« EdellinenJatka »
с А Т 0
245 Thy past unkindoess. I absolve my stars.
But see young Juba ; the good youth appears
Alas, poor prince! his fate deserves compassion Let Cæsar have the world, if Marcia's mine.
I blush, and am confounded to appear
Before thy presence, Cato,
What's thy crime !
And a brave one too, As with a hurricane of zeal transported,
Thou hast a Ronan foul.
Haft thou not heard
Of my false countrymen ?
Alas! young prince,
Falsehood and fraud thoot up in every soil,
The product of all climes.—Rome has its Cæsar's.
'Tis generous thus to comfort the distress'd. But see where Portius comes! what means this
Cato, haste ?
'Tis just to give applause where 'tis desery'd; Why are thy looks thus chang'd?
Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortunc, Portius.
Like purest gold, that, tortur'd in the furnace, My heart is griev'd.
Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its I bring such news as will afflict my father.
What shall I answer thee? my ravish'd heart
O'erflows with secret joy : I'd rather gain
Thy praise, O Cato, than Numidia's empire,
Enter Portius hastily.
Misfortune on Misfortune! grief op grief!
Ha! what has he done?
Did he look tamely on, and let them pass?
Scarce had I left my father, but I met him [Exit Portius,
Borne on the shields of his surviving roldiers, -Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me : Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with wounds: Justice gives way to force : the conquer'd world
Long, at the head of his few faithful friends,
He stood the shock of a whole host of foes,
Till, obstinately brave, and bent on death,
Nor did he fall before
His sword had pierc'd through the false heart of Sy
Grin in che pangs of death, and bice the ground.
Thanks to the gods ! my boy has done his duty.
Portius, when I am dead, be sure thou place
His urn near pine.
Long may they keep afunder!
Add, if you please, that I request it of him, O Cato, arin thy soul with all its patience; That I myself, with tears, request it of him, See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches ! The virtue of my friends may pass unpunish'd. The citizens and senators, alarni'd,
Juba, my heart is troubled for thy lake.
Or feek the cunqueror ?
If I forsake thee Welcome, my son! here lay him down my Whilft I have life, may heaven abandon Juba! friends.
Cato. Full in my fight, that I may view at leisure
Thy virrues, prince, if I foresee aright, The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds. Will one day make thee gréat; at Rome hereafter, How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue ! 'Twill be no crime to have beeri Caro's friend. Who would not be that youth? what pity is it Portius, draw near! my son, thou oft haft seen That we can die but once to serve our country! Thy fire engag'd in a corrupted state, Why fits this sadness on your brows, my friends ?
Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou seest orie I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood
Spent, overpower'd, despairing of success; Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war.
Let me advise thee to retrcat betimes Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field, Thy life is not thy own, when Rome demands it. Where the great Censor coil'd with his own hands, Juba.
And all our frugal ancestors were bless'd Was ever man like this!
(Afde. In humble virtues, and a rural life. Cato.
There live retir'd; pray for the peace of Rome; Alas, my friends!
Content thyself to be obscurely good. Why mourn you thus ? let not a private loss When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway; Affli& your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our tears. The post of honour is a private station. The mistress of the world, the seat of empire,
Portius. The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods,
I hope, my father does not recommend That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth, A life to Portius, that he scorns himself. And set the nations free, Rome is no more.
Cato. O liberty! O virtue! O ny country:
Farewell, my friends! if there be any of you Juba.
That dares not trust the vidtor's clemency, Behold that upright man! Rome fills his eyes Know there are ships prepar'd by ny command, With tears, that flow'd not o'er his own dead (Their sails already opening to the winds) fon.
[ Aside. That shall convey you to the wilh'd-for port. Cato.
Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you? Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdued, The conqueror draws near. Once more farewell The sun's whole course, the day and year, are If c'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet For him the self-devored Decii dy'd, [Cæsar's. In happier climes and on a safer shore, The Fabii fell, and the great Scipio's conquer'd : Where Cæsar never thall approach us more. Ev'n Ponipey fought for Czfar. Oh, my friends! There the brave youth, with love of virtue fir'de How is the toil of fate, the work of ages,
(Pointing to the body of bis dead for. The Roman empire fall’n! O curft anibition ! Who greatly it his country's cause expir'd, Fall'n into Cæsar's hands! Our great forefathers Shall krow he conquer'd. The fièm patriot there Had left him nought to conquer but his country. (Who made the welfare of mankind his care) Juba.
Thouyh still, by faction, vice, and fortune, croft, While Cato lives, Cæfar will blush to see Shall find the generous labour was not loi. Mankind enslav'd, and be asham'd of empire.
ACT V. SCENE 1.
$itting in a thoughtful posture : In his band Plato's book Cæfar shall never say, I've conquer'd Cato.
on the immortality of the fowl. drawn sword on ile But oh! my friends, your safely fills my heart
table by biń. With anxious thoughts: a thousand fecret terrors Rise in my soul : how shall I lave
friends? r must be so-Plato, thou reason' t well! -Tis now, Cæsar, I begin to fear thec.
