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Cat. As I would always, love, By this ambrosiac kiss, and this of nectar, Wouldst thou but hear as gladly as I speak. Could my Aurelia think I meant her less, When, wooing her, I first removed a wife, And then a son, to make my bed and house Spacious and fit to embrace her? these were deeds Not to have begun with, but to end with more And greater: He that, building, stays at one Floor, or the second, hath erected none. 'Twas how to raise thee I was meditating, To make some act of mine answer thy love; That love, that, when my state was now quite sunk, Came with thy wealth and weigh'd it up again, And made my emergent fortune once more look Above the main; which now shall hit the stars, And stick my Orestilla there amongst them, If any tempest can but make the billow, And any billow can but lift her greatness. But I must pray my love, she will put on Like habits with myself; I have to do With many men, and many natures: Some That must be blown and sooth'd; as Lentulus, Whom I have heav'd with magnifying his blood, And a vain dream out of the Sybil's books, That a third man of that great family Whereof he is descended, the Cornelii, Should be a king in Rome: which I have hired The flattering augurs to interpret Him, Cinna and Sylla dead. Then bold Cethegus, Whose valour I have turn'd into his poison, And praised so into daring, as he would Go on upon the gods, kiss lightning, wrest The engine from the Cyclops, and give fire At face of a full cloud, and stand his ire,
When I would bid him move. Others there are,
So threaten'd with their debts, as they will now
Of freedom and community: some will thank thee,
Like one of Juno's or of Jove's disguise,
Or the scene shifted in our theatres-
Aur. Or of Cethegus.
Cat. In, my fair Aurelia,
And think upon these arts: they must not see
Enter LENTULUS, in discourse with CETHEGUS.
Lent. It is, methinks, a morning full of fate!
Had all the weights of sleep and death hung at it!
Her face is like a water turn'd to blood,
Cet. Why, all the fitter, Lentulus; our coming
Cat. Said nobly, brave Cethegus! Where's Autronius! Cet. Is he not come ?
Cat. Not here.
Cet. Nor Vargunteius?
Cet. A fire in their beds and bosoms,
That so will serve their sloth rather than virtue !
They are no Romans,—and at such high need
Len. Both they, Longinus, Lecca, Curius, Fulvius, Gabinus, gave me word, last night, By Lucius Bestia, they would all be here, And early.
Cet. Yes; as you, had I not call'd you.
Cat. I muse they would be tardy at an hour
Cet. If the gods had call'd
Them to a purpose, they would just have come
Cat. Spirit of men!
Thou heart of our great enterprise ! how much
Cet. O, the days
Of Sylla's sway, when the free sword took leave
Cat. And was familiar
With entrails, as our augurs.
Brothers their brothers.
Cat. And had price and praise.
All hate had license given it, all rage reins.
Cet. Slaughter bestrid the streets, and stretch'd himself
To seem more huge; whilst to his stained thighs
Cat. Nay, no degree.
Cet. Not infants in the porch of life were free.
Cat. 'Twas crime enough, that they had lives:
Cet. The rugged Charon fainted,
And ask'd a navy, rather than a boat,
The maws and dens of beasts could not receive
Cat. And this shall be again, and more, and more,
Lent. Nay, urge not that Is so uncertain.
Lent. I mean, not clear'd,
And therefore not to be reflected on.
Cat. The Sybil's leaves uncertain! or the comments Of our grave, deep, divining men not clear.
Lent. All prophecies, you know, suffer the torture.