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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Soliloquy of Sejanus

By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

DULL, heavy Cæsar!

Wouldst thou tell me thy favors were made crimes,

And that my fortunes were esteemed thy faults,

That thou for me wert hated, and not think

I would with wingèd haste prevent that change

When thou mightest 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 armor

T’encounter chance and thee? Well, read my charms,

And may they lay that hold upon thy senses,

As thou hadst snuffed up hemlock, or ta’en down

The juice of poppy and of mandrakes. Sleep,

Voluptuous Cæsar, and security

Seize on thy stupid powers, and leave them dead

To public cares.