THE Imperial Tragedy: Taken out of a LATIN PLAY, And very much Altered: By a Gentleman for his own Diversion. Who, on the Importunity of Friends, has consented to have it Published; but without his Name: because many do censure Plays, according to their Opinions of the Author.

LONDON: Printed for Will. Wells and Rob. Scott at the Prince's-Armes in Little Britain, M.DC.LXIX.

The Names.

Emperor of Greece.
the Emperors Brother.
Old Basiliscus
Ghost of the last Emperor.
Zeno's General.
Young Basiliscus
Harmatius Son, Collegue with Zeno.
The Patriarck
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Great Lord.
Lieutenant General.
an Astrologer.
an Orator.
Noble Mens Sons,
Pelagius Son.
the God of VVarr.
The Empress.
Daughter to Harmatius.


MEthinks I hear some travel'd Gallant say,
When he was last at Rome, he saw this Play:
That Zeno there was Acted; we confess,
And hope, that here he'l have as good success.
But we are pester'd with so many Wits,
And some, like Madmen, have such judging fits,
That this great Tragedy they may condemn,
Though, in a humor, they have pardon'd them,
Who rob the French and Spanish of their Bayes;
And make a fashion of Translating Playes.
To own his pattern, th' Author's not asham'd.
That Model, which in Italy was fram'd
He has new Moulded, for our English Stage;
Hoping 'twill fit the temper of this Age:
And the learn'd Latin Author not offend,
For alt'ring, what he dares not think to mend.
Though boldly it be here transformed so,
That Author cannot his own Issue know:
Like crafty Beggers, when they Children steal,
Disguise them; lest they should their Thefts reveal.

THE Emperial Tragedy.
The Scene at Constantinople.
The First Act. Scene I.

Astrea appears in the Clouds, with Musick: That done, the late slain Emperor, old Basiliscus his Ghost rises from the Stage, with an Imperial Crown on his head.
Two Tables are set, on each the Imperial Orna­ments.
TO Heav'n, to Heav'n Astrea: vainly here
Thy Musick sounds, this is no time, nor place
For harmony! Hence fatal Monuments
He overturns both the Tables.
Of unauspicious Empire! Hence ye sad
Remembrances of my unprosperous state.
I broke not through the dark dismal Chaos
Of buried Night, to view these gaieties!
This visit I unto my Empire make;
Where all those various sins, and mischiefs raign,
That fancy ere could frame, nay greater too!
Than bloody Nero durst attempt to do.
Longinus imitates him, and we know,
Great Tragedies must first be Acted here,
To raise Longinus to the Diadem!
I now bring ruine on my Rebels heads,
In favor of all Monarchs that survive,
That no such Traitors, may ere hope to thrive!
Let dismal blackness now the Scene obscure,
And empty Coffins round in order stand.
The Scene is fill'd with empty Coffins.
So, so, this sight doth please me, and refresh
Mine eyes; this is the vsual colour, these
Th'ornaments, which deck this Court, when Caesars
Take their Crowns Now Zeno, favorite of Hell,
Come fill these vacant lodgings of the Dead,
[Page 2]Let Racks and Halters, Poysons, Daggers be
Imploy'd, to perpetrate thy Tyranny.
I swear by Acheron, that ere the Sun
Shall once about the Worlds great circle run,
The bodies, by thy fury slaughter'd, shall
With equal numbers, fill these empty Tombs.
Now cruel Zeno come, and in disguise,
Thy Fate implore. I to the shades return.
He descends.
Enter Zeno in disguise.
A Monarch, that unjustly gains his Crown,
May be allow'd to fear his tumbling down.
'Tis easier to climb a Precipice,
Than to stand firm, when at the top arriv'd!
Nor can we, from a private state, discern
The dazeling prospects, which a Throne presents!
Till, from that height, we do the World survay,
And find more Thorns than Roses in our way.
Heav'n has decreed, that ill got Crowns, and fears,
Should still be link'd together; fears, from which,
No walls of brass, nor Legions can defend.
This makes me now so watchful grown; from hence,
My fears do prompt me, under this disguise,
T'inquire my Dome; and in this house, here lives
A learned Priest, fam'd for Astrology:
I will consult his Art; For he, whom Heav'n
Will not favor; must try what Hell can do!
He cals
The Cell is di­scovered and Euphemian in it.
; at whose Magick voice, the Ghosts,
With all the people of the silent world,
Do tremble! if either gold, or favor
Can thee move! raise up a Genius from Hells
Lowest depths; a Page of Hecates;
Who may conduct me through the uncertain tracks,
And various tumults of my life to come.
Thou demand'st a boon of high concern! such,
The Spirits pass ore the Stage.
As th' Eastern Monarchs only have obtained!
Yet say, with what indowments wouldst thou have
Him stor'd? Does Venus sports delight thee? here's
The god of Lust, This Rapes, and Insests, and
All Gomorrahs horrid sins shall teach thee.
Wouldst thou with Pride, above the starrs be rais'd?
And trample on the heads of men, and Gods!
This, shall with high swoln thoughts thee elevate.
Wouldst thou into the fla [...]s of fury turn?
And worse than Lions, Bears, and Tigers rage?
And make thy Houshold Gods, in blood to swim!
This shall insence thee. Here's Merchandize
[Page 3]Of all sorts vendible; please thy fancy now.
A greater Monster, than all these, I crave;
Thou hast but trivial things yet nam'd! all this,
A youth I did!
How! what Prodigy art
Thou of Nature? what Stygian Sister gave
Thee birth? all this a Youth! stay, ile appease
Thy thirst. Th' Infernal Iupiter knows not
More Villanies, than this can prompt thee to!
Within the closset of his pregnant brest,
A thousand dif'rent Arts, for horrid deeds,
And bloody mischiefs dwell: 'twas he alone,
That tutor'd Nero, and fitted him to be,
The ruin of his Age, 'twas He!
Offers to imbrace the Spirit.
I will adore him as my God! and guide.
Now since the secret Fates of Mortals are
Lays down a piece of gold.
To thy deep Art reveal'd: tell me, what doth
This Horoscope portend? whose native soil
Gives him a paper.
And hour of birth, with other perquisites
Of Art, are here exprest?
Euphemian shews some wonder at reading the paper.
What is't that stops thy speech?

Fear to relate, what I discern!

Speak, or, by Heav'n, I will thy brains dissect,
And in them read, what thou intend'st to hide!

Then look, and read thy fortune there.

He points to a red glass in which is writ in white Letters.
What's this?
Zeno reads
Burried before his death, with in a Tombe;
He shall vomit out his damn'd soul!
Oh Heavens!
Did ere your vengeance such a death contrive?
What, shall I; the worlds Chief, be thrown alive
Into a grave! alive, and seeing too!
Oh barbarous Fates! I swear by all the
Powers below, that, ere into Hell's Center
I descend, I will distroy the worlds whole
Fabrick! and bring the ancient Chaos back.
But of this fact, who shall the Author be?
Euphem points to the glass.
Zeno reads
A creature of the Court, whose words and looks,
Much from his heart do vary.

What's his Name?


The Gods do not declare.

How! not declare!
What should be smother'd, that they do reveal,
And what is fit to know, they do conceal.
But thou art sure, thou hast inspected right!
The Stars, and told me true, what they Decree.
[Page 4]
I have, and this is their Decree; time will
Evince the truth, of what I shew.

But prethee tell me, what they end shall be?


In peace I shall expire.

And me, the worlds Monarch! the Earth alive
Shall swallow; — The Stars are lyars, and so
Art thou; an Iron peace shall thee dissolve,
Deceitful Juggler! take this —
Stabs him.
O spare me Caesar!
Help, help! I die.

Go now and tell more lies in Pluto's Court.

To him Enter Longinus in disguise, who draws his Dagger, and assaults Zeno, as he kills Euphemian: they struggle, and talk thus:

Hold Villain! Wilt thou murder an Old man?


And a Young one too! that dares oppose me!


I dare oppose this wickedness, and thee!


And Ile chastize thee for presuming so!


It is beyond the power of thy weak arme.

They hold each others Dagger-hand, and struggle while they speak.

It is Longinus voice!





Was ever a mistake, like this in us?
Offers his Dagger and opens his Armes.
Here Caesar, search the bottom of my heart;
I would have sav'd that man, as there you'l find!
No mischief against Caesar was design'd.
I do believe't, our Interests are the same;
And this old Wizard did deserve to die,
For daring on his Art, to grow so bold!
To shew, what never was by tongue foretold!
And then the man, and means he still conceal'd,
By which I might escape! if now reveal'd!
Did he yet live! you might by wracks extort,
All that he knew of secrets in his Art,
But now, that opportunity is lost.
If Starrs can shew! and He had any skill!
A dismal Fate, must his dire words fulfill.

Heaven avert all such mischief from your head.

The day appears, and we must now retire,
I have a Council summon'd, that I may
Depose Harmatius Son, that haughty Boy!
And then place you my Brother on his Throne;
That our united hearts, and powers be one.
[Page 5]
I'm Caesars Vassal, and so much his friend!
To serve my Brother, is my highest end.
Exit Zeno.
Manet Longinus.
Rise glorious Sun, and with thy brightest Rayes
Crown my blest temples, that the world may see,
How Fates approve of my Impiety!
While the Superstitious fool, gravely wise,
Goes on secure, in his upright designs;
Dreading nothing less, than a surprize,
Such! as, like a fierce whirlewind, will destroy
All, who shall dare oppose it, in its way.
Yet stay, the Council's summon'd, and when met,
Their Wisdoms may comply with Zeno's will,
And so my wish fulfil. In private plac'd,
I shall their votes write down, 'tis fit to know
Who are my Friends, and who my Enemies.
The Boy remov'd; and I set on his Throne:
Half this great Empire then will be my own.
If Zeno keep his word, He will this day
Move my Election; then, Ile make my way.
Exit Longinus.
The Scene shews Zeno set in Council with Basiliscus, Sebastianus, Hortensius, Proclus, Phylargus, Patriarck, Pelagius.
Rise, rise, Basiliscus, and quit that seat:
Learn to pay the reverence that you owe;
Learn to lay by thy misbecoming pride,
Which that Imperial purple cannot hide.

Go on as you begin.

Longinus unseen at a door.
What! do you stop? remove, and stand below.
Basiliscus rises.
My Lords you see how Empires are expos'd
To change; and by experience you well know
The toil, and care of Government, so great,
In this vast Empire, that my Age requires
Some help to ease the burthen of the Crown:
Such a Collegue, as when Fate shall remove
Me hence, may take the charge of it himself.
Harmatius merits mov'd me to bestow
The Scepter on his Son, but the fond Boy,
Puff'd up with pride, is grown so insolent,
And high; I can no longer suffer Him.
My Lords, when such a Phaeton doth guide
The Chariot of the Sun, what can you expect,
But Conflagrations, and Destruction?

Caesar, spare my Innocence, though not me.


I do command you not to speak, reply not.


Let my Cause be heard, any Offences prov'd.


Your cause, and you are known sufficiently.

[Page 6]

No crimes, 'gainst me, have ever been declar'd.

Your arrogance, and pride, declare enough.
Take off his Robes, and Crown, which make him swell
So high! and put that black garment on him.
Learn to pray, and to Heaven lift those hands,
Unfit for Scepters and such great commands.
That Scepter, will my hand much better fit,
Steps in unseen.
Those Robes, and Crown, on me more graceful fit!
They take off Basiliscus Robes.
Do, take off these golden shackles from my arms,
And set me free from this gay slavery.
'Tis well, I am now eas'd of all my cares;
But Caesar is not freed, from half his fears:
These glittering glories, are not what they seem,
To the mistaken world; who ne'er discern
How many sorrows with few joys are mixt;
Or what grand troubles to the Crown are fixt.
When Fortune sports her self, with humane things,
Whom she last rais'd, she first to ruine brings.
Caesar, thou mak'st me happy, 'gainst my will;
But thy designs will raise thee trouble still.

