Early Plays HTML version

Third Act
[CATILINE's camp in a wooded field in Etruria. To the right is seen CATILINE's
tent and close by it an old oak tree. A camp fire is burning outside the tent;
similar fires are to be seen among the trees in the background. It is night. At
intervals the moon breaks through the clouds.]
[STATILIUS lies stretched out asleep by the camp fire. MANLIUS paces back
and forth in front of the tent.]
MANLIUS. Such is the way of young and buoyant souls.
They slumber on as peaceful and secure
As though embosomed in their mothers' arms,
Instead of in a forest wilderness.
They rest as though they dream some merry game
Were held in store for them when they awake,
Instead of battle,--the last one, perchance,
That will be theirs to fight.
STATILIUS. [Awakes and rises.] Still standing guard?
You must be weary? I'll relieve you now.
MANLIUS. Go rest yourself instead. Youth needs his sleep;
His untamed passions tax his native strength.
'Tis otherwise when once the hair turns gray,
When in our veins the blood flows lazily,
And age weighs heavily upon our shoulders.
STATILIUS. Yes, you are right. Thus I too shall in time,
An old and hardened warrior--
MANLIUS. Are you sure
The fates decreed you such a destiny?
STATILIUS. And pray, why not? Why all these apprehensions?
Has some misfortune chanced?
MANLIUS. You think no doubt
That we have naught to fear, foolhardy youth?
STATILIUS. Our troops are strongly reenforced--