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Tit. The axe ! - Oh, heaven !- Then must I fall so basely? What, shall I perish like a common felon?

Bru. How else do traitors suffer? — Nay, Titus, more-
I must myself ascend yon sad tribunal —
And there behold thee meet this shame of death,
With all thy hopes, and all thy youth upon thee.
See thy head taken by the common axe,
All, — if the gods can hold me to my purpose,
Without one groan, without one pitying tear.

Tit. Die like a felon? - Ha! a common felon ! -
But I deserve it all :

- yet here I fail This ignominy quite unmans me ! Oh, Brutus, Brutus ! Must I call you father,

[Kneels.
Yet have no token of your tenderness,
No sign of mercy? Not even leave to fall
As noble Romans fall, by my own sword?
Father, why should you make my heart suspect
That all your late compassion was dissembled ?
How can I think that you did ever love me?

Bru. Think that I love thee by my present passion,
By these unmanly tears, these earthquakes here,
These sighs that strain the very strings of life, -
Let these convince you that no other cause
Could force a father thus to wrong his nature.
Tit, Oh, hold, thou violated majesty :

[Rises.
I now submit with calmness to my fate.
Come forth, ye executioners of justice -
Come, take my life, and give it to my country!

Bru. Embrace thy wretched father. May the gods
Arm thee with patience in this awful hour.
The sovereign magistrate of injured Rome
Condemns
A crime thy father's bleeding heart forgives.
Go— meet thy death with a more manly courage
Than grief now suffers me to show in parting;
And, while she punishes, let Rome admire thee !
Farewell! Eternally farewell !

Tit. Oh, Brutus! Oh, my father ! -
Bru. What wouldst thou say, my son?

Tit. Wilt thou forgive me?
When I shall be no more, forget not my Tarquinia.

Bru. Leave her to my care.
Tit. Farewell, forever !
Bru, Forever!

[Re-ascends the Tribunal. Lictors, attend !- conduct your pris'ner forth !

Val. Whither?

Bru. To death !— When you do reach the spot,
My hand shall wave your signal for the act,

Then let the trumpet's sound proclaim it done! [Titus is conducted out by the Lictors. BRUTUS remains seated in a

melancholy posture on the tribunal.]
Poor youth ! Thy pilgrimage is at an end !
A few sad steps have brought thee to the brink
Of that tremendous precipice, whose depth
No thought of man can fathom. Justice now
Demands her victim ! A little moment,

And I am childless. — One effort, and 't is past ! [He rises and waves his hand, then drops into his seat, and shrouds

his face with his toga. Three sounds of the trumpet are heard
instantly.— BRUTUS starts up wildly, and looks out on the side by
which Titus departed, for an instant.]
Justice is satisfied, and Rome is free !

[Falls.

NOTE

The following scene in the Third Act was omitted after the first

representation in compliance with the wishes of the many who thought it injurious to the general effect of the play. As there was some difference of opinion upon this point, the scene is here inserted as it originally stood. LUCRETIA is supposed to be surrounded by her relations COLLATINUS and LUCRETIUS by her side her hair dishevelled, wild in her attire, and all the other characters in attitudes of deep grief.

Luc. Bear witness, then, Lucretia's mind is guiltless Yet never can Lucretia smile again ! Lost to herself, her husband, and her child, Lost to the world, her country, and her friends, The arms of love can pillow her no more, And the sweet smile of her dear innocent babe Would but awaken her to deeper anguish! And shall she live, bereft of all life's treasures, The spectre of the past forever rising To fright her into madness? Think not, countrymen, Indignant virtue can survive pollution ! By her own hand a Roman wife can fall. [Stabs herself. 'Tis to the heart ! Tarquin, the blow was thine ! [Falls.

Col. Beloved, unhappy wife! What hast thou done?

Luc. A deed of glory. Now, my husband, now
With transport can I press thee to my bosom.
Father and kinsmen, ye can own me now !
My pure soul springs from its detested prison !
Virtue exults! The gods applaud my daring!
And to our dear, loved babe, I can bequeath
A mother's noblest gift - a spotless name !

[Dies.
Luc. Staff of my age ! Gone, gone, forever gone !
A wretched father's last and only joy!
Come, death, strike here! Your shaft were welcome now!
Snatch me from earth to my poor, lost, loved child !
Col. My wife ! my wife! Dear, dear, wronged, murdered

wife! Let me be rooted here in endless sorrow Who, who shall dare to mourn her loss like me?

Enter BRUTUS.

Bru. I dare, and so dare every honest Roman.
The scene then proceeds as printed in the preceding pages.

A BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEON

BY

ROBERT BROWNING

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