Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BONDUCA, by FRANCIS BEAUMONT

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BONDUCA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The hardy romans -- oh, ye gods of britain
Last Line: The virtues of great caratach be sung! [exeunt.
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


CARATACH, General of the Britons, Brother-in-law to BONDUCA.
NENNIUS, a British Commander.
SUETONIUS, General of the Roman Army in Britain.
PŒNIUS, Roman Captains.
REGULUS, Roman Officers, subordinate to PŒNIUS.
MACER, a Lieutenant.
JUDAS, a Corporal.
Guides, Servants.

BONDUCA, Queen of the Iceni.
Her two Daughters, by PRASUTAGUS.



SCENE I. The British Camp.

Enter BONDUCA, Daughters, HENGO, NENNIUS, and Soldiers.

BOND. The hardy Romans!—oh, ye gods of Britain!
The rust of arms, the blushing shame of soldiers!
Are these the men that conquer by inheritance?
The fortune-makers? these the Julians,

Enter CARATACH, behind.

That with the sun measure the end of nature,
Making the world but one Rome and one Cæsar?
Shame, how they flee! Cæsar's soft soul dwells in 'em,
Their mothers got 'em sleeping, Pleasure nursed 'em;
Their bodies sweat with sweet oils, love's allurements,
Not lusty arms. Dare they send these to seek us,
These Roman girls? Is Britain grown so wanton?
Twice we have beat 'em, Nennius, scattered 'em:
And through their big-boned Germans, on whose pikes
The honour of their actions sits in triumph,
Made themes for songs to shame 'em: and a woman,
A woman beat 'em, Nennius; a weak woman,
A woman beat these Romans!
Car. (coming forward) So it seems
A man would shame to talk so.
Bond. Who's that?
Car. I.
Bond. Cousin, do you grieve my fortunes?
Car. No, Bonduca;
If I grieve, 'tis the bearing of your fortunes:
You put too much wind to your sail: discretion
And bardy valour are the twins of honour,
And, nursed together, make a conqueror;
Divided, but a talker. 'Tis a truth,
That Rome has fled before us twice, and routed;
A truth we ought to crown the gods for, lady,
And not our tongues; a truth is none of ours,
Nor in our ends, more than the noble bearing;
For then it leaves to be a virtue, lady,
And we, that have been victors, beat ourselves,
When we insult upon our honour's subject.
Bond. My valiant cousin, is it foul to say
What liberty and honour bid us do,
And what the gods allow us?
Car. No, Bonduca;
So what we say exceed not what we do.
You call the Romans—fearful, fleeing Romans,
And Roman girls, the lees of tainted pleasures:
Does this become a doer? are they such?
Bond. They are no more.
Car. Where is your conquest, then?
Why are your altars crowned with wreaths of flowers?
The beasts with gilt horns waiting for the fire?
The holy Druidès composing songs
Of everlasting life to victory?
Why are these triumphs, lady? for a May-game?
For hunting a poor herd of wretched Romans?
Is it no more? Shut up your temples, Britons,
And let the husbandman redeem his heifers;
Put out your holy fires, no timbrel ring;
Let's home and sleep; for such great overthrows
A candle burns too bright a sacrifice,
A glow-worm's tail too full a flame.—Oh, Nennius,
Thou hadst a noble uncle knew a Roman,
And how to speak him, how to give him weight
In both his fortunes!
Bond. By the gods, I think
You dote upon these Romans, Caratach.
Car. Witness these wounds, I do; they were fairly given:
I love an enemy; I was born a soldier;
And he that in the head on's troop defies me,
Bending my manly body with his sword,
I make a mistress. Yellow-tressèd Hymen
Ne'er tied a longing virgin with more joy,
Than I am married to that man that wounds me:
And are not all these Roman? Ten struck battles
I sucked these honoured scars from, and all Roman;
Ten years of bitter nights and heavy marches
(When many a frozen storm sung through my cuirass,
And made it doubtful whether that or I
Were the more stubborn metal) have I wrought through,
And all to try these Romans. Ten times a-night
I have swam the rivers, when the stars of Rome
Shot at me as I floated, and the billows
Tumbled their watry ruins on my shoulders,
Charging my battered sides with troops of agues;
And still to try these Romans, whom I found
(And, if I lie, my wounds be henceforth backward,
And be you witness, gods, and all my dangers!)
As ready, and as full of that I brought,
(Which was not fear, nor flight) as valiant,
As vigilant, as wise, to do and suffer,
Ever advanced as forward as the Britons,
Their sleeps as short, their hopes as high as ours,
Ay, and as subtle, lady. 'Tis dishonour,
And, followed, will be impudence, Bonduca,
And grow to no belief, to taint these Romans.
Have not I seen the Britons—
Bond. What?
Car. Disheartened,
Run, run, Bonduca; not the quick rack swifter,
The virgin from the hated ravisher
Not half so fearful; not a flight drawn home,
A round stone from a sling, a lover's wish,
E'er made that haste that they have. By the gods,
I have seen these Britons, that you magnify,
Run as they would have out-run time, and roaring,
Basely for mercy roaring; the light shadows,
That in a thought scur o'er the fields of corn,
Halted on crutches to 'em.
Bond. Oh, ye powers,
What scandals do I suffer!
Car. Yes, Bonduca,
I have seen thee run too; and thee, Nennius;
Yea, run apace, both; then when Pœnius
(The Roman girl!) cut thorough your armèd carts,
And drove 'em headlong on ye, down the hill;
Then when he hunted ye, like Britain foxes,
More by the scent than sight; then did I see
These valiant and approvèd men of Britain,
Like boding owls, creep into tods of ivy,
And hoot their fears to one another nightly.
Nen. And what did you then, Caratach?
Car. I fled too;
But not so fast,—your jewel had been lost then,
Young Hengo there; he trashed me, Nennius:
For, when your fears out-run him, then stept I,
And in the head of all the Roman fury
Took him, and with my tough belt to my back
I buckled him; behind him my sure shield;
And then I followed. If I say I fought
Five times in bringing off this bud of Britain,
I lie not, Nennius. Neither had you heard
Me speak this, or ever seen the child more,
But that the son of virtue, Pœnius,
Seeing me steer thorough all these storms of danger,
My helm still in my hand (my sword,) my prow
Turned to my foe (my face,) he cried out nobly,
"Go, Briton, bear thy lion's whelp off safely;
Thy manly sword has ransomed thee; grow strong,
And let me meet thee once again in arms;
Then, if thou stand'st, thou art mine." I took his offer,
And here I am to honour him.
Bond. Oh, cousin,
From what a flight of honour hast thou checked me!
What wouldst thou make me, Caratach?
Car. See, lady,
The noble use of others in our losses.
Does this afflict you? Had the Romans cried this,
And, as we have done theirs, sung out these fortunes,
Railed on our base condition, hooted at us,
Made marks as far as the earth was ours, to show us
Nothing but sea could stop our flights, despised us,
And held it equal whether banqueting
Or beating of the Britons were more business,
It would have galled you.
Bond. Let me think we conquered.
Car. Do; but so think as we may be conquered;
And where we have found virtue, though in those
That came to make us slaves, let's cherish it.
There's not a blow we gave since Julius landed,
That was of strength and worth, but, like records,
They file to after ages. Our registers
The Romans are, for noble deeds of honour;
And shall we burn their mentions with upbraidings?
Bond. No more; I see myself. Thou hast made me cousin,
More than my fortunes durst, for they abused me,
And wound me up so high, I swelled with glory:
Thy temperance has cured that tympany,
And given me health again, nay, more, discretion.
Shall we have peace? for now I love these Romans.
Car. Thy love and hate are both unwise ones, lady.
Bond. Your reason?
Nen. Is not peace the end of arms?
Car. Not where the cause implies a general conquest:
Had we a difference with some petty isle,
Or with our neighbours, lady, for our landmarks,
The taking in of some rebellious lord,
Or making a head against commotions,
After a day of blood, peace might be argued;
But where we grapple for the ground we live on,
The liberty we hold as dear as life,
The gods we worship, and, next those, our honours,
And with those swords that know no end of battle,
Those men, beside themselves, allow no neighbour,
Those minds that where the day is claim inheritance,
And where the sun makes ripe the fruits, their harvest,
And where they march, but measure out more ground
To add to Rome, and here i' the bowels on us;
It must not be. No, as they are our foes,
And those that must be so until we tire 'em,
Let's use the peace of honour, that's fair dealing,
But in our ends our swords. That hardy Roman,
That hopes to graft himself into my stock
Must first begin his kindred under-ground,
And be allied in ashes.
Bond. Caratach,
As thou hast nobly spoken, shall be done;
And Hengo to thy charge I here deliver:
The Romans shall have worthy wars.
Car. They shall:—
And, little sir, when your young bones grow stiffer,
And when I see you able in a morning
To beat a dozen boys, and then to breakfast,
I'll tie you to a sword.
Hengo. And what then, uncle?
Car. Then you must kill, sir, the next valiant Roman
That calls you knave.
Hengo. And must I kill but one?
Car. A hundred, boy, I hope.
Hengo. I hope, five hundred.
Car. That's a noble boy!—Come, worthy lady,
Let's to our several charges, and henceforth
Allow an enemy both weight and worth. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—The Roman Camp.


Pet. What ail'st thou, man? dost thou want meat?
Jun. No.
Pet. Clothes?
Jun. Neither. For Heaven's love, leave me!
Pet. Drink?
Jun. You tire me.
Pet. Come, 'tis drink; I know 'tis drink.
Jun. 'Tis no drink.
Pet. I say, 'tis drink; for what affliction
Can light so heavy on a soldier,
To dry him up as thou art, but no drink?
Thou shalt have drink.
Jun. Prithee, Petillius———
Pet. And, by mine honour, much drink, valiant drink:
Never tell me, thou shalt have drink. I see,
Like a true friend, into thy wants; 'tis drink;
And when I leave thee to a desolation,
Especially of that dry nature, hang me.
Jun. Why do you do this to me?
Pet. For I see,
Although your modesty would fain conceal it,
Which sits as sweetly on a soldier
As an old side-saddle———
Jun. What do you see?
Pet. I see as fair as day, that thou want'st drink.
Did I not find thee gaping, like an oyster
For a new tide? Thy very thoughts lie bare,
Like a low ebb; thy soul, that rid in sack,
Lies moored for want of liquor. Do but see
Into thyself; for, by the gods, I do:
For all thy body's chapt and cracked like timber,
For want of moisture: what is't thou want'st there, Junius,
An if it be not drink?
Jun. You have too much on't.

Pet. It may be a whore too; say it be; come, meecher
Thou shalt have both; a pretty valiant fellow
Die for a little lap and lechery?
No, it shall ne'er be said in our country
Thou diedst o' the chin-cough. Hear, thou noble Roman,
The son of her that loves a soldier,
Hear what I promised for thee; thus I said:
"Lady, I take thy son to my companion;
Lady, I love thy son, thy son loves war,
The war loves danger, danger drink, drink discipline,
Which is society and lechery;
These two beget commanders: fear not, lady;
Thy son shall lead."
Jun. 'Tis a strange thing, Petillius,
That so ridiculous and loose a mirth
Can master your affections.
Pet. Any mirth,
And any way, of any subject, Junius,
Is better than unmanly mustiness.
What harm's in drink? in a good wholesome wench?
I do beseech you, sir, what error? yet
It cannot out of my head handsomely,
But thou wouldst fain be drunk; come, no more fooling;
The general has new wine, new come over.
Jun. He must have new acquaintance for it too,
For I will none, I thank you.
Pet. "None, I thank you!"
A short and touchy answer: "None, I thank you!"
You do not scorn it, do you?
Jun. Gods defend, sir!
I owe him still more honour.
Pet. "None, I thank you!"
No company, no drink, no wench, I thank you!
You shall be worse entreated, sir.
Jun. Petillius,
As thou art honest, leave me.
Pet. "None, I thank you!"
A modest and a decent resolution,
And well put on. Yes, I will leave you, Junius,
And leave you to the boys, that very shortly
Shall all salute you by your new sirname
Of "Junius None-I-thank-you." I would starve now,
Hang, drown, despair, deserve the forks, lie open
To all the dangerous passes of a wench,
Bound to believe her tears, and wed her aches,
Ere I would own thy follies. I have found you,
Your lays, and out-leaps, Junius, haunts, and lodges;
I have viewed you, and I have found you by my skill
To be a fool o' the first head, Junius,
And I will hunt you: you are in love, I know it;
You are an ass, and all the camp shall know it,
A peevish idle boy, your dame shall know it;
A wronger of my care, yourself shall know it.

Enter JUDAS and four Soldiers.

Judas. A bean! a princely diet, a full banquet,
To what we compass.
1st Sold. Fight like hogs for acorns!
2nd Sold. Venture our lives for pig-nuts!
Pet. What ail these rascals?
3rd Sold. If this hold, we are starved.
Judas. For my part, friends,
Which is but twenty beans a-day, (a hard world
For officers and men of action)
And those so clipt by Master Mouse, and rotten
(For understand 'em French beans, where the fruits
Are ripened, like the people, in old tubs)—
For mine own part, I say, I am starved already,
Not worth another bean, consumed to nothing,
Nothing but flesh and bones left, miserable:
Now, if this musty provender can prick me
To honourable matters of achievement, gentlemen,
Why, there's the point.
4th Sold. I'll fight no more.
Pet. You'll hang, then;
A sovereign help for hunger. Ye eating rascals,
Whose gods are beef and brewis! whose brave angers
Do execution upon these and chibbals!
Ye dogs' heads i' the porridge-pot! you fight no more!
Does Rome depend upon your resolution
For eating mouldy pie-crust?
3rd Sold. 'Would we had it!
Judas. I may do service, captain.
Pet. In a fish-market:
You, Corporal Curry-comb, what will your fighting
Profit the commonwealth? Do you hope to triumph?
Or dare your vamping valour, Goodman Cobbler,
Clap a new sole to the kingdom? 'Sdeath, ye dog-whelps,
You fight, or not fight!
Judas. Captain!
Pet. Out, ye flesh-flies!
Nothing but noise and nastiness!
Judas. Give us meat,
Whereby we may do.
Pet. Whereby hangs your valour.
Judas. Good bits afford good blows.
Pet. A good position:
How long is't since thou eat'st last? Wipe thy mouth,
And then tell truth.
Judas. I have not eat to the purpose———
Pet. To the purpose! what's that? half a cow and garlic?
Ye rogues, my company eat turf, and talk not;
Timber they can digest, and fight upon't;
Old mats, and mud with spoons, rare meats. Your shoes, slaves—
Dare ye cry out for hunger, and those extant?
Suck your sword-hilts, ye slaves; if ye be valiant,
Honour will make 'em marchpane. To the purpose!
A grievous penance! Dost thou see that gentleman,
That melancholy monsieur?
Jun. Pray you, Petillius—
Pet. He has not eat these three weeks.
2nd Sold. H'as drunk the more, then.
3rd Sold. And that's all one.
Pet. Nor drunk nor slept these two months.
Judas. Captain, we do beseech you, as poor soldiers,
Men that have seen good days, whose mortal stomachs
May sometimes feel afflictions——— [To JUNIUS.
Jun. This, Petillius,
Is not so nobly done.
Pet. 'Tis common profit.—
Urge him to the point; he'll find you out a food
That needs no teeth nor stomach, a strange furmety
Will feed ye up as fat as hens i' the foreheads,
And make ye fight like fitchocks: to him!
Judas. Captain———
Jun. Do you long to have your throats cut?
Pet. See what mettle
It makes in him: two meals more of this melancholy,
And there lies Caratach.
Judas. We do beseech you———
2nd Sold. Humbly beseech your valour———
Jun. Am I only
Become your sport, Petillius?
Judas. But to render
In way of general good, in preservation———
Jun. Out of my thoughts, ye slaves!
4th Sold. Or rather pity———
3rd Sold. Your warlike remedy against the maw-worms.
Judas. Or notable receipt to live by nothing.
Pet. Out with your table-books!
Jun. Is this true friendship?
And must my killing griefs make others' May-games?
Stand from my sword's point, slaves! your poor starved spirits
Can make me no oblations; else, oh, Love,
Thou proudly-blind destruction, I would send thee
Whole hecatombs of hearts, to bleed my sorrows. [Exit.
Judas. Alas, he lives by love, sir!
Pet. So he does, sir;
And cannot you do so too? All my company
Are now in love; ne'er think of meat, nor talk
Of what provant is: aye-mes and hearty heigh-hoes

Are salads fit for soldiers. Live by meat!
By larding up your bodies! 'tis lewd, and lazy,
And shows ye merely mortal, dull, and drives ye
To fight, like camels, with baskets at your noses.
Get ye in love: ye can whore well enough,
That all the world knows; fast ye into famine,
Yet ye can crawl, like crabs, to wenches handsomely.
Fall but in love now, as ye see example,
And follow it but with all your thoughts, probatum,
There's so much charge saved, and your hunger's ended. [Drum within.

