« EelmineJätka »
Long scenes of lasting peace, and smiling years
Valeria. I will again go seek him ; pray, be calm; Success is thine if it depends on him. [Exit.
Horatia. Success / alas, perhaps even now too late I labour to preserve him; the dread arm Of ven cance is already stretch'd against him, And he must fall. Yet let me strive to save him. Yes, thou dear pledge, design'd tor happier hours,
[To the scarf. The gift of nuptial love, thou shalt at least Essay thy power. Oft as I fram'd thy web, He sate beside me, and would say in sport, This present, which thy love designs for me, Shall be the future bond of peace betwixt us : By this we'll swear a lasting love, by this, Through the sueet round of all our days to come, Ask, what thou wilt, and Curiatius grants it. O I shall try thee nearly now, dear youth ; Glory and I are rivals for thy heart, And one must conquer.
Enter VALERIUS and VALERIA. Valerius. Save you, gracious lady ; On the first message which my sister sent me I had been here, but was oblig'd by office, Ere to their champions each resign’d her charge, To ratify the league 'twixt Rome and Alba.
Horatia. Are they engag'd then ?
Valerius. No, not yet engagid;
Horatia. My blessings on them !
Valerius. The chiefs themselves Are resolute to fight.
Horatia. Insatiate virtuel I must not to the field; I am confin'd A prisoner lere; or sure these tears would move Their fiinty breasts.- Is Curiatius too Resolv'd on death 1-0, sir, forgive a maid, Who dares in spite of modesty confess Too soft a passion. Will you pardon me, If I entreat you to the field again, An humble suitor from the veriest wretch That ever knew distress.
Valerius. Dear lady, speak !
Horatia. O bear this to him.
Horatia. To Curiatius bear this scarf:
Of Rome and Alba will approve such mildness.
upon attentively while Valeria spoke.
needle's art “ Has drawn a Sabine virgin, drown'd in tears “ For her lost country, and forsaken friends; “ While by her side the youthful ravisher “ Looks ardent love, and charms her griefs away. “ I am that maid distress'd, divided so “ 'Twixt love and duty. But why rave I thus? “ Haste haste to Curiatius-and yet stay; “ Sure I have something more to say to him: « I know not what it was.”
Valerius. Could I, sweet lady,
Horatia. It may be so. Stay, stay ; be sure you
Valeria. Away, my brother!
[ Aside to Valerius. Let not your passion blind your reason now; But urge your cause with ardor.
Valerius. By my soul, I will, Valeria. Her distress alarms me; And I have now no interest but hers. [Exit. “ Valeria. Come, dearest maid, indulge not thus
your sorrows; " Hope smiles again, and the sad prospect clears. " Who knows th'effect your message may produce? • The milder senators ere this perhaps “ Have mov'd your lover's mind; and if he doubts, " He's yours.”
Horalia. He's gone-I had a thousand thingsAnd yet I'm glad he's gone. Think you, Valeria, Your brother will delay: - They may engage Before he reaches them.
Valeria. The field's so near, That a few minutes brings him to the place. “ And 'tis not probable the senators “ So soon should yield a cause of so much justice. " Horatia. Alas I they should have thought on that before,
“'Tis now too late. The lion when he's rous'd “ Must have his prey, whose den we might have
pasad “ In safeiy while he slept. To draw the sword, “ And fire the youthful warrior's breast to arms “ With au ful visions of immortal fame, « And then to bid him sheath it, and forget “ He ever hop'd for conquest and renown«« Vain, vain attempt !
« Valeria. Yet when that just attempt
“ Horatia. My dear Valeria !
Valeria. Pray, furbear;