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The purpose

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


finish. Iach.

I am down again :

[Kneeling. But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech you, Which I so often owe: but, your ring first; And here the bracelet of the truest princess, That ever swore her faith. Post.

Kneel not to me;

that I have on you, is to spare you;
The malice towards you, to forgive you : Live,
And deal with others better.

Nobly doom'd;
We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law;
Pardon's the word to all.

You holp us, sir,

did mean indeed to be our brother; Joy'd are we, that you are. Post. Your servant, princes. Good my lord of

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;7 let him show
His skill in the construction.

Sooth. Here, my good lord.

Read, and declare the meaning.



spritely shows --] Are groups of sprites, ghostly appearances.

+ Make no collection of it ;] A collection is a corollary, a consequence deduced from premises.

Sooth. [Reads.] When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself 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 flourish in peace and plenty. Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp; The fit and apt construction of thy name, Being Leo-natus, doth import so much : The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,

[To CYMBELINE Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer We term it mulier: which mulier I divine, Is this most constant wife; who, even now, Answering the letter of the oracle, Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about With this most tender air. Cym.

This hąth some seeming. Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline, Personates thee: and thy lopp'd branches point Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stolen, For many years thought dead, are now reviy’d, To the majestick cedar join'd; whose issue Promises Britain peace and plenty. Cym.

Well, My peace we will begin :---And, Caius Lucius, Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar, And to the Roman empire; promising To pay our wonted tribute, from the which We were dissuaded by our wicked queen : Whom heavens, in justice, (both on her, and hers) Have laid most heavy hand. Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tunc

The harmony of this peace. The vision
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplish’d: For the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o'the sun
So vanish’d: which foreshow'd our princely eagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.

Laud we the gods ;
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our bless'd altars ! Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward : Let
A Roman and a British ensign wave
Friendly together : so through Lud's town march:
And in the temple of great Jupiter
Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts.-
Set on there :-Never was a war did cease,
Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a peace.


This play has many just sentiments, some natural dialogues, and some pleasing scenes, but they are obtained at the expence of much incongruity. To remark 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, were to waste criticism upon unresisting imbecility, upon faults too evident for detection, and too gross

for aggravation.


See page 95, note7






To fair Fidele's

grassy Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,

And rifle all the breathing spring. No wailing ghost shall dare appear

To ver with shrieks this quiet grove; But shepherd lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love, No wither'd witch shall here be seen,

No goblins lead their nightly crew ; The female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The red-breast oft at evening hours

Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss and gather'd flowers,

To deck the ground where thou art laid, When howling winds, and beating rain,

In tempests shake the sylvan cell;
Or midst the chace on every plain,

The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
Each lonely scene shall thee restore;

For thee the tear be duly shed:
Belov'd, till life could charm no more;

And mourn'd till pity's self be dead.




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