Away! I hear the general. Get ye in love all,
Up to the ears in love, that I may hear
No more of these rude murmurings; and discreetly
Carry your stomachs, or I prophesy
A pickled rope will choke ye. Jog, and talk not! [Exeunt.

Enter SUETONIUS, DEMETRIUS, DECIUS, with drum and colours.

Suet. Demetrius, is the messenger despatched
To Pœnius, to command him to bring up
The Volans regiment?
Dem. He's there by this time.
Suet. And are the horse well viewed we brought from Mona?
Dec. The troops are full and lusty.
Suet. Good Petillius,
Look to those eating rogues, that bawl for victuals,
And stop their throats a day or two: provision
Waits but the wind to reach us.
Pet. Sir, already
I have been tampering with their stomachs, which I find
As deaf as adders to delays: your clemency
Hath made their murmurs mutinies, nay, rebellions;
Now, an they want but mustard, they 're in uproars;
No oil but Candy, Lusitanian figs,
And wine from Lesbos, now can satisfy 'em;
The British waters are grown dull and muddy,
The fruit disgustful; Orontes must be sought for,
And apples from the Happy Isles; the truth is,
They are more curious now in having nothing,
Than if the sea and land turned up their treasures.
This lost the colonies, and gave Bonduca
(With shame we must record it) time and strength
To look into our fortunes; great discretion
To follow offered victory; and last, full pride
To brave us to our teeth, and scorn our ruins.
Suit. Nay, chide not, good Petillius; I confess
My will to conquer Mona, and long stay
To execute that will, let in these losses:
All shall be right again; and, as a pine,
Rent from Oëta by a sweeping tempest,
Jointed again and made a mast, defies
Those angry winds that split him; so will I,
Pieced to my never-failing strength and fortune,
Steer thorough these swelling dangers, plough their prides up,
And bear like thunder through their loudest tempests.
They keep the field still?
Dem. Confident and full.
Pet. In such a number, one would swear they grew:
The hills are wooded with their partizans,
And all the valleys overgrown with darts,
As moors are with rank rushes; no ground left us
To charge upon, no room to strike. Say fortune
And our endeavours bring us into 'em,
They are so infinite, so ever-springing,
We shall be killed with killing; of desperate women,
That neither fear nor shame e'er found, the devil
Has ranked amongst 'em multitudes; say the men fail,
They'll poison us with their petticoats; say they fail,
They have priests enough to pray us into nothing.
Suet. These are imaginations, dreams of nothings:
The man that doubts or fears———
Dec. I am free of both.

Dem. The self-same I.
Pet. And I as free as any;
As careless of my flesh, of that we call life,
So I may lose it nobly, as indifferent
As if it were my diet. Yet, noble general,
It was a wisdom learned from you, I learned it,
And worthy of a soldier's care, most worthy,
To weigh with most deliberate circumstance
The ends of accidents, above their offers;
How to go on, and yet to save a Roman,
Whose one life is more worth in way of doing,
Than millions of these painted wasps; how, viewing,
To find advantage out; how, found, to follow it
With counsel and discretion, lest mere fortune
Should claim the victory.
Suet. 'Tis true, Petillius,
And worthily remembered: the rule's certain,
Their uses no less excellent; but where time
Cuts off occasions, danger, time and all
Tend to a present peril, 'tis required
Our swords and manhoods be best counsellors,
Our expeditions, precedents. To win is nothing,
Where reason, time, and counsel are our camp-masters;
But there to bear the field, then to be conquerors,
Where pale destruction takes us, takes us beaten,
In wants and mutinies, ourselves but handfuls,
And to ourselves our own fears, needs a new way,
A sudden and a desperate execution:
Here, how to save, is loss; to be wise, dangerous;
Only a present well-united strength,
And minds made up for all attempts, despatch it:
Disputing and delay here cools the courage;
Necessity gives no time for doubts; things infinite,
According to the spirit they are preached to;
Rewards like them, and names for after ages,
Must steel the soldier, his own shame help to arm him;
And having forced his spirit, ere he cools,
Fling him upon his enemies: sudden and swift,
Like tigers amongst foxes, we must fight for't;
Fury must be our fortune; shame we have lost,
Spurs ever in our sides to prick us forward:
There is no other wisdom nor discretion
Due to this day of ruin, but destruction;
The soldier's order first, and then his anger.
Dem. No doubt, they dare redeem all.
Suet. Then, no doubt,
The day must needs be ours. That the proud woman
Is infinite in number better likes me,
Than if we dealt with squadrons; half her army
Shall choke themselves, their own swords dig their graves.
I'll tell ye all my fears; one single valour,
The virtues of the valiant Caratach,
More doubts me than all Britain: he's a soldier
So forged out, and so tempered for great fortunes,
So much man thrust into him, so old in dangers,
So fortunate in all attempts, that his mere name
Fights in a thousand men, himself in millions,
To make him Roman. But no more.—Petillius,
How stands your charge?
Pet. Ready for all employments,
To be commanded too, sir.
Suet. 'Tis well governed;
To-morrow we'll draw out, and view the cohorts;
I' the mean time, all apply their offices.
Where's Junius?
Pet. In's cabin, sick o' the mumps, sir.
Suet. How!
Pet. In love, indeed in love, most lamentably loving,
To the tune of "Queen Dido."
Dec. Alas, poor gentleman!
Suet. 'Twill make him fight the nobler. With what lady?
I'll be a spokesman for him.
Pet. You'll scant speed, sir.
Suet. Who is't?
Pet. The devil's dam, Bonduca's daughter,
Her youngest, cracked i' the ring.
Suet. I am sorry for him:
But, sure, his own discretion will reclaim him;
He must deserve our anger else. Good captains,
Apply yourselves in all the pleasing forms
Ye can unto the soldiers; fire their spirits,
And set 'em fit to run this action;
Mine own provision shall be shared amongst 'em,
Till more come in; tell 'em, if now they conquer,
The fat of all the kingdom lies before 'em,
Their shames forgot, their honours infinite,
And want for ever banished. Two days hence,
Our fortunes, and our swords, and gods be for us!


SCENE I.—Before the Tent of PŒNIUS.


PŒN. I must come!
Macer So the general commands, sir.
Pœn. I must bring up my regiment!
Macer. Believe, sir, I bring no lie.
Pœn. But did he say, I must come?
Macer. So delivered.
Pœn. How long is't, Regulus, since I commanded
In Britain here?
Reg. About five years, great Pœnius.
Pœn. The general some five months. Are all my actions
So poor and lost, my services so barren,
That I'm remembered in no nobler language
But must come up?
Macer. I do beseech you, sir,
Weigh but the time's estate.
Pœn. Yes, good lieutenant,
I do, and his that sways it. Must come up!
Am I turned bare centurion? must and shall
Fit embassies to court my honour?
Macer. Sir———
Pœn. Set me to lead a handful of my men
Against a hundred thousand barbarous slaves,
That have marched name by name with Rome's best doers!
Serve 'em up some other meat; I'll bring no food
To stop the jaws of all those hungry wolves;
My regiment's mine own. I must my language!


Cur. Pœnius, where lies the host?
Pœn. Where fate may find 'em.
Cur. Are they ingirt?
Pœn. The battle's lost.
Cur. So soon?
Pœn. No; but 'tis lost, because it must be won;
The Britons must be victors. Whoe'er saw
A troop of bloody vultures hovering
About a few corrupted carcasses,
Let him behold the silly Roman host,
Girded with millions of fierce Britain-swains,
With deaths as many as they have had hopes;
And then go thither, he that loves his shame!
I scorn my life, yet dare not lose my name.
Cur. Do not you hold it a most famous end,
When both our names and lives are sacrificed
For Rome's increase?
Pœn. Yes, Curius; but mark this too:
What glory is there, or what lasting fame
Can be to Rome or us, what full example,
When one is smothered with a multitude,
And crowded in amongst a nameless press?
Honour got out of flint, and on their heads
Whose virtues, like the sun, exhaled all valours,
Must not be lost in mists and fogs of people,

Noteless and out of name, both rude and naked:
Nor can Rome task us with impossibilities,
Or bid us fight against a flood; we serve her,
That she may proudly say she has good soldiers,
Not slaves to choke all hazards. Who but fools,
That make no difference betwixt certain dying
And dying well, would fling their fames and fortunes
Into this Britain-gulf, this quicksand-ruin,
That, sinking, swallows us? what noble hand
Can find a subject fit for blood there? or what sword
Room for his execution? what air to cool us,
But poisoned with their blasting breaths and curses,
Where we lie buried quick above the ground,
And are, with labouring sweat and breathless pain,
Killed like to slaves, and cannot kill again?
Dru. Pœnius, mark ancient wars, and know that then
A captain weighed a hundred thousand men.
Pœn. Drusus, mark ancient wisdom, and you'll find then,
He gave the overthrow that saved his men.
I must not go.
Reg. The soldiers are desirous,
Their eagles all drawn out, sir.
Pœn. Who drew up, Regulus?
Ha! speak; did you? whose bold will durst attempt this?
Drawn out! why, who commands, sir? on whose warrant
Durst they advance?
Reg. I keep mine own obedience.
Dru. 'Tis like the general cause, their love of honour,
Relieving of their wants———
Pœn. Without my knowledge!
Am I no more? my place but at their pleasures?
Come, who did this?
Dru. By Heaven, sir, I am ignorant.
Pœn. What! am I grown a shadow?—Hark! they march. [Drum
I'll know, and will be myself.

Enter Soldiers, with drum and colours.

Stand, disobedience!
He that advances one foot higher dies for't.—
Run thorough the regiment, upon your duties,
And charge 'em, on command, beat back again;
By Heaven, I'll tithe 'em all else!
Reg. We'll do our best.
Pœn. Back! cease your bawling drums there;
I'll beat the tubs about your brains else. Back!
Do I speak with less fear than thunder to ye?
Must I stand to beseech ye? Home, home!—Ha!
Do ye stare upon me? Are those minds I moulded,
Those honest valiant tempers I was proud
To be a fellow to, those great discretions
Made your names feared and honoured, turned to wildfires?
Oh, gods, to disobedience? Command, farewell!
And be ye witness with me, all things sacred,
I have no share in these men's shames! March, soldiers,
And seek your own sad ruins; your old Pœnius
Dares not behold your murders.
1st Sold. Captain!
2nd Sold. Captain!
3rd Sold. Dear, honoured captain!
Pœn. Too, too dear-loved soldiers,
Which made ye weary of me, and Heaven yet knows,
Though in your mutinies, I dare not hate you,—
Take your own wills! 'tis fit your long experience
Should now know how to rule yourselves; I wrong ye,
In wishing ye to save your lives and credits,
To keep your necks whole from the axe hangs o'er ye:
Alas, I much dishonoured ye! go, seek the Britons,
And say ye come to glut their sacrifices;
But do not say I sent ye. What ye have been,
How excellent in all parts, good and governed,
Is only left of my command, for story;
What now ye are, for pity. Fare ye well! [Going.


Dru. Oh, turn again, great Pœnius! see the soldier
In all points apt for duty.
Reg. See his sorrow
For his disobedience, which he says was haste,
And haste he thought to please you with. See, captain,
The toughness of his courage turned to water;
See how his manly heart melts.
Pœn. Go; beat homeward;
There learn to eat your little with obedience;
And henceforth strive to do as I direct ye.
Macer. My answer, sir.
Pœn. Tell the great general,
My companies are no faggots to fill breaches,
Myself no man that must or shall can carry:
Bid him be wise, and where he is, he's safe then;
And, when he finds out possibilities,
He may command me. Commend me to the captains.
Macer. All this I shall deliver.

Pœn. Farewell, Macer.
[Exeunt PŒNIUS and MACER
Cur. Pray gods this breed no mischief!
Reg. It must needs,
If stout Suetonius win; for then his anger,
Besides the soldier's loss of due and honour,
Will break together on him.
Dru. He's a brave fellow;
And, but a little hide his haughtiness,
(Which is but sometimes neither, on some causes)
He shows the worthiest Roman this day living.
You may, good Curius, to the general
Make all things seem the best.
Cur. I shall endeavour.
Prav for our fortunes, gentlemen; if we fall,
This one farewell serves for a funeral.
The gods make sharp our swords, and steel our hearts!
Reg. We dare, alas, but cannot fight our parts

SCENE II.—Before the Tent of JUNIUS.

Enter JUNIUS, followed by PETILLIUS and a HERALD.

