Heraclius, Emperour of the East a tragedy
Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684., Carlell, Lodowick, 1602?-1675.
Page  56

ACT V. SCENE V.

Heraclius, Martian taking himself for Heraclius, Pulcheria.
PƲLCHERIA.
O The sly Wolf, his fear made him seem mild,
The danger past, how bloudy and how wild;
Threatning our hearts in pieces he will tear,
If only mine, it were not worth my fear,
But when you both must die, whose worth is such,
The world ne're knew, nor shall again so much:
Since we to death must all together go,
Which is indeed my Brother let me know,
That aptly I may pay the debt I owe.
MARTIAN
taking himself for Heraclius.
Rather resolve, your danger drawing near,
(He may come back, and act what you so fear)
The marriage with the Son then celebrate;
To shun the Father you so justly hate.
PƲL.
Who is't will show me, if I could consent,
And so assure me, incest to prevent?
MART.
taking himself for Herac.
I see too much of fear for us and you:
Yet a faign'd marriage you may yield unto,
Deceive the Tyrant, vertue not destroy,
All live, and yet not Hymen's rights enjoy.
PƲL,
So to dissemble would look poor and low:
HERAC:
A Tyrant to outreach makes it not so.
'Twould place in trust a Brother which he gives,
We having power, he at our mercy lives,
Page  57And so we may, when ever we think good,
Sue a divorce, and seal it with his blood.
PƲL.
Well to preserve your lives, avoyd my shame,
I am content: whose wife must I seem? name;
Which of you is it offers me his hand?
'Tis not a real, since no legal band.
HERAC.
You Sir, who did at first the motion make;
MARTIAN
taking himself for Heraclius.
You Prince, who for his Son Phocas will take;
HERAC:
You who these four years have her lover him:
MARTIAN
taking himself for Heraclius.
You who have greater worth her heart to win:
PƲL.
Ah Princes!
By this so brave retreat your worth is shown,
But I mistrusted still; judg'd by my own,
For great hearts, which the Heavens for Empire make,
Even at the shadow of a crime must shake.
Let us leave all to Heaven and nothing do,
But what bright honour fairly guides us to.
HERACL.
Was ever fate more cruel than is mine?
The doubtful truth, which with my blood I sign;
Leaves me unworthy still of that great Name,
I suffer for, in death I lose my aim,
Saving not him, for whom I choose to die.
MART.
taking himself for Herac.
That nothing is to my strange destiny;
Who in the compass of one day appear
Leontius, Martian, and Heraclius here,
A Tribun's, Tyrant's, a just Emp'ror's Son,
And die I know not who, e're it be done.
PƲLC.
How small your griefs are yet compar'd to mine?
Though I confess you justly may repine;
Page  58For death which may ease you I must not try,
They that give life, that help to me deny;
We are born Servants, and our Lord's design,
We must not question, but our wills resign.
It is determin'd by great Nature's Laws,
That all effects depend upon their cause.