Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.
ACT II. SCEN. VI.
Martian taking himself for Heraclius, Leontina, Eudoxia.
taking himself for Heraclius.
MAdam, though you have made a strange discourse,
That both my faith and reason seems to force;
Yet since 'tis you, my faculties submit,
To credit any thing that you think fit.
Though others this reserve might jealous make,
You did of Martian's love advantage take,
To raise your dear Eudoxia to the Throne,
And that the cause this secret's so late known.
Page 23Or that you thought it was enough for me,
That I from you derive my Pedigree:
But 'twere in me a crime this to believe;
Yet have you done what I may ever grieve.
Why did you by all waies my passion move?
Is Incest such a happiness in love?
I had been happie, if I then had di'd,
Since now to love Pulcheria is deni'd:
When I Leontius was, you fann'd a fire,
Which, if I be Heraclius, must expire.
I know your Vertue, what could you then mean,
To make me act a Part in such a Scene?
I let you love her, that a noble flame
Might raise your soul, to gain an equal fame.
taking himself for H•••clius.
Both in the mean time infamous had 〈…〉
Twas in my power still to prevent your 〈◊〉
I knew the Tyrant, and his great design:
Pulcheria was to marry in his Line,
Thus you neglected might offended be,
And add that wrong to former tyranny,
Which might excite you to a just return:
Strike now, lest you a Sisters death do mourn,
Pulcheria perishes, unless he fall
A timely Victim to preserve us all.
taking himself for Heracl.
Were it not best, since she cannot be mine,
I won her, to accomplish his design?
When in Leontius she a Brother sees,
Martian, by easie waies and soft degrees,
Will reach her heart; nor can I to my mind,
A nobler Husband for my sister find.
What do I hear? or what do you propose?
taking himself for Herac.
Her life and mine I foolishly expose,
Page 24That Match I most desire for to prevent;
How rashly too Heraclius name is lent
To a small Partie, an ill manag'd Plot?
'Twould prove unto my Name a fatal blot,
To gain the Crown by an Assassinate,
And all my honour to it immolate:
No, rather let my glorie plead for me,
The cause so just, what doubt of Victorie?
My Father's, Brother's, Friends revenge I shall;
Whose ends are great, can never basely fall.
But with Pulcheria, since so near alli'd,
I must consult, her will shall be my guide;
With your Eudoxia, you —
Yet, Sir, hear me.
taking himself for Herac.
I have much need in such difficultie,
Of prudent counsel; yet in your design
So many other int'rests may combine:
I must advise elsewhere; not that I do
Your zeal or faith mistrust, the world in you
Must ever both applaud; but I resign
My conduct now to one that's wholly mine.