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*The Tragedie of Cymbeline' was first printed in the on every side by a determination of purpose, whether in folio collection of 1623. The play is very carefully the shape of violence, wickedness, or folly, against which, divided into acts and scenes--an arrangement which under ordinary circumstances, innocence may be supis sometimes wanting in other plays of this edition. posed to be an insufficient shield. But the very help Printed as* Cymbeline' must have been from a manu- lessness of Imogen is her protection. In the exquisite script, the text, although sometimes difficult, presents Second Scene of the Second Act, the perfect purity of few examples of absolute error.
Imogen, as interpreted by Shakspere, has converted In 'Cymbeline,' we are thrown back into the half- what would have been a most dangerous situation in fabulous history of our own country, and see all objects the hands of another poet, into one of the most refined under the dim light of uncertain events and manners. delicacy.—The immediate danger is passed; but there We have civilisation contending with semi-barbarism; is a new danger approaching. The will of her unhappy the gorgeous worship of the Pagan world subdning to husband, deceived into madness, is to be added to the itself the more simple worship of the Druidical times ; evils which she has already received from violence and kings and courtiers surrounded with the splendour of selfishness. Posthumus, intending to destroy ber, writes “ barbaric pearl and gold;" and, even in those days of “Take notice that I am in Cambria, at Millord-Haret; simplicity, a wilder and a simpler life, amidst the fast- what your own love will out of this advise you, follow." nesses of mountains, and the solitude of caves—the She does follow her own love;—she bas no other guide hunters' life, who “have seen nothing," but who yet, in but the strength of her affections ; that strength makes their natural piety, know “ how to adore the heavens." her hardy and fearless of consequences. It is the are If these attributes of the drama had been less absorbing, duty, as well as the one pleasure, of her existence. How we perhaps might have more readily seen the real course is that affection requited ? Pisavio places in her lanıl, of the dramatic action. We venture to express our when they have reached the deepest solitude of the opinion, that one predominant idea does exist. mountains, that letter by which he is commanded to
The dialogue of the “ two Gentlemen " in the open- take away her life. One passing thought of herself ing scene makes us perfectly acquainted with the one faint reproach of her husband,—and she submits tə relations in which Posthumus and Imogen stand to the fate which is prepared for her.—But her truth an each other, and to those around them. “She 's wedded, innocence have already subdued the will of the sworu her husband banishid.” We have next the character of servant of her husband. He comforts her, but he becer the banished husband, and of the unworthy suitor who sarily leaves her in the wilderness. The spells of evil is the cause of his banishment; as well as the story of wills are still around her :the king's two lost sons. This is essentially the founda
“ My noble mistress, tion of the past and future of the action. Brief indeed
Here is a box, I had it from the queen." is this scene, but it well prepares us for the parting of Perhaps there is nothing in Shakspere more beautifully Posthumus and Imogen. The course of their affections managed,-more touching in its romance,-more essenis turned awry by the wills of others. The angry king tially true to nature,—than the scenes between Imogeli at once proclaims himself to us as one not cruel, but and her unknown brothers. The gentleness, the grace, weak; he has before been described as “ touch'd at the “ grief and patience,” of the helpless Fidele, prvery heart.” It is only in the intensity of her affection ducing at once the deepest reverence and affection in for Posthumus that Imogen opposes her own will to the the bold and daring mountaineers, still carry forward impatient violence of her father, and the more crafty the character of Imogen under the same aspects. The decision of her step-mother. But she is surrounded bird is dead ;" she was sick, and we almost fear that with a third evil,
the words of the dirge are true.—But she awakes. “ A father cruel, and a step-dame false,
and she has still to endure the last and the worst A foolish suitur to a wedded lady."
