« VorigeDoorgaan »
Some hidden thunder in the stores of Heaven, | And breaks the fierceness of his native temper,
Butstillthesmother'd fondnessburnswithin him:
Reproach great Calo's son, and show the world His suff'rings shine, and spread a glory round | A virtue wanting in a Roman soul? bim;
Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause
stings behind 'em. Of honor, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius show His sword ne'er fell but on the guilly head; A virtue that has cast me at a distance, Oppression, tyranny, and pow'r usurp'd, And throwi me out in the pursuits of honor ? Drew all the vengeance of his arm upon 'em. 1 Por. Marcus, I know thy gen'rous temper Marc. Who knows not this? But what can
well. Cato do
Fling but th' appearance of dishonor on it, Against a world, a base, degenerate world, It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze. That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to C Marc. A brother's suff'rings claim a brother's sar?
[eyes Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
Por. Heaven knows I pity thee. Behold my A poor epitome of Roman greatness;
E'en whilst I speak--do they not swim in tears? And, cover'd with Numidian guards, directs Were but my heart as naked to thy view, A leeble army, and an empty senate,
Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf. Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain. Marc. Why then dost treat me with rebukes, ByHear'n, such virtues, join'd with such success,
instead Distract my very soul: our father's fortune Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow? Would almost teapt us to renounce his precepts. Por. O Varcus! did I know the way to ease Por. Remember what our father oft has told | Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains,
Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate: Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best Puzzled in mazes and perplex'd with errors;
of friends! Our understanding traces them in vain, Pardon a weak, distemper'd soul, that swells Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search; | With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, Xor sees with how much art the windings run, The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes : Nor where the regular confusion ends. (ease ; | He must not find this softness hanging on me. Marc These are suggestions of a mind at
[Ex. Marc. O Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus
Enter Sempronius. coldly.
Sem. Conspiracies no soonershould be form’d Passion anpitied, and successless love, Than executed. What means Portius here? Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate | I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, My other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind And speak a language foreign to my heart. Por. Thou see'st not that thy brother is thy
[ Aside. Good-morrow, Portius ; let us once embrace, Bat I must bide it, for I know thy temper. Once more embrace, while yet we both are free. Now Marcus, now thy virtue's on the proof:: To-morrow, should we thus express our friendPut forth thy utmost strength, work ev'ry nerve, Each might receive a slave into his arms.[ship, And call up all thy father in thy soul.
This sun, perbaps, this morning's sun's the last To quell the tyrant love, and guard thy heart | That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. On this weak side, where most our nature fails, Por. My father has this morning calld togeWould be a conquest worthy Cato's son (take, To this poor hall his little Romau senate, [ther
Marc. Portius, the counsel which I cannot | The leavings of Pharsalia, 10 consult Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness. If yet he can oppose the mighty torrent Bid me for hunor plunge into a war
That bears down Rome and all her gods before it, Of thickest foes, and rush on certain death, Or must at length give up the world to Cæsar. Tben shalt thou see that Marcus is not slow Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome To follow glory, and confess his father. Can raise her senate more than Cato's presence. Love is not to be reason'd down, or lost His virtues render our assembly awful, In high ambition, or a thirst of greatness : They strike with something like religious fear, Tis second life, it grows into the soul,
And make e'en Cæsar tremble at the head Warns ev'ry vein, and beats in ev'ry pulse : | Ofarmies Alush'd with conquest. O my Portius, I feel it here : my resolution melts. [prince, Could I but call that wondrous inan my father,
Por. Behold young Juba, the Numidian Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious With how much care he forms himself to glory. To thy friend's vows, I might be blest indeed! heirs,
Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou talk. Sy. Alas, he's lost ! of love
