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What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses?
Nature oppress'd, and harrass'd out with care,
Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her,
That my awaken'd soul may take her flight,
Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life,
An off'ring fit for Heav'n. Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of 'em,
Indiff'rent in his choice to sleep or die.'

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Enter PORTIUS.
But, hah! who's this, my son! Why this intrusion?
Were not my orders that I would be private ?
Why am I disobey'di.

Por. Alas, my father!
What means this sword, this instrument of death?
Let me convey it hence.

Cato. Rash youth, forbear!
Por. Oh, let the pray'rs, th' intreaties of your

I friends, ; ; ;
Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from you!
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!

Por. Look not thus sternly on me ;
You know I'd rather die than disobey you.

Cato. 'Tis welll again I'm master of myself.
Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates,

And bar each avenue ; thy gath'ring Aeets
O’erspread the sea, and stop up ev'ry port;
Cato shall open to himself a passage,
And mock thy hopes

Por. Oh, sir! forgive your son,
Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Oh, my father!
How am I sure it is not the last time
I e'er shall call you so ! Be not displeas'd,
Oh, be not angry with me whilst I weep,
And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you
To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul!
Cato. Thou hast been ever good and dutiful.

[Embracing him. Weep not, my son, all will be well again; The righteous gods, whom I have sought to please, Will succour Cato, and preserve his children.

Por. Your words give comfort to my drooping heart. Cato. Portius, thou may'st rely upon my conduct: Thy father will not act what misbecomes him. But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting Among thy father's friends; see them embark'd, And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them. My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep. Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart revives.

[Exit Cato.

Enter MARCIA.
Oh, Marcial Oh, my sister, still there's hope !
Our father will not cast away a life

So needful to us all and to his country.
He is retir'd to rest, and seems to cherish

Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me hence
With orders that bespeak a mind compos'd,
And studious for the safety of his friends.
Marcia, take care that none disturb his slumbers. [Ex.

Mar. Oh, ye immortal powers ! that guard the just, Watch round his couch, and soften his repose, Banish his sorrows, and becalm his soul With easy dreams; remember all his virtues, And shew mankind that goodness is your care.

Enter LUCIA.
Luc. Where is your father, Marcia, where is Cato ?

Mar. Lucia, speak low, he is retir'd to rest.
Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope
Rise in my soul. We shall be happy still.

Luc. Alas! I tremble when I think on Cato I
In every view, in every thought, I tremble!
Cato is stern and awful as a god;
He knows not how to wink at human frailty,
Or pardon weakness that he never felt.

Mar. Though stern and awful to the foes of Rome, He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild. “ Compassionate and gentle to his friends. “ Fill’d with domestic tenderness, the best,” The kindest father I have ever found him, Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes.

Luc. 'Tis his consent alone can make us blessid, Marcia, we both are equally involv'd

In the same intricate, perplex'd distress. .
The cruel hand of fate that has destroy'd
Thy brother Marcus, whom we both lament-
Mar. And ever shall lament; unhappy youth!

Luc. Has set my soul at large, and now I stand
Loose of my vow. But who knows Cato's thoughts;
Who knows how yet he may dispose of Portius,
Or how he has determin'd of thyself?

Mar. Let him but live, commit the rest to Heav'n.

Enter Lucius. Lucius. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man! Oh, Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father! Some power invisible supports his soul, And bears it up in all its wonted greatness. A kind refreshing sleep is fallin upon him : I saw him stretch'd at ease, his fancy lost In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch, He smil'd, and cry'd, Cæsar, thou can’st not hurt me. Mar. His mind still labours with some dreadful

thought. « Lucius. Lucia, why all this grief, these floods of

sorrow? “ Dry up thy tears, my child, we all are safe · "While Cato lives his presence will protect us."

Enter JUBA.
Jub. Lucius, the horsemen are return'd from views

ing
The number, strength, and posture of our foes,

Who now encamp within a short hour's march;
On the high point of yon bright western tower
We ken them from afar, the setting sun
Plays on their shining arms and burnish'd helmets,
And covers all the field with gleams of fire.

Lucius. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father.
Cæsar is still dispos’d to give us terms,
And waits at distance 'till he hears from Cato.

Enter PORTIUS.
Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importance.
What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see
Unusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes.

Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now
My father's friends, impatient for a passage,
Accuse the ling'ring winds, a sail arriv'd
From Pompey's son, who through the realms of Spain'
Çalls out for vengeance on his father's death,
And rouses the whole naticn up to arms.
Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome
Assert her rights, and claim her liberty.
But, hark! what means that groan! Oh, give me way,
And let me fly into my father's presence. [Exit.

Lucius. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on Rome, And in the wild disorder of his soul Mourns o'er his country. Hah! a second groanHeav'n guard us alli

Mar. Alas! 'tis not the voice Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain, 'Tis death is in that sound.

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