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No creature came to me: I started up.
I have traversed all the chambers, one by one-
They are all empty, and upon the walls
And marble floors, I have looked for gouts of blood.
Speak, thou! who here at last dost wait on me-
My father and his prisoner-speak !
A prisoner, with Catiline, left the palaco.
Your father, lady-
Pury. At the dawn ! How old
Is the day, now?
ATT.-Yet morning tide.
Pury.-- Yet morning!
Time lapsed to win, or lose, or wreck a world.
Oh, I have been accursed in my sleep.
Oh, morbid, traitor sleep! from your death-thrall
And heavy blandishment I do divorce
Mine eyes for ever! Or the hideous things
Which may have happened---may ?- which must! which have !
Can well effect it! Spake you of my father?
ATT.--'Tis but some minutes since he parted, too.
PARY.-Whither ? You know not?
No parting word for Phryne? for his daughter ?
ParY.-How looked he? sternly? and
The prisoner ? seemed he sad ?-hush-thro' the streets,
(At a window.)
Deserted by the people, bands of soldiers
Troop onward, heavily-returning now
Perhaps !-what is to happen-or has happened ?
Heard you ?-or any of iny women? Speak
The very truth!
ATT.-Nor they, nor I, can answer.
PHRY.-I will go forth! whither I know not-but
O'er all the spreading city--and fall down
Before whatever living things I meet,
Praying a guidance to the mystery
Or explanation of it. Household gods-
House of my sires, farewell! I go-oh, when-
And how, If ever-to return? Fate knoweth.
SCENE II - The Forum. Lænas, Aufidius, Senators, Crassus, Cethegus, people.
AUF,-Know ye the cause or motive of this summons ?
CRAS.-Unless as an example to the people,
To punish in their presence, the last son
Of their old butcher, Marius, we know not.
Aur.-Such circumstantial show is not his fashion.
LÆN.-It never was.
ACF.-The people quake in terror,
And boding ignorance, as hither led
By their weak Tribunes. See, how silently
They follow hither the accused.
Enter Catiline, Julius and Lepidus, guarded, First Tribune and people.
His brow defeat me Could I see him winco
In look or limb, it were my dearest triumph,
And for my purpose, opportunity.
(Aside.) Young Julius Marius.
( To him.)
JUL.-Lucius Catiline ?
CAT.- I grieve to see you thus.
JUL.-False as thou'rt foul.
CAT.-No Julius Marius, no. On public grounds
Your enemy, my heart can pitv, still,
The doomed sufferings of all your race,
Now in your own to be so sadly ended.
Cat.-And if by my poor agency
It might be otherwise-if your young life
Might from this too untimely stroke be snatched,
Here do I plainly stand, your friend, to try it.
(Julius does not notice hire.) Ist Trib.
The noble senators may answer us.
AUF.-We, and those good knights with us, uninformed
As Tribunes or as people, hither como
For Sylla's pleasure.
CAT.--Julius, hearken to me.
You are a man- a young one- from whose eyes
The world is fading fast, with all its changes
Of wondrous, promising, and beautifnl.
"Tis hard to look upon a man so young,
Standing so near the verge-encompassed,
Already, with the shadow and the silence
Of death-'tis hard to see you, Julius, thus,
And feel no wish to succour.-I cannot
Regard it passively; and altho' fate
Frown on the very dawning of the thought,
I may be bribed to zeal.
(Julius is still contemptuous.) 1st TRIB.- Friends! Citizens?
1st CiTz.-- Metellus leaning on his soldiers.
Ist TRIB.-They crowd upon us !
IST CITz.-Yes-and hem us in !
( Enter Metellus, with soldiers, who serround the Forum.) LEN, -Aufidius, note you that? AUF.-I do- and tremble. Ist TRIB – 'Tis the last day of Sylla's tyranny. 1ST CIT2.-Rome's lost. We are to perish! Ist Trib.-Comes he yet?
( Looking off) CAT.-Julius, look round you. Of the shades of doom
It is the denser gathering—the deepest-
For next comes doom itself. bethink you,
Now answer me. There is a lady-
CAT.-Start not-but hear-
JUL.-Villain! excelling villain !
Why is that-here, prisoner as I stand,
I do not, from the bosom which could plot
That insult for me, tear the fetid heart out,
CAT.-Traitor! anhand me!
JUL-But-live. You are the fitter for this world,
Which now-the gods do see it-is no world
For any honest man. Go-thrive together.
In its decrepitude and worthlessness
I need bequcath to it no better curse.
Live and revenge me!-
Romans ! you look pale
And stare upon each other, asking in whispers,
Why this and this? or, what will lappen, now?
Or what shall save us? --Romans-no-not Romans !
That name no more-glares then-and slaves of slaves !
But I'll speak calmer-on the day he robbed you
Of your last liberties, I met you here,
Here in this very Forum, and 1st TRIB.
