Page images


Luc. And why not Marcia? come, you strive in vain to hide your thoughts from one, who knows too well the inward glowings of a heart in love.

Mar. While Cato lives, his daughter has no right to love or hate, but as his choice directs.

Luc. But should this father give you to Sempronius? Marc. I dare not think he will: but if he should why wilt thou add to all the griefs I suffer

imaginary ills, and fancy'd tortures?

I hear the sound of feet! they march this way!
let us retire, and try if we can drown

each softer thought in sense of present danger.
When love once pleads admission to our hearts
(in spight of all the virtue we can boast)
the woman that deliberates is lost.


Enter SEMPRONIUS, dress'd like JUBA, with Numidian



Sem. The deer is lodg'd. I've track'd her to her covBe sure you mind the word; and when I give it, rush in at once, and seize upon your prey. Let not her cries or tears have force to move you. -How will the young Numidian rave, to see his mistress lost? if aught could glad my soul beyond th' enjoyment of so bright a prize,

't would be to torture that young, gay, barbarian. -But hark, what noise! death to my hopes! 'tis he, 'tis Juba's self! there is but one way left

he must be murder'd, and a passage cut

[tremble? through those his guards.--Ha, dastards, do you or act like men, or by yon azure heaven

Enter JUBA.

Jub. What do I see? who's this that dares usurp

the guards and habits of Numidia's prince? Sem. One that was born to scourge thy arrogance, presumptuous youth!

Jub. What can this mean? Sempronius!

Sem. My sword shall answer thee, have at thy heart. Jub. Nay then beware thy own, proud, barbarous


man! [Semp. falls. His Guards surrender. Sem. Curse on my stars! am I then doom'd to by a boy's hand? disfigur'd in a vile Numidian dress, and for a worthless woman? Gods, I'm distracted! this my close of life! O for a peal of thunder, that would make

earth, sea, and air, and heaven, and Cato tremble!

[Dies. Jub. With what a spring his furious soul broke


and left the limbs still quivering on the ground! hence let us carry off those slaves to Cato,

that we may there at length unravel all

this dark design, this mystery of fate.

[Exit Juba, with prisoners, &c.


Luc. Sure 't was the clash of swords; my troubled is so cast down, and sunk amidst it's sorrows, [heart it throbs with fear, and aches at every sound.

O Marcia, should thy brothers for my sake!

I die away with horror at the thought.

Marc. See Lucia, see! here's blood! here's blood and murder!

Ha! a Numidian! heavens preserve the prince! the face lies muffled up within the garment. But ha! death to my sight! a diadem,

and purple robes! O gods! 't is he, 't is he,

Juba, the lovliest youth that ever warm'd a virgin's heart, Juba lies dead before us!

Luc. Now, Marcia, now call up to thy assistance thy wonted strength, and constancy of mind; thou canst not put it to a greater trial.

Mar. Lucia, look there, and wonder at my patience. Have I not cause to rave, and beat my breast, to rend my heart with grief, and run distracted? Luc. What can I think or say, to give thee comfort? Marc. Talk not of comfort, 't is for lighter ills: behold a sight, that strikes all comfort dead.

Enter JUBA listening.

I will indulge my sorrows, and give way to all the pangs and fury of despair;

that man, that best of men, deserv'd it from me. Jub. What do I hear? and was the false Semprothat best of men? O had I fall'n like him, [nies and could have thus been mourn'd, I had been happy! Luc. Here will I stand, companion in thy woes, and help thee with my tears; when I behold a loss like thine, I half forget my own.

Marc. 'T is not in fate to ease my tortur'd breast. This empty world, to me a joyless desert, has nothing left to make poor Márcia happy.

Jub. I'm on the rack! was he so near her heart? Marc. Oh, he was all made up of love and charms, whatever maid could wish, or man admire; delight of every eye! when he appear'd,

a secret pleasure gladden'd all that saw him;
but when he talk'd, the proudest Roman blush'd
to hear his virtues, and old age grew wise.

Jub. I shall run mad

Marc. O Juba! Juba! Juba!

Jub, What means that voice? did she not call on


Marc. Why do I think on what he was! he's dead! he's dead, and never knew how much I lov'd him. Lucia, who knows but his poor bleeding heart amidst its agonies, remember'd Marcia, and the last words he utter'd call'd me cruel! alas! he knew not, hapless youth! he knew not Marcia's whole soul was full of love and Juba! Jub. Where am I! do I live! or am indeed what Marcia thinks! all is Elysium round me! Marc. Ye dear remains of the most lov'd of men, nor modesty nor virtue here forbid

a last embrace, while thus


See, Marcia, see,

the happy Juba lives! he lives to catch

that dear embrace, and to return it too with mutual warmth and eagerness of love.

Marc. With pleasure and amaze, I stand trans sure 't is a dream! dead and alive at once! [ported! If thou art Juba, who lies there?


A wretch, disguis'd like Juba on a curs'd design. The tale is long, nor have I heard it out. Thy father knows it all. I could not bear to leave thee in the neighbourhood of death, but flew, in all the haste of love, to find thee. I found thee weeping, and confess this once, am wrapt with joy to see my Marcia's tears.

Marc. I've been surpris'd in an unguarded hour, but must not now go back: the love, that lay half-smother'd in my breast, has broke through all it's weak restraints, and burns in it's full lustre; I cannot, if I would, conceal it from thee.

[ocr errors]

Jub. I'm lost in ecstacy! and dost thou love,

thou charming maid?


And dost thou live to ask it? Jub. This, this is life indeed! life worth preservsuch life as Juba never felt till now!

Ling! Marc, Believe me, prince, before I thought thee I did not know myself how much I lov'd thee. [dead, Jub. O fortunate mistake!


O happy Marcia!

Jub. My joy! my best belov'd! my only wish!

how shall I speak the transport of my soul !

Marc. Lucia, thy arm! oh let me rest upon it!

the vital blood, that had forsook my heart,
returns again in such tumultuous tides,

it quite o'ercomes me. Lead to my apartment.
O prince! I blush to think what I have said,
but fate has wrested the confession from me;
go on, and prosper in the paths of honour,
thy virtue will excuse my passion for thee,
and make the gods propitious to our love.

[Exeunt Marcia and Lucia. Jub. I am so bless'd, I fear 't is all a dream. Fortune, thou now hast made amends for all thy past unkindness. I absolve my stars. What though Numidia add her conquer'd towns and provinces to swell the victor's triumph? Juba will never at his fate repine,

let Cæsar have the world, if Marcia's mine.

A March at a distance.

Enter CATO and LUCIUS.


Luc. Istand astonish'd! what, the bold Sempronius that still broke foremost through the crowd of patrias with a hurricane of zeal transported,


« EelmineJätka »