British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

Fathers, farewell! The young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our coun-

sels. Exeunt Senators. 40


[SCENE IV]

Enter JUBA.

CATO. Juba, the Roman senate has resolved,
Till time give better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheathed, and turn its edge on Cæsar.

JUBA. The resolution fits a Roman senate.

But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience, 5
And condescend to hear a young man speak.

My father, when some days before his death
He ordered me to march for Utica,
(Alas! I thought not then his death so near)
Wept o'er me, pressed me in his aged arms, to
And, as his griefs gave way, 'My son,' said he,
'Whatever fortune shall befall thy father,
Be Cato's friend; he'll train thee up to great
And virtuous deeds: do but observe him well,
Thou'It shun misfortunes, or thou'lt learn to bear

'em.' 15

CATO. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
And merited, alas! a better fate;
But heav'n thought otherwise.

JUBA. My father's fate,
In spite of all the fortitude that shines

Before my face, in Cato's great example, 20
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears.

CATO. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes thee.

JUBA. My father drew respect from foreign dimes:
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;

Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports, 25
Behind the hidden sources of the Nile,
In distant worlds, on t'other side the sun:
Oft have their black ambassadors appeared,
Loaden with gifts, and filled the courts of Zama.

CATO. I am no stranger to thy father's great-

hess. 30

JUBA. I would not boast the greatness of my father,
But point out new alliances to Cato.
Had we not better leave this Utica,
To arm Numidia in our cause, and court

Th' assistance of my father's pow'rful friends? 35
Did they know Cato, our remotest kings
Would pour embattled multitudes about him;
Their swarthy hosts would darken all our plains,
Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.

CATO. And canst thou think 40
Cato will fly before the sword of Carat?
Reduced, like Hannibal, to seek relief
From court to court, and wander up and down,
A vagabond in Afric!

JUBA. Cato, perhaps

I'm too officious, but my forward cares 45
Would fain preserve a life of so much value. My heart is wounded, when I see such virtue
Afflicted by the weight of such misfortunes.

CATO. Thy nobleness of soul obliges me.

But know, young prince, that valor soars above 50
What the world calls misfortune and affliction. These are not ills; else would they never fall
On heav'n's first fav'rites, and the best of men:
The gods, in bounty, work up storms about us,
That give mankind occasion to exert 55
Their hidden strength, and throw out into practice Virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed
In the smooth seasons and the calms of life.

JUBA. I'm charmed whene'er thou talk'st! I
pant for virtue

And all my soul endeavors at perfection. 60

CATO. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, and
toil,
Laborious virtues all? learn them from Caw:
Success and fortune must thou learn from Cæsar.

JUBA. The best good fortune that can fall on Juba,

The whole success at which my heart aspires, 65
Depends on Cato.

CATO. What does Juba say?
Thy words confound me.

JUBA. I would fain retract them,
Give 'era me back again. They aimed at nothing.

CATO. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make not
my ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.

JUBA. Oh! they're extravagant; 70
Still let me hide them.

CATO. What can Juba ask
That Cato will refuse?

JUBA. I fear to name it.
Marcia -- inherits all her father's virtues.

CATO. What wouldst thou say?

JUBA. CATO, thou hast a daughter.

CATO. Adieu, young prince; I would not hear a

word 75
Should lessen thee in my esteem: remember The hand of fate is over us, and heav'n
Exacts severity from all our thoughts:
It is not now a time to talk of aught
But chains or conquest, liberty or death. Exit. 80


[SCENE V]

Enter SYPHAX.

SYPH. How's this, my prince, what! covered with
confusion?
You look as if yon stem philosopher
Had just now chid you.

JUBA. Syphax, I'm undone!

SYPH. I know it well.

____________________
50] Q5 value soars.
SCENCE V. 2] Q5 you stern.

-489-

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