Imo. He is a Roman; no more kin to me,
Than I to your highness; who, being born your vassal,
Am something nearer.
Сут. .

Wherefore ey’st him so ?
Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
To give me hearing.

Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?

Imo. Fidele, sir.

Thou art my good youth, my page;
I'll be thy master.

Walk with me; speak freely.

[CYMBELINE and IMOGEN converse apart.
Bel. Is not this boy revived from death ?

One sand another
Not more resembles ; that sweet rosy lad,
Who died, and was Fidele.—What think you ?

Gui. The same dead thing alive.
Bel. Peace, peace! see further; he eyes us not ;

Creatures may be alike. Were't he, I am sure
He would have spoke to us.

But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent ; let's see further.

It is my mistress ; [ Aside.
Since she is living, let the time run on,
To good, or bad.

[CYMBELINE and Imogen come forward. Cym.

Come, stand thou by our side;
Make thy demand aloud.—Sir, [To Iach.] step you

Give answer to this boy, and do it freely;
Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it,
Which is our honor, bitter torture shall
Winnow the truth from falsehood.-On, speak to him.

Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may render
Of whom he had this ring.

What's that to him ?

[Aside. 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.

How ! me? lach. I am glad to be constrained to utter that

which Torments me to conceal. By villany I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel ; Whom thou didst banish ; and (which more may grieve

thee, As it doth me) a nobler sir ne'er lived 'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?

Cym. All that belongs to this. lach.

That paragon, thy daughter,For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits Quail to remember,—give me leave; I faint. Cym. My daughter! what of her? Renew thy

strength : I had rather thou shouldst 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, (accursed The mansion where !) 'twas at a feast, (0, 'would Our viands had been poisoned ! or, at least, Those which I heaved to head !) the good Posthumus, (What should I say? he was too good to be 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 swelled 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 ; Сут. .

I stand on fire ; Come, to the matter.

1 To quail is to faint, or sink into dejection. 2 Feature is here used for proportion.


All too soon I shall, Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly.—This Posthumus (Most like a noble lord in love, and one That had a royal lover) took his hint; And, not dispraising whom we praised, (therein He was as calm as virtue,) he began His mistress' picture ; which by his tongue being made, And then a mind put in't, either our brags Were cracked of kitchen trulls, or his description Proved us unspeaking sots. Сут.

Nay, nay, to the purpose. Tach. Your daughter's chastity—there it begins. He spake of her as 1 Dian had hot dreams, And she alone were cold. Whereat, I, wretch ! Made scruple of his praise; and wagered with him Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wore Upon his honored finger, to attain In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring By hers and mine adultery. He, true knight, No lesser of her honor confident Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring; And would so, had it been a carbuncle Of Phæbus' 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 villanous. Being thus quenched 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 prevailed, That I returned with similar proof enough To make the noble Leonatus mad, By wounding his belief in her renown With tokens thus, and thus; averring notes ? Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,

1 As for as if.

2 1. e. such marks of the chamber and pictures, as averred or confirmed my report,

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 cracked,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,
Methinks, I see him now,-

Ay, so thou dost,

[Coming forward. Italian fiend !-Ah me, most credulous fool, Egregious murderer, thief, any thing That's due to all the villains past, in being, To come !—0, give me cord, or knife, or poison, 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 killed thy daughter ;-villain like, I lie ; That caused 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 called Posthumus Leonatus; and Be villany less than 'twas !-O Imogen! My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen, Imogen, Imogen! Imo.

Peace, my lord; hear, hearPost. Shall's have a play of this ? Thou scornful

page, There lie thy part.

[Striking her ; she falls. Pis.

O gentlemen, help, help,
Mine, and your mistress.–O my lord Posthumus!
You ne'er Killed Imogen till now.—Help, help!
Mine honored lady!

Does the world


round ? Post. How comes these staggers 3 on me? Pis.

Wake, my mistress!

1 Justicer was anciently used instead of justice. 2 « Not only the temple of virtue, but virtue herself.” 3 i. e. this wild and delirious perturbation.


Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me To death with mortal joy. Pis.

How fares my mistress? Imo. O, get thee from my sight; Thou gav'st me poison. Dangerous fellow, hence! Breathe not where princes are. Сут. .

The tune of Imogen!
Pis. Lady,
The gods throw stones of sulphur on me,
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.

Cym. New matter still ?

It poisoned me.

O gods!
I left out one thing which the queen confessed,
Which must approve thee honest. If Pisanio
Have, said she, given his mistress that confection,
Which I gave him for a cordial, she is served
As I would serve a rat.
Сут. .

What's this, Cornelius ?
Cor. The queen, sir, very oft importuned 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.

My boys,
There was our error.

This is, sure, Fidele. Imo. Why did you

throw your wedded lady from you? 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! Сут. .

How now, my flesh, my child ?

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