Page images

his eyes


Enter Juba.

Jub. Was ever man like this! Aside. Jub. I blush, and am confounded to appear Cato. Alas, my friends! Before thy presence, Cato.

Why mourn you thus ? Let not a private loss Cato. What's thy crime?


your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our Jub. I'm a Numidian. (Roman soul.

tears; Cato. And a brave one too. Thou hast a The mistress of the world, the seat of empire, Jul. Hast thou not heard of my false coun. The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods, trymen ?

That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth, Cato. Alas, young prince !

And set the nations free, Rome is no more. Falsehood and fraud shoot up in ev'ry soil, O liberty! ( virtue! O my country! The productof all climes—Rome has its Cæsars. Jub. Behold that upright man ! 'Rome fills Jub. 'Tis gen'rous thus to comfort the distress'd.

[deserv'd: With tears that flow'd not o'er his own dead son. Cato. 'Tis just to give applause where 'tis

[Aside. Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subLike purest gold that, tortur’d in the furnace, du'd,

[Cæsar's; Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its The sun's whole course, the day and year are weight.

(heart For him the self-devoted Decii died, Jub. What shall I answer thee? Myravish'd The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conquerd; O'erflows with secret joy: I'd rather gain Even Pompey fought for Cæsar. O my friends! Thy praise, O Cato, than Numidia's empire. How is the toil of fate, the work of ages, Enter Portius.

The Roman empire, fallen! (curst ambition! Por. Misfortune on misfortune! griefon grief! Fallen into Cæsar's hands ? Our great foreMy brother Marcus

fathers Cato. Hah! what has he done?

Had left him nought to conquer but his country. Has he forsook his post ? Has he given way? Jub. While Cato lives, Cæsar will blush to Did he look tamely on, and let 'em pass ? Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met Mankind enslav'd, and be asham'd of empire. him

Cato. Cæsar asham'd! has he not seen PharBorne on the shields of his surviving soldiers,

salia? Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with Luc. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us. wounds.

Cato. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of Long at the head of his few faithful friends,

danger, He stood the shock of a whole host of foes, Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand. Till, obstinately brare, and bent on death, Cæsar shall never say he conquer'd Cato. Opprest with multitudes he greatly fell. But, O my friends, your safety fils my heart Cato. I'm satisfied !

With anxious thoughts; a thousand secret tetPor. Nor did he fall before His sword had pierc'd through the false heart of Rise in my soul—How shall I save iny friends? Syphax:

| 'Tis now, O Cæsar, I begin to fear thee. Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor Luc. Cæsar has niercy, if we ask it of him. Grin in the pangs of death and bite the ground. Cato. Then ask it, I conjure you ! let him Cato. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done know his duty !

Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it. -Portius, when I am dead, be sure you place And, if you please, that I request it of him, His urn near mine.

That I myself, with tears, request it of him, Por. Long may they keep asunder! The virtue of my friends may pass unpunish'd

. Luc. O Cato, arm thy soul with all its pa- Juba, my heart is troubled for the sake. tience;

Should I advise thee to regain Numidia, See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches! Or seek the conqueror ? The citizens and senators, alarm'd,

Jub. If I forsake thee Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping. Whilst I have life, may Heaven abandon Juba! Cato, meeting the Corpse.

Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright, Calo. Welcome, my son! here lay him down, Will one day make thee great; at Romne, bertmy friends,

after, Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure 'Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend. The bloody corse and count those glorious Portius, draw near: my son, thou oft has seen wounds.

Thy sire engag d in a corrupted state, How beautiful is death, when earn'd byvirtue! Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou Who would not be that youth? What pity is it seest me That we can die but once to serve our country! Spent, overpower'd, despairing of success. -Why sits this sadness on your brows, my Let me advise thee to retreat betimes friends ?

To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field, I should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood Where the great Censor toild with his own Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war.

hands, - Portius, behold thy brother, and remember and all our frugal ancestors were bless'd Thy life is not thy own, when Rome demands it. In humble virtues, and a rural-life ;


you !

There live retir'd, pray for the peace of Rome, | This lethargy that creeps thro' all my senses ? Content thyself to be obscurely good.

