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And not o’the court of Britain.
Cor. Hail, great king !
To sour your happiness, I must report
The queen is dead.
Cym. Whom worse than a physician
Would this report become? But I consider,
By medicine life may be prolong'd, yet death
Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
Cor. With horror, madly dying, like her life;
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded
Most cruel to herself. What she confess’d,
I will report, so please you: These her women
Can trip me, if I err; who, with wet cheeks,
Were present when she finish’d.
Cym. Pry'thee, say. '
Cor. First, she confess’d she never lov'd you; only
Affected greatness got by you, not you :
Married your royalty, was wife to your place;
Abhorr’d your person.
Cym. She alone knew this :
And, but she spoke it dying, I would not
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
Cor. Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
With such integrity, she did confess
Was as a scorpion to her sight; whose life,
But that her flight prevented it, she had
Ta'en off by poison.
Cym. O most delicate fiend ! Who is't can read a woman ?-Is there more ? Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess, she
had For you a mortal mineral; which, being took,
Should by the minute feed on life, and, lingering,
By inches waste you: In which time she purpos’d,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O’ercome you with her show: yes, and in time,
(When she had fitted you with her craft,) to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown.
But failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open’d, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes ; repented
The evils she hatch'd were not effected; so,
Cym. Heard you all this, her women ?
Lady. We did so, please your highness.
Cym. Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart, .
That thought her like her seeming; it had been vi-
To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter !
That it was folly in me, thou may'st say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all !
Enter Lucius, IACHIMO, the Soothsayer, and other Roman Prisoners, guarded ; Posthumus behind, and
IMOGEN. Thou com’st not, Caius, now for tribute; that The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss Of many a bold one; whose kinsmen have made suit, That their good souls may be appeas'd with slaughter Of you their captives, which ourself have granted : So, think of your estate.
Luc. Consider, sir, the chance of war : the day
Was yours by accident; had it gone with us,
We should not, when the blood was cool, have threat-
Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
May be call'd ransome, let it come : sufficeth,
A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer:
Augustus lives to think on't : And so much
For my peculiar care. This one thing only
[ will entreat; My boy, a Briton born,
Let him be ransom'd: never master had
A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
So tender over his occasions, true,
So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
With my request, which, I'll make bold, your high-
Cannot deny; he hath done no Briton harm,
Though he have serv'd a Roman: save him, sir,
And spare no blood beside.
Cym. I have surely seen him :
His favour is familiar to me.-
Boy, thou hast look'd thyself into my grace,
And art mine own.— I know not why, nor wherefore,
To say, live, boy: ne'er thank thy master ; live :
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
Fitting my bounty, and thy state, I'll give it;
Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,
The noblest ta’en.
Imo. I humbly thank your highness.
Luc. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad; And yet, I know, thou wilt.
Imo. No, no: alack,
There's other work in hand; I see a thing
Bitter to me as death: your life, good master,
Must shuffle for itself.
Luc. The boy disdains me;
He leaves me, scorns me : Briefly die their joys,
That place them on the truth of girls and boys.-
Why stands he so perplexed ?
Cym. What would'st thou, boy?
I love thee more and more; think more and more
What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look’st on?
speak, Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? thy friend ?
Imo. He is a Roman; no more kin to me, Than I to your highness; who, being born your vassal, Am something nearer.
Cym. Wherefore ey'st him so ?
Imo. I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please
To give me hearing.
Cym. Ay, with all my heart,
And lend my best attention. What's thy name?
Imo. Fidele, sir.
Cym. 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 reviv'd from death?
Arv. 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;
forbear; Creatures may be alike : wer't he, I am sure
He would have spoke to us.
Gui. But we saw him dead.
Bel. Be silent; let's see further.
Pis. 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 honour, 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.
Post. 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.
Cym. How ! me? .
Iach. I am glad to be constrain'd to utter that which Torments me to conceal. By villainy 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 liv'd "Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my
lord ? Cym. All that belongs to this. Iach. That paragon, thy daughter,