Изображения страниц

Sy. Believe me, prince, tho' hard to conquer

'Tis easier to divert and break its force.
Abfence might cure it; or a fecond mistress
Light up another flame, and put out this.
The glowing dames of Zama's royal court
Have faces flufh'd with more exalted charms;
The fun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads,
Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks,
Were you with thefe, my prince, you'd foon for-
The pale, unripen'd beauties of the North. [get.
Jub. 'Tis not a set of features or complexion.
The tincture of a skin, that I admire :
Beauty foon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
The virtuous Marcia towers above her fex;
True, he is fair-O how divinely fair!
But ftill the lovely maid improves her charms
With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom,
And fanctity of manners; Cato's foul
Shines out in every thing she acts or speaks,
While winning mildneís and attractive Imiles
Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace
Soften the rigour of her father's virtue.

Sy. How does your tongue grow wanton in
her praife!

But on my knees I beg you would confider-
Jub. Hah! Syphax, is't not she ?-She moves

this way:

And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter. My heart beats thick-I pr'ythee, Syphax, leave


Sy. Ten thousand curses fasten on 'em both! Now will this woman, with a fingle glance, Undo what I've been lab'ring all this while. [Exit Syphax.

Enter Marcia and Lucia.

Jub. Hail, charming maid! how does thy beauty smooth

The face of war, and make even horror finile !
At fight of thee my heart fhakes off its forrows;
I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me,
And for a while forget the approach of Cæfar.
Mar. I fhould be griev'd, young prince, to
think my prefence
Unbent your thoughts, and flacken'd 'em to
While, warm with flaughter, our victorious foe
Threatens aloud, and calls you to the field.

Jub, O Marcia, let me hope thy kind concern
And gentle wishes follow me to battle!
The thought will give new vigour to my arm,
Add ftrength and weight to my defcending fword,
And drive it in a tempeft on the foe.

Mar. My pray'rs and wishes always fhall attend The friends of Rome, the glorous caufe of


The men approv'd of by the gods and Cato.

Jub. That Juba may deferve thy pious cares, I'll gaze for ever on thy godlike father, Tranfplanting, one by one, into my life His bright perfections, till I shine like him. Mar. My father never at a time like this Would lay out his great foul in words, and wafte Such precious moments,

Jub. Thy reproofs are juft,

Thou virtuous maid! I'll haften to my troops,
And fire their languid fouls with Cato's virtue.
If e'er I lead them to the field, when all
The war fhall ftand rang'd in its just array,
And dreadful pomp; then will I think on thee,
O lovely maid! then will I think on the
And, in the fhock of charging hofts, remember
What glorious deeds should grace the man who

For Marcia's love.

[Exit Jube. Luc. Marcia, you're too fevere: How could you chide the young good-natu'd prince,

And drive him from you with fo ftern an air, A prince that loves and dotes on you to death? Mar. 'Tis therefore, Lucia, that I chide him from me.

His air, his voice, his looks, and honeft foul, Speak all fo movingly in his behalf,

I dare not trust myself to hear him talk. Luc. Why will you fight against so fweet 1 paflion,

And fteel your heart to fuch a world of charm. Mar. How, Lucia! wouldst thou have me

fink away

In pleafing dreams, and lofe myself in love,
When ev'ry moment Cato's life's at stake?
Cæfar comes arm'd with terror and revenge,
And aims his thunder at my father's head.
Should not the fad occafion iwallow up
My other cares, and draw them all into it?

Luc. Why have not I this conftancy of mind, Who have fo many griefs to try its force? Sure, nature form'd me of her fofteft mould, Enfeebled all my foul with tender paffions, And funk me even below my own weak fex: Pity and love, by turns, opprefs my heart.

Mar. Lucia, difburthen all thy cares on m And let me fhare thy moft retir'd diftrefs. Tell me who raifes up this conflict in thee? Luc. I need not blush to name them, when !

[blocks in formation]

breathes the fofteft, the fincereft vows!
placency, and truth, and manly fweetness,
ll ever on his tongue,and smooth his thoughts.
cus is over-warm: his fond complaints
: fo much earnestnefs and paffion in them,
r him with a fecret kind of horror,
tremble at his vehemence of temper.
7. Alas, poor youth! how canst thou throw
him from thee?

