Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Our Scene precariously subfifts too long
On French Translation, and Italian Song.
Dare to hade Sense your selves; Assert the Stage,
Be juftly warm’d with your own Native Rage.
Such Plays alone should please a British Ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.

[ocr errors][merged small]

M E N.

CAT

[ocr errors]

ATO.

Lucius, a Senator.
Sempronius, a Senator.
Juba, Prince of Numidia.
Syphax, General of the Numidians.
Portius,

Sons of Cato.
Marcus,
Decius, Ambassador from Cæsar.

Mutineers, Guards, &c.

Mr. Booth. Mr. Keen. Mr. Mills. Mr. Wilks. Mr. Cibber. Mr. Powell. Mr. Ryan. Mr. Bowman.

}

W O M E N.

Marcia, Daughter to Cato.
Lucia, Daughter to Lucius.

Mrs. Oldfield. Mrs. Porter.

SCENE a large Hall in the Governor's Palace of Ucica.

CATO

C AT O.

ACT I. SCENE I.

T

Portius, Marcus.
Por. HE Dawn is over-cast, the Morning low'rs,

And heavily in Clouds brings on the Day,

The great, th' important Day; big with the Fate
Of Cato and of Rome. Our Father's Death
Would fill up all the Guilt of Civil War,
And close the Scene of Blood. Already Cæfar
Has ravaged more than half the Globe, and fees
Mankind grown thin by his deftru&ive Sword:
Should he go further, Numbers would be wanting
To form new Battels, and support his Crimes.
· Ye Gods, what Havock does Ambition make
Among your Works!

Marc. Thy fteddy Temper, Portius,
Can look on Guilt, Rebellion, Fraud, and Cæfar,
In the calm Lights of mild Philofophy;
I'm tortured, ev'n to Madness, when I think
On the proud Victor: ev'ry time he's named
Pharsalia rises to my View

-I see
B

Th’In

Th’Insulting Tyrant prancing o'er the Field
Strow'd with Rome's Citizens, and drench'd in Slaughter,
His Horse's Hoofs wet with Patrician Blood.
Oh Portius, is there not some chosen Curse,
Some hidden Thunder in the Stores of Heav'n,
Red with uncommon Wrath, to blast the Man
Who owes his Greatness to his country's Ruin?

Por. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious Greatness,
And mixt with too much Horrour to be envy'd:
How does the Lustre of our Father's Actions,
Through the dark Cloud of Ills that cover him,
Break out, and burn with more triumphant Brightness!
His Suff'rings shine, and spread a Glory round him;
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the Cause
Of Honour, Virtue, Liberty, and Rome.
His Sword ne'er fell but on the Guilty Head;
Oppression, Tyranny, and Pow'r usurp'd,
Draw all the Vengeance of his Arm upon 'em.

Marc. Who knows not this? But what can Cato do
Against a World, a base degenerate World,
That courts the Yoke, and bows the Neck to Cafar?
Pent up in Utica he vainly forms
A poor Epitome of Roman Greatness,
And, cover'd with Numidian Guards, directs
A feeble Army, and an empty Senate, ,
Remnants of mighty Battels fought in vain.
By Heav'ns, such Virtues, join'd with such Success,
Distract my very

my very Soul: Our Father's Fortune Wou'd almost tempt us to renounce his Precepts.

Por: Remember what our Father oft has told us :
The Ways of Heav'n are dark and intricate,
Puzzled in Mazes, and perplext with Errors ;
Our Understanding traces 'em in vain,
Loft and bewilder'd in the fruitless Search;
Nor fees with how much Art the Windings run,
Nor where the regular Confufion ends.

Marc.

Marc. These are Suggestions of a Mind at Ease:
Oh Portius, didst thou taste but half the Griefs
That wring my Soul, thou cou'dst not talk thus calmly.
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 hide it, for I know thy Temper.

[Aside.
Now, Marcus, now, thy Virtue's on the Proof:
Put forth thy utmost Strength, work ev'ry 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 fails,
Would be a Conquest worthy Cato's Son.

Marc. Portius, the Council 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 Now
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;
'Tis second Life, it grows into the Soul,
Warms ev'ry Vein, and beats in ev'ry Pulse,
I feel it here: My Resolution melts

Por. Behold young Juba, the Numidian Prince !
With how much Care he forms himself 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,
His Eyes, his Looks, his Axions all betray

it:
But still the smother'd Fondness burns within him.
When most it swells and labours for a Vent,
The Sense of Honour and Desire of Fame
Drive the big Passion back into his Heart.
What! Thall an Affrican, shall Juba's Heir
Reproach great Gato's Son, and
show the World

A

1

B 2

« AnteriorContinuar »