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In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch, And placed him in his chair, where, pale and He smiled, and cried, Cæsar, thou cans't not faint,
He gasps for breath, and, as his life fows from Mar. His mind still labours with some dread
him, ful thought.
Demands to see his friends. His servants weepLucius. Lucia, why all this grief, these foods ing, of sorrow?
Obsequious to his order, bear him hither. Dry up thy tears, my child; we all are safe Mar. Oh, Heaven! assist me in this dreadful While Cato lives his presence will protect us.
To pay the last sad duties to my father!
Juba. These are thy triumphs, thy exploits, O Juba. Lucius, the horsemen are returned from
Lucius. Now is Rome fallen indeed!
Cato brought in on a chair.
Cato. Here set me downWe ken them from afar; the setting sun Portius, come near me Are my friends enPlays on their shining arms and burnished hel- barked ? mets,
Can any thing be thought of for their service ? And covers all the field with gleams of fire. Whilst 1 yet live, let me not live in vain. Lucius. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy Oh, Lucius, art thou here? Thou art too good father;
Let this our friendship live between our children; Cæsar is still disposed to give us terms,
Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia. And waits at distance till be hears from Cato.
Alas! poor man,
he weeps! Marcia, my daughEnter PORTIUS.
Oh, bend me forward ! Juba loves thee, Marcia. Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importance. A senator of Rome, while Rome survived, What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see Would not have matched his daughter with a Unusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes.
king, Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now But Cæsar's arms have thrown down all distincMy father's friends, impatient for a passage, Accuse the lingering winds, a sail arrived Whoe'er is brave and virtuous is a RomanFrom Pompey's son, who through the realms of I'm sick to death-Oh, when shall I get loose Spain
From this vain world, the abode of guilt and sorCalls out for vengeance on his father's death,
row! And rouses the whole nation up to arms. And yet, methinks, a beam of light breaks in Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome On my departing soul. Alas, I fear Assert her rights, and claim her liberty. I've been too hasty. Oh, ye powers, that search But, hark! what means that groan! Oh, give me The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts, way,
If I have done amiss, impute it not ! And let me Ay into my father's presence. [E.rit. The best may err, but you are good, and-Oh! Lucius. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on
Lucius. There fled the greatest soul that ever And in the wild disorder of his soul
warmed Mourns o'er his country. Ha! a second groan- A Roman breast; oh, Cato! oh, my friend! Heaven guard us all!
Thy will shall be religiously observed. Mar. Alas! 'tis not the voice
But let us bear this awful corpse to Cæsar, Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain,
And lay it in his sight, that it may stand Tis death is in that sound.
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath; Re-enter Portius.
Cato, though dead, shall still protect his friends.
From hence, let fierce contending nations know Por. Oh, sight of woe!
What dire effects from civil discord How: Oh, Marcia, what we feared is come to pass ! 'Tis this that shakes our country with alarms, Cato is fallen upon his sword.
And gives up Rome a prey to Roman arms, Lucius. Oh, Portius,
Produces fraud, and cruelty, and strife, Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale, And robs the guilty world of Cato's life. And let us guess the rest.
[Ereunt omnes. Por. I've raised him up,
Scene~ A great hall in the court of Pyrrhus, at Buthrotos, the capital city of Epirus.
SCENE I.—The Palace of Pyrrhus. Orest. It was, indeed, a morning full of horror!
Pyl. A thousand boding cares have racked my Enter Orestes, PYLADES, and Attendants.
soul Orest. O Pylades! what's life without a friend? In your behalf. Often, with tears, I mourned At sight of thee my gloomy soul cheers up; The fatal ills, in which your life's involved, My hopes revive, and gladness dawns within me. And grudged you dangers which I could not After an absence of six tedious moons,
share. How could I hope to find my Pylades,
I feared to what extremities the black despair, My joy, my comfort, on this fatal shore? That preyed upon your mind, might have betrayEven in the court of Pyrrhus ! in these realms, These hated realms, so cross to all my wishes. And lest the gods, in pity to your woes, Oh, my brave friend! may no blind stroke of fate Should hear your prayers, and take the life you Divide us more, and tear me from myself.
loathed. Pyl. O prince! O my Orestes! O my friend! But now with joy I see you !- -The retinue, Thus let me speak the welcome of my heart. And numerous followers, that surround you here,
[Embracing. Speak better fortunes, and a mind disposed
Pyl. You much surprise me, prince !-I thought of ruined Troy; Astjanax, descended
From a long race of kings; great Hector's son. Of your unpitied, unsuccessful passion.
Pyl. A name still dreadful in the ears of Why, in Epirus, should you hope to find
Greece! Hermione less cruel, than at Sparta?
But, prince, you'll cease to wonder why the child I thought her pride, and the disdainful manner Lives thus protected in the court of Pyrrhus, In which she treated all your constant sufferings, When
shall hear, the bright Andromache, Had broke your fetters, and assured your free- His lovely captive, charms him from his purpose: dom :
The mother's beauty guards the helpless son. Ashamed of your repulse, and slighted vows, Orest. Your tale confirms what I have heard; You hated her; you talked of her no more:
and hence Prince, you deceived me.
Spring all my hopes. Since my proud rival wooes Orest. I deceived myself:
Another partner to his throne and bed, Do not upbraid the unhappy man, that loves Hermione may still be miné. Her father, thee.
The injured Menelaus, thinks already Thou know'st I never hid my passion from thee; His daughter slighted, and the intended nuptials Thou saw'st it in its birth and in its progress; Too long delayed. I heard his loud complaints And when at last the hoary king, her father, With secret pleasure; and was glad to find Great Menelaus, gave away his daughter, The ungrateful maid neglected in her turn, His lovely daughter, to the happy Pyrrhus, And all my wrongs avenged in her disgrace. The avenger of his wrongs, thvu sawest my grief, Pyl. Oh, may you keep your just resentments My torture, my despair ; and how I dragged,
warı ! From sea to sea, a heavy chain of woes.
Orest. Resentments! Oh, my friend, too soon O Pylades ! my heart has bled within me,
I found To see thee, prest with sorrows not thy own, They grew not out of hatred! I'm betrayed : Still wandering with me like a banished man! I practice on myself; and fondly plot Watchful, and anxious for thy wretched friend, My own undoing. Goaded on by love, To temper the wild transports of my mind, I canvassed all the suffrages of Greece: And save me from myself.
And here I come their sworn ambassador, Pyl. Why thus unkind?
To speak their jealousies, and claim this boy. Why will you envy me the pleasing task
Pyli Pyrrhus will treat your embassy with Of generous love, and sympathizing friendship?
Orest. Thou miracle of truth—but hear me on. Full of Achilles, his redoubted sire, When in the midst of my disastrous fate, Pyrrhus is proud, impetuous, headstrong, fierce; I thought how the divine Hermione,
up of passions : Will he then be swayed, Deat' to my vows, regardless of my plaints, And give to death the son of her he loves ? Gave up herself, in all her charms, to Pyrrhus ; Orest. Oh, would he render up Hermione, Thou mayest remember, I abhorred her naine, And keep Astyanax, I should be blest! Strove to forget her and repay her scorn. He must; he shall. Hermione is my life, I made my friends, and even myself, believe My soul, my rapture !-I'll no longer curb My soul was freed. Alas! I did not see, The strong desire that hurries me to madness : That all the malice of my heart was love. I'll give a loose to love; I'll bear her hence; Triumphing thus, and yet a captive still, I'll tear her from his arms; I'll—0, ye gods ! In Greece I landed : and in Greece I found Give me Hermione, or let me die ! The assembled princes all alarmed with fears, But tell me, Pylades; how stand my hopes? In which their common safety seemed concerned. Is Pyrrhus still enamoured with her charms? I joined them: for I hoped that war and glory Or dost thou think he'll yield me up the prize, Might fill my mind, and take up all my thoughts: The dear, dear prize, which he has ravished from And, that my shattered soul, impaired with grief, me? Once more would reassume its wonted vigour, Pyl. I dare not flatter your fond hopes so far; And every idle passion quit my breast.
The king, indeed, cold to the Spartan princess, Pyl. The thought was worthy. Agamemnon's Turns all his passion to Andromache,
Hector's afflicted widow. But in vain, Orest. But see the strange perverseness of my With interwoven love and rage, he sues stars,
The charming captive, obstinately cruel. Which throws me on the rock I strove to shun! Oft he alarms her for her child confined The jealous chiefs, and all the states of Greece, Apart; and when her tears begin to flow, Witli one united voice complain of Pyrrhus; As soon he stops them, and recalls his threats. That now, forgetful of the promise given, Hermione a thousand times has seen And mindless of his godlike father's fate, His ill-requited vows return to her; Astyanax he nurses in his court;
And takes his indignation all for love. Astyanax, the young, surviving hope
What can be gathered from a man so various ?
