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Virginia. O, help me! help me!

Enter Icilius, L.
Icil. Virginia's voice. Virginia ! (Rushes to her.
Virginia. 0, Icilius ! [Falls fainting in his arms.
Icil. Take her, good Numitorius.

App. You had better
Withdraw, Icilius ; the affair is judged.

Claud. (L. c.) r claim my slave.

Icil. (c.) Stand back, thou double slave!
Touch her, and I will tear thee, limb from limb,
Before thy master's face.-She is my wife,
My life, my heart, my heart's blood.Touch her
Witli but a look-

App. My Lictors, there, advance !
See that Icilius quits the Forum.-Claudius,
Secure your slave.

Icil. Lictors, a moment pause
For your own sakes. Do not mistake these arms;
Think not the strength of any common man
Is that they feel. They serve a charmed frame,
The which a power pervades, that ten times trebles
The natural energy of each single nerve
To sweep you down as reeds.

App. Obey my orders !

Icil. Appius! before I quit the Forum, let me Address a word to you.

App. Be brief, then!

Icil. Is't not enough you have depriv'd us, Appius,
Of the two strongest bulwarks to our liberties
Our tribunes and our privilege of appeal
To the assembly of the people? Cannot
The honour of the Roman maids be safe?
Thou know'st this virgin is betroth'd to me,
Wife of my hope-Thou shalt not cross my hope
And I retain my life attempt it not!
I staud among my fellow-citizens-
His fellow-soldiers hem Virginius round;
Both men and gods are on our side; but grant
I stood alone, with nought but virtuous love
To hearten me-alone would I defeat
The execution of thy infamous
Decrec ! I'll quit the Foruin now, but not
Alone-my love! my wife! my free-boru maid-
The virgin standard of niy pride and manhood

1

“ Of peerless motto !-rich and fresh, and shiving,
And of device most rare and glorious”-
I'll bear off safe with memunstain'd-untouch'd !

[Embrucing her. App. Your duty, Lictors—Claudius, look to your right. Icil. True citizens ! T'it. Down with the traitor ! Ser. Down with him-slay him ! [ The Lictors and Claudius are driven back; Claudius

takes refuge at Appius's feet, who has descended, and throws up his arms as a sig to both parties to desist

- whereupon the people retire a little.
App. So, friends! we thank you that you dou't deprive us
Of every thing ; but leave your magistrates,
At least their persons, sacred-their decrecs,
It seems, you value as you value straws,
And in like manner break them. Wherefore stop
When you have gone so far? You might, rethinks,
As well have kill'd my client at my feet,
As threaten him with death before my face !
Rise, Claudius ! I perceive Icilius' aim :
He labours to restore the tribuneship
By means of a sedition. We'll not give him
The least pretence of quarrel. (R. C.) We shall wait
Virginius's arrival till to-morrow.
His friends take care to notice him-The camp's
But four hours journey from the city. Till
To-morrow, then, let me prevail with you
To yield up something of your right, and let
The girl remain at liberty.

Claud. (R.) If they
Produce security for her appearance,
I am content.

Tit. I'll be your security.
Ser. And I.
Citizens. We'll all be your security

[They hold up their hands.
Icil. My friends,
And fellow-citizens, I thank you ; but
Reserve your kindness for to-morrow, friends,
If Claudius still persist–To-day, I hope,
He will remain content with my security,
And that of Numitorius, for the maid's
Appearance.

App. See she do appear !-and come

Virginia. O, help me! help me!

Enter Icilius, L.
Icil. Virginia's voice. Virginia ! (Rushes to her.
Virginia. 0, Icilius ! [Falls fainting in his arms.
Icil. Take her, good Numitorius.

App. You had better
Withdraw, Icilius ; the affair is judged.

Claud. (L. c.) r claim my slave.

Icil. (c.) Stand back, thou double slave!
Touch her, and I will tear thee, limb from limb,
Before thy master's face. She is my wife,
My life, my heart, my heart's blood.—Touch her
Witli but a look-

App. My Lictors, there, advance !
See that Icilius quits the Forum.-Claudius,
Secure your slave.

Icil. Lictors, a moment pause
For your own sakes. Do not mistake these arms;
Think not the strength of any common man
Is that they feel. They serve a charmed frame,
The which a power pervades, that ten times trebles
The natural energy of each single nerve
To sweep you down as reeds.

App. Obey my orders !

Icil. Appius! before I quit the Forum, let me Address a word to you.

App. Be brief, then !

Icil. Is't not enough you have depriv'd us, Appius,
Of the two strongest bulwarks to our liberties
Our tribunes and our privilege of appeal
To the assembly of the people ? Caunot
The honour of the Roman maids be safe?
Thou know'st this virgin is betroth'd to me,
Wife of my hope Thou shalt not cross my hope
And I retain my life-attempt it not!
I staud among my fellow-citizens-
His fellow-soldiers hem Virginius round;
Both men and gods are on our side ; but grant
I stood alone, with nought but virtuous love
To hearten me alone would I defeat
The execution of thy infamous
Decrec ! I'll quit the Foruin now, but not
Alone-my love! my wife! my free-boru maid-
The virgin standard of niy pride and manhood

Of peerless motto !-rich and fresh, and shiving,
And of device most rare and glorious"-
I'll bear off safe with me-Unstain'd-uutouch'd !

[Embracing her. App. Your duty, Lictors—Claudius, look to your right. Icil. True citizens ! Tit. Down with the traitor! Ser. Down with him-slay him ! [The Lictors and Claudius are driven back; Claudius

takes refuge at Appius's feet, who has descended, and throws up his arms as a signal to both parties to desist

- whereupon the people retire a little.
App. So, friends! we thank you that you dou't deprive us
Of every thing ; but leave your magistrates,
At least their persons, sacred-their decrecs,
It seems, you value as you value straws,
And in like manner break them. Wherefore stop
When you have gone so far? You might, rethinks,
As well have kill'd my client at my feet,
As threaten him with death before my face !
Rise, Claudius ! I perceive Icilius' aim :
He labours to restore the tribuneship
By means of a sedition. We'll not give him
The least pretence of quarrel. (R. C.) We shall wait
Virginius's arrival till to-morrow.
His friends take care to notice him-The camp's
But four hours journey from the city. Till
To-morrow, then, let me prevail with you
To yield up something of your right, and let
The girl remain at liberty.

Claud. (R.) If they
Produce security for her appearance,
I am content.

Tit. I'll be your security.
Ser. And I.
Citizens. We'll all be your security

[They hold up their hands.
Icil. My friends,
And fellow-citizens, I thank you ; but
Reserve your kindness for to-morrow, friends,
If Claudius still persist–To-day, I hope,
He will remain content with my security,
And that of Numitorius, for the maid's
Appearance.

App. See she do appear !-and come

Prepar'd to pay the laws more reverence,
As I shall surely see that they receive it.

(Exeunt Appius, Claudius, and Lictors, M. D
Icil. Look up! look up! my sweet Virginia,
Look up! look up! you will see noue but friends.
O that such eyes should e'er meet other prospects !

Virginia. Icilius ! Uncle! lead me home! Icilius, You did not think to take a slave to wife ?

Icil. I thought, and think, to wed a free-born maid ; And thou, and thou alone, art she, Virginia !

Virginia. I feel as I were so—I do not think
I am his slave! Virginius not my father !
Virginius, my dear father, not my father!
It cannot be ; my life must come from him ;
For, make him not my father, it will go
From me. I could not live, an he were not
My father!

Icil. Dear Virginia, calm thy thoughts.
But who shall warn Virginius ?

Num. I've ta'en care
Of that; no sooner heard I of this claim,
Than I despatch'd thy brother Lucius,
Together with my son, to bring Virginius,
With all the speed they could ; and caution'd them
(As he is something over quick of temper,
And might snatch justice, rather than sue for it)
To evade communication of the cause,
And merely say his presence was required,
Till we should have him with us. Come, Virginia;
Thy uncle's house shall guard thee, till thou find'st
Within thy father's arms a citadel,
Whence Claudius cannot take thee.

Icil. He shall take
A thousand lives first.

Tit. Ay, ten thousand lives.
Icil. Hear you, Virginia ! Do you hear your friends ?

Virginia. Let him take my life first : I am content
To be his slave then if I am his slave.

Icil. Thou art a free-born Roman maid, Virginia,
All Rome doth know thee so, Virginia-
All Ronie will see thee so.

Citizens. We will! we will!
Icil. You'll meet us here to morrow?
Citizens. All! all!
Icil. Cease not to clamour 'gainst this outrage. Tell it

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