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Thou might'st have lived, for thou hadst spared Contrive nəw racks, imbitter every pang,
Irene.

Inflict whatever treason can deserve, Car. I heard her, pitied her, and wished to Which murdered innocence that called on me. save her.

(Ereunt MAH. ABD. &c. Mah. And wished-Be still thy fate to wish Must. [To MUR.] What plagues, what torin vain !

tures are in store for thee, Car. I heard, and softened, till Abdalla brought Though sluggish idler, dilatory slave ! Her final doom, and hurried her destruction. Behold the model of consummate beauty, Mah. Abdalla brought her doom! Abdalla Torn from the mourning earth by thy neglect. brought it !

Mur. Such was the will of Heaven—A band The wretch, whose guilt, declared by tortured of Greeks, Cali,

That marked my course, suspicious of my purMy rage and grief had hid from my remembrance !

pose, Abdalla brought her doom !

Rushed out and seized me, thoughtless and unHas. Abdalla brought it,

armed, While she yet begged to plead her cause before Breathless, amazed, and on the guarded beach thee.

Detained me, till Demetrius set me free. Mah. O seize me, madness! Did she call on Mus. So sure the fall of greatness raised on me?

crimes ; I feel, I see the ruffian's barbarous rage. So fixed the justice of all-conscious Heaven. He seized her melting in the fond appeal, When haughty guilt exults with impious joy, And stopped the heavenly voice that called on Mistake shall blast, or accident destroy ; me.

Weak man, with erring rage, may throw the dart, My spirits fail; awhile support me, vengeance- But Heaven shall guide it to the guilty heart. Be just, ye slaves, and to be just, be cruel!

įEreunt omnes

EPILOGUE.

SPOKEN BY ASPASIA.

MARRY a Turk! a haụghty tyrant king, And for one man-one wife's enough in conWho thinks us women born to dress and sing,

science, To please his fancy—see no other man-. In vain proud man usurps what's woman's due; Let him persuade me to it—if he can:

For us alone, they honour's paths pursue : Besides, he has fifty wives; and who can bear Inspir'd by us, they glory's heights ascend; To have the fiftieth part her paltry share ? Woman the source, the object, and the end. 'Tis true, the fellow's handsome, strait and Though wealth and power and glory they receive, tall;

These all are trifles, to what we can give. But how the devil should he please us all ? For us the statesman labours, hero fights, My swain is little-true-but be it known, Bears toilsome days, and wakes long tedious My pride's to have that little all my own.

nights; Men will be ever to their errors blind,

And when blest peace has silenc'd war’s alarms, Where woman's not allow'd to speak her mind; Receives his full reward in beauty's arms. I swear this eastern pageantry is nonsense,

THE

ROMAN FATHER.

BY

WHITEHEAD,

PROLOGUE.

BRITONS, to-night, in native pomp we come, Stripp'd each luxuriant plume from fancy's wings,
True heroes all, from virtuous ancient Rome; And torn up similies from vulgar things :
In those far distant times, when Romans knew Nay, even each moral, sentimental stroke,
The sweets of guarded liberty, like you ; Where not the character but poet spoke,
And, safe from ills which force or faction brings, He lopp’d, as foreign to his chaste design,
Saw freedom reign beneath the smile of kings. Nor spar'd a useless though a golden line.
Yet, from such times, and such plain chiefs as These are his arts ; if these cannot atone
these,

For all those nameless errors yet unknown, What can we frame, a polish'd age to please? If, shunning faults which nobler bards commit, Say, can you listen to the artless woes

He wants the force to strike th' attentive pit, Of an old tale, which every school-boy knows? Be just, and tell him so; he asks advice, Where to your hearts alone the scenes apply, Willing to learn, and would not ask it twice. No merit theirs but pure simplicity?

Your kind applause may bid him write-beware! Our bard has play'd a most adventurous part, Or kinder censure teach him to forbear. And turn’d upon himself the critic's art:

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.
TULLUS HOSTILIUS, king of Rome.
HORATIUS, a Roman senator.
PUBLIUS HORATIUS, his son.
VALERIUS, a young Patrician.

WOMEN.
HORATIA, daughter to Horatius.
VALERIA, sister to Valerius.

Citizens, Guards, and Attendants. SCENE,—Rome.

