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Cymbeline, King of Britain

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Act IV, Scene 4

Wales: before the cave of Belarius.



  • Arviragus. What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it 2885
    From action and adventure?
  • Guiderius. Nay, what hope
    Have we in hiding us? This way, the Romans
    Must or for Britons slay us, or receive us
    For barbarous and unnatural revolts 2890
    During their use, and slay us after.
  • Belarius. Sons,
    We'll higher to the mountains; there secure us.
    To the king's party there's no going: newness
    Of Cloten's death—we being not known, not muster'd 2895
    Among the bands—may drive us to a render
    Where we have lived, and so extort from's that
    Which we have done, whose answer would be death
    Drawn on with torture.
  • Guiderius. This is, sir, a doubt 2900
    In such a time nothing becoming you,
    Nor satisfying us.
  • Arviragus. It is not likely
    That when they hear the Roman horses neigh,
    Behold their quarter'd fires, have both their eyes 2905
    And ears so cloy'd importantly as now,
    That they will waste their time upon our note,
    To know from whence we are.
  • Belarius. O, I am known
    Of many in the army: many years, 2910
    Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him
    From my remembrance. And, besides, the king
    Hath not deserved my service nor your loves;
    Who find in my exile the want of breeding,
    The certainty of this hard life; aye hopeless 2915
    To have the courtesy your cradle promised,
    But to be still hot summer's tamings and
    The shrinking slaves of winter.
  • Guiderius. Than be so
    Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army: 2920
    I and my brother are not known; yourself
    So out of thought, and thereto so o'ergrown,
    Cannot be question'd.
  • Arviragus. By this sun that shines,
    I'll thither: what thing is it that I never 2925
    Did see man die! scarce ever look'd on blood,
    But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!
    Never bestrid a horse, save one that had
    A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel
    Nor iron on his heel! I am ashamed 2930
    To look upon the holy sun, to have
    The benefit of his blest beams, remaining
    So long a poor unknown.
  • Guiderius. By heavens, I'll go:
    If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave, 2935
    I'll take the better care, but if you will not,
    The hazard therefore due fall on me by
    The hands of Romans!
  • Belarius. No reason I, since of your lives you set 2940
    So slight a valuation, should reserve
    My crack'd one to more care. Have with you, boys!
    If in your country wars you chance to die,
    That is my bed too, lads, an there I'll lie:
    Lead, lead. 2945
    The time seems long; their blood
    thinks scorn,
    Till it fly out and show them princes born.