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But thou must triumph in thy guilt, and wear
Horatius. Am I awake, or is it all illusion!
Pub. Horatia, hear me, Yet I am calm, and can forgive thy folly ; Would I could call it by no harsher name. But do not tempt me farther. Go, my sister, Go hide thee from the world, nor let a Roman Know with what insolence thou dar’st avow Thy in famy, or what is more, my shame, How tamely I forgave it.-Go, Horatia. Horatia. I will not go. What, have I touch'd thee,
then And canst thou feel i-Oh, think not thou shalt lose Thy share of anguish. I'll pursue thee still, “ Urge thee all day with thy unnatural crimes, “ Tear, harrow up thy breast; and then at night" I'll be the fury that shall haunt thy dreams; Wake thee with shrieks, and place before thy sight Thy mangled friends in all their pomp of horror.
Pub. Away with her! 'tis womanish complaining. Think'st thou such trifles can alarm the man Whose noblest passion is his country's love ? " --Let it be thine, and learn to bear affliction." Horatia. Curse on my country's love, the trick ye
To make us slaves beneath the mask of virtue;
Pub. Have a care;
geance. Horatia. [ Aside ] Then it shall “ do it.”
Pub. Oh, if thou dar'st prophane That sacred tie which winds about my heart, By Heaven I swear, by the great gods who rule The fate of empires, 'tis not this fond weakness Which hangs upon me, and retards my justice, Nor even thy sex, which shall protect thee from me.
[Clapping his hand on his sword. Horatius Drag'her away--thou'lt make me curse
thee, girl Indeed she's mad.
[To Publius. Horatia. Stand off, I am not mad'Nay, draw ihy sword; I do defy thee, murderer, Barbarian, Roman !- -Mad! The name of Rome Makes madmen of you all; my curses on it. s« I do detest its impious policy.” Rise, rise, ye states (Oh, that my voice could fire Your tardy wrath!) confound its selfish greatness, Rase its proud walls, and lay its towers in ashes ! Pub. i'll bear no more-
[Drawing his sword. Horatius. Distraction !-Force her offHoratia. [Struggling.] Could I but prove the Helen
This curs'd unsocial state, I'd die with transport :
Pub. Thou shalt not live to that. [Exit after her. Thus perish all the enemies of Rome, [Without.
Re-enter VALERIUS. Valerius. Oh, horror! horrorexecrable act; If there be law in Rome ; if there be justice, By Rome, and all its gods, thou shalt not ’scape. (Exit.
Re-enter PUBLIUS, followed by HORATIA wounded. Horatia. Now thou'st indeed been kind, and I for
Horatius. Heavens! what a sight!
Horatia. What means this tenderness? I thought
to see you
Inflam’d with rage against a worthless wretch
Horatius. Thou hast not, girl ;
justice, I forc'd him to the deed ; for know, my father,
It was not madness, but the firm result
Horatia. Alas, my father | All but my love was false; what that inspir'd I utter'd freely. But for the rest, the curses which I pour'd On heaven-defended Rome, were merely lures To tempt his rage, and perfect my destruction. Heaven / with what transport I beheld him mov'd ! How my heart leap'd to meet the welcome point, Stain'd with the life-blood of my Curiatius, Cementing thus our union ev’n in death.
Pub. My sister live! I charge thee live, Horatia ! Oh, thou hast planted daggers here.
Horatia. My brother! Can you forgive me tool then I am happy. I dar'd not hope for that? Ye gentle ghosts That rove Elysium, hear the sacred sound ! My father and my brother both forgive me! I have again their sanction on my love. Oh, let me hasten to those happier climes, Where, unmolested, we may share our joys, Nor Rome, nor Alba, shall disturb us more, [Dics. Horatius. 'Tis gone, the prop, the comfort of my,
age. Let me reflect; this morn I had three children, No happier father hail'd the sun's uprising: Now, I have none, for, Publius, thou must die; . Blood calls to: blood-- 10 expiate one parricide, Justice demands another-- Art thou ready?
Pub. Strike! 'tis the consummation of my wishes To die, and by your hand.
Horatius. Oh, blind old man! Wouldst thon lift up thy sacrilegious hand, Against the chief, the god that sav’d thy country?. There's something in that face that awes my soul, Like a divinity. Hence, thou vile weapon, Disgrace my hand no more. [1 cry without.] Justice! Justice! What noise is that?
Enter VOLSCINIUS. Vols. All Rome, my lord, has taken the alarm, and
crowds Of citizens enrag'd, are posting hither, To call for justice on the head of Publius. Horatius. Ungrateful men! How dare they? Let
Enter TULLUS, VALERIUS, and Citizens. Valerius. See, fellow-citizens, see where she lies, The bleeding victim.
Tullus. Stop, unmanner'd youth I