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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
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 Rone 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
In every corner of the city ; and'
Let no man call himself a son of Rome,
Who stands aloof whey tyranny assails
Her fairest daughter. Come, Virginia,
'Tis not a private, but a common wrong ;
'Tis every father's, lover's, freeman's cause ;
To-morrow! fellow citizens, to-morrow!
[Exeunt shouting, L.
SCENE IV.-The Camp.
Enter S. OPPIUS and Q. F. VIBULANUS.
Opp. (L.) Has he set out ?
Vibul. He has, my Oppius,
And never to return! His guard's instructed
To take good care of him. There's not a man
But's ten times sold to us, and of our wishes
Fully possess'd. Dentatus will no more
Obstruct us in our plans. He did not like
The site of our encainpment. He will find
At least the air of it was wholesome.
Report are they instructed to bring back ?
Vibul. They fell into an ambush-He was slain
Opp. But should the truth, by any means, come out?
Vibul. Imprison them, and secretly despatch them, Or ope' the dungeon doors, and let them 'scape.
Opp. I should prefer the latter method.
That be our choice. But when it is determined
To spill blood otherwise than as it may,
Be spillid, to besitate about some drops
Is weakness, may be fatal. -Come, my friend,
Let us be seen about the camp, and ready,
With most admiring ear, to catch the tidings
Will be the wonder of all cars, but ours.
Here's one anticipates us !
Enter MARCUS, R.
Well, your news ?
Marc. (R.) Dentatus is no more! but he has dearly sold his life. The matter has been reported as you directed. By few it is received with credence-by many with doubt; while some bold spirits stop not at muttering, but loudly speak suspicion of foul play. A party that we met, a mile
beyond the lines, no sooner heard our story, than they set off to bring the body to the camp. Others have followed them. Fabius, we have your gage for safety. Vibul. You have.-Come, let us shew ourselves.-Guilt
hides, And we must wear the port of innocence, That nore than half way meets accusal.-Cone.
[Exeunt, R. SCENE V.-A Mountainous Pass.-The body of DENTATUS
discovered on a bier, L. C.-Soldiers mourning over it. Trumpete.
Enter VIRGINIUS, R. V. K. Vir. (c.) Where is Dentatus ? - Where is the gallant
soldier ? Ah, comrade ! comrade ! warm ! yet warm! So lately Gone, when I would have given the world, only To say farewell to thee, or even get A parting look! O gallant, gallant soldier, The god of war might sure have spar'd a head Grown grey in serving him! My brave old comrade! The father of the field! Thy silver locks Other anointing should receive, than what Their master's blood could furnish!
1st Soldier. There has been treachery here. Vir. What!
1.st Soldier. The slain are all our own. None of the bodies are stripp'd— These are all Romans. There is not the slightest trace of an enemy's retreat-And now I remember they made a sudden halt, when we came in sight of them at the foot of the mountain-Mark'd you not, too, with what confused haste they told their story, directed us, and hurried on to the camp ?
Vir. Revenge! The Decemvirs ! Ay, the Decemvirs ! For every drop of blood thou shalt have ten, Dentatus !
Luc. [Without, R. ] What hoa! Virginius ! Virginius ! Vir. Here! here !
Enter LUCIOS, R. Luc. 'Tis well you're found, Virginius !
Vir. What makes you from the city ? Look' My Lucius, what a sight you're come to witness. My brave old comrade! Honest Siccius!
“ Siccius Dentatus, that true son of Rome,
On whose white locks the mother look'd more proudly
Than on the raven ones of her youngest and
Most hopeful sons, is vothing but this,
The sign and token of himself !” Look, comrades,
Here are the foes have slain him-Not a trace
Of any other-not a body stripp'd-
Our father has been murdered—We'll revenge him
Like sons ! Take up the body! Bear it to
The camp ; and as you move your solemn march,
Be dumb-or, if you speak, be it but a word ;
And be that word -Revenge!
(The Soldiers bear of the body R.-Virginius, following, is
stopped by Lucius. Luc. (L. c.) Virginius!
Vir. I did not mind thee, Lucius !
Uncommon things make common things forgot.
Hast thou a message for me, Lucius ? Well !
I'll stay and hear it-but be brief; my heart
Follows poor Dentatus.
Luc. (c.) You are wanted
Vir. On what account?
Luc. On your arrival
Vir. How ! is it something can't be told
At once? Speak out, boy ! Ha! your looks are loaded,
With matter-Is't so heavy that your tongue
Cannot unburden them ? Your brother left
The camp on duty yesterday-hath ought
Happeu'd to him ? Did he arrive in safety ?
Is he safe? Is he well ?
Luc. He is both safe and well.
Vir. What then ? What then ? Tell me the matter,
Luc. I have said
It shall be told you.
Vir. Shall ! I stay not for
That shall, unless it be so close at hand
It stop me not a moment.--'Tis too long
A coming. Fare you well, my Lucius. (Going R.
Luc. (c.) Stay, l'irginius. - Hear me then with patience.
Vir. (Returns.] Well, I am patient.
Luc. Your Virginia
Vir. (R. C.) Stop, my Lucius !
I am cold in every member of my frame !
If’tis prophetic, Lucius, of thy news,
Give me such token as her tomb would, Lucius-
I'll bear it betterSilence.
Luc. You are still-
Vir. I thank thee, Jupiter! I am still a father!
Luc. You are, Virginius, yet.
Vir. What, is she sick ?
Vir. Neither dead nor sick! All well! No harm !
Nothing amiss ! Each guarded quarter safe,
That fear may lay him down and sleep, and yet
This sounding the alarm ! I swear thou tell'st
A story strangely.--Out with't! I have patience
For any thing, since my Virginia lires,
And lives in health!
Luc. You are requird in Rome,
To answer a most novel suit.
Vir. Whose suit ?
Luc. The suit of Claudius.
Vir. Claudius !
Luc. Him that's client
To Appius Claudius, the Decemvir.
That pander ! Ha! Virginia ! you appear
To couple them. What makes my fair Virginia
In company with Claudius ? Innocence
Beside lasciviousness! His suit! What suit ?
Auswer me quickly!—Quickly! lest suspense,
Beyond what patience can endure, coercing,
Drive reason from his seat!
Luc. He has claim'd Virginia.
Vir. Claim'd her! Claim'd her!
Op what pretence ?
Luc. He says she is the child
Of a slave of his, who sold her to thy wife.
Vir. Go on ;-you see I'm calm.
Luc. He seized her in
The school, and dragg'd her to the Forum, where
Appius was giving judgment.
Vir. Dragg'd her to
The Forum! Well ?- I told yon, Lucius
I would be patient.