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A Forest in Wales, with a Cave.
Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS, from
the Cave. Bel. A goodly day not to keep house, with such Whose roof's as low as ours: See, boys : This gate Instructs you how to adore the heavens; and bows
To morning's holy office: The gates of monarchs
Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through,
And keep their impious turbands on, without
Good morrow to the sun.—Hail, thou fair Heaven !
We house i' the rock, yet use thee not so hardly
As prouder livers do.
Guid. Hail, Heaven!
Arv. Hail, Heaven !
Bel. Now, for our mountain sport: up to yon hill,
Your legs are young; I'll tread these flats. Consider,
When you, above, perceive me like a crow,
That it is place, which lessens, and sets off.
And you may then revolve what tales I have told you,
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd : To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing'd eagle.
Guid. Out of your proof you speak : we, poor un-
Have never wing'd from view o'the nest; nor know
What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
your stiff age : but, unto us, it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling a-bed it
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.
Arv. What should we speak of,
When we are old as you, when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing.
Bel. How you speak !
Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly; the art o' the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or
The fear's as bad as falling ;- the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I'the name of fame, and honour; which dies i' the
And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must court'sy at the censure:—Oh, boys, this story
The world may read in me: my body's mark'd
With Roman swords; and my report was once
First with the best of note : Cymbeline lov'd me;
And, when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but, in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
And left me bare to weather.
Guid. Uncertain favour !
Bel. My fault being nothing, (as I have told you oft)
But that two villains, whose false oaths prevaild
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline,
I was confederate with the Romans : so,
Follow'd my banishment; and, this twenty years,
This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world:
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid
More pious debts to Heaven, than in all
The fore end of my time.- But, up to the mountains ;
This is not hunters' language :—He, that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord oʻthe feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the vallies.
[Exeunt Guiderius and Arviuagus.
How hard it is, to hide the sparks of nature !
These boys know little, they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think, they are mine: and, though train'd up
thus meanly I' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them, In simple and low things, to prince it, much Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore, The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom The king, his father, call'd Guiderius,--Jove ! When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out Into my story : say,
" Thus mine enemy fell; And thus I set my foot on his neck: even then The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats, Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal, (Once, Arviragus,) in as like a figure, Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more His own conceiving.
[A Horn sounds. Hark! the game is rous'd! Oh, Cymbeline! Heaven, and my conscience, knows, Thou didst unjustly banish me: whereon,ı.
At three, and two years old, I stole these babes :
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
Thou 'reftst me of my land. Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mo-
And every day do honour to thy grave:
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan callid,
They take for natural father.
[The Horn sounds again. The game is up.
Enter CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, the Two
Lords, Caius Lucius, and Attendants.
Cym. Thus far; and so farewell.
Luc. Thanks, royal sir.
I am right sorry, that I must report ye
My master's eneiny.
A conduct over land, to Milford Haven.
Cym. My lords, you are appointed for that office;
The due of honour in no point omit:
So farewell, noble Lucius.
Lac. Your hand, my lord.
Cloten. Receive it friendly: but, from this time forth, I wear it as your enemy.
Luc. Sir, the event
Is yet to name the winner: Fare
well. [Exeunt Lucius, First Lord, &c.
Queen. He goes hence frowning: but it honours us, That we have given him cause.
Cloten. 'Tis all the better;
Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it.
Queen. 'Tis not sleepy business ;
But must be look'd to speedily, and strongly.
Cym. Our expectation that it would be thus,
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen,
Where is our daughter? She hath not appear'd
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd
The duty of the day: She looks us like
A thing more made of malice than of duty;
We have noted it.--Call her before us; for
We have been too slight in sufferance.
[Exit Second Lord. Queen. Royal sir, Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd Hath her life been; the cure whereof, my lord, 'Tis time must do. 'Beseech your majesty, Forbear sharp speeches to her.
Enter Second Lord.
Cym. Where is she, sir? How
Can her contempt be answer'd ?
9 Lord, Please you, sir, Her chambers are all lock'd; and there's no answer That will be given to the loud'st of noise we make.
Queen. My lord, when last I went to visit her, She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close; Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity, She should that duty leave unpaid tn you, Which daily she was bound to proffer : this She wish'd me to make known; but our great court Made me to blame in memory."
Cym. Her doors lock'd ? Not seen of late? Grant, Heavens, that, which I fear, Prove false!
1 [Exeunt Cymbeline and Second LORD.