Page images
PDF
EPUB

The fond embraces, and repeated blessings
Which you drew from him in your last farewel?
Still must I cherish the dear sad red:embrance,
At once to torture and to please my soul.
The good old King at parting wrung my hand
(His eyes brim full of tears) then sighing , cry'de
Prythee be careful of my son ! -His grief
Swell'd up so high, he could not utter more.

Jub. Alas, the story melts away my soul, That best of fathers ! how shall I discharge The gratitude and duty which I owe him?

Syph. By laying up his counsels in your heart.
Jub. His counsels bade me yield to thy direc-

tions :
Then, Syphax , chide me in severest terms,
Vent all thy passion, and I'll stand its shock,
Calm and unruffled as a summer sea,
When not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface.
Syph. Alas , my prince, I'd guide you to your

safety !
Jub. I do believe thou would'st; but tell me how.
Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Cæsar's foes.
Jub. My father Scorn'd to do it.
Syph. And therefore dy'd.

Sub. Better to die ten thousand thousand deaths, Than wound my honour.

Syph. Rather say your love.
Jab. Syphax, I've promis'd to preserve my tem-

per :
Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame
I long have stifled, and would fain conceal ?
Syph. Believe me, prince, tho' hard to conquer

love, 'Tis easy to divert and break its force : Absence might cure it, or a second mistress Light up another flame and put out this. The glowing dames of Zama's royal court Have faces flush'd with more exalted charms; The sun that rolls his chariot o'er their heads Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks : Were you with these, my prince , you'd soon

forget

The pale unripen'd beauties of the North. .

Jub. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion, The tincture of a skin , that I admire. Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. The virtuous Marcia tow'rs above her sex : True, she is fair : Oh, how divinely fair! ) But still the lovely maid improves her charms With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, And sanctity of manners. Cato's soul Shines out in ev'ry thing she acts or speaks, While winning mildness and attractive smiles Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace Soften the rigour of her father's virtues. Syph. How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise !

Слто. CH A P. VIIL

Cato's Soliloquy. : It must be so-Plato thou reason'st well.. . Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heav'n itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eternity! thou pleasing dreadful thought! Thro' what variety of untry'd being, Thro' what new scenes and changes must we pass! The wide, th’unbounded prospect lies before me: But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it. Here will I hold. If there's a power above us, (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Thro' all her works) he must delight in virtue; And that which he delights in, must be happy, But when? or where? This world was made for

Cæsar,

I'm weary of conjectures—this must end 'em.

Thus am I doubly ara'd-my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a' moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die."
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point:
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.

CATO,
C H A P. I a.
Southampton and Essex.

Officer. M

y

Lord,

We bring an order for your'execution,
And hope you are prepar'd; for you must die
This very hour.
· South Indeed! the time is sudden!

Ess. Is death th' event of all my flatter'd hope?
False Sex! and Queen more perjur'd than them all!
But die I will without the least complaint,
My soul shall yanish silent as the dew,
Attracted by the sun from verdant fields,
And leaves of weeping flowers-Come, my dear

friend Partner in fate, give me thy body in - These faithful arms and O now let me tell thee, And you, my lords, and Heaven my witness too, I have no weight, no heaviness on my soul, But that I've lost my dearest friend his life.

South. And I protest by the same powers divine, And to the world, 'tis all my happiness, The greatest bliss my mind yet e'er enjoy'd, Since we must die, my Lord, to die together. Officer. The queen, my lord Southampton, has been pleas'd

TO

To grant particular mercy to your person;
And has by us sent you a reprieve from death,
With pardon of your treasons, and commands
You to depart immediately from hence.

South. O my unguarded soul! Sure never was
A man with mercy wounded so before.
Ess. Then I am loose to steer my wand'ring

voyage Like a bad vessel that has long been crost, And bound by adverse winds, at last gets liberty, And joyfully makes all the sail she can, To reach its wish'd-for port-Angels protect The queen, for her my chiefest prayers shall be, That as in time she has spar'd my noble friend, And owns his crimes worth mercy, may she ne'er Think so of me too late when I am dead Again, Southampton , let me hold thee fast, For 'tis my last embrace. South. O be less kind, my friend, or move less

pity, Or I shall sink beneath the weight of sadness! I weep that I am doom'd to live without you, And should have smild to share the death of Essex. Ess. O spare this tenderness for one that needs

- it, For her that I commit to thee 'tis all that I . Can claim of my Southampton O my wife! Methinks that very name should stop thy pity, And make thee covetous of all as lost That is not meant to her be a kind friend To her, as we have been to one another; Name not the dying Essex to thy Queen, Lest it should cost a tear, nor e'er offend her. South. O stay, my lord! let me have one word

more: One last farewel, before the greedy axe. Shall part my friend, my only friend from me, And Essex from himself-I know not what Are call'd the pangs of death, but sure I am I feel an agony that's worse than death Farewel.

Ess. Why, that's well said-Farewel to the Then let us part, just like two travellers, Take distant paths , only this difference is, Thine is the longost, mine the shortest way Now let me go if there's a throne in heav'n For the most brave of men and best of friends, I will bespeak it for Southampton. South. And I, while I have life, will hoard thy

memory:
When I am dead, we then shall meet again.

Ess. Till then, Farewell.
South. Till then, Farewell.

EARL OF Esses,
C + A P, X.

Jaffier and Pierre.

Jaff. Dy Heaven you stir not, I must be heard , I must have leave to speak : Thou hast disgrac'd me, Pierre, by a vile blow: Had not a dagger done thee nobler justice ? But use me as thou wilt, thou canst not wrong me, For I am fallen beneath the basest injuries ; Yet look upon me with an eye of mercy, With pity and with charity behold me; Shut not thy heart against a friend's repentance; But, as there dwells a godlike nature in thee, Listen with mildness to my supplications. · Pier. What whining monk art thou? what holy |

cheat, That would'st incroach upon my credulous ears, And cant'st thus-vilely? hence ! I know thee not. : Jaff, Not know me Pierre

Pier. No, know thee not : What art thou?
Jaff. Jaffier, thy friend, thy once lor'd valu'd

friend! Tho’now deservedly scorn'd, and us'd most hardly. Pier. Thou Jaffier! thou my once lov'd valu'd

friend! By heav'n's thou ly'st; the man so call'd my friend,

« PreviousContinue »