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2 Gent.

But what's the matter?

1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of 's 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 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 king 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!
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.

His father

2 Gent.
What's his name, and birth?
1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root.
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, deceas'd
As he was born. The king he takes the babe
To his 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 't was 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;
By her election may be truly read

What kind of man he is.

I honour him,

But, pray you, tell me,

2 Gent. Even out of your report. Is she sole child to the king?

His only child.

1 Gent.
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.

2 Gent.

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 't is strange,

Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
Yet is it true, Sir.

2 Gent.

I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman, the

queen, and princess.


The Same.



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 jailer shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win th' offended king,

I will be known your advocate: marry, yet
The fire of rage is in him; and 't were good,

You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.


I will from hence to-day.


Please your highness,

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.

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.


Re-enter QUEEN.

Be brief, I pray you:

If the king come, I shall incur I know not

How much of his displeasure. [Aside.] Yet I'll move him
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.
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.

And sweetest, fairest,


When shall we see again?

[Putting a Bracelet on her Arm. O, the gods!

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 'rt poison to my blood.


The gods protect you,

And bless the good remainders of the court!

I am gone.


More sharp than this is.


There cannot be a pinch in death

O disloyal thing!

That should'st repair my youth, thou heapest
A year's age on me.

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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 might'st 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; would'st have made my throne A seat for baseness.

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It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus.
You bred him as my play-fellow; 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! A neat-herd's daughter, and my Leonatus Our neighbour shepherd's son!

Would I were

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