But easy to divert and break its force:
Absence might cure it, or a second mistress 135 Light up another flame, and put out this. The glowing dames of Zama's royal court
Have faces flushed with more exalted charms,
The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads,
Works up more fire and color in their cheeks: 140 Were you with these, my prince, you'd soon forget The pale, unripened beauties of the north.
JUBA. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion,
The tincture of a skin, that I admire.
Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, 145 Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. The virtuous Marcia tow'rs above her sex:
True, she is fair, (oh, how divinely fair!),
But still the lovely maid improves her charms
With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, 150 And sanctity of manners. Cato's soul
Shines out in everything she acts or speaks,
While winning mildness and attractive smiles
Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace
Soften the rigor of her father's virtues, 155
SYPH. How does your tongue grow wanton in her
But on my knees I beg you would consider--
Enter, MARCIA and LUCIA.
JUBA. Hah! Syphax, is't not she?--she moves
And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter.
My heart beats thick--I prithee, Syphax, leave
SYPH. [aside]. Ten thousand curses fasten on 'em
Now will this woman with a single glance,
Undo what I've been lab'ring all this while. Exit.
JUBA, MARCIA, LUCIA.
JUBA. Hail, charming maid! How does thy
The face of war, and make ev'n horror smile!
At sight of thee my heart shakes off its sorrows;
I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me,
And for a while forget th' approach of Cæsar. 5
MAR. I should be grieved, young prince, to think
Unbent your thoughts, and slackened 'era to arms,
While, warm with slaughter, our victorious foe
Threatens aloud, and calls you to the field.
JUBA. O Marcia, let me hope thy kind con-
cerns 10 And gentle wishes follow me to battle! The thought will give new vigor to my arm,
Add strength and weight to my descending sword,
And drive it in a tempest on the foe.
MAR. My prayers and wishes always shall
attend 15 The friends of Rome, the glorious cause of virtue,
And men approved of by the gods and Cato.
JUBA. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares,
I'll gaze forever on thy godlike father,
Transplanting, one by one, into my life, 20 His bright perfections, till I shine like him.
MAR. My father never, at a time like this,
Would lay out his great soul in words, and waste
Such precious moments.
JUBA. Thy reproofs are just,
Thou virtuous maid; I'll hasten to my troops, 25 And fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue;
If e'er I lead them to the field, when all
The war shall stand ranged in its just army
And dreadful pomp, then will I think on thee!
O lovely maid, then will I think on thee! 30 And, in the shock of charging hosts, remember What glorious deeds should grace the man who hopes
For Marcia's love. Exit.
LUC. Marcia, you're too severe:
How could you chide the young good-natured prince,
And drive him from you with so stern an air,
A prince that loves and dotes on you to death?
MAR. 'Tis therefore, Lucia, that I chide him
from me. 5 His air, his voice, his looks, and honest soul Speak all so movingly in his behalf.
I dare not trust myself to hear him talk.
LUC. Why will you fight against so sweet a passion,
And steel your heart to such a world of charms? 10
MAR. How, Lucia, wouldst thou have me sink away
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love,
When ev'ry moment Cato's life's at stake?
Cæsar comes armed with terror and revenge,
And aims his thunder at my father's head. 15 Should not the sad occasion swallow up My other cares, and draw them all into it?
LUC. Why have not I this constancy of mind,
Who have so many griefs to try its force?
Sure, nature formed me of her softest mould,
Enfeebled all my soul with tender passions,
And sunk me ev'n below my own weak sex:
Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart.
MAR. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me,
And let me share thy most retired distress; 25 Tell me who raises up this conflict in thee?