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To life or death?
Be sure you beat him down, and bind him faste Por. What wouldst thou have me say ? This day will end our toils, and give us rest: Marc. What means this pensive posture? Thou Fear nothing, for Sempronius is our friend.
appear'st Like one amazed and terrified.
Re-enter SEMPRONIUS, with CATO, LUCIUS, Por. I've reason.
PORTIUS, and MARCUS. Murc. Thy downcast looks, and thy disorder- Cato. Where are those bold intrepid sons of ed thoughts,
war, Tell me my fate. I ask not the success
That greatly turn their backs upon their foe, My cause has found.
And to their general send a brave defiance? Por. I'm grieved I undertook it.
Sem. Curse on their dastard souls, they stand Marc. What? does the barbarous maid insult
Tidade my heart,
Cato. Perfidious men! And will you thus dise My aching heart, and triumph in my pains ?
honour That I could cast her from my thoughts for ever! Your past exploits, and sully all your wars?
Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs; Do you confess 'twas not a zeal for Rome, Lucia, though sworn never to think of love, Nor love of liberty, nor thirst of honour, Compassionates your pains, and pities you. Drew
you thus far; but hopes to share the spoil Murc. Compassionates my pains, and pities of conquered towns, and plundered provinces?
Fired with such motives, you do well to join What is compassion, when 'tis void of love? With Cato's foes, and follow Casar's banners, Fool that I was to chuse so cold a friend Why did I 'scape the envenomed aspic's rage, To urge my cause !--Compassionates my pains ! And all the fiery monsters of the desert, Prithee, what art, what rhetoric didst thou use To see this day. Why could not Cato fall To gain this mighty boon ?-She pities me! Without your guilt? Behold, ungrateful men, To one that asks the warm returns of love, Behold my bosom naked to your swords, Compassion's cruelty, 'tis scorn, 'tis death And let the man that’s injured strike the blow, Por. Marcus, no more; have I deserved this Which of you all suspects that he is wronged? treatment?
Or thinks he suffers greater ills than Cato? Marc. What have I said! Oh, Portius, oh for- Am I distinguished from you but by toils, give me!
Superior toils, and heavier weight of cares? A soul, exasperate in ills, falls out
"Painful pre-eminence! With every thing, its friend, itself—but, hah! Sem. By Heavens, they droop! What means that shout, big with the sounds of Confusion to the villains ! all is lost!
Cato. Have you forgotten Lybia's burning What new alarm?
waste, Por. A second, louder yet,
Its barren rocks, parched earth, and hills of sand, Swells in the wind, and comes more full upon us. Its tainted air, and all its broods of poison ? Marc. Oh, for some glorious cause to fall in Who was the first to explore the untrodden path, battle!
When life was hazarded in every step? Lucia, thou hast undone me; thy disdain Or, fainting in the long laborious march, Has broke my heart: 'tis death must give me ease. When, on the banks of an unlooked-for stream, Por. Quick, let us hence. Who knows if Ca- You sunk the river with repeated draughts, to's life
Who was the last of all your host that thirsted? Stands sure? Oh, Marcus, I am warmed, my Sem. If some penurious source by chance apheart
peared, Leaps at the trumpet's voice, and burns for glory. Scanty of waters, when you scooped it dry,
[Ereunt. And offered the full helmet up to Cato,
Did he not dash the untasted moisture from Enter SEMPRONIUS, with the Leaders of the
him ? mutiny.
Did he not lead you through the mid-day sun, Sem. At length the winds are raised, the storm And clouds of dust ? Did not his temples glow blows high;
In the same sultry winds and scorching heats? Be it your care, my friends, to keep it up
Cato. Hence, worthless men! hence and comIn its full fury, and direct it right,
plain to Cæsar, Till it has spent itself on Cato's head.
You could not undergo the toil of war, Meanwhile I'll herd amongst his friends, and Nor bear the hardships that your leader bore.
Luc. See, Cato, see the unhappy wen; they One of the number, that, whate'er arrive, My friends and fellow-soldiers may be safe. Fear and remorse, and sorrow for their crime,
[Erit. | Appear in every look, and plead for mercy, 1 Lead. We are all safe, Sempronius is our
Cato. Learn to be honest men, give up your friend.
leaders, Sempronius is as brave a man as Cato.
And pardon shall descend to all the rest. But hark! he enters. Bear up boldly to him: Sen. Cato, commit these wretches to my care :
First let them each be broken on the rack, Here, take these factious monsters, drag them Then, with what life remains, impaled, and left
forth To writhe at leisure round the bloody stake; To sudden death! There let them hang, and taint the southern wind. 1 Lead. Nay, since it comes to this The partners of their crime will learn obedi- Sem. Dispatch them quick; but first pluck out ence,
their tongues, When they look up, and see their fellow-traitors Lest, with their dying breath, they sow sedition. Stuck on a fork, and blackening in the sun.