He's lost, Sempronius! all his thoughts are full To Marcia, whilst her father's life's in danger? Of Cato's virtues.-But I'll try once more Thou mightst as well court the pale trembling (For ev'ry instant I expect him here) vestal,
| If yet I can subdue those stubborn principles. When she beholds the holy flame expiring of faith and bonor, and I know not what,
Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy race, That have corrupted his Numidian temper, The more I'm charm'd. Thou must take heed, | And struck the infection into all his soul. my Portius;
Sem. Be sure to press upon him ev'ry motive The world has all its eyes on Cato's son ; Juba's surrender, since his father's death, Thy father's merits set thee up to view, Would give up Afric into Cæsar's hands, And show thee in the fairest point of light, And make him lord of half the burning zone. To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous. Sy. But is it true, Seinpronius, that your sePor. Well dost thou seein to check my ling nate 'ring here
Iscall'd together? Gods! thou must be cautious; On this important hour-I'll straight away; Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern And while the fathers of the senate meet Our frauds, unless they're cover'd thick with art. In close debate, to weigh the events of war, Sem. Let mealone, good Syphax; I'll conceal I'll animate the soldiers' drooping courage My thoughts in passion ('tis the surest way); With love of freedom, and contempt of life; I'll bellow out for Rome and for my country, I'll thunder in their ears their country's cause, | And mouth at Cæsar, till I shake the senate. And try to rouse up all that's Roman in 'em. Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device, 'Tis not in mortals to command success, A worn-out trick : wouldst thou be thought in But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it. earnest,
[Exit. Clothe thy feign'd zeal in rage, in fire, and fury! Sem. Curse on the stripling! how he apes Sy. In troth, thou'rt able to instruct gray
his sire, Ambitiously sententious !-But I wonder And teach the wily African deceit. Old Syphax comes not: his Numidian genius Sem. Once more be sure to try thy skill on Is well disposed to mischief, were he prompt
Juba : And eager on it; but he must be spurr'd, Meanwhile I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers, And ev'ry moment quicken'd to the course. Inflame the mutiny, and underhand Cato has us'd me ill: he has refus'd
Blow up their discontents, till they break out His daughter Marcia to iny ardent vows. | Unlook'd for, and discharge themselves on Cato. Besides, his baffled arms, and ruin'd cause, | Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste : Are bars to my ambition. Cæsar's favor, O think what anxious moments pass between That show'rs down greatness on his friends, will The birth of plots and their last fatal periods : raise me
(), 'tis a dreadful interval of timne, To Rome's first honors. If I give up Cato, Filld up with horror all, and big with death! I claim in my reward, his captive daughter. Destruction hangs on ev'ry word we speak, But Syphax comes
On ev'ry thought; till the concluding stroke
Determines all, and closes our design.
Sy. I'll try if I can yet reduce to reason
Cato. Complain aloud of Cato's discipline,
The time is short; Cæsar comes rushingonusAnd wait but the command to change their But hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches master.
Enter Juba. Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to. Jub. Syphax, 1 joy to meet thee thus alone: waste;
I have observ'd of late thy looks are fallin, E'en whilst we speak, our conqueror comes on, O'ercast with gloomy cares and discontent. And gathers ground upon us ev'ry moment. Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee tell me, Alas! thou know'st not Cæsar's active soul, What are the thoughts that knit thy brow 10 With what a dreadful course he rushes on
frowns, From war to war. In vain has nature form'd And turn thine eye thus coldly on thy prince! Mountains and oceans to oppose his passage ; Sy. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts, He bounds o'er all, victorious in his march: Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face, The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him; When discontent sits heavy at my heart; Thro' winds and waves, and storms, he works I have not yet so much the Roman in me. his way,
Jub. Why dost thou cast out such ungen rous Impatient for the battle ; one day more
terms Will set the victor thund'ring at our gates. Against the lords and sovereigns of the world! But tell me, has thou get drawn o'er young | Dost thou not see mankind fall down before Juba ?
them, Thatstill would recommend thee more to Cæsar, | And own the force of their superior virtue? And challenge better terms.
