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And the strong smith Muræna gave Marcus such a blow, The caitiff reeled three paces back, and let the maiden go: Yet glared he fiercely round him, and growled, in harsh, fell tone,

"She's mine, and I will have her;-I seek but for mine own. She is my slave, born in my house, and stolen away and sold, The year of the sore sickness, ere she was twelve years old. I wait on Appius Claudius; I waited on his sire:

Let him who works the client wrong, beware the patron's ire!"

-But ere the varlet Marcus again might seize the maid, Who clung tight to Muræna's skirt and sobbed and shrieked

for aid,

Forth through the throng of gazers the young Icilius pressed, And stamped his foot and rent his gown and smote upon

his breast,

And beckoned to the people, and, in bold voice and clear, Poured thick and fast the burning words which tyrants quake to hear:

"Now by your children's cradles, now by your fathers' graves,

Be men to-day, Quirites, or be for ever slaves!

For this did Servius give us laws? For this did Lucrece

bleed?

For this was the great vengeance wrought on Tarquin's evil

seed?

For this did those false sons make red the axes of their

sire?

For this did Scævola's right hand hiss in the Tuscan fire? Shall the vile fox-earth awe the race that stormed the lion's

den?

Shall we, who could not brook one lord, crouch to the wicked Ten?

Oh, for that ancient spirit which curbed the Senate's will! Oh, for the tents which in old time whitened the Sacred Hill! In those brave days our fathers stood firmly side by side; They faced the Marcian fury, they tamed the Fabian pride: They drove the fiercest Quintius an outcast forth from Rome; They sent the haughtiest Claudius with shivered fasces home.

But what their care bequeathed us, our madness flung away: All the ripe fruit of three-score years is blighted in a day. Exult, ye proud Patricians! the hard-fought fight is o'er: We strove for honour-'twas in vain: for freedom-'tis no

more.

Our very hearts, that were so high, sink down beneath your will:

Riches and lands and power and state,-ye have them— keep them still!

Still keep the holy fillets; still keep the purple gown,

The axes and the curule chair, the car and laurel crown; Still press us for your cohorts, and, when the fight is done, Still fill your garners from the soil which our good swords

have won;

Still like a spreading ulcer which leech-craft may not cure,
Let your foul usance eat away the substance of the poor;
Still let your haggard debtors bear all their fathers bore;
Still let your dens of torment be noisome as of yore ;—
No fire, when Tiber freezes; no air, in dog-star heat,
And store of rods for free-born backs, and holes for free-born

feet;

Heap heavier still the fetters, bar closer still the grate;
Patient as sheep we yield us up unto your cruel hate :-
But, by the Shades beneath us, and by the Gods above,
Add not unto your cruel hate your yet more cruel love!
Have ye not graceful ladies, whose spotless lineage springs
From Consuls, and high Pontiffs, and ancient Alban Kings?
Ladies, who deign not on our paths to set their tender
feet-

Who from their cars look down with scorn upon the wondering street

Who in Corinthian mirrors their own proud smiles behold, And breathe of Capuan odours, and shine with Spanish

gold?

Then leave the poor Plebeian his single tie to life

The sweet, sweet love of daughter, of sister, and of wife— The gentle speech, the balm for all that his vexed soul

endures

The kiss, in which he half forgets even such a yoke as yours!

Spare us the inexpiable wrong, the unutterable shame,
That turns the coward's heart to steel, the sluggard's blood

to flame;

Lest, when our latest hope is fled, ye taste of our despair, And learn, by proof, in some wild hour, how much the wretched dare!"

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Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside, To where the reeking shambles stood, piled up with horn and hide;

Close to yon low dark archway, where, in a crimson flood, Leaps down to the great sewer the gurgling stream of blood. Hard by, a flesher on a block had laid his whittle down— Virginius caught the whittle up, and hid it in his gown; And then his eyes grew very dim, and his throat began to swell,

And in a hoarse, changed voice he spake, "Farewell, sweet child, farewell!

Oh! how I loved my darling! Though stern I sometimes be,
To thee, thou know'st, I was not so. Who could be so to thee?
And how my darling loved me! How glad she was to hear
My footstep on the threshold, when I came back last year!
And how she danced with pleasure to see my civic crown,
And took my sword and hung it up, and brought me forth
my gown.

Now, all those things are over-yes, all thy pretty ways—
Thy needlework, thy prattle, thy snatches of old lays;
And none will grieve when I go forth, or smile when I re-
turn,

Or watch beside the old man's bed, or weep upon his urn:
The house that was the happiest within the Roman walls,
The house that envied not the wealth of Capua's marble
halls,

Now for the brightness of thy smile, must have eternal gloom,

And for the music of thy voice, the silence of the tomb.

The time is come! See, how he points his eager hand this way!

See, how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey!

With all his wit he little deems, that, spurned, betrayed,

bereft,

Thy father hath, in his despair, one fearful refuge left.

He little deems that in this hand I clutch what still can save Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of the

slave;

Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blowFoul outrage, which thou knowest not, which thou shalt never know!

Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more kiss;

And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way-but this!"

-With that he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side, And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died!

When Appius Claudius saw that deed, he shuddered and

sank down,

And hid his face some little space with the corner of his

gown,

Till, with white lips and blood-shot eyes, Virginius tottered

nigh,

And stood before the judgment-seat and held the knife on high:

"Oh! dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain, By this dear blood I cry to you, do right between us twain; And even as Appius Claudius hath dealt by me and mine, Deal you by Appius Claudius, and all the Claudian line!" -So spake the slayer of his child, and turned and went his

way,

But first he cast one haggard glance to where the body lay, And writhed, and groaned a fearful groan, and then with steadfast feet

Strode right across the market-place into the Sacred Street. Then up sprang Appius Claudius: "Stop him; alive or dead! Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his head!"

He looked upon his clients; but none would work his will: He looked upon his lictors; but they trembled and stood

still;

And as Virginius through the press his way in silence cleft,
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left:
And he hath passed in safety unto his woful home,

And there ta'en horse to tell the Camp what deeds are done in Rome.

XXI. THE FATE OF MACGREGOR.

(HOGG.)

James Hogg, "The Ettrick Shepherd," was born in the Vale of Ettrick, Selkirkshire, about 1770. He died in 1835.

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Macgregor, Macgregor, remember our foemen!

The moon rises broad from the brow of Ben-Lomond,
The clans are impatient and chide thy delay;
Arise! let us bound to Glen-Lyon away."

Stern scowled the Macgregor, then, silent and sullen,
He turned his red eyes to the braes of Strathfillan :
Go, Malcolm, to sleep, let the clans be dismissed;
The Campbells this night for Macgregor must rest.'

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Macgregor, Macgregor, our scouts have been flying
Three days round the hills of M'Nab and Glen-Lyon;
Of riding and running such tidings they bear,

We must meet them at home, else they'll quickly be here."
"The Campbell may come, as his promises bind him,
And haughty M‘Nab with his giants behind him;
This night I am bound to relinquish the fray,
And do what it freezes my vitals to say:-
Forgive me, dear brother, this horror of mind;
Thou know'st in the strife I was never behind,
Nor ever receded a foot from the van,

Or blanched at the ire or the prowess of man;
But I've sworn by the cross, by my God, and by all!
An oath which I cannot and dare not recall,-
Ere the shadows of midnight fall east from the pile,
To meet with a spirit this night in Glen-Gyle.

"Last night in my chamber, all thoughtful and lone,
I called to remembrance some deeds I had done,
When entered a lady with visage so wan,
And looks such as never were fastened on man.

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