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* Syeh. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts, ** Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face, When discontent sits heavy at my heart: I have not yet so much the Roman in me. Jub. Why dost thou cast out such ungen’rous terms Against the lords and sov’reigns of the world? Dost thou not see mankind fall down before them, And own the force of their superior virtue? Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric, Amidst our barren rocks, and burning sands, That does not tremble at the Roman name 2 Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets this people up Above your own Numidia's tawny sons? Do they with tougher sinews bead the bow Or flies the jav'lin swifter to its mark, Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm Who like our active African instructs The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand Or guides in troops th’ embattled elephant, Laden with war? These, these are arts, my prince, In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome. Jub. These all are virtues of a meaner rank, Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves; A Roman soul is bent on higher views; To civilize the rude unpolish’d world; * To lay it under the restraint of laws; To make man mild, and sociable to man: To cultivate the wild licentious savage With wisdom, discipline, and lib'ral arts, Th’ embellishments of life: virtues like these Make human nature shine, reform the soul, And break our fierce barbarians into men. SYPH. Patience, just Heav’ns!—Excuse an old man's warmth, What are these wondrous civilizing arts, This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour, That render man thus tractable and tame * Are they not only to disguise our passions, To set our looks at variance with our thoughts, To check the starts and sallies of the soul, And break off all its commerce with the tongue?
In short, to change us into other creatures,
Nor would his slaughter'd army now have lain
Jub. My father scorn'd to do it. Syph. And therefore dy’d. Jub. Better to die ten thousand thousand deaths, Than wound my honour. Syph. Rather say your love. Jub. Syphax, I’ve promis'd to preserve my temper: Why wilt thou urge me to confess a flame I long have stifled, and would sain conceal Syph. Believe me, prince, though hard to conquer love, 'Tis easy to divert and break its force: Absence might cure it, or a second mistress Light up another flame, and put out this. The glowing dames of Zama's royal court Have faces flush’d with more exalted charms; The sun that rolls his chariot o'er their heads Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks: Were you with these, my prince, you'd soon forget The pale, unripen'd beauties of the north. Jub. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion, The tincture of a skin, that I admire. Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. The virtuous Marcia tow’rs above her sex: True, she is fair (Oh, how divinely fairs) But still the lovely maid improves her charms With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, And sanctity of manners. Cato's soul Shines out in ev’ry thing she acts or speaks, While winning mildness and attractive smiles Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace Soften the rigour of her father’s virtues. SYPH. How does your tongue grow wanton in her praise ! - Cato.
CHAPTER VIII. -
It must be so—Plato, thou reason'st well— Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into nought Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heav'n itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eternity' thou pleasing, dreadful thought! Through what variety of untry’d being, Through what new scenes and changes must we pass! The wide, th’ unbounded prospect lies before me; But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it. Here will I hold. If there's a pow'r above us, (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Through all her works) he must delight in virtue; And that which he delights in must be happy. But when, or where? This world was made for Caesar. I'm weary of conjectures—this must end 'em.
Thus am I doubly arm’d—My death and life, My bane and antidote, are both before me. This in a moment brings me to an end; But this informs me I shall never die. The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles At the drawn dagger, and defies its point; The stars shall fade away, the sun.himself Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years; But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the war of elements, The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds, *
* . Cato. *