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Cymbeline: Act 3 Scene 6
Scene VI Wales. Before the cave of Belarius.
- [Enter IMOGEN, in boy's clothes]
- I see a man's life is a tedious one:
- I have tired 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 relieved. 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 fulness
- Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
- Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
- Thou art one o' the 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 to 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]
- You, Polydote, have proved 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 savoury: 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 thoroughly weary.
- I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
- There is cold meat i' the cave; we'll browse on that,
- Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
- [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?
- By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,
- An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
- No elder than a boy!
- [Re-enter IMOGEN]
- 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' the 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 prayers for the provider.
- Money, youth?
- All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
- As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
- Who worship dirty gods.
- 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?
- 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 offence.
- 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.
- Were you a woman, youth,
- I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty,
- I bid for you as I'd buy.
- I'll make't my comfort
- He is a man; I'll love him as my brother:
- And such a welcome as I'd give to him
- After long absence, such is yours: most welcome!
- Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
- '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!
- Or I, whate'er it be,
- What pain it cost, what danger. God's!
- Hark, boys.
- 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 out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
- I'd change my sex to be companion with them,
- Since Leonatus's false.
- 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 the owl and morn to the lark
- less welcome.
- Thanks, sir.
- I pray, draw near.