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puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors,
Mar. These are suggestions of a mind at case: oh Portius! didst thou taste but half the griefs that wring my soul, thou could'st not talk thus coldly. Passion unpity'd and successless love plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate my other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind!..
Por. Thou see'st 'not that thy brother is thy rival: but I must bide it, for I know thy temper. [Aside.
Now, Marcus, now, thy virtue's on the proof: put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve, and call up all thy father in thy soul: to quell the tyrant love, and guard thy heart on this weak side, where most our nature sails, would be a conquest worthy Cato's sons.
Mar. Portius, the counsels which I cannot take instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness. Bid me for honour plunge into a war of thickest foes, and rush on certain death, then shalt thou see that Marcus is not slow to follow glory, and confess his father. Love is not to be reason'd down, or lost in high ambition, and a thirst of greatness; 't is second life, it grows into the soul, warms every vein, and beats in every pulse. I feel it here: my resolution melts
Por. Behold young Juba, the Numidian prince! with how much care be forms bimself to glory, and breaks the fierceness of his native temper to copy out our father's bright example.
He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her; vis eyes, his looks, bis actions, all betray it: rut still the smother'd fondness burns within him; vhen most it swells and labours for a vent, the sense of honour and desire of fame Irive the big passion back into his heart. What! shall an African, shall Juba's heir, eproach great Cato's sons, and shew the world virtue wanting in a Roman soul? [behind them. Mar. Portius, no more! your words leave stings Vhene'er did Juba, or did Portius, shew i virtue that has cast me at a distance, ind throw me out in the pursuits of honour?
Por. Marcus, I know thy generous temper well; ling but th' appearance of dishonour on it, Istrait takes fire, and mounts, into a blaze. Mar. A brother's sufferings claim a brother's pity.
Por, Heaven knows I pity thee: behold my eyes v’n whilst I speak.-Do they not swim in tears? Were but my heart as vaked to thy view, Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf.
Mar, Why then dost treat me with rebukes, instead f kind condoling cares and friendly sorrows ?
Por. O Marcus! did I know the way to ease hy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, Tarcus, believe me, I could die to do it.
Mar. Thou best of brothers, and thou best of friends! ardon a weak distemper'd soul, that swells rith sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, he sport of passions.---But Sempronius comes : e must not find this softness hanging on me. [Exit.
SCENE II. Sem. Conspiracies no sooner should be form'd ban executed. What means Portius here?
I like not that cold youth. I must dessemble, and speak a language foreign to my heart.
Sem. Good morrow, Portius! let us once embrace, once more embrace; whilst yet we both are free. To-morrow should we thus express our friendship, each might receive a slave into his arms. This syn 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 if yet he can 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 ev’n Cæsar tremble at the head of armies flush'd with conquest; O my Portius, could I but call that wondrous man my father, would but thy sister Marcia be propitious to thy friend's vows; I might be bless'd indeed!
Por. Alas! Senipronius, would'st thou talk of love to Marcia, whilst her fatber'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 charni'd. Thou must take heed my the world has all it's eyes on Cato's sons. [Portius! Thy father's inerit 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 lingering on this important hour.--I'll strait away ; [here
und while the fathers of the senate meet
'll animate the soldier's drooping courage, with love of freedom, and contempt of life.
'll thunder in their ears their country's cause, und try to rouze up all that's Roman in them. T is not in mortals to command success: out we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it.
[Exit. Seni. Curse on this stripling! How he apes his sire! ambitiously sententious !---But I wonder old Syphax comes not; his Numidian genius, s well dispos'd to mischief, were he prompt ind eager on it; but he must be spurr'd, ind every moment quicken'd to the course. Cato has us'd me ill: he has resus'd his daughter Marcia to my ardent vows. Besides, his baffled arms and ruin'd cause tre bars to my ambition. Cæsar's favour, hat showers down greatness on his friends, will raise o Rome's first honours. If I give up Cato claiin in my reward his captive daughter. But Syphax comes !
Syph. . --Sempronius, all is ready. 've sounded my Numidians, man by man, nd find them ripe for a revolt: they all, oinplain aloud of Cato's discipline, .nd wait but the command to change their master.
Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste; v’n whilst we speak, our conqueror comes on, No. 78.
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 forin'd 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 storins, he works his impatient for the battle: one day more
[way, will set the victor thundering 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, of 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 burning zone.
Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that your senate is call'd together? Gods! 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, I'll conceal my thoughts in passion ('t is the surest way); I'll bellow out for Rome and for my country, and mouth at Cæsar till I shake the senate, Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device,