ACT I.

crown

And who can blame thy fears? If fortune make SCENE I.-A Room in HORATIUS's House.

him

Awhile thy country's foe, she cannot cancel A Soldier crosses the Stage, Horatia following. Vows registered above. What though the priest Horatia. Stay, soldier. As you parted from Had not confirmed it at the sacred altar; my father,

Yet were your hearts united, and that union Something I overheard, of near concern, Approved by each consenting parent's choice. But all imperfectly. Said you not Alba

Your brothers loved him as a friend, a brother : Was on the brink of fate, and Rome determined, And all the ties of kindred pleaded for him, This day, to crush her haughty rival's power, And still must plead, whate'er our heroes teach Or perish in the attempt ?

us, Sold. 'Twas so resolved

Of patriot strength. Our country may demand This morning, lady, ere I left the camp.

We should be wretched, and we must obey; Our heroes are tired out with lingering war, But never can require us not to feel, And half-unmeaning fight.

That we are miserable: nature there Horatia. Alas ! hoped

Will give the lie to virtue. The kind remorse, which touched the kindred Horatia. True; yet sure states,

A Roman virgin should be more than woman. And made their swords fall lightly on the breasts Are we not early taught to mock at pain, Of foes they could not hate, might have produced And look on danger with undaunted eyes ?A milder resolution. Then this day

But what are dangers ? what the ghastliest form Is fixed for death or conquest? (He bows.] To me Of death itself ?-Oh, were I only bid, death,

To rush into the Tiber's foaming wave, Whoever conquers ! [Aside.] I detain you, sir. Swoln with uncommon floods, or from the height Commend me to my brothers ; say, I wish- Of yon Tarpeian rock, whose giddy steep But wherefore should I wish? The gods will Has turned ine pale with horror at the sight,

I'd think the task were nothing!--but to bear Their virtues with the just success they merit- These strange vicissitudes of torturing pain, Yet let me ask you, sir

To fear, to doubt, and to despair as I do!Sild. My dut', lady,

Valeria. And why despair? Have we so idly Commands me hence. Ere this they have en

learned gaged;

The noblest lessons of our infant days, And conquest's self would lose its charms to me, Our trust above? Does there not still remain Should I not share the danger.

The wretch's last retreat-the gods, Horatia?

'Tis from their awful wills our evils spring, As the Soldier goes out, VALERIA enters, who

And at their altars may we find relief. looks first on him, and then on HORATIA.

Say, shall we thither?-Look not thus dejected, Valeria. My dear Horatia, wherefore wilt thou But answer me. A confidence in them, court

E'en in this crisis of our fate, will calm The means to be unhappy ? Still enquiring, Thy troubled soul, and fill thy breast with hope. Still more to be undone. I heard it too;

Horatia. Talk not of hope; the wretch on And flew to find thee, ere the fatal news

yonder plain, Had hurt thy quiet, that thou might’st have Who hears the victor's threats, and sees his learnt it

sword From a friend's tongue, and dressed in gentler Impending o'er him, feels no surer fate, terms.

Though less delayed than mine! What should I Horatiu. Oh, I am lost, Valeria, lost to virtue ! hope? Even while my country's fate, the fate of Rome, That Alba conquer ?—Cursed be every thought Hangs on the conqueror's sword, this breast can Which looks that way! The shrieks of captive

feel A softer passion, and divide its cares !

Sound in my cars ! Alba to me is Rome. Wouldst thou believe it? Valeria. Forbear, forbear, Horatia, I would have sent, by him thou saw'st departing, Nor fright me with the thoughit. Rome cannot Kind wishes to my brothers; but my tongue

fall. Denied its office, and this rebel heart

Think on the glorious battles she has fought; Even dreaded their success. Oh, Curiatius! Has she once failed, though oft exposed to danWhy art thou there, or why an enemy

? Valeria. Forbear this self-reproach ; he is thy And has not her immortal founder promised, husband,

That she should rise the mistress of the world?

matrons

ger?

2

Horatia. And if Rome conquers, then Horatia Val. 'Twere tedious, lady, and unnecessary, dies!

