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Pheen. Think not I mean to check that glorious flame,
That just ambition which exalts your soul,
Fires on your cheek, and lightens in your eye.
Yet would he had been yours! this rising prince;
For, trust me, fame is fond of Mafiniffa.
His various fortune, his resplendent deeds,
His courage, conduct, deep-experienc'd youth,
And vast unbroken spirit in distress,
Still rifing stronger from the last defeat,
Are all the talk and terror too of Afric.
Who has not heard the story of his woes!
How hard he came to his paternal reign;
Whence foon by Syphax' unrelenting hate,
And jealous Carthage driven, he with a few
Fled to the mountains. Then, I think, it was,
Hem'd in a circle of impending rocks,
That all his followers fell, fave fifty horse;
Who, thence escap'd, thro' secret pashs abrupt,
Gain'd the Clupean plain. There overtook,
And urg'd by fierce furrounding foes, he burst
With four alone, fore-wounded, thro' their ranks,
And all amidst a mighty torrent plung’d.
Seiz'd by the whirling gulph, two funk; and two,
With him, obliquely hurried down the stream,
Wrought to the farther shore. Th' astonish'd troopa
Stood check”d, and shivering on the gloomy brink,

And deemd him lost in the devouring flood.
Mean time the dauntless, undespairing youth
Lay in a cave conceald; curing his wounds
With inountain-herbs, and on his horses fed :
Nor here, even at the lowest ebb of life,
Stoop'd his aspiring mind. What need I say,
How once again restor’d, and once again
Expell’d, among the Garamantian hills
He fince has wander'd, till the Roman arm
Reviv'd his cause? And who shall reign alone,
Syphax or he, this day decides.

Soph. Enough.
Thou need'It not blazon thus his fame, Pheniffa.
Were he as glorious as the pride of woman
Could with, in all her wantonness of thought;
The joy of human kind: wise, valiant, good;

.

With every praise, with every laurel crown' ;
The warrior's wonder, and the virgin's figh:
Yet this would cloud him o'er, this blemish all ;
His mean submission to the Roman yoke ;
That, false to Carthage, Afric, and himself,
With proffer'd hand and knee, he hither led
These ravagers of earth. But while we talk,
The work of fate goes on ; even now perhaps
My dying country bleeds in every vein,
And the warm victor thunders at our gate..

Enter a Meffenger from the battle.
Soph. Ha! Whence art thou ? Speak, tho' thy bleed.
Might well excuse thy tongue.

[ing wounds Mell. Madam, escapa, With much ado, from yon wide death

Soph. No more.
At once thy meaning flashes o'er my soul.
Oh, all my vanish'd hopes ! Repairless chance .
Of undiscerning war! And is all loft ?
An universal havock?

Mel. Madam, all.
For scarce a Mafæsylian, save myself,
But is or seiz’d, or bites the bloody plain,
The King

Soph. Ah! what of him?

Mel. His fiery steed,
By Mafiniffa, the Maffylian prince,
Pierc'd, threw him headlong to his clustering foes ;
And now he comes in chains.

Soph. 'Tis wond'rous fit,
Absolute gods! All Afric is in chains !
The weeping world in chains ! Oh, is there not
A time, a righteous time, referv'd in fate,
When these oppreflors of mankind shall feel
The miseries they give ; and blindly fight
For their own fetters too!--The conquering troops,
How points their motion ?

Mel. At my heels they came,
Loud-shouting, dreadful, in a cloud of dust,
By Mafiniffa headed.

[Shout, 3

Soplo

Seph. Hark! arrived.
The murm'ring crowd rolls frighted to the palace.
Thou bleed'st to death, pour faithful wretch; away,
And dress thy wounds, it life be worth thy care :
Though Rome, merhinks, will lose a slave in thee.
Would Sophonisba were as near the verge

[Exit Mell. Of boundless, and immortal liberty !

[Pauses. And wherefore not? When liberty is lost, Let slaves and cowards live; but in the brave It were a treachery to themselves, enough To merit chains. And is it fit for me, Who in my veins, from Afdrubal deriv'd, Hold Carthaginian enmity to Rome; On whom I've lavilhi'd all my burning soul, In everlasting hate ; for whose destruction I sold my joyless youth to Syphax' arms, And turn's him fierce upon them ; fit for fuck A native, restless, unrelenting foe, To sit down softly.pensive, and await Th' approaching victor's rage; reserv'd in chains

grace his triumph, and become the scorn Of every Roman dame-Gods! how

my

foul Disdains the thought! and this shall set it free.

