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Brave Horatius

2006-07-13 21:32

  Thousands of years ago, Rome was a small but prosperous city. The Romans were brave people who were skilled in the art of warfare.

  Once The King of Tuscany sent his troops to attack Rome. When the Tuscans marched towards Rome, the Romans were taken by surprise, as they were not prepared for a battle.

  The Tuscans had to cross the bridge across the river Tiber to reach Rome. The chief of the Roman army called his men and said, “The enemy troops are approaching the bridge. We must not let them cross at any cost. We must break down the bridge to prevent their entry to Rome.”

  So the Romans began to demolish the wooden bridge. But before they could pull it down completely, the enemy had reached the bridge.

  Just then a young Roman soldier called Horatius came forward. He said to his comrades, “You go ahead with your job of cutting down the bridge, at this end. I will go to the other end of the bridge, and stop the enemy there. I shall not let a single Tuscan soldier cross over.” He raised his sword in defiance of the Tuscans and ran to the other end of the bridge. Two young Roman followed him.

  So, while the others were busy hacking down the bridge, Horatius and his two companions stood at the end of the bridge nearest to the enemy soldiers.

  Horatius shouted to the Tuscan commander: “We shall not let you cross the bridge. We will fight you to our last breath.”

  The Tuscan commander was amused to see the three Romans challenging his mighty Tuscan army. He laughed at them and said:

  “Young Romans don't be foolish. You three cannot stop us. Go back and live to see another day.”

  But the brave Romans refused to move an inch. Horatius replied: “We are Romans not Tuscans, we shall fight you to the bitter end, come what may.”

  At this, the Tuscans were very angry and rushed at Horatius and his companions. But Horatius and his friends fought bravely and killed scores of Tuscans. And while they held the bridge and blocked the advance of the Tuscan soldiers, the other Romans were busy cutting down the bridge.

  Soon the bridge was nearly cut in two and about to fall. The Romans shouted to Horatius to run back. But Horatius did not leave his post. He was injured but he kept on fighting. To Him, his country's security was far more important than his own life.

  Suddenly the bridge crashed into the river with a great noise. Horatius quickly turned back and jumped into the river, his two companions also followed him. The river was in flood but they swam safely across the river to the Rome.

  Horatius' patriotic mission was successful. The Tuscans could not enter Rome, now that there was no bridge there. Horatius had saved Rome and its people by an act of extraordinary courage and bravery. He became the national hero of Rome. Years later, the Romans built a big statue of this brave warrior to perpetuate his memory.

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