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Cymbeline: Act 3, Scene 3

Cymbeline
Act 3, Scene 3

Wales. A mountainous country with a cave.

  1. Enter from their cave Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.

Belarius

2 - 10
  1. A goodly day not to keep house with such
  2. Whose roof’s as low as ours! Stoop, boys, this gate
  3. Instructs you how t’ adore the heavens, and bows you
  4. To a morning’s holy office. The gates of monarchs
  5. Are arch’d so high that giants may jet through
  6. And keep their impious turbands on without
  7. Good morrow to the sun. Hail, thou fair heaven!
  8. We house i’ th’ rock, yet use thee not so hardly
  9. As prouder livers do.

Guiderius

11
  1.                       Hail, heaven!

Arviragus

12
  1.               Hail, heaven!

Belarius

13 - 29
  1. Now for our mountain sport: up to yond hill,
  2. Your legs are young; I’ll tread these flats. Consider,
  3. When you above perceive me like a crow,
  4. That it is place which lessens and sets off,
  5. And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
  6. Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war.
  7. This service is not service, so being done,
  8. But being so allowed. To apprehend thus
  9. Draws us a profit from all things we see;
  10. And often, to our comfort, shall we find
  11. The sharded beetle in a safer hold
  12. Than is the full-wing’d eagle. O, this life
  13. Is nobler than attending for a check;
  14. Richer than doing nothing for a bable;
  15. Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
  16. Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine,
  17. Yet keeps his book uncross’d. No life to ours.

Guiderius

30 - 38
  1. Out of your proof you speak; we poor unfledg’d
  2. Have never wing’d from view o’ th’ nest, nor know not
  3. What air’s from home. Happ’ly this life is best,
  4. If quiet life be best; sweeter to you
  5. That have a sharper known; well corresponding
  6. With your stiff age; but unto us it is
  7. A cell of ignorance, traveling a-bed,
  8. A prison, or a debtor that not dares
  9. To stride a limit.

Arviragus

39 - 48
  1.                    What should we speak of
  2. When we are old as you? When we shall hear
  3. The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
  4. In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
  5. The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing.
  6. We are beastly: subtle as the fox for prey,
  7. Like warlike as the wolf for what we eat;
  8. Our valor is to chase what flies. Our cage
  9. We make a choir, as doth the prison’d bird,
  10. And sing our bondage freely.

Belarius

49 - 69
  1.                              How you speak!
  2. Did you but know the city’s usuries,
  3. And felt them knowingly; the art o’ th’ court,
  4. As hard to leave as keep; whose top to climb
  5. Is certain falling, or so slipp’ry that
  6. The fear’s as bad as falling; the toil o’ th’ war,
  7. A pain that only seems to seek out danger
  8. I’ th’ name of fame and honor which dies i’ th’ search,
  9. And hath as oft a sland’rous epitaph
  10. As record of fair act; nay, many times
  11. Doth ill deserve by doing well; what’s worse,
  12. Must curtsy at the censure. O boys, this story
  13. The world may read in me: my body’s mark’d
  14. With Roman swords, and my report was once
  15. First with the best of note. Cymbeline lov’d me,
  16. And when a soldier was the theme, my name
  17. Was not far off. Then was I as a tree
  18. Whose boughs did bend with fruit; but in one night,
  19. A storm or robbery (call it what you will)
  20. Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
  21. And left me bare to weather.

Guiderius

70
  1.                              Uncertain favor!

Belarius

71 - 114
  1. My fault being nothing (as I have told you oft)
  2. But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail’d
  3. Before my perfect honor, swore to Cymbeline
  4. I was confederate with the Romans. So
  5. Followed my banishment, and this twenty years
  6. This rock and these demesnes have been my world,
  7. Where I have liv’d at honest freedom, paid
  8. More pious debts to heaven than in all
  9. The fore-end of my time. But up to th’ mountains!
  10. This is not hunters’ language. He that strikes
  11. The venison first shall be the lord o’ th’ feast,
  12. To him the other two shall minister,
  13. And we will fear no poison, which attends
  14. In place of greater state. I’ll meet you in the valleys.
  15. Exeunt Guiderius and Arviragus.
  16. How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
  17. These boys know little they are sons to th’ King,
  18. Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
  19. They think they are mine, and though train’d up thus meanly
  20. I’ th’ cave wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
  21. The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
  22. In simple and low things to prince it much
  23. Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,
  24. The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, who
  25. The King his father call’d GuideriusJove!
  26. When on my three-foot stool I sit and tell
  27. The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
  28. Into my story; say, Thus mine enemy fell,
  29. And thus I set my foot on ’s neck,” even then
  30. The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
  31. Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
  32. That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
  33. Once Arviragus, in as like a figure
  34. Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more
  35. His own conceiving.—Hark, the game is rous’d!—
  36. O Cymbeline, heaven and my conscience knows
  37. Thou didst unjustly banish me; whereon,
  38. At three and two years old, I stole these babes,
  39. Thinking to bar thee of succession, as
  40. Thou refts me of my lands. Euriphile,
  41. Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mother,
  42. And every day do honor to her grave.
  43. Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call’d,
  44. They take for natural father.—The game is up.
  1. Exit.
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