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BOADICEA, DUMNORIX, Icenians, Trinobantians, and
Roman Ambassador. SUETONIUS, leader of the Roman arms, With gentlest greetings to th' Icenian queen, And Dumnorix, the Trinobantian chief, Sends health, and proffers friendship. Let the wrongs, The mutual wrongs sustain'd by Rome and Britain
Boad. May stern Andate, war's victorious goddess, Again resign me to your impious rage, If e'er I blot my suff'rings from remembrance ; If e'er relenting mercy cool my vengeance, Till I have driv'n you to our utmost shores, And cast your legions on the crimson'd beach. Your costly dwellings shall be sunk in ashes, Your fields be ravag'd, your aspiring bulwarks
O’erturn'd and levell’d to the meanest shrub;
Stand forth and answer.
Rom, Am. Yes, to treat,
hands Have rent the sacred bands of mutual trust?
da 1. BOADICEA.
11 How shall we treat with those, whose stony hearts Compassion cannot melt, nor shame control, Nor justice awe, nor piety restrain, Nor kindness win, nor gratitude can bind? Rom. Am. Thou art a stranger to our gen'ral's vir
Dum. Can he restore the violated maid
Rom. Am. Yet hear us calmly, ere from yonder hills
Boad. Begone, and bear defiance to your legions. Tell them, I come, that Boadicea comes, | Fierce with her wrongs, and terrible in vengeance, To roll her chariot o'er their firmest ranks, To mix their soaring eagles with the dust, And spurn their pride beneath her horses' hoofs.
Rom. Am. Then be prepar'd for war.
Boad. We are prepar’d. Come from your hills, ye fugitive remains Of shatter'd cohorts, by their fear preserv'd. Th’embattled nations of our peopled isle, Yet fresh from seventy thousand slaughter'd Romans, Shall add yon refuse to the purple heap.
And yet amid triumphant desolation,
Dum. Go, and report this answer to Suetonius :
your ambitious Julius first advanc'd
Rom. Am. Yet ere we part, your price of ransom
For the two captive Romans.
Boad. Not the wealth Which loads the palaces of sumptuous Rome Shall bribe my fury. Hence, and tell your legions, The hungry ravens, which inhabit round The chalky cliffs of Albion, shall assemble To feast upon the limbs of these your captains, Shall riot in the gore of Roman chiefs, These masters of the world. Produce the pris'ners.ta.s.
[To an Icenian.bad