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To tell this tale of mine.
Сут.

I am sorry for thee:
By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
Endure our law. Thou art dead.
Imo.

That headless man
I thought had been my lord.
Cym.

Bind the offender,
And take him from our presence.
Bel.

Stay, sir king
This man is better than the man he slew,
As well descended as thyself; and hath
More of thee merited, than a band of Clotens
Had ever scar for 10,—Let his arms alone; [To the Guard.
They were not born for bondage.
Cym.

Why, old soldier,
Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for,
By tasting of our wrath ? How of descent
As good as we?
Arv.

In that he spake too far.
Cym. And thou shalt die for't.
Bel.

We will die all three :
But I will prove that two on's are as good
As I have given out him.—My sons, I must
For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.
Aro.

Your danger's our's.
Gui. And our good his.
Bel.

Have at it, then, by leave.
Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who was callid
Belarius.

Cym. What of him? he is
A banish'd traitor.
Bel.

He it is that hath
Assum'd this age : indeed, a banish'd man;

8 I am SORRY for thee:] The folio, 1623, has sorrow for " sorry," which last was substituted in the folio, 1632.

9 This man is better] The Rev. Mr. Dyce has pointed out the accidental omission of " man" in this line: the same lapse is also duly noted by Mr. Singer, and we are glad to remedy the defect, and to thank them both.

10 Had ever scar for.] We do not alter the old text here, though most likely faulty : “scar," printed scarre in the folio, 1623, can hardly be right; and if the annotations of the corrector of the folio, 1632, had here been preserved, we might expect that some fitter word (possibly sense) would have been found substituted in his margin.

I know not how, a traitor.
Cym.

Take him hence !
The whole world shall not save him.
Bel.

Not too hot:
First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
As I have receiv'd it.
Cym. .

Nursing of my sons ?
Bel. I am too blunt, and saucy; here's my knee:
Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons';
Then, spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
These two young gentlemen, that call me father,
And think they are my sons, are none of mine :
They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
And blood of your begetting.
Сут. .

How ! my issue?
Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old Morgan,
Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd :
Your pleasure was my mere offence', my punishment
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 mov'd her to't;
Having receiv'd 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 shap'd
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

1- I will PREFER my sons ;] Preferre, of the old copies, seems here again misprinted for preserve : see Vol. iii. pp. 686. 689.

? – my MERE offence,] The first folio having misprinted “mere” neere, it became near in the later folios, and some editors have substituted dear. Tyrwhitt recommended “ mere.”

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 pleas'd a while.—
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as your's is true Guiderius:
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
Your

younger princely son; he, sir, was lapp'd
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.
Сут. .

Oh! what am I
A mother to the birth of three ? Ne'er mother
Rejoic'd deliverance more.—Bless’d, pray you, be °,
That after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now.—Oh Imogen !
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.
Imo.

No, my lord ;
I have got two worlds by't.—Oh, my gentle brothers !
Have we thus met? Oh! 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 lov'd;
Continued so, until we thought he died.

Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
Cym.

Oh rare instinct ! When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgments

3 Bless’d, Pray you, be,] i. e. Bless'd I pray that you may be. Modern editors change “pray” of all the old copies into may, and if it were necessary, we would follow their example.

4 When you were so indeed.] The folio has we for "you ;" a misprint, which, Malone says, was corrected by Rowe. This is a mistake : Rowe allowed the old text to remain.

5 This FIERCE abridgment] Shakespeare here, and in a few other places in his

Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in.— Where? how liv'd you ?
And when came you to serve our Roman captive ?
How parted with your brothers ? how first met them ?
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 inter'gatories. 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 o’erjoy'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 become this place', and grac'd
The thankings of a king.
Post.

I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming: 'twas a fitment for

works, uses the epithet “fierce" (possibly we might here substitute forc'd, i. e. compulsory,) with some peculiarity: in Vol. ii. p. 178, we have had “fierce endeavour," and in Vol. v. p. 260, " fierce wretchedness."

6 Will serve our long inter’GATORIES.] Apparently so pronounced in the time of Shakespeare, and sometimes so printed, as in “ All's Well that ends Well," Vol. ii. p. 604, where the sentence is only prose; and in “ The Merchant of Venice," Vol. ii. p. 346, where the word occurs in verse twice. In the passage in our text it is printed interrogatories in the folios.

? He would have well BECOME this place,] In the folio, 1623, “ become” is printed becom'd, probably a mere error of the press; but it has been adopted by Malone, and by modern editors who have followed his text. Any body acquainted with old writing will see at once how “become" (as no doubt Shakespeare wrote it) might easily be misread becom'd by an ignorant printer.

The purpose I then follow'd.-- That I was he,
Speak, Iachimo: I had you down, and might
Have made

you

finish. Iach.

I am down again ; [Kneeling.
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.
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'd ,
Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred: when I wak’d, 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.
Luc.

Philarmonus!
Sooth. Here, my good lord.

[Coming forward. Luc.

Read, and declare the meaning. Sooth. [Reads.] “When as a lion's whelp' shall, to him

9

8 You Holp us, sir,] Shakespeare so constantly uses this old past tense of to help, that it can hardly need a note here: sometimes, in the early editions, it may have been mistaken for hope, the ear having been misled.

- upon his eagle Back'),] So all the folios ; but modern editors strangely prefer“ upon his eagle back :" if they thought fit to make this change in the text, they ought to have printed “upon his eagle's back.” Perhaps, for "spritely " in the next line, we ought to read spritelike; and such is the meaning.

1 “When as a lion's whelp] It is not easy to conjecture,” says Coleridge (Lit. Rem. Vol. ii. p. 128), “why Shakespeare should have introduced this ludi. crous scroll, which answers no one purpose, either propulsive or explicatory, unless as a joke on etymology.” It is very possible that the scroll and the vision were parts of an older play, and such riddles were so popular, especially on our older stage, that Shakespeare may not have liked to omit it.

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