Pet. Let him go on. Stay; now he talks.
Jun. Why,
Why should I love mine enemy? what is beauty?
Of what strange violence, that, like the plague,
It works upon our spirits? Blind they feign him;
I am sure, I find it so—
Pet. A dog shall lead you,
Jun. His fond affections blinder—
Pet. Hold you there still!
Jun. It takes away my sleep—
Pet. Alas, poor chicken!
Jun. My company, content, almost my fashion—
Pet. Yes, and your weight too, if you follow it.
Jun. 'Tis sure the plague, for no man dare come near me
Without an antidote; 'tis far worse, hell.
Pet. Thou art damned without redemption, then.
Jun. The way to't
Strewed with fair western smiles and April blushes,
Let by the brightest constellations, eyes,
And sweet proportions, envying Heaven; but from thence
No way to guide, no path, no wisdom brings us.
Pet. Yes, a smart water, Junius.
Jun. Do I fool?
Know all this, and fool still? Do I know further,
Then when we have enjoyed our ends we lose 'em,
And all our appetites are but as dreams
We laugh at in our ages?—
Pet. Sweet philosopher!
Jun. Do I know on still, and yet know nothing? Mercy, gods!
Why am I thus ridiculous?
Pet. Motley on thee!
Thou art an arrant ass.
Jun. Can red and white,
An eye, a nose, a cheek———
Pet. But one cheek, Junius?
A half-faced mistress?
Jun. With a little trim,
That wanton fools call fashion, thus abuse me?
Take me beyond my reason? Why should not I
Dote on my horse well trapped, my sword well hatched?
They are as handsome things, to me more useful,
And possible to rule too. Did I but love,
Yes 'twere excusable, my youth would bear it:
But to love there, and that no time can give me,
Mine honour dare not ask (she has been ravished,)
My nature must not know (she hates our nation,)
Thus to dispose my spirit!
Pet. Stay a little; he will declaim again.
Jun. I will not love! I am a man, have reason,
And I will use it; I'll no more tormenting,
Nor whining for a wench; there are a thousand—
Pet Hold thee there, boy!
Jun. A thousand will entreat me.
Pet. Ten thousand, Junius.
Jun. I am young and lusty,
And to my fashion valiant; can please nightly.
Pet. I'll swear thy back's probatum, for I have known thee
Leap at sixteen like a strong stallion.
Jun. I will be man again.
Pet. Now mark the working;
The devil and the spirit tug for't: twenty pound
Upon the devil's head!
Jun. I must be wretched—
Pet. I knew I had won.
Jun. Nor have I so much power
To shun my fortune.
Pet. I will hunt thy fortune
With all the shapes imagination breeds,
But I will fright thy devil.—Stay, he sings now.
[Song by JUNIUS, and PETILLIUS after him in mockage.
Jun. Must I be thus abused?
Pet. Yes, marry must you.
Let's follow him close: oh, there he is; now read it.
Her. (Reads). "It is the general's command, that all sick
old and unable, retire within the trenches; he that fears has liberty to leave
the field: fools, boys, and lovers, must not come near the regiments, for fear
of their infections, especially those cowards they call lovers."
Jun. Ha!
Pet. Read on.
Her. (Reads). "If any common soldier love an enemy, he's whipped
and made a slave; if any captain, cast, with loss of honours, flung out o' the
army, and made unable ever after to bear the name of a soldier."
Jun. The pox consume ye all, rogues! [Exit.
Pet. Let this work;
He has something now to chew upon. He's gone;
Come, shake no more.
Her. Well, sir, you may command me,
But not to do the like again for Europe;
I would have given my life for a bent two-pence.
If I e'er read to lovers whilst I live again,
Or come within their confines———
Pet. There's your payment; [Gives money.
And keep this private.
Her. I am schooled for talking [Exit.


Pet. How now, Demetrius! are we drawn?
Dem. 'Tis doing;
Your company stands fair. But, pray you, where's Junius?
Half his command are wanting, with some forty
That Decius leads.
Pet. Hunting for victuals.
Upon my life, freebooting rogues, their stomachs
Are, like a widow's lust, ne'er satisfied.
Dem. I wonder how they dare stir, knowing the enemy
Master of all the country.
Pet. Resolute hungers
Know neither fears nor faiths; they tread on ladders,
Ropes, gallows, and overdo all dangers.
Dem. They may be hanged though.
Pet. There's their joyful supper;
And no doubt they are at it.
Dem. But, for Heaven's sake,
How does young Junius?
Pet. Drawing on, poor gentleman.
Dem. What, to his end?
Pet. To the end of all flesh, woman.
Dem. This love has made him a stout soldier.
Pet. Oh, a great one,
Fit to command young goslings. But what news?
Dem. I think the messenger's come back from Pœnius
By this time; let's go know.
Pet. What will you say now
If he deny to come, and take exceptions
At some half syllable, or sound delivered
With an ill accent, or some style left out?
Dem. I cannot think he dare.
Pet. He dare speak treason,
Dare say what no man dares believe, dares do—
But that's all one; I'll lay you my black armour
To twenty crowns, he comes not.
Dem. Done.
Pet. You'll pay?
Dem. I will.
Pet. Then keep thine old use, Pœnius,
Be stubborn and vain-glorious, and I thank thee.
Come, let's go pray for six hours; most of us
I fear will trouble Heaven no more: two good blows
Struck home at two commanders of the Britons,
And my part's done.
Dem. I do not think of dying.
Pet. 'Tis possible we may live; but, Demetrius,
With what strange legs, and arms, and eyes, and noses,
Let carpenters and coppersmiths consider.
If I can keep my heart whole, and my windpipe,
That I may drink yet like a soldier———
Dem. Come, let's have better thoughts; mine's on your armour.
Pet. Mine's in your purse, sir; let's go try the wager.

SCENE III.—The British Camp. In the background, the Tent of BONDUCA,
a rock on one side of the stage.

Enter British Soldiers, bringing in JUDAS and four Roman Soldiers
with halters about their necks; BONDUCA, Daughters, and NENNIUS
following, with Servants.

Bond. Come, hang 'em presently.
Nen. What made your rogueships
Harrying for victuals here? are we your friends?
Or do you come for spies? Tell me directly,
Would you not willingly be hanged now? do not ye long for't?
Judas. What say ye? shall we hang in this vein? Hang we must,
An 'tis as good to despatch it merrily,
As pull an arse, like dogs, to't.
1st Sold. Any way,
So it be handsome.
3rd Sold. I had as lief 'twere toothsome too:
But all agree, and I'll not out, boys.
4th Sold. Let's hang pleasantly.
Judas. Then pleasantly be it:—Captain, the truth is,
We had as lief hang with meat in our mouths,
As ask your pardon empty.
Bond. These are brave hungers.—
What say you to a leg of beef now, sirrah?
Judas. Bring me acquainted with it, and I'll tell you.
Bond. Torment 'em, wenches;—I must back;—then hang 'em.
Judas. We humbly thank your grace.
1st Daugh. The rogues laugh at us.
2nd Daugh. Sirrah, what think you of a wench now?
Judas. A wench, lady?
I do beseech your ladyship, retire;
I'll tell you presently: you see the time's short;
One crash, even to the settling of my conscience
Nen. Why, is't no more but up, boys?
Judas. Yes, ride too, captain,
Will you but see my seat.
1st Daugh. You shall be set, sir,
Upon a jade shall shake you.
Judas. Sheets, good madam,
Will do it ten times better.
1st Daugh. Whips, good soldier,
Which you shall taste before you hang, to mortify you;
'Tis pity you should die thus desperate.
2nd Daugh. These are the merry Romans, the brave madcaps:
'Tis ten to one we'll cool your resolutions.—
Bring out the whips.
Judas. Would your good ladyships
Would exercise 'em too!
4th Sold. Surely, ladies,
We'd show you a strange patience.
Nen. Hang 'em, rascals!
They'll talk thus on the wheel.


Car. Now, what's the matter?
What are these fellows? what's the crime committed,
That they wear necklaces?
Nen. They are Roman rogues,
Taken a-foraging.
Car. Is that all, Nennius?
Judas. Would I were fairly hanged! this is the devil,
The kill-cow Caratach.
Car. You would hang 'em?
Nen. Are they not enemies?
1st Sold. My breech makes buttons.
1st Daugh. Are they not our tormentors?
Car. Tormentors! flea-traps.—
Pluck off your halters, fellows.
Nen. Take heed, Caratach;
Taint not your wisdom.
Car. Wisdom, Nennius?
Why, who shall fight against us, make our honours,
And give a glorious day into our hands,
If we despatch our foes thus? What's their offence?
Stealing a loaf or two to keep out hunger,
A piece of greasy bacon, or a pudding?
Do these deserve the gallows? They are hungry,
Poor hungry knaves, no meat at home left, starved.—
Art thou not hungry?
Judas. Monstrous hungry.
Car. He looks like Hunger's self. Get 'em some victuals,
And wine to cheer their hearts; quick!
[Exeunt Servants.
Hang up poor pilchers!
2nd Sold. This is the bravest captain—
Nen. Caratach,
I'll leave you to your will.
Car. I'll answer all, sir. [Exit NENNIUS.
2nd Daugh. Let's up and view his entertainment of 'em!
I am glad they are shifted any way; their tongues else
Would still have murdered us.
1st Daugh. Let's up and see it. [Exeunt Daughters.

Enter HENGO.

Car. Sit down, poor knaves.—Why, where's this wine and victuals?
Who waits there?
Serv. [Within.] Sir, 'tis coming.
Hengo. Who are these, uncle?
Car. They are Romans, boy.
Hengo. Are these they
That vex mine aunt so? can these fight? they look
Like empty scabbards all, no mettle in 'em;
Like men of clouts, set to keep crows from orchards:
Why, I dare fight with these.
Car. That's my good chicken!—And how do ye?
How do ye feel your stomachs?
Judas. Wondrous apt, sir;
As shall appear when time calls.

Re-enter Servants with victuals and wine, and set out a table.

Car. That's well; down with 't.—
A little grace will serve your turns. Eat softly;
You'll choke, ye knaves, else.—Give 'em wine.
Judas. Not yet, sir;
We are even a little busy.
Hengo. Can that fellow
Do any thing but eat?—Thou fellow—
Judas. Away, boy,
Away! this is no boy's play.
Hengo. By Heaven, uncle,
If his valour lie in's teeth, he's the most valiant.
Car. I am glad to hear you talk, sir.
Hengo. Good uncle, tell me,
What's the price of a couple of crammed Romans?
Car. Some twenty Britons, boy; these are good soldiers.
Hengo. Do not the cowards eat hard too?
Car. No more, boy.—
Come, I'll sit with you too.—Sit down by me, boy.
Judas. Pray, bring your dish, then.
Car. Hearty knaves!—More meat there.
1st Sold. That's a good hearing.
Car. Stay now, and pledge me.
Judas. This little piece, sir.
Car. By Heaven, square eaters!—
More meat, I say!—Upon my conscience,
The poor rogues have not eat this month: how terribly
They charge upon their victuals!—Dare ye fight thus?
Judas. Believe it, sir, like devils.
Car. Well said, Famine:
Here's to thy general. [Drinks.
Judas. Most excellent captain,
I will now pledge thee.
Car. And to-morrow night, say to him,
His head is mine.
Judas. I can assure you, captain,
He will not give it for this washing.
Car. Well said.

Enter Daughters on the rock.

1st Daugh. Here's a strange entertainment: how the thieves drink!
2nd Daugh. Danger is dry; they looked for colder liquor.
Car. Fill 'em more wine; give 'em full bowls.—Which of you all
In recompense of this good, dare but give me
A sound knock in the battle?
Judas. Delicate captain,
To do thee a sufficient recompense,
I'll knock thy brains out.
Car. Do it.
Hengo. Thou dar'st as well be damned: thou knock his brains out,
Thou skin of man!—Uncle, I will not hear this.
Judas. Tie up your whelp.
Hengo. Thou kill my uncle! would I
Had but a sword for thy sake, thou dried dog!
Car. What a mettle
This little vermin carries!
Hengo. Kill mine uncle!
Car. He shall not, child.
Hengo. He cannot; he's a rogue,
An only eating rogue: kill my sweet uncle!
Oh, that I were a man!
Judas. By this wine, which I
Will drink to Captain Junius, who loves
The queen's most excellent majesty's little daughter
Most sweetly and most fearfully, I will do it.
Hengo. Uncle, I'll kill him with a great pin.
Car. No more, boy.—
I'll pledge thy captain. To ye all, good fellows!
2nd Daugh. In love with me! that love shall cost your lives all.—
Come, sister, and advise me; I have here
A way to make an easy conquest of 'em,
If fortune favour me. [Exeunt Daughters above.
Car. Let's see ye sweat
To-morrow blood and spirit, boys, this wine
Turned to stern valour.
1st Sold. Hark you, Judas;
If he should hang us after all this?
Judas. Let him:
I'll hang like a gentleman and a Roman.
Car. Take away there;
They have enough. [The table removed.
Judas. Captain, we thank you heartily
For your good cheer: and, if we meet to-morrow,
One of us pays for't.
Car. Get 'em guides; their wine
Has over-mastered 'em. [Exit a Servant.

Re-enter second Daughter, and a Servant.

2nd Daugh. That hungry fellow
With the red beard there, give it him, and this
[Giving letter and purse.
To see it well delivered.
Car. Farewell, knaves:
Speak nobly of us; keep your words to-morrow,
And do something worthy your meat.—

Enter a Guide.

Go, guide 'em,
And see 'em fairly onward.
Judas. Meaning me, sir?
Serv. The same.
The youngest daughter to the queen entreats you
To give this privately to Captain Junius;
This for your pains.
Judas. I rest her humble servant,
Commend me to thy lady.—Keep your files, boys.
Serv. I must instruct you farther.
Judas. Keep your files there;
Order, sweet friends; faces about now.
Guide. Here, sir;
Here lies your way.
Judas. Bless the founders, I say.
Fairly, good soldiers, fairly march now; close, boys!

SCENE IV.—The Roman Camp.


Suet. Bid me be wise, and keep me where I am,
And so be safe! not come, because commanded!
Was it not thus?
Macer. It was, sir.
Pet. What now think you?
Suet. Must come so heinous to him, so distasteful!
Pet. Give me my money.
Dem. I confess 'tis due, sir,
And presently I'll pay it.
Suet. His obedience
So blind at his years and experience,

It cannot find where to be tendered!
Macer. Sir,
The regiment was willing, and advanced too,
The captains at all points steeled up; their preparations
Full of resolve and confidence; youth and fire,
Like the fair breaking of a glorious day,

Gilded their phalanx; when the angry Pœnius
Stept, like a stormy cloud, 'twixt them and hopes.
Suet. And stopt their resolutions?
Macer. True; his reason
To them was odds, and odds so infinite,
Discretion durst not look upon.
Suet. Well, Pœnius,
I cannot think thee coward yet; and treacherous
I dare not think: thou hast lopt a limb off from me
And let it be thy glory thou wast stubborn,
Thy wisdom that thou left'st thy general naked:
Yet, ere the sun set, I shall make thee see
All valour dwells not in thee, all command
In one experience. Thou wilt too late repent this,
And wish "I must come up" had been thy blessing.
Pet. Let's force him.
Suet. No, by no means; he's a torrent
We cannot easily stem.
Pet. I think, a traitor.
Suet. No ill words: let his own shame first revile him.—
That wine I have, see it, Demetrius,
Distributed amongst the soldiers,
To make 'em high and lusty; when that's done,
Petillius, give the word through, that the eagles
May presently advance; no man discover,
Upon his life, the enemies' full strength,
But make it of no value. Decius,
Are your starved people yet come home?
Dec. I hope so.
Suet. Keep 'em in more obedience: this is no time
To chide; I could be angry else, and say more to you;
But come, let's order all. Whose sword is sharpest,
And valour equal to his sword this day,
Shall be my saint.
Pet. We shall be holy all, then.
[Exeunt all except DECIUS.

Enter JUDAS and four Soldiers.

Judas. Captain, captain, I have brought 'em off again;
The drunkenest slaves!
Dec. Pox confound your rogueships.
I'll call the general, and have ye hanged all.
Judas. Pray, who will you command, then?
Dec. For you, sirrah,
That are the ringleader to these devices,
Whose maw is never crammed, I'll have an engine—
Judas. A wench, sweet captain.
Dec. Sweet Judas, even the forks,
Where you shall have two lictors with two whips
Hammer your hide.
Judas. Captain, good words, fair words,
Sweet words, good captain; if you like not us,
Farewell; we have employment.