evil-her husband, in her apprehension, lies dead be Worse, however, even than these, her honour is to be fore her. She has no wrongs to think of —-“O my lord, assailed, her character vilified, by a subtle stranger; my lord,” is all, in connexion with Posthumus, that who, perbaps more in sport than in malice, has resolved escapes amidst her tears. The beauty and innocence to win a paltry wager by the sacrifice of her happiness which saved her from Iachimo,—which conquered Piand that of her husband. What has she to oppose to sanio,—which won the wild hunters,—commend her te all this complication of violence and cunning? Her the Roman general—she is at once protected. But she has perfect purity-her entire simplicity—her freedom from holy duties still to perform. It is the unconquerable everything that is selfish—the strength only of her affection of Imogen which makes us pity Posthumus, affections. The scene between lachimo and Imogen is even while we blame him for the rash exercise of his a contest of innocence with guile, most profoundly revengeful will. But in bis deep repentance we more affecting, in spite of the few coarsenesses that were per than pity him. We see only another victim of worldly haps unavoidable, and which were not considered offen- craft and selfishness.- In the prison scene his spirit is sive in Shahspere's day.
again united with hers. The contest we now feel is This is the First Act; and, if we mistake not the over between the selfish and the unselfish, the crafty anal object of Shakspere, these opening scenes exhibit one of the simple, the proud and the meek, the violent and the the most confiding and gentle of human beings, assailed I gentle.
C Y M B E L I N E.
CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
Caius Lucius, general of the Roman forces. Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 5. Appears, Act III. sc. 1 ; sc. 5. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. &C. 2 ;
Act IV. sc. 3. Act V. sc. 5.
A Roman Captain.
dppears, Act IV. se. 2. sc. 5. Act IV. se. 1; sc. 2,
Two British Captains. LEONATUS POSTHUMUS, husband to Imogen.
Appear, Act V. sc. 3. Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 5. Act II. sc. 4; sc.5. Act V. sc. 1. sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 5.
PISAnio, gentleman to Posthumus.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 6; sc. 7. Act II. sc. 3. Act IIL Belarius, a banished lord, disguised under the name
sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5. Act IV. sc. 3. Act V. sc. 5.
Cornelius, a physician.
Appears, Act I. sc. 6. Act V. sc. 5.
Two Gentlemen of Cymbeline's Court. name of Polydore, supposed son to Belarius.
Appear, Act I. sc. 1. Appears, Act III. sc. 3 ; se. 6. Act IV. sc. 2, sc. 4.
Appear, Act V. sc. 4.
Queen, wife to Cymbeline. rame of Cadwal, supposed son to Belarius. Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 6. Act II. sc. 3. Act III. sc. l; sc. 5. Appears, Act II. sc. 3; sc. 6. Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 4. Act V.
Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline, by a former Queen. SC. 2; sc. 5.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 7. Act II. sc. 2; sc. 3. PailaR10, a Roman, friend to Posthumus.
Act III. sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 6. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. sc. 5.
HELEN, woman to Imogen.
Appears, Act II. sc. 2.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, AppariA French Gentleman, friend to Philario.
tions, a Soothsayer, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Appears, Act 1. sc. 5.
Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
, -SOMETIMES IN BRITAIN; SOMETIMES In Rome.
SCENE I.-Britain. The Garden behind Cymbe- And therefore banish'd,) is a creature such line's Palace.
As to seek through the regions of the earth
For one his like, there would be something failing Enter Tro Gentlemen.
In him that should compare. I do not think I Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns : our So fair an outward, and such stuff within, bloods
Endows a man but he. No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers
You speak him far. still seem as does the king.
1 Gent. I do extend • him, sir, within himself, 2 Gent.
But what 's the matter ? Crush him together, rather than unfold I Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his kingdom, His measure duly. whom
2 Gent. What's his name, and birth! He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow,
1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root : His father Thai late he married,) hath referr'd herself
Was call'd Sicilius, who did join bis honour,
But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
He serv'd with glory and admir'd success : Be touch'd at very heart.
So gaind the sur-addition, Leonatus : 2 Gent. None but the king ?
And had, besides this gentleman in question, I Gent. He that hath lost her, too : so is the queen, Two other sons, who, in the wars o' the time, That most desir'd the match : But not a courtier, Died with their swords in hand; for which, their father Although they wear their faces to the bent
(Then old and fond of issue) took such sorrow of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not
That he quit being; and his gentle lady, Glad at the thing they scowl at.
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas d 2 Gent.
And why so ?
