Page images
PDF
EPUB

me

see

rors

of you,

Fallen into Cæsar's hand : Our great forefathers, Wrestling with vice and factioni: now thou seest
Had left him nought to conquer but his country.
Juba. While Cato lives, Cæsar will blush to Spent, overpowered, despairing of success;

Let me advise thee to retreat betimes
Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of empire. To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field,
Cato. Cæsar ashamed! has he not seen Phar. | Where the great Censor toiled with his own
salia ?

hands, Luc. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us. And all our frugal ancestors were blessed Calo. Lose not a thought on me; I'm out of In humble virtues, and a rural life; danger;

There live retired, pray for the peace of Rome ; Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand. Content thyself to be obscurely good. Cæsar shall never say he conquered Cato. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, But, oh, my friends! your safety fills my heart The post of honour is a private station. With anxious thoughts; a thousand secret ter Por, I hope my father does not recommend

A life to Portius, that he scorns himself ? Rise in my soul. How shall I save my friends ? Cato. Farewell, my friends! If there be any 'Tis now, 'O Cæsar, I begin to fear thee!

Luc. Cæsar has mercy if we ask it of him. Who dare not trust the victor's clemency, Cato. Then ask it, I conjure you ! let him know there are ships prepared by my command know

(Their sails already opening to the winds), Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it. That shall convey you to the wished-for port. Add, if you please, that I request it of him, Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you? That I myself, with tears, request it of him, The conqueror draws near. Once more fareThe virtue of my friends may pass unpunished.

well ! Juba, my heart is troubled for thy sake.

If e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet Should I advise thee to regain Numidia, In happier climes, and on a safer shore, Or seek the conqueror ?

Where Cæsar never shall approach us more. Juba. If I forsake thee

(Pointing to his dead son. Whilst I have life, may Heaven abandon Juba ! There, the brave youth, with love of virtue fired,

Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright, Who greatly in his country's cause expired, Will one day make thee great; at Rome here- Shall know he conquered. The firm patriot there, after,

Who made the welfare of mankind his care, 'Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend. Though still by faction, vice, and fortune crost, Portius, draw near: my son, thou oft hast seen Shall find the generous labour was not lost. Thy sire engaged in a corrupted state,

(Exeunt.

ACT V.

Through all her works) he must delight in virSCENE 1.

tue;

And that which he delights in must be happy. CATO solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture: in But when! or where this world was inade for his hand Plato's book on the Immortality of the

Cæsar. Soul. A drawn sword on the table by him.

I'm weary of conjectures-this must end them. It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well;

(Laying his hand on his sword. Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, Thus I am doubly armed: my death, my life, This longing after immortality?

My bane and antidote, are both before me. Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, This in a moment brings me to an end; Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul But this informs me I shall never die. Back on herself, and startles at destruction? The soul, secured in her existence, smiles 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us ;

At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. 'Tis Heaven itself, that points out an hereafter, The stars shall fade away, the sun himself And intimates eternity to man.

Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought! But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Through what variety of untried being, Unhurt amidst the war of elements, Through what new scenes and changes must we The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.

What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? me;

Nature oppressed, and harassed out with care, But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.

Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her, Here will I hold. If there's a Power above, That my awakened soul may take her flight, And that there is all Nature cries aloud, Renewed in all her strength, and fresh with life,

pass?

the just,

[ocr errors]

An offering fit for Heaven. Let guilt or fear And studious for the safety of his friends

1 Disturb man's rest; Cato knows neither of them; Marcia, take care that none disturb bis as Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.

bers.

Er. Mar.- Oh, ye immortal powers, that guard Enter PORTIUS. But, ha! Who's this? my son! Why this intru- Watch round his couch, and soften bis repose; sion!

Banish his sorrows, and becalm his sod Were not my orders that I would be private? With easy dreams; remember all his virtues, Why am I disobeyed ?

And shew mankind that goodness is your care! Por. Alas, my father! What means this sword, this instrument of death?

Enter LUCIA. Let me convey it hence.

Luc. Where is your father, Marcia, where is Cato. Rash youth, forbear!

Cato? Por. Oh, let the prayers, the intreaties of your Alar. Lucia, speak low, he is retired to rest. friends,

Lucia, I feel a gentle dawning hope Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from Rise in my soul. We shall be happy still. you!

Luc. Alas! I tremble when I think on Ca' Cato. Nouldst thou betray me? Wouldst thou In every view, in every thought I tremble! give me up

Cato is stern and awful as a god; A slave, a captive into Cæsar's hands?

Ile knows not how to wink at human fruilty, Retire, and learn obedience to a father,

Or pardon weakness that he never felt. Or know, young man !

