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And some tore up their garments fast, and strove to stanch the wound.

in vain they ran, and felt, and stanched; for never truer blow

That good right arm had dealt in fight against a Volscian foe.

When Appius Claudius saw that deed he shuddered and sank down,

And hid his face some little space with the corner of his

gown,

Till, with white lips and bloodshot eyes, Virginius tottered

nigh,

And stood before the judgment-seat, and held the knife on high.

"Oh, dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain,
By this dear blood I cry to you, do right between us twain;
And even as Appius Claudius hath dealt by me and mine,
Deal you by Appius Claudius and all the Claudian line!”
So spake the slayer of his child, and turned, and went his

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way;

But first he cast one haggard glance to where the body lay, And writhed and groaned a fearful groan, and then with stedfast feet,

Strode right across the market-place unto the Sacred Street. Then up sprang Appius Claudius: "Stop him; alive or dead!

Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his
head!"

He looked upon his clients, but none would work his will.
He looked upon his lictors, but they trembled and stood

still.

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And as Virginius through the press his way in silence cleft,
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left,
And he hath passed in safety into his woful home,
And there ta'en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done
in Rome.

RICHELIEU

BY EDWARD BULWER-LYTTON

The characters in this scene are: RICHELIEU, the minister of France and Cardinal of the Church of Rome; Louis, the king; BARADAS, the chief conspirator; and JULIE, Richelieu's ward.

The KING and BARADAS plan the assassination of RICHELIEU. A false report of his death misleads them, and in the midst of their rejoicing RICHELIEU enters and says:

Rich. (fiercely).

Room, my lords, room.

The minister of France can need no intercession with the

king.

Louis. What means this false report of death, Lord
Cardinal?

Rich. Are you, then, angered, sire, that I live still?
Louis. No; but such artifice-

Rich.

Not mine; look elsewhere, Louis! My castle swarmed with the assassins.

Bar. (advancing).

We have punished them already.

Huguet is now

In the Bastile. Oh, my lord, we were prompt
To avenge you—we were.

We?

Ha,

ha! you

Rich.

My liege! What page, man, in the last court grammar, Made you a plural? Count, you have seized the hireling; Sire, shall I name the master?

Louis.

The old contrivance; ever does your wit
Invent assassins, that ambition may
Slay rivals-

Tush, my lord,

Rich.
Rivals, sire, in what?
Service to France? I have none. Lives the man
Whom Europe deems rival to Armand Richelieu ?
Louis. What, so haughty!

Remember, he who made, can unmake.

Rich.

hear

Never!
Never! Your anger can recall your trust,
Annul my office, despoil me of my lands,
Rifle my coffers-but my name, my deeds
Are loyal in a land beyond your scepter.
Pass sentence on me, if you will; from kings
Lo! I appeal to time!

Louis. (motions to Baradas and turns haughtily to the

Rich.

Good, my liege, for Justice
All place a temple, and all seasons summer!
Do you deny me justice? Saints of heaven!
He turns from me! Do you deny me justice?

For fifteen years, while in these hands dwelt empire,
The humblest craftsman, the obscurest vassal,
The very leper shrinking from the sun,

Cardinal).

Enough! Your Eminence must excuse a longer audience.
To your own palace: for our conference, this
Nor place, nor season.

Tho loathed by charity, might ask for justice!
Not with the fawning tone and crawling mien
Of some I see around you-counts and princes
Kneeling for favors; but erect and loud,

As men who ask man's rights!-My liege, my Louis,
Do you refuse me justice-audience even-

In the pale presence of the baffled murder?

Louis. Lord Cardinal, one by one you have severed from

me

The bonds of human love; all near and dear
Marked out for vengeance-exile or the scaffold.
You find me now amidst my trustiest friends,
My closest kindred. You would tear them from me;
They murder you, forsooth, since me they love.
Enough of plots and treasons for one reign.
Home! home! and sleep away these fantoms.

Rich.

Sire! I-patience, Heaven! Sweet Heaven! Sire, from the foot Of that great throne, these hands have raised aloft On an Olympus, looking down on mortals And worshiped by their awe-before the foot Of that high throne, spurn you the gray-haired man Who gave you empire-and now sues for safety?

Louis. No; when we see your Eminence in truth At the foot of the throne, we'll listen to you.

Exeunt KING and train.

Rich. Goddess of bright dreams,
My country-shalt thou lose me now, when most
Thou need'st thy worshiper? My native land!
Let me but ward this dagger from thy heart,
And die-but on thy bosom.

Enter JULIE

Julie.

Heaven! I thank thee!

It can not be, or this all-powerful man

Would not stand idly thus.

Rich. Julie de Mauprat, what dost thou here? Home!

Julie. Home!-is Adrien there?

You're dumb, yet

strive

For words; I see them trembling on your lips,
But choked by pity. It was truth-all truth!
Seized-the Bastile-and in your presence, too!
Cardinal, where is Adrien? Think! he saved
Your life; your name is infamy, if wrong
Should come to his!

Rich. Be soothed, child.

Julie.

Child no more!

I love, and I am woman! Hope and suffer:

Love, suffering, hope-what else doth make the strength

And majesty of woman?

I ask thee for my home, my fate, my all!

Where is my husband?

Rich.
You are Richelieu's ward,
A soldier's bride; they who insist on truth
Must out-face fear: you ask me for your husband?
There, where the clouds of heaven look darkest o'er
The domes of the Bastile!

Julie.

O, mercy, mercy! Save him, restore him, father! Art thou not The Cardinal King? the lord of life and death, Art thou not Richelieu ?

Rich.

Yesterday I was;

To-day a very weak old man; to-morrow,
I know not what.

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