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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 shews in the fairest point of light,
To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous.
Por. Well dost thou seem to check my linger-
On this important hour-I'll straight away,
And while the fathers of the senate meet
In close debate, to weigh the event of war,
I'll animate 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 cominand success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it.
Sem. Curse on the stripling! how he apes his
Ambitiously sententious-But I wonder
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 favour,
That showers down blessings on his friends, will
To Rome's first honours. If I give up Cato,
I claim, as my reward, his captive daughter.
But Syphax comes-
Syph. Sempronius, all is ready;
I've sounded my Numidians, man by man,
And find them ripe for a revolt: they all
Complain aloud of Cato's discipline,
And wait but the command to change their mas
Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste;
Even while we speak our conqueror comes on,
And gathers ground upon us every moment.
Alas! though know'st not Cæsar's active soul,
With what a dreadful course he rushes on
From war to war. In vain has nature formed
Mountains and oceans to oppose his passage;
He bounds o'er all; victorious in his march,
The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him :
Through winds, and waves, and storms, he works
Impatient for the battle; one day more
Will see the victor thundering at our gates.
But, tell me, hast thou yet drawn o'er young Juba?
That still would recommend thee more to Cæsar,
And challenge better terms.
He's lost, Sempronius; all his thoughts are full
| Of Cato's virtues-But I'll try once more
(For every instant I expect him here),
yet I can subdue those stubborn principles
Of faith and honour, and I know not what,
That have corrupted his Numidian temper,
And struck the infection into all his soul.
Sem. Be sure to press upon him every motive.
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 se
Is called together? Gods! thou must be cautious;
Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern
Our frauds, unless they're covered thick with
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 Cæsar, till I shake the senate. 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 grey hairs,
And teach the wily African deceit.
Sem. Once more be sure to try thy skill on
Meanwhile I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers,
Inflame the mutiny, and underhand
Blow up their discontent, till they break out
Unlooked for, and discharge themselves on Cato.
Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste :
Oh! think what anxious moments pass between
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods!
Oh! 'tis a dreadful interval of time,
Filled up with horror all, and big with death!
Destruction hangs on every word we speak,
On every thought, till the concluding stroke
Determines all, and closes our design.
Syph. I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason This headstrong youth, and make him spurn at Cato.
The time is short; Cæsar comes rushing on usBut hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches.
Juba. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have observed of late thy looks are fallen,
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
And turn thine eye thus coldly on thy prince?
Syph. 'Tis 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 ungenerous
Against the lords and sovereigns of the world?
Dost thou not see mankind fall down before | And if the following day he chance to find
And own the force of their superior virtue?
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 these
Above our own Numidia's tawny sons?
Do they, with tougher sinews, bend the bow?
Or flies the javelin swifter to its mark,
Launched 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, the 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 placed in bones and nerves.
A Roman soul is bent on higher views:
To civilize 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 arts;
The embellishments of life: virtues like these
Make human nature shine, reform the soul,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
Syph. Patience, kind Heaven!—excuse an old
What are those wondrous civilizing arts,
This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour,
That renders man thus tractable and tame ?
Are they not only to disguise our passions,
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 creatures,
Than what our nature and the gods designed us?
Juba. To strike thee dumb-turn up thy eyes
There may'st thou see to what a god-like 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 Afri
That traverses our vast Numidian desarts
In quest of prey, and lives upon his bow,
But better practises those boasted virtues.
Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chace;
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 game,
A new repast, or an untasted spring, Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
Juba. Thy prejudices, Syphax, wont discern What 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 affliction,
Great and majestic in his griefs, like Cato? Heavens! with what strength, what steadiness of mind,
He triumphs in the midst of all his sufferings!
How does he rise against a load of woes,
And thank the gods that throw the weight upon
Syph. 'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness 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 inglorious:
Nor would his slaughtered army now have lain
On Afric's sands disfigured with their wounds,
To gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia.
Juba. Why dost thou call my sorrows up afresh? My father's name brings tears into my eyes. Syph. Oh, that you would profit by your father's ills!
Juba, What wouldst thou have me do?
