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To inherit such a haven: But first of all,
How we may steal from hence; and, for the gap That we shall make in time, from our hence-going, And our return, to excuse :-but first, how get I hence;
Why should excuse be born or e'er begot?
We'll talk of that hereafter. Pr'ythee, speak,
How many score of miles may we well ride
'Twixt hour and hour?
One score, 'twixt sun and sun, Madam, 's enough for you; and too much too.
Imo. Why, one that rode to his execution, man, Could never go so slow: I have heard of riding
Where horses have been nimbler than the sands
That run i'the clocks behalf:-But this is foolery:-
Go, bid my woman feign a sickness; say
She'll home to her father: and provide me, presently
A riding suit; no costlier than would fit
A franklin's* housewife.
Madam, you're best consider. Imo. I see before me, man, nor here, nor here, Nor what ensues; but have a fog in them, That I cannot look through. Away, I pr'ythee; Do as I bid thee: There's no more to say; Accessible is none but Milford way. [Exeunt. SCENE. Wales. A mountainous Country, with a Cave.
Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS. Bel. A goodly day not to keep ouse, with such Whose roof's as low as ours! Stoop, boys: This gate Instructs you how to adure the heavens; and bows
To morning's holy office: the gates of monarchs
Are arch'd so high, that giants may jet through
And keep their impious turbands on, without
Good morrow to the sun,-Hail, thou fair heaven
We house i' the rock, yet use thee not so hardly
As prouder livers do.
Bel. Now, for our mountain sport: Up to yon hill, Your legs are young; I'll tread these flats. Consider, When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place which lessens, and sets off.
And you may then revolve what tales I have told you,
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war:
This service is not servile, so being done,
But being so allow'd: To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we see:
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded* beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. O, this life
Is nobler, than attending for a check;
Richer, than doing nothing for a babe;
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd: no life to ours.†
Gui. Out of your proof you speak: we, poor unfledg'd,
Have never wing'd from view o' the nest; nor know
What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
With your stiff age; but, unto us, it is
A cell of ignorance; travelling a-bed;
A prison for a debtor, that not dares
To stride a limit.‡
What should we speak of,
When we are old as you? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing:
We are beastly; subtle as the fox, for prey;
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat:
Our valour is, to chase what flies; our cage
We make a quire, as doth the prison bird,
* Sraly-winged. ti. e. Compared. with ours.
To overpass his bounds.
And sing our bondage freely.
Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly: the art o' the court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery, that
The fear's as bad as falling: the toil of the war,
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I' the name of fame, and honour; which dies i' the
And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must court'sey at the censure:-O, boys, this story
The world may read in me: My body's mark'd
With Roman swords: and my report was once
First with the best of note: Cymbeline lov'd me;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: Then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit: but in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves, And left me bare to weather.
Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told you
But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline,
I was confederate with the Romans; so,
Followed my banishment; and, this twenty years,
This rock, and these demesnes, have been my world:
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom; paid
More pious debts to heaven, than in all
The fore-end of my time.-But, up to the mountains;
This is not hunter's language:-He, that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord o' the feast;
To him the other two shall minister;
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state.
THE FORCE CF NATURE.
How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
These boys know little they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think they are mine: and, though train'd up
I' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore,-
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom
The king his father call'd Guiderius,-Jove!
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out
Into my story: say, Thus mine enemy fell;,
And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats,
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture
That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal,
(Once Arviragus,) in as like a figure,
Strikes life into my speech, and shows much more
His own conceiving.
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,
Maids,, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters.
False to his bed! What is it, to be false? To lie in watch there, and to think on him? To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep charge na
To break it with a fearful dream of him,
And cry myself awake? that's false to his bed?
WOMAN IN MAN'S APPAREL.
You must forget to be a woman; change
Command into obedience; fear and niceness,
(The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
Woman its pretty self,) to a waggish courage;
Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, saucy, and
As quarrelous as the weasel: nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it (but, O, the harder heart!
Alack no remedy!) to the greedy touch
Of common-kissing Titian;* and forget
Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein
You made great Juno angry.
SCENE. Before the Cave of Belarius.
Enter IMOGEN, in Boy's Clothes.
Imo. I see, 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, [me,
When they should be reliev'd. Two beggars told
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'
Thon 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 it: 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.
Can snore upon the flint, when restive sloth
Finds the down pillow hard.
Imo. Good master harm me not:
Before I enter'd here, I call'd; and thought