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So great indignities you laid upon me?
Ch. Just. I then did use the person of your father ;
If the deed were ill,
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
King. You are right, justice, and you weigh this well;
you, and obey you, as I did.
For which, I do commit into your hand
The tide of blood in me
[To the Lord Chief Justice.
This is the English, not the Turkish court.—Brothers, why should
you fear me ?– You are not in the despotic country of Turkey, where a monarch, through fear that his brothers should kill him, in order that one of them may usurp the throne, to secure his own life takes theirs. You are in Britain, where our knowledge and laws make me your protector ; and the institutions we live under induce me to trust as well as to defend you.
Mr. Edgeworth, in Poetry Explained, has rendered the reply to the King into the following prose ; When the King, asks, Was this easy? Can it be easily forgotten ? the judge's remonstrance signifies, "I then represented the person of your father (who is supposed to be present in this court of justice ;) his power was
then in me, and whilst I was administering the laws, and busy for the common-weal (for the common good,) your highness forgot my office—forgot the power and majesty of the laws and of justice—you forgot your father, whom I represented, and struck me on the bench of justice ; whereupon I boldly exerted my authority, and sent you to prison.
“ If you think this wrong, you must be contented when, now you wear the garland, (the crown,) to have your son set your decrees at nought, to have him pull down the authority of your judgment-seat, to trip and stop the current course of law, and to take off the edge and power of the sword of justice, which guards the peace and safety of your person ; nay more, you must submit to have your son affront your own royal image, represented and acting in the person of your judge, whom you substitute in your place.
"Question your royal thoughts; make the case your own; suppose yourself a father, and that you had a son ; suppose you heard your dignity scorned, and that you saw your laws disdained; then imagine me taking your part, and by your power, inherent in me, silencing your son. After having brought these images before your mind, and after cool consideration, pass sentence upon me; and as you are a king, speak— not as a private person, but in the dignity of your public capacity, and declare what I have done unbecoming of my office, my person, or your sovereignty."
Your highness.--Highness is now a title of honour or respect, addressed in the sons and daughters of the king ; formerly it was used in addressing the king or queen.
The Garland.—Shakspeare, in two or three places, calls the crown the garland.
Liege's sovereignty. — Liege properly means a person to whom a certain duty or obedience is owing. Formerly, after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, when the land of the kingdom was divided amongst his followers, or vassals, every man, instead of paying rent in money for the land which he held, was bound to supply the person from whom he held it, whenever that person demanded them to fight his battles, with a certain number of armed men, on horseback, or on foot. The person to whom he owed this service was called his liege lord. Persons who were themselves princes frequently had liege lords over them ; in particular, the emperor of Germany had a great number of princes and dukes for his vassals, who were all bound to him as their liege lord.
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword.—The chief justice of the king's bench has neither a balance (a pair of scales,) nor a sword, carried before him ; but the allegorical figure of Justice is represented in painting and statuary by a female figure blindfold, to show that Justice should not respect the persons of people;. with a balance in her left hand, to denote that she weighs carefully before she determines ; and with a sword in her right hand, to denote that Justice can punish offenders with the sword of the law.
The Roman magistrates had axes surrounded with rods carried before them, as emblems of punishment; the rods to punish smaller offences; the axe to punish greater crimes with death. Though the judges have not swords carried before them, yet the king of England, who is the head of the law, and who is represented by the chief justice of the king's bench, has the sword of state carried before him on days of ceremony.
And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you ;
His tomb lie all my wild affections. Princes, believe me, my father has carried my wildness and youthful follies into his grave with him, for all my former affections or propensities lie there ; and his sedate spirit lives in me, to disappoint the expectation which the world has of my being a dissipated monarch, and to contradict prophesies and opinions which were induced by my former conduct.
According to the old histories of Britain, about seventy years before the birth of our saviour, a prince named Lud reigned over the southern part of the island. Lud was murdered, and his brother Cassibelan, excluding his sons from the throne, usurped the sovereign power. In the ninth year of the reign of Cassibelan, Julius Caesar, the Roman general, invaded Britain, and Tenantius, the younger son of Lud, aided him. When Cassibelan died, Tenantius was restored to his inheritance, and agreed to pay
tribute to the Romans.
Cassibelan had not been so submissive, for when Caesar sent to him a messenger demanded that he should confess himself subject to Rome; should pay homage, or acknowledge the authority of the Roman government over himself and his dominions, and, moreover, should pay tribute to Rome, Cassibelan refused, saying that, " The ambition of the Romans was insatiable, who would not suffer Britain, to them a new world, placed by nature in the ocean and beyond the bounds of their empire, to lie unmolested."
Cymbeline, the son of Tenantius, succeeded his father. In his youth Cymbeline was sent to Rome to be educated, was caressed by Augustus, and called the friend of the Roman people. The Romans liked to have hereditary princes of partially conquered countries come to their capital and dwell with them, that the former might learn their language and laws, and respect their power; and, when they should return to their own dominions, make their subjects feel that it was desirable to submit to the conquerors. The Romans did not always act thus, for in the first period of their conquests they treated captive princes with extreme indignity.
Shakspeare represents that Cymbeline refused to pay tribute to Rome. But a commentator thinks this was not the fact. the play, or History of Cymbeline, Belarius, a British lord, is supposed by Cymbeline to connive with the Romans against him, and as a punishment, he banished Belarius from his court.
Belarius being unjustly accused by his sovereign, took vengeance upon him by carrying off two young princes, his sons, and keeping them in a cave till they had grown to be men. At that time the princes became tired of their lonely life in the woods, and thus remonstrated with Belarius.
SCENE a Forest with a Cave, in Wales.
Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.
how t'adore the heav'ns; and bows you
Guid. Hail, heaven!
Bel. Now for our mountain sport, up to yon hill,
Oh, this life