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,
Amidst our barren rocks, and burning sands, Where shall we find the man that bears afflicThat does not tremble at the Roman name?
tion, Sy. Gods! Where's the worth that sets these Great and majestic in his griefs, like Cato? people up
Heavens! with what strength, what steadiness Above her own Numidia's tawny sons ?
of mind, Do they with tougher sinews bend the bow? He triumphs in the midst of all his suff'rings ! Or flies the jav'lin swifter to its mark,
How does he rise against a load of woes, Launch'd from the vigor of a Roman arm? And thank the gods that throw the weight upWho like our active African instructs
on him! The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand ? | Sy. 'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of Or guides in troops th' embattl'd elephant, I think the Romans call it Stoicism. Laden with war? These, these are arts, my Had not your royal father thought so highly prince,
Of Roman virtue and of Cato's cause, In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome. He had not fall'n by a slave's hand inglorious ;
Jul. These are all virtues of a meaner rank, Nor would his slaughter d army now have lain Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves. On Afric's sands, disfigurd with their wounds, A Roman soul is bent on higher views : To gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia. To civilize the rude unpolish'd world,
Jub. Why dost thou call my sorrows upafresh? And lay it under the restraint of laws; My father's name brings tears into my eyes. To make man mill, and sociable to man; Sy. O that you'd profit by your father's ills ! To cultivate the wild licentious savage,
Jub. What wouldst thou have me do? With wisdom, discipline, and lib'ral arts, Sy. Abandon Cato. Th' embellishments of life: virtues like these Jub. Syphax, I should be more than twice an Make human nature shine, reform the soul,
orphan And break our fierce barbarians into men. By such a loss. Su. Patience, kind Heavens ! excuse an old | Sy. Ay, there's the tie that binds you! man's warmth.
| You long to call him father. Marcia's charms What are these wondrous civilizing arts, Work in your heart unseen, and plead for Cato. This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour, No wonder you are deaf to all I say. That reader man thus tractable and tame? | Jub. Syphax, your zeal becomes importunate; Are they not only to disguise our passions, I've hitherto permitted it to rave, To set our looks at variance with our thoughts, And talk at large; but learn to keep it in, To check the starts and sallies of the soul, | Lestit should take more freedom than I'll give it. And break off allits commerce with the tongue: Sy. Sir, your great father never us'd me thus. la short, to change us into other creatures Alas, he's dead! but can you e'er forget Than what our nature and the gods design'd us? The tender sorrows, and the pangs of nature, Jub. To strike thee dumb-turn up thy eyes | The fond embraces, and repeated blessings, to Cato;
Which you drew from him in your last farewell! There mayst thou see to what a godlike height Still inust I cherish the dear sad remembrance, The Roman virtues lift up mortal man. | At once to torture and to please my soul. While zood and just, and anxious for his friends, The good old king at parting wrung my hand He's still severely bent against himself; (His eyes brimful of tears); then sighing, Repouncing sleep, and rest, and food, and ease, cried, He strives with thirst and hunger, toil and Prythee be careful of my son !-His grief heat;
Swelld up so high, he could not utter more. And when his fortune sets before him all
Jub. Alas, thy story melts away my soul ! The pomps and pleasures that his soul can wish, That best of fathers ! how shall I discharge His rigid virtue will accept of none.
| The gratitude and duty which I owe him? Sy. Believe me, prince, there's not an Afri- ! Sy. By laying up his counsels in your heart. can
Jul. His counsels bade me yield to thy diThat traverses our vast Numidian deserts
rections : In quest of prey, and lives upon his bow, Then, Syphax, chide me in severest terms; But better practises these boasted virtues. Vent all thy passion, and I'll stand its shock, Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chase; Calm and unruffled, as a summer sea, Amidst the running stream he slakes his thirst; When not a breath of wind Aies o'er its surface. Toils all the day, and at the approach of night Sy. Alas, my prince! I'd guide you to your On the first friendly bank he throws him down, safety. Or rests his head upon a rock till morn;
Jub. I do believe thou wouldst; but tell me Then rises fresh, pursues bis wonted game; Sy. Fly from the fate that follows Cæsar's And if the following day he chance to find Jub. My father scorn'd to do it. [foes. A new repast, or an untasted spring,
Sy. And therefore died. Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
Jul. Better to die ten thousand deaths, Jub. Thy prejudices, Syphax, won't discern Than wound my honor What virtues grow from ignorance and choice, Sy. Rather say, your love. [temper. Nor how the hero differs from the brute. Jul. Syphax I've promised to preserve my But grant that others could with equal glory Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame Look down on pleasures, and the baits of sense, I long have stifled, and would fain conceal?
