A line-by-line translation

Cymbeline

Cymbeline Translation Act 3, Scene 6

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Enter IMOGEN, in boy's clothes

IMOGEN

I see a man's life is a tedious one: I have tired myself, and for two nights together Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick, But that my resolution helps me. Milford, When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee, Thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean, Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me I could not miss my way: will poor folks lie, That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder, When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord! Thou art one o' the false ones. Now I think on thee, My hunger's gone; but even before, I was At point to sink for food. But what is this? Here is a path to't: 'tis some savage hold: I were best not to call; I dare not call: yet famine, Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant, Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever Of hardiness is mother. Ho! who's here? If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage, Take or lend. Ho! No answer? Then I'll enter. Best draw my sword: and if mine enemy But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't. Such a foe, good heavens!

IMOGEN

I see that a man's life is hard. I've tired myself out, and I slept on the ground for two nights in a row. I would have gotten sick, except that I'm determined not to. Milford, when Pisanio showed you to me from the mountain-top, you seemed close. Oh, Jove! I think help isn't given to desperate people—I mean, the help that should be given to them. Two beggars told me I was on the right road. How can poor people lie when they themselves are suffering, when they know what the consequences are? No wonder, given that rich people don't tell the truth either. Sinning when you have everything you need is worse than lying to get what you need, and lying is a worse sin for kings than beggars. My dear husband! You're one of the liars. Now I'm thinking about you, I'm not hungry any more, even though I was about to faint from hunger. But what's this? There's a path to it. It's some savage's hiding place. I shouldn't call out. I don't dare to call out. But starvation, before it kills you, makes you brave. Prosperity and peace make people cowards. Hardship always makes people strong. Hello! Who's there? If there's anyone civilized, speak. If you're a savage, take my life or give me something to eat. Hello! No answer? Then I'll go in. I'd better take out my sword. And if my enemy is as afraid of my sword as I am, he'll barely be able to look at it. Please grant me an enemy like that, gods!

Exit, to the cave

Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS

BELARIUS

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 of 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!

BELARIUS

You, Polydore, have shown yourself to be the best hunter and you will be master of the feast. Cadwal and I will play at being cooks and servants. That's what we agreed on. No one would work if they didn't get anything in return. Come on, we're hungry enough to think a humble meal tastes delicious. Tired people can fall asleep on hard rock, while lazy people aren't able to sleep even on down pillows. Now, may everything be peaceful here, in our house that's been left empty!

GUIDERIUS

I am thoroughly weary.

GUIDERIUS

I'm exhausted.

ARVIRAGUS

I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite.

ARVIRAGUS

I'm tired from working, but hunger makes me strong.

GUIDERIUS

There is cold meat i' the cave; we'll browse on that,Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.

GUIDERIUS

There's cold food in the cave. We'll snack on that while we cook what we killed.

BELARIUS

[Looking into the cave] Stay; come not in.But that it eats our victuals, I should thinkHere were a fairy.

BELARIUS

[Looking into the cave] Wait, don't go in. If it weren't eating our food, I'd think it was a fairy.

GUIDERIUS

What's the matter, sir?

GUIDERIUS

What's the matter, sir?

BELARIUS

By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not,An earthly paragon! Behold divinenessNo elder than a boy!

BELARIUS

An angel, by Jupiter! Or, if not, something with no equal on earth! No older than a boy.

Re-enter IMOGEN

IMOGEN

Good masters, harm me not: Before I enter'd here, I call'd; and thought To have begg'd or bought what I have took: good troth, I have stol'n nought, nor would not, though I had found Gold strew'd i' the 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 prayers for the provider.

IMOGEN

Don't hurt me. I called out before I went in there, and wanted to beg for or buy what I took. I promise I haven't stolen anything, and I wouldn't even if I found gold scattered over the floor. Here's money for my food. I would have left it on the table as soon as I had eaten, and would have left praying for the people who provided it.

GUIDERIUS

Money, youth?