Mar. Though stern and awful to the foc Por. Look not thus sternly on me;

Rome,
You know I'd rather die than disobey you. Ile is all goodness, Lucia, always mild,

Cuto. 'Tis well! again I'm master of myself. Compassionate and gentle to his friends. Now, Cæsar, let thy troops beset our gates, Filled with domestic tenderness, the best, And bar each avenue; thy gathering fleets The kindest father I have ever found biu, O’erspread the sea, and stop up every port; Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes Cato shul open to himself a passage,

Luc. 'Tis his consent alone can make s And mock thy hopes-

blessed: Lor. Oh, sir! to give your son,

Marcia, we both are equally involved Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Oh, my father! In the same intricate, perplexed distress. How am I sure it is not the last time

The cruel hand of Fate, that has destroyed I e'cr shall call you so! Be noi displeased, Thy brother Marcus, whom we both laloentOh, be not angry with me whilst I weep,

İlur. And ever shall lament; unhappe routh And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you Luc. Has set my soul at large, and cu i To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul!

stand Cuto. Thou hast been ever good and dutiful. Loose of my vow. But who knows Can's [Embracing him.

thoughts? Weep not, my son, all will be well again; Who knows how yet he may dispose of Partis The righteous gods, whom I have sought to Or how he has determined of thyself? please,

Mar. Let him but live, commit the rest o Will succour Cato, and preserve his children.

Heaven, Por. Your words give comfort to my drooping heart.

Enter LUCIUS. Cato. Portius, thou may'st rely upon my con Lucius. Sweet are the slumbers of the visto duct:

ous man! Thy father will not act what misbecomes him. Oh, Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father! But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting Some power invisible supports his soul, Among thiy father's friends ; see them embarked, And bears it up in all its wonted greatness And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them, | A kind refreshing sleep is fallen upon him: My soul is quite weighed down with care, and I saw hin stretched at ease, his fancy lost asks

In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his court, The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep. He smiled, and cried, Cæsar, thou can'st Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart

hurt me. revives.

[Exit CATO.

Mar. His mind still labours with some drea

· ful thought. Enter MARCIA.

Lucius. Lucia, why all this grief, these fools Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there is hope !

of sorrow? Our father will not cast away a life,

Dry up thy tears, my child; we all are safe So needful to us all and to his country.

While Cato lives—his presence will protect tas He is retired to rest, and seems to cherish Thoughts full of peace. [le has dispatched ne

Enter JUBA. hence,

Juba. Lucius, the horsemen are returned from With orders that bespeak a mind composed,

viewing

ter

The number, strength, and posture of our foes, Obsequious to his order, bear him hither.
Who now encamp within a short hour's march; Alar. Oh, Ileaven! assist me in this dreadful
On the high point of yon bright western tower,

hour, We ken them from afar; the setting sun

Το
pay

the last sad duties to my father! Plays on their shining arms and burnished hel Jubu. These are thy triumphis, thy exploits, O mets,

Cæsar!
And covers all the field with gleams of fire. Lucius. Now is Rome fallen indeed !
Lucius. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy
father;

Cato brought in on a chair.
Cæsar is still disposed to give us terms,

Cato. Here set me downAnd waits at distance till he hears from Cato. Portius, come near me-Are my friends em

barked? Enter PORTIUS.

Çan any thing be thought of for their service? Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importavce. Whilst 1 yet live, let me not live in vain, What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see Oh, Lucius, art thou here? Thou art too goodUnusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes. Let this our friendship live between our chil. Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now

dren; My father's friends, impatient for a passage,

Make Port us happy in thy daughter Lucia. Accuse the lingering winds, a sail arrived Alas! poor man, he weeps! Marcia, my daughFrom Pompey's son, who through the realms of Spam

Oh, bend me forward ! Juba loves thee, Marcia. Calls out for vengeance on his father's death, A senator of Rome, while Rome survived, And rouses the whole nation up to arms. Would not have matched his daughter with a Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome

king, Asseri her rights, and claim her liberty.

But Cæsar's arms have thrown down all distinction; But, hark! what means that groan! Oh, give me Whoe'er is brave and virtuous is a Romanway,

I'm sick to death-Oh, when shall I get loose And let me fly into my father's presence. (Exit. From this vain world, the abode of guilt and sorLucius. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on

row! Rome,

And yet, methinks, a beam of light breaks in And in the wild disorder of his soul

On my departing soul. Alas, I fear Mourns o'er his country. Ha! a second groan, I've been too hasty. Oh, ye powers, that search Heaven guard us all

The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts, Mar. Alas! 'tis not the voice

If I have done amiss, impute it not! Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain,

The best may err,

but

you are good, and-Oh! 'Tis denth is in that sound.

[Dies. Lucius. There fled the greatest soul that ever Re-enter PORTIUS.

warmed Por. Oh, sight of woe!

