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When she beholds the holy flame expiring.
Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy race,
The more I'm charm'd. Thou must take heed,
The world has all its eyes on Cato's son;
Thy father's merit sets thee up to view,
And shows thee in the fairest point of light,
To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous.
Por. Well dost thou seem to check my
Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that your
Is call'd together? Gods! thou must be cautious;
Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern
Our frauds, unless they're cover'd thick with art.
Sem. Let me alone, good Syphax, I'll conceal
My thoughts in passion ('tis the surest way);
I'll bellow out for Rome, and for my country,
And mouth at Caesar, till I shake the senate.
Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device,
A worn-out trick: wouldst thou be thought
On this important hour-I'll straight away,
And while the fathers of the senate meet
In close debate, to weigh th' events of war,
Fanimate the soldiers' drooping courage
With love of freedom, and contempt of life;|
I'll thunder in their ears their country's cause,
And try to rouse up all that's Roman in them.
Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve Meanwhile I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers,
[Exit. Inflame the mutiny, and, underhand,
Clothe thy feign'd zeal in rage, in fire, in fury!
Syph. In troth, thou'rt able to instruct grey
And teach the wily African deceit.
Sem. Once more be sure to try thy skill
Sem. Curse on the stripling! how he apes Blow up their discontents, till they break out
Ambitiously sententious-But I wonder
Old Syphax comes not, his Numidian genius
Is well dispos'd to mischief, were he prompt
And eager on it; but he must be spurr'd,
And ev'ry moment quicken'd to the course.
Cato has us'd me ill; he has refus'd
His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows.
Besides, his baffled arms and ruin'd cause,
Are bars to my ambition. Caesar's favour,
That show'rs down greatness on his friends,
will raise me
To Rome's first honours. If I give up Cato,
I claim, in my reward, his captive daughter.
But Syphax comes-
He's lost, Sempronius; all his thoughts are full
Of Cato's virtues-But I'll try once more
(For ev'ry instant I expect him here),
f yet I can subdue those stubborn principles
Of faith and honour, and I know not what,
That have corrupted his Numidian temper,
And struck th' infection into all his soul.
Sem. Be sure to press upon him ev'ry motive.
Jaba's surrender, since his father's death,
Would give up Afric into Caesar's hands,
And make him lord of half the burning zone.
Unlook'd for, and discharge themselves on Cato.
Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste;
Ob, think what anxious moments pass between
The birth of ots, and their last fatal periods!
Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time,
Fill'd up with horror all, and big with death!
Destruction hangs on ev'ry word we speak,
On every thought, till the concluding stroke
Determines all, and closes our design. [Exit.
Syph. I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason
This headstrong youth, and make him spurn
The time is short; Caesar comes rushing on
But hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches!
Juba. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone. I have observ'd of late thy looks are fall'n, O'ercast with gloomy cares and discontent; Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me, What are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns,
And turn thine eye thus coldly on thy prince?
Syph. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my
Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
When discontent sits heavy at my heart;
I have not yet so much the Roman in me.
Juba. Why dost thou cast out such un-
Against the lords and sov'reigns of the world?
Dost thou not see mankind fall down before
And own the force of their superior virtue?
Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets
these people up
Above your own Numidia's tawny sons?
Do they with tougher sinews bend the bow?
Or flies the jav'lin swifter to its mark,
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm?
Who like our active African instructs
The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand?
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant
Laden with war? These, these are arts, my
In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome.
Juba. These all are virtues of a meaner rank:
Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves,
A Roman soul is bent on higher views.
To make man mild, and sociable to man;
To cultivate the wild, licentious savage,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
Turn up thy eyes to Calo;
There may'st thou see to what a godlike height
The Roman virtues lift up mortal man.
While good, and just, and anxious for his friends,
He's still severely bent against himself;
And when his fortune sets before him all
The pomps and pleasures that his soul can wish,
His rigid virtue will accept of none.
Syph. Believe me, prince, there's not an
That traverses our vast Numidian deserts
In quest of prey, and lives upon his bow,
But better practises those boasted virtues.
Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chase;
Amidst the rucning stream he slakes his thirst;
Toils all the day, and at th' approach of night,
On the first friendly bank he throws him down,
Or rests his head upon a rock till morn;
Then rises fresh, pursues his wonted game;
And if the following day he chance to find
A new repast, or an untasted spring,
Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
Juba. Thy prejudices, Syphax, won't discern
What virtues grow from ignorance and choice,
Nor how the hero differs from the brute.
Where shall we find the man that bears
Juba. His counsels bade me yield to thy direction.
Syph. Alas! my prince, I'd guide you to your safety.
Juba. I do believe thou wouldst; but tell me how.
Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Cae-
Juba. My father scorn'd to do it.'
Syph. And therefore died,
Juba. Better to die ten thousand thousand
Than wound my honour.
Syph. Rather say your love.
Juba. Syphax, I've promis'd to preserve my
Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame
I long have stifled, and would fain conceal?
Syph. Believe me, prince, though hard to
'Tis easy to divert and break its force.
Absence might cure it, or a second mistress
af-Light up another flame, and put out this.
The glowing dames of Zama's royal court
Have faces flush'd with more exalted charms:
Were you with these, my prince, you'd soc
Great and majestic in his griefs, like Cato?
How does he rise against a load of woes,
And thank the gods that threw the weight
Syph. 'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughti-
ness of soul;
The pale, unripen'd beauties of the north. Juba. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion, The tincture of a skin, that I admire: I think the Romans call it stoicism. Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, Had not your royal father thought so highly Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. Of Roman virtue, and of Cato's cause, The virtuous Marcia tow'rs above her sex: He had not fall'n by a slave's hand inglorious; True, she is fair, (oh, how divinely fair!) Nor would his slaughter'd armies now have lain But still the lovely maid improves her charms On Afric's sands, disfigur'd with their wounds, With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, To gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia. And sanctity of manners; Cato's soul Juba. Why dost thou call my sorrows up
Shines out in ev'ry thing she acts or speaks,
While winning mildness and attractive smiles
Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace,
Soften the rigour of ber father's virtue.
Syph. How does your tongue grow wanton
in her praise!
But, on my knees, I beg you would consider-
Juba. Ila! Syphax, is't not she?-She moves
And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter.
My heart beats thick-I pr'ythee, Syphax, leave
Syph. Ten thousand curses fasten on them both!
Juba. Syphax, your zeal becomes impor-Now
I've hitherto permitted it to rave,
And talk at large; but learn to keep it in,
Lest it should take more freedom than I'll give it.
Syph. Sir, your great father never us'd
Alas, he's dead! but can you e'er forget
The tender sorrows,
And repeated blessings,
Which you drew from him in your last fare-
The good old king, at parting, wrung my hand
(His eyes brimful of tears), then, sighing, cry'd,
Prythee be careful of my son!-His grief
Swell'd up so high, he could not utter more.
will the woman, with a single glance, Undo what I've been lab'ring all this while. [Exil
Enter MARCIA and LUCIA.
Juba. Hail, charming maid! how does th
The face of war, and make ev'n horror smile
At sight of thee my heart shakes off its sorrows
I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me,
And for awhile forget th' approach of Caesa
Marcia. I should be griev'd, young princ
to think my presence
Unbent your thoughts, and slacken'd
While, warm with slaughter, our victorious f
Threatens aloud, and calls you to the field.
Juba. Oh, Marcia, let me hope thy kind As if he mourn'd his rival's ill success;
And gentle wishes follow me to battle!
The thought will give new vigour to my arm,
And strength and weight to my descending
And drive it in a tempest on the foe.
Marcia. My pray'rs and wishes always shall
The friends of Rome, the glorious cause of virtue,
And men approv'd of by the gods and Cato.
