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ACT THE FIRST.
Enter Pisanio and Second Lord.
Pisanio. 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 Lord. But what's the matter?
Pisanio. Are you so fresh a stranger, to ask that? His daughter, and the heir of his 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 Lord. None but the king?
Pisanio. Not a courtier,
Although they wear their faces to the bent
2 Lord. And why so ?
Pisanio. He, that hath miss'd the princess, is a thing Too bad for bad report; and he, that hath her (I mean, that marry'd 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.
2 Lord. His name and birth?
Pisanio. His father
2 Lord. I honour him
Pisanio. His only child.
He had two sons (if this be worth your hearing,
2 Lord. How long is this ago?
Pisanio. Some twenty years.
2 Lord. That a king's children should be so convey'd! So slackly guarded! And the search so slow, That could not trace them!
Pisanio. Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
We must forbear: Here comes the gentleman,
Enter the Queen, Imogen, and Posthumus.
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, 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:— 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.
Imog. O, Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant Can tickle where she wounds!—My dearest husband, You must begone;
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Post. My queen! my mistress!
Queen. Be brief, I pray you; If the king come, I shall incur I know not How much of his displeasure :—Yet, I'll move him
Post. Should we be taking leave
Imog. Nay, stay a little:
Post. How !—how! another?
[Putting on the Ring.
While sense can keep it on! And sweetest, fairest,
[Putting a Bracelet on her Arm. Upon this fairest prisoner.
Imog. O, the gods !— When shall we see again ?
Enter Cymbeline and Two 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 art poison to my blood!
Post. The gods protect you!
Imog. There cannot be a pinch in death
Cym. O, disloyal thing,
Imog. I beseech you, sir,
Cym. That niightst have had the sole son of my
Imog. O bless'd, that I might not!
Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne A seat for baseness.