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For hope to dally with. “ When friends are mad,
“ 'Tis most unkind to humour their distraction;
“ Harsh means are necessary.

« Valerius. Yet we first « Should try the gentler.

Valeria. Did I not? Ye powers! “ Did I not sooth your griefs, indulge your fondness, " While the least prospect of success remain’d? “ Did I not press you still to urge your suit, • Intreat you daily to declare your passion, " Seek out unnumber'd opportunities, “ And lay the follies of my sex before you ; Valerius. Alas I thou know'st, Valeria, woman's

" heart “ Was never won by tales of bleeding love : “'Tis by degrees the sly enchanter works Assimning friendship's name, and fits the soul « For soft impressions, ere the fault'ring tongue, “ And guilty-blushing cheek, with many a glance “ Shot inadvertent, tells the secret fame. Valeria. True, these are arts for those that love

at leisure; 6. You had no time for tedious stratagem; • A dangerous rival press'd, and has succeeded."

Valerius. I own my error-yet once more assist meNay, turn not from me, by my soul I meant not To interrupt their loves.-Yet, should some accident, 'Tis not impossible, divide their hearts, I might, pernaps, have hope : therefore 'till marriage Puts off all commerce, and confirms me wretched,

Be it thy task, my sister, with fond stories, Such as our ties of blood may countenance, To paint thy brother's worth, his power in arms, His favour with the king, “but most of all, " That certain tenderness of soul which steals “ All women's hearts," then mention many a fair, No matter whom, that sighs to call you

sister. Valeria. Well, well, away---Yet tell me, ere you go, How did this lover talk of his Horatia } Valerius. Why will you mention that ungrateful

Think what you've heard me breathe a thousand times
When my whole soul dissolv'd in tenderness;
'Twas rapture all; what lovers only feel,
Or can express when felt. He had been here,
But sudden orders from the camp detain'd him.
Farewell, Horatius waits me—but remember,
My life, nay, more than life, depends on you. [Exit.
Valeria. Poor youth! he knows not how I feel his

Yet dare not seem to pity what I feel.
How shall I act betwixt this friend and brother?
Should she suspect his passion, she may

doubt My friendship too; and yet to tell it her Were to betray his cause. No, let


heart With the same blameless caution still proceed; To each inclining most as most distrest; Be just to both, and leave to Heav'n the rest! [Exit.


Continues. Enter HORATIA and VALERIA:

Alas, “ how easily do we admit
" The thing we wish were truel yet sure," Valeria,
This seeming negligence of Curiatius
Betrays a secret coldness at the heart.
May not long absence, or the charms of war,
Have damp’d, at least, if not effac'd his passion?
I know not what to think.

Valeria. Think, my Horatia,
That you're a lover, and have learn'd the art
To raise vain scruples, and torment yourself
With every distant hint of fancied ill.
Your Curiatius still remains the same.
My brother idly trilled with your passion,
Or might, perhaps, unheedingly relate

you too nearly feel. But see, your father. Horatia. He seems transported; sure some happy


Has brought him back thuis early. Oh, my heart! I long, yet dread to ask him. Speak, Valeria.

Valeria. You're soon return'd, my lord.
Horatius. Return'd, Valeria!
?y life, my youth's return'd, I tread in air !

you, sir?

I cannot speak; my joy's too great for utterance. Oh, I could weep!- my sons, my sons are chosen Their country's combatants ; not one, but all i

Horatia. My brothers, said

Horatius. All three, my child,
All three are champions in the cause of Rome.
Oh, happy state of fathers ! thus to feel
New warmth revive, and springing life renew'd
Even on the margin of the grave!

Valeria. The time
Of combat, is it fix'd ?

Horatius. This day, this hour
Perhaps decides our doom.

Valeria. And is it known With whom they must engage ?

Horatius. Not yet, Valeria ; But with impatience we expect each moment The resolutions of the Alban senate. And soon may they arrive, that ere we quit Yon hostile field, the chiefs who dar'd oppose Rome's rising glories, may with shame confess The gods protect the empire they have rais’d. Where are thy smiles, Horatia? Whence proceeds This sulien silence, when my thronging joys Want words to speak them ? Pr’ythee, talk of empire, Talk of those darlings of my soul, thy brothers. Cail them whate’er wild fancy can suggest, Their country's pride, the boast of future times, The dear defence; the guardian gods of Romel

By Heaven, thou stand'st unmov’d, nor feels thy

The charms of glory, the extatic warmth
Which beams new life, and lifts uis nearer Heaven!
Horatia. My gracious father, with surprise and

I heard the tidings, as becomes your daughter.
And like your daughter, were our sex allow'd
The noble privilege which man usurps,
Could die with pleasure in my country's cause.
But yet, permit a sister's weakness, sir,
To feel the panus of nature, and to dread
The fate of those she loves, however glorious,
And sure they cannot all survive a conflict
So des;erate as this.

Horatius. Survive! By Heaven,
I could not hope that they should all survive.
No; let them fall. If from their glorious deaths
Rome's freedom spring, I shall be nobly paid
For every sharpest pang


Had I a thousand sons, in such a cause
I could behold them bleeding at my feet,
And thank the gods with tears!

Enter PUBLIUS HORATIUS. Pub. My father!

[Offering to kneel. Horatius. Hence! Kneel not to nie-stand off; and let me view At distance, and with reverential awe,

"e champion of my country |--Oh, my boy!

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