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CYMBELINE, K’ing of Britain.
CLUTEN, son to the Qucen by a former
LEONATUS POSTHUMUS, husband
Imogen. BELARIUS, a banished lord, disguised under the name of Morgan.
(sons to Cymbeline, disguised GUIDERIUS,
under the names of Poly. Arviragus, dore and Cadwal, supposed
sons to Belarius. PHILARIO, fricni to Posthumus,
IACHimo, friend to Philario,
A French Gentleman, friend to Philario.
Caius Lucius, general of the Roman
A Roman Captain,
Two British Captains.
PISAN10, Gentleman to Posthumus.
CORNELIUS, a physician.
Two Gentlemen oj Cymbeline's Co t.
QUEEN, wife to Cymbeline.
IMOGEN, daughter to Cymbeline by a
HELEN, woman to Imogen.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes,
Apparitions, a Sooth sayer, Jlusicians,
Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers,
and other Attendants.
SCENE.-Sometimes in BRITAIN ; sonic.
times in Rome.
SCENE I.-Britain. The Garden behind Cymbeline's Palace.
Enter Two Gentlemen.
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.
But what's the matter?
i Gent. 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.
None but the king ?
I 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 sco:vl at.
And why so? i 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 carth 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. i 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?
I 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 father
(Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow
That he quit being; and his gentle lady,
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceasd
As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
To bis protection ; calls him Posthumus Leonatus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber :
Puts to him 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 's 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 ; to th’ 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.
I honour 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?
i 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.
Howsoe'er 'tis strange
Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
Yet is it true, sir.
I do well believe you.
I Gent. We must forbear : Here comes the gentleman,
Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and INOGEN.
Queen. No, be assurd, 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.
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 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 begone ;
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 sce again.
Post. 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 Philar o'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.
Post. 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 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.
0, 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,
That shouldst repair my youth ; thou heapest
A year's age on me!
I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation ; I
Am senseless of your wrath ; a touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all fears.
Past grace? obedience ?
Imo. Past hope, and in despair ; that way, past grace
Cym. That mightst have had the sole son of my queen.
Imo. O bless'd, that I might not ! I chose an eagle, And did avoid a puttock.
Cym. Thou took'st a beggar ; wouldst have made my throne A seat for baseness. Imo.
No; I rather added
A lustre to it.
Cym. O thou vile one!
It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus :
You bred him as my playfellow ; and he is
A man worth any woman; overbuys me
Almost the sum he pays.
What! art thou mad ?
Imo. Almost, sir : Heaven restore me !--'Would I were
A neatherd's daughter ! and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd's son!
Thou foolish thing: -
They were again together : you have done [To the QUEEN.
Not after our command Away with her,
And pen her up.
'Bescech your patience :-Peace,
Dear lady daughter, peace.--Sweet sovereign,
Leave us to ourselves ; and make yourself some comfort
Out of your best advice.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
Die of this folly!
[Erit. Enter PISANIO. Queen.
Fye !--you must give way:
Here is your servant.- How now, sir? What news?
Pis. My lord your son drew on my master.
No harm, I trust, is done?
There might have been,
But that my master rather play'd than fought,
And had no help of anger: they were parted
By gentlemen at hand,
I am very glad on't.
Imo. Your son's my father's friend; he takes his part,
To draw upon an exile !-0 brave sir !
I would they were in Afric both together ;
Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
The goer back.- Why came you from your master?
Pis. On his command : He would not sufler me
To bring him to the haven ; left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to,
When 't pleas'd you to employ me.
This hath been