Act 3, Scene V

Scene: Near the Field of Battle. In the Back-ground the Tent of Penius, with a Platform.

Enter DRUSIUS and PENIUS above.

Drusius.
Here you may see them all sir; from this hill
The country shows off level.
Penius.
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.
Hark, how they shout to the battle! how the air
Totters and reels, and rends a-pieces, Drusius,
With the huge-vollied clamours!
Drusius.
Now they charge
(Oh, gods!) of all sides, fearfully.
Penius.
Little Rome,
Stand but this growing Hydra one short hour,
And thou hast out-done Hercules!
Drusius.
The dust hides 'em;
We cannot see what follows.
Penius.
They are gone,
Gone, swallow'd, Drusius; this eternal sun
Shall never see 'em march more.
Drusius.
Oh, turn this way,
And see a model of the field! some forty,
Against four hundred!
Penius.
Well fought, bravely followed!
Oh, nobly charged again, charged home too! Drusius,
They seem to carry it. Now they charge all;
[Loud shouts.
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, Drusius, at their backs
A fearful ambush rises. Farewell, valours.
Excellent valours! oh, Rome, where's thy wisdom?
Drusius.
They are gone indeed, sir.
Penius.
Look out toward the army,
I am heavy with these slaughters.
Drusius.
'Tis the same still,
Cover'd with dust and fury.

Enter the two Daughters, with JUNIUS, CURIUS, DECIUS, Soldiers, and Servants.

2 Daughter.
Bring 'em in;
Tie 'em, and then unarm 'em.
1 Daughter.
Valiant Romans,
Ye are welcome to your loves!
2 Daughter.
Your death, fools!
Decius.
We deserve 'em;
And, women, do your worst.
1 Daughter.
Ye need not beg it.
2 Daughter.
Which is kind Junius?
Servant.
This.
2 Daughter.
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.
Junius.
Monster——
2 Daughter.
Oh, now it courts!
Junius.
Arm'd with more malice
Than he that got thee has, the devil.
2 Daughter.
Good!
Proceed, sweet chick.
Junius.
I hate thee; that's my last.
2 Daughter.
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 damn'd lechers,
Ye proud improvident fools, have we now caught ye?
Are ye i' th' 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.
1 Daughter.
Oh, how I'll trample on your hearts, ye villains,
Ambitious salt-itch'd slaves, Rome's master-sins!
The mountain-rams tupt your hot mothers.
2 Daughter.
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 out-do all example.

Enter CARATACH.

Caratach.
Where,
Where are these ladies?—Ye keep noble quarter!
Your mother thinks you 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?
2 Daughter.
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.
Caratach.
As you intend? Taken by treachery?
1 Daughter.
Is't not allow'd?
Caratach.
Those that should gild our conquest,
Make up a battle worthy of our winning,
Catch'd up by craft?
2 Daughter.
By any means that's lawful.
Caratach.
A woman's wisdom in our triumphs? Out!
Out, [out,] ye sluts, ye follies! From our swords
Filch our revenges basely?—Arm again, gentlemen!—
Soldiers, I charge ye help 'em.
2 Daughter.
By Heaven , uncle,
We will have vengeance for our rapes!
Caratach.
Bv Heaven,
Ye should have kept your legs close then.—Dispatch there!
1 Daughter.
I will not off thus!
Caratach.
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 snatch'd 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.
2 Daughter.
Oh, gods!
Caratach.
Bear off the women
Unto their mother!
2 Daughter.
One shot, gentle uncle!
Caratach.
One cut her fiddle-string!—Bear 'em off, I say.
1 Daughter.
The devil take this fortune!
Caratach.
Learn to spin,
[Exeunt Daughters.
And curse your knotted hemp!—Go, gentlemen,
Safely go off, up to your troops; be wiser;
There thank me like tall soldiers: I shall seek ye.
[Exit with Soldiers, etc.
Curius.
A noble worth!
Decius.
Well, Junius?
Junius.
Pray ye, no more!
Curius.
He blushes; do not load him.
Decius.
Where's your love now?
[Drums loud again.
Junius.
Puff! there it flies. Come, let's redeem our follies.
[Exeunt Junius, Curius, and Decius.]
Drusius.
Awake, sir; yet the Roman body's whole;
I see 'em clear again.
Penius.
Whole? 'tis not possible;
Drusius, they must be lost.
Drusius.
By Heaven, they are whole, sir,
And in brave doing; see, they wheel about
To gain more ground.
Penius.
But see there, Drusius, see,
See that huge battle moving, from the mountains!
Their gilt coats shine like dragons' scales, their march
Like a rough tumbling storm; see 'em, and view 'em,
And then see Rome no more. Say they fail, look,
Look where the armed carts stand; a new army!
Look how they hang, like falling rocks, as murdering!
Death rides in triumph, Drusius, 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.