, thou know't not half the love he bears

e'er he speaks of thee, his heart's in flames,
nds out all his foul in ev'ry word,
thinks, and talks, and looks like one tranf-

ppy youth! How will thy coldness raife
efts and storms in his afflicted bofom!
1 the confequence.

. You feem to plead

t your brother Portius.
Heaven forbid !

'ortius been the unfuccefsful lover,
me compaffion would have fall'n on him.
Was ever virgin love distrest like mine!
s himself oft falls in tears before me,
he mourn'd his rival's ill fuccefs;
bids me hide the motions of my heart,
ew which way it turns: fo much he fears
id effects that it will have on Marcus.

He knows too well how eafily he's fir'd,
ould not plunge his brother in despair,
its for happier times and kinder moments.
Alas! too late I find myfelf involv'd
efs griefs and labyrinths of woe;
> afflict my Marcia's family,

w diffenfion in the hearts of brothers.
nting thought! it cuts into my foul.
. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our forrows,
the gods fubmit the event of things.
res difcolour'd with our prefent woes,
ill grow bright, and fmile with happier

Enter Cato.

Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council;
Cæfar's approach has fummoned us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our refolves.
How fhall we treat this bold afpiring man?
Succefs ftill follows him, and backs his crimes
Pharfalia gave him Rome, Egypt has fince
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæfar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning fands
Still fmoke with blood. 'Tis time we should

re limpid ftream, when foul with stains ing torrents, and defcending rains, itfelf clear, and, as it runs, refines; y degrees, the floating mirror fhines, s each flow'r that on the border grows; new heaven in its fair bofom flows. [Exeunt.

OME still survives in this affembled fenate! remember we are Cato's friends,

like men who claim that glorious title. Cato will foon be here, and open to us cafion of our meeting. Hark, he comes! [A found of trumpets. 11 the guardian gods of Rome direct him!


What courfe to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us even Libya's fultry deferts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they
ftill fix'd

To hold it out, and fight it to the laft?
Or are your hearts fubdu'd at length, and wrought
By time, and ill fuccefs, to a fubmiffion?
Sempronius, fpeak.

Sem. My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman fenate long debate
Which of the two to choofe-flav'ry or death?
No, let us rife at once, gird on our fwords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng 'd legions, and charge home upon


Rife, fathers, rife! 'tis Rome demands your help;
Rife, and revenge her flaughter'd citizens,
Or fhare their fate! The corps of half her fenate
Manure the fields of Theffaly; while we
Sit here delib'rating in cold debates,
If we should facrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in fervitude and chains.
Roufe up, for fhame! our brothers of Pharfalia
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud-To battle!
Great Pompey's fhade complains that we are

And Scipio's ghoft walks unreveng'd amongst us.
Cato. Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal
Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason:
True fortitude is feen in great exploits
That justice warrants, and that wildom guides;
All elfe is tow'ring frenzy and distraction.
Are not the lives of thofe who draw the fword
In Rome's defence entrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of flaughter,
Might not th' impartial world with reafon fay,
We lavish'd at our deaths the blood of thousands,
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious?



E, the Senate. Lucius, Sempronius, and Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion.
Luc. My thoughts, I must confels, are turn'd
on peace.
Already have our quarrels fill'd the world
With widows and with orphans: Scythia mourns
Our guilty wars, and earth's remoteft regions
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome :
'Tis time to fheathe the fword and fpare mankind.
It is not Cæfar, but the gods, my fathers,
The gods declare against us, and repel
Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle

Perhaps fome arm, more lucky than the reft, May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.

(Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair)
Were to refufe th' awards of Providence,
And not to reft in Heaven's determination.
Already have we fhewn our love to Rome,
Now let us fhew fubmiffion to the gods.
We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,
But free the commonwealth; when this end fails,
Arms have no farther ufe. Our country's caufe,
That drew our Swords, now wrefts 'em from
our hands,

And bids us not delight in Roman blood
Unprofitably fhed. What men could do,
Is done already: heaven and earth will witnefs,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