Nature oppress'd, and harass'd out with care When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favor her, The post of honor is a private station. That my awaken'd soul may take her fight,

Por. I hope my father does not recommend Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life, A life to Portius, that he scorns himself. An off’ring fit for heaven. Let guilt or fear Cato. Farewell, my friends! if there be any Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of 'em, of you

Indiff'rent in his choice to sleep or die. Who dare not trust the victor's clemency,

Enter Portius. Know there are ships prepar'd by my command But ah! how's this, my son ? Why this intru(Their sails already op'ning to the winds)

sion? That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port. Is there aughtelse, my friends, I can do for you? Why am I disobey'd ?

Were not my orders that I would be private ? Theconqueror draws near. Once more farewell !

Por. Alas, my father! If e'er we ineet hereafter, we shall meet

What means this sword, this instrument of In happier climes, and on a safer shore,

death! Where Cæsar never shall approach us more.

Let me convey it hence. [Pointing to his deud Son.

Cato. Rash youth, forbear! There the brave youth, with love of virtue fir’d,

Por. O, let the pray’rs, th' entreaties of your Who greatly in his country's cause expir’d,

friends, Shall know heconquer’d. The firm patriot there, Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from Who made the welfare of mankind his care, Tho' still by faction, vice, and fortune crost, Shall find the gen'rous labor was not lost,

Cato. Wouldst thou betray me? Wouldst

thou give me up,

A slave, a captive into Cæsar's hands?

Retire, and learn obedience to a father,

Or know young man !
Cato solus, sitting in a thoughtful Posture; in Por. Look not thus sternly on me;

his Hand Plato's Book on the Immortality of You know I'd rather die than disobey you. the Soul.

Cato. 'Tis well! again I'm master of myself. A drawn Sword on the Table by him.

Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates,

And bar each avenue; thy gathering Meets It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well- O'erspread the sea, and stop up ev'ry port; Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, Cato shall open to himself a passage, This longing after immortality?

And mock thy hopesOr whence this secret dread, and inward horror Por. O Sir! forgive your son, of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Omy father! Back on herself, and startles at destruction?

How am I sure it is not the last time 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us ;

I e'er shall call you so ? Be not displeas’d, 'Tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter, o, be not angry with me whilst I weep, And intimates eternity to man:

And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought !

To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul ! Through what variety of untried being,

Cało. Thou hast been ever good and dutisal, Thro'what newscenes and changes mustwe pass?

[Embracing him. The wide, th’unbounded prospect lies before me, Weep not, my son, all will be well again: But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it. The righteous gods, whom I have sought to Here will I hold. If there's a power above

please, (And that there is all nature cries aloud

Will succour Cato, and preserve his children. Through all her works), he must delight in vir- Por. Your words give comfort to my droop

ing heart. And that which he delights in must be happy.

Calo. Portius, thou mayst rely upon my eonBut when! or where!--this world was made for Cæsar.

Thy father will not act what misbecomes him. I'm weary of conjectures--this must end 'em, But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting, (Laying his Hand on his Sword. Among thy father's friends ; see them embark

d, Thus am I doubly armd: my leath and life,

And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them. My bane and antidote, are both before me.

My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and This in a moment brings me to an end ;

asks But this informs me I shall never die. The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep. The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles

(Erit. At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. The stars shall fade away, the sun himself

Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years; But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,

Enter Murcia. Unhurt amid the war of elements,

O Marcia, O my sister, still there's hope The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds. Our father will not cast away a life What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? | So needful to us all, and to his country.

tue ;



me way;

He is retir'd to rest, and seems to cherish On the high point of yon bright western tower Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me We ken them from afar; the setting sun hence

Plays on their shining arms and burnish'd helWith orders that bespeak a mind compos'd,

mets, And studions for the safety of his friends. And covers all the field with gleams of fire. Marcia, take care that none disturb his slum- Luc. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy bers.


father, Mar. O ye immortal powers that guard the Cæsar is still dispos'd to give us terms, just,

And waits at distance till he hears from Cato. Watch round his couch, and soften his repose,

Enter Portius. Banish nis sorrows, and becalm his soul Portius,thylooks speak somewhat of importance, With easy dreains; remember all his virtues ! What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see And show mankind that goodness is your care. Unusual gladness sparkling in thine eyes. Enter Lucia.

Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now Luc. Where is your father, Marcia, where is My father's friends, impatient for a passage, Cato!

Accuse the ling'ring winds, a sail arriv'd Mar. Lucia, speak low, he is retir'd to rest. From Pompey's son, who thro' the realms of Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope

Spain Rise in my soul. We shall be happy still. Calls out for vengeance on his father's death,

Luc. Alas! I tremble when I think on Cato! and rouses the whole nation up to arms. In every view, in every thought I tremble! Were Catoat their head, once more might Roine Cato is stern and awful as a god;

Assert her rights, and claim her liberiy. He knows not how to wink at human frailty, But, hark! what means that groan: O, give Or pardon weakness that he never felt. Mar. Tho'stern and awful to the foes of And let me fly into my father's presence. (Exil. Rome,

Luc. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild,

Rome, Compassionate and gentle to his friends. And in the wild disorder of his soul Fill'd with domestic tenderness, the best, Mourns o'er his country. Hah! a second groan! The kindest father I have ever found him, Heaven guard us all ! Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes. Mar. Alas! 'tis not the voice Luc. "Tis his consent alone can make us Of one who sleeps ; 'tis agonizing pain, bless d.

'Tis death is in that sound.Marcia, we are both equally involv’d

Re-enter Portius. In the same intricate, perplex'd distress. Por. O sight of woe! The cruel hand of fate, that has destroy'd O Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass ! Thy brother Marcus, whoin we both lament-Cato is fallen upon his sword. Mar. And ever shall lament, unhappy youth! Luc. 0, Poriius,

Luc. Has set my soul at large, and now I stand Hide ail the horrors of thy mournful tale, Loose of my vow. But who knows Cato's And let us guess the rest. thoughts?

Por. I've rais'd him up,

[faint, Who knows how yet he may dispose of Portius, And plac'd him in his chair, where, pale and Or how he has determind of thyself? He gasps for breath, and, as his life flows from Mar. Let him but live, commit the rest to him, Heaven.

Demands to see his friends. His servantsweeping, Enter Lucius.

Obsequious to his order, bear him hither. Luc. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous Mar.O Heaven assist mein this dreadful hour, man!

To pay the last sad duties to my father! O Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father ; Jul. These are thy triumphs, thy exploits, O Some power invisible supports his soul,

Cæsar! And bears it up in all its wonted greatness.

Luc. Now is Rome fallen indeed! A kind refreshing sleep is fallen on him:

Cato brought in on a Chair, I saw him stretch'd at ease, his fancy lost Cato. Here set me down- [barkd? In pleasing dreaons: as I drew near his couch, Portius, come near me--Are my friends emHe smild, and cried, Cæsar, thou canst not Can any thing be thought of for their service? hurt me.

Whilst 'I yet live, let me not live in vain. Mar. His mind still labors with some dread--O Lucius, art thou here?—thou art too goodful thought.

Let this our friendshiplive between our children, Luc. Lucia, why all this grief, these floods Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia. of sorrow?

Alas! poor man, he weeps !-Marcia, my Dry up thy tears, my child, we all are safe

daughterWhile Cato lives—his presence will protect us. O, bend me forward! Juba loves thee, Marcia: Enter Juba,

A senator of Rome, while Rome surviv'd, Jul. Lucius, the horsemen are returu'd from Would not have match'd his daughter with a viewing

king; The number, strength, and posture of our foes, But Cæsar's arms have thrown down all distinc. Who now encamp within a short hour's march;

tion :

[ocr errors]

Whoe'er is brave and virtuous, is a Roman- Rand. Some found it so. A noble ship

- I'm sick to death-0, when shall I get loose from India.
From this vain world, the abode of guilt and Ent’ring the harbour, run upon a rock,
And there was lost.

Sher? And yet, methinks, a beam of light breaks in 0. Wilm. What 'came of those on board On my departing soul. Alas! I fear

Rand. Some few are saved, but much the I've been too hasty. Oye pow'rs, that search greater part, The heart of man and weigh his inmost 'Tis thought, are perish'd. thoughts,

0. Wilm. They are past the fear If I have done amiss, impute it not!

Of future tempests, or a wreck on shore : The best may err, but you are good and-O! Those who escaped, are still exposed to both.

