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Por. What wouldst thou have me say?
Por. I've reason.
Por. I'm griev'd I undertook it.
Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs; Lucia, though sworn never to think of love, Compassionates your pains, and pities you.
Marc. Compassionates my pains, and pities me! What is compassion, when 'tis void of love? Fool that I was to choose so cold a friend To urge my cause?- -Compassionates my pains ! Proythee, what art, what rhet'ric didst thou use To gain this mighty boon ?-She pities me! To one that asks the warm returns of love, Compassion's cruelty, 'tis scorn, 'tis deathPor. Marcus, no more; have I desery'd this treat
ment? Marc. What have I said! Oh, Portius, oh forgive
me! A soul exasperated in ills fall out
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. 1 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
Sem. By heav'ns they droop!
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,
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,
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 6 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.