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Time's lenient hand will teach her to endure
Horatius. Should we not see her?
Pub. By no means, my lord; You heard the king's commands about my brothers, And we have hearts as tender sure as they. Might i advise, you should confine her closely, Lest she infect the matrons with her grief, And bring a stain we should not wish to fix On the lioratian name.
Horatius. It shall be so. We'll think no more of her. 'Tis glory calls, And humbler passions beat alarms in vain. [Exit.
As HORATIUS goes off, HORATIA enters at another
Pub. What wouldst thou, my Horatia?
Horatie. I know not what I would-l'm on the rack, Despair and madness tear my lab’ring soul. - And yet, my brother, sure you might relieve me. Pub. How! by what means ? By Heaven, l'll die
to do it. Horatia. You might decline the combat, Pub. Ha! Horatia. I do not
Expect it from thee. Pr’ythee, look more kindly.
Horatia. 'Tis not virtue
Pub. Away, away!
Horatia. Oh, kill me not
Pub. Than a chaste Roman maid
Horatia. Should dare! What means my brother? I had my father's sanction on my love, And duty taught me first to feel its power. -Should dare confess l-Is that the dreadful crime? Alas, but spare him, spare thy friend, Horatius, And I will cast him from my breast for ever. Will that oblige thee i-“ Only let him die “ By other hands, and I will learn to hate him.” Pub. Why wilt thou talk thus madly? Love him
still! And if we fall the victims of our country, (Which Heav'n avert!) wed, and enjoy him freely. Horatia. Oh, never, never. What, my country's
bane! The murderer of my brothers l' may the gods First tear me, blast me, scatter me on winds, " And” pour out each unheard-of vengeance on me!
Pub. Do not torment thyself thus idly-Go, Compose thyself, and be again my sister.
Re-enter Horatius, with the Sword. Horatius. This sword in Veii's field-What dost
thou here? Leave him, I charge thee, girl---Come, come, my
Horatia. What! to the field?
Horatius. Shame of thy race, why dost thou hang
Wouldst thou entail eternal infamy
Horatia. Indeed I would not,
father! Pub. Pity thee! Begone, fond wretch, nor urge my teniper 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 tempt thy fa
ther To do an outrage might perhaps distract him.
Horatia. alas, forgive me, sir, I'm very wretched,
Horatius. I do, I do
To make thee happy yet. But on thy duty,
Horatia. I will not,
[Exit Horatia. [Looking after her.] Spite of my boasted strength, her
griefs unman me.
No hopes, no fears, but for his country knows,
ACT MI. SCENE I.
Continucs. VALERIUS and VALERIA meeting,
Valeria. 'Tis not the lover, but the friend she wants,
Valerius. The friend, my sister !
Valeria. Alasi these raptures suit not her distress: