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Home > Cymbeline > ACT III - SCENE VI. Wales. Before the cave of Belarius.

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ACT III - SCENE VI. Wales. Before the cave of Belarius.
Enter IMOGEN, in boy's clothes

IMOGEN
1    I see a man's life is a tedious one:
2    I have tired myself, and for two nights together
3    Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick,
4    But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
5    When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
6    Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think
7    Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
8    Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
9    I could not miss my way: will poor folks lie,
10   That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
11   A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
12   When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
13   Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
14   Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
15   Thou art one o' the false ones. Now I think on thee,
16   My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
17   At point to sink for food. But what is this?
18   Here is a path to't: 'tis some savage hold:
19   I were best not to call; I dare not call:
20   yet famine,
21   Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant,
22   Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever
23   Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here?
24   If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage,
25   Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I'll enter.
26   Best draw my sword: and if mine enemy
27   But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't.
28   Such a foe, good heavens!
Exit, to the cave

Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS
29   You, Polydote, have proved best woodman and
30   Are master of the feast: Cadwal and I
31   Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match:
32   The sweat of industry would dry and die,
33   But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
34   Will make what's homely savoury: weariness
35   Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
36   Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
37   Poor house, that keep'st thyself!
GUIDERIUS
38   I am thoroughly weary.
ARVIRAGUS
39   I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
GUIDERIUS
40   There is cold meat i' the cave; we'll browse on that,
41   Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
BELARIUS
Looking into the cave
42   Stay; come not in.
43   But that it eats our victuals, I should think
44   Here were a fairy.
GUIDERIUS
45   What's the matter, sir?
BELARIUS
46   By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
47   An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
48   No elder than a boy!
Re-enter IMOGEN

IMOGEN
49   Good masters, harm me not:
50   Before I enter'd here, I call'd; and thought
51   To have begg'd or bought what I have took:
52   good troth,
53   I have stol'n nought, nor would not, though I had found
54   Gold strew'd i' the floor. Here's money for my meat:
55   I would have left it on the board so soon
56   As I had made my meal, and parted
57   With prayers for the provider.
GUIDERIUS
58   Money, youth?
ARVIRAGUS
59   All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
60   As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
61   Who worship dirty gods.
IMOGEN
62   I see you're angry:
63   Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
64   Have died had I not made it.
BELARIUS
65   Whither bound?
IMOGEN
66   To Milford-Haven.
BELARIUS
67   What's your name?
IMOGEN
68   Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
69   Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford;
70   To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
71   I am fall'n in this offence.
BELARIUS
72   Prithee, fair youth,
73   Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
74   By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd!
75   'Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer
76   Ere you depart: and thanks to stay and eat it.
77   Boys, bid him welcome.
GUIDERIUS
78   Were you a woman, youth,
79   I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty,
80   I bid for you as I'd buy.
ARVIRAGUS
81   I'll make't my comfort
82   He is a man; I'll love him as my brother:
83   And such a welcome as I'd give to him
84   After long absence, such is yours: most welcome!
85   Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
IMOGEN
86   'Mongst friends,
87   If brothers.
Aside
88   Would it had been so, that they
89   Had been my father's sons! then had my prize
90   Been less, and so more equal ballasting
91   To thee, Posthumus.
BELARIUS
92   He wrings at some distress.
GUIDERIUS
93   Would I could free't!
ARVIRAGUS
94   Or I, whate'er it be,
95   What pain it cost, what danger. God's!
BELARIUS
96   Hark, boys.
Whispering

IMOGEN
97   Great men,
98   That had a court no bigger than this cave,
99   That did attend themselves and had the virtue
100  Which their own conscience seal'd them--laying by
101  That nothing-gift of differing multitudes--
102  Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
103  I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
104  Since Leonatus's false.
BELARIUS
105  It shall be so.
106  Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in:
107  Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd,
108  We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
109  So far as thou wilt speak it.
GUIDERIUS
110  Pray, draw near.
ARVIRAGUS
111  The night to the owl and morn to the lark
112  less welcome.
IMOGEN
113  Thanks, sir.
ARVIRAGUS
114  I pray, draw near.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE VACT III, SCENE VII (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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