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Collects the guilt, and crowds it round the heart.
Ord. Thyself be judge.
One of our family knew this place well.
Ord. What boots it who or when?
(They hang up their torches.)
He was a man different from other men,
And he despised them, yet revered himself.
Isid. He! he despised?—thou'rt speaking of thyself!
Ord. All men seemed mad to him!
Nature had made him for some other planet,
By accident or malice.
In this world
He found no fit companion.
Isid. Of himself he speaks. (Aside.)
Alas! poor wretch!
Madmen are mostly proud.
Ord. He walked alone,
And phantom thoughts unsought for, troubled him.
His mind held dalliance. Once, as so it happened,
He yielded utterance, as some talk in sleep.
Why didst thou look round?
Isid. I have a prattler three
years old, my
In truth he is my darling. As I went
From forth my door, he made a moan in sleep—
And what did this man ?
Ord. With his human hand
He gave a substance and reality
To that wild fancy of a possible thing.—
Well, it was done! (Very wildly.)
Why babblest thou of guilt?
The deed was done, and it passed fairly off.
I'd listen to you with an eager eye.
Though you began this cloudy tale at midnight.
Ord. Where was I?
Isid. He of whom you tell the tale
Ord. Surveying all things with a quiet scorn,
Betrayed the mystery to a brother traitor,
(Ordonio grasps his sword, and turns off from Isidore; then after a pause returns.)
Our links burn dimly.
Isid. A dark tale darkly finished! nay, my lord, Tell what he did.
Ord. That which his wisdom promptedHe made the traitor meet him in this cavern And here he killed the traitor.
Isid. No! the fool!
He had not wit enough to be a traitor.
Ord. Thou wouldst not then have come, if-
I would have met him armed, and scared the coward. (Isidore throws off his robe-shows himself armed, and draws his sword.) Ord. Now this is excellent and warms the blood!
My heart was drawing back; drawing me back
And claims that life my pity robbed her of.
Now will I kill thee, thankless slave, and count it
Isid. And all my little ones fatherless?
Die thou first. (They fight; Ordonio disarms Isidore, and in disarming him throws his sword up that recess opposite to which they were standing. Isidore hurries into the recess
with his torch; Ordonio follows him; a loud cry of "traitor! monster!" is heard from the cavern, aud in a moment Ordonio returns alone.)
Ord. I have hurled him down the chasm! treason for treason. He dreamt of it! Henceforward let him sleep
A dreamless sleep, from which no wife can wake him.
Virginius. Good day, Icilius.
Icilius. Worthy Virginius! 'tis an evil day
For Rome! Our new decemvirs
Are any thing but friends to justice and
Vir. You, Icilius, had a hand
In their election. You applied to me
Icil. I would have pledged my life
Vir. 'Twas a high gage, and men have staked it higher, On grounds as poor as yours-their honor, boy!
Icilius, I have heard it all-your plans
The understanding 'twixt the heads of the people—
Of whom, Icilius, you are reckoned one, and
Worthily-and Appius Claudius-all
'Twas every jot disclosed to me.
Icil. By whom?
Vir. Siccius Dentatus.
Icil. He disclosed it to you?
Siccius Dentatus is a crabbed man!
Vir. Siccius Dentatus is an honest man!
There's not a worthier in Rome!
Has he deceived me? Do you call him liar?
Icil. Good Virginius,
Siccius Dentatus is my friend-the friend
Of every honest man in Rome-a brave 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.
Icil. See, good Virginius, Appius comes!
Has marked 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, 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 well
I shall be glad to see you at my
(Enter Appius, Dentatus, Lucius, Titus, Servius, Marcus, and
Titus. Long live our first decemvir!
Long live Appius Claudius!
Most noble Appius! Appius and the decemvirate for ever!
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.
Our power but for your good. Your gift it was,
And gifts make surest debtors.
Fare you well
And for your salutations, pardon me
(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?
Servius. He's ever carping-nothing pleases him.
Den. Oh! yes-you please me-please me mightily,-I assure you. You are noble legislators; take most especial care of your own interests; bestow your votes most wisely too-on 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.
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 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!
Tit. And Marcus Rabuleius.
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