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I'm tortur'd, even to nadness, when I think
On the proud victor: ev'ry time he's nam'd
Pharfalia rises to my view ! -I see
Th’ insulting tyrant, prancing o'er the field
Strowd with Rome's citizens, and drench'd in daughter,
His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood !
Oh Portius, is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heav'n,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man,
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin?
Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious greatness,
And mix'd with too much horror to be envy'd:
How does the lustre of our father's actions,
'Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him,
Break out, and burn with more triumphant brightness!
His sufferings fhine, and spread a glory round him;
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
His sword ne'er fell but on the guilty head ;
Oppression, tyranny, and power usurp’d,
Draw all the
of his arm upon 'em.
Who knows not this? But what can Cato do
Against a world, a base 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 army, and an empty senate;
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
By heav'ns, such virtues, join'd with such success,
Distract my very soul : Our father's fortune
Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts.
PORT I U S.
Remember what our father oft has told us :
of heav'n are dark and intricate,
Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors:
Our understanding traces 'em in vain,
Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search;
Nor sees with how much art the windings run,
Nor where the regular confusion ends.
M ARCU S.
These are suggestions of a mind at ease;
Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs
That wring my soul, thou couldft not talk thus coldly,
Patsion unpity'd, and succefsless love,
Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate
My other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind !
Thou seest nct that thy brother is thy rivala
But I must hide it, for I know thy temper:
Now, Marcus, now, thy virtue's on the proof:
Put forth thy utmost strength, 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 side, where most our nature fails,
Would be a conquest worthy Catu's son.
Portius, the counsel which I cannot take,
instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness.
Bid me for honour plunge into a war
of thickest foes, and rush on certain death,
Then shalt thou see that Marcus is not low
To follow glory, and confess his father.
Love is not to be reason'd down, or loft
In high ambition, and a thirst of greatness;
„Tis second life, it grows into the soul,
Warms every vein, and beats in every pulse,
I feel it here: my resolution melts-
PORT IU S.
Behold young Juba, the Numidian Prince !
With how much care he forms himself to glory,
And breaks the fierceness of his native temper,
To copy out our father's bright example,
He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her,
His eyes, his looks, his actions all betray it :
But still the smother'd fondness burns within him.
When most it swells, and labours for a vent,
The sense of honour, and desire of fame
Drive the big passion back into his heart.
What! shall an African, fhall Juba's heir
Reproach great Calo's son, and 1how the world
A virtue wanting in a Roman soul?"
Portius, no more! your words leave stings behind 'em.
When-e'er did Juba, or did Portius, show
A virtue that has cast me at a distance,
And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour?
Marcus, I know thy gen'rous temper well;
Fling but th' appearance of dishonour on it,
It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze.
A brother's sufferings claim a brother's pity.
Heaven knows I pity thee : behold my eyes
Even whilft I speak-Do they not swim in tears?
Were but my heart as naked to thy view,
Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf.
M A R CU S.
Why then dost treat me with rebukes, instead
Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow ?
O Marcus, did I know the
way Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it.
M ARCU S. Thou beft of brothers, and thou best of friends! Pardon a weak diftemper'd soul, that swells' With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, The sport of passions:--but Sempronius coines: He must not find this softness hanging on me. [Exit.
Conspiracies no sooner should be forn’d
Than executed. What means Portius here?
I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble,
And speak a fanguage foreign to my heart. | Aside,
Good-morrow, Portius ! let us once embrace,
Once more embrace ; whilft yet we both are free.
To-morrow should we thus express our friendship,
Each might receive a lave into his arms:
This fun perhaps, this morning sun's the last,
That e'er shall rifeon Roman liberty.
My father has this morning calld together,
hall his little Roman senate,
(The leavings of Pharfalia) to consult
If yet he can oppose the mighty torrent
That bears down Ruine, and all her gods, before it,
Or must at length give up the world to Cæfar.
Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome
Can raise her fenate more than Cato's presence.
His virtues render our assembly awful :
They strike with something like religious fear,
And make ev'n Cefiir tremble at the head