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Caratach. That's a noble boy ! Come, worthy lady, Let's to our several charges, and henceforth 131 Allow an enemy both weight and worth. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. A CAPTURE. Nennius brings in Judas, a corporal, and four Roman
soldiers, guarded, with halters about their necks. Caratach meets them. Caratach. What are these fellows ? What 's the crime
committed, That they wear necklaces ? Nennius.
They are Roman rogues, Taken a-foraging. Caratach.
Is that all, Nennius ? J udas. Would I were fairly hanged! This is the devil, The killcow Caratach. Caratach.
And would you hang 'em ? 5 Pluck off your halters, fellows.
[The soldiers throw away the halters. Nennius.
Take heed, Caratach, Taint not your wisdom. Caratach.
Wisdom, Nennius! Why, who shall fight against us, make our honours, And give a glorious day into our hands, If we dispatch our foes thus ? What's their offence ? Stealing a loaf or two to keep out hunger, A piece of greasy bacon, or a pudding ? Do these deserve the gallows? They are hungry, Poor hungry knaves, no meat at home left, starved. Art thou not hungry? Judas.
Monstrous hungry. Caratach. He looks like Hunger's self. Get 'em some
victuals And wine to cheer their hearts ; quick. [Some guards go
out to fetch food and wine.] Hang up poor pilchers ! Second Soldier. This is the bravest captainNennius.
Caratach, I'll leave them to your will. [The soldiers cheer. Caratach.
I'll answer all, sir.
Enter Hengo. Sit down, poor knaves. Why, where's this wine and
Who waits there?
Servant (within). Sir, 'tis coming.
They are Romans, boy. Hengo.
Are these they That vex mine aunt so ? can these fight ? They look Like empty scabbards all, no mettle in ’em; Like men of clouts set to keep crows from orchards : 25 Why, I dare fight with these. Caratach. That's my good chicken! [He turns to
the Romans.] And how do ye ? How do you feel your stomachs ? Judas.
Wondrous apt, sir ; As shall appear when time calls. The Guards bring in food and wine and set out a table.
The Romans fling themselves on it and eat ravenously. Caratach.
That's well; down with't, A little grace will serve your turns. Eat softly, 30 You'll choke, ye knaves, else. Give 'em wine.
Judas [speaking with his mouth full]. Not yet, sir :
Can that fellow
Caratach. I am glad to hear ye talk, sir.
Good uncle, tell me, 35 What's the price of a couple of crammed Romans ? Caratach. Some twenty Britons, boy; these are good
soldiers. Hengo. Do not the cowards eat hard too ? Caratach.
No more, boy. Come, I'll sit with you, too. Sit down by me, boy.
[Caratach and Hengo sit down. Judas (snatching more food). Pray, bring your dish, then. Caratach [laughing]. Hearty knaves ! More meat there.
SCENE III. A ROMAN LEADER.
Enter Suetonius, the Roman general, and his captains,
Junius, Decius, Petilius, Demetrius, and Macer. Suetonius. Draw out apace; the enemy waits for us. Are ye all ready?
All our troops attend, sir. Suetonius. To bid you fight is needless; ye are Romans, The name will fight itself : to tell ye who You go to fight against, his power and nature, 5 But loss of time; ye know it, know it poor, And oft have made it so. To tell ye further His body shows more dreadful than it has done, Is but to stick more honour on your actions, Load ye with virtuous names, and to your memories 10 Tie never-dying Time and Fortune constant. The gods of Rome fight for ye ; loud Fame calls ye, Pitched on the topless Apennine, and blows To all the underworld, all nations, and the seas, And unfrequented deserts where the snow dwells; 15 Wakens the ruined monuments; and there, Where nothing but eternal death and sleep is, Informs again the dead bones with your virtues. We have swords, and are the sons of ancient Romans, Heirs to their endless valours ; fight and conquer ! 20
Decius and Demetrius. 'Tis done.
Petilius. That man that loves not this day, And hugs not in his arms the noble danger, May he die fameless and forgot! Suetonius.
Sufficient. Up to your troops, and let your drums beat thunder; March close and sudden, like a tempest : all executions
25 Done without sparkling of the body; keep your phalanx Sure-lined and pieced together, your pikes forward, And so march like a moving fort. Ere this day run, We shall have ground to add to Rome, well won.
SCENE IV. DEFEAT. Suetonius' orders are carefully executed, and Caratach plans
to attack the Romans in van and rear. Meanwhile
Enter Caratach with Hengo. Caratach.
Fly, ye buzzards ! Ye have wings enough, ye Fear! [A loud shout within.]
All's lost, all's lost!
[Exeunt Bonduca, Daughters, and Soldiers. Hengo.
Good uncle, Let me go too. Caratach. No, boy; thy fortune 's mine ;
5 I must not leave thee. Get behind me she takes Hengo
on his back]; shake not ; I'll breech ye, if ye do, boy. Enter Petilius, Junius, and Decius.
Come, brave Romans ; All is not lost yet. Strike home, home ! have at you !
[They fight. Poenius. His blows fall like huge sledges on an
anvil. Decius. I am weary. Petilius. So am I. [They cease fighting with him. Caratach. Send more swords to me. [Exit with Hengo.
SCENE V. THE FUGITIVES.
Enter Caratach and 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, 5 Whither must we go when we are dead ? Caratach.
Strange questions. (A side. Why to the blessed'st place, boy! ever-sweetness And happiness dwells there. Hengo.
Will you come tò me ? Caratach. Yes, my sweet boy. Hengo.
Mine aunt too, and my cousins ! Caratach. All, my good child. Hengo.
No Romans, uncle ?
No, boy. 10 Hengo. I should be loath 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
Thou shalt go, then,
When they please.
That's my good boy! Art thou not weary, Hengo ? Hengo.
Weary, uncle ?
Caratach. I have, boy.
Am not I your kinsman ?
Hengo. And am not I as fully allied untò you
Thou art too tender. Hengo. To go upon my legs ? they were made to bear
I can play twenty mile a day; I see no reason 25
What wouldst thou be, living
Why, a Caratach, A Roman-hater, a scourge sent from heaven To whip these proud thieves from our kingdom. [A drum within.] Hark,
30 Hark, uncle, hark! I hear a drum.
Enter Judas and Soldiers, scouting. Judas.
Beat softly, Softly, I say, they are here. Who dare charge ? First Soldier.
He That dares be knocked o' the head : I'll not come near
him. Judas. Retire again, and watch then. How he stares ! 'Has eyes would kill a dragon. Mark the boy well ; 35