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1st 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's.

2d Gent. But what's the matter?

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1st Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his kingdom,


He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow,

That late he married,) hath referred 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.

2d Gent. None but the king?

1st 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.

2d Gent. And why so?

1st 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.

2d Gent. You speak him far.

1st Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold

His measure duly.

2d Gent. What's his name, and birth?

1st 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, 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.

2d Gent. I honour him

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

1st Gent. 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.

2d Gent. How long is this ago?

1st Gent. Some twenty years.

2d Gent. That a king's children should be so convey'd !

So slackly guarded! And the search so slow,

That could not trace them!

1st Gent. Howsoe'er 'tis strange,

Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,

Yet is it true, sir.

2d Gent. I do well believe you.

1st Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen,

and princess.


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, Posthúmus,
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 senience, with what patience
Your wisdom may inform you.

Post. Please your highness,

I will from hence to-day.

Queen. You know the peril :

I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying

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