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42

Cato. And canst thou think

Cato will fly before the sword of Cæsar!

Reduc’d, like Hannibal, to seek relief

From court to court, and wander up and down
A vagabond in Afric.

Jub. Cato, perhaps

I'm too officious; but my forward cares
Wou'd 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 that shun the day, and lie conceal'd

In the smooth seasons and the calms of life.

Jub. 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 Cæsar.

Jub. 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?

The words confound me.

Jub. I would fain retract them,

Give 'em me back again: they aim'd at nothing. Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make not my ear

A stranger to thy thoughts.

Jub. Oh! they're extravagant ;

Still let me hide them.

Cato. What can Juba ask

That Cato will refuse?

Jub. I fear to name it.

Marcia-inherits all her father's virtues.

Cato. What wouldst thou say?

Jub. 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 ought

But chains, or conquest; liberty, or death.

Enter SYPHAX.

[Exit.

Syph. How's this, my prince! What, cover'd with

confusion?

You look as if yon stern philosopher

Had just now chid you.

Jub. Syphax, I'm undone!

Syph. I know it well.

Jub. Cato thinks meanly of me.
Syph. And so will all mankind.

Jub. I've open'd to him

The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia.
Syph. Cato's a proper person to intrust

A love-tale with.

Jub. Oh, I could pierce my heart,

My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Juba!
Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you chang'd of late!
I've known young Juba rise before the sun,
To beat the thicket where the tiger slept,

Or seek the lion in his dreadful haunts:

How did the colour mount into your cheeks,
When first you rous'd him to the chace! I've seen
you,

Ev'n in the Lybian dog-days, hunt him down,
Then charge him close, provoke him to the rage
Of fangs and claws, and, stooping from your horse,
Rivet the panting savage to the ground.

Jub. Pr'ythee no more.

Syph. How would the old king smile

To see you weigh the paws, when tipp'd with gold,
And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoulders!
Jub. Syphax, this old man's talk (though honey
flow'd

In ev'ry word) wou'd now lose all its sweetness.
Cato's displeas'd, and Marcia lost for ever.

Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good advice,

Marcia might still be yours.

Jub. What say'st thou, Syphax ?

By Heav'ns, thou turn'st me all into attention.
Syph. Marcia might still be yours.
Jub. As how, dear Syphax ?

Syph. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troops,
Mounted on steeds unus'd to the restraint

Of curbs or bits, and fleeter than the winds.
Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel up,

And bear her off.

Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts

Rise up in man? Wouldst thou seduce my youth
To do an act that would destroy mine honour?
Syph. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear you talk!
Honour's a fine imaginary notion,

That draws in raw and unexperienc'd men

To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow.

Jub. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince into a ruffian? Syph. The boasted ancestors of those great men, Whose virtues you admire, were all such ruffians. This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds All under Heav'n, was founded on a rape; Your Scipios, Cæsars, Pompeys, and your Catos (The gods on earth), are all the spurious blood Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines.

Jub. Syphax, I fear that hoary head of thine Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles.

Syph. Indeed, my prince, you want to know the

world.

You have not read mankind; your youth admires

The throes and swellings of a Roman soul,

Cato's bold flights, th' extravagance of virtue.

Jub. If knowledge of the world makes men perfidious,

May Juba ever live in ignorance!

Syph. Go, go; you're young.

Jub. Gods, must I tamely bear

This arrogance unanswer'd! Thou'rt a traitor,
A false old traitor.

Syph. I have gone to far.

[Aside.

Jub. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul.
Syph. I must appease this storm, or perish in it.

[Aside. Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown

white

Beneath a helmet in your father's battles.

Jub. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insolence. Syph. Must one rash word, th' infirmity of age, Throw down the merit of my better years? This the reward of a whole life of service! -Curse on the boy! how steadily he hears me!

[Aside.

Jub. Is it because the throne of my forefathers Still stands unfill'd, and that Numidia's crown Hangs doubtful yet whose head it shall inclose, Thou thus presum'st to treat thy prince with scorn? Syph. Why will you rive my heart with such expressions?

Does not old Syphax follow you to war?

What are his aims? Why does he load with darts

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