Saint Eustache, Martyr
NOTE ON THIS WORK: It appears that the original manuscript of this early work of Rizal no longer exists and may have been destroyed in the bombardment of the Second World War. It had, however, been published in installments in a magazine, Cultura Social of Ateneo University.
Rizal produced this play in Spanish poetic verse in 1876 from a Spanish prose translation of an original Italian work when he was fourteen years old as an exercise in composition given by Father Francisco de Paula Sánchez.The work is taken from a book published by the José Rizal National Centennial Commission: Rizal’s Poems published in 1962. I have taken the liberty of spelling out the numerous abbreviations in that work sacrificing poetic meter for comprehension by readers whose felicity in the English language may find such words difficult to comprehend.
Saint Eustache, Martyr
Hadrian . . . . . Emperor
Eustache . . . . Roman General
Titus . . . . . . . Younger Son of Eustache
Flavius . . . . . Older Son of Eustache
Claudius . . . . Friend of Flavius
Cornelius . . . Favorite of the emperor and rival of Eustache.
Metellus . . . . Friend of Eustache
To the Reader
It was not vanity that impelled me to put in verse this religious and useful tragedy entitled Saint Eustache. My only desire is to learn how to versify, to find out if I could be a child of the Muses, and to be useful to my fellow men. In this drama, here and there, you will find an inappropriate word to criticize, a verse harsh and poorly constructed, obscure expressions needing illumination, and similar defects characteristic of a new and inexperienced writer. Moreover, what can I do? My limited talent, my meager numen [In Roman mythology an indwelling, guiding force or spirit. -- rly] , and my little command of the Spanish language, for it is no my mother tongue, do not furnish me with abundant poetic speech, or rich expressions; because, besides not being endowed with a lively imagination, I also lack good taste and I am very young – fourteen years going on fifteen.
Criticize my work, kind and indulgent reader, but not the plot. It is true that the verses are mine, the rhymes are mine, but the plot does ot belong to me. If its author, whose name I do not know, would learn that his tragedy was put precisely in rhymed verse, and consequently unworthy of the beautiful and appropriately chosen plot, be kind enough to forgive me; because beauty and ugliness, when placed side by side, will form a contrast in which the former will project while the latter will be humbled.
I have not put in here any thought of mine or any new idea, excepting the sixth scene of Act V, which you may preserve if it pleases you, and if, on the contrary, it displeases you, you are at liberty to reject it.
Patience, reader; I am nothing but a child, and the work of a child is, in general, nothing but childish; it has nothing good to offer. Moreover, I have seen a tragedy staged only once, and the only one I remember having read in Prometheus, written by Aeschylus, Greek. Pardon my boldness if, at the age of fourteen, I dare to write and enter the enlightened as well as delicate company of poets, orators, historians, and rhetoricians; and if you do not lay aside your just anger, be informed that I am sufficiently punished by my ignorance.
I did not do it for presentation to the public and so that I may not be censured, no; on the contrary I wrote it in order to keep it for many years and so that all may correct me who dare to do so, for I agree with Horace who says:
. . . . . Si quid tamen olim
Scripseris, in Metii descendant judiceis aurea,
Et patris, et nostras; nonumque prematur in annum,
Meinbrauis intus positis. Delere licebit
Quid non edideris: nescit vox inissa reverti. 
Hail, oh, Creator of Heaven and Earth, you my dear benefactors, sweet friends of my lost childhood, friends of my present youth, dear relatives: Peace, welfare, and health.
To you I dedicate my insignificant work; accept it as a token of my sincere and docile love; deplore with me my ignorance; have pity on my limited ability. This is my first finished work, but perhaps incomplete. I dedicate it to you, for I have nothing else to give you, besides my affection and my heart. I hope you will not despise it: Consider the desire of the one who dedicates it to you rather than its value. And you, my beloved professor, Father Francisco de P. Sánchez, S.J, receive my sincerest gratitude, certainly insufficient to compensate you for your efforts.
And thou, Martyr of Calvary, my gentle Redeemer accept the life of a martyr, written by thy servant for thy greater glory.
Kalamba, 2 June 1876
X X X
SAINT EUSTACHE, MARTYR
(Hall in Hadrian’s Palace  with rooms on one side)
CORNELIUS AND METELLUS
CORNELIUS. The fatal day came, dismal day,
For my cruel, fierce adversaries:
To fear me it is time that they learn;
Enough of humiliations; has come
The day of vengeance, O Metellus;
Who can remove you from my hold,
From my wrath and fury? Your merry glee
Into weeping sad converted I’ll see.
Triumphant he approaches the walls:
My rival Eustache fiercely does approach;
How costly to him his victory will be;
Offences and evils in it I’ll avenge!
METELLUS. But, why do you kindle hate and discord
Prepare for him a thousand terrible snares
Of vengeance and rancor? If from the war
Victorious he comes; if gratified
The Senate is of his valor and strength,
Cornelius dear, his victory,
Shares also. Yield, my friend, give way
To his good luck and happy fate.
