Act 4, Scene II

Scene: Open Country between the Camps.

Enter CARATACH and HENGO.

Caratach.
How does my boy?
Hengo.
I would do well; my heart's well;
I do not fear.
Caratach.
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?
Caratach.
Strange questions!—
Why, to the blessedest place, boy—Ever sweetness
And happiness dwells there.
Hengo.
Will you come to me?
Caratach.
Yes, my sweet boy.
Hengo.
Mine aunt too, and my cousins?
Caratach.
All, my good child.
Hengo.
No Romans, uncle?
Caratach.
No, boy.
Hengo.
I should be loth to meet them there.
Caratach.
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.
Caratach.
Thou shalt go then,
Indeed thou shalt.
Hengo.
When they please.
Caratach.
That's my good boy!
Art thou not weary, Hengo?
Hengo.
Weary, uncle?
I have heard you say you have march'd all day in armour.
Caratach.
I have, boy.
Hengo.
Am not I your kinsman?
Caratach.
Yes.
Hengo.
And am not I as fully allied unto you
In those brave things as blood?
Caratach.
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.
Caratach.
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,
Hark, uncle, hark! I hear a drum.
[Drum.

Enter JUDAS and his Soldiers, and stand on one side of the stage.

Judas.
Beat softly,
Softly, I say: they are here. Who dare charge?
1 Soldier.
He
That dares be knock'd o' th' head: I'll not come near him.
Judas.
Retire again, and watch then. How he stares!
He has eyes would kill a dragon. Mark the boy well;
If we could take or kill him—A pox on ye,
How fierce ye look! See, how he broods the boy!
The devil dwells in's scabbard. Back, I say!
Apace, apace! he has found us.
[They retire.
Caratach.
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.
Caratach.
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!

Enter JUDAS.

Judas.
Here's the boy;
Mine own, I thank my fortune.
Hengo.
Uncle, uncle!
Famine is fallen 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 shakest.
Judas.
Upon my conscience,
The boy wiil beat me! how it looks, how bravely,
How confident the worm is! a scabb'd boy
To handle me thus!—Yield, or I cut thy head off.
Hengo.
Thou darest not cut my finger; here 'tis, touch it.
Judas.
The boy speaks sword and buckler! Pr'ythee yield, boy;
Come, here's an apple, yield.
Hengo.
By Heaven, he fears me!
I'll give you sharper language:—When, ye coward,
When come ye 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!
[Kicks and beats him with the truncheon of Caratack.
Judas.
Most certain this boy will cut my throat yet.

Enter two Soldiers running.

1 Soldier.
Flee, flee! he kills us.
2 Soldier.
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!

Enter CARATACH with a Head.

Caratach.
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-brav'd Hunger.
Caratach.
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.
Caratach.
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.
Anything;
can eat moss, nay, I can live on anger,
To vex these Romans. Let's be wary, uncle.
Caratach.
I warrant thee; come cheerfully.
Hengo.
And boldly!
[Exeunt.