Hold thy pestiferous tongue, and get thee hence.

I obey, and with joy depart from hence,
That I may so much neerer be to Heav'n!
My Lords, I now desire your choice of him,
Whom you judge fittest to be my Collegue:
And if with equal ballance you do weigh
His merits, you'l find no pretence, no claim
So just, as the supprest Longinus hath,
To hold this Scepter, and to wear this Crown;
To ease my Age, and to adorn the Throne.
His generous mind, and clearest courage known,
His glories gain'd in Warr, and Triumphs past,
Do speak him worthy of the Empires Rule;
Besides his love to Justice, and his skill,
In the Arts of Peace, will indeer us all.
And that which I of greatest value deem,
His being Brother to the Emperor.
Whom wife Nature has by birth made equal,
I think, with equal honor should be great.
The noblest blood, grows still more vigorous;
When call'd to highest place, and great commands;
But freezeth in the veins, when not imploy'd,
According to his Nature, and his Birth.

Ile set these friends in golden Characters.

Writes in his Tablets.

Now Patriarck, we expect your grave thoughts.

Renown'd Monarch, see how the Christian Ship,
Tos'd to and fro, doth doubtfully yet float
On the vast Ocean, while the Northern wind,
[Page 7]A powerful ruler of the Sea, doth raise
The swelling waves so high! as if he hop'd,
That liquid Element might quite put out
That fires of Heav'n. And now this tottering ship
Cleft with the fury of these boisterous waves
Looks like a prey, to the devouring Sea;
Great storms oppress us, force orecomes our Art;
I sit at Helme, and struggle what I can,
With this fierce Tempest, but want strength t'oppose.
You Caesar, while Heav'n blesses you with life,
Either alone, settle the doubtful State,
Of your distressed Empire, and give ease
To our long languishing, distracted minds;
Or if you needs must have a helper, choose
Then a Man, whose unreproached courage,
And known virtue, may by his truth, and care,
The ruines of your tottering Crown repair.

Subtle old Priest, I shall provide for you.

What strange Enigma's! and what new Riddles
Do you tell? what storms? what Tempest d'ye mean?
Am I then guilty of so great neglect
In Government? Let the wide World witness,
If ever Peace did in this Empire shine,
More prosperously than now, while I command!
Great Sir, how can you mention peace? when Warr
Does in the Bowels of your Empire rage:
Sir, these sad times require an able Man,
Whose virtue may impartially dispence
Justice to all; the Innocent protect,
Punish the Vicious, and reward the good.
Himself a pattern to the Court, and Peers,
Would cherish, hopes, and banish all our fears.
The Sun, and Stars, afford their influence
To all, but when a bloody Comet raigns,
What mischief, doth it threaten to the World!
Take heed to whom you trust the Scepter Sir;
'Tis virtue, and not blood, Makes Princes great.
Enter Longinus, and with his Dagger assaults Pelagius; but is stay'd by Hortensius.
Pestilent tongue! — Let my just fury loose,
That I may send his venom'd soul to Hell.

Sir, forbear, or you are lost for ever.

Oh base slander! am I a bloody Comet?
Brother, I ask your Justice, 'gainst this Man;
— What! do you delay to grant it? must I
Be silent? and so great affronts endure,
[Page 8]Till I can vent my Vengeance, bear it here!
Exit in rage.
Sir, if you do suffer this bold assault,
Made now on me! and for counsels given,
Permit such insolent affronts, to pass
Unpunish'd; your Sovereign power will vanish;
When the priviledge of this Board does fall,
You will in vain your Lords to Council call.
And do you learn, grave Sir, better to rule
Your opprobrious tongue, (thus beyond excuse!)
Persons so much above you, to traduce.
When such emense deceit! gains love, and trust;
'Bove faith, and truth, 'tis folly to be just.
No Solon, nor Arissippus, shall here
Guide me, under the notion of a friend.
Speak now, do you, or do you not allow
My Brothers due Election to the Crown.
When your Brothers temper shall deserve it,
He shall have my Vote to sit by Caesar.
Fury destroyes, and not preserves the Crown.
Is then my power so low? and my command
So slight? that such a Mushrum, dares withstand
My will! He shall now Reign; by Hell I swear,
Though He were worse, than all the Devils there.
If the Senate frown, I shall make them know,
That I, who Rule the World, will have it so.
Let them their Laws to private persons teach,
And bow to us, who are above their reach.
Exit, angry. All follow him; but Patri. and Pelag. stay.
So Lions in the Lybian Deserts rage,
When robb'd of their young Whelps by men. Good God!
What wild commotions do our passions raise?
What strange contagion, through th'infected world!
Will this unruly rage, now throw abroad?
What birth of Monsters, will each day produce?
What tumults in affairs appear throughout
The Empire? while our streets oreflow with blood.
'Tis not our Laws, but fury governs here;
Nor is the Senate, by their conscience sway'd,
Or if they were! they would not be obey'd.
Ambition Rules, and Force doth execute;
Virtue, and Modesty, are banish'd hence.
What a prodigious prospect doth appear,
To create mischiefs, for our future fear?
I grant, that a quick ruine threatens all:
Gods angry fire, imprison'd in the clouds,
Seems ready to break forth, to burn the world,
And shew, what Vengeance is from Heav'n due,
When stubborn Men their wickedness persue.
[Page 9] Enter a Messenger.
Fire, fire, fire, help Pelagius help, make hast,
A strong arm'd Troop, sent by Longinus,
Hath fir'd your Country-house, and Corn i'th' fields;
The growing flames approach your neighbour woods,
And now, do threaten their destruction too.
Great Ruler of the World! if thou beest pleas'd,
Let the devouring flames, do what they can;
I value not their rage; their power extends,
But to the spoil, of a few fading goods.
No fire, nor storms, nor Tyrants threats, can reach
The treasure, I have lock'd up here. My brest
Contains a wealth, garded by such defence,
That Men, nor Devils, cannot ravish thence.
Bravely resolv'd, a mind on Virtue fixt,
No storms can discompose, no tempest shake;
Nor times deface a heart, so strong as thine,
Rul'd by a soul so great, and so Divine!
The Scene changes.
Enter the Princess Eirene, with a Letter in her hand.
In her Cham­ber.
This Note, from Anastatius, counsels well;
But how to act it, does my skill excel.
She reads.
I must not Zeno's love ingage to hope,
Nor yes give arguments for his dispair!
A hard task, for my youth, and innocence,
To juggle with an old Politician.
Who on the least suspition of our Love,
Will Anastatius sudden death contrive.
And then, what will become of me alone?
My Father absent, and my Brother young;
None to protect me, 'gainst a Tyrants will.
Enter a Servant.

Madam, the Emperor desires access.

I must meet him boldly, though much afraid
My trembling joynts, may shew I am dismayd.
Enter Zeno.
Madam, this second visit I now make,
After the repulse you lately gave; shews,
[Page 10]How much my love, beyond my reason Rules,
By which you see, your power does mine subdue,
Who come to offer Homage unto you.
Mighty Sir! I, your humblest Vassal, bows
Thus low, to beg your pardon for my fault,
If I, through ignorance, have done amiss.
Rise Eirene, 'tis I should kneel, 'tis I,
Should beg forgiveness for a crime so great:
I shame to think, how farr I did provoke
The beauty I admire! for, had you smil'd
On my design; or given me hope to gain,
What I then sought, and now as much disdain:
I had not valued, what I then did prize,
Beyond the moment of that enterprize.
But now I come as humbly to adore
A virtue, that I never understood before.
Great Sir, while you speak thus, my soul attends
On every syllable let fall, my tears
Ile check, my joyes shall dissipate my fears.
I will for my mistake high Heav'n assault
With frequent Prayers, to expiate my fault.
Fairest of all your Sex, I who command
The Eastern world, do at your mercy stand:
Say, can you love so, that you will submit,
To wear a Crown, and on my Throne to sit?
You make me start at this relaps, and doubt,
[...] [...]ome new stratagem, you do design,
My simple innocence to undermine.
By your [...] self, I swear, I have no thoughts
For you, but what to Heav'n, I may avow.
Suppo [...] my Lov'd Empress (now sick, should die;)
Shall [...] [...] then, give me like destiny?
Oh [...] forbear to speak, leave off to think,
That I [...] aspire to that high State:
When she is subject to so sad a Fate.
She weeps.

Why these tears Eirene? what have I said?

Enough t'amaze the world! the young Empress
Very well last night, is now sick to Death!
And I her Crown may wear! Her Throne ascend!
Thus you would dazle my simplicity
With thoughts, she dies in complement to me;
Which is a sin, so farr beyond my reach,
So dismal to my thoughts; that I shall try,
Not to outlive the Empress, if she die.
I shall venture that, and if I cannot gain
Her heart: I have a way that will obtain
My end; and then let little people prate,
While Monarchs do transcending joyes create.
[Page 11] Enter Urbitius.
I cannot sleep, nor be at peace within:
Duty, and Allegiance, bids me revenge
Basiliscus blood, our late Monarch, slain
By old Harmatius, to make Zeno Reign;
That his young Son might sit Collegue Inthron'd:
T'out face that murder, by his Father own'd.
A Treason! makes me tremble to relate:
A treachery! their bloods must expiate.
When Subjects Traitors to their Prince do prove,
Those Rebels, other Subjects may remove:
As not oblig'd to them, because they are
Inthron'd; rather despise, who boldly dare,
Scepters usurpe; and then as Tyrants sway,
Because they find, we basely do obey.
If Anastatius will be rul'd by me,
He shall possess th'Imperial Dignity.
His courage, and his conduct, cannot fail,
When wit, and virtue leads, we must prevail.
Yet Art, and Subtlety, should first make way,
Lest others Debts our selves be forc'd to pay.
So that if I in shew a Villain seem;
The good I do, my credit will redeem.
And if, by craft, I fail in my design;
My good old Sword, this work must then be thine.

The Second Act.

The Scene, a black Room, and in it Longinus in black, and a Musician tuning his Lute at a distance.
WAs ever Prince subjected by his Slaves?
Like Zeno, by the Patriarck and his crew.
Who think they must be wise, because they'r old:
And valiant, because their tongues are bold.
But if my project take; I shall, ere long,
Teach their grave-heads a little more discretion.
In jealous times, 'tis no ill policy,
To mingle terrors, with the peoples wishes,
That those who hope, may ballance them that fear.
This Room, this habit, with my sullen brow,
Sufficiently do shew, my discontent;
[Page 12]And may beget such rumors in the Town,
They will invite me to accept the Crown.
What strange noise doest thou make? and why so long?

I tune my strings, Sir, that they may agree.

Pox of agreement, discords please me best;
Thy jarring strings, my fancy will erect,
And sute with the confusions, I design.

Would you to sadness, or to mirth be mov'd?

He plays a merry tune.
Hold, if thou would'st not have thy brains beat out.

Pray Sir tell me, what you would have me play?

Doest thou not see my habit, and my looks?
Can thy shril strings turn scorching fire to Ice,
Which in my brest, like flaming Aetna, burns?
Or can they into trees, and stones put life?
As Orpheus did.

Give me his Harpe, Ile do't.

