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Cymbeline, king of Britain.
Queen, wife to Cymbeline.
sayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
Scene; sometimes in Britain ; sometimes in Italy.
ACT I. SCENE I. Britain. The garden behind Cymbe
Enter Two Gentlemen. 1 Gent. You do not meet a man, but frowns : our
bloods* No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers; Still seen, as does the king's. ? Gent.
But what's the matter? I 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? 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!
* Inclination, natural disposition.
And therefore banish’d) is a creature such
You speak him far*,
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 I, 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, deceas'd As he was born. The king, he takes the babe To his protection; calls him Posthumus; Breeds him, and makes hịm of his bed-chamber : Puts him to all the learnings that his time Could make him the receiver of; wbich 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 ; 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;
** i. e. You praise him extensively. + My praise, however extensive, is within his merit. The fatber of Cymbeline.
§ Formed their manners.