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Sub. 'T is not a set of features, or complexion, the tincture of a skin, that I admire. Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex true, she is fair, (oh, how divinely fair !) but still the lovely maid improves her charms with iriward greatness, unaffected wisdom, and sanctity of manners. Cato's soul shines out in every thing she acts or speaks, while winning mildness and attractive smiles dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace soften the rigour of her father's virtues.
Syph. How does your tongue grow wanton in her but on my knees I beg you would consider— (praise !
Enter MARCIA, and Lucia. Jub. Hah! Syphax, is 't not shc? She moves this and with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter. [way: My heart beats thick-I prythee, Syphax, leave me.
Syph. Ten thousand curses fasten on them both! Now will this woman with a single glance undo what I've been labouring all this while. [Exit.
JUBA, MARCIA, Lucia. (smooth Jub. Hail charming maid! how does thy beauty the face of war, and make ev’n horror smile; at sight of thee my heart shakes off it's sorrows; I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me, and for a while forget tl' approach of Cæsar. Mar. I should be griev'd, young prince, to think
my presence unbent your thoughts, and slacken’d them to arnis, while, warm with slaughter, our victorious foe threatens aloud, and calls you to the fields.
Jub. O Marcia, let me hope thy kind concerns ind gentle wishes follow me to battle! the thought will give new vigour to my arm, add strength and weight to my descending sword, and drive it in a tempest on the foe.
Mar. My prayers and wishes always shall attend the friends of Rome, the glorious cause of virtue, and men approv'd of by the gods of Cato.
Jub. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares, I'll gaze for ever on thy godlike father, transplanting, one by one, into my life bis bright perfections, still I shine like him.
Mar. My father never at a time like this would lay out bis great soul in words, and waste such precious moments. Jub.
Thy reproofs are just, thou virtuous maid; I'll hasten to my troops, and fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue; if e'er I lead them to the field, when all the war shall stand rang'd in it's just array, and dreadful pomp: then will I think on thee! O lovely maid, then will I think on thee! and, in the shock of charging hosts, remember what glorious deeds shou'd grace the man, who hopes for Marcia's love.
[Exit. Lucia. Marcia, you 're too severe : how could you chide the young good-natur'd prince, and drive him from you with so stern an air, a prince that loves and dotes on you to death? Marcia. 'T is therefore, Lucia, that I chide 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.
Lucia. Why will you fight against so sweet a pasand steel your heart to such a world ofcharms? (sion, , Marcia. How, Lucia! would'st thou have me sink in pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love, [away when every 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 my other cares, and draw them all into it?
Lucia. Why have not I this constancy of mind, who have so many griefs to try it's 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.
Marcia. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me, and let me share thy most retir'd distress; tell me who raises up this conflict in thee [thee
Lucia. I need not blush to name them, when I tell they're Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato.
Marciu. They both behold thee with their sister's and often have reveal'd their passion to me. [eyes; But tell me, whose address thou favour'st most? I long to know, and yet I dread to hear it.
Lucia. Which is it Marcia wishes for?
Marcia. 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 ? · Lucia. 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 what. · Marciu. O Lucia, I'm perplex'd: 0 tell me which I must hereafter call my happy brother?
Lucia Suppose 't were Portius, could you blame my Portius, thou hast stol'n away my soul! (choice? vith what a graceful tenderness he loves ! .nd breathes the softest, the sincerest vous ! Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness, lwell ever on his tongue, and smooth his thoughts !' Marcus is over- warm, his fond complaints lave so much earnestness and passion in them, bear bim with a secret kind of dread, ind treinble at his vehemence of temper. Marcia Alas, poor youth! how can'st thou throw
him from thee? Lucia, thou know'st not half the love he bears thee;vhene'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in flames, le sends out all his soul in every word, And thinks, and talks, and looks like one transported, Unhappy youth! how will thy coldness raise empests and storms in his afflicted bosom! dread the consequencem Luica.
You seem to plead gainst your brother PortiusMarcia.
Heaven forbid ! ad Porriys been the unsuccessful lover, he same compassion would have fall’n on him.
Lucia. Was ever virgin love distrest like mine! ortius himself oft falls in tears before me, 3 if he mourn’d his rival's ill success, hen bids me hide the motions of my heart, or shew which way it turns. So much he fears be sad effects that it would have on Marcus. Marcia He knows too well how easily he's fir'd, nd would not plunge his brother in despair, ut waits for happier times, and kinder moments.
Lucia. Alas ! too late I find myself involv'd D endless griefs and labyrinths of woe,
born to afflict my Marcia's family,
Marcia. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sorrows, but to the gods permit 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 it self clear, and, as it runs, refines; till, by degrees the floating mirror shines, reflects each flower that on the border grows, and a new heaven in its fair bosom shows. [Exuent
ACT II. SCENE I.
THE SENATE. Sem. Rome still survives in this affembled senate! let us remember we are Cato's friends, and act like men who claim that glorious title.
Lucius. Cato will soon be here, and open to us th'occasion of our meeting. Hark! he comes !
A sound of trumpets. may all the guardian gods of Rome direct him !
Enter Cato. Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in counsel. 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 hiin, and backs his crimes: Pharsalia gave him Rome; Egypt has since receiv'o his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's. Why should I mention Juba's overthrow, and Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands