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my 'vantage, excellent :
And, to be brief, my practice so prevailid,
That I return’d with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,
By wounding his belief in her renown,
With tokens thus, and thus ; & averring notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,
(Oh, cunning! how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack’d,
I having ta'en the forfeit: whereupon-
Methinks, I see him now

Poft. Ay, so thou do'st, [Coming forward,
Italian fiend! —Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing
That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come!—Oh, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I

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$o in Aniony and Cleopatra ;

“ He has desery'd it, were it carbuncled
" Like Phæbus car.

averring notes] Such marks of the chamber and
pictures, as averred or confirmed my report. Johnson.


That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus
That kill'd thy daughter :-villain-like, I lie;
That caus'd a leffer villain than myself,
A facrilegious thief, to do’t: the temple
Of virtue was she, yea, 9 and she herself.
Spit, and throw stones, cait mire upon me, fet
The dogs o' the street to bay me.: every villain
Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus; and
Be villainy less than 'twas !-Oh Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife!' oh Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!

Imo. Peace, my lord; hear, hear

Post. Shall's have a play of this ? Thou scornful page, there lie thy part.

[Striking her, she falls. Pif

. Oh, gentlemen, help,
Mine, and your mistress—Oh, my lord Posthumus!
You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now. -Help, help!
Mine honour'd lady!

Cym. Does the world go round?
Post. How come 'these staggers on me?
Pif. Wake, my mistress!

Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
To death with mortal joy.

Pif. How fares my mistress ?

Imo. O, get thee from my sight;
Thou gav'st me poison : dangerous fellow, hence !
Breathe not, where princes are.

Cym. The tune of Imogen!

Pif: Lady, the gods throw stones of 'sulphur on
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.

Cym. New matter still?

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me, if


and she herself.] That is, She was not only the temple of virtue, but virtue herself. JOHNSON.

!- these flaggers-] This wild and delirious perturbation. Staggers is the horse's apoplexy. JOHNSON.


Imo. It poison'd me.

Cor. Oh gods!
I left out one thing which the queen confess’d,
Which must approve thee honest. If Pisanio
Have, said she, given his mistress that confection,
Which I gave him for cordial, she is serv'd
As I would ferve a rat.

Cym. What's this, Cornelius ?

Cor. The queen, Sir, very oft importun'd me
To temper poisons for her; still pretending
The fatisfaction of her knowledge, only
In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs
Of no ežteem: I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which, being ta’en, would cease
The present power of life; but, in short time,
All offices of nature should again
Do their due functions. Have you ta'en of it?

Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.
Bel. My boys, there was our error.
Guid. This is sure Fidele.
Imo. Why did


your wedded lady from


% Think, that you are upon a rock; and now Throw me again.


? Think, that you are upon a rock ;-) In this speech, or in the answer, there is little meaning. I suppose, ine would fay, Consider such another act as equally fatal to me with precipitation from a rock, and now let me see whether you will repeat it. Johnson.

Perhaps only a stage direction is wanting to clear this passage from obscurity. Imogen first upbraids her husband for the violent treatment he had just experienced; then confident of the return of paflion which she knew must succeed to the difcovery of her innocence, the poet might have meant her to rush into his arms, and while he clung about him faft, to dare him to throw her off a second time, left that precipitation should prove as fatal to them both as if the situation where they stood had been a rock. To which he replies, hang there, i.e. round my neck, till the frame that now supports you shall perish. STEEV.


Pot. Hang there like fruit, my soul, 'Till the tree die !

Cym. How now, my Aesh ? my child ?
What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act ?
Wilt thou not speak to me?
Imo. Your blefling, Sir.

[Kneeling Bel. Tho'you did love this youth, I blame you not; You had a motive for't. [To Guiderius and Arviragus.

Cym. My tears, that fall,
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother's dead.

Imo. I am sorry for't, my lord.

Cym. Oh, she was naught; and 'long of her it was, That we meet here so strangely; but her son Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

Pif, My lord, Now fear is from me, I'll speak truth. Lord Cloten, Upon my lady's missing, came to me With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, and swore, If I discover'd not which way she was gone, It was my instant death. By accident I had a feigned letter of my master's Then in my pocket; which directed him To seek him on the mountains near to Milford ; Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments, Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate My lady's honour." What became of him, I further know not.

Guid. Let me end the story :
I New him there,

Cym. Marry, the gods forefend!
I would not, thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard fentence; prythee, valiant youth,
Deny't again.

Guid. I have spoke it, and I did it.
Cym. He was a prince.

Guid. A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me


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