CORNELIUS. Of laurels which I ought to wear
He has robbed me; noble honors adorn
His proud and haughty brow; unjust
Was Trajan  to my valor and deaf
Is holy heaven to my demands.
Of the soldiers Eustache has the command
Because of my fearlessness and strength.
He ruined my hopes. Exalted the strong
Walls he has t penetrate. Do you
Believe I can tolerate the affront
Avenging not my fame so stained?
With Titus  in the wars, with Trajan
At all times I was. I rendered to them
My faithful services, pleasant and sweet.
I showed my valor, my fame increased
In these same battles. But Eustache
Preferred they in this war against
The rebel Dacians and Parthians [05, 10]:
To the Danube’s bellicose banks
The Romans I should lead and show
My talents and my bravery,
For they know my zeal many years ago.
METELLUS. With your fortune contented you should be;
To your troops and valor tribute they paid,
Oh, Cornelius, honors they offered you.
You enjoy in peace the status rich
That for your labors the king gave you.
Don’t envy him then; you’re Romans both
And for renown you both can long . . .
CORNELIUS. Do you want that triumph be not envied
When mine it should be? If noble he is,
More so am I, because I was born
A Roman; glory I’m sorry indeed to lose,
The honors and renown desired.
I ought again to seek new praise
To ruin my rival, the fiery Eustache;
Because once ruined, of the army men
Victorious general I shall be.
METELLUS. You can’t destroy him: faithfully
He served the country; adding
To his rewards and merits the victory
He now wins, returning to the Romans peace;
O tell me, can you use your strength
To ruin him? Deceits alone
And calumny. . .
CORNELIUS. (Interrupting him) Calumny never
Wish I to use to cruelly harm
My enemy. But a great offense
To eclipse his merits will ruin him;
And turning into gloomy night
The light of his victories; infamous
One day he’ll appear before the eyes
Of the people that with
honors deck his brow.
METELLUS. What, are you thinking of finding some crime
Cruel, shameful, wicked in his nobility
That can destroy his fortune good?
(If the crime of Scipio  they forgive,
The Romans then being more cruel Jove 
And severe than they are now, just by
Recalling his victories; not only from death
Was he saved, but his fault his honor became.)
CORNELUS. I can convert into weeping sad
The glorious triumph he enjoys;
But coming here. . . Metellus, keep quiet,
Don’t tell them by, what we talked about
A while ago, and if in my plans
You help be assured of reward for your work.
CLAUDIUS AND FLAVIUS
CLAUDIUS. Share ye with me the happiness,
Dear friends, for from the war we come
METELLUS. Claudius, you have come?
CLAUDIUS. To thank God, I would like,
Because I see you again, and Luck
Gave us fair proofs of her friendliness,
By sheltering the valor of
The Romans against her foes in wars.
CORNELIUS. Oh noble Claudius! I rejoice
O’er the triumph against the Dacians;  our Rome
Does conquer alone with her name,
By presenting her unconquered eagles and flags.
Amongst the timid Parthians  she spreads
Ignoble fear and they flee before them.
CLAUDIUS. What do you say? The valor, do you doubt
Of our captain the valor of our troops?
Ask him if at the name our foes (pointing to Flavius)
Did flee or at the valor they showed.
FLAVIUS. To Jove and the havoc of the sword
Of our General, is due the victory
Of our eminent flags. I saw, I saw,
Cornelius, in the bitter test
Of the doubtful fights the Romans
Turn pail with shameful affront before
The enemies cruel. Military
Strength, talent, and valor did maintain
The impetuous combatant. Exists
No mortal who could think of how rough
And blood the fight is if being,
Effeminate, he lives in pretty abodes.
CORNELIUS. Hadrian believes this, and to Eustache
Such honor he assigns to reward
Him for the rigors, anxieties,
And dangers of the fight.
FLAVIUS. All is due to the warlike ability,
To the valor invincible and strength
Of the unconquered General who commands,
The soldiers, controls and encourages them.
In the combat; he destroys, strikes, and kills.
And with the left hand clutching the lance
He makes the blood gush forth from the breasts!
The dead and wounded are seen everywhere!
When he is before the enemy troops,
Over the earth no such fiery fighter Mars  saw,
None greater, delightful combatant.
Dacians and Parthians render him obedience.
CORNELIUS. They would pay him for his victory don’t fear.
CLAUDIUS. Do you regret perchance that Eustache
Deserves the gift our Hadrian would give him?
He’d give it Cornelius even to you,
If you had come out victorious.
CORNELIUS. I don’t regret it, Claudius: for the gods
Refused to let me leave for the war;
But for Eustache to be acclaimed
Here in this city, it I can’t stand;
I shall rather try that in the great feast
Of the sacrifice to Jove. Eustache
Be there and an immense crowd of Rome,
And that he receive his desired reward,
A compensation that his labors deserve.
I’m going to Hadrian, because one is illuminate
By his talent. You, to Metellus
Accompany me, friend, if you wish.
CLAUDIUS AND FLAVIUS
CLAUDIUS. At last Flavius, in our country, we arrive,
After we have endured so many mishaps:
A thousand anxieties during the war we bore,
And complete peace we now enjoy.
