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- Sejanus: His Fall - 20/53 -


If Livia's marriage should, as 'twere in parts, Divide the imperial house; an emulation Between the women might break forth; and discord Ruin the sons and nephews on both hands. What if it cause some present difference? Thou art not safe, Sejanus, if thou prove it. Canst thou believe, that Livia, first the wife To Caius Caesar, then my Drusus, now Will be contented to grow old with thee, Born but a private gentleman of Rome, And raise thee with her loss, if not her shame? Or say that I should wish it, canst thou think The senate, or the people (who have seen Her brother, father, and our ancestors, In highest place of empire) will endure it! The state thou hold'st already, is in talk; Men murmur at thy greatness; and the noble! Stick not, in public, to upbraid thy climbing Above our father's favours, or thy scale: And dare accuse me, from their hate to thee. Be wise, dear friend. We would not hide these things, For friendship's dear respect: Nor will we stand Adverse to thine, or Livia's designments. What we have purposed to thee, in our thought, And with what near degrees of love to bind thee, And make thee equal to us; for the present, We will forbear to speak. Only thus much Believe, our loved Sejanus, we not know That height in blood or honour, which thy virtue And mind to us, may not aspire with merit. And this we'll publish on all watch'd occasion The senate or the people shall present.

Sej. I am restored, and to my sense again, Which I had lost in this so blinding suit. Caesar hath taught me better to refuse, Than I knew how to ask. How pleaseth Caesar T' embrace my late advice for leaving Rome!

Tib. We are resolved.

Sej. Here are some motives more, [Gives him a paper Which I have thought on since, may more confirm.

Tib. Careful Sejanus! we will straight peruse them: Go forward in our main design, and prosper. [Exit.

Sej. If those but take, I shall. Dull, heavy Caesar! Wouldst thou tell me, thy favours were made crimes, And that my fortunes were esteem'd thy faults, That thou for me wert hated, and not think I would with winged haste prevent that change, When thou might'st win all to thyself again, By forfeiture of me! Did those fond words Fly swifter from thy lips, than this my brain, This sparkling forge, created me an armour T' encounter chance and thee? Well, read my charms, And may they lay that hold upon thy senses, As thou hadst snuft up hemlock, or ta'en down The juice of poppy and of mandrakes. Sleep, Voluptuous Caesar, and security Seize on 'thy stupid powers, and leave them dead To public cares; awake but to thy lusts, The strength of which makes thy libidinous soul Itch to leave Rome! and I have thrust it on; With blaming of the city business, The multitude of suits, the confluence Of suitors; then their importunacies, The manifold distractions he must suffer, Besides ill-rumours, envies, and reproaches, All which a quiet and retired life, Larded with ease and pleasure, did avoid: And yet for any weighty and great affair, The fittest place to give the soundest counsels. By this I shall remove him both from thought And knowledge of his own most dear affairs; Draw all dispatches through my private hands; Know his designments, and pursue mine own; Make mine own strengths by giving suits and places. Conferring dignities and offices; And these that hate me now, wanting access To him, will make their envy none, or less: For when they see me arbiter of all, They must observe; or else, with Caesar fall. [Exit

SCENE III.-Another Room in the same. Enter TIBEBIUS.

Tib. To marry Livia! will no less, Sejanus, Content thy aim? no lower object? well! Thou know'st how thou art wrought into our trust; Woven in our design; and think'st we must Now use thee, whatsoe'er thy projects are: 'Tis true. But yet with caution and fit care. And, now we better think---who's there within? Enter an Officer. Off. Caesar!

Tib. To leave our journey off, were sin 'Gainst our decreed delights; and would appear Doubt; or, what less becomes a prince, low fear. Yet doubt hath law, and fears have their excuse. Where princes' states plead necessary use; As ours doth now: more in Sejanus' pride, Than all fell Agrippina's hates beside. Those are the dreadful enemies we raise With favours, and make dangerous with praise; The injured by us may have will alike, But 'tis the favourite hath the power to strike; And fury ever boils more high and strong, Heat with ambition, than revenge of wrong. 'Tis then a part of supreme skill, to grace No man too much; but hold a certain space Between the ascender's rise, and thine own flat, Lest, when all rounds be reach'd, his aim be that. 'Tis thought. [Aside.] Is Macro in the palace? see: If not, go seek him, to come to us.--- [Exit Offi.] He must be the organ we must work by now; Though none less apt for trust: need doth allow What choice would not. I have heard that aconite, Being timely taken, hath a healing might Against the scorpion's stroke: the proof we'll give: That, while two poisons wrestle, we may live. He hath a spirit too working to be used But to the encounter of his like; excused Are wiser sov'reigns then, that raise one ill Against another, and both safely kill: The prince that feeds great natures, they will slay him; Who nourisheth a lion must obey him.--- Be-enter Officer, with MACRO. Macro, we sent for you.

Mac. I heard so, Caesar.

Tib. Leave us awhile.--- [Exit Officer.] When you shall know. good Macro, The causes of our sending, and the ends, You will then hearken nearer; and be pleas'd You stand so high both in our choice and trust.

Mac. The humblest place in Caesar's choice or trust, May make glad Macro proud; without ambition. Save to do Caesar service.

Tib. Leave your courtings. We are in purpose, Macro, to depart The city for a time, and see Campania; Not for our pleasures, but to dedicate A pair of temples, one to Jupiter At Capua; th' other at Nola, to Augustus: In which great work, perhaps our stay will be Beyond our will produced. . .Now since we are Not ignorant what danger may be born Out of our shortest absence in a state So subject unto envy, and embroil'd With hate and faction; we have thought on thee, Amongst a field of Romans, worthiest Macro, To be our eye and ear: to keep strict watch On Agrippina, Nero, Drusus; ay, And on Sejanus: not that we distrust His loyalty, or do repent one grace Of all that heap we have conferred on him; For that were to disparage our election, And call that judgment now in doubt, which then Seem'd as unquestion'd as an oracle- But, greatness hath his cankers. Worms and moths Breed out of too much humour, in the things Which after they consume, transferring quite The substance of their makers into themselves. Macro is sharp, and apprehends: besides, I know him subtle, close, wise, and well-read In man, and his large nature; he hath studied Affections, passions, knows their springs, their ends, Which way, and whether they will work: 'tis proof Enough of his great merit, that we trust him. Then to a point, because our conference Cannot be long without suspicion--- Here, Macro, we assign thee, both to spy, Inform, and chastise; think, and use thy means, Thy ministers, what, where, on whom thou wilt; Explore, plot, practise: all thou dost in this Shall be, as if the Senate, or the laws Had given it privilege, and thou thence styled The saviour both of Caesar and of Rome. We will not take thy answer but in act: Whereto, as thou proceed'st, we hope to hear By trusted messengers. If't be inquired,


Sejanus: His Fall - 20/53

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