"Cato knows neither of them, Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die"

The line comes from Cato, a Tragedy, a play written by Joseph Addison in 1712.  The play is based on the events of the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95–46 BC), a Stoic, whose deeds, and overt resistance to the tyranny of Julius Ceasar, made him an icon of republicanism, virtue, and liberty. Addison's play deals with themes such as individual liberty versus government tyranny, Republicanism versus Monarchism, logic versus emotion, and Cato's personal struggle to hold to his beliefs in the face of death.

The play was a success throughout England and her colonies.  It has been credited as a literary inspiration for the American Revolution.