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(In spite of all the virtue we can boast,)
SEMPRONIUS, dressed like Juba, with Numidian guards. SEM. The deer is lodged. I've tracked her to her covert.
Be sure you mind the word, and when I give it,
rave, to see
usurp The guards and habit of Numidia's prince ? SEM. One that was born to scourge thy arrogance,
Presumptuous youth ! JUBA.
What can this mean? Sempronius ! SEM. My sword shall answer thee. Have at thy heart. JUBA. Nay, then beware thy own, proud, barbarous man!
[ Sempronius falls. His guards surrender. SEM. Curse on my stars! am I then doomed to fall
By a boy's hand ? disfigured in a vile
The woman that deliberates is lost.] This line has been thought too free, and injurious to the sex: but it is to be remembered that Marcia is speaking of virtuous love, which vindicates the sentence from such imputations. What, then, it may be asked, is meant by—“In spite of all the virtue we can boast ?" clearly, the virtue of firmness, in resolving not to admit a lawful passion in unfit circumstances. But all the virtue of this sort, which the best women can muster up, will hardly keep its ground against deliberation. However, the severe Marcia was lost by surprise, and not by deliberation.
Oh for a peal of thunder that would make
Earth, sea, and air, and heaven, and Cato tremble! [Dies. JUBA. With what a spring his furious soul broke loose,
And left the limbs still quivering on the ground !
Is so cast down, and sunk amidst its sorrows,
I die away with horror at the thought.
Hah! a Numidian! heavens preserve the prince;
A virgin 's heart, Juba lies dead before us!
Thy wonted strength and constancy of mind;
Thou canst not put it to a greater trial.
Have I not cause to rave, and beat my breast,
my heart with grief, and run distracted ?
Enter JUBA, listening.
That man, that best of men, deserved it from me.
That best of men ? Oh had I fall’n like him,
And could have thus been mourned, I had been happy! Luc. Here will I stand, companion in thy woes,
And help thee with my tears ! when I behold
A loss like thine, I half forget my own.
This empty world, to me a joyless desert,
Has nothing left to make poor Marcia happy.
Whatever maid could wish or man admire:
To hear his virtues, and old age grew wise.
O Juba! Juba! Juba!
He's dead, and never knew how much I loved him.
Marcia's whole soul was full of love and Juba.
What Marcia thinks ! all is Elysium round me! MAR. Ye dear remains of the most loved of men !
Nor modesty nor virtue here forbid
A last embrace, while thusJUBA.
-See, Marcia, see,
[Throwing himself before her.
With mutual warmth and eagerness of love.
Sure 'tis a dream! dead and alive at once!
If thou art Juba, who lies there?
The tale is long, nor have I heard it out. ! Amaze.] For amazement; a liberty in which the poets of that time indulged themselves. So Pope:
“ In Tot'nam fields, the brethren, with amaze,
Thy father knows it all. I could not bear
But must not now go back: the love, that lay
I cannot, if I would, conceal it from thee.
Thou charming maid ? MAR.
And dost thou live to ask it ? JUBA. This, this is life indeed! life worth preserving,
Such life as Juba never felt till now!
I did not know myself how much I loved thee.
Oh happy Marcia!
How shall I speak the transport of my soul ?
And make the gods propitious to our love.
Fortune, thou now hast made amends for all
That still broke foremost through the crowd of patriots,
As with a hurricane of zeal transported,
And virtuous even to madness-
Trust me, Lucius,
O Lucius ! I am sick of this bad world!
Why are thy looks thus changed ?
My heart is grieved.
The traitor Syphax, as within the square
He would not stay and perish like Sempronius.
Thy brother Marcus acts a Roman's part. [Exit Por.
-Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me:
Is Cæsar's: Cato has no business in it.
The world will still demand her Cato's presence.
And reconcile thy mighty soul to life.
Of Cæsar's slaves, or by a base submission
up the cause of Rome, and own a tyrant ? Luc. The victor never will impose on Cato
Ungenerous terms. His enemies confess
The virtues of humanity are Cæsar's.
Such popular humanity is treason-
VIRG. ÆNEID. lib. iv. 451.