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C. Grac. Ay! A woman's shriek starts terrors,
Where trumpets might redouble their alarms,
And not one fear awake!
Licinia. And did I shriek?
I knew not what I did.-'Twas such a dream !
I'll tell it you, love.
C. Grac. No, never mind, Licinia.
Licinia. Not tell it you! Are you afraid to hear it?
C. Grac. Afraid of a shadow! No, Licinia. "Twould pain you to go over it.
Licinia. Not it!
Pain me? Is not your arm around me, Caius?
Do I not hear you talking to me?-See you?
Feel you!-Not want a proof that you are safe
And well? I dream'd that you lay bleeding, love,
At the Consul's feet, stood over you and smil'd,
And struck! and struck!-Why, what's the matter,
That you hold your hand to your forehead?
C. Grac. Fool that I was
To walk bareheaded yesternight in the garden,
That shooting pain's the profit on't.-Go on!
Go on, Licinia.- Did the Consul use
His weapon like a soldier?
Licinia. Like a demon !
C. Grac. No doubt! no doubt!
Licinia. What, Caius?
C. Grać. It would be
An idle dream had not the thrift to turn
A man into a demon! Pr'ythee, love,
What figure took he next?
Licinia. You make a jest
Of me.—I'll tell no more of it. I'm glad
You are so merry.
C. Grac. Merry !
Licinia. Are you not ?
C. Grac. Not if it does not please you, love.
But it does !--Be ever merry !--You'll be merry
To-morrow, I will answer for't; and so
Will I, and so will all the house.—Now why,
Tell me, should we be merry, love, to-morrow,
of all the days in the year ?
C. Grac. Indeed, Licinia,
I cannot tell.
Licinia. You cannot tell ! - You, Caius!
Now tell not that to any one. It is
The birth-day of our boy! There was a time
I fear'd you would not live to see it. But
That time is past. Thank Jupiter for what
He sends to-morrow! What are you thinking of?
C. Grac. Our boy.
Licinia. Is that the way to think of our boy?
Think of him with a smile. He is a boy
To make a father proud, although it is
His mother says it.
C. Grac. So he is—We'll go
To rest, love.
Licinia. Nay, I am not weary, Caius ;-
Sit up a while and talk.
C. Grac. I would not talk
Licinia. No more would I.-We'll go to rest.
[Takes the lights.
Come, Caius.Now, I have not told you half
The reason we shall be so happy, love,
Tu-morrow.-Can't you guess ?
C. Grac. What is't, Licinia ?
Licinia. Was it not our wedding-day?
C. Grac. It was! It was ! -
Licinia. Have we not reason to be happy? I have!
Have not you? Sha'n't we be happy? Say we shall !
C. Grac. We shall! To be sure
Licinia, Say it out!
C. Grac. To be sure we shall !
Why should we not? Why should we- Come to
Come to rest.-It grows to torture !
Licinia. What, my Caius?
C. Grac. The pain I told you of.
Licinia. You are not well !
You do not look as you were well-nor speak. –
All's wrong if you're not well.
C. Grac. A little sleep
Will set all right.
Licinia. It will! It will !
C. Grac. Come, love!
Licinia. I would not for the world you should be ill
To-morrow-or any day-but most of all
C. Grac. Come to rest, love!
Licinia. Are you sure 'Tis nothing needs be fear'd ?
C. Grac. Don't question me!
The slightest noise distracts me!
Licinia. Does it, Caius?
You're ill indeed, then ! you are very ill !
What shall be done for you?
C. Grac. You drive me mad!
Don't mind me, love !-Don't mind me!- Come to rest."
SCENEI.-The Strcet before Caius's House.-- Lamps
a little off:-Citizens asleep in various postures, urmed-some watching.
Enter Titus, L. Tit. Almost the morning dawns. What! rouse ye,
friends! Up, drowsy comrades, up! 'Tis time, 'lis time!
