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O'erlook the foe, advantaged by his post,
Lessen his numbers, and contract his host:
Though fens and floods possessed the middle space,
That unprovoked they would have feared to pass ;
Nor fens nor floods can stop Britannia's bands,
When her proud foe ranged on their borders stands.

But O, my muse, what numbers wilt thou find
To sing the furious troops in battle joined ?
Methinks I hear the drum's tumultuous sound,
The victor's shouts and dying groans copfound :
The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies,
And all the thunder of the battle rise.
'Twas then great Marlbro's nighty soul was proved,
That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved,
Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,
Examined all the dreadful scenes of war;
In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed,
To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid,
Inspired repulsed battalions to engage,
And taught the doubtful battle where to rage.
So when an angel, by divine command,
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed,
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast,
And, pleased th’ Almighty's orders to perform,

Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm. The concluding simile of the angel has been much celebrated, and was so admired by the lord treasurer, that on seeing it, without waiting for tlie completion of the poem, he rewarded the poet by ap pointing him, in the place of Locke-who had been promoted—a commissioner of appeals.

From the Tragedy of Cato.

Act IV.-Scene 4.-Re-enter PORTIUS.
PORTIUS. Misfortune ou misfortune! grief on grief !
My brother Marcus-

CATO. Ha! what has he done?
Has he forsook his post ? has he given way?
Did he look tamnely on, and let them pass ?

PORTIUS. Scarce had I left my father, but I met him,
Borne on the shields of his surviving soldiers,
Breathless and pale, and covered o'er with wounds.
Long at the head of his few faithful friends
He stood the shock of a whole host of foes ;
Till obstinately brave, and bent on death,
Oppressed with multitudes, he greatly fell.

Cato. l'm satisfied.

PORTIUS. Nor did he fall before
His sword had pierced through the false heart of Syphax.
Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor
Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground.

Caro. Thanks to the gods ! my boy has done his duty.
Portius, when I am dead, be sure thou place
His urn near mine.

Portius. Long may they keep asunder.

Lucius. O Cato! arm thy soul with all its patience;
See where the corse of thy dead sou approaches !

[4 side. )

(A side.

The citizens and senators, alarmed,
Have gathered round it, and attend it weeping.

Caro. (meeting the corpse ]
Welcome, my son! here lay him down, my friends,
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds.
How beautiful is death, when earned by virtue !
Who would not be that youth? what pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!
Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends ?
I should have blushed if Cato's house had stood
Secure, and flourished in a civil war.
Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
Thy life is not thy own when Rome demands it.

JUBA. Was ever man like this!

Cato. Alas! my friends,
Why mourn you thus ? let not a private loss
Aflict your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our tears.
The mistress of the world, the seat of empire,
The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods,
That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth,
And set the nations free, Řome is no more.
O liberty! O virtue! O my country!

JUBA. Behold that upright inani Rome fills his eyes
With tears that flowed not o'er his own dead son.

CATO. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdued.
The sun's whole course, the day and year, are Cæsar's.
For him the self-devoted Decii died,
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipios conquered :
Even Pompey fought for Cæsar. Oh! my friends!
How is the toil of rate the work of ages.
The Roman empire fallen ! O curst ambition !
Fallen into Cæsar's hands I our great forefathers
Hid left him nought to conquer but his country.

JUBA. While Cato lives, Cæsar will blush to see
Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of empire.

Cato. Cæsar ashamed I has not he seen Pharsalia ? :
LUCIUs. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us.
Caro. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of danger.
Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand.
Cæsar shall never say : 'I conquered Cato.'
But oh! my friends, your safety fills my heart
With anxious thoughts: a thousand secret terrors
Rise in my soul: how shall I save my friends!
'Tis now, O Cæsar, I begin to fear thee!

LUCIUS. Cæsar has mercy, if we ask it of him.
Caro. Then ask it, I conjure you ! let him know
Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it.
Add, if you please, that if I request it of him,
The virtue of my friends may pass unpunished.
Juba, my heart is troubled for thy sake.
Should I advise thee to regain Numidia,
Or seek the conqueror ?

JUBA. If I forsake thee
Whilst I have life, may Heaven abandon Juba !

Caro. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright,
Will one day make thee great; at Rome, hereafter,
'Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend.
Portius, draw near! My son, thou oft has seen
Thy sire engaged in a corrupted state,
Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou seest me
Speut, overpowered, despairing of success :

Let me advise thee to retreat betimes
To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field,
Where the great Censor toiled with his owu hands,
And all our frugal aucestors were blest
In humble virtues and a rural life.
There live retired; pray for the peace of Rome ;
Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honour is a private station.

PORTIUS. I hope my father does not recommend
A life to Portius that he scorns himself.

Cato. Farewell, my friends ! if there be any of you
Who dare not trust the victor's clemency,
Know, there are ships prepared by my command-
Their sails already opening to the winds—
That shall convey you to the wished-for port.
Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you?
The conqueror draws near. Once more farewell!
If e'er we meet hereafter,.we shall meet
In happier climes, and on a safer shore,
Where Cæsar never shall approach us more.

