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Borne on the shields of his surviving soldiers,
Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with

Long, at the head of his few faithful friends,
He stood the shock of a whole host of foes,
Till, obstinately brave, and bent on death,
Oppress'd with multitudes, he greatly fell.
Cato. I'm satisfy'd.

Por. Nor did he fall, before
His sword had pierc'd through the false heart
of Syphax.

Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor
Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground.
Cato. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done
his duty.

--Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place
His urn near mine.

Por. Long may they keep asunder!
Luc. Oh, Cato, arm thy soul with all its

See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches!
The citizens and senators, alarm'd,
Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping.
Dead March. CATO meets the Corpse. Lu-
CIUS, Senators, Guards, etc. attending.
Cato. Welcome, my son! Here lay him
down, my friends,
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
The bloody corse, and count those glorious


-How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!
-Why sits this sadness on your brows, my

I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood
Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war.
Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
Thy life is not thy own when Rome demands it.
When Rome demands; but Rome is now no


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The post of honour is a private station.

Por. I hope my father does not recommend
A life to Portius that he scorns himself.
Cato. Farewell, my friends! If there be any
of you,

Who dare not trust the victor's clemency, Know there are ships prepar'd, by my command, That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port. Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you? The conqueror draws near. Once more, farewell! If c'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet Oh, liberty! oh, virtue! oh, my country! Juba. Behold that upright man! Rome fills Where Caesar never shall approach us more. In happier climes, and on a safer shore, With tears, that flow'd not o'er his own dear There the brave youth, with love of virtue fir'd, Pointing to his dead Son. [Aside. Who greatly in his country's cause expir'd, Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdu'd, Shall know he conquer'd. The firm patriot The sun's whole course, the day and year, are Caesar's:

his eyes


For him the self-devoted Decii died,
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conquer'd:
Ev'n Pompey fought for Caesar. Oh, my friends,
How is the toil of fate, the work of ages,
The Roman empire, fall'n! Oh, curs'd ambition!
Fall'n into Caesar's hands! Our great forefathers |
Had left him nought to conquer but his country.
Juba. While Cato lives, Caesar will blush
Mankind enslav'd, and be asham'd of empire.

to see


Who made the welfare of mankind his care,
Shall find the gen'rous labour was not lost.
Though still by faction, vice, and fortune crost,

[Dead March. Exeunt in fu

neral Procession.


SCENE I-A Chamber.

CATO solus, sitting in a thoughtful Posture in his Hand, Plato's Book on the Immor.

tality of the Soul. A drawn Sword on And bar each avenue; thy gath'ring fleets the Table, by him. O'erspread the sea, and stop up ev'ry port; Cato. It must be so-Plato thou reason'st Cato shall open to himself a passage,

Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
Tis heav'n itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must
we pass?

The wide, the unbounded prospect lies be-
fore me:

But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a power above us
(And that there is, all nature cries aloud
Through all her works), he must delight in


And that which he delights in must be happy. But when, or where?-this world was made for Caesar:

And mock thy hopes.—

Por. [Kneeling] Oh, sir! forgive your son, Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Oh, my father!

How am I sure it is not the last time

e'er shall call you so? Be not displeas'd, Oh, be not angry with me whilst I weep, And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul! Cato. Thou hast been ever good and duti[Embracing him. Weep not, my son, all will be well-again; The righteous gods, whom I have sought to please,


Will succour Cato, and preserve his children. Por. Your words give comfort to my drooping heart.

Cato. Portius, thou may'st rely upon my


Thy father will not act what misbecomes him.
But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting
Among thy father's friends; see them embark'd,
And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them.
My soul is quite weigh'd down with care,

and asks


I'm weary of conjectures-this must end them.
[Laying his Hand on his Sword.
Thus am I doubly arm'd: my death and life, The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep.
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my
This in a moment brings me to an end;
heart revives [Exit Calo.
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years,
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? With orders that bespeak a mind compos'd,
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? And studious for the safety of his friends.
Nature, oppress'd and harrass'd out with care, Marcia, take care that none disturb his slum-

Sinks down to rest.

