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Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts.
Por. What should I do? If I disclose my passion,
[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.
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
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
Por. To my confusion and eternal grief,
Lucia. Portius, no more; thy words shoot through
Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love.
Farewell, though death is in the word,--for ever!
Por. Stay, Lucia, stay! What dost thou say? Fe
Lucia. If the firm Portius sbake
Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met
Lucia. What dost thou say? Not part !
Por. What would'st thou have me say?
Por. I've reason.
fate.' I ask not the success
Por. I'm grieved I undertook it.
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
Por. A second, louder yet,
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?