Act 1, Scene II

Scene: The Roman Camp.

Enter JUNIUS and PETILLIUS.

Petillius.
What ail'st thou, man? dost thou want meat?
Junius.
No.
Petillius.
Clothes?
Junius.
Neither. For Heaven's love, leave me!
Petillius.
Drink?
Junius.
You tire me.
Petillius.
Come, it is drink; I know 'tis drink.
Junius.
'Tis no drink.
Petillius.
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.
Junius.
Pr'ythee, Petillius——
Petillius.
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.
Junius.
Why do you do this to me.?
Petillius.
For I see,
Although your modesty would fain conceal it,
Which sits as sweetly on a soldier
As an old side-saddle——
Junius.
What do you see?
Petillius.
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 moor'd for want of liquor. Do but see
Into thyself; for, by the gods, I do:
For all thy body's chapt and crack'd like timber,
For want of moisture: What is't thou want'st there, Junius,
An if it be not drink?
Junius.
You have too much on't.
Petillius.
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' th' 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."
Junius.
'Tis a strange thing, Petillius,
That so ridiculous and loose a mirth
Can master your affections.
Petillius.
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.
Junius.
He must have new acquaintance for it too,
For I will none, I thank ye.
Petillius.
"None, I thank you?"
A short and touchy answer! "None, I thank you?"
You do not scorn it, do you?
Junius.
Gods defend, sir!
I owe him still more honour.
Petillius.
"None, I thank you?"
No company, no drink, no wench, "I thank you?"
You shall be worse entreated, sir.
Junius.
Petillius,
As thou art honest, leave me!
Petillius.
"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' th' 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.
1 Soldier.
Fight like hoos for acorns?
2 Soldier.
Venture our lives for pig-nuts ?
Petillius.
What ail these rascals?
3 Soldier.
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 ripen'd 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 atchievement, gentlemen,
Why, there's the point.
4 Soldier.
I'll fight no more.
Petillius.
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 dog's head in the porridge-pot! ye fight no more?
Does Rome depend upon your resolution
For eating mouldy pie-crust?
3 Soldier.
'Would we had it!
Judas.
I may do service, captain.
Petillius.
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 Cobler,
Clap a new sole to th' kingdom? 'Sdeath, ye dogwhelps,
You fight, or not fight!
Judas.
Captain!
Petillius.
Out, ye flesh-flies!
Nothing but noise and nastiness!
Judas.
Give us meat,
Whereby we may do.
Petillius.
Whereby hangs your valour?
Judas.
Good bits afford good blows.
Petillius.
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 th' purpose——
Petillius.
"To th'purpose?" what's that? half a cow and garlick?
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?
Junius.
Pray you, Petillius!
Petillius.
He has not eat these three weeks.
2 Soldier.
He has drunk the more then.
3 Soldier.
And that's all one.
Petillius.
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.
Junius.
This, Petillius,
Is not so nobly done.
Petillius.
'Tis common profit;
Urge him to th' point, he'll find you out a food
That needs no teeth nor stomach; a strange furmity
Will feed you up as fat as hens i' th' foreheads,
And make ye fight like fichoks; to him.
Judas.
Captain——
Junius.
Do you long to have your throats cut?
Petillius.
See what mettle
It makes in him: Two meals more of this melancholy,
And there lies Caratach.
Judas.
We do beseech you——
2 Soldier.
Humbly beseech your valour——
Junius.
Am I only
Become your sport, Petillius?
Judas.
But to render
In way of general good, in preservation
Junius.
Out of my thoughts, ye slaves!
4 Soldier.
Or rather pity——
3 Soldier.
Your warlike remedv against the maw-worms.
Judas.
Or notable receipt to live by nothing.
Petillius.
Out with your table-books!
Junius.
Is this true friendship?
And must my killing griefs make others' May-games ?
[Draws.
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 Junius.
Judas.
Alas, he lives by love, sir.
Petillius.
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: Ay-mes, and hearty hey-hoes
Are sallads 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 afar off.
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 discretely
Carry your stomachs, or I prophesy
A pickled rope will choke ye. Jog, and talk not!
[Exeunt.

Enter SUETONIUS, DEMETRIUS, DECIUS, Drum and Colours.

Suetonius.
Demetrius, is the messenger dispatch'd
To Penius, to command him to bring up
The Volans regiment!
Demetrius.
He's there by this time.
Suetonius.
And are the horse well view'd we brought from Mona?
Decius.
The troops are full and lusty.
Suetonius.
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.
Petillius.
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 are 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 offer'd victory; and last, full pride
To brave us to our teeth, and scorn our ruins.
Suetonius.
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 through these swelling dangers, plough their prides up,
And bear like thunder through their loudest tempests.
They keep the field still?
Demetrius.
Confident and full.
Petillius.
In such a number, one would swear they grew:
The hills are wooded with their partizans,
And all the vallies 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 kill'd with killing; of desperate women,
That neither fear or shame e'er found, the devil
Has rank'd 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.
Suetonius.
These are imaginations, dreams of nothings;
The man that doubts or fears——
Decius.
I am free of both.
Demetrius.
The self-same I.
Petillius.
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 learn'd from vou, I learn'd 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.
Suetonius.
'Tis true, Petillius,
And worthily remember'd: The rule is certain,
The 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, dispatch it:
Disputing and delay here cool 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.
Demetrius.
No doubt they dare redeem all.
Suetonius.
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 temper'd 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?
Petillius.
Ready for all employments,
To be commanded too, sir.
Suetonius.
'Tis well govern'd;
To-morrow we'll draw out, and view the cohorts:
I' th' mean time, all apply their offices.
Where's Junius?
Petillius.
In's cabin, sick o' th' mumps, sir.
Suetonius.
How?
Petillius.
In love, indeed in love, most lamentably loving,
To the tune of Queen Dido.
Decius.
Alas poor gentleman!
Suetonius.
'Twill make him fight the nobler. With what lady?
I'll be a spokesman for him.
Petillius.
You'll scant speed, sir.
Suetonius.
Who is't?
Petillius.
The devil's dam, Bonduca's daughter,
Her youngest, crack'd i' th' ring.
Suetonius.
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 provisions 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 banish'd. Two days hence,
Our fortunes, and our swords, and gods be for us!
[Exeunt.