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Cymbeline, King of Britain.
Cloten, Son to the Queen by a former Husband.
Leonatus Posthumus, Husband to Imogen.
Belarius, a banished Lord, disguised under the name of Morgan.
Guiderjus, ") Sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names of
Arviragus, ) Polydore and Cadwal, supposed Sons to Belarius,
Philario, Friend to Posthumus, )
T T1 . 7 , -m -i • } Italians,
Jlachimo, Friend to Philario, )
A French Gentleman, Friend to Philario.
Caius Lucius, General of the Roman Forces.
A Roman Captain.
Ttvo British Captains.
Pisanio, Servant to Posthumus.
Cornelius, a Physician.
Two Lords of Cymbeline's Court.
Queen, Wife to Cymbeline.
Imogen, Daughter to Cymbeline by a former Queen.
Helen, Woman to Imogen.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Apparitions, a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE: sometimes in Britain, sometimes in Italy.
THE TRAGEDY OF
Scene I. —- Britain. The Garden of Cymbeline's Palace.
Enter two Gentlemen.
YOU do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods No more obey the heavens than our courtiers Still seem as does the King.
2 Gent. But what's the matter?
1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of 's kingdom,
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; 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
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.
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 gain his honour Against the Romans with Cassibelan, But had his titles by Tenantius, whom 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' th' time, Di'd with their swords in hand; for which theii
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 Leonatus; Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber,
Puts to him all the learnings that his time
2 Gent. I honour him,
Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me, 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 eld'st of them at three years old,
I' th' swathing clothes the other, from their nursery Were stol'n; and to this hour no guess in knowledge Which way they went.
2 Gent. 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 gentleman, the Queen, and Princess. [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 jailer shall deliver you the keys That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus, So soon as I can win th' 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.
Posthumus. Please your Highness,
I will from hence to-day.
Queen. You know the peril.
I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
Imogen. O 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 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.