Изображения страниц
PDF

Solemn Music. Enter, as an apparition, Sicilius

Leonatus, father to Posthumus, an old man, attired like a warrior; leading in his hand an ancient Matron, his wife, and mother to PostHUMUS, with music before them. Then, after other music, follow the two young LEONATI, brothers to Posthumus, with wounds, as they died in the wars. They circle PosthumUS

round, as he lies sleeping.
Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, shew

Thy spite on mortal flies :
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
That thy adulteries

Rates and revenges.
Hath my poor boy done aught but well,

Whose face I never saw ?
I died whilst in the womb he stayed,

Attending Nature's law.
Whose father then (as men report

Thou orphans' father art)
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him

From this earth-vexing smart.
Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid,

But took me in my throes;
· That from me was Posthumus ript,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,

A thing of pity!
Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry,

Moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserved the praise o' the world,

As great Sicilius' heir.
1st Bro. When once he was mature for man,

In Britain where was he
That could stand up bis parallel ;

Or fruitful object be
In eye of Imogen, that best

Could deem his dignity?
Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mocked,

To be exiled, and thrown
From Leonati' seat, and cast
From her his dearest one,

Sweet Imogen?
Sici. Why did you suffer Iachimo,

Slight thing of Italy,
To taint his nobler heart and brain

With needless jealousy ;
And to become the geck and scorn

O'the other's villany? 2nd Bro. For this, from stiller seats we came,

Our parents, and us twain,
That, striking in our country's cause,

Fell bravely, and were slain;
Our fealty, and Tenantius' right,

With honour to maintain.
1st Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus hath

To Cymbeline performed :

Then, Jupiter, thou king of gods,

Why hast thou thus adjourned
The graces for his merits due;

Being all to dolours turned ?
Sici. Thy crystal window ope; look out;

No longer exercise,
Upon a valiant race, thy harsh

And potent injuries :
Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good,

Take off his miseries.
Sici. Peep through thy marble mansion; help!

Or we poor ghosts will cry
To the shining synod of the rest,

Against thy deity.
2nd Bro. Help, Jupiter; or we appeal,

And from thy justice fly.
Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting

upon an eagle ; he throws a thunder-bolt. The

Ghosts fall on their knees.
Jup. No more, you petty spirits of region low,

Offend our hearing; hush!-How dare you, ghosts, Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt you know,

Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts? Poor shadows of Elysium, hence; and rest

Upon your never-withering banks of flowers: Be not with mortal accidents oppressed;

No care of yours it is; you know t'is ours. Whom best I love, I cross; to make my gift,

The more delayed, delighted. Be content; Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift:

His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent. Our Jovial star reigned at his birth, and in

Our temple was he married.-Rise, and fade! He shall be lord of lady Imogen,

And happier much by his affliction made. This tablet lay upon his breast; wherein

Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine; And so, away: no farther with your din

Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline. [ Ascends.

Sici. He came in thunder : his celestial breath Was sulphurous to smell: the holy eagle Stooped, as to foot us; his ascension is More sweet than our blessed fields : his royal bird i Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak, As when his god is pleased.

All. Thanks, Jupiter!

Sici. The marble pavement closes, he is entered His radiant roof. Away! and, to be blessed, Let us with care perform his great behest.

(Ghosts vanish.
Post. [waking). Sleep, thou hast been a grand-

sire, and begot
A father to me; and thou hast created
A mother and two brothers : but (O scorn!)
Gone! they went hence so soon as they were born.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Post. I am merrier to die than thou art to live. | He shall be happy that can find him, if

Gaol. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the Our grace can make him so. tooth-ache: but a man that were to sleep your Bel. I never saw sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think Such noble fury in so poor a thing; he would change places with his officer ; for, look Such precious deeds in one that promised nought you, sir, you know not which way you shall go. But beggary and poor looks. Post. Yes, indeed do I, fellow.

Cym. No tidings of him? Gaol. Your death has eyes in 's head then; I Pisa. He hath been searched among the dead have not seen him so pictured: you must either

and living, be directed by some that take upon them to know; But no trace of him. or take upon yourself that which I am sure you Cym. To my grief, I am do not know; or jump the after-inquiry on your The heir of his reward; which I will add own peril : and how you shall speed in your To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain, journey's end, I think you 'll never return to [To BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS. tell one.