Sy. Believe me, prince, tho' hard to conquer Jub. Thy reproofs are just, love,
Thou virtuous maid! I'll hasten to my troops, "Tis easier to divert and break its force. And fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue. Absence might cure it, or a second mistress If e'er I lead them to the field, when all Light up another flame, and put out this. The war shall stand rang'd in its just array, The glowing dames of Zama's royal court Anri dreadful pomp; then will I think on thee, Have faces flush'd with more exalted charms :
O lovely maid! then will I think on thee; The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads, And in the shock of charging hosts, remember Works up more fire and color in their cheeks ; | What glorious deeds should grace the man who Were you with these, my prince, you'd soon
I hopes forget
For Marcia's love.
[Exit Juba. The pale, unripen'd beauties of the North. Luc. Marcia, you're too severe:
Jul. 'Tis not a set of features or complexion, How could you chide the young good-natur'd The tincture of a skin that I admire :
prince, Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, And drive him from you with so stern an air, Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
| A prince that loves and dotes on you to death? The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex : Mar. 'Tis therefore, Lucia, that I chid him True, she is fair-O how divinely fair!
from me. ut still the lovely maid improves her charms His air, his voice, his looks, and honest soal, With inward greatness, unaffecied wisdom, Speak all so movingly in his behalf, And sanctity of manners; Cato's soul
I dare not trust myself to hear him talk. Shines out in every thing she acts or speaks, Luc. Why will you fight against so sweet a While winning mildness and attractive smiles
passion, Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace And steel your heart to such a world of charms? Soften the rigor of her father's virtue.
Mar. How, Lucia! wouldst thou have me Sy. How does your tongue grow wanton in
sink away her praise !
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love, But on my knees I beg you would consider | When ev'ry moment Cato's life's at stake! Jul. Hah! Syphax, is't not she? She moves Cæsar comes arm'd with terror and revenge, this way:
| And aims his thunder at my father's head. And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter Should not the sad occasion swallow up My heart beats thick-I prythee, Syphax, | My other cares, and draw them all into it? leave me.
Luc. Why have not I this constancy of mind, Sy. Ten thousand curses fasten on 'em both! Who have so many griefs to try its force? Now will this woman, with a single glance, Sure, nature foru'd me of her softest mould, Undo what I've been lab'ring all this while. Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions,
[Exit Syphax. | And sunk me even below my own weak sex :
Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart. Enter Marcia und Lucia.
Mar. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me, Jul. Hail, charming maid! how does thy And let me share thy most retir'd distress. beauty smooth
Tell me who raises up this conflict in thee. The face of war, and make even horror smile!! Luc. I need not blush to name them, when At sight of thee my heart shakes off its sorrows;
I tell thee I feel a dawn of joy break in upon ine, They're Marcia's brothers, and the sons of And for a while forget the approach of Cæsar.
Cato. Mar. I should be griev'd, young prince, to Mar. They both behold thee with their sister's think my presence
(arms, Unbent your thoughts, and slacken'a 'em to And often have reveal'd their passion to me. While, warm with slaughter, our victorious foe But tell me whose address thou favor'st most: Threatens aloud, and calls you to the field. I long to know, and yet I dread to hear it.
Jub. O Marcia, let me hope thy kind concern Luc. Which is it Marcia wishes for? And gentle wishes follow nie to battle!
Mar. For neither, The thought will give new vigor to my arm, | And yet for both-The youths have equal Add strength and weight to my descending share sword,
| In Marcia's wishes, and divide their sister: And drive it in a tempest on the foe.
But tell me which of them is Lucia's choice? Mar. My prayers and wishes always shall at- Luc. Marcia, they both are high in my esteem: tend
[virtue, But in my love-why wilt thou make me name The friends of Home, the glorious cause of him? The men approv'd of by the gods and Cato. Thou know'st it is a blind and foolish passion,
Jul. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares, Pleas'd and disgusted with it knows not what. I'll gaze for ever on thy godlike father,
Mar. O Lucia, I'm perplex'd; Otell me which Transplanting, one by one, into my life I must hereafter call my happy brother? His bright perfections, till Is ine like him. Luc. Suppose 't were Portius, could you Mar. My father never at a time like this
blame my choice? Would lay out his great soul in words, and waste O Portius! thou hast stolp away my soul! Such precious moments.
| With what a graceful tenderness he loves,
And breathes the softest, the sincerest vows!