Syph. Abandon Cato.
Juba. Syphax, I should be more than twice an
Syph. Aye, there's the tie that binds you! You long to call him father. Marcia's charms Work in your heart unseen, and plead for Cato. No wonder you are deaf to all I say.
Juba. Syphax, your zeal becomes importunate; I have hitherto permitted it to rave, And talk at large; but learn to keep it in, Lest it should take more freedom than I will give it.
Syph. Sir, your great father never used me
Alas, he is dead! but can you e'er forget
The tender sorrows, and the pangs of nature,
The fond embraces, and repeated blessings,
Which you drew from him in your last farewell?
Still must I cherish the dear, sad remembrance,
At once to torture and to please my soul.
The good old king at parting wrung my hand,
(His eyes brim-full of tears) then sighing, cried,
Pr'ythee be careful of my son! His grief
Swelled up so high, he could not utter more.
Juba. Alas! thy story melts away my soul; That best of fathers! how shall I discharge The gratitude and duty which I owe him!
Syph. By laying up his counsels in your heart. Juba. His counsels bade me yield to thy di
Then, Syphax, chide me in severest terms;
Vent all thy passion, and I will stand its shock,
Calm and unruffled as a summer sea,
When not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface.
Syph. Alas! my prince, I would guide thee to
Juba. I do believe thou wouldst; but tell me how?
Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Cæsar's foes!
Juba. My father scorned to do it.
Syph. And therefore died.
Juba. Better to die ten thousand thousand And gentle wishes follow me to battle!
Than wound my honour.
Syph. Rather say your love.
The thought will give new vigour to my arm, Add strength and weight to my descending sword,
Juba. Syphax, I have promised to preserve my And drive it in a tempest on the foe.
Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame,
I long have stifled, and would fain conceal?
Syph. Believe me, prince, though hard to con-
'Tis easy to divert and break its force.
Absence might cure it, or a second mistress
Light up another flame and put out this.
The glowing dames of Zama's royal court
Have faces flushed with more exalted charms;
The sun that rolls his chariot o'er their heads,
Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks;
Were you with these, my prince, you would soon
The pale, unripened beauties of the north.
Juba. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion, The tincture of a skin, that I admire : Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex: True, she is fair, (Oh, how divinely fair!) But still the lovely maid improves her charms With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, And sanctity of manners; Cato's soul Shines out in every thing she acts or speaks, While winning mildness and attractive smiles, Dwell in her looks, and, with becoming grace, Soften the rigour of her father's virtue.
Syph. How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise!
But on my knees I beg you would consider-
Juba. Ha! Syphax, is it not she? She moves
And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter.
My heart beats thick-I prithee, Syphax, leave
Syph. Ten thousand curses fasten on them both!
Now will the woman, with a single glance, Undo what I have been labouring all this while. [Exit Syphax.
Enter MARCIA and LUCIA.
Mar. My prayers and wishes always shall attend
The friends of Rome, the glorious cause of vir
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love,
When every moment Cato's life's at stake?
Cæsar comes armed with terror and revenge,
And aims his thunder at my father's head.
Juba. Hail, charming maid! How does thy Should not the sad occasion swallow up
My other cares, and draw them all into it?
Whene'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in
Luc. Why have not I this constancy of mind, | Lucia, thou knowest not half the love he bears Who have so many griefs to try its force? Sure, nature formed me of her softest mould, Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions, And sunk me even below my own weak sex: Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart.
Mar. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me, And let me share thy most retired distress. Tell me who raises up this conflict in thee? Luc. I need not blush to name them, when tell thee,
He sends out all his soul in every word,
And thinks, and talks, and looks like one trans-
Unhappy youth! How will thy coldness raise
Tempests and storms in his afilicted basom!
II dread the consequence.
They are Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato.
Mar. They both behold thee with their sister's
And often have revealed their passion to me.
But tell me, whose address thou favourest most?
I long to know, and yet I dread to hear it.
Luc. Which is it Marcia wishes for?
Mar. For neither-
And yet for both-The youths have equal share
In Marcia's wishes, and divide their sister:
But tell me which of them is Lucia's choice?
