Act II

SCENE I.The same. The Tent of Penius.

Enter Penius, Regulus, Macer, and Drusius.

Pen. I must come?

Macer. So the general commands, sir.

Pen. I must bring up my regiment?

Macer. Believe, sir,
I bring no lie.

Pen. But did he say, I must come?

Macer. So delivered.

Pen. How long is’t, Regulus, since I commanded
In Britain here?

Reg. About five years, great Penius.

Pen. The general some five months. Are all my actions
So poor and lost, my services so barren,
That I am remember’d in no nobler language
But must come up?

Macer. I do beseech you, sir,
Weigh but the time’s estate.

Pen. Yes, good lieutenant,
I do, and his that sways it. Must come up?
Am I turn’d bare centurion? Must and shall,
Fit embassies to court my honour?

Macer. Sir—

Pen. Set me to lead a handful of my men
Against an hundred thousand barbarous slaves,
That have march’d name by name with Rome’s best doers?
Serve ’em up some other meat; I’ll bring no food
To stop the jaws of all those hungry wolves:
My regiment’s mine own. I must, my language?

Enter Curius.

Cur. Penius, where lies the host?

Pen. Where Fate may find ’em.

Cur. Are they ingirt?

Pen. The battle’s lost.

Cur. So soon?

Pen. No; but ’tis lost, because it must be won;
The Britons must be victors. Whoe’er saw
A troop of bloody vultures hovering
About a few corrupted carcasses,
Let him behold the silly Roman host,
Girded with millions of fierce Britain swains,
With deaths as many as they have had hopes;
And then go thither, he that loves his shame!
I scorn my life, yet dare not lose my name.

Cur. Do not you hold it a most famous end,
When both our names and lives are sacrificed
For Rome’s increase?

Pen. Yes, Curius; but mark this too:
What glory is there, or what lasting fame
Can be to Rome or us, what full example,
When one is smother’d with a multitude,
And crowded in amongst a nameless press?
Honour got out of flint, and on their heads
Whose virtues, like the sun, exhaled all valours,
Must not be lost in

  By PanEris using Melati.

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