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Cato. 'Tis just to give applause, where 'tis deserved: Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, Like purest gold, that, tortured in the furnace, Comes out more bright, and brings furth all its weight.
Jub. What shall l'answer thee?
Cato. Ha! what has he done?
Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met him
Por. Nor did he fall, before His sword had pierced thro' the false heart of Syphax. Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground.
Calo. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done his duty, - Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place His urn near mine.
Por. Long may they keep asunder!
Luc. Oh, Cato, arm thy soul with all its patience;
CATO meeting the Corpse.-Senators attending,
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
-How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue !
Jub. Was ever man like this!
Cato. Alas, my friends,
hearts. 'Tis 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. Oh, liberty. Oh, virtue! Oh, my country!
Jub. Behold that upright man! Rome fills his eyes With tears, that flow'd not o'er his own dear 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 self-devoted Decii died, . The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios 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, cursed 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 enslaved, and be ashamed of empire.
Cato. Cæsar ashamed! Has he not seen Pharsalia? Luc. 'Tis time thou save thyself and us.
Cato. Lose not a thoughton me; I'm out of danger: Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand. Cæsar shall never say, he conquer'd Cato.
But oh, my
heart With anxious thoughts; a thousand secret terrors Rise in my soul. How shall I save my
friends ? 'Tis 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.
heart is troubled for thy sake. Should I advise thee to regain Numidia, Or seek the conqueror?
Jub. If I forsake thee
Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright,
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 prepared, by my command, That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port. Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you?
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.
[Pointing to his dead Son. There, the brave youth, with love of virtue fired, Who greatly in his country's cause expired, Shall know he conquer'd. The firm patriot there, Who made the weliare of mankind his care, Though still by faction, vice, and fortune crost, Shall find the gen'rous labour was not lost. [Exeunte
ACT THE FIFTH.
Cato solus, sitting in a thoughtful Posture ; in his
Hand, Plato's Book on the Immortality of the Soul.
Cato. It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st wellElse whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, O:falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction? 'Tis ihe divinity that stirs within us; "Tis Heav'n itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man,
[Laying his Hand on his Sword.
awaken'd soul may take her flight, Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life, An offering fit for Heav'n. Let guilt or fear Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of them, Indiff'rent in his choice to sleep or die.
But, hah! who's this? my son! Why this intrusion?