Dec. Where hast thou been?
Judas. There where you dare not be, with all your valour.
Dec. Where's that?
Judas. With the best good fellow living.
1st Sold. The king of all good fellows.
Dec. Who's that?
Judas. Caratach.
Shake now, and say we have done something worthy;
Mark me, with Caratach; by this light, Caratach:
Do you as much now, an you dare. Sweet Caratach!—
You talk of a good fellow, of true drinking,—
Well, go thy ways, old Caratach!—Besides the drink, captain,
The bravest running banquet of black puddings,
Pieces of glorious beef!
Dec. How 'scaped ye hanging?
Judas. Hanging's a dog's death, we are gentlemen:
And I say still, old Caratach!
Dec. Belike, then,
You are turned rebels all.
Judas. We are Roman boys all,
And boys of mettle. I must do that, captain,
This day, this very day———
Dec. Away, you rascal!
Judas. Fair words, I say again.
Dec. What must you do, sir?
Judas. I must do that my heart-strings yearn to do;
But my word's past.
Dec. What is it?
Judas. Why, kill Caratach:
That's all he asked us for our entertainment.
Dec. More than you'll pay.
Judas. 'Would I had sold myself
Unto the skin, I had not promised it!
For such another Caratach———
Dec. Come, fool,
Have you done your country service?
Judas. I have brought that
To Captain Junius———
Dec. How!
Judas. I think will do all:
I cannot tell; I think so.
Dec. How! to Junius!—
I'll more enquire of this [Aside.]—You'll fight now?
Judas. Promise,
Take heed of promise, captain!
Dec Away, and rank, then.
Judas. But, hark you, captain; there is wine distributing;
I would fain know what share I have.
Dec. Be gone;
You have too much.
Judas. Captain, no wine, no fighting:
There's one called Caratach that has wine.
Dec. Well, sir,
If you'll be ruled now, and do well———
Judas. Do excellent.
Dec. You shall have wine, or any thing: go file;
I'll see you have your share. Drag out your dormice,
And stow 'em somewhere, where they may sleep handsomely;
They'll hear a hunt's-up shortly.
Judas. Now I love thee;
But no more forks nor whips!
Dec. Deserve 'em not, then.
Up with your men; I'll meet you presently;
And get 'em sober quickly. [Exit.
Judas. Arm, arm, bullies!
All's light again and straight; and, which is more,
More wine, more wine. Awake, ye men of Memphis!
Be sober and discreet; we have much to do, boys.


SCENE I.—A Temple of the Druids.

Enter a Messenger.

MESS. Prepare there for the sacrifice! the queen comes. [Music.

Enter in solemnity the Druids singing; second Daughter strewing
then BONDUCA, first Daughter, CARATACH, NENNIUS, and others.

Bond. Ye powerful Gods of Britain, hear our prayers;
Hear us, you great revengers; and this day
Take pity from our swords, doubt from our valours;
Double the sad remembrance of our wrongs
In every breast; the vengeance due to those
Make infinite and endless! On our pikes
This day pale Terror sit, horrors and ruins
Upon our executions; claps of thunder
Hang on our armèd carts; and 'fore our troops
Despair and Death; Shame beyond these attend 'em!
Rise from the dust, ye relics of the dead,
Whose noble deeds our holy Druids sing;
Oh, rise, ye valiant bones! let not base earth
Oppress your honours, whilst the pride of Rome
Treads on your stocks, and wipes out all your stories!
Nen. Thou great Tiranes, whom our sacred priests,
Armèd with dreadful thunder, place on high
Above the rest of the immortal gods,
Send thy consuming fires and deadly bolts,
And shoot 'em home; stick in each Roman heart
A fear fit for confusion; blast their spirits,
Dwell in 'em to destruction; thorough their phalanx
Strike, as thou strik'st a proud tree; shake their bodies,
Make their strength totter, and their topless fortunes
Unroot, and reel to ruin!
1st Daugh. Oh, thou god,
Thou fearèd god, if ever to thy justice
Insulting wrongs and ravishments of women
(Women derived from thee) their shames, the sufferings
Of those that daily filled thy sacrifice
With virgin incense, have access, now hear me!
Now snatch thy thunder up, now on these Romans,
Despisers of thy power, of us defacers,
Revenge thyself; take to thy killing anger,
To make thy great work full, thy justice spoken,
An utter rooting from this blessed isle
Of what Rome is or has been!
Bond. Give more incense:
The gods are deaf and drowsy, no happy flame
Rises to raise our thoughts: pour on.
2nd Daugh. See, Heaven,
And all you powers that guide us, see, and shame,
We kneel so long for pity! Over your altars,
Since 'tis no light oblation that you look for,
No incense-offering, will I hang mine eyes;
And as I wear these stones with hourly weeping,
So will I melt your powers into compassion:
This tear for Prasutagus, my brave father;
(Ye gods, now think on Rome!) this for my mother
And all her miseries; yet see, and save us!
But now ye must be open-eyed. See, Heaven,
Oh, see thy showers stol'n from thee; our dishonours,—
Oh, sister, our dishonours!—can ye be gods,
And these sins smothered? [A smoke from the altar.
Bond. The fire takes.
Car. It does so,
But no flame rises. Cease your fretful prayers,
Your whinings, and your tame petitions;
The gods love courage armed with confidence,
And prayers fit to pull them down: weak tears
And troubled hearts, the dull twins of cold spirits,
They sit and smile at. Hear how I salute 'em.—
Divine Andate, thou who hold'st the reins
Of furious battles and disordered war,
And proudly roll'st thy swarty chariot-wheels
Over the heaps of wounds and carcasses,
Sailing through seas of blood; thou sure-steeled sternness,
Give us this day good hearts, good enemies,
Good blows o' both sides, wounds that fear or flight
Can claim no share in; steel us both with angers
And warlike executions fit thy viewing;
Let Rome put on her best strength, and thy Britain,
Thy little Britain, but as great in fortune,
Meet her as strong as she, as proud, as daring!
And then look on, thou red-eyed god; who does best,
Reward with honour; who despair makes fly,
Unarm for ever, and brand with infamy!
Grant this, divine Andate! 'tis but justice;
And my first blow thus on thy holy altar
I sacrifice unto thee. [A flame arises.
Bond. It flames out. [Music.
Car. Now sing, ye Druides. [Music and song.
Bond. 'Tis out again.
Car. H'as given us leave to fight yet; we ask no more;
The rest hangs in our resolutions:
Tempt him no more.
Bond. I would know further, cousin.
Car. His hidden meaning dwells in our endeavours,
Our valours are our best gods. Cheer the soldier,
And let him eat.
Mess. He's at it, sir.
Car. Away, then;
When he has done, let's march.—Come, fear not, lady;
This day the Roman gains no more ground here,
But what his body lies in.
Bond. Now I am confident.
[Exeunt; recorders playing.

SCENE II.—The Roman Camp.


Dec. We dare not hazard it; beside our lives,
It forfeits all our understandings.
Jun. Gentlemen,
Can you forsake me in so just a service,
A service for the commonwealth, for honour?
Read but the letter; you may love too.
Dec. Read it.
If there be any safety in the circumstance,
Or likelihood 'tis love, we will not fail you.
Read it, good Curius.
Cur. Willingly.
Jun. Now mark it.
Cur. [Reads] "Health to thy heart, my honoured Junius,
And all thy love requited! I am thine,
Thine everlastingly; thy love has won me;
And let it breed no doubt, our new acquaintance
Compels this; 'tis the gods decree to bless us.
The times are dangerous to meet; yet fail not;
By all the love thou bear'st me I conjure thee,
Without distrust of danger to come to me;
For I have purposed a delivery
Both of myself and fortune this blest day
Into thy hands, if thou think'st good. To show thee
How infinite my love is, even my mother
Shall be thy prisoner, the day yours without hazard;
For I beheld your danger like a lover,
A just affecter of thy faith: thy goodness,
I know, will use us nobly; and our marriage,
If not redeem, yet lessen Rome's ambition:
I am weary of these miseries. Use my mother
(If you intend to take her) with all honour;
And let this disobedience to my parent
Be laid on love, not me. Bring with thee, Junius,
Spirits resolved to fetch me off, the noblest;
Forty will serve the turn, just at the joining
Of both the battles; we will be weakly guarded,
And for a guide, within this hour, shall reach thee
A faithful friend of mine. The gods, my Junius,
Keep thee, and me to serve thee! Young Bonvica"
This letter carries much belief, and most objections
Answered, we must have doubted.
Dec. Is that fellow
Come to you for a guide yet?
Jun. Yes.
Dec. And examined?
Jun. Far more than that; he has felt tortures, yet
He vows he knows no more than this truth.
Dec. Strange!
Cur. If she mean what she writes, as 't may be probable,
Twill be the happiest vantage we can lean to.
Jun. I'll pawn my soul she means truth.
Dec. Think an hour more;
Then, if your confidence grow stronger on you,
We'll set in with you.
Jun. Nobly done: I thank ye.
Ye know the time.
Cur. We will be either ready
To give you present counsel, or join with you.
Jun. No more, as ye are gentlemen. The general!


Suet. Draw out apace; the enemy waits for us.
Are ye all ready?
Jun. All our troops attend, sir.
Suet. I am glad to hear you say so, Junius:
I hope you are dispossessed.
Jun. I hope so too, sir.
Suet. Continue so. And, gentlemen, to you now:
To bid you fight is needless; ye are Romans
The name will fight itself: to tell ye who
You go to fight against, his power and nature,
But loss of time; ye know it, know it poor,
And oft have made it so: to tell ye further,
His body shows more dreadful than it has done,
To tell him that fears less possible to deal with,
Is but to stick more honour on your actions,
Load ye with virtuous names, and to your memories
Tie never-dying Time and Fortune constant.
Go on in full assurance: draw your swords
As daring and as confident as justice;
The gods of Rome fight for ye; loud Fame calls ye,
Pitched on the topless Apennine, and blows
To all the under-world, all nations, the seas,
And unfrequented deserts where the snow dwells;
Wakens the ruined monuments; and there,
Where nothing but eternal death and sleep is,
Informs again the dead bones with your virtues.
Go on, I say: valiant and wise rule Heaven,
And all the great aspècts attend 'em: do but blow
Upon this enemy, who, but that we want foes,
Cannot deserve that name; and like a mist,
A lazy fog, before your burning valours
You'll find him fly to nothing. This is all,
We have swords, and are the sons of ancient Romans,
Heirs to their endless valours; fight and conquer!
Dec. Dem. 'Tis done.
Pet. That man that loves not this day,
And hugs not in his arms the noble danger,
May he die fameless and forgot!
Suet. Sufficient.
Up to your troops, and let your drums beat thunder;
March close and sudden, like a tempest: all executions
Done without sparkling of the body; keep your phalanx
Sure lined and pieced together, your pikes forward,
And so march like a moving fort. Ere this day run,
We shall have ground to add to Rome, well won. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—The Country between the Camps. A Hill on one side of the


Nen. The Roman is advanced; from yond hill's brow
We may behold him, Caratach.
Car. Let's thither;
[They ascend the hill; drums at one place afar off.
I see the dust fly. Now I see the body;
Observe 'em, Nennius; by Heaven, a handsome body,
And of a few strongly and wisely jointed:
Suetonius is a soldier.
Nen. As I take it,
That's he that gallops by the regiments,
Viewing their preparations.
Car. Very likely;
He shows no less than general: see how bravely
The body moves, and in the head how proudly
The captains stick like plumes: he comes apace on.
Good Nennius, go, and bid my stout lieutenant
Bring on the first square body to oppose 'em,
And, as he charges, open to enclose 'em;
The queen move next with hers, and wheel about,
To gain their backs, in which I'll lead the vanguard.
We shall have bloody crowns this day, I see by't.
Haste thee, good Nennius; I'll follow instantly.
How close they march, as if they grew together,
[March sounded within.
No place but lined alike, sure from oppression!
They will not change this figure; we must charge 'em,
And charge 'em home at both ends, van and rear;
They never totter else. [Drums in another place afar off.
I hear our music,
And must attend it. Hold, good sword, but this day,
And bite hard where I hound thee; and hereafter
I'll make a relic of thee, for young soldiers
To come like pilgrims to, and kiss for conquests. [Exit.

SCENE IV.—Before the Roman Camp.


Jun. Now is the time; the fellow stays.
Dec. What think you?
Cur. I think 'tis true.
Jun. Alas, if 'twere a question,
If any doubt or hazard fell into't,
Do ye think mine own discretion so self-blind,
My care of you so naked, to run headlong?
Dec. Let's take Petillius with us.
Jun. By no means;
He's never wise but to himself, nor courteous
But where the end's his own: we are strong enough,
If not too many. Behind yonder hill,
The fellow tells me, she attends, weak guarded,
Her mother and her sister.
Cur. I would venture.
Jun. We shall not strike five blows for't. Weigh the good,
The general good may come.
Dec. Away! I'll with ye;
But with what doubt———
Jun. Fear not: my soul for all!
[Exeunt. Alarms, drums and trumpets in several places afar
as at a main battle.

SCENE V.—Near the Field of Battle. A Hill on one side of the Stage.

Enter DRUSUS and PŒNIUS above.

Dru. Here you may see 'em all, sir; from this hill
The country shows off level.
Pœn. Gods defend me,
What multitudes they are, what infinites!
The Roman power shows like a little star
Hedged with a double halo.—Now the knell rings:
[Loud shouts within.
Hark, how they shout to the battle! how the air
Totters, and reels, and rends a-pieces, Drusus,
With the huge-vollied clamours!
Dru. Now they charge
(Oh, gods!) of all sides, fearfully.
Pœn. Little Rome,
Stand but this growing Hydra one short hour,
And thou hast outdone Hercules!
Dru. The dust hides 'em;
We cannot see what follows.
Pœn. They are gone,
Gone, swallowed, Drusus; this eternal sup
Shall never see 'em march more.
Dru. Oh, turn this way,
And see a model of the field! some forty
Against four hundred!
Pœn. Well fought, bravely followed!
Oh, nobly charged again, charged home too! Drusus,
They seem to carry it. Now they charge all;
[Loud shouts within.
Close, close, I say! they follow it. Ye gods,
Can there be more in men? more daring spirits?
Still they make good their fortunes. Now they are gone too,
For ever gone: see, Drusus, at their backs
A fearful ambush rises. Farewell, valours,
Excellent valours! oh, Rome, where's thy wisdom?
Dru. They are gone indeed, sir.
Pœn. Look out toward the army;
I am heavy with these slaughters.
Dru. 'Tis the same still,
Covered with dust and fury.

Enter Daughters with JUNIUS, CURIUS, DECIUS, and Soldiers.

2nd Daugh. Bring 'em in;
Tie 'em, and then unarm 'em.
1st Daugh. Valiant Romans,
Ye are welcome to your loves!
2nd Daugh. Your deaths, fools!
Dec. We deserve 'em;
And, women, do your worst.
1st Daugh. Ye need not beg it.
2nd Daugh. Which is kind Junius?
1st Sold. This.
2nd Daugh. Are you my sweetheart?
It looks ill on't! How long is't, pretty soul,
Since you and I first loved? had we not reason
To dote extremely upon one another?
How does my love? This is not he; my chicken
Could prate finely, sing a love-song.
Jun. Monster———
2nd Daugh. Oh, now it courts!
Jun. Armed with more malice
Than he that got thee has, the devil.
2nd Daugh. Good:
Proceed, sweet chick.
Jun. I hate thee; that's my last.
2nd Daugh. Nay, an you love me, forward!—No?—Come, sister,
Let's prick our answers on our arrows' points,
And make 'em laugh a little.—Ye damned lechers,
Ye proud improvident fools, have we now caught ye?
Are ye i' the noose? Since ye are such loving creatures,
We'll be your Cupids: do ye see these arrows?
We'll send 'em to your wanton livers, goats.
1st Daugh. Oh, how I'll trample on your hearts, ye villains,
Ambitious salt-itched slaves, Rome's master-sins!
The mountain-rams topped your hot mothers.
2nd Daugh. Dogs,
To whose brave founders a salt whore gave suck
Thieves, honour's hangmen, do ye grin? Perdition
Take me for ever, if in my fell anger,
I do not outdo all example!


