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What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
Por. Alas, my father!
Cato. Rash youth, forbear!
I friends, ; ; ;
Por. Look not thus sternly on me ;
Cato. 'Tis welll again I'm master of myself.
And bar each avenue ; thy gath'ring Aeets
Por. Oh, sir! forgive your son,
[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.
So needful to us all and to his country.
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me hence
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.
Mar. Lucia, speak low, he is retir'd to rest.
Luc. Alas! I tremble when I think on Cato I
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. .
Luc. Has set my soul at large, and now I stand
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."
Who now encamp within a short hour's march;
Lucius. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father.
Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now
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.