This once I'll favour her,

That my awaken'd soul may take her flight,
Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life,
An off'ring fit for heav'n. Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of them,
Indiff'rent in his choice to sleep or die.


But, ha! who's this? my son! Why this in-

Were not my orders that I would be private?
Why am I disobey'd?

Por. Alas, my father!

Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there's hope
Our father will not cast away a life
He is retir'd to rest, and seems to cherish
So needful to us all, and to his country.
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd
me hence


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Marcia. Oh, ye immortal powers, that guard
the just,

Watch round his couch and soften his repose,
Banish his sorrows, and becalm his soul
With easy dreams; remember all his virtues,
And show mankind that goodness is
your care!

Enter LUCIA.
Lucia. Where is your father, Marcia, where
is Cato?

Marcia. Lucia, speak low, he is retir'd

to rest.

What means this sword, this instrument of Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope

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Rise in my soul-We shall be happy still.
Lucia. Alas, I tremble when I think on Cato!
In every view, in every thought I tremble!
Cato is stern and awful as a god;
He knows not how to wink at human frailty,
Or pardon weakness, that he never felt.
Marcia. Though stern and awful to the foes
of Rome,

He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild;
Compassionate and gentle to his friends;
Fill'd with domestic tenderness, the best,
The kindest father; I have ever found him
Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes.
Lucia. Tis his consent alone can make us

Por. Look not thus sternly on me;
You know, I'd rather die than disobey you.
Cato. "Tis well! again I'm master of myself.
Now, Caesar, let thy troops beset our gates, But who knows Cato's thoughts?

Who knows how yet he may dispose Portius,

Or how he has determin'd of thyself?

of Oh, Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass!
Cato has fall'n upon his sword-
Luc. Oh, Portius,

Marcia. Let him but live, commit the rest Hide all the horrors of the mournful tale,

to heav'n.


Luc. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man!

And let us guess the rest.
Por. I've rais'd him up,

And plac'd him in his chair; where, pale and


He gasps for breath, and as his life flows
from him,
Demands to see his friends.
His servants,


Oh, Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father;
Some power invisible supports his soul,
And bears it up in all its wonted greatness.
A kind, refreshing sleep is fall'n upon him:
I saw him stretch'd at ease; his fancy lost
In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch,|
He smil'd, and cried, Caesar, thou canst not To pay the last sad duties to my father!

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Obsequious to his order, bear him hither!Mar. Oh, heav'n! assist me in this dreadful


CATO brought on in a Chair.

Juba. These are thy triumphs, thy exploits,
O Caesar!

Luc. Now is Rome fall'n indeed!
Cato. Here set me down-

Portius, come near me-Are my friends embark'd?

The number, strength, and posture of our foes,
Who now encamp within a short hour's march; Can any thing be thought of for their service?
On the high point of yon bright western tower Whilst I yet live, let me not live in vain-
We ken them from afar; the setting sun Oh, Lucius, art thou here?-Thou art too
Plays on their shining arms and burnish'd

helmets, And covers all the field with gleams of fire. Luc. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father.

Caesar is still dispos'd to give us terms,
And waits at distance till he hears from Cato.

Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of impor


What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see Unusual gladness sparkle in thy eyes.

Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now My father's friends, impatient for a passage, Accuse the ling'ring winds, a sail arriv'd From Pompey's son, who, through the realms of Spain,


Let this our friendship live between our chil

Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia.
Marcia, my daughter-

Oh, bend me forward!-Juba loves thee, Marcia.
A senator of Rome, while Rome surviv'd,
Would not have match'd his daughter with
a king-

But Caesar's arms have thrown down all distinction

I'm sick to death-Oh, when shall I get loose From this vain world, th' abode of guilt and sorrow!

And yet, methinks, a beam of light breaks in
On my departing soul. Alas, I fear
I've been too hasty!-Oh, ye powers, that

Calls out for vengeance on his father's death, The heart of man, and weigh his inmost And rouses the whole nation up to arms.