As he was born. The king, be takes the babe I Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess is a thing To his protection; calls him Posthumus Leonatus, Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her,
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber : I mean, that married her,—alack, good man!
a You carry your praise far. * Bloed is used by Shakspere for natural disposition. The • The Gentleman says-1 do extend him-appreciate his good Deaning of the passage then is You do not meet a man but qualities--but only within the real limits of what they are frovas: our bloods do not more obey the heavens than our instead of unfolding his measure duly, I crush him together courtiers still seem as the king seems.
compress his excellence.
Puts to him all the learnings that his time
If the king come, I shall incur I know not Could make him the receiver of; which he took, How much of his displeasure : Yet I 'll move him As we do air, fast as 't was ministered,
[ Aside And in 's spring became a harvest: Liv'd in court, To walk this way: I never do him wrong, (Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov d : But he does buy my injuries to be friends ;* A sample to the youngest; to th’ more mature
Pays dear for my offences.
(Erit A glass that feated them; and to the graver,
Should we be taking leare A child that guided dotards : to his mistress
As long a term as yet we have to live, For whom he now is banish’d,—her own price
The loathness to depart would grow : Adien! Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue;
Imo. Nay, stay a little : By her election may be truly read
Were you but riding forth to air yourself, What kind of man he is.
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love; 2 Gent. I honour him
This diamond was my mother's : take it, heart; Even out of your report. But, 'pray you,
tell me, But keep it till you woo another wife, Is she sole child to the king ?
When Imogen is dead.
Post. How! how! another?-
And sear up my embracements from a next l' the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery With bonds of death! - Remain thou here Were stolen; and to this hour no guess in knowledge
[Putting on the ring Which way they went.
While sense can keep it on! And sweetest, fairest, 2 Gent. How long is this ago?
As I my poor self did exchange for yon, I Gent. Some twenty years.
To your so infinite loss; so, in our trifles 2 Gent. That a king's children should be so convey'd! I still win of you : For my sake wear this; So slackly guarded ! And the search so slow,
It is a manacle of love: I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.
(Putting a bracelet on her armi, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
0, the gods! Yet is it true, sir.
When shall we see again? 2 Gent. I do well believe you.
Enter CYMBELINE and Lords.
Alack, the king!
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid ! hence, from any SCENE II. The same.
sight! Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.
If after this command thou fraught the court Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter, Thou art poison to my blood.
With thy unworthiness, thou diest : Away! After the slander of most step-mothers,
The gods protect you. Evil-ey'd unto you: you are my prisoner, but
And bless the good remainders of the court! Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
I am gone.
Imo. There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.
O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth; thou heapest
A year's age on me!
I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation; I
Am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare 6 Queen.
You know the peril:-
Subdues all pangs, all fears.
Past grace ? obedience The pangs of barr'd affections; though the king
Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace Hath charg'd you should not speak together.
Cym. That mightst have had the sole son of my [Exit Queen.
queen! Imo. O dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant Can tickle where she wounds – My dearest husband,
Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
And did avoid a puttock. I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing (Always reserv'd my holy duty,) what
Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst hare mack His rage can do on me : You must be
A seat for baseness. And I shall here abide the hourly shot
No; I rather added Of angry eyes; not comforted to live,
A lustre to it. But that there is this jewel in the world,
Cym. O thou vile one! That I may see again.
Sir, Post. My queen! my mistress !
It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus : 0, lady, weep no more ; lest I give cause
You bred him as my playfellow ; and he is To be suspected of more tenderness
A man worth any woman; overbuys me Than doth become a man! I will remain
Almost the sum he pays. The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth.
What! art thou mad ? My residence in Rome, at one Philario's;
Imo. Almost, sir : Heaven restore me!- 'Would i Who to my father was a friend, to me Known but by letter: thither write, my queen, And with mine eyes I 'll drink the words you send,
a This sentence is obscure; but the meaning of the erat Though ink be made of gal].
Queen appears to be, that the kindness of her husband, pra
when she is doing him wrong, purchases injuries as if they Re-enter QUEEN.
b A higher ferling. Queen.
Be I pray you : • Putlock-a kite-- a worthless species of baws.
A neat-herd's daugnter! and my Leonatus
Clo. And that she should love this fellow, and reOur neighbour shepherd's son!
2 Lord. If it be a sin to make a true election, she is Re-enter Queen. damned.
Thou foolish thing ! 1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and They were again together : you have done
her brain go not together: She's a good sign, but I have
[To the QUEEN. seen small reflection of her wit. Not after our command. Away with her,
2 Lord. She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection And pen her up.
should hurt her.
