The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 755 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3.

And now a great battle commenced between the two armies, and the Britons would have been defeated, and Cymbeline himself killed, but for the extraordinary valour of Posthumus, and Bellarius, and the two sons of Cymbeline.  They rescued the king, and saved his life, and so entirely turned the fortune of the day, that the Britons gained the victory.

When the battle was over, Posthumus, who had not found the death he sought for, surrendered himself up to one of the officers of Cymbeline, willing to suffer the death which was to be his punishment if he returned from banishment.

Imogen and the master she served were taken prisoners, and brought before Cymbeline, as was also her old enemy Iachimo, who was an officer in the Roman army; and when these prisoners were before the king, Posthumus was brought in to receive his sentence of death; and at this strange juncture of time, Bellarius with Polidore and Cadwal were also brought before Cymbeline, to receive the rewards due to the great services they had by their valour done for the king.  Pisanio, being one of the king’s attendants, was likewise present.

Therefore there were now standing in the king’s presence (but with very different hopes and fears) Posthumus, and Imogen, with her new master the Roman general; the faithful servant Pisanio, and the false friend Iachimo; and likewise the two lost sons of Cymbeline, with Bellarius who had stolen them away.

The Roman general was the first who spoke; the rest stood silent before the king, though there was many a beating heart amongst them.

Imogen saw Posthumus and knew him, though he was in the disguise of a peasant; but he did not know her in her male attire:  and she knew Iachimo, and she saw a ring on his finger which she perceived to be her own, but she did not know him as yet to have been the author of all her troubles:  and she stood before her own father a prisoner of war.

Pisanio knew Imogen, for it was he who had dressed her in the garb of a boy.  “It is my mistress,” thought he; “since she is living, let the time run on to good or bad.”  Bellarius knew her too, and softly said to Cadwal, “Is not this boy revived from death?” “One sand,” replied Cadwal, “does not more resemble another than that sweet rosy lad is like the dead Fidele.”  “The same dead thing alive,” said Polidore.  “Peace, peace,” said Bellarius; “if it were he, I am sure he would have spoken to us.”  “But we saw him dead,” again whispered Polidore.  “Be silent,” replied Bellarius.

Posthumus waited in silence to hear the welcome sentence of his own death; and he resolved not to disclose to the king that he had saved his life in the battle, lest that should move Cymbeline to pardon him.

Lucius, the Roman general, who had taken Imogen under his protection as his page, was the first (as has been before said) who spoke to the king.  He was a man of high courage and noble dignity, and this was his speech to the king: 

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.