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Ber. Heaven ne'er sent those who fight for pri
Por. When Brutus did from Cæsar Rome redeem, The act was good.
Ber. But was not good in him.
Por. You doom me then to suffer all this ill,
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!
Por. Love is too noble such deceits to use :
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,
Ber. Then let it be your last.
Por. 'Tis gone!
at once for all my pains to come.
[Pulling back her hand, I'll see you shall have just enough to live.
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.
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,
Mar. Conduct this captive christian to my tent;
Plac. To infected zeal you must no mercy shew; For, from religion all rebellions grow.
Max. The silly crowd, by factious teachers brought
appear. Enter St CATHARINE, VALERIUS, APOLLONIUS,
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
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
We're both above enlightened, and below.
mute ? You gain by heaven, and, therefore, should dispute.
Apol. In all religions, as in ours, there are
S. Cath. Then let the whole dispute concluded be