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Luc. Why have not I this constancy of mind, Who have so many griefs to try its force? Sure, nature formed me of her softest mould, Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions, And sunk me even below my own weak sex: Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart.
Mar. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me, And let me share thy most retired distress. Tell me who raises up this conflict in thee? Luc. I need not blush to name them, when tell thee,
Lucia, thou knowest not half the love he bears thee;
Whene'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in
He sends out all his soul in every word,
Unhappy youth! How will thy coldness raise
They are Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato. Mar. They both behold thee with their sister's
Thou knowest it is a blind and foolish passion, Pleased and disgusted with it knows not whatMar. Oh, Lucia, I'm perplexed! Oh, tell me which
I must hereafter call my happy brother? Luc. Suppose 'twere Portius, could you blame my choice?
-Oh, Portius, thou hast stolen away my soul!
Marcus is over-warm, his fond complaints
Mar. Alas, poor youth! how canst thou throw him from thee?
Luc. You seem to plead
Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover,
Mar. He knows too well how easily he is
And would not plunge his brother in despair,
Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sor
But to the gods submit the event of things.
So the pure limpid stream, when foul with
Of rushing torrents, and descending rains,
SCENE L-The Senate. LUCIUS, SEMPRONIUS, And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. |Cæsar's approach has summoned us together,
Sem. ROME still survives in this assembled senate. Let us remember we are Cato's friends, And act like men who claim that glorious title. Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us The occasion of our meeting. Hark! he comes! [A sound of trumpets. May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him! Enter CATO.
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man?
What course to take. Our foe advances on us, And envies us even Lybia's sultry desarts.
Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in coun- Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they still
To hold it out and fight it to the last?
Or are your hearts subdued at length, and wrought
By time, and ill success, to a submission?
Sem. My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, fathers, rise! Tis Rome demands your help:
Rise, and revenge your slaughtered citizens,
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
And Scipio's ghost walks unrevenged amongst us.
True fortitude is seen in great exploits,
Already have our quarrels filled the world
It is not Cæsar, but the gods, my fathers,
That drew our swords, now wrests them from our hands,
And bids us not delight in Roman blood
Is done already: heaven and earth will witness,
Conceal a traitor-something whispers me
Cato. Let us appear nor rash nor diffident;
Within our walls are troops inured to toil
Disdains a life which he has power to offer.
Dec. Rome and her senators submit to Cæsar; Her generals and her consuls are no more,
For all his generous cares and proffered friendship?
Who checked his conquests, and denied his Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato:
And therefore sets this value on your life.
Cato. Bid him disband his legions,
Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your wisdom
Cato. Nay, more; though Cato's voice was ne'er employed
To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes, Myself will mount the rostrum in his favour, And strive to gain his pardon from the people. Dec. A style like this becomes a conqueror. Cato. Decius, a style like this becomes a Roman. Dec. What is a Roman, that is Cæsar's foe? Cato. Greater than Cæsar: he is a friend to virtue.
Dec. Consider, Cato, you are in Utica, And at the head of your own little senate; You don't now thunder in the capitol, With all the mouths of Rome to second you. Cato. Let him consider that, who drives us hither.
'Tis Cæsar's sword has made Rome's senate little, And thinned its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye Beholds this man in a false glaring light,
Which conquest and success have thrown upon him;
Did'st thou but view him right, thou'dst see him black
With murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes,
Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to
Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain. Would Cæsar shew the greatness of his soul, Bid him employ his care for these my friends, And make good use of his ill-gotten power, By sheltering men much better than himself. Dec. Your high unconquered heart makes you forget
You are a man. You rush on your destruction.
The tale of this unhappy embassy,
Sem. Cato, we thank thee. The mighty genius of immortal Rome Speaks in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty. Cæsar will shrink to hear the words thou utterest, And shudder in the midst of all his conquests.
Luc. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato, Who with so great a soul consults its safety, And guards our lives while he neglects his own. Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this ac
Juba, the Roman senate has resolved,
Till time give better prospects, still to keep
These are not ills; else would they never fall
The sword unsheathed, and turn its edge on Their hidden strength, and throw out into prac
Juba. The resolution fits a Roman senate. But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience, And condescend to hear a young man speak. My father, when, some days before his death, He ordered me to march for Utica,
(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!) Wept o'er me, pressed me in his aged arms, And, as his griefs gave way, 'My son,' said he, 'Whatever fortune shall befal thy father, 'Be Cato's friend; he'll train thee up to great 'And virtuous deeds; do but observe him well, 'Thou❜lt shun misfortunes, or thou'lt learn to bear them.'
Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince, And merited, alas! a better fate; But Heaven thought otherwise.
Juba. My father's fate,
In spite of all the fortitude that shines
Juba. My father drew respect from foreign climes :
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Juba. I would not boast the greatness of my father,
But point out new alliances to Cato.
Cato. And canst thou think
Cato will fly before the sword of Cæsar!
From court to court, and wander up and down
Virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed In the smooth seasons and the calms of life. Juba. I am charmed whene'er thou talkest ; pant for virtue;
And all my soul endeavours at perfection. Cato. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, and toil,
Laborious virtues all? Learn them from Cato;
The whole success at which my heart aspires,
Cato. What does Juba say?
Thy words confound me.
Juba. I would fain retract them,
Give them me back again: they aimed at nothing.
Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make
not my ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.
Juba. Oh! they are extravagant; Still let me hide them.
Cato. What can Juba ask That Cato will refuse?
Juba. I fear to name it.
Should lessen thee in my esteem. Remember,
Syph. How is this, my prince! What, covered
You look as if yon stern philosopher
Juba. Syphax, I am undone !
Juba. Cato thinks meanly of me.
The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia."
Juba. Oh, I could pierce my heart,
My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Juba! Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you changed of late!
I have known young Juba rise before the sun,
To beat the thicket where the tiger slept,
Even in the Lybian dog-days, hunt him down,
Rivet the panting savage to the ground.
Juba. Prithee, no more.
Syph. How would the old king smile
To see you weigh the paws, when tipped with gold,
And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoulders!
Juba. Syphax, this old man's talk (though ho-
In every word) would now lose its sweetness.
Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good
Marcia might still be yours.
Juba. What sayest thou, Syphax?
By Heavens, thou turnest me all into attention.
Syph. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troops,
Juba. Can such dishonest thoughts Rise up in man! Wouldst thou seduce my youth To do an act that would destroy mine honour? Syph. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear you
Honour's a fine imaginary notion,
Syph. The boasted ancestors of those great men,
Juba. Syphax, I fear that hoary head of thine Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles.
Syph. Indeed, my prince, you want to know the world.
You have not read mankind; your youth admires
May Juba ever live in ignorance!
This arrogance unanswered! Thou art a traitor, A false old traitor.
Syph. I have gone too far. Juba. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul. Syph. I must appease this storm, or perish in it. [Aside.
Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown white
Beneath a helmet in your father's battles. Juba. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insolence.
Syph. Must one rash word, the infirmity of age, Throw down the merit of my better years? This the reward of a whole life of service! Curse on the boy! how steadily he hears me!
Juba. Is it because the throne of my forefathers
Still stands unfilled, and that Numidia's crown
Does not old Syphax follow you to war?
Syph. Not hear me talk! what, when my faith
My royal master's son, is called in question?
Juba. Thou knowest the way too well into my heart;
I do believe thee loyal to thy prince.
Syph. What greater instance can I give? I've offered
To do an action which my soul abhors,