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Tạis exquisite and romantic drama was not entered in the Sca
pioners' books, dor printed, till 1623. It was probably written in about 1609. The plot is in a great degree taken from the Ninth Novel of the Second Day of the Decameron of Boccacio, of which a deformed and interpolated translation had appeared so early as 1518, and an imitation, in an old story.
book, entitlea Westward for Smelts, was priuied in 1603. Cymbeline, the king from whom the play takes its tidle, began
his reign, according to Holinshed, in the nineteenth year of the reign of Augustus Cæsar; and the play commences in or about the twenty-fourth year of Cymbeline's reigo, which was the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus, and ine sixteenth of the Christian æra; not withstanding which, Shak. speare has peopled Rome with modern lialians Philario, Tachimo. &c. Cymbeline is said to have reigned thirty-five years, leaving at his death two soo3, Guiderius and Arviragus
PERSONS REPRESENTED. (I mean, that married her,-alack, good man!
And therefore banish'd,) is a creature such CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
As, to seek through the regions of the earth CLOTEN, son to the Queen by a former husband. For one his like, there would be something failing LEONATUS Posthumus,a gentleman,husband to Imogen. In him that should compare. I do not think, Belarius, a banished lord, disguised under the name So fair an outward, and such stuff within, of Morgan.
Endows a man but he. sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the 2 Gent. GUIDERIUS,
You speak him fa:. ArviraGUS,
names of Polydore and Cadwal, sup- 1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself ; posed sons to Belarius.
Crush him together, rather than unfold PHILARIO, friend to Posthumus,
His measure duly.
Italians. lacrimo, friend to Philario,
What's his name, and birth? A French Gentleman, friend to Philario.
1 Gent. I cannot delve him to the root : His fathor Caius Lucius, general of the Roman Forces. Was callid Sicilius, who did join his honour, A Roman Captain.
Against the Romans, with Cassibelan; Two British Captains.
But had his titles by Tenantius, whom PISAnio, servant to Posthumus.
He serv'd with glory and adınir'd success : CORNELIUS, a physician.
So gain'd the sur-addition, Leonatus : Two Gentlemen.
And had, besides this gentleman in question, Two Gaolers.
Two other sons, who, in the wars o' the time,
Died with their swords in hand; for which, their father QUEEN, wife to Cymbeline.
(Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow IMOGEN, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queon. HELEN, woman to Imogen.
That he quit being ; and his gentle lady,,
Big of this gentleman, our theine, deceas'd Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Apparitions, As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gen- To his protection; calls him Posthumus; tleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Mes. Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber : sengers, and other Attendants.
Puts him to all the learnings that his time SCENE,---sometimes in BRITAIN; sometimes in Italy. Could make him the receiver of; which he took,
As we do air, fast as 'twas minister'd ; and
(Which rare it is to do,) most prais’d, most lov'd : ACT I.
À 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 banishid,-her own price
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue ; Enter Two Gentlemen.
By her election may be truly read, 1 Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods What kind of man he is. No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers ; 2 Gent.
I honour him Still seem, as does the king's.
Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me, 2 Gent.
But what's the matter? Is she sole child to the king ? 1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his kingdom, 1 Gent.
His only child whom
He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing, He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow, Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old, That late he married,) hath referr'd herself I' the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery Unto a poor, but worthy, gentleman : She's wedded; Were stolen; and to this hour po guess in knowledge Her husband banish'd ; she imprison'd: all Which way they went. Is outward sorrow; though, I think, the king
How long is this ago ? Be touch'd at very heart.
1 Gent. Some twenty years. 2 Gent.
None but the king ? 2 Gent. That a king's children should be so con1 Gent. He, that hath lost her, too : so is the queen, So slackly guarded ! And the search so slow, (veyed ! That most desir'd the match : but not a courtier, That could not trace them! Although they wear their faces to the bent
Howsoe'er 'tis strange, Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not Or that the negligence may well be langh'd at, Glad at the thing they scowl at.
Yet is it true, sir. & Gent. And why so ? 4 Gent.
