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Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy

pains, Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. Mar. Thou best of brothers, and thou best

of friends! Pardon a weak, distempered soul, that

swells With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in

calms, The sport of passions—but Sempronius

comes : He must not find this softness hanging

on me.


Put forth thy utmost strength, work

every nerve, And call up all thy father in thy soul: To quell the tyrant Love, and guard thy

heart On this weak side, where most our nature

fails, Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son. Jar. Portius, the counsel which I can

not take, Instead of healing, but upbraids my

weakness. Bid me for honor plunge into a war Of thickest foes, and rush on certain

death, Then shalt thou see that Marcus is not

slow To follow glory, and confess his father. Love is not to be reasoned down, or lost In high ambition, and a thirst of great

ness; 'T is second life, it grows into the soul, Warms every vein, and beats in every

pulse, I feel it here: my resolution meltsPor. Behold young Juba, the Numidian

prince! With how much care he forms himself to

glory, And breaks the fierceness of his native

temper To copy out our father's bright example. He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves

her, His eyes, his looks, his actions all betray

it: But still the smothered fondness burns

within him. When most it swells, and labors for a

vent, The sense of honor and desire of fame Drive the big passion back into his heart. What! shall an African, shall Juba's

heir, Reproach great Cato's son, and show the

world A virtue wanting in a Roman soul? Mar. Portius, no more! your words leave

stings behind 'em. Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, show A virtue that has cast me at a distance, And thrown me out in the pursuits of

honor? Por. Marcus, I know thy generous tem

per well; Fling but the appearance of dishonor on

it, It straight takes fire, and mounts into

a blaze.


(Sempronius, Portius.) Sem. Conspiracies no sooner should be

formed Than executed. What means Portius

here? I like not that cold youth. I must dis

semble, And speak a language foreign to my heart.

(Aside.) Good-morrow, Portius! let us once em

brace, Once more embrace; whilst yet we both

are free. To-morrow should we thus express our

friendship, Each might receive a slave into his arms: This sun, perhaps, this morning sun 's the

last, That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. Por. My father has this morning called

together To this poor hall his little Roman senate, (The leavings of Pharsalia) to consult If yet he can oppose the mighty torrent That bears down Rome, and all her gods,

before it,

Old Syphax comes not; his Numidian

genius Is well disposed to mischief, were he

prompt And eager on it; but he must be spurred, And every moment quickened to the

course. Cato has used me ill: he has refused His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows. Besides, his baffled arms and ruined cause Are bars to my ambition. Cæsar's favor, That shower's down greatness on his

friends, will raise me To Rome's first honors. If I give up

Cato, I claim in my reward his captive daugh

ter. But Syphax comes !

Or must at length give up the world to

Cæsar. Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of

Rome Can raise her senate more than Cato's

presence. His virtues render our assembly awful, They strike with something like religious

fear, And make ev'n Cæsar tremble at the head Of armies fluslied with conquest : O my

Portius, Could I but call that wondrous man my

father, Would but thy sister Marcia be propi

tious To thy friend's vows, I might be blessed

indeed! Por. Alas! Sempronius, wouldst thou talk

of love To Marcia, whilst her father's life's in

danger? Thou might 'st as well court the pale

trembling vestal, When she beholds the holy flame expir

ing. Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy

race, The more I'm charmed. Thou must take

heed, my Portius! 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 con

spicuous. Por. Well dost thou seem to check my

lingering here On this important hour!-I'll straight

away, And while the fathers of the senate meet In close debate to weigh the events of

war, I'll animate the soldiers' drooping cour

age, With love of freedom, and contempt of

life. I'll thunder in their ears their coun

try's cause, And try to rouse up all that 's Roman in

'em. 'Tis not in mortals to command suc

cess, But we'll do more, Sempronius; we 'll deserve it.

(Erit.) Sem., solus. Curse on the stripling! how

he apes his sire! Ambitiously sententious !—but I wonder


(Syphar, Sempronius.) Syph.

Sempronius, all is ready; I've sounded my Numidians, man by

man, And find 'em ripe for a revolt: they all Complain aloud of Cato's discipline, And wait but the command to change

their master. Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time

to waste; Even whilst we speak, our conqueror

comes on, And gathers ground upon us every mo

ment. Alas! thou know'st not Cæsar's actire

soul, With what a dreadful course he rushes


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(For every instant I expect him here)
If yet I can subdue those stubborn prin-

Of faith, of honor, and I know not what,
That have corrupted his Numidian tem-

per, And struck the infection into all his

soul. Sem. Be sure to press upon him every

Juba's surrender, since his father's death,
Would give up Afric into Cæsar's hands,
And make him lord of half the burning

zone. Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that

your senate Is called together? Gods! thou must be

cautious! Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern Our frauds, unless they're covered thick

with art. Sem. Let me alone, good Syphax, I'll

conceal My thoughts in passion ('t is the surest

way); I'll bellow out for Rome and for my

country, And mouth at Cæsar till I shake the sen

ate. Your cold hypocrisy 's a stale device, A worn-out trick: wouldst thou be

thought in earnest ? Clothe thy feigned zeal in rage, in fire,

in fury! Syph. In troth, thou 'rt able to instruct


(Juba, Syphax.) Juba. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus

alone. I have observed of late thy looks are fal

len, O’ercast with gloomy cares and discon

tent; Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee,

tell me,

grey hairs,

And teach the wily African deceit! Sem. Once more, be sure to try thy skill

on Juba. Meanwhile I 'll hasten to my Roman sol

diers, Inflame the mutiny, and underhand Blow up their discontents, till they break

out Unlooked for, and discharge themselves

on Cato. Remember, Syphax, we must work in

haste: Oh think what anxious moments pass be

tween The birth of plots and their last fatal

periods. Oh! 't is a dreadful interval of time, Filled up with horror all, and big with


