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Jub. What say'st thou, Syphax ?
Syph. Marcia might still be yours.
Syph. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troops,
Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts
Syph. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear you talk ! Honour's a fine imaginary notion,
That draws in raw and unexperienc'd men 'To real mischiefs, while they hunt a shadow.
Jub. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince into a ruffian ?
Syph. The boasted ancestors of those great men, Whose virtues you admire, were all such ruffians. This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds All under Heav'n, was founded on a rape; Your Scipios, Cæsars, Pompeys, and your Catos (The gods on earth), are all the spurious blood Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines.
Jub. Syphax, I fear that hoary head of thine Abounds too much in our Numidian wiles. Syph. Indeed, my prince, you want to know the
world. You have not read mankind; your youth admires
The thiroes and swellings of a Roman soul,
Syph. Go, go; you're young.
Jub. Gods, must I tamely bear
[ Aside. Jub. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul. Syph. I must appease this storm, or perish in it.
. [Aside. Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown.
white Beneath a helmet in your father's battles.
Jub. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insolence.
Syph. Must one rash word, th’infirmity of age,
pressions? Does not old Syphax follow you to war? What are his aims? Why does he load with darts
His trembling hand, and crush beneath a casque
Jub. Syphax, no more! I would not hear you talk.
Juba, My royal master's son, is call'd in question ? My prince may strike me dead, and I'll be dumb; But whilst I live I must not hold my tongue, And languish out old age in his displeasure,
Jub. Thou know'st the way too well into my heart, I do believe thee loyal to thy prince.
Syph. What greater instance can I give? I've offer'd To do an action which my soul abhors, And gain you whom you love, at any price.
Jub. Was this thy motive? I have been too hasty. Syph. And 'tis for this my prince has callid me
traitor. Jub. Sure thou mistak'st; I did not call thee so. Syph. You did, indeed, my prince, you call'd me
traitor, Nay, further, threaten'd you'd complain to Cato. Of what, my prince, would you complain to Cato? That Syphax loves you, and would sacrifice His life, nay, more, his honour, in your service.
Jub. Syphax, I know thou lov'st me; but indeed Thy zeal for Juba carried thee too far. Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings, The noble mind's distinguishing perfection,
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets her,
Syph. By Heav'ns,
Jub. Syphax, thou now beginn'st to speak thyself.
Fub. Syphax, thy hand; we'll mutually forget
ness ? My joys grow burdensome, I shan't support it.
Jub. Syphax, farewell. I'll hence, and try to find Some blest occasion that may set me right In Cato's thoughts. I'd rather have that man Approve my deeds, than worlds for my admirers. [Ex. Syph. Young men soon give, and soon forget af
fronts; Old age is slow in both—A false old traitor! These words, rash boy, may chance to cost thee dear. My heart had still some foolish fondness for thee : But hence, 'tis gone! I give it to the winds; Cæsar, I'm wholly thine.
Sem. Syphax, we both were on the verge of fate :
Syph. But how stands Cato?
Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas : Whilst storms and tempests thunder on its brows, And oceans break their billows at its feet, It stands unmov’d, and glories in its height : Such is that haughty man; his tow'ring soul, 'Midst all the shocks and injuries of fortune, Rises superior, and looks down on Cæsar.