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Protecting gods shall spread their shields around him,
Horatius. [Without.] What ho! Vindicus.
"not ask, Valeria ?"
Valeria. Alas, Horatia, 'tis not to the temple That thou wouldst Ay; the shout alone alarms thee. But do not thus anticipate thy fate; Why shouldst thou learn each chance of varying
war, “ Which takes a thousand turns, and shifts the scene “ From bad to good, as fortune smiles or frowns ;" Stay but an hour perhaps, and thou shalt know The whole at once.--I'll send--I'll fly myself To case thy doubts, and bring thee news of joy.
Horațio. Again, and nearer too-1 must attend thee. Valeria. Hark! 'tis thy father's voice, he comes to
Enter Horatius, and Valerius. Horatius. [Entering.] News from the camp, my
child! Save you, sweet maid !
Horatia. You'll forgive us, sir,
Horatius. I had forgot; the thoughts of what I was
Valerius. Gentle lady, The scene was piteous, though its end be peace. Horatia. Peace? O, my fluttering heart! by what
kind means? Valerius. 'Twere tedious, lady, and unnecessary To paint the disposition of the field; Suffice it, we were arm’d, and front to front The adverse legions heard the trumpet's sound : But vain was the alarm, for motionless, And wrapt in thought they stood; the kindred ranks Had caught each other's eyes, nor dar'd to lift The fault'ring spear against the breast they lov'd.
Again th’alarm was given, and now they seem'd
Horatius. 'Twas so, just so,
Valerius. Our King Hostilius from a rising mound
The Alight of earth-born kings, whose low ambition
Horatia. Kind Heaven, I thank thee! Bless'd be the friendly grief that touch'd their souls i « Bless'd be Hostilius for the generous counsell “ Bless'd be the meeting chiefsi”and bless'd the tongue, Which brings the gentle tidings i
Valeria. Now, Horatia,
Horaiia. Yet one remains.
Valerius. The Roman chiefs now meet in council,
But still, methinks, I like not this, to trust The Roman cause to such a slender hazardThree combatants! 'tis dangerous
Horatia. [In a fright.] My father!
Horatia. Do not, sir,
Valerius. Rest satisfied Sweet lady, 'tis so solemnly agreed to, Not even Horatius's advice can shake it. Horatius. And yet 'twere well to end these civil
broils : The neighb’ring states might take advantage of them. -Would I were young again! How glorious Were death in such a cause! And yet, who knows Some of my boys may be selected for it Perhaps may conquer- Grant me that, kind gods, And close my eyes in transport!-Come, Valerius, I'll but dispatch some necessary orders, And strait attend thee.— Daughter, if thou lov'st Thy brothers, let thy prayers be pour’d to Heav'n, That one at least may share the glorious task. [Exit. Valerius. Rome cannot trust her cause to worthier
hands. They bade me greet you, Lady, [To Horatia. " Well, Valeria, “ This is your home, I find: your lovely friend, “ And you, I doubt not, have indulg'd strange fears, " And run o'er all the horrid scenes of war, “Valeria, Though we are women, brother, weare
Romans, “ Not to be scard with shadows, though not proof “ 'Gainst all alarms, when real danger threatens."