Act 5, Scene I


The war with glory ended, and Cosroe,
Acknowledging his fealty to Charinus,
Dismiss'd in peace, returns to Persia:
The rest, arriving safely unto Rome,
Are entertained with triumphs: Maximinian,
By the grace and intercession of his uncle,
Saluted Cæsar: But good Dioclesian,
Weary of pomp and state, retires himself,
With a small train, to a most private grange
In Lombardy; where the glad country strives
With rural sports to give him entertainment:
With which delighted, he with ease forgets
All specious trifles, and securely tastes
The certain pleasures of a private life.
But oh, Ambition, that eats into,
With venom'd teeth, true thankfulness and honour,
And, to support her greatness, fashions fears,
Doubts, and preventions to decline all dangers,
Which, in the place of safety, prove her ruin!
All which be pleased to see in Maximinian,
To whom his conferr'd sovereignty was like
A large sail fill'd full with a fore-right wind,
That drowns a smaller bark: And he once fall'n
Into ingratitude, makes no stop in mischief,
But violently runs on. Allow Maximinian all,
Honour, and empire, absolute command;
Yet, being ill, long great be cannot stand.