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


Phocas, Heraclius, Martian taking himself for Hera∣clius, Pulcheria, her Women, Guards and Attendants.

BUt here's Phocas!


What good news? will he yield?

My Forces are too weak, I quit the Field,
All the advantage that I yet have won,
I have two Brothers, you still want a Son.

Thus you are rich, although I yet am poor.

I only know, Sir, what you knew before;
They, for my sake, do thus their births obscure,
Or else that they their safeties may procure,
Preserve them both, and that ends all the strife.
Page  52
In favour of my blood, I yours will save;
But first the knowledge of my Son I crave,
On that condition my consent is won,
To give him life that back restores my Son.
Ingrate, I this once more do thee conjure,
To Herac.
Thou thy own safetie and thy friends procure:
Why should not Nature be as strong in thee,
As her impulses shew themselves in me?
Consider with what care I thee have bred;
Consider these floods from my aged head;
Consider those deep sighs I fetch for thee:
If this move not, yet let that amity
That thou art bound to have for thy brave friend,
That sav'd thy life, how dar'st thou cause his end?

I give you back your Son, his birth and all.


How can that be since thou for death dost call?


I die to give you him, and his life save.

We both in thee die, buried in thy grave.
Well since I see I nothing can obtain,
At least grant this somthing to ease my pain,
Adopt me for thy Father, so my Son,
And with thy dear friend raign, my raign's near done.
Oh that's too much, and will my glory stain,
Why, real love for what I did but faign?
Yours is so too: for what you offer me,
Would not make more, but less my dignity;
I to my self a monster should appear,
Son to a just Prince, yet a Tyrants heir.
Go cease to hope that death thou dost deserve,
Since thou refusest what might both preserve;
Page  53All I requir'd was but to take his name,
Thy cruelty, not mine, must bear the blame.
Thou art my Son, and nature bids me spare,
But of his death thou shalt the torment share.
Strike Soldiers, now I'le see his heart blood spilt,
He dead, chuse then for Father whom thou wilt.
Hold villain, hold.—
taking himself for Heraclius.

Ah Prince, what would you do?


Preserve the Son; nay so the Father too.

taking himself for Heracl:
Preserve that Son which he in you would have,
And hinder not one that doth court his grave;
Heraclius needs must happily expire,
Since to your hands he yields up his Empire:
May the Gods long and happy make your raign.

Strike, strike Octavian all discourse is vain.

Hold Traytor, Sir, I am —

Confess at last.


Into what mist of errror am I cast?


Get out at leisure; strike, and end the strife.

I am — What I should be to save his life.
From me to him, Sir, there is so much due,
That I will pay the debt he ows to you,
So readily, so fully and sincere,
As if indeed you my true Father were.
But then you shall engage your life to mee,
That from all injury you keep him free,
For if he die, be sure that I die too,
Or your life payes the forfeit made by you.
Page  54
Fear nothing, my supporters both I'le make,
Then nothing can my peace or Empire shake,
I know that both have so much love for other,
That I shall have two Sons, you each a Brother;
My joys are now so great I scarce can see
By what addition they can greater be,
You are my Son, obedience have profest,
Shew it this once, I am for ever blest,
Admir'd Pulcheria you must grant to be
The happy cement of our amity.
She's my Sister, Sir,
You no more my Son,
And all I've labour'd for, again undone.
What if he were? Tyrant art thou so vain,
To think his grant could alter my disdain?
Could I love any thing should but seem thine?
And from thy blood less than my own decline:
Cease then to hope the least pretence in me,
Whilst death hath power from that to set me free.