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Cymbeline

Cymbeline Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter in state, CYMBELINE, QUEEN, CLOTEN, and Lords at one door, and at another, CAIUS LUCIUS and Attendants

CYMBELINE

Now say, what would Augustus Caesar with us?

CYMBELINE

Tell us, what does August Caesar want from us?

CAIUS LUCIUS

When Julius Caesar, 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 Caesar'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.

CAIUS LUCIUS

When Julius Caesar, who's still remembered and who will be talked about forever, got to this country of Britain and conquered it, your uncle Cassibelan, who is as famous because Caesar praised him as for anything he did to deserve that praise, granted a tribute to Rome that would be paid by him and his successors, of three thousand pounds a year. You haven't paid it lately.

QUEEN

And, to kill the marvel,Shall be so ever.

QUEEN

That's not so surprising—you'll get used to that, because we're never going to pay it again.

CLOTEN

There be many Caesars, Ere such another Julius. Britain is A world by itself; and we will nothing pay For wearing our own noses.

CLOTEN

There'll have to be a lot of rulers before another one as good as Julius Caesar appears. Britain is its own world, and we won't pay anyone anything for the right to wear our own noses.

QUEEN

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 With rocks unscalable and roaring waters, With sands that will not bear your enemies' boats, But suck them up to the topmast. A kind of conquest Caesar made here; but made not here his brag Of 'Came' and 'saw' and 'overcame: ' with shame— That first that ever touch'd him—he was carried From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping— Poor ignorant baubles!— upon our terrible seas, Like egg-shells moved upon their surges, crack'd As easily 'gainst our rocks: for joy whereof The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point— O giglot fortune!—to master Caesar's sword, Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright And Britons strut with courage.

QUEEN

The Romans had to take our freedom by force, and now we have a chance to get it back. Remember, husband, that your ancestors were kings and your island is naturally well fortified. It's like a park belonging to Neptune, the god of the sea, guarded by unclimbable rocks and roaring water and quicksand that will sink any boat up to its highest mast. Caesar sort of conquered us, but he wasn't talking about us when he bragged that he "came," "saw," and "conquered." He felt shame for the first time when he was defeated and had to sail away—twice. His ships, like little toys, were as fragile as eggshells on our terrible seas and cracked against our rocks. Famous Cassibelan, who almost defeated Caesar, and would have except that luck betrayed him, burned bright victory fires in the town of Lud and encouraged the Britons to be proud of being brave.

CLOTEN

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 Caesars: other of them may have crook'd noses, but to owe such straight arms, none.

CLOTEN

Come on, no more tribute needs to be paid. Our kingdom is stronger now than it was then, and, as I said, there are no more kings like Caesar. Some might have crooked noses like him, but their arms aren't as powerful.

CYMBELINE

Son, let your mother end.

CYMBELINE

Son, let your mother end this conversation.

CLOTEN

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 Caesar 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.

CLOTEN

There are lots of us who can complain as loudly as Cassibelan. I'm not saying I'm one of them, but I do have a hand I can use to fight. Why tribute? Why should we pay tribute? If Caesar could hide the sun from us with a blanket, or put the moon in hist pocket, we would pay him tribute for light, but otherwise, sir, no tribute, please.

CYMBELINE

You must know, Till the injurious Romans did extort This tribute from us, we were free: Caesar'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 's; which to shake off Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon Ourselves to be.

CYMBELINE

You should know, we were free until the cruel Romans forced us to pay this tribute. Caesar was so ambitious that the whole world almost seemed too small for him, and he made us work for him even though that was against our natures. A warlike people should try to shake off oppression, and we think that's the kind of people we are.

LORDS

We do.

LORDS

We do.

CYMBELINE

Say, then, to Caesar, Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which Ordain'd our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar 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, Who was the first of Britain which did put His brows within a golden crown and call'd Himself a king.

CYMBELINE

So tell Caesar that our ancestor Mulmutius made laws for us, and we were forced violently by Caesar to change them. We'll do our best to do the right thing and go back to the old laws, even if it makes Rome angry. Mulmutius, who made those laws, was the first man in Britain to put on a crown and call himself king.

CAIUS LUCIUS

I am sorry, Cymbeline, That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar— Caesar, that hath more kings his servants than Thyself domestic officers—thine enemy: Receive it from me, then: war and confusion In Caesar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee: look For fury not to be resisted. Thus defied, I thank thee for myself.

CAIUS LUCIUS

I'm sorry, Cymbeline, to have to call August Caesar—who has more kings as servants than you have hired help—your enemy. But I have to tell you: in Caesar's name I declare war against you. You won't be able to resist our power. So, although I have to declare you an enemy, I thank you for how well you've treated me.

CYMBELINE

Thou art welcome, Caius. Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent Much under him; of him I gather'd honour; 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 Caesar shall not find them.

CYMBELINE

You're welcome, Caius. Your emperor knighted me. I spent a long time at his court when I was young, and I was honored by him. But now I have to say that he's trying to dishonor me. I know very well that the Pannonians and Dalmatians are now fighting for their freedom. Not to follow their example would make us seem like we didn't care about our freedom. But we'll show Caesar that we do.

CAIUS LUCIUS

Let proof speak.

CAIUS LUCIUS

We'll see.

CLOTEN

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.

CLOTEN

The king welcomes you here. Stay and enjoy yourself with us for a day or two, or longer. If you come back for a different purpose, you'll find us buckled here in our salt-water belt. If you can beat us out of it, it's yours. If you fail, you'll give our crows something to eat. That's all.

CAIUS LUCIUS

So, sir.

CAIUS LUCIUS

Fine, sir.

CYMBELINE

I know your master's pleasure and he mine:All the remain is 'Welcome!'

CYMBELINE

I know what your king wants and he knows what I want. All that's left to say is, "Welcome!"

Exeunt

Cymbeline
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