« PreviousContinue »
Have, said she, given his mistress that confection | My lady's honour : what became of him,
Let me end the story : Cym.
What's this, Cornelius ? | I slew him there. Cor. The queen, sir, very oft importun'd me Cym.
Marry, the gods forefend ! To temper poisons for her; still pretending I would not thy good deeds should from my lips The satisfaction of her knowledge only
Pluck a hard sentence : prithee, valiant youth, In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs
Deny't again. Of no esteem : I, dreading that her purpose Gui. I have spoke it, and I did it. Was of more danger, did compound for her
Cym. He was a prince. A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease Gui. A most incivil one : The wrongs he did The present power of life; but, in short time,
me All offices of nature should again
Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me Do their due functions.-Have you ta'en of it ? With language that would make me spurn the sea, Imo. Most like I did, for I was dead.
If it could so roar to me: I cut off 's head; Bel.
My boys, And am right glad he is not standing here There was our error.
To tell this tale of mine.
I am sorry for thee. Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and from you ?
must Think that you are upon a rock, and now
Endure our law : Thou art dead. Throw me again. [Embracing him. Imo.
. That headless man Post. Hang there like fruit, my soul, I thought had been my lord. Till the tree die!
Bind the offender, Cym. How now, my flesh, my child ? And take him from our presence. What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act ?
Stay, sir king : Wilt thou not speak to me?
This man is better than the man he slew,
[Kneeling. I More of thee merited, than a band of Clotens Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame Had ever scar for.—Let his arms alone; ye not;
[To the guard. You had a motive for it.
They were not born for bondage. [To GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS. Cym.
Why, old soldier, Cym.
My tears, that fall, Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for, Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
By tasting of our wrath ? How of descent Thy mother's dead.
As good as we?
We will die all three: That we meet here so strangely: But her son But I will prove, that two of us are as good Is gone, we know not how, nor where. . As I have given out him.-My sons, I must, Pis.
My lord, For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech, Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Though, haply, well for you. Cloten,
Your danger 's ours Upon my lady's missing, came to me
Gui. And our good his. With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, Bel. :
• Have at it then.and swore
By leave;—Thou hadst, great king, a subject 11 I discover'd not which way she was gone,
who It was my instant death : By accident,
Was call’a Belarius. I had a feigned letter of my master's
What of him ? he is
He it is that hath Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments, Assum'd this age :indeed, a banish'd man; Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts
| I know not how a traitor.
A Assum'd this age-put on these appearances of age.
Take him hence; | Bel.
This is he; The whole world shall not save him.
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp: Bel.
Not too hot : | It was wise Nature's end in the donation,
O, what, am I As I have receiv'd it.
A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother Nursing of my sons ? Rejoic'd deliverance more:-- Bless'd pray you be, Bel. I am too blant and saucy : Here's my That, after this strange starting from your orbs, knee;
You may reign in them now !-O Imogen, Ere I arise I will prefer my sons;
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom. Then, spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
No, my lord; These two young gentlemen, that call me father, I have got two worids by t.–O my gentle broAnd think they are my sons, are none of mine;
thers, They are the issue of your loins, my liege, Have we thus met? O never say hereafter And blood of your begetting
But I am truest speaker : you call'd me brother,
How ! my issue ? When I was but your sister; I you brothers, Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old When you were so indeed. Morgan,
. Did you e'er meet ? Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish’d: Arv. Ay, my good lord. Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punish Gui.
And at first meeting lov’d; ment
Continued so, until we thought he died. Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd. Was all the barm I did. These gentle princes Cym.