Aside. Queen. 'Beseech your patience Peace, Clo. Come, I 'll to my chamber: 'Would there had Dear lady daughter, peace.-Sweet sovereign,
been some hurt done! Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some comfort 2 Lord. I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of Out of your best advice.
an ass, which is no great hurt.
[Aside. Сут. Nay, let her languish
Clo. You 'll go with us ? A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
1 Lord. I 'll attend your lordship. Die of this folly!
(Exit. Clo. Nay, come, let's go together.
[Exeunt. Enter PISANIO. Queen. Fye!—you must give way:
SCENE IV.-A Room in Cymbeline's Palace Here is your servant.—How now, sir ? What news?
Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO.
Imo. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o the No harm, I trust, is done?
There might have been, And question dst every sail : if he should write, But that my master rather play'd than fought,
And I not have it, 't were a paper lost, And had no help of anger : they were parted
As offer'd mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?
It was, “ His queen, his queen!" Imo. Your son 's my father's friend; he takes his part, Imo. Then wav'd his handkerchief? To draw upon an exile!-0 brave sir!
And kiss'd it, madam. I would they were in Afric both together ;
Imo. Senseless linen! happier therein than I! Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
And that was all ? The goer back. Why came you from your master ?
No, madam ; for so long Pis. On his command: He would not suffer me As he could make me with his eye or ear To bring him to the haven : left these notes
Distinguish him from others, he did keep Of what commands I should be subject to,
The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief When 't pleas'd you to employ me.
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of his mind
This hath been Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on,
Thou shouldst have made him Pis.
I humbly thank your highness. As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
Madam, so I did.
Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd Go see my lord aboard : for this time, leave me.
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle:
Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air; and then
Have turn'd mine eye, and wept.—But, good Pisanin, 1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the When shall we hear from him? violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: Pis.
Be assur’d, madam, Wbere air comes out, air comes in : there's none abroad | With his next vantage." so wholesome as that you vent.
Imo. I did not take my leave of him, but had
How I would think on him, at certain hours, 2 Lord. No, faith ; not so much as his patience. Such thoughts, and such; or I could make bini swear
[Aside. The shes of Italy should not betray 1 Lord. Hurt him? his body 's a passable carcass Mine interest and his honour; or have charg'd him, if he be not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel if it be At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight, not hurt.
To encounter me with orisons, for then 2 Lord. His steel was in debt: it went o' the back I am in heaven for him; or ere I could side the town.
[Aside. Give him that parting kiss, which I had set Clo. The villain would not stand me.
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father, 2 Lord. No; but he fled forward still, toward your And, like the tyrannous breathing of the north, face.
[Aside. Shakes all our buds from growing. I Lord. Stand you! You have land enough of your
Enter a Lady. wn: but he added to your having; gave you some
The queen, madan, 2 Lord. As many inches as you have oceans : Desires your highness' company. Peppies!
[Aside. Imo. Those things I did you do, get them despatch d.Clo. I would they had not come between us.
I will attend the queen. 2 Lord. So would I, till you had measured how long! Pis,
Madam, I shall. '[E.rcint. a fol y u were upon the ground.
SCENE V.—Rome. An Apartment in Philario's would abate her nothing; though I profess myself her House.
adorer, not her friend.
lach. As fair, and as good, (a kind of hand-in-band Enter PHILARIO, Iachimo, and a Frenchman.
comparison,) had been something too fair, and too good, Iach. Believe it, sir: I have seen him in Britain : he for any lady in Britany. If she went before others I was then of a crescent note; expected to prove so wor. have seen, as that diamond of yours outlustres many I thy as since he hath been allowed the name of : but I have beheld, I could not but believe she excelled many: could then have looked on him without the help of but I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, admiration; though the catalogue of his endowments nor you the lady. bad been tabled by his side, and I to peruse him by Post. I praised her as I rated ber : so do I my stone. items.
