gallowses! I speak against my present profit, but my wish hath a preferment in't.





PISANIO, Lords, Officers, and Attendants.
Cym. Stand by my side, you whom the gods have

Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,
That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked breast
Stepp'd before targe of proof, cannot be found :
He shall be happy that can find him, if
Our grace can make him so.

I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one, that promis'd nought
But beggary and poor looks.

No tidings of him?
Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead and

But no trace of him.

To my grief, I am
The heir of his reward; which I will add
To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,
By whom, I grant, she lives. 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are :—report it.

In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen.
· Farther to boast, were neither true nor modest,
Unless I add, we are honest.

Bow your knees.

Arise, my knights o' the battle: I create you
Companions to our person, and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.

Enter CORNELIUS and Ladies.
There's business in these faces.—Why so sadly
Greet you our victory? you look like Romans,
And not o’the court of Britain.

Hail, great king!
To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.

Whom worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolong’d, yet death
Will seize the doctor too.—How ended she?

Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life;
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confess'd,
I will report, so please you: these her women,
Can trip me, if I err, who with wet cheeks
Were present when she finish'd.

Pr’ythee, say.
Cor. First, she confess'd she never lov'd you; only
Affected greatness got by you, not you:
Married your royalty, was wife to your place,
Abhorr’d your person.

She alone knew this; And, but she spoke it dying, I would not Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.

Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love With such integrity, she did confess Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,

8 — whom she bore in hand to love] i. e. whom she pretended to love, or led to believe that she loved. In “ Measure for Measure," Vol. ii. p. 21, we had the expression,

Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,

In hand, and hope of action.”

But that her flight prevented it, she had
Ta'en off by poison.

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 purpos’d,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
Oercome you with her show; and in time
(When she had fitted you with her craft) to work
Her son into th' adoption of the crown:
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open'd, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so,
Despairing died.

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

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 may'st say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all !

ven me

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 raz'd out, though with the loss
Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made suit,
That their good souls may be appeas'd 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 threat

en'd Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives May be call’d 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 ransom'd: 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 serv'd 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 look'd 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.

I humbly thank your highness.
Luc. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,
And yet I know thou wilt.

No, no; alack !

9 SQ FEAT,) So neat, ready, clever, in this instance : it also sometimes means fine or brave, according to Minsheu. See p. 141.

i His favour is familiar to me.) Here, as in many other places, "favour" is used for countenance. See Vol. vii. p. 24, &c.

: I know not why, nor wherefore,] “ Nor” was added by Rowe, and is necessary to the sense.

There's other work in hand.-I see a thing
Bitter to me as death.—Your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.

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 perplex'd ?

What would'st 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.

Wherefore ey’st him so?
Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
To give me hearing.

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

Imo. Fidele, sir.

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 reviv'd 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 farther; he eyes us not: for-

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

But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent; let's see farther.
Pis. [Aside.]

It is my mistress! Since she is living, let the time run on,

« 上一页继续 »