Act 2, Scene IV

Scene: The Roman Camp.

Enter SUETONIUS, PETILLIUS, DEMETRIUS, DECIUS, and MACER.

Suetonius.
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.
Petillius.
What now think you?
Suetonius.
Must come so heinous to him, so distasteful?
Petillius.
Give me my money.
Demetrius.
I confess 'tis due, sir,
And presently I'll pay it.
Suetonius.
His obedience
So blind at his years and experience,
It cannot find where to be tender'd?
Macer.
Sir,
The regiment was willing, and advanced too,
The captains at all points steel'd 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 Penius
Stept like a stormy cloud 'twixt them and hopes.
Suetonius.
And stopt their resolutions?
Macer.
True; his reason
To them was odds, and odds so infinite,
Discretion durst not look upon.
Suetonius.
Well, Penius,
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.
Petillius.
Let's force him.
Suetonius.
No, by no means; he's a torrent
We cannot easily stem.
Petillius.
I think, a traitor.
Suetonius.
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?
Decius.
I hope so.
Suetonius.
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 salnt.
Petillius.
We shall be holy all then.
[Exeunt all but Decius.

Enter JUDAS and his Company.

Judas.
Captain, captain, I have brought 'em off again;
The drunkenest slaves!
Decius.
Pox confound your rogueships!
I'll call the general, and have ye hang'd all.
Judas.
Pray who will you command then?
Decius.
For you, sirrah,
That are the ringleader to these devices,
Whose maw is never cramm'd. I'll have an engine——
Judas.
A wench, sweet captain.
Decius.
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.
Decius.
Where hast thou been?
Judas.
There where you dare not be, with all your valour.
Decius.
Where's that!
Judas.
With the best good fellow living.
1 Soldier.
The king of all good fellows.
Decius.
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——
Decius.
How 'scaped ye hanging?
Judas.
Hanging's a dog's death, we are gentlemen;
And I say still, old Caratach!
Decius.
Belike then,
You are turn'd rebels all.
Judas.
We are Roman boys all,
And boys of mettle. I must do that, captain,
This day, this very day——
Decius.
Away, ye rascal!
Judas.
Fair words, I say again!
Decius.
What must you do, sir?
Judas.
I must do that my heart-strings yearn to do;
But my word's past.
Decius.
What is it?
Judas.
Why, kill Caratach,
That's all he ask'd us for our entertainment.
Decius.
More than you'll pay.
Judas.
'Would I had sold myself
Unto the skin I had not promised it!
For such another Caratach——
Decius.
Come, fool,
Have you done your country service?
Judas.
I have brought that
To captain Junius——
Decius.
How?
Judas.
I think will do all;
I cannot tell; I think so.
Decius.
How! to Junius?
I'll more inquire of this.—You'll fight now?
Judas.
Promise,
Take heed of promise, captain!
Decius.
Away, and rank then.
Judas.
But, hark you, captain; there is wine distributing;
I would fain know what share I have.
Decius.
Be gone;
You have too much.
Judas.
Captain, no wine, no fighting:
There's one called Caratach that has wine.
Decius.
Well, sir,
If you'll be ruled now, and do well——
Judas.
Do excellent.
Decius.
You shall have wine, or anything. 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 hunts-up shortly.
Judas.
Now I love thee;
But no more forks nor whips!
Decius.
Deserve 'em not then.
Up with your men; I'll meet you presently;
And set 'em sober quickly.
[Exit.
Judas.
Arm, arm, bullies!
All's right 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.
[Exeunt.