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SCENE I.-Britain. A Room of State in Cymbeline's
Enter CYMBELINE, Queen, Cloten, and Lords, at one door; and at another, Caius Lucius, and Attendants.
Cym. Now say, what would Augustus Cæsar with us?
Luc. When Julius Cæsar (whose remembrance yet Lives in men's eyes; and will to ears, and tongues, Be theme, and hearing ever,) was in this Britain, And conquer'd it, Cassibelan, thine uncle, (Famous in Cæsar's praises, no whit less Than in his feats deserving it,) for him, And his succession, granted Rome a tribute, Yearly three thousand pounds; which by thee lately Is left untender'd.
Queen. And, to kill the marvel,
Clo. There be many Cæsars,
Queen. That opportunity,
With rocks unscaleable, and roaring waters;
Clo. Come, there's no more tribute to be paid : Our kingdom is stronger than it was at that time; and, as I said, there is no more such Cæsars; other of them may have crooked noses; but, to owe such straight arms, none.
Cym. Son, let your mother end.
Clo. We have yet many among us can gripe as hard as Cassibelan: I do not say, I am one; but I have a hand.--Why tribute? why should we pay tribute ? If Cæsar can hide the sun from us with a blanket, or put the moon in his pocket, we will pay him tribute for light; else, sir, no more tribute, pray you now.
Cym. You must know, Till the injurious Romans did extort This tribute from us, we were free: Cæsar's ambition, (Which swell’d so much, that it did almost stretch The sides o'the world,) against all colour, here Did put the yoke upon us; which to shake off,
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
Luc. I am sorry, Cymbeline,
Cym. Thou art welcoine, Caius.
Luc. Let proof speak.
Clo. His majesty bids you welcome. Make pastime with us a day, or two, longer : If you seek us afterwards in other terms, you shall find us in our salt-water girdle: if you beat us out of it, it is yours; if you fall in the adventure, our crows shall fare the better for you; and there's an end.
Luc. So, sir.
Cym. I know your master's pleasure, and he mine : All the remain is, welcome.
SCENE II.-Another Room in the same.
Enter Pisanio. Pis. How! of adultery? Wherefore write you not What monster's her accuser ?--- Leonatus ! 0, master! what a strange infection Is fallen into thy ear? What false Italian (As poisonous tongue’d, as handed,) hath prevaild On thy too ready hearing ?---Disloyal ? No: She's punish'd for her truth; and undergoes,, More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults As would take in some virtue.---O, my master ! Thy mind to her is now as low, as were Thy fortunes.---How! that I should murder her? Upon the love, and truth, and vows, which I Have made to thy command ?---I, her:---her blood ? If it be so to do good service, never Let me be counted serviceable. How look I, That I should seem to lack humanity, So much as this fact comes too? Do't: the letter
[Reading. That I have sent her, by her own command Shall give thee opportunity :---O damn’d paper ! Black as the ink that's on thee! Senseless bauble,
Art thou a feodary for this act, and look'st
lino. How now, Pisanio?
Imo. Who? thy lord ? that is my lord ? Leonatus?
. [Reads. Justice, and your father's wrath, should he take me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, as you, O the dearest of creatures, would not even renew me with your eyes. Take notice, that I am in Cambria, at MilfordHaven : What your own love will, out of this, advise you, follow. So, he wishes you all happiness, that remains loyal to his vow, and your, increasing in love,
LEONATUS PostHUMUS. O, for a horse with wings !---Hear'st thou, Pisanio? He is at Milford-Haven : Read, and tell me