} Hush! back! (Looking off.)
JUL.-Pshaw! They're not worth the breath it costs-a flock
Of sheep do not cringe closer from the grow]
of the shepherd's dog. Down with your necks, brave Romans,
That he may step on them!
Enter Scrond Tribune, with people.
2ND Trib.--Sylla !-back, back!
Enter slowly, Sylla, with Lictors.
SYL.-Senators, citizens, all men of Rome-
A day hath risen whose progress shall proclaim
Uuto the breathing and the unborn world,
How worthy or unworthy of his place
llas Sylla proved, and in your turn, of him,
Yourselves, bow worthy. A peenliar question,
Which to this great one tends, we first examine.
In me, the awful dignity of Rome
Has by assassin league been violated.
There stand the plotters. Julius Marius, and
His colleague, Lepidus. More from the Rostrum.
JCL. - As Sylla walks tornards the Rostrum)
Now, Lepidus, your secret dagger.
Enter Phryne, behind Julius.
Phry.-( Hurving observed Julius.) Turn, Sylla! Turn !
JUL.-( Breaking thro the guards. )---Villains, make way!
Die, monster! (Rushing to Sylla )
Phry.--( Intercepting, and catching his arm.)
II old, parricide!-infanticide!
Down with hin-slay !
SYL.-Lictors -disarin that boy;
If I had wanted proof for your assurance,
Himself, the head and spirit of this treason,
Doth here supply it. Ye have seen his hand
Raised against the life of the republic-and,
By every law, civil and natural,
The days of the last Marius are now numbered.
PARY.- Against all nature! against all the laws
Of natural hearts! Romans! he is my husband! (Embracing him.)
JUL.- Oh Phryne, I was nerved for fate-but, this
PURY.-And, Romans, plead for him, with me! ye know-
Great as his crime hath been unto your cyes,
And mine, this day-the youngest and the last
Of all the Marians, must, if he be man-
Hoard in his heart-even against his will-
Griefs, recollections, bitterness, and anger,
Which madden him, at times, to say and do
He knows not what!-oh think ye, Roman husbands,
Were he not made, by suffering, moment-nad,
He who doth love his wife, as never wife
Was loved, would raise his boyish arm upon
The sacred person of that wife's dear parent,
A pareat, by that wife beloved as well-
And she will say no more--as she by him,
Her chosen husband? Romans, plead for me!
Your hands and voices here with mine! My father!
( Kneels to Sylla.) SYL-I am dictator. Senators, no word.
Tribunes, beware!-Lictors, control the people.
PHRY.-No! bid them strike me here!
It is the fitter place for me to fall--
Even at the feet of the unnatural father
Who spurns me here! Perish I must-I will-
Syl.-Lead the wife of Marius from the Forum! ( Ascends the Rostrum.)
Phry.-Off, abject slaves !-I stand by him again!
(Rushes to Julius, who is again guarded. )
My arm around him! to be silent, now,
Since, if I am so, I have equal right
With any citizen to tarry here-
Silent until i catch a word to harın him-
My Julius, fear not!
JUL.-I but fear for you.
Syl.-Young Julius Marius may tell you, Roinans, (From the Rostrum.)
He strikes but at an absolute dictator.
Wherefore, in justice ? Let the people answer.
Freely they chose me--nor unworthily-
For, ero I was dictator, I was a hero.
Decp, distant waters ye shall never see,
I bade tiow round your empire, and they flowed
Rejoicingly. Kings I uncrowned and crowned ;
Arenged your wrongs; enforced your rights; unfurled
Your glory to earth s limits. This, abroad.
At hone, I brought you peace; by any means;
Peace, still. Proseriptions, confiscations, blood -
These were the incans; on wliom? and blood of whom?
On those who plundered ye, and first shed yours.
Who perished? Romans--but the foes of Rome;
What was her loss? Citizens 1-rebels! Sons ?
JOL-Friends, oh friends!
Pher.-Julius-for my sake-
JUL.- Childless fathers, answer!
Fatherless sons ! lorn brothers, answer him!
Rome's loss?-oh, let her women raise their voices!
And Romans, tell him, too, Rome's loss is freedom!
The freedom & perpetual dictator
Hath in his life shut up, and which his life
Alone may render!
( At the commencement of Julius' speech, Sylla had
beckoned Cethegus to his side-during it he has con. ferred with him; now he resumes, without having
seemed to notice it.) SIL.-Thus, the means were desperate.
Who used them? Sylla? No. Your Sovereign.-
In person? No. In Rome's great Majesty.-
In personal anger? No. In her assertion.-
For his revenge? No-for her great salvation !
What father whose child's treason leares him childless,
What sireless son whose father's treason shained him,
What brother whose bad brother shamed their sire,
Will now stand up for such against his country?
