Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.
Enter Leontina, Eudoxia.
I Fear'd his passion sad effects would move.
His Birth conceal'd from me, had shew'd small love.
As great imprudence shew'd he to reveal:
How hardly women secrets can conceal?
You could not chuse but whisper what you knew
To some false friend perhaps that envies you;
By which grown publick that Heraclius lives,
Such and alarum to the Tyrant gives,
Page 14It troubles not so much as it doth arm,
By that foreknowledge to prevent his harm;
What's unexpected easily may annoy,
Where strength's awake we hardly can destroy;
His former guilt he quickly will encrease,
And sacrifice Heraclius to his peace.
The secret kept, he lov'd him as his Son,
His life, your love, my care, you have undone.
Madam, 'tis fit that I your passion bear,
But reason heard, it quickly will appear
That I am free from this so great offence;
How is this secret known then, or from whence?
Is it from me? or is it from the Prince?
From neither: for if you examin well,
They only say he lives, but do not tell
How, you usurping Phocas did deceive,
Heraclius sparing, one of yours did leave
To feel the Tyrants rage: an act so high:
Though your Son's dead, our fame can never die.
Nor was your wisdom than your courage less,
When being made the Prince's Governess,
Mauritius's Son you did to Phocas give,
While the true Martian as your Son did live,
Leontius call'd by my dead Brother's name,
Who in this sacrifice does share your fame.
Yet none pretend to say 'twas carryed so,
As had I blaz'd the secret, all must know.
'Tis true, 'tis only said Heraclius lives,
Which without circumstance no indice gives;
The rest is so ignor'd, some simply good
Expect he should by miracle not blood,
Resume a Throne usurp'd upon his Sire,
But see he comes, and let your fears expire.