Front Page Titles (by Subject) Scene IV.—: Wales. Before the Cave ofBelarius. - Cymbeline
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
Scene IV.—: Wales. Before the Cave ofBelarius. - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Wales. Before the Cave ofBelarius.
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 Britons 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 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.
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 the 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 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 asham’d
To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his bless’d 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.—[Aside.] The time seems long; their blood thinks scorn,
Till it fly out and show them princes born.