Catiline by Ben Jonson
Prepared from 1611 Quarto (STC 14759) by Hugh Craig, D of English, U of Newcastle. OTA A-1435-A
ACT 1 SCENE 1.1
W: Do'st thou not feele me, Rome? Not yet? Is night So heauy on thee, and my weight so light? Can Sylla's Ghost arise within thy walles, Lesse threatning, then an earth-quake, the quicke falles Of thee, and thine? shake not the frighted heads Of thy steepe towers? or shrinke to their first beds? Or, as their ruine the large Tyber fils, Make that swell up, and drowne thy seuen proud hils? What sleape is this doth seize thee, so like death, And is not it? Wake, feele her, in my breath. Behold, I come, sent from the Stygian Sound, As a dire Vapor, that had cleft the ground, To ingender with the night, and blast the day; Or like a Pestilence, that should display Infection through the world: which, thus, I do. Pluto be at thy councels; and into Thy darker bosome enter Sylla's spirit: All, that was mine, and bad, thy brest inherit. Alas, how weake is that, for Catiline! Did I but say (vaine voice) all that was mine? All, that the Gracchi, Cinna, Marius would; What now, had I a body againe, I could, Comming from hell; what Fiendes would wish should be; And Hannibal could not have wish'd to see: Think thou, and practise. Let the long-hid seedes Of treason, in thee, now shoote forth in deedes, Ranker then horror; and thy former facts Not all in mention, but to vrge new acts: Conscience of them prouoke thee on to more. Be still thy Incests, Murders, Rapes before Thy sense; thy forcing first a Vestall Nunne; Thy parricide, late, on thine owne naturall Sonne, After his Mother, to make empty way For thy last wicked Nuptials; worse, then they, That fame that act of thy incestuous life, Which got thee, at once, a Daughter, and a Wife. I leaue the slaughters, that thou didst for me, Of Senators; for which, I hid for thee Thy murder of thy Brother, (being so brib'd) And writ him in the list of my proscrib'd After thy fact, to saue thy little shame: Thy incest, with thy Sister, I not name. These are too light. Fate will have thee pursue Deedes, after which no Mischiefe can be new; The ruine of thy Countrey: Thou wert built For such a worke, and borne for no lesse guilt: What though defeated once thou hast beene, and knowne, Tempt it againe; That is thy act, or none. What all the seuerall Ills, that visite earth, (Brought forth by night, with a sinister birth) Plagues, Famine, Fire could not reach vnto, The Sword, nor Surfets; let thy fury do: Make all past, present, future ill thine owne; And conquer all example, in thy one. Nor let thy thought finde any vacant time To hate an old, but still a fresher crime Drowne the remembrance; Let not mischiefe cease, But, while it is in punishing, encrease. Conscience, and care die in thee; And be free Not Heau'n it selfe from thy impiety: Let Night grow blacker with thy plots; and Day, At shewing but thy head forth, start away From this halfe Spheare: and leaue Romes blinded walls To embrace lusts, hatreds, slaughters, funerals, And not recouer sight, till their owne flames Do light them to their ruines. All the names Of thy Confederates, too, be no less great In hell, then here; That, when we would repeate Our strengths in Muster, we may name you all, And Furies, upon you, for Furies, call. Whilst, what you do, doth strike them into feares, Or make them grieue, and with your mischiefe theirs.
A: It is decree'd. Nor shall thy Fate, o Rome, Resist my vow. Though Hils were set on Hils, And Seas met Seas, to guarde thee; I would through: Aye, plough up rockes, steepe as the Alpes, in dust; And laue the Tyrrhene waters, into cloudes; But I would reach thy head, thy head, proud Citty: The ills, that I have done, cannot be safe But by attempting greater; and I feele A spirit, within me, chides my sluggish handes, And sayes, they have beene innocent too long. Was I a Man, bred great, as Rome her selfe? One, form'd for all her honors, all her glories? Equall to all her titles? That could stand Close up, with Atlas; and sustaine her name As strong, as he doth Heau'n? And, was I, Of all her brood, mark'd out for the repulse By her no voice, when I stood Candidate, To be Commander in the Ponticke warre? I will, hereafter, call her Stepdame, euer. If she can loose her nature, I can loose My piety; and in her stony entrailes Digge me a seate: where, I will liue, againe, The labour of her wombe, and be a burden Weightier then all the Prodigies, and Monsters, That she hath teem'd with, since she first knew Mars.
A: Who is there?
V: It is I.
A: Appeare, And breake, like day, my beauty, to this circle: Upbraid shy Pho ebus, that he is so long In mounting to that point, which should give thee Thy proper splendour. Wherefore frownes my sweet? Have I too long bene absent from these lips, This cheeke, these eyes? what is my trepasse? Speake.
V: It seemes, you know, that can accuse your selfe.
A: I will redeeme it.
V: Still, you say so. When?
A: When Orestilla by her bearing well These my retirements, and stolne times for thought Shall give their effects leaue to call her Queene Of all the world, in place of humbled Rome.
V: You court me, now.
A: As I would alwaies, Loue, By this Ambrosiacke kisse, and this of Nectar, Wouldst thou but heare as gladly, as I speake. Could my Aurelia think, I meant her lesse; When, wooing her, I first remou'd a Wife, And then a Sonne, to make my bed, and house Spatious, and fit to embrace her? These were deeds Not to have begunne with, but to end with more, And greater: He that, building, stayes at one Floore, or the second, hath erected none. It was how to raise thee, I was meditating; To make some act of mine answere thy loue: That loue, that, when my state was now quite sunke, Came with thy wealth, and weighd it up againe, And made my 'emergent Fortune once more looke Aboue the maine; which, now, shall hit the starres, And sticke my Orestilla, there, amongst them, If any tempest can but make the billow, And any billow can but lift her greatnesse. But, I must pray my loue, she will put on Like habites with my selfe. I have to do With many men, and many natures. Some, That must be blowne, and sooth'd; as Lentulus, Whom I have heau'd, with magnifying his bloud, And a vaine dreame, out of the Sybill's bookes, That a third man of that great family Whereof he is descended, the Cornelij, Should be a King in Rome: which I have hir'd The flatt'ring Augures to interpret him, Cinna, and Sylla dead. Then, bold Cethegus, Whose valour I have turn'd into his poyson, And prais'd so into daring, as he would Goe on upon the Gods, kisse lightning, wrest The engine from the Cyclop's, and give fire At face of a full cloud, and stand his ire, When I would bid him moue. Others there are Whom enuie to the state drawes, and puts on, For contumelies receiu'd, (and such are sure ones) As Curius, and the fore-nam'd Lentulus, Both which have beene degraded, in the Senate, And must have their disgraces, still, new rub'd, To make them smart, and labour of reuenge. Others, whom meete ambition fires, and dole Of Prouinces abroade, which they have faind To their crude hopes, and I as amply promis'd: These, Lecca Vargunteius, Bestia, Autronius, Some, whom their wants oppresse, as the idle Captaines Of Sylla's troopes; and diuers Roman Knights (The profuse wasters of their patrimonies) So threatned with debts, as they will, now, Runne any desperate fortune, for a change. These, for a time, we must relieue, Aurelia, And make our house their saue-gard. Like, for those, That feare the law, or stand within her gripe, For any act past, or to come. Such will From their owne crimes, be factious, as from ours. Some more there be slight Ayrelings, will be wonne, With dogs, and horses; or, perhaps, a whore; Which must be had: And, if they venter liues, For us, Aurelia, we must hazard honors A little. Get thee store, and change of women, As I have boyes; and give them time, and place, And all conniuence: Be thy selfe, too, courtly; And entertaine, and feast, sit up, and reuell; Call all the great, the fayre, and spirited Dames Of Rome about thee, and beginne a fashion Of freedome, and community. Some will thanke thee, Though the sowre Senate frowne, whose heads must ake In feare, and feeling too. We must not spare Or cost, or modestie. It can but shew Like one of Iuno's, or of Ioue's disguises In eyther thee, or me; and will as soone, When things succeed, be throwne by, or let fall; As if a vaile put of, a visor chang'd, Or the Scene shifted, in our Theaters. Who is that? It is the voyce of Lentulus.
V: Or of Cethegus.
A: In, my faire Aurelia, And think upon these artes: They must not see, How farre you are trusted with these priuacies; Though, by their shoulders, necks, and heads you rise.
B: It is, mee thinkes, a Morning, full of Fate. It riseth slowly, as her sollen carre Had all the weights of sleepe, and death hung at it. She is not rosy-fingerd, but swolne blacke. Her face is like a water, turnd to bloud, And her sicke head is bound about with clouds, As if she threatned night, ere noone of day. It does not looke, as it would have a Hayle Or Health, wish'd in it, as on other Mornes.
C: Why, all the fitter, Lentulus: Our comming Is not for salutation, we have businesse.
A: Said nobly, braue Cethegus. Where is Autronius?
C: Is he not come?
A: Not here.
C: Not Vargunteius?
C: A fire in their beds, and bosomes, That so will serue their sloth, rather then vertue. They are no Romanes, and at such high neede As now.
B: Both they, Longinus, Lecca, Curius, Fulnius, Gabinius, gaue me word, last night, By Lucius Bestia, they would all be here, And early.
C: Yes. As you, had I not call'd you. Come, we all sleepe, and are meere Dormice; Flies, A little lesse then dead: More dulnesse hangs On us, then on the Morne. We are spirit-bound, In ribs of ice; our whole blouds are one stone; And Honour cannot thaw us; nor our wants, Though they burne, hot as feuers, to our states.
A: I muse they would be tardy, at an houre Of so great purpose.
C: If the Gods had call'd Them, to a purpose, they would iust have come With the same Tortoyse speed, that are thus slow To such an action, which the Gods will enuie. As asking no lesse meanes, then all their powers Conioyn'd, to effect. I would have seene Rome burn't, By this time; and her ashes in an Vrne: The Kingdome of the Senate, rent asunder; And the degenerate, talking Gowne, runne frighted, Out of the ayre of Italy.
A: Spirit of men! Thou, heart of our great enterprise! how much I Ioue these voyces in thee!
C: O the daies Of Sylla's sway, when the free sword tooke leaue To act all that it would!
A: And was familiar With entrailes, as our Augures!
C: Sonnes kild Fathers, Brothers their Brothers.
A: And had price and praise. All hate had licence giuen it; all rage raynes.
C: Slaughter bestrid the streets, and stretch'd himselfe To seeme more huge; whilst to his stayned thighes The gore he drew flow'd up: and carried downe Whole heapes of limmes, and bodies, through his arch. No Age was spar'd, no Sexe.
A: Nay, no Degree.
C: Not Infants, in the porch of life were free. The Sicke, the Old, that could but hope a day Longer, by natures bounty, not let stay. Virgins, and Widdowes, Matrons, pregnant Wiues, All dyed.
A: It was crime enough, that they had liues. To strike but only those, that could do hurt, Was dull, and poore. Some fel to make the number As some the prey.
C: The rugged Charon fainted, And ask'd a nauie, rather then a boate, To ferry ouer the sad world that came: The mawes, and dennes of beasts could not receiue The bodies, that those soules were frighted from; And e'en the graues were fild with men yet liuing, Whose flight, and feare had mix'd them, with the dead.
A: And this shall be againe, and more, and more, Now Lentulus, the third Cornelius, Is to stand up in Rome.
B: Nay, vrge not that Is so vncertaine.
B: I meane, not clear'd. And, therefore, not to be reflected on.
A: The Sybill's leaues vncertaine? or the Comments Of our graue, deepe, diuining men not cleare?
B: All Prophecies, you know, suffer the torture.
A: But this, already, hath confess'd without. And so beene weigh'd, examin'd, and compar'd, As it were malicious ignorance in him, Would faint in the beliefe.
B: Do you beleeue it?
A: Do I loue Lentulus? or pray to see it?
B: The Augures all are constant, I am meant.
A: They had lost their science else.
B: They count from Cinna.
A: And Sylla next, and so make you the third; All that can say the Sunne is ris'n, must think it.
B: Men marke me more, of late, as I come forth.
A: Why, what can they do lesse? Cinna, and Sylla Are set, and gone: And we must turne our eyes On him that is, and shines. Noble Cethegus, But view him with me, here: He lookes, already, As if he shooke a Scepter, o're the Senate, And the aw'd purple dropt their roddes, and axes. The Statues melt againe; and houshold Gods In grones confesse the trauaile of the City; The very walles sweate blood before the change; And stones start out to ruine, ere it comes.
C: But he, and we, and all are idle still.
B: I am your creature, Sergius: And what ere The great Cornelian Name shall winne to be, It is not Augury, nor the Sybils Bookes, But Catiline that makes it.
A: I am shadow To honor'd Lentulus, and Cethegus here, Who are the heires of Mars.
C: By Mars himselfe, Catiline is more my parent: For whose vertue Earth cannot make a shadow great inough, Though Enuie should come too. O, there they are. Now we shall talke more, though we yet do nothing.
W: Haile Lucius Catiline. Haile noble Sergius.
E: Haile Publius Lentulus.
D: Haile the third Cornelius.
F: Caius Cethegus haile.
C: Haile sloth, and words, Insteed of Men, and Spirits.
A: Nay, deare Caius;
C: Are your eyes yet vnseel'd? Dare they looke day In the dull face?
A: He is zealous, for the affaire; And blames your tardy comming, Gentlemen.
C: Vnlesse, we had sold our selues to sleepe, and ease, And would be our slaues slaues.
A: Pray you forbeare.
C: The North is not so starke, and cold.
H: We shall redeeme all, if your fire will let us.
A: You are too full of lightning, noble Caius. Boy, see all doores be shut, that none approch us, On this part of the house. Go you, and bid The Priest, he kill the slaue I mark'd last night; And bring me of his bloud, when I shall call him: Till then, waite all without.
W: How is it, Autronius! Longinus?
W: Feele you nothing?
E: A strange, vnwonted horror doth inuade me, I know not what it is!
F: The day goes backe, Or else my senses!
D: As at Atreus feast!
G: Darknesse growes more and more!
B: The Vestall flame, I think, be out.
W: What groane was that?
C: Our phant'sies. Strike fire, out of our selues, and force a day.
W: Againe it sounds!
H: As all the Citie gaue it!
C: We feare what our selues faine.
W: What light is this?
D: Look forth
B: It still grows greater
F: From whence comes it?
E: A Bloody arme it is, that holds a pine Lighted, aboue the Capitoll: And, now, It waues vnto us.
A: Braue, and omenous! Our enterprise is seal'd.
C: In spight of darknesse, That would discountenance it. Looke no more; We loose time, and our selues: To what we came for, Speake Lucius, we attend you.
A: Noblest Romanes, If you were lesse, or, that your faith, and vertue Did not hold good that title, which your bloud, I should not, now, vnprofitably spend My selfe in words, or catch at emptie hopes, By ayrie waies, for solide certainties. But since in many, and the greatest dangers, I still have knowne you no lesse true, then valiant, And that I tast, in you, the same affections, To will, or nill, to think things good, or bad, Alike with me: (which argues your firme friendship) I dare the boldlier, with you, set on foote, Or leade, vnto this great, and goodliest action. What I have thought of it afore, you all Have heard apart; I then express'd my zeale Vnto the glory; Now, the neede enflames me: When I fore-thinke the hard conditions, Our states must vndergoe, except, in time, We do redeeme our selues to liberty, And breake the yron yoake, forg'd for our necks. For, what lesse can we call it? when we see The common-wealth engross'd so by a few, The Giants of the state, that do, by turnes, Enioy her, and defile her. All the Earth; Her Kings, and Tetrarchs, are their tributaries; People, and Nations pay them hourely stipends: The riches of the world flowes to their coffers, And not, to Romes. While (but those few) the rest, How euer great we are, honest, and valiant, Are hearded with the vulgar; and so kept, As we were onely bred, to consume corne, Or weare out wooll, to drinke the Cities water: Vngrac'd, without authoritie, or marke, Trembling beneath their rods, to whom, (if all Were well in Rome) we should come forth bright axes. All Places, Honors, Offices are theirs; Or where they will conferre them: They leaue us The Dangers, the repulses, iudgements, wants; Which how long will you beare most valiant spirits? Were we not better to fall, once, with vertue, Then draw a wretched, and dishonor'd breath To loose with shame, when these mens pride will laugh? I call the faith of Gods, and Men to question; The power is in our hands; our bodies able; Our mindes as strong; On the contrary, in them, All things growne aged, with their wealth, and yeares. There wants, but onely to beginne the businesse, The issue is certaine.
X: On, Let us go on. Go on, braue Sergius.
A: It doth strike my soule, (And, who can scape the stroke, that hath a soule, Or, but the smallest ayre of Man within him?) To see them swell with treasure; which they poure Out in their riots, eating, drinking, building, Aye, in the sea: planing of Hilles with Valleyes; And raysing Vallies aboue Hilles, whilst we Have not, to give our Bodies Necessaries. They have their change of Houses, Manors, Lordships; We scarce a fire, or poor houshold Lar. They buy rare Atticke statues, Tyrian hangings, Ephesian pictures, and Corinthian plate, Attalicke garments, and, now new-found, Gemmes Since Pompey went for Asia; which they purchase At price of Prouinces. The Riuer Phasis Cannot affourd them Fowle; nor Lucrine Lake Oysters enow: Circei, too, is search'd To please the witty Gluttonie of a meale. Their ancient Habitations they neglect, And set up new; Then, if the Echo like not In such a roome, they plucke downe those; build newer, Alter them too; and, by all franticke waies, Vexe their wild wealth, as they molest the people, From whom they force it; Yet, they cannot tame, Or ouercome their riches: Not, by making, Bathes, Orchards, Fish-pooles, letting in of seas, Here; and, then there, forcing them out againe, With mountaynous heapes; for which the Earth hath lost Most of her ribbes, as entrayles, being now Wounded no lesse for Marble, then for gold. We, all this while, like calme, benum'd Spectators, Sit, till our seates do cracke; and do not heare The thundring ruines, whilst, at home, our wants, Abroad, our debts do vrge us, our states daily Bending to bad, our hopes to worse: And, what Is left, but to be crush'd? Wake, wake braue Friends, And meete the liberty you oft have wish'd for, Behold, renowne, riches, and glory court you. Fortune holds out these to you, as rewards. Me thinkes (thought I were dumbe) the affaire it selfe The opportunity, your needes, and dangers, With the braue spoile the warre brings, should inuite you. Vse me your Generall, or Souldier: Neither, My Minde, nor Body shall be wanting to you. And, being Consul, I not doubt to effect, All that you wish: If Trust not flatter me, And you had, rather, still be slaues, then free.
