mists and fogs of people,
Noteless and not of name, but rude and naked:
Nor can Rome task us with impossibilities,
Or bid us fight against a flood; we serve her,
That she may proudly say she has good soldiers,
Not slaves, to choke all hazards. Who but fools,
That make no difference betwixt certain dying,
And dying well, would fling their fames and fortunes
Into this Britain gulf, this quicksand ruin,
That, sinking, swallows us? what noble hand
Can find a subject fit for blood there? or what sword
Room for his execution? what air to cool us,
But poison’d with their blasting breaths and curses,
Where we lie buried quick above the ground,
And are with labouring sweat, and breathless pain,
Kill’d like to slaves, and cannot kill again?

Drus. Penius, mark ancient wars, and know that then
A captain weigh’d an hundred thousand men.

Pen. Drusius, mark ancient wisdom, and you’ll find then,
He gave the overthrow that saved his men.
I must not go.

Reg. The soldiers are desirous,
Their eagles all drawn out, sir.

Pen. Who drew up, Regulus?
Ha? speak! did you? whose bold will durst attempt this?
Drawn out? why, who commands, sir? on whose warrant
Durst they advance?

Reg. I keep mine own obedience.

Drus. ’Tis like the general cause, their love of honour,
Relieving of their wants—

Pen. Without my knowledge?
Am I no more? my place but at their pleasures?
Come, who did this?

Drus. By Heaven, sir, I am ignorant.

[Drum softly within, then enter Soldiers, with drum and colours.

Pen. What! am I grown a shadow?—Hark! they march.
I’ll know, and will be myself.—Stand! Disobedience?
He that advances one foot higher, dies for’t.
Run through the regiment, upon your duties,
And charge ’em on command, beat back again;
By Heaven, I’ll tithe ’em all else!

Reg. We’ll do our best.

[Exeunt Drusius and Regulus.

Pen. Back! cease your bawling drums there,
I’ll beat the tubs about your brains else. Back!
Do I speak with less fear than thunder to ye?
Must I stand to beseech ye? Home, home!—Ha!
Do ye stare upon me? Are those minds I moulded,
Those honest valiant tempers I was proud
To be a fellow to, those great discretions
Made your names fear’d and honour’d, turn’d to wildfires?
Oh, gods, to disobedience? Command, farewell!
And be ye witness with me, all things sacred,
I have no share in these men’s shames! March, soldiers,
And seek your own sad ruins; your old Penius
Dares not behold your murders.

1 Sold. Captain!

2 Sold. Captain!

3 Sold. Dear, honour’d captain!

Pen. Too, too dear-loved soldiers,
Which made ye weary of me, and Heaven yet knows,
Though in your mutinies, I dare not hate you;
Take your own wills! ’tis fit your long experience
Should now know how to rule yourselves; I wrong ye,
In wishing ye to save your lives and credits,
To keep your necks whole from the axe hangs o’er ye:
Alas, I much dishonour’d ye; go, seek the Britons,
And say ye come to glut their

  By PanEris using Melati.

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