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

Suetonius.
Oh, bravely fought!
Honour 'till now ne'er show'd her golden face
I' the field: Like lions, gentlemen, you have held
Your heads up this day. Where's young Junius,
Curius, and Decius?
Petillius.
Gone to heaven, I think, sir.
Suetonius.
Their worths go with 'em! Breathe a while. How do ye ?
Petillius.
Well; some few scurvy wounds; my heart's whole yet.
Demetrius.
'Would they would give us more ground!
Suetonius.
Give? we'll have it.
Petillius.
Have it? and hold it too, despite the devil.

Enter JUNIUS, DECIUS, and CURIUS.

Junius.
Lead up to th' head, and line sure! The queen's battle
Begins to charge like wildfire. Where's the general?
Suetonius.
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.
Junius.
Best;
We shall appear the sterner to the foe.
Decius.
More wounds, more honour.
Petillius.
Lose no time.
Suetonius.
Away then;
And stand this shock, ye have stood the world.
Petillius.
We'll grow to't.
Is not this better now than lousy loving?
Junius.
I am myself, Petillius.
Petillius.
'Tis I love thee.
[Exeunt Romans.

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

Caratach.
Charge 'em i' th' flanks! Oh, you have play'd the fool,
The fool extremely, the mad fool!
Bonduca.
Why, cousin?
Caratach.
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, 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?
Bonduca.
I'll help all.
[Exeunt all but Caratach.
Caratach.
Home,
Home and spin, woman, spin, go spin! you trifle.
Open before there, or all's ruin'd—How?
[Shouts within.
Now comes the tempest on ourselves, by Heaven!
Within.
Victoria!
Caratach.
Oh, woman, scurvy woman, beastly woman!
[Exit.
Drusius.
Victoria, victoria!
Penius.
How's that Drusius?
Drusius.
They win, they win, they win! Oh, look, look, look, sir,
For Heaven's sake, look! The Britons fly, the Britons fly! Victoria!

Enter SUETONIUS, Soldiers, and Captains.

Suetonius.
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: Stem Petillius,
Govern the conquest nobly. Soft, good soldiers!
[Exeunt.

Enter BONDUCA, Daughters, and Britons flying.

Bonduca.
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?

Enter CARATACH and HENGO.

Caratach.
Fly, ye buzzards!
Ye have wines 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, etc.
Hengo.
Good uncle,
Let me go too.
Caratach.
No, boy; thy fortune's mine;
I must not leave thee. Get behind me; shake not;
I'll breech you, if you do, boy.—

Enter PETILLIUS, JUNIUS, and DECIUS.

Come, brave Romans!
All is not lost yet.

Junius.
Now I'll thank thee, Caratach.
[Fight. Drums.
Caratach.
Thou art a soldier; strike home, home! Have at you!
Penius.
His blows fall like huge sledges on an anvil.
Decius.
I am weary.
Petillius.
So am I.
Caratach.
Send more swords to me.
[Exeunt Britons.
Junius.
Let's sit and rest.
[They sit down.
Drusius.
What think you now?
Penius.
Oh, Drusius,
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?
Drusius.
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.
Penius.
Fool, fool, coward!
[Exeunt Penius and Drusius into the tent.

Enter SUETONIUS, DEMETRIUS, Soldiers, Drum and Colours.

Suetonius.
Draw in, draw in!—Well have you 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 hatch'd with Britain blood,
Let's march to rest, and set in gules like suns.
Beat a soft march, and each one ease his neighbours!
[Exeunt.