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And breathes the fofteft, the fincerest vows!
Complacency, and truth, and manly fweetness,
Dwell ever on his tongue, and smooth his thoughts.
Marcus is over-warm: his fond complaints
Have fo much earnestnefs and paffion in them,
I hear him with a fecret kind of horror,
And tremble at his vehemence of temper.
Mar. Alas, poor youth! how canft thou throw
him from thee?

Lucia, thou know't not half the love he bears

Whene'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in flames,
He fends out all his foul in ev'ry word,
And thinks, and talks, and looks like one tranf-


Unhappy youth! How will thy coldness raise
Tempefts and ftorms in his afflicted bofom!
I dread the confequence.

Luc. You feem to plead
Against your brother Portius.
Mar. Heaven forbid !

Had Portius been the unfuccessful lover,
The fame compaffion would have fall'n on him.
Luc. Was ever virgin love diftreft like mine!
Portius himself oft falls in tears before me,
;-As if he mourn'd his rival's ill fuccefs;

Then bids me hide the motions of my heart,
Nor fhew which way it turns: fo much he fears
"he fad effects that it will have on Marcus.

Mar. He knows too well how easily he's fir'd,
nd would not plunge his brother in defpair,
ut waits for happier times and kinder moments.
Luc. Alas! too late I find myfelf involv'd
1 endless griefs and labyrinths of woe ;
orn to afflict my Marcia's family,

nd fow diffenfion in the hearts of brothers.
formenting thought! it cuts into my foul.
Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our forrows,
ut to the gods fubmit the event of things.
Jur lives difcolour'd with our prefent woes,
May fill grow bright, and fmile with happier

>the pure limpid fiream, when foul with stains
frufhing torrents, and defcending rains,
Torks itself clear, and, as it runs, refines ;
ill, by degrees, the floating mirror fhines,
effects each flow'r that on the border grows;
and a new heaven in its fair bosom flows.



Enter Cato.

Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council;
Cæfar's approach has fummoned us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our refolves.
How fhall we treat this bold afpiring man?
Succefs ftill follows him, and backs his crimes
Pharfalia gave him Rome, Egypt has fince
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæfar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning fands
Still fmoke with blood. 'Tis time we should

What course to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us even Libya's fultry deserts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they
ftill fix'd

To hold it out, and fight it to the last?
Or are your hearts fubdu'd at length, and wrought
By time, and ill fuccefs, to a fubmiffion?
Sempronius, fpeak.

Sem. My voice is ftill for war.
Gods! can a Roman fenate long debate
Which of the two to choose-flav'ry or death?
No, let us rife at once, gird on our fwords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon

Perhaps fome arm, more lucky than the reft,
May reach his heart, and free the world from

Rife, fathers, rife! 'tis Rome demands your help;
Rife, and revenge her flaughter'd citizens,
Or share their fate! The corps of half her senate
Manure the fields of Theffaly; while we
Sit here delib'rating in cold debates,
If we should facrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in fervitude and chains.
Route up, for fhame! our brothers of Pharfalia
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud-To battle!
Great Pompey's fhade complains that we are

And Scipio's ghoft walks unreveng'd amongst us.
Cato. Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal
Tranfport thee thus beyond the bounds of reafon.
True fortitude is seen in great exploits

That justice warrants, and that wildom guides;
All elfe is tow'ring frenzy and distraction.
Are not the lives of thofe who draw the sword
In Rome's defence entrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of flaughter,
Might not th' impartial world with reafon fay,
We lavish'd at our deaths the blood of thousands,
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious?

CENE, the Senate. Lucius, Sempronius, and Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion.


ROME ftill furvives in this affembled
fenate !

et us remember we are Cato's friends,
and act like men who claim that glorious title.
Luc. Cato will foon be here, and open to us
Th' occafion of our meeting. Hark, he comes!
[A found of trumpets.
day all the guardian gods of Rome direct him!

Luc. My thoughts, I must confeís, are turn'd
on peace.

