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'Twere now too late; ere this they must have con

querd. And here's the happy messenger of glory.

Enter VALERIA. Valeria. All's lost, all's ruin'd! freedom is no more! Horatius. What dost thou say? l'aleria. That Rome's subdu'd by Alba. Horatius. It cannot be. Where are my sons ? All

dead ? Valeria. Publius is still alive-the other two Have paid the fatal debt thcy ow'd their country.

Horatius. Publius alive! You must mistake, Valeria. He knows his duty better. He must be dead, or Rome victorious.

Valeria. Thousands as well as I beheld the combat. After his brother's death he stood alone, And acted wonders against three assailants; Till forc'd at last to save himself by flight

Horatius. By Alighit! And did the soldiers let him


Oh, I am ill again! - The coward villain !

[Throwing himself into his chair. Horatia. Alas, my brothers !

Horatius. Weep not for them, girl.
They've died a death which kings themselves might

And whilst they liv'd they saw their country free.
Oh, had I perish'd with them! But for him
Whose impious flight dishonours all his race,

Tears a fond father's heart, and tamely barters
For poor precarious life his country's glory,
Weep, weep for him, and let me join my tears!
Valeria. What could he do, my lord, when three

oppos'd him? Horatius. Die ! “ He might have died. Oh, villain, villain, villain !" And he shall die; this arm shall sacrifice The life he dar'd preserve with infamy.

[Endeavouring to rise. What means this weakness? 'Tis untimely now, When I should punish an ungrateful boy. Was this his boasted virtue, which could charm His cheated sovereign, and brought tears of joy To my old eyes : -So young a hypocrite ! Oh, shame, shame, shame!

Valeria. Have patience, sir; all Rome Beheld his valour, and approv'd his flight, Against such opposition.

Horatius. Tell not me!
What's Rome to me ? Rome may excuse her traitor;
But I'm the guardian of my house's honour,
And I will punish. Pray ye, lead me forth ;
I would have air. But grant me strength, kind gods,
To do this act of justice, and I'll own,

Whate'er 'gainst Rome your awful wills decree,
You still are just and mer


to me.

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A Room in Horatius's House. Enter HORATIUS,

VALERIA following:

Away, away 1-1 feel my strength renew'd,
And I will hunt the villain thro' the world :
No deserts shall conceal, nor darkness hide him.
He is well skill'd in flight; but he shall find
'Tis not so easy to elude the vengeance
Of a wrong'd father's arm, as to escape
His adversary's sword.

Valeria. Restrain your rage
But for a moment, sir. When you shall bear
The whole unravell’d, you will find he's innocent.

Horatius. It cannot be.

Valeria. And see, my brother comes, He may perhaps relate-

· Horatius. I will not bear him ; I will not listen to my shame again.

Valerius. I come with kind condolance from the
I want not consolation ; 'tis enough
They perislı’d for their country.

king, To sooth a father's grief, and to expressHoratius. I've heard it all; I pray you spare my


But the third Valerius. True, he indeed may well supply your loss, And calls for all your fondness.

Horatius. All my vengeance : And he shall have it, sir.

Valerius. What means my lord ? " Are you alone displeas'd with wliat he has done ?

Horatius. 'Tis I alone, I find, must punish it."

Valerius. Vengeance ! " Punish, my lord | What fault has he committed ?

Horatius. Why will you double niy confusion thus? Is night no fault?

Valerius. In such a cause as his 'Twas glorious.

Horatius. Glorious! Oh, rare sophistry ! To find a way through infamy to glory! Valerius. I scarce can trust my senses-

--Infamy! What, was it infamous to save his country? Is art a crime? Is it the name of flight We can't forgive, though it's ador'd effect Restor'd us all to freedom, fame, and empire? Horatius. What fame, what freedom? Who has sav'd his country

? Valerius. Your son, my lord, has done it. Horatius. How, when, where? Valerius. Is't possible! Did not you say you knew ?

Horatius. I care not what I knew-On, tell me all ! Is Rome still free:-Has Alba :---Has my son in Tell me now

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Valerius. Your son, my lord, has slain her cham.

pions. Horatius. What, Publius? Valerius. Ay, Publius.

Horatius. Oh, let me clasp thee to me! Were there not three remaining ?

Valerius. True, there were ;
But wounded all.

Horatius. Your sister here had told us
That Rome was vanquis’d, that my son was fled-
Valerius. And he did fly; but 'twas that flight pre-

serv'd us.
All Rome as well as she has been deceiv'd.
Horatius Let me again embrace thee-Come, re.

late it.
Did I not say, Valeria, that my boy
Must needs be dead, or Rome victorious ?
I long to hear the manner-Well, Valerius-

Valerius. Your other sons, my lord, had paid the debt
They ow'd to Rome, and he alone remain'd
'Gainst three opponents, whose united strength,
Tho' wounded each, and robb’d of half their force,
Was still too great for his. A while he stood
Their fierce assaults, and then pretended flight
Only to tire his wounded adversaries,

Horatius. Pretended fight, and this succeeded, ha!
Oh, glorious boy!
Valerius 'Twas better still, my lord ;

all pursued, but not with equal speed.
1, eager for the conquest, press'd to reach him;

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