'Tis well reply'd; now make thy Lute send forth
Sounds, dismal as the work I have in hand;
As black, and bloody, as my troubled mind:
That with each touch, my heart may simphatize.
He playes a sad tune: Longinus sits, and keeps time with his head and feet; and then sleeps while he sings.
The Sun, and Starrs, with wholesome Rays,
All poison from the Earth expel:
But when Malignant Comets Raign;
Warr, Plague, and Famine break from Hell.
Enter Fortune blinded, carrying in her hand a wheele of skie colour spotted with gold, to which is fastened on one side a gold Crown, and opposite to it an Ax; to the handle of the wheele is fastened a gold rod, which Fortune pulling by intervals, as she Dances, makes the wheele turn: To her enters a man drest like Longinus, who dances with Fortune, she, letting down her wheele, seems to offer him the Crown, which he catches at; but by a quick turn of the wheele, is presented with the Ax: Then enters another man drest like Anastatius, who dances with them, and as often as he meets the first Man, bows low to him; but at last comes behind, and trips up his heels. Then Fortune presents the Crown to the last Man: and so all dance off severally.
As Longinus sleeps, his Tablets fall from his hand.
[Page 13] Enter Anastatius a Prayer-book in his hand.
The Fox walks safely, when the Lion sleeps;
This may some secrets to my view impart:
Horror! my hand is frozen with the touch;
Takes up the Tablets, and looks in them.
Whoever reads what is now written here,
Will start, and tremble, though he know no fear.
He reads

Euphemians prediction that Zeno shall be buried alive.

A cruel death, but worse his crimes deserve.

A character of the Royal Parricide. He is a great Courtier, his face deceives his friends. In's Words he's just, but vile in his Actions.

If Heav'n for this great work, should point at me;
He flie to execute their just Decree.

Those who are suspected, presently must die, Euphemian the Astrologer went first, the Orator Gazeus is to follow, Harma [...]ius next, then Pelagius with Anastatius, and the rest.

O cruel Monster! what a Sea of blood
Dost thou design to swim through for a Crown?

Sebastian and Phylargus to be taken into our Councils.

A pair of Villains, only fit for Hell.

Anastatius a plain man, neither fear him, nor trust him, leave him for the last.

This Ile remember, there's your Notes again:
Lays down the Tablets.
Thus forewarn'd; and by others harms, thus taught;
Not to be active now, would be a fault.
Princes, 'tis you, that rouse my drousie thoughts,
To play a part, in this your bloody game;
That I with safety may your ruins see,
Who, only through contempt, do yet spare me.
Enter Urbitius.

Why do you trust your self within these walls?


If I appear not, they will grow jealous.


Does he sleep, or counterfeit? come farther.


He sleeps, and we are out of hearing now.

You must be vigilant, and active too:
You want some Arts, which I could wish you learn.

Say of what nature, and by whom be taught?

By me and thus I will presume to teach.
You must fain Piety, to do this work;
[Page 14]By which, with little hazard, you may gain
Opinion first, and then the Crown obtain.
Honors gate to the subtle, opens wide;
When to the simple, entrance is deny'd.
With smoothed brows, your anger so disguise,
As to imbrace him most, you most despise:
Your eyes with modesty must ever shine;
Your looks most humble, and your words Divine.
Then laugh, when you do greatest malice bear;
And when you d [...]re do most, seem most to fear.
Your craft, like your design, must sore so high,
That no man sees your conquering Eagles flie.
Urbitius no, if Innocence, and Truth,
Will not obtain, what I design to do:
Let th' Empire fall, and all to ruine go.
Enter to them Gazeus, and many Children in black.

Gazeus you come happily to help.

I come sadly to shew a woful sight;
What shall I first present? our private loss,
Or the sick Empires Common safety mourn?

The Common safety, is of most concern.

The heaps of slaughtered carcases, declare,
No man is safe, from Caesars murdering sword.
How long will the slow Deity, suspend
Just thunder, from these men, who will not mend?
Adjourn your wishes for a while, I come,
Boldly to tell Longinus to his face,
These slaughters cry for vengeance on his head.

Where got you this, so brave, undaunted heart?


Whatever shall become of me, Ile do't.

If thou dar'st paint this Monster to the life;
Go on great soul, and be victorious.
See where he sits, alone; his empty house
Shews, that few dare approach him, but his guards.
You need not doubt access: no Woolf denies
Free entrance to the Lamb he will devour.
I wish you well, but doubt ere you return,
Your Orphans may have a new cause to mourn.
I came to visit him, but will retire,
Lest he may think, that you and I conspire.
Exit with Urbitius.

Cry Children, fill the Air with your laments.


Mercy, Prince.


Louder yet.


Mercy, Prince.

Is the Earth cleft, that Devils do ascend?
What's the matter with all these black shadows?
[Page 15]Would you speak with me? Do I govern Hell?
You do mistake. I have no power below:
My Throne cannot be yet erected there.
Until Pelagius feel the weight of this,
I have no claim to that Dominion.
Go Devils, go to your eternal night;
Doubt not, when I arrive; Ile do you right.
They stand. Oh strange! my words are not regarded.

Mercy, Prince.


The Whelps bark, hence Monsters, out.

Here are no Monsters Caesar, but poor Orphans,
Robb'd of their Parents.

Mercy, mercy, Caesar.

Silence these dreadful Brats, or cut their throats.
How comes it, that in Mourning they appear?

Their Fathers are all slain.


How! by the Sword?


Some hang'd, some poyson'd, they had several ends.


Did they die justly?


No, unjustly All.

Call you the Sentence of the Law unjust?
Must not the guilty suffer for their crimes?
If so, then you, great Prince, condemn your self;
For you are guilty of these cruel Murders.
Am I a Murderer? dull Sophister;
By all that's called Sacred, I swear thou liest.
This artifice shall destroy the Artist.
Souldiers, bind that wicked Villain Gazeus.

Mercy, Prince.


F [...]ie like a whirlewind, bastards, out Vipers.


Good Heav'n, revenge our defamation.

Exunt Children.
Longinus, moderate your fierce passion,
And learn to bridle your resentments more:
Till this Empire be in better order,
Order your own bosome, and you're well.
Why will you leap headlong into Hell!
Why seck out sins? why hunt for wickedness?
The space, 'twixt life and death, is very short;
No wicked man was ever happy long.
The peoples blood, which you have spilt, cries loud:
The Maids, and Widows of the Murthered too,
For vengeance call; take heed how you provoke
Just Heav'n, to hurl quick thunder at your brest,
For your contempt, in daring to contest
Those Laws, which are directed from above,
Great Orator! I know your Eloquence:
You can loud Thunder, and fierce Lightning send,
By way of admonition to your friend.
[Page 16]Ile return your kindness, in my own Coin,
Bring a bowl of high colour'd, noble Wine;
The Orator shall drink Ambrosia,
They bring him a bowl of Wine.
To refresh his spirits, spent in discourse.
Souldier, bring him an easie chair; sit, Sir,
And down with your rich Liqour, down with it.

Pardon Caesar.


Drink it all off, or I will poure it down.

Must I drink poyson in a golden cup?
Is this a just reward for Innocence?
A just punishment for a prating knave,
That boldly dares defame his Soveraign.
Dost thou stop? drink it off, or with thy blood
Ile fill the bowl; and make thee drink that too.
Those that trust Tyrants, must perish thus;
I drink Death swimming in this fatal bowl,
Which leads me to sure Liberty and rest.
Thou that defiest Heaven, shalt drink Sulphur;
And be condemn'd unto Eternal flames.
Go now make Speeches unto Lucifer;
Throw the Dog on a dunghil, till he bursts.
Exeunt all but Longinus.
Enter Zeno to him.
Oh vain hope! I dream't of Crowns and Scepters.
My Brother, why, on this great day, so sad?
How comes your Purple, overcast with black?
Black, not to be put off, till drench'd in blood.
Could Pelagius do this? Oh bitter rage!
Caesars only Brother, and the worlds Light,
Is a mean fellow grown, and jest o'th Court!
Sport of the Age! a prey to Pelagius.
Oh monstrous! Do you see? do you look on?
Approve you this? while I die with anger.
Be pacified, and keep your anger in,
He's ne're secure, that does provoke his Prince.
Doubt not my revenge, for that wound lies deep;
Ile not forget, nor shall my anger sleep.

When shall he die? why so slow to punish?


Hatred, allows us time to execute.

Let private men hate. Kings should dart their Swords,
And their sharpe Javelins at offenders throw,
The same moment, they presume t'oppose.
Why do you Raign? what means the world's Scepter
In your hand, is still subject unto fear?
Great and numerous, are Pelagius guards,
Virtue, Innocence, profound Eloquence;
In the greatest storms, a Serene temper;
High in the Senates, and the peoples favor:
[Page 17]Rashly to remove this Pillar now,
Will sure disturb, and may destroy your hopes.
If he be now so formidable grown,
'Tis time he were dispatch'd, lest he grow on.
But if you do consider well, you'l find
Whom the great men, or people do cry up,
Is not much worthy of our serious thoughts;
For Him, they alwayes in high place ador'd,
When falling, do not one good word afford.
The stately Cedar, strutting on a hill,
Gives pleasure, and delight, to every eye:
But when by storms destroy'd, or else cut down,
We see it trampled on by every Clown.
We will consult again, ere it be long:
Eirene does expect me.
Exit Zeno.
Zeno, like men at leasure, may make Love;
His Empire's settled, and his Crown sticks fast:
And yet if proud Harmatius be not check't,
He'l make my Brother smart for this neglect.
But I, who serve at large, am no body;
Must not be lazie in this busie age:
While the Crown does hover ore my head,
To sleep, or to be idle's to be dead.
The Empress, I am told, is very sick;
And if Eirene should supply her place,
All my designs will turn to my disgrace.
Harmatius and Pelagius must both die.
And then slie Anastatius, with the rest.
Must must be done, ere I the Throne ascend:
I have so many Irons hot at once,
I know not which to strike, nor which may cool;
But must, as they within my reach do fall,
Boldly resolve to strike, and ruin all.
Exit Longinus.
Enter the Emperor, with Eirene: their Servants stand off.
How ill your Actions with your Words agree;
While with such gentleness you flatter me?
My Brothers Purple from his shoulders torn,
His Diadem on black Longinus head
Is plac'd; my Father from the Army call'd;
And I no doubt have some sinister Doom:
That our whole Family, may at own push
Be tumbled down, and the great debt cancell'd.
— Is this the redompence, the high reward,
My Valiant Father so well merited:
When in the head of all his Legions,
He the late Tyrant slew, by your command,
[Page 18]And put his Scepter in your hand?
You are too violent, in these exclaimes,
And do presume too farr, to blow the flames
Of my pure love, into so great despair;
As may beget the mischief which you fear.
All that is past, I can as yet recal,
And make the Ruine, on the Advisers fall;
If your hard heart, will now at last consent,
To be my Partner in the Government.
The terror of Longinus bloody deeds,
My fear, and apprehension farr exceeds.
Now you your Brother, your Copartner make;
Mankind must tremble, and the Earth will shake,
Under the mighty weight of crimes so great;
As the sole Empire only can compleat.
My faithful Father, and my Brother gone;
Who then has Caesar to support his Throne?
If this advice be from Eirenes heart;
Caesar would have no need of more support.
I know Longinus nature, and his rage,
I know he is the terror of this age;
I know my life, and Empire is his aime;
And I know how to counter-play his game:
I therefore took him to me, on the Throne,
Safely to bring him to destruction.
Your Brother was remov'd, on this consult,
Your Father was call'd home, as in disgrace.
But come, He shall Longinus place supply;
Eirenes frown, shall be his Destiny.
If my fair Saint will let me sacrifice
An Hecatomb of sighs, to her bright eyes,
And not turn from me, with so strange disdain;
My life, and Empire, will unmov'd remain.
Great Sir! what can your humblest vassal say?
How can I duty, and obedience pay,
Beyond my prayers to Heav'n, for your repose,
And for the Empress quick recovery?
Who languishes under an unknown grief,
In pains beyond relation, or belief.
Madam, we must all die, and so must she,
To my great grief, (if Heaven do so decree.)
Till time these arguments for tears remove,
I shall no more assault you, with my Love.
Exit Zeno.
[Page 19] Enter Anastasius.