While from the Danube’s dismal banks
We fought with constancy in the wars
Against the Dacians barbarous,
My gaze did turn back to our homes.
At last I see you, fortunate land!
At last with sure feet I tread on you!
The high walls also you contemplate (to Flavius)
Surrounding; sovereign Rome also
You’ll contemplate the opulence
Of the temples that altars display
And holy sacrifice you’ll attend,
For this so complete a victory;
To which with your soldiers brave you ought
To attend, their arrogance to see.
FLAVIUS. A Roman you are and pleasantly
You live in Rome where you find parents dear,
Motherland, friends, servants true, and kin
Who sweetly love you with soft tenderness.
I, Claudius, no, for relentless fate
From my father separated me;
Cruel vengeance pierced the wounded breast.
At all times my heart with intense desire
Asks Heaven to return my father to me.
Hence followed I the profession of arms;
In the kingdoms vast of Europe I looked
For him and in the horrid wars;
Because in my youth I heard him relate
About fights, adversaries, death, and arms….
CLAUDIUS. Oh Flavius, what a tender heart you have,
And how exalted your soul has been,
Who never forgot the author dear
Of your long life and of your days!
If your father lives, perhaps he enjoys
Content with loving children, sweet
And pleasant fortune! Poor Flavius of mine,
Perhaps for your father you look in the wars
Who has forgotten you already, your name,
Your love, and has forgotten perhaps
Your happy memory. Proud time
Erases love from the breast, as the dawn
Dissipates black shadows with its rays!
FLAVIUS. Dear Claudius, perhaps, mistaken you are!
My heart, as time goes, can forget
Perchance in adversity the one
Who gave me being, nobility, and life?
His countenance, his gestures, and his face
For sure I have forgotten them;
But indelibly his love in my soul
Is engraved! For see, oh Claudius see;
Divine peace due to my father’s love
Compels me to look for him; and if
I stop, with a clear voice it says:
“Ingrate! For the noble father, search!
With new flame and new ardor search.”
CLAUDIUS. Your nature sweet, oh Flavius dear,
Was the closest tie and holy bond
That united me to you. That you
May find him again was also my wish;
For noble sentiments he must have
Like yours; but if you do not find him,
Would you search hard for him everywhere?
With the country you ought to be satisfied,
Of the favor that from the troops you get,
Of the agreeable good luck and peace.
FLAVIUS. With my luck do you want me to be satisfied
When I know not the fate and paternal home?
With a thousand bitter difficulties
Oppressed, my aged father perhaps
Lives working, suffering miserably!
Oh! How contented is the dear
And gray haired father when he finds his son;
Old age obtains his help; in the strength
Of the noble and robust sun and strong
Wall against misfortunes. For his sake
I’m resolved, oh Claudius; I will go
Across the seas; I’ll cross everywhere
So many rivers wandering in search
For the author of my days, dear life.
CLAUDIUS. To find him, are you sure perchance?
And you have hope of embracing him?
And to his cruel fate you will leave
Your faithful Claudius? And you forsake
His fraternal love? Perhaps Jove snatched
Away your father so that you
Reposed and happy may share my home.
Today to your faithfulness I hoped
To show in the city my gratitude.
And you ungrateful without repose
You abandon Claudius, you forsake?
And thus you’re showing me your love?
The hope that confident I harbored you mock?
If we compare the faithful love
That you did show your father; I love
You more. But, Flavius look: Suppose
That wandering you find him; that you he sees
And does not know your lineage: How
Will you know that he belongs to your race?
What marks can you give him? Yes, in vain
You’re searching for him. . . you’re courting ill luck…
FLAVIUS. Perhaps the gods may some day grant
My tender prayer, my clamor sad,
To make me happy my father to see.
I believe impossible it is not
What you were thinking; for it’s all
A sigh what I told you that from him
Infancy they took me away
On the riverbank where he put me when
To cross the muddy waters he tried.
When I had reached the bank and to see
Him not being able due to the plants
Of the neighboring mountains, suddenly
Came furious much water that did flood
The river everywhere, and I could
No longer see him. Of my mishap
Perhaps my unhappy father thought
Either caused by hunger or by the flood!
That I must have died; but heaven itself
Propitious did show; for a shepherd kind
From the water a shepherd did take me inert
And at once to his cabin he carried me.
There paternal and tender shelter I found.
Already vigorous I embrace
The profession of arms; I eagerly pursued
The Roman eagles, the flags, in the wars
Of Ister  and the Danube whence
Victorious to your land I returned.
Here are my marks that could affirm
The truth if in the field, in the fights,
And in the kingdoms him I should find…
CLAUDIUS. Hadrian  comes by this side… Keep quiet.
HADRIAN WITH LICTORS 
HADRIAN. Where is the General?
FLAVIUS. He came from the war.
HADRIAN (Addressing Claudius) To the first room go… Tell him to come immediately.
FLAVIUS. Sir, he himself
Is coming here to pay your respect.
HADRIAN. You’re lucky, Claudius, for you found
A model of valor, strength, in Eustache!
CLAUDIUS. His example is never seen before.