(Offers to ftab herfalf.
Pheen. Hold, Sophonisba, hold! my friend! my queen!
For whom alone I live ! hold your rash point,
Nor through your guardian bosom ftab your country,
That is our last resort, and always sure.
The gracious gods are liberal of death ;
To that last blessing lend a thousand ways.
Think not I'd have you live to drag a chain,
And walk the triumph of insulting Rome.
No, by these tears of loyalty and love,
Ere I beheld so vile a fight, this hand
Should urge the faithful poniard to your heart,
And glory in the deed. But, while hope lives,
Let not the generous die. 'Tis late before
The brave despair.

Soph. Thou copy of my soul!
And now my friend indeed! Shew me but hope,
One glimpse of hope, and I'll renew my toils,
Call patience, labour, fortitude again,
B

The

To

The next unjoyous day, and fleepless night;
Nor shrink at danger, any shape of death,
Shew me the smallest hope! Alas, Phænissa,
Too kindly confident! Hope lives not here,
Fled with her fitter Liberty beyond
The Garamantian hills, to some steep wild,
Same undiscover'd country, where the foot
Of Roman cannot come,

Pheen. Yes, there she liv'd
With Mafiniffa wounded, and forlorn,
Amidst the serpent's hiss, and tiger's yell.-

Soph. Why nam'st thou him

Phæn. Madam, in this forgive
My forward zeal; from him proceeds our hope.
He lov'd you once; nor is your form impair’d,
Warm’d, and unfolded into stronger charms:
Ask his protection from the Roman power,
You must prevail; for Sophonisba sure
From Mafiniffa cannot ask in vain.

Soph. Now, by the prompting genius of my country!
I thank thee for the thought. True, there is pain
Ev'n in descending thus to beg protection
From that degenerate youth. But, Oh, for thee,
My finking country! and again to gaul
This hated Rome, what would I not endure?
It shall be done, Phænissa ; though disgust
Choak’d up my Itruggling meaning, Thall be done.

[Kneels; But here I vow, propitious Juno, hear ! Could every pomp and every pleasure join’d, Love, empire, glory, a whole kneeling world, Unnerve my smalleit purpose, and remit That

most inveterate enmity I bear The Roman state; may Carthage smoak in ruins ! Rome rise the mistress of mankind ! and I, There an abandon'd Nave, drag out a length Of life, in loathsome baseness and contempt ! This way the trumpet

founds; let us recire. [Exeunt. Enter Mafiniffa, Syphax in chains, Narva, Guards, &c.

Syph. Is there no dungeon in this city, dark As is my troubled soul, that thus I'on brought To my own palace, to those rooms of late,

Wont in another manner to receive me,
With other ligns of royalty than thefe ?

(Looking on his chains.
Maf. I will not wound thee, nor insult thee, Syphax,
With a recital of thy tyrant crimes.
A caprive here I fee thee, fallen below
My most revengeful wish; and all the rage,
The noble fury that inspir'd this morn,
Is funk to soft compaffion. In the field,
The flaming front of war, there is the scene
Of brave revenge ; and I have fought thee there,
Keen as the hunted lion feeks his foe.
But when a broken enemy, disarm’d,
And helpless lies; a falling fword, an eye
With pity flowing, and an arm as weak
As infant foftness, then becomes the brave.
Now sleeps the sword; the passions of the field
Sublide to peace; and my relenting soul
Melts at thy fate.

Syph. This, this, is all I dread,
All I detest, this insolence refin'd,
This barbarous pity, this affected goodness,
Pitied by thee! Is there a form of death,
Of torture, and of infamy like that?
It kills my very foul !- -Ye partial gods !
I feel your worst; why should I fear you more?
Hear me, vain youth ! take notice -I abhor
Thy mercy, loath it. -- Poison to my thoughts !
Wouldīt thou be merciful ? One way alone
Thou canst oblige me.--Ufe me like a flave;
As I would thee, (delicious thought!) wert thou
Here crouching in my power.

Maf. Outrageous man!
If that is mercy, I'll be cruel still.
Nor canst thou drive me, by thy bitterest rage,
To an unmanly deed; not all thy wrongs,
Nor this worfe triumph in them.

Syph. Ha! ha! wrongs ?
I
cannot wrong

thee. When we lanch the fpear Into the monster's heart, or crush the ferpent ; Destroy what in antipathy we hold,

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