How got you out of Zeno's nets so soon?

I talk'd him into frights, to free my self,
And sent him hence more laden with his cares,
Than Love; I saw his flatteries thrown out,
In hope to bring his wicked ends about.
But by you warn'd, of our approaching harms,
I was secur'd, from his Infernal charms.
Courage, gives luster to your Innocence;
And both shew virtue glorious through the world.
Madam, the Empress does congratulate
Your safety, as her own; and does advise,
You do avoid occasions for surprise:
She knows, against the Tyrants arts, no spell,
But patience, can prevail; you are yet safe:
And if the Army fail not, we shall try
The Fates decree, for a quick destiny.
I shall attend the Empress, and there shew,
That I can suffer, and dare boldly die;
If you do not subvert this Tyranny.
Enter Basiliscus.
Welcome Brother, you wear a cheerful face,
As if not sensible of your disgrace.
To frown for an affront, beyond the reach
Of my revenge; would teach the jealous Foe,
How to direct, and fix a second blow.
No, no, Eirene, though I wear no purple,
Yet I may tear the Crown from Zeno's temples.
Our Father's on his March, he'l come to Court,
And take no notice yet, of my disgrace,
But wisely calms the tempest in his brest,
That he may Zeno, and Longinus feast
Ere long; and then in publick, will repeat
His last Victory, with the Foes retreat:
That done, He will demand my place i'th' State,
And take, what they will offer him too late.
Bravely resolv'd. But I must not be seen.
Longinus spies do carry Argus eyes,
And may soon frustrate your design, if I
Appear consulting with your Family:
But, if you want my help, I shall be near,
Till when, it is not prudence to appear.
Madam, unless you give me your commands,
He not Act yet, but be a looker on.
[Page 20]
'Tis most unfit that you anticipate
The grand design, on my command; I know
My Father wants not skill to execute,
What he contrives for our security.
I only pray, that no more blood be spilt
By him, than what will wash off Zeno's guilt.
Exeunt severally.

The Third Act.

Trumpets afar off.
Enter Zeno, Longinus, Sebastianus, and Train.

CAesar, the noise drawes nigher.


Like armed Troops.


They sound a charge.


What can this alarum mean?


Th'Imperial Standard marches in the Van.


A curse upon this Army, to revolt now.

Enter Urbitius.

Caesar, Arme.


May fatal Armes orewhelme thee.


And why Arme?


The Earth groans under men.


We'l make them groan,


Great Harmatius in the front appears.

I am amaz'd! what if his Son should meet him?
The injur'd, degraded Basiliscus.
How will just grief inflame the old mans soul?
Sure he will storm the City in his rage.

To stop him, we must use some stratagem.


I, Brother. What!

Enter Anastasius.

Caesar, the Troops approach.


Owl, why doest thou screech so?


I hear the Trumpets plain.


Peace, thou Infernal Screech Owl.


Pardon, Caesar, I meant not to offend.


How shall we divert these Rebels?

Let that be my care.
[Page 21]I'le send this Army from the City walls,
And will as suddenly disband them too.
Harmatius shall in peace now come to Court,
And free from jealousie himself insnare.

By what device?

'Tis not yet ripe, nor have we time to talk:
Let my head be the forfeit if I fail.
Go on, if Fortune crown thee with success,
Half mine is thine: thou wilt deserve no less.
All go off but Anastasius and Urbitius.
A prosp'rous gale attends on our designs.
Do you not mark, how these thick sculs contrive
Our work; and hasten on their own destruction?
Yes, this great work has its success from Heav'n.
Zeno dreads Harmatius, (that Son of Mars.)
His Brother an immortal grudge doth bear
To grave Pelagius; their Fates decreed:
The Brothers are resolv'd, those two shall bleed.
Will not the Senate, and the people love
Those, who destroy these wicked Emperors?
And by so bold an Act, this Empire free
From farther bloodshed, and from slavery.

The Destinies design you to do it.

I, a poor Screech Owl, or a Buzard am!
In the two brave Brothers estimation.
Yet with the Vulture, I may change my vote,
And learn some tragick tunes, in hope to fright
Those two inhumane Butchers, with my sight.

But tell us how Harmatius must be caught.

Briefly thus, I'le find out Basiliscus,
And in the sordid pickle he is in,
Send him to his great Father in the Camp;
Where you, and I will be, to aggravate
The young Mans sufferings, which must needs inrage
Harmatius, to resolve a quick revenge;
Or by some private stratagem return,
The Cruel Princes treachery, with scorn.
Look, the Colours begin to move this way,
Hast to congratulate his safe approach,
And till his Son comes, keep him in discourse.
Exeunt severally.
Enter Harmatius and Officers.
Souldiers, we must not sack this Royal Town;
It is enough that we have reach'd the walls:
To carry in these Armes, our Laws forbid.
Let us thank Heav'n, for this our safe return,
[Page 22]After so many Victories obtain'd;
And not imbroil our Country in a Warr,
For private wrongs done to my Family.
Your love to me, and courages, I know:
Your very looks have gain'd what I desire;
My Enemies already are subdu'd:
None dares oppose, the Gates do open stand,
The City I command; and yet not I:
Victory follows, where your Eagles flie.
Enter Urbitius.
Welcome great General, best of Souldiers,
Our Eastern Empires safety, and support,
May Heav'n propitous be to your intents.
This Armies glorious Actions, and your own,
By all the East are fear'd, as well as known.

My Lord, no Courtship. Is all quiet here?

No. Our old evils are reviv'd again,
Th'Imperial Brothers rather Rage than Reign;
Your Daughters honor's violently prest;
Your Son with scorn, and insolence thrown out;
Our great, and best men, murder'd ev'ry day:
And to increase this Fatal Tragedy,
The worthy Empress, must by poyson die.
'Tis in your will, and in your power alone,
To save this Empire from destruction.

I have heard something of these ills you name.

Enter to them, Anastasius and Basiliscus in ill Clothes.

Can this possibly be He? Oh my Son!


Oh Father!

They imbrace.
I am amaz'd! what alteration's this?
How came you in this sad condition, Son?

Oh the wheel of Fortune!


What dares Fortune against me?


What ever horrid Envy dares attempt.

Whence all this sadness? whence these meager looks,
And ragged mournings, dark as night it self?
'Tis Zeno's work: the Brute was then inrag'd,
Or he would not have sentenc'd him, unheard.
In a full Council, without cause produc'd,
He did condemn, and pronounc'd me guilty,
Took off my Robes, and so degraded me.

Oh Monstrous! so inrag'd against a youth.

Then banish'd me from Court, and bid me wear
Poor Clothes, much fitter for my quality.
[Page 23]The grief of this brought me to what you see.
My wrongs cry loud to you, Sir, for revenge:
In which my heart, and hand, shall active be.
Unhappy Son! has Zeno broak his faith;
And dar'd to throw such high contempts on me?
Soldiers, to Armes, to Armes bring fagots in,
We now will fire the Palace o're his head,
And make that faithless Monarch perish in't.
Ungrateful Zeno, to reward me thus!
What could this tender youth attempt 'gainst thee?
It was indeed a barbarous decree,
So to bereave us of a hopeful Prince.
Though the Tyrant rage, thou my Son shalt Reign.
To Arms, while my inraged angers up:
We'l bring confusion on false Zeno's head.
I'le make the Tyrant know, 'twas I alone
That with this Sword, did set him on his Throne;
And with this Arme come now to pull him down.
Castor, give orders out for an Assault:
We'l purge the Castle, and the Town with fire,
Till with the Tyrants blood, we quench the flames,
Leave no remembrance of them, but their Names.
But whither do I headlong cast my self?
My passion swells beyond all moderate bounds,
Down, down my heart, and calmly smother this
Affront; till I get Zeno in my power:
That men may see, I can subdue my self,
With the same courage which has conquer'd others.
Thus stay my fury, to preserve my friends,
Until some way for my revenge be found,
To separate the rotten from the sound.
We do all know, your power upon your self,
Who can best judge, when passion reason rules.
The tumults in the soul cannot discern
High acts of Justice, from such mean revenge,
As great Harmatius ever scorn'd to own.
If by the force of Armes you do prevail,
How can your Friends from Enemies be known?
Shall the just and unjust have the same Fate?
Shall our Records to after ages tell,
That your Country by your last Conquest fell?
And in this noble Cities ruin hide,
All your past glories, and this Nations pride.
You do confirm me, and I will consult
On my second thoughts, which you now advise.
Why should we run the hazard of a fight,
When our work may be better done by smiles?
Caesar wants no friends, nor guards about him;
[Page 24]The Palace strong, the City too in Arms:
If you assault, they'l fight you.

For a Tyrant?

Their present fear will soon forget that Name,
And their concern forgive past injuries.
When they see our devouring Swords prevail;
Who knows what then to hope, or what to wish?
Thus, we by force compel them to oppose,
Who else would joyn, to throw the Tyrant out.

'Tis most just, you should have satisfaction.

That we agree: But let us make sure work.
Your Countries rescue, and your Sons great wrongs,
And blood of Innocents, for vengeance cry:
But the way to't, is worthy our consult.

Give me your opinion, how I shall proceed.

Dissemble your resentments; go to Court
As you were wont, unarm'd, only with ten
Of your best Captains. You have friends in Court,
To justifie what ever you attempt,
Men you can trust, of power and credit there.
Then let your Captains at the Court, present
A Military Dance, who when you stamp,
May kill the Tyrant; then of course you Rule.
Your Army ready, and your Party arm'd,
Who dares dispute your title to the Crown?
Something like this may be contriv'd, and done.
I shall in part now follow your advice;
I have it fuller than you yet design.
Castor, let all the Army be refresh'd
In the next Villages; and there attend
The Trumpets sound: I will remove to Court.
Send ten of my best Captains after me,
Men of try'd courage, and fidelity.
Basiliscus, you shall go along too;
Thou shalt lead up this Military dance,
And with thy Dagger there thy head advance:
If we can but throw this great Tyrant down;
Thine shall then be his Scepter, and his Crown.
All go off, but Anastasius, Castor, and Souldiers.
Ye noble Sons of Mars, this Empires life,
On whose courage our Countries Liberty,
And happiness, securely does rely;
'Tis your triumphant troops preserves us all.
No rewards can equal this your virtue,
No praises reach the honor you have wone,
All that my place or credit can procure,
I freely offer you. This gold, accept it,
As a small testimony of my Love:
[Page 25] Castor, pray see it be distributed.
I wish much happiness, and mirth to all.
Castor and Sould. all

Long may brave Anastasius Live and Rule.

'Twere well, if we had such an Emperor:
Such golden showers are rare, in this our age!
Enter Zeno, and Urbitius in discourse.

Sir, you shall find, what I relate, most true.

My fear is over, now I live again
I do imbrace, and hug this subtle Plot:
Let the Rebellious Captains play, and dance;
And let Harmatius lead the Masquerade.
That crafty, wise, victorious General;
Shall play his Master-piece, and in it fall.
I, on my Couch, will their spectator be,
To Judge their Revels, and pertake their sport,
Until my Q, calls me to act my part;
Then strike this Dagger through Harmatius heart.
Let all our guards be ready with their Arms,
Let the Nobility incompass me,
And let Longinus, his assistance give.
The Empires safety must not now rely
On me alone; one pillar cannot bear
So strong an Enemy, invading it.
In the art of Empire, Caesar's the great Master;
To Rule by Virtue, Riches, and by Armes,
Shews, that your Counsels move by powerful charms.
Enter Sebastianus.
Sir, Harmatius begs leave to kiss your hand;
Longinus sayes, He's ready to fall on;
And that your stout old Guards, highly inrag'd,
Denounce quick ruin to your Enemies.