[E.reunt guards, with their leaders. Luc. Sempronius, why, why wilt thou urge the fate
Enter SYPHAX, Of wretched men ?
Syph. Our first design, my friend, has proved Sem. How! wouldst thou clear rebellion ?
abortive: Lucius (good man) pities the poor offenders,
Still there remains an after-game to play That would imbrue their hands in Cato's blood! My troops are mounted; their Numidian steeds Cato. Forbear, Sempronius !-see they suffer Snuff up the wind, and long to scour the desert: death,
Let but Sempronius head us in our flight, But, in their deaths, remember they are men ; We'll force the gate where Marcus keeps his Strain not the laws to make their tortures grie
And hew down all that would oppose our passage. Lucius, the base degenerate age requires A day will bring us into Cæsar's camp, Severity, and justice in its rigour:
Sem. Confusion! I have failed of half my pure This awes an impious, bold, offending world,
pose : Commands obedience, and gives force to laws. Marcia, the charming Marcia's left behind ! When, by just vengeance, guilty mortals perish, Syph. How! will Sempronius turn a woman's The gods behold the punishment with pleasure,
slave? And lay the uplifted thunderbolt aside.
Sem. Think not thy friend can ever feel the Sem. Cato, I execute thy will with pleasure.
soft Cato. Meanwhile we'll sacrifice to Liberty. Unmanly warmth and tenderness of love. Remember, O my friends! the laws, the rights, Syphax, I long to clasp that haughty maid, The generous plan of power delivered down And bend her stubborn virtue to my ion: From age to age, by your renowned
When I have gone thus far, I'd cast her off. (So dearly bought, the price of so much blood): Syph. Well said ! that's spoken like thyself, Oh, let it never perish in your hands !
Sempronius. But piously transmit it to your children.
What hinders, then, but that thou find her out, Do thou, great Liberty, inspire our souls, And hurry her away by manly force? And make our lives, in thy possession, happy, Sem. But how to gain admission for access Or our deaths glorious in thy just defence. 'Is given to none but Juba, and her brothers.
(Ereunt CATO, &c. Syph. Thou shalt have Juba's dress, and Ju. i Lead. Sempronius, you have acted like your
ba's guards; self.
The doors will open when Numidia's prince One would have thought you had been half in Seems to appear before the slaves that watch earnest.
them. Sem. Villain, stand off! base, grovelling, worth- Sem. Heavens, what a thought is there! Mar less wretches,
cia's my own! Mongrels in faction, poor faint-hearted traitors ! How will my bosom swell with anxious joy. 2 Lead. Nay, now you carry it too far, Sem- When I behold her struggling in my arms, pronius;
With glowing beauty, and disordered charma, Throw off the mask; there are none here but While fear and anger, with alternate grace, friends.
Pant in her breast, and vary in her face! Sem. Know, villains, when such paltry slaves So Pluto seized of Proserpine, conveyed presume
To hell's tremendous gloom the affrighted maid; To mix in treason, if the plot succeeds, There grimly smiled, pleased with the beauteous They're thrown neglected by: but if it fails,
prize, They're sure to die like dogs, as you shall do. Nor envied Jove his unshine his ies.
He must be murdered, and a passage cut
Through those his guards---Ha! dastards, do
you treible? Enter LUCIA and MARCIA.
Or act like men, or by yon azure heaven Luc. Now tell me, Marcia, tell me from thy soul,
Enter JUBA. If thou believ'st 'tis possible for woman
Juba. What do I see? Who's this, that danes To suffer greater ills than Lucia suffers ?
usurp Mar. Oh, Lucia, Lucia, might thy big swoln The guards and habits of Numidia's prince? heart,
Sem. One that was born to scourge thy arroVent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow,
gance, Marcia could answer thee in sighs, keep pace Presumptuous youth! With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear. Juba. What can this mean? Sempronius! Luc. I know thou'rt doomed alike to be be- Sem. My sword shall answer thee. Have at loved
thy heart ! By Juba, and thy father's friend, Sempronius: Juba. Nay, then, beware thy own, proud, bare But which of these has power to charm like Por
barous man. tius!
(Sem. falls. His guards surrender. Mar. Still I must beg thee not to name Sem- Sem. Curse on my stars! Am I then doomed pronius;
to fall Lucia, I like not that loud boisterous man. By a boy's hand, disfigured in a vile Juba, to all the bravery of a hero,
Numidian dress, and for a worthless woman? Adds softest love, and more than female sweet- Gods, I'm distracted! This my close of life!
Oh! for a peal of thunder, that would make Juba might make the proudest of our sex, Earth, sea, and air, and heaven, and Cato, tremble! Any of woman kind, but Marcia, happy.
