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The knave was saucy, and you slew liim --On!
. 'Twas on this very spot Tarquinia stood,
And when the wrathful father had denounced
Inmediate death on this my filial act,
She with the tongue of interceding pity,
And tears that streamed in concert with her suit,
Implored, prevailed, and gave me life---and love.
Bru. 'Tis well. Behold, I give her life for life:
Rome may be free, although Tarquinia lives.
This I concede; but more if thou attemptest,
By all the gods !-Nay, if thou dost not take
Her image, though with smiling Cupids decked,
And pluck it from thy heart, there to receive
Rome and her glories in without a rival,
Thou art no son of mine, thou art no Roman! [.Exit, R.
Enter TARQUINIA, L.
Tar. Save, save me, Titus! oh, amid the crash
Of falling palaces, preserve Tarquinia !
Or, do I meet in thee a double rebel,
Traitor alike to me and to your king?
Speak, I conjure thee! Will the son of Brutus
Now take me to his pity and protection,
Or stab with perfidy the heart that loves him !
Tit. Cruel suspicion ! Oh, adored Tarquinia,
I live but to preserve you! You are free:
I have my father's sanction for your safety!
Tar. I scorn a life that is preserved by Brutus !
I scorn to outlive parents, brothers, friends!
I'll die with those
Whom this dire night hath murdered !
Tit. Who are murdered ?
Whom hath the sword of Brutus slain ? Not ono
Of all thy kindred-
Tar. Say'st thou ? Lives
Tit. She lives—and Sextus,-even he escapes
The storm which he has raised, and flies to Ardea.
Tar. Speed him, ye gods, with eagle swiftness thither!
And may those thunders which now shake the walls
Of tottering Ardea, like a whirlwind burst
On this devoted city, 'whelm its towers,
And crush the traitorous hive beneath their ruins.
Now, Titus, where is now thy promised faith ?
Didst thou not swear no dangers should divide us ?
Tit. I did ; and, constant to my oath, behold me
Thy faithful guardian in this night of terrors.
Tar. Be still my guardian ; snatch me from these ter-
Bear me to Ardea, be the friend of nature,
And give the rescued daughter to the arms
Of her protecting parent; thus you gain
The praise of men, the blessings of the gods,
And all that honour, all that love can grant.
Tit. Despair! Distraction! Whither shall I turn me ?
Tar. Why do you waver? Cast away this weakness ;
Be glorious in your cruelty, and leave me.
By all the demons who prepare the heart
To rush upon the self-destroying steel,
The same dire moment which gives thee to Brutus,
Gives me to death!
Tit. Horror! Tarquinia, hold !
Tar. Lo! I am armed. Farewell! [Crosses, L.] How
I have loved
My death shall witness—how you have deceived me,
Let your own conscience tell.—Now to your father!
Now go, and mingle with the murderers;
Go, teach those fiends what perjury can do,
And show your hands bathed in Tarquinia’s blood
The filial deed shall welcome you to Brutus,
And fill his gloomy soul with savage joy.
Tit. Take, take me hence forever! Let me lose,
In these dear arms, the very name of son,
All claims of nature, every sense but love!
Tar. The gods that guard the majesty of Rome,
And that sweet power, whose influence turns thy heart
To pity and compliance, shall reward
And bless thee for the deed!
Tit. Can he be blest,
On whom a father's direful curse shall fall ?
Tar. A madman's imprecation is no curse.
Be a man.
Tit. Oh, while thy love upholds me, I can stand Against the world's contempt; remember, only, For whosc dear sake I am undone ; remember,
My heart was honour's once
Tar. And shall be ever ! Come, I will show thee where bright honour grows, Where thou shalt pluck it from the topmost branch, And wear it in its freshest, fairest bloom. Exeunt, 1..
SCENE II.-A Street in Rome.
Enter Horatius and Celius, L.
Hor. Brutus and Collatinus are appointed
To sovereign sway, as cousuls for the year.
Their self-elected senate meets to-morrow,
Though some remain, too honest for their views.
These for security exact conditions-
They ask a chief, whose well-established fame
May win the hearts of this inconstant people;
A chief so brave, that, should we prove victorious,
He may compel the king to keep his faith;
Or, if we fall, boldly revenge our deaths-
And such a chief I've found.
