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Cymbeline: Act 1, Scene 1

Cymbeline
Act 1, Scene 1

Scene 1

Britain. The garden of Cymbeline’s palace.

  1. Enter two Gentlemen.

First Gentleman

2 - 4
  1. You do not meet a man but frowns. Our bloods
  2. No more obey the heavens than our courtiers’
  3. Still seem as does the King’s.

Second Gentleman

5
  1.                                But what’s the matter?

First Gentleman

6 - 12
  1. His daughter, and the heir of ’s kingdom (whom
  2. He purpos’d to his wive’s sole sona widow
  3. That late he married), hath referr’d herself
  4. Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She’s wedded,
  5. Her husband banish’d, she imprison’d: all
  6. Is outward sorrow, though I think the King
  7. Be touch’d at very heart.

Second Gentleman

13
  1.                           None but the King?

First Gentleman

14 - 18
  1. He that hath lost her too; so is the Queen,
  2. That most desir’d the match. But not a courtier,
  3. Although they wear their faces to the bent
  4. Of the King’s looks, hath a heart that is not
  5. Glad at the thing they scowl at.

Second Gentleman

19
  1.                                  And why so?

First Gentleman

20 - 28
  1. He that hath miss’d the Princess is a thing
  2. Too bad for bad report; and he that hath her
  3. (I mean, that married her, alack, good man!
  4. And therefore banish’d) is a creature such
  5. As, to seek through the regions of the earth
  6. For one his like, there would be something failing
  7. In him that should compare. I do not think
  8. So fair an outward and such stuff within
  9. Endows a man but he.

Second Gentleman

29
  1.                      You speak him far.

First Gentleman

30 - 32
  1. I do extend him, sir, within himself,
  2. Crush him together rather than unfold
  3. His measure duly.

Second Gentleman

33
  1.                   What’s his name and birth?

First Gentleman

34 - 60
  1. I cannot delve him to the root: his father
  2. Was call’d Sicilius, who did join his honor
  3. Against the Romans with Cassibelan,
  4. But had his titles by Tenantius, whom
  5. He serv’d with glory and admir’d success:
  6. So gain’d the sur-addition Leonatus;
  7. And had (besides this gentleman in question)
  8. Two other sons, who in the wars o’ th’ time
  9. Died with their swords in hand; for which their father,
  10. Then old and fond of issue, took such sorrow
  11. That he quit being, and his gentle lady,
  12. Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas’d
  13. As he was born. The King he takes the babe
  14. To his protection, calls him Posthumus Leonatus,
  15. Breeds him and makes him of his bedchamber,
  16. Puts to him all the learnings that his time
  17. Could make him the receiver of, which he took,
  18. As we do air, fast as ’twas minist’red,
  19. And in ’s spring became a harvest; liv’d in court
  20. (Which rare it is to do) most prais’d, most lov’d,
  21. A sample to the youngest, to th’ more mature
  22. A glass that feated them, and to the graver
  23. A child that guided dotards. To his mistress
  24. (For whom he now is banish’d), her own price
  25. Proclaims how she esteem’d him; and his virtue
  26. By her election may be truly read,
  27. What kind of man he is.

Second Gentleman

61 - 63
  1.                         I honor him
  2. Even out of your report. But pray you tell me,
  3. Is she sole child to th’ King?

First Gentleman

64 - 69
  1.                                His only child.
  2. He had two sons (if this be worth your hearing,
  3. Mark it), the eldest of them at three years old,
  4. I’ th’ swathing clothes the other, from their nursery
  5. Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
  6. Which way they went.

Second Gentleman

70
  1.                      How long is this ago?

First Gentleman

71
  1. Some twenty years.

Second Gentleman

72 - 74
  1. That a king’s children should be so convey’d,
  2. So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
  3. That could not trace them!

First Gentleman

75 - 77
  1.                            Howsoe’er ’tis strange,
  2. Or that the negligence may well be laugh’d at,
  3. Yet is it true, sir.

Second Gentleman

78
  1.                      I do well believe you.

First Gentleman

79 - 80
  1. We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
  2. The Queen, and Princess.
  1. Exeunt.
  1. Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.

Queen

83 - 92
  1. No, be assur’d you shall not find me, daughter,
  2. After the slander of most stepmothers,
  3. Evil-ey’d unto you. You’re my prisoner, but
  4. Your jailer shall deliver you the keys
  5. That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
  6. So soon as I can win th’ offended King,
  7. I will be known your advocate. Marry, yet
  8. The fire of rage is in him, and ’twere good
  9. You lean’d unto his sentence with what patience
  10. Your wisdom may inform you.

Posthumus

93 - 94
  1.                             Please your Highness,
  2. I will from hence today.

Queen

95 - 98
  1.                          You know the peril,
  2. I’ll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
  3. The pangs of barr’d affections, though the King
  4. Hath charg’d you should not speak together.
  1. Exit.

Imogen

100 - 109
  1.                                             O
  2. Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
  3. Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
  4. I something fear my father’s wrath, but nothing
  5. (Always reserv’d my holy duty) what
  6. His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
  7. And I shall here abide the hourly shot
  8. Of angry eyes, not comforted to live,
  9. But that there is this jewel in the world
  10. That I may see again.