C: Free, free.
E: It is freedome.
D: Freedome we all stand for.
A: Why, these are noble voices. Nothing wants then, But that we take a solemne, Sacrament, To strengthen our designe.
C: And so to act it. Differring hurts, where powers are most prepar'd.
W: Yet, ere we enter into open act, (With fauour) it were no losse, if it might be enquir'd What the Condition of these Armes would be? Aye, and the meanes, to carry us through.
A: How, Friendes! Think you, that I would bid you, graspe the winde? Or call you to the embracing of a cloude? Put your knowne valures of so deare a businesse, And have no other second then the Danger, Nor other Gyrlond then the losse? Become Your owne assurances. And, for the meanes, Consider, first, the starke security The common wealth is in, now; the whole Senate Sleepy, and dreaming no such violent blow; Their forces all abroade; of which the greatest, That might annoy us most, is fardest off, In Asia, vnder Pompey: Those, nearehand, Commanded, by our friendes; one Army' in Spaine, By Cneus Piso; the other in Mauritania, By Nucerinus; both which I have firme, And fast vnto our Plot. My selfe, then, standing Now to be Consul; with my hop'd Colleague Caius Antonius, one, no lesse engag'd By his wants then we: And whom I have power to melt, An least in any mould. Beside, some others That will not yet be nam'd, (both sure, and Great ones) Who, when the time comes, shall declare themselues, Strong, for our party; for, that no resistance In nature can be thought. For our reward, then; First, all our Debts are paid; Dangers of Law, Actions, Decrees, Iudgments against us quitted; The rich Men, as in Sylla's times, proscrib'd, And Publication made of all their goods; That House is yours; That Land is his; Those Waters, Orchards, and walkes a third's: He has that Honor, And he that Office. Such a Prouince fals To Vargunteius: this to Autronius: That To bold Cethegus: Rome to Lentulus: You share the World, her Magistracies, Priest-hoods, Wealth, and Felicity amongst you, Friendes; And Catiline your seruant. Would you, Curius, Reuenge the Contumelie stucke upon you, In being remoued from the Senate? Now, Now, is your time. Would Publius Lentulus Strike, for the like disgrace? Now, is his time. Would stout Longinus walke the streets of Rome, Facing the Praetor? Now, has he a time To spurne, and treade the Fasces, into dirt Made of the Vsurers, and the Lictors braines. Is there a Beauty, here in Rome, you loue? An Enemie you would kill? What Head is not yours? Whose Wife, which Boy, whose Daughter, of what race, That the Husband, or glad Parents shall not bring you, And boasting of the office? Only, spare Your selues, and you have all the earth beside, A field, to exercise your longings in. I see you rais'd, and reade your forward mindes High, in your faces. Bring the wine, and blood You have prepar'd there.
A: I have kill'd a slaue, And of his blood caus'd to be mixt with wine. Fill euery man his bowle. There cannot be A fitter drinke, to make this Sanction in. Here, I beginne that Sacrament to all. O, for a clap of thunder now, as loud, As to be heard through-out the Vniuerse, To tell the world the fact, and to applaude it. Be firme, my hand; not shed a drop: but poure Fiercenesse into me, with it; and fell thirst Of more, and more: Till Rome be left as blood-lesse, As euer her feares made her, or the sword. And, when I leaue to wish this to thee, Stepdame Or stop, to effect if, with my powers fainting; So may my blood be drawne, and so drunke up As is this slaues.
E: And so be mine.
B: And mine.
W: And mine. And mine.
C: Crowne me my bowle yet fuller. Here, I do drinke this, as I would do Cato's. Or the new fellow Cicero's: with that vow Which Catiline hath giuen.
D: So do I.
F: And I.
H: And I.
G: And I.
W: And all of us.
A: Why, now is the businesse safe, and each man strengthned. Sirah, what aile you?
H: Somewhat modest.
A: Slaue, I will strike your soule out, with my foote, Let me but finde you againe with such a face: You Whelpe.
H: Nay Lucius.
A: Are you coying it, When I command you to be free, and generall To all?
H: You will be obseru'd.
A: Arise, and shew But any least auersion in your looke To him that bourdes you next, and your throate opens. Noble Confederates, thus farre is perfect. Only your suffrages I will expect, At the assembly for the choosing Consuls. And all the voices you can make by friendes To my election. Then let me worke out Your fortunes, and mine owne. Mean while, all rest Seal'd up, and silent, as when rigid frosts Have bound up Brookes, and Riuers, forc'd wild beasts Vnto their caues, and birds into the woods, Clownes to their houses, and the Countrey sleepes; That, when the sodaine thaw comes, we may breake Upon them like a deluge, bearing downe Halfe Rome before us, and inuade the rest With cries, and noise able to wake the Vrnes Of those are dead, and make their ashes feare. The horrors, that do strike the world, should come Loud, and vnlook'd for; Till they strike, be dumbe.
C: Oraculous Sergius:
B: God-like Catiline.
U: Can nothing great, and at the height Remaine so long? but its owne weight Will ruine it? Or, is it blinde Chance, That still desires new States to aduance, And quit the old? Else, why must Rome Be by it selfe; now, ouercome? Hath she not foes inow of those, Whom she hath made such, and enclose Her round about? Or, are they none, Except she first become her owne? O wretchednesse of greatest States, To be obnoxious to these Fates: That cannot keepe, what they do gaine; And what they raise so ill sustaine. Rome, now, is Mistresse of the whole World, Sea, and Land, to either Pole; And euen that Fortune will destroy The power that made it. She doth ioy So much in plenty, wealth, and ease, As, now, the excesse is her disease. She builds in gold; And, to the Starres: As, if she threatned Heau'n with warres; And seekes for Hell, in quarries deepe, Giuing the fiends, that there do keepe, A hope of day. Her Women weare The spoiles of Nations, in an eare, Chang'd for the treasure of a shell; And, in their loose attires, do swell More light then sailes, when all windes play: Yet, are the men more loose then they, More kemb'd, and bath'd, and rub'd, and trim'd, More sleek'd, more soft, and slacker limm'd; As prostitute: so much, that kinde May seeke it selfe there, and not finde. They eate on beds of silke, and gold; At yuorie tables; or, wood sold Dearer then it: and, leauing plate, Do drinke in stone of higher rate. They hunt all grounds; and draw all seas; Foule euery brooke, and bush; to please Their wanton tasts: and, in request Have new, and rare things; not the best. Hence comes that wild, a vast expence, That hath enforc'd Romes vertue, thence, Which simple pouerty first made; And, now, ambition doth inuade Her state, with eating auarice, Riot, and euery other vice. Decrees are bought, and Lawes are sold, Honors, and Offices for gold; The peoples voices: And the free Tongues, in the Senate, bribed be. Such ruine of her manners Rome Doth suffer now, as she is become (Without the Gods it soone gaine-say) Both her owne spoiler, and owne pray. So, Asia, art thou cru'lly euen
ACT 2 SCENE 2.1
U: With us, for all the blowes thee giuen; When we, whose vertue conquer'd thee, Thus, by thy vices, ruin'd be.
I: Those Roomes do smell extremely; Bring my glasse, And table hither, Galla.
I: Looke Within, in my blew Cabinet, for the pearle I had sent me last, and bring it.
K: That from Clodius?
I: From Caius Caesar. You are for Clodius, still. Or Curius. Sirha, if Quintus Curius come, I am not in fit moode; I keepe my Chamber: Give warning so, without.
K: Is this it? Madame.
I: Yes, helpe to hang it in mine eare.
K: Beleeue me, It is a rich one, Madame.
I: I hope so: It should not be worne there else. Make an end, And binde my haire up.
K: As it was yesterday?
I: No, nor the the other day. When knew you me Appeare, two dayes together, in one dressing?
K: Will you have it in the globe, or spire?
I: How thou wilt; Any way, so thou wilt do it, good Impertinence. Thy company, if I slept not very well A nights, would make me, an errant foole, with questions.
K: Alas Madam.
I: Nay gentle halfe of the Dialogue, cease.
K: I do it, indeed, but for your exercise, As your Phisician bids me.
I: How! Does he bid you To anger me for exercise?
K: Not to anger you, But stirre your blood a little: There is difference Betweene luke-warme, and boyling, Madame.
I: Ioue! She meanes to cooke me, I think? Pray you, have done.
K: I meane to dresse you, Madame.
I: O my Iuno, Be friend to me! Offring at wit, too? Why, Galla! Where hast thou been.
K: Why, Madame?
I: What hast thou done With thy poore innocent selfe?
K: Wherefore, sweet Madam?
I: Thus to come forth, so sodainly, a wit-worme?
K: It pleases you to flout one. I did dreame Of Ladie Sempronia.
I: O, the wonder is out. That did infect thee? Well, and how?
K: Me thought, She did discourse the best.
I: That euer thou heard'st?
I: In thy sleepe? Of what was her discourse?
K: Of the Republicke, Madame, and the State, And how she was in debt, and where she meant To raise fresh summes: She is a great States-woman.
I: Thou dreamp'tst all this?
K: No, but you know she is Madame, And both a Mistresse of the Latine tongue, And of the Greeke.
I: Aye, but I neuer dreampt it, Galla, As thou hast done, and therefore you must pardon me.
K: Indeede, you mocke me, Madame.
I: Indeede, no. Forth with your learned Ladie: She has a wit, too?
K: A very masculine one.
I: A she-Criticke, Galla? And can compose, in verse, and make quicke iests, Modest, or otherwise?
K: Yes Madame.
I: She can sing, too? And play on Instruments?
K: Of all kindes, they say.
I: And doth dance rarely?
K: Excellent. So well, As a bald Senator made a iest, and said, It was better, then an honest woman neede.
I: Tut, she may beare that. Few wise womens honesties Will do their courtship hurt.
K: She is liberall too, Madam.
I: What of her money, or her honor, pray thee?
K: Of both, you know not which she doth spare least.
I: A comely commendation.
K: Troth, it is pitty She is in yeares.
I: Why Galla?
K: For it is.
I: O, is that all? I thought thou hadst had a reason.
K: Why so I have. She has beene a fine Ladie, And, yet, she dresses herselfe, (except you Madame) One of the best in Rome: and paints, and hides Her decayes very well.
I: They say, it is Rather a visor, then a face she weares.
K: They wrong her verily Madame, she does sleeke With crums of bread, and milke, and lies a nights In as neate gloues. But she is faine of late To seeke, more then she is sought to (the fame is) And so spends that way.
I: Thou knowst all. But Galla, What say you to Catilines Ladie, Orestilla? There is the Gallant.
K: She does well. She has Very good sutes, and very rich: but, then, She cannot put them on. She knowes not, how To weare a garment. You shall have her all Iewels, and gold sometimes, so that her selfe Appeares the least part of her selfe. No in troth, As I liue, Madame, you put them all downe With your meere strength of iudgement; and do draw, too, The world of Rome to follow you: you attire Your selfe so diuersly, and with that spirit, Still to the noblest humors. They could make Loue to your dresse, although your face were away, they say.
I: And body too, and have the better match of it? Say they not so too, Galla? Now! What newes Trauailes your count'nance with?
W: If it please you, Madam The Ladie Sempronia is lighted at the gate;
K: Castor, my dreame, my dreame.
W: And comes to see you.
K: For Venus sake, good Madame see her.
I: Peace The foole is wild, I think.
K: And heare her talke, Sweet Madame, of State-matters, and the Senate.
J: Fvluia, good wench, how dost thou?
I: Well, Sempronia, Whither are you thus early addrest?
J: To see Aurelia Orestilla. She sent for me. I came to call thee, with me; wilt thou goe?
I: I cannot now, in troth, I have some letters To write, and send away.
J: Alas, I pitty thee. I have bene writing all this night, (and am So very weary) vnto all the Tribes, And Centuries, for their voyces, to helpe Catiline, In his election. We shall make him Consul I hope, amongst us. Crassus, I, and Caesar Will carry it for him.
I: Does he stand for it?
J: He is the chiefe Candidate.
I: Who stands beside? Give me some wine, and poulder for my teeth.
J: Here is a good pearle in troth.
I: A prettie one.
J: A very orient one. There are Competitors, Caius Antonius, Publius Galba, Lucius Cassius Longinus, Quinius Cornificius, Caius Licinius, and that talker, Cicero. But Catiline, and Antonius will be chosen. For foure of the other, Licinius, Longinus, Galba, and Cornificius will give way. And Cicero they will not choose.
I: No? Why?
J: It will be cross'd, by the Nobility.
K: How she does vnderstand the common busines!
J: Nor, were it fit. He is but a new fellow, An In-mate here in Rome (as Catiline calls him) And, the Patricians should do very ill, To let the Consul-ship be so defil'd As it would be, if he obtain'd it? A meere upstarr, That has no pedigree, no house, no coate, No ensignes of a family?
I: He has vertue.
J: Hang vertue, where there is no blood: it is vice And, in him, sawcinesse. Why should he presume To be more learned, or more eloquent, Then the Nobility? or boast any quality Worthie a Noble man, himselfe not noble?
I: It was vertue onely, at first, made all men noble.
J: I yeeld you, it might, at first, in Romes poore age; When both her Kings, and Consuls held the plough, Or garden'd well: But, now, we have no need, To digge, or loose our sweat for it. We have wealth, Fortune and ease, and then their stocke, to spend on, Of Name, for Vertue, which will beare us out 'Gainst all new commers: and can neuer faile us, While the succession stayes. And, we must glorifie, A Mushrome? one of yesterday? a fine speaker? 'Cause he has suck'd at Athens? and aduance him, To our owne losse? No Fuluia. There are they Can speake Greeke too, if need were, Caesar and I Have sate upon him; so hath Crassus, too; And others. We have all decreed his rest, For rising farder.
K: Excellent rare Lady!
I: Sempronia, you are beholden to my woman, here, She does admire you.
J: O good Galla, how dost thou?
K: The better, for your learned Ladiship.
J: Is this grey poulder, a good Dentifrice?
I: You see I vse it.
J: I have one is whiter.
I: It may be so.
J: Yet this smells well.
K: And clenses Very well Madam, and resists the crudities.
J: Fuluia, I pray thee, who comes to thee, now? Which of our great Patricians?
I: Faith, I keepe No Catalogue of them. Sometimes I have one, Sometimes another, as the toy takes their blouds.
J: Thou hast them all. Faith, when was Quintus Curius, Thy speciall seruant, here?
I: My speciall seruant?
J: Yes, thy Idolater, I call him.
I: He may be yours, If you do like him.
I: He comes, not, here, I have forbid him, hence.
J: Venus forbid!
J: Your so constant Louer.
I: So much the rather. I would have change. So would you too, I am sure. And now, you may have him.
J: He is fresh yet, Fuluia: Beware, how you do tempt me.
I: Faith, for me, He is somewhat too fresh, indeed. The salt is gone, That gaue him season. His good gifts are done. He does not yeeld the crop that he was wont. And, for the act, I can have secret fellowes, With backs worth ten of him, and shall please me (Now that the Land is fled) a myriade better.
J: And those one may command.
I: It is true, These Lordings, Your noble Faunes, they are so imperious, saucy, Rude, and as boystrous as Centaures; leaping A Ladie, at first sight.
J: And must be borne Both with, and out, they think.
I: Tut, I will obserue None of them all: nor humor them a iot Longer, then they come laden in the hand, And say, here is the one, for the tother.
J: Does Caesar give well?
I: They shall all give, and pay well, that come here If they will have it: and that iewels, pearle, Plate, or round summes, to buy these. I am not taken With a Cob-Swan, or a high-mounting Bull, As foolish Leda, and Europa were, But the bright gold, with Danae. For such price, I would endure, a rough, harsh Iupiter, Or ten such thundring Gamsters, and refraine To laugh at them, till they are gone, with my much suffring.
J: Thou art a most happy wench, that thus canst make Vse of thy youth, and freshnesse, in the season: And hast it to make vse of.
I: (Which is the happinesse.)
J: I am, now, faine to give to them, and keepe Musique, and a continuall table, to invuite them;
I: Yes, and they studie your kitchin, more then you:
J: Eate my selfe out with vsury, and my Lord, too, And all my officers, and friends beside, To procure moneyes, for the needfull charge I must be at, to have them: And, yet, scarce Can I atchieue them, so.
I: Why, that is because You affect yong faces onely, and smooth chinnes, Sempronia. If you would loue beards, and bristles, (One with another, as others do) or wrinkles ~~ Who is that? Looke Galla.
K: It is the partie, Madame.
I: What party? Has he no name?
K: It is Quintus Curius;
I: Did I not bid them, say, I kept my chamber?
K: Why, so they do.
J: I will leaue you, Fuluia.
I: Nay, good Sempronia, stay.
J: In faith, I will not.
I: By Iuno, I would not see him.
J: I will not hinder you.
K: You know, he will not be kept out, Madam.
J: No, Nor shall not, carefull Galla, by my meanes.
I: As I do liue, Sempronia.
J: What needs this?
I: Go, say, I am asleepe, and ill at ease.
J: By Castor, no; I will tell him, you are awake; And very well. Stay Galla. Farewell Fuluia: I know my manners. Why do you labour, thus, With action, against purpose? Quintus Curius, She is, yfaith, here, and in disposition:
I: Spight, with your courtesie. How shall I be tortur'd!
D: Where are you, fayre one, that conceale your selfe; And keepe your beauty, within lockes, and barres, here, Like a fooles treasure?
I: True, she was a foole, When, first she shew'd it to a theefe.
D: How prety Solennesse! So harsh, and short?
I: The fooles Artillery, sir.
D: Then, take my gowne off, for the encounter.
I: Stay sir. I am not in the moode.
D: I will put you into it.
I: Best, you put your selfe, in your case againe, and keepe Your furious appetite warme, against you have place for it.
D: What! do you coy it?
I: No sir. I am not proud.
D: I would you were. You think, this state becomes you? By Hercules, it does not. Looke in your glasse, now, And see, how sciruely that countenance shewes; You would be loth to owne it.
I: I shall not change it.
D: Faith, but you must; and slacke this bended brow; And shoote lesse scorne: There is a Fortune comming Towards you, Daintie, that will take thee, thus, And set thee aloft, to tread upon the head Of her owne statue here in Rome.
I: I wonder, Who let this Promiser in! Did you, good Diligence? Give him his bribe, againe. Or if you had none, Pray you demand him, why he is so ventrous, To presse, thus, to my chamber, being forbidden Both, by my selfe, and seruants?
D: How! This is handsome! And somewhat a new straine!
I: It is not strain'd, Sir. It is very naturall.
