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FROM THE TEXT OF
MR. STEEVENS'S LAST EDITION.
Cymbeline, King of Britain.
Guiderius,disguised under the names of Polydore
Iachimo, friend to Philario,
Cornelius, a Physician.
Queen, wife to Cymbeline.
Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queen.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Apparitions, Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in Britain; sometimes in Italy.
ACT I. SCENE I.
THE GARDEN BEHIND CYMBELINE'S
Enter two Gentlemen.
1 Gent. You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods
No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers;
But what's the matter?
1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his kingdom, whom
He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow,
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.
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. 1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold
His measure duly.
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,
(Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow,
To his protection; calls him Posthumus;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber:
Puts to him all the learnings that his time
In his spring became a harvest: Liv'd in court,
I honour him
Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me, Is she sole child to the king?
His only child. He had two sons, (if this be worth 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 know
Which way they went.
1 Gent. Some twenty years.
2 Gent. That a king's children should be so
So slackly guarded! And the search so slow,
That could not trace them!
Howsoe'er 'tis strange,
Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at,
How long is this ago?