If all be ord'red, let Harmatius come.

Enter Longinus with the Guards.

Behold the Souldiers are already Arm'd.

Brother, I see your friendship, and your faith.
Your Souldiers, now so loyal to their Prince,
Must not appear, until the Dance be done.
I'le give the sign, then suddenly rush in,
And carry off Harmatius, with the rest.
Take care the Palace Gates be well secur'd.

All shall be safe, and done, as you could wish.

[Page 26]
'Tis well, now we are so ripe for action,
In his own stratagem, we'l take the Traitor.
My anger, and revenge, shall then fl [...]e out,
To shew the world, how dangerous it is
Thus to awake the Destiny of Monarchs.
But now no more; with smooth and gent'e looks,
I must imbrace this Monster; here he comes.
Enter Harmatius, and Officers.
I bless Heav'n, that Harmatius is return'd,
By whose Illustrious actions! Zeno lives.

How rarely he does act the Hypocrite?

Welcome to Court, welcome much more to me:
After so many Victories obtain'd;
'Tis time brave Man, to dedicate your Sword
To Peace, and in your Prince's bosome rest.
Great Sir, our Eagles with your fortune flew,
And all our Victories we owe to you.
Those Neighbours, who so boldly did intrude,
By Zeno's Name, and Arms, are now subdu'd.
And Sir, your Troops do in their quarters stand.
Ready to march, where Caesar shall command.
Now let our Bosoms, and our Hearts imbrace:
And place this Lawrel, on Harmatius head;
Put on him a Garland.
Which only He of me has merited.

Were ever crafty Foxes better match'd?


See, Brother, where the God of War appears.


Harmatius, I reserv'd your place next me.

They all sit.
Enter Mars drawn in a Chariot: by him the Masquers sleeping.

What sad Solemnity does Mars present?

I come, great Caesar, to implore your aid.
You see, how sad, and dull my Chariot looks:
An high oppressing grief, has conquer'd Mars.
I spy'd these Champions, on the Thracian fields,
Whom neither voice, nor Trumpet sound could wake:
I then their Fate of Phaebus did inquire.
Who said, they were by a Circean Charme
So bound, that by no means they could be wak'd,
Till they by the best Captains Sword were touch'd:
Then should they soon unfold the Fates Decree.
By you, the great Commander of the world,
This Charm can only be dissolv'd; your Sword
Can only bring these Warriers unto life.
[Page 27]
Great Souldier, draw your Sword; this mighty work
Speaks to Harmat.
Belongs to you, by you these Captains must be freed.
Your pardon, Caesar, for in your presence
My Power determines. Only Caesars hand
Can free these Captives from their sleepy Charm.
I'le equally decide this great contest:
Harmatius Sword will do't, in Caesar's hand.

Caesar commands Harmatius, and his Sword.

Delivers it to Zeno.
Zeno with Harmatius Sword touches the sleeping Captains, they wake.

Thus I dissolve the dull Charm. Souldiers, wake.

Hark, how the Trumpets summon you to Arms!
Good day to the Heroick Sons of Mars:
Your dead sleep's over, thanks to th'Emperor;
The sole procurer of your happiness.
First Capt.
Great Emperor, while Mars's Planet shines,
His Progeny shall honor, and serve you.

Now present Caesar with a warlike Dance.

Mars leading, they dance two by two, and deliver their Swords to Mars, who gives them into the Scene: At the end of the Dance, they draw their Daggers, and deliver them to Mars. Then Longinus whispers to Zeno.

To Arms: The business, and the time requires't.

Souldiers, to Arms, your Emperor's betray'd;
First sease Harmatius, then his fellow Traitors,
Load them with Irons, till they cannot move.

Caesar will hear me speak, ere He condemn.


Caesar a dreadful Name will prove to thee.


I vow by Heav'n, that I am innocent.


Take hence the Traitor, we do know enough.


Harmatius plotted to take Zeno's life.


I know no guilt.


Guilty of the highest Treason.


Urbitius, discover what you know.

Oh thou great Ruler of the World! who seest
The hidden secrets of the Subtlest hearts,
And wilt revenge the perjuries of men;
Let Thunder strike me dead, if I speak false!
Harmatius, much inrag'd for his disgrace,
And his Son's being degraded from the Throne,
Did, by this Martial Dance, plot Caesar's death,
And order'd Basiliscus to strike first.
Now, mighty Souldier, plead your Innocence,
Equivocate, and swear you are not guilty.
Treason's no Crime, in your Heroick heart.
Caesar, I now discern this, Plot is yours;
You sent your instrument, this fawning Dog
Urbitius, to dissuade me from revenge,
[Page 28]In the Noble way, I did design it;
Lest I should spill the blood of Innocents,
Which, by my Sword, might fall with Murtherers.
'Twas he, not I, that did contrive this Plot,
By your advice; who now condemn me for't.
Here, here, I offer up my naked brest:
Let out my soul. For my inraged heart;
Contemns the little time I have to live.
I scorn to beg a life that's thus betray'd;
Yet blush to be so Childishly destroy'd.
After such dangers and such Battles won;
To place so great a Devil on the Throne!
My Son, 'tis nobler much, to die with me,
Than to live longer here, with Infamy.
Living, I made your Actions my Examples;
And boldly, now in Death, I'le follow you.
Thou art my Son, I see, that canst prefer
Thy honour 'bove thy life; to die with me;
Who boldly slew one Tyrant in the field,
And to this Tyrant do disdain to yield.

Lead them all off to Execution.

Exeunt Prisoners.

Captain, make hast, let one Ax serve them all.


That pestilent tongue does much disturb me.


A few minutes will ease you of that pain.

'Tis well; and so am I, for now I live.
Sebastian, publish you Harmatius Plot:
Let some cajole the credulous people,
Who ever joyn with those, that first complain.
Urbitius, take the gold that lies within;
With that, and all your art, appease the Souldiers,
Who for their General's Death will be inrag'd:
Bid them be Loyal to the Crown, and Me.
I will reward their best fidelity.

I shall loose no time to serve my Royal Master.

Exit Urbit.
Brother, you shall with me ascend the Throne;
That, when I die, you then may Rule alone:
But we must first remove Pelagius.
That I'le soon do, I have a trick for him.
He has forsaken Christ, and worships Iove:
There shall be Witnesses to prove it true;
Though he be no more guilty of't, than you.

But will it look like truth, as you propose't?


Leave that to me, it is my great concern.

If your design succeeds, the Villain dies.
Be sure you trust safe Agents, and dispatch.
Oh! the Destruction of my Enemy,
Shall neither want dispatch, nor vigilance.

The Fourth Act.

Enter Empress, Patriarck, Anastasius, Urbitius, and Doctor.
I Have already done, what does become
A wife, by such addresses, as did shew
His safety was indanger'd by his crimes;
And my concern for him exprest so high!
That he was startled at the tears I shed,
And seem'd, as if he were admonished.
Madam, the zeal, and duty you have pay'd,
Does more inrage, than mitigate a man,
That Warrs with Heav'n: 'Tis treasure that we want;
And only you can that supply; to win
The discontented Army, to protect
Your life, the Empire, and our Nation save;
Ere Zeno, all into confusion turn.
Does our Religion wives impower to force
Their Husbands will? Though Zeno's sins cry loud,
Can I his Scepter sway? Shall I controul,
What Heav'n alone to Monarchs doth allow?
Such a presumption, may create in me,
A greater crime, than Zeno can commit.
Religion bids me, to my Fate submit.
Religion binds your Majesty, and us,
To save our selves, and our posterity,
From ravening Woolves, that do the world annoy;
And such as will, in time, mankind destroy.
We do not invite your Majesty
To act with us; but to impart a Loan
Of so much money, for the publick good,
As may stop the effusion of more blood.
If our designs go higher, than to set
You free from Death, and all from slavery;
Then let the Evil, which your Virtue dreads,
With all its weight, be lay'd upon our heads.
I am no man of blood, 'tis Piety
To wish, that our great Monarch may,
As Heav'n directs, his Royal Scepter sway.
My Lords, what you allege concerning me,
Urges my safety by Impiety.
If Heav'n have, by a Tyrants will, decreed
That I must die; I am content to bleed.
[Page 30]
'Tis a kind of self-slaughter to comply
With Murderers; not Heaven's will so to die.
Now you are warn'd, and may your death prevent;
Your yielding weds his crime, by your consent.
I value not my Treasure, nor my Fate,
Above your lives, and safety of the State,
But doubt the event of what you safety call;
And fear lest Zeno, by my money fall.
Do but secure that doubt, and all I have
Shall be at your command: For I dare trust
Your Honours, that your Actions will be just.
While I, who cannot judge so great affairs,
Will guard my Innocence, with timely prayers.
Madam, you will do well, to fain some pain,
Lest Zeno find his poyson does not work;
And so grow jealous of my subtlety;
Who do perswade him 't works invisibly.
'Tis hard to counterfeit to save my life;
It looks so like a crime, to own a lie;
My blushes will discover't though I die.
Urbitius, and Anastasius stay.
'Tis strange how Fortune favors our design!
I carry Zeno's money to the Camp,
And, in your Name, bestow his Donative.
Now say, what Oratory I must use.
Go, and be prosp'rous; say Harmatius fell
By the Emperial Brothers treachery;
Who envying his great Actions, instead
Of recompense for all his services,
Destroy'd him, and his Son; and do intend
Speedily to reduce their Legions too,
For the same cause they slew their General.
Incense them all you can, inrage their Spirits,
And by these Arts, invite them to revenge.
Then profer all my fortune, with my life,
To justifie their General and them
I soon shall have dispatch'd all these commands.
Make hast to be elected by the Army.
Go: when Pelagius comes, Ile follow you,
And bring with me, another shower of gold;
To quicken their resolves, and fix them more.
Exit. Urbit.
Did ever gale blow prosperous like this,
In midst of such great storms, to convey me
Thus to my wish'd Port? — Is this Fortunes work?
Or my own act, begotten in my soul?
Th' effect of that bright spark of living Air;
That sets bold men, to struggle with theie Fate,
And so, do our own Destinies create!
[Page 31]Thus I'le go on, and raise my vulgar earth
Unto the skies: there like the Sun I'le shine,
And Rule the World below. I have been here
Tramp'led upon, by Men as meanly born,
Tyrants, who let none live, but those they scorn.
Enter Castor and Souldiers at one door, Urbitius at the other.



Oh, the plague of Tyranny!


Why against Tyranny do you exclaim?


Can Princes thirst for their best servants blood?


By Heav'n you rack me: What sad news d'ye bring?


It is too big to utter all at once.

Pray let us know it. If we must grief sustain
This expectation, is the greater pain.



How I shake! What of Harmatius?


I [...], by the cruel Brothers put to death.

Harmatius! the terrour of the East!
Our General slain, for Conquering Caesar's Foes!
Sure such ingratitude was never known,
To one, that plac'd a Caesar on his Throne.

'Tis so, he knew no crime, but serving him.


How came Harmatius into Zeno's power?

The usual way with Tyrants (trechery.)
Zeno most kindly welcom'd him to Court,
To entertain him there, prepar'd a Masque;
Then Armed men, when Zeno gave the word,
Rush'd in, and put Harmatius to the Sword.
Souldiers to Arms, to Arms: with Sword and Fire
We will revenge our General, and hurl
Confusion on the Tyrant Traitor's head.
Beat up the Drums, we'l march immediately.
Castor, restrain revenge till we consult,
For you must know, the Palace is secur'd,
The Guards are doubl'd, and the Town in Arms;
All the Nobility adhere to Caesar.
You know the great uncertainty of Warr:
And if we should prevail! in storming Towns,
Who can distinguish Friends, from Enemies?

