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Cym. Come, stand thou by our side;
Make thy demand aloud.-Sir, [to Iach.] step Upon his honour'd finger, to attain
Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;
Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it,
Which is our honour, bitter torment shall
Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On, speak to
Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may ren-
Of whom he had this ring.
Post. What's that to him?
Cym. That diamond upon your finger, say, How came it yours?
Iach. Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.
Cym. How! me!
Iach. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that,
Torments me to conceal. By villainy [which
I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel:
Whom thou didst banish; and (which more may
As it doth me), a nobler sir ne'er liv'd.
Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more,
Cym. All, that belongs to this. [my lord?
Iach. That paragon, thy daughter,-
For whom my heart drops blood, and my false
Quail to remember,-Give me leave; I faint. Cym. My daughter! what of her? renew thy strength:
I had rather thou should'st live while nature will,
Than die ere I hear more strive, man, and speak.
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, Ö 'would
Our viands had been poison'd! or, at least,
Those which I heav'd to head!) the good Posthú-
(What should I say? he was too good to be [mus
Where ill men were; and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones), sitting sadly,
Hearing us praise our loves of Italy
For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast
Of him that best could speak: for feature laming
The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
Postures beyond brief nature; for condition,
A shop of all the qualities that man
Loves woman for; besides that hook of wiving,
Fairness which strikes the eye :--
Cym. I stand on fire:
Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wure
And then a mind put in't, either our brags
Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description
Prov'd us unspeaking sots.
Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose.
Iach. Your daughter's chastity-there it begins.
He spake of her as Dian had hot dreams,
And she alone were cold: whereat, I, wretch!
Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with him
In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring
By hers and mine adultery: he, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. 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 villainous. Being thus
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd
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: avering notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,
(O, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,-
Methinks I see him now,-
Post. Ay, so thou dost,
Italian fiend!-Ah me, most credulous fool,
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing
That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come!-O, give me cord, or knife, or polson,
Some upright justicer! thou king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I
That all the abhorred things o'the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthumus.
That kill'd thy daughter:-villain-like, I lie;
That caus'd a lesser villain than myself,
A sacrilegious thief, to do't:-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, Posthúmus Leonatus; and
Be villainy less than 'twas!-O Imogen!
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imo. Peace, my lord: hear, hear,
Post. Shall's have a play of this? thou scornful page, There lie thy part.
Pis. O, gentlemen, help, help
Mine, and your mistress:-O, my lord Posthumus!
You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now:-Help, help!~
Mine honour'd lady!
Cym. Does the world go round?
Post. How come these staggers on me?
Pis. Wake, my mistress!
Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike
To death with mortal joy.
Pis. How fares my mistress?
Imo. O, get thee from my sight;
Thou gav'sť me poison: dangerous fellow, hence,
Breathe not where princes are.
Cym. The tune of Imogen!
The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.
Cym. New matter still?
Imo. It poison'd me.
Cor. O gods!
I left out one thing which the queen confess'd,
Which must approve thee honest: if Pisanio
Have, said she, given his mistress that confection
Which I gave him for a cordial, she is serv'd
As I would serve a rat.
Cym. What's this, Cornelius?
Cor. The queen, sir, very oft impórtun'd me To temper poisons for her; still pretending The satisfaction of her knowledge, only In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose Was of more danger, did compound for her A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease The present power of life; but, in short time, All offices of nature should again Do their due functions.-Have you ta'en of it? Imo. Most like I did; for I was dead.
Bel. My boys,
Gui. This is sure, Fidele.
Imo. Why did you throw your wedded lady Think, that you are upon a rock! and now Throw me again. [embracing him. Post. Hang there like fruit, my soul, Till the tree die!
Cym. How now, my flesh, my child! What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act? Wilt thou not speak to me?
Imo. Your blessing, sir.
Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame
You had a motive for't.
[to Gui. and Arv.
Cym. My tears, that fall,
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother's dead.
Imo. I am sorry for't, my lord. Cym. O, she was naught; and 'long of her it That we meet here so strangely: but her son Is gone, we know not how, nor where.
Pis. My lord,
If I discover'd not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death: by accident,
I had a feign'd letter of my master's
Then in my pocket; which directed him
To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oaths to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him,
I further know not.
Gui. Let me end the story:
Now fear is from me, I'll speak truth.
Upon my lady's missing, came to me
With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, and First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
The whole world shall not save him.
Bel. Not too hot:
And let it be confiscate all, so soon
By leave:-Thou hadst, great king, a subject who Was call'd 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;
I know not how, a traitor.
Cym. Take him hence;
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.
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 punish
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 sweetest 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
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 awhile,—
This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,
Most worthy prince, as yours, 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.
Cym. O, what, am I
A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother
Rejoic'd deliverance more :— -Bless'd may you be,
That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
You may reign in them now!-O Imogen,
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.
Imo. No, my lord;
I have got two worlds by't-O, my gentle
Have we thus met? O never say hereafter,
But I am truest speaker; you call'd me brother,
When I was but your sister; I
When you were so indeed.
Cym. Did you e'er meet?
Arv. Ay, my good lord.
Gui. And at first meeting lov'd;
From chance to chance; but nor the time, noi Will serve our long inter'gatories. See, [place, Posthúmus anchors upon Imogen;
Continued so, until we thought he died.
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
Cym. O rare instinct!
When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgment
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
Why fled you from the court? and whither?
And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded;
And all the other by-dependencies,
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,
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.
SCENE I. A HALL IN THE DUKE'S PALACE.
Enter Duke, Egeon, Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants.
Ege. PROCEED, Solinus, to procure my fall, And, by the doom of death, end woes and all.
Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more ; I am not partial to infringe our laws: The enmity and discord, which of late Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives, Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods
Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
Both by the Syracusans and ourselves,
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:
If any, born at Ephesus, be seen
At any Syracusan marts and fairs;
Again, if any Syracusan born
Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose;
Unless a thousand marks be levied,
To quit the penalty, and to ransome him.
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks:
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd to die.
Ege. Yet this my comfort; when your words
Pinch a Schoolmaster, and a Conjurer.
Emilia, Wife to Ægeon, an Abbess at Ephesus
Adriana, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
Luciana, her sister.
Luce, her Servant.
My woes end likewise with the evening sun. Duke. Well, Syracusan, ¿ay, in brief, the cause Why thou departed'st from thy native home; And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Ege. A heavier task could not have been imThan I to speak my griefs unspeakable: [pos'd, Yet, that the world may witness, that my end Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracusa was I born; and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
And by me too, had not our hap been bad.
With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum, 'till my factor's death;
And he (great care of goods at random left)
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:
From whom my absence was not six months old.
Before herself (almost at fainting under
The pleasing punishment that women bear),
Had made provision for her following me,
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was.
There she had not been long, but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
And, which was strange, the one so like the other
As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
A poor mean woman was delivered
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike:
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return:
Unwilling I agreed; alas, too soon,
We came aboard:
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Before the always wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instance of our harm:
But longer did we not retain much hope;
For what obscured light the heavens did grant,
Did but convey unto our fearful minds
A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Which, though myself would gladly have embrac'i,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.