The Tragedie of Cymbeline


William Shakespeare

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The Tragedie of Cymbeline Page 01

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1.Gent. You do not meet a man but Frownes. Our bloods no more obey the Heauens Then our Courtiers: Still seeme, as do's the Kings

2 Gent. But what's the matter? 1. His daughter, and the heire of's kingdome (whom He purpos'd to his wiues sole Sonne, a Widdow That late he married) hath referr'd her selfe Vnto a poore, but worthy Gentleman. She's wedded, Her Husband banish'd; she imprison'd, all Is outward sorrow, though I thinke the King Be touch'd at very heart

2 None but the King? 1 He that hath lost her too: so is the Queene, That most desir'd the Match. But not a Courtier, Although they weare their faces to the bent Of the Kings lookes, hath a heart that is not Glad at the thing they scowle at

2 And why so? 1 He that hath miss'd the Princesse, is a thing Too bad, for bad report: and he that hath her, (I meane, that married her, alacke good man, And therefore banish'd) is a Creature, such, As to seeke through the Regions of the Earth For one, his like; there would be something failing In him, that should compare. I do not thinke, So faire an Outward, and such stuffe Within Endowes a man, but hee

2 You speake him farre

1 I do extend him (Sir) within himselfe, Crush him together, rather then vnfold His measure duly

2 What's his name, and Birth? 1 I cannot delue him to the roote: His Father Was call'd Sicillius, who did ioyne his Honor Against the Romanes, with Cassibulan, But had his Titles by Tenantius, whom He seru'd with Glory, and admir'd Successe: So gain'd the Sur-addition, Leonatus. And had (besides this Gentleman in question) Two other Sonnes, who in the Warres o'th' time Dy'de with their Swords in hand. For which, their Father Then old, and fond of yssue, tooke such sorrow That he quit Being; and his gentle Lady Bigge of this Gentleman (our Theame) deceast As he was borne. The King he takes the Babe To his protection, cals him Posthumus Leonatus, Breedes him, and makes him of his Bed-chamber, Puts to him all the Learnings that his time Could make him the receiuer of, which he tooke As we do ayre, fast as 'twas ministred, And in's Spring, became a Haruest: Liu'd in Court (Which rare it is to do) most prais'd, most lou'd, A sample to the yongest: to th' more Mature, A glasse that feated them: and to the grauer, A Childe that guided Dotards. To his Mistris, (For whom he now is banish'd) her owne price Proclaimes how she esteem'd him; and his Vertue By her electio[n] may be truly read, what kind of man he is

2 I honor him, euen out of your report. But pray you tell me, is she sole childe to'th' King? 1 His onely childe: He had two Sonnes (if this be worth your hearing, Marke it) the eldest of them, at three yeares old I'th' swathing cloathes, the other from their Nursery Were stolne, and to this houre, no ghesse in knowledge Which way they went

2 How long is this ago? 1 Some twenty yeares

2 That a Kings Children should be so conuey'd, So slackely guarded, and the search so slow That could not trace them

1 Howsoere, 'tis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at: Yet is it true Sir

2 I do well beleeue you

1 We must forbeare. Heere comes the Gentleman, The Queene, and Princesse.


Scena Secunda.

Enter the Queene, Posthumus, and Imogen.

Qu. No, be assur'd you shall not finde me (Daughter) After the slander of most Step-Mothers, Euill-ey'd vnto you. You're my Prisoner, but Your Gaoler shall deliuer you the keyes That locke vp your restraint. For you Posthumus, So soone as I can win th' offended King, I will be knowne your Aduocate: marry yet The fire of Rage is in him, and 'twere good You lean'd vnto his Sentence, with what patience Your wisedome may informe you

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine
The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra
The Tragedie of Coriolanus
The Tragedie of Cymbeline
The Tragedie of Hamlet
The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
The Tragedie of King Lear
The Tragedie of Macbeth
The Tragedie of Othello
The Tragedie of Richard the Third
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus