Obrazy na stronie

Here I devote your senate! I've had wrongs,
To stir a fever in the blood of age,

Or make the infant's sinews strong as steel.

This day's the birth of sorrows! This hour's work Will breed proscriptions. Look to your hearths, my lords, For there henceforth shall sit, for household gods,

Shapes hot from Tartarus! all shames and crimes;
Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn;
Suspicion, poisoning his brother's cup;
Naked Rebellion, with the torch and axe,
Making his wild sport of your blazing thrones;
Till Anarchy comes down on you like night,
And Massacre seals Rome's eternal grave.


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Cato's Soliloquy on the Immortality of the Soul.



·CATO sitting in a thoughtful posture, with Plato's book on the Immortality of the Soul in his hand; and a drawn sword on the table by him.

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IT must be so Plato, thou reasonest 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 Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!

Through what variety of untried being,

Through 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

Through 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 them.
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus am I doubly armed: 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, secured 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.


Edward and Warwick.

Edward. LET me have no intruders; above all, Keep Warwick from my sight


[Enter Warwick.]

Warwick. Behold him here;

No welcome guest, it seems, unless I ask
My lord of Suffolk's leave: there was a time
When Warwick wanted not his aid to gain
Admission here.

* The sword.

The book.

Edw. There was a time, perhaps,

When Warwick more desired, and more deserved it.
War. Never! I've been a foolish, faithful slave;
All my best years, the morning of my life,
Have been devoted to your service. What
Are now the fruits? Disgrace and infamy;
My spotless name, which never yet the breath
Of calumny had tainted, made the mock
For foreign fools to carp at: but 'tis fit,
Who trust in princes should be thus rewarded.

Edw. I thought, my lord, I had full well repaid
Your services with honors, wealth, and power
Unlimited: thy all-directing hand

Guided in secret every latent wheel

Of government, and moved the whole machine :
Warwick was all in all, and powerless Edward
Stood like a cipher in the great account.

War. Who gave that cipher worth, and seated thee On England's throne? Thy undistinguished name Had rotted in the dust from whence it sprang, And mouldered in oblivion, had not Warwick Dug from its sordid mine the useless ore, And stamped it with a diadem. This wretched country, doomed, perhaps, like Rome, To fall by its own self-destroying hand, Tossed for so many years in the rough sea Of civil discord, but for me had perished. In that distressful hour, I seized the helm,

Thou knowest,

Bade the rough waves subside in peace, and steered
Your shattered vessel safe into the harbor.
You may despise, perhaps, that useless aid
Which you no longer want; but know, proud youth,
He who forgets a friend, deserves a foe.

Edw. Know, too, reproach for benefits received
Pays every debt, and cancels obligation,

War. Why, that indeed is frugal honesty,

A thrifty, saving knowledge: when the debt
Grows burdensome, and cannot be discharged,
A sponge will wipe out all, and cost you nothing.

Edw. When you have counted o'er the numerous train
Of mighty gifts your bounty lavished on me,
You may remember next the injuries

Which I have done you let me know them all,
And I will make you ample satisfaction.

War. Thou canst not; thou hast robbed me of a jewel It is not in thy power to restore.

I was the first, shall future annals say,

That broke the sacred bond of public trust
And mutual confidence; ambassadors,

In after times, mere instruments, perhaps,
Of venal statesmen, — shall recall my name
To witness that they want not an example,
And plead my guilt to sanctify their own.
Amidst the herd of mercenary slaves

That haunt your court, could none be found but Warwick, To be the shameless herald of a lie?

Edw. And wouldst thou turn the vile reproach on me?
If I have broke my faith, and stained the name
Of England, thank thy own pernicious counsels
That urged me to it, and extorted from me
A cold consent to what my heart abhorred.

War. I've been abused, insulted, and betrayed:
My injured honor cries aloud for vengeance.
Her wounds will never close!

Edw. These gusts of passion

Will but inflame them. If I have been right
Informed, my lord, besides these dangerous scars
Of bleeding honor, you have other wounds,
As deep, though not so fatal:- such, perhaps,
As none but fair Elizabeth can cure.

War. Elizabeth!

Edw. Nay, start not: I have cause

To wonder most. I little thought, indeed,
When Warwick told me I might learn to love,
He was himself so able to instruct me;
But I've discovered all!


And so have I.

Too well I know thy breach of friendship there,
Thy fruitless, base endeavors to supplant me.

Edw. I scorn it, sir! Elizabeth hath charms,
And I have equal right with you to admire them:
Nor see I aught so godlike in the form,
So all-commanding in the name of Warwick,
That he alone should revel in the charms
Of beauty, and monopolize perfection.
I knew not of your love.

War. 'Tis false!

You knew it all, and meanly took occasion,
Whilst I was busied in the noble office
Your grace though fit to honor me withal,
To tamper with a weak, unguarded woman,
And basely steal a treasure

Which your kingdom could not purchase.

Edw. How know you that? But be it as it may,

I had a right, nor will I tamely yield
My claim to happiness, the privilege
To choose the partner of my throne:
It is a branch of my prerogative.

War. Prerogative! What's that? the boast of tyrants,

A borrowed jewel, glittering in the crown

With specious lustre, lent but to betray.

You had it, sir, and hold it, from the people.

Edw. And therefore do I prize it: I would guard Their liberties, and they shall strengthen mine; But when proud Faction and her rebel crew Insult their sovereign, trample on his laws, And bid defiance to his power, the people,

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