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the father-in-law of the royal youth. So obscure
had been the former condition of Phocas, that the
emperor was ignorant of the name and character of
his rival: but as soon as he learned, that the cen-
turion, though bold in sedition, was timid in the
face of danger, “Alas!” cried the desponding
prince, “if he is a coward, he will surely be a
“ murderer.”
... Yet if Constantinople had been firm and faithful,
the murderer might have spent his fury against the
walls; and the rebel army would have been gra-
dually consumed or reconciled by the prudence of
the emperor. In the games of the circus, which
he repeated with unusual pomp, Maurice disguised,
with smiles of confidence, the anxiety of his heart,
condescended to solicit the applause of the factions
and flattered their pride by accepting from their
respective tribunes a list of nine hundred blues and
fifteen hundred greens, whom he affected to esteem
as the solid pillars of his throne. Their treache-
rous or languid support betrayed his weakness and
hastened his fall; the green faction were the secret
accomplices of the rebels, and the blues recom-
mended lenity and moderation in a contest with
their Roman brethren. The rigid and parsimo-
nious virtues of Maurice had long fince alienated
the hearts of his subjects: as he walked barefoot
in a religious procession, he was rudely assaulted
with stones, and his guards were compelled to pre-
sent their iron maces in the defence of his person.
A fanatic monk ran through the streets with a
drawn, sword, denouncing against him the wrath
and

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*

and the sentence of God, and a vile plebeian, who represented his countenance and apparel, was feated on an ass, and pursued by the imprecations of the multitude”. The emperor suspečted the popularity of Germanus with the soldiers and citizens; he feared, he threatened, but he delayed to strike; the patrician fled to the sančtuary of the church; the people rose in his defence, the walls were deserted by the guards, and the lawless city was abandoned to the flames and rapine of a nocturnal tumult. In a small bark, the unfortunate Maurice, with his wife and nine children, escaped to the Asiatic shore, but the violence of the wind compelled him to land at the church of St. Autonomus" near Chalcedon, from whence he dispatched Theodosius, his eldest son, to implore the gratitude and friendship of the Persian monarch. For himself, he refused to fly: his body was tortured with sciatic pains “, his mind was enfeebled by

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revolution, and addressed a fervent and public C-2

prayer to the Almighty, that the punishment of his fins might be inflicted in this world rather than in a future life. After the abdication of Maurice, the two factions disputed the choice of an emperor; but the favourite of the blues was reječted by the jealousy of their antagonists, and Germanus him

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eyes of their agonizing parent. At each stroke
which he felt in his heart, he found strength to
rehearse a pious ejaculation: “Thou art just, O
“Lord, and thy judgments are righteous.” And
such, in the last moments, was his rigid attach-
ment to truth and justice, that he revealed to the
soldiers the pious falsehood of a nurse who pre-
sented her own child in the place of a royal in-
fant *. The tragic scene was finally closed by the
execution of the emperor himself, in the twentieth
year of his reign and the fixty-third of his age.
The bodies of the father and his five sons were cast
into the sea, their heads were exposed at Constan-
tinople to the insults or pity of the multitude, and
it was not till some signs of putrefaction had
appeared, that Phocas connived at the private
burial of these venerable remains. In that grave,
the faults and errors of Maurice were kindly in-
terred. His fate alone was remembered; and at
the end of twenty years, in the recital of the
history of Theophylact, the mournful tale was in-
terrupted by the tears of the audience *.
Such tears must have flowed in secret, and such
compassion would have been criminal, under the

46 From this generous attempt, Corneille has deduced the intricate web of his tragedy of Heraclius, which requires mere than one representation to be clearly understood (Corneille de Voltaire, tom. v. p. 3co.); and which, after an interval of some years, is said to have puzzled the author himself (Anecdotes Dramatiques, tom. i. p. 422.).

47 The rovolt of Phocas and death of Maurice are told by Theophylact Simocatta (l. viii. c. 7–12.), the Paschal Chronicle (p. 379, 380.) Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 238-244.), Zonaras (tom, ii. l, xiv. p. 77-80.) and Cedrenus (p. 399-404.),

reign

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