« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Por. 'Twas bravely fought. I saw the king, your father, free his person from a thousand Romans that begirt his state, where Aying arrows, thick as atoms, sung about his
Aru. I hope a glorious day; come, Tuscan king, let's on them!
[alarum. Enter HORATIUS and VALERIUS. Hor. Aruns, stay; that sword that late did drink the consul's blood, must, with keen fang, tire upon my flesh, or this on thine.
Aru. It spar'd the consul's life
To end thy days in a more glorious strife.
Val. I stand against thee, Tuscan !
Por. I for thee!
Hor. Where e'er I find a Tarquin, he's for me!
Calarum, fight; Aruns slain, Porsenna expulsed.
Alarum-Enter TARQUIN with an arrow in his breast, Tullia
with him, pursued by COLLATINE, LUCRETIUS, and SCÆVOLA.
Tar. Fair Tullia, leave me; save thy life by flight,
Since mine is desperate; behold, I'm wounded
Even to the death : there stays within my tent
A winged jennet, mount his back and fly :
Live to revenge my death, since I must die.
Tul. Had I the heart to tread upon the bulk
Of my dead father, and to see him slaughter'd
Only for love of Tarquin and a crown;
And shall I fear death more than loss of both ?
No, this is Tullia's fame, rather than fly
From Tarquin, 'mongst a thousand swords she'll die !
All. Hew them to pieces both !
Tar. My Tullia save,
And o'er my caitiff head those meteors wave.
Col. Let Tullia yield then!
Tul. Yield me, cuckold ? no;
Mercy I scorn, let me the danger know!
Sca. Upon them, then!
Val. Let's bring them to their fate, And let them perish in the people's hate.
Tul. Fear not, I'll back thee, husband.
Tar. But for thee,
Sweet were the hand that this charg'd soul could free;
Life I despise, let noble Sextus stand
T'avenge our death ; even till these vitals end,
Scorning my own, thy life will I defend!
Tul. And I'll, sweet Tarquin, to my power guard thine : Come on, ye slaves, and make this earth divine !
[alarum ; Tarquin and Tullia are slain
Alarum. Enter BRUTUS, all bloody.
Bru. Aruns, this crimson favour for thy sake,
I'll wear upon my forehead, mask'd with blood,
Till all the moisture in the Tarquins' veins
Be spilt upon the earth ; and leave thy body
As dry as the parch'd summer, burnt and scorch'd
With the canicular stars.
Hor. Aruns lies dead,
By this bright sword that tower'd above his head!
Col. And see, great consul,
Where the pride of Rome lies sunk and fallen.
Val. Beside him lies the queen mangled and hewn
Amongst the Roman soldiers.
Hor. Lift up their slaughter'd bodies ; help to rear
Them 'gainst this hill in view of all the camp.
This sight will be a terror to the foe,
And make them yield or fly.
Bru. But where's the ravisher,
Injurious Sextus, that we see not him? [short alarum.
Sex. Through broken spears, crack'd swords, unboweld
Flaw'd armours, mangld limbs, and batter'd casques,
Knee-deep in blood, I've pierc'd the Roman host
To be my father's rescue.
Hor. 'Tis too late ;
His mounting pride's sunk in the people's hate.
Sex. My father, mother, brother ! fortune, now
I do defy thee! I expose myself
To horrid danger; safety I despise :
I dare the worst of peril, I am bound
On till this pile of flesh be all one wound.
Val. Begirt him, lords ! this is the ravisher;
There's no revenge for Lucrece till he fall.
Luc. Cease, Sextus, then.
Sex. Sextus defies you all!
Yet, will you give me language ere I die ?
Bru. Say on.
Sex. 'Tis not for mercy, for I scorn that life That's given by any; and the more to add
To your immense unmeasurable hate,
I was the spur unto my father's pride.
T'was I that aw'd the princes of the land,
That made thee, Brutus, mad; these discontent ;
I ravish'd the chaste Lucrece; Sextus I,
Thy daughter, and thy wife; Brutus, thy cousin,
Alli'd indeed to all; 'twas for my rape,
Her constant hand ripp'd up her innocent breast;
'Twas Sextus did all this !
Col. Which I'll revenge !
Hor. Leave that to me.
Luc. Old as I am, I'll do't !
Scæ. I have one hand left yet
Of strength enough to kill a ravisher.
Sex. Come all at once, aye, all !
Yet hear me, Brutus, thou art honourable,
And iny words tend to thee: my father dy'd
By many hands; what's he ʼmongst you can challenge
The least, aye, smallest honour in his death?
If I be kill'd among this hostile throng,
The poorest snaky soldier well
claim As much renown in noble Sextus' death, As Brutus, thou, or thou, Horatius : I am to die, and more than die I cannot: Rob not yourselves of honour in my death. When the two mightiest spirits of Greece and Troy Tugg'd for the mast’ry, Hector and Achilles ; Had puissant Hector, by. Achilles' hand, Dy'd in single monomachy, Achilles Had been the worthy ; but being slain by odds,
The poorest Myrmidon had as much honour
As faint Achilles in the Trojan's death.
Bru. Had'st thou not done a deed so execrable
That gods and men abhor, I'd love thee, Sextus,
And hug thee for this challenge breath'd so freely:
Behold, I stand for Rome as general ;
Thou of the Tarquins dost alone survive,
The head of all these garboils, the chief actor
Of that black sin, which we chastise by arms.
Brave Romans, with your bright swords be our lists,
And ring us in ; none dare t’offend the prince
By the least touch, lest he incur our wrath ;
This honour do your consul, that his hand
May punish this arch-mischief ; that the times
Succeeding may of Brutus thus much tell,
By him pride, lust, and all the Tarquins fell.
Sex. To ravish Lucrece, cuckold Collatine,
And spill the chastest blood that ever ran
In any matron's veins, repents me not
So much as to have wrong'd a gentleman
So noble as the consul in this strife.
Brutus, be bold, thou fight'st with one scorns life.
Bru. And thou with one, that less than his renown, Prizeth his blood or Rome's imperial crown. [alarum : a fierce fight, with sword and target; they
pause and breathe.
Bru. Sextus, stand fair, much honour shall I win,
To revenge Lucrece, and chastise thy sin.
Sex. I repent nothing, may I live or die;
Though my blood fall, my spirit shall mount on high.