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Icil. Good Virginius,
Vir. Yes, yes; he is a crabbed man.
Icil. A man
Vir. No, not a whit!—where there is double dealing.
Icil. See, good Virginius, Appius comes !
Will you stay,
Vir. Not I! Stay you; and, as you made him, hail him; And shout, and wave your hand, and cry, long live Our first and last decemvir, Appius Claudius ! For he is first and last, and every one! Rome owes you much, Icilius—Fare you wellI shall be glad to see you my
(Exeunt.) (Enter Appius, Dentatus, Lucius, Titus, Servius, Marcus, and
citizens shouting.) Titus. Long live our first decemvir! Long live Appius Claudius ! Most noble Appius! Appius and the decemvirate for ever!
(Citizens shout.) Appius. My countrymen, and fellow-citizens, We will deserve your favor.
Tit. You have deserved it, And will deserve it.
App. For that end we named
Tit. You could not have named a better man.
App. Be assured, we hold
And gifts make surest debtors. Fare you
(Exit Appius, and Marcus. The people shout.) Den. That was a pretty echo! a most soft echo! I never thought your voices were half so sweet! a most melodious echo! I'd have you ever after make your music before the patricians' palaces; they give most exquisite responses ;-especially that of Appius Claudius! a most delicate echo!
Tit. What means Dentatus?
Den. Oh! yes—you please me-please me mightily,-assure you. You are noble legislators ; take most especial care of your own interests ; bestow your votes most wisely tooon him who has the wit to get you into the humor; and withal, have most musical voices—most musical—if one may judge by their echo.
Tit. Why, what quarrel have you with our choice ? Could we have chosen better ?-I say there are ten honest decemvirs we have chosen,
Den. I pray you name them me.
Den. Ay, call him the head; you are right. Appius Claudius, the head. Go on.
Tit. And Quintus Fabius Vibulanus.
Den. The body, that eats and drinks while the head thinks. Call him Appius's stomach. Fill him, and keep him from cold and indigestion, and he'll never give Appius the headache! Well! - There's excellent comfort in having a good stomach !—Well?
Tit. There's Cornelius, Marcus Servilius, Minucius, and Titus Antonius.
Den. Arms, legs, and thighs !
Den. He'll do for a hand, and, as he's a senator, we'll call him the right hand. We could'nt do less, you know, for a senator!-Well ?
Lucius. At least, you'll say we did well in electing Quintus Petilius, Caius Duellius, and Spurius Oppius, men of our order! sound men! “known sticklers for the people”—at least, you'll say we did well in that!
Den. And who dares say otherwise ? “ Well ?" one might as well say “ill” as “well.” “Well” is the very skirt of commendation; next neighbor to that mire and gutter, “ill.” “Well," indeed! you acted like yourselves ; Nay, even yourselves could
not nave acted better! Why, had you not elected them, Appius would have gone without his left hand, and each of his two feet.
Ser. Out! you are dishonest !
Citizen. (From behind.) Down with him! he does nothing but insult the people. (The people approach Dentatus threateningly.)
(Enter Icilius suddenly.) Icil. Stand back! Who is it that says, down with Siccius Dentatus ? Down with him! 'Tis what the enemy could never do; and shall we do it for them? Who uttered that dishonest word? Who uttered it, I say? Let him answer a fitter, though less worthy mate, Lucius Icilius !
Citizens. Stand back, and hear Icilius !
Icil. What! hav’nt I voted for the decemvirs, and do I snarl at his jests? Has he not a right to jest ? the good, honest Siccius Dentatus, that, alone, at the head of the veterans, van. quished the Æqui for you. Has he not a right to jest ? For shame! get to your houses! The worthy Dentatus ! Cheer for him, if you are Romans! Cheer for him before you go! Cheer for him, I say.
(Exeunt citizens, shouting.) Den. And now, what thanks do you expect from me, Icilius ? Icil. None.
Den. By Jupiter, young man, had you thus stepped before me in the heat of battle, I would have cloven you down-but I'm obliged to you, Icilius—and hark you! There's a piece of furniture in the house of a friend of mine, that's called Virginius, I think you've set your heart upon-dainty enough-yet not amiss for a young man to covet. Ne'er lose your hopes ! He
may be brought into the mind to part with it. As to these curs, I question which I value more, their fawnings or their snarlings. But I thank you, boy—Thanks, Icilius.
Icil. Thanks—to me? No, Dentatus—Icilius is the debtor. So, a fair good-morrow, noble Roman.
Den. Good-morrow, boy. (Exit Icilius.) Don't lose your hopes. (Enter Virginius.) Noble Virginius, I am glad to see you! This meeting's to my wish._I have news for you—brave news.
Vir. Well, your news, Dentatus—is it of Rome ?
Den. More violence and wrong from these new masters of ours, our noble decemvirs—these demi-gods of the good people of Rome! No man's property is safe from them. The senators themselves, scared at their audacious rule, withdraw them. selves to their villas, and leave us to our fate.
Vir. Rome never saw such days!
Den. And she'll see worse, unless I fail in my reckoning, --But how is thy daughter-the fair Virginia ? I was just wishing for a daughter.
Vir. A plague, you mean.
Den. Do with her ? I'd give her to Icilius. I should have been just now torn to pieces, but for his good offices. The gentle citizens, that are driven about by the decemvir's lictors like a herd of tame oxen, and with most beast-like docility, only low applauses to them in return, would have done me the kindness to knock my brains out; but the noble Icilius bearded them singly, and railed them into temper. Had I a daughter worthy of such a husband, he should have such a wife, and a patrician's dower along with her.
Vir. Dentatus, Icilius is a young man whom I honor, but he has had, as thou knowest, a principal hand in helping us to our decemvirs. It may be that he is what I would gladly think him ; but I must see him clearly-clearly, Dentatus. Ah! (Looking off.) Here comes the youth'tis well!
(Enter Icilius.) Vir. Boy, Icilius! Thou seest this hand ? It is a Roman's, boy; 'Tis sworn to liberty—It is the friend Of honor-Dost thou think so ?
Icil. Do I think
Vir. Then you'll believe
Icil. I dare, Virginius.
Vir. Then take it! is it weak in thy embrace ?
Procida. Welcome! my noble friends, we meet in joy! Now may we bear ourselves erect, resuming The kingly port of freemen! Who shall dare, After this proof of slavery's dread recoil, To weave us chains again ?—Ye have done well.
Montalba. We have done well. There needs no choral song,
Proc. I know some voice in secret must have warned
pang which gives release; if there be power
Mont. In our passionate blindness,
Proc. Whatever fate hath of ruin
Mont. Why what Sicilian youth unsheathed, last night,