Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.
ACT IV. SCEN. IV.
Phocas, Heraelius, Martian taking himself for Hera∣clius, Exuperius, Crispus, Leontina, Guards and Attendants.
OUr search is not in vain, she's found at last.
Success was alwaies better far than hast.
Madam, confess, for I have told him all.
As if you knew not what we call
You hither for: Tell me, which is my Son?
What makes you doubt? well, what is't I have done?
His Son now laies a title to my Name;
A Note by you attested makes his claim.
Stay not for torture, think not to denie:
You chang'd my Son, and gave yours up to die?
I gave my Son to die, and 'tis my glory;
Wouldst thou believe, should I tell all the story?
If to deceive thee it was then my will,
How canst thou know, I will not do so still?
However, shew us, where the Reason lay,
Why from the one, until this very day,
You kept the secret; and yet four years since
You had imparted all unto the Prince?
Yet one's thy Son, the other Emperour:
Strike, if thy hate can overcome thy fear.
Thou tremblest by thy love, thy fear, thy rage,
And which to satisfie darst not ingage.
Strike, strike, since one is but thy Son;
Tis like a wager, may be lost or won.
Tis fit all Tyrants should be in thy case,
To fear an Enemy in their own Race.
Thy Son thou in thy Enemy shalt love:
Half Tyrant and half Father only prove;
And all that time in vain thy study spend,
To punish thee, is one part of my end.
Since from me only knowledge can be had,
Thou wilt not kill me till I make thee mad;
Then thou mayst do it, not before i'm sure,
Thy doubts and fears there's none but I, can cure.
Thou forcest me to that which I am loath:
They both shall die, since I'm deny'd by both.
Those Mutiniers that now give thee Alarms,
Would reach thy head, shouldst thou cut off thy Arms.
I justly punish both, though neither know,
One's sure Heraclius, th'other would be so.
I should be pleas'd, 'twere a most happie hour,
To see thee cut those props support thy power:
Proceed, and make thy resolution good,
Strike; let instinct inform which is thy blood.
What strange acknowledgments are these from thee,
Since thou hast shar'd even my Authority?
Committed to thy care my only Son,
Yet give him back, and all my anger's done.
Should I do so, yet neither thee would own,
They death prefer before a Tyrant's Throne.
Admire the vertue, which this trouble breeds,
So brave Plants rais'd from such accursed seeds,
No Age could ever boast, of greater worth:
These Acts my better Precepts have brought forth;
If they by thy Example had been taught,
Their honours had been sold, their safety bought;
Heaven hath afforded them a better fate,
Than to have had thy vice to imitate.
Thus I've return'd more than thou didst for me,
Purging their blood from thy impuritie.
Impostors impudent, and proud still be,
Lies are the weapons gain them victorie:
I have another way to make her know
What she to Truth and Majestie does owe;
Spight of th' obscuritie of her delusion,
I shall make clear•, what's now confusion.
Since, Sir I have begun, I will conclude,
Or, if I fail, forfeit my dearest blood;
If to my custodie you'l her commit,
I'le spread such nets, shall catch her female wit:
Page 47There's none so fortified of all her kind,
But have some fit place to be undermin'd.
O my best friend take all the ways you please,
Even to torment her, so you give me ease.
But yet I think, 'tis flattery must gain,
She is ambitious, give her hopes to raign.
But what need I my thoughts to you reveal,
All things are less, nothing above your zeal:
The service you have done, can only be
Out-gone, by what you now design for me.
This while I mean to take 'em both apart,
And try the utmost of perswasive art;
Nature in private may more aptly move,
And Mine be softned by a Father's love.
Bring 'em away
Exeunt Phocas, &c.