To paint the disposition of the field; Valeria. Why wilt thou form vain images of Suffice it, we were armed, and front to front horror,

The adverse legions heard the trumpet's sound: Industrious to be wretched ? Is it, then,

But vain was the alarm, for motionless, Become impossible that Rome should triumph, And wrapt in thought, they stood; the kindred And Curiatius live? He must, he shall;

ranks Protecting gods shall spread their shields around Had caught each other's eyes, nor dared to lift him,

The faultering spear against the breast they loved. And love shall combat in Horatia's cause. Again the alarm was given, and now they seemed Horatia. Think’st thou so meanly of him?-No, Preparing to engage, when once again Valeria,

They hung their drooping heads, and inward His soul's too great to give me such a trial ;

mourned; Or could it ever come, I think, myself,

Then nearer drew, and at the third alarm, Thus lost in love, thus abject as I am,

Casting their swords and useless shields aside, I should despise the slave who dared survive Rushed to each other's arms. His country's ruin. Ye immortal powers !

Hor. 'Twas so, just so, I love his fame too well, his spotless honour, (Though I was then a child, yet I have heard At least I hope I do, to wish him mine

My mother, weeping, oft relate the story) On any terms which he must blush to own. Soft pity touched the breasts of mighty chiefs,

Hor. [Without.) What ho! Vindicius ! Romans and Sabines, when the matrons rushed Horatia. What means that shout?- Might we Between their meeting armies, and opposed not ask, Valeria?

Their helpless infants, and their heaving breasts, Didst thou not wish me to the temple?-Come, To their advancing swords, and bade them there I will attend thee thither : the kind gods Sheath all their vengeance. But I interrupt Perhaps may ease this throbbing heart, and spread youAt least a temporary calm within.

Proceed, Valerius, they would hear the event. Valeria. Alas, Horatia, 'tis not to the temple -And yet, methinks, the Albans-pray go on. That thou wouldst fly; the shout alone alarms Val. Our king Hostilius, from a rising mound, thee.

Beheld the tender interview, and joined But do not thus anticipate thy fate;

His friendly tears with theirs; then swift advanWhy shouldst thou learn each chance of varying ced, war,

Even to the thickest press, and cried, My friends, Which takes a thousand turns, and shifts the scene If thus we love, why are we enemies? From bad to good, as fortune smiles or frowns ? Shall stern ambition, rivalship of power, Stay but an hour perhaps, and thou shalt know Subdue the soft humanity within us? The whole at once. I'll send—I'll fly myself Are we not joined by every tie of kindred ? To ease thy doubts, and bring thee news of joy. And can we find no method to compose Horatia. Again, and nearer too-I must at- These jars of honour, these nice principles tend thee.

Of virtue, which infest the noblest minds?' Valeria. Hark!'tis thy father's voice; he comes Horatia. There spoke his country's father! this to cheer thee.

transcends

The flight of earth-born kings, whose low ambiEnter HORATIUS and VALERIUS.

tion Horatius. (Entering.) News from the camp, But tends to lay the face of nature waste,

And blast creation —How was it received? Save you, sweet maid ! [Seeing VALERIA. Val. As he himself could wish, with eager Your brother brings the tidings, for, alas !

transport. I am no warrior now; my useless age,

In short, the Roman and the Alban chiefs Far from the paths of honour, loiters here' In council have determined, that since glory In sluggish inactivity at home.

Must have her victims, and each rival state, Yet I remember

Aspiring to dominion, scorns to yield, Horatia. You'll forgive us, sir,

From either army shall be chose three champions, If with impatience we expect the tidings. To fight the cause alone, and whate'er state Horatius. I had forgot; the thoughts of what Shall prove superior, there acknowledged power

Shall fix the imperial seat, and both unite Engrossed my whole attention.—Pray, young sol- Beneath one common head. dier,

Horatia. Kind Heaven, I thank thee ! Rclate it for me; you beheld the scene, Blessed be the friendly grief that touched their And can report it justly.

souls! Val. Gentle lady,

Blessed be Hostilius for the generous counsel! The scene was piteous, though its end be peace. Blessed be the meeting chiefs ! and blessed the Horatia. Peace? O, my Auttering lieart ! by

tongue, what kind means?

Which brings the gentle tidings !

my child !

I was

are air.

Valeria. Now, Horatia,

Asked him, in jest, if he had aught to send, Your idle fears are o'er.

A sigh's soft waftage, or the tender token Horatia. Yet one remains.

