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If it could so roar to me: I cut off's head;
I am sorry for thee 1:
Сум. By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and must Endure our law: Thou art dead.
This man is better than the man he slew,
They were not born for bondage.
[To the Guard.
Why, old soldier,
In that he spake too far.
We will die all three:
CYM. And thou shalt die for't.
GUI. And our good his.
4 I am SORRY for thee :] The old
Your danger's ours.
This obvious error of the press was corrected in the second folio. MALONE.
5 BY TASTING of our wrath ?] The consequence is taken for the whole action; by tasting is by forcing us to make thee to taste. JOHNSON.
Have at it then.—By leave ;
Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who was call'd
A banish'd traitor.
What of him? he is
He it is, that hath
Assum'd this age: indeed, a banish'd man;
I know not how, a traitor.
Take him hence;
Not too hot:
The whole world shall not save him.
First pay me for the nursing of thy sons;
As I have receiv'd it.
Nursing of my sons?
BEL. I am too blunt, and saucy: Here's my
Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons;
Then, spare not the old father. Mighty sir,
How! my issue?
BEL. So sure as you your father's. I, old Morgan, Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd;
6 ASSUM'D this age :] I believe is the same as reached or attained his age. STEEVENS.
As there is no reason to imagine that Belarius had assumed the appearance of being older than he really was, I suspect that instead of age, we should read gage; so that he may be understood to refer to the engagement, which he had entered into, a few lines before, in these words:
"We will die all three :
"But I will prove two of us are as good
"As I have given out him." TYRWHITT.
Assum'd this age," has a reference to the different appearance which Belarius now makes, in comparison with that when Cymbeline last saw him. Henley.
Your pleasure was my mere offence', my punish
Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd,
7 Your pleasure was my MERE offence, &c.] [Modern editors near.] I think this passage may better be read thus:
"Your pleasure was my dear offence, my punishment
"Was all the harm I did."
The offence which cost me so dear was only your caprice. sufferings have been all my crime. JOHNSON.
The reading of the old copies, though corrupt, is generally nearer to the truth than that of the later editions, which, for the most part, adopt the orthography of their respective ages.
Dr. Johnson would read-dear offence. In the folio it is neere; which plainly points out to us the true reading-meere, as the word was then spelt. TYRWHITT.
My crime, my punishment, and all the treason that I committed, originated in and were founded on, your caprice only.
I have adopted Mr. Tyrwhitt's very judicious emendation; which is also commended by Mr. Malone. STEEVENs.
8 To inlay HEAVEN with STARS.] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"Take him and cut him into little stars,
"And he will make the face of heaven so fine," &c.
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.
Your younger princely son; he, sir, was lapp'd
Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star ;
It was a mark of wonder.
This is he;
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp:
To be his evidence now.
O, what am I
CYM. 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.
No, my lord;
IMO. I have got two worlds by't.-O my gentle brother, Have we thus met? O never say hereafter, But I am truest speaker: you call'd me brother,
9 Thou weep'st and speak'st.]" Thy tears give testimony to the sincerity of thy relation; and I have the less reason to be incredulous, because the actions which you have done within my knowledge are more incredible than the story which you relate." The King reasons very justly. JOHNSON.
MAY you be,] The old copy reads-pray you be.
The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
When I was but your sister; I you brothers,
When you were so indeed 2.
ARV. Ay, my good lord.
Did you e'er meet?
And at first meeting lov'd;
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 abridge
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in 4.-Where? how liv'd
And when came you to serve our Roman captive ? How parted with your brothers? how first met them ?
Why fled you from the court? and whither 5? These, And your three motives to the battle, with
2 When you were so indeed.] The folio gives :
"When we were so indeed."
If this be right we must read:
"Imo. I, you brothers.
"Aro. When we were so, indeed." The emendation which has been adopted, Rowe. I am not sure that it is necessary. licentious manner might have meant,stand in the relation of brother and sister to each other."
was made by Mr. Shakspeare in his when we did really
3 FIERCE abridgement-] Fierce is vehement, rapid.
So, in Timon of Athens:
"O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings!"
So also in Love's Labour Lost, vol. iv. p. 461.
"With all the fierce endeavour of your wit." MALONE. 4 which
Distinction should be rich in.] i. e. which ought to be rendered distinct by a liberal amplitude of narrative. ŠTEEVENS. 5 — and WHITHER?] Old copy-whether. was made by Mr. Theobald, who likewise reformed the pointing. MALONE. That is, though
6 And your three MOTIVES to the battle,]