(Dies. Luc. And why not Marcia? Come, you strive Juba. With what a spring his furious soul in vain
broke loose, To hide your thoughts from one who knows too And left the limbs still quivering on the ground! well
Hence, let us carry off those slaves to Cato, The inward glowings of a heart in love.
That we may there at length unravel all Mar. While Cato lives, his daughter has no This dark design, this mystery of fate. right
[Erit JUBA, with prisoners &c. To love or hate, but as his choice directs. Luc. But should this father give you to Sem
Enter LUCIA and MARCIA. pronius?
Luc. Sure 'twas the clash of swords: my trouMar. I dare not think he will: but if he should
bled heart Why wilt thou add, to all the griefs I suffer, Is so cast down, and sunk amidst its sorrows, Imaginary ills, and fancied tortures ?
It throbs with fear, and aches at every sound. I hear the sound of feet! They march this way: Oh, Marcia, should thy brothers, for my sakel Let us retire, and try if we can drown
I die away with horror at the thought. Each softer thought in sense of present danger : Mar. See, Lucia, see! here's blood! here's When love once pleads admission to our hearts,
blood and murder! In spite of all the virtues we can boast, Ha! a Numidian! Heaven preserve the prince! The woman, that deliberates, is lost. [Exeunt. The face lies muffled up within the garment,
But, ha! death to my sight! a diadem,
And royal robes! O gods ! 'tis he, 'tis he!
Juba, the loveliest youth that ever warmed Sem. The deer is lodged, I've tracked her to A virgin's heart, Juba lies dead before us! her covert.
Luc. Now, Marcia, now call up to thy assistBe sure you mind the word, and, when I give it, Rush in at once, and seize upon your prey. Thy wonted strength and constancy of mind! Let not her cries or tears have force to move you. Thou can'st not put it to a greater trial.
-How will the young Numidian rave to see Mar. Lucia, look there, and wonder at my His mistress lost! If aught could glad my soul,
patience; Beyond the enjoyment of so bright a prize, Have I not cause to rave, and beat my breast, Twould be to torture that young, gay barbarian. To rend my heart with grief, and run distracted ! But hark! what noise! Death to my hopes ! Luc. What can I think or say to give thee 'tis he,
comfort? 'Tis Juba's self! there is but one way left- Mar. Talk not of comfort ! 'tis for lighter ills :
Behold a sight that strikes all comfort dead. Half smothered in my breast, has broke through Enter JUBA listening:
Its weak restraints, and burns in its full lustre. I will indulge my sorrows, and give way I cannot, if I would, conceal it from thee. To all the pangs and fury of despair ;
Juba. I'm lost in ecstacy! and dost thou love, That man, that best of men, deserved it from me. Thou charming maidJuba. What do I hear? And was the false Mar. And dost thou live to ask it? Sempronius
Jaba. This, this is life indeed! life worth preThat best of men? Oh, had I fallen like him,
serving, And could have been thus mourned, I had been such life as Juba never felt 'tiil now! happy.
Mar. Believe me, prince, before I thought . Luc. Here will I stand, companion in thy woes,
thee dead, And help thee with my tears; when I behold I did not know myself how much I loved thee. A loss like thine, I half forget my own.
Juba. Oh, fortunate mistake!
Juba. My joy, my best beloved, my only wish!
The vital blood, that had forsook my heart, Mar. Oh, he was all made up of love and Returns again in such tumultuous tides, charms,
It quite o'ercomes me. Lead to my apartmentWhatever maid could wish, or man admire, Oh, prince! I blush to think what I have said, Delight of every eye! when he appeared, But fate has wrested the confession from me; A secret pleasure gladdened all that saw him; Go
in the paths of honour. But when he talked, the proudest Roman blushed Thy virtue will excuse my passion for thee, To hear his virtues, and old age grew worse. And make the gods propitious to our love. Juba. I shall run mad
(Ereunt MARCIA and LUCIA. Mar, Oh, Juba! Juba ! Juba!
Juba. I am so blest, I fear 'tis all a dream. Juba. What means that voice? did she not Fortune, thou now hast made amends for all call on Juba?
Thy past unkindness: I absolve my stars. Mar. Why do I think on what he was! he's What though Nunidia add her conquered towns dead!
And provinces to swell the victor's triumph, He's dead, and never know how much I loved Juba will never at his fate repine: him,
Let Cæsar have the world, if Marcia's mine. Lucia, who knows but his poor bleeding heart,
(E.rit. Amidst its agonies, remembered Marcia,
A march at a distance.-Enter CATO and And the last words he uttered, called me cruel!