By whom, I grant, she lives. "Tis now the time Post. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want To ask of whence you are : report it. eyes to direct them the way I am going, but Bel. Sir, such as wink, and will not use them.

In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen : Gaol. What an infinite mock is this, that a Further to boast were neither true nor modest, man should have the best use of eyes, to see the Unless I add, we are honest. way of blindness! I am sure hanging 's the way Cym. Bow your knees: of winking.

Arise, my knights o’the battle; I create you

Companions to our person, and will fit you
Enter a Messenger.

With dignities becoming your estates.
Mess. Knock off his manacles; bring your
prisoner to the king.

Enter Cornelius and Ladies. Post. Thou bringest good news: I am called There's business in these faces.—Why so sadly to be made free.

Greet you our victory ? you look like Romans, Gaol. I 'll be hanged, then.

And not o'the court of Britain. Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler ; Cor. Hail, great king! no bolts for the dead.

To sour your happiness, I must report [Exeunt Posthumus and Messenger. | The queen is dead. Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows, Cym. Whom worse than a physician and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so Would this report become? But I consider, prone. Yet, on my conscience, there are verier By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman : Will seize the doctor too. How ended she? and there be some of them too that die against 1 Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life; their wills; so should I, if I were one. I would Which, being cruel to the world, concluded we were all of one mind, and one mind good; | Most cruel to herself. What she confessed O, there were desolation of gaolers and gal- | I will report, so please you : these her women lowses! I speak against my present profit; but Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks, my wish hath a preferment in't. (Exeunt. Were present when she finished.

Cym. Pr'y thee, say.
Cor. First, she confessed she never loved you;

only
Scene V.-Cymbeline's Tent.

Affected greatness got by you, not you :

Married your royalty; was wife to your place; Enter CYMBELINE, Belarius, GUIDERIUS, Arvi

Abhorred your person. RAGUS, Pisanio, Lords, Officers, and At

Cym. She alone knew this: tendants.

And but she spoke it dying, I would not Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods | Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed. have made

Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart

to love That the poor soldier that so richly fought, With such integrity, she did confess Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life, breast

But that her flight prevented it, she had Stepped before targe of proof, cannot be found: | Ta'en off my poison.

Cym. O most delicate fiend ! Who is 't can read a woman ?-Is there more? Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess

she had
For you a mortal mineral; which, being took,
Should by the minute feed on life, and lingering,
By inches waste you: in which time she purposed,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O'ercome you with her show: yes, and in time
(When she had fitted you with her craft) to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown.
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; opened, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatched were not effected; so,
Despairing, died.

Cym. Heard you all this, her women?
Lady. We did, so please your highness.

Cym. Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful ;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming: it had been

vicious
To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other

Roman prisoners, guarded: Posthumus behind,

and Imogen.
Thou com’st not, Caius, now for tribute; that
The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made suit
That their good souls may be appeased with

slaughter ,
Of you their captives, which ourself have granted :
So think of your estate.

Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war: the day
Was yours by accident; had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cool, have

threatened
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be called ransom, let it come: sufficeth,
A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer :
Augustus lives to think on't: and so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing only
I will entreat: my boy, a Briton born,
Let him be ransomed: never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
With my request, which, I'll make bold, your

highness
Cannot deny: he hath done no Briton harm,
Though he have served a Roman: save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.

Cym. I have surely seen him; His favour is familiar to me.Boy, thou hast looked thyself into my grace, And art mine own. I know not why nor wherefore To say live, boy: ne'er thank thy master; live : And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt, Fitting my bounty and thy state, I'll give it; Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner, The noblest ta'en.

Imo. I humbly thank your highness.

Luc. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad; And yet I know thou wilt.

Imo. No, no: alack, There's other work in hand; I see a thing Bitter to me as death: your life, good master, Must shuffle for itself.

Luc. The boy disdains me, He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys That place them on the truth of girls and boys. Why stands he so perplexed ?

Cym. What wouldst thou, boy? I love thee more and more; think more and more What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st

on? Speak, Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend?

Imo. He is a Roman; no more kin to me Than I to your highness; who, being born your

vassal, Am something nearer.

Cym. Wherefore ey'st him so?

Imo. I 'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please To give me hearing.

