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Harpax. At your pleasure.
Theoph. Yet when I call to mind you never
In things more difficult, but have discovered
Deeds that were done thousand leagues distant
When neither Woods, nor Caves, nor secret Vaults,
No nor the power they serve, could keep these
Or from my reach or punishment, but thy Magick
Still laid them open ; I begin again
To be as confident as heretofore.
It is not poflible thy powerfull art
Should meet a check, or fail.
Enter a Pries with the image of lupiter, Caliste,
Harp. Look on these vestals,
The holy pledges that the Gods have giv'n you,
Your chaft fair daughters. Wer't not to upbraid
A service to a Master not unthankfull,
I could say this, in spite of your prevention,
Seduc'd by an imagin'd faith, not reason,
(Which is the strength of Nature) quite forsaking
The Gentile gods, had yielded up themselves
To this new found Religion. This I cross'd,
Discover'd their intentions, taught you to use
With gentle words and mild perswafions,
The power and the authority of a father,
Set off with cruel threats, and so reclaim'd them :
And whereas they with torments should have dy'd,
(Hels furies to me had they undergone it) afide.
They are now votaries in great Iupiters temple,
And by his Priest instructed, grown familiar
With all the Mysteries, nay, the most abstruse ones
Belonging to his Deity.
Theoph. 'Twas a benefit
For which I ever owe you, Hayl loves Flamen:
Have these my daughters reconcil'd themselves
(Abandoning for ever the Christian way)
To your opinion !
Priest. And are constant in it:
They teach their teachers with their depth of judge-
And are with arguments able to convert
The enemies to our gods, and answer all
They can object against us.
Theoph. My dear daughters.
Califte. We dare dispute against this new sprung
In private or in publick.
Har. My best Lady, Persever in it.
Christeta. And what we maintain,
We will seal with our bloods.
Harp. Brave resolution :
I ev'n grow fat to see my labors prosper.
Theoph. I young again : to your devotions.
Har. Do My prayers be present with you. Exeunt Priest and Theoph. Oh my Harpax.
daughters. Thou engine of my wishes, thou that steeld'nt My bloody resolutions, thou that arm'st My eyes 'gainst womanish tears and soft compassion, Instructing me without a sigh to look on Babes torn by violence from their mothers breasts To feed the fire, and with them make one flame : Old men as beasts, in beasts skins torn by dogs : Virgins and matrons tire the executioners, Yet I unsatisfied think their torments easie.
Har. And in that, just, not cruell.
Theo. Were all scepters
That grace the hands of kings made into one,
And offered me, all Crowns laid at my feet,
I would contemn them all, thus spit at them,
So I to all pofterities might be cald
The strongest champion of the Pagan gods,
And rooter out of Christians,
Har. Oh mine own,
Mine own dear Lord, to further this great work
I ever live thy Nave.
Enter Sapritius and Sempronius.
Theo. No more, the Governour,
Sapr. Keep the Ports clole, and let the guards be
Disarm the Christians, call it death in any
To wear a sword, or in his house to have one.
Semp. I shall be carefull Sir.
Sap. It will well become you.
Such as refuse to offer sacrifice
To any of our gods, put to the torture,
Grub up this growing mischief by the roots ;
And know, when we are mercifull to them,
We to our selves are cruell,
Semp. You pour oil
On fire that burns already at the height.
I know the Emperours Edict and my charge,
And they shall find no favour.
Theop. My good Lord,
This care is timely, for the entertainment
Of our great master, who this night in person
Comes here to thank you,
Sap. Who, the Emperour ?
Har. To clear your doubts, he does return in
Kings lackying by his triumphant Chariot ;
And in this glorious victory, my Lord,
You have an ample share : for know your son,
The ne're enough commended Antoninus,
So well hath fleshd his maiden sword, and dy'd
His snowy Plumes so deep in enemies blood,
That besides publick grace beyond his hopes,
There are rewards propounded.
Sap. I would know
No mean in thine, could this be true.
Har. My head answer the forfeit.
Sap. Of his victory
There was some rumour, but it was assured,
The army pass'd a full dayes journey higher
Into the Country.
Har. It was to determin’d;
But for the further honor of your son,
And to observe the government of the City,
And with what rigour, or remiss indulgence
The Christians are pursu'd, he makes his stay here:
For proof, his Trumpets speak his near arrivall.
Trumpets afar off.
Sap. Hafte good Sempronius, draw up our guards,
And with all ceremonious pomp receive
The conquering army. Let our garrison speak
Their welcome in loud shouts, the City shew
Her State and Wealth.
Semp. I am gone.
Exit Sempronius. Sapritius. o I am ravish'd With this great honour! cherish good Theophilus This knowing scholler, send your fair daughters, I will present them to the Emperour, And in their sweet conversion, as a mirror, Express your zeal and duty. A leffen of Cornets.
Theoph. Fetch them, good Harpax.
A guard brought in by Sempronius, fouldiers lead
ing in three Kings bound, Antoninus, and Macrinus carrying the Emperors Eagles, Dioclelian with a guilt laurel on his head, leading in Artemia, Sapritius kifes the Emperors hand, then embraces his fon, Harpax brings in Califte and Christeta, loud Mouts.
Diocle. So, at all parts I find Cæfarea Compleatly govern'd, the licentious souldier Confind in modest limits, and the people
Taught to obey, and not compeld with rigour ;
The ancient Roman discipline reviv'd,
(Which rais'd Rome to her greatnesse, and proclaim'd
The glorious Mistresle of the conquer'd world :)
But above all, the service of the gods
So zealously observ'd, that (good Sapritius)
In words to thank you for your care and duty,
Were much unworthy Dioclefians honour,
Or his magnificence to his loyal servants.
But I shall find a time with noble titles
To recompence your merits.
Sap. Mightiest Cafar,
Whose power upon this globe of earth, is equal
To loves in heaven; whose victorious triumphs
On proud rebellious Kings that stir against it,
Are perfect figures of his immortal trophees
Won in the Gyants war ; whose conquering sword
Guided by his strong arm, as deadly kils
As did his thunder; all that I have done,
Or if my strength were centupld could do,
Comes short of what my loyalty must challenge.
But if in any thing I have deserv'd
Great Cæfars smile, 'tis in my humble care
Still to preserve the honour of those gods)
That make him what he is : my zeal to them
I ever have expressed in my fell hate
Against the Christian sect, that with one blow,
Ascribing all things to an unknown power ;
Would strike down all their temples, and allows them
Nor sacrifice nor altars.
Diocl. Thou in this
Walk'st hand in hand with me, my will and power
Shall not alone confirm, but honour all
That are in this most forward.
Sap. Sacred Cæfar,
If your imperial Majesty stand pleas'd
To showre your favours upon such as are