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The pine, and cedar : graves, at my command,
Have waked their sleepers; oped, and let them forth
By my so potent art: But this rough magic
I here abjure: and, when I have required
Some heavenly music (which even now I do),
To work mine end

their senses,

This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book.

[Solemn music.

Ben Jonson.


The Morning of the Conspiracy.—LENTULUS, CETHEGUs, and Cati

LINE meet, before the other Conspirators are ready.

Lent. It is, methinks, a morning full of fate;
It riseth slowly, as her sullen car
Had all the weights of sleep and death hung at it.
She is not rosy-fingered, but swoln black;
Her face is like a water turned to blood,
And her sick head is bound about with clouds,
As if she threatened night ere noon of day.
It does not look as it would have a hail
Or health wished in it, as on other morns.

Ceth. Why, all the fitter, Lentulus : our coming
Is not for salutation: we have business.

Cat. Said nobly, brave Cethegus. Where's Autronius

Ceth. Is he not come ?
Cat. Not here.
Ceth. Not Vargunteius ?
Cat. Neither.

Ceth. A fire in their beds and bosoms,
That so well serve their sloth rather than virtue !
They are no Romans, and at such high need
As now

Lent. Both they, Longinus, Lecca, Curius,
Fulvius, Gabinus, gave me word last night,
By Lucius Bestia, they would all be here,
And early.

Ceth. Yes! as you, had I not called you.—
Come, we all sleep, and are mere dormice; Alies
A little less than dead : more dulness hangs
On us than on the morn. We're spirit-bound,
In ribs of ice; our whole bloods are one stone:
And honour cannot thaw us, nor our wants,
Though they burn hot as fevers to our states.

Cat. I muse they would be tardy at an hour
Of so great purpose.

Ceth. If the gods had called Them to a purpose, they would just have come With the same tortoise speed, that are thus slow To such an action, which the gods will envy ; As asking no less means than all their powers Conjoined to effect. I would have seen Rome burnt By this time, and her ashes in an urn: The kingdom of the senate rent asunder: And the degenerate talking gown run frighted Out of the air of Italy.

Cat. Spirit of men,

Thou heart of our great enterprise, how much
I love these voices in thee!

Ceth. O the days
Of Sylla's sway, when the free sword took leave
To act all that it would !

Cat. And was familiar
With entrails, as our augurs-

Ceth. Sons killed fathers,
Brothers their brothers-

Cat. And had price and praise :
All hate and license given it; all rage reins.

Ceth. Slaughter bestrid the streets, and stretched himself
To seem more huge : whilst to his stained thighs
The gore he drew flowed up, and carried down
Whole heaps of limbs and bodies through his arch.
No age was spared, no sex.

Cat. Nay, no degree

Ceth. Not infants in the porch of life were free.
The sick, the old, that could but hope a day
Longer by Nature's bounty, not let stay.
Virgins and widows, matrons, pregnant wives,
All died.

Cat. 'Twas crime enough that they had lives.
To strike but only those that could do hurt,
Was dull and poor.

Some fell, to make the number;
As some, the prey.

Ceth. The rugged Charon fainted,
And asked a navy rather than a boat,
To ferry over the sad world that came :
The maws and dens of beasts could not receive
The bodies that those souls were frighted from ;
And even the graves were filled with men yet living,

Whose flight and fear had mixed them with the dead. Cat. And this shall be again, and more,


more, Now Lentulus, the third Cornelius, Is to stand up in Rome.

Lent. Nay, urge not that Is so uncertain.

Cat. How !

Lent. I mean, not cleared ;
And therefore not to be reflected on.

Cat. The Sibyl's leaves uncertain ! or the comments Of our grave, deep, divining men, not clear!

Lent. All prophecies, you know, suffer the torture.

Cat. But this already hath confessed, without;
And so been weighed, examined, and compared,
As 'twere malicious ignorance in him
Would faint in the belief.

Lent. Do you believe it?
Cat. Do I love Lentulus, or pray to see it ?
Lent. The augurs all are constant I am meant.
Cat. They had lost their science else.
Lent. They count from Cinna-
Cat. And Sylla next- —and so make


the third : All that can say the sun is risen, must think it.

Lent. Men mark me more of late, as I come forth.

Cat. Why, what can they do less ? Cinna and Sylla
Are set and gone; and we must turn our eyes
On him that is, and shines.

Noble Cethegus,
But view him with me here! He looks already
As if he shook a sceptre o'er the senate,
And the awed purple dropped their rods and axes.
The statues melt again, and household gods
In groans confess the travails of the city:

The very

walls sweat blood before the change ; And stones start out to ruin, ere it comes.

Ceth. But he, and we, and all, are idle still.

Lent. I am your creature, Sergius ; and whate'er
The great Cornelian name shall win to be,
It is not augury, nor the Sibyl's books,
But Catiline, that makes it.

Cat. I am a shadow
To honoured Lentulus, and Cethegus here;
Who are the heirs of Mars....


AUGUSTUS CÆSAR discourses with his Courtiers concerning Poetry.

CÆSAR, MECÆNAS, Gallus, TIBULLUS, Horace. Cæsar. We, that have conquered still to save the con

And love to make inflictions feared, not felt;
Grieved to reprove, and joyful to reward,
More proud of reconcilement than revenge,
Resume into the late state of our love
Worthy Cornelius Gallus and Tibullus. *
You both are gentlemen; you, Cornelius,
A soldier of renown, and the first provost
That ever let our Roman eagles fly
On swarthy Egypt, quarried with her spoils.
Yet (not to bear cold forms, nor men's out-terms,
Without the inward fires, and lives of men)

* They had offended the Emperor by concealing the love of Ovid for the Princess Julia.

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