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ACT 1.


Britain. The garden behind Cymbeline's palace.


1 Gen. You do not meet a man, but frowns : our

bloods 1 No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers Still seem, as does the king's. 2 Gen.

But what's the matter? 1 Gen. His daughter, and the heir of his king

dom, 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. 2 Gen.

None but the king ?

1 Inclination, natural disposition.

1 Gen. 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. 2 Gen.

And why so ? 1 Gen. 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 sh’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. 2 Gen.

You speak him far.1 1 Gen. I do extend him, sir, within himself ; 2 Crush him together, rather than unfold His measure duly. 2 Gen.

What's his name and birth ? 1 Gen. I cannot delve him to the root. His

Was callid Sicilius, who did join his honor,
Against the Romans, with Cassibelan ;
But had his titles by Tenantius, 3 whom

! You are lavish in your encomiums.
2 My praise, however extensive, is within his merit.
3 The father of Cymbeline.

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;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber;
Puts him to 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 his spring vecame a harvest: iived 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 ; 1 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.
2 Gen.

I honor him Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king? 1 Gen.

His only child.

1 Formed their manners.

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 stolen ; and to this hour, no guess in knowlege
Which way they went.
2 Gen.

How long is this ago ? 1 Gen. Some twenty years. 2 Gen. That a king's children should be so con

vey'd, So slackly guarded, and the search so slow, That could not trace them! 1 Gen.

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

2 Gen. I do well believe you.

1 Gen. We must forbear. Here comes the queen and princess.



The same.

Queen. No, be assured, you shall not find me,

After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you: you are my prisoner, but
Your jailer 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


you. Post.

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.

[Exit Queen. Imo.

Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds !—My dearest husband,
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

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.

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