« EelmineJätka »
Disdains a life which he has power to offer. For all his generous cares and proffered friend
Dec. Rome and her senators submit to Cæsar; ship? Her generals and her consuls are no more,
Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain. Who checked his conquests, and denied his Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato: triuinphs.
Would Cæsar shew the greatness of his soul, Why will not Cato be this Cæsar's friend? Bid him employ his care for these my friends, Cato. These very reasons thou has urged for and make good use of his ill-gotten power, bid it.
By sheltering men much better than himself. Dec. Cato, I have orders to expostulate, Dec. Your high unconquered heart makes you And reason with you, as from friend to friend :
forget Think on the storm that gathers o'er your head, You are a man. You rush on your destruction. And threatens every hour to burst upon it; But I have done. When I relate hereafter Still may you stand high in your country's ho- The tale of this unhappy embassy, nours; '
All Rome will be in tears. [Exit Decius. Do but comply, and make your peace with Cæsar, Sem. Cato, we thank thee. Rome will rejoice, and cast its eyes on Cato, The mighty genius of immortal Rome As on the second of mankind.
Speaks in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty. Cato. No more:
Cæsar will shrink to hear the words thou utterest, I must not think of life on such conditions. And shudder in the midst of all his conquests. Dec. Cæsar is well acquainted with your vir- Luc. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato, tues,
Who with so great a soul consults its safety. And therefore sets this value on your life. And guards our lives while he neglects his own. Let him but know the price of Cato's friendship, Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this acAnd name your terms.
count. Cato, Bid him disband his legions,
Lucius seems fond of life; but what is life? Restore the commonwealth to liberty,
'Tis not to walk about, and draw fresh air Submit his actions to the public censure,
From time to time, or gaze upon the sun; And stand the judgment of a Roman senate. "T'is to be free. When liberty is gone, Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend.
Life grows insipid, and has lost its relish. Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your wis- Oh, could my dying hand but lodge a sword dom
In Cæsar's bosom, and revenge my country! Cato. Nay, more; though Cato's voice was ne'er | By heavens I could enjoy the pangs of death, employed
And smile in agony ! To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Luc. Others, perhaps, Myself will mount the rostrum in his favour, May serve their country with as warm a zeal, And strive to gain his pardon from the people. Though 'tis not kindled into so much rage. Dec. A style like this becomes a conqueror.
Sem. This sober conduct is a mighty virtue
Let us not weaken still the weaker side
Are sacrificed to Rome--I stand reproved.
Luc. Cato, we all go into your opinion. 'Tis Cæsar's sword has made Rome's senate little, Cæsar's behaviour has convinced the senate, And thinned its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye We ought to hold it out till terms arrive. Beholds this man in a false glaring light,
Sem. We ought to hold it out till death; but, Which conquest and success have thrown upon Cato,
My private voice is drowned amidst the senate's. Did'st thou but view him right, thou’dst see him Cato. Then let us rise, my friends, and strive black
to fill With murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes, This little interval, this pause of life, That strike my soul with horror but to naine them. (While yet our liberty and fates are doubtful) I know thou look’st on me, as on a wretch With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery, Beset with ills, and covered with misfortunes; And all the virtues we can crowd into it, But, by the gods I swear, millions of worlds That Heaven may say it ought to be prolonged. Should never buy me to be like that Cæsar. Fathers, farewell The young Numidian prince Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to Comes forward, and expects to know our counCæsar,
These are not ills; else would they never fall
On Heaven's first favourites and the best of men. Juba, the Roman senate has resolved,
The gods, in bounty, work up storms about us, Till time give better prospects, still to keep That give mankind occasion to exert The sword unsheathed, and turn its edge on Their hidden strength, and throw out into pracCæsar.
tice Juba. The resolution fits a Roman senate. Virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience, In the smooth seasons and the calms of life. And condescend to hear a young man speak. Juba. I am charmed whene'er thou talkest; My father, when, some days before bis death,
pant for virtue; He ordered me to march for Utica,
And all my soul endeavours at perfection. (Alas! I thought not then his death so near!) Cuto. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, Wept o'er nie, pressed me in his aged arms,
and toil, And, as his griets gave way, “ My son,' said he, Laborious virtues all? Learn them from Cato; “Whatever fortune shall befal thy father, Success and fortune must thou learn from Cæsar. * Be Cato's friend; he'll train thee up to great Juba. The best good fortune that can fall on • And virtuous deeds; do but observe him well,
Juba, • Thou'lt slun misfortunes, or thou'lt learn to bear The whole success at which my heart aspires, them.'
Depends on Cato.
Thy words confound me.
Juba. I would fain retract them, Juba. My father's fate,
Give them me back again : they aimed at noIn spite of all the fortitude that shines
thing. Before my face in Cato's great example,
Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make Subdues my soul, and tills my eyes with tears.
not my ear Cuto. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes A stranger to thy thoughts. thee.
Juba. Oh! they are extravagant;
Cato. What can Juba ask
Marcia-inherits all her father's virtues.
Should lessen thee in my esteem. Reinember, Juba. I would not boast the greatness of my The hand of Fate is over us, and leaven father,
Exacts severity from all our thoughts. But point out new alliances to Cato.
It is not now a time to talk of ought liad we not better leave this Utica,
But chains, or conquest; liberty, or death. To arm Numidia in our cause, and court
[Eril. The assistance of my father's powerful friends? Did "hey know Cató, our remotest kings
Enter SypiaX. Would pour embattled multitudes about him; Syph. How is this, my prince! What, covered Their swarthy hosis would darken all our plains, with confusion? Doubling the native horrors of the war,
You look as if yop stern philosopher And making death more grim.
Had just now chid
you. Cato, and canst thou think
Juba. Syphax, I am undone! Cato will fly liefore the sword of Cæsar!
Syph. I know it well.
Juba. Cato thinks meanly of me.
Juba. I have opened to him
The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia. I am wo officious; but my forward cares
Syph. Cato's a proper person to entrust Would fain preserve a lite of so much value. A love-tale with! My heart is wounded, when I see such virtue Juba. Oh, I could pierce my heart, Ailicted bv the weight of such misfortunes. . My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Jula!
Cato. Thiy nobleness of soul obliges me. Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you changed But know, young prince, that valour soars above of late ! What the world calls misfortune and atlliction. I have known young Juba rise before the sun,
To beat the thicket where the tiger slept, This arrogance unanswered! Thou art a traitor,
A false old traitor.
[Aside. When first you roused him to the chace ! I have Subu. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul. seen you,
Syph. I must appease this storm, or perish in Even in the Lybian dog-days, hunt him down,
(Aside. Then charge him close, provoke nim to the rage Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown Of fangs and claws, and, stooping from your white horse,
Beneath a helmet in your father's battles. Rivet the panting savage to the ground.
Juba. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insoJuba. Prithee, no more.
lence. Syph. How would the old king smile
Syph. Mustone rash word, the infirmity of age, To see you weigh the paws, when tipped with Throw down the merit of my better years? gold,
This the reward ot a whole life of service! And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoul- Curse on the boy ! how steadily he hears me! ders!
[Aside. Juba. Syphax, this old man's talk (though ho- Juba. Is it because the throne of my foreta
thers In every word) would now lose its sweetness. Still stands unfilled, and that Numidia's crown Cato's displeased, and Marcia lost for ever. Ilangs doubtful yet whose head it shall inclose, Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good | Thou thus presumest to treat thy prince withscorn? advice;
Syph. Why will you rive my heart with such Marcia might still be yours.
expressions! Juba. What sayest thou, Syphax?
Does not old Syphax follow you to war? By Heavens, thou turnest me all into attention. What are his aiins? Why does he load with darts Syph. Marcia might still be yours.
His trembling hand, and crush beneath a casque Juba. As how, deur Syphax?
