Act III, Scene 1
Britain. A hall in Cymbeline’s palace.
- Enter in state Cymbeline, Queen, Cloten, and Lords at one
- door, and at another, Caius Lucius and Attendants.
- Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?
Caius Lucius2 - 10
- When Julius Caesar (whose remembrance yet
- Lives in men’s eyes, and will to ears and tongues
- Be theme and hearing ever) was in this Britain,
- And conquer’d it, Cassibelan, thine uncle
- (Famous in Caesar’s praises, no whit less
- Than in his feats deserving it), for him
- And his succession granted Rome a tribute,
- Yearly three thousand pounds, which, by thee, lately
- Is left untender’d.
Queen11 - 12
- And to kill the marvel,
- Shall be so ever.
Cloten13 - 16
- There be many Caesars,
- Ere such another Julius. Britain’s a world
- By itself, and we will nothing pay
- For wearing our own noses.
Queen17 - 36
- That opportunity
- Which then they had to take from ’s, to resume
- We have again. Remember, sir, my liege,
- The kings your ancestors, together with
- The natural bravery of your isle, which stands
- As Neptune’s park, ribb’d and pal’d in
- With oaks unscalable and roaring waters,
- With sands that will not bear your enemies’ boats,
- But suck them up to th’ topmast. A kind of conquest
- Caesar made here, but made not here his brag
- Of “Came, and saw, and overcame.” With shame
- (The first that ever touch’d him) he was carried
- From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping
- (Poor ignorant baubles!) on our terrible seas,
- Like egg-shells mov’d upon their surges, crack’d
- As easily ’gainst our rocks. For joy whereof
- The fam’d Cassibelan, who was once at point
- (O giglet Fortune!) to master Caesar’s sword,
- Made Lud’s-Town with rejoicing fires bright,
- And Britains strut with courage.
Cloten37 - 40
- Come, there’s no more tribute to be paid. Our kingdom is
- stronger than it was at that time; and (as I said) there is
- no more such Caesars. Other of them may have crook’d noses,
- but to owe such straight arms, none.
- Son, let your mother end.
Cloten42 - 47
- We have yet many among us can gripe as hard as Cassibelan. I
- do not say I am one; but I have a hand. Why tribute? Why
- should we pay tribute? If Caesar can hide the sun from us
- with a blanket, or put the moon in his pocket, we will pay
- him tribute for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you
Cymbeline48 - 63
- You must know,
- Till the injurious Romans did extort
- This tribute from us, we were free. Caesar’s ambition,
- Which swell’d so much that it did almost stretch
- The sides o’ th’ world, against all color here
- Did put the yoke upon ’s; which to shake off
- Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
- Ourselves to be. We do say then to Caesar,
- Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which
- Ordain’d our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar
- Hath too much mangled, whose repair and franchise
- Shall (by the power we hold) be our good deed,
- Though Rome be therefore angry. Mulmutius made our laws,
- Who was the first of Britain which did put
- His brows within a golden crown and call’d
- Himself a king.
Caius Lucius64 - 71
- I am sorry, Cymbeline,
- That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar
- (Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than
- Thyself domestic officers) thine enemy.
- Receive it from me then: war and confusion
- In Caesar’s name pronounce I ’gainst thee; look
- For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,
- I thank thee for myself.
Cymbeline72 - 80
- Thou art welcome, Caius.
- Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent
- Much under him; of him I gather’d honor,
- Which he to seek of me again, perforce,
- Behooves me keep at utterance. I am perfect
- That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for
- Their liberties are now in arms, a president
- Which not to read would show the Britains cold.
- So Caesar shall not find them.
- Let proof speak.
Cloten82 - 86
- His Majesty bids you welcome. Make pastime with us a day or
- two, or longer. If you seek us afterwards in other terms,
- you shall find us in our salt-water girdle. If you beat us
- out of it, it is yours; if you fall in the adventure, our
- crows shall fare the better for you; and there’s an end.
- So, sir.
Cymbeline88 - 89
- I know your master’s pleasure and he mine:
- All the remain is “Welcome!”