Enter Cato. Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness, Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in Dwell ever on his tongue and smooth his council; thoughts.
Cæsar's approach has summon'd us together, Marcus is over warm : his fond complaints
warm : his fond complaints And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. Have so much earnestness and passion ia them, How shall we treat this bold aspiring man? I hear him with a secret kind of horror, Success still follows him, and backs his crimes; And tremble at his vehemence of temper. Pharsalia gave himn Rome, Egypt has since Mar. Alas, poor youth! how canst thon Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's. throw him from thee?
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow, Lucia, thou know'st not half the love he bears And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands thee :
Still smoke with blood. "Tis time we should Whene'er he speaksofthee, his heart's in flames, decree He sends out all his soul in ev'ry word, What course to take. Our foe advances on us, And thinks, and talks, and looks like one trans And envies us even Libya's sultry deserts. ported.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts : are they Unhappy youth! How will thy coldness raise
still fix'd Tempests and storms in his afflicted bosom! To hold it out, and fight it to the last ? I dread the consequence.
Orare your hearts subdu'dat length,andwrought Luc. You seem to plead
By time, and ill success, to a submission? Against your brother Portius.
Sempronius, speak. Mar. Heaven forbid !
Sem. My voice is still for war. Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover, Gods! can a Roman senate long debate The same compassion would have fall’n on him. Which of the two to choose--slav'ry or death?
Luc. Was ever virgin love distrest like mine! No, let us rise at once, gird on our swords, Portius bimself oft falls in tears before me, And, at the head of our remaining troops, As if he mourn'd his rival's ill success; Attack the foe, break through the thick array Then bids me hide the motions of my heart, Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon Nor show which way it turns: so much he fears him. The sad effects that it will have on Marcus. Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
Mar. He knows too well how easily he's fir'd, May reach his heart, and free the world from And would not plunge his brother in despair, bondage.
[help; But waits for happier times and kinder mo
Rise, fathers, rise! 'tis Rome demands your ments.
Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens, Luc. Alas! too late I find myself involu'd l Orshare their fate! The corps of half her senate In endless griefs and labyrinths of woe; Manure the fields of Thessaly; while we Born to afflict my Marcia's family,
Sit here delib'rating in cold debates, And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers. If we should sacrifice our lives to honor, Tormenting thought! it cuts into my soul. Or wear them out in servitude and chains. Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sor
Rouse up, for shame! our brothers of Pharsalia rows,
Point at iheir wounds, and cry aloud-Tobattle! But to the gods submit the event of things. Great Pompey's shade complains that we are Our lives discolor'd with our present woes,
slow, May still grow bright, and smile with happier And Scipio's ghost walks unreveng'd amongst hours.
us. So the pure limpid stream, when foul with stains Cato. Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal Of rushing torrents, and descending rains, Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reaWorks itself clear, and, as it runs, refines;
True fortitude is seen in great exploits (son : Till, by degrees, the floating mirror shines,
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides; Reflects each flow'r that on the border grows; All else is tow'ring phrensy and distraction. And a new heaven in its fair bosom flows. Are not the lives of those who draw the sword
fExeunt. In Rome's defence intrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter,
Might not th’impartial world with reason say, ACT II.
Welavish'datour deaths the blood of thousands,
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious ? SCENE, the Senate. Lucius. Sempronius, and Lucius we next would know what's your opiSenators.
| Luc. My thoughts, I must confess, are turn'd Sem. Rome still survives in this assembled Already have our quarrels fill'd the world senate!
Withwidowsandwith orphans: Scythia mourns Let us remember we are Cato's friends, Our guilty wars, and earth's remotest regions And act like men who claim that glorious title. Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome:
Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us 'Tis time to sheathe the sword and spare manTh' occasion of our meeting. Hark, he comes! It is not Cæsar, but the gods, my fathers, [kind,
(A sound of trumpets. The gods declare against us, and repel May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him! | Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle