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That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets | Should they submit ere our designs are ripe, her,
We both must perish in the common wreck, And imitates her actions where she is not : Lost in the general undistinguished ruin. It ought not to be sported with.
Syph. But how stands Cato? Spyh. By Heavens,
Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas : I am ravished when you talk thus, though you Whilst storms and tempests thunder on its brows, chide me!
And oceans break their billows at its feet, Alas! I have hitherto been used to think It stands unmoved, and glories in its height : A blind officious zeal to serve my king,
Such is that haughty man; his towering soul, The ruling principle, that ought to burn
'Midst all the shocks and injuries of fortune, And quench all others in a subject's heart. Rises superior, and looks down on Cæsar. Happy the people who preserve their honour Syph. But what's this messenger? By the same duties that oblige their prince ! Sem. I have practised with him, Juba. Syphax, thou now beginnest to speak And found a means to let the victor know thyself.
That Syphax and Sempronius are his friends. Numidia's grown a scorn among the nations, But let me now examine in my turn : For breach of public vows. Our Punic faith Is Juba fixed ? Is infamous, and branded to a proverb.
Syph. Yes—but it is to Cato. Syphax, we'll join our cares, to purge away,
I have tried the force of every reason on him, Our country's crimes, and clear her reputation. Soothed and caressed; been angry, soothed again; Syph. Believe me, prince, you make old Sy- Laid safety, life, and interest in his sight. phax weep,
But all are vain; he scorns them all for Cato. To hear you talk-but 'tis with tears of joy. Sem. Come, 'tis no matter; we shall do with If e'er your father's crown adorn your brows,
out him. Numidia will be blest by Cato's lectures. He'll make a pretty figure in a triumph, Juba. Syphax, thy hand; we'll mutually for. And serve to trip before the victor's chariot. get
Syphax, I now may hope thou hast forsook The warmth of youth, and frowardness of age; Thy Juba's cause, and wishest Marcia mine. Thy prince esteems thy worth, and loves thy per- Šyph. May she be thine as fast as thou woulds
have her. If e'er the sceptre come into my hand,
Sem. Syphax, I love that woman; though I Syphax shall stand the second in my kingdom. Syph. Why will you overwhelm my age with Her and myself, yet, spite of me, I love her. kindness?
Syph. Make Cato sure, and give up Utica,
Does the sedition catch from man to man,
The factious leaders are our friends, that spread Approve my deeds, than worlds for my admirers. Murmurs and discontents among the soldiers;
[Erit. They count their toilsome marches, long fatigues, Syph. Young men soon give, and soon forget Unusual fastings, and will bear no more affronts;
This medley of philosophy and war.
I laugh to see how your unshaken Cato
Will look aghast, while unforeseen destruction Enter SEMPRONIUS.
Pours in upon him thus from every side. All hail, Sempronius!
So, where our wide Numidian wastes extend, Well, Cato's senate is resolved to wait
Sudden, the impetuous hurricanes descend, The fury of a siege before it yields.
Wheel through the air, in circling eddies play, Sem. Syphax, we both were on the verge of Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away. fate :
The helpless traveller, with wild surprise, Lucius declared for peace, and terms were offer- Sees the dry desart all around him rise, ed
And, smothered in the dusty whirlwind, dies. To Cato, by a messenger from Cæsar.
Por. Marcus, thou can'st not ask what I'd re
fuse. Enter MARCUS and PORTIUS.
But here, believe me, I have a thousand reasons Alarc. Thanks to my stars I have not ranged Marc. I know thou'lt say my passion's out of about
season, The wilds of life, ere I could find a friend;. That Cato's great example and misfortunes Nature first pointed out my Portius to me, Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts. And early taught me, by her secret force, But what's all this to one that loves like me? To love thy person, ere I knew thy merit, O Portius, Portius, from my soul I wish Till what was instinct, grew up into friendship. Thou did'st but know thyself what 'tis to love ! Por. Marcus, the friendships of the world are Then wouldst thou pity and assist thy brother. oft
Por. What should I do! If I disclose my pasConfederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure ;
sion Ours has severest virtue for its basis,
Our friendship's at an end; if I conceal it, And such a friendship ends not but with life. The world will call me false to a friend and Alarc. Portius, thou know'st my soul in all its brother.
Mare. But see where Lucia, at her wonted Then, prithee, spare me on its tender side.
hour, Indulge me but in love, my other passions Amid the cool of yon high marble arch, Shall rise and fall by virtue's nicest rules. Enjoys the noon-day breeze ! Observe her, Por. When love's well-timed, 'tis not a fault to Portius; love.
That face, that shape, those eyes, that heaven of The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise, beauty! Sink in the soft captivity together.