His wrinkled brows? What is it he aspires to ? Syph. Juba commands Numidia’s hardy troops, Is it not this to shed the slow remains, Mounted on steeds unused to the restraint His last
ebb of blood in your detence? Of curbs or bits, and fleeter than the winds. Juba. Syphax, no more! I would not hear Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel up,
talk. And bear her off.
Syph. Not hear me talk! what, when faith Juba. Can such dishonest thoughts
to Juba, Rise
up in man! Wouldst thou seduce my youth My royal master's son, is called in question? To do an act that would destroy mine honour? My prince may strike me dead, and I'll be dumb; Syph. Guds, I could tear my hair to hear you But whilst I live I must not hold my tongue, talk!
And languish out old age in his displeasure. Honour's a fine imaginary notion,
Juba. Thou knowest the way too well into my That draws in raw and inexperienced men,
heart; To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow. I do believe thee loyal to thy prince. Juba. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince into a Syph. What greater instance can I give? I've ruthan?
offered Syph. The boasted ancestors of those great inen, To do an action which my soul abhors, Whose virtues you admire, were all such rutians. And gain you whom you love, at any price. This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, Juba. Was this thy motive? I have been too That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds
hasty. All under Heaven, was founded on a rape ;
Syph. And 'tis for this my prince has called Your Scipios, Cæsars, Pompeys, and your Catos
me traitor! (The gods on earth), are all the spurious blood Juba. Sure thou mistakest; I did not call thee so. Of violated maids, of ravished Sabines.
Syph. You did, indeed, my prince, you called Juba. Syphax, I fear that hoarv head of thine
me traitor. Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles. Nay, further, threatened you would coinplain to Syph. Indeed, my prince, you want to know Cato. the world.
Of what, my prince, would you complain to You have not read mankind; your youth adınires Cato? The throes and swellings of a Roman soul, That Syphax loved you, and would sacrifice Cato's bold flights, the extravagance of virtue. His life, nay, more, his honour, in your service? Juba. If knowledge of the world make inen Juba. Syphax, I know thou lovest me; but inperfidious,
deed Play Juba ever live in ignorance !
Thy zeal for Juba carried thee too far. Syph. Go, go; you are young.
Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kinys, Juba. Gods, must I tamely bear
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection;
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets Should they submit ere our designs are ripe,
We both must perish in the common wreck,
Syph. But how stands Cato?
Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas : I am ravished when you talk thus, though you Whilst storms and tempests thunder on its brows, chide ne!
And oceans break their billows at its feet,
Such is that haughty man; his towering soul,
That Syphax and Sempronius are his friends.
of public vows. Our Punic faith Is Juba fixed ? Is infamous, and branded to a proverb.
Syph. Yesabut it is to Cato. Syphax, we'll join our cares, to purge away.
I have tried the force of every reason on him, Our country's crimes, and clear her reputation. Soothed and caressed; been angry, soothed again; Syph. Believe me, prince, you make old Sy- Laid safety, life, and interest in his sight. phax weep,
But all are vain; he scorns them all for Cato. To hear you talk--but 'tis with tears of joy. Sem. Come, 'tis no matter; we shall do withIf e'er your father's crown adorn your brows,
out him. Numidia will be blest by Cato's lectures. He'll make a pretty figure in a triumph, Juba. Syphax, thy hand; we'll mutually for. And serve to trip before the victor's chariot. get
Syphax, I now may hope thou hast forsook The warınth of youth, and frowardness of age; Thy Juba's cause, and wishest Marcia mine. Thy prince esteems thy worth, and loves thy per- Syph. May she be thine as fast as thou wouldst
have her. If e'er the sceptre come into my hand,
Sem. Syphax, I love that woman; though I
Syph. Make Cato sure, and give up Utica,
Does the sedition catch from man to man,
The factious leaders are our friends, that spread
[Erit. They count their toilsome marches, long fatigues,
This medley of philosophy and war.
I laugh to see how your unshaken Cato
Will look aghast, while unforeseen destruction
Pours in upon him thas from every side.