Of all the scepter'd warriors, be denied
Orest. But tell me how the wronged Hermione When Troy lay smoking on the ground, and each Brooks her slow nuptials, and dishonoured charms? Proud victor shared the harvest of the war,
Pyl. Hermione would fain be thought to scorn Andromache and this her son were mine; Her wavering lover, and disdain his falsehood; Were mine by lot; and who shall wrest them But, spite of all her pride and conscious beauty, from me? She mourns in secret her neglected charms, Ulysses bore away old Priam's queen; And oft has made me privy to her tears: Cassandra was your own great father's prize;' Still threatens to be gone; yet still she stays ; Did I concern myself in what they won? And sometimes sighs, and wishes for Orestes. Did I send embassies to claim their captives? Orest. Ah, were those wishes from her heart, Orest. But, sir, we fear for you, and for our
selves. I would Hy in transport- (Flourish within. Troy may again revive, and a new Hector Pyl. Hear! the king approaches
Rise in Astyanax. Then think betimes-To give you audience. Speak your embassy Pyr. Let dastard souls be timorously wise : Without reserve: urge the demands of Greece; But tell them, Pyrrhus knows not how to form And, in the name of all the kings, require, Far-fancied ills, and dangers out of sight. That Hector's son be given into your hands. Orest. Sir, call to mind the unrivalled strength Pyrrhus, instead of granting what they ask,
of Troy; To speed his love and win the Trojan daine, Her walls, her bulwarks, and her gates of brass; Will make it merit to preserve her son.
Her kings, her heroes, and embattled armies ! But, see ; he comes.
Pyr. I call them all to mind; and see then all Prest. Meanwhile, my Pylades,
Confused in dust; all mixt in one wide ruin; Go, and dispose Herinione to sce
All but a child, and he in bondage held. Her lover, who is come thus far, to throw What vengeance can we fear from such a Troy? Himself, in all his sorrows, at her feet.
If they have sworu to extinguish llector's race,
Why was their vow for twelve long months deEnter PYRRHUS, PHOENIX, and Attendants.
ferred ? Before I speak the message of the Greeks, Why was be not in Priam's bosom slaius Permit me, sir, to glory in the title
He should have fallen among the slaughtered Of their ambassador ; since I behold
heaps, Troy's vanquisher, and great Achilles son. Whelmed under Troy. His death had then been just. Nor does the son rise short of such a father. When age and infancy, alike in vain, If Hector fell by him, Troy fell by you.
Pleaded their weakness; when the heat of conBut what your father never would have done,
quest, You do. You cherish the remains of Troy; And horrors of the fight, rouzed all our rage, And by an ill-timed pity keep alive
And blindly hurried us through scenes of death, The dying embers of a ten years war.
My fury then was without bounds: but now, Hlave you so soon forgot the mighty llector ? My wrath appeased, must I be cruel still? The Greeks remember his high brandished sword, And, deaf to all the tender calls of pity, That filled their states with widows and with Like a cool murderer, bathe my hands in blood; orphans,
An infant's blood ?-No, prince-go, bid the For which they call for vengeance on his son.
Greeks Who knows what he may one day prove? Who Mark out some other victim; my revenge knows
Has had its fill. What has escaped from Troy But he inay brave us in our ports; and, filled Shall not be saved to perish in Epirus. With Hector's fury, set our fleets on blaze? Orest. I need not tell you, sir, Astyanax You may, yourself, live to repent your mercy. Was doomed to death in Troy; nor mention how Comply, then, with the Grecians' just demands : The crafty mother saved her darling son: Satiate their vengeance, and preserve yourself. The Greeks do now, but urge their former senPyr. The Greeks are for my safety more con
Nor is it the boy, but. Hector, they pursue; Than I desire. I thought your kings were met The father, who so oft in Grecian blood On more important counsel. When I heard Has drenched his sword; the father, whom the The name of their ambassador, I hoped
Grecks Some glorious enterprize was taking birth. May seek even here.- Prevent them, sir, in time. Is Agamemnon's son dispatched for this ?