I do well believe you. 1 Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess, is a thing 1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the queen, Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her,
[Esouni. SCENE II.—The same.
Cym. Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.
If, after this command, thou fraught the court (sight!
With thy unworthiness, thou diest : Away!
The gods protect you !
I am gone.
[Erit. That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus, Imo. There cannot be a pinch in death So soon as I can win the offended king,
More sharp than this is. I will be known your advocate : marry, yet
O disloyal thing, The fire of rage is in him; and 'twere good, That should'st repair my youth; thou heapest many You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience A year's age on me ! Your wisdom may inform you.
1 beseech you, sii, Post.
Please your highness, Harm not yourself with your vexation ; I I will from hence to-day.
Am senseless of your wrath ; a touch more rare Queen,
You know the peril :- Subdues all pangs, all fears. I'll fetch a turn about the garden, pitying
Past grace ? obedience ? The pangs of barr'd affections ; though the king Imo. Past hope, end in despair ; that way, past Hath charg'd you should not speak together.
[queen! Imo. O
(Exit QUEEN. Cym. That might'st have had the sole son of my Dissembling courtesy ! How fine this tyrant
Imo. O bless'd, that I might not ! I chose an eagle, Can tickle where she wounds!—My dearest husband, And did avoid a puttock. I something fear my father's wrath ; but nothing, Cym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have made (Always reserv'd my holy duty,) what
A seat for baseness.
[my throne His rage can do on me : You must be gone ;
No; I rather added And I shall here abide the hourly shot
A lustre to it. Of angry eyes ; not comforted to live,
O thou vile one! But that there is this jewel in the world,
fault that I have lov'd Posthumus: Post. My queen ! my mistress !
You bred him as my playfellow; and he is 0, lady, weep no more : lest I give cause
A man, worth any woman ; overbuys me To be suspected of more tenderness
Almost the sum he pays. Than doth become a man ! I will remain
What!-art thou mad ? The loyal'st husband that did e're plight troth. Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me!-'Would I My residence in Rome, at one Philario's;
A neat-herd's daughter! and my Leonatus [were Who to my father was a friend, to me
Our neighbour shepherd's son !
Thou foolish thing
They were again together : you have done
[To the QUEEN. If the king come, I shall incur I know not
up How much of his displeasure : Yet I'll move him To walk this way: I never do him wrong.. [Aside. Dear lady daughter, peace ; –Sweet sovereign,
Queen. 'Beseech your patience :-Peace,
(fort Post. Should we be taking leave Out of your best advice.
Nay, let her languish
A drop of blood a day; and, being aged,
(Est. Imw. Nay, stay a little: Were you but riding forth to air yourself,
Queen. Fye!--you must give way: But keep it till you woo another wife,
Here is your servant.-How now, sir? What news! When Imogen dead.
Pis. My lord your son drew on my master.
Ha! Post. How ! how! another ?
No harm, I trust, is done ? You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
There might have been, And sear up my embracements from a next With bonds of death !-Remain thou here
But that my master rather play'd than fought, (Putting on the ring.
And had no help of anger : they were parted
I am very glad on't.
Imo. Your son's my father's friend; he takes his To your so infinite loss; so in our trifles I still win of you : For my sake, wear this;
To draw upou an exile!-V brave sir ! - (part.It is a manacle of love ; I'll place it
I would they were in Afric both together ; Upon this fairest prisoner.
Myself by with a needle, that I might prick [Putting a bracelet on her arm
The goer back.- W ny came you from your master!
Pis On his command: He would not suffer me Imo.
O, the gods ! When shall we see again ?
To bring him to the haven : left these notes
Of whai commands I should be subject to,
When it pleas'd you to employ me.
This hath been
Your faithful servant; I dare lay mine honour, How swist his ship.
Thou should'st have made him
I humbly thank your highness. As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after eye him.
[them, but I pray you, speak with me : you shall, at least, Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd Go see my lord aboard : for this time, leave ine. [Er. To look upon him ; till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle :
Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a goat to air ; and then 1 Lord. Sir, I would advise you to shift a shirt; | When shall we hear from him?
