Enter Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus
You, Polydore, have proved best woodman, and
Are master of the feast: Cadwal and I
Will play the cook and servant, 'tis our match:
The sweat and industry would dry and die,
But for the end it works to. Come, our stomachs
Will make what's homely savoury: weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Finds the down-pillow hard. Now peace be here,
Poor house, that keep'st thyself!
I am throughly weary.
I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.
There is cold meat i'th' cave, we'll browse on that,
Whilst what we have killed be cooked.
(Looking into the cave)
Stay, come not in:
But that it eats our victuals, I should think
(usually plural) provisions, supplies, food and drink
Here were a fairy.
What's the matter, sir?
By Jupiter, an angel! Or, if not,
An earthly paragon! Behold divineness
No elder than a boy!
Good masters, harm me not:
Before I entered here, I called, and thought
To have begged or bought what I have took: good troth,
I have stolen nought, nor would not, though I had found
Gold strewed i'th' floor. Here's money for my meat,
I would have left it on the board, so soon
As I had made my meal; and parted
With pray'rs for the provider.
All gold and silver rather turn to dirt,
As 'tis no better reckoned, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
I see you're angry:
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
Have died had I not made it.
What's your name?
Fidele, sir: I have a kinsman who
Is bound for Italy; he embarked at Milford;
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger,
I am fallen in this offence.
Prithee, fair youth,
Think us no churls: nor measure our good minds
By this rude place we live in. Well encountered!
'Tis almost night, you shall have better cheer
Ere you depart; and thanks to stay and eat it:
Boys, bid him welcome.
Were you a woman, youth,
I should woo hard, but be your groom in honesty:
I bid for you as I do buy.
I'll make't my comfort
He is a man, I'll love him as my brother:
And such a welcome as I'd give to him –
After long absence – such is yours. Most welcome!
Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends.
If brothers: (aside) would it had been so, that they
Had been my father's sons, then had my prize
Been less, and so more equal ballasting
To thee, Posthumus.
He wrings at some distress.
Would I could free't!
Or I, whate'er it be,
What pain it cost, what danger! Gods!
That had a court no bigger than this cave,
That did attend themselves, and had the virtue
Which their own conscience sealed them, laying by
That nothing-gift of differing multitudes,
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods!
I'ld change my sex to be companion with them,
Since Leonatus false.
It shall be so:
Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in;
Discourse is heavy, fasting: when we have supped
We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story,
So far as thou wilt speak it.
Pray, draw near.
The night to th' owl and morn to th' lark less welcome.
I pray, draw near.