[Dies. Where's your mistress ? Luc. There fled the greatest soul that ever

Rand.'I saw her pass the High-street, warmd

t'wards the Minster. A Roman breast; O Cato! O my friend !. 0. Wilm. She's gone to visit Charlotte. Thy will shall be religiously observ'd.

She doth well. But let us bear this awful corse to Cæsar, In the soft bosom of that gentle maid [race And lay it in his sight, that it may

stand There dwells more goodness than the rigid A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath ; Of moral pedants e'er believed, or taught. Cato, though dead, shall still protect his With what amazing constancy and truth, friends.

Doth she sustain the absence of our son, From hence, let fierce contending nations Whom more than life she loves! How shun know

for him,

[and great ; What dire effects from civil discord Aow. Whom we shall ne'er see more, the rich 'Tis this that shakes our country with alarms, Who own her charms, and sigh to make her And gives up Rome a prey to Roman arms,


[friend, Produces fraud, and cruelty, and strife, Since our misfortunes we have found no And robs the guilty world of Cato's life. None who regarded our distress, but her ;

[Exeunt omnes. And she, by what I have observed of late,

Is wearied, or exhausted. Cursed condition ! $ 48. FATAL CURIOSITY. Lillo.

To live a burden to one only friend,

And blast her youth with our contagious woe!

Who, that had reason, soul, or sense, would Scene I.-Wilmot's House,

bear it

A moment longer? Then this honest wretchOld Wilmot alone.

I must dismiss him-Why should I detain 0. Wilm. The day is far advanced. The A grateful, gen'rous youth, to perish with me? cheerful sun

His service inay procure him bread elsewhere, Pursues with vigour his repeated course: Though I have none to give him.-Pr’ythee, No labour lessens, nor no time decays How long hast thou been with me? [Randal, His strength or splendour: evermore the Rand. Fifteen years. same,

I was a very child when first ye took me, From age to age his influence sustains [tion To wait upon your son, my dear Dependent worlds, bestows both life and mo- I oft have wish'd I'd gone to India with him, On the dull mass that forms their dusky orbs, Though you, despondiog, give him o'er for Cheers them with heat, and gilds them with lost. [OLD Wilmot wipes his eyes. his brightness.

I am to blame: this talk revives your sorrow Yet man, of jarring elements composed, For his long absence. Who posts from change to change, from the (). Wilm. That cannot be revived first hour

Which never died. Of his frail being to his dissolution,

Rand. The whole of my intent Enjoys the sad prerogative above him, Was to confess your bounty, that supplied To think, and to be wretched! What is life The loss of both my parents : I was long To him, that's born to die!

The object of your charitable care. Or, what the wisdom, whose perfection ends 0. Wilm. No more of that: Thou'st served In knowing, we know nothing?

me longer since
Mere contradiction all ! A tragic farce, Without reward; so that account is balanced,
Tedious, though short, elab’rate without art, Or, rather, I'm thy debtor. I remember,
Ridiculously sad

When Poverty began to show her face
Enter Rundal.

Within these walls, and all my other servants, Where hast been, Randal?

Like pamper'd vermin from a falling house, Rand. Not out of Penryn, sir; but to the Retreated with the plunder they had gaind, strand,

And left me, too indulgent and remiss To hear what news from Falmouth, since the For such ungrateful wretches, to be crush'd storm

Beneath the ruin they had help'd to make, Of wind last night.

That you, more good than wise, refused to 0. Wilm, It was a dreadful one.

leave me.

young master.

Rand. Nay, I beseech you, sir !

As they deserve, and I've been treated by thein: O. Wilm. With my distress,

Thou'st seen by me, and those who now In perfect contradiction to the world,

despise me, Thy love, respect, and diligence, increased. How men of fortune fall, and beggars rise; Now, all the recompence within my power, Shun my example; treasure up my precepts; Is to discharge thee, Randal, from my hard, The world's before thee-be a knave and prosUnprofitable service.

per. Rand. Heaven forbid !