Car. Where,
Where are these ladies Ye keep noble quarter!
Your mother thinks ye dead or taken, upon which
She will not move her battle.—Sure, these faces
I have beheld and known; they are Roman leaders:
How came they here?
2nd Daugh. A trick, sir, that we used;
A certain policy conducted 'em
Unto our snare: we have done you no small service.
These used as we intend, we are for the battle.
Car. As you intend! taken by treachery!
1st Daugh. Is't not allowed?

Car. Those that should gild our conquest,
Make up a battle worthy of our winning,
Catched up by craft!
2nd Daugh. By any means that's lawful.
Car. A woman's wisdom in our triumphs! Out!
Out, ye sluts, ye follies! From our swords
Filch our revenges basely!—Arm again, gentlemen.—
Soldiers, I charge ye help 'em.
2nd Daugh. By Heaven, uncle,
We will have vengeance for our rapes.
Car. By Heaven,
You should have kept your legs close then.—Despatch there.
1st Daugh. I will not off thus.
Car. He that stirs to execute,
Or she, though it be yourselves, by him that got me,
Shall quickly feel mine anger! One great day given us
Not to be snatched out of our hands but basely,
And must we shame the gods from whence we have it,
With setting snares for soldiers? I'll run away first,
Be hooted at, and children call me coward,
Before I set up stales for victories.
Give 'em their swords.
2nd Daugh. Oh, gods!
Car. Bear off the women
Unto their mother.
2nd Daugh. One shot, gentle uncle!
Car. One cut her fiddle-string!—Bear 'em off, I say!
1st Daugh. The devil take this fortune!
Car. Learn to spin;
And curse your knotted hemp!
[Exeunt Daughters and Soldiers.
Go, gentlemen,
Safely go off, up to your troops; be wiser;
There thank me like tall soldiers; I shall seek ye. [Exit
Cur. A noble worth!
Dec. Well, Junius?
Jun. Pray ye, no more!
Cur. He blushes; do not load him.
Dec. Where's your love now? [Drums loud within.
Jun. Puff, there it flies! Come, let's redeem our follies.
Dru. Awake, sir; yet the Roman body's whole;
I see 'em clear again.
Pœn. Whole! 'tis not possible;
Drusus, they must be lost.
Dru. By Heaven, they are whole, sir,
And in brave doing; see, they wheel about
To gain more ground.
Pœn. But see there, Drusus, see,
See that huge battle moving from the mountains!
Their gilt coats shine like dragons' scales, their march
Like a rough tumbling storm; see them, and view 'em,
And then see Rome no more. Say they fail, look,
Look where the armèd carts stand, a new army!
Look how they hang like falling rocks, as murdering!
Death rides in triumph, Drusus, fell Destruction
Lashes his fiery horse, and round about him
His many thousand ways to let out souls.
Move me again when they charge, when the mountain
Melts under their hot wheels, and from their ax'trees
Huge claps of thunder plough the ground before 'em;
Till then, I'll dream what Rome was.


Suet. Oh, bravely fought! honour 'till now ne'er showed
Her golden face i' the field: like lions, gentlemen,
You've held your heads up this day. Where's young Junius,
Curius, and Decius?
Pet. Gone to Heaven, I think, sir.
Suet. Their worths go with 'em! Breathe a while. How do ye?
Pet. Well; some few scurvy wounds; my heart's whole yet.
Dem. 'Would they would give us more ground!
Suet. Give! we'll have it.
Pet. Have it! and hold it too, despite the devil.


Jun. Lead up to the head, and line sure: the queen's battle
Begins to charge like wildfire. Where's the general?
Suet. Oh, they are living yet!—Come, my brave soldiers,
Come, let me pour Rome's blessing on ye: live,
Live, and lead armies all! Ye bleed hard.
Jun. Best;
We shall appear the sterner to the foe.
Dec. More wounds, more honour.
Pet. Lose no time.
Suet. Away, then;
And stand this shock, ye have stood the world.
Pet. We'll grow to't.
Is not this better now than lousy loving?
Jun. I am myself, Petillius.
Pet. 'Tis I love thee.
[Exeunt all, except DRUSUS and PŒNIUS above.

Enter BONDUCA, Daughters, CARATACH, NENNIUS, and Soldiers.

Car. Charge 'em i' the flanks! Oh, you have played the fool,
The fool extremely, the mad fool!
Bond. Why, cousin?
Car. The woman-fool! why did you give the word
Unto the carts to charge down, and our people
In gross before the enemy? we pay for't;
Our own swords cut our throats! why, a pox on't!
Why do you offer to command? the devil,
The devil and his dam too, who bid you
Meddle in men's affairs?
Bond. I'll help all.
Car. Home,
Home and spin, woman, spin, go spin! you trifle.
[Exeunt BONDUCA and Daughters.
Open before there, or all's ruined!—How!
[Shouts within.
Now comes the tempest—on ourselves, by Heaven!
Within. Victoria!
Car. Oh, woman, scurvy woman, beastly woman!
[Exit with NENNIUS and Soldiers.
Dru. Victoria, victoria!
Pœn. How's that, Drusus?
Dru. They win, they win, they win! Oh, look, look, look, sir,
For Heaven's sake, look!
The Britons fly, the Britons fly! Victoria!

Re-enter SUETONIUS, JUNIUS, PETILLIUS, &c. and Soldiers.

Suet. Soft, soft, pursue it soft, excellent soldiers!
Close, my brave fellows, honourable Romans!
Oh, cool thy mettle, Junius! they are ours,
The world cannot redeem 'em. Stern Petillius,
Govern the conquest nobly. Soft, good soldiers!
[Exeunt all except DRUSUS and PŒNIUS above.

Enter BONDUCA and Daughters with Soldiers.

Bond. Shame! whither fly ye, ye unlucky Britons?
Will ye creep into your mothers' wombs again? Back, cowards!
Hares, fearful hares, doves in your angers! leave me?
Leave your queen desolate? her hapless children
To Roman rape again and fury?

Re-enter CARATACH with HENGO.

Car. Fly, ye buzzards!
Ye have wings enough, ye fear!—Get thee gone, woman,
[Loud shout within.
Shame tread upon thy heels! All's lost, all's lost! Hark,
Hark how the Romans ring our knells!
[Exeunt BONDUCA, Daughters, and Soldiers.
Hengo. Good uncle,
Let me go too.
Car. No, boy; thy fortune's mine;
I must not leave thee. Get behind me, [Takes HENGO on his back shake
I'll breech you, if you do, boy.—


Come, brave Romans;
All is not lost yet.
Jun. Now I'll thank thee, Caratach.
Car. Thou art a soldier; strike home, home! have at you!
[They fight. Drums.
Pœn. His blows fall like huge sledges on an anvil.
Dec. I am weary.
Pet. So am I.
Car. Send more swords to me. [Exit with HENGO.
Jun. Let's sit and rest. [JUN., PET., and DEC, sit down.
Dru. What think you now?
Pœn. Oh, Drusus,
I have lost mine honour, lost my name,
Lost all that was my light! These are true Romans,
And I a Briton-coward, a base coward!
Guide me where nothing is but desolation,
That I may never more behold the face
Of man, or mankind know me! Oh, blind Fortune,
Hast thou abused me thus?
Dru. Good sir, be comforted;
It was your wisdom ruled you. Pray you, go home;
Your day is yet to come, when this great fortune
Shall be but foil unto it. [Retreat sounded within.
Pœn. Fool, fool, coward! [Exeunt PŒNIUS and DRUSUS

Re-enter SUETONIUS, DEMETRIUS, MACER, and Soldiers, with drum and

Suet. Draw in, draw in!—Well have ye fought, and worthy
Rome's noble recompense. Look to your wounds;
The ground is cold and hurtful. The proud queen
Has got a fort, and there she and her daughters
Defy us once again: to-morrow morning
We'll seek her out, and make her know our fortunes
Stop at no stubborn walls. Come, sons of Honour,
True Virtue's heirs, thus hatched with Britain-blood,
Let's march to rest, and set in gules like suns.
Beat a soft march, and each one ease his neighbours.


SCENE I.—The Roman Camp. Before the Tent of JUNIUS.


PET. Smooth was his cheek,
Dec. And his chin it was sleek,
Jun. With, whoop, he has done wooing!
Dem. Junius was this captain's name, A lad for a lass's viewing.
Pet. Full black his eye, and plump his thigh,
Dec. Made up for love's pursuing.
Dem. Smooth was his cheek,
Pet. And his chin it was sleek,
Dun. With, whoop, he has done wooing!
Pet. Oh, my vexed thief, art thou come home again?
Are thy brains perfect?
Jun. Sound as bells.
Pet. Thy back-worm
Quiet, and cast his sting, boy?
Jun. Dead, Petillius,
Dead to all folly, and now my anger only.
Pet. Why, that's well said; hang Cupid and his quiver,
A drunken brawling boy! Thy honoured saint
Be thy ten shillings, Junius; there's the money,
And there's the ware; square dealing: this but sweats thee
Like a nesh nag, and makes thee look pin-buttocked;
The other runs thee whining up and down
Like a pig in a storm, fills thy brains full of ballads,
And shows thee like a long Lent, thy brave body
Turned to a tail of green-fish without butter.
Dec. When thou lov'st next, love a good cup of wine,
A mistress for a king; she leaps to kiss thee;
Her red and white's her own; she makes good blood,
Takes none away; what she heats sleep can help,
Without a groping surgeon.
Jun. I am counselled;
And henceforth, when I dote again———
Dem. Take heed;
Ye had almost paid for't.
Pet. Love no more great ladies;
Thou canst not step amiss, then; there's no delight in 'em:
All's in the whistling of their snatcht-up silks;
They're only made for handsome view, not handling;
Their bodies of so weak and wash a temper,
A rough-paced bed will shake 'em all to pieces;
A tough hen pulls their teeth out, tires their souls;
Plenæ rimarum sunt, they are full of rennet,
And take the skin off where they're tasted: shun 'em:
They live in cullises like rotten cocks,
Stewed to a tenderness that holds no tack:
Give me a thing I may crush.
Jun. Thou speak'st truly:
The wars shall be my mistress now.
Pet. Well chosen,
For she's a bouncing lass; she'll kiss thee at night, boy,
And break thy pate i' the morning.
Jun. Yesterday
I found those favours infinite.
Dem. Wench good enough,
But that she talks too loud.
Pet. She talks to the purpose,
Which never woman did yet; she'll hold grappling,
And he that lays on best is her best servant:
All other loves are mere catching of dotterels,
Stretching of legs out only, and trim laziness.
Here comes the general.


Suet. I am glad I have found ye:
Are those come in yet that pursued bold Caratach?
Pet. Not yet, sir, for I think they mean to lodge him;
Take him I know they dare not, 'twill be dangerous.
Suet. Then haste, Petillius, haste to Pœnius:
I fear the strong conceit of what disgrace
He 'as pulled upon himself, will be his ruin;
I fear his soldiers' fury too: haste presently;
I would not lose him for all Britain. Give him, Petillius———
Pet. That that shall choke him. [Aside.
Suet. All the noble counsel,
His fault forgiven too, his place, his honour———
Pet. For me, I think, as handsome——— [Aside.
Suet. All the comfort;
And tell the soldier, 'twas on our command
He drew not to the battle.
Pet. I conceive, sir,
And will do that shall cure all.
Suet. Bring him with you
Before the queen's fort, and his forces with him;
There you shall find us following of our conquest.
Make haste.
Pet. The best I may. [Exit.
Suet. And, noble gentlemen,
Up to your companies: we'll presently
Upon the queen's pursuit. There's nothing done
Till she be seized; without her, nothing won.
[Exeunt. Short flourish.

SCENE II.—Open Country between the Camps.


Car. How does my boy?
Hengo. I would do well; my heart's well;
I do not fear.
Car. My good boy!
Hengo. I know, uncle,
We must all die; my little brother died,
I saw him die, and he died smiling; sure,
There's no great pain in't, uncle. But, pray, tell me,
Whither must we go when we are dead?
Car. Strange questions!— [Aside.
Why, the blessed'st place, boy! ever sweetness
And happiness dwells there.
Hengo. Will you come to me?
Car. Yes, my sweet boy.
Hengo. Mine aunt too, and my cousins?
Car. All, my good child.
Hengo. No Romans, uncle?
Car. No, boy.
Hengo. I should be loth to meet them there.
Car. No ill men,
That live by violence and strong oppression,
Come thither; 'tis for those the gods love, good men.
Hengo. Why, then, I care not when I go, for surely
I am persuaded they love me: I never
Blasphemed 'em, uncle, nor transgressed my parents;
I always said my prayers.
Car. Thou shalt go, then,
Indeed thou shalt.
Hengo. When they please.
Car. That's my good boy!
Art thou not weary, Hengo?
Hengo. Weary, uncle!
I have heard you say you have marched all day in armour.
Car. I have, boy.
Hengo. Am not I your kinsman?
Car. Yes.
Hengo. And am not I as fully allied unto you
In those brave things as blood?
Car. Thou art too tender.
Hengo. To go upon my legs? they were made to bear me.
I can play twenty mile a-day; I see no reason,
But, to preserve my country and myself,
I should march forty.
Car. What wouldst thou be, living
To wear a man's strength!
Hengo. Why, a Caratach,
A Roman hater, a scourge sent from Heaven
To whip these proud thieves from our kingdom. Hark!
[Drum within.
Hark, uncle, hark! I hear a drum.

Enter JUDAS and Soldiers, and remain at the side of the stage.

Judas. Beat softly,
Softly, I say; they are here. Who dare charge?
1st Sold. He
That dares be knocked o' the head: I'll not come near him.
Judas. Retire again, and watch, then. How he stares!
He 'as eyes would kill a dragon. Mark the boy well;
If we could take or kill him—A pox on you,
How fierce you look! See, how he broods the boy!
The devil dwells in's scabbard. Back, I say!
Apace, apace! he 'as found us.
Car. Do ye hunt us?
Hengo. Uncle, good uncle, see! the thin starved rascal,
The eating Roman, see where he thrids the thickets!
Kill him, dear uncle, kill him! one good blow
To knock his brains into his breech; strike's head off
That I may piss in's face.
Car. Do ye make us foxes?—
Here, hold my charging-staff, and keep the place, boy.
I am at bay, and like a bull I'll bear me.—
Stand, stand, ye rogues, ye squirrels! [Exit.
Hengo. Now he pays 'em;
Oh, that I had a man's strength!

Re-enter JUDAS.