Sem. This fmooth discourse, and mild behaviour, oft

Conceal a traitor. Something whifpers me
All is not right-Cato, beware of Lucius,
[Afide to Cato.
Cato. Let us appear nor rafh nor diffident;
Jmmod'rate valour fwells into a fault;
And fear admitted into public councils,
Betrays like treafon. Let us fhun 'em both.
Fathers, I cannot fee that our affairs

Are grown thus defp'rate; we have bulwarks round us;

Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil
In Afric's heat, and feafon'd to the fun;
Numidia's fpacious kingdom lies behind us.
Ready to rife at its young prince's call.
While there is hope do not diftruft the gods:
But wait at least till Cæfar's near approach
Force us to yield. 'Twill never be too late
To fue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why fhould Rome fall a moment ere her time?
No let us draw her term of freedom out
In its full length, and fpin it to the last,
So fhall we gain ftill one day's liberty:
And let me perifh, but in Cato's judgment,
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.

Enter Marcus.

Dec. My bufinefs is with Cato; Cæfar fees The ftraits 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 fave Cato, bid him fpare his country. Tell your dictator this; and tell him, Caro Difdains a life which he has pow'r to offer.

Dec. Rome and her fenators fubmit to Calar Her gen'rals and her confuls are no more, Who check'd his conquests, and denied his umphs

Why will not Cato be this Cefar's friend! Cato. Thofe very reafons thou haft urg'1⁄2, forbid it.

Dec. Cato, I've orders to expoftulate, And reafon with you, as from friend to friend Think on the ftorm that gathers o'er your heat, And threatens ev'ry hour to burft upon it. Still may you ftand high in your country's be nours ;

Do but comply, and make your peace wa Cæfar,

Rome will rejoice, and caft its eyes on Cato, As on the fecond of mankind.

Calo. No more:

I must not think on life on fuch conditions. Dec. Cæfar is well acquainted with your


And therefore fets this value on your life. Let him but know the price of Cate's fri fhip,

And name your terms.

Cato. Bid him difband his legions, Reftore the commonwealth to liberty, Submit his actions to the public cenfure, And ftand the judgment of a Roman fenatt Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend. Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of yo wildom

Cato. Nay more-tho' Cato's voice was employ'd

To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,

Mar. Fathers, this moment, as I watch'd the Myfelf will mount the roftrum in his favour,

[blocks in formation]

And ftrive to gain his pardon from the peop Dec. A ftile like this becomes a conqueror Cato. Decius, a ftyle like this becomes a R


Dec. What is a Roman, that is Cæfar's fr Cato. Greater than Cæfar: he's a friend »


Dec. Confider, Cato, you're in Utica, you don't now thunder in the capitol, And at the head of your own little fenate; With all the mouths of Rome to fecond you.

Cato. Let him confider that, who drives es


'Tis Cæfar's fword has made Rome's fenate litt And thinn'd its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled Beholds this man in a falfe glaring light, Which conqueft and fuccefs have thrown op him;

Did'st thou but view him right, thou'd e him black

murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes strike my soul with horror but to name 'em. ow thou look'st on me, as on a wretch with ills, and cover'd with misfortunes; by the gods I swear, millions of worlds I never buy me to be like that Cæsar. c. Does Cato send this answer back to Cæsar,

And all the virtues we can crowd into it;

That Heaven may say it ought to be prolong'd.
Fathers, farewel.-The young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our coun-
[Exeunt Senators.

Enter Juba.

Juba, the Roman senate has resolv'd,

his gen'rous cares and proffer'd friend-Till time gives better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheath'd, and turn its edge on

o. His cares for me are insolent and vain :
aptuous man! the Gods take care of Cato.
4 Cæsar shew the greatness of his soul,
in employ his care for these iny friends,
Dake good use of his ill-gotten pow'r,
elt'ring men much better than himself.
Your high unconquer'd heart makes
you forget

e a man; you rush on your destruction.
have done. When I relate hereafter
le of this unhappy embassy,
me will be in tears.

[Exit Decius.

. Cato, we thank thee.
ighty genius of immortal Rome
in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty.
will shrink to hear the words thou

hudder in the midst of all his conquests.
. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato,
with so great a soul consults its safety,
uards our lives while he neglects his own.
. Sempronius gives no thanks on this ac-


Jub. The resolution fits a Roman senate.
But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience,
And condescend to hear a young man speak.
My father, when some days before his death
He order'd me to march for Utica,

(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!)
Wept o'er me, press'd me in his aged arms,
And, as his griefs gave way, My son, said he,
Whatever fortune shall befal thy father,
Be Cato's friend; he'll train thee up to great
And virtuous deeds; do but observe him well,
Thou 'It shun misfortunes, or thou 'It learn to
bear 'em.

Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
ut-And merited, alas! a better fate;
But Heaven thought otherwise.
Jub. My father's fate,

In spite of all the fortitude that shines
Before my face in Cato's great example,
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears.
Cato. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes


seems fond of life; but what is life?
t to stalk about, and draw fresh air
ime to time, or gaze upon the sun :
be free. When liberty is gone,
ows insipid, and has lost its relish.
uld my dying hand but lodge a sword
sar's bosom, and revenge my country!
avens, I could enjoy the pangs of death,
nile in agony,
Others, perhaps,

rve their country with as warm a zeal,
h 'tis not kindled into such a rage.
. This sober conduct is a mighty virtue
ewarm patriots.

2. Come; no more, Sempronius:
re are friends to Rome, and to each other.
not weaken still the weaker side
r divisions.

little interval, this pause of life,
ile yet our liberty and fates are doubtful)
resolution, friendship, Roman bravery,

Cato, my resentments

critic'd to Rome-I stand reprov'd.
9. Fathers, 'tis time you come to a resolve.
Cato, we all go into your opinion:
's behaviour has convinc'd the senate
ught to hold it out till terms arrive.
2. We ought to hold it out till death; but,

rivate voice is drown'd amidst the senate's. to. Then let us rise, my friends, and strive

to fill

The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports,
Behind the hidden sources of the Nile,

Jub. My father drew respect from foreign


In distant worlds, on t' other side the sun;
Oft have their black ambassadors appear'd,
Loaden with gifts, and fill'd the courts of Zama.
Cato. I am no stranger to thy father's great.


Jub. I would not boast the greatness of my

But point out new alliances to Cato.
Have we not better leave this Utica,
To arm Numidia in our cause, and court
Th' assistance of my father's powerful friends?
Did they know Cato, our remotest kings
Would pour embattled multitudes about him;
Their swarthy hosts would darken all our

Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.

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
Would fain preserve a life of so much value:
My heart is wounded, when I see such virtue
Afflicted by the weight of such misfortunes.



[blocks in formation]

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? Thy words confound me.

Juba. 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. O, 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 Heaven
Exacts severity from all our thoughts.
It is not now a time to talk of aught
But chains, or conquest; liberty, or death.
Enter Syphax.

Sy. How's this, my prince? What,

with confusion?

You look as if yon stern philosopher

Had just now chid you.

Jub. Syphax, I'm undone.

Sy. I know it well.

Jub. Cato thinks meanly of me.

Sy. And so will all mankind.

Jub. I've open'd to hiin

[blocks in formation]


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

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

Marcia might still be yours.

Jub. What say'st thou, Syphax? By Heavens, thou turn'st me all into attention Sy. Marcia might still be yours. Jub. As how, dear Syphax?

Sy. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troos 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 And bear her off.

Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts Rise up in man? Wouldst thou seduce my yo To do an act that would destroy my honour! Sy. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear Honour's a fine imaginary notion, That draws in raw and unexperiene'd men To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow. Jub. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince ins


Sy. The boasted ancestors of these great me Whose virtues you admire, were all such ne


This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, That comprehends in her wide empire's bound [Exit. All under heaven, was founded on a rape; Your Scipios, Caesars, Pompeys, and your Car cover'd (The gods on earth) are all the spurious brood Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines.

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

A love-tale with!

Jub. O, I could pierce my heart,

My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Juba?
Sy. Alas, my prince, how are you chang'd of


I've known young Juba rise before the sun,

Jub. Syphax, I fear that hoary head of thine Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles. Sy. Indeed, my prince, you want to know world.

You have not read mankind; your youth


The throes and swellings of a Roman soul, Cato's bold flights, th' extravagance of virtue Jub. If knowledge of the world makes perfidious,

May Juba ever live in ignorance!

Sy. Go, go; you're young. Jub. Gods, must I tamely bear This arrogance unanswer'd? Thou'rt a traitor, A false old traitor.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »