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Enter CYMBELINE, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS,

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

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

I never saw
Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
Such precious deeds in one that promised nought
But beggary and poor looks.
Cym.

No tidings of him?
Pis. He hath been searched among the dead and

living, But no trace of him. Сут.

To

my grief, I am The heir of his reward; which I will add Το you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,

[To Belarius, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
By whom, I grant, she lives. 'Tis now the time
To ask of whence you are ;-report it.
Bel.

Sir,
In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen :
Further to boast, were neither true nor modest,
Unless I add, we are honest.
Сут. .

Bow your knees.
Arise, my knights o' the battle; I create you

1 In the scene before us, all the surviving characters are assembled; and at the expense of whatever incongruity the former events may have been produced, perhaps little can be discovered on this occasion to offend the most scrupulous advocate for regularity; and as little is found wanting to satisfy the spectator by a catastrophe which is intricate without confusion, and not more rich in ornament than nature."

Companions to our person, and will fit you
With dignities becoming your estates.

The queen

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. Cor.

Hail, great king! To sour your happiness, I must report

is dead. Сут. .

Whom worse than a physician
Would this report become ? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolonged, 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 confessed,
I will report, so please you. These her women
Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks,
Were present when she finished.
Сут. .

Pr’ythee, say.
Cor. First, she confessed she never loved you ; only
Affected greatness got by you, not you ;
Married your royalty, was wife to your place;
Abhorred

your person. Cym.

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

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

had

1 “To bear in hand” is “ falsely pretended.”

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, 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.
Сут. .

Heard

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

Cym.
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!

Mine eyes

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.
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,

The day

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 nurselike. 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.
Сут. .

I have surely seen him;
His favor 2 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 :3 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?

1 Feat is ready, dexterous.

2 Countenance. 3 "I know not what should induce me to say, Live, boy.” The word nor was inserted by Rowe. VOL. VI,

41

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. Сут.

Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention.

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.
Pis.

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

[CYMBELINE and Imogen come forward. Сут.

Come, stand thou by our side; Make thy demand aloud.—Sir, [To lach.) step you

forth; Give answer to this boy, and do it freely; Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it, Which is our honor, bitter torture shall Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On, speak to him.

Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may render Of whom he had this ring. Post.

What's that to him ?

[Aside. Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say, How came it yours?

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