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CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
and privately married to ber.
Queen, Wife to Cymbeline.
Lords, Ladies, a Soothsayer, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers,
and other Attendants.
SCENE, for some part of the firft and second Aets, lyes
in Rome ; for the rest of the Play in Britain.
Story partly taken from Boccace's Decameron, day 2. nov.9. little besides the names being historical.
ΡΟ Ρ Σ.
Cr M B E L 1 N E.
M Ε L Ι Ν
AC Τ Ι.
S CE N E I.
CYMBELINE's Palace in Britain.
Enter two GENTLEMEN,
But seem as 3 do the King's. 2 Gent. But what's the matter? i Gent. His daughter, and the heir of's King.
dom (whom He purpos'd. to his wife's sole son, a widow That late he married) hath referr'd her self Unto a poor, but worthy gentleman. She's wedded, her husband banish'd, the imprison'd. All's outward sorrow, though I think the King Be touch'd at very heart.
2 Gent. None but the King ?
i 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) but hath a heart that is Glad at the thing they scoul at.
2 Gent. i bloods, 2 heavens than our courtiers;
2 Gent. And why so?
i Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess, is a thing Too bad for bad report : and he that hath her, (I mean that marry'd her, alack good man! And therefore banh’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 him.
2 Gent. You speak him t'far.
I Gent. Is 'don't extend him, Sir; within himself Crush him together rather, than unfold His measure fully.
2 Gent. What's his name and birth?
i Gent. I cannot delve him to the root : his father Was callid 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 fons; who in the wars o'th' time Dy'd with their swords in hand. For which their father, (Then old and fond of issue) took such forrow 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 Postbumus, 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 ministred. His spring became a harvest: 6'he liv'd in Court (Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov’d, A sample to the young'st; to the more mature,
old edit. Theob. emend. . . old edit, Warb. emend.
6 liv'd in Court
A glass that featur’d them ; and to the graver,
2 Gent. I honour him, ev'n out of your report. But tell me, is the sole child to the King ?
i Gent. His only child. He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing, Mark it) the eldest of them at three years old, l'th' swathing cloaths the other, from their nursery Were stoln; and to this hour, no guess in knowledge Which way they went.
2 Gent. How long is this ago ? i Gent. Some twenty years.
2 Gent. That a King's children should be so convey'd ! So Nackly guarded, and the search fo Now That could not trace them!
i Gent. Howfoe'er 'cis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at, Yet it is true, Sir.
2 Gent. I do well believe you.
I Gent. We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman, The Queen, and Princess.
[Exeunt. S CE NE II. Enter the Queen, Posthumus, Imogen, and Attendants.
Queen. No, be assur’d you shall not find me, daughter, After the Nander of most step-mothers, Ill-ey'd unto you: you're my pris'ner, but Your goaler 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 'twere good