« EelmineJätka »
Alas, young Prince,
Falfhood and fraud fhoot up in every foil
The product of all climesu. Rome has its Cæfus,
'Tis gen’rous thus to comfort the diftref’d.
'Tis just to give applaufe where 'tis deservd:
Thy virtue, Prince, has ftood the teft of fortune,
Like purest gold, that, itoitur’d in the furnace,
Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its weight.
What shall I answer thee? my ravish'd heart
O'erflows with secret joy: I'd rather gain
Thy praise, O Cato, than Numidia's empire.
.Misfortune on misfortune! grief on grief!
My brother Marcus
Hah! what has he done?
Has he forsook his post ? has he given way?
Did he look tamely on, and let 'em pafs?'.
Scarce had I left my father, but I met him
Borne on the shields of his surviving foldiers,
Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with wounds.
Long at the head of his few faithful friends,
He stood the shock of a whole host of foes,
Till obstinately brave, and bent on death,
Opprest with multitudes he greatly fell.
PORT / U S.
Nor did he fall before
His sword had pierc'd through the false heart of Syphax.
Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor
Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground.
Thanks to the gods ! my boy has done his duty!
- Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place
His urn near mine.
Long may they keep afunder!
O Cato, arm thy soul with all its patience;
See where the corps of thy dead fon approaches!
The citizens and fenators, alarm'd,
Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping.
CATO meeting the Corps. Welcome, my fon! here lay him down, my friends, Full in my fight, that I may view at leisure
The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds.
How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? what pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!
-Why sits this sadnesson your brows, my friends?
I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood
Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war.
----Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
Thy life is not thy own, when Rome demands it.
Was ever man like this!
[Afiden CAT O
Alas, my friends!
Why mourn you thus ? let not a private lofs
hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our tears,
The mistress of the world, the seat of empire,
The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods,
That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth,
And fet the nations free, Rome is no more.
O liberty ! O virtue! Omy country!
Behold that upright man: Rome fills his eyes
With tears, that flow'd not o'er his own dead son. (Afde.
CAT O. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdu’d, The sun's whole course, the day and year, are Casar's. For him the self-devoted Decii dy'd,
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipio's conquer'd :
Ev'n Pompey fought for Cæfar. Oh, my friends!
How is the toil of fate, the work of ages,
The Roman Empire fallin ! O curft ambition !
Fall’n into Cæfar's hands! Our great fore-fathers
Had left him nought to conquer but his country.
JU B A.
While Cate lives, Cæfar will blush to see
Mankind enslaved, and be athamed of empire.
C A T O.
Cæfar ashamed! has not be seen Pharfalia ?
Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us.
Lofe not a thought on me. I'm out of danger.
Heaven wilt not leave me in the victor's hand.
Cefar shall never say, I conquer'd Cato.
But oh, my friends, your safety fills my heart
With anxious thoughts: a thousand fecret terrors
Rise in my soul : how shall I save my friends!
'Tis now, O Cæfar, I begin to féar thee.
LUCI U S.
Cæfar has mercy, if we ask it of him.
C A TO.
Then ask it, I conjure you! let him know
Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it.
Add, if you please, that I request it of him,
The virtue of my friends may pass unpunish’d.
Juba, my heart is troubled for thy fake.
Should I advise thee to regain Numidia,
Or seek the conqueror ?
If I forfake thee
While I live, may heaven abandon Juba!
Thy virtues, Prince, if I forefee aright,
Will one day make thee great: At Rome hereafter,
Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend.
Portius, draw near! My son, thou oft haft seen
Thy fire engag'd in a corrupted state,
Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou seeft me
Spent, overpower'd, despairing of fuccefs ;
Let me advise thee to retreat betimes
To my paternal seat, the Sabine field,
Where the great Cenfor toild with his own hands,
And all our frugal ancestors were bless'd
In humble virtues, and a rural life.
There live retired, pray for the peace of Rome,
Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honour is a private station.
I hope my father does not recommend
A life to Portius, that he scorns himself.