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He purpos'd to his wife'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 ;2 though, I think, the king
Be touch'd at very heart.

2 Gent.

None but the king?

1 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, hath a heart that is not
Glad at the thing they scowl at.

2 Gent.

And why so?

1 Gent. 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.

2 Gent.

You speak him far.3

1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself;4


but not a courtier,

"Although they wear their faces to the bent


Of the king's looks,

We have again, in Antony and Cleopatra, a sentiment similar to that before us:



for he would shine on those

"That made their looks by his." Malone.

She's wedded;

Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd: all

Is outward sorrow; &c ] I would reform the metre as follows:
She's wed; her husband banish'd, she imprison'd:

All's outward sorrow; &c.

Wed is used for wedded, in The Comedy of Errors:

"In Syracusa was I born, and wed, -"Steevens.

3 You speak him far.] i. e. you praise him extensively. Steevens. You are lavish in your encomiums on him: your eulogium has a wide compass. Malone.

I do extend him, sir, within himself;] I extend him within himself; my praise, however extensive, is within his merit.


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 call'd Sicilius, who did join his honour, Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;6 But had his titles by Tenantius,7 whom

My eulogium, however extended it may seem, is short of his real excellence: it is rather abbreviated than expanded.-We have again the same expression in a subsequent scene: "The approbation of those that weep this lamentable divorce, are wonderfully to extend him." Again, in The Winter's Tale: "The report of her is extended more than can be thought." Malone.

5 Crush him -] So, in King Henry IV, P. II:


"Crowd us and crush us in this monstrous form." Steevens.

who did join his honour

Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;] I do not understand what can be meant by "joining his honour against &c. with &c." Perhaps our author wrote:

did join his banner

Against the Romans &c.

In King John, says the bastard, let us—

Part our mingied colours once again."

and in the last speech of the play before us, Cymbeline proposes that " a Roman and a British ensign should wave together."




Tenantius,] was the father of Cymbeline, and nephew of Cassibelan, being the younger son of his elder brother Lud, king of the southern part of Britain; on whose death Cassibelan was admitted king. Cassibelan repulsed the Romans on their first attack, but being vanquished by Julius Cæsar on his second invasion of Britain, he agreed to pay an annual tribute to Rome. After his death, Tenantius, Lud's younger son, (his elder brother Androgeus having fled to Rome) was established on the throne, of which they had been unjustly deprived by their uncle. cording to some authorities, Tenantius quietly payed the tribute stipulated by Cassibelan; according to others, he refused to pay it, and warred with the Romans. Shakspeare supposes the latter to be the truth. Holinshed, who furnished our poet with these facts, furnished him also with the name of Sicilius, who was ad mitted king of Britain, A. M. 3659. The name of Leonatus he found in Sidney's Arcadia. Leonatus is there the legitimate son of the blind King of Paphlagonia, on whose story the episode of Gloster, Edgar, and Edmund, is formed in King Lear. See Arcadia, p. 69, edit. 1593. Malone.

Shakspeare, having already introduced Leonato among the characters in Much Ado about Nothing, had not far to go for Leonatus.


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' 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, deceas'd
As he was born. The king, he takes the babe
To his protection; calls him Posthumus: 8
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber:
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 minister'd; and

In his spring became a harvest: Liv'd in court,
(Which rare it is to do) most prais'd, most lov'd:9
A sample to the youngest; to the more mature,
A glass that feated them;1 and to the graver,
A child that guided dotards: to his mistress,2
For whom he now is banish'd, her own price
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue;

8 ·Posthumus ;] Old copy-Posthumus Leonatus. Reed. Liv'd in court,


(Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov'd:] This enco mium is high and artful. To be at once in any great degree loved and praised, is truly rare. Johnson

1 A glass that feated them; A glass that formed them; a model, by the contemplation and inspection of which they formed their manners. Johnson.

This passage may be well explained by another in The First Part of King Henry IV:

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"Wherein the noble youths did dress themselves."

Again, Ophelia describes Hamlet, as

"The glass of fashion, and the mould of form."

To dress themselves, therefore, may be to form themselves. Dresser, in French, is to form. To dress a spaniel is to break him in.

Feat is nice, exact. So, in The Tempest:

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look, how well my garments sit upon me,

"Much feater than before."

To feat, therefore, may be a verb meaning-to render nice, exact. By the dress of Posthumus, even the more mature courtiers condescended to regulate their external appearance. Steevens.

By her election may be truly read,
What kind of man he is.

2 Gent.

I honour him

Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me,
Is she sole child to the king?

1 Gent.

His only child.
He had two sons, (if this be wor h your hearing,
Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old,

I' the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery
Were stolen; and to this hour, no guess in knowledge
Which way they went.

2 Gent.

How long is this ago?

1 Gent. Some twenty years.

2 Gent. That a king's children should be so convey'd! 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 laugh'd at,
Yet it is true, sir.

2 Gent.

I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the gentleman, The queen, and princess.



The same.

Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.3

Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter, After the slander of most step-mothers,

Evil-ey'd unto you: you are my prisoner, but

Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys

That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus,
So soon as I can win the 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.

3 Imogen.] Holinshed's Chronicle furnished Shakspeare with this name, which in the old black letter is scarcely distinguishable from Innogen, the wife of Brute, King of Britain. There too he found the name of Cloten, who, when the line of Brute was at an end, was one of the five kings that governed Britain. Cloten, or Cloton, was King of Cornwall. Malone.



Please your highness,

You know the peril :

I will from hence to-day.


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.


[Exit Queen.

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.

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 loyal'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.5


Re-enter Queen.

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 [aside.
To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends;
Pays dear for my offences.


4 ( Always reserv'd my holy duty)] I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of duty. Johnson.

5 Though ink be made of gall.] Shakspeare, even in this poor conceit, has confounded the vegetable galls used in ink, with the animal gall, supposed to be bitter. Johnson.

The poet might mean either the vegetable or the animal galls with equal propriety, as the vegetable gall is bitter; and I have seen an ancient receipt for making ink, beginning, "Take of the black juice of the gall of oxen two ounces," &c.


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