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Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
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 some
times 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
return, Or watch beside the old man's bed, or weep upon his 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 tinie is come. See how he points his eager hand this See how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the With all his wit, he little deems that, spurned, betrayed,
bereft, Thy father hath in his despair one fearful refuge left. He little denims that in this hand I clutch what still can
Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of
the slave; Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blow, Foul 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 in the corner of his
gown, Till, with white lips and bloodshot 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, and up 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 And, as Virginius through the press his way in silence
cleft, Even the mighty multitude fell back to right and left.
And he hath passed in safety unto his woful home,
done in Rome.
Then Appius Claudius gnawed his lip, and the blood
left his cheek; And thrice he beckoned to the crowd, and thrice he strovo
to speak; And thrice the tossing Forum set up a frightful yell ; See, see, thou dog! what thou hast done ; and hide thy
shame in hell! Thou that wouldst make our maidens slaves, must first
make slaves of men. “ Tribunes! Hurrah for Tribunes ! down with the wicked
Ten!” And straightway, thick as hailstones, came whizzing through Pebbles, and bricks, and potsherds, all round the curule And upon Appius Claudius great fear and trembling came, For never was a Claudius yet brave against aught but
shame. Twelve times the crowd made at him ; five times they
seized his gown; Small chance was his to rise again, if once they got him
down; And sharper came the pelting ; and evermore the yell— “ Tribunes ! we will have Tribunes !” rose with a louder
swell. One stone hit Appius in the mouth, and one beneath the
ear ; And ere he reached Mount Palatine, he swooned with pain
and fear. His cursed head, that he was wont to hold so high with
pride, Now, like a drunken man's hung down and swayed from
side to side; And when his stout retainers had brought him to his door, His face and neck were all one cake of filth and clotted
gore. As Appius Claudius was that day, so may his grandson be ! God send Rome one such other sight, and send me there to
A PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
A PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
(From the Biglow Papers.)
This satire is aimed at certain American editors, who, as the vulgai proverb has it, “wait on Providence, and see which way the cat jumps,' and is as telling a piece of satire, in its line, as some passages in Mr. Lowell's “ Fable for Critics."-J. A. F.
I do believe in Freedom's cause,
Ez fur away ez Paris is ;
In them infarnal Pharisees ;
To dror resolves an' triggers,
Thet don't agree with niggers.
I du believe the people want
A tax on teas and coffees,
Purvidin I'm in office;
My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
Partic'larly his pockets.
O' levyin' the taxes,
I git just wut I axes ;
Because it kind o'rouses
Our quiet custom-houses.
To sen' out furrin missions,
An' orthydox conditions ;-
Nine thousan' more fer outfit,
The place 'ould jest about fit.
A PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
O'prayin' an' convartin';
An' buttered, tu, fer sartin ;
On wut the party chooses, An' in convartin' public trusts
To very private uses.
I du believe hard coin the stuff
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on; The people's ollers soft enough
To make hard money out on; Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his,
An' gives a good-sized junk to all; I don't care how hard money is,
Ez long ez mine's paid punctooal.
I du believe with all my soul
In the gret Press's freedom; To pint the people to the goal,
An' in the traces lead 'em ;
At my fat contract's squintin',
Inter the gov'ment printin'!
I du believe thet I should give
Wut's his'n unto Cæsar,
Frum him my bread an' cheese air;
Doth bear his souperscription, Will, conscience, honor, honesty,
An' things o' thet description.
I du believe in prayer an' praise
To him thet ħes the grantin' O’jobs,-in every thin' thet pays,
But most of all in cantin'.