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Now, Cæfar, let thy troops beset our gates,
And bar each avenue, thy gathering fleets
O'erspread the sea, and ftop up every port ;
Cato fhall open to himself a passage,
And mock thy hopes
PORT IU S.
O Sir, forgive your son,
• Whose grief hangs heavy on him ! O my father!
How am I sure it is not the last time:
I e'er shall call you fo ? be not displeased,
O be not angry with me whilft I weep,
And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you
To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul !
Thou hast been ever good and dutiful. [Embracing him.
Weep not, my son. All will be well again.
The righteous gods, whom I have fought to please,
Will fuccour Cato, and preserve his children.
Your words give comfort to my drooping heart.
Portius, thou may'ft 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 embarked;
And tell me if the winds and feas befriend them.
My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks
The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep.
PORTIU S. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart revives.
O Marcia, O my fifter, still there's hope }
Our father will not caft away a life
So needful to us all, and to his country.
He is recir'd to rest, and seems to cherish
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatcht me hence
With orders, that bespeak a mind composed,
And studious for the safety of his friends,
Marcia, take care that none difturb his flumbers.
MA RC I A.
Oye immortal powers, that guard the juft,
Watch round his couch, and soften his repose,
Banish his forrows, and becalm his soul
With easy dreams; remember all his virtues !
And thow mankind that goodness is your care,
Where is your father, Marcia, where is Cato ?
MARC I A...
Lucia, speak low, he is retired to ret.
Lucia, I feel a gently.dawning hope
Rise in my soul. We shall be happy ftill.
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.
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 kindeft father! I have ever found him
Easy, and good, and bounteous to my wishes.
LU C I A.
'Tis his consent alone can make us bleft..
Marcia, we both are equally involv'd
In the same intricate, perplext, distress.
The cruel hand of fate, that has destroy'd
Thy brother Marcus, whom we both lament-
And ever shall lament, unhappy youth!
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 determin'd of thyself?
MA RC I A.
Let him but live ! commit the rest to heaven.
Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man!
O 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 fallen upon him :
I saw him ftretcht.at ease, his fancy lost
In pleafing dreams; as I drew near his couch,
He smild, and cry?d, Cæfar thou canst not hurt me.
His mind ftill labours with some dreadful thought.
Lucia, why all this grief, these floods of sorrow?
Dry up thy tears, my child, we are all safe
While Gato lives--his presence will protect us,
Lucius, the horsemen are return'd from viewing
The number, strength, and posture of our foes,
Who now incamp 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.
Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father.
Cæfar is still dispose’d to give us terms,
And waits at distance 'till he hears from Cato.
Portius, thy looks fpeak somewhat of importance.
What tidings doft thou bring methinks I see
Unusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes.
As I was haiting 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
Affert her rights, and claim her liberty.