With his little Titus has he come now?
EUSTACHE, TITUS AND METELLUS
(When Hadrian says, “Goodbye, Estache. . . everybody leaves except Eustache and Titus.)
HADRIAN. Oh noble conqueror of the rebels
At last I see you, again, dear Eustache!
Those Dacians  who did dare to rise
Despicably breaking the treaty of peace,
Disturbing the Roman’s tranquility,
Did meet a penalty severe! Hadrian
Is just and to give the glory knows
To the soldier who fights for his empire,
For you knew me in Jerusalem
When I was still young. Through your efforts,
I expected victories and impressive deeds;
But my expectations you surpass.
Chiefs and centurions will receive
My order to follow you toward
The temple, where sacrifices grand
To the gods you’ll offer. If Rome and the empire
Show you their gratitude, oh Eustache,
For our strength and valor; but to the supreme
Jove you’ve to be grateful for your triumph.
If the appreciation you hear from me
Is just, a greater one you will receive
From the Capitol before the authority
Of the august Senate, in my presence.
EUSTACHE. Oh Lord, I wish not to expect a reward
For my victory against the Dacians!  I ask
Only, Lord, that you be satisfied
With my useless services that to Rome
I performed. For your favor I’m grateful to you.
For my valor and strength that so much you extol
It’s enough that were vanquished the Parthians  fierce
From Titus  and Trajan  the art of war
I learned; and to your noble throne I return,
As they taught me, warlike are my rewards,
So many honors, so much fame,
I believe for my services would be too great.
But indeed the battlefield, as gift
I accept where I’ll fight against my foes.
I never leaned this to refuse
From my sovereign emperors, for I
Must do it as a good soldier.
HADRIAN. Well, look here Eustache, I learned from the chiefs
Who to the camp did follow you
How your troops your virtue did extol
And your military ardor no less;
Neither pride nor ambition did spoil
Your noble breast with their deceits;
But you, the honors must accept
With which Rome reward her warriors.
See, Titus, how holy Jupiter
Did give you a father whose deeds you ought
To follow as a noble Roman brave?
TITUS. To love him, only, Lord, I can.
For I am still a child! When the years
Concede me strength to be adept I’ll try
To imitate him. . . meantime I
Do promise loyalty to the throne.
HADRIAN. Metellus, O and tell the priest
My royal order to execute
Immediately, and prepare everything
Necessary for the offerings divine.
I grant you (to Metellus) Metellus, to rest on the way
Goodbye, Eustache… Titus… goodbye,
I leave you…
EUSTACHE AND TITUS SEATED
TITUS. Oh, what inexpressible joy! What glee!
My heart impedes what I do feel.
Just for you, what pleasure great fills my soul!
EUSTACHE. Titus, I would be
Content likewise; for only
I am not!
TITUS. What are you telling me, father? I
Believe that I’ve answered our emperor,
If not as you wish, at least with respect.
EUSTACHE. No, my consolation sweet, for pleased
Was I with our boyish reply. A thought
Exalted fills my mind, Titus…
TITUS. My God, how I fear to have angered you!
Oh! Punish, punish, father, my crime,
For all I want is to please you.
EUSTACHE. Oh listen, Titus, Forget vain names
Of foes, of armies, of rewards,
Of Hadrian and Rome! Invoke Jesus Christ
And obediently follow his precepts.
You promised obedience to great Hadrian;
To your God you should have done it first;
If you have a spirit worthy of
The name of Christian. For his empire
How many times did I expose
My life in the past wars with fierce
Adversaries of Rome; the same
At certain occasions, Titus, you must do.
Now, the Almighty calls me to a fight
For the honor of his name! I can’t
Make the offering to the false Jove… Christ
Forbids to do it; and if I protest
That I’m a Christian, despising the false
Jove, certain death awaits me, that I
Wish it, oh Titus, with joy… I long
To observe fidelity to God!
An immortal laurel He shows me with joy
And to heaven calls me with fatherly voice
But you, do you want to follow me?
TITUS. Oh, father dear!
Yes, with you I wish to die; I wish
To join you forever. Would you want
Me to live without you in this land gloomy, sad?
Without a father, unfaithful to God,
No, fear aught: there’s naught
That frightens me even penalties rough or death.
EUSTACHE. If they should ask you if you adore
The supreme Jove?
TITUS. I am a Christian, I shall say,
And that I detest the vile Jupiter.
EUSTACHE. Yes; but Hadrian rich treasure will give
You, thousands of rewards bestow
On you, if you renounce your cult
And even pretending Jove you adore.
TITUS. I’ll renounce them, noble father, I swear.
EUSTACHE. Oh! Perhaps you can renounce the rewards;
But, if they threaten you with death?
TITUS. The cruel knife will cut off my tender neck
For martyrdom only my Christian heart
Desires, and the Almighty I pray
That he in his bosom receive my soul,
And receive with you the eternal reward.
EUSTACHE. Being far away you’re not afraid!
But being present when a soldier fierce
Prepares you for the rough blow that
Will finish you, with blind fear perhaps
You will escape from the soldiers.
TITUS. Ah! Father, I shall not escape,
Believe me, I will kneel on the ground;
With my tongue I’ll say: “O Lord, receive
My soul, for your love and faith I die.”
EUSTACHE. Oh Titus, may Christ preserve your heart,
Save you, protecting your innocence!
TITUS. Did not you say that Christ encourages
And strengthens the heart with eternal reward
So that it can resist the infidel?
EUSTACHE. Yes, Titus, yes; to hope in God
We ought to have valor, strength, constancy firm!
He promised his faithful servants to help
In their noble and glorious martyrdom.
Weak and tender children, women, youths,
Old men who, armed with the power, I have known,
Did vanquish hardships and death, with pure faith,
Like brilliant splendor Phoebus great
The fills with fright his enemies,
They saw them surrounded with light divine;
Constant and mirthful these lands they left
And to heaven they flew. But Titus you,
Lend me your ear as you should: the gods
To worship we cannot. But we
Can flee, God it does not forbid;
To another land, if you wish, we go
Before to a danger you expose yourself.
TITUS. But, father, why do you always doubt
My valor? If you inspire me, Oh God,
With this love for you, he must be sure
Of this my love. My father, alas,
What to say to you I don’t know anymore,
I weep, pray, and offer my life to God…
EUSTACHE. My son!
(To heaven) Receive our life like tender gift,
That since childhood gladly he offers to you.
You make me happy to soon the reward (to Titus)
Of God you will receive; my hopes
You fulfilled and to holy heaven you
Will follow me! How joyful will be
The Saints when they should come to know
Your sacred oath of dying first
Rather than worshipping Jove! Less is
To enter Rome victoriously
With captives and triumphs than go up with you
To the firmament where Christ calls us,
Where happy and contented we shall be!
TITUS. I hope thus, father, and hasten He may
Our end and up to Heaven we go.
(End of Act I)
X X X
(The same decoration as in the first act.)
CORNELIUS AND METELLUS
CORNELIUS. See, oh Metellus, how the triumph
Of Eustache was turned into his own ruin!
He is a Christian: Hadrian him condemns
To death. His valor, victory itself.
I, friend, exaggerating, a feast
Great in Rome I prepared, where on altars rich
Sacrifices he would make to the gods…!
METELLUS. But, your life is in danger, don’t you believe?
CORNELIUS. For what reason?
METELLUS. Converted he may be
By offering his first fruits, and if he succeeds
To save himself from death, he may
Take vengeance someday on you; he may
Change perhaps his religion and his life
Because he can worship Jupiter
Obeying Rome, though feigning it.
CORNELIUS. Don’t expect him to be won to our gods!
So hardened is my rival’s soul;
Faith, strength, and valor firm like all
Who follow an impious sect.
In addition, Eustache loves a thousand times
More religion and cult than his life.
Don’t expect him then to worship our gods
To follow our great Hadrian our pretend
It, being against his religion and law.
METELLUS. Will he condemn him to death if he learns
He is a Christian? Hadrian will command
Eustache to choose, sacrifice or death.
A soldier so fierce will never be
Subjected to such a test, for it
Matters little that Eustache take another faith.
CORNELIUS. Indeed it matters little to Rome
The cares that a distinct faith does give,
For the city now impatiently awaits
The offering and its essential for Hadrian
To demand it and Trajan’s sacred laws.
It’s needed too that they ask it from him…
By that side comes the great Hadrian.
Keep still, now, if he demands it. I’ll speak.
HADRIAN. Metellus, for Titus look at the room,
See that he comes with you alone (Metellus goes).
At last now I understand why Eustache
Refuses to make an offering to Jove
And also the honor; for although of this
I‘ve only fear, suspicion slight,
You more than I know it; tell me,
Cornelius, who’s the god he reveres
And what’s his belief? Is it true that Trajan
Forbade by decree this new faith’s worship? 
CORNELIUS. Such a crime I can never suspect of him.
To remove every suspicion you
Can talk with him.
HADRAIAN. I wish them to call
Titus who will tell us the truth.
May he, not guilty, escape from the crime,
That I cannot absolve, the gods wish!
CORNELIUS. How can you let go unpunished such crime,
That compelled Nero  to shed the blood
Of many who did follow this sect?
HADRIAN. But that tyrant you make me recall
Whose crimes you want me to commit?
He killed his mother with fury mad
And his noble teacher Seneca,  the sage.
CORNELIUS. If Nero a monster had been, the great
Vespasian was good,  his memory is still
Revered, and however this Hydra  with his head
Wounded, nevertheless killed the Pope. 
HADRIAN. It was Saturninus  who wished his death;
Vespasian did grant the petition severe.
Titus was even more pious.
His mercy was praised and liked by all,
And he allowed that as regards some cults
One can adhere to what he likes best.
CORNELIUS. If you wish, if you allow me to talk to you
With utmost frankness and clarity
As I should speak to you, My Lord…
HADRIAN. (Interrupting him) Cornelius,
State your intention and advice.
CORNELIUS. I know that Titus was really pious,
For a long time he was at peace with them.
