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ACT I.

SCENE I. Britain. The Garden behind Cymbeline's Palace.

Enter Two Gentlemen.

1 Gentleman.

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;
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?

*Inclination, natural disposition.

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 join 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'the time, Died with their swords in hand; for which their fa

ther

(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;

* i. e. You praise him extensively. 3 My praise, however extensive, is within his merit. 4. The father of Cymbeline.

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 sample to the youngest 3 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.

2 Gent. I honour him Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king 2

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 knowledge Which way they went.

2Gent. How long is this ago?

1 Gent. Some twenty years.

2 Gent. That a king's children should be so convey'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.

WOL. IX. C

5 Formed their manners,

2 Gent. I do well believe you. 1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen, and princess. [Ereunt. SCENE II. The same.

Enter the Queen, Post HUMUs, and IMog EN.

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, Posthümus, 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 charg'd you should not speak together.
[Exit Queen.
Imo. 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.

Post. My queen my mistress :
O, lady, weep no more ; lest I give cause s
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:—Yet I'll move him

[Aside.

To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences. [Erit.

Post. 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:
Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love ;
This diamond was my mother's : take it, heart;

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