A Roman breast; oh, Cato! oh, my friend! Oh, Marcia, what we feared is come to pass ! Thy will shall be religiously observed. Cato is fallen upon his sword.

But let us bear this awful corse to Cæsar, Lucius. Oh, Portius,

And lay it in his sight, that it may stand Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale, A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath; And let us guess the rest.

Cato, though dead, shall still protect his friends. Por. I've raised him up,

From hence, let fierce contending nations know And placed him in his chair, where, pale and What dire effects from civil discord flow: faint,

'Tis this that shakes our country with alarms, He gasps for breath, and, as his life flows from And gives up Rome a prey to Roman arms, him,

Produces fraud, and cruelty, and strife, Demands to see his friends. His servants weep. And robs the guilty world of Cato's life. ing,

[Exeunt omnes.

.

EPILOGUE.

WRITTEN BY DR. GARTII.

What odd fantastic things we women do,
Who would not listen when young lovers woo,
But die a maid, yet have the choice of two!
Ladies are often cruel to their cost,
To give you pain, themselves they punish most.

Vows of virginity should well be weighi'd;
Too oft they're cancell'd, though in convents.

made.
Would you revenge such rash resolves-you may
Be spitetul-and believe the things we say,

We hate you when you're easily said nay.
How needless, if you knew us, were your fears !
Let love have eyes, and beauty will have ears.
Our hearts are form’d, as you yourselves would

choose,
Too proud to ask, too humble to refuse:
We give to merit, and to wealth we sell,
He sighs with most success that settles well.
The woes of wedlock with the joys we mix:
'Tis best repenting in a coach and six.

Blame not our conduct, since we but pursue These lively lessons we have learnt from you. Your breasts no more the fire of beauty warms, But wicked wealth usurps the pow'r of charms. What pains to get the gaudy things you hate, To swell in shew, and be a wretch in state! At plays you ogle, at the ring you bow;

E'en churches are no sanctuaries now:
There golden idols all your vows receive,
She is no goddess that has nought to give.
Oh, may once more the happy age appear,
When words were artless, and the thoughts sir

cere:
When gold and grandeur were unenvy'd things,
And courts less coveted than groves and spring!
Love then shall only mourn when truth coc |

plains,
And constancy feel transport in its chains:
Sighs with success their own soft anguish tell,
And eyes shall utter what the lips conceal;
Virtue again to its bright station climb,
And Beauty fear no enemy but time;
The fair shall listen to desert alone,
And ev'ry Lucia find a Cato's son,

[merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

SINCE fancy by itself is loose and vain,

Your treat with studied decency he serves ; The wise, by rules, that airy power restrain : Not only rules of time and place prese ves, They think those writers mad, who, at their ease, But strives to keep his character entire, Convey this house and audience where they please; With French correctness, and with British fire. Who Nature's stated distances confound, This piece, presented in a foreign tongue, And make this spot all soils the sun goes round: When France was glorious, and her monarch 'Tis nothing, when a fancy'd scene we view,

young, To skip from Covent-Garden to Peru.

An hundred times a crowded audience drew, But Shakespeare's self transgressed ; and shall An hundred times repeated, still 'twas new. each elf,

Pyrrhus, provoked, to no wild rants betrayed, Each pigmy genius, quote great Shakespeare's Resents his gen'rous love, so ill repaid; self!

Does like a man resent, a prince upbraid. What critic dare prescribe what's just and fit, His sentiments disclose a royal mind; Or mark out limits for such boundless wit! Nor is he known a king from guards behind. Shakespeare could travel through earth, sea, and Injured Hermione demands relief; air,

But not from heavy narratives of grief; And paint out all the powers and wonders there. In conscious majesty her pride is shewn; In barren deserts he makes Nature smile, Born to avenge her wrongs, but not bemoan. And gives us feasts in his enchanted isle.

Andromache -If in our author's lines, Our author does his feeble force confess, As in the great original she shines, Nor dares pretend such merit to transgress ; Nothing but from barbarity she fears; Does not such shining gifts of genius share, Attend with silence, you'll applaud with tears, And therefore makes propriety his care.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.
PYRRHUS, son of Achilles.
PH@NIX, counsellor to Pyrrhus.
ORESTES, son of Agamemnon.
PYLADES, friend to Orestes.

WOMEN.
ANDROMACHE, Hector's widow.
CEPHISA, confidante to Andromache.
HERMIONE, daughter to Menelaus.
CLEONE, confidante to Hermione.
Attendants on Pyrrhus and Orestes, 8c.

SCENE,- A great hall in the court of Pyrrhus at Buthrotos, the capital city of Epirus.

« PreviousContinue »