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CATO.
Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal
Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason:
True fortitude is seen in great exploits
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides,
All else is tow'ring frenzy and distraction.
Are not the lives of those who draw the sword
In Rome's defence intrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of Naughter,
Might not the impartial world with reason fay
We lavilh'd at our deaths the blood of thousands,
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious ?
Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion.

LUCIUS.
My thoughts, I must confess, are turn'd on peace.
Already have our quarrels filld the world
With widows and with orphans: Scythia inourns
Our guilty wars, and earth's remotest regions
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome :
'Tis time to sheath the sword, and spare mankind.
It is not Cæfar, but the gods, my fathers,
The gods declare against us, and repel.
Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle,
(Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair)
Were to refuse th' awards of providence,
And not to reft in heav'n's determination.
Already have we shewn our love to Rome,
Now let us shew submission to the gods.
We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,
6 VOL. II.
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But free the commonwealth; when this end fails,
Arins have no further use : our country's cause
That drew our swords, now wrests 'em from our hands,
And bids us not delight in Roman blood,
Unprofitably shed; what men could do
Is done already: heav'n and earth will witness,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

SEMPRONIU S.
This smooth discourse and mild behaviour oft, ,
Conceal a traitor---something whispers me
All is not right---Cato, beware of Lucius. [ Afde to Cato'

CATO.
Let us appear not rash nor diffident :
Jmmod'rate valour swells into a fault;
And fear, admitted into public councils,
Betrays like treason. Let us shun 'em both:
Fathers, I cannot see that our affairs
Are grown thus defp'rate, we have bulwarks round us :
Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil
In Afric's heats, and season'd to the sun;
N'umilia's spacious kingdom lies behind us,
Ready to rise at its young prince's call.
While there is hope, do not distrust the gods;
But wait at least 'till Cafur's near approach
Force us to yield. 'Twill never be too late
To fue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why Mhould Rome fall a moment ere her time?
No, let us draw her term of freedom out.
il length, and spin it t) the last,

So fhall we gain still one day's liberty;
And let me perish, but, in Cato's judginent,
A day, an hour of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.

Enter MARC U s.

MARCUS.
Fathers, this moment, as I watch'd the gates
Lodg'd on my post, a herald is arrived
From Cæfar's camp, and with him comes old Decius,
The Roman knight; he carries in his looks
Impatience, and demands to speak with Cato.

CAT 0.
By your permission, fathers, bid hiin enter.

(Exit Marcus.
Decius was once my friend, but other prospects
Have loosed those ties, and bound him fat to Cef.ir.
His message may determine our refulves.

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DECIUS.
Cefur sends health to Cato

CATO
Could he fend it
To Cato's Daughter'd friends, it would b? welcome.
Are not your orders to address the senate?

D.E

F 2

DECIU S.
My business is with Cato: Cæfar sees
The straits, to which you're driven; and, as he knows
Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life.

CATO.
My life is grafted on the fate of Rome :
Would he save Cato, bid him (pare his country.
Tell your di&ator this: and tell him, Cato
Disdains a life, which he has power to offer.

DECIU S.
Rome and her senators subinit to Cæfar ;
Her generals and her consuls are no more,
Who check'd his conquefts, and denied his triumphs.
Why will not Cato be this Cefar's friend?

CA TO.
'Those very reasons, thou haft urged, forbid it.

DECIUS.
Cato, l've orders to expostulate,
And reason with you, as from friend to friend;
Think on the storm that gathers o'er your head,
And threatens ev'ry hour to burst upon it;
Still may you stand high in your country's honours,
Do but comply and make your peace with Cæfar.
Rome will rejoice, and cast its eyes on Cate,
As on the second of mankind.

CAT O.
No more':
I must not think of life on such conditions,

DE

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DECIU S.
Cefar is well acquainted with your virtues, .
And therefore sets this value on your life:
Let him but know the price of Cato's friendship,
And name your terms.

CATO.
Bid him disband his legions,
Restore the commonwealth to liberty,
Submit his actions to the public censure,
And stand the judgment of a Roman senate .
Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend.

DE CIU S.
Cato. the world talks loudly of your wifdom

CAT O.
Nay more, tho' Cato's voice was ne'er employ'd
To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Myself will mount the Roftrum in his favour,
And strive to gain his pardon from the people.

DE CIUS:
A stile, like this, becomes a conqueror.

CAT0.
Decius, a stile like this, becomes a Romana

DECIU S.
What is a Roman, that is Cæfar's foe.

C. AT O.
Greater than Cefar: he's a friend to virtue.

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