D: I have known it otherwise, Betweene the parties, though.
I: For your fore-knowledge, Thanke that, which made it. It will not be so, Hereafter, I assure you.
D: No, my Mistresse?
I: No though you bring the same materials.
D: Heare me, You ouer act when you should vnderdoe. A little call your selfe againe, and think. If you do this to practise on me or finde At what forc'd distance you can hold your seruant; That it be an artificiall tricke, to enflame, And fire me more, fearing my loue may neede it, As, heretofore, you have done; why, proceede.
I: As I have done, heretofore?
D: Yes, when you would faine Your husbands iealousie, your seruants watches, Speake softly, and runne often to the dore, Or to the windore, forme strange feares that were not; As if the pleasure were lesse acceptable, That were secure.
I: You are an impudent fellow.
D: And, when you might better have done it, at the gate, To take me in at the casement.
I: I take you in?
D: Yes, you my Lady. And, then, being abed with you, To have your well taught wayter, here, come running, And cry, her Lord, and hide me without cause, Crush'd in a chest, or thrust up in a chimney. When he, tame Crow, was winking at his Farme; Or, had he beene here, and present, would have kept Both eyes, and beake seal'd up, for sixe sesterces.
I: You have a slanderous, beastly, vnwash'd tongue, In your rude mouth, and fauouring your selfe, Vn-manner'd Lord.
D: How now!
I: It is your title, Sir. Who (since you have lost your owne good name, and know not What to loose more) care not, whose honor you wound, Or fame you poyson with it. You should goe, And vent your selfe, in the region, where you liue, Among the Suburbe-Brothels, Baudes, and Brokers, Whither your broken fortunes have design'd you.
D: Nay, then I must stop your furie, I see; and plucke The tragicke visor off. Come, Ladie Cypris, Know your owne vertues, quickly. I will not be Put to the woing of you thus, afresh, At euery turne, for all the Venus in you. Yeeld, and be pliant; or by Pollux ~~ How now? Will Lais turne a Lucrece?
I: No, but by Castor, Hold off your Rauishers hands, I pierce your heart, else. I will not be put to kill my selfe, as she did For you, sweet Tarquine. What? do you fall off? Nay, it becomes you graciously. Put not up. You will sooner draw your weapon on me, I think it, Then on the Senate, who have cast you forth Disgracefully, to be the common tale Of the whole Citty; base, infamous Man: For, were you other, you would there imploy Your desperate dagger.
D: Fuluia, you do know The strengths you have upon me; Do not vse Your power too like a Tyran: I can beare, Almost vntill you breake me.
I: I do know, Sir, So does the Senate, too, know, you can beare.
D: By all the Gods, that Senate will smart deepe For your upbraidings. I should be right sorry To have the meanes so to be veng'd on you, (At least, the will) as I shall shortly on them. But, goe you on still: Fare you well, deare Ladie; You could not still be faire' vnless you were proud. You will repent these moodes, and ere it be long, too. I shall have you come about, againe.
I: Do you think so?
D: Yes, and I know so.
I: By what Augury?
D: By the faire Entrailes of the Matrons chests, Gold, Pearle, and Iewels, here in Rome, which Fuluia Will then (but late) say that she might have shar'd. And, grieuing, misse.
I: Tut, all your promis'd Mountaines, And Seas, I am so stalely acquainted with ~~ .
D: But, when you see the vniversall floud Runne by your coffers; that my Lords, the Senators, Are sold for slaues, their Wiues for bond-women, Their Houses, and fine Gardens giuen away, And all their goods, vnder the Speare, at out-cry, And you have none of this; but are still Fuluia, Or perhaps lesse, while you are thinking of it: You will aduise then, Coynesse, with your cushion, And looke on your fingers; say, how you were wish'd; And so, he left you.
I: Call him again, Galla: This is not vsuall, something hangs on this That I must winne out of him.
D: How now, melt you?
I: Come, you will laugh, now, at my easinesse? But, it is no miracle; Doues, they say, will bill, After their pecking, and their murmuring.
D: Yes, And then it is kindly. I would have my Loue Angry, sometimes, to sweeten off the rest Of her behauiour.
I: You do see, I study How I may please you, then. But you think, Curius It is couetise hath wrought me; If you loue me Change that vnkinde concept.
D: By my lou'd soule, I loue thee, like to it; and it is my study, More then mine owne reuenge, to make thee happy.
I: And it is that iust reuenge doth make me happy To heare you prosequute: and which, indeede, Hath wonne me, to you, more, then all the hope Of what can else be promis'd. I loue valour Better, then any Ladie loues her face, Or dressing: then my selfe does. Let me grow Still, where I do embrace. But what good meanes Have you to effect it? Shall I know your proiect?
D: Thou shalt, if thou wilt be gracious.
I: As I can be.
D: And wilt thou kisse me, then?
I: As close as shels Of Cockles meet.
D: And print them deep?
I: Quite through Our subtle lips.
D: And often?
I: I will sow them, Faster then you can reape. What is your plot?
D: Why, now my Fuluia lookes, like her bright name, And is her selfe.
I: Nay, answere me, your plot: I pray thee tell me, Quintius.
D: Aye, these sounds Become a Mistresse. Here is harmony. When you are harsh, I see, the way to bend you Is not with violence, but seruice. Cruell, A Lady is a fire, gentle, a light.
I: Will you not tell me, what I aske you?
D: All, That I can think, sweet Loue, or my breast holds, I will poure into thee.
I: What is your designe, then?
D: I will tell thee; Catiline shall now be Consull: But, you will heare more, shortly.
I: Nay, deare Loue.
D: I will speake it, in thine armes; Let us goe in. Rome will be sack'd, her wealth will be our prize; By publique ruine, priuate spirits must rise.
U: Great Father Mars, and greater Ioue, By whose high auspice, Rome hath stood Of your great Nephew, that then stroue Not with his brother, but your Rites: Be present to her now, as then, And let not proud, and factious Men Against your willes oppose their mights. Our Consuls, now, are to be made; O, put it in the publique voice To make a free, and worthy choice; Excluding such as would inuade The Common wealth. Let whom we name Have wisedome, foresight, fortitude, Be more with faith, then face endu'd, And study conscience, aboue fame. Such, as not seeke to get the start In State, by power, parts, or bribes, Ambition's baudes; but moue the Tribes By vertue, modesty, desart. Such, as to iustice will adhaere, What euer great one it offend, And from the embraced truth not bend For enuie, hatred, gifts, or feare. That, by their deedes, will make it knowne, Whose dignity they do sustaine; And life, state, glory, all they gaine, Count the Republiques, not their owne. Such the old Bruti, Decij were, The Cipi, Curtij, who did give Themselues for Rome: And would not liue, As men, good, only for a yeare, Such were the great Camilli, too; The Fabij, Scipio's; that still thought No worke, at price inough, was bought, That for their Countrey they could do. And, to her honor, so did knit; As all their acts, were vnderstood The sinewes of the Publique good: And they themselues, one soule, with it. These men were truely Magistrates; These neither practis'd force, nor formes; Nor did they leaue the helme, in stormes: And such they are make happy States.
ACT 3 SCENE 3.1
L: Great Honors are great burdens: But, on whom They are cast with enuy, he doth beare two loades. His cares must still be double to his ioyes, In any Dignity; where, if he erre He findes no pardon: and, for doing well A most small praise, and that wrung out, by force. I speake this, Romanes, knowing what the weight Of the high charge, you have trusted to me, is. Not, that thereby I would with art decline The good, or greatnesse of your benefit; For, I ascribe it to your singular grace And vow, to owe it to no title else, Except the Gods, that Cicero' is your Consul. I have no vrnes; no dustie moniments; No broken images of ancestors, Wanting an eare, or nose; no forged tables Of long descents, to boast false honors from; Or be my vndertakers to your trust. But a new Man (as I am stil'd in Rome) Whom you have dignified; and more, in whom You have cut a way, and left it ope for vertue Hereafter, to that place, which our Great men Held shut up, with all rampires, for themselues. Nor have but few of them, in time bene made Your Consuls so; New men, before me, none: At my first suite; In my iust yeare: Preferd To all Competitors; and some the noblest.
P: Now the vaine swels.
Q: Up glory.
L: And to have Your lowde consents, from your owne vtter'd voyces; Not silent bookes: nor from the meaner tribes, But first, and last, the vniuersall concourse. This is my ioy, my gladnesse. But my care, My industrie, and vigilance now must worke, That still your counsell of me be approu'd; Both, by your selues, and those, to whom you have, With grudge, prefer'd me: Two things I must labour, That neither they upbraid, nor you repent you. For euery lapse of mine will, now, be call'd Your error; if I make such: But, my hope is, So to beare through, and out, the Consulship, As spight shall ne're wound you, though it may me. And, for my selfe, I have prepar'd this strength, To do so well; as, if there happen ill Vnto me, it shall make the Gods to blush, And be their crime, not mine, that I am enui'd;
Q: O confidence! more new, then is the Man!
L: I know well, in what termes I do receiue The Common wealth, how vexed, how perplex'd: In which, there is not that mischiefe, nor ill fate, That good men feare not, wicked men expect not. I know, beside, some turbulent practises Alreadie on foote, and rumors of more dangers,
P: Or you will make them, if there be none.
L: Last, I know, it was this, which made the enuy, and pride Of the Great Romane bloud bate, and give way To my election.
N: Marcus Tullius, true; Our neede made thee our Consull, and thy vertue.
Q: Cato, you will vndoe him, with your praise.
N: Caesar will hurt himselfe, with his owne enuie.
U: The voyce of Cato is the voyce of Rome.
N: The voyce of Rome is the consent of Heauen; And that hath plac'd thee, Cicero, at the helme, Where thou must render, now thy selfe a Man, And Master of thy art. Each pettie hand Can steere a ship becalm'd; but he that will Gouerne, and carry her to her endes, must know His tides, his currents; how to shift his sayles; What she will beare in foule, what in faire weathers; Where her springs are, her leakes; and how to stop them; What sands, what shelues, what rocks do threaten her; The forces, and the natures of all winds, Gusts, stormes, and tempests; when her keele ploughs hell And decke knocks heauen: then, to manage her Becomes the name, and office of a Pilot.
L: Which I will performe, with all the diligence, And fortitude I have; nor for my yeare, But for my life; except my life be lesse, And that my yeare conclude it: If it must, Your will, lou'd Gods. This heart shall yet employ A day, an houre is left me, so, for Rome. As it shall spring a life, out of my death, To shine, for euer glorious in my facts; The vicious count their yeares, vertuous their acts.
U: Most noble Consul! Let us wait him home.
Q: Most popular Consul he is growne, me thinkes.
P: How the rout cling to him!
Q: And Cato leads them!
P: You, his colleague, Antonius, are not look't on.
M: Not I, nor do I care.
Q: He enioyes rest, And ease, the while: Let the others spirit toyle, And wake it out, that was inspir'd for turmoyle.
O: If all reports be true, yet, Caius Caesar, The time hath neede of such a watch, and spirit:
Q: Reports? Do you beleeve them Catulus, Why, he does make, and breed them for the people; To endeare his seruice to them. Do you not tast An art, that is so common? Popular men, They must create strange Monsters, and then quell them; To make their artes seeme something. Would you have Such an Herculean Actor in the Scene, And not his Hydra? They must sweat no lesse To fit their properties, then to expresse their parts.
P: Treasons, and guiltie men are made in States Too oft, to dignifie the Magistrates.
O: Those States be wretched, that are forc'd to buy Their Rulers fame, with their owne infamy.
P: We therefore, should prouide that ours do not.
Q: That will Antonius make his care.
M: I shall.
Q: And watch the watcher.
O: Here comes Catiline. How does he brooke his late repulse.
Q: I know not, But hardly sure.
N: Longinus, too, did stand?
Q: At first: But he gaue way vnto his friend.
O: Who is that come? Lentulus?
Q: Yes. He is againe Taken into the Senate.
M: And made Praetor.
N: I know it. He had my suffrage, next the Consuls;
Q: True, you were there, Prince of the Senate, then.
A: Hayle noblest Romanes. The most worthy Consul, I gratulate your Honor.
M: I could wish It had beene happier, by your fellowship, Most noble Sergius, had it pleas'd the people.
A: It did not please the Gods; who instruct the people. And their vnquestion'd pleasures must be seru'd. They know what is fitter for us, then our selues; And it were impiety, to think against them.
O: You beare it rightly, Lucius; and, it glads me, To find your thoughts so euen.
A: I shall still Studie to make them such to Rome, and Heauen. I would withdraw with you, a little, Iulius.
Q: I will come home to you: Crassus would not have you To speake to him, 'fore Quintus Catulus.
A: I apprehend you. No, when they shall iudge Honors conuenient for me, I shall have them, With a full hand: I know it. In meane time, They are no lesse part of the Common-wealth, That do obey, then those, that do command.
O: O, let me kisse your forehead, Lucius. How are you wrongd!
A: By whom?
O: Publicke report. That giues you out, to stomacke your repulse; And brooke it deadly.
A: Sir: she brookes not me. Belieue me rather, and your selfe, now, of me; It is a kinde of slander, to trust rumour.
O: I know it. And I could be angrie with it.
A: So may not I. Where it concernes himselfe, Who is angry at a slander, makes it true.
O: Most noble Sergius! This your temper melts me.
P: Will you do office to the Consul, Quintus?
Q: That Cato, and the Rout have done the other?
O: I waite, when he will goe. Be still your selfe. He wants no state, or honors, that hath vertue,
A: Did I appeare so tame, as this man thinks me? Look'd I so poore, so dead? So like that nothing, Which he calls vertuous? O my breast, breake quickly; And shew my friends my in-parts, least they think I have betraid them.
E: Where is Gabinius?
E: And Vargunteius?
B: Slipt away; all shrunke: Now he mist the Consul-ship.
A: I am The scorne of bond-men; who are next to beasts. What can I worse pronounce my selfe, that is fitter? The Owle of Rome, whom Boyes, and Girles will hout; That were I set up, for that woodden God, That keepes our gardens, could not fright the crowes, Or the least Bird from muting on my head,
E: It is strange how he should misse it.
B: Is it not stranger, The upstart Cicero should carry it so, By all consents, from men so much his Masters?
E: It is true.
A: To what a shadow, am I melted!
E: Antonius wan it but by some few voyces.
A: Strooke through, like ayre, and feele it not. My wounds Close faster, then they are made.
F: The whole designe, And enterprise is lost by it. All handes quit it, Upon his fayle.
A: I grow mad at my patience. It is a Visor that hath poyson'd me. Would it had burnt me up, and I died inward: My heart first turn'd to ashes.
E: Here is Cethegus yet.
A: Repulse upon repulse? An In-mate, Consul? That I could reach the axell, where the pinnes are, Which bolt this frame; that I might pull them out, And plucke all into Chaos; with my selfe.
C: What, are we wishing now?
A: Yes, my Cethegus. Who would not fall with all the world about him?
C: Not I, that would stand on it, when it falles; And force new Nature out, to make another. These wishing taste of woman, not of Romane. Let us seeke other armes.
A: What should we do?
C: Do, and not wish; something, that wishes take not: So sodaine, as the Gods should not preuent, Nor scarce have time, to feare.
A: O noble Caius!
C: It likes me better, that you are not Consul. I would not goe through open dores, but breake them; Swim to my ends, through bloud; or build a bridge Of carcasses; make on, upon the heads Of men, strooke downe, like piles; to reach the liues Of those remaine, and stand: Then is it a pray, When Danger stoppes, and Ruine makes the way.
A: How thou dost vtter me, braue soule, that may not, At all times, shew such as I am; but bend Vnto occasion? Lentulus, this man, If all our fire were out, would fetch downe new, Out of the hand of Ioue; and riuet him To Caucasus, should he but frowne: and let His owne gaunt Eagle flie at him, to tire.
B: Peace, here comes Cato.
A: Let him come, and heare. I will no more dissemble. Quit us all; I, and my lou'd Cethegus here, alone Will vndertake this Giants warre, and cary it.
B: What needs this, Lucius?
E: Sergius be more wary.
A: Now, Marcus Cato, our new Consuls spie, What is your sowre austerity sent to explore.
N: Nothing in thee, licentious Catiline: Halters, and racks cannot expresse from thee More, then thy deeds. It is onely iudgement waits thee.
A: Whose? Cato's? shall he iudge me?
N: No, the Gods, Who, euer, follow those, they go not with: And Senate; who, with fire, must purge sicke Rome Of noysome Citizens, whereof thou art one. Be gone, or else let me. It is bane to draw The same ayre with thee.
C: Strike him.
B: Hold good Caius;
C: Fearst thou not, Cato?
N: Rash Cethegus, no. It were wrong with Rome, when Catiline and thou Do threat, if Cato feard.
A: The fire you speake of If any flame of it approach my fortunes, I will quench it, not with water, but with ruine.
N: You heare this, Romanes.
A: Beare it to the Consul.
C: I would have sent away his soule, before him. You are too heauie, Lentulus, and remisse; It is for you we labour, and the Kingdome Promis'd you by the Sibyll's.
A: Which his Praetorship, And some small flattery of the Senate more, Will make him to forget.
B: You wrong me, Lucius.
E: He will not need these spurres.
C: The action needs them. These things, when they proceed not, they goe backward.
B: Let us consult then.
C: Let us, first, take armes. They that denie us iust things, now, will give All that we aske; if once they see our swords.
O: Our obiects must be sought with wounds, not words.
L: Is there a Heauen? and Gods? and can it be They should so slowly heare, so slowly see? Hath Ioue no thunder? or is Ioue become Stupide as thou art? o neare-wretched Rome, When both thy Senate, and thy Gods do sleepe, And neither thine, nor their owne States do keepe! What will awake thee, Heauen? what can excite Thine anger, if this practise be too light? His former drifts partake of former times, But this last plot was only Catilines. O, that it were his last. But he, before Hath safely done so much, he will still dare more. Ambition, like a torrent, nere lookes backe; And is a swelling, and the last affection A high minde can put off: being both a Rebell Vnto the soule, and reason, and enforceth All lawes, all conscience, treades upon religion, And offereth violence to Natures selfe. But here, is that transcends it. A blacke purpose To confound Nature: and to ruine that, Which neuer Age, nor Mankinde can repaire. Sit downe, good Lady; Cicero is lost In this your fable: for, to think it true Tempteth my reason. It so farre exceedes All insolent fictions of the tragicke Scene. The Commonwealth, yet panting, vnderneath The stripes, and wounds of a late ciuill warre, Gasping for life, and scarce restor'd to hope; To seeke to oppresse her, with new cruelty, And vtterly extinguish her long name, With so prodigious, and vnheard-of fiercenesse! What sinke of Monsters, wretches of lost minds, Mad after change, and desp'rate in their states, Wearied, and gall'd with their necessities, ( For all this I allow them) durst have thought it? Would not the barbarous deeds have beene beleeu'd, Of Marius, and Sylla, by our Children, Without, this fact had rise forth greater, for them? All, that they did, was piety, to this. They, yet, but murdred Kinsfolke, Brothers, Parents, Rauish'd the Virgins, and, perhaps, some Matrons; They left the Citty standing, and the Temples: The Gods, and Maiesty of Rome were safe yet. These purpose to fire it, to dispoile them, (Beyond the other euils,) and lay wast The farre-triumphed world: For, vnto whom Rome is too little, what can be inough?
