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I'm tortur'd, even to madness, when I think
On the proud victor: ev'ry time he's nam’d
Pharfalia rifes to my view!-
-I fee

Th' infulting tyrant, prancing o'er the field
Strow'd with Rome's citizens, and drench'd in slaughter,
His horfe's hoofs wet with patrician blood!

Oh Portius, is there not fome chofen curfe,
Some hidden thunder in the ftores of heav'n,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man,
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin ?
PORTIU S.

Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious greatness, And mix'd with too much horror to be envy'd: How does the luftre of our father's actions, 'Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, Break out, and burn with more triumphant brightness! His fufferings fhine, and spread a glory round him; Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause

Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.

His fword ne'er fell but on the guilty head;
Oppreffion, tyranny, and power ufurp'd,
Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon 'em.
MARCUS.

Who knows not this? But what can Cato do
Against a world, a bafe degenerate world,
That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to Cæfar?

Pent up in Utica he vainly forms

A poor epitome of Roman greatness,

And, cover'd with Numidian guards, directs

A feeble

A feeble army, and an empty fenate;
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
By heav'ns, fuch virtues, join'd with fuch fuccefs,
Diftract my very foul: Our father's fortune
Would almoft tempt us to renounce his precepts.
PORTIU S.

Remember what our father oft has told us:
The ways of heav'n are dark and intricate,
Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors:
Our understanding traces 'em in vain,
Loft and bewilder'd in the fruitless fearch;
Nor fees with how much art the windings run,
Nor where the regular confufion ends.

MARCU S.

These are fuggeftions of a mind at eafe;

Oh, Portius, didft thou taste but half the griefs

That wring my foul, thou couldst not talk thus coldly. Paffion unpity'd, and fuccefslefs love,

Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate

My other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind! -
PORTIUS.

Thou fee't not that thy brother is thy rival: But I must hide it, for I know thy temper.

[ Afide
Now, Marcus, now, thy virtue's on the proof:
Put forth thy utmoft ftrength, work ev'ry nerve,
And call up all thy father in thy foul:

To quell the tyrant love, and guard thy heart
On this weak fide, where moft our nature fails,
Would be a conqueft worthy Cato's fon.

VOL. II.

E

MAR

MARCUS.

Portius, the counsel which I cannot take,
Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness.
Bid me for honour plunge into a war
Of thickeft foes, and rufh on certain death,
Then fhalt thou fee that Marcus is not flow
To follow glory, and confefs his father.
Love is not to be reafon'd down, or loft
In high ambition, and a thirst of greatness;
Tis fecond life, it grows into the foul,
Warms every vein, and beats in every pulse,
I feel it here: my refolution melts-
PORTIU S.

Behold young Juba, the Numidian Prince!
With how much care he forms himself to glory,
And breaks the fiercenefs of his native temper,
To copy out our father's bright example,
He loves our fifter Marcia, greatly loves her,
His eyes, his looks, his actions all betray it :
But ftill the fmother'd fondness burns within him.
When most it fwells, and labours for a vent,

The fenfe of honour, and defire of fame
Drive the big passion back into his heart.
What! fhall an African, fhall Juba's heir
Reproach great Cate's fon, and how the world
A virtue wanting in a Roman foul?

MARCU S.

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Portius, no more! your words leave ftings behind 'em. When-e'er did Juba, or did Portius, fhow

A virtue

A virtue that has cast me at a distance,
And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour?

PORTIU S.

Marcus, I know thy gen'rous temper well; }
Fling but th' appearance of difhonour on it,
It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze.
MARCUS.

A brother's fufferings claim a brother's pity.
PORTIU S.

Heaven knows I pity thee: behold my eyes Even whilft I speak-Do they not fwim in tears? Were but my heart as naked to thy view, Marcus would fee it bleed in his behalf.

MARCUS.

Why then doft treat me with rebukes, instead Of kind condeling cares, and friendly forrow? PORTIU S.

O Marcus, did I know the way to eafe Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it.

MARCUS.

Thou beft of brothers, and thou beft of friends!
Pardon a weak diftemper'd foul, that fwells
With fudden gufts, and finks as foon in calms,
The sport of paffions:-but Sempronius comes:
He must not find this foftness hanging on me.

E 2

[Exit.

SCENE

SCENE II.

SEMPR VIUS, PORTIUS.

SEMPRONIUS.

Confpiracies no fooner fhould be form'd Than executed. What means Portius here? I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, And speak a language foreign to my heart.

Good-morrow, Portius! let us once embrace,
Once more embrace; whilft yet we both are free.
To-morrow fhould we thus exprefs our friendship,
Each might receive a slave into his arms:
This fun perhaps, this morning fun's the last,
That e'er fhall rifeon Roman liberty.

PORTIU S.

My father has this morning call'd together, To this poor hall his little Roman fenate, (The leavings of Pharfalia) to confult

[Afide

If yet he can oppofe the mighty torrent
That bears down Rome, and all her gods, before it,

Or muft at length give up the world to Cæfur.

SEMPRONIUS.

Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome

Can raise her fenate more than Cato's prefence.
His virtues render our affembly awful:
They ftrike with fomething like religious fear,
And make ev'n Cefar tremble at the head

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