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My prince may strike me dead, and I'll be dumb;
Jub. Thou know'st the way too well into my heart.
offer'd To do an action which my soul abhors, And gain you whom you love, at any price.
Jub. Was this thy motive? I have been too hasty. Syph. And 'tis for this my prince has call’d me
traitor. Jub. Sure thou mistak'st; I did not call thee so. Syph. You did, indeed, my prince, you call'd me
Jub. Syphax, I know thou lov'st me; but indeed
weep To hear
talk-but 'tis with tears of joy. If e'er
your father's crown adorn your brows, Numidia will be blest by Cato's lectures.
Jub. Syphax, thy hand; we'll mutually forget The warmth of youth, and frowardness of Thy prince esteems thy worth, and loves thy person. If e'er the sceptre come into my hand, Syphax shall stand the second in my kingdom. Syph. Why will you overwhelm my age with kind
My joys grow burdensome, I sha’n’t support it.
Jub. Syphax, farewell. I'll hence, and try to find Some blest occasion, that may set me right In Cato's thoughts. I'd rather have that man Approve my deeds, than worlds for my admirers.
[Exit. Syph. Young men soon give, and soon forget, af
is slow in both A false old traitor !
Sem. Syphax, we both were on the verge of fate;
Syph. But how stands Cato?
Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas : Whilst storms and tempests thunder on its brows, And oceans break their billows at its feet, It stands unmoved, and glories in its height; Such is that haughty man; his tow'ring soul, 'Midst all the shocks and injuries of fortune, Rises superior, and looks down on Cæsar.
Syph But what's this messenger ?
Sem. I've practised with him,
Syph. Yes--but it is to Cato. I've tried the force of every reason on him, Sooth'd and caress'd; been angry, sooth'd again; Laid safety, life, and interest in his sight; But all are vain, he scorns them all for Cato. Sem. Come, 'tis no matter; we shall do without
him. He'll make a pretty figure in a triumph, And serve to trip before the victor's chariot. Syphax, I now may hope, thou hast forsook Thy Juba's cause, and wishest Marcia mine. Syph. May she be thine as fast as thou would'st
have her. Sem. Syphax, I love that woman; though I curse Her and myself, yet, spite of me, I love her.
Syph. Make Cato sure, and give up Utica, Cæsar will ne'er refuse thee such a trifle. But are thy troops prepared for a revolt ? Does the sedition catch from man to man, And run among the ranks?
Sem. All, all is ready ; The factious leaders are our friends, that spread Murmurs and discontents among the soldiers ; They count their toilsome marches, long fatigues, Unusual fastings, and will bear no more This medley of philosophy and war. Within an hour they'll storm the senate house. Syph. Meanwhile I'll draw
Numidian troops Within the square, to exercise their arms, And, as I see occasion, favour thee. I laugh, to see how your unshaken Cato Will look aghast, while unforeseen destruction Pours in upon him thus from every side. So, where our wide Numidian wastes extend, Sudden th’impetuous hurricanes descend, Wheel through the air, in circling eddies play, Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away.
The helpless traveller, with wild surprise,
ACT THE THIRD.
Enter Marcus and PORTIUS.
Marc. Thanks to my stars, I have not ranged
Por. Marcus, the friendships of the world are oft
weakness; Then, pr’ythee, spare me on its tender side; Indulge me but in love, my olher passions
Shall rise and fall by virtue's nicest-rules:
Marc. Alas, thou talk'st like one that never felt Th' impatient throbs and longings of a soul, That pants and reaches after distant good! A lover does not live by vulgar time; Believe mę, Portius, in my Lucia's absence Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden; And yet, when I behold the charming maid, I'm ten times more undone; while hope and fear, And grief and rage, and love, rise up at once, And with variety of pain distract me.
Por. What can thy Portius do to give thee help? Marc. Portius, thou oft enjoy'st the fair one's pre
sence, Then undertake my cause, and plead it to her, With all the strength and heat of eloquence Fraternal love and friendship can inspire. Tell her thy brother languishes to death, And fades away, and withers in his bloom; That he forgets his sleep, and loathes his food, That youth, and health, and war, are joyless to him; Describe his anxious days, and restless nights, And all the torments that thou see'st me suffer.
Por. Marcus, I beg thee give me not an office, That suits with me so ill. Thou know'st my temper.
Marc. Wilt thou behold me sinking in my woes, And wilt thou not reach out a friendly arm, To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows ?
Por. Marcus, thou canst not ask what I'd refuse; But here, believe me, I've a thousand reasons Marc. I know thou’lt say my passion's out of sea
son, That Cato's great example and misfortunes