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Ev'n whilst I speak-do they not swim in tears?
Were but my heart as naked to thy view,
Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf.

Marc. Why then dost treat me with rebukes, instead Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow?,

Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the way to ease
Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains,
Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it.
Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best of

friends!
Pardon a weak distemper'd soul, that swells
With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms,
The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes :
He must not find this softness hanging on me.

[Exit Mar.

Enter SEMPRONIUS. Sem. Conspiracies no sooner should be formd Than executed. What means Portius here? I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, And speak a language foreign to my heart. (Aside. Good-morrow, Portius; let us once embrace, Once more embrace, while yet we both are free. To-morrow, should we thus express our friendship, Each might receive a slave into his arms. This sun, perhaps, this morning sun's the last, That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty.

Por. My father has this morning call'd together To this poor hall, his little Roman senate, (The leavings of Pharsalia) to consult

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If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent
That bears down Rome, and all her gods before it,
Or must at length give up the world to Cæsar.

Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome
Can raise her senate more than Cato's presence,
His virtues render our assembly awful,
They strike with something like religious fear,
And make even Cæsar tremble at the head
Of armies flush'd with conquest. Oh, my

Portius
Could I but call that wond'rous man my father,
Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious
To thy friend's vows, I might be bless'd indeed!

Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou talk of love
To Marcia whilst her father's life's in danger;
Thou might'st as well court the pale, trembling vestal,
When she beholds the holy flame expiring.

Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy race,
The more I'm charm'd. Thou must take heed, my

Portius;
The world has all its eyes on Cato's son ;
Thy father's merit sets thee up to view,
And shews thee in the fairest point of light,
To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous.

Por. Well dost thou seem to check my ling’ring here
On this iinportant hour-l'll straight away,
And while the fathers of the senate meet
In close debate, to weigh th’events of war,
I'll anima e tlie soldiers' drooping courage
With love of freedom, and contempt of lite;
I'll thunder in their ears their country's cause,

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And try to rouse up all that's Roman in 'em. 'Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it. [Ex.

Sem. Curse on the stripling! how he apes his sire ! Ambitiously sententious—But I wonder Old Syphax comes not; his Numidian genius Is well dispos’d to mischief, were he prompt And eager on it; but he must be spurr’d, And every moment quicken’d to the course. -Cato has us'd me ill: he has refus'd His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows. Besides, his baffled arms, and ruin’d cause, Are bars to my ambition. Cæsar's favour, That show'rs down greatness on his friends, will raise.

me

To Rome's first honours. If I give up Cato,
I claim, in my reward, his captive daughter.
But Syphax comes

Enter SYPHAX. Syph. Sempronius, all is ready; I've sounded my Numidians, man by man, And find them ripe for a revolt: they all Complain aloud of Cato's discipline, And wait but the command to change their master.

Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste; Ev’n while we speak our conqueror comes on, And gathers ground upon us every moment. Alas! thou know'st not Cæsar's active soul, With what a dreadful course he rushes on

From war to war. In vain has nature formid
Mountains and oceans to oppose

his

passage;
He bounds o'er all; victorious in his march,
The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him :
Through winds and waves, and storms he works his

way,
Impatient for the battle; one day more
Will set the victor thund'ring at our gates.
But, tell me, hast thou yet drawn o'er young Juba?
That still would recommend thee more to Cæsar. -
And challenge better terms.

Syph. Alas, he's lost!
He's lost, Sempronius; all his thoughts are full
Of Cato's virtues---But I'll try once more
(For every instant I expect him here)
If yet I can subdue those stubborn principles
Of faith and honour, and I know not what,
That have corrupted his Numidian temper,
And struck th' infection into all his soul.

Sem. Be sure to press upon him every motive.
Juba's surrender, since his father's death,
Would give up Afric into Cæsar's hands,
And make him lord of half the barning zone.

Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that your senate
Is call'd together? Gods I thou must be cautious;
Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern
Our frauds, unless they're cover'd thick with art.

Sem. Let me alone, good Syphax, l'll conceal My thoughts in passion, ('tis the surest way ;) l'll bellow out for Rome, and for my country,

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And mouthe at Caesar 'till I shake the senate.
Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device,
A worn-out trick; wouldst thou be thought in earnest,
Clothe thy feign'd zeal in rage, in fire, in fury!

Syph. In troth, thou’rt able to instruct grey hairs, And teach the wily African deceit.

Sem. Once more be sure to try thy skill on Juba. Meanwhile I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers, Inflame the mutiny, and underhand Blow up their discontents, till they break out Unlook'd for, and discharge themselves on Cato. Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste: Oh, think what anxious moments pass between The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods! Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time, Fill'd

up with horror all, and big with death! Destruction hangs on every word we speak, On every thought, 'till the concluding stroke Determines all, and closes our design. [Exit.

Syph. I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason This headstrong youth, and make him spurn at Cato. The time is short; Cæsar comes rushing on usBut hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches.

Enter JUBA.
Fub. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have observ'd of late thy looks are fall’n,
O’ercast with gloomy cares and discontent;
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me,

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