Judas. Here's the boy;
Mine own, I thank my fortune.
Hengo. Uncle, uncle!
Famine is fall'n upon me, uncle!
Judas. Come, sir,
Yield willingly, (your uncle's out of hearing,)
I'll tickle your young tail else.
Hengo. I defy thee,
Thou mock-made man of mat! charge home, sirrah!
Hang thee, base slave, thou shak'st.
Judas. Upon my conscience,
The boy will beat me: how it looks, how bravely!
How confident the worm is! a scabbed boy
To handle me thus!—Yield, or I cut thy head off.
Hengo. Thou dar'st not cut my finger; here 'tis, touch it.
Judas. The boy speaks sword and buckler.—Prithee, yield, boy;
Come, here's an apple; yield.
Hengo. By Heaven, he fears me!
I'll give you sharper language:—when, you coward.
When come you up?
Judas. If he should beat me—
Hengo. When, sir?
I long to kill thee: come, thou canst not scape me;
I have twenty ways to charge thee, twenty deaths
Attend my bloody staff.
Judas. Sure, 'tis the devil,
A dwarf-devil in a doublet!
Hengo. I have killed a captain, sirrah, a brave captain,
And, when I have done, I have kicked him thus. Look here;
See how I charge this staff!
Judas. Most certain
This boy will cut my throat yet.

Re-enter two Soldiers running.

1st Sold. Flee, flee! he kills us!
2nd Sold. He comes, he comes!
Judas. The devil take the hindmost!
[Exeunt JUDAS and Soldiers.
Hengo. Run, run, ye rogues, ye precious rogues, ye rank rogues!
'A comes, 'a comes, 'a comes, 'a comes! that's he, boys!—
What a brave cry they make!

Re-enter CARATACH, with a soldier's head.

Car. How does my chicken?
Hengo. Faith, uncle, grown a soldier, a great soldier;
For, by the virtue of your charging-staff,
And a strange fighting face I put upon't,
I have out-braved Hunger.
Car. That's my boy, my sweet boy!
Here, here's a Roman's head for thee.
Hengo. Good provision:
Before I starve, my sweet-faced gentleman,
I'll try your favour.
Car. A right complete soldier!
Come, chicken, let's go seek some place of strength
(The country's full of scouts) to rest a while in;
Thou wilt not else be able to endure
The journey to my country. Fruits and water
Must be your food a while, boy.
Hengo. Any thing;
I can eat moss, nay, I can live on anger,
To vex these Romans. Let's be wary, uncle.
Car. I warrant thee; come cheerfully.
Hengo. And boldly. [Exeunt.



Reg. The soldier shall not grieve you.
Pœn. Pray ye, forsake me;
Look not upon me, as ye love your honours!
I am so cold a coward, my infection
Will choke your virtues like a damp else.
Dru. Dear captain!
Reg. Most honoured sir!
Pœn. Most hated, most abhorred!
Say so, and then ye know me, nay, ye please me.
Oh, my dear credit, my dear credit!
Reg. Sure,
His mind is dangerous.
Dru. The good gods cure it!
Pœn. My honour got through fire, through stubborn breaches,
Through battles that have been as hard to win as Heaven,
Through Death himself in all his horrid trims,
Is gone for ever, ever, ever, gentlemen!
And now I am left to scornful tales and laughters,
To hootings at, pointing with fingers, "That's he,
That's the brave gentleman forsook the battle,
The most wise Pœnius, the disputing coward!"
Oh, my good sword, break from my side, and kill me;
Cut out the coward from my heart!
Reg. You are none.
Pœn. He lies that says so; by Heaven, he lies, lies basely,
Baser than I have done! Come, soldiers, seek me;
I have robbed ye of your virtues! Justice seek me;
I have broke my fair obedience! lost! Shame take me,
Take me, and swallow me, make ballads of me,
Shame, endless shame!—and, pray, do you forsake me.
Dru. What shall we do?
Pœn. Good gentlemen, forsake me;
You were not wont to be commanded; friends, pray do it:
And do not fear; for, as I am a coward,
I will not hurt myself (when that mind takes me,
I'll call to you, and ask your help,) I dare not.
[Throws himself upon the ground.


Pet. Good-morrow, gentlemen. Where's the tribune?
Reg. There.
Dru. Whence come you, good Petillius?
Pet. From the general.
Dru. With what, for Heaven's sake?
Pet. With good counsel, Drusus,
And love, to comfort him.
Dru. Good Regulus,
Step to the soldier and allay his anger;
For he is wild as winter.
Pet. Oh, are you there? have at you! [Aside]—Sure, he's
[Half aside
It cannot be he dare outlive this fortune;
He must die, 'tis most necessary; men expect it,
And thought of life in him goes beyond coward.
Forsake the field so basely, fie upon't!
So poorly to betray his worth! so coldly
To cut all credit from the soldier! sure
If this man mean to live, (as I should think it
Beyond relief,) he must retire where never
The name of Rome, the voice of arms, or honour,
Was known or heard of yet. He's certain dead,
Or strongly means it; he's no soldier else,
No Roman in him; all he has done but outside,
Fought either drunk or desperate. [PŒNIUS rises.] Now he rises.—
How does Lord Pœnius?
Pœn. As you see.
Pet. I am glad on't;
Continue so still. The lord general,
The valiant general, great Suetonius———
Pœn. No more of me is spoken; my name's perished.
Pet. He that commanded fortune and the day
By his own valour and discretion,
(When, as some say, Pœnius refused to come,
But I believe 'em not,) sent me to see you.
Pœn. You are welcome; and pray, see me, see me well;
You shall not see me long.
Pet. I hope so, Pœnius.—
The gods defend, sir!
Pœn. See me, and understand me. This is he,
Left to fill up your triumph; he that basely
Whistled his honour off to the wind, that coldly
Shrunk in his politic head, when Rome, like reapers,
Sweat blood and spirit for a glorious harvest,
And bound it up, and brought it off; that fool,
That having gold and copper offered him,
Refused the wealth, and took the waste; that soldier,
That being courted by loud Fame and Fortune,
Labour in one hand that propounds us gods,
And in the other glory that creates us,
Yet durst doubt and be damned!
Pet. It was an error.
Pœn. A foul one, and a black one.
Pet. Yet the blackest
May be washed white again.
Pœn. Never.
Pet. Your leave, sir;
And I beseech you note me, for I love you,
And bring along all comfort. Are we gods,
Allied to no infirmities? are our natures
More than men's natures? when we slip a little
Out of the way of virtue, are we lost?
Is there no medicine called sweet mercy?
Pœn. None, Petillius;
There is no mercy in mankind can reach me,
Nor is it fit it should; I have sinned beyond it.
Pet. Forgiveness meets with all faults.
Pœn. 'Tis all faults,
All sins I can commit, to be forgiven;
'Tis loss of whole man in me, my discretion,
To be so stupid, to arrive at pardon.
Pet. Oh, but the general———
Pœn. He's a brave gentleman,
A valiant, and a loving; and I dare say
He would, as far as honour durst direct him,
Make even with my fault; but 'tis not honest,
Nor in his power: examples that may nourish
Neglect and disobedience in whole bodies,
And totter the estates and faiths of armies,
Must not be played withal; nor out of pity
Make a general forget his duty;
Nor dare I hope more from him than is worthy.
Pet. What would you do?
Pœn. Die.
Pet. So would sullen children,
Women that want their wills, slaves disobedient
That fear the law. Die! fie, great captain! you
A man to rule men, to have thousand lives
Under your regiment, and let your passion
Betray your reason! I bring you all forgiveness,
The noblest kind commends, your place, your honour———
Pœn. Prithee, no more; 'tis foolish. Didst not thou—
By Heaven thou didst! I overheard thee, there,
There where thou stand'st now—deliver me for rascal,
Poor, dead, cold, coward, miserable, wretched,
If I outlived this ruin?
Pet. I!
Pœn. And thou didst it nobly,
Like a true man, a soldier; and I thank thee,
I thank thee, good Petillius, thus I thank thee.
Pet. Since you are so justly made up, let me tell you,
'Tis fit you die indeed.
Pœn. Oh, now thou lov'st me!
Pet. For say he had forgiven you, say the people's whispers
Were tame again, the time run out for wonder,
What must your own command think, from whose swords
You have taken off the edges, from whose valours
The due and recompense of arms; nay, made it doubtful
Whether they knew obedience? must not these kill you?
Say they are won to pardon you, by mere miracle
Brought to forgive you, what old valiant soldier,
What man that loves to fight, and fight for Rome,
Will ever follow you more? Dare you know these ventures?
If so, I bring you comfort; dare you take it?
Pœn. No, no, Petillius, no.
Pet. If your mind serve you,
You may live still; but how?—
yet pardon me:
You may out-wear all too;—but when?—and certain
There is a mercy for each fault, if tamely
A man will take't upon conditions.
Pœn. No, by no means: I am only thinking now, sir,
(For I am resolved to go) of a most base death,
Fitting the baseness of my fault. I'll hang.
Pet. You shall not: you're a gentleman I honour,
I would else flatter you, and force you live,
Which is far baser. Hanging! 'tis a dog's death,
An end for slaves.
Pœn. The fitter for my baseness.
Pet. Besides, the man that's hanged preaches his end,
And sits a sign for all the world to gape at.
Pœn. That's true; I'll take a fitter,—poison.
Pet. No.
'Tis equal ill; the death of rats and women,
Lovers, and lazy boys that fear correction.
Die like a man.
Pœn. Why, my sword, then.
Pet. Ay, if your sword be sharp, sir:
There's nothing under Heaven that's like your sword;
Your sword's a death indeed.
Pœn. It shall be sharp, sir.
Pet. Why, Mithridates was an arrant ass
To die by poison if all Bosphorus
Could lend him swords. Your sword must do the deed:
'Tis shame to die choked, fame to die and bleed.
Pœn. Thou hast confirmed me; and, my good Petillius,
Tell me no more I may live.
Pet. 'Twas my commission;
But now I see you in a nobler way,
A way to make all even.
Pœn. Farewell, captain:
Be a good man, and fight well; be obedient;
Command thyself, and then thy men. Why shak'st thou?
Pet. I do not, sir.
Pœn. I would thou had'st, Petillius!
I would find something to forsake the world with,
Worthy the man that dies: a kind of earthquake
Thorough all stern valours but mine own.
Pet. I feel now
A kind of trembling in me.
Pœn. Keep it still;
As thou lov'st virtue, keep it.
Pet. And, brave captain,
The great and honoured Pœnius,—
Pœn. That again!
Oh, how it heightens me! again, Petillius!
Pet. Most excellent commander!
Pœn. Those were mine!
Mine, only mine!
Pet. They are still.
Pœn. Then, to keep 'em
For ever falling more, have at you!—Heavens,
Ye everlasting powers, I am yours!
[Falls upon his sword.
The work's done,
That neither fire, nor age, nor melting envy,
Shall ever conquer. Carry my last words
To the great general: kiss his hands, and say,
My soul I give to Heaven, my fault to justice,
Which I have done upon myself; my virtue
If ever there was any in poor Pœnius,
Made more and happier, light on him!—I faint—
And where there is a foe, I wish him fortune.—
I die:
Lie lightly on my ashes, gentle earth! [Dies.
Pet. And on my sin!—Farewell, great Pœnius!—
The soldier is in fury; now I am glad [Noise within.
'Tis done before he comes. This way for me,
The way of toil,—for thee, the way of honour! [Exit.

Re-enter, and remain at the side on the stage, DRUSUS and REGULUS,
with Soldiers who are pressing in.

Soldiers. Kill him, kill him, kill him!
Dru. What will ye do?
Reg. Good soldiers, honest soldiers———
Soldiers. Kill him, kill him, kill him!
Dru. Kill us first; we command too,
Reg. Valiant soldiers,
Consider but whose life you seek.—Oh, Drusus,
Bid him be gone! he dies else [DRUSUS advances]—Shall Rome say,
Ye most approvèd soldiers, her dear children
Devoured the father of the fights? shall rage
And stubborn fury guide those swords to slaughter,
To slaughter of their own, to civil ruin?
Dru. Oh, let 'em in! all's done, all's ended, Regulus;
Pœnius has found his last eclipse [REGULUS advances].—Come,
Come, and behold your miseries; come bravely,
Full of your mutinous and bloody angers,
[Soldiers advance.
And here bestow your darts.—Oh, only Roman,
Oh, father of the wars!
Reg. Why stand ye stupid?
Where be your killing furies? whose sword now

Shall first be sheathed in Pœnius? do ye weep?
Howl out, ye wretches, ye have cause; howl ever:
Who shall now lead ye fortunate? whose valour
Preserve ye to the glory of your country?
Who shall march out before ye, coyed and courted
By all the mistresses of war, care, counsel,
Quick-eyed experience, and victory twined to him?
Who shall beget ye deeds beyond inheritance
To speak your names, and keep your honours living,
When children fail, and Time, that takes all with him,
Builds houses for ye to oblivion?
Dru. Oh, ye poor desperate fools, no more now soldiers,
Go home, and hang your arms up; let rust rot 'em;
And humble your stern valours to soft prayers!
For ye have sunk the frame of all your virtues;
The sun that warmed your bloods is set for ever.—
I'll kiss thy honoured cheek. Farewell, great Pœnius,
Thou thunderbolt, farewell!—Take up the body:
To-morrow morning to the camp convey it,
There to receive due ceremonies. That eye,
That blinds himself with weeping, gets most glory.
[Exeunt, with a dead march, bearing the body.

SCENE IV.—Before the Fort of BONDUCA.

drums and colours: BONDUCA, Daughters, and NENNIUS on the ramparts.

Suet. Bring up the catapults, and shake the wall;
We will not be out-braved thus.
Nen. Shake the earth;
Ye cannot shake our souls. Bring up your rams,
And with their armèd heads make the fort totter;
Ye do but rock us into death. [Exit.
Jun. See, sir,
See the Icenian queen in all her glory,
From the strong battlements proudly appearing,
As if she meant to give us lashes!
Dec. Yield, queen.
Bond. I am unacquainted with that language, Roman.
Suet. Yield, honoured lady, and expect our mercy;
We love thy nobleness. [Exit DECIUS.
Bond. I thank ye; ye say well;
But mercy and love are sins in Rome and hell.
Suet. You cannot scape our strength; you must yield, lady;
You must adore and fear the power of Rome.
Bond, If Rome be earthly, why should any knee
With bending adoration worship her?
She's vicious; and, your partial selves confess,
Aspires the height of all impiety;
Therefore 'tis fitter I should reverence
The thatchèd houses where the Britons dwell
In careless mirth; where the blest household gods
See nought but chaste and simple purity.
'Tis not high power that makes a place divine,
Nor that the men from gods derive their line;
But sacred thoughts, in holy bosoms stored,
Make people noble, and the place adored.
Suet. Beat the wall deeper!
Bond. Beat it to the centre,
We will not sink one thought.
Suet. I'll make ye.
Bond. No.

Enter PETILLIUS, who whispers SUETONIUS.

2nd Daugh. Oh, mother, these are fearful hours; speak gently
To these fierce men; they will afford you pity.
Bond. Pity, thou fearful girl! 'tis for those wretches
That misery makes tame. Wouldst thou live less?
Wast not thou born a princess? can my blood,
And thy brave father's spirit, suffer in thee
So base a separation from thyself
As mercy from these tyrants? Thou lov'st lust, sure
And long'st to prostitute thy youth and beauty
To common slaves for bread. Say they had mercy,
The devil a relenting conscience,
The lives of kings rest in their diadems,
Which to their bodies lively souls do give,
And, ceasing to be kings, they cease to live.
Show such another fear, and, by the gods,
I'll fling thee to their fury!
Suet. He is dead, then?
Pet. I think so certainly; yet all my means, sir
Even to the hazard of my life———
Suet. No more:
We must not seem to mourn here.

Re-enter DECIUS.

