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SEM. Sempronius gives no thanks on this account.
Lucius seems fond of life; but what is life?
And smile in agony.
Though ’tis not kindled into so much rage.
In lukewarm patriots. Caro.
Come! no more, Sempronius, All here are friends to Rome, and to each other., Let us not weaken still the weaker side
By our divisions. Sem.
Cato, my resentments Are sacrificed to Rome-I stand reproved. Cato. Fathers, 'tis time you come to a resolve. Luc. Cato, we all go into your opinion.
Cæsar's behaviour has convinced the senate
We ought to hold it out till terms arrive.
My private voice is drowned amid the senate's.
This little interval, this pause of life,
With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery, 1 Till terms arrive.] Terms had arrived already; or which is better, Decius tells Cato, he was at liberty to name his terms : but no terms could be accepted, so long as Cæsar resolved to keep his power. The sentence before us is, then, clearly incomplete, and should be given thus, without a full stop ---“We ought to hold it out till terms arrive," meaning to add, “ which it becomes us to accept,” or some such thing. But Sempronius, in his blustering way, catches at the word “terms,” and breaks in upon Lucius, with saying, —“We ought to hold it out till death.” That some such clause, as I have supposed, is wanting to complete the sense, is evident, not only from the reason of the thing, but from what Cato tells Juba in the next scene, that the resolution of the senate was to hold out “Till time give better prospects," i. e. not only till terms arrive, but better terms than had yet been offered.
And all the virtues we can crowd into it;
Till time give better prospects, still to keep
The sword unsheathed, and turn its edge on Cæsar.
But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience,
My father, when some days before his death
Thou ’lt shun misfortunes, or thou ’lt learn to bear 'em.” Caro. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince,
And merited, alas! a better fate;
But heaven thought otherwise.
My father's fate,
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears.
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend;
Loaden with gifts, and filled the courts of Zama.
But point out new alliances to Cato.
The assistance of my father's powerful friends ?
embattled multitudes about him; Their swarthy hosts would darken all our plains, Doubling the native horror of the war,
And making death more grim.
And canst thou think
forward cares 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.
But know, young prince, that valour soars above
In the smooth seasons and the calms of life.
And all my soul endeavours at perfection.
Laborious virtues all ? learn them from Cato:
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,
Depends on Cato.
What does Juba say?
I would fain retract them,
Make not my ear a stranger to thy thoughts.] Quaintly expressed. It had been better to say plainly,
" and make me not A stranger to thy thoughts.”
A stranger to thy thoughts. JUBA.
Oh! they're extravagant;
What can Juba ask
I fear to name it.
Cato, thou hast a daughter. Cato. Adieu, young prince: I would not hear a word
Should lessen thee in my esteem: remember
SYPHAX, JUBA. SYPH. How's this, my prince; what! covered with confusion ?
You look as if yon stern philosopher
Had just now chid you.
Syphax, I'm undone!
Cato thinks meanly of me.
I've opened to him
A love-tale with! JUBA.
Oh! I could pierce my heart,
I've known young Juba rise before the sun,
JUBA. Prithee, no more!
How would the old king smile
shoulders ! JUBA. Syphax, this old man's talk (though honey flowed In
every word) would now lose all its sweetness.
Cato's displeased, and Marcia lost for ever!
Marcia might still be yours.
What say'st thou, Syphax ? By heavens, thou turn’st me all into attention. SYPH. Marcia might still be yours. JUBA.
As how, dear Syphax ? SYPH. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troops,
Mounted on steeds, unused to the restraint
And bear her off.
Can such dishonest thoughts
my youth To do an act that would destroy my honour ? SYPH. Gods! I could tear
To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow.
Whose virtues you admire, were all such ruffians.
Of violated maids, of ravished Sabines.
Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles.
You have not read mankind; your youth admires
Cato's bold flights, the extravagance of virtue.
May Juba ever live in ignorance ?