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. Gent. None but the king ?
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 liath her (I mean, that marry'd 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. . i Gent. I do extend him, sir, within himself; 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 callid Sicilius, who did join his honour, Against the Romans, with Cassibelan; But had his titles by Tenantius, 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, 40
Dy'd 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 bed-chamber : Puts to him all the learning 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 liarvest : 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 Plass that featur'd them; and to the graver, A child that guided dotards : to his mistress, For 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.
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 worth your hearing, Mark it), the eldest of them at three years old, l'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,
70 2 Gent. That a king's children should be so con
vey'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 gentle
man, The queen, and princess.
Enter the Queen, POSTHUMUS, IMOGEN, and Ate
Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, daughter,
80 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 himn; and 'twere good, You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience Your wisdom may inform you.
Post. Please your highness.
go I will from hence to-day.
Queen. You know the peril :-
of barr'd affections; though the king Hath charg'd you should not speak together. [Exit.
Imo. 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; 100 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.
Post. My queen! my mistress !
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.
[Exit. Post. Should we be taking leave As long a term as yet we have to live, The lothness to depart would grow: Adieu!
Imo. Nay, stay a little :
you but riding forth to air yourself,
[Putting on the Ring.
[Putting a Bracelet on her Arm. Upon this fairest prisoner.
Imo. O, the gods ! When shall we see again?