O rare instinct ! (For such and so they are) these twenty years When shall I hear all through? This fierce Have I train’d up: those arts they have, as I
abridgment Could put into them; my breeding was, sir, as Hath to it circumstantial branches, which Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile, Distinction should be rich in.—Where, how Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children 1
lip'd you, Upon my banishment: I mov'd her to't; And when came you to serve our Roman captive ? Having receiv'd the punishment before,
How parted with your brothers ? how first met For that which I did then : Beaten for loyalty,
them ? Excited me to treason : Their dear loss,
Why fled you from the court ? and whither ? The more of you 't was felt, the more it shap'd
These, Unto my end of stealing them. But, gracious sir, And your three motives to the battle, with Here are your sons again; and I must lose I know not how much more, should be deTwo of the sweet'st companions in the world :
manded; The benediction of these covering heavens And all the other by-dependencies, Fall on their heads like dew! for they are worthy | From chance to chance; but nor the time, nor To inlay heaven with stars.
Thou weep'st, and speak'st. Will serve our long intergatories. See, The service, that you three have done, is more Posthumus anchors upon Imogen; Unlike than this thou tell'st: I lost my children; And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye If these be they, I know not how to wish
On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting A pair of worthier sons.
Each object with a joy; the counterchange Bel.
Be pleas'd awhile. Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground, This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices. Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius : | Thou art my brother: So we'll hold thee ever. This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus,
[To BELARIUS. Your younger princely son ; he, sir, was lapp'd Imo. You are niy father too; and did relieve me, In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand To see this gracious season. Of his queen mother, which, for more probation, Сут.
All o'erjoy’d, I can with ease produce.
Save these in bonds ; let them be joyful too, Cym. Guiderias had
For they shall taste our comfort. Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
My good master, It was a mark of wonder.
I will yet do you service.
Happy be you! The fit and apt construction of thy name, Cym. The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought, Being Leo-natus, doth import so much : He would have well becom'd this place, and The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter, grac'd
[To CYMBELINE. The thankings of a king.
Which we call mollis aer ; and mollis aer
We term it mulier : which mulier I divine The soldier that did company these three Is this most constant wife ; who, even now, In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
Answering the letter of the oracle, The purpose I then follow'd :—That I was he, Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about Speak, lachimo : I had you down, and might With this most tender air. Have made you finish.
This hath some seeming. Iach. I am down again: [Kneeling. | Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline, But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, Personates thee: and thy lopp'd branches point As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech Thy two sons forth : who, by Belarius stolen, you,
For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd, Which I so often owe: but, your ring first; To the majestic cedar join'd; whose issue And here the bracelet of the truest princess, Promises Britain peace and plenty. That ever swore her faith.
Kneel not to me; My peace we will begin :-And, Caius Lucius, The power that I have on you is to spare you ; Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar, The malice towards you to forgive you : Live, And to the Roman empire; promising And deal with others better.
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which Cym.
Nobly doom'd; We were dissuaded by our wicked queen : We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law; Whom heavens, in justice, (both on her, and hers) Pardon's the word to all.
Have laid most heavy hand. Aro.
You holp us, sir, Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune As you did mean indeed to be our brother; The larmony of this peace. The vision Joy'd are we that you are.
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke Pust. Your servant, princes.- Good my lord Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant of Rome,
Is full accomplish'd: For the Roman eagle, Call forth your soothsayer : As I slept, me- From south to west on wing soaring aloft, thought,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back,
So vanish’d: which foreshow'd our princely Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
Which shines here in the west.
Laud we the gods; His skill in the construction.
And let our crooked smokes climb to their Philarmonus !
nostrils Sooth. Here, my good lord.
From our bless'd altars ! Publish we this peace Luc, Read, and declare the meaning. To all our subjects. Set we forward : Let Sooth. (Reads.] When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself
A Roman and a British ensign wave
Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts. rish in peace and plenty.
Set on there ;-Never was a war did cease, Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp;
Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a peace.
[E.reunt. * Collection-consequence deduced from premises. So in
* The particle on is understood. The same form of ex.
“What conjurations and what mighty magic The hearers to collection."
unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and Rou.
"Her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
pression occurs in Othello
I won his daughter (with).