What are the thoughts that knit thy

brow in frowns, And turn thine eye thus coldly on thy

prince? Syph. ”T is not my talent to conceal my

thoughts, 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

generous terms Against the lords and sovereigns of the

world? Dost thou not see mankind fall down be

fore them, And own the force of their superior vir

tue? Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric, Amidst our barren rocks and burning

sands, That does not tremble at the Roman

name? Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets

this people up Above your own Numidia's tawny sons ! Do they with tougher sinews bend the

bow? Or flies the javelin swifter to its mark, Launched from the vigor of a Roman


Who like our active African instructs

The fiery steed, and trains him to his

hand? Or guides in troops the embattled ele

phant, Loaden with war? these, these are arts,

my prince, In which your Zama does not stoop to

Rome. Juba. These all are virtues of a meaner

rank, Perfections that are placed in bones and

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A Roman soul is bent on higher views:
To cirilize the rude, unpolished world,
And lay it under the restraint of laws;
To make man mild and sociable to man;
To cultivate the wild, licentious savage
With wisdom, discipline, and liberal

artsThe embellishments of life; virtues like

these Make human nature shine, reform the

soul, And break our fierce barbarians into



Syph. Patience, kind heavens !-excuse an

old man's warmth. What are these wondrous civilizing arts, This Roman polish, and this smooth be

havior, That render man thus tractable and

tame? Are they not only to disguise our pas

sions, To set our looks at variance with our

thoughts, To check the starts and sallies of the

soul, And break off all its commerce with the

tongue; In short, to change us into other crea

tures Than what our nature and the gods de

signed us? Juba. To strike thee dumb, turn up thy

eyes to Cato! 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; Renouncing sleep, and rest, and food,

and ease, He strives with thirst and hunger, toil

and heat ; 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 des-

In quest of prey, and lives upon his

bow, But better practises these boasted vir

tues. Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the

chase, Amidst the running stream he slakes his

thirst, Toils all the day, and at the 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

And if the following day he chance to

A new repast, or an untasted spring,

Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury. Juba. Thy prejudices, Syphax, won't disWhat virtues grow from ignorance and

choice, Nor how the hero differs from the brute. But grant that others could with equal

glory Look down on pleasures, and the baits of

sense; Where shall we find the man that bears

Great and majestic in his griefs, like

Heavens, with what strength, what stead-

iness of mind,
He triumphs in the midst of all his suf-

ferings! How does he rise against a load of

woes, And thank the gods that throw the

weight upon him! Syph. 'T is pride, rank pride, and haugh.

tiness of soul : I think the Romans call it stoicism. Had not your royal father thought so

highly Of Roman virtue, and of Cato's cause, He had not fallen by a slave's hand, in

glorious; Nor would his slaughtered army now

have lain On Afric's sands, disfigured with their

wounds, To gorge the wolves and vultures of


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Juba. Why dost thou call my sorrows up When not a breath of wind flies o'er its afresh ?

surface. My father's name brings tears into my Syph. Alas, my prince, I'd guide you to eyes.

your safety. Syph. Oh, that you'd profit by your Juba. I do believe thou wouldst: but tell father's ills!

me how? Juba. What wouldst thou have me do? Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Syph.

Abandon Cato.

Cæsar's foes. Juba. Syphax, I should be more than Juba. My father scorned to do it. twice an orphan


And therefore died. By such a loss.

Juba. Better to die ten thousand thouSyph. Ay, there's the tie that binds you! sand deaths, You long to call him father. Marcia's Than wound my honor. charms


Rather say, your love. Work in your heart unseen, and plead Juba. Syphax, I've promised to preserve for Cato.

my temper. No wonder you are deaf to all I say.

Why wilt thou urge me to confess a Juba. Syphax, your zeal becomes im

flame portunate;

I long have stifled, and would fain conI've bitherto permitted it to rave,

ceal? And talk at large; but learn to keep it Syph. Believe me, prince, though hard to in,

conquer love, Lest it should take more freedom than 'T is easy to divert and break its force: I'll give it.

Absence might cure it, or a second misSyph. Sir, your great father never used

tress me thus.

Light up another flame, and put out Alas! he's dead! but can you e'er for

this. get

The glowing dames of Zama's royal court The tender sorrows, and the pangs of Have faces flushed with more exalted nature,

charms, The fond embraces, and repeated bless- The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their ings,

heads, Which you drew from him in your last Works up more fire and color in their farewell ?

cheeks: Still must I cherish the dear, sad remem- Were you with these, my prince, you'd brance,

soon forget At once to torture and to please my soul. The pale, unripened beauties of the The good old king at parting wrung my

north. hand,

Juba. 'T is not a set of features, or com(His eyes brimful of tears) then sighing

plexion, cried,

The tincture of a skin, that I admire. Prithee, be careful of my son!—his Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, grief

Fades in his eye, and palls upon the Swelled up so high, he could not utter more.

The virtuous Marcia towers above her Juba. Alas, thy story melts away my soul.

True, she is fair (oh, how divinely fair!), That best of fathers ! how shall I dis- But still the lovely maid improves her charge

charms The gratitude and duty which I owe him! With inward greatness, unaffected wisSyph. By laying up his counsels in your

dom, heart.

And sanctity of manners. Cato's soul Juba. His counsels bade me yield to thy Shines out in everything she acts or directions:

speaks, Then, Syphax, chide me in severest While winning mildness and attractive terms,

smiles Vent all thy passion, and I'll stand its Dwell in her looks, and with becoming shock,

grace Calm and unruffled as a summer sea,

Soften the rigor of her father's virtues.



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