I: It is true, my Lord, I had the same discourse.
L: And, then, to take a horride Sacrament In humane blood, for execution Of this their dire designe; which might be call'd The height of wickednesse: but that, that was higher, For which they did it.
I: I assure your Lordship, The extreme horror of it almost turn'd me To aire, when first I heard it; I was all A vapor, when it was told me; and I long'd To vent it any where; It was such a secret, I thought, it would have burnt me up.
L: Good Fuluia, Feare not your act; and lesse repent you of it.
I: I do not, my good Lord. I know to whom I have vtter'd it.
L: You have discharg'd it, safely. Should Rome, for whom you have done the happy seruice, Turne most ingrate; yet were your vertue paid In conscience of the fact: so much good deedes Reward themselues.
I: My Lord, I did it not To any other ayme, but for it selfe. To no ambition.
L: You have learn'd the difference Of doing office to the publike weale, And priuate friendship, and have shewne it, Lady. Be still your selfe. I have sent for Quintus Curius, And (for your vertuous sake) if I can winne him, Yet, to the common wealth; He shall be safe too.
I: I will vndertake, my Lord, he will be wonne.
L: Pray, you ioyne with me, then: And helpe to worke him.
L: How now? Is he come?
W: He is here, my Lord.
L: Goe presently, Pray my Colleague Antonius, I may speake with him, About some present businesse of the State; And (as you goe) call on my brother Quintus, And pray him, with the Tribunes to come to me. Bid Curius enter. Fuluia, you will aide me?
I: It is my duty.
L: O, my noble Lord! I have to chide you, yfaith. Give me your hand. Nay, be not troubled; it shall be gently, Curius. You looke upon this Lady? What? Do you ghesse My businesse, yet? Come, if you growne, I thunder: Therefore, put on your better lookes, and thoughts. There is nought but faire, and good intended to you; And I would make those your complexion. Would you, of whom the Senate had that hope, As, on my knowledge, it was in their purpose, Next sitting, to restore you: as they have done The stupide, and vngratefull Lentulus; (Excuse me, that I name you thus, together, For, yet, you are not such) would you, I say, A person both of Blood and Honor, stock't In a long race of vertuous Ancestors, Embarke your selfe for such a hellish action, With Parricides, and Traitors, men turn'd Furies, Out of the wast, and ruine of their fortunes; (For it is despaire, that is the mother of madnesse) Such as want (that, which all Conspirators, But they, have first) meere colour for their mischiefe? O, I must blush with you. Come, you shall not labour To extenuate your guilt, but quit it cleane; Bad men excuse their faults, good men will leaue them. He acts the third crime, that defends the first. Here is a Lady, that hath got the start, In piety, of us all; and, for whose vertue, I could almost turne Louer, againe: but that Terentia would be iealous. What an honor Hath she atchieued to herselfe! What voices, Titles, and loud applauses will pursue her, Through euery street! What windores will be fill'd, To shoote eyes at her! What enuy, and griefe in Matrons, They are not she! When this her act shall seeme Worthier a Chariot, then if Pompey came, With Asia chain'd! All this is while she liues. But dead, her very name will be a Statue, Not wrought for time, but rooted in the minds Of all posterity; when Brasse, and Marble, Aye, and the Capitol it selfe is dust.
I: Your Honor thinks too highly of me.
L: No: I cannot think inough. And I would have Him emulate you. It is no shame, to follow The better precedent. She shewes you, Curius, What claime your Countrey laies to you; and what duty You owe to it: Be not afraid, to breake With Murderers, and Traytors, for the sauing A life, so neare, and necessary to you, As is your Countries. Think but on her right. No Child can be too naturall to his Parent. She is our common Mother, and doth challenge The prime part of us; Do not stop, but give it: He, that is void of feare, may soone be iust, And no Religion binds men to be Traitors.
I: My Lord, he vnderstands it; and will follow Your sauing counsell. But his shame, yet, stayes him. I know, that he is comming.
D: Do you know it?
I: Yes, let me speake with you.
D: O you are — .
I: What am I?
D: Speake not so loud.
I: I am, what you should be, Come, do you think, I would walke in any plot, Where Madame Sempronia should take place of me, And Fuluia come in the rere or on the by? That I would be her second, in a businesse, Though it might vantage me all the Sunne sees? It was a seely phant'sie of yours. Apply Your selfe to me, and the Consul, and be wise; Follow the fortune I have put you into: You may be something this way, and with safety.
L: Nay, I must tolerate no whisperings, Lady.
I: Sir, you may heare. I tell him, in the way, Wherein he was, how hazardous his course was.
L: How hazardous? how certaine to all ruine. Did he, or do, yet, any of them imagine The Gods would sleepe, to such a Stygian practise, Against that Commonwealth, which they have founded With so much labour, and like care have kept, Now neare seuen hundred yeares? It is a madnesse, Wherewith Heauen blinds them, when it would confound them, That they should think it. Come, my Curius, I see your nature is right; you shall no more Be mention'd with them: I will call you mine, And trouble this good shame, no farder. Stand Firme for your Countrey; and become a man Honor'd, and lou'd. It were a noble life, To be found dead, embracing her. Know you, What thanks, what titles, what rewards the Senate Will heape upon you, certaine, for your seruice? Let not a desperate action more engage you, Then safety should; and wicked friendship force What honesty, and vertue cannot worke.
I: He tels you right, sweete friend: It is sauing counsaile.
D: Most noble Consul, I am yours, and hers; I meane my Countries: you have form'd me new. Inspiring me, with what I should be, truely. And I intreate, my faith may not seeme cheaper For springing out of penitence.
L: Good Curius, It shall be dearer rather, and because I would make it such, heare how I trust you more. Keepe still your former face; and mixe againe With these lost spirits. Runne all their mazes with them; For such are treasons. Finde their windings out, And subtle turnings, watch their snaky waies, Through brakes, and hedges, into woods of darkenesse, Where they are faine to creepe upon their breasts In pathes nere trod by Men, but Wolues, and Panthers. Learne, beside Catiline, Lentulus, and those, Whose names I have, what new ones they draw in; Who else are likely; what those Great ones are, They do not name; what waies they meane to take; And whither their hopes point; to warre: or ruine, By some surprize. Explore all their intents, And what you finde may profit the Republique, Acquaint me with it, either, by your selfe, Or this your vertuous friend, on whom I lay The care of vrging you; I will see, that Rome Shall proue a thankefull, and a bounteous Mother: Be secret as the night.
D: And constant Sir.
L: I do not doubt it. Though the time cut off All vowes. The dignity of truth is lost, With much protesting: Who is there! This way, Least you be seene, and met. And when you come, Be this your token; to this fellow. Light them. O Rome, in what a sicknesse art thou fall'n! How dangerous, and deadly! when thy head Is drown'd in sleepe, and all thy body feu'ry! No noise, no pulling, no vexation wakes thee, Thy Lethargie is such: or if, by chance, Thou heau'st thy eye-lids up, thou dost forget Sooner, then thou wert told, thy proper danger. I did vnreuerendly, to blame the Gods, Who wake for thee, though thou snore to thy selfe. Is it not strange, thou shouldst be so diseas'd, And so secure? But more, that the first symptomes Of such a malady, should not rise out From any worthy member, but a base And common strumpet, worthlesse to be nam'd A haire, or part of thee? Think, think, hereafter, What thy needes were, when thou must vse such meanes: And lay it to thy breast, how much the Gods Upbraid thy foule neglect of them; by making So vile a thing, the Author of thy safety. They could have wrought by nobler waies: have strooke Thy foes which forked lightning; or ramm'd thunder; Throwne hilles upon them, in the act; have sent Death, like a dampe, to all their families; Or caus'd their consciences to burst them. But, When they will shew thee what thou art, and make A scornefull difference 'twixt their power, and thee, They helpe thee by such aides, as Geese, and Harlots. How now? What answere? Is he come?
W: Your Brother, Will streight be here; and your Colleague Antonius Said, coldly, he would follow me.
L: Aye, that Troubles me somewhat, and is worth my feare; He is a man, 'gainst whom I must prouide, That (as he will do no good) he do no harme; He, though he be not of the plot, will like it, And wish it should proceede; for, vnto men, Prest with their wants, all change is euer welcome. I must with offices, and patience winne him; Make him, by art, that which he is not borne, A friend vnto the publique; and bestow The Prouince on him; which is by the Senate Decreed to me: That benefit will bind him. It is well, if some men will do well, for price; So few are vertuous, when the reward is away: Nor must I be vnmindfull of my priuate; For which I have call'd my Brother, and the Tribunes, My Kins-folke, and my Clients to be neare me; He that stands up 'gainst Traitors, and their ends, Shall neede a double guard, of law, and friends: Especially, in such an enuious State, That sooner will accuse the Magistrate, Then the Delinquent; and will rather grieue The Treason is not acted, then beleeue.
Q: The night growes on; and you are for your meeting: I will therefore end in few. Be resolute, And put your enterprise in act: The more Actions of depth, and danger are consider'd, The lesse assuredly they are perform'd. And thence it hapneth, that the brauest plots (Not executed straight) have been discouer'd. Say, you are constant, or another, a third, Or more; there may be yet one wretched spirit, With whom the feare of punishment shall worke 'Boue all the thoughts of honor, and reuenge. You are not, now, to think what is best to do, As in beginnings; but, what must be done, Being thus entred: and slip no aduantage That may secure you. Let them call it mischiefe; When it is past, and prosper'd, it will be vertue. They are petty crimes are punish'd, great rewarded. Nor must you think of perill; since, Attempts, Begunne with danger, still do end with glory: And, when neede spurres, despaire will be call'd wisdome. Lesse ought the care of men, or fame to fright you; For they, that winne, do seldome receiue shame Of victory: how ere it be atchiu'd; And vengeance, least. For who, besieg'd with wants, Would stop at death, or any thing beyond it? Come, there was neuer any great thing thing, yet, Aspired, but by violence, or fraud: And he that stickes (for folly of a conscience) To reach it — .
A: Is a good religious foole.
Q: A superstitious slaue, and will die beast. Good night. You know what Crassus thinks, and I, By this: Prepare you wings, as large as sayles, To cut through ayre, and leaue no print behind you. A Serpent, ere he comes to be a Dragon, Does eate a Bat: and so must you a Consul, That watches. What you do, do quickly Sergius. You shall not stir for me.
A: Excuse me, lights there.
Q: By no meanes.
A: Stay then. All good thoughts to Caesar. And like to Crassus.
Q: Mind but your friends counsels.
A: Or, I will beare no mind. How now, Aurelia? Are your confederates come? the Ladies?
A: And is Sempronia there?
V: She is.
A: That is well. She has a sulphurous spirit, and will take Light at a sparke. Breake with them, gentle loue, About the drawing as many of their Husbands, Into the plot, as can: if not, to rid them. That will be the easier practise, vnto some, Who have bene tir'd with them long. Sollicite Their aydes, for money; and their Seruants helpe, In firing of the Citie, at the time Shall be design'd. Promise them States, and Empires, And men, for Louers, made of better clay, Then euer the old Potter Titan knew. Who is that? O, Porcius Lecca! are they met?
F: They are all, here.
A: Loue, you have your instructions. I will trust you with the stuffe you have to worke on. You will forme it? Porcius, fetch the siluer Eagle I gave you in charge. And pray them, they will enter.
A: Our Friends, your faces glad me. This will be Our last, I hope, of consultation.
C: So, it had need.
D: We loose occasion, daily.
A: Aye, and our meanes: whereof one woundes me most, That was the fairest. Piso is dead, in Spaine.
C: As we are, here.
E: And, as it is thought, by enuy Of Pompey's followers.
B: He too is comming backe, Now, out of Asia.
A: Therefore, what we intend We must be swift in. Take your seates, and heare. I have, alreadie, sent Septimius Into the Picene territorie; and Iulius, To rayse force, for us, in Apulia: Manlius at Fesula is (by this time) up, With the old needie troopes, that follow'd Sylla; And all do but expect, when we will give The blow at home. Behold this siluer Eagle, Was Marius standard, in the Cimbrian warre, Fatall to Rome; and, as our Augures tell me, Shall still be so: For which one omenous cause, I have kept it safe, and done it sacred rites, As to a Godhead; in a Chappell built Of purpose to it. Pledge then all your hands, To follow it, with vowes of death, and ruine, Strooke silently, and home. So waters speake When they runne deepest. Now is the time, this yeare, The twenti'th, from the firing of the Capitol, As fatall too, to Rome, by all predictions; And, in which, honor'd Lentulus must rise A King, if he pursue it.
D: If he do not, He is not worthy the great destiny.
B: It is too great for me, but what the Gods, And their great loues decree me, I must not Seeme carelesse of.
A: No nor we enuious. We have enough beside, all Gallia, Belgia, Greece, Spayne, and Africke.
D: Aye and Asia too, Now Pompey is returning.
A: Noblest Romanes, Me thinkes our lookes, are not so quicke and high, As they were wont.
D: No? whose is not?
A: We have No anger in our eyes, no storme, no lightning; Our hate is spent, and fum'd away in vapor, Before our hands be at worke. I can accuse Not any one, but all of slacknesse.
C: Yes, And be your selfe such, while you do it.
A: Ha? It is sharply answerd, Caius,
C: Truly, truly.
B: Come, let us each one know his part to do, And then be accus'd. Leaue these vntimely quarrels.
D: I would there were more Romes then one, to ruine.
C: More Romes? More Worlds.
D: Nay then more Gods, and Natures, If they tooke part.
B: When shall the time be, first?
A: I think the Saturnals.
C: It will be too long.
A: They are not now farre off, it is not a month.
C: A weeke, a day, an houre is too farre off, Now, were the fitest time.
A: We have not laid All things so safe, and readie.
C: While we are laying, We shall all lie; and grow to earth. Would I Were nothing in it, if not now. These things They should be done, e're thought.
A: Nay, now your reason Forsakes you, Caius. Think, but what commodity That time will minister; the Cities custome Of being, then, in mirth, and feast.
B: Loos'd whole In pleasure and securitie.
W: Each house Resolu'd in freedome.
D: Euery slaue a master.
E: And they too no meane aides.
D: Made from their hope Of liberty.
B: Or hate vnto their Lords.
W: It is sure, there cannot be a time found out More apt, and naturall.
B: Nay, good Cethegus, Why do your passions, now, disturbe our hopes?
C: Why do your hopes delude your certainties?
A: You must lend him his way. Think, for the order, And processe of it.
B: I like not fire: It will too much wast my Citie.
A: Were it embers, There will be wealth enough, rak't out of them, To spring a new: It must be fire, or nothing.
E: What else should fright, or terrefie them?
W: True. In that confusion, must be the chiefe slaughter.
D: Then we shall kill them brauest.
W: And in heapes. Strew Sacrifices.
D: Make the Earth an Altar.
E: And Rome the fire.
F: It will be a noble night.
W: And worth all Sylla's daies.
D: When Husbands, Wiues, Grandsires, and Nephewes, Seruants, and their Lords, Virgins, and Priests, the Infant, and the Nurse Go all to hell, together, in a fleete.
A: I would have you, Longinus, and Statilius, To take the charge of the firing, which must be, At a signe giuen with a trumpet, done In twelue chiefe places of the Citie, at once. The flaxe, and sulphure, are alreadie laid In, at Cethegus house. So are the weapons. Gabinius, you, with other force, shall stop The pipes, and conduits: And kill those that come For water.
D: What shall I do?
A: All will have Employment, feare not: Ply the execution.
D: For that, trust me, and Cethegus.
A: I will be At hand, with the army, to meete those that scape. And Lentulus, begirt you Pompey's house, To seise his sonnes aliue: for they are they Must make our peace with him. All else cut off, As Tarquin did the Poppey heads; or mowers A field of thistles; or else, up, as ploughes Do barren lands; and strike together flints, And clods; the ungratefull Senate, and the People: Till no rage, gone before, or comming after May weigh with yours, though Horror leapt her selfe Into the scale: but, in your violent acts, The fall of torrents, and the noyse of tempests, The boyling of Charybdis, the Seas wildnesse, The eating force of flames, and wings of winds, Be all outwrought, by your transcendent furies. It had bene done, ere this, had I bene Consul; We had had no stop, no let.
B: How find you Antonius?
A: The other has wonne him lost, that Cicero Was borne to be my opposition, And stands in all our waies.
D: Remoue him first.
C: May that, yet, be done sooner?
A: Would it were done.
D: I will do it.
C: It is my prouince; none vsurpe it.
B: What are your meanes?
C: Enquire not. He shall die. Shall, was too slowly said. He is dying. That Is, yet, too slow. He is dead.
A: Braue, only Romane, Whose soule might be the worlds soule, were that dying; Refuse not, yet, the aydes of these your friends:
B: Here is Vargunteius holds good quarter with him.
A: And vnder the pretext of clientele And visitation, with the morning Hayle, Will be admitted.
C: What is that to me?
W: Yes, we may kill him in his bed, and safely.
C: Safe is your way, then; take it. Mine is mine owne.
A: Follow him, Vargunteius, and perswade, The morning is the fittest time.
E: The night Will turne all into tumult.
B: And perhaps Misse of him too.
A: Intreat, and coniure him. In all our names.
B: By all our vowes, and friendships.
J: What! is our Councell broke up first?
W: You say, Women are greatest talkers.
J: We have done; And are now fit for action.
E: Which is passion. There is your best actiuity, Lady.
J: How Knowes your wise fatnesse that?
E: Your Mothers daughter Did teach me, Madam.
C: Come Sempronia, leaue him: He is a Giber. And our present businesse Is of more serious consequence. Aurelia Tells me, you have done most masculinely within, And plaid the Orator.
W: But we must hasten To our designe as well, and execute: Not hang still, in the feuer of an accident.
A: You say well, Lady.
J: I do like our plot Exceeding well, it is sure; and we shall leaue Little to fortune, in it.
A: Your banquet stayes. Aurelia take her in. Where is Fuluia?
J: O the two Louers are coupling.
D: In good faith, She is very ill, with sitting up.
J: You would have her Laugh, and lie downe.
I: No, faith, Sempronia, I am not well; I will take my leaue, it drawes Toward the morning. Curius shall stay with you. Madam, I pray you pardon me, my health I must respect.
W: Farewell, good Fuluia.
D: Make hast, and bid him get his guards about him. For Vargunteius, and Cornelius Have vndertane it, should Cethegus misse: Their reason, that they think his open rashnesse Will suffer easier discouerie, Then their attempt; so vailed vnder friendship. I will bring you to your Coach. Tell him, beside, Of Caesars comming forth, here.
A: My sweete Madam, Will you be gone?
I: I am, my Lord, in truth, In some indisposition.
A: I do wish You had all your health, sweet Lady. Lentulus, You will do her seruice.
B: To her coach, and duty.
A: What ministers men must, for practise, vse! The rash, the ambitious, needy, desperate, Foolish, and wretched, eu'n the dregs of Mankinde, To whores, and women! Still, it must be so. Each have their proper place; and, in their roomes, They are the best. Groomes fittest kindle fires, Slaues carry burdens, Butchers are for slaughters, Apothecaries, Butlers, Cookes for poysons; As these for me: Dull, stupide Lentulus, My stale, with whom I stalke; the rash Cethegus, My executioner; and fat Longinus, Statilius, Curius, Ceparius, Cimber. My laborers, pioners, and incendiaries; With these domesticke traitors, bosome theeues, Whom custome hath call'd Wiues; the readiest helpes, To strange head-strong Husbands; rob the easie; And lend the moneyes, on returnes of lust. Shall Catiline not do, now, with these aides, So sought, so sorted, something shall be call'd Their labor, but his profit? and make Caesar Repent his ventring counsels, to a spirit, So much his Lord in mischiefe? when all these, Shall, like the Brethren sprung of Dragons teeth, Ruine each other; and he fall amongst them: With Crassus, Pompey, or who else appeares, But like, or neare a great one. May my braine Resolue to water, and my bloud turne phlegme, My hands, drop off, vnworthy of my sword, And that be inspired, of it selfe, to rip My breast, for my lost entrailes; when I leaue A soule, that will not serue. And who will, are The same with slaues; such clay I dare not feare. The cruelty, I meane to act, I wish Should be call'd mine, and tary in my name; Whil'st after Ages do toyle out themselues In thinking for the like, but do it lesse: And, were the power of all the fiends let loose, With Fate to boote, it should be, still, example. When, what the Gaule or Moore could not effect, Nor aemulous Carthage, with their length of spight, Shall be the worke of one, and that my night.
L: I thanke your vigilance. Where is my brother, Quintus? Call all my seruants up. Tell noble Curius, And say it to your selfe, you are my Sauers; But that is too little for you, you are Rome's: What could I then, hope lesse? O brother! now, The engines I told you of, are working; The machine 'gin's to moue. Where are your weapons? Arme all my houshold presently. And charge The Porter, he let no man in, till day.
W: Not Clients, and your friends?
L: They weare those names, That come to murther me. Yet send for Cato, And Quintus Catulus; those I dare trust; And Flaccus, and Pomtinius, the Praetors, By the backe way.
W: Take care, good brother Marcus, Your feares be not form'd greater, then they should; And make your friends grieue, while your enemies laugh.
L: It is brothers counsell, and worth thankes. But do As I intreat you. I prouide, not feare. Was Caesar there, say you?
I: Curius sayes, he met him, Comming from thence.
L: O, so. And, had you a counsell Of Ladies too? Who was your Speaker, Madam?
I: She that would be, had there bene fortie more; Sempronia, who had both her Greeke, and Figures; And, euer and anone, would aske us, if The witty Consul could have mended that? Or Orator Cicero could have said it better?
L: She is my gentle enemy. Would Cethegus Had no more danger in him. But, my guards Are you, great powers; and the vnbated strengths Of a firme conscience, which shall arme each step Tane for the State; and teach me slacke no pace For feare of malice. How now, Brother?
W: Cato, And Quintus Catulus were comming to you, And Crassus with them. I have let them in, By the garden.
L: What would Crassus have?
W: I heare Some whispering 'bout the gate; and making doubt, Whither it be not yet too early, or no? But I do think, they are your friendes, and Clients, Are fearefull to disturbe you.
L: You will change To another thought, anone. Have you giu'n the Potter The charge, I will'd you?
L: Withdraw, and hearken.
W: The dore is not open, yet. You were best to knocke. Let them stand close, then: And, when we are in, Rush after us. But where is Cethegus? He Has left it, since he might not do it his way. Who is there? A friend, or more. I may not let Any man in, till day. No? why? Thy reason? I am commanded so. By whom? I hope We are not discouer'd. Yes, by reuelation. Pray thee good slaue, who has commanded thee? He that may best, the Consull. We are his friends, All is one. Best give your name. Dost thou heare, fellow? I have some instant businesse with the Consull. My name is Vargunteius.
L: True, he knoes it; And for what friendly office you are sent. Cornelius, too, is there?
W: We are betraid.
L: And desperate Cethegus, is he not?
W: Speake you, he knowes my voice.
L: What say you to it?
W: You are deceau'd Sir.
L: No, it is you are so; Poore, misled men. Your states are yet worth pitty, If you would heare, and change your sauage minds. Leaue to be mad; forsake your purposes Of Treason, Rapine, Murder, Fire, and Horror: The common wealth hath eyes, that wake as sharply Ouer her life, as yours do for her ruine. Be not deceiu'd, to think her lenity Will be perpetuall; or, if Men be wanting, The gods will be, to such a calling cause. Consider your attempts, and while there is time, Repent you of them. It doth make me tremble There should those spirits yet breath, that when they cannot Liue honestly, would rather perish basely.
W: You talke too much to them, Marcus, They are lost. Goe forth, and apprehend them.
O: If you proue This practise; what should let the Common-wealth To take due vengeance?
W: Let us shift, away. The darknesse hath conceal'd us, yet: We will say Some have abus'd our names. Denie it all.
N: Quintus, what guards have you? Call the Tribunes aide, And raise the City. Consul, you are too mild, The foulenesse of some facts takes thence all mercy: Report it to the Senate. Heare: The Gods Grow angry with your patience. It is their care, And must be yours, that guilty men escape not. As crimes do grow, Iustice should rouse it selfe.
U: What is it, Heauens, you prepare With so much swiftnesse, and so sodaine rising? There are no Sonnes of earth, that dare, Againe, rebellion: or the Gods surprising? The World doth shake, and Nature feares, Yet is the tumult, and the horror greater Within our minds, then in our eares, So much Romes faults (now growne her Fate) do threat her. The Priests, and People runne about, Each Order, Age, and Sexe amaz'd at other; And, at the ports, all thronging out, As if their safety were to quit their Mother: Yet finde they the same dangers there, From which they make such hast to be preserued; For guilty States do euer beare The plagues about them, which they have deserued. And, till those plagues do get aboue The mountaine of our faults, and there do sit; We see them not; Thus, still we loue The euill we do, vntill we suffer it. But, most, ambition, that neare vice To vertue, hath the fate of Rome prouoked; And made, that now Rome's selfe no price, To free her from the death, wherewith she is yoked. That restlesse Ill, that still doth built upon successe; and endes not in aspiring: But there beginnes. And nere is fill'd, While ought remaines that seemes but worth desiring. Wherein the Thought, vnlike the Eye, To which things farre, seemed smaller then they are, Deemes all contentment plac'd on high: And thinks there is nothing great, but what is farre. O, that in time, Rome did not cast Her errors up, this fortune to preuent; To have seene her crimes' ere they were past: And felt her faults, before her punishment.
ACT 4 SCENE 4.1
W: Can these men feare? who are not only ours, But the worlds masters? Then I see, the Gods Upbraid our suffrings, or would humble them; By sending these affrights, while we are here: That we might laugh at their ridiculous feare, Whose names, we trembled at, beyond the Alpes. Of all that passe, I do not see a face Worthy a man, that dares looke up, and stand One thunder out; but downeward all, like beasts, Running away from euery flash is made. The falling world could not deserue such basenesse. Are we emploid here, by our miseries, Like superstitious fooles (or rather slaues) To plaine our griefes, wrongs, and oppressions, To a meere clothed Senate whom our folly Hath made, and still intends to keepe our Tyrannes? It is our base petitionary breath That blowes them to this greatnesse; which this pricke Would soone let out, if we were bold, and wretched. When they have taken all we have; our goods, Crop, lands, and houses, they will leaue us this: A weapon, and an arme will still be found, Though naked left, and lower then the ground.
N: Do; vrge thine anger, still; good Heauen, and iust. Tell guilty men, what powers are aboue them. In such a confidence of wickednesse, It was time, they should know something fit to feare.
O: I neuer saw a morne more full of horror.
N: To Catiline, and his: but, to iust men, Though Heauen should speake, with all his wrath at once, That, with his breath, the hinges of the world Did cracke; we should stand upright, and vnfear'd.
L: Why, so we do, good Cato. Who be these?
O: Ambassadours, from the Allobroges, I take them, by their habits.
W: Aye, these men Seeme of another race; Let us sue to these There is hope of iustice, with their fortitude.
L: Friends of the Senate, and of Rome, to day We pray you to forbeare us: on the morrow What sute you have, let us, by Fabius Sanga, (Whose Patronage your State doth vse) but know it, And, on the Consull's word, you shall receiue Dispatch, or else an answere, worth your patience.
W: We would not hope for more, most worthy Consul. This Magistrate hath strooke an awe into me, And, by his sweetnesse, wonne a more reguard Vnto his place, then all the boistrous moodes That ignorant Greatnesse practiseth, to fill The large, vnfit authority it weares. How easie is a noble spirit discern'd From harsh, and sulphurous matter, that flies out In contumelies, makes a noise, and stinkes. May we finde good, and great men, that know how To stoupe to wants, and meete necessities, And will not turne from any equall suites. Such men, they do not succour more the cause, They vndertake, with fauor, and successe; Then, by it, their owne iudgments they do raise, In turning iust mens needes, into their praise.
W: Roome for the Consuls. Fathers, take your places. Here, in the house of Iupiter, the STAYER, By edict from the Consull, Marcus Tullius, You are met, a frequent Senate. Heare him speake.
L: Which may be happy, and auspicious still To Rome, and hers. Honor'd and Conscript Fathers, If I were silent, and that all the dangers Threatning the State, and you, were yet so hid In night, or darkenesse, thicker in their breats, That are the blacke contriuers; so, that no Beame of the light could pierce them: Yet the voice Of Heau'n, this morning, hath spoke loud inough, To instruct you with a feeling of the horror; And wake you from a sleepe, as dead, as death. I have, of late, spoke often in this Senate, Touching this argument, but still have wanted Either your eares, or faith: so incredible Their plots have seem'd, or I so vaine, to make These things for mine owne glory, and false greatnesse, As hath beene giuen out. But be it so: When they breake forth, and shall declare themselues, By their too foule effects, then, then, the enuy Of my iust cares will finde another name. For me, I am but one: And this poore life, So lately aim'd at, not an houre yet since, They cannot with more eagernesse pursue, Then I with gladnesse would lay downe, and loose, To buy Romes peace, if that would purchase it. But when I see, they would make it but the step To more, and greater; vnto yours, Romes, all: I would with those preserue it, or then fall.
Q: Aye, aye, let you alone, cunning Artificer! See, how his gorget peeres aboue his gowne; To tell the people, in what danger he was. It was absurdly done of Vargunteius, To name himselfe, before he was got in.
P: It matters not, so they denie it all: And can but carry the lie constantly. Will Catiline be here?
Q: I have sent for him.
P: And have you bid him to be confident?
Q: To that his owne necessity will prompt him.
P: Seeme to beleeue nothing at all, that Cicero Relates us.
Q: It will mad him.
P: O, and helpe The other party. Who is that? His Brother? What new intelligence has he brought him now?
Q: Some cautions from his Wife, how to behaue him.
L: Place some of them without, and some bring in. Thanke their kinde loues. It is a comfort yet, That all depart not from their Countries cause.
Q: How now, what meanes this Muster? Consul, Antonius?
M: I do not know, aske my Colleague, he will tell you. There is some reason in state, that I must yeeld to; And I have promis'd him: Indeede he has bought it, With giuing me the Provuince.
L: I professe, It grieues me. Fathers, that I am compell'd To draw these armes, and aides for your defence; And, more, against a Citizen of Rome, Borne here amongst you, a Patrician, A man, I must confesse, of no meane house, Nor no small vertue, if he had employ'd Those excellent gifts of Fortune, and of Nature, Vnto the good, not ruine of the State. But being bred in his fathers needy fortunes, Brought up in his sisters prostitution, Confirm'd in ciuill slaughter, entring first The Common-wealth, with murder of the gentry; Since, both by study, and custome, conuersant With all licentiousnesse: what could be hop'd In such a field of riot, but a course Extreme pernicious? Though, I must protest, I found his mischiefs, sooner, with mine eyes, Then with my thought; and with these hands of mine Before they touch'd, at my suspicion.
Q: What are his mischiefs, Consul? you declame Against his manners, and corrupt your owne; No wise man should, for hate of guilty men, Loose his owne innocence.
L: The noble Caesar Speakes Godlike truth. But, when he heares, I can Conuince him, by his manners, of his mischiefs, He might be silent: And not cast away His sentences in vaine, where they scarse looke. Toward his subiect.
N: Here he comes himselfe. If he be worthy any good mans voice, That good man sit downe, by him: Cato will not.
O: If Cato leaue him. I will not keepe aside.
A: What face is this, the Senate here puts on, Against me, Fathers! Give my modesty Leaue, to demand the cause of so much strangenesse.
Q: It is reported here, you are the head To a strange faction, Lucius.
L: Aye, and will Be prou'd against him.
A: Let it be. Why, Consul, If in the Common-wealth, there be two bodies, One leane, weake, rotten, and that hath a head; The other strong, and healthfull, but hath none: If I do give it one, do I offend? Restore your selues vnto your temper, Fathers; And, without perturbation, heare me speake: Remember who I am, and of what place What petty fellow this is, that opposes; One, that hath exercis'd his eloquence, Still to the bane of the Nobility: A boasting, insolent tongue-man.
N: Peace leud Traitor, Or wash thy mouth. He is an honest man And loues his Countrey; would thou didst so, too.
A: Cato, you are too zealous for him.
N: No, Thou art too impudent.
O: Catiline be silent.
A: Nay then, I easily feare, my iust defence Will come too late, to so much preiudice.
Q: Will he sit downe?
A: Yet, let the world forsake me, My innocence must not.
N: Thou innocent? So are the Furies.
L: Yes, and Ate, too. Do'st thou not blush, pernicious Catiline? Or, hath the palenesse of thy guilt drunke up Thy blood, and drawne thy vaines, as drie of that, As is thy heart of truth, thy breast of vertue? Whither at length wilt thou abuse our patience? Still shall thy fury mocke us? To what licence Dares thy vnbridled boldnesse runne it selfe? Do all the nightly guards, kept on the Palace, The Cities watches, with the Peoples feares, The concourse of all Good men, this so strong And fortified seate here of the Senate, The present lookes upon thee, strike thee nothing? Do'st thou not feele thy Councels all laid open? And see thy wild Conspiracy bound in With each mans knowledge? which of all this Order Canst thou think ignorant (if they will but vtter Their conscience to the right) of what thou didst Last night, what on the former, where thou were, Whom thou didst call together, what your plots were? O Age, and Manners! This the Consul sees, The Senate vnderstands, yet this man lives! Liues? Aye, and comes here into Councell with us; Partakes the publique cares: and with his eye Markes, and points out each man of us to slaughter. And we, good men, do satisfie the State, If we can shunne but this mans sword, and madnesse. There was that vertue, once, in Rome, when good men Would, with more sharpe coercion, have restrain'd A wicked Citizen, then the deadliest Foe. We have that law still, Catiline, for thee; An act as graue, as sharpe: The State is not wanting, Nor the authority of this Senate; we, We, that are Consuls, onely fayle our selues. This twentie daies, the edge of that decree We have let dull, a rust; kept it shut up, As in a sheath, which drawne should take thy head. Yet still thou liu'st; and liu'st not to lay by Thy wicked confidence, but to confirme it. I could desire, Fathers, to be found Still mercifull, to seeme in these maine perils, Grasping the state, a man remisse, and slacke; But then, I should condemne my self of sloth, And treachery. Their Campe is in Italy, Pitch'd in the iawes, here, of Hetruria; Their numbers daily increasing, and their Generall Within our walles: nay in our Councell, plotting Howerly some fatall mischiefe to the Publique. If, Catiline, I should command thee, now, Here, to be taken, kill'd; I make iust doubt, Whether all good men would not think it done Rather too late, then any man too cruell.
N: Except he were of the same meale, and batch.
L: But that, which ought to have bene done long since, I will, and (for good reason) yet forbeare. Then will I take thee, when no man is found So lost, so wicked, nay so like thy selfe, But shall professe, it is done of neede, and right. While there is one, that dares defend thee, liue; Thou shalt have leaue; but so, as now thou liu'st: Watch'd at a hand, besieged, and opprest From working least commotion to the State. I have those eyes, and eares, shall still keepe guard, And spiall on thee, as they have euer done, And thou not feele it. What, then, canst thou hope? If neither Night can, with her darknesse; hide Thy wicked meetings; nor a priuate House Can, in her walles, containe the guiltie whispers Of thy conspiracy: If all breake out, All be discouered, change thy minde at last, And loose thy thoughts of ruine, flame, and slaughter. Remember, how I told, here, to the Senate, That such a day, thy Lictor, Caius Manlius, Would be in armes. Was I deceiued, Catiline, Or in the fact, or in the time? the hower? I told too, in this Senate, that thy purpose Was, on the fifth, the Kalends of Nouember, To have slaughterd this whole Order: which my caution Made many leaue the Citie. Canst thou here Denie, but this thy blacke designe was hindred, That very day, by me, thy selfe clos'd in Within my strengths, so that thou could'st not moue Against a publique reed? when thou wert heard To say, upon the parting of the rest, Thou would'st content thee, with the murder of us, That did remaine. Had'st thou not hope, beside, By a surprize, by night, to take Praeneste? Where when thou canst, didst thou not finde the place Made good against thee, with my aides, my watches? My Garrisons fortified it. Thou dost nothing, Sergius, Thou canst endeuour nothing, nay not think, But I both see, and heare it; and am with thee, By, and before, about, and in thee, too. Call but to minde thy last nights businesse. Come, I will vse no circumstance: at Lecca's house, The shop, and mint of your conspiracie, Among your Sword-men, where so many associates Both of thy mischiefe, and thy madnesse, met. Dar'st thou denie this? wherefore art thou silent? Speake, and this shall conuince thee: Here they are, I see them, in this Senate, that were with thee. O you immortall Gods! In what clime are we? What region do we liue in? in what ayre? What Common-wealth, or State is this we have? Here, here, amongst us, our owne number, Fathers, In this most holy Councell of the world, They are, that seeke the spoyle of me, of you, Of ours, of all; what I can name is too narrow: Follow the Sunne, and find not their ambition. These I behold, being Consull; Nay, I aske Their counsels of the State, as from good Patriots: Whom it were fit the axe should hew in pieces, I not so much as wound, yet, with my voyce. Thou wast, last night, with Lecca, Catiline, Your shares, of Italy, you there diuided; Appointed who and whither, each should goe; What men should stay behind, in Rome, were chosen; Your offices set downe; the parts mark'd out, And places of the Citie, for the fire; Thy selfe (thou affirmd'st) wast readie to depart, Onely, a little let there was, that stay'd thee, That I yet liu'd: upon the word, stept forth Three of thy crew, to rid thee of that care; Two vndertooke this morning, before day, To kill me in my bed. All this I knew, Your conuent scarce dismiss'd, arm'd all my seruants, Call'd both my brother, and friends, shut out your clients, You sent to visite me; whose names I told To some there, of good place, before they came.
