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PROLOGUE TO CATO.

To wake the foul by tender strokes of art,

To raise the genius and to mend the heart;

To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene and be what they behold;-
For this the tragic Muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream through every age :
Tyrants no more their favage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.

Our Author fhuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;

In pitying love we but our weakness shew,

And wild ambition well deferves its woe.

Here tears fhall flow from a more generous cause,

Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws :

PROLOGUS.

UT fenfus tragicâ excitaret arte,

Mores fingeret, ingenîque venam
Ditaret; foret unde, quod videbat,
Gens humana; fibique fifa virtus
Scenas confcia permearet omnes ;—
Primùm fuftinuit gravi cothurno
Suras Melpomene indui, et ciere

Cunctorum lacrymas: trucem tyrannus Adfpectum pofuit, genafque furtìm Non fuo obftupuit madere fletu.

Vulgari refugit Poeta plectro

Heroum canere arma (quippe triftis
Vices ambitio fuas meretur)
Imbelli neque plorat ufque queftu
Amores juvenumque virginumque ;
Hic fons nobilior: CATO ipfe quales

He bids your breasts with antient ardour rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes.
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws;

What PLATO thought, and godlike CATO was:
No common object to your fight difplays,

But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys;
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state!
While CATO gives his little senate laws,
What bofom beats not in his country's cause?
Who fees him act, but envies every deed?
Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed?
Even when proud CÆSAR 'midft triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations and the pomp of wars,

Ignobly vain and impotently great,

Shew'd Rome her CATO's figure drawn in state;

As her dead father's reverend image pass'd,

pomp was darken'd and the day o'ercast;

The

Fudit

pro patriâ ruente, Nofter

Educit lacrymas; furore prifco

Accenditque animos, genamque guttis

Romanis docet imbui Britannam.

Virtus fcilicet hic videnda formâ

Humanâ! Hìc PLATO mente quod creavit,

CATO quod fuit! En, quod ipfe Divûm
Rex fpectaculum amaverit, procellis
Luctantem patriæ virum; cadentemque,
Hæc cum concideret! Suis CATONEM
Dantem jura, quis haud amore flagrat,
Ut vidit, patriæ ? quis haud agenti
Plaudit? quis fimul et mori, gementem
Quicunque audiît, haud avet? Triumphat
Dum CÆSAR fpolia inter, atque victos
Oftentat populo duces (superbæ

Heu! mentis nimiùm impotenfque fastûs)

Turba ut fortè fui CATONIS ire

The triumph ceas'd: Tears gufh'd from every eye;

The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by:

Her laft good man dejected Rome ador'd,

And honour'd CÆSAR's lefs than CATO's fword.

Britons, attend: Be worth like this approv❜d,

And fhew you have the virtue to be mov'd.

With honeft scorn the first fam'd CATO view'd

Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdued ;
Our scene precariously subfifts too long

On French tranflation and Italian fong:
Dare to have fense yourselves. Affert the ftage;
Be juftly warm'd with your own native rage:
Such plays alone should please a British ear,
As CATO's self had not disdain'd to hear.

POPE.

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