Lo. Where was this Lane? Post. Close by the battell, ditch'd, & wall'd with turph, Which gaue aduantage to an ancient Soldiour (An honest one I warrant) who deseru'd So long a breeding, as his white beard came to, In doing this for's Country. Athwart the Lane, He, with two striplings (Lads more like to run The Country base, then to commit such slaughter, With faces fit for Maskes, or rather fayrer Then those for preseruation cas'd, or shame) Made good the passage, cryed to those that fled. Our Britaines hearts dye flying, not our men, To darknesse fleete soules that flye backwards; stand, Or we are Romanes, and will giue you that Like beasts, which you shun beastly, and may saue But to looke backe in frowne: Stand, stand. These three, Three thousand confident, in acte as many: For three performers are the File, when all The rest do nothing. With this word stand, stand, Accomodated by the Place; more Charming With their owne Noblenesse, which could haue turn'd A Distaffe, to a Lance, guilded pale lookes; Part shame, part spirit renew'd, that some turn'd coward But by example (Oh a sinne in Warre, Damn'd in the first beginners) gan to looke The way that they did, and to grin like Lyons Vpon the Pikes o'th' Hunters. Then beganne A stop i'th' Chaser; a Retyre: Anon A Rowt, confusion thicke: forthwith they flye Chickens, the way which they stopt Eagles: Slaues The strides the Victors made: and now our Cowards Like Fragments in hard Voyages became The life o'th' need: hauing found the backe doore open Of the vnguarded hearts: heauens, how they wound, Some slaine before some dying; some their Friends Ore-borne i'th' former waue, ten chac'd by one, Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty: Those that would dye, or ere resist, are growne The mortall bugs o'th' Field

Lord. This was strange chance: A narrow Lane, an old man, and two Boyes

Post. Nay, do not wonder at it: you are made Rather to wonder at the things you heare, Then to worke any. Will you Rime vpon't, And vent it for a Mock'rie? Heere is one: ``Two Boyes, an Oldman (twice a Boy) a Lane, ``Preseru'd the Britaines, was the Romanes bane

Lord. Nay, be not angry Sir

Post. Lacke, to what end? Who dares not stand his Foe, Ile be his Friend: For if hee'l do, as he is made to doo, I know hee'l quickly flye my friendship too. You haue put me into Rime

Lord. Farewell, you're angry. Enter.

Post. Still going? This is a Lord: Oh Noble misery To be i'th' Field, and aske what newes of me: To day, how many would haue giuen their Honours To haue sau'd their Carkasses? Tooke heele to doo't, And yet dyed too. I, in mine owne woe charm'd Could not finde death, where I did heare him groane, Nor feele him where he strooke. Being an vgly Monster, 'Tis strange he hides him in fresh Cups, soft Beds, Sweet words; or hath moe ministers then we That draw his kniues i'th' War. Well I will finde him: For being now a Fauourer to the Britaine, No more a Britaine, I haue resum'd againe The part I came in. Fight I will no more, But yeeld me to the veriest Hinde, that shall Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is Heere made by'th' Romane; great the Answer be Britaines must take. For me, my Ransome's death, On eyther side I come to spend my breath; Which neyther heere Ile keepe, nor beare agen, But end it by some meanes for Imogen. Enter two Captaines, and Soldiers.

1 Great Iupiter be prais'd, Lucius is taken, 'Tis thought the old man, and his sonnes, were Angels

2 There was a fourth man, in a silly habit, That gaue th' Affront with them

1 So 'tis reported: But none of 'em can be found. Stand, who's there? Post. A Roman, Who had not now beene drooping heere, if Seconds Had answer'd him

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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