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Tit. Quite as honest.
Vir. Quite as honest! And why not re-elect him Decemvir ? Most sapient people! You re-elect Appius into the Decemvirate for his honesty, and you thrust Titus out of the Decemvirate - I suppose for his honesty also ? Why, Appius was sick of the Decemvirate ! [Goes, L.
Ser. (c.) I never heard him say so.
Vir. (L.) But he did say so-say so in my hearing ; in presence of the senators, Valerius and Caius Claudius, and I don't know how many others. 'Twas known to the whole body of the Senate-not that he was sick, but that he said so. Yes ! yes ! he and his colleagues, he said, had done the work of the Republic for a whole year, and it was now but just to grant them a little repose, and appoint others to succeed them.
Tit. Well, well, we can only say he changed his unind.
Vir. No, no, we need’nt say that neither; as he had laboured in the Decemvirate, perhaps he thought he might as well repose in the Decemvirate.
T'it. I know not what he thought. He is Decemvir, and we made him so, and cannot help ourselves. Fare you well, Virginius. Come, let's to the Forum.
[Exeunt Titus, Servius, and Cneius, R. Vir. [Still on L. looking after them and pointing.) You cannot help yourselves! Indeed, you cannot ; You help'd to put your masters on your backs. They like their seat, and make you show your paces ; They ride you-sweat you-curb you—lash you—and You cannot throw them off with all your mettle ! But here comes one, whose share in giving you To such unsparing riders, touches me More nearly, for that I've an interest In proving him a man of fair and most Erect integrity. (c.) Good day, Icilius.
Enter ICILIUS, R. S. E.
Vir. You, Icilius, had a hand
To aid you with my vote, in the Comitia;
Icil. I would have pledg'd my life
Vir. 'Twas a high gage, and men have stak'd a higber On grounds as poor as yours—their honour, boy! Icilius, I have heard it all your plansThe understanding 'twixt the heads of the people Of whom, Icilius, you are reckon'd one, and Worthily—and Appius Claudius-all'Twas every jot disclos’d to me. Icil. By whom ? Vir. Siccius Dentatus.
Icil. He disclos'd it to you?
Vir. Siccius Dentatus is an honest man !
Icil. Good Virginius,
Vir. Yes, yes; he is a crabbed man.
Icil. A man
Vir. No, not a whit!--where there is double dealing.
Dog fights with dog, but honesty is not
(A shout, L.
Vir. Not I! Stay you; and, as you made him, hail
And shout, and wave your hand, and cry, loug live
[Exeunt Virginius, R. Icilius, L.
Enter APPIUS CLAUDIUS, CLAUDIUS, Siccius DENTATUS,
Lucius, TituS, SERVIUS, MARCUS, and Citizens shouting, R. S. E.
Tit. Long live our first Decemvir! Long live Appius Claudius ! Most noble Appius ! Appius and the Decemvirate for ever!
[Citizens shout. App. (c.) My countrymen, and fellow citizens, We will deserve your favour.
T'it. (L.) You have deserv'd it, And will deserve it.
App. For that end we named
Tit. You could not have nam'd a better man.
[Exit Appius, fc. the people shouting, l. Den. [Going, c.] That was a pretty echo! (c.)-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 I-especially that of Appius Claudius ! a most delicate echo !
Tit. What means Deutatus ?
Den. (R.) ()! yes - you please me- -please me mightily, I assure you. You are noble legislators, take most especial care of your owp interest, bestow your votes most wisely too-on him who has the wit to get you into the humour; and withal, hare most musical voices-most musical—if one may judge by their echo.
Tit. (R.) 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 head-ache! Well ? -There's excellent comfort in having a good stomach !-Well ?
T'it. There's Cornelius, Marcus Servilius, Minucius, and Titus Antonius.
Den. (c.) Arms, legs, and thighs !
Den. (R.C.) 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 Sen ator –Well ?
Luc. At least, you'll say we did well in electing Quintius 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 neighbour to that mire and gutter, “ill.” “ Well,” indeed! you acted like yourselves ! Nay, e'en yourselves could not have acted better! Why, had you not elected them- Appius would have gone without his left hand, and each of his two feet.
Ser. (c.) Out! you are dishonest!
Den. A post in a hot battle! Out, you cur! Do you talk to me ?
Citizen. [From behind.] Down with him, he does nothing but insult the people.
(The crowd approach Dentatus threateningly.
Enter Icilius, suddenly, L. S. E. Icil. Stand back! Who is't 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. (c.) 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, vanquished the Equi 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, R, s. E. Den. (c.) Aud now, what thanks do you expect from me, Icilius?
Icil. (R.c.) 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 nind to part with it.-As to these curs, I question which I value more, their fawnings or their snarlings.I thank you, boy! Do you walk this way?-I am glad of it! Come—"Tis a noble Decemvirate you have chosen for Come!
(Exeunt, R. SCENE II.-- Virginius's House. Enter VIRGINIUS and SERVIA, with some of Virginia's work
in her hand. Vir. (c.) And is this all you have observed ? I think There's nothing strange in that. An L and an I Twin'd with a V. Three very innocent letters To have bred such mischief in thy brain, good Servia!