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Full of the guilt of his perfidious subjects.
Luc. Alas! poor prince! his fate deserves compassion.
JUBA. I blush and am confounded to appear
JUBA. I'm a Numidian.
Thou hast a Roman soul.
What's thy crime?
And a brave one too.
Hast thou not heard
Of my false countrymen ?
Alas! young prince, Falsehood and fraud shoot up in every soil, The product of all climes-Rome has its Cæsars. JUBA. 'Tis generous thus to comfort the distrest. 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 forth all its weight. JUBA. What shall I answer thee? my ravished heart O'erflows with secret joy: I'd rather gain Thy praise, O Cato! than Numidia's empire.
POR. Misfortune on misfortune! grief on grief!
Hah! what has he done?
Nor did he fall before
His sword had pierced through the false heart of Syphax.
CATO. Thanks to the gods! my boy has done his duty. →Portius, when I am dead, be sure thou place His urn near mine.
Long may they keep asunder.
Have gathered round it, and attend it weeping.
CATO, meeting the corpse.
Welcome, my son! here lay him down, my friends,
-Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
Alas! my friends! Why mourn you thus ? let not a private loss Afflict your 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! JUBA. Behold that upright man! Rome fills his eyes With tears, that flowed not o'er his own dead son. [Aside.
CATO. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdued,
The sun's whole course, the day and year, are Cæsar's.
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conquered;
Ev'n Pompey fought for Cæsar. Oh! my friends!
The Roman empire fall'n! Oh curst ambition!
JUBA. While Cato lives, Cæsar will blush to see
Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of empire. CATO. Cæsar ashamed! has not he seen Pharsalia ? Luc. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us. CATO. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of danger. Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand. Cæsar shall never say, I conquered Cato. But, oh! my friends, your safety fills 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, The virtue of my friends may pass unpunished. -Juba, my heart is troubled for thy sake. Should I advise thee to regain Numidia, Or seek the conqueror ?—
If I forsake thee
Will one day make thee great; at Rome, hereafter,
Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou seest me
To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field,
Where the great Censor toiled with his own hands,
A life to Portius that he scorns himself.
(Their sails already opening to the winds,)
[Pointing to his dead son.
SCENE I.-CATO solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture: in his hand Plato's Book on the Immortality of the Soul. drawn sword on the table by him.
It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well!—
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
'Tis heaven itself, that points out an hereafter,
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass!
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.
What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
CATO. But, hah! how's this, my son? why this intrusion?
Alas! my father!
What means this sword? this instrument of death?
Look not thus sternly on me; You know I'd rather die than disobey you. CATO. 'Tis well! again I'm master of myself. Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates, And bar each avenue, thy gathering fleets