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Cornelius, a physician.
Two Gentlemen.
Two Gaolers.

Queen, wife to Cymbeline.
Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queen.
Helen, woman to Imogen.

Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Apparitions, a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attend

ants.

Scen sometimes in Britain; sometimes in Italy.

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,4 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 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; 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.

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2 Gent. That a king's children should be so con- || You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
vey'd!

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.
O, the gods!

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. 2 Gent. I do well believe you. 1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen, and princess. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same. Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.

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, 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,

Post.

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.
0,

Imo.
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds!-My dearest hus-
band,

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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.
[Exit.
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;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.

Post.

How! how! another?

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Imo.
When shall we see again?

Enter Cymbeline and Lords.
Post.
Alack, the king!
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my
sight!

If, after this command, thou fraught3 the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: Away!
Thou art poison to my blood.

Post.

[Exit.

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.
Cym.
O disloyal thing,
That should'st repair my youth: thou heapest
A year's age on me!
Imo.
I beseech you, sir,
Harm not yourself with your vexation;
Am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
Subdues all pangs, all fears.

Cym.

Past grace? obedience? Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.

Cym. That might'st have had the sole5 son of my queen!

Imo. O bless'd, that I might not! I chose an eagle, And did avoid a puttock.6

Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have made my throne

A seat for baseness.

Imo.

A lustre to it.
Cym.
Imo.

No; I rather added

O thou vile one!

Sir,

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.

Cym.
What!-art thou mad!
Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me!-'Would
I were
A neat-herd's daughter! and my Leonatus
Our neighbour shepherd's son !

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(6) A kite.
(8) Consideration.

Out of your best advice.8
Cym.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,

(7) Cattle-keeper's.

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Queen.

I am very glad on't. Imo. Your son's my father's friend; he takes his part.

To draw upon an exile!-O 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 suffer me
To bring him to the haven: left these notes
Of what commands I should be subject to,
When it pleas'd you to employ me.

Queen.
This hath been
Your faithful servant: I dare lay mine honour
He will remain so.
Pis.

I humbly thank your highness. Queen. Pray, walk a while.

Imo.

I

About some half hour hence, pray you, speak with me: you shall, at least, Go see my lord aboard: for this time, leave me.

[Exeunt. SCENE III-A public place. Enter Cloten, and two Lords.

Clo. Come, I'll to my chamber: 'Would there had been some hurt done!

2 Lord. I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt. Clo. You'll go with us?

[Aside.

1 Lord. I'll attend your lordship.
Clo. Nay, come, let's
go together.
2 Lord. Well, my lord.

backside the town.

Clo. The villain would not stand me.

2 Lord. No; but he fled forward still, toward your face.

[Aside.

1 Lord. Stand you! You have land enough of your own: but he added to your having; gave you some ground.

2 Lord. As many inches as you have oceans: Puppies!

[Aside.

Clo. I would, they had not come between us. 2 Lord. So would I, till you had measured how long a fool you were upon the ground.

[Aside.

Clo. And that she should love this fellow, and refuse me!

2 Lord. If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damned. [Aside.

1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together: She's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit.2

2 Lord. She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her. [Aside.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV-A room in Cymbeline's palace. Enter Imogen and Pisanio.

(1) Her beauty and sense are not equal. (2) To understand the force of this idea, it should be remembered that anciently almost every sign had a motto, or some attempt at a witticism, underneath it.

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Pis.

1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacrifice: Where air comes out, air comes in: there's none abroad so wholesome as that you vent. Clo. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it-Have turn'd mine eye, and wept.-But, good Pi

Madam, so I did.
Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings;
crack'd them, but
To look upon him; till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle:
Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air; and then

Imo.
Thou should'st have made him
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.

Have I hurt him?

sanio,

2 Lord. No, faith; not so much as his patience. When shall we hear from him? [Aside. Pis.

1 Lord. Hurt him? his body's a passable car-With his next vantage.3 cass, if he be not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel, if it be not hurt.

2 Lord. His steel was in debt; it went o'the

Aside.

Imo. I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him,
How I would think on him, at certain hours,
Such thoughts, and such; or I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest, and his honour; or have charg'd him,
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
To encounter me with orisons,4 for then

Be assur'd, madam,

I

am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father,
And, like the tyrannous breathing of the north,
Shakes all our buds from growing.

Enter a Lady.

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he was then of a crescent note;' expected to prove,
so worthy, as since he hath been allowed the name
of: but I could then have looked on him without the
help of admiration; though the catalogue of his en-I
dowments had been tabled by his side, and I to
peruse him by items.

