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SPEECH OF VOADA,

QUEEN OF THE BRITONS, BEFORE THE BATTLE WITH

THE ROMANS.

My state and sex, not hand or heart, most valiant friends

withheld Me (wretched cause of your repair, by wicked Romans illd) From that revenge which I do wish, and ye bave cause to

work: In which suppose not Voada in female fears to lurk. For, lo, myself, unlike myself, and these same ladies fair In armour, not to shrink an inch where hottest doings are. Even we do dare to bid the base, and you yourselves shall see Yourselves to come behind in arms: the Romans too that be Such conquerors, and valiantly can womankind oppress, Shall know that British wonen can the Romish wrongs re

dress. Then arm ye with like courages as ladies shall present, Whom ye, nor wounds, nor death, the praise of onset shall

prevent. Nor envy that our martial

rage exceeds your manly ire, For by how much more we endure, so much more we desire Revenge, on those in whose default we are unhallowed thus, Whilst they forget themselves for men, or to be borne of us:

* Her name is written indifferently Voadicea, Boadicea, Bunduica, and Bondicea. Selden's Notes on Drayton.

Ye yield them tribute, and from us their legions have their

pay; Thus were too much, but more than thus, the haughty ty

rants sway;

That I am queen, from being wrong'd doth nothing me pro

tect : Their rapes against my daughters both I also might object: They maids deflower, they wives enforce, and use their wills

in all, And yet we live deferring fight, inferring so our fall. But, valiant Britons, vent'rous Scots, and warlike Picts, I

err, Exhorting whom I should dehort, your fierceness to defer: Less courage more considerate would make your foes to

quake: My heart hath joy'd to see your hands the Roman standards

take. But when as force and fortune fail'd, that you with teeth

should fight, And in the faces of their foes your women, in despite *, Should Aling their suckling babes, I held such valiantness but

vain : Enforced flight is no disgrace, such flyers fight again. Here are ye, Scots, that with the king, my valiant brother,

dead, The Latins wond'ring at your prowess, through Rome in tri

umph led :

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* And in the faces of their foes your women, in despite,

Should fling their suckling babes.] How exquisitely unnatural is a profession of Lady Macbeth's in this way:

I have given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me,
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I but so sworn
As you have done to this.

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Ye Mars-star'd Picts of Scythian breed are here colleagues,

and more,

Ye Dardane Brutes, last named, but in valour meant before: In your conduct, most knightly friends, I supersede the rest: Ye come to fight, and we in fight to hope and help our best.

Albion's England, by W. Warner,

B. III. Ch, xviii.

MUTIUS SCÆVOLA TO PORSENNA.

Behold, grim tyrant, here before thee stands
A man had been thy death, had not these hands
Prov'd traitors to my mind: had made that grave
Been thine, which now's prepared for thy slave.
If Scævola must undergo death's doom,
There's none but will write guiltless on his tomb:
I set upon with fearless courage those
Who were our capitols, our country's foes.
Why are the heavens then thus against me bent;
And not propitious to my brave intent ?

Picts of Scythian breed.] Those who may be inclined to examine into the history of this nation are referred to a very masterly inquiry, entituled, “ A Dissertation on the Origin and Progress of the Scythians or Goths,” by the able and ingenious Mr. Pinkerton, lately published. To this gentleman (if there is not an impertinence in the manner of my doing it), I would recommend as a motto for many of his works the following verse : Πρός σοφίην μεν έχειν τόλμαν, μάλα συμφορόν έσι. Poet. Min, Græci. p. 515, Cantab. 1635.

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What are the gods asham’d to lend their aid ;
Or are they of this tyrant's pow'r afraid?
Or have the fateş reserved him, that he
In future triumphs might a trophy be?
Whate'er 'twas made them thus 'gainst me conspire,
It grieves my soul it had not its desire.
Etruria, see what souls the Romans bear,
Admire the noble acts the Latians dare;
Long after me, that will this fact yet do,
There comes another and another too;
There want not those who hope to say they wore
A laurel dyed in thy crimson gore:
What though thy camp lies free from our alarms,
And spoils our fields with unrevenged harms;
We scorn with baser blood to stain a dart,
O king, that's only levell’d at thy heart:
Our nobler swords will drink the blood of none,
But thy heart-blood, Porsenna, thine alone ;
Those who their hands will straight in it embrue,
Walk intermixed with thy armed crew.
Methinks I see at present one thee note,
Who straight will hide his weapon in thy throat;
Hence, therefore, think each hour of thy breath
To be th' assured hour of thy death;
Thou dost with warlike troops our walls surround,
Hoping to lay them level with the ground,
And think'st to famish us, whilst o'er thy head
Hangs a revengeful arm will strike thee dead;
That glorious diadem which now I see
Circles thy brow, was hop'd a spoil by me;
That purple robe invests thy loins shall lie,
Thy blood be tinged in a deeper dye;
That very sceptre which thy hand sustains,
Shall, turn'd a club, dash out thy cursed brains ;

Now rule, now lord and king it, with this fate,
Expecting still the period of thy date.
Methinks I see how, on thy curled brow,
Self-rend'ring Vengeance sits enthron'd, and how
Thy thoughts already tear me; yet I feel
No horror, nor my frighted body reel,
No trembling in my joints; know, king, I can
Both do and suffer 'bove the reach of man:
In free born souls pale terror never stood
In competition with their country's good;
Those souls, in whom aspiring fame her sphere
Hath plac'd, neglect the precipice of fear;
This sacred altar, these pure fires, shall be
Witnesses of our undaunted constancy;
This hand, to Roman freedom so unjust,
Shall for its penance be consum’d to dust;
Nor is it cruel, but most right its doom,
Since liberty it could not yield to Rome*.

John Dancer's Poems,

Edit. 1660.

* For the circumstances of this interview, see Livý, Lib. II. Ser. also Plutarch's Life of Publicola.

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