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desires. Lucius.
This longing after immortality? Cæsar has mercy, if we ask it of hin.
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Cato.
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks chc soul Then ask it, I conjure you! let him know Back on herself; and startles at destruction? Whate'er was done againft hiw, Cace did it. "Tis the divinity that stirs within us ;
с А Α Τ Ο.
4SI Tis heaven itfell, that points out an hereafter, Cato fhall open to himself a partage, And intimates eternity to man,
And mock thy hopes Eternity! thou pleafog, dreadful thought !
Portiur. Through what variety of untry'd being,
O Sir, forgive your son, Through what new scenes and changes must we Whose grief hangs heavy on him! O my father! pass!
How am I sure it is not the last time
To quit the dreadful purpose of
[Embracing bim. Cæfar.
Weep dot my son. All will be well again. I'm weary of conjectures. This must end them. The righteous gods, whom I have fought to please,
(Laying bis band upon his sword. Will succour Cato, and preserve his children, Thus am I doubly arm'd: my death and life,
Portius. My bane and antidote, are both before me :
Your words give comfort to my drooping heart, This in a moment brings me to an end,
Cato, But this informs me I shall never die.
Portius, thou may'st rely upon my conduct. The soul, fecur'd in her existence, smiles
Thy father will not act what misbecomes him. At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Among thy father's friends : see them embark'd; Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years ; And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them. But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The fost refreshmeat of a moment's fleep. [Exit. The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.
Portius. What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? My thoughts are more at ease, my heart revives. This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? Nature oppress'd, and harass'd out with care,
Enter Marcia. Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her,
O Marcia, O my sister, still there's hope ! That my awaken'd soul may take her flight,
Our father will not caft away a life Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life,
So needful to us all, and to his country. An offering fit for heaven. Let guilt or fear
He is retir'd to rest, and feems to cherish Disturb man's rest; Cato knows neither of them,
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me hence Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die.
With orders, tnt bespeak a mind compos'd,
And studious for the safety of his friends.
Marcia, take care that none disturb his flumbers. But ha ! how's this, my fon? why this intrusion?
[Exit. Were not my orders that I would be private ?
O ye immortal powers, that guard the juft,
Watch round his couch, and soften his repose,
Banish his forrows, and becalm his soul
With easy dreams; remember all his virtues;
And show aankind that goodness is your care.
Where is yow father, Marcia, where is Cato?, you.
Lucia, speak low; he is retir'd to reft.
Rise in my soul. We shall be happy till. A flave, a captive, into Cæsar's hands ?
Lucia. Retire, and learn nbedience to a father,
Alas, I tremble when I think on Cato.
In every view, in every thought, I tremblo
Cato is ttern, and awful as a god;
Or pardon weakness, that he never felt.
Marcia. 'Tis well! again I'm matter of myself,
Though stern and awful co the foes of Romo, Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates, He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild, And bar each avenue, thy gaihering fleets Compassionate, and gentle to his friends. O'erspread the ica, and stop up every port;
Fill'd with domestic tenderness, the best,
The kindeft father! I have ever found him And rouses the whole nation up to arms.
But hark! what means that groan? O give me
And let me fly into my father's presence.
Cato, amidst his flumbers, thinks on Rome,
And in the wild disorder of his soul
Mourns o’tr his country; ha! a second groan-
Alas! 'tis not the voice
Of one who sleeps! 'tis agonizing pain,
"Tis death is in that found
O sight of woe!
O Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass !
Cato is fall’n upon his sword-
Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale,
And let us guess the rest.
I've rais'd him up, hurt me!
And plac'd him in his chair, where, pale and Marcia.
faint, His mind still labours with some dreadful
He galps for breath, and, as his life flows from thought.
Demands to see his friends. His weeping servants, Lucia, why all this grief, these floods of sor- Obsequious to his orders, bear him hither. row ?
[Tbe back scene opens, and discovers Cato. Dry up thy tears, my child; we all are safe
O heaven, affist me in this dreadful hour
To pay the last lad dutics 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
Can any thing be thought of for their service?
Whilft I yet live, let me not live in vain.
O Lucius, art thou here?- Thou art too good !-
Let this our friend rip live between our children ;
Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia.
Alas poor man, he weeps! -Marcia, my daugh,
mo bend me forward !-Juba loves thee, Marcia.
But Cæsar's arms have thrown down all diflincAs I was hasting to the port, where now
tion ; My father's friends, impatient for a passage, Whoe'er is brave and virtuous, is a RonianAccuse the lingering winds, a sail arriv'd
I'm sick to death-0 when fhail I
loose From Ponipey's fon, who through the realms of From this vain world, th' abode of guilt and Spain
forrow! Calls out for vengeance on his father's death, -And yet methinks a beam of light breaks in
ε Α Τ' Ο.
258 On my departing soul. Alas, I fear
And lay it in his fight, that he may fand
[Dies. What dire effe&s from civil discord flow.
'Tis this that shakes our country with alarms,
And robs the guilty world of Cato's life.