Cel. Indeed! In whom ?
Hor. Tho consul's son-his much-loved son-young
Cel. What! to rebel against his father's power?
Hor. Ay, he is ours. This very night, Tarquinia
Will lead him forth to the Quirinal gate,
Whence they straight hasten to the camp at Ardea.
Impetuous youth is wrought upon with ease.
Though 'tis his father's frown upon his love,
And early vows pledged to the fair Tarquinia,
Alone which prompt him thus to lead our band :
Once in our power, we'll mould him to our ends :
His very name will prove a tower of strength,
And Rome, once more, shall be restored 10 Tarquin.
Cel. Bravely resolved ! But tell me- where is Tullia !
Hor. A captive, and confined in Rhea's temple ; Watched by the vestals, who there guard the flame Upon the tomb where lies her murdered father. Unhappy Tullia ! our sw, rds shall soon release thee. Come ! Hence at once! The hour draws near-away! Ere two days pass these reptiles shall be crushed, And humbled Rome sue for its monarch's pardon.
[Exeunt Horatius and Celius, R.
Enter LUCRETIUs and Valerius, L. Val. That was Horatius 'parted, was it not ? Luc. The same.
Val. Am I deceived ? Methinks I heard Something like discontent and treason muttered.
Luc. I fear all is not safe. Assembled groups Of Tarquin's friends have been seen close in conference Muttering his name aloud. Ay, and some base, Degenerate Romans, called for a surrender.
Val. Horatius' arts may justly wake suspicion : And Rome, we know, is still disgraced by many Too base, too sordid, to be bravely free.
forth and double all the guards, See their steps watched, and intercept their malice. Luc. Nay, there's a safer course than that; arrest
them! Val. The laws and rights we've sworn to guard, for
bid it! Let them be watched. We must not venture farther. To arrest a Roman upon bare surmise, Would be at once to imitate the tyrant Whom we renounce, and from his throne have driven!
Exeunt, R. Scene III.— Rome.--A little dark.-- The Temple of Rhea,
with a large Central Door leading to the Tomb of Ser-
vius Tullius, late King of Rome. On one side of the
Stage, a Statue of Rhea, and on the other, a Statue of
Vesta, with altars, and incense burning before each.
Priestess of Rhea. Virgins of the Temple.
Pr. Daughters of Rhea, since the lords of Rome
Have to your holy hands consigned the charge
Of their now captive Queen, inform the Priestess
How your sad prisoner abides her durance.
Is her proud soul yet humbled, or, indignant,
Doth it still breathe defiance and contempt ?
Vir. Sullen and silent, she resolves on death :
She will not taste of nourishment. She comes.
Enter TULLIA, L.
Pr. I pray you, royal lady, bo entreated.--
Tul. I tell
no ! Pr. Think what a train of weary hc ars have passed Since
had taste of food.
Tul. 'Tis well!
The fewer are to come.
Pr. How can you live to meet your royal husband,
To fold your children in your arms again,
If you resist support ?
Tul. Ha! well remembered !
What news from Ardea ? Will he march for Rome ?
Hark! Do you hear his trumpet ? Is he coming ?
Ay, this is hope, and worth the feeding.
'Tis well-'tis well!
But, tell me edoth the king know of this kindness ?
Pr. What king?
Tul. What king?
Brutus, the king of Rome,—knows he of this ?
P He doe
Tul. And would he I should live?
Pr. He would.
Tul. Merciful villain !
Yes, he would have me live to page his triumphs :
I know the utmost of his mercy-
Subtle traitor !
I'll not taste food, though immortality
Were grafted to each atom-Hark! What's that ?
Pr. It is your fancy's coinage.
l Tul. Again! 'Tis deep and hollow :
It issues from the vault-Set the door open !
Open, I say.
Pr. It is
Tul. My father! righteous gods ! I killed my father!
Horrible retribution !
Pr. Wretched daughter,
If thou hast done this deed, prepare thy spirit,
By wholesome meditation, for atonemen
And let no passion interrupt the task
Of penitence and prayer.
Tul. I'll pray no more.
There is no mercy in the skies for murder,
Therefore no praying, none.