Juba. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares,
ro for ever on thy godlike father,
Transplanting, one by one, into my life,
His bright perfections, till I shine like him.
Marcia. My father never, at a time like this,
Would lay out his great soul in words, and waste
Such precious moments.
Juba. Thy reproofs are just,
Then bids me hide the motions of my heart,
Nor show which way it turns. So much he fears
The sad effect that it will have on Marcus.
Was ever virgin love distress'd like mine.
Marcia. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our
But to the gods submit th' event of things.
Our lives, discolour'd with our present woes,
May still grow bright, and smile with happier
So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with
Of rushing torrents, and descending rains,
Till, by degrees, the floating mirror shines,
Works itself clear, and, as it runs, refines,
Reflects each flow'r that on the border grows,
And a new heav'n in its fair bosom shows.
SCENE I.-The Senate-house. Flourish. SEMPRONIUS, LUCIUS, and Senators discovered.
Thou virtuous maid; I'll hasten to my troops,
And fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue.
If e'er I lead them to the field, when all
The war shall stand rang'd in its just array,
And dreadful pomp, then will I think on thee.
Oh, lovely maid! then will I think on thee;
And in the shock of charging hosts, remember
What glorious deeds should grace the man, Let us remember we are Cato's friends,
And act like men who claim that glorious
Luc. Hark! he comes.
For Marcia's love.
Lucia. Marcia, you're too severe:
How could you chide the young, good-natur'd
And drive him from you with so stern an air;
A prince that loves, and dotes on you to death?
Marcia. How, Lucia! wouldst thou have me
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love,
When ev'ry moment Cato's life's at stake?
Lucia. Why have I not this constancy of
Who have so many griefs to try its force?
Sure, nature form'd me of her softest mould,
Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions,
And sunk me ev'n below my own weak sex:
Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart.
Marcia. Lucia, disburden all thy cares on me,
And let me share thy most retir'd distress.
Tell me, who raises up this conflict in thee?
Lucia. I need not blush to name them,
when I tell thee
They're Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato.
Marcia. But tell me whose address thou fa-
I long to know, and yet I dread to hear it. Lucia. Suppose 'twere Portius, could you blame my choice?
Oh, Portius, thou hast stol'n away my soul!
Marcus is over warm; his fond complaints
Have so much earnestness and passion in them,
I hear him with a secret kind of horror,
And tremble at his vehemence of temper.
Marcia. Alas, poor youth!
flow will thy coldness raise
Sem. Rome still survives in this assembled senate.
Trumpets. Enter CATO, PORTIUS, and MARCUS.
Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in
Caesar's approach bas summon'd us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our resolves.
How shall we treat this bold, aspiring man?
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes;
Pharsalia gave him Rome, Egypt has since
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cae-
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should
What course to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us ev'n Libya's sultry deserts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they
To hold it out, and fight it to the last?
Or are your hearts subdu'd at length, and
By time and ill success, to a submission?
Sem. My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slav'ry or death?
No; let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
Tempests and storms in his afflicted bosom! May reach his heart, and free the world
I dread the consequence.
Lucia. You seem to plead
Against your brother Portius.
Marcia. Lucia, no;
Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover,
The same compassion would have fall'n on him.
Lucia. Portius himself oft falls in tears be-
Rise, fathers, rise! 'tis Rome demands your help;
Rise and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,
Or share their fate;-
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are
And Scipio's ghost walks unreveng'd amongst us.
Disdains a life which he has power to offer.
Dec. Rome and her senators submit to Caesar;
Her gen'rals and her consuls are no more,
Who check'd his conquests, and deny'd his
Why will not Cato be this Caesar's friend?
Cato. These very reasons thou hast urg'd
Dec. Caesar is well acquainted with your
And therefore sets this value on your life.
Let him but know the price of Cato's friendship,
And name your terms.
Cato. Bid him disband his legions,
Restore the commonwealth to liberty,
Submit his actions to the public censure,
That drew our swords, now wrests them And stand the judgment of a Roman senate.
And bids us not delight in Roman blood,
Unprofitably shed. What men could do,
Is done already: heav'n and earth will wit-
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.
Cato. Let us appear nor rash nor diffident;
Immod'rate valour swells into a fault;
And fear, admitted into public councils,
Betrays like treason. Let us shun them both.
Fathers, I cannot see that our affairs
Are grown thus desp'rate: we have bulwarks
Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil
In Afric's heat, and season'd to the sun;
Numidia's spacious kingdom lies behind
Ready to rise at its young prince's call.
While there is hope, do not distrust the gods;
But wait at least till Caesar's near approach
Force us to yield. Twill never be too late!
To sue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why should Rome fall a moment ere her
No, let us draw her term of freedom out
In its full length, and spin it to the last,
So shall we gain still one day's liberty :
Ant let me perish, but, in Cato's judgment,
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend.
Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your
Cato. Nay, more; though Cato's voice was
To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Myself will mount the rostrum in his favour,
And strive to gain his pardon from the people.
Dec. A style like this becomes a conqueror.
Cato. Decius, a style like this becomes
Dec. What is a Roman, that is Caesar's for?
Cato. Greater than Caesar: he's a friend to
Dec. Consider, Cato, you're in Utica,
And at the head of your own little senate:
You don't now thunder in the capitol,
With all the mouths of Rome to second you.
Cato. Let him consider that, who drives us
'Tis Caesar's sword has made Rome's senate little,
And thinn'd its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye
Beholds this man in a false, glaring light,
Which conquest and success have thrown
Didst thou but view him right, thou'dst see him black
With murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes, That strike my soul with horror but to name them.
I know thou look'st on me as on a wretch
Beset with ills, and cover'd with misfortunes;
But, by the gods I swear, millions of worlds
Should never buy me to be like that Caesar.
Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to
Jun. Fathers, e'en now a herald is arriv'd From Caesar's camp, and with him comes old Decius, The Roman knight: he carries in his looks Impatience, and demands to speak with Cato. Cato. By your permission, fathers-bid him For all his gen'rous cares and proffer'd friend[Exit Junius. Decius was once my friend, but other prospects Have loos'd those ties, and bound him fast to
His message may determine our resolves.
Dec. Caesar sends health to Cato-
Cato. Could he send it
To Cato's slaughter'd friends, it would be wel
Are not your orders to address the senate?
Dec. My business is with Cato; Caesar sees
The straits to which you're driv'n; and, as he
Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life.
Cato. My life is grafted on the fate of Rome.
Would he save Cato, bid him spare his country.
Tell your dictator this; and tell him, Cato
Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain :
Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato.
Would Caesar show the greatness of his soul,
Bid him employ his care for these my friends,
And make good use of his ill-gotten pow'r,
By shelt'ring men much better than himself.
Dec. Your high, unconquer'd heart makes
You are a man. You rush on your destruction.
But I have done. When I relate hereafter
The tale of this unhappy embassy,
All Rome will be in tears. [Exit, attended.
Sem. Cato, we thank thee.
The mighty genius of immortal Rome
Speaks in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty.
Caesar will shrink to hear the words thou utter'st,
And shudder in the midst of all his conquests.
Luc. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato, Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports Who with so great a soul consults its safety, Behind the hidden sources of the Nile, And guards our lives, while he neglects his own. In distant worlds, on t'other side the sun; Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this Oft have their black ambassadors appear'd,
Lucius seems fond of life; but what is life?
Tis not to stalk about, and draw fresh air
From time to time, or gaze upon the sun;
'Tis to be free. When liberty is gone,
Life grows insipid, and has lost its relish.
Ob, could my dying hand but lodge a sword
In Caesar's bosom, and revenge my country,
By hear'n, I could enjoy the pangs of death,
And smile in agony!
