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Did glut' himself again: a meal was bought
With blood; and each sat sullenly apart, |
Gorging himself in gloom. |

No love' was left; |

All earth was but one thought; and that was death, Immediate, and inglorious; and the pang

Of famine fed upon all en trails. | Men

Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; }
The meager by the meager were devour'd. \
E'en dogs' assail'd their masters; all, save one, |
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept

The birds, and beasts, and famish'd men at bay', ]
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead |
Lured their lank jaws. Himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous, and perpetual moan, |
And a quick, desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer'd not with a caress, he died.

The crowd was famish'd by degrees,; but two
Of an enormous city, did survive ; |

And they were enemies. They met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place, |

Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things |

For an unholy usage: they rak'd up, |

And, shivering, scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands, | The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath |

Blew for a little life, and made a flame |

Which was a mockery. Then they lifted up

Their eyes as it grew lighter', and beheld

Each other's aspects- saw, and shriek'd, and died.:
E'en of their mutual hid'eousness they died, |

Unknowing who he was upon whose brow |
Famine had written fiend. |

The world was void; 1

The populous, and the powerful was a lump, |

Some, being anxious to correct what is already right, have

substituted were for was.

Seasonless, herb.less, tree-less, man'less, life, less-j
A lump of death a chaos of hard clay. |
The rivers, lakes', and o'cean, all stood still; |
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths. i
Ships, sai lorless, lay rotting on the sea; |

And their masts fell down piece-meal; as they dropp'd,
They slept on the abyss, without a surge. — |
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave1,— ¡
The moon, their mistress, had expired before; |
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air; |
And the clouds perish'd.

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Darkness had no need Of aid from them. she,, was the universe. |



Lucius, Sempronius, and Senators.

Semp. Rome still survives in this assembl'd sen.ate! | Let us remember we are Ca'to's friends,

And act like men who claim that glorious title. |
Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us

The occasion of our meeting.

Hark! he comes ! |

[Flourish of Trumpets.

May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him! |

[Enter CATO.]

Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council-¦
Cæsar's approach has summon'd us together;
And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. |
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man? |
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes. :|
Pharsalia gave him Rome'; Egypt has since
Receiv'd his yoke; and the whole Nile' is Cæsar's. |
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,

And Scipio's death? | Numidia's burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should decree
What course to take. Our foe advan'ces on us, |
And envies us e'en Libya's sultry deserts.

Fathers, pronounce your thoughts are they still fixt To hold it out, and fight it to the last ? |

Or are your hearts subdu'd at length, and wrought By time, and ill success, to a submission? | Sempronius, speak. |


My voice is still for war. I

Can a Roman senate long debate |
Which of the two to choose

slav'ry, or death'? ¦ No let us rise at once, gird on our swords', | 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 him:] Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,

May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.}
Rise, fathers, rise'!'T is Rome demands your help; {
Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens, |

Or share their fate.! The corpse of half her sen'ate, I
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
Sit here deliberating in cold debates, |
Whether to sacrifice our lives to honor, |

Or wear them out in servitude, and chains.. |

Rouse up, for shame! our brothers of Pharsalia !
Point at their wounds,

Great Pompey's shade

and cry aloud — to battle! | complains that we are slow; | And Scipio's ghost walks unreveng'd' amongst us! | Cato. Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal, Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason: | True fortitude is seen in great exploits |

That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides, — |
All else is tow'ring frenzy and distraction. |
Are not the lives of those who draw the sword
In Rome's defence, intrusted to our care? |
Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter, |
Might not the impartial world, with reason, say, '
We lavish'd at our deaths the blood of thou'sands, |
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious? |
Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion. I

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Luc. My thoughts, I must confess, 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 remotest regions |
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome. —|
"T is time to sheathe the sword, and spare mankind. |
It is not Cæsar, | 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 refuse the awards of providence," |
And not to rest in heav'n's determination. |
Already have we shown our love to Rome,
Now, let us show submission to the gods. |
We took up arms, not to revenge' ourselves. |
But free the commonwealth: | when this end fails, |
Arms have no further use. Our country's cause, |

That drew our swords, now wrests them from our hands,
And bids us not delight in Roman blood,

Unprofitably shed. What men could do, I

Is done already: | heaven, and earth will witness, |
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. |

Semp. This smooth discourse, and mild behavior, | oft
Conceal a traitor
All is not right. -

Cato. Let us be

something whispers me Cato, beware of Lucius. |

[Aside to Cato.

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neither rash nor diffident
Immod'rate valor swells into a fault; }
And fear, admitted into public councils, |
Betrays like treason. Let us shun them both. |
Fathers, I cannot see that our affairs

Are grown thus desp'rate

round us: |

we have bulwarks'

Within our walls, | are troops, inured to toil
In Afric's heat, and season'd to the sun
Numidia's spacious kingdom lies behind us,
Ready to rise at its young prince's call. I

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b Bůl'wůrks.

While there is hope, do not distrust the gods; }
But wait. at least, till Cæsar's near approach |
Force us to yield. "T will never be too late |
To sue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why should Rome fall a moment ere her time? |
No, let us draw her term of freedom out |
In its full length, and spin it to the last
So shall we gain still one day's liberty: |
And let me perish, but in Cato's judgment, |
A day, an hour', of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage. |

[Enter MARCUS.]

Marc. Fathers, this moment, as I watch'd the gate, | Lodg'd on my post, a her'ald is arriv'd

From Cæsar's camp; and with him, comes old De'cius.
The Roman knight he carries in his looks
Impa'tience, and demands to speak with Cato. |
Cato. By your permission, fathers

¦ bid him enter.

[Exit Marcus

Decius was once my friend; but other prospects Have loos'd those ties, and bound him fast to Cæsar. ] His message may determine our resolves. |

[Enter DECIUS.]

Dec. Cæsar sends health to Ca'to. I


Could he send it

To Cato's slaughter'd friends, it would be welcome. [ Are not your orders to address the senate? |

Dec. My business is with Ca'to. | Cæsar sees The straits to which you 're driven; and, as he knows Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life. I

Cato. My life is grafted on the fate of Rome'. | Would he save Cato, bid him spare his country. | Tell your dictator this - ' and tell him too, | Čato Disdains a life which he has power to offer. |

Dec. Rome, and her senators submit to Cæsar; ¦ Her generals, and her consuls are no mòre, |

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