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Horatius. Shame of thy race, why dost thou hang

upon him i

Wouldst thou entail eternal infamy
On him, on me, and all?

Horatia. Indeed I would not,
I know I ask impossibilities;
Yet pity me, my father!

Pub. Pity thee! Begone, fond wretch, nor urge my temper thus. By Heaven, I love thee as a brother ought. Then hear my last resolve; if Fate, averse To Rome and us, determine my destruction, I charge thee wed thy lover; he will then Deserve thee nobly. Or, if kinder gods Propitious hear the prayers of suppliant Rome, And he should fall by me, I then expect No weak upbraidings for a lover's death, But such returns as shall become thy birth, A sister's thanks for having sav'd her country. [Exit. Horatia. Yet stay-Yet hear me, Publius-But one

word. Horatius. Forbear, rash girl, thou'lt ternpt thy fa

ther To do an outrage might perhaps distract him.

Horatia. Alas, forgive me, sir, I'm very wretched,
Indeed I am-Yet I will strive to stop
This swelling grief, and bear it like your daughter.
Do but forgive me, sir.

Horatius. I do, I do-
Go in, my child, the gods may find a way

To make thee happy yet. But on thy duty,
Whate’er reports may reach, or fears alarm thee,
I charge thee come not to the field.

Horatia. I will not,
If you command it, sir. But will you then,
As far as cruel honour may permit,
Remember that your poor Horatia's life
Hangs on this dreadful contest ?
Horatius. “ Lead her in."

[Exit Horatia, [Looking after her. ] Spite of my boasted strength, her

griefs unman me. -But let her from my thoughts! The patriot's breast

No hopes, no fears, but for his country knows,
And in her danger loses private woes. [Exit.


Continues. VALERIUS and VALERIA meeting.

Now, my Valeria, where's the charming she
That calls me to her i with a lover's haste
I fly to execute the dear command.

Valeria. 'Tis not the lover, but the friend she wants, If thou dar'st own that name.

Valerius. The friend, my sister !
There's more than friendship in a lover's breast,
More warm, more tender is the flame he feels

Valeria. Alas! these raptures suit not her distressi

She seeks th' inaulgent friend, whose sober sense,
Free from the mists of passion, might direct
Her jarring thoughts, and plead her doubtful cause.
Valerius. Am I that friend ? Oh, did she turn her

On me for that kind office ?

Valeria. Yes, Valerius.
She chose you out to be her advocate
To Curiatius; 'tis the only hope
She now dares cherish; her relentless brother
With scorn rejects her tears, her father flies her,
And only you remain to sooth her cares,
And save her ere she sinks.

Valerius. Her advocate
To Curiatius!

Valeria. 'Tis to him she sends you,
To urge her suit, and win him from the field.
But come, her sorrows will more strongly plead
Than all my grief can utter.
Valerius. To


To Curiatius plead her cause, and teach
My tongue a lesson which my heart abhors !
Impossible! Valeria, pr'ythee say
Thou sawost me not; the business of the camp
Confin'd me there. Farewell.

Valeria. What means my brother?
You cannot leave her now ; for shame, turn back ;
Is this the virtue of a Roman youth?
Oh, by these tears I --

Palerius. They flow in vain, Valeria :

Nay, and thou know'st they do. Oh, earth and

This combat was the means my happier stars
Found out to save me from the brink of ruin ;
And can I plead against it, turn assassin
On my own life?

l'aleriu. Yet thou canst murder her Thou dust pretend to love ; away, deceiver! l'll seek some worthier messenger to plead In beauty's cause; but first inform Horatia, How much Valerius is the friend she thought him.

[Going. Valerius. Oh, heavens ! stay, sister; 'tis an arduous

task. Paleria. I know the task is hard, and thought I

knew Thy virtue too.

Valerius. I must, I will obey thee.
Lead on.-Yet pr’ythee, for a moment leave me,
'Till I can recollect my scatter'd thoughts,
And dare to be unhappy.

Valeria. My Valerius !
I fly to tell her you but wait her pleasure. Exit.

Valerius. Yes, I will undertake this hateful office; It never can succeed.--Yet at this instant It may be dangerous, while the people melt With fond compassion.--No, it cannot be ; His resolution's fix'd, and virtuous pride Forbids an alteration. To attempt it

hes her my friend, and may afford hereafter

A thousand tender hours to move my suit.
That hope determines all.



Another Apartment. Enter HORATIA and VALERIA.

HORATIA with a Scarf in her Hand. Horatia. Where is thy brotherWherefore stays

he thus? Did you conjure him.: did he say he'd come? I have no brothers now, and fly to him As my last refuge. Did he seem averse To thy entreaties ? Are all brothers so? * Alas, thou told’st me he spake kindly to thee! "'Tis me, 'tis me he shuns; I am the wretch “ Whom virtue dares not make acquaintance with. " Yet fly to him again, entreat him hither, “ Tell him for thy sake to have pity on me. 6 Thou are no enemy to Rome, thou hast « No Alban husband to claim half thy tears, 66 And make humanity a crime."

Valeria. Dear maid,
Restrain your sorrows; I've already told you
My brother will with transport execute
Whatever you command.

Horatia. Oh, wherefore then
Is he away? Each moment now is precious;
If lost, 'tis lost for ever, and if gain'd,

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