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Is fix'd for death or conquest? [He bows. ] To me death,
Sold. My duty, lady,
As the Soldier goes out, VALERIA enters, who looks first
on him, and then on HORATIA. Valeria. My dear Horatia, wherefore wilt thou
The means to be unhappy? Still enquiring,
Horatia. Oh, I am lost, Valeria! lost to virtue.
Valeria. Forbear this self-reproach; he is thy
husband, And who can blame thy fears? If fortune make him A while thy country's foe, she cannot cancel Vows register'd above. What tho’ the priest Had not confirm'd it at the sacred altar ; Yet
hearts united, and that union
Horatia. True ; yet sure
“ Swol'n with uncommon floods," or from the height ? Of yon Tarpeian rock, whose giddy steep
Has turn’d me pale with horror at the sight,
plain, 6. Who hears the victor's threats, and sees his sword “ Impending o'er him, feels no surer fate, 66 Tho' less delay'd than mine." What should I
hope? That Alba conquer ?-Curs'd be every thought Which looks that way! “ The shrieks of captive
matrons 6. Sound in niy ears!"
Valeria. Forbear, forbear, Horatia ; Nor fright me with the thought. Rome cannot fall. Think on the glorious battles she has fought; Has she once fail'd, though oft expos’d to danger; And has not her immortal founder promis'd That she should rise the mistress of the world?
Horatia. And if Rome conquers, then Horatia dies.
Valeria. Why wilt thou form vain images of horror, Industrious to be wretched? Is it thien Become impossible that Rome should triumph, And Curiatius live? He must, he shall;
Protecting gods shall spread their shields around him,
Horatius. [Without.] What hol Vindicus.
not ask, Valeria ?”
Valeria. Alas, Horatia, 'tis not to the temple That thou wouldst fly; the shout alone alarms thee. But do not thus anticipate thy fate; Why shouldst thou learn each chance of varying
war, 66 Which takes a thousand turns, and shifts the scene “ From bad to good, as fortune smiles or frowns" Stay but an hour perhaps, and thou shalt know The whole at once.—I'll send-- I'll Hy myself To ease thy doubts, and bring thee news of joy.
Horatia. Again, and nearer too-I must attend thee. Valeria. Hark! 'tis thy father's voice, he comes to
Enter Horatius, and Valerius. Horatius. [Entering.) News from the camp, my
child! Save you, sweet maid !
Horatia. You'll forgive us, sir,
Horatius. I had forgot; the thoughts of what I was
Valerius. Gentle lady, The scene was piteous, though its end be peace. Horatia. Peace? O, my fluttering heart 1 by what
kind means? Valerius. 'Twere tedious, lady, and unnecessary To paint the disposition of the field ; Suffice it, we were arm’d, and front to front The adverse legions heard the trui 's sound: But vain was the alarm, for motionless, And wrapt in thought they stood; the kindred ranks "ad caught each other's eyes, nor dar'd to lift
e fault'ring spear against the breast they lov'd.