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SPEECH OF VOADA,
QUEEN OF THE BRITONS, BEFORE THE BATTLE WITH
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
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 :
* 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
Ye Mars-star'd Picts of Scythian breed are here colleagues,
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
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.
What are the gods asham’d to lend their aid ;
Now rule, now lord and king it, with this fate,
John Dancer's Poems,
* For the circumstances of this interview, see Livý, Lib. II. Ser. also Plutarch's Life of Publicola.