[They rise. Enter C. GRACCHUS from the house, R. C. Grac. Ha! Is it time, my friends ? Tit. It is, good Caius ! C. Grac. What noise of steps is that?
Tit. A band of citizens Crossing the end of the street. C. Gruc. Go on before, my friends. I'll follow you !
[Exeunt Titus and Citizens, L. I will but take a last look of the house. To think of what I leave within that house! I left her sleeping. Gods! upon the brink Of what a precipice !-and she must down!
I cannot save her. My last kiss, when I
Did print upon her cheek, she breath'd my name,
And, all unconscious as she was, with such
A plaintive cadence“ even pity's self,
Compos'd of tears and murmurs as she is,
In her most melting mood, did never frame
More tender. But that I did tear myself
At once away--for all that manhood, back'd
By honour, that did never yet relent,
Had urg'd upon me, I must have forgone
My purpose.' Thought must look another way!
Tiberius-I am coming! Art thou here,
My brother, waiting for me?-Yes !-I feel
Thou art !- I am ready!—Mighty shade, lead on!
LICINIA rushes out, R, as he is going off, L.
Licinia. Caius! O! Have I found you?
C. Grac. My Licinia, Why do you quit your bed?
Licinia. To seek you, Caius ! “ To bring you back with me! Come into the house !"
C. Grac. What fear you, love?
Licinia. I know not what I fear ;
But well I know that I have cause to fear !
Your putting off your journey yesterday-
Your going to the Forum, as you did
Your making it so late ere you came back-
Your looks and answers when you did come back-
Your rising now, at this unwonted hour-
A thousand thousand things that I could name,
Had I the time to think of them, forewarn me
You go not forth for good!
C. Grac. Licinia !-Wife! -
Collect yourself, and listen to me, now.
I must go forth, and may not be prevented-
Why, what's the matter with you? Can't a man
Get up a little hour or two before
His wonted time and take a walk, but he
Must run into a lion's mouth? For shame!
If this were told of Caius's wife! Go in.
“Get thee to bed again; and take this kiss
Along with thee."
Licinia. I cannot quit you, Caius !
I cannot let you go! Spite of myself,
I cling to you, as though my arms were bound
About you by a spell !--Do you know I'm ill!-
I'm very ill !-In sooth, I am so ill
It is not kind of you to leave me, Caius !
Caius, you would not leave me when I'm ill?
You surely never would !--Let me lean on you,
And take me into the house. I thank you, Caius ?
C. Grac. There.
[Stopping when he has conducted her to the
door. Licinia. Would you quit me at the threshold ?
Come in too ? Caius, do come in.-Sure, Caius,
You can go forth by and by !
C. Grac. I must go forth
At once, love.
Licinia. Must? In truth you must not will not-
C. Grac. Farewell !
[Going. Licinia. Stop, Caius-stop
[Following, catches hold of his robe, by which means his sword is discovered under his arm.
Is it to use
That sword you go abroad? Is it, my husband ?
It is ; alas, it is! You would go forth
To sell your life for an ungrateful people.
To quit your wife and child for men, look'd on
And saw your brother murder'd-and will now
Betray even you to death!" Caius, you trust
The faith of men that have no faith, except
When trial is not near."-Go not, my Caius !
My lord !-My husband !-Father of my child !
Go not, but hear your poor distracted wife !
C. Grac. Licinia, now is it perverse in you
To fancy danger. I have business forth !
Is it a time to walk the streets unarm'd
When drunken revellers from breaking up.
Of banquets are abroad? No more of this !
In! in! my love. Be sure I'll make all haste.
Thy thin robe suits not, sweet, the morning air.
In, my Licinia, in! there's nought to fear !
[Trumpet, L. Licinia. What's that? [Trumpet, L.] Again! Speaks
not that summoner To thee?
C. Grac. Dear wife !
Licinia. Come into the house! Come in ! “ If I'm thy wife, whose interest in thee Shall push by mine!-Whose claim to hold thy pledge