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CYMBELINE.

ACT 1.

SCENE 1.

Britain. The Garden behind Cymbe

line's Palace.

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 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.

1. Our bloods [i. e. our dispositions or temperaments) are not more regulated by the heavens, by every skyey influence, than our courtiers are by the disposition of the king : when he frowns every man frowns.' Blood is used in old phraseology for disposition or temperament. So in King Lear:

6-Were it my fitness

To let these hands obey my blood.' And in The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608:

. For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden The following passage in Greene's Never too Late, 4to. 1599, illustrates the thought: If the king smiled, every one in court was in bis jollitie ; if he frowned, their plomes fell like peacock's feathers, so that their outward presence depended on his inward passions.'

2 Geni.

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! 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 far2 1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold His measure dulys. 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 honour4 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:

6

2 i. e. you praise him extensively. 3.

My eulogiam, however extended it may scem, is short of his real excellence; it is rather abbreviated than expanded.' Perhaps this passage will be best illustrated by the following lines in Troilus and Cressida, Act iii. Sc. 3:

no man is the lord of any thing,
Till he communicate his parts to others :
Nor doth he of himself know them for aught,
Till be behold them form’d in the applause

Where they are extended. [i. e. displayed at length.] 4 I do not (say, Steevens) understand what can be meant by joining his honour against, &c. with, &c.' perhaps Shakspeare wrote:

---- did join his banner.' In the last scene of the play Cymbeline proposes that "a Roman and a British ensign should wave together.'

5 The father of Cymbeline.

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; keenathen
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 minister'd; and
In his spring became a harvest : Liv'd in court
( Which rare it is to do) most prais'd, most lov'd6 :
A sample to the youngest; to the more mature
A glass that featedthem; and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards; to his mistress,
From whom he now is banish'n,-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.
2 Gent.

I honour him
Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me,
Is she sole child to the king ?
1 Gent.

His only child. lle 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,

knowledge Which way they went. 2 Gent.

How long is this ago ? 1 Gent. Some twenty years.

no

guess in

see

6 • This encomiam (says Johnson) is highly artful. To be at once in any great degree loved and praised is truly rare.'

? Feate is well-fushioned, proper, trim, handsome, well compact. Concinnus. Thus in Horman’s Vulgaria, 1519 :—He would himself in a glasse, that all thinge were feet. Feature was also used for fashion or proportion. The verb to feat was probably formed by Shakspeare himself.

8 "To his mistress' means as to his mistress

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 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
Yet is it true, sir.
2 Gent.

I do well believe you. gentleman I Gent. We must forbear : Here comes the queen The quin and princess.

[Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

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-eyed 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.
Post.

Please your highness,
I will from hence to-day.
Queen.

You know the peril:-
l'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.

0 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

1.I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of duty.'

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.
Post.

My queen! my mistress!
0, 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. 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%.

[Erit. 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 ?. You gentle gods, give me but this I have,

a

a " He gives me valuable consideration in new kindness (purchasing, as it were, the wrong I have done him), in order to renew oor amity, and make no friends again.'

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