A monologue from the play by Joseph Addison

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison. Joseph Addison. London: Jacob Tonson, 1721.
  • SEMPRONIUS: My voice is still for war.
    Gods, can a Roman Senate long debate
    Which of the two to shoose, slavery or death!
    No, let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
    And, at the head of our remaining troops,
    Attack the foe, break through the thick array
    Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon him.
    Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
    May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
    Rise, Fathers, rise! 'tis Rome demands your help;
    Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,
    Or share their fate! the corpse of half her Senate
    Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
    Sit here, deliberating in cold debates,
    If we should sacrifice our lives to honor,
    Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
    Rouse up for shame! our brothers of Pharsalia
    Point at their wounds, and cry aloud--To battle!