Shall Zeno then escape our just revenge?

No, but th [...] a readier way to do it.
We all know Anastasius, for a Man of Honor, Virtue, and undaunted Courage,
A Souldier of great Conduct, and much wealth;
If you will swear fidelity to him,
He'l shew us the opportunest time to move:
[Page 32]For by those Murderers he's fear'd, and hated.
He gladly will imbrace Harmatius cause,
With your defense; and pull those Tyrants down.
I to the Army bring this gold from him.
And if Heav'n prosper his, and your resolves,
Thus bravely to revenge Harmatius death;
He will reward your merit, to your wish.

We chuse brave Anastasius Emperor.


We chuse brave Anastasius Emperor.


With Anastasius will you live and die?


To Anastasius we will swear Allegiance.

Farewel brave Sons of Mars, I'le now acquaint
Great Anastasius, our new Emperor,
With your Election, and fidelity.
Exit. Urbitius.
Souldiers, now trail your Colours, and your pikes;
Let our Drums beat, as at a Funeral:
And let the Trumpets, like to Screech Owls, shreek.
Harmatius fall'n, the Wars have lost their pride;
And some must bleed, ere we be satisfi'd.
Enter Pelagius.
Why does my mind misgive me, to do well?
What fear is this recals, and pulls me back?
My soul assures me, my intent is good,
As great. Why tremble then? why thus dismaid?
My business is my Countries cause; and I
By Heav'n am chosen to this publick work;
And I will do it boldly, though I die!
Zeno by me shall know his cruelty.
The Kings Chappel opens.
The Chappel opens. 'Tis a happy Omen:
No time is lost, when we implore Heaven's Aid.
Here I shall take new courage, raise my heart;
And cheerfully resign my self to Death:
To have Longinus glutted with my blood,
I shall not grudge it, for my Countries good.
He takes a little Crucifix from the Altar in his hand, and kneeling, falls into a Trance.
Two Angels descend, with a Choire of Angels behind them singing thus.
First Angel.
Great Champion of the Church, your prayers are heard,
And for your head a glorious Crown's prepar'd:
Go on, fear not the rage of Tyrants words;
Nor tremble at the sight of naked Swords.
Second Angel.
[Page 33]
Let not your virtue doubt, Heav'n will assist:
Those minutes, that you loose will not be mist.
When you shall see the glory where you go;
You will rejoyce, that you were Murder'd so.
For now you will, as guilty, be drawn hence;
And soon be slain, in spight of Innocence;
Then a Choire of Angels, shall to Heav'n bring
Your soul; and, as you do ascend, Shall sing,
Shall sing, shall sing, shall sing, &c.
The Angels ascended; Pelagius continues in his Trance.
Enter to him Longinus and Anastasius.
Oh admirable Piety! Look Sir!
How prostrate at the Altar he implores
Heav'n, for a blessing on us all!
Rest has so seas'd upon his troubl'd soul,
He looks as pale as death, and scarce does breath.
You blockhead, go, and leave me to my thoughts
Exit Anast.
The Beast is freely come into my Toyles.
Thou wretched lump of Earth, thou now shalt die.
Pray, weep, sigh, and tire Heav'n with calling on't;
Use all thy Eloquence, here's none to help:
None from my hand can now deliver thee.
Draws his Dagger.
Thou Instrument of my revenge, so oft
Drench'd in blood of Innocents; thy point
Must search this Villains heart; and so ease mine.
He proffers to stab him, but holds.
What trembling seases my undaunted soul?
He offers again, but stops.
My troubl'd heart does shake, I know not why,
And doubts to do this little, petty sin;
Like Children, who at first, blush to do ill:
But I, that since I suck'd my Mothers milk,
Have fed on Humane blood; to startle now,
And have a Palsie in my hand, is base.
My Enemy shall not escape me so;
He must not live, that would not have me Reign.
Goes hastily to stab him, and stumbles, and rises quickly.
You Damn'd Infernal powers, strengthen my Arm,
Or you will loose a Proselyte of me:
Assist my force, or else my treachery.
The time, the place, his Trance does prompt me to't:
[Page 34]To testifie my guilt, here's none looks on,
Nor any to excuse his Innocence,
Come, Iupiter, and Act in my design;
He takes the Image of Jove from his bosome, puts a Letter in the Image.
Thou shalt contest with all the Powers Divine,
To make Pelagius guilty of the Treason
Which dead Harmatius letter, here inclos'd
Will charge upon him. I'le now call Zeno.
He takes away the Crucifix, and puts the Image in Pelagius hand.
Enter Zeno, Sebastianus, and Anastasius with a Guard, they meet Longinus going out.
Caesar, come this way. Look, my Lords, pray look,
How prostrate he does worship mighty Iove!

Can he adore a rotten Image thus?


Is this the grand design of that grave face?

Heav'n! Do I dream, or see this impious man?
Pelagius, Pelagius, wake, and rise.
Pelagius answers in his Trance.
Mercy, oh mercy on this shaken Empire!
Pitty us; let not thy just Thunder fall.
What, do you so much fear the Thunderer?
Now we see, why our Empire is so plagu'd;
This close Idolater does worship Iove.

Restrain the fury of these cruel Brothers.


You hear what prayers he makes, and yet he lives!


Why does he thus long breath infectious Air?

The only happy, and Religious Man!
The pattern of all Piety, and Prudence;
The Idol of the Court; scourge of the Times!
Try, Souldiers, to wake this zealous Saint;
That we may hear some news from Iupiter.
The Souldiers wake him.
Who disturbs this my blest ecstasie?
— How's this? What horrid treachery is here?
What Villain has bereav'd me of my God,
And put this cursed Idol in my hand?
Throws it down and kicks it.
Oh! are You here? then my wonder's over.
Thou Heathen, we have now discover'd thee,
Who, under the presense of greatest zeal,
Adores in private a false Deity.
I hate alike, this wickedness and thee:
Nor at your Plot upon me do I tremble,
Though I am subject to your Tyranny:
My soul's so strongly arm'd with Innocence,
That I can smile, when you do threaten most.
[Page 35]
Souldiers, take him into your custody.
This Confidence will not outface your Guilt.
The greatest Malefactors often do,
When their known Crime's discover'd, talk like you.
Lay not rude handson me, who boldly dare
The Guard hold him.
Appear, wherever you dare carry me.
All I desire, is but a Legal Trial;
That Heav'n and Earth may judge of my Defence,
And see your Cheat upon my Innocence.
Though I despise to live, I would not die
Under the scandal of such Infamie.

You shall be tri'd by Law, as you desire.


What's here?

Longinus finds the Letter in the Image.
Harmatius to Pelagius.
Treason plotted against Caesar's Life!
Know'st thou Harmatius his hand? Speak, Traytor.

Thou Traytor, know'st thou thy own Treachery?

Sebastian, put Guards upon the Villain;
And let the Souldiers be in Arms all night.
Lead him off.
Exeunt Soldiers with Pelagius.

This is well.


As could be wish'd.


Longinus, you shall Reign, let Envy burst.

Unless he suddenly be put to death,
The People may soon rise, and rescue him:
He's their Favourite, and his Faction strong.
Hasten his Trial with what speed you can,
And let his Judges be our choicest Friends.
Your Reason, and your Caution, I approve.
Enter to them Urbitius from the Camp.
Urbitius, how go our Affairs abroad?
Your Gold has charm'd the Souldiers hands, and hearts;
They wish you an eternal happiness:
They have forgot Harmatius, and desire
To spend the Remnant of their Lives in Peace.
Some Troops of their best Horse and Foot, well arm'd,
Are at the Port, and humbly do beg leave
To Exercise before your Majesty,
At your Brother's Feast, and Coronation.
Bring you 'um in, to solemnize our Feast:
And they shall be as welcom as they wish.
Urbitius, I have Favors for thee here.
So soon as this Days Solemnity is past,
Thou shalt my Love, and Bounty, amply taste.
All go off but Longinus.
Fortune, thou art my Saint; Thee I adore!
Upon thy Change my Happiness depends.
[Page 36]Awake my Heart, and be not sluggish now:
'Tis Fortune that directs this time to strike
Pelagius down, that he may rise no more,
To question my Election to the Crown.
My Brother's slow in this Affair of State;
I would not have his Justice come too late.
Enter Zeno and his Doctor.

How dar'st thou disappoint my hopes thus long?

The ling'ring Poyson was by your command:
You told me it must have some Days to work,
That no suspicion might arise on you.
I could have soon prepar'd a little Dose,
That instantly would have dispatch'd her Life:
But then, Physicians would have plainly seen
Ill Symptomes on the Body of the Queen.

Well, you have set me right. How does it work?

As you and I could wish: She languishes,
Her Vital Parts decay; and, undiscern'd,
Her Soul, within few days, will slide away.
Few days! I cannot stay so long. This night
It must be done; I have great reasons for't.
Therefore prepare your quickest working Dram.
She [...]ong enough has linger'd; ease her now,
In pitty, from her pain, which troubles me.
Go, see her dead, or never see me more.

That were a Curse.

Exit Doctor.
I'm now for my coy Mistris.
What words, what looks, will suit with her sad heart,
And my known guilt? I must now visit her,
Though her great Fathers bloody Ghost stood by,
To threaten Vengeance for my Cruelty.
He goes to her Chamber, and finds her with a Dagger in her Hand: He proffers to kiss her Hand.
Touch me not, Monster: Though I am thy Slave,
Thou shalt not send me sulli'd to my Grave.
Here is my Refuge, this is my Defense,
To guard my Honour from thy Insolence.
What Force, what Insolence appears in me?
If Love encourag'd me to kiss your hand,
Is that a Crime you so much startle at?
My Father, and my Brother, slain by thee;
What can I hope for, at thy bloody hand?
Shall all the Blood, by mad Longinus shed,
Be call'd my Crime? be charg'd upon my head?
[Page 37]Heav'n can attest, how much against my will
Your noble Father, and your Brother fell.

How this! were not you Author of their Deaths?

Longinus, jealous of my love to you,
Doubted I would your Brother reinthrone;
And, by your Fathers power, would cast him down.
From hence this mischief grew; and that black deed
Will ne're be cancel'd, till Longinus bleed.
And if Eirene please, I'le yet prevent
Longinus, from ascending on the Throne,
And bring him to the Barr; where you shall Judge.
No, Sir, let Heav'n his punishment Decree,
That can best judge his guilt. My miseries
Are grown so great, they'l not permit my eyes
To look upon so soul a Sacrifice.
How then, shall my unspotted heart appear?
How be acquitted, if you be not there?
When his guilt's seen, your innocence will shine;
And if you spare not him; (so near alli'd;)
'Twill undeceive me, and my doubts decide.
But Sir, the Empress is so very ill,
That I was sent for twice, ere you came in:
I begg your leave, that I may wait on her.
Exit Eirene.
How glad am I she's gone; her Innocence
Out-witted all my studi'd Eloquence;
And gave no credit to the lie I made.
But yet Longinus may (when he is Crown'd)
Own this black fact, and cleer me of the guilt.
And if this satisfie Eirene's rage,
I may by other arts her heart ingage.
— But stay, Longinus has a subtle head,
To search into the mysteries of State;
And must not rashly be ingag'd this way:
I dare not teach him how to disobey.
My Love, and my designs together grow:
But which to cherish most, is hard to know.
This is a dangerous Amphibious growth:
In stead of gaining, I may loose them both.
Love is the Childe of fansie, and of hope;
Remove the cause, and the effect will cease;
If she deny but once again! She dies:
Better she mine, than I her Sacrifice.
Exit Zeno.

The Fifth Act.

