« PreviousContinue »
SCENE I. Britain. The garden of Cymbeline's
Enter two Gentlemen.
First Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns :
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the king.
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 imprison'd: all Is outward sorrow; though I think the king Be touch'd at very heart. 1. bloods, dispositions.
-the courtiers' faces reflect the 3. king. Tyrwhitt's correc- king's mood as absolutely as our tion for Ff king's. Many con. dispositions the varying influence jectural emendations have been of the stars. proposed ; but the sense is clear, 6. referr'd herself, committed though idiomatically expressed : her destiny.
None but the king ? First Gent. He that hath lost her too; so is
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.
And why so ?
First Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess
is a thing
Too bad for bad report : and he that hath her-
I 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.
You speak him far.
First Gent. I do extend him, sir, within him-
Crush him together rather than unfold
His measure duly.
What's his name and birth?
First Gent. I cannot delve him to the root :
Was called 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
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 court-
Which rare it is to do—most praised, most loved,
A sample to the youngest, to the more mature
A glass that feated them, and to the graver
A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
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
What kind of man he is.
I honour him
Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell
Is she sole child to the king ?
His only child.
He had two sons: if this be worth your hearing,
Mark it: the eldest of them at three years old,
I'the swathing-clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in know-
Which way they went.
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 !
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.
Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.
Queen. No, be assured you shall not find me,
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.
Please your highness,
I will from hence to-day.
You know the peril.
I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
The pangs of barr'd affections, though the king
Hath charged you should not speak together.
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
To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences.
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 :
101. Though ink be made of porary receipts for making it. gall. Ox-gall was actually one 105. buy my injuries, give of the constituents of Eliz han atisfaction for the wrongs I ink, as is shown by contem- do him.