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Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts.
But what's all this to one that loves like me! :
O Portius, Portius, from my soul I wish
Thou did'st but know thyself what 'tis to love!
Then would'st thou pity and assist thy brother.

Por. What should I do? If I disclose my passion,
Our friendship’s at an end: If I conceal it,
The world will call me false to a friend and brother.

[Aside. Marc. But see, where Lucia, at her wonted hour, Amid the cool of yon high marble arch, Enjoys the noon-day breeze! Observe her, Portius; That face, that shape, those eyes, that heav'n of

beauty! Observe her well, and blame me if thou canst.

Por. She sees us, and advances

Marc. I'll withdraw, And leave you for a while. Remember, Portius, Thy brother's life depends upon thy tongue. [Exit.

Enter LUCIA.

Lucia. Did not I see your brother Marcus here? Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence ?

Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to show His rage of love; it preys upon his life ; He pines, he sickens, he despairs, he dies ! Lucia. How wilt thou guard thy honour, in the

Of love and friendship! Think betimes, my Portius,
Think how the nuptial tie, that might ensure
Our mutual bliss, would raise to such a height
Thy brother's griefs, as might perhaps destroy him,
Por. Alas, poor youth! What dost thou think, my

Lucia ?
His gen'rous, open, undesigning heart
Has begg'd his rival to solicit for him!
Then do not strike him dead with a denial

Lucia. No, Portius, no; I see thy sister's tears, Thy father's anguish, and thy brother's death, In the pursuit of our ill-fated loves; And, Portius, here I swear; to Heav'n I swear, To Heav'n, and all the powers that judge mankind, Never to mix my plighted hands with thine, While such a cloud of mischief hangs upon us, But to forget our loves, and drive thee out From all my thoughts-as far as I am able. Por. What hast thou said? I'm thunderstruck

recall Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever.

Lucia. Has not the vow already pass'd my lips? The gods have heard it, and 'tis seal'd in heav'n. May all the vengeance that was ever pour'd On perjured heads, o'erwhelm me, if I break it!

Por. Fix'd in astonishment, I gaze upon thee, Like one just blasted by a stroke from heav'n, Who pants for breath, and stiffens, yet alive, In dreadful looks, a monument of wrath! Lucia. Think, Portius, think thou see'st thy dying

Stabb'd at his heart, and all besmear'd with blood,
Storming at Heav'n and thee! Thy awful sire
Sternly demands the cause, th' accursed cause,
That robs him of his son : poor Marcia trembles,
Then tears her hair, and, frantic in her griefs,
Calls out on Lucia. What could Lucia answer,
Or how stand up in such a scene of sorrow ?

Por. To my confusion and eternal grief,
I must approve the sentence that destroys me.

Lucia. Portius, no more; thy words shoot through

my heart,

Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love.
Why are those tears of fondness in thy eyes?
Why heaves thy heart? Why swells thy soul with:

It softens me too much--farewell, mv Portius !


Farewell, though death is in the word,--for ever!

Por. Stay, Lucia, stay! What dost thou say? Fe
Thou must not go; my soul still hovers o'er thee,
And can't get loose.

Lucia. If the firm Portius sbake
To hear of parting, think what Lucia suffers !

Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met
The common accidents of life, but here
Such an unlooked-for storm of ills falls on me,
It beats down all my strength, I cannot bear it,
We must not part.

Lucia. What dost thou say? Not part !
Hast thou forgot the vow that I have made ?
Are not there heavens, and gods, that thunder o'er

-But see, thy brother Marcus bends this

I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell,
Farewell, and know, thou wrong'st me, if thou think'st,
Ever was love, or ever grief, like mine.

[Exit LUCIA.
Varc. Portius, what hopes ? How stands she? am ·

I doom'd
To life or death?

Por. What would'st thou have me say?
Marc. What means this pensive posture ? Thou

Like one amazed and terrified.

Por. I've reason.
Marc. Thy downcast looks, and thy disorderd


fate.' I ask not the success
My cause has found.

Por. I'm grieved I undertook it.
Marc. What, does the barbarous maid insult

My aching heart, and triumph in my pains ?

Tell me

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That I could cast her from my thoughts for ever!

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! Pr’ythee what art, what rhetric 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 deserved this treata

ment? Marc. What have I said ? Oh! Portius, Oh forgive



A soul, exasperated in ills, falls out
With everything—its friend, itself-but hah! [Shout.
What means that shout, big with the sounds of war!
What new alarm ?

Por. A second, louder yet,
Swells in the wind, and comes more full

Marc. Oh, for some glorious cause to fall in

battle! Lucia, thou hast undone me: thy disdain Has broke my heart; 'tis death must give me ease. Por. Quick let us hence. Who knows if Cato's

life Stands sure? Oh, Marcus, I am warm’d; my heart Leaps at the trumpet's voice, and burns for glory.



Part of the Senate House,

Enter SEMPRONIUS, with the LEADERS of the


Sem. At length the winds are raised, the storm

blows high! Be it your care, my friends, to keep it up In all its fury, and direct it right, Till it has spent itself on Cato's head. Meanwhile, I'll herd among his friends, and seem One of the number, that, whate'er arrive, My friends and fellow-soldiers may be safe. [E.cit.

1 Lead. We are all safe; Sempronius is our friend. Sempronius 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. Fear nothing, for Sempronius is our friend. Enter SEMPRONIUS, with CATO, Lucius, PORTIUS,

and MARCUS. Cato. Where are those bold, intrepid sons of war, That greatly turn their backs


the 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 disho


Your past exploits, and sully all your wars?

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