Already have our quarrels fill'd the world
With widows and with orphans: Scythia mourns
Our guilty wars, and earth's remoteft regions
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome:
'Tis time to fheathe the fword and fpare mankind.
It is not Cæfar, but the gods, my fathers,
The gods declare against us, and repel
Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle


(Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair)
Were to refufe th' awards of Providence,
And not to reft in Heaven's determination.
Already have we fhewn our love to Rome,
Now let us fhew fubmiffion to the gods.
We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,
But free the commonwealth; when this end fails,
Arms have no farther ufe. Our country's caufe,
That drew our words, now wrefts em from
our hands,

And bids us not delight in Roman blood
Unprofitably fhed. What men could do,
Is done already: heaven and earth will witnefs,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

Sem. This smooth discourse, and mild behaviour, oft

Conceal a traitor. Something whifpers me
All is not right-Cato, beware of Lucius,
[Afide to Cato.
Cato. Let us appear nor rafh nor diffident;
Jmmod'rate valour fwells into a fault;
And fear admitted into public councils,
Betrays like treafon. Let us fhun 'em both.
Fathers, I cannot fee that our affairs

Are grown thus defp'rate; we have bulwarks round us;

Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil
In Afric's heat, and feafon'd to the fun;
Numidia's fpacious kingdom lies behind us.
Ready to rife at its young prince's call.
While there is hope do not diftruft the gods:
But wait at leaft till Cæfar's near approach
Force us to yield. Twill never be too late
To fue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why fhould Rome fall a moment ere her time?
No let us draw her term of freedom out
In its full length, and fpin it to the last,
So fhall we gain ftill one day's liberty:
And let me perifh, but in Cato's judgment,
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty

Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.

Enter Marcus.

Dec. My bufinefs is with Cato; Cæfar fees The ftraits to which you're driven; and, as he knows

Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life.

Cato. My life is grafted on the fate of Rome. Would he fave Cato, bid him fpare his country. Tell your dictator this; and tell him, Caro Difdains a life which he has pow'r to offer.

Dec. Rome and her fenators fubmit to Calar Her gen'rals and her confuls are no more, Who check'd his conquefts, and denied his ti umphs

Why will not Cato be this Cæfar's friend? Cato. Thofe very reasons thou haft urg'ć, forbid it.

Dec. Cato, I've orders to expoftulate, And reafon with you, as from friend to friend. Think on the ftorm that gathers o'er your heat, And threatens ev'ry hour to burft upon it. Still may you ftand high in your country's bo

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And therefore fets this value on your life, Let him but know the price of Cate's fri fhip,

And name your terms.

Cato. Bid him difband his legions, Reftore the commonwealth to liberty, Submit his actions to the public cenfure, And ftand the judgment of a Roman senate. Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend.

Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of y wildom

Cato. Nay more-tho' Cato's voice was employ'd

To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,

Mar. Fathers, this moment, as I watch'd the Myfelf will mount the roftrum in his favour,

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And ftrive to gain his pardon from the peopit Dec. A ftile like this becomes a conqueror Cato. Decius, a ftyle like this becomes a R

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him black

With murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes
That strike my soul with horror but to name 'em.
I know thou look'st on me, as on a wretch
Beset with ills, and cover'd with misfortunes;
But, by the gods I swear, millions of worlds
Should never buy me to be like that Cæsar.
Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to
Juba, the Roman senate has resolv'd,
For all his gen'rous cares and proffer'd friend-Till time gives better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheath'd, and turn its edge on

And all the virtues we can crowd into it;
That Heaven may say it ought to be prolong'd.
Fathers, farewel.-The young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our coun-
[Exeunt Senators.

Ceto. His cares for me are insolent and vain :
Pres aptuous man! the Gods take care of Cato.
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 pow'r,
By shelt'ring men much better than himself.
Dec. Your high unconquer'd heart makes
you forget

You are a man; you rush on your destruction.
But I have done. When I relate hereafter
he tale of this unhappy embassy,

- Rome will be in tears.

[Exit Decius.

Sem. Cato, we thank thee. he mighty genius of immortal Rome peaks in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty. æsar will shrink to hear the words thou ter'st,

Enter Juba.

