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ACT II. SCENE I.
Continues. Enter HORATIA and VALERIA.
Valeria. Think, my Horatia,
Horatia. He seems transported; sure some happy
Has brought him back thus early. Oh, my heart i I long, yet dread to ask him. Speak, Valeria.
Horatius. Return'd, Valeria !
I cannot speak; my joy's too great for utterance. -Oh, I could weep!--my sons, my sons are chosen Their country's combatants; not one, but all I
Horatia. My brothers, said you, sir?
Horatius. All three, my child,
Valeria. The time
Horatius. This day, this hour
Valeria. And is it known With whom they must engage ?
Horatius. Not yet, Valeria ; But with impatience we expect each moment The resolutions of the Alban senate. And soon may they arrive, that ere we quit Yon hostile field, the chiefs who dar'd oppose Rome's rising glories, may with shame confess The gods protect the empire they have rais’d. Where are thy smiles, Horatia? Whence proceeds This sullen silence, when my thronging joys Want words to speak them? Pr’ythee, talk of empire, Talk of those darlings of my soul, thy brothers. Cail them whate'er wild fancy can suggest, Their country's pride, the boast of future times, The dear defence, the guardian gods of Romel
By Heaven, thou stand'st unmov’d, nor feels thy
Horatius. Survive! By Heaven,
Enter PUBLIUS HORATIUS. Pub. My father!
[Ofering to kneel. Horatius. bence! Kneel not to me--stand off; and let me view At distance, and with reverential awe, The champion of my country !-Oh, my boy!
That I should live to this-my soul's too full ; Let this and this speak for me.-Bless thee, bless thee!
[Embracing him. But wherefore art thou absent from the camp? Where are thy brothers i Has the Alban state Determin'd? is the time of conibat fix'd?
Pub. Think not, my lord, that filial reverence, However due, had drawn me from the field, Where nobler duty calls; a patriot's soul Can feel no humbler ties, nor knows the voice Of kindred, when his country claims his aid. It was the king's command I should attend you, Else had I staid 'till wreaths immortal grac'd My brows, and made thee proud indeed to see Beneath thy roof, and bending for thy blessing, Not thine, Horatius, but the son of Rome ! Horatius. Oh, virtuous pride ! -'tis bliss 100 ex
quisite For human sense !-thus, let me answer thee.
[Embracing him again. Where are my other boys?
Pub. They only wait
Horatius. It shall not need,
Now with my boys, and be the next my last !
Horatia. My brother!
Pub. My Horatial ere the dews
Horatia. Methinks, a lover
Pub. Dearest sister,
truly Roman..--Here's a maid, Horatia, Laments her brother lost the glorious proof