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CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
CLOTEN, Son to the Queen by a former Husband.
LEONATUS POSTHUMUS, a Gentleman, Husband to Imogen.
BELARICS, a banished Lord, disguised under the name of Morgan.
GUIDERIUS, Sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names of
ARVIRAGUS, Polydore and Cadwal, supposed Sons to Belarius.
, to Philario,
A French Gentleman, Friend to Philario.
Caius Lucius, General of the Roman Forces.
A Roman Captain. Tuo British Captains.
PISANIO, Servant to Posthumus.
CORNELIUS, a Physician.
Queen, Wife to Cymbeline.
IMOGEN, Daughter to Cymbeline by a former Queen.
HELEN, Woman to Imogen.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Apparitions, a Sooth
sayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in Britain; sometimes in Italy.
SCENE I. Britain. The Garden behind Cymbeline's
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 kingdom, whom He purposed to his wife's sole son, (a widow That late he married,) hath referred herself Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She's wedded; Her husband banished; she imprisoned: all Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king Be touched at very heart. 2 Gent.
None but the king ?
1 Gent. 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.
And why so?
1 Gent. He that hath missed 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 banished,) 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.
You speak him far.
1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself;
Crush him together, rather than unfold
His measure duly.
What's his name, and birth?
1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root. His father
Was called Sicilius, who did join his honor
Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;
But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
He served with glory and admired success.
So gained 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, deceased
As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
To his protection; calls him Posthumus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bedchamber:
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 ministered; and
In his spring became a harvest; lived 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; and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
From whom he now is banished,— her own price
Proclaims how she esteemed him and his virtue;
By her election may be truly read,
What kind of man he is.
I honor him
Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me,
Is she sole child to the king ?
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.
How long is this ago ? 1 Gent. Some twenty years. 2 Gent. That a king's children should be so conveyed !
So slackly guarded! and the search so slow,
That could not trace them !
Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laughed at,
Yet is it true, sir.
I do well believe you. 1 Gent. We must forbear; here comes the queen and princess.
Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.
Queen. No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most step-mothers,
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 leaned unto his sentence, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.
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 barred affections; though the king
Hath charged you should not speak together. [Exit Queen.
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! - My dearest husband,
I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing
(llways reserved 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.
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.
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.
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;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.
How! how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!-- Remain, remain thou here
[Putting on the ring.
While sense can keep it on! And sweetest, fairest,
As I my poor self did exchange for you,
To your so infinite loss; so, in our trifles
I still win of you. For my sake, wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I'll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner. [Putting a bracelet on her arm.
o the gods ! When shall we see again?
Enter CYMBELINE and Lords.
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.
The gods protect you !
And bless the good remainders of the court !
I am gone.
Imo. There cannot be a pinch in death
More sharp than this is.
O disloyal thing,