Have turn'd mine eye, and wept. --But, good Pisanio, the violence of action hath made you reek as a sacriGace : Where air comes out, air comes in : there's none with his next vantage.
Be assur'd, madam, abroad so wholesome as that you vent. Clo. If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it
Imo. I did not take my leave of him, but had Have I hurt him?
Most pretty things to say : ere I could tell him, 2 Lord. No, faith ; not so much as his patience. Such thoughts, and such; or I could make him swear
How I would think on him, at certain hours,
(Aside. 1 Lord. Hurt him ? his body's a passable carcase, Mine interest, and his honour; or have charg'd him,
The shes of Italy should not betray if he be not hurt: it is a thoroughfare for steel, if it At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight, be not hurt,
2 Lord. His steel was in debt: it went o'the back To encounter me with orisons, for then side the town.
I am in heaven for him ; or ere I could
[Aside. Clo. The villain would not stand me.
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set 2 Lord. No; but he fled forward still, toward your And, like
the tyrannous breathing of the north
Betwixt too charming words, comes in my father, face.
[Aside. i Lord. Stand you! You have land enough of your
Shakes all our buds from growing. own : but he added to your having ; gave you some
Enter a Lady. ground.
Lady. 9 Lord. As many inches as you have oceans: Pup- Desires your highness' company.
The queen, madam, pies !
Imo. Those things I bid you do, get them deClo. I would, they had not come between us.
I will attend the queen.
(spatch'd.u Lord. So would I, till you had measured how
Madam, I shall.' (Exeunt. long a fool you were upon the ground. (Aside. Člo. And that she should love this fellow, and re
SCENE V. fuse me! 2 Lord. If it be a sin to make a true election, she
Rome.-An Apartment in Philario's House. is damned.
Enter Philario, Lachimo, a Frenchman, 1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and
a Dutchman, and a Spaniard. her brain go not together : She's a good sign, but I lach. Believe it, sir : I have seen him in Britain : have seen small reflection of her wit.
he was then of a crescent note; expected to prove ų Lord. She shines not upon fools, lest the reflec- so worthy, as since he hath been allowed the name tion should hurt her.
[Aside. of: but I could then have looked on him without the Clo. Come, I'll to my chamber : 'Would there had help of admiration; though the catalogue of his enbeen some hurt done!
dowments had been tabled by his side, and I to pe2 Lord. I wish not so ; unless it had been the fall ruse him by items. of an ass, which is no great hurt.
(Aside. Phi. You speak of him when he was less furnished, Clo. You'll go with us?
than now he is, with that which makes him both with i Lord. I'll attend your lordship.
out and within. Clo. Nay, come, let's go together.
French. I have seen him in France : we had very 2 Lord. Well, my lord.
(Eseurit. many there, could behold the sun with as firm eyes SCENE IV.- Room in Cymbeline's Palace. lach. This matter of marrying his king's daugh. Enter Imogen and PISANIO.
ter, (wherein he must be weighed rather by her value, Imo. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o'the than his own,) words him, I doubt not, a great deal haven,
from the matter. And question dst every sail : if he should write,
French. And then his banishment : And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost,
lach. Ay, and the approbation of those, that weep As offer'd mercy is. What was the last
this lamentable divorce, under her colours, are wonThat he spake to thee ?
derfully to extend him; be it but to fortify her judg. Pis.
'Twas, His queen, his queen! ment, which else an easy battery might lay flat, for Imo. Then wav'd his handkerchief?
taking a beggar without more quality. But how Pis.
And kiss'd it, madam. comes it, he is to sojourn with you? How creeps acImo. Senseless linen! happier therein than I!- quaintance ? And that was all ?
Phi. His father and I were soldiers together ; to Pis. No, madam ; for so long
whom I have been often bound for no less than my ds he could make me with this eye or ear
Enter PosthumUS. Distinguish him from others, he did keep The deck, with glove, or hat, or bandkerchief, Here comes the Briton : Let him be so entertained Sull waving, as the fits and stirs of his mind amongst you, as suits, with gentlemen ot your knowCould best express how slow his soul saild on, ing, to a stranger of his quality.-1 beseech you all,