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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.

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 far2.

1 Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; Crush him together, rather than unfold

His measure duly 3.

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 honour1

2 i. e. you praise him extensively.

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3 My eulogium, however extended it may seem, is short of his real excellence; it is rather abbreviated than expanded.' Perhaps this passage will be best illustrated by the following lines in Troilus and Cressida, Act iii. Sc. 3 :

no man is the lord of any thing,

Till he communicate his parts to others:
Nor doth he of himself know them for aught,
Till he behold them form'd in the applause

Where they are extended.' [i. e. displayed at length.]

4 I do not (says Steevens) understand what can be meant by

Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;
But had his titles by Tenantius 5, 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'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;
Breeds him, and makes him of his bedchamber:
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:
A 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,
From 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.

'joining his honour against, &c. with, &c.' perhaps Shakspeare


did join his banner.'

In the last scene of the play Cymbeline proposes that 'a Roman and a British ensign should wave together.'

5 The father of Cymbeline.

6 This encomium (says Johnson) is highly artful. To be at once in any great degree loved and praised is truly rare.'

7 Feate is well-fashioned, proper, trim, handsome, well compact. Concinnus. Thus in Horman's Vulgaria, 1519:-' He would see himself in a glasse, that all thinge were feet.' Feature was also used for fashion or proportion. The verb to feat was probably formed by Shakspeare himself.

To his mistress' means as to his mistress.

2 Gent.

I honour him

But, 'pray you, tell me,

Even out of your report.
Is she sole child to the king?

1 Gent.
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 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 is it true, sir.

2 Gent.

I do well believe you.

1 Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the

and princess.

SCENE II. The same.

queen [Exeunt.

Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.

Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter,

After the slander of most step-mothers,

Evil-eyed 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.


Please your highness,

I will from hence to-day.


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.


[Exit Queen.

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Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds!-My dearest hus-

I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing
(Always reserv'd my holy duty 1), 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.


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


1 'I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of duty.'

To walk this way: I never do him wrong,
But he does buy my injuries, to be friends:
Pays dear for my offences 2.



Should we be taking leave

As long a term as yet we have to live,

The loathness to depart would grow: Adieu!
Imo. 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.


How! how! another?

You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up3 my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!-Remain, remain thou here
[Putting on the Ring.
While sense 4 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 on her Arm.

2 He gives me a valuable consideration in new kindness (purchasing, as it were, the wrong I have done him), in order to renew our amity, and make us friends again.'

3 Shakspeare poetically calls the cere-cloths, in which the dead are wrapped, the bonds of death. There was no distinction in ancient orthography between seare, to dry, to wither; and seare, to dress or cover with wax. Cere-cloth is most frequently spelled seare-cloth. In Hamlet we have :

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Why, thy canonized bones hearsed in death

Have burst their cerements.'

4 i. e. while I have sensation to retain it. There can be no doubt that it refers to the ring, and it is equally obvious that thee would have been more proper. Whether this error is to be laid to the poet's charge or to that of careless printing, it would not be easy to decide. Malone, however, has shown that there are many passages in these plays of equally loose construction:

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