Luc. Marcia, they both are high in my esteem, But in my love--Why wilt thou make me name him!
Luc. You seem to plead
Against your brother Portius.
Mar. Heaven forbid !
Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover,
The same compassion would have fallen on bim,
Luc. Was ever virgin love distrest like mine!
Portius himself oft falls in tears before me,
As if he mourned his rival's ill success,
Then bids me hide the motions of my heart,
Nor shew which way it turns. So much he fears
The sad effects that it will have on Marcus.
Mar. He knows too well how easily he is
And would not plunge his brother in despair,
But waits for happier times, and kinder moments.
Luc. Alas! too late I find myself involved
Thou knowest it is a blind and foolish passion,
Pleased and disgusted with it knows not what-In endless griefs, and labyrinths of woe,
Mar. Oh, Lucia, I'm perplexed! Oh, tell me
I must hereafter call my happy brother?
Luc. Suppose 'twere Portius, could you blame
-Oh, Portius, thou hast stolen away my soul!
With what a graceful tenderness he loves!
And breathes the softest, the sincerest vows!
Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness,
Dwell ever on his tongue, and smooth his
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.
Mar. Alas, poor youth! how canst thou throw
him from thee?
Born to afflict my Marcia's family,
And sow dissention in the hearts of brothers.
Tormenting thought! It cuts into my soul.
Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sor
But to the gods submit the event of things.
Our lives, discoloured 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,
Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines,
'Fill, by degrees, the floating mirror shines,
Reflects each flower that on the border grows,
And a new heaven in its fair bosom shows.
SCENE I.-The Senate. LUCIUS, SEMPRONIUS, And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. Cæsar's approach has summoned us together,
Sem. ROME still survives in this assembled senate.
Let us remember we are Cato's friends,
And act like men who claim that glorious title.
Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us
The occasion of our meeting. Hark! he comes!
[A sound of trumpets.
May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him!
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man?
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes;
Pharsalia gave him Rome, Egypt has since
Received his voke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should de-
What course to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us even Lybia's sultry desarts.
Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in coun- Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they still PP
To hold it out and fight it to the last?
Or are your hearts subdued at length, and wrought
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 chuse, slavery 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 thronged legions, and charge home upon
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, fathers, rise! 'Tis Rome demands your help:
Risc, and revenge your slaughtered citizens,
Or share their fate! The corpse of half her se-
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
Sit here deliberating in cold debates,
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
Rouse up, for shame! our brothers of Pharsalia
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud-To battle!
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are
And Scipio's ghost walks unrevenged amongst us.
Cato. Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal
Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of rea-
Truc fortitude is seen in great exploits,
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides;
All else is towering frenzy and distraction.
Arc not the lives of those, who draw the sword
In Rome's defence, intrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter,
Might not the impartial world with reason say,
We lavished at our deaths the blood of thousands,
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious?
Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion?
Luc. My thoughts, I must confess, are turned
It is not Cæsar, but the gods, my fathers,
The gods declare against us, and repel
Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle,
(Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair)
Were to refuse the awards of Providence,
And not to rest in Heaven's determination.
Already have we shewn our love to Rome,
Now let us shew submission to the gods.
We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,
But free the commonwealth: when this end fails,
Arms have no further use. Our country's cause,
That drew our swords, now wrests them from our
And bids us not delight in Roman blood Unprofitably shed. What men could do,
Is done already heaven and earth will witness, If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.
Sem. This smooth discourse, and mild behaviour, oft
Conceal a traitor-something whispers me All is not right-Cato, beware of Lucius. [Aside to Cato.
Cato. Let us appear nor rash nor diffident;
Immoderate 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 desperate: we have bulwarks
Within our walls are troops inured to toil
In Afric's heat, and seasoned to the sun;
Numidia's spacious kingdom lies behind us,
Ready to rise at its young prince's call.
While there is hope do not distrust the gods;
But wait at least till Cæsar'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 time;
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:
And let me perish, but in Cato's judgment,
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
Are not your orders with the senate?
Dec. My business is with Cato; Cæsar sees The straits to which you're driven; and, as he knows
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