Of tresses breeding to fantastic forms, Who are the champions? Are they yet elected ? To soothe a love-sick maid (your pardon, lady), Has Rome

He smiled, and cried, 'Glory's the soldier's misVal. The Roman chiefs now meet in council,

tress. And ask the presence of the sage Horatius. Horatia. Sir, you'll excuse me—something of Hor. (After having seemed some time in thought.]

importance But still, methinks, I like not this, to trust My father may have business-Oh, Valeria, The Roman cause to such a slender hazard

[Aside to VALERÍA. Three combatants !-'tis dangerous

Talk to thy brother, know the fatal truth Horatia. (In a fright.) My father!

I dread to hear, and let me learn to die, Hor. I might, perhaps, prevent it

If Curiatius has indeed forgot me! [Erit. Horatia. Do not, sir,

Val. She seems disordered! Oppose the kind decree!

Valeria. Has she not cause? Val. Rest satisfied,

Can you administer the baneful potion, Sweet lady! 'tis so solemnly agreed to,

And wonder at the effect? Not even Horatius's advice can shake it.

Val. You talk in riddles ! Hor. And yet ’twere well to end these civil Valeria. They're riddles, brother, which your broils :

heart unfolds, The neighbouring states might take advantage Though you affect surprise. Was Curiatius of them.

Indeed so cold? Poor shallow artifice ! -Would I were young again! How glorious The trick of hopeless love! I saw it plainly. Were death in such a cause !--And yet, who Yet what could you propose? An hour's uneasiness knows

To poor Horatia; for be sure by that time Some of my boys may be selected for it- She sees him, and your deep-wrought schemes Perhaps may conquer-Grant me that, kind gods,

Val. What could I do? this peace has ruined me; And close my eyes in transport !--Come, Vale- While war continued, I had gleams of hope; rius,

Some lucky chance might rid me of my rival, I'll but dispatch some necessary orders, And time efface his image in her breast. And strait attend thee.—Daughter, if thou lov'st But nowThy brothers, let thy prayers be poured to Hea- Valeria. Yes, now you must resolve to follow ven,

The advice I gave you first, and root this passion That one at least may share the glorious task. Entirely from your heart; for know, she doats,

[Erit. Even to distraction doats on Curiatius; Val. Rome cannot trust her cause to worthier And every fear she felt, while danger threatened, hands.

Will now endear him more. They bade me greet you, lady.—[To HORATIA. Val. Cruel Valeria,

You triumph in my pain ! This is your home, I find: your lovely friend, Valeria. By Heaven, I do not ; And you, I doubt not, have indulged strange fears, I only would extirpate every thought And run o'er all the horrid scenes of war? Which gives you pain, nor leave one foolish wish Valeria. Though we are women, brother, we For hope to dally with. When friends are mad, are Romans,

'Tis most unkind to humour their distraction; Not to be scared with shadows, though not proof Harsh means are necessary. Gainst all alarmis, when real danger threatens. Val. Yet we first Horatiu. (With some hesitation. My brothers, Should try the gentler. gentle sir, you said were well.

Valeria. Did I not? Ye powers ! you

their noble friends the Curiatii? Did I not soothe your griefs, indulge your fondThe truce, perhaps, permitted it.

ness, Val. Yes, lady,

While the least prospect of success remained ? I left them jocund in your brothers' tent, Did I not press you still to urge your suit, Like friends, whom envious storms awhile had Intreat you daily to declare your passion, parted,

Seek out unnumbered opportunities, Joying to meet again.

And lay the follies of my sex before you? Horatia. Sent they no 'jessage!

Val. Alas! thou know'st, Valeria, woman's heart Val

. None, fair one, but such general salutation Was never won by tales of bleeding love: As friends would bring unbid.

'Tis by degrees the sly enchanter works, Horatia, Said Caius nothing?

Assuming friendship's name, and fits the soul Val, Caius?

For soft impressions, ere the faultering tongue, Horatia. Ay, Caius! did he mention me? And guilty-blushing cheek, with many a glance Vel. 'Twas slightly, if he did, and 'scapes me Shot inadvertent, tells the secret fame.

Valeria. True, these are arts for those that O yes, I do remember, when your brother

love at leisure ; VOL. II,

R

Wei, Valeria,

Saw

now

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