Enter Zeno, Longinus, Sebastian, Urbitius, Proclus, Phylargus, who sit as a Court of Iustice: five Youths, and Souldiers stand off.
MY Lords, I have appointed you this day
For Judges, in a Cause of high concern;
To assist Heav'n, and justice of our Faith,
Which droops, and staggers, through vile practices
Of wicked men; who in contempt of God,
Do worship Iupiter, here in our Court.
If we let such Impiety escape,
We must expect Heav'ns Judgments on our heads.
Bring forth the guilty pris'ner, to the Bar.
Sebastian, you shall be our Substitute.
Zeno gives his place to Sebastian.
Pelagius is brought in.
If hearts, and faces, ever did agree,
I should quit Pelagius; but I must Judge by proofs.
Come on, young Men, what is't you testifie?
1st. Youth.

I saw him worship Iove, this I depose.

2d. Youth.

He did adore Iupiter in my sight.

3d. Youth.

I swear he did.

4th. Youth.

And so do I swear too.


Is all your proof a company of Boys?


I saw him prostrate before this Image.


Which I attest.


And I.

Eight witnesses,
Saw his Idolatry, and prove the Fact.
The Idol had a Letter in't. Read that;
Which, with his other crime, will prove the Treason.
Proclus reads the Letter aloud.

Harmatius to Pelagius.

To what a sad condition the Empire is reduced, I understand by yours, What would you know more? Tyrants are at the Helm: I am almost overwhelm'd with grief: my Family is utterly disgrac'd: and I my self cannot be safe, but by the Death of those that thus oppress us. When you hear [Page 39] the Trumpet sound, you will have a Leader, You know the rest. In the mean time, look well about you.


Thou hater of our God, doest thou hear this?
What sayst thou Villain? Shall the Trumpet sound?
Or shall Longinus Reign? that dreadful Comet!
Alas, what desolations will he make?
Oh thou infection of the Air! is this,
What your grave face did agitate so long?
Is this your ridged superciliousness?
Your Heav'nly looks? O thou dissembling wreth!
At length thy holy Cheats are come to light;
And thou, detected for these crimes, shalt die.
I do believe it has been long design'd;
And 'tis no wonder, when two Tyrants Reign;
Who forge a guilt, and then condemn me for't.
I am accus'd to worship Iupiter;
This ugly Idol, which I trample on.
He takes it, and treads on it.
My honest, and religious life, declares
My Faith unto one only Deity;
Who, by his Word, did Heav'n and Earth Create.

Heathens have been good men, as well as you.

I do serve Him, who can judge us by our hearts:
That God will manifest my truth, and faith.

How will he do it? by a Miracle!


Yes, by this Image; read, what proof it makes.

He takes up the Idol, and gives it to Proclus, who reads the Inscription aloud.

This for Longinus, was by Lawsus grav'd.

Longinus draws at Proclus.

What falshood there dost thou pretend to read?


I read, but what th'Ingraver has here writ.


Thou liest.


Judge by the Character, I'le sit no more.

Exit Proclus.

Stay Proclus.


Let him go.


Caesar, the workman ought to be produc'd.


Souldier, immediately bring Lawsus hither.

'Tis said, that he was poyson'd yesterday,
But not yet known by whom 'twas done.
By whom, but by Pelagius; can it be?
This subtlety must not our Justice sway:
He hop'd by this to hide his first great crime.
My Lords, what think you? [...]s Pelagius guilty?

He's guilty of Idolatry, and Treason.

[Page 40]

Then take him off; carry him to the Block.

Virtue and Truth are over-reach'd by Fraud:
Longinus will this Treachery applaud;
That when my blood is spilt, he may ascend
The Throne, and put the bloody purple on.
But, Princes, you that laugh men to their graves,
The God you scorn, and daily thus provoke,
Will soon reward you with Eternal flames.

Stop his railing tongue, we will hear no more.

His soul, now struck with fear, trembles at death,
And shakes his tongue, to talk distractedly.
Come, Brother, let us go: the Royal Robes
Are ready, and the Ceremony stays.
Thou art mistaken, miserable wretch:
I despise death, and can laugh thee to scorn,
Who triumph'st in the vanity of hopes,
And dreamst of glories thou shalt never reach:
For thou shalt never be an Emperor.
And Zeno shall unsettle, by my death,
This Empire, which he governs now in Peace.

He vomits plagues from Hell, ere he comes thither.


Lead him off to Execution.


We loose time.

All go off but Pelagius, and Guards, with an Officer, the Scene opens, and a Scaffold is seen; they lead Pelagius up.

Come, Sir, 'tis time you should be on the Scaffold.

'Tis what I wish for; Oh accursed Times!
When Piety, and Truth, are counted Crimes!

Dispatch: we have no time for Homilies.


Indeed such time would be mispent on you.

He puts up a false head, which is cut off.
The Scene is shut, enter an Officer, a Souldier meets him with Pelagius head cover'd.

Whither in such haste? What hast thou hid there?


I am conducting this head to Council.


Do heads consult after they are cut off?


Yes, the rest of his Cabal attend him.


But where, I pray, does this great Council meet?

Zeno has appointed them the high Tower
Upon the Western wall; thence to survey
The Country, which their wisdoms thought to sway.
Exit. Sould.
These are horrid Jests! wickedness so great!
I tremble at, what they do make their mirth.
Each day does some new cruelty produce,
Barbarity makes custom, and excuse.
Exit Officer.
[Page 41] Here passes o're the Stage, by two and two, several Mourners, Men and Women sadly weeping; to take up some time, before the next Scene, which else would follow too soon after the last. Pelagius body is carryed, and his son Erastus chief Mourner.
The Funeral gone, Enter Zeno, Longinus, Sebastian, Anastatius, and Urbitius.
The Scene changes, and there appears on poles, upon the Town wall, the Heads of Harmatius, Basiliscus, Pelagius, Gazeus, and the Eight Captains.
Are not those heads well plac'd upon the walls?
Look, what a pompous, dismal shew they make:
Had but Harmatius head a Crown upon't,
It would, now in that posture, aw the World.

This gastly spectacle delights me much.


Your eyes are not more highly pleas'd, than mine.


This is a joyful Coronation day.

Now these are dumb, who dares deny the Crown,
Which Caesar on his Brother has bestow'd?

Let them frown now, and threaten us from thence.

Do, thunder out your Judgments, and insult;
Defie your Princes, bid them be discreet,
When your great Wisdoms next in Council meet.
Lust, and Ambition relish well, but still
Give me Revenge on all that cross my will.
Zeno walks proudly on the Stage, looking on the Heads.
So walks the Royal Lion, when in's rage
He has chastiz'd his Rebellious Vassals.
Ha! Those heads are not fix'd upon the walls:
Pelagius nodded at me.
'Twas your fancy:
Your Joy does work too much on your success.
Thou tel'st me true: My Joyes do swell too much.
My eyes could dwell upon Pelagius head.
For though his blood have satisfi'd my Rage;
It cannot yet my Anger disingage.
So does the valiant Cock triumph, and crow
O're the dead carcass of his conquer'd Foe.
So basest Cowards bragg, and boldly boast;
When Enemies are slain, at others cost.
[Page 42]
'Twas of great use, that I consulted Hell;
Which caus'd me make so many Funerals.
Had not my Sword been glutted with their blood,
Where those Heads stand, mine might have stood.
Come in, my Lords, this shall be Holiday,
My Brothers happy Coronation feast;
On which, we'l Revel out the Day, and Night.
Nobel Sebastian, you shall be my Guest:
And, Anastasius, you shall fill me Wine,
And be my Ganymede, while this Feast lasts.

A very high perferment, as it proves.

And, Urbitius, to morrow you shall be
The Captain of our Guard. This night we'l Revel.
Let not a serious thought divert our hearts
From those high jollities! we have prepar'd.
With Songs, with Masques, with Banquets, and with Wine
This Night in Glory shall the Sun out-shine.
All go off but Anastasius, and Urbitius.
Do you prepare the Souldiers for their shew.
Mean while, with richest Wine, I'le fill his Bowl:
Which shall be done so often, and so full,
His soul may swim to Paradise in Wine.
Be sure you get the Troops in readiness.

Where must we attend?


Under the Palace wall.

Exit Anastasius.
So may the Destiny of Tyrants run,
No dangers ere foresee, nor power to shun
The Judgement for their crimes, by Heav'n sent;
Though by the worst, and meanest Instrument.
The Scene Changes.
Here the Souldiers appear.

I see the Souldiers are already come.


Stand, give the word.




On the Wicked.

Welcome brave Souldiers, all is ready now;
This Feasting time, our Post is order'd here:
Here we must fix, till Anastasius come.
Then call to mind, how great Harmatius fell,
And then, send all his Murderers to Hell.
Hark! the Trumpets sound unto the Banquet.
Make ready, and stand close, till I return.
The Scene Changes.
He places the Souldiers, then Exit.
[Page 44] Enter Zeno, Longinus, Sebastianus, as at a Banquet, drinking.

Brother, I drink a Kingdom to you here;

Long life, and health attend the Emperor.
Here's my Brothers health to you, Sebastian.

Health, and highest happiness to Caesar.

Here Bacchus is Drawn in a Chariot by Alexander and Antony.
See, Bacchus triumphs over Conquerors,
And looks as big as if he did disdain
Those Emperors, who now adorn his Train.
Give me a full bowl: This Falernian Wine,
Than drunken Bacchus self, is more Divine.
Lets drink, till we become his Captives too,
And draw with Antony, and Alexander.
Fill, Anastasius, let the cups go round:
Thou hast a sober face, so grave and wise,
As if thou did'st our jollities despise,
And mighty Bacchus powerful charms contemn.
What Mortal will contend? or who dares try
Great Bacchus force, after this Victory?
The Gods this noble Liqour made,
Mens melancholy hearts to aid;
To make you frolick, and set free
Feom cares and fears Captivity.
We, who with Liquid weapons fight,
T'imbrace, and hug, is our delight.
When I the strongest do subdue,
Fresh cups, our friendship does renew.
Ere we depars, the Victor still
Submits unto the Captives will;
And a new Battle by consent
Appointed is, in complement.
This Liquor of life invites us to sing,
This cheers the hearts of the Begger, and King.
Then toss off your Bowls, and merrily tell,
How Bacchus his slaves do Monarchs excel.
[Page 44] Enter the Patriarck.
Princes, what mean these tumults in the streets?
Is this a time for Mirth, and Revelling?
Why suffer you this fool to trouble us?
Remove his peevish age, from our contempt.
Go, Souldiers, take that doting Coxcomb hence.
Your time will not be long after this Feast.
Stay, give the prating Priest a Bowl of Wine;
And make him one of our Society:
This health, is to your rev'rend baldness:
Sit down, old fellow, drink it off at once.
Here's none will tell of thy good fellowship.

Caesar will soon repent this mockery.

Here seven Blackamore Boys, in Turkish or Morisco habits, dance.

Pluto's black Boys have prettily perform'd—


These Devils dance like Angels to my eye.

Enter young Basiliscus his Ghost.
Heav'n! and Earth!
Can those that Murder'd us, Revel, and Feast?

What shrill voice is that, which strikes through my ears?


'Tis Basiliscus, come to visit thee.

Thou'rt come to fetch a mouthful of fresh Air;
Draw near, you're very welcome, pretty youth.
Set him a Chair, and fill him a full Bowl,
To cheer his heart, and colour his pale cheeks:
Such handsome Ghosts may prove good Company.

To whom does Caesar speak? this Wine's too strong.


Caesar, thy time is short: Prepare to die.

