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Yes; and how left me, cruel as thou art,
The victim of thy crimes!

True, thou must die.
Elid. I pray ye then on your best mercy, fathers,
It may be speedy. I would fain be dead,
If this be life. Yet I must doubt ev'n that:
For falsehood of this strange stupendous sort
Sets firm-ey'd reason on a gaze, mistrusting,
That what she sees in palpable plain form,
The stars in yon blue arch, these woods, these caverns,
Are all mere tricks of cozenage, nothing real,
The vision of a vision. If he's fled,
I ought to hate this brother.

Yet thou dost not.
Elid. But when' astonishment will give me leave,
Perchance I shall.–And yet he is my brother,
And he was virtuous once. Yes, ye vile Romans,
Yes, I must die, before my thirsty sword
Drinks one rich drop of vengeance. Yet, ye robbers,
Yet will I curse you with my dying lips :
'Twas you, that stole away my brother's virtue.

Chor. Now then prepare to die.

I am prepar'd.
Yet, since I cannot now (what most I wish’d)
By manly prowess guard this lovely maid;
Permit that on your holiest earth I kneel,
And pour one fervent prayer for her protection.
Allow me this, for though you think me false,
The gods will hear me.'

I can hold no longer'! .

Oh Druid, Druid, at thy feet I fall:
Yes, I must plead, (away with virgin-blushes
For such a youth must plead. I'll die to save him,
Oh take my life, and let him fight for Mona.

Chor. Virgin, arise. His virtue hath redeem'd him,
And he shall fight for thee, and for his country.
Youth, thank us with thy deeds. The time is short,
And now with reverence take our high lustration;
Thrice do we sprinkle thee with day-break dew
Shook from the may-thorn blossom ; twice and thrice
Touch we thy forehead with our holy wand:
Now thou art fully purg'd. Now rise restor'd
To virtue and to us. Hence then, my son,
Hie thee, to yonder altar, where our Bards
Shall arm thee duly both with helm and sword
For warlike enterprise,



Aul. Did.

Ye bloody priests, Behold we burst on your infernal rites, And bid you pause. Instant restore our soldiers, Nor hope that superstition's ruthless step Shall wade in Roman gore. Ye savage men, Did not our laws give license to all faiths, We would o'erturn your altars, headlong heave These shapeless symbols of your barbarous gods, And let the golden sun into your caves.

Chor. Servant of Cæsar, has thine impious tongue Spent the black venom of its blasphemy? It has. Then take our curses on thine head, Ev'n his fell curses, who doth reign in Mona, Vicegerent of those gods thy pride insults.

Aul. Did. Bold priest, I scorn thy curses, and . thyself. Soldiers, go search the caves, and free the prisoners. Take heed, ye seize Caractacus alive. Arrest yon youth; load him with heaviest irons, He shall to Cæsar answer for his crime.

Elid. I stand prepar'd to triumph in my crime. Aul. Did. 'Tis well, proud boy-Look to the beauteous maid,

[To the soldiers. That tranc'd in grief, bends o'er yon bleeding

corse, Respect her sorrows. " Evel.

Hence, ye barbarous men, · Ye shall not take him welt'ring thus in blood,

To show at Rome, what British virtue was.
Avaunt! the breathless body that ye touch
Was once Arviragus!
Aul. Did.

Fear us not, princess,
We reverence the dead.

Would too to Heav'n,
Ye reverenc'd the gods but ev'n enough
Not to debase with slavery's cruel chain
What they created free.
Aul. Did

The Romans fight
Not to enslave, but humanize the world.


Chor. Go to, we will not parley with thee, Roman : Instant pronounce our doom. Aul. Did.

Hear it, and thank us. This once our clemency shall spare your groves, If at our call ye yield the British king: Yet learn, when next ye aid the foes of Cæsar, That each old oak, whose solemn gloom ye boast, Shall bow beneath our axes. Chor.

Be they blasted, Whene'er their shade forgets to shelter virtue !

Enter BARD. Bard. Mourn, Mona, mourn. Caractacus is captive! And dost thou smile, false Roman? Do not think He fell an easy prey. Know, ere he yielded, Thy bravest veterans bled. He too, thy spy, The base Brigantian prince, hath seald his fraud With death. Bursting thro’armed ranks, that hemm’d The caitiff round, the brave Caractacus Seiz'd his false throat; and as he gave him death Indignant thunder'd, “ Thus is my last stroke The stroke of justice.” Numbers then opprest him: I saw the slave, that cowardly behind Pinion'd his arms; I saw the sacred sword Writh'd from his grasp: I saw, what now ye see, Inglorious sight! those barbarous bonds upon him.

Enter CARACTACUS. Car. Romans, methinks the malice of your tyrant Might furnish heavier chains. Old as I am,

And wither'd as you see these war-worn limbs,'Trust me, they shall support the weightiest load Injustice dares impose

Proud crested soldier, [To Didius. Who seem'st the master-mover in this business, · Say, dost thou read less terror on my brow,

Than when thou met'st me in the fields of war · Heading my nations ? No, my free-born soul Has scorn still left to sparkle through these eyes, And frown defiance on thee. Is it thus ! .....

[Seeing his son's body
Then I'm indeed a captive. Mighty gods!
My soul, my soul submits: patient it bears
The pond'rous load of grief ye heap upon it:
Yes, it will grovel in this shatter'd breast, .
And be the sad tame thing, it ought to be,
Coopt in a servile body.
Aul. Did.

Droop not, king.
When Claudius, the great master of the world,
Sball hear the noble story of thy valour,
His pityd

Car.. .. Can a Roman pity, soldier? ?
And if he can, gods! must a Briton bear it?
Arviragus, my bold, my breathless boy,
Thou hast escap'd such pity; thou art free.
Here in high Mona shall thy noble limbs' : :
Rest in a noble grave; posterity
Shall to thy tomb with annual reverence bring
Sepulchral stones, and pile them to the clouds;
Whilst minemann



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