Scene 11.—"Enter at one door Lucius, Tachimo, | imputed to the different deities; and, as Shakspere and the Roman army."
had at least an opportunity of reading Chapman's The engraving below, from one of the bas-reliefs. translation of Homer, the first part of which was op the column of Trajan, offers a striking illustra
published in 1596, with additions in 1598, and eution of the “pomp and circumstance” of Roman
tire in 1611, he might have taken these ideas from war.
thence, without being at all indebted to his own par
ticular observation, or acquaintance with statuary ? Scexe IV._" A heavy reckoning for you, and painting." Steevens has here missed the point, sir," &c.
as it was likely he would do. That Shakspere was Walter Whiter has remarked upon this passage,
familiar with works of art we have abundant proof. -“M. Voltaire himself has nothing comparable to
Take, for example, his vivid description in the the humorous discussion of the philosophic jailer Tarquin and Lucrece of
"A piece in Cymbeline." But it is something more than of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy." bumorous. It is as profound, under a gay aspect,
But the passage before usindicates something more. as some of the highest speculations of Hamlet.
In “postures beyond brief nature” is shadowed
the highest principle of high art—that it is not Scene V.“ Postures beyond brief nature," &c.
essentially imitative—that it works in and through Warburton remarks, “It appears from a number
its own power, not in contradiction to nature, but of such passages as these that our author was not heightening and refining reality. We have the ignorant of the fine arts;" to which Steevens re
same indication of the poet's profound knowledge plies, “ The pantheons of his own age (several of of these subjects in Anthony and Cleopatra :which I have seen) afford a most minute and par
“ O'erpicturing that Venus where we see ticular account of the different degrees of beauty
The fancy outwork nature."
CRITICISM, even of that school to which we now yield our obedience—the school which bas cast off the shackles of the unities, and judges of the romantic drama by its own laws—has not looked very enthusiastically upon Cymbeline as a dramatic whole. To the exquisite character of Imogen, taken apart, full justice has been done. Richardson, not often a very profound critic, bas seized upon the leading points with great correctness, and has carried them out with elegance, if not with force. Nothing can be more just, for example, than this observation : "The sense of misfortune, rather than the sense of injury, rules the disposition of Imogen.”* Mrs. Jameson, again, has analysed the character with her usual acuteness and delicacy of perception : "Others of Shakspere's characters are, as dramatic and poetic conceptions, more striking, more brilliant, more powerful; but of all his women, considered as individuals rather than as heroines, Imogen is the most perfect.” + But the relation of Imogen, as the centre of a dramatic circle, has scarcely, we think, been adequately pointed out. We pass over what Dr. Johnson says, in a tone of criticism which belongs as much to the age as to the man, about “the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct, the confusion of the names and manners of different times, and the impossibility of the events in any system of life." When Johnson wrote this he reposed upon an implicit belief in his own canons of criticism—the opinions upon which Thomas Warton has explained his own depreciation of Ariosto and Spenser : “We, who live in the days of writing by rule, are apt to try every composition by those laws which we have been taught to think the sole criterion of excellence. Critical taste is universally diffused, and we require the same order and design which every modern performance is expected to have, in poems where they never were regarded or intended.”I Warton was a man of too high taste not in some degree to despise this "criterion of excellence;" but he did not dare to avow the heresy in his own day. We have outlived all this. The "critical taste" to which Warton alludes belongs only to the history of criticism. But even amongst those upon whom we have been accustomed to rely as iu fallible guides, it does appear to us that Cymbeline has been, in some degree, considered a departure from the great law of unity-not of time, nor of place, but of feeling—which Shakspere has unquestionably prescribed to himself. Tieck highly praises this drama; but his praise almost leads to the opinion that he regarded the work as wanting coherency, -as a succession of harmonies, but not as one harmony. “In no other * Essays on Shakspeare's Dramatic Characters.
+ Characteristics of Women. Vol. II. p. 50. 1 Observations on the Fairy Queen. Vol. I.