N: Yes, I, and Quintus Catulus can affirme it.
Q: He is lost, and gone. His spirits have forsooke him.
L: If this be so, why, Catiline, dost thou stay? Goe, where thou meanst: The Ports are open; forth. The Campe abroad wants thee, their Chiefe, too long. Lead with thee all thy troupes out. Purge the Citie. Draw drie that noysome, and pernicious sinke, Which left, behind thee, would infect the world. Thou wilt free me of all my feares, at once, To see a wall betweene us. Dost thou stop To do that now, commanded; which before, Of thine owne choise, thou wert prone to? goe. The Consul Bids thee, an enemy, to depart the Citie. Whither, thou wilt aske? to exile? I not bid Thee that. But aske my counsell, I perswade it. What is there, here , in Rome, that can delight thee? Where not a soule, without thine owne soule knot, But feares, and hates thee. What domesticke note Of priuate filthinesse, but is burnt in Into thy life? What close, and secret shame, But is growne one, with thy knowne infamy? What lust was euer absent from thine eyes? What lewd fact from thy hands? what wickednesse From thy whole body? where is that youth drawne in Within thy nets, or catch'd up with thy baytes, Before whose rage, thou hast not borne a sword, And to whose lusts thou hast not held a torch? Thy latter Nuptials I let passe in silence; Where sinnes incredible, on sinnes, were heapt: Which I not name, lest, in a ciuill State, So monstrous facts should eyther appeare to be, Or not to be reueng'd. Thy Fortunes, too, I glance not at, which hang but till next Ides. I come to that, which is more knowne, more publick; The life, and safety of us all, by thee Threatned, and sought. Stood'st thou not in the field, When Lepidus, and Tullus were our Consuls, Upon the day of choyse, arm'd, and with forces, To take their liues, and our chiefe Citizens; When, not thy feare, nor conscience chang'd thy mind, But the meere fortune of the Common-wealth Withstood thy actiue malice? Speake but right. How often hast thou made attempt on me? How many of thy assaults have I declin'd With shifting but my bodie, (as we would say) Wrested thy dagger from thy hand, how oft? How often hath it falne, or slip't by chance? Yet can thy side not want it: which, how vow'd, Or with what rites, it is sacred of thee, I know not, That still thou mak'st it a necessitie, To fixe it in the bodie of a Consul. But let me loose this way, and speake to thee, Not as one mou'd with hatred, which I ought, But pitty, of which none is owing thee.
N: No more then vnto Tantalus, or Tityus.
L: Thou cam'st, ere while, into this Senate. Who Of such a frequency, so many friends, And kindred thou hast here, saluted thee? Were not the seates made bare, upon thy entrance? Riss' not the Consular men? and left their places, So soone as thou sat'st downe? and fled thy side, Like a plague, or ruine; knowing, how oft They had bene, by thee, mark'd out for the Shambles? How dost thou beare this? Surely, if my Slaues At home fear'd me, with halfe the affright, and horror, That, here, thy fellow Citizens do thee, I should soone quit my house, and think it need too. Yet thou dar'st tary here? Go forth, at last; Condemne thy selfe to flight, and solitude. Discharge the Common-wealth, of her deepe feare. Goe; into banishment, if thou wait'st the word. Why do'st thou looke? They all consent vnto it. Do'st thou expect the authority of their voyces, Whose silent willes condemne thee? While they sit, They approue it; while they suffer it, they decree it; And while they are silent to it, they proclaime it. Proue thou there honest, I will endure the enuie. But there is no thought, thou should'st be euer he, Whom eyther shame should call from filthinesse, Terror from danger, or discourse from fury. Goe; I intreat thee: yet, why do I so? When I already know, they are sent afore, That tarry for thee in armes, and do expect thee On the Aurelian way. I know the day Set downe, twixt thee, and Manlius; vnto whom The siluer Eagle too is sent, before: Which I do hope shall proue, to thee as banefull, As thou conceiu'st it to the Common-wealth. But, may this wise, and sacred Senate say, What mean'st thou Marcus Tullius? If thou know'st That Catiline be look'd for, to be Chiefe Of an intestine warre; that he is the Author Of such a wickednesse; the Caller out Of men of marke in mischiefe, to an action Of so much horror; Prince of such a treason; Why do'st thou send him forth? why let him scape? This is to give him liberty, and power: Rather, thou should'st lay hold upon him, send him To deseru'd death, and a iust punishment. To these so holy voyces, thus I answere. If I did think it timely, Conscript Fathers, To punish him with death, I would not give The Fencer vse of one short hower, to breath; But when there are in this graue Order, some, Who, with soft censures, still do nource his hopes; Some, that with not beleeuing, have confirm'd His designes more, and whose authoritie The weaker, as the worst men, too, have follow'd: I would now send him, where they all should see Cleare, as the light, his heart shine; where no man Could be so wickedly, or fondly stupide, But should cry out he saw, touch'd, felt, and grasp't it. Then, when he hath runne out himselfe; led forth His desp'rate partie with him; blowne together Aids of all kinds, both shipwrack'd minds and fortunes: Not onely the growne euill, that now is sprung, And sprouted forth, would be pluck'd up, and weeded; But the stocke, roote, and seed of all the mischiefes, Choking the Common-wealth. Where, should we take Of such a swarme of traytors, onely him, Our cares, and feares might seeme a while relieu'd, But the maine perill would bide still enclos'd Deepe, in the veines, and bowels of the State. As humane bodies, laboring with feuers, While they are tost with heate, if they do take Cold water, seeme for that short space much eas'd, But afterward, are ten times more afflicted. Wherefore, I say, let all this wicked crew Depart, diuide themselues from good men, gather Their forces to one head; as I said oft, Let them leaue off attempts, upon the Consul, In his owne house; to circle in the Praetor; To girt the Court with weapons; to prepare Fire, and balles, swords, torches, sulphure, brands: In short, let it be writ in each mans forehead What thoughts he beares the Publike. I here promise, Fathers Conscript, to you, and to my selfe, That diligence in us Consulls, for my honour'd Colleague, abroad, and for my selfe, at home; So great authority in you; so much Vertue, in these, the Gentlemen of Rome; Whom I could scarce restraine to day, in zeale, From seeking out the Parricide, to slaughter; So much consent in all good men, and minds, As on the going out of this one Catiline, All shall be cleare, made plaine, oppress'd, reueng'd. And, with this omen, go, pernicious plague, Out of the Citie, to the wish'd destruction Of thee, and those, that, to the ruine of her, Have tane that bloudy, and blacke sacrament. Thou Iupiter, whom we do call the STAYER Both of this Citie, and this Empire, wilt (With the same auspice thou didst raise it first) Driue from thy Altars, and all other Temples, And Buildings of this City; from our Walles; Liues, states, and fortunes of our Citizens; This fiend, this fury, with his complices. And all the offence of good men (these knowne traitors Vnto their countrey, theeues of Italie, Ioynd'd in so damn'd a league of mischiefe) thou Wilt with perpetuall plagues, aliue, and dead, Punish for Rome, and saue her innocent head.
A: If an Oration, or high language, Fathers, Could make me guilty, here is one, hath done it: He has stroue to aemulate this mornings thunder, With his prodigious rhetoricke. But I hope, This Senate is more graue, then to give credit Rashly to all he vomits, 'gainst a man Of your owne Order, a Patrician; And one, whose ancestors have more deseru'd Of Rome, then this mans eloquence could vtter, Turn'd the best way, as still, it is the worst.
N: His eloquence hath more deseru'd to day, Speaking thy ill, then all thy ancestors Did, in their good: And that the State will finde, Which he hath sau'd.
A: How he? were I that enemy, That he would make me: I would not wish the State More wretched, then to neede his preseruation. What do you make him, Cato, such a Hercules? An Atlas? A poore petty In-mate.
A: He saue the State? A Burgesse sonne of Arpinum. The Gods would rather twenty Romes should perish, Then have that contumely stucke upon them, That he should share with them, in the preseruing A shed, or signe-post.
N: Peace, thou prodigie.
A: They would be runne themselues, againe, and lost In the first, rude, and indigested heape; Ere such a wretched name, as Cicero, Should sound with theirs.
O: Away, thou impudent head.
A: Do you all backe him? are you silent too? Well, I will leaue you Fathers; I will goe. But — my fine dainty speaker. —
L: What now Fury? Wilt thou assault me here?
U: Helpe, aide the Consul,
A: See Fathers, laugh you not? who threatned him? In vaine thou do'st conceiue, ambitious Orator, Hope of so braue a death, as by this hand.
N: Out, of the Court, with the pernicious traytor.
A: There is no title, that this flattering Senate, Nor honor, the base multitude can give thee, Shall make thee worthy Catilines anger.
N: Stop, Stop that portentous mouth.
A: Or, when it shall, I will looke thee dead.
N: Will none restraine the Monster?
W: Butcher, Traytor, leaue the Senate.
A: I am gone, to banishment, to please you Fathers. Thrust head-long forth?
N: Stil, dost thou murmure, Monster?
A: Since, I am thus put out, and made a —
O: Not guiltier then thou art.
A: I will not burne Without my funerall pile.
W: Sing out Scrich-owle.
A: It shall be in —
O: Speake thy imperfect thoughts.
A: The common fire, rather then mine owne. For fall I will with all, ere fall alone.
P: He is lost, there is no hope of him.
Q: Vnlesse He presently take armes; and give a blow, Before the Consuls forces can be leuie'd.
L: What is your pleasure, Fathers, shall be done?
O: See, that the Common-wealth receiue no losse.
N: Commit the care thereof vnto the Consuls.
P: It is time.
Q: And need.
L: Thanks to this frequent But what decree they, vnto Curius, And Fuluia?
O: What the Consul shall think meete.
L: They must receiue reward, though it be not knowne; Lest when a State needes ministers, they have none.
N: Yet, Marcus Tullius, do not I beleeue, But Crassus, and this Caesar here ring hollow.
L: And would appeare so, if that we durst proue them.
N: Why dare we not? What honest act is that, The Roman Senate should not dare, and do?
L: Not an vnprofitable, dangerous act, To stirre too many Serpents up at once. Caesar, and Crassus, if they be ill men, Are mighty ones; and, we must so prouide, That, while we take one head, from this foule Hydra, There spring not twenty more.
N: I 'proue your Counsell.
L: They shall be watch'd, and look'd too. Till they do Declare themselues, I will not put them out By any question. There they stand. I will make My selfe no enemies, nor the State, no traitors.
A: False to our selues? All our designes discouer'd To this State-Cat?
C: Aye, had I had my way, He had mew'd in flames, at home, not in the Senate: I had sing'd his furres, by this time.
A: Well, there is, now, No time of calling backe, or standing still. Friends, be your selues; keepe the same Roman hearts, And ready minds, you had yesternight: Prepare To execute, what we resolu'd. And let not Labor, or danger, or discouery fright you. I will to the army: you (the while) mature Things, here, at home. Draw to you any aides, That you think fit, of men of all conditions, Or any fortunes, that may helpe a warre. I will bleede a life, or winne an Empire for you. Within these few dayes, looke to see my ensignes, Here, at the walles: Be you but firme within. Meane time, to draw an enuy on the Consull, And give a lesse suspicion of our course, Let it be giuen out, here in the Citty, That I am gone, an innocent man, to exile, Into Massilia, willing to give way To fortune, and the times; being vnable To stand so great a faction, without troubling The Common-wealth: whose peace I rather seeke, Then all the glory of contention, Or the support of mine owne innocence. Farewell the noble Lentulus, Longinus, Curius, the rest; and thou, my better Genius, The braue Cethegus: when we meete againe, We will sacrifice to Liberty.
C: And Reuenge. That we may praise our hands once.
B: O you Fates, Give Fortune now her eyes, to see with whom She goes along, that she may nere forsake him.
D: He needs not her, nor them. Goe but on, Sergius. A valiant man is his owne Fate, and Fortune.
E: The Fate, and Fortune of us all goe with him.
X: And euer guard him.
A: I am all your Creature.
B: Now friends, it is left with us. I have already Dealt, by Vmbrenus, with the Allobroges, Here resiant in Rome; whose State, I heare, Is discontent with the great vsuries, They are oppress'd with: and have made complaints Diuers, vnto the Senate, but all vaine. These men, I have thought, both for their owne oppressions, As also that, by nature, they are a people Warlike, and fierce, still watching after change, And now, in present hatred with our State, The fittest, and the easiest to be drawne To our society, and to aide the warre. The rather, for their seate: being next bordrers On Italie: and that they abound with horse, Of which one want our Campe doth only labor. And I have found them comming. They will meete Soone at Sempronia's house, where I would pray you All to be present, to confirme them more. The sight of such spirits hurt not, nor the store.
W: I will not Faile. Nor I.
D: Nor I.
C: Would I Had somewhat by my selfe, apart, to do. I have no genius to these many counsels. Let me kill all the Senate, for my share, I will do it at the next sitting.
B: Worthy Caius, Your presence will adde much.
C: I shall marre more.
L: The State is beholden to you, Fabius Sanga, For this great care: And those Allobroges Are more then wretched, if they lend a listning To such perswasion.
W: They, most worthy Consul, As men employ'd here, from a grieued State, Groaning beneath a multitude of wrongs, And being told, there was small hope of ease To be expected, to their euils, from hence; Were willing, at the first to give an eare To any thing, that sounded liberty: But since, on better thoughts, and my vrg'd reasons, They are come about, and wonne, to the true side. The fortune of the Common-wealth hath conquer'd.
L: What is that same Vmbrenus, was the Agent?
W: One that hath had negotiation In Gallia oft, and knowne vnto their State.
L: Are the Ambassadours come with you?
L: Well, bring them in, if they be firme, and honest, Neuer had men the meanes so to deserue Of Rome, as they. A happy, wish'd occasion, And thrust into my hands, for the discouery, And manifest conuiction of these traytors. Be thank'd; o Iupiter. My worthy Lords, Confederates of the Senate, you are welcome. I vnderstand by Quintus Fabius Sanga, Your carefull Patron here, you have been lately Sollicited against the Common-wealth, By one Vmbrenus (take a seate, pray you) From Publius Lentulus, to be associates In their intended warre. I could aduise, That men, whose fortunes are yet flourishig, And are Romes friends, would not, without a cause, Become her enemies; and mixe themselues And their estates, with the lost hopes of Catiline, Or Lentulus, whose meere despaire doth arme them: That were to hazard certainties, for ayre, And vndergoe all danger, for a voyce. Beleeue me, friends; Loud tumults are not laid With halfe the easinesse that they are rais'd. All may beginne a warre, but few can end it. The Senate have decreed, that my Colleague Shall leade their army, against Catiline, And have declar'd both him, and Manlius traitors. Metellus Celer hath already giuen Part of their troopes defeate. Honors are promis'd Euen to slaues, that can detect their courses. Here, in the City, I have by the Praetors, And Tribunes, plac'd my guards, and watches so, That not a foote can treade, a breath can whisper, But I have knowledge. And be sure, the Senate, And People of Rome, of their accustom'd greatnesse, Will sharply, and seuerely vindicate, Not only any fact, but any practise Or purpose, 'gainst the State. Therefore, my Lords, Consult of your owne waies, and think which hand Is best to take. You, now, are present suters For some redresse of wrongs; I will vndertake Not only that shall be assur'd you, but What grace or priuiledge else, Senate, or People Can cast upon you, worthy such a seruice, As you have now the way, and meanes, to do them; If but your willes consent, with my designes.
W: We couet nothing more, most worthy Consul. And how so ere we have beene tempted lately, To a defection, that not makes us guilty: We are not yet so wretched in our fortunes, Nor in our willes so lost, as to abandon A friendship, prodigally, of that price, As is the Senate, and the People of Romes, For hopes, that do praecipitate themselues.
L: You then are wise, and honest. Do but this, then: When shall you speake with Lentulus, and the rest?
W: We are to meete anone, at Brutus house.
L: Who? Decius Brutus? He is not in Rome.
W: O, but his wife, Sempronia.
L: You instruct me, She is a Chiefe. Well, faile not you to meete them, And to expresse the best affection You can put on, to all that they intend. Like it, applaud it, give the Common-wealth And Senate, lost to them. Promise any aides By armes, or counsell. What they can desire I would have you preuent. Only, say this, You have had dispatch, in priuate, by the Consull Of your affaires, and for the many feares The State is now in, you are will'd by him, this euening, To depart Rome: which you, by all sought meanes, Will do, of reason to decline suspicion. Now, for the more authority of the businesse They have trusted to you, and to give it credit With your owne State, at home, you would desire Their letters to your Senate, and your People, Which shewne, you durst engage both life, and honor, The rest should euery way answere their hopes. Those had, pretend sodaine departure you, And, as you give me notice, at what Port You will goe out, I will have you intercepted, And all the letters taken with you: So As you shall be redeem'd in all opinions, And they conuicted of their manifest treason. Ill deedes are well turn'd backe, upon their Authors: And 'gainst an Iniurer, the reuenge is iust. This must be done, now.
