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CYMBELINE.

ACT I.

SCENE 1. Britain. The Garden behind Cymbe line's Palace.

Enter Two Gentlemen.

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

No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers;
Still seem, as does the king's.'

2 Gent.

But what's the matter? 1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his king+ dom, whom

He purpos'd 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;

1 You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers;

Still seem, as does the king's.] This passage is so difficult, that commentators may differ concerning it without animosity or shame. I am now to tell my opinion, which is, that the lines stand as they were originally written, and that a paraphrase, such as the licentious and abrupt expressions of our author too frequently require, will make emendation unnecessary. We do not meet a man but frowns; our bloods-our countenances, which, in popular speech, are said to be regulated by the temper of the blood, no more obey the laws of heaven,--which direct us to appear what we really are,-than our courtiers:—that is, than the bloods of our courtiers; but our bloods, like theirs,—still seem, as doth the king's. JOHNSON,

Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd: all
Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king
Be touch'd at very heart.

2 Gent.

None but the king?

1 Gent. He, that hath lost her, too: so is the

queen,

That most desir'd 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 Gent.

And why so? 1 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.

2 Gent.

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

His measure duly.

2 Gent.

What's his name, and birth?

1 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,3 whom

2 You speak him far.] i. e. you praise him extensively.

3 Tenantius,] was the father of Cymbeline, and nephew of Cassibelan, being the younger son of his elder brother Lud, king of the southern part of Britain; on whose death Cassibelan was admitted king. Cassibelan repulsed the Romans on their first attack, but being vanquished by Julius Cæsar on his second inva

He serv'd with glory and admir'd 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, deceas'd
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 became a harvest: Liv'd in court,
(Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov'd:a
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,

sion of Britain, he agreed to pay an annual tribute to Rome, After his death, Tenantius, Lud's younger son (his elder brother Androgeus having fled to Rome) was established on the throne, of which they had been unjustly deprived by their uncle. According to some authorities, Tenantius quietly paid the tribute stipulated by Cassibelan; according to others, he refused to pay it, and warred with the Romans. Shakspeare supposes the latter to be the truth.

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(Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov'd:] This encomium is high and artful. To be at once in any great degree loved and praised, is truly rare. JOHNSON.

"A glass that feated them;] A glass that formed them; a model by the contemplation and inspection of which they formed their manners. Feat Minsheu interprets, fine, neat, brave.

to his mistress,] means-as to his mistress.

What kind of man he is.

2 Gent.

I honour him

But, 'pray you, tell me,

Even out of your report.
Is she sole child to the king?

1 Gent.
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 stolen; and to this hour, no guess in know-

ledge

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How long is this ago?

1 Gent. Some twenty years.

2 Gent. 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 Gent.

Howsoe'er 'tis strange,

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

2 Gent.

I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen,

and princess.

SCENE II.

The same.

[Exeunt.

Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.

Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter,

After the slander of most step-mothers,

Evil-ey'd unto you: you are my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthúmus
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.

I will from hence to-day.

Queen.

Please your highness,

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.

Imo.

[Exit Queen.

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Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds!-My dearest husband,
I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing,
(Always reserv'd my holy duty,)" what
His rage can do on me: You must be
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.

Post.

gone;

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.

Queen.

Re-enter Queen.

Be brief, I pray you:

(Always reserv'd my holy duty,)] I say I do not fear my fa

ther, so far as I may say it without breach of duty.

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