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a worn-out trick: wouldst thou be thought in earnest, clothe thy feign'd zeal in rage, in fire, in fury!
Syph. In troth, thou ’rt able to instruct grey hairs, and teach the wily African deceit!
Sem. Once more, be sure to try thy skill on Juba; mean-while I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers, inflame the mutiny, and underhand blow up their discontents, till they break out unlook'd for, and discharge themselves on Cato. Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste: O think what anxious moments pass between the birth of plots, and their last fatal periods. Oh! 't is a dreadful interval of time, fill'd up with horror all, and big with death! Destruction hangs on every word we speak, on every thought, till the concluding stroke determines all, and closes our design.
[Exit. Syph. I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason this head-strong youth, and make him spurn at Cato. The time is short, Cæsar comes rushing on us. but hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches.
JUBA, SYPHAX. Jub. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone. I have observ'd of late thy looks are fallen, o'ercast with gloomy cares, and discontent; then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me, what are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns, and turn thine eye thus coldly on thy prince?;
Syph. ’T is not my talent to conceal my thoughts, nor carry smiles and sun-shine in my face, when discontent sits heayy at my heart. .. I have not yet so much the Roman in me.
Jub. Why dost thou cast out such ungenerous terms against the lords and sovereigns of the world? dost thou not see mankind fall down before them, and own the force of their superior virtue? Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric, amidst our barren rocks and burning sands, that does not tremble at the Roman name?
Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets this peoabove your own Numidia's tawny sons? [ple up do they with tougher sinews bend the bow? or flies the javelin swifter to it's mark, launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm? Who like our active African instructs the fiery steed, and trains him to his hand ? or guides in troops th' embattled elephant, loaden with war? These, these are arts, my Prince, in which your Zama does not stoop to Rome.
Jub. These all are virtues of a meaner rank, perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves. A Roman soul is bent on higher views, to civilize the rude unpolish'd world, and lay it under the restraint of laws; to make man mild and sociable to man; to cultivate the wild licentious savage with wisdom, discipline, and liberal arts: th' embellishments of life: virtues like these make human nature shine, reforin the soul, and break our fierce barbarians into men. Syph. Patience, kind heavens !--Excuse an old
man's warmth. What are these wondrous civilizing arts, this Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour, that render man thus tractable and tame? Are they not only to disguise our passions, to set our looks at variance with our thoughts,
to check the starts and sallies of the soul,
Jub. To strike thee dumb; turn up thine eyes to there inay'st thou see to what a godlike height (Cato! the Roman virtues lift up mortal man. While good, and just, and anxious for his friends, he's still severely bent against himself; renouncing sleep, and rest, and food, and ease, he strives with thirst and hunger, toil and heat; and when his fortune sets before him all the pomps and pleasures that his soul can wish, his rigid virtue will accept of none.
Syph. Believe me, Prince, there's not an African that traverses our vast Numidian deserts, in quest of prey, and lives upon his bow, but better practises these boasted virtues. Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chase. amidst the running stream he slakes his thirst, toils all the day, and at the approach of night on the first friendly bank he throws him down, or rests his head upon a rock till morn: then rises fresh, pursues his wonted game, and if the following day he chance to find a new repast, or an untasted spring, blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
Jub. Thy prejudices, Syphax, won't discern what virtues grow from ignorance and choice, nor how the hero differs from the brute. But grant that others could with equal glory look down on pleasures and the baits of sense, where shall we find the man that bears affliction, great and majestic in his griess, like Cato?.
Heavens, with what strength, what steadiness of mind, he triumphs in the midst of all his sufferings ! how does he rise against a load of woes, and thank the gods that throws the weight upon him!
Syph. 'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of I think the Romans call it Stoicism.
(soul! Had not your royal father thought so highly of Roman virtue, and of Cato's cause, he had not fall’n by a slave's hand inglorious: nor would his slaughter'd army now have lain on Afric's sands, disfigur'd with their wounds, to gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia.
Jub. Why do'st thou call my sorrows up afresh? my father's name brings tears into my eyes.
Syph. Oh, that you'd profit by your father's ills!
Ay, there's the tie that binds you! you lovg to call him father, Marcia's charms work in your heart unseen, and plead for Cato. No wonder you are deaf to all I say.
Jub. Syphax, your zeal becomes importunate; I've hitherto permitted it to rave, and talk at large; but learn to keep it in, lest it should take more freedom than I'll give it.
Syph. Sir, your great father never us'd me thus. Alas, he's dead! but can you e'er forget the tender sorrows, and the pangs of nature, the fond embraces, and repeated blessings, which you drew from him in your last farewell? Still' must I cherish the dear sad remenibrance, at once to torture and to please my soul.
The good old king, at parting, wrung my hand,
Jub, Alas, thy story melts away my soul. That best of fathers ! how shall I discharge the gratitude and duty which I owe him!
Syph. By laying up his counsels in your heart.
Jub. His counsels bade me yield to thy directions : then, Syphax, chide me in severest terms, vent all thy passion, and I'll stand it's shock, calm and unruffled as a summer-sea, when not a breath of wind flies o'er it's surface.
Syph. Alas my prince, I'd guide you to your safety.
And therefore dy'd.
Rather say your love. Jub. Syphax, I've promis'd to preserve my temper. Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame I long have stiffled, and would fain conceal?
Syph. Believe me, prince, 't is hard to conquer love, jut easy to divert and break it's force: absence might cure it, or a second mistress ight up another flame, and put out this. The glowing dames of Zama's royal court iave faces flusht with more exalted charms. The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads, works up more fire and colour in their cheeks: were you with these, my prince, you'd soon forget the pale unripen'd beauties of the north.