SYPH. Sempronius, all is ready;
I've sounded my Numidians, man by man,
And find 'em ripe for a revolt: they all
Complain aloud of Cato's discipline,
And wait but the command to change their
SEM. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste;
Ev'n whilst we speak, our conqueror comes on,
And gathers ground upon us ev'ry moment.
Alas! thou know'st not Cæsar's active soul,
|With what a dreadful course he rushes on||10|
He bounds o'er all, victorious in his march,
The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him;
Through winds and waves and storms he works
|his way,||1 5|
But tell me, hast thou yet drawn o'er young Juba?
That still would recommend thee more to Cæsar,
And challenge better terms.
|SYPH. Alas, he's lost,||20|
(For every instant I expect him here)
If yet I can subdue those stubborn principles
|Of faith, of honor, and I know not what,||25|
SEM. Be sure to press upon him ev'ry motive.
Juba's surrender, since his father's death,
|Would give up Afric into Cæsar's hands,||30|
SYPH. But is it true, Sempronius, that your senate
Is called together? Gods! thou must be cautious!
Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern
|Our frauds, unless they're covered thick with art.||35|
SEM. Let me alone, good Syphax: I'll conceal
My thoughts in passion ('tis the surest way);
I'll bellow out for Rome and for my country,
And mouth at Cæsar till I shake the senate.
|Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device,||40|
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|
Inflame the mutiny, and underhand
Blow up their discontents, till they break out
Unlooked for, and discharge themselves on Cato.
|Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste:||50|
The birth of plots and their last fatal periods.
Oh! 'tis a dreadful interval of time,
Filled up with horror all, and big with death!
|Destruction hangs on ev'ry word we speak,||55|
SYPH. (solus). I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason
This headstrong youth, and make him spurn at Cato.
|The time is short, Cæsar comes rushing on us --||60|
JUBA. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have observed of late thy looks are fall'n,
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
SYPH. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
Nor carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
When discontent sits heavy at my heart.
|I have not yet so much the Roman in me.||10|
JUBA. Why dost thou cast out such ungen'rous
Against the lords and sov'reigns of the world?
Dost thou not see mankind fall down before 'em,
And own the force of their superior virtue?
|Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,||15|
SYPH. Gods! where's the worth that sets this
Above your own Numidia's tawny sons!
|Do they with tougher sinews bend the bow?||20|
Who like our active African instructs
The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand?
|Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant,||25|
JUBA. These all are virtues of a meaner rank.
Perfections that are placed in bones and nerves.
|A Roman soul is bent on higher views:||30|
To make man mild and sociable to man;
To cultivate the wild, licentious savage____________________
cisive defeat of Hannibal by Scipio. Addison seems to have
thought it the capital city of Numidia.