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She seeks th' indulgent friend, whose sober sense,
Valeria. Yes, Valerius.
Valerius. Her advocate
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 my rival !
Valerius. They flow in vain, Valeria :
Nay, and thou know'st they do. Oh, earth and
Valeria. Yet thou canst murder her
[Going. Valerius. Oh, heavens ! stay, sister; 'tis an arduous
task. Valeria. I know the task is hard, and thought I
knew Thy virtue too.
Valerius. I must, I will obey thee.
Valeria My Valerius!
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 Forvids an alteration. To attempt it Makes her my friend, and may afford hereafter
A thousand tender hours to move my suit.
Another Apartment. Enter HORATIA and VALERIA.
HORATIA with a Scarf in her Hand. Horatia. Where is thy brother? Wherefore 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 theel "'Tis me, 'tis me he shuns; I am the wretch “ Whom virtue dares not make acquaintance with. “ Yet fiy to him again, entreat him hither, « Tell him for thy sake to have pity on me. “ Thou are no enemy to Rome, thou hast 6 No Alban husband to claim half thy tears, “ And make humanity a crime."
Valeria. Dear maid,
Horatia. Oh, wherefore then
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 I alas, perhaps even now too late 1 labour to preserve him; the dread arm Of vengeance is already stretch'd against him, And he must fall. Yet let me strive to save him. Yes, thou dear pledge, design'd for happier hours,
[To the scarf. The gift of nuptial love, thou shalt at least Essay thy power. Ost 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 sweet 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.
Horatia. Are they engag'd then?
Valerius. No, not yet engag:d ;
Horatia. My blessings on them !
Valerius. The chiefs themselves Are resolute to fight.
Horatia. Insatiate virtue! I must not to the field; I am confin'd A prisoner here; or sure these tears would move Their Alinty breasts.--Is Curiatius too Resolv'd on death-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: