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Has set my soul at large, and now I stand
Loose of my vow.
But who knows Cato's thoughts?
Who knows how yet he may dispose of Portius,
Or how he has determin'd of thyself?
Let him but live ! commit the rest to heaven.
LUCIUS. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man! O 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 I saw him feretch'd at ease, his fancy lost In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch, He smild, and cry'd, Cæfar, thou canst not hurt me!
MARCIA. His mind still labours with some dreadful thought,
LUCIUS. Lucia, why all this grief, these floods of sorrow? Dry up thy tears, my child; we all are safe While Cato lives his presence will protect us.
Lucius, the horsemen are return'd from viewing
The number, strength, and posture of our foes,
Who now encamp within a short hour's march.
On the high point of yon bright western tower
We ken them from afar; the setting fun
Plays on their shining arnis and burnith 'd helniets,
And covers all the field with gleams of fire.
Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father.
Cæsar is still dispos’d to give us terms,
And waits at distance 'till he hears from Cato.
Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importance.
What tidings doft thou bring? Methinks I see
Unusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes.
As I was hasting to the port, where now
My father's friends, impatient for a passage,
Accufe the lingering winds, a fail arriv’d
From Pompey's fon, who through the realms of Spain
Calls out for vengeance on his father's death,
And rouzes the whole nation up to arms.
Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome
Affert her rights, and claim her liberty.
But hark! what means that groan ? O give me way,
And let me fiy into my father's presence.
Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on Rome,
And in the wild disorder of his soul
Mourns o'er his country ; ha! a second groan !
Heaven guard us all !-
Alas ! 'tis not the voice Of one who fleeps ! 'tis agonizing pain, * ?Tis death is in that sound
POR TI U S.
O sight of woe!
O Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass !
Cato is fall’n upon his sword-
O Portius, Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale, And let us guess the rest.
POR TI US.
I've rais’d him up,
And plac'd him in his chair, where, pale and faint,
He gasps for breath, and, as his life flows from him,
Demands to see his friends. His weeping servants,
Obsequious to his orders, bear him hither.
[The back Scene opens, and discovers CATO.
O heaven, assist me in this dreadful hour
To pay the last fad duties to my father!
These are thy triumphs, thy exploits, O Cæfar!
Now is Rome fall’n indeed !--
[CATO brought forward in his chair,
Here set me down
Portius, come near me-are my friends embark’d?
Can any thing be thought of for their service ?
Whilst I yet live, let me not live in vain.
-O Lucius, art thou here ?-Thou art too good !
Let this our friendship live between our children;
Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia.
Alas poor man, he weeps !—Marcia, my daughter
- 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 Cæsar's arms have thrown down all distinction;
Whoe'er is brave and virtuous, is a Roman
-I 'm fick to death when shall I
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 haity. Oye powers, that search
The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts,
If I have done amiss, impute it not!
The best may err, but you are good, and mo [ Dies.
There fled the greatest soul that ever warm’d
A Roman breast. O Cato! O my friend !
Thy will shall be religiously observ’d.
But let us bear this awful corpse to Cæsar,
And lay it in his fight, that it may
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath ;
Cate, though dead, fall 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.