Iach. What do you esteem it at? Phi. You speak of him when he was less furnished, Post. More than the world enjoys. than now he is, with that which makes him both without Iach. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, er and within.
she's outprized by a trifle. French. I have seen him in France : we had very Post. You are mistaken: the one may be sold, a many there could behold the sun with as firm eyes as he. given, if there were wealth enough for the purchase, ci
Iach. This matter of marrying his king's daughter, merit for the gift : the other is not a thing for sale, ami (wherein he must be weighed rather by her value than only the gift of the gods. his own,) words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the iach. Which the gods have given you ? matter.
Post. Which, by their graces, I will keep. French. And then his banishment
lach. You may wear her in title yours: but you Iach. Ay, and the approbation of those that weep this know strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. lamentavle divorce, under her colours, are wonderfully Your ring may be stolen too : so, your brace of unprizeto extend him; be it but to fortify her judgment, which able estimations, the one is but frail, and the other else an easy battery might lay flat, for taking a beggar casual; a cunning thief, or a that-way-accomplisbel without less quality. But how comes it he is to sojourn courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last. with you? How creeps acquaintance ?
Post. Your Italy contains none so accomplishel a Phi. His father and I were soldiers together; to courtier to convince the honour of my mistress; if, in whom I have been often bound for no less than my life :- the holding or the loss of that, you term her frail. I do
nothing doubt you have store of thieves; notwithstan Enter PosTHUMUS.
ing I fear not my ring. Here comes the Briton: Let him be so entertained Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen. amongst you, as suits, with gentlemen of your knowing, Post. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I to a stranger of his quality.--I beseech you all, be better thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar known to this gentleman, whom I commend to you as a at first. noble friend of mine : How worthy he is I will leave Iach. With five times so much conversation I should to appear hereafter, rather than story himn in his own get ground of your fair mistress : make her go back, hearing.
even to the yielding ; had I admittance and opportunity French. Sir, we have known together in Orleans. to friend.
Post. Since when I have been debtor to you for Post. No, no. courtesies, which I will be ever to pay, and yet pay Iach. I dare, thereupon, pawn the moiety of my estate still.
to your ring; which, in my opinion, o`ervalues it some French. Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness : I was thing: But I make my wager rather against your coglad I did atonea my countryman and you; it had been fidence than her reputation : and, to bar your offence beze pity you should have been put together with so mortal in too, I durst attempt it against any lady in the world. a purpose as then each bore, upon importance of so Post. You are a great deal abused in too bold a pe. slight and trivial a nature.
suasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you 're sur Post. By your pardon, sir, I was then a young tra- thy of by your attempt. veller : rather shunned to go even with what I heard, Iach. What's that? than in my every action to be guided by others' experi- Post. A repulse : Though your attempt, as you call ences : but, upon my mended judgment, (if I offend it, deserve more,-a punishment too. not to say it is mended,) my quarrel was not altogether Phi. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too sud slight.
denly; let it die as it was born, and, I pray yoa, be French. Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of better acquainted. swords; and by such two that would, by all likelihood, Iach. Would I had put my estate, and my neigt:have confounded one the other, or have fallen both. bour's, on the approbation of what I have spoke.
Tach. Can we, with manners, ask what was the dif- Post. Wbat lady would you choose to assail? ference?
Iach. Yours; whom in constancy you think stands French. Safely, I think : 't was a contention in pub- so safe. I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your lic, which may, without contradiction, suffer the report. ring, that, commend me to the court where your lady It was much like an argument that fell out last night, is, with no more advantage than the opportunity of a where each of us fell in praise of our country mistresses : second conference, and I will bring from thence that This gentleman at that time vouching (and upon war- honour of hers which you imagine so reserved. rant of bloody affirmation) his to be more fair, virtuous, Post. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my wise, chaste, constant-qualified, and less attemptible, ring I hold dear as my finger; 't is part of it. than any the rarest of our ladies in France.
lach. You are a friend, and therein the wiser. I Iach. That lady is not now living; or this gentle you buy ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you cannot man's opinion, by this, worn out.
preserve it from tainting: But, I see you have some Post. She holds her virtue still, and I my mind. religion in you, that you fear.
Tach. You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Post. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear Italy.
a graver purpose, I hope. l'ost. Being so far provoked as I was in France, I lach. I am the master of my speeches; and would
undergo wnat 's spoken, I swear. o Importance-import, malter.
A Atone to make at one.