Speak angry.
Why angry? thou hast no cause to threaten.
I sent thee from the troubles of this world;
To rowl on Roses, in the Elysian fields:
Where Innocence is treated with delights.
We, who in blood, for Monarchies on Earth,
So fiercely do (by wongs for right contest,
May well expect to smart, when we expire.
Thy Fathers crimes, and mine, may so contend
For the Supreme Command; when I descend:
But thou, sweet Boy, hast no just cause to frown,
Freed from the Evils that attend this Crown.
[Page 45]

Do not my looks yet terrifie thy soul?

Such terrors are remov'd by a full bowl.
So, now say on, I am prepar'd to hear
The worst thou canst denounce, and scorn to fear.
Give me another Bowl: Thus doubly arm'd,
Takes a bowl in his hand.
What news from Hell? how fares Harmatius?
Does he command? and govern as he [...]ifts?
Shall we be Princes? or his Vassals there?
Speak, Boy, and pledge this health; here's to thy Father
And his thin Subjects. He deserves to be
Prince of Shadows, that let us out-wit him.
As he Drinks, Harmatius Ghost appears before him.
Do, do, drink deep, for thou shalt drink no more;
Look here, here! thou Tyrant, look, and tremble.
Zeno shakes and trembles, rises, and lets fall his Bowl.



What means this Aguish extasie?


Do you not see him? how he stares, and frowns!


Sir, I see nothing: Can your shadow fright you?

Longinus 'tis a gastly shadow! that!
The voice, that bold Harmatius thunder'd with!
The Ghosts vanish.
His head's disturb'd with Wine, and now creates
Ideas of those shapes his heart abhors.

Come let us drink, and let the Maskque go on.

Zeno sits again drowsie, while the Satyres dance, the Imperial Crown and Robes are brought in for Longinus Coronation, and placed on a Table.
Caesar now minds me not, and my design
Calls me away to fetch the Army in:
And try if Heav'n approve of my intent,
In Crowning this great work by th'event.
Exit Anastasius.
The Satyres dance again: that done, a Souldier comes in haste.
Harmatius Souldiers have broke down the Gates,
Your Guards are beaten, and the Palace wone;
Fly, Princes, fly, All is in confusion.
[Page 74]

Oh desperate! Brother, fly.


No Brother no, 'tis fitter now to Die.

They draw and go out.
A Charge sounded.
Enter Anastasius, Castor, Urbitius, Proclus, with Souldiers their Swords drawn.
This was a quick, and easie Victory.
Let each man take a sev'ral way to find
The Tyrants: else, our work is but half done.
Exeunt severally.
Zeno enters beating oft the Guards, and follows them.
Enter Longinus, his Sword drawn and he bloody.
The Gates are so secur'd, I cannot pass.
Bold Sebastian is slain in the attempt.
Pelagius, now I find thou wert a Prophet.
I am persu'd and have no way to scape.
What is become of Zeno? I know not.
Anastasius comes in.
Turn this way Monster, 'tis the Screech Owl calls;
The Blockhead, you contemn, brings now thy fate.
Th'art a brave Enemy, singly thus
To hazard, what thou hast so surely gain'd.
They fight, Longinus is slain, falls, is carryed off.
Enter Officers, and Souldiers, with Urbitius wounded, and Zeno Prisoner.
The Heav'ns do fight for Anastasius:
Let Anastasius be our Emperor.

Let Anastasius be our Emperor.

Castor, to you, for great Harmatius sake,
I do commit that blood shedder, take him,
And when he sleeps convey him to the Vault,
Where all the men he murd'red, are inter'd;
And while he sleeps, there cain him to the ground,
That when he wakes, the terror of his Deeds,
May some remorse beger, and make him pray.
They carry Zeno out.
[Page 47]
Great Prince! when I am dead, remember me;
And know, there be two kinds of Tyranny:
To do injustice, when 'tis understood,
Is the next Tyranny to shedding blood.
I am now paid, for my presumptous guils;
And find, that Criminals unjustly brought
To Judgment; though by the same arts they rise,
Is not by Heav'n approv'd: and therefore I,
For doing good by evil wayes, must die.
And thus too late I find, None may contend
With Princes, but the God whom they offend.
He had good principles, but ill imploy'd:
Though I have partly prosper'd by his Arts,
I do not in my heart approve such frauds.
They put the Robes and Crown, brought for Longinus, on Anastasius.

This Crown, and Robes, will fit our Emperor.


Let Anastasius Rule the Universe.

My thanks to Castor, and to all the rest.
Since Heav'n has our Proceedings thus far blest;
'Tis fit we see that wicked man interr'd
Alive, as his own Astrologer foretold:
That Ceremony done, the next will be,
To set the Empress, and Eirene free.
The Souldiers carry off Zeno drunk, and asleep: Anastasius and the rest follow.
The Empress Chamber is seen, in it the Empress, and Eirene.

'Tis strange, we hear no more of this Alarm.

This tumult in the Campe makes Zeno fret,
And stout Longinus tread unsteedy steps.
We are now driven to great Exigents:
Yet 'tis much better to die Innocent,
Than live by wicked, and foul practices.
I doubt by condescending to those Lords,
I have done ill, when I did them supply;
Who gave their words, that Zeno should not die.
Madam, could you do better, than to lend
Your treasure, which those Lords distributed
To th'Army, to preserve us and the Empire?
But if that Zeno in his cruelty,
Shall still persist, what would you have them do?
[Page 48]
I would not save my own life by his death,
I am much readier to die, than he.
Nor can my heart consent to shedding blood,
Though my own life in competition stood;
But when I know that Zeno has design'd
By force to take, what else he cannot gain;
I must prevent, lest he my honor stain:
And hope your Majesty will give me leave,
That I this great Impostor may deceive.
What hope for me, what surety can remain,
After my Father, and my Brother slain?
I must confess, when I consider well,
How great Harmatius, and your Brother fell;
The various, stories which each party makes
Of that sad night, look like a dismal guilt
On both sides (yet their blood was justly spilt.)
If Zeno were assur'd of their intent;
He, by their ruins, did his own prevent.
In the first Failer was the crime;
To share the Empire was my Brothers right:
And Zeno, when he did depose the youth,
First taught the Treason, and discourag'd truth.
So that, if we will raise our own Concerns
Upon the fate of those who stand, or fall;
We must take time, to see the end of all.
And then, as Heaven can better judge than we;
Let us observe, and yield to that Decree.
Eirene, thou art happy, and art blest
With virtue, and with judgment 'bove the rest
Of our weak Sex; and art, no doubt, the Care
Of Heav'n, which will secure thee from disgrace,
And, for thy sake, preserve this wicked place.
Madam, if I have ought, wherein to boast,
It came from you; and if I be not lost
In this confusion; unto your virtues,
I owe my preservation, and success:
For those, whom you take care of, Heav'n will bless.
Enter to them Anastasius Crown'd, and his Train.
Madam, by Zeno's, and Longinus deaths,
This Crown, plac'd by the Army on my head,
Takes his Crown and offers it to her.
Is yours, and I, as much your Vassal now,
As heretofore; with these, who ready stand
To obey, what our Empress will command.
Empr. weeps.
No, Anastasius, all my thoughts of State
Are vanish'd, all involv'd in Zeno's fare;
But if your words do with your hearts agree,
[Page 49]I shall believe this Crown belongs to me.
She takes the Crown.
And as my gift, this and Eirene take;
Who did refuse, this glory, for my sake:
When Zeno us'd his power, and art to stain
Her honor, which his Empire could not gain.
Madam, this mighty gift would weigh me down;
Unless Eirene did support the Crown.
He receives the Crown and Eirene.

My joys for Anastasius are too great.

May you be blest, and happy in your love;
While I to a retired life remove.
I have too much of this World's glory seen;
And too long been a chief Actor in it.
Madam, this Crown, and the Imperial Throne,
Is by your gift mine, and is still your own.
All go off.
The Scene is chang'd into a dismal Vault, set round with Coffins, in each a dead corps; in the remote part, a small Lamp burning: in the front, next the Stage, is Zeno sleeping his leggs chain'd to the ground: at one corner on the outside a Guard stands. Zeno wakes.
Is't not yet day? This night seems very long:
That little Lamp does give so faint a Light,
I cannot well distinguish what I see,
Longinus, Proclus, do none give attendance?
Is Caesar, by his Servants, no more fear'd?
Ha! where am I? In Fetters, and alone;
Either I Dream, or I do dimly see
A dismal Vault, surrounded with dead Corps.
Euphemian, thy Prediction is too true.
Would I had stab'd my self, when I slew thee.
This is the Tomb, he fatally foretold,
I should alive be buried in. Horror
Dazels my eyes, or else, among the dead,
I see Longinus in that next Coffin:
He's buried too, but not alive, like me.
How I came hither, is beyond my guess.
What, ho! who guards this prison of the Dead?
1 Sould.

They need no guards, we only wait on you.


Then give me drink, to quench my raging thirst.

2 Sould.

So we may keep you company in chains.


By whose command do you starve me to death?

1 Sould.

By th' Emperors command, He sent you hither.


What, have you any Emperor but Zeno?.

2 Sould.

Yes, Anastasius Reigns, you are in your grave.

Can these Changes be since yesterday?
[Page 50]And by him. I least fear'd, of all mankind.
When died my Empress?
1 Sould.

Sir, she is very well.


The Doctor said, she would die yesterday.

2 Sould.
No, Caesar, no; you were out-witted there:
To her the Doctor was more merciful.

And in these changes, what's Eirene's fate?

1 Sould.

She Reigns with Anastasius.

Curse on Curse
Light on them both; Does he injoy Eirene?
To be despis'd, and laugh'd at in my Grave
Is worse than Death: and to be thus Dethron'd,
Tortures me more, than Hell it self can do.
— Were not you, Souldiers, of my Guard?
2 Sould.

We were.


I'le make you Princes, if you'l let me out?

1 Sould.
We dare not trust your Promise, nor your Power:
We remember how you serv'd Harmatius,
And his young Son, who set you on the Throne.
You reproach me justly, I was misled:
Longinus has destroy'd himself and me.
Good Souldiers, be so kind to Murder me.
2 Sould.

We shall then forfeit our Allegeance;


How durst you break the Oath you made to me?

1 Sould.

So long as you were Emperor, we were Loyal.

If Heav'n and Hell would let me Reign again,
I would not govern, as I did before
With Childish mercy, to spare any Man.
Princes, whose Pleasure is their Law.
Must let none live, who dares dispute their Will.
Had Anastasius, and Urbitius died,
Castor, and Proclus, had not now Rebell'd:
Had the old Patriarck, and Eirene bled,
I had Reign'd long, and not been thus destroy'd
By those, whom I, through love, and pitty spar'd.
2 Sould.

You should consider, where you are going.


Canst thou direct me, whither I must go?

1 Sould.

Sir, I can wish, that you would try to pray.


For what?

2 Sould.

Your soul,


My soul! prithee what is that?

2 Sould.

'Tis not our Trade to Preach.

Nor mine to Pray.
Heav'ns gate is shut 'gainst all that I can say.
— You will not kill me then? not let me out?
1 Sould.

No, we dare not.

To fall from all the Glories of the Earth
Is sad; but to be buried quick, to starve,
[Page 51]And in this horrid Vault to linger on;
Here to indure the terrors, which my Crimes
Do now present to my affrighted Soul,
Is Hell it self, or worse than Hell can be.
Oh! that the world might sink with its own weight!
Death, where art thou? I will stay no longer,
But boldly charge thee, and out-face thee thus.
Zeno thrusts his Mantle into his mouth, and choaks himself,
Enter the first Ghost, drest as at first.
So, so; now my Prediction is fulfil'd,
And all those Monarch killers, are now kild.
I shall descend in Peace, and there remain;
Unless you wish to see me here again,
Turns to the Pit.
To shew the World, how Vengeance does persue
Those, who their hands in Princes blood imbrew.

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