Observe her, well, and blame me if thou canst, I would not urge thee to disiniss thy passion, Por. She sees us, and advances (I know 'twere vain) but to suppress íts force, Marc. I'll withdraw, : Till better times may make it look more graceful. And leave you for a while. Remember, Portius, Marc. Alas! thou talk'st like one who never Thy brother's life depends upon thy tongue. felt
[Erit. The impatient throbs and longings of a soul, That pants and reaches after distant good.
Enter Lucia. A lover does not live by vulgar time :
Luc. Did I not see your brother Marcus here! Believe me, Portius, in my Lucia's absence Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence? Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden; Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to shew And yet, when I behold the charming maid, His rage of love; it preys upon his life; I'm ten times more undone; while hope and fear, He pines, he sickens, he despairs, he dies : And grief, and rage, and love, rise up at once, His passions, and his virtues lie confused, And with variety of pain distract me.
And mixt together in so wild a tumult, Por. What can thy Portius do to give thee That the whole man is quite disfigured in him. help?
Heavens, would one think 'twe possible for Marc. Portius, thou oft enjoy’st the fair-one's love presence;
To make such ravage in a noble soul! Then undertake my cause, and plead it to her Oh, Lucia, I'm distressed; my heart bleeds for With all the strength and heat of eloquence,
him : Fraternal love and friendship can inspire. Even now, while thus I stand blest in thy presence, Tell her thy brother languishes to death, A secret damp of grief comes o'er my thoughts, And fades away, and withers in his bloom; And I'm unhappy, though thou smilest upon me. That he forgets his sleep, and loaths his food; Luc. How wilt thou guard thy honour, in the That youth, and health, and war are joyless to shock
Of love and friendship? Think betimes, my Portius, Describe his anxious days, and restless nights, Think how the nuptial tie, that might ensure And all the torments that thou see'st me suffer. Our mutual bliss, would raise to such a height
Por. Marcus, I beg thee give me not an office Thy brother's grief, as might perhaps destroy That suits with me so ill. Thou knowest my
Por. Alas, poor youth! What dost thou think, Marc. Wilt thou behold me sinking in my my
His generous, open, undesigning heart And wilt thou not reach out a friendly arm, Has begged his rival to solicit for him ; To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows? Then do not strike him dead with a denial;
But hold him up in life, and cheer his soul Destruction stands betwixt us; we must part.
Luc. What wouldst thou have me do? ConsiLuc. No, Portius, 'no; I see thy sister's tears,
der well Thy father's anguish, and thy brother's death, The train of ills our love would draw behind it. In the pursuit of our ill-fated loves :
Think, Portius, think thou seest thy dying brother And, Portius, here I swear, to Heaven I swear, Stabbed at his heart, and all besmeared with To Heaven and all the powers that judge man- blood, kind,
Storming at Heaven and thee! Thy awful sire Never to mix my plighted hands with thine, Sternly demands the cause, the accursed cause, While such a cloud of mischief hangs upon us ! That robs him of his son: poor Marcia trembles, But to forget our loves, and drive thee out Then tears her hair, and, frantic in her griefs, From all my thoughts as far—as I am able. Calls out on Lucia. What could Lucia answer, Por. What hast thou said ! I'm thunderstruck Or how stand up in such a scene of sorrow? --recall
Por. To my confusion, and eternal grief, Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever.
I must approve
the sentence that destroys me. Luc. Has not the vow already passed my lips? The mist, that hung upon my mind, clears up; The gods have heard it, and 'tis sealed in Heaven. And now, athwart the terrors that thy vow May all the vengeance, that was ever poured Has planted round thee, thou appear'st more fair, On perjured heads, o'erwhelm me, if I break it ! More amiable, and risest in thy charms.
Por. Fixed in astonishment, I gaze upon thee, Loveliest of women! Heaven is in thy soal; Like one just blasted by a stroke from Heaven, Beauty and virtue shine for ever round thee, Who pants for breath, and stiffens, yet alive, Brightening each other : thou art all divine. In dreadful looks; a monument of wrath!
Luc. Portius, no more; thy words shoot through Luc. At length I've acted my severest part;
my heart, I feel the woman breaking in upon me,
Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love. And melt about my heart; my tears will flow. Why are those tears of fondness in thy eyes? But, oh, I'll think no more! the hand of fate Why heaves thy heart? Why swells thy soul with Hlas torn thee from me, and I must forget thee.
sorrow Por. Hard-hearted, cruel maid !
It softens me too much-farewell, my Portius; Luc. Oh, stop those sounds,
Farewell, though death is in the word for ever. Those killing sounds! Why dost thou frown upon Por. Stay, Lucia, stay? What dost thou say? me?
For ever? My blood runs cold, my heart forgets to heave, Luc. Have I not sworn? If, Portius, thy sucAnd life itself goes out at thy displeasure. The gods forbid us to indulge our loves;
Must throw thy brother on his fate, farewell But, oh! I cannot bear thy hate, and live. Oh, how shall I repeat the word! for ever. Por. Talk not of love, thou never knew'st its Por. Thus o'er the dying lamp the unsteady force.
flame I've been deluded, led into a dream
Hangs quivering on a point, leaps off by fits, Of fancied bliss. Oh, Lucia, cruel maid ! And falls again, as loth to quit its hold. Thy dreadful vow, loaden with death, still sounds -Thou must not go, my soul still hovers o'er thee, In my stunned ears. What shall I say or do? And can't get loose. Quick let us part! Perdition's in thy presence,
Luc. If the firm Portius shake And horror dwells about thee! Ha! 'she faints ! To hear of parting, think what Lucia suffers ! Wretch that I am, what has my rashness done! Por. Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met Lucia, thou injured innocence! thou best The common accidents of life; but here And loveliest of thy sex! awake, my Lucia, Such an unlooked-for storm of ills falls on me, Or Portius rushes on his sword to join thee. It beats down all my strength. I cannot bear it. - Her imprecations reach not to the tomb, We must not part. They shut not out society in death
Luc. What dost thou say? Not part! But ah! she moves, life wanders up and down Hast thou forgot the vow that I have made? Through all her face, and lights up every charm. Are there not heavens, and gods, that thunder Luc. Oh, Portius, was this well-to frown on o'er us? her
-But see, thy brother Marcus bends this way: That lives upon thy smiles? To call in doubt I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell, The faith of one expiring at thy feet,
Farewell! and know thou wrong'st me, if thou That loves thee more than ever woman loved ?
think'st -What do I say? My half-recovered sense Ever was love, or ever grief like mine. Forgets the vow in which my soul was bound.
One of the number, that whate'er arrive,
My friends and fellow-soldiers may be safe. Murc. Portius, what hopes? How stands she?
[Erit. Am I dooined
1 Lead. We are all safe, Sempronius is our To life or death?
friend. Por. What wouldst thou have me say? Sempronius is as brave a man as Cato. Mare. What means this pensive posture? Thou But hark! he enters. Bear up boldly to him : appearest
Be sure you beat him down, and bind him fast: Like one amazed and terrified.
This day will end our toils, and give us rest : Por. I've reason,
Fear nothing, for Sempronius is our friend. Mare. Thy down-cast looks, and thy disordered thoughts,
Re-enter SEMPRONIUS, with Caro, Lucius, PorTell me my fate. I ask not the success
TIUS, and MARCUS. My cause has found.
Cato. Where are those bold intrepid sons of Por. I'm grieved I undertook it.
war, Marc. What? does the barbarous maid insult That greatly turn their backs upon their foe, my heart,
And to their general send a brave detiance? My aching heart, and triumph in my pains ? Sem Curse on their dastard souls, they stand That I could cast her from my thoughts for ever! astonished!
TAside. Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs; Cato. Perfidious men! And will you thus disLucia, though sworn never to think of love,
honour Compassionates your pains, and pities you. Your past exploits, and sully all your wars? Marc. Compassionates my pains, and pities Do you confess 'twas not a zcal for Rome, me !
Nor love of liberty, nor thirst of honour, What is compassion, when 'tis void of love? Drew you thus far; but hopes to share the spoil Fool that I was to chuse so cold a friend Of conquered towns, and plundered provinces? To urge my cause !-Compassionates iny pains ! Fired with such motives, you do well to join Prithee, what art, what rhetoric didst thou use With Cato's foes, and follow Cæsar's banners. To gain this mighty boon ?-She pities me! Why did I 'scape the envenomed aspic's rage, To one that asks the warm returns of love, And all the fiery monsters of the desert, Compassion's cruelty, 'tis scorn, 'tis death- To see this day? Why could not Cato fall Por. Marcus, no more; have I deserved this Without your guilt? Behold, ungrateful men, treatment?
bosom naked to yonr swords, Marc. What have I said! Oh, Portius, oh for- | And let the man that's injured strike the blow. give me!
Which of you all suspects that he is wronged ? A soul, exasperated in ills, falls out
Or thinks he suffers greater ills than Cato? With every thing, its friend, itself-but, hah! Am I distinguished from you but by toils, What means that shout, big with the sounds of Superior toils, and heavier weight of cares? war?
L'ainful pre-eminence! What new alarm?
Sem. By Heavens they droop! Por. A second, louder yet,
Confusion to the villains ! all is lost!
Aside. Swells in the wind, and comes more full upon us. Cato. Have you forgotten Lybia's burning waste, Marc. Oh, for some glorious cause to fall in Its barren rocks, parched earth, and bills of sand, battle!