Pyr. No! let them come; since I was born to And do the Grecian chiefs, renowned in war,
wage A race of heroes, join in close debate,
Eternal war. Let them now turn their arms To plot an infant's death! What right has Greece On him, who conquered for them: let them coine, To ask his life? Must I, must I alone,
And in Epirus seek another Troy,
Twas thus they recompens'd my godlike sire; Andr. A mighty honour for victorious Greece, Thus was Achilles thank’d. But, prince, remem- To fear an infant, a poor friendless child ! ber,
Who smiles in bondage : nor yet knows himself Their black ingratitude then cost them dear. The son of Hector, and the slave of Pyrrhus. Orest. Shall Greece then find a rebel son in Pyr- Pyr. Weak as he is, the Greeks demand his
rhus ? Pyr. Have I then conquered to depend on And send no less than Agamemnon's son, Greece?
To fetch him hence. Orest. Hermione will sway your soul to peace, Andr. And, sir, do you comply And mediate 'twixt her father and yourself: With such demands ? - This blow is aimed at me: Her beauty will entorce my embassy.
How should the child avenge his slaughtered sire! Pyr. Hermione may have her charms; and I But, cruel men ! they will not have him live May love her still, though not her father's slave. To cheer my heavy heart, and ease my bonds. I may in time give proofs, that I'm a lover; I promised to myself in him a son, But never must forget, that I'm a king.
In him a friend, a husband, and a father. Meanwhile, sir, you may see fair Helen's But I must suffer sorrow heaped on sorrow; daughter;
And still the fatal stroke must come from you. I know how near in blood you stand allied. Pyr. Dry up those tears, I must not see you That done, you have my answer, prince. The weepGreeks,
And know, I have rejected their demands. No doubt, expect your quick return.
The Greeks already threaten me with war:
[E.r. Orest. &c. But, shouid they arm, as once they did for Helen, Phæn. Sir, do you send your rival to the prin- and hide the Adriatic with their feets ; cess?
Should they prepare a second ten years siege, Pyr. I am told, that he has loved her long. And lay my towers and palaces in dust, Phæn. If so,
I am determined to defend your son, Ilave you not cause to fear the smothered flame And rather die myself than give him up. May kindle at her sight, and blaze a-new? But, madam, in the midst of all these dangers, And she be brought to listen to his passion ? Will you refuse me a propitious smile? Pyr. Ay, let them, Phænix, let them love their Hated of Greece, and prest on every side, fill!
Let me not, madam, while I fight your cause, Let them go hence; let them depart together : Let me not combat with your cruelties, Together let them sail for Sparta : all my ports And count Andromache amongst my foes! Are open to them both. From what constraint, Andr. Consider, sir, how this will sound in What irksome thoughts, should I be then reliev- Greece? ed!
How can so great a soul betray such weakness? Phan. But, sir,
Let not men say, so generous a design Pyr. I shall, another time, good Phænix, Was but the transport of a heart in love. Unbosom to thee all my thoughts—for, see, Pyr. Your charms will justify me to the world. Androinache appears.
Andr. How can Andromache, a captive queen,
O'erwhelmed with grief, a burthen to herself, Enter ANDROMACHE, and Cephisa.
Harbour a thought of love? Alas! what charins Pyr. May 1, madam,
Have these unhappy eyes, by you condemned Flatter my hopes so far as to believe
To weep for ever? Talk of it no more, You come to seek me here?
To reverence the misfortunes of a foe; Andr. This way, sir, leads
To succour the distrest; to give the son To those apartments where you guard my son. To an aftlicted mother; to repel Since you permit me, once a day, to visit Confederate nations, leagued against his life; All I have left of Hector and of Troy,
Unbribed by love, unterrified by threats, I go to weep a few sad moments with him. To pity, to protect him: these are cares, I have not yet, to-day, embraced my child; These are exploits worthy Achilles' son. I have not held him in my widowed arms. Pyr. Will your resentments, then, endure for Pyr. Ah, madam, should the threats of Greece ever? prevail,
Must Pyrrhus never be forgiven ? 'Tis true, You'll have occasion for your tears, indeed! My sword has often reeked in Phrygian blood, Andr. Alas, what threats! What can alarm and carried havoc through your royal kindred; the Greeks?
But you, fair princess, amply have avenged There are no Trojans left!
Old Prian's vanquished house : and all the woes Pyr. Their hate to Hector
I brought on thein, fall short of what I suffer. Can never die : the terror of his name
We both have suffered in our turns: and now still shakes their souls; and makes them dread | Our common foe should teach us to unite.
Andr. Where does the captive not behold a foe?