صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

29 Oh, lovely maid I then will I think on thee; And in the shock of charging hosts, remember What glorious deeds should grace the man who hopes For Marcia's love.

[Exit Juba. Luc. Marcia, you're too severe; How cou'd you chide the young good-natur'd prince, And drive him from you with so stern an air, A prince that loves and doats on you to death?

Mar. 'Tis therefore, Lucia, that I chid him from me. His air, his voice, his looks, and honest soul, Speak all so movingly in his behalf, I dare not trust myself to hear him talk.

Luc. Why will you fight against so sweet a passion, And steel your heart to such a world of charms ?

Mar. How, Lucia! wouldst thou have me sink away In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love, When ev'ry moment Cato's life's at stake? Cæsar comes arm’d with terror and revenge, And aims his thunder at my father's head. Should not the sad occasion swallow up


" and draw them all into it?"
Luc. Why have not I this constancy of mind,
Who have so many griefs to try its force ?
Sure, nature form'd me of her softest mould,
Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions,
And sunk me ev'n below my own weak sex :
Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart.

Mar. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me,
And let me share thy most retir'd distress.
Tell me who raises up this confict in thee?


My other

Luc. I need not blush to name them, when I tell

thee They're Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato.

Mar. They both behold thee with their sister's eyes, And often have reveal'd their passion to me. « But tell me, whose address thou fav’rest most? I long to know, and yet I dread to hear it.

6. Luc. Which is it Marcia wishes for? Mar. “ For neither“ And yet for both-The youths have equal share “ In Marcia's wishes, and divide their sister :" But tell me which of them is Lucia's choice?

Luc. Marcia, they both are high in my esteem, “ But in my love-Why wilt thou make me name him! " Thou know'st it is a blind and foolish passion, “ Pleas'd and disgusted with it knows not whatMar. Oh, Lucia, I'm perplex'd, Oh, tell me

which " I must hereafter call my happy brother?" Luc. Suppose 'twere Portius, could you blame my

choice? -Oh, Portius, thou hast stol'n away my soul ! " With what a graceful tenderness he loves ! " And breathes the softest, the sincerest vows! “ Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness, “ Dwellever on his tongue, and smooth his thoughts." Marcus is over-warm, his fond complaints Have so much earnestness and passion in them, I hear him with a secret kind of horror, And tremble at his vehemence of temper.

Mar. Alas, poor youth! “how canst thou throw him

from thee? “ Lucia, thou know'st not half the love he bears thee? “ Whene'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in flames, “ He sends out all his soul in ev'ry word, “ And thinks, and talks, and looks like one trans

ported. " Unhappy youth !” How will thy coldness raise Tempests and storms in his afflicted bosom I I dread the consequence.

Luc. You seem to plead
Against your brother Portius.

Mar. Heav'n forbid !
Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover,
The same compassion would have fall’n on him.

Luc. Was ever virgin love distrest like mine!
Portius himself oft falls in tears before me,
As he mourn'd his rival's ill success,
Then bids me hide the motions of my heart,
Nor shew which way it turns. So much he fears
The sad effects that it will have on Marcus.

Mar. He knows too well how easily he's fir’d, « And wou'd not plunge his brother in despair, “ But waits for happier times, and kinder moments.

Luc. Alas! too late I find myself involv'd “ In endless griefs, and labyrinths of woe, “ Born to afflict my Marcia's family, “ And sow dissention in the hearts of brothers. Tormenting thought! It cuts into my

soul." Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sorrows,

[ocr errors]

But to the gods submit th' event of things.
Our lives, discolour'd with our present woes,
May still grow bright, and smile with happier hours.

So the pure limpid stream, when foul with stains
Of rushing torrents, and descending rains,
Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines,
'Till, by degrees, the floating mirror shines,
Reflects each Aow'r that on the border grows,
And a new heav'n in its fair bosom shows. (Exeunt.


The Senate. LucIUS, SEMPRONIUS, and Senators.

Rome still survives in this assembled senate !
Let us remember we are Cato's friends,
And act like men who claim that glorious title.

Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to lis
Th' occasion of our meeting. Hark! he comes !

[ A sound of trumpets. May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him!

[ocr errors]

Enter CATO.
Cato. Fathers, we

ce again are met in council :
Cæsar's approach has summon'd us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our resolves.
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man?

Success still follows him, and backs his crimes ;
Pharsalia gave him Rome, Egypt has since
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death ? Numidia’s burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should decree
What course to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us even Lybia's sultry desarts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts : are they still fix'd
To hold it out and fight it to the last ?
Or are your hearts subdu'd at length, and wrought
By time, and ill success, to a submission ?
Sempronius, speak.

Sem. My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slav'ry or death!
No, let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
And at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon

Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, fathers, rise! 'Tis Rome demands your help:
Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,
Or share their fate! The corpse of half her senate
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
Sit here delib'rating in cold debates,
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
Rouse up, for shamel our brothers of Pharsalia

« السابقةمتابعة »