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.
The time seems long, their blood thinks scorn
Till it fly out and show them princes born.