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“ Each distant object of refin'd distress, “Shuts out all means of happiness, nor leaves it “In fortune's power to save you from destruction." Like some distemper'd wretch, your wayward mind Rejects all nourishment, or turns to gall The very balm that should relieve its anguish. He will admire thy love, which could persuade him To give up glory for the milder triumph Of heart-felt ease and soft humanity. Horatia. I fain would hope so. Yet we hear not of
“l'aleria. The wings of love
“ Horati.. I believe it, “ Yet doubt it too. My sickly mind unites Strange
contradictions.” Valeria. Shall I to the walls ? 1 may
from thence with ease survey the field, And can dispatch a messenger each moment, To tell thee all goes well.
Horatia. My best Valeria! Fly then; “ į know thy heart is there already." Thou art a Roman maid; and though thy friendship Detains thee here with one who scarce deserves That sacred name, art anxious for thy country.
But yet for charity think kindly of me;
Enter a Servant. Well, does he yield > Distract me not with silence. Say, in one word
Seru. Your father
Horatia. What of him?
Serv. Madam, he's here-
Enter HORATIUS, led in by his Servants.
Horatia. My gracious sire !
Horatia. How are you, sir?
Support the swelling tumult of my soul.
Horatia. No accident, I hope, alarm’d you, sir !
Horatius. Here, go to the field again,
Horatia. Are they engag'd ?
Enter a Servant, who gives a paper to HORATIA, and
retires. What paper's that? Why dost thou tremble so? Here, let me open it. [Takes the paper and opens it.]
From Curiatius ! Horatia. Oh, keep me not in this suspense, my
Horatius. He teils thee here,
Horatius. I see by this Thou hast endeavour'd to persuade thy lover To qut the combat. Couldst thou think, Horatia, lle'd sacrifice his country to a woman? Horatia. I know not what I thought. He proves
too plainly, Whate'er it was, I was deceiv'd in him Whom I applied to.
Horaiius. Do not think so, daughter; Could he with honour have declin'd the fight, I should myself have join'd in thy request, And forc'd him from the field. But think, my child, Had he consented, and had Alba's cause, Supported by another arni, been baffled, What then couldst thou expect? Would he not curse His foolish love, and hate thee for thy fondness? Nay, think, perhaps, 'twas irtifice in thee To aggrandize thy race, and lift their fame Triumphant o'er his ruin and his country's. Think well on that, and reason must convince thee. Horatia. [Wildly.] Alas I had reason ever yet the
pouer To talk down grief, or bid the tortur'd wretch Not feel his anguish ? 'Tis impossible. Could reason govern, I should now rejoice They were engagéd, and count the tedious moments Till conquest swild, and Rume again was free. Could reason govern, I should beg of Heaven o guide my brot er's sword, and plunge it deep
in the busum of the man I love :
I should forget he ever won my soul,
done! The glorious expectation of success Buoys up my soul, nor lets a thought intrude To dash my promis'd joys! What steady valour Beams from their eyes: just so, if fancy's power May form conjecture from his after-age, Rome's founder must have look'd, when, warm in
youth, And flush'd with future conquest, forth he march'd Against proud Acron, with whose bleeding spoils He grac'd the altar of Feretrian Jove Methinks I feel recover'd: I might venture Forth to the field again. What hol Volscinius! Attend me to the camp.
Horatia. My dearest father, Let me entreat you stay; the tumult there Will discompose you, and a quick relapse May prove most dangerous. I'll restrain my tears, If they offend you.
Horatius. Well, I'll be advis'd.