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Baths, orchards, fish-pools, letting in of seas
Here, and then there forcing them out again
With mountainous heaps, for which the earth hath lost
Most of her ribs, as entrails; being now
Wounded no less for marble, than for gold?
We, all this while, like calm benumb'd spectators,
Sit till our seats do crack, and do not hear
The thund'ring ruins; whilst at home our wants,
Abroad, our debts do urge us; our states daily
Bending to bad, our hopes to worse: and what
Is left but to be crush'd? Wake, wake, brave friends,
And meet the liberty you oft have wish'd for.
Behold, renown, riches, and glory court you!
Fortune holds these out to you, as rewards.
Methinks, though I were dumb, the affair itself,
The opportunity, your needs, and dangers,
With the brave spoil the war brings, should invite you.
Use me, your general, or soldier: neither
My mind 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'd not rather still be slaves, than free.
Cet. Free, Free!
Lon. 'Tis Freedom.
Cur. Freedom we all stand for.
Cat. Why, these are noble voices! Nothing wants,
But that we take a solemn sacrament,
To strengthen our design.
Cet. And most to act it:
Deferring hurts, where powers are so prepared.
Aut. Yet, ere we enter into open act,
With favour, 'twere no loss, if't might be inquired,
What the condition these arms would be.
Var. Ay, and the means to carry us through.
Cat. How, friends!
Think you that I would bid you grasp the wind
Or call you to th' embracing of a cloud!
Put your known valours on so dear a business,
And have no other second than the danger,
Nor other garland than the loss? Become
Your own assurances. And for the means,
Consider, first, the stark security
The commonwealth is in now; the whole senate
Sleepy, and dreaming no such violent blow;
Their forces all abroad; of which the greatest,
That might annoy us most, is farthest off,
In Asia, under Pompey,; those near hand,
Commanded by our friends; one army in Spain,
By Cneus Piso; the other in Mauritania,
By Nucerinus; both which I have firm
And fast unto our plot. My self, then, standing
Now to be consul, with my hoped colleague
Caius Antonius, one no less engaged
By his wants, than we; and whom I've power to melt,
And cast in any mould: beside, some others,
That will not yet be named, both sure, and great ones,
Who, when the time comes, shall declare themselves
Strong for our party; so that no resistance
In nature can be thought. For our reward then,
First, all our debts are paid; dangers of law,
Actions, decrees, judgments against us, quitted;
The rich men, as in Sylla's times, proscribed,
And publication made of all their goods:
That house is yours; that land is his; those waters,
Orchards, and walks, a third's; he has that honour,
And he that office: such a province falls
To Vargunteius; this to Autronius; that
To bold Cethegus; Rome to Lentulus.
You share the world, her magistracies, priesthoods,
Wealth and felicity, amongst you, friends;
And Catiline your servant. Would you, Curius,
Revenge the contumely stuck upon you,
In being removed from the senate? now,
Now is your time. Would Publius Lentulus
Strike for the like disgrace? now is his time.
Would stout Longinus walk the streets of Rome,
Facing the Prætor? now has he a time
To spurn and tread the fasces into dirt,
Made of the usurers' and the lictors' brains.
Is there a beauty here in Rome you love?
An enemy you would kill? what head's not your's?
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
Yourselves, and you have all the earth beside,
A field to exercise your longings in.
I see you raised, and read your forward minds
High in your faces. Bring the wine and blood
You have prepared there.
Enter Servants, with a bowl.
Cat. I have kill'd a slave,
And of his blood caused to be mix'd with wine:
Fill every man his bowl. There cannot be.
A fitter drink to make this sanction in.
Here I begin the sacrament to all.
O for a clap of thunder now, as loud
As to be heard throughout the universe,
To tell the world the fact, and to applaud it!
Be firm, my hand, not shed a drop; but pour
Fierceness into me with it, and fell thirst
Of more and more, till Rome be left as bloodless
As ever her fears made her, or the sword.
And when I leave to wish this to thee, step-dame,
Or stop to affect it, with my powers fainting,
So may my blood be drawn, and so drunk up,
As is this slave's.
Lon. And so be mine.
Len. And mine.
Aut. And mine.
Var. And mine.
Cet. Swell me my bowl yet fuller.
Here, I do drink this, as I would do Cato's,
Or the new fellow Cicero's, with that vow
Which Catiline hath given.
Cur. So do I.
Lec. And I.
Bes. And I.
Ful. And I.
Gab. And all of us.
Cat. Why, now's the business safe, and each man strengthen'd
Sirrah, what ail you?
Bes. Somewhat modest.
Bes. Nay, Lucius.
Cat. Are you coying it.
When I command you to be free, and general
Bes. You'll be observed.
Cat. Arise and shew
Cat. Slave, I will strike your soul out with my foot, Let me but find you again with such a face: You whelp
Noble confederates, thus far is perfect.
Only your suffrages I will expect
But any least aversion in you look
To him that bourds you next; and your throat opens
At the assembly for the choosing consuls,
And all the voices you can make by friends
To my election: then let me work out
Your fortunes and mine own. Meanwhile, all rest
Seal'd up and silent, as when rigid frosts
Have bound up brooks and rivers, forced wild beasts
Unto their caves, and birds into the woods,
Clowns to their houses, and the country sleeps:
That, when the sudden thaw comes, we may break
Upon them like a deluge, bearing down
Half Rome before us, and invade the rest
With cries, and noise, able to wake the urns
Of those are dead, and make their ashes fear.
The horrors that do strike the world, should come
Loud, and unlook'd for; till they strike, be dumb.
Cet. Oraculous Sergius !
Len. God-like Catiline!
Can nothing great, and at the height,
Remain so long, but its own weight
Will ruin it? or is't blind chance,
That still desires new states to advance,
And quit the old? else why must Rome
Be by itself now overcome?
Hath she not foes enow of those
Whom she hath made such, and enclose
Her round about? or are they none,
Except she first become her own:
O wretchedness of greatest states,
To be obnoxious to these fates!
That cannot keep what they do gain;
And what they raise so ill sustain !
Rome now is mistress of the whole
World, sea and land, to either pole;
And even that fortune will destroy
The pow'r that made it: she doth joy
So much in plenty, wealth, and ease,
As now th' excess is her disease.