You know what happened? Many became
Disciples and brothers in the sect,
That for the peace of Rome, Domitian 
Of gloomy misery and fury seemed
To be a child. Titus  was clement,
But neither justice nor grandeur had he.
All monarchs want to be merciful.
It isn’t clemency to let crimes go unpunished
To those who love justice. The laws accuse
Them rigorously and they cry
To heaven that their kindness is cruelty!
If Eustache is a criminal, the laws of Trajan
Condemn him; his worthy successor you’re
In heaven Jupiter reigns for you,
And you, for Jove, free and glorious you reign
On earth! The world will have peace, if wise laws
And only one cult of a deity it had.
HADRIAN. Cornelius, tell me, does Jupiter
Perchance look at us from above where he reigns?
CORNELIUS. It is a wholesome thing for Rome
For all to believe that Jove looks at us.
HADRIAN. But much did Eustache help the empire!
CORNELIUS. If he’s against the gods, he gives
No military services to Rome!
With his example many will be
Converted into his Christian faith
And cult; and adding new proof of his faith
He will hurt Rome. If the law of Trajan
And your strong arm can justly condemn
Him to death, don’t fear that one would dare
Rebel against sacred gods, and you
Will see how every one will respect you.
METELLUS AND TITUS
HADRIAN. Wait in the nearby room, and Cornelius, (to Cornelius)
Come back here after awhile. (Cornelius leaves)
TITUS. My God! Comfort me with your grace
And don’t allow me to fail in my oath!
HADRIAN. And your father you love?
TITUS. Lord, very much.
HADRIAN. Do you know that he declined the rich rewards
And to offer sacrifices to Jove?
Oh tell me, why did he deprive himself
Of the honor I did offer him?
TITUS. Your honors he does not refuse;
But to offer his triumphs to the gods
HADRIAN. What did you say?
TITUS. I don’t believe
That his victory is due to your Jove,
For Jove can’t give him any support.
HADRIAN. And to whom then did he owe it?
TITUS. To God the true.
HADRIAN. Is it not Jove perchance? Don’t you see
In the temple how many spoils of the enemy
Are placed as proofs of his great strength?
You’re young, your scanty knowledge perhaps
Ignores how Rome was born and how
The Romans, always ardent in wars
And victorious, did subject the crowns
Of Europe, Asia, and Africa;
And notwithstanding, being martial,
These peoples are obedient to the gods.
TITUS. The origin of Rome and the wars
Of her children are not known to me.
HADRIAN. Therefore, you also know, Titus beloved,
Who are the Scipios and Metellus,
The Emilius, the Caesars, the Fabius,
The Sullus, the Calpurnius, and Pompeys. 
TITUS. I know them, Lord.
HADRIAN. Undoubtedly you know very well
That they recognized Jupiter as god,
To whom all their victories they owe!
It’s blindness and error of the mind!
Why did such famous warriors err?
TITUS. I’m a child and I can’t explain it to you.
My father, if you wish, can expose
The blind cult of your belief.
HADRIAN. Not by you nor by your father wish I
To be instructed about your religion.
I, Titus, only want obedience.
TITUS. This always, lord, I owe the throne.
But not in things our God forbids.
HADRIAN. What are they?
TITUS. To worship your Jupiter…
HADRIAN. By chance, do our gods one another envy?
TITUS. There’s only one immortal God!
Jove, if he did exist, was mortal.
HADRIAN. Yes, but he was made
Immortal to mortals superior.
TITUS. And who made him? Did he have power immense?
HADRIAN. Thus to me you speak and you fear not my
Revenge? Don’t you think I can cut off your head?
TITUS. Hadrian, I am prepared right here!
From your anger I cannot run away,
And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to!
To your warriors I offer my head, and you
Yourself, oh great Hadrian, if you wish!
Break apart my heart with your sword,
My tender veins open, and my blood
Shed, yes, oh shed it on this ground!
But don’t expect me down to kneel
Before your mad, imposter gods!
You alone, my Lord, only you I adore (Looking up to heaven)
For you, I’m brave, for you I die.
And you, you know my trust in this (to Hadrian)
In my God and in centuries to come!
HADRIAN. For your youth I do forgive your crime.
Live, Titus, for you can; you’ll be
A powerful man later in my court!
Worship Jove. Do you want to have rewards,
Honors and riches?
TITUS. Lord, very much.
Wealth divine I want so much that because
Of them I detest your frivolous ones.
I love God who can make me, contented, rich,
And happy; for that reason I refuse
All you give me and I venerate not Jove.
HADRIAN. But you pledged to be faithful to my throne.
TITUS. Lord, again I promise it to you;
Here you have Titus who desires
His father’s noble deed t’ imitate
And always ready to obey you.
May he show you his saber white
All over covered with enemy spoils!
And like my father, make you see
My breast covered with glorious scars…
HADRIAN. And why don’t you fulfill your oath
To me? You refuse to worship our gods?
TITUS. God does not want it.
HADRIAN. You’re my soldier,
As I am of Jupiter; therefore you’re
A soldier of my god.
TITUS. Lord, I can’t be
His vassal, nor you either.