What, art thou dumb? [After a long pause. Shall I forsake you in your worst necessity? Rand. Amazement ties my tongue. Believe me, sir, my honest soul abhors Where are your former principles ? The barb'rous thought!

0. Wilm. No matter ; O. Wilm. What? canst thou feed on air? Suppose I have renounced them: I have I have not left wherewith to purchasc food


[think, For one meal more!

And love thee still; therefore would have thee Rand. Rather than leave you thus, The world is all a scene of deep deceit, I'll beg my bread, and live on others' bounty, And he, who deals with mankind on the While I serve you.

square, O. Wilm. Down, down, my swelling heart, Is his own bubble, and undoes himself. Or burst in silence! 'Tis thy cruel fate Farewell, and mark my counsel, boy. [Exit. Insults thee by his kindnessHe is innocent Rand. Amazement ! Of all the pain it gives thee.-Go thy ways: Is this the man I thought so wise and just ? I will no more suppress thy youthful hopes What, teach and counsel me to be a villain ! Of rising in the world.

Sure grief has made him frantic, or some fiend Rand. 'Tis true, I'm young,

Assumed his shape: I shall suspect my senses. And never tried my fortune, or my genius, High-minded he was ever, and improviderit, Which may, perhaps, find out some happy But pitiful, and generous, to a fault. means,

Pleasure he loved, but honour was his idol. As yet unthought of, to supply your wants. O fatal change! O horrid transformation! 0. Wilm. Thou tortur'st me: I hate all So a majestic temple, sunk to ruin, obligations

Becomes the loathsome shelter and abode Which I can ne'er return: and who art thou, of lurking serpents, toads, and beasts of prey; That I should stoop to take 'em from thy And scaly dragons hiss, and lions roar, hand?

Where wisdom taught, and music charm'd Care for thyself, but take no thought for me!


[Exit. I will not want thee-trouble me no more.

Scene II.-Charlotte's House.
Rand. Be not offended, sir, and I will go.
I ne'er repined at your commands before;

Enter Charlotte and Maria.
But Heaven's my witness, I obey you now,

Char. What terror and amazement must With strong reluctance, and a heavy heart!

Who die by shipwreck! Farewell, my worthy master! [Going.

(they feel

Mar. 'Tis a dreadful thought! 0. Wilm. Farewell I Stay;

Char. Ay; is it not, Maria ?- To descend, As thou art yet a stranger to the world, Of which, alas! I've had too much experience, Alas! had we no sorrows of our own,

Living, and conscious, to the wat'ry tomb!
I should, methinks, before we part, bestow
A little counsel on thee.-Dry thy eyes ;

The frequent instances of others' woe,
If thou weep'st thus, I shall proceed no But you forget you promised me to sing.

Must give a gen'rous mind a world of pain. farther Dost thou aspire to greatness, or to wealth ?

Though cheerfulness and I have long been Quit books, and the unprofitable search

strangers, Of wisdom there, and study humankind :

Harmonious sounds are still delightful to me.

There's sure no passion in the human soul, No science will avail thee without that ;

But finds its food in music. I would hear But that obtain'd, thou need'st not any other. This will instruct thee to conceal thy views,

The song, composed by that unhappy maid,

Whose faithful lover 'scaped a thousand perils And wear the face of probity and honour, Till thou hast gain'd thy end : which must be And after all, being arrived at home,

From rocks and sands, and the devouring deep; ever Thy own advantage, at that man's expence

Passing a narrow brook, was drowned there, Who shall be weak enough to think thee And perish'd in her sight. Rand. You mock me, sure ! (honest.

Song-Maria. 0. Wilm. I never was more serious.

Cease, cease, heart-easing tears ! Rand. Why should you counsel, what you Adieu, you flatt'ring fears, scorn'd to practise ?

Which seven long tedious years 0. Wilm. Because that foolish scorn has

Taught me to bear. been my ruin.

Tears are for lighter woes ; I've been an idiot, but would have thee wisor, Fear no such danger knows, And treat mankind, as they would treat thee, As fate remorseless shows, Randal,

Endless despair

« PreviousContinue »