Imatges de pÓgina

Iach. Upon a time, (unhappy was the clock That struck the hour!) it was in Rome, (accurs'd The mansion where !) 'twas at a feast, (Oh, 'would Our viands had been poison'd! or, at least, Those which I heav'd to head !) the good Posthu


Cym. Come to the matter.

Tach. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins.“ He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams, And she alone were cold: whereat, I,-wretchMade scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wore Upon his honour'd finger, to attain In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring By hers and mine adultery. Away to Britain Post I in this design: well may you, sir, Remember me at court, where I was taught, Of your chaste daughter, the wide difference 'Twixt amorous and villanous :To be brief, my practice so prevaild, That I return'd, with simular proof enough To make the noble Leonatus mad,. By wounding his belief in her renown With tokens thus, and thus; That he could not But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd, I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon, Methinks, I see him now,

Post. Ay, so thou dost, [Coming forward. Italian fiend !-Ah me, most credulous fool, Egregious murderer, thief, any thing 'That's due to all the villains past, in being, To come!-Oh, give me cord, or knife, or poison, Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out For torturers ingenious : I am Posthumus, That killa thy daughter :-the temple

Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself.
Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me: set
The dogs o' the street to bay me: every villain
Be call’d, Posthumus Leopatus; and
Be villany less than 'twas !-Oh, Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife! Oh, Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!

Imog. Peace, my lord; hear, hear-
Post. Thou scornful page, there is no peace for me.

[Striking her ; she falls.
Pisanio. Oh, gentlemen, help, help
Mine, and your mistress :--Oh, my Lord Posthumus!
You ne'er killid Imogen till no'v :-Help! help!-
Mine honour'd lady!

Post. How come these staggers on me?
Pisanio. Wake, my mistress!

Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me
To death with mortal joy.
Imog. Why did you throw your wedded lady from

you? Think, that you are upon a rock; and now, Throw me again.

[Runs into his Arms. Post. Hang there like fruit, my soul, Till the tree die !

Cym. My child! my child! my dearest Imogen!
Imog. Your blessing, sir.

(Kneeling. Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame you

not; You had a motive for't.

[To GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS. Cym, Imogen, Thy mother's dead.

Imog. I am sorry for’t, my lord.

Cym. Oh, she was naught; and 'long of her it was, That we meet here so strangely: but her son Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

[Pisanto and IMOGEN retire with PostHUMUS;

the GUARDS take off his Chains.

Guid. Let me end his story: 'Twas I, that slew him.

Cym. Marry, the gods forefend !
I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard sentence: 'pr’ythee, valiant youth,
Deny't again.

Guid. I have spoke it, and I did it.
Cym. He was a prince.

Guid. A most uncivil one: the wrongs he did me
Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me
With language that would make me spurn the sea,
If it could so roar to me: I cut off's head;
And am right glad, he is not standing here
To tell this tale of mine.

Cym. I am sorry for thee:
By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must
Endure our law. Bind the offender,
And take him from our presence. [GUARDS advance.

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.- Let his arms alone;

[To the GUARDS. 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?
Bel. I am too blunt, and saucy : Here's


knee: Mighty sir, These two young gentlemer, that call me facher, And think they are my sons, are none of mine ; They are the issue of your loins, my liege, And blood of your begetting. POSTHUMUS, IMOGEN, and PISANIO, come forward.

Cym. 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.-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.-
I lost my children;
If these be they, I know not how to wish
A pair of worthier sons.-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. Bless'd may 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.

Imog. 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 su indeed.
Cym. Did


e'er meet?
Arv. Ay, my good lord.
Guid. And at first meeting lov’d.
Cym. Oh, rare instinct !

When shall I hear all through!-How liv'd you?

where? 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? But nor the time, nor place, Will serve our long intergatories.-See, Pósthumus anchors' upon Imogen; And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye On him.-All o'erjoy'd, Save these in bonds ; let them be joyful too, For they shall taste our comfort.

[GUARDS take off their Chains.
The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought,
He would have well becom'd 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

I then follow'd :—That I was he,
Speak, lachimo; I had you down, and might
Have made


Iach. I am down again:

But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did.
But, your ring first;
And here the bracelet of the truest princess,
That ever swore her faith :
Now take that life, 'beseech

you, Which I so often owe.

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.—Laud we the gods ;
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils

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