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Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd, We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
So far as thou wilt speak it.
Pray, draw near.
ARV. The night to the owl, and morn to the lark, less welcome.
IMO. Thanks, sir.
I pray, draw near. [Exeunt.
Enter Two Senators and Tribunes.
1 SEN. This is the tenour of the emperor's writ;
TRI. Remaining now in Gallia ?
With those legions
That since the common men are now in action
'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians ;
And that, &c.] These facts are historical. STEEVENS. See p. 97, n. 1. MALONE.
and to you the tribunes,
For this immediate levy, he commands
His absolute commission.] He commands the commission to
be given to you. So, we say, I ordered the materials to the work
Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy
Must be supplyant: The words of your commission Will tie you to the numbers, and the time
Of their despatch.
We will discharge our duty.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
The Forest, near the Cave.
CLO. 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 'tis 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 imperseverant1 thing loves him in my despite. What
8 -for-] i. e. because. See p. 155, n. 4. STEEVENS. 9 in single OPPOSITIONS:] In single combat. So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :
"In single opposition, hand to hand,
"He did confound the best part of an hour,
"In changing hardiment with great Glendower."
An opposite was in Shakspeare the common phrase for an adversary, or antagonist. See vol. xi. p. 425, n. 8. MALONE. 1-imperseverant-] Thus the former editions. Hanmer reads-ill-perseverant. JOHNSON.
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 face2: and all this done, spurn her home to her father3: who may, haply, 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.
Before the Cave.
Enter, from the Cave, BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS,
BEL. You are not well: [To IMOGEN.] remain here in the cave;
We'll come to you after hunting.
Imperseverant may mean no more than perseverant, like im-~~ bosomed, impassioned, im-masked. STEEVENS.
Z before THY face:] Posthumus was to have his head struck off, and then his garments cut to pieces before his face! We should read-her face, i. e. Imogen's: done to despite her, who had said, she esteemed Posthumus's garment above the person of Cloten. WARBURton.
Shakspeare, who in The Winter's Tale, makes a Clown say: "If thou'lt see a thing to talk on after thou art dead," would not scruple to give the expression in the text to so fantastick a character as Cloten. The garments of Posthumus might indeed be cut to pieces before his face, though his head were off; no one, however, but Cloten, would consider this circumstance as any aggravation of the insult. MALONE.
3 spurn her home to her father;] Cloten seems to delight in rehearsing to himself his brutal intentions; for all this he has already said in a former scene; "-and when my lust bath dined,―to the court I'll knock her back, foot her home again."
Brother, stay here: [TO IMOGEN.
Are we not brothers ?
So man and man should be;
I am very sick.
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
GUI. Go you to hunting, I'll abide with him.
To seem to die, ere sick: So please you, leave me; Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom Is breach of all 4. I am ill; but your being by me Cannot amend me: Society is no comfort
am not very sick,
To one not sociable: I
I love thee; I have spoke it: How much the quantity", the weight as much, As I do love my father.
What? how? how? ARV. 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.
O noble strain! [Aside.
4 Stick to your JOURNAL course: the breach of custom Is breach of all.] Keep your daily course uninterrupted; if the stated plan of life is once broken, nothing follows but confusion. JOHNSON.
5 How much the quantity,] I read-As much the quantity. JOHNSON. Surely the present reading has exactly the same meaning. How much soever the mass of my affection to my father may so much precisely is my love for thee: and as much as my filial love weighs, so much also weighs my affection for thee.' MALONE.
O worthiness of nature! breed of greatness! Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base:
Nature hath meal, and bran; contempt and grace. I am not their father; yet who this should be, Doth miracle itself, lov'd before me.
"Tis the ninth hour o' the morn.
IMO. I wish ye sport.
So please you, sir ".
IMO. [Aside.] These are kind creatures. Gods,
what lies I have heard!
Our courtiers say, all's savage, but at court:
The imperious seas' breed monsters; for the dish,
I am sick still; heart-sick :-Pisanio,
I could not stir him :
He said, he was gentle, but unfortunate9 ;
ARV. 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. ARV. We'll not be long away.
6 - So please you, sir.] I cannot relish this courtly phrase from the mouth of Arviragus. It should rather, I think, begin Imogen's speech. TYRWHITT.
7 The IMPERIOUS seas-] Imperious was used by Shakspeare for imperial. See vol. vii. p. 475, n. 4; and vol. viii. p. 392, n. 8. MALONE.
• I could not STIR him:] Not move him to tell his story.
GENTLE, but unfortunate;] Gentle is well-born, of birth above the vulgar. JOHNSON. Rather of rank above the vulgar. So, in King Henry V. : be he ne'er so vile,
"This day shall gentle his condition. STEEVENS.