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Were not my orders that I would be private ?
Why am I disobey'd?
Por. Alas, my

father!
What means this sword, this instrument of death
Let me convey it hence.

Cato. Rash youth, forbear!
Por. Oh, let the pray’rs, th' entreaties of your

friends, Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from you!

Catir. Wouldst thou betray me? Wouldst thou give
A slave, a captive, into Cæsar's hands?
Retire, and learn obedience to a father,
Or know, young man-

Por. Look not thus sternly on me;
You know, I'd rather die than disobey you.

Cato. 'Í'is well! again I'm måster of myself.
Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates,
And bar each avenue; thy gath'ring fleets
O’erspread the sea, and stop up ev'ry port;
Cato shall open to himself a passage,
And mock thy hopes.-

Por. Oh, sir! forgive your son,
Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Oh, my father!
How am I sure it is not the last time
I e'er shall call you so? Be not displeased,
Oh, be not angry with me whilst I weep,
And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you
To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul!
Câto. Thou hast been ever good and dutiful,

[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.
But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting
Among thy father's friends; see them embark'd,
And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them.
My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks
The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep.
Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart re-
vives

(Exit CATO.

Enter MARCIA.

Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there's hope
Our father will not cast away a life
So needful to us all, and to his country.
He is retired to rest, and seems to cherish
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me

hence
With orders that bespeak a mind composed,
And studious for the safety of his friends.
Marcia, take care, that none disturb his slumbers.

[Exit. Marcia. Oh, ye immortal powers, that guard the

just,
Watch round his couch, and soften his repose,
Banish his sorrows, and becalm his soul
With easy dreams; remember all his virtues,
And show mankind that goodness is your care!

Enter LUCIA.

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;
He knows not how to wink at human frailty,
Or pardon weakness, that he never felt.
Marcia. Though stern and awful to the foes of

Rome,
He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild;
Compassionate and gentle to his friends;
Fill'd with domestic tenderness, the best,
The kindest father; I have ever found him
Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes.

Lucia. 'Tis his consent alone can make us bleste
Marcia, we both are equally involved
In the same intricate, perplex'd distress.
The cruel hand of fate, that has destroy'd
Thy brother Marcus, whom we both lament-

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

Heav'n.

Enter LUCIUS.

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

thought.

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

presence !

Enter PORTIUS.
Por. Oh, sight of woe!
Oh, Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass !
Cato has fall’n upon his sword-

Luc. Oh, Portius,
Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale,
And let us guess the rest.

Por. I've raised him up,
And placed 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 servants, weeping,
Obsequious to his order, bear him hither!
Marcia. Oh, Heav'n! assist me in this dreadful

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!

Dies.

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