Iach. As fair, and as good (a kind of hand-in

Phi. You speak of him when he was less furnish-hand comparison,) had been something too fair, and ed,2 than now he is, with that which makes him too good, for any lady in Britany. If she went beboth without and within. fore others I have seen, as that diamond of yours out-lustres many I have beheld, I could not but believe she excelled many but I have not seen the most precious diamond that is, nor you the lady. Post. I praised her, as I rated her: so do I my stone.

French. I have seen him in France: we had very many there, could behold the sun with as firm eyes

as he.

lach. This matter of marrying his king's daughter (wherein he must be weighed rather by her value, than his own,) words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter.

French. And then his banishment:

Iach. What do you esteem it at? Post. More than the world enjoys. lach. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's out-priz'd by a trifle.

Post. You are mistaken the one may be sold, or given; if there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale, and only the gift of the gods.

Jach. Which the gods have given you? Post. Which, by their graces, I will keep. Iach. You may wear her in title yours: but, you know, strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen too: so, of your brace of unprizeable estimations, the one is but frail, and the other casual; a cunning thief, or a that-way-accomplished courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.

Enter Posthumus.

Here comes the Briton: Let him be so entertained amongst you, as suits, with gentlemen of your knowing, to a stranger of his quality.-I beseech Post. Your Italy contains none so accomplished you all, be better known to this gentleman; whom a courtier, to convince the honour of my mistress; I commend to you, as a noble friend of mine: How if, in the holding or loss of that, you term her frail. worthy he is, I will leave to appear hereafter, I do nothing doubt, you have store of thieves; notrather than story him in his own hearing. withstanding, I fear not my ring. Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen. Post. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me; we are familiar at first.

French. Sir, we have known together in Orleans. Post Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies, which I will be ever to pay, and yet pay still.

Jach. Ay, and the approbation of those, that weep this lamentable divorce, under her colours, are wonderfully to extend4 him; be it but to fortify her judgment, which else an easy battery might lay flat, for taking a beggar without more quality. But how comes it, he is to sojourn with you? How creeps acquaintance?

Phi. His father and I were soldiers together; to whom I have been often bound for no less than my life:

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French. Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness: I was glad I did atone5 my countryman and you; It had been pity, you should have been put together with so mortal a purpose, as then each bore, upon importance of so slight and trivial a nature.

Iach. Can we, with manners, ask what was the difference?

lach. You must not so far prefer her 'fore ours of Italy.

Post. Being so far provoked as I was in France, would abate her nothing; though I profess myself her adorer, not her friend.8

French. Safely, I think: 'twas a contention in public, which may, without contradiction, suffer the report. It was much like an argument that fell out last night, where each of us fell in praise of our country mistresses: This gentleman at that time vouching (and upon warrant of bloody affirmation,) his to be more fair, virtuous, wise, chaste, constantqualified, and less attemptible, than any the rarest of our ladies in France.

Post. By your pardon, sir, I was then a young traveller; rather shunn'd to go even with what I heard, than in my every action to be guided by others' experiences: but, upon my mended judgment (if I offend not to say it is mended,) my quarrel was not altogether slight.

French. 'Faith, yes, to be put to the arbitrement of swords; and by such two, that would, by alla likelihood, have confounded? one the other, or have fallen both.

(1) Increasing in fame.
(3) Forms him. (4) Praise.
(6) Importunity, instigation.

Iach. That lady is not now living; or this gentleman's opinion, by this, worn out.

Post. She holds her virtue still, and I my

Iach. With five times so much conversation, I should get ground of your fair mistress: make her go back, even to the yielding; had I admittance, and opportunity to friend. Post. No, no.

(2) Accomplished.
(5) Reconcile.
(7) Destroyed.

my

Iach. I dare, thereon, pawn the moiety estate to your ring; which, in my opinion, o'ervalues it something: But I make my wager rather against your confidence, than her reputation: and, to bar your offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any lady in the world.

Post. You are a great deal abused 10 in too bold persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're worthy of, by your attempt. lach. What's that?

Phi. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly; let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be better acquainted.

Iach. 'Would I had put my estate, and my neighbour's, on the approbation of what I have spoke.

Post. What lady would you choose to assail? Jach. Yours; whom in constancy, you think, stands so safe. I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring, that, commend me to the court where your lady is, with no more advantage than the opmind.portunity of a second conference, and I will bring

Post. A repulse: Though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more; a punishment too.

(8) Lover,-1, speak of her as a being I reverence, not as a beauty whom I enjoy. (9) Overcome. (10) Deceived.

(11) Proof.

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