Were Cato at their head, once more might If I have done amiss, impute it not


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Assert her rights, and claim her liberty.
[4 groan is heard.
But, hark! what means that groan? Oh,
give me way,

And let me fly into my father's presence!
Luc. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on

And, in the wild disorder of his soul,
Mourns o'er his country. - Ha! a second
Heav'n guard us all!

Mar. Alas, 'tis not the voice

Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain'Tis death is in that sound

Re-enter PORTIUS.

Por. Oh, sight of woe!

The best may crr, but you are good, and-
Por. There fled the greatest soul that ever

A Roman breast:- Oh, Cato! oh, my friend!
Thy will shall be religiously observ'd.
But let us bear this awful corpse to Caesar,
And lay it in his sight, that it may stand,
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath:
Cato, though dead, shall still protect his friends.

From hence, let fierce contending nations know,

What dire effects from civil discord flow:
Tis this that shakes our country with alarms,
And gives up Rome a prey to Roman arms;
Produces fraud, and cruelty, and strife,
And robs the guilty world of Cato's life.

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WILLIAM CONGREVE, descended from the Congreves in Staffordshire, who trace their ancestry as far back as before the conquest, first saw the light at Bardsa, near Leeds, Yorkshire, 1671. He was educated first at Kilkenny; and afterwards sent to the university in Dublin, under the direction of Dr. Ashe. His father, who was only a younger brother, and provided for in the army by a commission on the Irish establishment, had been compelled to undertake journey thither in consequence of his command, being desirous his study should be directed to profit as well as improvement, sent him over to England, and placed him at the age of 16 as student in the Temple. Here he lived for several years, but with very little attention to statutes or reports. His disposition to become an author appeared very early; Johnson says, "Among all the efforts of early genius, which literary history records, I doubt whether any one can be produced that more surpasses the common limits of nature than the plays of Congreve." His first dramatic labour was The Old Batchelor, acted in 1693. This piece introduced him to Lord Halifax, the Maecenas of the age, who, desirous of raising so promising a genius above the necessity of too hasty productions, made him one of the commissioners for licencing hackney-coaches. He soon after bestowed upon him a place in the Pipe-office, with one in the Customs of 600 pounds a year. 1694 Congreve produced The Double Dealer. The next year, when Betterton opened the new Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn Fields, he gave him his comedy of Love for Love. The Biographia Dramatica says, This met with so much success, that they immediately offered the author a share in the profits of the house, on condition of his furnishing them with one play yearly. This offer he accepted; but whether through indolence or that correctness which he looked on as necessary to his works, his Mourning Bride did not come out till 1697, nor his Way of the World till two years after that." He had been involved in a long contest with Jeremy Collier, a furious and implacable non-juror, who published A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage, in which he had very severely attacked some of Congreve's pieces: this, added to the ill success his Way of the World, though an exceeding good comedy, met with, completed his disgust; and he made a resolution of never more writing for the stage, Johnson says, "At last comedy grew more modest, and Collier lived to see the reward of his labour in the reformation of the theatre." In 1714, Congreve was appointed Commissioner of Wine Licences, and 17. Dec. same year was nominated Secretary of Jamaica, making altogether a yearly income of 1200 pounds. Johnson says, "His honours were yet far greater than his profits. Every writer mentioned him with respect; and, among other testimonies to his merit, Steele made him the patron of his Miscellany, and Pope inscribed to him his Translation of the Iliad. But he treated the Muses with ingratitude; for, having long conversed familiarly with the great, he wished to be considered rather as a man of fashion than of wit; and, when he received a visit from Voltaire, disgusted him by the despicable foppery of desiring to be considered not as an author but gentleman; to which the Frenchman replied, If he had been only a gentleman, he should not have come to visit him.'" He died at his house in Surrey Street, in the Strand, January 29, Our limits will not allow us to give Johnson's account of this author; but every one agrees in considering him surprisingly eminent in his Theatrical pieces; at the same time, when he quitted this tract, he evidently failed; and, although his Miscellaneous Poems will ever maintain a respectable place in British literature, his crown was too closely wreathed for these to add one leaf to his poetical fame.