If I do speak unto a Roman patriot
So circumstantial and conditional,
Let him stand forth and front-not punishment
Eut the deer, broad, indelible disgrace
Or that arowal in this public forum -
Let hin stand forth I say !
1st. TRIB. --How should we answer ?
Ist. Cirz.-Out of our own admissions he would judge us !
Ist. TRIB.--Let no man speak!
SYL-Your silence I do thus interpret, friends.
'Twere just to punish any, who, with cause
Of private suffering, the most peculiar,
Dares, in my soverein person, touch the state-
Behold young Marius w.lo hath so dared.
JUL.-Tyrant! i Addiessing Sylla.)
PHRY.- My Julius!
PHRY.-Hush! Hear him on!
SIL.-Yet, as the offence, to Sylla, is, at once,
Public and personal, I do waive the right
Of judging him, referring it unto
The senate and the people.
PHRY.-Hear you that?
JUL I do-in deepest wonder-if he mean it,
I am no longer Sylla's enemy.
SYL.- But more than my permission here is urgent.
JUL.-Hark--some deep subtlety which cheats us all.
SYL.-For this you must be, once again, a people,
United to your senate, sovereign-
Without an absolute dictatorship,
Or any intervention from the presence
Of civil or of military force.
Wherefore, observe me. Lictors - yield your fasces !
Soldiers, lay down your arms !-and, all, draw off,
Or, here, as citizens, with your fellows mingle.
( Lectors and soldiers cbey hin.
Phry.-Oh, joy, my Julius, joy!
JUL-Let me observe him
SYL.--This, the first step to leave your councils free,
Is the last aet of my authority.
My servants powerless, myself I now
Command from power-Sylla, o'er Sylla still.
The only master. You have heard it said
That, in dictatorship perpetual,
I had shut up your freedom. Well. Attend.
My place I now do abdicate for ever ;
My palm and purple I renounce for ever;
And, once again a simple citizen,
Unarmed, unsymbolled, thus advance to greet you.
(Takes off the golden palm aud the purple cloak, and descenda
from the Rostrum.)
PARY.-Well, Julius? well!
JUL. I am astounded--thrilled !
1st TRIB.- Now, countrymen!
2ND TriB.--Hush! hush! he would speak still.
SYL. - More. As Rome's magistiate, I have freely dealt
Upon the people-and the senate, too.
For that, yourselves have righteously admitted
I am not privately responsible.
Yet-lest my single judgment may have pushed
Authority beyond its sovereign limit-
Hear me. What I have done in Rome's great name,
I will account for in mine own. I ask
A trial from the people. I invite it.
Silent? I dare it!
JUL.-Oh, amazing courage!
JUL.- But how grand !
God-despot! His sublimity hath conquered !
SYL-I am not answered, friends. Would the coward dagger,
A course of virtuous justice intercept?
I have heard, I know not well how many thousands,
of those whose kindred, but contaminate, blood
Flowed at their country's doom, pronounced by me,
Waited but time and opportunity.
The time is come-if ever to come; I yield
The opportunity. That, too, I dare.
My countrymen, about the forum, liere,
I now shall walk. You see I am unarmed.
My life upon a blow. To plot and poignard
I oppose iny genius only! Chæronca,
Orchomenus, and the terror of my name!
Behold, I walk among ye.
Let that man
Who deems he has a private vengeance, take it! ( Walks to Julius.)
Again, young Marius, strike!
JUL.-- Her breast, as soon!
SYL.-Well? I cannot punish now.
Phri.--My father! Take this land.
( Falls on Sylla's neck, holding by one of Julius' hands.) SIL.Tush-tushFreely I may depart then? all unquestioned ?
(Rt-addressing the people while Phryne still clings to him.) PirY.-Father: ( Endeavouring to join his hand with that of Julius.) SIL.-( Grasping Julius' hand almost without regarding him.)
Well, well? He is pardoned, is he not?
Or must I plead for him unto the people
And the grave senate ? and-tush-sir, support her-
She is now more yours than mine-tho I say not
More, in the heart-there--free me of your wife, sir-
My child-that was ---
Phry,-( Embracing him.) And is! Is, glorious father!
SIL.--Is, then-is, is--will that content you?
Go to your husband.
PHRY,-Yes! When you call bim so!
( Embracing Julius.) SYL.--Freely I may depart? and all unquestioned ?
Take my last word, tho'. Over all my battles,
Proscriptions, decimations, hear Romans;
Ilow I've served Rome, I found the old republic,
A shadow ; scorned, insulted, braved; I leave it
A substance; feared, respected, trembled at-
A threat to foes-to rebels, terrible !
I found ye slaves! I leave ye free! By what
Inducernent, ye do know, and will remember.
For myself, Romans, I give thanks for nought.
My own hand won me power. A sovereign crown