Dec. There's a breach made;
Is it your will we charge, sir?
Suet. Once more, mercy,
Mercy to all that yield!
Bond. I scorn to answer:—
Speak to him, girl,—and hear thy sister.
1st Daugh. General,
Hear me, and mark me well, and look upon me,
Directly in my face, my woman's face
Whose only beauty is the hate it bears ye;
See with thy narrowest eyes, thy sharpest wishes,
Into my soul, and see what there inhabits;
See if one fear, one shadow of a terror,
One paleness dare appear but from my anger,
To lay hold on your mercies. No, ye fools,
Poor fortune's fools, we were not born for triumphs,
To follow your gay sports, and fill your slaves
With hoots and acclamations.
Pet. Brave behaviour!
1st Daugh. The children of as great as Rome, as noble,
Our names before her, and our deeds her envy,
Must we gild o'er your conquest, make your state,
That is not fairly strong, but fortunate?
No, no, ye Romans, we have ways to scape ye,
To make ye poor again, indeed our prisoners,
And stick our triumphs full,———
Pet. 'Sdeath, I shall love her!
1st Daugh. To torture ye with suffering like our slaves,
To make ye curse our patience, wish the world
Were lost again, to win us only, and esteem it
The end of all ambitions.
Bond. Do ye wonder?
We'll make our monuments in spite of fortune;
In spite of all your eagle's wing, we'll work
A pitch above ye; and from our height we'll stoop
As fearless of your bloody seres, and fortunate,
As if we preyed on heartless doves.
Suet. Strange stiffness!—
Decius, go charge the breach. [Exit DECIUS.
Bond. Charge it home, Roman;
We shall deceive thee else.—Where's Nennius?

Re-enter NENNIUS, above.

Nen. They have made a mighty breach.
Bond. Stick in thy body,
And make it good but half an hour.
Nen. I'll do it.
1st Daugh. And then be sure to die.
Nen. It shall go hard else.
Bond. Farewell, with all my heart! we shall meet yonder,
Where few of these must come.
Nen. God take thee, lady! [Exit.
Bond. Bring up the swords and poison.

Enter above, an Attendant with Swords and a great Cup.

2nd Daugh. Oh, my fortune!
Bond. How, how, you whore?
2nd Daugh. Good mother, nothing to offend you.
Bond. Here, wench.—
Behold us, Romans!
Suet. Mercy yet!
Bond. No talking!
Puff, there goes all your pity!—Come, short prayers,
And let's despatch the business. You begin;
Shrink not, I'll see you do't.
2nd Daugh. Oh, gentle mother!—
Oh, Romans!—Oh, my heart! I dare not.
Suet. Woman, woman,
Unnatural woman!
2nd Daugh. Oh, persuade her, Romans!
Alas, I am young, and would live,—Noble mother
Can you kill that you gave life? Are my years
Fit for destruction?
Suet. Yield, and be a queen still,
A mother, and a friend.
Bond. Ye talk!—Come, hold it,
And put it home.
1st Daugh. Fie, sister, fie!
What would you live to be?
Bond. A whore still?
2nd Daugh. Mercy!
Suet. Hear her, thou wretched woman!
2nd Daugh. Mercy, mother!
Oh, whither will you send me? I was once
Your darling, your delight.
Bond. Oh, gods,
Fear in my family!—Do it, and nobly.
2nd Daugh. Oh, do not frown, then!
1st Daugh. Do it, worthy sister;
'Tis nothing; 'tis a pleasure: we'll go with you
2nd Daugh. Oh, if I knew but whither!
1st Daugh. To the blessèd;
Where we shall meet our father———
Suet. Woman!
Bond. Talk not.
1st Daugh. Where nothing but true joy is———
Bond. That's a good wench!
Mine own sweet girl! put it close to thee.
2nd Daugh. Oh,
Comfort me still, for Heaven's sake!
1st Daugh. Where eternal
Our youths are, and our beauties; where no wars come,
Nor lustful slaves to ravish us.
2nd Daugh. That steels me;
A long farewell to this world!
Bond. Good; I'll help thee.
[2nd Daugh. stabs herself and dies.
1st Daugh. The next is mine.———
Show me a Roman lady, in all your stories,
Dare do this for her honour; they are cowards,
Eat coals like compelled cats; your great saint Lucrece,
Died not for honour; Tarquin topped her well;
And, mad she could not hold him, bled.
Pet. By Heaven,
I am in love: I would give an hundred pound now
But to lie with this woman's behaviour. Oh, the devil!
1st Daugh. Ye shall see me example: all your Rome,
If I were proud and loved ambition,
If I were lustful, all your ways of pleasure,
If I were greedy, all the wealth ye conquer———
Bond. Make haste.
1st Daugh. I will—could not entice to live,
But two short hours, this frailty. Would ye learn
How to die bravely, Romans, to fling off
This case of flesh, lose all your cares for ever?
Live, as we have done, well, and fear the gods;
Hunt honour, and not nations, with your swords;
Keep your minds humble, your devotions high;
So shall ye learn the noblest part, to die.
[Stabs herself and dies.
Bond. I come, wench.—To ye all, Fate's hangmen, you
That ease the agèd Destinies, and cut
The threads of kingdoms as they draw 'em! here,
Here is a draught would ask no less than Cæsar
To pledge it for the glory's sake!
Cur. Great lady!
Suet. Make up your own conditions.
Bond. So we will.
Suet. Stay!
Dem. Stay!
Suet. Be any thing.
Bond. A saint, Suetonius, [Drinks.
When thou shalt fear, and die like a slave. Ye fools;
Ye should have tied up Death first, when ye conquered;
Ye sweat for us in vain else: see him here!
He's ours still, and our friend; laughs at your pities;
And we command him with as easy reins
As do our enemies.—I feel the poison.—
Poor vanquished Romans, with what matchless tortures
Could I now rack ye! but I pity ye,
Desiring to die quiet: nay, so much
I hate to prosecute my victory,
That I will give ye counsel ere I die,—
If you will keep your laws and empire whole,
Place in your Roman flesh a Briton soul. [Dies.
Suet. Desperate and strange!

Re-enter DECIUS.

Dec. 'Tis won, sir, and the Britons
All put to the sword.
Suet. Give her fair funeral;
She was truly noble, and a queen.
Pet. Pox take it,
A love-mange grown upon me! what a spirit!
Jun. I am glad of this; I have found you. [Aside.
Pet. In my belly,
Oh, how it tumbles!
Jun. Ye good gods, I thank ye! (Aside.) [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The Woods.

CARATACH discovered upon a rock in the back-ground, and HENGO by him

CAR. Thus we afflicted Britons climb for safeties.
And, to avoid our dangers, seek de structions;
Thus we awake to sorrows.—Oh, thou woman,
Thou agent for adversities, what curses
This day belong to thy improvidence!
To Britanie, by thy means, what sad millions
Of widows' weeping eyes! The strong man's valour
Thou hast betrayed to fury, the child's fortune
To fear, and want of friends, whose pieties
Might wipe his mournings off, and build his sorrows
A house of rest by his blest ancestors:
The virgins thou hast robbed of all their wishes,
Blasted their blowing hopes, turnèd their songs,
Their mirthful marriage-songs, to funerals;
The land thou hast left a wilderness of wretches.—
The boy begins to stir; thy safety made,
Would my soul were in Heaven!
Hengo. Oh, noble uncle,
Look out! I dreamed we were betrayed.
Car. No harm, boy; [A soft dead march within
'Tis but thy emptiness that breeds these fancies:
Thou shalt have meat anon.
Hengo. A little, uncle,
And I shall hold out bravely.—What are those,
(Look, uncle, look!) those multitudes that march there?
They come upon us stealing by.
Car. I see 'em;
And prithee, be not fearful.
Hengo. Now you hate me;
Would I were dead!
Car. Thou know'st I love thee dearly.
Hengo. Did I e'er shrink yet, uncle? were I a man now,
I should be angry with you.

Enter DRUSUS, REGULUS, and Soldiers, with PŒNIUS'S Hearse,
Drums, and Colours.

Car. My sweet chicken!—
See, they have reached us; and, as it seems, they bear
Some soldier's body, by their solemn gestures,
And sad solemnities; it well appears, too,
To be of eminence.—Most worthy soldiers,
Let me entreat your knowledge to inform me
What noble body that is, which you bear
With such a sad and ceremonious grief,
As if ye meant to woo the world and nature
To be in love with death? most honourable
Excellent Romans, by your ancient valours,
As ye love fame, resolve me!
1st Sold. 'Tis the body
Of the great Captain Pœnius, by himself
Made cold and spiritless.
Car. Oh, stay, ye Romans,
By the religion which you owe those gods
That lead ye on to victories! by those glories
Which made even pride a virtue in ye!
Dru. Stay.—
What's thy will, Caratach?
Car. Set down the body,
The body of the noblest of all Romans;
As ye expect an offering at your graves
From your friends' sorrows, set it down a while,
That with your griefs an enemy may mingle,
(A noble enemy that loves a soldier,)
And lend a tear to virtue: even your foes,
Your wild foes, as you called us, are yet stored
With fair affections, our hearts fresh, our spirits,
Though sometimes stubborn, yet, when virtue dies,
Soft and relenting as a virgin's prayers:
Oh, set it down!
Dru. Set down the body, soldiers.
Car. Thou hallowed relic, thou rich diamond

Cut with thine own dust; thou, for whose wide fame
The world appears too narrow, man's all thoughts,
Had they all tongues, too silent; thus I bow
To thy most honoured ashes, though an enemy,
Yet friend to all thy worths: sleep peaceably;
Happiness crown thy soul, and in thy earth
Some laurel fix his seat, there grow and flourish,
And make thy grave an everlasting triumph!
Farewell all glorious wars, now thou art gone,
And honest arms adieu! all noble battles,
Maintained in thirst of honour, not of blood,
Farewell for ever!
Hengo. Was this Roman, uncle,
So good a man?
Car. Thou never knew'st thy father.
Hengo. He died before I was born.
Car. This worthy Roman
Was such another piece of endless honour,
Such a brave soul dwelt in him; their proportions
And faces were not much unlike, boy.—Excellent nature!
See how it works into his eyes!—mine own boy!
Hengo. The multitudes of these men, and their fortunes,
Could never make me fear yet; one man's goodness—
Car. Oh, now thou pleasest me! weep still, my child,
As if thou saw'st me dead! with such a flux
Or flood of sorrow, still thou pleasest me.—
And, worthy soldiers, pray receive these pledges,
These hatchments of our griefs, and grace us so much
To place 'em on his hearse. Now, if ye please,
Bear off the noble burden; raise his pile
High as Olympus, making Heaven to wonder
To see a star upon earth out-shining theirs:
And ever-lov—d, ever-living be
Thy honoured and most sacred memory!
Dru. Thou hast done honestly, good Caratach;
And when thou diest, a thousand virtuous Romans
Shall sing thy soul to Heaven.—Now march on, soldiers.
[Exeunt Romans with a dead march.
Car. Now dry thine eyes, my boy.
Hengo. Are they all gone?
I could have wept this hour yet.
Car. Come, take cheer,
And raise thy spirit, child; if but this day
Thou canst bear out thy faintness, the night coming
I'll fashion our escape.
Hengo. Pray, fear me not;
Indeed I am very hearty.
Car. Be so still:
His mischiefs lessen, that controls his ill. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—The Roman Camp.


Pet. What do I ail, i' the name of Heaven? I did but see her,
And see her die; she stinks by this time strongly,
Abominably stinks. She was a woman,
A thing I never cared for; but to die so,
So confidently, bravely, strongly—oh, the devil,
I have the bots!—by heaven, she scorned us strangely,
All we could do, or durst do; threatened us
With such a noble anger, and so governed
With such a fiery spirit—the plain bots!
A pox upon the bots, the love-bots! Hang me.
Hang me even out o' the way, directly hang me!
Oh, penny-pipers, and most painful penners
Of bountiful new ballads, what a subject,
What a sweet subject for your silver sounds,
Is crept upon ye!


Jun. Here he is; have at him! [Aside.
(Sings) She set the sword unto her breast,
Great pity it was to see,
That three drops of her life-warm blood,
Run trickling down her knee,
Art thou there, bonny boy? and, i' faith, how dost thou?
Pet. Well, gramercy; how dost thou?—He 'as found me,
Scented me out; the shame the devil owed me,
H'as kept his day with [Aside].—And what news, Junius?
Jun. (Sings)
It was an old tale, ten thousand times told,
Of a young lady was turned into mould,
Her life it was lovely, her death it was bold.
Pet. A cruel rogue, now h'as drawn, pursue on me!
He hunts me like a devil [Aside]—No more singing;
Thou hast got a cold: come, let's go drink some sack, boy.
Jun. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Pet. Why, dost thou laugh?
What mare's nest hast thou found?
Jun. Ha, ha, ha!
I cannot laugh alone:—Decius! Demetrius!
Curius!—oh, my sides; ha, ha, ha, ha!—
The strangest jest!
Pet. Prithee, no more.
Jun. The admirablest fooling!
Pet. Thou art the prettiest fellow!
Jun. Sirs!
Pet. Why Junius,
Prithee, away, sweet Junius!
Jun. Let me sing, then.
Pet. Whoa, here's a stir now! sing a song of sixpence!
By Heaven, if—prithee—pox on't, Junius!
Jun. I must either sing or laugh.
Pet. And what's your reason?
Jun. What's that to you?
Pet. And I must whistle.
Jun. Do so.
Oh, I hear 'em coming.
Pet. I have a little business.
Jun. Thou shalt not go, believe it. What! a gentleman
Of thy sweet conversation!
Pet. Captain Junius,
Sweet captain, let me go with all celerity:
Things are not always one; and do not question,
Nor jeer, nor gibe: none of your doleful ditties,
Nor your sweet conversation; you will find then
I may be angered.
Jun. By no means, Petillius;
Anger a man that never knew passion!
'Tis most impossible: a noble captain,
A wise and generous gentleman?
Pet. Tom Puppy,
Leave this way to abuse me: I have found you;
But, for your mother's sake, I will forgive you.
Your subtle understanding may discover,
As you think, some trim toy to make you merry,
Some straw to tickle you; but do not trust to't;
You're a young man, and may do well; be sober,
Carry yourself discreetly.
Jun. Yes, forsooth.


Dem. How does the brave Petillius?
Jun. Monstrous merry:
We two were talking what a kind of thing
I was when I was in love; what a strange monster
For little boys and girls to wonder at;
How like a fool I looked.
Dec. So they do all,
Like great dull slavering fools.
Jun. Petillius saw too.
Pet. No more of this; 'tis scurvy; peace.
Jun. How nastily,
Indeed how beastly, all I did became me!
How I forgot to blow my nose. There he stands,
An honest and a wise man; if himself
(I dare avouch it boldly, for I know it)
Should find himself in love———
Pet. I am angry.
Jun. Surely his wise self would hang his beastly self,
His understanding self so mawl his ass self———
Dec. He's bound to do it; for he knows the follies,
The poverties, and baseness that belongs to't;
H'as read upon the reformations long.
Pet. He has so.
Jun. 'Tis true, and he must do't: nor is it fit indeed
Any such coward———
Pet. You'll leave prating?
Jun. Should dare come near the regiments, especially
Those curious puppies (for believe there are such)
That only love behaviours: those are dog-whelps,
Dwindle away because a woman dies well;
Commit with passions only; fornicate
With the free spirit merely. You, Petillius,
For you have long observed the world———
Pet. Dost thou hear?
I'll beat thee damnably within these three hours:
Go pray; may be I'll kill thee. Farewell, jackdaws!
Dec. What a strange thing he's grown!
Jun. I am glad he is so;
And stranger he shall be before I leave him.
Cur. I'st possible her mere death———
Jun. I observed him,
And found him taken, infinitely taken,
With her bravery; I have followed him,
And seen him kiss his sword since, court his scabbard,
Call dying "dainty dear," her brave mind "mistress";
Casting a thousand ways to give those forms,
That he might lie with 'em, and get old armours.
He had got me o' the hip once; it shall go hard, friends,
But he shall find his own coin.