Cym. Ay, with all my heart, And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

Imo. Fidele, sir.

Cym. Thou art, my good youth, my page; I'll be thy master : walk with me; speak freely.

[Cymbeline and Imogen converse apart. Bel. Is not this boy revived from death?

Arv. One sand another
Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
Who died, and was Fidele. What think you ?

Gui. The same dead thing alive.
Bel. Peace, peace! see further; he eyes us not;

forbear; Creatures may be alike : were't he, I am sure He would have spoke to us.

Gui. But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent; let's see further.

Pisa. It is my mistress : [Aside.
Since she is living, let the time run on
To good or bad.

[CYMBELINE and Imogen come forward. Cym. Come, stand thou by our side; Make thy demand aloud. — Sir [to Iachimo],

step you forth; Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;

Or by our greatness, and the grace of it,

And then a mind put in 't, either our brags Which is our honour, bitter torture shall

Were cracked of kitchen trulls, or his description Winnow the truth from falsehood.--On; speak | Proved us unspeaking sots. to him.

Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose. Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may render Tach. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins! Of whom he had this ring.

He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams, Post. What's that to him? [Aside. And she alone were cold: whereat, I, wretch!

Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say Made scruple of his praise; and wagered with him How came it yours?

Pieces of gold, 'gainst this, which then he wore Iach. Thou 'lt torture me to leave unspoken that Upon his honoured finger, to attain Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.

In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring Cym. How! me?

By hers and mine adultery: he, true knight, Iach. I am glad to be constrained to utter that No lesser of her honour confident which

Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring; Torments me to conceal. By villany

And would so had it been a carbuncle I got this ring : 'twas Leonatus' jewel;

Of Phæbus' wheel; and might so safely, had it Whom thou didst banish ; and (which more may Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain grieve thee,

Post I in this design: well may you, sir, As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er lived

Remember me at court, where I was taught 'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, Of your chaste daughter the wide difference my lord ?

"T wixt amorous and villanous. Being thus Cym. All that belongs to this.

quenched Iach. That paragon, thy daughter, Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits 'Gan in your duller Britain operate Quail to remember, -Give me leave; I faint. Most vilely! for my vantage, excellent; Cym. My daughter! what of her? Renew thy And, to be brief, my practice so prevailed, strength :

That I returned with simular proof enough I had rather thou shouldst live while nature will, To make the noble Leonatus mad, Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak. By wounding his belief in her renown

Iach. Upon a time (unhappy was the clock With tokens, thus and thus; averring notes That struck the hour!)-it was in Rome (accursed Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet The mansion where!)—'t was at a feast (O’would (0, cunning, how I got it!), nay, some marks Our viands had been poisoned! or, at least, Of secret on her person, that he could not Those which I heaved to head!)-the good Post But think her bond of chastity quite cracked, humus

I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,(What should I say? he was too good to be

Methinks I see him now,Where ill men were ; and was the best of all

Post. Ay, so thou dost, Amongst the rar’st of good ones), sitting sadly,

[Coming forward. Hearing us praise our loves of Italy

Italian fiend !-Ah me, most credulous fool, For beauty that made barren the swelled boast Egregious murderer, thief, anything Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming That's due to all the villains past, in being, The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva, To come! O, give me cord, or knife, or poison, Postures beyond brief nature; for condition, Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out A shop of all the qualities that man

For torturers ingenious: it is I Loves woman for; besides, that hook of wiving, That all the abhorréd things o'the earth amend, Fairness, which strikes the eye :

By being worse than they. I am Posthumus, Cym. I stand on fire:

That killed thy daughter :- villain-like, I lie ; Come to the matter. ·

That caused a lesser villain than myself, Iach. All too soon I shall,

A sacrilegious thief, to do't:the temple Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly.-- This Post | Of virtue was she; yea, and she berself. humus

Spit and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set (Most like a noble lord in love, and one

The dogs o' the street to bay me: every villain That had a royal lover) took his hint;

Be called Posthumus Leonatus; and
And, not dispraising whom we praised (therein Be villany less than ’t was !-O Imogen!
He was as calm as virtue), he began

My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen!
His mistress' picture; which by his tongue being | Imogen, Imogen!
made,

Imo.

Peace, my lord; hear, hear!

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »