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If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.
Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil
No, let us draw her term of freedom out
Jun. Fathers, e'en now a herald is arriv'd From Caesar's camp, and with him comes old Decius,
Disdains a life which he has power to offer.
Why will not Cato be this Caesar's friend?
Dec. Caesar is well acquainted with your
And therefore sets this value on your life.
Cato. Bid him disband his legions,
Cato. Nay, more; though Cato's voice was
To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Dec. What is a Roman, that is Caesar's foc?
Dec. Consider, Cato, you're in Utica,
'Tis Caesar's sword has made Rome's senate little, And thinn'd its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye Beholds this man in a false, glaring light, Which conquest and success have thrown upon him;
Didst thou but view him right, thou'dst see him black
With murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes,
Beset with ills, and cover'd with misfortunes;
I know thou look'st on me as on a wretch
The Roman knight: he carries in his looks
His message may determine our resolves.
Dec. Caesar sends health to Cato-
Are not your orders to address the senate?
Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life.
Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain:
Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato.
You are a man. You rush on your destruction.
Luc. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato, Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports Who with so great a soul consults its safety, Behind the hidden sources of the Nile, And guards our lives, while he neglects his own. In distant worlds, on t'other side the sun; Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this Oft have their black ambassadors appear'd,
Loaden with gifts, and fill'd the courts of Zama. Cato. I am no stranger to thy father's great
Juba. I do not mean to boast his power and greatness,
Lucius seems fond of life; but what is life?
Luc. Others perhaps
May serve their country with as warm a zeal, Though 'tis not kindled into so much rage. Sem. This sober conduct is a mighty virtue In lukewarm patriots.
Cato. Come, no more, Sempronius ; All here are friends to Rome, and to each other. Let us not weaken still the weaker side By our divisions.
Sem. Cato, my resentments Are sacrific'd to Rome-I stand reprov'd. Cato. Fathers, 'tis time you come to a resolve. Luc. Cato, we all go into your opinion: Caesar's behaviour has convinc'd the senate, We ought to hold it out till terms arrive. Sem. We ought to hold it out till death; but, Cato,
Th' assistance of my father's powerful friends?
Cato. And canst thou think
Juba. Cato, perhaps
I'm too officious; but my forward cares
Cato. Thy nobleness of soul obliges me.
My private voice is drown'd amidst the senate's.
This little interval, this pause of life
Juba, the Roman senate has resolv'd,
Juba. The resolution fits a Roman senate. But, Cato, lend me for awhile thy patience, And condescend to hear a young man speak. My father, when, some days before his death, He order'd me to march for Utica,
(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!)
Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince, And merited, alas! a better fate;
But heav'n thought otherwise.
Juba. My father's fate,
Virtues which shun the day, and lie conceal'd In the smooth seasons and the calms of life. Juba. I'm charm'd whene'er thou talk'st; I 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: Success and fortune must thou learn from Caesar.
Juba. The best good fortune that can fall on Juba, The whole success at which my heart aspires, Depends on Cato.
Cato. What does Juba say? Thy words confound me.
Juba. I would fain retract them.
A stranger to thy thoughts.
Calo. What can Juba ask,
Juba. I fear to name it.
Marcia-inherits all her father's virtues.
Cato. What wouldst thou say?
Juba. Cato, thou hast a daughter.
Cato. Adieu, young prince; I would not hear a word
Should lessen thee in my esteem.
In spite of all the fortitude that shines
Syph. How's this, my prince? What, cover'd with confusion?
You look as if yon stern philosopher
Had just now chid you.
Juba. Syphax, I'm undone!
Syph. I know it well.
Juba. Cato thinks meanly of me.
The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia.
Juba. Oh, I could pierce my heart,
Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you chang'd of late!
I've known young Juba rise before the sun,
Ev'n in the Libyan dog-days, hunt him down,
And, stooping from your horse,
Rivet the panting savage to the ground.
Syph. How would the old king smile,
To see you weigh the paws, when tipp'd with
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! [Aside. Juba. Is it because the throne of my forefathers
Still stands unfill'd, and that Numidia's crown Hangs doubtful yet whose head it shall enclose, Thou thus presum'st to treat thy prince with
Syph. Why will you rive my heart with such expressions?
Does not old Syphax follow you to war!
And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoul-What are his aims? to shed the slow remains,
Juba. Syphax, this old man's talk, though honey flow'd
In ev'ry word, would now lose all its sweetness. Cato's displeas'd, and Marcia lost for ever. Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good advice;
Marcia might still be yours.
Juba. As how, dear Syphax?
Mounted on steeds unus'd to the restraint
Juba. Can such dishonest thoughts
Honour's a fine imaginary notion,
into a ruffian?
Syph. The boasted ancestors of these great
Whose virtues you admire, were all such ruffians.
This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds All under heav'n, was founded on a rape; Your Scipios, Caesars, Pompeys, and your Catos (The gods on earth), are all the spurious blood Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines.
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.
His last poor ebb of blood in your defence? Juba. Syphax, no more! I would not hear
Syph. Not hear me talk! what, when my faith to Juba,
My royal master's son, is call'd in question?
I do believe thee loyal to thy prince.
To do an action which my soul abhors,
Syph. And 'tis for this my prince has call'd me traitor.
Juba. Sure thou mistak'st; I did not call thee so.
Syph. You did indeed, my prince, you call'd
Nay, further, threaten'd you'd complain to Cato. Of what, my prince, would you complain to Cato?
That Syphax loves you, and would sacrifice His life, nay more, his honour, in your service?
