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With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery,
And all the virtues we can crowd into it;
That Heav'n may say, it ought to be prolong’d.
Fathers, farewell—The young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our counsels.
Juba, the Roman senate has resolved,
Till time give better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheathed, and turn its edge on Caesar.
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’lt shun misfortunes, or thoul’t learn to bear
Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
And merited, alas! a better fate; -
But Heav'n 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 thee.
... Jub. My father drew respect from foreign climes:
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports,
Behind the hidden sources of the Nile,
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 greatness.
Jub. I would not boast the greatness of my father,
But point out new alliances to Cato.
Had 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 plains,
Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.
Cato. And canst thou think
Cato will fly before the sword of Caesar!
Reduced, like Hannibal, to seek relief
From court to court, and wander up and down
A vagabond in Afric:
Juba. 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.
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 favorites, 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, which 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
And all my soul endeavours at perfection. * *
Cato. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, and toil,
Laborious virtues all 2 Learn them from Cato :
Success and fortune must thou learn from Caesar. 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. Jub. I would fain retract them. Give them 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 2 Jub. I fear to name it. Marcia—inherits all her father's virtues. Cato. What would'st thou say? Juba. 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 aught -> But chains, or conquest; liberty, or death. [Erit.
Enter SYPHAx. -
Syph. How’s this, my prince 2 What, cover'd with
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!
Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you changed of late 1.
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.
I’ve seen you, - -
Ev’n in the Lybian dog-days, hunt him down,
Then charge him close,
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
In ev'ry word, would now lose all its sweetness.
Cato's displeased, and Marcia lost for ever.
Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good
Marcia might still be yours.
Jub. As how, dear Syphax *
Syph. Juba commands Numidia’s hardy troops,
Mounted on steeds unused to the restraint
Of curbs or bits, and fleeter than the winds:
Give but the word, we snatch this damsel up,
And bear her off.
Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts
Rise up in man? Would'st 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 inexperienced men
To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow,
Jub. Would'st thou degrade thy prince into a ruf-
Syph. The boasted ancestors of these 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, Caesars, 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. o, my prince, you want to know the
Jub. If knowledge of the world makes men perfi-
May Juba ever live in ignorances
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 too far. [Aside.
Juba. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul.
Syph. I must appease this storm, or perish in it.
Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown
Beneath a helmet in your father’s battles.
Jub. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insolence.
Syph. Must one rash word, the 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!
Jub. Syphax, no more! I would not hear you talk.
sm, . hear me talk! what, when my faith to
My royal master's son, is call’d in question?