« PreviousContinue »
Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd,
Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes
(For such and so they are), these twenty years
Have I train’d up: those arts they have, as I
Could put into them; My breeding was, Sir, as
Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile,
Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children
Upon my banishment: I moved her to’t;
Having received the punishment before,
For that which I did then : Beaten for loyalty
Excited me to treason: Their dear loss,
The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shaped
Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious Sir,
Here are your sons again; and I must lose
Two of the sweet'st companions in the world ;-
The benediction of these covering heavens
Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy
To inlay heaven with stars.
Cym. Thou weep’st, and speak'st.
The service that you three have done, is more
Unlike than this thou tell'st: I lost my children;
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A pair of worthier sons,
Bel. Be pleased awhile.
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius;
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
Your younger princely son; he, Sir, was lappd
In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand
Of his queen mother, which, for more probation,
I can with ease produce.
Cym. Guiderius had
Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
It was a mark of wonder.
Bel. This is he;
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp;
It was wise nature's end in the donation,
To be his evidence now.
Cym. O, what am I
A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
Rejoiced deliverance more:-Bless'd may you be,
That after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now !--O Imogen,
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.
Imo. No, my lord ; I have got two worlds by't.–O my gentle brothers; Have we thus met? O never say hereafter, But I am truest speaker : you call’d me brother, When I was but your sister; I you brothers, When you were so indeed.
Cym. Did you e'er meet? Arv. Ay, my good lord.
Gui. And at first meeting loved ;
Continued so, until we thought he died.
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
Cym. O rare instinct !
When shall I hear all through? This fierce * abridgment
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in. t-Where ? how lived you ?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive ?
How parted with your brothers ? how first met
Why fled you from the court ? and whither? These,
And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded;
And all the other by-dependencies,
From chance to chance; but nor the time, nor place,
Will serve our long intergatories. See,
Posthumus anchors upon Imogen;
And she, like
harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brothers, me, her master; hitting
Each object with a joy; the counterchange
Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.-
Thou art my brother; So we'll hold thee ever. [To BELARIUS.
Imo. You are my father too: and did relieve me,
To see this gracious season.
Cym. All overjoy'd,
Save these in bonds ; let them be joyful too,
For they shall taste our comfort.
Imo. My good master,
I will yet do you service.
Luc. Happy be you!
Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought,
He would have well becomed this place, and graced
The thankings of a king.
Post. I am, Sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then follow'd ;-that I was he,
I had you down, and might
Have made you finish.
Iach. I am down again :
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech you,
Which I so often owe: but, your ring first;
And here the bracelet of the truest princess,
That ever swore her faith.
Post. Kneel not to me;
The power that I have on you, is to spare you;
The malice towards you, to forgive you: Live,
And deal with others better.
Cym. Nobly doom'd:
+ 1.e. be rendered distinct by an ample narrative. VOL. IV.
We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law;
Pardon 's the word to all.
Arv. You holp us, Sir,
As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Joy'd are we, that you are.
Post. Your servant, princes.-Good my lord of Rome,
Call forth your soothsayer: As I slept, methought,
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back,
Appear'd to me, with other sprightly shows *
Of mine own kindred: When I waked, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection † of it; let him show
His skill in the construction.
Sooth. Here, my good lord.
Luc. Read; and declare the meaning.
Sooth. (reads]. When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd branches, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and flourish in peace and plenty. Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp; The fit and apt construction of thy name, Being. Leo-natus, doth import so much : The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter, [To CYMBELINE. Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer We term it mulier : which mulier, I divine, Is this most constant wife; who, even now, Answering the letter of the oracle, Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about With this most tender air.
Cym. This hath some seeming.
Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee: and thy lopp'd branches point
Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stolen,
For many years thought dead, are now revived,
To the majestic cedar join'd; whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.
My peace we will begin :- And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,
And to the Roman empire; promising,
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen ;
Whom heavens, in justice (both on her and hers),
Have laid most heavy hand.
Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune
The harmony of this peace. The vision
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant
* Ghostly appearances.
+ Collected meaning.
Is full accomplish’d: For the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o’ the sun
So vanish'd: which for show'd our princely eagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline
Which shines here in the west.
Cym. Laud we the gods;
And let our crooked smokes.climb* to their nostrils
From our bless'd altars ! Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward : Let
A Roman and a British ensign wave
Friendly together: so through Lud's town march:
in the temple of great Jupiter
Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts.
Set on there :-Never was a war did cease,
Ere bloody hands were wash’d, with such a peace.
LEAR, King of Britain.
An OFFICER, employed by Ed. KING OF FRANCE.
mund. DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
GENTLEMAN, Attendant on CorDUKE OF CORNWALL.
delia. DUKE OF ALBANY.
EARL OF KENT.
SERVANTS to Cornwall.
EARL OF GLOSTER.
EDGAR, Son to Gloster.
EDMUND, Bastard Son to Gloster. REGAN, Daughters to Lear.
CURAN, a Courtier.
OLD MAN, Tenant to Gloster.
KNIGHTS attending on the King, FOOL.
OFFICERS, MESSENGERS, SOLOSWALD, Steward to Goneril.
DIERS, and ATTENDANTS.
SCENE I.--A Room of State in King LEAR's Palace.
Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
Kent. I thought, the king had more affected the duke of
Albany, than Cornwall.
Glo. It did always seem so to us: but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most; for equalities are so weigh'd, that curiosity* in neither can make choice of either's moiety.t
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ? Glo. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to it.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon she grew round-wombed; and had, indeed, Sir, a son for her cradle, ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault ?
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper. I
Glo. But I have, Sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came somewhat saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, * Scrupulous nicety,