Lucius. Alas! he knew not, hapless youth, he knew not Marcia's whole soul was full of love and Juba ! Luc. I stand astonished! What, the bold Seme Juba. Where am I? Do I live? or am indeed
pronius, What Marcia thinks? All is Elysium round me! That still broke foremost through the crowd of Mar. Ye dear remains of the most loved of
As with a hurricane of zeal transported, men, Nor modesty nor virtue here forbid
And virtuous even to madness A last embrace, while thus
Cato. Trust me, Lucius, Juba. See, Marcia, see,
Our civil discords have produced such crimes, [Throwing himself before her. . Such monstrous crimes! I am surprised at no. The happy Juba lives ! He lives to catch
thing. That dear embrace, and to return it too
-Oh, Lucius, I am sick of this bad world! With mutual warmth and eagerness of love. The day-light and the sun grow painful to me. Mar. With pleasure and amaze I stand tran
Enter PORTIUS. sported ! Sure'tis a dream! dead and alive at once! But see where Portius comes: what means this If thou art Juba, who lies there?
haste? Juba. A wretch,
Why are thy looks thus changed?
Por. My heart is grieved,
Cato. Has Cæsar shed more Roman blood? To leave thee in the neighbourhood of death,
Por. Not so.
Mar. I've been surprised in an unguarded hour, To the south gate, where Marcus holds the But must not now go back; the love, that lay
I saw, and called to stop him, but in vain : Breathless and pale, and covered o'er with He tossed his arm aloft, and proudly told me,
wounds. He would not stay and perish like Sempronius. Long, at the head of his few faithful friends, Cato. Perfidious man! But haste, my son, He stood the shock of a whole host of foes; and see
Till, obstinately brave, and bent on death, Thy brother Marcus acts a Roman's part. Oppressed with multitudes, he greatly fell.
(Exit Por. Cato. I'm satisfied. -Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me: Por. Nor did he fall before Justice gives way to force: the conquered world His sword had pierced through the false heart of Is Cæsar's! Cato has no business in it.
Syphax. Luc. While pride, oppression, and injustice Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor reign,
Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground. The world will still demand her Cato's presence. Cato. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done In pity to mankind submit to Cæsar,
his duty! And reconcile thy mighty soul to life!
- Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place Cato. Would Lucius have me live to swell the His urn near mine. number
Por. Long may they keep asunder! of Cæsar's slaves, or, by a base submission, Luc. Oh, Cato, arm thy soul with all its pa Give up the cause of Rome, and own a tyrant?
tience; Luc. The victor never will impose on Cato See where the corse of thy dead son approaches! Ungenerous terms. His enemies confess The citizens and senators, alarmed, The virtues of humanity are Cæsar's.
Have gathered round it, and attend it weeping. Cato. Curse on his virtues ! they've undone his country:
Cato, meeting the corpse. Such popular humanity is treason
Cato. Welcome, my son! Here lay him down, But see young Juba; the good youth appears, Full of the guilt of his perfidious subjects! Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure Luc. Alas, poor prince ! his fate deserves The bloody corse, and count those glorious compassion.
-How beautiful is death, when earned by virEnter JUBA.
tue! Juba. I blush, and am confounded to appear Who would not be that youth? What pity is it Before thy presence, Cato..
That we can die but once to serve our country! Cato. What's thy crime?
-Why sits this sadness on your brows, my Juba. I am a Numidian.
friends? Cato. And a brave one too. Thou hast a I should have blushed if Cato's house had stood Roman soul.
Secure, and flourished in a civil war. Juba. Hast thou not heard of my false coun--Portius, behold thy brother, and remember trymen?
l'hy life is not thy own, when Rome demands it Cato. Alas, young prince ! falsehood and fraud Juba. Was ever man like this ! shoot up in every soil,
Cato. Alas, my friends, The product of all climes“Rome has its Cæsars. Why mourn you thus? let not a private loss Juba. 'Tis generous thus to comfort the dis- Amict your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires ou tressed.
tears, Cato. 'Tis just to give applause where ʼtis de- The mistress of the world, the seat of empire, served;
The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods, Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth, Like purest gold, that, tortured in the furnace, And set the nations free, Rome is no more! Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its Oh, Liberty! Oh, Virtue! Oh, my Country! weight.
Juba, Behold that upright man! Rome fillo Juba. What shall I answer thee? My ravished heart
With tears, that flowed not o'er his own dead O’erflows with sacred joy; I'd rather gain.
(Aside. Thy praise, O Cato! than Numidia's empire. Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has sub
dued, Enter PORTIUS.
The sun's whole course, the day and year are Por. Misfortune on misfortune! grief on grief!
Cæsar's: My brother Marcus
For him the self-devoted Decii died, Cato. Ha! What has he done?
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conHas he forsook his post? Has he given way?
quered; Did he look tamely on, and let them pass? Even Pompey fought for Cæsar. Oh, my friends, Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met How is the toil of fate, the work of ages, him,
The Roman empire, fallen! Oh, cursed ambiBorne on the shields of his surviving soldiers,