May serve their country with as warm a zeal, Though is not kindled into so much rage. Sem. This sober conduct is a mighty virtue In lukewarm patriots.
Cato. Come, no more, Sempronius; All here are friends to Rome, and to each other. Let us not weaken still the weaker side By our divisions.
Sem. Cato, my resentments Are sacrific'd to Rome-I stand reprov'd. Cato. Fathers, 'tis time you come to a resolve. Luc. Cato, we all go into your opinion: Caesar's behaviour has convinc'd the senate, We ought to hold it out till terms arrive. Sem. We ought to hold it out till death; but, Cato,
My private voice is drown'd amidst the senate's. Cato. Then let us rise, my friends, and strive to fill
This little interval, this pause of life
(While yet our liberty and fates are doubtful)
With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery,
And all the virtues we can crowd into it;
That heav'n may say, it ought to be prolong'd.
Fathers, farewell-The young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our coun-
sels. [Exeunt Senators.
Juba, the Roman senate has resolv'd,
Till time give better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheath'd, and turn its edge on
Juba. The resolution fits a Roman senate. But, Cato, lend me for awhile thy patience, And condescend to hear a young man speak. My father, when, some days before his death, He order'd me to march for Utica,
(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!)
Wept o'er me, press'd me in his aged arms;
And, as his griefs gave way, My son, said he,
Whatever fortune shall befall thy father,
Be Cato's friend; he'll train thee up to great
And virtuous deeds; do but observe him well,
Thou'lt shun misfortunes, or thou'lt learn to
Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
And merited, alas! a better fate;
But heav'n thought otherwise.
Juba. My father's fate,
In spite of all the fortitude that shines
Before my face in Cato's great example,
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears.
Cato. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes thee.
Juba. His virtues drew respect from foreign
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Loaden with gifts, and fill'd the courts of Zama. Cato. I am no stranger to thy father's great
Juba. I do not mean to boast his power and greatness,
But point out new alliances to Cato.
Had we not better leave this Utica,
To arm Numidia in our cause, and court
Th'assistance of my father's powerful friends?
Did they know Cato, our remotest kings
Would pour embattled multitudes about him;
Their swarthy hosts would darken all our plains,
Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.
Cato. And canst thou think
Cato will fly before the sword of Caesar!
Reduc'd, like Hannibal, to seek relief
From court to court, and wander up and down
A vagabond in Afric?
I'm too officious; but my forward cares Would fain preserve a life of so much value. My heart is wounded, when I see such virtue Afflicted by the weight of such misfortunes.
Cato. Thy nobleness of soul obliges me. But know, young prince, that valour soars above What the world calls misfortune and affliction. These are not ills; else would they never fall On heav'n's first fav'rites, and the best of men. The gods, in bounty, work up storms about us, That give mankind occasion to exert Their hidden strength, and throw out into practice
Virtues which shun the day, and lie conceal'd In the smooth seasons and the calms of life. Juba. I'm charm'd whene'er thou talk'st; I pant for virtue;
And all my soul endeavours at perfection. Cato. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, and toil,
Laborious virtues all? Learn them from Cato: Success and fortune must thou learn from Caesar.
Juba. The best good fortune that can fall on Juba, The whole success at which my heart aspires, Depends on Cato.
Cato. What does Juba say? Thy words confound me.
Juba. I would fain retract them.
Give them me back again: they aim'd at nothing. Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make not my ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.
Juba. Oh! they're extravagant;
Still let me hide them.
Calo. What can Juba ask,
That Cato will refuse?
Juba. I fear to name it.
Marcia-inherits all her father's virtues.
Cato. What wouldst thou say?
Juba. Cato, thou hast a daughter.
Cato. Adieu, young prince; I would not
hear a word
Should lessen thee in my esteem. Remember
The hand of fate is over us, and heav'n
Exacts severity from all our thoughts.
It is not now a time to talk of aught