W: Chearfully, and firmely. We are they, would rather hast to vndertake it, They stay, to say so.
L: With that confidence, goe: Make your selues happy, while you make Rome so. By Sanga, let me have notice from you.
J: When come these Creatures, the Ambassadors? I would faine see them. Are they any Schollers?
B: I think not, Madame.
J: Have they no Greeke?
B: No surely.
J: Fie, what do I here, wayting on them then? If they be nothing but meere States-men.
B: Yes, Your Ladyship shall obserue their grauity, And their reseruednesse, their many cautions, Fitting their persons.
J: I do wonder much, That States, and Common-wealths employ not women, To be Ambassadors, sometimes: we should Do as good publike seruice, and could make As honorable Spies (for so Thucidides Calls all Ambassadors.) Are they come, Cethegus?
C: Do you aske me? Am I your scout, or baud?
B: O Caius, it is no such businesse.
C: No? What does a woman at it then?
J: Good Sir, There are of us can be as exquisite Traytors, As ere a male-Conspirator of you all.
C: Aye, at smock-treason, Matron, I beleeue you; And if I were your husband; But when I Trust to your cobweb-bosomes any other Let me there die a Flie; and feast you, Spider.
B: You are too sowre, and harsh Cethegus.
C: You Are kinde, and courtly. I would be torne in pieces, With wilde Hippolytus, nay proue the death, Euery limbe ouer, ere I would trust a woman, With wind, could I retaine it.
J: Sir. They will be trusted With as good secrets, yet, as you have any, And cary them too, as close, and as conceald, As you shall for your heart.
C: I will not contend with you Eyther in tongue, or cariage, good Calipso:
E: The Ambassadors are come.
C: Thanks to thee Mercury, That so hast rescu'd me.
B: How now, Volturtius?
W: They do desire some speech with you, in priuate.
B: O! it is about the prophecie, belike, And promise of the Sibylls;
W: It may be.
J: Shunne they, to treat at with me, too?
W: No, good Lady, You may partake: I have told them, who you are.
J: I should be loath to be left out, and here too.
C: Can these, or such, be any aydes, to us? Looke they, as they were built to shake the world, Or be a moment to our enterprise? A thousand, such as they are, could not make One Atome of our soules. They should be men Worth Heauens feare, that looking up, but thus, Would make Ioue stand upon his guard, and draw Himselfe within his Thonder; which, amaz'd, He should discharge in vaine, and they vnhurt. Or, if they were, like Capaneus, at Thebes, They should hang dead, upon the highest spires, And aske the second charge, to be throwne downe. Why, Lentulus, talke you so long? This time Had bene enough, to have scatter'd all the Starres. To have quench'd the Sunne, and Moone, and made the World Despaire of day, or any light, but ours.
B: How do you like this spirit? In such men, Mankind doth liue. They are such soules, as these, That moue the world.
J: Aye, though he beare me hard, I, yet, must do him right. He is a spirit Of the right Martian breed.
W: He is a Mars. Would we had time to liue here, and admire him.
B: Well, I do see you would preuent the Consul. And I commend your care: It was but reason, To aske our Letters, and we had prepar'd them. Goe in, and we will take an oath, and seale them. You shall have Letters, too, to Catiline, To visite him in the way, and to confirme The association. This our friend, Volturtius, Shall goe along with you. Tell our great Generall, That we are readie here; that Lucius Bestia The Tribune, is prouided of a speach, To lay the enuie of the warre on Cicero; That all but long for his approach, and person: And then, you are made Freemen, as our selues.
L: I cannot feare the warre but to succeede well, Both for the honor of the cause, and worth Of him that doth commaund. For my Colleague, Being so ill affected with the goute, Will not be able to be there in person; And then Petreius, his Lieutenant, must Of neede take charge of the army: who is much The better souldier, hauing bene a Tribune, Prefect, Lieutenant, Praetor in the warre, These thirtie yeares, so conuersant in the army, As he knowes all the souldiers, by their names.
W: They will fight then, brauely, with him. Aye, and he Will lead them on, as brauely.
L: They have a foe Will aske their braueries, whose necessities Will arme him like a fury. But, how euer, I will trust it to the mannage, and the fortune Of good Petreius, who is a worthy Patriot. Metellus Celer, with three Legions, too, Will stop their course, for Gallia. How now, Fabius?
W: The trayne hath taken. You must instantly Dispose your guards upon the Miluian bridge: For, by that way, they meane to come.
L: Then, thither Pomtinius, and Flaccus, I must pray you To lead that force you have; and seise them all: Let not a person scape. The Ambassadours Will yeeld themselues. If there be any tumult I will send you ayde. I, in meane time will call Lentulus to me, Gabinius, and Cethegus, Statilius, Ceparius, and all these By seuerall messengers: who no doubt will come, Without sense, or suspicion. Prodigall men Feele not their owne stocke wasting. When I have them, I will place those guards, upon them, that they start not,
W: But what will you do with Sempronia?
L: A State Should not take knowledge eyther of Fooles, or Women. I do not know whether my ioy or care Ought to be greater; that I have discouer'd So foule a treason: or must vndergone The enuie of so many great mens fate. But, happen what there can, I will be iust, My fortune may forsake me, not my vertue: That shall goe with me, and before me, still, And glad me, doing well, though I heare ill.
W: Stand, who goes there? We are the Allobroges, And friends of Rome. If you be so, then yeeld Your selues vnto the Praetors, who in name Of the whole Senate, and the people of Rome, Yet, till you cleare your selues, charge you of practise Against the State. Die friends, and be not taken. What voyce is that? Downe with them all. We yeeld. What is he stands out? Kill him there. Hold, hold, hold. I yeeld upon conditions. We give none To traytors, strike him downe. My name is Volturtius: I know Pomtinius. But he knowes not you, While you stand out upon these trayterous termes. I will yeeld upon the safety of my life. If it be forfeyted, we cannot saue it. Promise to do your best. I am not so guilty, As many others, I can name; and will: If you will grant me fauour. All we can Is to deliuer you to the Consul. Take him, And thanke the Gods, that thus have saued Rome.
U: Now, do our eares, before our eyes, Like men in mistes, Discouer, who would the State surprise, And who resists? And, as these clouds do yeeld to light, Now, do we see, Our thoughts of things, how they did fight, Which seem'd to agree? Of what strange pieces are we made, Who nothing know; But, as new Ayres our eares inuade, Still censure so? That now do hope, and now do feare, And now enuie; And then do hate, and then loue deare, But know not, why: Or, if we do, it is so late, As our best moode, Though true, is then thought out of date, And empty of good. How have we chang'd, and come about In euery doome, Since wicked Catiline went out, And quitted Rome? One while, we thought him innocent; And, then we accus'd The Consul, for his malice spent; And power abus'd. Since, that we heare, he is in Armes, We think not so: Yet charge the Consul, with our harmes, That let him goe. So, in our censure of the state, We still do wander; And make the carefull Magistrate The marke of slaunder. What age is this, where honest men; Plac'd at the helme, A Sea of some foule mouth, or pen, Shall ouerwhelme? And call their diligence, deceipt; Their vertue, vice; Their watchfullnesse, but lying in waite: And bloud, the price. O, let us plucke till euill seede Out of our spirits; And give, to euery noble deede, The name it merits. Least we seeme falne (if this endures) Into those times, To loue disease: and brooke the cures Worse, then the crimes.
ACT 5 SCENE 5.1
W: It is my fortune, and my glory, Souldiers, This day, to lead you on; the worthy Consul Kept from the honor of it, by disease: And I am proud, to have so braue a cause To exercise your armes in. We not, now, Fight for how long, how broad, how great, and large The extent, and bounds of the people of Rome shall be; But to retaine what our great Ancestors, With all their labours, counsels, arts, and actions, For us, were purchasing so many yeares. The quarrell is not, now, of fame, of tribute, Or of wrongs, done vnto Confederates, For which, the Army of the people of Rome Was wont to moue: but for your owne Republique, For the rais'd Temples of the immortall Gods, For all your Fortunes, Altars, and your Fires, For the deere soules of your lou'd Wiues, and Children, Your Parents tombes, your Rites, Lawes, Liberty, And, briefly, for the safety of the World: Against such men, as onely by their crimes Are knowne; thrust out by riot, want, or rashnesse. One sort, Sylla's old troopes, left here in Fesulae, Who sodainly made rich, in those dire times, Are since, by their vnbounded, vast expence, Growne needie; and poore, and have but left to expect, From Catiline, new Billes, and new Proscriptions. These men (they say) are valiant; yet, I think them Not worth your pause: For either their old vertue Is, in their sloth, and pleasures lost; or, if It tarry with them, so ill match to yours, As they are short in number, or in cause. The second sort are of those (Citty-beasts, Rather then Citizens) who whilst they reach After our fortunes, have let flie their owne; These, whelm'd in wine, swell'd up with meates, and weakned With hourely whoredomes, neuer left the side Of Catiline, in Rome; nor, here, are loos'd From his embraces: Such, as (trust me) neuer In riding, or in vsing well their armes, Watching, or other militarie labor, Did exercise their youth; but learn'd to loue, Drinke, dance, and sing, make feasts, and be fine gamsters. And there will wish more hurt to you, then they bring you. The rest are a mixt kinde, all sort of furies; Adulterers, Dicers, Fencers, Outlawes, Theeues, The Murderers of their Parents, all the sinke, And plague of Italie, met in one torrent, To take, to day, from us the punishment, Due to their mischiefs, for so many yeares. And who, in such a cause, and 'gainst such fiends, Would not now wish himselfe all arme, and weapon? To cut such poysons from the earth, and let Their blood out, to be drawne away in cloudes, And pour'd, on some inhabitable place, Where the hot Sunne, and Slime breedes nought but Monsters? Chiefly, when this sure ioy shall crowne our side, That the least man, that falles upon our party This day (as some must give their happy names To fate, and that eternall memory Of the best death, writ with it, for their Countrey) Shall walke at pleasure, in the tents of rest; And see farre off, beneath him, all their host Tormented after life: and Catiline, there, Walking a wretched, and lesse Ghost, then he. I will vrge no more: Moue forward, with your Eagles, And trust the Senates, and Romes cause to Heauen.
X: To thee; great Father Mars, and greater Ioue.
Q: I Euer look'd for this of Lentulus, When Catiline was gone.
P: I gaue them lost, Many dayes since.
Q: But, wherefore did you beare Their letter to the Consul, that they sent you, To warne you from the City?
P: Did I know Whether he made it? It might come from him, For ought I could assure me: if they meant, I should be safe, among so many, they might Have come, as well as writ.
Q: There is no losse In being secure. I have, of late, too, ply'd him, Thicke, with intelligences, but they have beene Of things he knew before.
P: A little serues To keepe a man upright, on these State-bridges, Although the passage were more dangerous. Let us now take the standing part.
Q: We must, And be as zealous for it, as Cato. Yet I would faine helpe these wretched men.
P: You cannot. Who would saue them, that have betraid themselues?
L: I will not be wrought to it, Brother Quintus. There is no mans priuate enmity shall make Me violate the dignity of another. If there were proofe 'gainst Caesar, or who euer, To speake him guilty, I would so declare him. But Quintus Catulus, and Piso both, Shall know, the Consul will not, for their grudge, Have any man accus'd, or named falsly.
W: Not falsly, but if any circumstance, By the Allobroges, or from Volturtius, Would carry it.
L: That shall not be sought by me, If it reueale it selfe, I would not spare You, Brother, if it pointed at you, trust me.
W: Good Marcus Tullius (which is more, then great) Thou had'st thy education, with the Gods.
L: Send Lentulus, forth, and bring away the rest. This office, I am sorry, Sir, to do you.
L: What may be happy still, and fortunate, To Rome, and to this Senate: Please you, Fathers, To breake these letters, and to view them round. If that be not found in them, which I feare, I, yet, intreate, at such a time, as this, My diligence be not contemn'd. Have you brought The weapons hither, from Cethegus house?
W: They are without.
L: Be ready, with Volturtius, To bring him, when the Senate calls; And see None of the rest, conferre together. Fathers, What do you reade? Is it yet worth your care, If not your feare, what you finde practis'd there?
Q: It hath a face of horror.
P: I am amaz'd.
N: Looke there.
W: Gods! Can such men draw common aire?
L: Although the greatnesse of the mischiefe, Fathers, Hath often made my faith small, in this Senate, Yet, since my casting Catiline out (for now I do not feare the enuy of the word, Vnlesse the deede be rather to be fear'd, That he went hence aliue; when those I meant Should follow him, did not) I have spent both daies, And nights, in watching, what their fury and rage Was bent on, that so staid, against my thought: And that I might but take them in that light, Where, when you met their treason, with your eyes, Your minds, at length, would think for your owne safety. And, now, it is done. There are their hands, and seales. Their persons, too, are safe, thankes to the Gods. Bring in Volturtius, and the 'Allobroges. These be the men, were trusted with their letters.
W: Fathers, beleeue me, I knew nothing: I Was trauailing for Gallia, and am sorry —
L: Quake not Volturtius, speake the truth, and hope Well of this Senate, on the Consuls word.
W: Then, I knew all. But truely I was drawne in But the other day.
Q: Say, what thou know'st, and feare not. Thou hast the Senates faith, and Consuls word, To fortifie thee.
W: I was sent with letters — And had a message too — from Lentulus — To Catiline — that he should vse all aides — Seruants, or others — and come with his army, As soon, vnto the Citty as he could — For they were ready, and but staid for him — To intercept those, that should flee the fire — These Men, the Allobroges, did heare it too. Yes Fathers, and they tooke an oath, to us. Besides their letters, that we should be free; And vrg'd us, for some present aide of horse.
L: Nay, here be other testimonies, Fathers, Cethegus Armoury.
P: What, not all these?
L: Here is not the hundred part. Call in the Fencer, That we may know the armes to all these weapons. Come, my braue Sword-player, to what actiue vse, Was all this steele prouided?
C: Had you ask'd In Syllas dayes, it had beene to cut throtes; But, now, it was to looke on, only: I lou'd To see good blades, and feele their edge, and points. To put a helme upon a blocke, and cleaue it, And, now and then, to stabbe an armour through.
L: Know you that paper? That will stabbe you through. Is it your hand? Hold, saue the peeces. Traytor, Hath thy guilt wak'd thy fury?
C: I did write, I know not what; nor care not: That foole Lentulus Did dictate, and I the other Foole, did signe it.
L: Bring in Statilius: Does he know his hand too? And Lentulus. Reach him that letter.
W: I Confesse it all.
L: Know you that seale yet, Publius?
B: Yes, it is mine.
L: Whose image is that, on it?
B: My Grandfathers.
L: What, that renowm'd good man, That did so only' embrace his Countrey', and lou'd His fellow Citizens! Was not his picture, Though mute, of power to call thee from a fact, So foule. —
B: As what, impetuous Cicero?
L: As thou art, for I do not know what is fouler. Looke upon these. Do not these faces argue Thy guilt, and impudence?
B: What are these to me? I know them not.
W: No Publius? we were with you, At Brutus house. Last night.
B: What did you there? Who sent for you?
W: Your selfe did. We had letters From you, Cethegus, this Statilius here, Gabinius Cimber, all, but from Longinus, Who would not write, because he was to come Shortly, in person, after us (he said) To take the charge of the horse, which we should leuy.
L: And he is fled, to Catiline, I heare.
B: Spies? spies?
W: You told us too, of the Sibylls bookes, And how you were to be a King, this yeare, The twentieth, from the burning of the Capitol. That three Cornelij were to raigne, in Rome, Of which you were the last: and prais'd Cethegus, And the great spirits, were with you, in the action.
C: These are your honorable Ambassadors, My Soueraigne Lord.
N: Peace, that too bold Cethegus.
W: Besides Gabinius, your Agent, nam'd Autronius, Seruius Sulla, Vargunteius, And diuers others. I had letters from you, To Catiline, and a message, which I have told Vnto the Senate, truly, word for word: For which, I hope, they will be gracious to me. I was drawne in, by that same wicked Cimber, And thought no hurt at all.
L: Volturtius, peace. Where is thy visor, or thy voyce, now, Lentulus? Art thou confounded? Wherefore speak'st thou not? Is all so cleare, so plaine, so manifest, That both thy eloquence, and impudence, And thy ill nature, too, have left thee, at once? Take him aside. There is yet one more. Gabinius, The Enginer of all. Shew him that paper, If he do know it?
W: I know nothing.
W: No. Nor I will not know.
N: Impudent head? Sticke it into his throate; were I the Consul, I would make thee eate the mischiefe, thou hast vented.
W: Is there a Law for it, Cato?
N: Dost thou aske After a Law, that would'st have broke all lawes, Of Nature, Manhood, Conscience, and Religion.
W: Yes, I may aske for it.
N: No, pernicious Cimber. The inquiring after good, does not belong Vnto a wicked person.
W: Aye, but Cato Does nothing, but by Law.
P: Take him aside. There is proofe enough, though he confesse not.
W: Stay I will confesse. All is true, your spies have told you. Make much of them.
C: Yes, and reward them well, For feare you get no more such. See, they do not Die in a ditch, and stinke, now you have done with them; Or beg, of the bridges, here in Rome, whose Arches Their actiue industrie hath sau'd.
L: See, Fathers, What mindes, and spirits these are, that, being conuicted Of such a treason, and by such a cloud Of witnesses, dare yet retaine their boldnesse? What would their rage have done, if they had conquerd? I thought, when I had thrust out Catiline, Neither the State, nor I, should need to have fear'd Lentulus sleepe here, or Longinus fat, Or this Cethegus rashnesse; It was he, I only watch'd, while he was in our walles, As one, that had the braine, the hand, the heart. But now, we finde the contrary. Where was there A People grieu'd, or a State discontent, Able to make, or helpe a warre 'gainst Rome, But these, the Allobroges, and those they found? Whom had not the iust Gods beene pleas'd to make More friends vnto our safety, then their owne, As it then seem'd, neglecting these mens offers, Where had we beene? or where the Common-wealth? When their great Chiefe had beene call'd home; This man, Their absolute King, (whose noble Grandfather, Arm'd in pursute of the seditious Gracchus, Tooke a braue wound, for deare defence of that, Which he would spoile) had gather'd all his aides Of Ruffins, Slaues, and other Slaughter-men; Giuen us up for murder, to Cethegus; The other ranke of Citizens, to Gabinius; The Citty, to be fir'd by Cassius; And Italie, nay the world, to be laid wast By cursed Catiline, and his complices. Lay but the thought of it, before you, Fathers, Think but with me you saw this glorious Citty, The Light of all the earth, Tower of all Nations, Sodainly falling in one flame. Imagine, You view'd your Countrey buried with the heapes Of slaughter'd Citizens, that had no graue; This Lentulus here, raigning, (as he dreamp't) And those his purple Senate; Catiline come With his fierce army; and the cries of Matrons; The flight of Children, and the rape of Virgines, Shriekes of the liuing, with the dying grones On euery side to inuade your sense; vntill The blood of Rome, were mixed with her ashes. This was the Spectacle these fiends intended To please their malice.
