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Cymbeline Scenes

Scene 4

Wales. The forest near Belarius’ cave.

(Belarius; Guiderius; Arviragus)

Despite Belarius’s arguments to the contrary, the boys insist they will not sit by and let others fight for their own country. Seeing that they will not be moved, Belarius decides to join them in the battle against the Romans. (65 lines)

Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.


The noise is round about us.


Let us from it.


What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it

From action and adventure?


Nay, what hope

Have we in hiding us? This way, the Romans

Must or for Britains slay us or receive us

For barbarous and unnatural revolts

During their use, and slay us after.



We’ll higher to the mountains, there secure us.

To the King’s party there’s no going. Newness

Of Cloten’s death (we being not known, not muster’d

Among the bands) may drive us to a render

Where we have liv’d, and so extort from ’s that

Which we have done, whose answer would be death

Drawn on with torture.


This is, sir, a doubt

In such a time nothing becoming you,

Nor satisfying us.


It is not likely

That when they hear their Roman horses neigh,

Behold their quarter’d fires, have both their eyes

And ears so cloy’d importantly as now,

That they will waste their time upon our note,

To know from whence we are.


O, I am known

Of many in the army. Many years,

Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore him

From my remembrance. And besides, the King

Hath not deserv’d my service nor your loves,

Who find in my exile the want of breeding,

The certainty of this hard life, aye hopeless

To have the courtesy your cradle promis’d,

But to be still hot summer’s tanlings and

The shrinking slaves of winter.


Than be so,

Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to th’ army.

I and my brother are not known; yourself

So out of thought, and thereto so o’ergrown,

Cannot be question’d.


By this sun that shines,

I’ll thither. What thing is’t that I never

Did see man die, scarce ever look’d on blood,

But that of coward hares, hot goats, and venison!

Never bestrid a horse, save one that had

A rider like myself, who ne’er wore rowel

Nor iron on his heel! I am asham’d

To look upon the holy sun, to have

The benefit of his blest beams, remaining

So long a poor unknown.


By heavens, I’ll go.

If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,

I’ll take the better care; but if you will not,

The hazard therefore due fall on me by

The hands of Romans!


So say I, amen.


No reason I, since of your lives you set

So slight a valuation, should reserve

My crack’d one to more care. Have with you, boys!

If in your country wars you chance to die,

That is my bed too, lads, and there I’ll lie.

Lead, lead!


The time seems long, their blood thinks scorn

Till it fly out and show them princes born.



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