Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

Sem. Confusion! I have fail'd of half my purpose: Marcia, the charming Marcia's left behind!

Syph. How! will Sempronius turn a woman's slave?

Sem. Think not thy friend can ever feel the soft Unmanly warmth and tenderness of love. Syphax, I long to clasp that haughty maid, And bend her stubborn virtue to my passion : When I have gone thus far, I'd cast her off. Syph. Well said ! that's spoken like thyself, Sem.

pronius. What hinders, then, but that thou find her out, And hurry her away by manly force.'

Sem. But how to gain admission For access Is given to none but Juba, and her brothers. . Syph. Thou shalt have Juba's dress, and Juba's

guards, The doors will open when Numidia's prince Seems to appear before the slaves that watch them. · Sem. Heav'ns, what a thought is there! Marcia's

my own! How will my bosom swell with anxious joy, When I behold her struggling in my arms, With glowing beauty, and disorder'd charms, While fear and anger, with alternate grace, Pant in her breast, and vary in her face! So Pluto seiz’d of Proserpine, convey'd To Hell's tremendous gloom th’affrighted maid, There grimly smild, pleas'd with the beauteous prize, Nor envied Jove his sunshine and his skies. [Exeunt. ACT IV. SCENE 1.

Enter Lucia and MARCIA.

Lucie.
Now tell me, Marcia, tell me from thy soul,
If thou believ'st 'tis possible for woman
To suffer greater ills than Lucia suffers ?

Mar. Oh, Lucia, Lucia, might my big swoln heart,
Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow,
Marcia could answer thee in sighs, keep pace
With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear.

Luc. I know thou’rt doom'd alike to be belov'd By Juba, and thy father's friend, Sempronius : But which of these has power to charm like Portius I

Mar. Still I must beg thee not to name Sempronius, Lucia, I like not that loud boist'rous man; Juba, to all the brav'ry of a hero, Adds softest love, and more than female sweetness; Juba might make the proudest of our sex;" Any of woman kind, but Marcia, happy. Luc. And why not Marcia ? Come, you strive in

vain To hide your thoughts from one who knows too well The inward glowings of a heart in love.

Mar. While Cato lives, his daughter has no right To love or hate, but as his choice directs.

Luc. But should this father give you to Sempronius?
Mar. I dare not think he will : but if he should-

Why wilt thou add to all the griefs I suffer
Imaginary ills, and fancy'd tortures ?
I hear the sound of feet! They march this way?
Let us retire, and try if we can drown
Each softer thought in sense of present danger:
When love once pleads admission to our hearts,
In spite of all the virtue we can boast
The woman that deliberates is lost. [Exeunt.

Eæter SEMPRONIUS, dressed like JUBA, with Numi.

dian guards. Sem. The deer is lodg'd, I've track'd her to her

covert. Be sure you mind the word, and when I give it Rush in at once, and seize upon your prey. Let not her cries or tears have force to move you.

- How will the young Numidian rave to see His mistress lost! If ought could glad my soul, .. Beyond th' enjoyment of so bright a prize, 'Twould be to torture that young, gay barbarian.

But hark! what noise! Death to my hopes! 'tis he, 'Tis Juba's selfl there is but one way leftHe must be murder'd, and a passage cut Through those his guards- Hah, dastards, do you

tremble 1 Or act like men, or by yon azure heaven

Enter JUBA. Jub. What do I see i Who's this, that dares usurp The guards and habit of Numidia's prince ?

Sem. One that was born to scourge thy arrogance, Presumptuous youth!

Jub. What can this mean? Sempronius!
Sem. My sword shall answer thee. Have at thy

heart.
Jub. Nay, then beware thy own, proud, barbarous

man. [Sem. falls. His guards surrender. Sem. Curse on my stars! Am I then doom'd to fall By a boy's hand, disfigur'd in a vile Numidian dress, and for a worthless woman? Gods, I'm distracted! This my close of life! Oh, for a peal of thunder that would make Earth, sea, and air, and Heaven, and Cato tremble !

[Dies. Fub. With what a spring his furious soul broke

loose,
And left the limbs still quiv'ring on the ground !
Hence let us carry off those slaves to Cato,
That we may there at length unravel all
This dark design, this mystery of fate.

[Exit Juba with prisoners, &c.

Enter LUCIA and MARCIA.
Luc. Sure 'twas the clash of swords; my troubled

heart
Is so cast down, and sunk amidst its sorrows,
It throbs with fear, and aches at ev'ry sound,
Oh, Marcia, should thy brothers, for my sake!
I die away with horror at the thought.

Mar. See, Lucia, see! here's blood! here's blood

and murder! Hahl a Numidian! Heav'n preserve the prince! The face lies muffled up within the garment, But, hah | death to my sight I a diadem, And royal robes! O gods ! 'tis he, 'tis he! “ Juba, the loveliest youth that ever warm'd “ A virgin's heart," Juba lies dead before us!

Luc. Now, Marcia, now call up to thy assistance Thy wonted strength and constancy of mind, Thou can'st not put it to a greater trial.

Mar. Lucia, look there, and wonder at my patience; Have I not cause to rave, and beat my breast, To rend my heart with grief and run distracted !

Luc. What can I think or say to give thee comfort: Mar. Talk not of comfort, 'tis for lighter ills : Behold a sight that strikes all comfort dead.

Enter JUBA listening. I will indulge my sorrows, and give way To all the pangs and fury of despair ; That man, that best of men, deserv'd it from me. Jub. What do I hear ? And was the false Sem.

pronius That best of men'? Oh, had I fall’n like him, And cou'd have been thus mourn'd, 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." Mar. 'Tis not in fate to ease my torturd breast.

« ZurückWeiter »