Jub. 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 order'd me to march for Utica,

(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!)
Wept o'er me, press'd 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 'It learn to
bear 'em.

Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
ut-And merited, alas! a better fate;
But Heaven thought otherwise.

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,
nd guards our lives while he neglects his own.
Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this ac-


ucius seems fond of life; but what is life?
is not to stalk about, and draw fresh air
tom time to time, or gaze upon the sun :
Cis to be free. When liberty is gone,
ife grows insipid, and has lost its relish.
), could my dying hand but lodge a sword
n Cæsar's bosom, and revenge my country!
y Heavens, I could enjoy the pangs of death,
ind smile in agony.

Latc. Others, perhaps,

Jay serve their country with as warm a zeal,
hough 'tis not kindled into such a rage.
Sem. This sober conduct is a mighty virtue
n lukewarm patriots.

Ceto. Come; no more, Sempronius:
All here are friends to Rome, and to each other.
et us not weaken still the weaker side
By our divisions.

Sem. Cato, my resentments
Are sacrilic'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,

My private voice is drown'd amidst the senate's.
Cato. Then let us rise, my friends, and strive

to fill

This little interval, this pause of life,
(While yet our liberty and fates are doubtful)
With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery,

Jub. My father's fate,

In spite of all the fortitude that shines
Before my face in Cato's great example,
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears.
Cato. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes

Jub. My father drew respect from foreign


The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports,
Behind the hidden sources of the Nile,"
In distant worlds, on t' other side the sun;
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-


Jub. I would not boast the greatness of my

But point out new alliances to Cato.
Have we not better leave this Utica,
To arm Numidia in our cause, and court
Th' assistance of my father's powerful friends?
Did they know Cato, our remotest kings
Would pour embattled multitudes about him;
Their swarthy hosts would darken all our

Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.

Cato. And canst thou think
Cato will fly before the sword of Cæsar!
Reduc'd, like Hannibal, to seek relief
From court to court, and wander up and down
A vagabond in Afric?

Jub. Cato, perhaps

I'm too officious; but my forward cares
Would fain preserve a life of so much value :
My heart is wounded, when I see such virtue
Afflicted by the weight of such misfortunes.



Cato. Thy nobleness of soul obliges me. But know, young prince, that valour soars above

What the world calls misfortune and affliction.
These are not ills; else would they never fall
On Heaven's first fav'rites, and the best of men.
The gods, in bounty, work up storms about us,
That give mankind occasion to exert
Their hidden strength, and throw out into

Virtues which shun the day, and lie conceal'd
In the smooth seasons and the calms of life.
Jub. I'm charm'd whene'er thou talk'st;
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 Cæsar.
Jub. The best good fortune that can fall on

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.

Give 'em me back again: they aim'd at nothing.

Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince, make

not my ear

A stranger to thy thoughts.

Jub. O, they're extravagant ; Still let me hide them.

Cato. What can Juba ask

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In ev'ry word, would now lose all its sweetnes Cato's displeas'd, and Marcia lost for ever.

Sy. Young prince, I yet could give you goɑ advice,

Marcia might still be yours.

Jub. What say'st thou, Syphax? By Heavens, thou turn'st me all into attentica Sy. Marcia might still be yours. Jub. As how, dear Syphax?

Sy. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troms Mounted on steeds unus'd to the restraint Of curbs or bits, and fleeter than the winds Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel t And bear her off.

Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts Rise up in man? Wouldst thou seduce my you To do an act that would destroy my honour! Sy. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear Honour's a fine imaginary notion, That draws in raw and unexperieno'd men To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow Jub. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince in ruffian?

Sy. The boasted ancestors of these great me Whose virtues you admire, were all such


This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds All under heaven, was founded on a rape; Your Scipios, Caesars, Pompeys, and your Ca cover'd (The gods on earth) are all the spurious brooc Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines.

The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia. Sy. Cato's a proper person to intrust

A love-tale with!

Jub. O, I could pierce my heart,

My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Juba? Sy. Alas, my prince, how are you chang'd of late!

I've known young Juba rise before the sun,

Jub. Syphax, I fear that hoary head of thin Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles. Sy. Indeed, my prince, you want to know" world.

You have not read mankind; your youth a


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Sy. I have gone too far.
[Aside. A blind officious zeal to serve my king
Jub. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul. The ruling principle, that ought to burn
Sy. I must appease this storm, or perish in it. And quench all others in a subject's heart.
Happy the people who preserve their honour
By the same duties that oblige their prince.
Jub. Syphax, thou now beginn'st to speak thy


Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown white

Beneath a helmet in your father's battles.

Jub. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy inso-

Sy. Must one rash word, th' 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!
Jub. Is it because the throne of my forefathers
Still stands unfill'd, and that Numidia's crown
Hangs doubtful yet whose head it shall inclose,
Thou thus presum'st to treat thy prince with


Numidia's grown a scorn among the nations,
For breach of public vows. Our Punic faith
Is infamous, and branded to a proverb.
Syphax, we'll join our cares, to purge away
Our country's crimes, and clear her reputation.
Sy. Believe me, prince, you make old Syphax


To hear you talk-but 'tis with tears of joy.
If e'er your father's crown adorn your brows,
Numidia will be blest by Cato's lectures.

Jub. Syphax, thy hand; we'll mutually forget The warmth of youth, and frowardness of age: Sy. Why will you rive my heart with such ex-Thy prince esteems thy worth, and loves thy pressions!

Does not old Syphax follow you to war?
What are his aims? Why does he load with darts
His trembling hand, and crush beneath a casque
His wrinkled brows? What is it he aspires to?
Is it not this: to shed the slow remains,
His last poor ebb of blood in your defence?"
Jul. Syphax, no more: I would not hear you

Sy. Not hear me talk! what, when my faith
to Juba,

My royal master's son, is call'd in question?
My prince may strike me dead, and I'll be dumbs
But whilst I live I must not hold my tongue,
And languish out old age in his displeasure.
Jub. Thou know'st the way too well into my


I do believe thee loyal to thy prince."

Sy. What greater instance can I give? I've

To do an action which my soul abhors,
And gain you whom you love at any price.
Jub. Was this thy motive? I've been too hasty.
Sy. And 'tis for this my prince has call'd me


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If e'er the sceptre comes into my hand,
Syphax shall stand the second in my kingdom.

Sy. Why will you overwhelm my age with

My joy grows burthensome, I shan't support it.
Jub. Syphax, farewel. I'll hence, and try to

Some blest occasion that may set me right
In Cato's thoughts. I'd rather have that man
Approve my deeds, than worlds for my ad-

Sy. Young men soon give, and soon forget


Old age is slow in both-A false old traitor!These words, rash boy, may chance to cost thee dear.

My heart had still some foolish fondness for

But hence! 'tis gone: I give it to the winds:
Cæsar, I'm wholly thine.

Enter Sempronius.

All hail, Sempronius!

Well, Cato's senate is resolv'd to wait
The fury of a siege before it yields.

Sem. Syphax, we both were on the verge of

[fer'd Lucius declar'd for peace, and terms were of To Cato, by a messenger from Cæsar.

Should they submit ere our designs are ripe, We both niast perish in the common wreck, ia-Lost in the gen'ral undistinguish'd ruin.

Thy zeal for Juba carried thee too far.
Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings,
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection,
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets

And imitates her actions where she is not;
It ought not to be sported with.

Sy. By Heavens,

I'm ravish'd when you talk thus, tho' you chide


Alas! I've hitherto been us'd to


Sy. But how stands Cato?

Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas:
While storins and tempests thunder on its brows,
And oceans break their billows at his feet,
It stands unmov'd, and glories in its height:
Such is that haughty man; his tow'ring soul,
Midst all the shocks and injuries of fortune,
Rises superior, and looks down on Cæsar.

Sy. But, what's this messenger?
Sem. I've practisd with him,
And found a means to let the victor know
That Syphax and Sempronius are his friends.

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