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and virtuous ev'o to madness
Cato. Trust me, Lucius, our civil discords have produced such crimes, such monstrous crimes, I am surpris'd at nothing. - O Lucius, I am sick of this bad world! the day-light and the sun grow painful to me.
Enter PORTIUS. But see where Portius comes! what means this haste? why are thy looks thụs chang'd? Por.
My heart is griev'd. I bring such news as will afflict my father.
Cato. Has Cæsar shed more Roman blood?
Not so. The traitor Syphax, as within the square he exercis'd bis troops, the signal given, flew off at once with his Numidian horse to the south gate, where Marcus holds the watch. I saw, and callid to stop him, but in vain; he toss'd bis arm aloft, and proudly told me, he would not stay and perish like Semprovius.
Cato. Perfidious men! but haste, my son, and see thy brother Marcus acts a Roman's part.
[Exit Portius. -Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me: Justice gives way to force: the conquer'd world is Cæsar's: Cato has no business in it.
Luc. While pride, oppression, and injustice reign the world will still demand her Cato's presence, in pity to mankind, submit to Cæsar, and reconcile thy mighty soul to life.
Cato. Would Lucius have me live to swell the of Cæsar's slaves, or by a base submission [number give up the cause of Rome, and own a tyrant?
Luc. The victor nerer will impose on Cato
ungenerous terms. His enemies confess the virtues of humanity are Cæsar's.
Cato. Curse on his virtues! they've undone hix
What's thy crime?
And a brave one too,
Hast thou not heard. of my false countrymen ? Cato.
Alas! young Prince, falsehood and fraud shoot up in every soil, the product of all climes.— Rome has it's Cæsars. Jub. 'Tis generous thus to comfort the distress'd, Cato. 'T' is just to give applause wbere't is deserv'd; hy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, ike purest gold, that, tortur'd in the furnace, comes out more bright, and brings forth all it's weight,
Jub. What shall I answer thee? my ravish'd heart verflows with secret joy: I'd rather gain hy praise, O Cato, than Numidia's empire,
Enter Portius hastily. Por. Misfortune on Misfortune! grief on gries! ny brother Marcus i
Ha! what has he done? as he forsook his post? has he given way? lid he look tamely on, and let them pass? Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met him
borne on the shields of his surviving soliders,
. I'm satisfyd. Por. Nor did he fall before his sword had pierc'd through the false heart of SyYonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor [phax. grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground..
Cato. Thanks to the gods! my boy has done bis duiPortius, when I am dead, be sure thou place [ty. his urn near mine.
Por. Long may they keep asunder!
Luc. O Cato, arm thy soul with all its patience; see where the corpse of thy dead son approaches ! the citizens and senators, alarm’d, have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping.
Cato meeting the Corpse.-SENATORS attending.
Cato. Welcome, my son! Here lay him down my full in my sight, that I may view at leisure [friends, the bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds. -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 friends? 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,
Jub. Was ever man like this!
why mourn you thus? let not a private loss afflict your hearts. 'T is Rome requires our tears, the mistress of the world, the seat of empire, the nurse of heroes, the delight of gods, that humbled the proud tyrants of the earth, and set the nations free; Rome is no more. Ob, liberty! Oh, virtue! Oh, my country!
Jub. Behold that upright man! Rome fills his eyes with tears, that flow'd noto'er his own dead son. [Aside,
Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdued, the sun's whole course, the day and year, are Cæsar's. For him the sell-devoted Decii dy'd, the Fabii fell, and the great Scipio's conquer'd : ev'n Pompey fought for Cæsar. 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 Cæsar's hands! Our great forefathers had left him nought to conquer but his country.
Jub. While Cato lives, Cæsar will blush to see mankind enslav'd and be asham'd of empire.
Cato. Cæsar asham'd! Has not he seen Pharsalia?
Cato. Lose not a thought on me; I'm out of danHeav'n will not leave me in the victor's hand. [ger: Cæsar shall never say, I've conquer'd Catą. But oh, my friends! your safety fills my heart with anxious thoughts; a thousand secret terrors rise in my soul. How shall I save my friends ? 'T is now, O Cæsar, I begin to fear thee!
Luc. Cæsar has mercy, if we ask it of him,
Cato. Then ask it I conjure you; let him know, whate'er was done against him, Cato did it. Add, if you please, that I request it of him, that I myself, with tears, request it of him,
the virtue of my friends may pass unpunish'd.
Jub. If I forsake thee
Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright, will one day make thee great; at Rome hereafter, 't will be no crime to have been Cato's friend.
Portius, draw near: my son, thou oft hast seen thy sire engag'd in a corrupted state, wrestling with vice and faction; now thou seest me spent, overpower'd, despairing of success; let me advise thee to retreat betimes to thy paternal seat, the Sabine field; where the great Censor toild with his own hands, and all our frugal ancestors were bless'd in humble virtues, and a rural life; there live retir'd, pray for the peace of Rome; content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, 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 prepard, by my command, (their sails already opening to the winds) 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 e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet in happier climes, and on a safer shore, where Cæsar never shall approach us more.