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With ev'ry thing, its friend, itself-but, hah!
war? What new alarm ?
Por. A second, louder yet,
Marc. Oh, for some glorious cause to fall in battle!
life Stands sure ? Oh, Marcus, I am warm’d, my heart Leaps at the trumpet's voice, and burns for glory.
Enter SeMPRONIus, with the Leaders of the mutiny. Sem. At length the winds are rais'd, the storm blows
high, Be it your care, my friends, to keep it up In its full fury, and direct it right, Till it has spent itself on Cato's head. Mean-while I'll herd amongst his friends, and seem One of the number, that whate'er arrive, My friends, and fellow-soldiers may be safe. [Exit.
i Lead. We are all safe, Sempronius is our friend. Sempronious is as brave a man as Cato. But hark! he enters. Bear up boldly to him: Be sure you beat him down, and bind him fast. This day will end our toils, and give us rest : Fear nothing, for Sempronius is our friend.
Re-enter SEMPRONIUS, with Cato, Lucius, Por
tius, and MARCUS. Cato. Where are those bold intrepid sons of war, That greatly turn their backs upon their foe, And to their general send a brave defiance? Sem. Curse on their dastard souls, they stand astonish'd.
[Aside. Cato. Perfidious men! And will you thus dishonour Your past exploits, and sully all your wars ? Do you confess 'twas not a zeal for Rome, Nor love of liberty, nor thirst of honour, Drew you thus far; but hopes to share the spoil Of conquer'd towns, and plunder'd provinces ? Fir'd with such motives, you do well to join With Cato's foes, and follow Cæsar's banners. Why did I ’scape th' anvenom'd aspic's rage, And all the fiery monsters of the desert, To see this day? Why could not Cato fall Without your guilt > Behold, ungrateful men, Behold my bosom naked to your swords, And let the man that's injur'd strike the blow. Which of you all suspects that he is wrongd ? Or thinks he suffers greater ills than Cato ? Am I distinguish'd from you but by toils, Superior toils, and heavier weight of cares? Painful pre-eminence!
Sem. By heav'ns they droop! Confusion to the villains; all is lost. [Aside.
Cato. Have you forgotten Lybia's burning waste,
Its barren rocks, parch'd earth, and hills of sand,
Sem. If some penurious source by chance appear'd,
plain to Cæsar, You could not undergo the toil of war, Nor bear the hardships that your leader bore.
Luc. See, Cato, see the unhappy men; they weep! Fear and remorse, and sorrow for their crime, Appear in ev'ry look, and plead for mercy.
Cato. Learn to be honest men, give up your leaders, And pardon shall descend on all the rest.
Sem. Cato, commit these wretches to my care :
When they look up and see their fellow-traitors Stuck on a fork, and black'ning in the sun. “ Luc. Sempronius, why, why wilt thou urge the
fate « Of wretched men ?
“ Sem. How! wouldst thou clear rebellion ? “ Lucius (good man) pities the poor offenders “ That would imbrue their hands in Cato's blood."
Cato. Forbear, Sempronius l_see they suffer death, But in their deaths remember they are men; Strain not the laws to make their tortures grievous. Lucius, the base degen’rate age requires Severity, and justice in its rigour : This awes an impious, bold, offending world, Commands obedience, and gives force to laws. When by just vengeance guilty mortals perish, The gods behold the punishment with pleasure, And lay th' uplifted thunderbolt aside.
Sem. Cato, I execute thy will with pleasure.
Cato. Mean-while we'll sacrifice to Liberty.
Exeunt Cato, &c. 1 Lead. Sempronius, you have acted like yourself. One would have thought you had been half in earnest. Sem. Villain, stand off, base, grov'ling, worthless
wretches, Mongrels in faction, poor faint-hearted traitors!
2 Lead. Nay, now you carry it too far, Sempronius; Throw off the mask, there are none here but friends.
Sem. Know, villains, when such paltry slaves pre.
To mix in treason, if the plot succeeds,
1 Lead. Nay, since it comes to this
[Exeunt guards, with their leaders,