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Britain. A hall in Cymbeline's palace.
Enter in state, CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, and Lords at one door, and at another, CAIUS LUCIUS and Attendants.

Now say, what would Augustus Cæsar with us?

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. (10)

And, to kill the marvel,

Shall be so ever.

There be many Cæsars,

Ere such another Julius. Britain is

A world by itself; and we will nothing pay

For wearing our own noses.

That opportunity

Which then they had to take from 's, to resume

We have again. Remember, sir, my liege,

The kings your ancestors, together with

The natural bravery of your isle, which stands

As Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in (20)

With rocks unscaleable and roaring waters,

With sands that will not bear your enemies' boats,

But suck them up to the topmast. A kind of conquest

Cæsar made here; but made not here his brag

Of 'Came' and 'saw' and 'overcame:' with shame--

The first that ever touch'd him--he was carried

From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping--

Poor ignorant baubles!--on our terrible seas,

Like egg-shells moved upon their surges, crack'd

As easily 'gainst our rocks: for joy whereof (30)

The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point--

O giglot fortune!--to master Cæsar's sword,

Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright

And Britons strut with courage.

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 moe
such Cæsars: other of them may have crook'd
noses, but to owe such straight arms, none. (39)

Son, let your mother end.

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

You must know,

Till the injurious Romans did extort

This tribute from us, we were free: Cæsar's ambition, (50)

Which swell'd so much that it did almost stretch

The sides o' the world, against all color here

Did put the yoke upon 's; which to shake off

Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon

Ourselves to be.

Clo. and Lords.
We do.

Say, then, to Cæsar,

Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which

Ordain'd our laws, whose use the sword of Cæsar

Hath too much mangled; whose repair and franchise

Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed,

Though Rome be therefore angry. Mulmutius made our laws, (60)

Who was the first of Britain which did put

His brows within a golden crown and call'd

Himself a king.

I am sorry, Cymbeline,

That I am to pronounce Augustus Cæsar--

Cæsar, that hath more kings his servants than

Thyself domestic officers--thine enemy:

Receive it from me, then: war and confusion

In Cæsar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee: look

For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied,

I thank thee for myself.

Thou art welcome, Caius. (70)

Thy Cæsar knighted me; my youth I spent

Much under him; of him I gather'd honor;

Which he to seek of me again, perforce,

Behoves me keep at utterance. I am perfect

That the Pannonians and Dalmatians for

Their liberties are now in arms; a precedent

Which not to read would show the Britons cold:

So Cæsar shall not find them.

Let proof speak.

His majesty bids you welcome. Make
pastime with us a day or two, or 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.

So, sir.

I know your master's pleasure and he mine:

All the remain is 'Welcome!' [Exeunt.

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