So, where our wide Numidian wastes extend, Well, Cato's senate is resolved to wait
Sudden, the impetuous hurricanes descend, The fury of a siege before it yields.
Wheel through the air, in circling eddies play, Sen. Syphas, we both were on the verge of Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away. fate :
The helpless traveller, with wild surprise, Lucius declared for peace, and terms were offer- Sees the dry desart all around him rise, ed
And, smothered in the dusty whirlwind, dies. To Cato, by a messenger from Cæsar.
Por. Marcus, thou can'st not ask what I'd re
fuse. Enter Marcus and PORTIUS.
But here, believe me, I have a thousand reasons Marc. Thanks to my stars I have not ranged Marc. I know thou'lt say my passion's out of about
season, The wilds of life, ere I could find a friend; That Cato's great example and misfortunes Nature first pointed out my Portius to me, Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts. And early taught me, by her secret force, But what's all this to one that loves like me? To love thy person, ere I knew thy merit, O Portius, Portius, from my soul I wish Till what was instinct, grew up into friendship. Thou did'st but know thyself what 'tis to love! Por. Marcus, the friendships of the world are Then wouldst thou pity and assist thy brother. oft
Por. What should I do! If I disclose my pas. Confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure ;
sion Ours has severest virtue for its basis,
Our friendship's at an end; if I conceal it, And such a friendship ends not but with life. The world will call me false to a friend and Marc. Portius, thou know'st my soul in all its
Marc. But see where Lucia, at her wonted Then, prithee, spare me on its tender side.
hour, Indulge me but in love, my other passions Amid the cool of yon high marble arch, Shall rise and fall by virtue's nicest rules. Enjoys the noon-day breeze ! Observe her, Por. When love's well-timed, 'tis not a fault to Portius; love.
That face, that shape, those eyes, that heaven of The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise,
beauty! Sink in the soft captivity together.
Observe her, well, and blame me if thou canst. I would not urge thee to dismiss thy passion, Por. She sees us, and advances(I know 'twere vain) but to suppress its force, Marc. I'll withdraw, Till better times may make it look more graceful. And leave you for a while. Remember, Portius, Marc. Alas! thou talk'st like one who never | Thy brother's life depends upon thy tongue. felt
[Erit. The impatient throbs and longings of a soul, That pants and reaches after distant good.
Enter Lucia. A lover does not live by vulgar time :
Luc. Did I not see your brother Marcus here? Believe me, Portius, in my Lucia's absence Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence? Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden; Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to shew And yet, when I behold the charming maid, His
rage of love; it preys upon his life;
And mixt together in so wild a tumult, Por. What can thy Portius do to give thee That the whole man is quite disfigured in him. help?
Heavens, would one think 'twere possible for Marc. Portius, thou oft enjoy'st the fair-one's love presence;
To make such ravage in a noble soul! Then undertake my cause, and plead it to her Oh, Lucia, I'm distressed; my heart bleeds for With all the strength and heat of eloquence,
him : Fraternal love and friendship can inspire. Even now, while thus I stand blest in thy presence, Tell her thy brother languishes to death, A secret damp of grief comes o'er my thoughts, And fades away, and withers in his bloom; And I'm unhappy, though thou smilest upon me. That he forgets his sleep, and loaths his food; Luc. How wilt thou guard thy honour, in the That youth, and health, and war are joyless to shock him;
Of love and friendship? Think betimes, my Portius, Describe his anxious days, and restless nights, Think how the nuptial tie, that might ensure And all the torments that thou see'st me suffer. Our mutual bliss, would raise to such a height
Por. Marcus, I beg thee give me not an office Thy brother's grief, as might perhaps destroy That suits with me so ill. Thou knowest my
Por. Alas, poor youth! What dost thou think, Marc. Wilt thou behold me sinking in my woes,
His generous, open, undesigning heart And wilt thou not reach out a friendly arm, Has begged his rival to solicit for him; To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows? Then do not strike him dead with a denial;