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And sear up3 my embracements from a next
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
Upon this fairest prisoner.
[Putting a Bracelet on her Arm. O, the gods!
When shall we see again?
Enter CYMBELINE and Lords.
Alack, the king!
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my
If, after this command, thou fraught the court
Thou art poison to my blood.
The gods protect you!
3 Shakspeare poetically calls the cere-cloths, in which the dead are wrapped, the bonds of death. There was no distinction in ancient orthography between seare, to dry, to wither; and seare, to dress or cover with wax. Cere-cloth is most frequently spelled seare-cloth. In Hamlet we have:
Why, thy canonized bones hearsed in death
4 i. e. while I have sensation to retain it. There can be no doubt that it refers to the ring, and it is equally obvious that thee would have been more proper. Whether this error is to be laid to the poet's charge or to that of careless printing, it would not be easy to decide. Malone, however, has shown that there are many passages in these plays of equally loose construction.
That should'st repairs my youth; thou heapest
Cym. That might'st have had the sole son of my queen!
Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
And did avoid a puttocks.
Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have made my throne
A seat for baseness.
It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus:
5 i e. renovate my youth, make me young again. To repaire (according to Baret) is to restore to the first state, to renew. in All's Well that Ends Well :
114 it much repairs me
6 Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
1111 thou heapest many
A year's age on me!'
Some such emendation seems necessary.
7A touch more rare' is a more exquisite feeling, a superior sensation.' So in The Tempest :
Hast thou which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions.'
And in Antony and Cleopatra :
The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
Do strongly speak to us.'
A passage in King Lear will illustrate Imogen's meaning:-
where the greater malady is fix'd,
The lesser is scarce felt.
8 A puttock is a mean degenerate species of hawk, too worthless to deserve training.
A man, worth any woman: overbuys me
What!-art thou mad?
Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me!-'Would
A neat-herd's daughter! and my Leonatus
Thou foolish thing!
[To the Queen.
They were again together: you have done
Not after our command. Away with her,
'Beseech your patience:-Peace, Dear lady daughter, peace; Sweet sovereign, Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some
Out of your best advice10.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
Fye!--you must give way:
Here is your servant. How now, sir? What news? Pis. My lord your son drew on my master.
But did repent me after more advice.
11 This is a bitter form of malediction, almost congenial to that in Othello :
may his pernicious soul
Rot half a grain a day.'
And had no help of anger: they were parted
I am very glad on't.
Imo. Your son's my father's friend: he takes his part.
To draw upon an exile!-O brave sir!—
I would they were in Afric both together;
I humbly thank your highness.
Queen. Pray, walk a while. Imo. I pray you, speak with me: you shall, at least, Go see my lord aboard: for this time, leave me. [Exeunt.
About some half hour hence,
SCENE III. A public Place.
Enter CLOTEN, and Two Lords.
1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to take a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: Where air comes out, air comes in: there's none abroad so wholesome as that you vent. Clo. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift itHave I hurt him?
2 Lord. No, faith; not so much as his patience. [Aside.
1 Lord. Hurt him? his body's a passable carcass, if he be not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel if it be not hurt.
2 Lord. His steel was in debt; it went o'the backside the town.
Clo. The villain would not stand me.
2 Lord. No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.
[Aside. 1 Lord. Stand you! you have land enough of your own: but he added to your having; gave you some ground.
2 Lord. As many inches as you have oceans: Puppies! [Aside. Clo. I would, they had not come between us.
2 Lord. So would I, till you had measured how long a fool you were upon the ground. [Aside. Clo. And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!
2 Lord. If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damned. [Aside. 1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together: She's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit12.
2 Lord. She shines not upon fools, lest ther eflection should hurt her.
[Aside. Clo. Come, I'll to my chamber: 'Would there had been some hurt done!
2 Lord. I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt.
Clo. You'll go with us?
1 Lord. I'll attend your lordship.
Clo. Nay, come, let's go together. 2 Lord. Well, my lord.
SCENE IV. A Room in Cymbeline's Palace.
Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO.
Imo. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o'the haven,
12Her beauty and her sense are not equal.
To understand the force of this idea, it should be remembered that anciently almost every sign had a motto, or some attempt at a witticism underneath.
In a subsequent scene lachimo, speaking of Imogen, says:
All of her that is out of door, most rich!
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,