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Phi, Nay, do not think me less than such a cure; Antonio was not; and 'tis possible Philippo may succeed. My blood and house Are as deep rooted, and as fairly spread, As Mark-antonio's; and in that, all seek, Fortune hath giv'n him no precedency: As for our thanks to Nature, I may burn Incense as much as he; I ever durst Walk with Antonio by the self-same light At any feast, or triumph, and ne'er cared Which side my lady or her woman took In their survey ; I durst have told my tale too, Though his discourse new ended.
Lco. My repulse
Phi. Let not that torture you which makes me happy, Nor think that conscience, fair, which is no shame; 'Twas no repulse, it was your dowry rather : For then methought a thousand graces met To make you lovely, and ten thousand stories Of constant virtue, which you then out-reach'd, In one example did proclaim you rich; Nor do I think you wretched or disgraced After this suffering, and do therefore take Advantage of your need; but rather know, You are the charge and business of those powers, Who, like best tutors, do inflict hard tasks Upon great natures, and of noblest hopes ; Read trivial lessons and half-lines to slugs : They that live long, and never feel mischance, Spend more than half their age in ignorance,
Leo. 'Tis well you think so.
Phi. You shall think so too,
Leo. Good sir, no more; you have too fair a shape
Phi. Your contract ?
Leo. Yes, my contract.
Phi. Sweet, nothing less.
Phi. Truly then you have not.
Leo. Oh! though he dispense
Phi. You do mistake, clear soul; his precontract
Transform all mischiefs as you are transform'd,
Lco. I am: but how, I rather feel than know.98
Bonduca, the British Queen, taking occasion from a Defeat
of the Romans to impeach their Valour, is rebuked by Caratach.
BONDUCĂ, CARATACH, Hengo, Nennius, Soldiers. Bon. The hardy Romans! O ye gods of Britain, The rust of arms, the blushing shame of soldiers ! Are these the men that conquer by inheritance ? The fortune-makers ? these the Julians, That with the sun measure the end of Nature, Making the world but one Rome and one Cæsar? Shame, how they flee! Cæsar's soft soul dwells in them; Their mothers got them sleeping, pleasure nurst them, Their bodies sweat with sweet oils, love's allurements, Not lusty arms. Dare they send these to seek us, These Roman girls ? Is Britain grown so wanton ?
98 This is one of the most pleasing if not the most shining scenes in Fletcher. All is sweet, natural, and unforced. It is a copy which we may suppose Massinger to have profited by the studying.
Twice we have beat them, Nennius, scatter'd them,
Car. So it seems. A man would shame to talk so.
Car. No, Bonduca,
Bon. My valiant cousin, is it foul to say
Car. No, Bonduca,
Bon. They are no more.
Car. Where is your conquest then ? Why are your altars crown'd with wreaths of flowers, The beasts with gilt horns waiting for the fire ? The holy Druides composing songs Of everlasting life to Victory? Why are these triumphs, lady? for a may-game? For hunting a poor herd of wretched Romans?
Is it no more? shut up your temples, Britons,
Bon. By the gods, I think
given. I love an enemy, I was born a soldier ; And he that in the head of's troop defies me, Bending my manly body with his sword, I make a mistress. Yellow-tressed Hymen Ne'er tied a longing virgin with more joy, Than I am married to that man that wounds me: And are not all these Romans? Ten struck battles I suck'd these honour'd scars from, and all Roman. Ten years of bitter nights and heavy marches, When many a frozen storm sung through iny cuirass, And made it doubtful whether that or I Were the more stubborn metal, have I wrought through, And all to try these Romans. Ten times a night I have swum the rivers, when the stars of Rome Shot at me as I floated, and the billows Tumbled their watry ruins on my shoulders, Charging my batter'd sides with troops of agues, And 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 valiant, 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. Aye, and as subtil, lady. 'Tis dishonour,