Romans. Ten times a-night
I have swam the rivers, when the stars of Rome
Shot at me as I floated, and
Tumbled their watry ruins on my shoulders,
Charging my batterd sides with troops of agues;
still to try these Romans, whom I found
(And, if I lie, my wounds be henceforth backward,
And be you
witness, gods, and all my dangers)
As ready, and as full of that I brought,
(Which was not fear, nor flight)
As vigilant, as wise, to do and suffer,
Ever advanced as forward as the Britons,
Their sleeps as
short, their hopes as high as ours,
Ay, and as subtle, lady. Tis dishonour,
And, followd, will be impudence,
And grow to no belief, to taint these Romans.
Have not I seen the Britons
Run, run, Bonduca! not the quick rack swifter!
The virgin from the hated ravisher
half so fearful; not a flight drawn home.
A round stone from a sling, a lovers wish,
Eer made that haste
that they have. By the gods,
I have seen these Britons, that you magnify,
Run as they would have out-
run time, and roaring,
Basely for mercy roaring; the light shadows,
That in a thought scur oer the fields of
Halted on crutches to em.
Bond. Oh, ye powers,
What scandals do I suffer!
Car. Yes, Bonduca,
I have seen thee run too; and thee, Nennius;
Yea, run apace, both; then, when Penius
Roman girl!) cut through your armed carts,
And drove em headlong on ye, down the hill;
Then, when he
hunted ye like Britain foxes,
More by the scent than sight; then did I see
These valiant and approved men
Like boding owls, creep into tods of ivy,
And hoot their fears to one another nightly.
Nen. And what did you then, Caratach?
Car. I fled too,
But not so fast; your jewel had been lost then,
Young Hengo there; he trasht me, Nennius:
when your fears out-run him, then stept I,
And in the head of all the Roman fury
Took him, and, with my
tough belt, to my back
I buckled him; behind him my sure shield;
And then I followd. If I say I fought
times in bringing off this bud of Britain,
I lie not, Nennius. Neither had you heard
Me speak this, or ever
seen the child more,
But that the sun of virtue, Penius,
Seeing me steer through all these storms of danger,
helm still in my hand (my sword), my prow
Turnd to my foe (my face), he cried out nobly,
bear thy lions whelp off safely;
Thy manly sword has ransomd thee; grow strong,
And let me meet thee
once again in arms;
Then, if thou standst, thourt mine. I took his offer,
And here I am to honour him.
Bond. Oh, cousin,
From what a flight of honour hast thou checkd me!
What wouldst thou make me, Caratach?
Car. See, lady,
The noble use of others in our losses.
Does this afflict you? Had the Romans cried this,
as we have done theirs, sung out these fortunes,
Raild on our base condition, hooted at us,
as far as th earth was ours, to show us
Nothing but sea could stop our flights, despised us,
And held it
equal whether banqueting
Or beating of the Britons were more business,
It would have galld you.
Bond. Let me think we conquerd.
Car. Do; but so think, as we may be conquerd;
And where we have found virtue, though in those
came to make us slaves, lets cherish it.
Theres not a blow we gave since Julius landed,
That was of
strength and worth, but, like records,
They file to after-ages. Our registers
The Romans are, for noble
deeds of honour;
And shall we burn their mentions with upbraidings?
Bond. No more; I see myself. Thou hast made me, cousin,
More than my fortunes durst, for they abused
And wound me up so high, I swelld with glory:
Thy temperance has cured that tympany,
me health again, nay, more, discretion
Shall we have peace? for now I love these Romans.
Car. Thy love and hate are both unwise ones, lady.
Bond. Your reason?