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SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline's


Enter two Gentlemen.
First Gent. You do not meet man but

frowns: our bloods
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the king.
Sec. Gent.

But what's the matter? First Gent. His daughter, and the heir of's

kingdom, whom He purposed to his wife's sole son—a widow That late he married-hath referr'd herself Unto a poor but worthy gentleman: she's wedded; Her husband banish’d; she imprisca'd: all Is outward sorrow; though I think the king Be touch'd at very heart. Sec, Gent.

None but the king ? First Gent. He that hath lost her too; so is the

queen, That most desired the match; but not a courtier, Although they wear their faces to the bent Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not Glad at the thing they scowl at. Sec. Gent.

And why so? First Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess is

a thing Too bad for bad report: and he that hath herI mean, that married her, alack, good man! And therefore banish'd-is a creature such As, to seek through the regions of the earth For one his like, there would be something failing





In him that should compare. I do not think
So fair an outward* and such stuff within
Endows a man but he.
Sec. Gent.

You speak him far.
First Gent. I do extend him, sir, within him-

self, Crush him together rather than unfold His measure duly.

Sec. Gent. What's his name and birth?
First Gent. I cannot delve him to the root:

his father
Was call'd Sicilius, who did join his honour
Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
But had his titles by Tenantius whom
He served with glory and admired success,
So gain'd the sur-addition* Leonatus;

And had, besides this gentleman in question,
Two other sons, who in the wars o' the time
Died with their swords in hand; for which their

father, Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow That he quit being, and his gentle lady, Big of this gentleman our theme, deceased As he was born. The king he takes the babe To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus, Breeds him and makes him of his bed-chamber, Puts to him all the learnings that his time Could make him the receiver of; which he took, As we do air, fast as 'twas minister'd, And in's spring became a harvest, lived in courtWhich rare it is to do—most praised, most loved, A sample to the youngest, to the more mature A glass that featedt them, and to the graver A child that guided dotards; to his mistress, 50 For whom he now is banish’d, her own price Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue; By her election may be truly read +Made them fine. What kind of man he is. Sec. Gent.

I honour him Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king ? First Gent.

His only child. He had two sons: if this be worth your hearing,


Mark it: the eldest of them at three years old, l' the swathing-clothes the other, from their nur

sery Were stol'n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge

60 Which way they went. Sec. Gent.

How long is this ago?
First Gent. Some twenty years.
Sec. Gent. That a king's children should be so

So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
That could not trace them !
First Gent.

Howsoe'er 'tis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at, Yet is it true, sir.

Sec. Gent. I do well believe you.
First Gent. We must forbear: here comes the

The queen, and princess.

[Exeunt. Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN. Queen. No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,

70 After the slander of most stepmothers, Evil-eyed unto you: you're my prisoner, but Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus, So soon as I can win the offended king, I will be known your advocate: marry, yet The fire of rage is in him, and 'twere good You lean'd unto his sentence with what patience Your wisdom may inform you. Post.

Please your highness, I will from hence to-day. Queen.

You know the peril. 80 I'ls fetch a turn about the garden, pitying, The pangs of barr'd affections, though the king Hath charged you should not speak together.

[Exit. Imo.

O Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest hus



I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing-
Always reserved my holy duty-what
His rage can do on me: you must be gone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live,

But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.

My queen! my mistress ! O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause To be suspected of more tenderness Than doth become a man. I will remain The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth: My residence in Rome at one Philario's, Who to my father was a friend, to me Known but by letter: thither write, my queen, And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send, Though ink be made of gall.

Re-enter QUEEN. Queen.

Be brief, I pray you:
If the king come, I shall incur I know not
How much of his displeasure. [Aside] Yet I'll

move him
To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences.

[Exit. Post.

Should we be taking leave As long a term as yet we have to live, The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu !

Imo. Nay, stay a little: Were you but riding forth to air yourself, Such parting were too petty. Look here, love; This diamond was my mother's: take it, heart; But keep it till you woo another wife, When Imogen is dead. Post.

How, how ! another? You gentle gods, give me but this I have, And sear up my embracements from a next With bonds of death ! [Putting on the ring.]

Remain, remain thou here While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest,

fairest, As I my poor self did exchange for you,

IIO I 20

To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
I still win of you: for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.

(Putting a bracelet upon her arm. Imo.

O the gods! When shall we see again?

Enter CYMBELINE and Lords. Post.

Alack, the king!
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid ! hence, from

my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest : away!
Thou'rt poison to my blood.

The gods protect you !
And bless the good remainders of the court!
I am gone.

Imo. There cannot be a pinch in death 130
More sharp than this is.

O disloyal thing,
That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st
A year's age on me.

I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation:
I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all fears.

Past grace? obedience? Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past

grace. Cym. That mightst have had the sole son of

my queen! Imo. O blest, that I might not ! I chose an

eagle, And did avoid a puttock.*

140 Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have

made my throne A seat for baseness. Imo.

No; I rather added
A lustre to it.

Сут. . O thou vile one!

It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:


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