Page images

SCENE VII. Rome. A Public Place.

Enter two Senators and Tribunes.
i Senator. This is the tenour of the emperor's writ:
That since the common men are now in action
'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians,
And that the legions now in Gallia are
Full weak to undertake our wars against
The fall’n-off Britons, that we do incite
The gentry to this business. He creates
Lucius proconsul; and to you the tribunes,
For this immediate levy, he commands
His absolute commission. Long live Cæsar!

1 Tribune. Is Lucius general of the forces ?
2 Senator.

Ay. Tribune. Remaining now in Gallia ? I Senator.

With those legions Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy Must be suppliant; the words of your commission Will tie you to the numbers and the time Of their dispatch.

I Tribune. We will discharge our duty. [Exeunt.


[graphic][merged small]

SCENE I. Wales : near the Cave of Belarius.

Enter CLOTEN. Clota I am near to the place where they should meet, if Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit his garments serve me! Why should his mistress, who was made by him that made the tailor, not be fit too? the rather-saving reverence of the word for 't is said a woman's fitness comes by fits. Therein I must play the workman. I dare speak it to myself—for it is not vain-glory for a man and his glass to confer in his own chamber-I mean, the lines of my body are as well drawn as his; no less young, more strong, not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike conversant in general services, and more remarkable in single oppositions; yet this imperseverant thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is ! Posthumus, thy head, which now is growing upon thy shoulders, shall within this hour be off; thy mistress enforced; thy garments cut to pieces before thy face: and all this done, spurn her home to her father, who may happily be a little angry for my so rough usage, but my mother, having power of his testiness, shall turn all into my commendations. My horse is tied up safe; out, sword, and to a sore purpose ! Fortune put them into my hand! This is the very description of their meeting-place; and the fellow dares not deceive

[Exit. SCENE II. Before the Cave of Belarius. Enter, from the cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS, and

IMOGEN. Belarius. [To Imogen] You are not well: remain here in


the cave;

We 'll come to you after hunting.

Arviragus. [To Imogen] Brother, stay here;
Are we not brothers ?

So man and man should be;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.

Guiderius. Go you to hunting; I 'll abide with him.

Imogen. So sick I am not, yet I am not well;
But not so citizen a wanton as
To seem to die ere sick. So please you, leave me;
Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom
Is breach of all. I am ill, but your being by me
Cannot amend me; society is no comfort
To one not sociable. I am not very sick,
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me here;
I'll rob none but myself, and let me die,
Stealing so poorly.

Guiderius. I love thee; I have spoke it:

IO 20



How much the quantity, the weight as much,
As I do love


father. Belarius.

What! how! how!
Arviragus. If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me
In my good brother's fault. I know not why
I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
Love's reason 's without reason: the bier at door,
And a demand who is 't shall die, I 'd say
My father, not this youth.

Belarius. [ Aside] O noble strain!
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness!
Cowards father cowards and base things sire base.
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt


I'm not their father; yet who this should be,
Doth miracle itself, lov'd before me. —
'T is the ninth hour o' the morn.

Brother, farewell.
Imogen. I wish ye sport.

You health.--So please you, sir.
Imogen. [Aside] These are kind creatures. Gods, what

lies I have heard !
Our courtiers say all 's savage but at court;
Experience, O, thou disprov'st report!
The imperious seas breed monsters, for the dish
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish.
I am sick still, heart-sick.—Pisanio,
I'll now taste of thy drug.

[Swallows some. Guiderius.

I could not stir him:
He said he was gentle, but unfortunate;
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest.

Arviragus. Thus did he answer me; yet said, hereafter
I might know more.

To the field, to the field !--
We 'll leave you for this time; go in and rest.

Arviragus. We 'll not be long away.




Pray, be not sick,
For you must be our huswife.

Well or ill,
I am bound to you.

And shalt be ever.

[Exit Imogen, to the cave. This youth, howe'er distress'd, appears he hath had Good ancestors.

Arviragus. How angel-like he sings !

Guiderius. But his neat cookery! he cut our roots
In characters,
And sauc'd our broths, as Juno had been sick
And he her dieter.

Arviragus. Nobly he yokes
A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
Was that it was, for not being such a smile;
The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
From so divine a temple, to commix
With winds that sailors rail at.

I do note
That grief and patience, rooted in him both,
Mingle their spurs together.

Grow, patience!
And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root with the increasing vine!
Belarius. It is great morning. Come, away! - Who's

Cloten. I cannot find those runagates; that villain
Hath mock'd me.

I am faint.

Those runagates!
Means he not us? I partly know him; 't is
Cloten, the son o' the queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know 't is he.- We are held as outlaws; hence!



« PreviousContinue »