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SCENE I. Britain. The Garden behind Cymbeline's
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 kingdom,
but worthy gentleman. She's wedded ; Her husband banished; she imprisoned: all Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king Be touched at very heart. 2 Gent.
None but the king ? 1 Gent. 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
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.” In some editions, a different meaning is conveyed, by placing a semicolon after the word courtiers. VOL. VI.
Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not
And why so ? 1 Gent. He that hath missed 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 banished,) 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 far.' 1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold His measure duly. 2 Gent.
What's his name, and birth? 1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root. His father Was called Sicilius, who did join his honor ? Against the Romans, with Cassibelan; But had his titles by Tenantius, whom He served with glory and admired success. So gained 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; 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 ministered; and In his spring became a harvest ; lived in court
(Which rare it is to do) most praised, most loved ;
I honor him
His only child.
How long is this ago? 1 Gent. Some twenty years.
2 Gent. That a king's children should be so conveyed! 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 laughed at, Yet is it true, sir. 2 Gent.
I do well believe you. 1 Gent. We must forbear; here comes the queen and princess.
Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and IMOGEN. Queen. No, be assured, you shall not find me,
1 Feate is well-fashioned, proper, trim, handsome, well-compact (concinnus). Feature was also used for fashion or proportion. The verb to feat was probably formed by Shakspeare himself.
2 “To his mistress," means as to his mistress.
After the slander of most step-mothers,
For you, Posthumus,
Please your highness,
You know the peril.-
pangs of barred affections; though the king Hath charged you should not speak together.
[Exit Queen. Imo. 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;
My queen! my mistress !
1 " I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of duty."
Be brief, I pray you:
[Aside. To walk this way. I never do him wrong, But he does buy my injuries, to be friends; Pays dear for my offences.? Post.
Should we be taking leave
Imo. Nay, stay a little ;
How! how ! another?
[Putting on the ring. While sense can keep it on!
And sweetest, fairezt, 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. Imo.
o the gods! When shall we see again?
1 "He gives me a valuable consideration in new kindness (purchasing, as it were, the wrong I have done him), in order to renew our amity, and make us friends again.”
2 Shakspeare poetically calls the cere-cloths, in which the dead are wrapped, the bonds of death. There was no distinction in ancient orthography between seare, to dry, to wither; and seare, to dress or cover with wax. Cere-cloth is most frequently spelled seare-cloth.
3 i. e. while I have sensation to retain it.