Act 5, Scene I

Scene: A mountainous Country.

CARATACH discovered upon the Rock in the Back-ground, and HENGO by him sleeping.

Thus we afflicted Britons climb for safeties,
And, to avoid our dangers, seek destructions;
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 bless'd ancestors:
The virgins thou hast robb'd of all their wishes,
Blasted their blowing hopes, turned 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!
Oh, noble uncle,
Look out; I dreamed we were betray'd.
No harm, boy;
'Tis but thy emptiness that breeds these fancies:
Thou shalt have meat anon.
[A soft dead march within.
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.
I see 'em;
And pr'ythee be not fearful.
Now you hate me;—
'Would I were dead!
Thou knowest I love thee dearly.
Did I e'er shrink yet, uncle? Were I a man now
I should be angry with you.

Enter DRUSIUS, REGULUS, and Soldiers, with PENIUS'S Hearse, Drums, and Colours.

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!
'Tis the body
Of the great captain Penius, by himself
Made cold and spiritless.
Oh, stay, ye Romans,
By the religion which ye owe those gods
That lead ye on to victories! by those glories
Which made even pride a virtue in ye!
What's thy will, Caratach?
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 sometime stubborn, yet, when Virtue dies,
Soft and relenting as a virgin's prayers:
Oh, set it down!
Set down the body, soldiers.
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 honour'd 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,
Maintain'd in thirst of honour, not of blood,
Farewell for ever!
Was this Roman, uncle,
So good a man?
Thou never knewest thy father.
He died before I was born.
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!
The multitudes of these men, and their fortunes,
Could never make me fear yet; one man's goodness——
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-loved, ever-living be
Thy honour'd and most sacred memory!
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. A dead march.
Now dry thine eyes, my boy.
Are they all gone?
I could have wept this hour yet.
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.
Pray fear not me;
Indeed I am very hearty.
Be so still;
His mischiefs lessen, that controls his ill.