William Shakespeare: Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene IV

Scene IV

Wales: before the cave of Belarius

Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus.

Guiderius

The noise is round about us.

Belarius

Let us from it.

Arviragus

What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it From action and adventure?

Guiderius

Nay, what hope Have we in hiding us? This way, the Romans Must or for Britons slay us, or receive us For barbarous and unnatural revolts During their use, and slay us after.

Belarius

Sons, 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 lived, and so extort from's that Which we have done, whose answer would be death Drawn on with torture.

Guiderius

This is, sir, a doubt In such a time nothing becoming you, Nor satisfying us.

Arviragus

It is not likely That when they hear the 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.

Belarius

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 deserved 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 promised, But to be still hot summer's tamings and The shrinking slaves of winter.

Guiderius

Than be so Better to cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army: I and my brother are not known; yourself So out of thought, and thereto so o'ergrown, Cannot be question'd.

Arviragus

By this sun that shines, I'll thither: what thing is it 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 ashamed To look upon the holy sun, to have The benefit of his blest beams, remaining So long a poor unknown.

Guiderius

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!

Arviragus

So say I amen.

Belarius

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, an there I'll lie: Lead, lead.

Aside

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

Exeunt