Juba. Syphax, I know thou lov'st me; but indeed
Thy zeal for Juba carried thee too far.
And imitates her actions where she is not:
Syph. Believe me, prince, you make old Sy-Unusual fastings, and will bear no more
To hear you talk-but 'tis with tears of joy.
If e'er the sceptre come into my hand, Syphax shall stand the second in my kingdom. Syph. Why will you o'erwhelm my age
So, where our wide Numidian wastes extend, Sudden th' impetuous hurricanes descend, My joys grow burdensome, I shan't support it. Wheel through th' air, in circling eddies Juba. Syphax, farewell. I'll hence, and try Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains
Some blest occasion, that may set me right The helpless traveller, with wild surprise, In Cato's thoughts. I'd rather have that man Sees the dry desert all around him rise, Approve my deeds, than worlds for my admir-And, smother'd in the dusty whirlwind, dies.
Lucius declar'd for peace, and terms were of fer'd
To Cato, by a messenger from Caesar.
Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas:
Whilst storms and tempets thunder on its brows,
Syph. Yes-but it is to Cato.
Syphax, I now may hope, thou hast forsook
But are thy troops prepar'd for a revolt?
SCENE I.-The Palace.
The wilds of life, ere I could find a friend;
Ours has severest virtue for its basis,
Then, pr'ythee, spare me on its tender side; Indulge me but in love, my other passions Shall rise and fall by virtue's nicest rules.
Por. When love's well tim'd, 'tis not a fault to love.
The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise Sink in the soft captivity together.
Marc. Alas, thou talk'st like one that never felt.
Th' impatient throbs and longings of a soul,
And grief, and rage, and love, rise up at once,
Por. What can thy Portius do to give thee help?
Marc. Portius, thou oft enjoy'st the fair one's presence;
Then undertake my cause, and plead it to her With all the strength and heat of eloquence Fraternal love and friendship can inspire. Tell her thy brother languishes to death, And fades away, and withers in his bloom; That he forgets his sleep, and loathes his food, The factious leaders are our friends, that spread That youth, and health, and war, are joyless Murmurs and discontents among the soldiers; They count their toilsome marches, long fa-Describe his anxious days, and restless nights tigues, And all the torments that thou see'st me suffer
Por. Marcus, I beg thee give me not an office
That suits with me so ill. Thou know'st my temper.
Marc. Wilt thou behold me sinking in my
Lucia. Has not the vow already pass'd my lips?
The gods have heard it, and 'tis seal'd in heav'n. May all the vengeance that was ever pour'd On perjur'd heads o'erwhelm me if I break it! Por. Fix'd in astonishment, I gaze upon thee, And wilt thou not reach out a friendly arm, Like one just blasted by a stroke from heav'n, To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows? Who pants for breath, and stiffens, yet alive, Por. Marcus, thou canst not ask what I'd In dreadful looks; a monument of wrath! Lucia. Think, Portius, think thou see'st thy
But here, believe me, I've a thousand reasons
That Cato's great example and misfortunes Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts.
But what's all this to one that loves like me? O Portius, Portius, from my soul I wish Thou didst but know thyself what 'tis to love! Then wouldst thou pity and assist thy brother. Por. What should I do? If I disclose my
Storming at heav'n and thee! Thy awful sire Sternly demands the cause, th' accursed cause That robs him of his son:-farewell, my Portius! Farewell, though death is in the word-for ever! Por. Thou must not go my soul still hovers o'er thee,
And can't get loose.
Lucia. If the firm Portius shake To hear of parting, think what Lucia suffers! Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met
Our friendship's at an end; if I conceal it,
brother. [Aside. Marc. But see, where Lucia, at her wonted hour,
Amid the cool of yon high marble arch, Enjoys the noon-day breeze! Observe her, Portius;
That face, that shape, those eyes, that heav'n of beauty!
Observe her well, and blame me if thou canst.
And leave you for awhile. Remember, Portius,
Lucia. Did not I see your brother Marcus here? Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence? Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to show His rage of love; it preys upon his life; He pines, he sickens, he despairs, he dies! Lucia. How wilt thou guard thy honour,
in the shock
Of love and friendship? Think betimes, my Portius,
Think how the nuptial tie, that might ensure Our mutual bliss, would raise to such a height Thy brother's griefs, as might perhaps destroy him.
Por. Alas, poor youth! What dost thou think, my Lucia?
His gen'rous, open, undesigning heart
Thy father's anguish, and thy brother's death,
Never to mix my plighted hands with thine,
Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever.
Lucia. What dost thou say? Not part! Hast thou forgot the vow that I have made? Are not there heavens, and gods, that thunder o'er us?
But sec, thy brother Marcus bends this way; I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell, Farewell, and know thou wrong'st me, if thou think'st,
Ever was love, or ever grief, like mine.
Marc. Portius, what hopes? How stands she? am I doom'd
To life or death?
Por. What wouldst thou have me say? Marc. Thy downcast looks, and thy disorder'd thoughts,
Tell me my fate. I ask not the success
Por. I'm griev'd I undertook it.
My aching heart, and triumph in my pains? Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs;
Lucia, though sworn never to think of love, Compassionates your pains, and pities you. Marc. Compassionates my pains, and pities
What is compassion when 'tis void of love?
Marc. What have I said? Oh, Portius, oh forgive me!
A soul, exasperate in ills, falls out With every thing-its friend, itself-but, hah! [Shouts and Trumpets. What means that shout, big with the sounds of war?