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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.
Icil. (R. C.) Worthy Virginius ! 'tis an evil day
For Rome, that gives her more convincing proof,
The thing she took for hope, is but a base
And wretched counterfeit! Our new Decemvirs
Are auy thing but friends to justice and
Their country,

Vir. You, Icilius, had a hand
In their election. You applied to me

To aid you with my vote, in the Comitia;
I told you then, and tell you now again,
I am not pleas'd when a Patrician bends
His head to a Plebeian's girdle! Mark me!
I'd rather he should stand aloof, and wear
His shoulder high-especially the nephew
Of Caius Claudius.

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?
Siccius Dentatus is a crabbed man.

Vir. Siccius Dentatus is an honest man !
There's not a worthier in Rome! How now ?
Has he deceiv'd me? Do you call him liar ?
My friend! my comrade! honest Siccius,
That has fought in six score battles ?

Icil. Good Virginius,
Siccius Dentatus is my friend-the friend
Of every honest man in Rome—a brave man-
A most brave man. Except yourself, Virginius,
I do not know a man I prize above
Siccius Dentatus—yet he's a crabbed man.

Vir. Yes, yes; he is a crabbed man.

Icil. A man
Who loves too much to wear a jealous eye.

Vir. No, not a whit!--where there is double dealing.
You are the best judge of your own concerns ;
Yet, if it please you to communicate
With me upon this subject, come and see me.
I told you, boy, I favour'd not this stealing
And winding into place. What he deserves,
An honest man dares challenge 'gainst the world
But come and see me. [Going, R.) Appius Claudius chosen
Decemvir, and his former colleagues, that
Were quite as honest as himself, not chosen--
No, not so much as nam'd by him—who pam'd
Himself, and his new associates ! (R.) Well, 'tis true

B

Dog fights with dog, but honesty is not
A cur doth bait his fellow-and e'en dogs,
By habit of companionship, abide
In terms of faith and cordiality
But come and see me.

(A shout, L.
Icil. (c.) Appius comes !
The people still throng after him with shouts,
Unwilling to believe their Jupiter
Has mark'd them for his thunder. Will you stay,
And see the homage that they render him?

Vir. Not I! Stay you; and, as you made him, hail

him;

And shout, and wave your hand, and cry, loug live
Our first and last Decemvir, Appius Claudius !
For he is first and last, and every one !
Rome owes you much, Icilius--Fare you well-
I shall be glad to see you at my house.

[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
Ourself Decemvir.

Tit. You could not have nam'd a better man.
Den. (R.) For his own purpose.

(Aside.
App. Be assur'd, we hold
Our power but for your good. Your gift it was;
And gifts make surest debtors. Fare you well —
And, for your salutations, pardon me
If I repay you only with an echo-
Long live the worthy citizens of Rome !

[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 ?
Ser. He's ever carping-nothing pleases him.

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.
Tit. There's Appius Claudius, first Decemvir.

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 !
Tit. And Marcus Rabuleius.

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. Ha !
Ser. What would content you ?

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!

us!

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