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I want not consolation; 'tis enough
They perish'd for their country. But the third—
Palerius. 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.”
Palerius. 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
Horatius. Glorious ! Oh, rare sophistry I
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 flight
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
/alerius. Your son, my lord, has done it.
Horatius. How, when, where
Valerius. Is’t possible I 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 :
Palerius. Your son, my lord, has slain her champions. Horatius. What, Publius Walerius. Ay, Publius. Horatius. Oh, let me clasp thee to me ! Were there not three remaining Palerius. True, there were ; But wounded all. Horatius. Your sister here had told us That Rome was vanquis'd, that my son was fled— Palerius. And he did fly; but 'twas that flight preserv'd us. All Rome as well as she has been deceiv'd. Horatius Let me again embrace thee—Come, relate it. Did I not say, Valeria, that my boy Must needs be dead, or Rome victorious I long to hear the manner—Well, Valerius— Valerius. Your other sons, my lord, had paid the debt They ow'd to Rome, and he alone remain'd 'Gainst three opponents, whose united strength, Tho' wounded each, and robb'd of half their force, Was still too great for his. A while he stood Their fierce assaults, and then pretended flight Only to tire his wounded adversaries. 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
His fainter brothers panting far behind.
Horatius. He took them singly then : An easy con-
*Twas boy’s play only,
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.
Paleria. Caius I Oh, poor Horatial
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 .
Palerius. Most sure, my lord, this day has added
To her whose merit was before unequall’d.
Horatius. How could I doubt his virtue —Mighty
This is true glory, to preserve his country,
And bid, by one brave att, the Horatian name
In 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 trenbling age
“Crowds eager on to bless him ere it dies I
“Ere long, perhaps, they will raise altars to him,
“And even with hymns and sacrifice adore
“The virtue I suspected 1”—Gracious Heaven f
Where is he Let me fly, and at his feet
Forget the father, and implore a pardon
For such injustice.
Walerius. “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 w
Which sounds from far, and seems the mingled voice d
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 Ho RATIA and VALERIA.
Horatia. Yes, I will go; this father's hard command
Shall be obey'd; and I will meet the conqueror, But not in smiles. Palerius. Oh, go not, gentle lady Might I advise— Valeria. Your griefs are yet too fresh, And may offend him. Do not, my Horatia. Walerius. Indeed 'twere better to avoid his presence; It will revive your sorrows, and recall— Horatia. Sir, when I saw you last I was a woman, The fool of nature, a fond prey to grief, Made up of sighs and tears. But now my soul Disdains the very thought of what I was ; 'Tis grown too callous to be mov’d with toys. Observe me well; am I not nobly chang'd : From my sad eyes, or heaves my breast one groan * No : for I doubt no longer. 'Tis not grief, 'Tis resolution now, and fix’d despair. Paleria. My dear Horatia, you strike terrors thro' me ; What dreadful purpose hast thou form'd : Oh, speak! Walerius. “Talk gently to her.”—Hear me yet, sweet lady. ... You must not go; whatever you resolve, * * There is a sight will pierce you to the soul. - Horatia. What sight Palerius. Alas, I should be glad to hide it; But it is Horatia. What Valerius. Your brother wears in triumph The very scarf I bore to Curiatius.