GUIDERIUS

Money, young man!

ARVIRAGUS

All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of thoseWho worship dirty gods.

ARVIRAGUS

Gold and silver should just turn to dirt, since it isn't worth any more than dirt except to people who worship dirty gods.

IMOGEN

I see you're angry:Know, if you kill me for my fault, I shouldHave died had I not made it.

IMOGEN

I see you're angry. You should know, if you kill me for what I did, I would have died anyway if I hadn't done it.

BELARIUS

Whither bound?

BELARIUS

Where are you heading?

IMOGEN

To Milford-Haven.

IMOGEN

To Milford-Haven.

BELARIUS

What's your name?

BELARIUS

What's your name?

IMOGEN

Fidele, sir. I have a kinsman who Is bound for Italy; he embark'd at Milford; To whom being going, almost spent with hunger, I am fall'n in this offence.

IMOGEN

Fidele, sir. A relative of mine is going to Italy. He got on a ship at Milford. I was going to meet him and almost died of hunger on the way.

BELARIUS

Prithee, fair youth, Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd! 'Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer Ere you depart: and thanks to stay and eat it. Boys, bid him welcome.

BELARIUS

Please, handsome youth, don't think we're peasants, and don't make assumptions about our characters based on this wild place we live in. Welcome! It's almost night. We'll feed you better before you leave, and we'll thank you for staying and eating. Boys, welcome him.

GUIDERIUS

Were you a woman, youth,I should woo hard but be your groom. In honesty,I bid for you as I'd buy.

GUIDERIUS

If you were a woman, young man, I would try everything to get you to marry me. Really, that's what I think of you.

ARVIRAGUS

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.

ARVIRAGUS

I'll make the best of him being a man: I'll love him like he's my brother. And I'll welcome him in the same way I'd welcome my brother after he was gone a long time. You're very welcome. Cheer up, you're among friends now!

IMOGEN

'Mongst friends,If brothers.

IMOGEN

If we're like brothers, then we're definitely friends.

Aside

IMOGEN

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.

I wish it were true and that they were my father's sons! Then I wouldn't have mattered as much, and you would have seemed more like my equal, Posthumus. 

BELARIUS

He wrings at some distress.

BELARIUS

He's sad about something.

GUIDERIUS

Would I could free't!

GUIDERIUS

I wish I could do something about it!

ARVIRAGUS

Or I, whate'er it be,What pain it cost, what danger. God's!

ARVIRAGUS

And me, however painful and hard it was to fix it. By the gods!

BELARIUS

Hark, boys.

BELARIUS

Listen, boys.

Whispering

IMOGEN

Great men, That had a court no bigger than this cave, That did attend themselves and had the virtue Which their own conscience seal'd them—laying by That nothing-gift of differing multitudes— Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods! I'd change my sex to be companion with them, Since Leonatus's false.

IMOGEN

Great men who had a court the size of this cave, who were their own servants and considered themselves virtuous (because the opinions everyone else has of you don't matter) couldn't be nobler than these two. Forgive me, gods, but I would rather be a man so I could be friends with them, especially since Leonatus is untrustworthy. 

BELARIUS

It shall be so. Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. Fair youth, come in: Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have supp'd, We'll mannerly demand thee of thy story, So far as thou wilt speak it.

BELARIUS

Let's do that. Boys, let's prepare the meat. Handsome young man, come on in. It's hard to talk when you're hungry. When we have eaten, we'll politely ask you for your story, as much of it as you want to tell us.

GUIDERIUS

Pray, draw near.

GUIDERIUS

Please, come closer.

ARVIRAGUS

The night to the owl and morn to the larkless welcome.

ARVIRAGUS

The night is less welcome to owls and the morning to larks than you are to us here.

IMOGEN

Thanks, sir.

IMOGEN

Thank you, sir.

ARVIRAGUS

I pray, draw near.

ARVIRAGUS

Please, come closer.

Exeunt

Cymbeline
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