Act I, Scene 1
Britain. The garden of Cymbeline’s palace.
- Enter two Gentlemen.
First Gentleman1 - 3
- 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.
- But what’s the matter?
First Gentleman5 - 11
- His daughter, and the heir of ’s kingdom (whom
- He purpos’d to his wive’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.
- None but the King?
First Gentleman13 - 17
- 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.
- And why so?
First Gentleman19 - 27
- 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.
- You speak him far.
First Gentleman29 - 31
- I do extend him, sir, within himself,
- Crush him together rather than unfold
- His measure duly.
- What’s his name and birth?
First Gentleman33 - 59
- I cannot delve him to the root: his father
- Was call’d Sicilius, who did join his honor
- 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’ th’ 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 Leonatus,
- Breeds him and makes him of his bedchamber,
- 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 minist’red,
- And in ’s 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 th’ 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 Gentleman60 - 62
- I honor him
- Even out of your report. But pray you tell me,
- Is she sole child to th’ King?
First Gentleman63 - 68
- His only child.
- He had two sons (if this be worth your hearing,
- Mark it), the eldest of them at three years old,
- I’ th’ swathing clothes the other, from their nursery
- Were stol’n, and to this hour no guess in knowledge
- Which way they went.
- How long is this ago?
- Some twenty years.
Second Gentleman71 - 73
- That a king’s children should be so convey’d,
- So slackly guarded, and the search so slow,
- That could not trace them!
First Gentleman74 - 76
- Howsoe’er ’tis strange,
- Or that the negligence may well be laugh’d at,
- Yet is it true, sir.
- I do well believe you.
First Gentleman78 - 79
- We must forbear. Here comes the gentleman,
- The Queen, and Princess.
- Enter the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen.
Queen80 - 89
- No, be assur’d you shall not find me, daughter,
- After the slander of most stepmothers,
- Evil-ey’d unto you. You’re my prisoner, but
- Your jailer 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
- You lean’d unto his sentence with what patience
- Your wisdom may inform you.
Posthumus90 - 91
- Please your Highness,
- I will from hence today.
Queen92 - 95
- You know the peril,
- I’ll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
- The pangs of barr’d affections, though the King
- Hath charg’d you should not speak together.
Imogen96 - 105
- Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
- Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
- I something fear my father’s wrath, but nothing
- (Always reserv’d 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.
Posthumus106 - 115
- 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 loyall’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.
- Enter Queen.
Queen116 - 122
- 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 offenses.
Posthumus123 - 125
- Should we be taking leave
- As long a term as yet we have to live,
- The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!
Imogen126 - 131
- 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.
Posthumus132 - 142
- How, how? Another?
- You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
- And cere up my embracements from a next
- With bonds of death!
- Puts 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.
Imogen143 - 144
- O the gods!
- When shall we see again?
- Enter Cymbeline and Lords.
- Alack, the King!
Cymbeline146 - 149
- 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.
Posthumus150 - 152
- The gods protect you,
- And bless the good remainders of the court!
- I am gone.
Imogen153 - 154
- There cannot be a pinch in death
- More sharp than this is.
Cymbeline155 - 157
- O disloyal thing,
- That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap’st
- A year’s age on me.
Imogen158 - 161
- 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.
- Past grace? Obedience?
- Past hope, and in despair, that way past grace.
- That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!
Imogen165 - 166
- O blessed, that I might not! I chose an eagle,
- And did avoid a puttock.
Cymbeline167 - 168
- Thou took’st a beggar, wouldst have made my throne
- A seat for baseness.
Imogen169 - 170
- No, I rather added
- A lustre to it.
- O thou vild one!
Imogen172 - 176
- It is your fault that I have lov’d Posthumus:
- You bred him as my playfellow, and he is
- A man worth any woman; overbuys me
- Almost the sum he pays.
- What? Art thou mad?
Imogen178 - 180
- Almost, sir: heaven restore me! Would I were
- A neat-herd’s daughter, and my Leonatus
- Our neighbor shepherd’s son!
- Enter Queen.
Cymbeline181 - 184
- Thou foolish thing!
- To the Queen.
- They were again together; you have done
- Not after our command. Away with her,
- And pen her up.
Queen185 - 188
- Beseech your patience. Peace,
- Dear lady daughter, peace! Sweet sovereign,
- Leave us to ourselves, and make yourself some comfort
- Out of your best advice.
Cymbeline189 - 191
- Nay, let her languish
- A drop of blood a day, and being aged
- Die of this folly!
- Exit with Lords.
- Enter Pisanio.
Queen192 - 193
- Fie, you must give way.
- Here is your servant. How now, sir? What news?
- My lord your son drew on my master.
Queen195 - 196
- No harm, I trust, is done?
Pisanio197 - 200
- 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.
- I am very glad on’t.
Imogen202 - 206
- 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?
Pisanio207 - 210
- 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 pleas’d you to employ me.
Queen211 - 213
- This hath been
- Your faithful servant. I dare lay mine honor
- He will remain so.
- I humbly thank your Highness.
- Pray walk awhile.
Imogen216 - 218
- To Pisanio.
- About some half hour hence,
- Pray you speak with me. You shall, at least,
- Go see my lord aboard. For this time leave me.