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Borne on the shields of his surviving soldiers,
Long, at the head of his few faithful friends,
Por. Nor did he fall, before
Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor
---Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place
Por. Long may they keep asunder!
See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches!
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
-How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue!
I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood
Rise in my soul. How shall I save my friends?
Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it.
Juba. If I forsake thee
Whilst I have life, may heav'n abandon Juba!
Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend.
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, Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you? That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port. 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
Who made the welfare of mankind his care,
[Dead March. Exeunt in fu
SCENE L-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.
Cato. It must be so-Plato thou reason'st
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies be
But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.
And that which he delights in must be happy. But when, or where?-this world was made for Caesar:
O'erspread the sea, and stop up ev'ry port;
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 he wanting Among thy father's friends; see them embark'd, And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them. I'm weary of conjectures-this must end them. My soul is quite weigh'd down with care,
[Laying his Hand on his Sword.
Thus am I doubly arm'd: my death and life, The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep. Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart revives [Exit Cato.
Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there's hope
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
But, ha! who's this? my son! Why this in-
Were not my orders that I would be private?
Por. Alas, my father!
[Exit. Marcia. Oh, ye immortal powers, that guard Watch round his couch and soften his repose, the just, Banish his sorrows, and becalm his soul With easy dreams; remember all his virtues, And show mankind that goodness is your care!
Lucia. Where is your father, Marcia, where is Cato?
Marcia. Lucia, speak low, he is retir'd
What means this sword, this instrument of Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope
Let me convey it hence.
Cato. Rash youth, forbear!
Por. Oh, let the pray'rs, th' entreaties of Cato is stern and awful as a god;
Rise in my soul-We shall be happy still.
He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild;
Por. Look not thus sternly on me;
Who knows how yet he may dispose
Or how he has determin'd of thyself?
of Oh, Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass!
Marcia. Let him but live, commit the rest Hide all the horrors of the mournful tale,
Luc. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man!
And let us guess the rest.
And plac'd him in his chair; where, pale and
He gasps for breath, and as his life flows
Demands to see his friends.
Oh, Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father;
Marcia. His mind still labours with some
Juba. Lucius, the horsemen are return'd
Obsequious to his order, bear him hither!Mar. Oh, heav'n! assist me in this dreadful hour,
CATO brought on in a Chair.
Juba. These are thy triumphs, thy exploits,
Luc. Now is Rome fall'n indeed!
Portius, come near me-Are my friends em-
The number, strength, and posture of our foes,
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—--
Assert her rights, and claim her liberty.
[Dies. Por. There fled the greatest soul that ever warm'd
A Roman breast:-Oh, Cato! oh, my friend! And let me fly into my father's presence! Thy will shall be religiously observ'd. [Exit. But let us bear this awful corpse to Caesar, thinks on 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.
Luc. Cato, amidst his slumbers,
And, in the wild disorder of his soul,
Heav'n guard us all!
Mar. Alas, 'tis not the voice
Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain'Tis death is in that sound
Por. Oh, sight of woe!
From hence, let fierce contending nations
What dire effects from civil discord flow:
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, 1672. 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 a 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.
THE 'MOURNING BRIDE,
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, Lo would not have pronounced so severe a sentence. We have not the smallest pretension to call in question the opinions ef so great a man as Johnson on this play; knowing his attention was entirely directed to chasten the taste of the age 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 hombast, 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 could 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 feel. what he remembers to have felt before; but he feels it with great increase of sensibility; he recognises a familiar image, but meets it again amplified and expanded, embellished with beauty, and enlarged with majesty".
SCENE L-A Room of State. The Curtain rising slowly to soft discovers ALMERIA in Mourning, RA waiting. ALMERIA rises and forward.
Attendants, Guards, etc.
Than trees or flint? O, force of constant woe! Tis not in harmony to calm my griefs. Music, Anselmo sleeps, and is at peace; last night LEONO-The silent tomb receiv'd the good old king; comes He and his sorrows now are safely lodg'd 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.
And almost taken; when a sudden storm
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 grate
Have softly whisper'd, and inquir'd his health,
My love of you begot my grief for him;
He did endear himself to your affection,
Alm. Why was I carried to Anselmo's court?
Conducting them who follow'd us, to shun
Leon. Alas! Were you then wedded to
Alm. That day, that fatal day, our hands
For when my lord beheld the ship pursuing,
Alm. 'Twas-as I have told thee-
phonso. [Loud shouts.
The distant shouts proclaim your father's tri-
Devouring seas have wash'd thee from my sight,
When joy appears in ev'ry other face.
Alm. And joy he brings to ev'ry other heart,
Leon. Witness these tears
The memory of that brave prince stands fair
And I have heard imperfectly his loss;
Alm. If for my swelling heart I can,
To that bright heav'n where my Alphonso reigns,
If ever I do yield, or give consent,
(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
Alm. I thank thee. "Tis but this: anon, when all
I was a welcome captive in Valencia,
Are wrapp'd aud busied in the general joy,