Its tainted air, and all its broods of poison? Lucia, thou hast undone me; thy disdain Who'was the first to explore the untrodden path, Has broke my heart: 'tis death must give me ease. When life was hazarded in every step? Por. Quick, let us hence. Who knows if Ca- Or, fainting in the long laborious march, to's life
When, on the banks of an unlooked for stream, Stands sure? Oh, Marcus, I am warmed, my You sunk the river with repeated draughts, heart
Who was the last of all your host that thirsted? Leaps at the trumpet's voice, and burns for glory. Sem. If some penurious source by chance ap
Scanty of waters, when you scooped it dry, Enter SEMPRONIUS, with the Leaders of the
And offered the full helmet up to Cato, mutiny.
Did he not dash the untasted moisture from him? Sem. At length the winds are raised, the storm Did he not lead you through the mid-day sun, blows high;
And clouds of dust? Did not his temples glow Be it your care, my friends, to keep it up In the same sultry winds, and scorching heats? In its full fury, and direct it right,
Cato. Hence, worthless men! hence! and comTill it has spent itself on Cato's head.
plain to Cæsar, Mean-while I'll herd amongst his friends, and you could not undergo the toil of war,
Nor bear the hardships that your leader bore.
Luc. See, Cato, see the unhappy men; they To mix in treason, if the plot succeeds,
They're thrown neglected by: but if it fails, Fear and remorse, and sorrow for their crime, They are sure to die like dogs, as you shall do. Appear in every look, and plead for mercy. Here, take these factious monsters, drag them Cato. Learn to be honest men, give up your
To sudden death! And pardon shall descend to all the rest.
1 Lead. Nay, since it comes to this Sem. Cato, commit these wretches to my care: Sem. Dispatch them quick, but first pluck out First let them, each be broken on the rack, Then, with what life remains, impaled, and left Lest, with their dying breath, they sow sedition. To writhe at leisure round the bloody stake;
[Ereunt guards, with their leaders. There let them hang, and taint the southern wind. The partners of their crime will learn obedience,
Enter SYPHAX. When they look up, and see their fellow-traitors Syph. Our first design, my friend, has proved Stuck on a fork, and blackening in the sun.
abortive: Luc. Sempronius, why, why wilt thou urge the Still there remains an after-game to play. fate
My troops are mounted; their Numidian steeds Of wretched men?
Snuff up the wind, and long to scour the desert : Sem. How! wouldst thou clear rebellion ? Let but Sempronius head us in our flight, Lucius "good man) pities the poor offenders, We'll force the gate where Marcus keeps his That would imbrue their hands in Cato's blood !
guard, Cato. Forbear, Sempronius !-sce they suffer And hew down all that would oppose our passage. death,
A day will bring us into Cæsar's camp: But, in their deaths, remember they are men;.
Sem. Confusion! I have failed of half my purStrain not the laws to make their tortures grie
Marcia, the charming Marcia's left behind ! Lucius, the base degenerate age requires
Syph, How ! will Sempronius turn a woman's Severity, and justice in its rigour:
slave? This awes an impious, bold, offending world, Sem. Think not thy friend can ever feel the Commands obedience, and gives force to laws.
And bend her stubborn virtue to my passion : Sem. Cato, I execute thy will with pleasure. When I have gone thus far, I'd cast her off.
Cato. Mean-while we'll sacrifice to Liberty. Syph. Well said ! that's spoken like thyself, Remember, O my friends! the laws, the rights, Sempronius. The generous plan of power delivered down What hinders, then, but that thou find her out, From age to age, by your renowned forefathers And hurry her away by manly force? (So dearly bought, the price of so much blood): Sem. But how to gain admission? For access Oh, let it never perish in your hands !
Is given to none but Juba, and her brothers. But piously transmit it to your children,
Syph. Thou shalt have Juba's dress, and Juba's Do thou, great Liberty, inspire our souls,
guards; And make our lives, in thy possession, happy, The doors will open when Numidia's prince Or our deaths glorious in thy just defence. Seems to appear before the slaves that watch
(Ereunt Cato, &c. them. 1 Lead. Sempronius, you have acted like your- Sem. Heavens, what a thought is there! Marself.
cia's my own! One would have thought you had been half in How will my bosom swell with anxious jov,
When I behold her struggling in my arms, Sem. Villain, stand off, base, grovelling, worth- With glowing beauty, and disordered charms, less wretches,
While fear and anger, with alternate grace, Mongrels in faction, poor faint-hearted traitors ! Pant in her breast, and vary in her face ! ? Lead. Nay, now you carry it too far, Sem- So Pluto seized of Proserpine, conveyed pronius;
To hell's tremendous gloom the affrighted maid ; Throw off the mask; there are none here but There grimly smiled, pleased with the beauteous friends.
prize, Sem. Know, villains, when such paltry slaves Nor envied Jove his sunshine and his skies. presume