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Your legs are young ; I'll tread these flats. Consider,
When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place, which lessens, and sets off.
And you may then revolve what tales I have told you,
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd : To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing’d eagle. O, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check ; 8
Richer than doing nothing for a babe;'
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk :
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours.'
Gui. "Out of your proof you speak : we, poor

unfledgid, Have never wing’d from view o'the nest; nor know.

What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding

age: but, unto us, it is

your stiff


6 This service is not service, &c.] In war it is not sufficient to do duty well; the advantage rises not from the act, but the acceptance of the act.

7 The sharded beetle-] i. e. the beetle whose wings are enclosed within two dry husks or shards.

attending for a check ;] Check may mean, in this place, a reproof; but I rather think it signifies command, controul. Thus, in Troilus and Cressida, the restrictions of Aristotle are called Aristotle's checks. STEEVENS.

than doing nothing for a babe ;] As it was once the custom in England for favourites at court to beg the wardship of infunts who were born to great riches, our author may allude to it on this occasion. Frequent complaints were made that nothing was done towards the education of these neglected orphans,

- no life to ours.] i.e. compared with ours,


A cell of ignorance ; travelling abed ;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.2

What should we speak of,
When we are old as you ? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing:
We are beastly; subtle as the fox, for prey ;
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat:
Our valour is, to chase what flies ; our cage
We make a quire, as doth the prison bird,
And sing our bondage freely.

How you speak! Did you

but know the city's usuries, And felt them knowingly : the art o'the court, As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb Is certain falling, or so slippery, that The fear's as bad as falling : the toil of the war, A pain that only seems to seek out danger I'the name of fame, and honour ; which dies i’the

search; And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph, As record of fair act; nay, many times, Doth ill deserve by doing well ; what's worse, Must court'sey at the censure:-0, boys, this story The world-may read in me: My body's mark’d With Roman swords; and my report was once First with the best of note : Cymbeline lov'd me; And when a soldier was the theme, my name Was not far off: Then was I as a tree,

. To stride a limit.] To overpass his bound.

3 What should we speak of,] This dread of an old age, unsupplied with matter for discourse and meditation, is a sentiment natural and noble. No state can be more destitute than that of him, who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind. Johnson.

Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one night;
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.

Uncertain favour !
Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told

But that two villains, whose false oaths prevaild
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline,
I was confederate with the Romans : so,
Follow'd my banishment; and, this twenty years, ,
This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world :
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom ; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The fore-end of my time.-But, up to the moun-

tains ;
This is not hunters' language :-He, that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord o'the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the val-

[Exeunt Gui. and Arv.
How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature !
These boys know little, they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think, they are mine: and, though train'd up

thus meanly
I'the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things, to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call’d Guiderius,—Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say,—Thus mine enemy fell;
And thus I set my foot on his neck ; even then

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The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
(Once Arvirágus,) in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more
His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rous'd !--
O Cymbeline! heaven, and my conscience, knows,
Thou didst unjustly banish me : whereon,
At three, and two years old, I stole these babes ;*
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mo-

And every day do honour to her grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan callid,
They take for natural father. The game is up.



Near Milford-Haven.

Enter PISANIO and IMOGEN. Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse,

the place

Was near at hand :-Ne'er long'd my mother so
To see me first, as I have now :-Pisanio! Man !
Where is Posthumus ? What is in thy mind,
That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that


I stole these babes ;] Shakspeare seems to intend Belarius for a good character, yet he makes him forget the injury which he has done to the young princes, whom he has robbed of a king.. dom only to rob their father of heirs.— The latter part of this soliloquy is very inartificial, there being no particular reason why Belarius should now tell to himself what he could not know better by telling it. JOHNSON.

From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,
Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd
Beyond self-explication : Put thyself
Into a haviour of less fear, ere wildness
Vanquish my staider senses. What's the matter?
Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with
A look untender : If it be summer news,
Smile to't before: if winterly, thou need’st
But keep that countenance still. My husband's

hand! That drug-damn’d Italy hath out-craftied him, And he's at some hard point. Speak, man ; thy

May take off some extremity, which to read
Would be even mortal to me.

Please you, read ; shall find me, wretched man, a thing The most disdain'd of fortune.

And you

Imo. [Reads.] Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises; from proof as strong as my grief, and as certain as I expect my revenge. That part, thou, Pisanio, must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away her life: I shall give thee opportunities at MilfordHeaven : she hath my letter for the purpose: Where, if thou fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour, and equally to me disloyal. Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword ? the


haviour-] This word, as often as it occurs in Shakspeare, should not be printed as an abbreviation of behaviour. Haviour was a word commonly used in his time.

6.-drug-damn'd-] This isanother allusion to Italian poisons.

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