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And repeated blessings,
Which you drew from him in your last farewell?
The good old king, at parting, wrung my hand,
(His eyes brimful of tears,) then sighing cry’d,
Pr’ythee be careful of my son His grief
Sweli’d up so high, he could not utter more.
Jub. Alas! thy story melts away my soul |
That best of fathers ; how shall I discharge
The gratitude and duty that I owe him :
Syph. By laying up his counsels in your heart.
Jub. His counsels bade me yield to thy direction:
Then, Syphax, chide me in severest terms,
Went all thy passion, and I’ll 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’d guide you to your
Jub. I do believe thou would'st ; but tell me how 2
Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Caesar's foes.
Jub. My father scorn’d to do it.
Syph. And therefore died.
Jub. Better to die ten thousand thousand deaths,
Than wound my honour. -
Syph. Rather say, your love. -
Jub. Syphax, I’ve promised to preserve my temper.
Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame
I long have stifled, and would fain conceal 2
Syph. o me, prince, though hard to conquer
'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 flush’d with more exalted charms;
Were you with these, my prince, you’d soon forget
The pale, unripen'd beauties of the north.
Jub. '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 tow’rs 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
But on my knees, I beg you would consider—
Jub. Ha! Syphax, is't not she 3—She moves this
And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter.
My heartbeats thick—I pr’ythee, Syphax, leave me.
Syph. Ten thousand curses fasten on them both !
Now will the woman, with a single glance,
Undo, what I’ve been lab’ring all this while.
Jub. Hail, charming maid How does thy beauty smoothThe face of war, and make even horror smile ! At sight of thee my heart shakes off its sorrows; I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me, And for a while forget th” approach of Caesar. Mar. I should be grieved, young prince, to think my presence Unbent your thoughts, and slacken'd them to arms, While, warm with slaughter, our victorious foe, Threatens aloud, and calls you to the field. Jub. Oh, Marcia, let me hope thy kind concerns And gentle wishes follow me to battle ! The thought will give new vigour to my arm,
And strength and weight to my descending sword,
And drive it in a tempest on the foe.
Marcia. My pray'rs and wishes always shall attend
The friends of Rome, the glorious cause of virtue,
And men approved of by the gods and Cato.
Jub. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares,
I’ll gaze for ever on thy godlike father,
Transplanting one by one, into my life,
His bright perfections, till I shine like him.
Marcia. My father never, at a time like this,
Would lay out his great soul in words, and waste
Such precious moments.
Jub. Thy reproofs are just,
Thou virtuous maid; I’ll hasten to my troops,
And fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue.
If e'er I lead them to the field, when all
The war shall stand ranged in its just array,
And dreadful pomp; then will I think on thee; , ,
Oh, lovely maid! then will I think on thee;
And in the shock of charging hosts, remember
What glorious deeds should grace the man, who hopes
For Marcia’s love. [Exit JUBA.
Lucia. Marcia, you’re too severe;
How could you chide the young good-natured prince,
And drive him from you with so stern an air,
A prince that loves, and dotes on you to death 2
Marcia. "Tis therefore, Lucia, that I chide him
His air, his voice, his looks, and honest soul,
Speak all so movingly in his behalf,
I dare not trust myself to hear him talk. -
Lucia. Why will you fight against so sweetapassion,
And steel your heart to such a world of charms 2
Marcia. How, Lucial would'st thou have me sink
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love,
When ev'ry moment Cato's life’s at stake :
Caesar comes arm'd with terror and revenge
And aims his thunder at my father's head. Should not the sad occasion swallow up My other cares 2 Lucia. Why have I not this constancy of mind, Who have so many griefs to try its force 2 Sure, Nature form'd me of her softest mould, Enfecbled all my soul with tender passions, And sunk me ev'n below my own weak sex: Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart. Marcia. Lucia, disburden all thy cares on me, And let me share thy most retired distress. Tell me, who raises up this conflict in thee * Lucia. I need not blush to name them, when I tell thee They’re Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato. Marcia. They both behold thee with their sister’s eyes, And often have reveal’d their passion to me. But tell me, which of them is Lucia’s choice 2 Lucia. Suppose, ’twere Portius, could you blame my choice — Oh, Portius, thou hast stolen away my soul! 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. Marcia. Alas, poor youth ! How will thy coldness raise Tempests and storms in his afflicted bosom 1 I dread the consequence. Lucia. You seem to plead Against your brother Portius. Marcia. Heav’n forbid. Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover, The same compassion would have fall'n on him. Lucia. Was ever virgin love distress'd like mine ! Portius himself oft falls in téars before me, As if he mourn’d his rival's ill success;
Then bids me hide the motions of my heart,
Nor show which way it turns. So much he fears
The sad effect that it will have on Marcus.
Marcia. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sorrows,
But to the gods submit th? event of things.
Our lives, discolour’d with our present woes,
May still grow bright, and smile with happier hours.
So the pure limpid stream, when foul with stains
Of rushing torrents, and descending rains,
Works itself clear, and, as it runs, refines,
Till, by degrees, the floating mirror shines,
Reflects each flower that on the border grows,
And a new heav’n in its fair bosom shows.
The Senate sitting.
Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council: Caesar’s approach has summon'd us together, y And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. How shall we treat this bold aspiring man :