« ZurückWeiter »
“ Returns again in such tumultuous tides, “ It quite o'ercomes me.” Lead to my apartmentOh, prince! I blush to think what I have said, But fate has wrested the confession from me; Go on, and prosper in the paths of honour. Thy virtue will excuse my passion for thee, And make the gods propitious to our love.
[Exeunt Mar. and Luc. Jub. I am so blest, I fear 'tis all a dream. Fortune, thou now hast made amends for all Thy past unkindness: I absolve my stars. What though Numidia add her conquer'd towns And provinces to swell the victor's triumph, Juba will never at his fate repine : Let Cæsar have the world, if Marcia's mine. [Exit.
A march at a distance. Enter Cato and LUCIUS.
Luc. I stand astonish'd! What, the bold Sempronius, That still broke foremost through the crowd of pa
triots, As with a hurricane of zeal transported, And virtuous even to madness
Cato. Trust me, Lucius, Our civil discords have produc'd such crimes, Such monstrous crimes! I am surpris'd at nothing. Oh, Lucius, I am sick of this bad world! The day-light and the sun grow painful to me.
Enter PORTIUS. But see where Portius comes: what means this haste? Why are thy looks thus chang'd?
Por. My heart is griev'd,
Cato. Has Cæsar slied more Roman blood;
Por. Not so. The traitor Syphax, as within the square He exercis'd his troops, the signal given, Flew off at once with his Numidian horse To the south gate, where Marcus holds the watch; I saw, and call’d to stop him, but in vain : He toss’d his arm aloft, and proudly told me, He would not stay and perish like Sempronius.
Cato. Perfidions man! But haste, my son, and see Thy brother Marcus acts a Roman's part. [Ex. Por. -Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me : Justice gives way to force: the conquer'd world Is Cæsar's! Cato has no business in it.
Luc. While pride, oppression, and injustice reign, The world will still demand her Cato's presence. In pity to mankind submit to Cæsar, And reconcile thy mighty soul to life. Cato. Would Lucius have me live to swell the
number Of Cæsar's slaves, or by a base submission Give up the cause of Rome, and own a tyrant?
Luc. The victor never will impose on Cato Ungen'rous terms. His enemies confess The virtues of humanity are Cæsar's. Cato. Curse on his virtues! they've undone his
country. Such popular humanity is treason
But see young Juba ; the good youth appears,
Luc. Alas, poor princel his fate deserves compassion.
Cato. What's thy crime?
soul. „Jub. Hast thou not heard of my false countrymen ? Cato. Alas, young prince! falsehood and fraud shoot
up in ev'ry soil, The product of all climes-Rome has its Cæsars.
Jub. 'Tis generous thus to comfort the distress'd.
Cato. 'Tis just to give applause where 'tis deserv'd; Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, Like purest gold, that, tortur'd in the furnace, Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its weight.
Jub. What shall I answer thee? “My ravish'd heart 1. O'erflows with secret joy:" I'd rather gain Thy praise, O Catu! than Numidia's empire.
Cato. Hah! what has he done?
Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met him Borne on the shields of his surviving soldiers, Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with wounds, Long, at the head of his few faithful friends, He stood the shock of a whole host of foes, Till obstinately brave, and bent on death, Oppress'd with multitudes, he greatly fell.
Cato. I'm satisfy'd.
Por. Nor did he fall before
Cato. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done his duty,
Por. Long may they keep asunder!
Luc. Oh, Cato, arm thy soul with all its patience; See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches ! The citizens and senators, alarni’d, Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping.
CATO, meeting the corpse. Cato. Welcome, my son! Here lay him down, my
friends, Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds, -How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue ! Who would not be that youth? What pity is it That we can die but once to serve our country! Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends ?
I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood
Jub. Was ever man like this!
Cato. Alas, my friends, Why mourn you thus! let not a private loss Amićt 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, virtuel Oh, my country!
Fub. Behold that upright man! Rome fills his eyes With tears that flow'd not o'er his own dead son.
[ Aside. Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdu'd, The sun's whole course, the day and year are Cæsar's: For him the self-devoted Decii dy'd, The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conquer'd; Ev’n Pompey fought for Cæsar. Oh, my friends, How is the toil of fate, the work of ages, The Roman empire, fall’n! Oh, curst ambition! Fall’n into Cæsar's hand! Our great forefathers Had left him nought to conquer but his country.
Jub. While Cato lives Cæsar will blush to see Mankind inslav’d, and be asham'd of empire.
Cato. Cæsar asham'd! has he not seen Pharsalia! Luc. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us.
Cuto. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of danger, Heav'n will not leave me in the victor's hand.