Posthumus

110 - 119
  1.                       My queen, my mistress!
  2. O lady, weep no more, lest I give cause
  3. To be suspected of more tenderness
  4. Than doth become a man. I will remain
  5. The loyall’st husband that did e’er plight troth.
  6. My residence in Rome at one Philario’s,
  7. Who to my father was a friend, to me
  8. Known but by letter; thither write, my queen,
  9. And with mine eyes I’ll drink the words you send,
  10. Though ink be made of gall.
  1. Enter Queen.

Queen

121 - 128
  1.                             Be brief, I pray you.
  2. If the King come, I shall incur I know not
  3. How much of his displeasure.
  4. Aside.
  5.                              Yet I’ll move him
  6. To walk this way. I never do him wrong
  7. But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
  8. Pays dear for my offenses.
  1. Exit.

Posthumus

130 - 132
  1.                            Should we be taking leave
  2. As long a term as yet we have to live,
  3. The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

Imogen

133 - 138
  1. Nay, stay a little:
  2. Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
  3. Such parting were too petty. Look here, love,
  4. This diamond was my mother’s. Take it, heart,
  5. But keep it till you woo another wife,
  6. When Imogen is dead.

Posthumus

139 - 150
  1.                      How, how? Another?
  2. You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
  3. And cere up my embracements from a next
  4. With bonds of death!
  5. Puts on the ring.
  6. Remain, remain thou here,
  7. While sense can keep it on. And, sweetest, fairest,
  8. As I my poor self did exchange for you,
  9. To your so infinite loss, so in our trifles
  10. I still win of you. For my sake wear this:
  11. It is a manacle of love, I’ll place it
  12. Upon this fairest prisoner.
  1. Putting a bracelet upon her arm.

Imogen

152 - 153
  1.                             O the gods!
  2. When shall we see again?
  1. Enter Cymbeline and Lords.

Posthumus

155
  1.                          Alack, the King!

Cymbeline

156 - 159
  1. Thou basest thing, avoid hence, from my sight!
  2. If after this command thou fraught the court
  3. With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away!
  4. Thou’rt poison to my blood.

Posthumus

160 - 162
  1.                             The gods protect you,
  2. And bless the good remainders of the court!
  3. I am gone.
  1. Exit.

Imogen

164 - 165
  1.            There cannot be a pinch in death
  2. More sharp than this is.

Cymbeline

166 - 168
  1.                          O disloyal thing,
  2. That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap’st
  3. A year’s age on me.

Imogen

169 - 172
  1.                     I beseech you, sir,
  2. Harm not yourself with your vexation,
  3. I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare
  4. Subdues all pangs, all fears.

Cymbeline

173
  1.                               Past grace? Obedience?

Imogen

174
  1. Past hope, and in despair, that way past grace.

Cymbeline

175
  1. That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!

Imogen

176 - 177
  1. O blessed, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
  2. And did avoid a puttock.

Cymbeline

178 - 179
  1. Thou took’st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
  2. A seat for baseness.

Imogen

180 - 181
  1.                      No, I rather added
  2. A lustre to it.

Cymbeline

182
  1.                 O thou vild one!

Imogen

183 - 187
  1.                  Sir,
  2. It is your fault that I have lov’d Posthumus:
  3. You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
  4. A man worth any woman; overbuys me
  5. Almost the sum he pays.

Cymbeline

188
  1.                         What? Art thou mad?

Imogen

189 - 191
  1. Almost, sir: heaven restore me! Would I were
  2. A neat-herd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
  3. Our neighbor shepherd’s son!
  1. Enter Queen.

Cymbeline

193 - 197
  1.                              Thou foolish thing!
  2. To the Queen.
  3. They were again together; you have done
  4. Not after our command. Away with her,
  5. And pen her up.

Queen

198 - 201
  1.                 Beseech your patience. Peace,
  2. Dear lady daughter, peace! Sweet sovereign,
  3. Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some comfort
  4. Out of your best advice.

Cymbeline

202 - 204
  1.                          Nay, let her languish
  2. A drop of blood a day, and being aged
  3. Die of this folly!
  1. Exit with Lords.
  1. Enter Pisanio.

Queen

207 - 208
  1.                    Fie, you must give way.
  2. Here is your servant. How now, sir? What news?

Pisanio

209
  1. My lord your son drew on my master.

Queen

210 - 211
  1.                                     Hah?
  2. No harm, I trust, is done?

Pisanio

212 - 215
  1.                            There might have been,
  2. But that my master rather play’d than fought
  3. And had no help of anger. They were parted
  4. By gentlemen at hand.

Queen

216
  1.                       I am very glad on’t.

Imogen

217 - 221
  1. Your son’s my father’s friend, he takes his part
  2. To draw upon an exile. O brave sir!
  3. I would they were in Afric both together,
  4. Myself by with a needle, that I might prick
  5. The goer-back. Why came you from your master?

Pisanio

222 - 225
  1. On his command. He would not suffer me
  2. To bring him to the haven; left these notes
  3. Of what commands I should be subject to,
  4. When’t pleas’d you to employ me.

Queen

226 - 228
  1.                                  This hath been
  2. Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honor
  3. He will remain so.

Pisanio

229
  1.                    I humbly thank your Highness.

Queen

230
  1. Pray walk awhile.

Imogen

231 - 234
  1. To Pisanio.
  2.                   About some half hour hence,
  3. Pray you speak with me. You shall, at least,
  4. Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me.
  1. Exeunt.
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