Cymbeline

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FIRST GENTLEMAN. Some twenty years.

SECOND GENTLEMAN. That a king's children should be so convey'd, So slackly guarded, and the search so slow, That could not trace them!

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Howsoe'er 'tis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at, Yet is it true, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN. I do well believe you.

FIRST GENTLEMAN. We must forbear; here comes the gentleman, The Queen, and Princess.

[Exeunt.]

[Enter the QUEEN, POSTHUMUS, and IMOGEN.]

QUEEN. No, be assur'd you shall not find me, daughter, After the slander of most stepmothers, Evil-ey'd unto you. You're 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.

POSTHUMUS. Please your Highness, I will from hence to-day.

QUEEN. 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.]

IMOGEN. O 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.

POSTHUMUS. 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.]

QUEEN. Be brief, I pray you. If the King come, I shall incur I know not How much of his displeasure.

[Aside.]

Yet I'll move him To walk this way. I never do him wrong But he does buy my injuries, to be friends; Pays dear for my offences.

[Exit.]

POSTHUMUS. Should we be taking leave As long a term as yet we have to live, The loathness to depart would grow. Adieu!

IMOGEN. 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.

POSTHUMUS. How, how! another? You gentle gods, give me but this I have, And cere up my embracements from a next With bonds of death! Remain, remain thou here

[Putting on the ring.]

While sense 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 upon her arm.]

IMOGEN. O the gods! When shall we see again?

[Enter CYMBELINE and LORDS.]

POSTHUMUS. Alack, the King!

CYMBELINE. Thou basest thing, avoid! Hence, from my sight! If after this command thou fraught the court With thy unworthiness, thou diest. Away! Thou'rt poison to my blood.

POSTHUMUS. The gods protect you! And bless the good remainders of the court! I am gone.

[Exit.]

IMOGEN. There cannot be a pinch in death More sharp than this is.

CYMBELINE. O disloyal thing, That shouldst repair my youth, thou heap'st A year's age on me!

IMOGEN. I beseech you, sir, Harm not yourself with your vexation. I am senseless of your wrath; a touch more rare Subdues all pangs, all fears.

CYMBELINE. Past grace? obedience?

IMOGEN. Past hope, and in despair; that way, past grace.

CYMBELINE. That mightst have had the sole son of my queen!

IMOGEN. O blest, that I might not! I chose an eagle, And did avoid a puttock.

CYMBELINE. Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne A seat for baseness.

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