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Ber. Heaven ne'er sent those who fight for pri

vate ends.
We both are bound by trust, and must be true;
I to his bed, and to his empire you.
For he who to the bad betrays his trust,
Though he does good, becomes himself unjust.

Por. When Brutus did from Cæsar Rome redeem, The act was good.

Ber. But was not good in him.
You see the Gods adjudged it parricide,
By dooming the event on Cæsar's side.
'Tis virtue not to be obliged at all;
Or not conspire our benefactor's fall.

Por. You doom me then to suffer all this ill,
And yet I doom myself to love you still. .

Ber. Dare not Porphyrius suffer then with me, Since what for him, I for myself decree?

Por. How can I bear those griefs you disapprove? Ber. To ease them, I'll permit you still to love. Por. That will but haste my death, if you think

fit Not to reward, but barely to permit. Love without hope does like a torture wound, Which makes me reach in pain, to touch the ground.

Ber. If hope, then, to your life so needful be, Hope still.

Por. Blest news!
Ber. But hope in heaven, not me.

Por. Love is too noble such deceits to use :
Referring me to heaven, your gift I lose.
So princes cheaply may our wants supply,
When they give that, their treasurers deny.

Ber. Love blinds my virtue :- If I longer stay It will grow dark, and I shall lose my way.

Por. One kiss from this fair hand can be no sin; I ask not that you gave to Maximin.


In full reward of all the pains I've past,
Give me but one.

Ber. Then let it be your last.

Por. 'Tis gone!
Like soldiers prodigal of their arrears,
One minute spends the pay of many years.
Let but one more be added to the sum,

at once for all my pains to come.
Ber. Unthrifts will starve, if we before-hand
give :

[Pulling back her hand, I'll see you shall have just enough to live.

Ero. Madam, the emperor is drawing near;
And comes, they say, to seek Porphyrius here.

Ber. Alas!

Por. I will not ask what he intends My life, or death, alone on you depends. Ber. I must withdraw; but must not let him

know How hard the precepts of my

virtue grow! But whate'er fortune is for me designed, Sweet heaven, be still to brave Porphyrius kind!

[Exit with Erotion. Por. She's gone unkindly, and refused to cast One glance to feed me for so long a fast.

Enter MaximiN, PLACIDIŲS, and guards.
Max. Porphyrius, since the Gods have ravished

I come in you to seek another son.
Succeed him then in my imperial states;
Succeed in all, but his untimely fate.
If I adopt you with no better grace,
Pardon a father's tears upon my face,
And give them to Charinus' memory :
May they not prove as ominous to thee!


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Por. With what misfortunes heaven torments me

still ! Why must I be obliged to one so ill ? [Aside. Mar. Those offers which I made you, sir, were

such, No private man should need to balance much. Por. Who durst his thoughts to such ambition lift?

[Kneeling The greatness of it made me doubt the gift. The distance was so vast, that to my view It made the object seem at first untrue ; And now 'tis near, the sudden excellence Strikes through, and flashes on my tender sense. Mar. Yet heaven and earth, which so remote appear,

[Raising him. Are by the air, which flows betwixt them, near; And twixt us two my daughter be the chain, One end with me, and one with you remain. Por. You press me down with such a glorious fate,

[Kneeling again. I cannot rise against the mighty weight. Permit I may retire some little space, And gather strength to bear so great a grace.

[E.rit bouing. Plac. How love and fortune lavishly contend, Which should Porphyrius' wishes most befriend! The mid-streams his; I, creeping by the side, Am shouldered off by his impetuous tide. [Aside.

Enter Valerius hastily. Val. I hope my business may my haste excuse; For, sir, I bring you most surprising news. The Christian princess in her tent confers With fifty of our learned philosophers; Whom with such eloquence she does persuade, That they are captives to her reasons made.

I left them yielding up their vanquished cause,
And all the soldiers shouting her applause ;
Even Apollonius does but faintly speak,
Whose voice the murmurs of the assistants break.

Mar. Conduct this captive christian to my tent;
She shall be brought to speedy punishment.
I must in time some remedy provide, (Exit Val.
Lest this contagious error spread too wide.

Plac. To infected zeal you must no mercy shew; For, from religion all rebellions grow.

Max. The silly crowd, by factious teachers brought
To think that faith untrue, their youth was taught,
Run on in new opinions, blindly bold,
Neglect, contemn, and then assault the old.
The infectious madness seizes every part,
And from the head distils upon the heart.
And first they think their prince's faith not true,
And then proceed to offer him a new;
Which if refused, all duty from them cast,
To their new faith they make new kings at last.
Plac. Those ills by mal-contents are often

That by their prince their duty may be bought.
They head those holy factions which they hate,
To sell their duty at a dearer rate.
But, sir, the tribune is already here,
With your fair captive.
Max. Bid them both


and Guards. See where she comes, with that high air and mein, Which marks, in bonds, the greatness of a queen. What pity 'tis !—but I no charms must see In her, who to our gods is enemy: Fair foe of heaven, whence comes this haughty




Or, is it frenzy does your mind misguide
To scorn our worship, and new gods to find?
S. Cath. Nor pride, nor frenzy, but a settled

mind, Enlightened from above, my way does mark. Nax. Though heaven be clear, the way to it is

dark. S. Cath. But where our reason with our faith

does go,

We're both above enlightened, and below.
But reason with your fond religion fights,
For many gods are many infinites:
This to the first philosophers was known,
Who, under various names, adored but one;
Though your vain poets, after, did mistake,
Who every attribute a god did make;
And so obscene their ceremonies be,
As good men loath, and Cato blushed to see.
Max. War is my province !--Priest, why stand you

mute ? You gain by heaven, and, therefore, should dispute.

Apol. In all religions, as in ours, there are
Some solid truths, and some things popular.
The popular in pleasing fables lie;
The truths, in precepts of morality.
And these to human life are of that use,
That no religion can such rules produce.

S. Cath. Then let the whole dispute concluded be
Betwixt these rules, and christianity.
Apol. And what more noble can your doctrine

Than virtue, which philosophy does teach?
To keep the passions in severest awe,
To live to reason, nature's greatest law;
To follow virtue, as its own reward ;
And good and ill, as things without regard.

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