Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.
ACT II. SCEN. V.
Martian taken for Leontius, Exuperius, Leontina, Eudoxia.
MAdam, you need no more put on disguise;
We by a Paper now, are all made wise.
Page 20MARTIAN taken for Leontius.
Madam, you know, and best can understand,
If this be feigned, or Mauritius hand,
Whether it disabuse, or more delude;
Pray clear what yet hath great incertitude:
I cannot be your Son, and yet his too;
If any know the Caracter, you do.
Gives her a Paper.
LEONTINA hath deceived PHOCAS; and by delivering one of her Sons to death, preserved mine, to inherit the Empire: You that remain faithfull Subjects, honour and assist so great Vertue; HERACLIƲS lives under the Name of LEONTIƲS.
He tels you true, Sir, you were in my hands,
When Phocas entred with his Rebel bands;
Seiz'd on the Emp'rour; let him only live
To see his children die, more grief to give.
I past all hope, you longer to conceal,
To save your life, I did my self reveal:
Offer'd my Son to Phocas in your stead,
Gave you the name of him that now is dead,
For whom these tears; he was your sacrifice,
And from his death your life and greatness rise.
Nature though then struck dead, by duties force,
Does now revive and cause this briny source.
Weeps a while.
Phocas thus ravish'd with deluding joy,
Heaps favoure on me, and on you a Boy;
favours so great, some said my Son and I
Did seem with him to share his Tyranny.
This, Sir, I thought not fit for to declare,
Till you had got so great a name in war,
That all might judge, your birth must needs be great,
Since so much merit claim'd the highest seat:
And this great news, that makes the Tyrant fear,
Must prove a truth when you your self appear;
Page 21MARTIAN taking himself for Heraclius.
But, Madam, that you have conceal'd all this,
Though it seem well, I feel what is amiss.
I did not know all that the Emp'ror knew;
Things done long since, men may suspect not true;
My testimony rests on your strong arm,
Else what design'd 'gainst him, may prove our harm.
The Emp'ror forc'd to see his own Child die,
Became a witness of your Policy,
And did design to hinder your intent,
But th' Executioner did that prevent:
After, a little pleas'd to think his Son
Might right the wrongs to him and his then done;
He told it Felix, and this Paper gave,
Who gave it me, that put him in his grave,
Call'd it a Legacy, that might dethrone
The Tyrant under whom the world did groan.
Arm'd with this secret, I desir'd to know,
Who would with me the danger undergo?
The People now are up, our friends assemble,
The Tyrant, from his fears and guilt, doth tremble:
Shew but your self; do but our forces lead:
As he my Fathers, I'le take off his head.
I secretly gave out, that you yet live,
But where, or how, did no suspicion give.
All that are honest, love Mauritius' Name;
Those that are not, yet having miss'd their aim,
Seek, in their discontent, to bring you in:
What they call'd just before, they now call sin.
MARTIAN taking himself for Heraclius.
Surpriz'd with a discourse so new and strange,
Wonder not, that you see my passions change;
I know how great a debt to you I owe,
That to Mauritius' Heir such love did show,
Page 22I ow'd you, as your Son, my life before,
And if not yours, my obligation's more:
But how can I my gratitude declare,
When this strange story breeds a Civil-war?
You know I love; your story makes my flame,
Which was my glorie, now appear my shame;
Incest! to love a sister; what's a Throne,
When she that can command all hearts, is gone?
My love thus murmurs; and my heart must break:
(Pardon distraction) how or what to speak:
Dutie and Honour, yet doth me command,
To give a Chief' to your illustrious Band.
Justice requires that one thing must be done,
Though Phocas perish, yet preserve his Son:
He has no guilt, but that he's of his bloud;
The Fathers ill cannot out-weigh his good.
To your commands we shall obedience pay.
Hast, Sir, to those that with impatience stay.