(Pointing to his dead son.
There the brave youth, with love of virtue fired,
Who greatly in his country's cause expired,
Shall know he conquered. The firm patriot there
Who made the welfare of mankind his care-
Though still, by faction, vice, and fortune crossed,
Shall find the generous labour was not lost.

Act V.-Scene 1. (Cato, alone, sitting in a thoughtful posture: in his hand Plato's book on the Im mortality of the Soul. A drawn sword on the table by him.]

It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st weil !
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 ahove 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 Caesar.
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 wars of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds.

What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses ?
Nature oppressed, and harassed out with care,
Sinks down to rest. This once I'll 'favour her,
That my awakened soul may take her flight,
Renewed in all her strength, and fresh with life,
An offering fit for heaven. Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest: Cato knows neither of them;
Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.


MATTHEW Prior was born at a place called Abbot Street, one mile from Wimborne-Minster, Dorsetshire, on the 21st of July 1664. He was, as Swift told Stella, of mean birth ; but fortunately a superior education was within his rench. His uncle, Samuel Prior, who kept the Rummer Tavern at Charing Cross, took the charge of bringing up his nephew, and he placed him at Westminster School. It is said he was afterwards taken home to assist in the business of the inn, and whilst there, was one day seen by the Earl of Dorset reading Horace. The earl generously undertook the care of his education; and in his eighteenth year, Prior was entered of St. John's College, Cambridge. Ile distinguished himself during his academical career, and amongst other copies of verses, produced (1687), in conjunction with the Honourable Cliarles Montagu, the City Mouse and Country Mouse,' in ridicule of Dryden's 'Hind and Panther.' The Earl of Dorset did not forget the poet he had snatched from obscurity. He invited him to London, and obtained for bim an appointment as secretary to the Earl of Berkeley, ambassador to the Hague. In this capacity, Prior obtained the approbation of King William, who made him one of the gentlemen of his bed-chamber. In 1697, he was appointed secretary to the embassy on the treaty of Ryswick, at the conclusion of which he was presented with a considerable sum of money by the lorris-justices. Next year he was ambassador at the court of Versailles. Jolinson relates that as the poet was one day surveying the apartments at Versailles, being shewn the victories of Louis painted by Le Brun, and asked whether the King of England's palace had any such decorations: “The monuments of my master's actions,' said he,' are to be seen everywhere but in his own house.' On his return to England the poet was appointed a Commissioner of Trade. In 1701, he entered the House of Commons as representative for the borough of East Grinstead, and abandoning his former friends, the Whigs, joined the Tories in impeaching Lord Somers. This came with a peculiarly bad grace from Prior, for the charge against Somers was, that he had advised the partition treaty, in which treaty the poet himself bad acted as agent. He evinced his patriotism, however, by afterwards celebrating in verse the battles of Blenheim and Ramilies (1706).

When the Whig government was at length overturned, Prior be. came attached to Harley's administration, and went with Bolingbroke to France in 1711, to negotiate a treaty of peace. He lived in splendour in Paris, was a favourite of the French monarch, and enjoyed all the honours of ambassador. He returned to London in 1715. Queen Anne was then dead (August 1, 1714); and the Whigs being again in office, Prior was committed to custody on a charge of high treason. The accusation against him was, that he had held claudestine conferences with the French plenipotentiary, though, as he justly replied, no treaty was ever made without private interviews and preliminaries. The Whigs were indignant at the disgraceful treaty of Utrecht; but Prior only shared in the culpability of the government. The able but profligate Bolingbroke was the master-spirit that prompted the humiliating concession to France. After two years' confinement, the poet was released without a trial. He had in the interval written his poem of 'Alma;' and being now left without any other support than his fellowship of St. John's College, he continued his studies, and produced his Solomon,' the most elaborate of his works. He bad also recourse to the publication of a collected edition of his poems (1718), which was sold to subscribers for two guineas each copy, and which realised four thousand guineas. An equal sum was presented to Prior by the Earl of Oxford, and thus he had laid up a provision for old age. He was ambitious only of comfort and private enjoyment. Thiese, however, he did not long possess ; for lie died on the 18th of September 1721, at Lord Oxford's seat at Wim. pole, being at the time in the fifty-seventh year of his age. The Duchess of Portland, Lord Oxford's daughter, said Prior made himself beloved by every living thing in the house-master, child, and servant, human creature or animal. He is, however, described as having been fond of low company, and at the time of his death, was, according to Arbuthnot, on the point of marrying a certain Bessy Cox, who kept an alelouse in Long Acre. To this worthless female and to his man-servant, Prior left his estate. Arbuthnot, writing to a friend the month after Prior's death, says: 'We are to have a bowl of punch at Bessy Cox's. _She would fain have put it upon Lewis that she was his (Prior's) Emma : she owned Flanders Jane was his Chloc.' To this doubtful Chloe some of his happiest effusions were devoted. The fairest and most high-born lady in the land might have envicd such complimentary strains as the following:

What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shews

The difference there is betwixt nature and art;
I court others in verse, but I love thee in prose;

And they have my whimsies, but thou hast my heart.
The god of us verse-men-you know, child-the Sun,

How after his journey he sets up his rest;
If at morning o'er earth 'tis his fancy to run,
At night he reclines cn his Thetis's breast.

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