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EPILOGUE,

Written by Barry Cornwall, Esq. and spoken by Miss Brunton.

LEAVING the common path, which many tread,
We will not wake with jokes our poet's dead;
Nor shame the young creations of his pen,

By bidding all, who've perish'd, be again.
The pale Virginia, in her bloody shroud,
Lies like a shrined saint.-Oh! then, aloud
Shall we break scurril jests, and bid depart
Those thoughts of her, which fill and teach the heart?
No moral now we offer, squar'd in form,

But Pity, like the sun-light, bright and warm,

Comes mix'd with showers; and, fading, leaves behind A beauty and a blossom on the mind.

We do not strain to show that "thus it grows,"

And hence we learn" what every body knows:
But casting idle dogmas (words) aside,

We paint a villain in his purple pride;

And tearing down a pow'r, that grew too bold,
Show merely what was done in days of old.
Leaving this image on the soul, we go
Unto our gentler story, touch'd with woe,
(With woe that wantons not, nor wears away
The heart) and love too perfect for decay.
But whatsoe'er we do, we will not shame
Your better feeling, with an idle game
Of grin and mimicry (a loathsome task!)
Or strip the great Muse of her mighty mask,

And hoot her from her throne of tears and sighs,
Until, from folly and base jest, she dies.

No let her life be long, her reign supreme

:

If but a dream, it is a glorious dream.

Dwell then upon our tale; and bear along

With you, deep thoughts-of love-of bitter wrong-
Of freedom-of sad pity-and lust of power.
The tale is fitted for an after hour.

VIRGINIUS.

ACT I.

SCENE I-A Street in Rome.

Enter SERVIUS and CNEIUS, and Citizens, L- -Citizens stand on L.

Ser. CARBO denied a hearing!

Cne. (c.) Ay, and Marcellus cast into prison, because he sued a friend of one of the Decemvirs for a sum of money he had lent him.

Ser. (R. C.) And Appius resisted not? Appius! that in the first Decemvirate was a god to the people.

Cne. Resisted not! Nay, was most loud in favour of the decree; but hither comes Virginius, who interested himself so much in Carbo's affair. He looks a little heated. Is not that Titus he is speaking to? Stand aside, Master, and listen. [Retire back on L.

Enter VIRGINIUS and TITUS, R.

Vir. (c.) Why did you make him Decemvir, and first Decemvir too?

Tit. (R.) We had tried him, and found him honest.

Vir. (Lc.) And could you not have remained content? Why try him again, to find him dishonest? Knew ye not he was a Patrician, and of the Claudian family?

Tit. He laid down the Consulate

Vir. Ha! ha! ha! to be elected into the Decemvirate, and he was so; and he laid down his office of Decemvir, to be re-elected into the Decemvirate, and he is so: Ay, by Jupiter! and to the exclusion of his late colleagues! Did not Titus Genutius lay down the Consulate ?

Tit. He did.

Vir. (c.) Was he not next to Appius in the Decemvi rate?

Tit. He was.

Vir. Did you not find him honest ?

Tit. We did find him honest.

Vir. As honest as Appius Claudius?

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 mind. 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.

Tit. 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 any 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 higher
On grounds as poor as yours-their honour, boy!
Icilius, I have heard it all-your plans-

The 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 nam'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.

Icil. (c.) Appius comes!

The people still throng after him with shouts,

Unwilling to believe their Jupiter

[A shout, L.

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, 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 house.

[Exeunt Virginius, R. Lucilius, L.

Enter APPIUS CLAUDIUS, CLAUDIUS, SICCIUS Dentatus, LUCIUS, TITUS, SERVIUS, MARCUS, and

shouting, R. S. E.

Tit. Long live our first Decemvir!

Long live Appius Claudius!

Citizens

Most noble Appius! Appius and the Decemvirate for ever!

[Citizens shout.

App. (c.) My countrymen, and fellow citizens,

We will deserve your favour.

Tit. (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.

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!

[Aside.

[Exit Appius, &c. 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

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