ACTED at Lincoln's-Inn Fields. 1697. This is the only Tragedy our author ever wrote, and it met with more access than any of his other pieces. Although Dr. Johnson accuses it of bombast and want of real nature; notwithstanding Dibdin says, that it is overcharged with imagery, as his comedies are with point, and if we try to conceive it, it is with an aching imagination, that may raise astonishment, but must destroy pleasure; it is to be considered that," the poet's eye in a fine phrenzy rolling," in embodying "airy nothing," raises his mind so high above the things of this world in his look "from earth to heaven," that his conceptions appear too hold for a cool, criticising genius. It is certain, that the language of passion, in real life, is boisterous and elevated; and, in persons of a certain cast, may go a step farther than what in cooler moments would appear simple nature; and Dr. Johnson's criti. cism is evidently unprepared, for he says himself, he had not read Congreve's plays for many years. Could the great critic have been raised by the same feelings that actuated Congreve in composing his tragedy, it is very sure, bo would not have pronounced so severe a sentence. We have not the smallest pretension to call in question the opinions of so great a man as Johnson on this play; knowing his attention was entirely directed to chasten the taste of the ages bat we do think (if we can judge by our own feelings), that he must have feit a secret delight himself in reading this piece; and hope we do not overstep the bounds of modesty in declaring the story to be extremely pleasing, affecting, and well told; the language, although extremely elevated, may be allowed to be this side of bombast, expressing the ideas perhaps in an impassioned manner; but we believe not beyond the limits of poetical nature; and will content ourselves with sometimes being astonished for pleasure. Dr. Johnson declares, that, "If he were to select from the whole mass of English poetry the most poetical paragraph, he knows not what he conld prefer to an exclamation in this tragedy ("No, all is hush'd, and still as death-'tis dreadful!" to: "Thy voice-my own affrights me with its echoes!") Johnson continues, "He who reads these lines enjoys for a moment the powers of a poet; he feels what he remembers to have felt before; but he feels it with great increase of sensibility; he recognises a familiar imag, but meets it again amplified and expanded, embellished with beauty, and enlarged with majesty".

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SCENE L-A Room of State.



Attendants, Guards, etc.

Than trees or flint? O, force of constant woe! 'Tis not in harmony to calm my griefs. The Curtain rising slowly to soft Music, Anselmo sleeps, and is at peace; last night discovers ALMERIA in Mourning, LEONO-The silent tomb receiv'd the good old king; RA waiting. ALMERIA rises and comes He and his sorrows now are safely lodg'd forward. Within its cold, but hospitable bosom. Alm. Music has charms to sooth a savage Why am not I at peace?


Leon. Dear madam, cease,

Or moderate your grief; there is no cause-Alm. No cause! Peace, peace there is eter nal cause,

To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
I've read that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living souls, have been inform'd,
By magic numbers and persuasive sound. And misery eternal will succeed.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown Thou canst not tell-thou hast indeed no cause.

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Leon. Believe me, madam, I lament Anselmo, | Who knew our flight, we closely were pursu'd,
And always did compassionate his fortune:
Have often wept, to see how cruelly
Your father kept in chains his fellow king:
And oft at night, when all have been retir'd,
Have stol'n from bed, and to his prison crept,
Where, while his gaolor slept, I through the


And almost taken; when a sudden storm
Drove us, and those that follow'd, on the coast
Of Afric: There our vessel struck the shore,
And, bulging 'gainst a rock was dash'd in pieces,
But heav'n spar'd me for yet much more af-

Conducting them who follow'd us, to shun
Have softly whisper'd, and inquir'd his health, The shoal, and save me floating on the waves,
Sent in my sighs and pray'rs for his deliv'rance; While the good queen and my Alphonso
For sighs and pray'rs were all that I could offer.
Alm. Indeed thou hast a soft and gentle


That thus could melt to see a stranger's wrongs.
O, Leonora, hadst thou known Anselmo,


Thou hadst no cause but general compassion.
Leon. Love of my royal mistress gave me


Leon. Alas! Were you then wedded to


Alm. That day, that fatal day, our hands were join'd.

