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Were not my orders that I would be private ?
Cato. Rash youth, forbear!
friends, Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from you!
Catir. Wouldst thou betray me? Wouldst thou give
Por. Look not thus sternly on me;
Cato. 'Í'is well! again I'm måster of myself.
Por. Oh, sir! forgive your son,
[Embracing him. Weep not, my son, all will be well again; The righteous gods, whom I have sought to please, Will succour Cato, and preserve his children. Por. Your words give comfort to my drooping
heart, Cato. Portius, thou may'st rely upon my conduct:
Thy father will not act what misbecomes him.
Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there's hope
[Exit. Marcia. Oh, ye immortal powers, that guard the
Lucia. Where is your father, Marcia, where is
Cato? Marcia. Lucia, speak low, he is retired to rest. Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope Rise in my soul-We shall be happy still.
Lucia. Alas, I tremble when I think on Cato ! In every view, in every thought, I tremble !
Cato is stern and awful as a god;
Lucia. 'Tis his consent alone can make us bleste
Marcia. Ånd ever shall lament; unhappy youth!
Lucia. 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 determined of himself? Marcia. Let him but live, commit the rest to
Luc. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man! Oh, 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 him : I saw him stretch'd at ease; his fancy lost In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch, He smiled, and cried, “ Cæsar, thou canst not hurt
me." Marcia. His mind still labours with some dreadful
Enter JUBA. Jub. 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 sun Plays on their shining arms, and burnish'd helmets, And covers all the field with gleams of fire.
Luc. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father. Cæsar is still disposed to give us terms, And waits at distance, till he hears from Cato.
Enter PORTIUS. Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importance. What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks, I see Unusual gladness sparkle in thy eyes.
Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now My father's friends, impatient for a passage, Accuse the ling'ring winds, a sail arrived From Pompey's son, who, through the realms of
Spain, Calls out for vengeance on his father's death, And rouses the whole nation up to arms. Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome Assert her rights, and claim her liberty. But, hark! what means that groan? Oh, give
me way, And let me fly into my father's
(Exit. Luc. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on Rome, And, in the wild disorder of his soul, Mourns o'er his country.--Ha! a second groan. Heav'n guard us all!
Marcia. Alas, 'tis not the voice Of one who sleeps ; 'tis agonizing pain"Tis death is in that sound
Luc. Oh, Portius,
Por. I've raised him up,
hour, To pay
the last sad duties to my father!
Cato brought on, in a Chair. Cato. 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 vainOh, Lucius, art thou here ?- Thou art too goodLet this our friendship live between our childrenMake Portius happy in thy daughter LuciaMarcia, my daughterOh, bend me forward !. -Juba loves thee, MarciaA senator of Rome, while Rome survived, Would not have match'd his daughter with a kingBut Cæsar's arms have thrown down all distinction I'm sick to death -Oh, when shall I get loose 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 hasty Oh, ye powers, that search The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts, If I have done amiss, impute it notThe best may err, but you are good, andOh!