I am, sir,
The soldier that did company these three
In poor beseeming; 'twas a fitment for
The purpose I then followed.—That I was he,
Speak, lachimo; I had you down, and might
Have made you finish.

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.

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.

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

You holp us, sir,

you did mean indeed to be our brother; Joyed 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,
Appeared to me, with other spritely shows?
Of mine own kindred: when I waked, 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.

Sooth. Here, my good lord.

1 Spritely shows are groups of sprites, ghostly appearances.

2 A collection is a corollary, a consequence deduced from premises. So the queen in Hamlet says:

Her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move

The hearers to collection."
Whose containing means the contents of which.


Read and declare the meaning. 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 clipped about With this most tender air. Сут. .

This hath some seeming.
Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee; and thy lopped branches point
Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stolen,
For many years thought dead, are now revived,
To the majestic cedar joined; whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.
Сут. .

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.”

i It should apparently be,“ By peace we will begin. The soothsayer says, that the label promised to Britain “ peace and plenty." To which Cymbeline replies, “We will begin with peace, to fulfil the prophecy.”

2 i. e. have laid most heavy hand on. Many such elliptical passages are found in Shakspeare.

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Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune
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 accomplished. For the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessened herself, and in the beams o’the sun
So vanished; which foreshowed our princely eagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favor 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 blest 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 washed, with such a peace.


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This play has many just sentiments, some natural dialogues, and some pleasing scenes; but they are obtained at the expense 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.


* On this critique of Johnson, Mr. Singer remarks :-" It is hardly necessary to point out the extreme injustice of the unfounded severity of Johnson's animadversions upon this exquisite drama. The antidote will be found in the reader's appeal to his own feelings after reiterated perusal. It is with satisfaction I refer to the more just and discriminative opinion of a foreign critic, to whom every lover of Shakspeare is deeply indebted, cited in the Preliminary Romarks.”

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To fair Fidele's grassy tomb,

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

And melting virgins own their love.

No withered witch shall here be seen,

Nor goblins lead their nightly crew :
The female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew.

The redbreast oft at evening hours

Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers,

To deck the ground where thou art laid.

When howling winds, and beating rain,

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

The tender thought on thee shall dwell.

Each lonely scene shall thee restore ;

For thee the tear be duly shed;
Beloved till life could charm no more,

And mourned till pity's self be dead.

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