Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Modern)

Enter Belarius [as Morgan], Guiderius [as Polydore], and Arviragus [as Cadwal]
The noise is round about us.
Let us from it.
What pleasure, sir, we find in life, to lock it
2795From 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
2800During 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 Clotten's death, we being not known, not mustered
2805Among 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.
This is, sir, a doubt
2810In such a time nothing becoming you
Nor satisfying us.
It is not likely
That when they hear their Roman horses neigh,
Behold their quartered fires, have both their eyes
2815And ears so cloyed importantly as now,
That they will waste their time upon our note
To know from whence we are.
Oh, I am known
Of many in the army; many years,
2820Though Clotten 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, ay hopeless
2825To have the courtesy your cradle promised
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.
2830I and my brother are not known, yourself
So out of thought and thereto so o'ergrown
Cannot be questioned.
By this sun that shines,
I'll thither. What thing is't that I never
2835Did see man die, scarce ever looked 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
2840To look upon the holy sun, to have
The benefit of his blessed beams, remaining
So long a poor unknown.
By heavens, I'll go!
If you will bless me, sir, and give me leave,
2845I'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
2850So slight a valuation, should reserve
My cracked 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
2855Till it fly out and show them princes born.