Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.


Exuperius, Leontina.
NOne can hear, and I must
Unto your faith commit the greatest trust:
And that you may the better credit give,
Know 'tis resolv'd, that Phocas shall not live:
Yes to reward that base officious zeal,
That sells thy Father, does thy Prince reveal.

You by appearance judge, and so mistake.


They do indeed, who you for honest take.


That which to you doth falsehood seem as yet.

Page  48
Is but a knack of State, a trick of wit:
How can you judge, since yet you do not know,
What our designs are, which way we will go?
But I will tell you how our plot is laid,
And that we should fall off, be not afraid.
Our injuries are, Rapes, Oppressions, Blood,
Our Prince to be restor'd the chiefest good.
We that were once disfavoured, and disgrac'd
Remov'd from Court, are thus in credit plac'd,
And that which to you treachery doth seem,
Is a sure way our honour to redeem.
Others may credit give to what you've said,
I have no faith for you, at least 'tis dead.

You have much reason, from that, faith may grow.


Not from such seeds as you did lately sow.

You know how strong and watchful are his Guard,
All entrance to his hated person barr'd,
Till now that I have such opinion won,
I am confided in beyond his Son;
'Twas my pretended zeal the counsel gave,
That Prince Heraclius publick death might have,
The streets, gates, forts, his guards must all make good,
Then, with my friends, I've power to shed his blood:
Which shall be done, when once you make us know,
Which is the Prince to whom we duty owe.
We from the Tyrrnt take both life and Crown,
To make our act just, a just power must own.
How dull and weak art thou, that couldst believe,
Since me thou can'st not, thou shouldst him deceive?
He finds thy plot, if true, and doth design
Thy ruine, but this way he shall not mine.
Page  49
Madam, I've told you truth, and will say more —

Not to the purpose that you spoke before?

Well, I am satisfi'd, be faithless still;
I will take care, that you shall do no ill.
I'le keep my secret, and you may keep yours,
Those must obey, that are in others powers:
To prison, Madam; you ere long shall know,
To the same end men several waies may go.