Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Cymbeline > Act I, scene I

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	[Enter two Gentlemen]

First 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.

Second Gentleman: But what's the matter?

First Gentleman: His daughter, and the heir of's kingdom, whom
	He purposed 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.

Second Gentleman: None but the king?

First Gentleman: He that hath lost her too; so is the queen,
	That most desired the match; but not a courtier,
	Although they wear their faces to the bent
	Of the king's look's, hath a heart that is not
	Glad at the thing they scowl at.

Second Gentleman: And why so?

First Gentleman: 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.

Second Gentleman: You speak him far.

First Gentleman: I do extend him, sir, within himself,
	Crush him together rather than unfold
	His measure duly.

Second Gentleman:                   What's his name and birth?

First Gentleman: 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 served with glory and admired 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, deceased
	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 'twas minister'd,
	And in's spring became a harvest, lived in court--
	Which rare it is to do--most praised, most loved,
	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.

Second Gentleman: I honour him
	Even out of your report. But, pray you, tell me,
	Is she sole child to the king?

First Gentleman: 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 stol'n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
	Which way they went.

Second Gentleman: How long is this ago?

First Gentleman: Some twenty years.

Second Gentleman: That a king's children should be so convey'd,
	So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
	That could not trace them!

First Gentleman: Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
	Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
	Yet is it true, sir.

Second Gentleman: I do well believe you.

First Gentleman: We must forbear: here comes the gentleman,
	The queen, and princess.



QUEEN: No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
	After the slander of most stepmothers,
	Evil-eyed unto you: you're 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.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Please your highness,
	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 charged you should not speak together.


	Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
	Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
	I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing--
	Always reserved 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.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: 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]

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
	To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
	But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
	Pays dear for my offences.


POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Should we be taking leave
	As long a term as yet we have to live,
	The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

IMOGEN: 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.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: How, how! another?
	You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
	And sear up my embracements from a next
	With bonds of death!

	[Putting on the ring]

		Remain, remain thou here
	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 upon her arm]

IMOGEN: O the gods!
	When shall we see again?

	[Enter CYMBELINE and Lords]

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Alack, the king!

CYMBELINE: 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.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: The gods protect you!
	And bless the good remainders of the court! I am gone.


IMOGEN:                   There cannot be a pinch in death
	More sharp than this is.

CYMBELINE: O disloyal thing,
	That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st
	A year's age on me.

IMOGEN: I beseech you, sir,
	Harm not yourself with your vexation
	I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
	Subdues all pangs, all fears.

CYMBELINE: Past grace? obedience?

IMOGEN: Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.

CYMBELINE: That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!

IMOGEN: O blest, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
	And did avoid a puttock.

CYMBELINE: Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne
	A seat for baseness.

IMOGEN: No; I rather added
	A lustre to it.

CYMBELINE:                   O thou vile one!

	It is your fault that I have loved Posthumus:
	You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
	A man worth any woman, overbuys me
	Almost the sum he pays.

CYMBELINE: What, art thou mad?

IMOGEN: Almost, sir: heaven restore me! Would I were
	A neat-herd's daughter, and my Leonatus
	Our neighbour shepherd's son!

CYMBELINE: Thou foolish thing!

	[Re-enter QUEEN]

	They were again together: you have done
	Not after our command. Away with her,
	And pen her up.

QUEEN:                   Beseech your patience. Peace,
	Dear lady daughter, peace! Sweet sovereign,
	Leave us to ourselves; and make yourself some comfort
	Out of your best advice.

CYMBELINE: Nay, let her languish
	A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
	Die of this folly!

	[Exeunt CYMBELINE and Lords]

QUEEN:                   Fie! you must give way.

	[Enter PISANIO]

	Here is your servant. How now, sir! What news?

PISANIO: My lord your son drew on my master.

	No harm, I trust, is done?

PISANIO: There might have been,
	But that my master rather play'd than fought
	And had no help of anger: they were parted
	By gentlemen at hand.

QUEEN: I am very glad on't.

IMOGEN: 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?

PISANIO: 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 't pleased you to employ me.

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

PISANIO:                   I humbly thank your highness.

QUEEN: Pray, walk awhile.

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



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