Act III, Scene 6
Wales. Before Belarius’ cave.
- Enter Imogen alone in boy’s clothes.
Imogen1 - 27
- I see a man’s life is a tedious one,
- I have tir’d myself; and for two nights together
- Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick,
- But that my resolution helps me. Milford,
- When from the mountain top Pisanio show’d thee,
- Thou wast within a ken. O Jove, I think
- Foundations fly the wretched: such, I mean,
- Where they should be reliev’d. Two beggars told me
- I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
- That have afflictions on them, knowing ’tis
- A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
- When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fullness
- Is sorer than to lie for need; and falsehood
- Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord,
- Thou art one o’ th’ false ones. Now I think on thee,
- My hunger’s gone; but even before, I was
- At point to sink for food. But what is this?
- Here is a path to’t; ’tis some savage hold.
- I were best not call; I dare not call; yet famine,
- Ere clean it o’erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
- Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
- Of hardiness is mother. Ho! Who’s here?
- If any thing that’s civil, speak; if savage,
- Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I’ll enter.
- Best draw my sword; and if mine enemy
- But fear the sword like me, he’ll scarcely look on’t.
- Such a foe, good heavens!
- Exit to the cave.
- Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.
Belarius28 - 36
- You, Polydore, have prov’d best woodman, and
- Are master of the feast. Cadwal and I
- Will play the cook and servant, ’tis our match.
- The sweat of industry would dry and die,
- But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
- Will make what’s homely savory; weariness
- Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
- Finds the down pillow hard. Now peace be here,
- Poor house, that keep’st thyself!
- I am throughly weary.
- I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
Guiderius39 - 40
- There is cold meat i’ th’ cave, we’ll browse on that
- Whilst what we have kill’d be cook’d.
Belarius41 - 43
- Looking into the cave.
- Stay, come not in.
- But that it eats our victuals, I should think
- Here were a fairy.
- What’s the matter, sir?
Belarius45 - 47
- By Jupiter, an angel! Or if not,
- An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
- No elder than a boy!
- Enter Imogen.
Imogen48 - 55
- Good masters, harm me not.
- Before I enter’d here I call’d, and thought
- To have begg’d or bought what I have took. Good troth,
- I have stol’n nought, nor would not, though I had found
- Gold strew’d i’ th’ floor. Here’s money for my meat,
- I would have left it on the board so soon
- As I had made my meal, and parted with
- Pray’rs for the provider.
- Money, youth?
Arviragus57 - 59
- All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
- As ’tis no better reckon’d, but of those
- Who worship dirty gods.
Imogen60 - 62
- I see you’re angry.
- Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
- Have died had I not made it.
- Whither bound?
- To Milford-Haven.
- What’s your name?
Imogen66 - 69
- Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who
- Is bound for Italy; he embark’d at Milford;
- To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
- I am fall’n in this offense.
Belarius70 - 75
- Prithee, fair youth,
- Think us no churls; nor measure our good minds
- By this rude place we live in. Well encounter’d!
- ’Tis almost night, you shall have better cheer
- Ere you depart, and thanks to stay and eat it.
- Boys, bid him welcome.
Guiderius76 - 78
- Were you a woman, youth,
- I should woo hard but be your groom in honesty:
- I bid for you as I do buy.
Arviragus79 - 83
- I’ll make’t my comfort
- He is a man, I’ll love him as my brother:
- And such a welcome as I’ld give to him
- After long absence, such is yours. Most welcome!
- Be sprightly, for you fall ’mongst friends.
Imogen84 - 88
- ’Mongst friends?
- If brothers: would it had been so, that they
- Had been my father’s sons, then had my prize
- Been less, and so more equal ballasting
- To thee, Posthumus.
- He wrings at some distress.
- Would I could free’t!
Arviragus91 - 92
- Or I, what e’er it be,
- What pain it cost, what danger. Gods!
- Hark, boys.
Imogen94 - 101
- Great men,
- That had a court no bigger than this cave,
- That did attend themselves and had the virtue
- Which their own conscience seal’d them, laying by
- That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
- Could not outpeer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
- I’ld change my sex to be companion with them,
- Since Leonatus’ false.
Belarius102 - 106
- It shall be so.
- Boys, we’ll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in.
- Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp’d,
- We’ll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
- So far as thou wilt speak it.
- Pray draw near.
- The night to th’ owl and morn to th’ lark less welcome.
- Thanks, sir.
- I pray draw near.