Enter MACER.

Dec. How now, Macer!
Is Judus yet come in?
Macer. Yes, and has lost
Most of his men too. Here he is.

Enter JUDAS.

Cur. What news?
Judas. I have lodged him; rouse him, he that dares.
Dem. Where, Judas?
Judas. On a steep rock i' the woods, the boy too with him;
And there he swears he will keep his Christmas, gentlemen,
But he will come away with full conditions,
Bravely, and like a Briton. He paid part of us;
Yet I think we fought bravely: for mine own part,
I was four several times at half-sword with him,
Twice stood his partizan; but the plain truth is,
He's a mere devil, and no man. I' th' end, he swinged us,
And swinged us soundly too: he fights by witchcraft;
Yet for all that I saw him lodged.
Jun. Take more men,
And scout him round. Macer, march you along.—
What victuals has he?
Judas. Not a piece of biscuit,
Not so much as will stop a tooth, nor water
More than they make themselves: they lie
Just like a brace of bear-whelps, close and crafty,
Sucking their fingers for their food.
Dec. Cut off, then,
All hope of that way; take sufficient forces.
Jun. But use no foul play, on your lives: that man
That does him mischief by deceit, I'll kill him.
Macer. He shall have fair play; he deserves it.
Judas. Hark ye;
What should I do there, then? You are brave captains,
Most valiant men: go up yourselves; use virtue;
See what will come on't; pray the gentleman
To come down, and be taken. Ye all know him,
I think ye have felt him too: there ye shall find him,
His sword by his side, plums of a pound weight by him
Will make your chops ache: you'll find it a more labour
To win him living, than climbing of a crow's nest.
Dec. Away, and compass him; we shall come up,
I am sure, within these two hours. Watch him close.
Macer. He shall flee through the air, if he escape us.
[A sad noise within.
Jun. What's this loud lamentation?
Macer. The dead body
Of the great Pœnius is new come to the camp, sir.
Dem. Dead!
Macer. By himself, they say.
Jun. I feared that fortune.
Cur. Peace guide him up to Heaven!
Jun. Away, good Macer. [Exeunt MACER and JUDAS.


Suet. If thou beest guilty,
Some sullen plague, thou hat'st most, light upon thee!
The regiment return on Junius;
He well deserves it.
Pet. So!
Suet. Draw out three companies,—
Yours, Decius, Junius, and thou, Petillius,—
And make up instantly to Caratach;
He's in the wood before ye: we shall follow,
After due ceremony done to the dead,
The noble dead. Come, let's go burn the body.
[Exeunt all except PETILLIUS.
Pet. The regiment given from me! disgraced openly!
In love too with a trifle to abuse me!
A merry world, a fine world! served seven years
To be an ass o' both sides! sweet Petillius,
You have brought your hogs to a fine market: you are wise, sir
Your honourable brain-pan full of crotchets,
An understanding gentleman, your projects
Cast with assurance ever. Wouldst not thou now
Be banged about the pate, Petillius?
Answer to that, sweet soldier; surely, surely,
I think you would; pulled by the nose, kicked: hang thee,
Thou art the arrant'st rascal! trust thy wisdom

With any thing of weight? the wind with feathers.
Out, you blind puppy! you command? you govern?
Dig for a groat a-day, or serve a swineherd;
Too noble for thy nature too!—I must up;
But what I shall do there, let time discover. [Exit.

SCENE III.—The Woods, with a rock in the back-ground as

Enter MACER and JUDAS, with meat and a bottle.

Macer. Hang it o' the side o' the rock, as though the Britons
Stole hither to relieve him: who first ventures
To fetch it off is ours. I cannot see him.
Judas. He lies close in a hole above, I know it,
Gnawing upon his anger.—Ha! no; 'tis not he.
Macer. 'Tis but the shaking of the boughs.
Judas. Pox shake 'em!
I am sure they shake me soundly.—There!
Macer. 'Tis nothing.
Judas. Make no noise; if he stir, a deadly tempest
Of huge stones fall upon us. 'Tis done! away, close!

Enter CARATACH on the rock.

Car. Sleep still, sleep sweetly, child; 'tis all thou feed'st on!
No gentle Briton near, no valiant charity,
To bring thee food! Poor knave, thou art sick, extreme sick,
Almost grown wild for meat; and yet thy goodness
Will not confess, nor show it. All the woods
Are double lined with soldiers; no way left us
To make a noble scape. I'll sit down by thee,
And, when thou wak'st, either get meat to save thee,
Or lose my life i' the purchase. Good gods comfort thee! [Exit above.

SCENE IV.—Another part of the Woods.


Guide. You are not far off now, sir.
Jun. Draw the companies
The closest way through the woods; we'll keep on this way.
Guide. I will, sir. Half a furlong more you'll come
Within the sight o' the rock: keep on the left side;
You'll be discovered else: I'll lodge your companies
In the wild vines beyond ye. [Exit.
Dec. Do you mark him? [Pointing to PETILLIUS.
Jun. Yes, and am sorry for him.
Pet. Junius,
Pray let me speak two words with you.
Jun. Walk afore;
I'll overtake you straight.
Dec. I will. [Exit.
Jun. Now, captain?
Pet. You have oft told me, you have loved me, Junius.
Jun. Most sure I told you truth then.
Pet. And that love
Should not deny me any honest thing.
Jun. It shall not.
Pet. Dare you swear it?
I have forgot all passages between us
That have been ill, forgiven too, forgot you.
Jun. What would this man have? [Aside.]—By the gods, I do,
So it be fit to grant you.
Pet. 'Tis most honest.
Jun. Why, then I'll do it.
Pet. Kill me.
Jun. How!
Pet. Pray, kill me.
Jun. Kill you!
Pet. Ay, kill me quickly, suddenly;
Now kill me.
Jun. On what reason? you amaze me.
Pet. If you do love me, kill me; ask me not why:
I would be killed, and by you.
Jun. Mercy on me!
What ails this man? [Aside.]—Petillius!
Pet. Pray you, despatch me;
You are not safe whilst I live: I am dangerous,
Troubled extremely, even to mischief, Junius,
An enemy to all good men. Fear not; 'tis justice;
I shall kill you else.
Jun. Tell me but the cause,
And I will do it.
Pet. I am disgraced, my service
Slighted and unrewarded by the general,
My hopes left wild and naked; besides these,
I am grown ridiculous, an ass, a folly
I dare not trust myself with: prithee, kill me.
Jun. All these may be redeemed as easily
As you would heal your finger.
Pet. Nay———
Jun. Stay, I'll do it;
You shall not need your anger: but first, Petillius.
You shall unarm yourself; I dare not trust
A man so bent to mischief.
Pet. There's my sword, [Gives his sword.
And do it handsomely.
Jun. Yes, I will kill you;
Believe that certain; but first I'll lay before you
The most extreme fool you have played in this
The honour purposed for you, the great honour
The general intended you.
Pet. How!
Jun. And then I'll kill you,
Because you shall die miserable. Know, sir,
The regiment was given me, but till time
Called you to do some worthy deed might stop
The people's ill thoughts of you for Lord Pœnius,
I mean, his death. How soon this time's come to you,
And hasted by Suetonius! "Go," says he,
"Junius and Decius, and go thou, Petillius,"
(Distinctly, "thou, Petillius,") "and draw up,
To take stout Caratach:" there's the deed purposed,
A deed to take off all faults, of all natures:
"And thou, Petillius," mark it, there's the honour;
And that done, all made even.
Pet. Stay!
Jun. No, I'll kill you.
He knew thee absolute, and full in soldier,
Daring beyond all dangers, found thee out,
According to the boldness of thy spirit,
A subject, such a subject———
Pet. Hark you, Junius;
I will live now.
Jun. By no means—wooed thy worth,
Held thee by the chin up, as thou sank'st, and showed thee
How Honour held her arms out. Come, make ready,
Since you will die an ass.
Pet. Thou wilt not kill me?
Jun. By Heaven, but I will, sir. I'll have no man dangerous
Live to destroy me afterward: besides, you have gotten
Honour enough; let young men rise now. Nay,
I do perceive too by the general, (which is
One main cause you shall die,) howe'er he carry it,
Such a strong doting on you, that I fear
You shall command in chief: how are we paid, then?
Come, if you will pray, despatch it.
Pet. Is there no way?
Jun. Not any way to live.
Pet. I will do any thing,
Redeem myself at any price: good Junius,
Let me but die upon the rock, but offer
My life up like a soldier!
Jun. You will seek then
To outdo every man.
Pet. Believe it, Junius,
You shall go stroke by stroke with me.
Jun. You'll leave off too,
As you are noble and a soldier,
For ever these mad fancies?
Pet. Dare you trust me?
By all that's good and honest———
Jun. There's your sword, then;
And now, come on a new man: virtue guide thee!

SCENE V.—The Woods, with a rock in the background.

Enter CARATACH and HENGO on the rock.

Car. Courage, my boy! I have found meat: look, Hengo,
Look where some blessèd Briton, to preserve thee,
Has hung a little food and drink: cheer up, boy;
Do not forsake me now.
Hengo. Oh, uncle, uncle
I feel I cannot stay long! yet I'll fetch it,
To keep your noble life. Uncle, I am heart-whole,
And would live
Car. Thou shalt, long I hope.
Hengo. But my head, uncle!
Methinks the rock goes round.

Enter MACER and JUDAS, and remain at the side of the stage.

Macer. Mark 'em well, Judas.
Judas. Peace, as you love your life.
Hengo. Do not you hear
The noise of bells?
Car. Of bells, boy! 'tis thy fancy;
Alas, thy body's full of wind!
Hengo. Methinks, sir,
They ring a strange sad knell, a preparation
To some near funeral of state: nay, weep not,
Mine own sweet uncle; you will kill me sooner.
Car. Oh, my poor chicken!
Hengo. Fie, faint-hearted uncle!
Come, tie me in your belt, and let me down.
Car. I'll go myself, boy.
Hengo. No, as you love me, uncle:
I will not eat it, if I do not fetch it;
The danger only I desire; pray, tie me.
Car. I will, and all my care hang o'er thee! Come, child,
My valiant child!
Hengo. Let me down apace, uncle,
And you shall see how like a daw I'll whip it
From all their policies; for 'tis most certain
A Roman train: and you must hold me sure too;
You'll spoil all else. When I have brought it, uncle,
We'll be as merry———
Car. Go, i' the name of Heaven, boy!
[Lets HENGO down by his belt.
Hengo. Quick, quick, uncle! I have it.
[JUDAS shoots HENGO with an arrow.]—Oh!
Car. What ail'st thou?
Hengo. Oh, my best uncle, I am slain!
Car. I see you,
And Heaven direct my hand! destruction
Go with thy coward soul!
[Kills JUDAS with a stone, and then draws up HENGO. Exit
MACER.] How dost thou, boy?—
Oh, villain, pocky villain!
Hengo. Oh, uncle, uncle,
Oh, how it pricks me!—am I preserved for this?—
Extremely pricks me!
Car. Coward, rascal coward!
Dogs eat thy flesh!
Hengo. Oh, I bleed hard! I faint too; out upon't
How sick I am!—The lean rogue, uncle!
Car. Look, boy;
I have laid him sure enough.
Hengo. Have you knocked his brains out?
Car. I warrant thee for stirring more: cheer up, child.
Hengo. Hold my sides hard; stop, stop; oh, wretched fortune,
Must we part thus? Still I grow sicker, uncle.
Car. Heaven look upon this noble child!
Hengo. I once hoped
I should have lived to have met these bloody Romans
At my sword's point, to have revenged my father,
To have beaten 'em,—oh, hold me hard!—but, uncle—
Car. Thou shalt live still, I hope, boy. Shall I draw it?
Hengo. You draw away my soul, then. I would live
A little longer—spare me, Heavens!—but only
To thank you for your tender love: good uncle,
Good noble uncle, weep not.
Car. Oh, my chicken,
My dear boy, what shall I lose?
Hengo. Why, a child
That must have died however; had this scaped me,
Fever or famine———I was born to die, sir.
Car. But thus unblown, my boy?
Hengo. I go the straighter
My journey to the gods. Sure, I shall know you
When you come, uncle.
Car. Yes, boy.
Hengo. And I hope
We shall enjoy together that great blessedness
You told me of.
Car. Most certain, child.
Hengo. I grow cold;
Mine eyes are going.
Car. Lift 'em up.
Hengo. Pray for me;
And, noble uncle, when my bones are ashes,
Think of your little nephew!—Mercy!
Car. Mercy!
You blessèd angels, take him!
Hengo. Kiss me: so,
Farewell, farewell! [Dies.
Car. Farewell the hopes of Britain!
Thou royal graft, farewell for ever!—Time and Death,
Ye have done your worst. Fortune, now see, now proudly
Pluck off thy veil, and view thy triumph; look,
Look what thou hast brought this land to!—Oh, fair flower,
How lovely yet thy ruins show, how sweetly
Even death embraces thee! the peace of Heaven,
The fellowship of all great souls, be with thee!

Enter PETILLIUS and JUNIUS on the rock.

Ha! dare ye, Romans? ye shall win me bravely.
Thou art mine! [They fight.
Jun. Not yet, sir.
Car. Breathe ye, ye poor Romans,
And come up all, with all your ancient valours;
Like a rough wind I'll shake your souls, and send 'em—

and Soldiers.

Suet. Yield thee, bold Caratach! By all the gods,
As I am soldier, as I envy thee,
I'll use thee like thyself, the valiant Briton.
Pet. Brave soldier, yield, thou stock of arms and honour,
Thou filler of the world with fame and glory!
Jun. Most worthy man, we'll woo thee, be thy prisoners.
Suet. Excellent Briton, do me but that honour,
That more to me than conquests, that true happiness,
To be my friend!
Car. Oh, Romans, see what here is!
Had this boy lived—
Suet. For fame's sake, for thy sword's sake,
As thou desirest to build thy virtues greater!
By all that's excellent in man, and honest———
Car. I do believe. Ye have had me a brave foe;
Make me a noble friend, and from your goodness
Give this boy honourable earth to lie in.
Suet. He shall have fitting funeral.
Car. I yield, then;
Not to your blows, but your brave courtesies.
[Comes down with PETILLIUS and JUNIUS.
Pet. Thus we conduct, then, to the arms of peace
The wonder of the world.
Suet. Thus I embrace thee: [Flourish.
And let it be no flattery that I tell thee,
Thou art the only soldier.
Car. How to thank ye,
I must hereafter find upon your usage.
I am for Rome?
Suet. You must.
Car. Then Rome shall know
The man that makes her spring of glory grow.
Suet. Petillius,
You have shown much worth this day, redeemed much error:
You have my love again; preserve it.—Junius,
With you I make him equal in the regiment.
Jun. The elder and the nobler; I'll give place, sir.
Suet. You show a friend's soul.—
March on, and through the camp, in every tongue,
The virtues of great Caratach be sung! [Exeunt.

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