C: Aye, and it would Have bene a braue one, Consul. But your part Had not then bene so long, as now it is: I should have quite defeated your Oration; And slit that fine rhetoricall pipe of yours, In the first Scene.
N: Insolent Monster!
L: Fathers, Is it your pleasures, they shall be committed Vnto some safe, but a free custodie, Vntill the Senate can determine farder?
X: It pleaseth well.
L: Then, Marcus Crassus, Take you charge of Gabinius: send him home Vnto your house. You Caesar, of Statilius. Cethegus shall be sent to Cornificius; And Lentulus, to Publius Lentulus Spinther, Who now is A Edile.
N: It were best, the Praetors Caried them to their houses, and deliuered them.
L: Let it be so. Take them from hence.
Q: But, first, Let Lentulus put off his Praetorship.
B: I do resigne it here vnto the Senate.
Q: So, now, there is no offence done to religion.
N: Caesar, it was piously, and timely vrg'd.
L: What do you decree to the Allobroges? That were the lights to this discouery?
P: A free grant from the State, of all their suites.
Q: And a reward, out of the publicke treasure.
W: Aye, and the title of honest men, to crowne them.
L: What to Volturtius?
Q: Life, and fauor's well.
W: I aske no more.
N: Yes, yes, some money, thou need'st it. It will keepe thee honest: Want made thee a knaue.
W: Let Flaccus, and Pomtinius, the Praetors, Have publicke thankes, and Quintus Fabius Sanga, For their good seruice.
P: They deserue it all.
N: But what do we decree vnto the Consul, Whose vertue, counsell, watchfulnesse, and wisedome, Hath free'd the Common-wealth, and without tumult, Slaughter, of bloud, or scarce raysing a force, Rescu'd us all out of the iawes of Fate?
P: We owe our Liues vnto him, and our Fortunes.
Q: Our Wiues, our Children, Parents, and our Gods.
W: We all are saued, by his fortitude.
N: The Common-wealth owes him a ciuicke gyrland. Here is the onely Father of his Countrey.
Q: Let there be publike prayer, to all the Gods, Made in that name, for him.
P: And in these words, For that he hath, by his vigilance, preseru'd Rome from the flame, the Senate from the sword, And all her Citizens from massacre.
L: How are my labours more then paid, graue Fathers, In these great titles, and decreed honors! Such, as to me, first, of the ciuill robe, Of any man, since Rome was Rome, have hap'ned; And from this frequent Senate: which more glads me, That I now see, you have sense of your owne safety. If those good daies come no lesse gratefull to us, Wherein we are preseru'd from some great danger, Then those, wherein we are borne, and brought, to light, Because the gladnesse of our safety is certaine, But the condition of our birth not so; And that we are sau'd with pleasure, but are borne Without the sense of ioy: why should not, then, This day, to us, and all posteritie Of ours, be had in equall fame, and honor, With that, when Romulus first reard these walles, When so much more is saued, then he built?
Q: It ought.
P: Let it be added to our Fasti.
L: What tumult is that?
W: Here is one Tarquinius taken, Going to Catiline; and sayes he was sent By Marcus Crassus: whom he names, to be Guilty of the Conspiracy.
L: Some lying varlet. Take him away, to prison.
P: Bring him in, And let me see him.
L: He is not worth it, Crassus. Keepe him up close, and hungry, till he tell, By whose pernicious counsell, he durst slander So great, and good a Citizen.
P: By yours I feare, it will proue.
W: Some of the Traytors, sure, To give their action the more credit, bid him Name you, or any man.
L: I know my selfe, By all the tracts, and courses of this businesse, Crassus, is noble, iust, and loues his Countrey.
W: Here is a Libell too, accusing Caesar, From Lucius Vectius, and confirm'd by Curius.
L: Away with all, throw it out of the Court.
Q: A tricke on me, too?
L: It is some mens malice. I said to Curius, I did not beleeue him.
Q: Was not that Curius your spie, that had Reward decreed vnto him, the last Senate, With Fuluia, upon your priuate motion?
Q: But he has not that reward, yet?
L: No. Let not this trouble you, Caesar, none beleeues it.
Q: It shall not, if that he have no reward. But if he have, sure I shall think my selfe Very vntimely, and vnsafely honest, Where such, as he is, may have pay to accuse me.
L: You shall have no wrong done you, noble Caesar, But all contentment.
Q: Consul, I am silent.
A: I Neuer yet knew, Souldiers, that, in fight, Words added vertue vnto valiant men; Or, that a Generals oration made An Army fall, or stand: But how much prowesse Habituall, or naturall each mans breast Was owner of, so much in act it shew'd. Whom neither glory' or danger can excite It is vaine to attempt with speech: For the minds feare Keepes all braue sounds from entring at that eare. I, yet, would warne you some few things, my Friends, And give you reason of my present counsailes. You know, no less then I, what state, what point Our affaires stand in; And you all have heard, What a calamitous misery the sloth, And sleepineese of Lentulus, hath pluck'd Both on himselfe, and us: How, whilst our aides There, in the Citty look'd for, are defeated, Our entrance in Gallia, too, is stopt. Two Armies waite us: One from Rome, the other From the Gaule-Prouinces. And, where we are, (Although I most desire it) the great want Of corne, and victuall, forbids longer stay. So that, of neede, we must remoue, but whither The sword must both direct, and cut the passage. I only, therefore, wish you, when you strike, To have your valours, and your soules, about you; And think, you carry in your laboring hands The things you seeke, glory, and liberty, Your Countrey, which you want now, with the Fates, That are to be instructed, by our swords, If we can give the blow, all will be safe to us. We shall not want prouision, nor supplies. The Colonies, and free Townes will lie open. Where, if we yeeld to feare, expect no place, Nor friend, to shelter those, whom their owne Fortune, And ill vs'd Armes have left without protection. You might have liu'd in seruitude, or exile, Of safe at Rome, depending on the great ones; But that you thought those things vnfit for men. And, in that thought, you then were valiant, For no man euer yet chang'd peace for warre, But he, that meant to conquer. Hold that purpose. There is more necessity, you should be such, In fighting for your selues, then they for others. He is base, that trusts his feete, whose hands are arm'd. Me thinks, I see Death, and the Furies, waiting What we will do; and all the Heauen' at leysure For the great Spectacle. Draw, then, your swords: And, if our desteny enuy our vertue The honor of the day, yet let us care To sell our selues, at such a price, as may Vndoe the world to buy us; and make Fate, While she tempts ours, feare her own estate.
W: What meanes this hasty calling of the Senate? We shall know straight. Waite, till the Consul speakes. Fathers Conscript, bethinke you of your safeties, And what to do, with these Conspirators; Some of their Clients, their Free'd men, and Slaues 'Ginne to make head: There is one of Lentulus Bauds Runnes up and downe the shops, through euery street, With money to corrupt, the poore artificers, And needy tradesmen, to their aide. Cethegus Hath sent, too, to his seruants; who are many, Chosen, and exercis'd in bold attemptings, That forthwith they should arme themselues, and proue His rescue: All will be in instant uproare, If you preuent it not, with present counsailes. We have done what we can, to meete the fury, And will do more. Be you good to your selues.
L: What is your pleasure, Fathers, shall be done? Syllanus, you are Consul next design'd. Your sentence, of these men.
W: It is short, and this. Since they have sought to blot the name of Rome, Out of the world; and raze this glorious Empire With her owne hands, and armes, turn'd on her selfe: I think it fit they die. And, could my breath Now execute them, they should not enioy An article of time, or eye of light, Longer, to poyson this our common aire. I think so too. And I. And I. And I.
L: Your sentence, Caius Caesar.
Q: Conscript Fathers, In great affaires, and doubtfull, it behooues Men, that are ask'd their sentence, to be free From either hate, or loue, anger, or pitty: For, where the least of these do hinder, there The minde not easily discernes the truth. I speake this to you, in the name of Rome, For whom you stand; and to the present cause: That this foule fact of Lentulus, and the rest, Weigh not more with you, then your dignity; And you be more indulgent to your passion, Then to your honor. If there could be found A paine, or punishment, equall to their crimes, I would deuise, and helpe: But if the greatnesse Of what they have done, exceede all mans inuention, I think it fit, to stay, where our lawes do. Poore petty States may alter, upon humor, Where, if they offend with anger, few do know it, Because they are obscure; their Fame, and Fortune Is equall, and the same: But they, that are Head of the world, and liue in that seene height, All Mankinde knowes their actions. So we see The greater fortune hath the lesser licence. They must nor sauor, hate, and least be angry: For what with others is call'd anger, there, Is cruelty, and pride. I know Syllanus, Who spoke before me, an iust, valiant Man, A louer of the State, and one that would not, In such a businesse, vse or grace, or hatred; I know, too, well his manners, and his modesty: Nor do I think his sentence cruell (for 'Gainst such delinquents, what can be too bloody?) But that it is is abhorring from our state; Since to a Citizen of Rome, offending, Our Lawes give exile, and not death. Why then Decrees he that? It were vaine to think, for feare; When, by the diligence of so worthy a Consul, All is made safe, and certaine. Is it for punishment? Why Death is the end of euils, and a rest, Rather then torment: It dissolues all griefes. And beyond that, is neither care, nor ioy, You heare, my sentence would not have them die. How then? set free, and increase Catilines Armie? So will they, being but banish'd. No, graue Fathers, I iudge them, first, to have their states confiscate, Then, that their persons remaine prisoners In the free townes, farre off from Rome, and seuerd': Where they might neither have relation, Hereafter, to the Senate, or the People. Or; if they had, those townes, then to be mulcted, As enemies to the State, that had their guard.
W: It is good, and honourable, Caesar, hath vtterd.
L: Fathers, I see your faces, and your eyes All bent on me, to note of these two censures Which I encline to. Eyther of them are graue, And answering the dignitie of the speakers, The greatnesse of the affaire, and both seuere. One vrgeth death: And he may well remember This State hath punish'd wicked Citizens so. The other bonds and those perpetuall, which He thinkes found out for the more singular plague. Decree which you shall please. You have a Consul Not readier to obey, then to defend What euer you shall act, for the Republique; And meete with willing shoulders any burden, Or any fortune, with an euen face, Though it were death: which to a valiant man Can neuer happen foule, nor to a Consul Be immature, or to a wise man wretched.
W: Fathers, I spake, but as I thought: the needes Of the Common-wealth requird.
N: Excuse it not.
L: Cato, speake you your sentence.
N: This it is. You here dispute, on kinds of punishment, And stand consulting, what you should decree 'Gainst those, of whom, you rather should beware. This mischiefe is not like those common facts, Which, when they are done, the lawes may prosequute. But this, if you prouide not, ere it happen, When it is happen'd, will not waite your iudgment. Good Caius Caesar, here, hath very well, And subtilly discours'd of life, and death, As if he thought those things, a prety fable, That are deliuer'd us of Hell, and Furies, Or of the diuers way, that ill men goe From good, to filthy, darke, and ougly places. And therefore he would have these liue; and long too; But farre from Rome, and in the small free Townes, Lest, here, they might have rescue: As if Men, Fit for such acts, were only in the City, And not throughout all Italie? or that boldnesse Could not do more, where it found least resistance? It is a vaine Counsaile, if he think them dangerous. Which, if he do not, but that he alone In so great feare of all men, stand vnfrighted, He giues me cause, and you, more to feare him. I am plaine, Fathers. Here you looke about, One at another, doubting what to do; With faces, as you trusted to the Gods, That still have sau'd you; and they can do it: But They are not wishings, or base womanish prayers Can draw their aides; but vigilance, counsell, action: Which they will be ashamed to forsake, It is sloth they hate, and cowardise. Here you have The Traytors in your houses, yet you stand Fearing what to do with them; Let them loose, And send them hence with armes too; that your Mercy May turne your misery, as soone as it can. O, but, they, are great men, and have offended But through ambition. We would spare their honor: Aye, if themselues had spar'd it, or their fame, Or modestie, or eyther God, or Man: Then I woud spare them. But, as things now stand, Fathers, to spare these men, were to commit A greater wickednesse, then you would reuenge. If there had bene but time, and place for you, To have repair'd this fault, you should have made it; It should have bene your punishment, to have felt Your tardie error: But necessity, Now, bids me say let them not liue an hower, If you meane Rome should liue a day. I have done.
W: Cato hath spoken like an Oracle.
P: Let it be so decreed.
W: We all were fearefull. And had bene base, had not his vertue rais'd us. Go forth, most worthy Consul, we will assist you.
Q: I am not yet changd in my sentence, Fathers.
N: No matter. What be those?
W: Letters, for Caesar.
N: From whom? let them be read, in open Senate; Fathers, they come from the Conspirators. I craue to have them read, for the Republique.
Q: Cato, reade you it. It is a Loue-letter, From your deare sister, to me: though you hate me. Do not discouer it.
N: Hold thee dronkard. Consul. Goe forth, and confidently.
Q: You will repent This rashnesse, Cicero.
W: Caesar shall repent it.
L: Hold friends.
W: He is scarce a friend vnto the Publicke.
L: No violence. Caesar be safe. Leade on: Where are the publicke Executioners? Bid them waite on us. On to Spinthers house. Bring Lentulus forth. Here, you, the sad reuengers Of capitall crimes, against the Publicke, take This man vnto your iustice: strangle him.
B: Thou dost well, Consul It was a cast at dice In Fortune's hand, not long since, that thy selfe Should'st have heard these, or other words as fatall.
L: Leade on to Quintus Cornificius house; Bring forth Cethegus. Take him to the due Death, that he hath deserud: and let it be Said, He was once.
C: A beast, or, what is worse, A slaue, Cethegus. Let that be the name For all that is base hereafter: That would let This worme pronounce on him; and not have trampled His bodie into — Ha! Art thou not mou'd?
L: Iustice is neuer angrie: Take him hence.
C: O the whore Fortune! and her bauds the Fates! That put these trickes on men, which knew the way To death by a sword. Strangle me, I may sleepe: I shall grow angrie with the Gods, else.
L: Leade To Caius Caesars, for Statilius. Bring him, and rude Gabinius out. Here, take them To your cold hands, and let them feele death from you:
W: I thanke you, you do me a pleasure. And me too.
N: So, Marcus Tullius, thou maist now stand up, And call it happie Rome, thou being Consul. Great Parent of thy Countrie, goe, and let The Old men of the Citie, ere they die, Kisse thee; the Matrons dwell about thy necke; The Youths, and Maids lay up, 'gainst they are old What kind of man thou wert, to tell their Nephewes, When, such a yeare, they reade, within our Fasti, Thy Consulship. Who is this? Petreius?
L: Welcome, Welcome renowned Souldier. What is the newes? This face can bring no ill with it, vnto Rome. How does the worthy Consull, my Colleague?
W: As well as victory can make him, Sir. He greetes the Fathers, and to me hath trusted The sad relation of the Ciuill strife, For, in such warre, the conquest still is blacke.
L: Shall we withdraw into the House of Concord?
N: No, happy Consul, here; let all eares take The benefit of this tale. If he had voice, To spreade vnto the Poles, and strike it through The Center, to the Antipodes; It would aske it.
W: The streights, and needes of Catiline being such, As he must fight, with one of the two Armies, That then had neare enclos'd him; It pleas'd Fate, To make us the obiect of his desperate choise, Wherein the danger almost paiz'd the honor: And as he riss', the day grew blacke with him; And Fate descended nearer to the earth, As if she meant to hide the name of things Vnder her wings, and make the world her quarry. At this we rous'd, least one small minutes stay Had left it to be 'enquir'd, what Rome was. And (as we ought) arm'd in the confidence Of our great cause, in forme of battaile, stood, Whilst Catiline came on, not with the face Of any man, but of a publique ruine: His Count'nance was a ciuill warre it selfe. And all his host had standing in their lookes The palenesse of the death, that was to come. Yet cryed they out like Vultures, and vrg'd on, As if they would praecipitate our fates. Nor staid we longer for them; But himselfe Strooke the first stroke: And, with it, fled a life. Which cut, it seem'd a narrow necke of land Had broke betweene two mighty Seas; and either Flow'd into other; for so did the slaughter: And whirl'd about, as when two violent Tides Meete, and not yeeld. The Furies stood, on hilles Circling the place, and trembled to see men Do more, then they: whilst Piety left the field, Grieu'd for that side, that, in so bad a cause, They knew not, what a crime their valour was. The Sunne stood still, and was, behinde the cloud The battaile made, seene sweating, to driue up His frighted Horse, whom still the noise droue backward. And now had fierce Enyo, like a flame, Consum'd all it could reach, and then it selfe; Had not the Fortune of the Common-wealth Come Pallas-like, to euery Roman thought. Which, Catiline seeing, and that now his Troopes Couer'd that earth, they had fought on, with their trunkes. Ambitious of great fame, to crowne his ill, Collected all his fury, and ranne in (Arm'd with a glory, high as his despaire) Into our battaile, like a Lybian Lion, Upon his hunters, scornefull of our weapons, Carelesse of wounds, plucking downe liues about him, Till he had circled in himselfe with death: Then fell he too, to embrace it where it lay. And as, in that rebellion 'gainst the Gods, Minerua holding forth Medusa's head, One of the Gyant Brethren felt himselfe Grow marble at the killing sight, and now, Almost made stone, beganne to inquire, what flint, What rocke it was, that crept through all his limmes, And, ere he could think more, was that he fear'd; So Catiline, at the sight of Rome in us, Became his Tombe: yet did his looke retaine Some of his fiercenesse, and his hands still mou'd, As if he labor'd, yet to graspe the State, With those rebellious parts.
N: A braue bad death. Had this beene honest now, and for his Countrey, As it was against it, who had ere fallen greater?
L: Honor'd Petreius, Rome, not I must thanke you. How modestly has he spoken of himselfe!
N: He did the more.
L: Thanks to the immortall Gods, Romans, I now am paid for all my labors, My watchings, and my dangers. Here conclude Your praises, triumphes, honors, and rewards Decreed to me: only the memory Of this glad day, if I may know it liue Within your thoughts, shall much affect my conscience, Which I must alwaies study before fame. Though both be good, the latter yet is worst, And euer, first.