Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Cymbeline.
3760Make no Collection of it. Let him shew
His skill in the construction.
Luc. Philarmonus.
Sooth. Heere, my good Lord.
Luc. Read, and declare the meaning.

WHen as a Lyons whelpe, shall to himselfe vnknown, with-
out seeking finde, and bee embrac'd by a peece of tender
Ayre: And when from a stately Cedar shall be lopt branches,
which being dead many yeares, shall after reuiue, bee ioynted to
3770the old Stocke, and freshly grow, then shall Posthumus end his
miseries, Britaine be fortunate, and flourish in Peace and Plen-
Thou Leonatus art the Lyons Whelpe,
The fit and apt Construction of thy name
3775Being Leonatus, doth import so much:
The peece of tender Ayre, thy vertuous Daughter,
Which we call Mollis Aer, and Mollis Aer
We terme it Mulier; which Mulier I diuine
Is this most constant Wife, who euen now
3780Answering the Letter of the Oracle,
Vnknowne to you vnsought, were clipt about
With this most tender Aire.
Cym. This hath some seeming.
Sooth. The lofty Cedar, Royall Cymbeline
3785Personates thee: And thy lopt Branches, point
Thy two Sonnes forth: who by Belarius stolne
For many yeares thought dead, are now reuiu'd
To the Maiesticke Cedar ioyn'd; whose Issue
Promises Britaine, Peace and Plenty.
3790Cym. Well,
My Peace we will begin: And Caius Lucius,
Although the Victor, we submit to sar,
And to the Romane Empire; promising
To pay our wonted Tribute, from the which
3795We were disswaded by our wicked Queene,
Whom heauens in Iustice both on her, and hers,
Haue laid most heauy hand.
Sooth. The fingers of the Powres aboue, do tune
The harmony of this Peace: the Vision
3800Which I made knowne to Lucius ere the stroke
Of yet this scarse-cold-Battaile, at this instant
Is full accomplish'd. For the Romaine Eagle
From South to West, on wing soaring aloft
Lessen'd her selfe, and in the Beames o'th'Sun
3805So vanish'd; which fore-shew'd our Princely Eagle
Th'Imperiall sar, should againe vnite
His Fauour, with the Radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines heere in the West.
Cym. Laud we the Gods,
3810And let our crooked Smoakes climbe to their Nostrils
From our blest Altars. Publish we this Peace
To all our Subiects. Set we forward: Let
A Roman, and a Brittish Ensigne waue
Friendly together: so through Luds-Towne march,
3815And in the Temple of great Iupiter
Our Peace wee'l ratifie: Seale it with Feasts.
Set on there: Neuer was a Warre did cease
(Ere bloodie hands were wash'd) with such a Peace.