How would thy heart have bled to see his For when my lord beheld the ship pursuing,
And saw her rate so far exceeding ours,
He came to me, and begg'd me by my love,
I would consent the priest should make us one;
That whether death or victory ensu'd,
I might be his, beyond the pow'r of fate:
The queen too did assist his suit-I granted;
And in one day was wedded, and a widow.
Leon. Indeed, 'twas mournful--


My love of you begot my grief for him;
For I had heard that when the chance of war
Had bless'd Anselmo's arms with victory,
And the rich spoil of all the field, and you,
The glory of the whole, were made the prey
Of his success,

He did endear himself to your affection,
By all the worthy and indulgent ways
His most industrious goodness could invent;
Proposing, by a match between Alphonso,
His son, the brave Valencian prince, and you,
To end the long dissension, and unite
The jarring crowns.

Alm. Why was I carried to Anselmo's court?
Or there, why was I us'd so tenderly?
Why not ill treated, like an enemy ?
For so my father would have us'd his child.
O, Alphonso, Alphonso!

Alm. 'Twas-as I have told thee-
For which I mourn, and will for ever mourn;
Nor will I change these black and dismal robes,
Or ever dry these swoln and wat'ry eyes;
Or ever taste content, or peace of heart,
While I have life and thought of my Al-

Leon. Hark!

phonso. [Loud shouts.

The distant shouts proclaim your father's tri-
umph. [Shouts at a distance.

O cease for heav'n's sake, assuage a little
This torrent of your grief; for much I fear
Twill urge his wrath, to see you drown'd in

When joy appears in ev'ry other face.

Alm. And joy he brings to ev'ry other heart, But double, double weight of woe to mine; For with him Garcia comes- -Garcia, to whom I must be sacrificed, and all the vows gave my dear Alphonso basely broken. No, it shall never be; for I will die First, die ten thousand deaths.-Look down, look down, [Kneels.


Devouring seas have wash'd thee from my sight,
No time shall rase thee from my memory;
No, I will live to be thy monument:
The cruel ocean is no more thy tomb;
But in my heart thou art interr'd; there, there,
Thy dear resemblance is for ever fix'd;
My love, my lord, my husband still, though lost!
Leon. Husband! O, heav'ns!
Alm. Alas! VVhat have I said?
My grief has hurry'd me beyond all thought. Alphonso, hear the sacred vow I make;
I would have kept that secret; though I know And thou, Anselmo, if yet thou art arriv'd
Thy love and faith to me deserve all confi- Through all impediments of purging fire,
To that bright heav'n where my Alphonso reigns,
Behold thou also, and attend my vow:
If ever I do yield, or give consent,
By any action, word, or thought, to wed
Another lord; may then just heav'n show'r down
Unheard-of curses on me, greater far


Leon. Witness these tears

The memory of that brave prince stands fair
In all report-

And I have heard imperfectly his loss;
But fearful to renew your troubles past,
I never did presume to ask the story.

Alm. If for my swelling heart I can,
tell thee.

(If such there be in angry heav'n's vengeance) I'll Than any I have yet endur'd.-And now [Rising.

My heart has some relief: having so well
Discharg'd this debt, incumbent on my love.
Yet one thing more I would engage from thee.
Leon. My heart, my life, and will, are on-

ly yours.

Alm. I thank thee. 'Tis but this: anon,

when all

I was a welcome captive in Valencia,
Ev'n on the day when Manuel, my father,
Led on his conqu'ring troops, high as the gates
Of king Anselmo's palace; which, in rage,
And heat of war, and dire revenge, he fir'd.
The good king flying to avoid the flames,
Started amidst his foes, and made captivity
His fatal refuge-Would that I had fall'n'
Amidst those flames-but 'twas not so decreed.
Alphonso, who foresaw my father's cruelty,
Had borne the queen and me on board a ship Leon. Alas! I fear some fatal resolution.
Ready to sail; and when this news was brought Alm. No, on my life, my faith, I mean no ill,
We put to sea; but being betray'd by some Nor violence. I feel myself more light,

Are wrapp'd aud busied in the general joy,
Thou wilt withdraw, and privately with me
Steal forth to visit good Anselmo's tomb.

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