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A Room in HORATIUS's House. Enter HORATIUS,
Valeria. Restrain your rage
Horatius. It cannot be.
Valeria. And see, my brother comes.
Horatius. I will not hear him;
Valerius. I come with kind condolance from the
king, To sooth a father's grief, and to express Horatius. I've heard it all; I pray you spare my
I want not consolation ; 'tis enough
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 what 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 my confusion thus? Is flight 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 fight 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-Oh, tell me all ! Is Rome still free:--Has Alba :-Has my son ? Tell me
l'alerius. 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 fledValerius. 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
Valerius. Your other sons, my lord, had paid the debt
Horatius. Pretended flight, and this succeeded, ha! Oh, glorious boy!
Valerius 'Twas better still, my lord; For all pursued, but not with equal speed. Each, eager for the conquest, press'd to reach him;
Nor did the first, till 'twas too late, perceive
Valerius. Never did, I see Such universal joy, as when the last Sunk on the ground beneath Horatius' sword; Who seem'd a while to parley as a friend, And would have given him life, but Caius scorn'd it.
Valeria. Caius! Oh, poor Horatia !
Horatius. Peace, I charge thee. Go, dress thy face in smiles, and bid thy friend Wake to new transports. Let ambition fire her. What is a lover lost? There's not a youth In Rome but will adore her. Kings will seek For her alliance now, and mightiest chiefs Be honour'd by her smiles. Will they not, youth ?
[Exit Valeria. Valerius, Most sure, my lord, this day has added
worth To her whose merit was before unequallid. Horatius. How could I doubt his virtue !-Mighty
gods ! This is true glory, to preserve his country, And bid, by one brave act, the Horatian name Iu fame's eternal volumes be enroll’d. “ Methinks already I behold his triumph. “ Rome gazes on him like a second founder ; “ The wond'ring eye of childhood views with awe
“ The new divinity; and trenibling age
Valerius. “ You may soon, my lord, " In his embraces lose the fond remembrance “ Of your mistaken rage.' The king, ere this, Has from the field dispatch'd him; “ he but staid “ Till he could send him home with some slight ho
“ Of scatter'd wreaths, and grateful songs of praise. " For till to-morrow he postpones the pomp " Of solemn thanks, and sacrifice to Heaven “ For liberty restor’d.” But hark! that shout Which sounds from far, and seems the mingled voice Of thousands, speaks him onward on his way. Horatius. How my heart dances l_Yet I blush to
meet him. But I will on. Come, come, Horatia; leave
[Calling at the door. Thy sorrow far behind, and let us fly With open arms to greet our common glory. [Exit.
Enter HORATIA and VALERIA. Horatia. Yes, I will go; this father's hard com