Don’t speak to me of Jupiter.
I’m resolved to die if you so wish.
HADRIAN. Good. With torment and torture you will die
As you deserve, so that the gods
May be appeased and horror great
May it cause to the hard heart of mad Eustache.
Lastly, do you choose death or rewards?
Choose what you wish; but think of what
Is most acceptable to your heart.
TITUS. I love God; and things beyond the true God
I should not be afraid of and love.
HADRIAN. But your father you love?
TITUS. Oh very much.
With him, true to God, I wish to die.
And in heaven sweet and eternal peace
My father and I shall happily
Enjoy. Here’s my answer: Jove is naught;
He is a vain idol. Thus I refuse him
The honors due him: there’s only one God.
HADRIAN. Cornelius, come and return him to
His father; but talk to him first, I am
Uncertain of their lies, or fate,
Or hope, if you don’t win, as I wish,
The father; later to my room withdraw.
CORNELIUS AND TITUS
CORNELIUS. Oh, Titus, may the great Jove save you!
TITUS. I hope for salvation from our God.
CORNELIUS. My good Titus, the god that you must like,
But… why uneasy are you? I’m Cornelius,
The faithful friend of your father.
Alas, Titus, for the danger you are in
I’m very sorry, and more for your death…
TITUS. What you fear is precisely what I want.
And what for me is sweet hope, should
Not be stupid fear for you.
CORNELIUS. Speak clearly to me. My heart with love
Is bursting and of satisfaction for you.
Hadrian exalts me with his grace,
And if you wish, I can still save you.
TITUS. This favor, Cornelius, don’t do for me,
And heaven grant you just reward
For the love as you say, you hold for us.
CORNELIUS. Of our Hadrian’s wrath aren’t you afraid?
TITUS. No; Hadrian can only give me death;
But I long only for crude death,
How then will you want me to face his wrath?
CORNELIUS. Oh worthy descendant, noble, sublime,
Of parents brave and enlightened!
In your virtuous heart I contemplate
The firmness and valor of your sires,
Noble ancestors and warriors; I laud
Your constancy, free your heart, obey
Your God and your desire;
Achieve glory you who nothing fear,
You strong, intrepid, surpass all.
TITUS. You counsel well, but poorly you argue;
Your opinion I follow, but I detest
Your arguments. To my father send
Me back. Perhaps he’s looking for me.
CORNELIUS. He is coming now; I leave you.
EUSTACHE AND TITUS
TITUS. Dear father!
EUSTACHE. What are you doing, my son?
Why are you with Cornelius? Why
Are you walking ‘round these places?
TITUS. My father,
I’ll tell you all, our Metellus has called
Me, and he has left me alone
With the great Hadrian.
EUSTACHE. Alone with Hadrian?
TITUS. Only he was there; but Jesus Christ
Was accompanying me; his holy name
I invoked on presenting myself before
EUSTACHE. Beloved Creator,
Oh guide his heart on the rugged, dark
Path where he walks!
TITUS. He asked me why a sacrifice
You refused to offer to supreme Jove;
I replied that your victory was due
To the great God of the Christians.
EUSTACHE. What did he tell you?
TITUS. Me he wanted to convince
That the impudent Jove is sovereign
And numberless gods there are who are
Propitious. I denied it, and he
With death in the end did threaten me.
I expected it joyfully; however, I was
Sorry to die without your embrace,
Without giving you my last breath, Now
I would not be unfortunate,
For with your tender entreaties
And prayers God will give me lucky reward.
EUSTACHE. Let not Lord Jesus permit that I be
Separated from you, dear Titus, without
Embracing you. Nothing more did he ask?
At last, son, Hadrian left you placid and safe?
TITUS. Dear father, look, it seems to me
That pensive and disgusted you are.
My sins may prevent me, I’m afraid,
From entering the sacred place
Where does reside celestial joy,
Where wretched weakness is not felt…
EUSTACHE. Don’t fear; to Jesus offer as gift
Your pleasant life, and chaste breast for
Your father, sad who does repent.
TITUS May God accept my childish gift…
Ah! Father, why is your face disturbed,
Sad tears are running down your cheeks?
The heavens above are witnesses
That I behaved with spirit strong
In the presence of Hadrian.
EUSTACHE. My heart
Is disturbed by memory of the years,
When I lived in a dark and gloomy night,
Wrapped up in wretched falsehoods of blind
Paganism. Dark night that covered Rome
With its mantle black. I too fatal ways
Did follow bowing to false gods.
Oh holy God, a wretched man’s
Senseless infidelity forgive…
In the meantime receive my humble heart
That now is changed. Forgive, oh God,
Your unfortunate son who’s innocent
Of his father’s crime sunk in error blind!
And stupid falsehood! You yourself
Do promise us that kindly you would
Forgive a penitent man who repents,
And that oblivion eternal will
Cover the sins that tears erase.
TITUS. Oh father, I hope, that the kind Jesus
Will receive me in the glory of the saints.
He himself kindles placid hope
Within my innocent Christian heart.
EUSTACHE. Oh, my Titus, his most holy will, be done
In our lives: Perhaps Hadrian hopes to bend
My valor firm… But to his faith
Eustache will be faithful and to his God.
(End of Act II)
X X X
FLAVIUS AND CLAUDIUS
FLAVIUS. Alas, Claudius; alas, my friend
You don’t know the acute pain that vexes my breast!
I beg for your advice: your words
Perhaps would be able to drive away
The horrible struggles that the fate
Of my father weaves. Claudius know that
Oh gods, help him!
CLAUDIUS. What are you saying to me?
By chance today your father you find,
The father you’re looking for o’er the seas!
Oh heavens! Where’s he that I may see him?
FLAVIUS. Alas! You’ll not believe it; he’s Eustache…
My father, and I’m his son… what do
You advise me? Perchance reveal myself
That I’m his son? Or forever avoid
His presence? It is rumored in
The city that a Christian he is,
And Hadrian knows it. Sure death
Awaits my father, unfortunate and sad.
For such resplendent nobility
And for having a martial father, I’m glad…
And unhappy, for death does him surround.
Exposed I see his glorious life:
Alas! Why, oh cruel ill-luck, do you
Torment me? Your heavy hand have I
Not already tolerated? But alas!
And if he dies? But Hadrian would not
Condemn him. Is it just to put him to death
When his generous blood he shed in war
In defense of our imperial diadem?
And worthy is it for an emperor
Perchance such a silly reward to give
Eustache? No; and a thousand times no!
My brother is Titus! Oh how in the breast
The torment roars that the deaf fate hurls
Inexorably! Instead of joy, bitter pain
Devours the heart. Oh father, why,
With terrible punishments do you torment me?
Did I not love you? Did I offend
You? Tell me, Titus cruel, what did
I do to you that you want to be
A Christian? Can I hope that when
Eustache should know he would worship
Jove? Ah! If I could save him! I
Don’t see it clearly, Claudius. Gods!
What should I do? What do you advise
CLAUDIUS. What do you want me to tell you? Have
You perchance sure proofs and the signs cannot
Deceive you that little recall the fleeting past?
FLAVIUS. List, Claudius, and you judge yourself
If I ought to know him. Don’t you recall
That on the bank of a river sad,
After crossing a forest wild that I
From my dear father was separated?
Do you remember well that my
Very tender age was not over five years?
Well then, Claudius with acute pain Eustache
Relates this to Faustus about his son,
Faustus too tells it to me, leaving no
Doubt: his account, his memory his deeds
That he is my father clearly prove
To me and his past life remembering
The noble Faustus with sadness did
Relate to Titus the past events.
Can I still doubt, Claudius, that this hope
Is true which now devours my breast?
CLAUDIUS. If Faustus tells you the pure truth,
And he too, you will certainly be
His son. But, Titus is thinking now
And trying to save him. I understand
What affections are awakened in your breast
Which disturb you. But listen: I would like you
To control yourself by hiding yourself.
In this, friend Flavius, only can
Be found his sweet salvation. Eustache
I believe will love life when he learns
Of the existence of his son.
You ought to reveal that his son lives –
And is found in Rome; but he must obey
The mandate of Hadrian and then he’ll see
His son. Heart and heroic strength he’ll lack
To bear the weight of the paternal love
And immense desire will oppress the sweet
And noble breast of a father and
His hardness bent with pleasure he will
Our gods worship. This is what my soul counsels
FLAVIUS. Alas, how heavy, Claudius, is your
Advice and harder than steel and stone!
How do you want me, unhappy, to hide
That I am his son? Alas! In vain
You expect that from my filial love
I should get so much. Flavius conceal that he
Be his son, when his prayers’ object he finds?
That his paternal love, not my soul,
Defeat in such danger a dear father’s love?
CLAUDIUS. His danger ought to curb your love
And of the internal affection’s harsh.
Conflict we shall support ourselves.
That conquered by love the noble Eustache
Will be, my heart constantly awaits.
FLAVIUS. Your advice I’ll follow, and Claudius, I
Prepare myself for such cruel and rough
Undertaking, as you wish. If to yield
He objects, remaining stubbornly firm
In his opinion, oh, Claudius, tell
Me: What will be my mournful hope?
CLAUDIUS. I don’t fear this. Of that I’m sure;
Have courage, recover virtue and strength.
Look your valiant father, is coming to
This place soon; he is already near.
EUSTACHE. Perhaps this is the last day… but
I have had the pleasure of seeing you.
FLAVIUS. What do you say, Lord?
CLAUDIUS. This I don’t fear,
For in this city are with you
Your faithful servants. But what do you want
To do? Why do you want a harm so wordy?
What compels you to disobey Hadrian’s
Commands? I have known you as prudent and why
You act in this way I do not know.
EUSTACHE. I, Claudius, ought, if same judgment I have
Not to obey him and constantly tolerate
That happy penalty until death.
FLAVIUS. And it’s constancy to arm yourself
Against Rome, Caesar, and the gods
Who showed propitious always to men?
You don’t want the august sacrifice,
And of Hadrian’s ire you’re not afraid?
Ah! Pardon my love, my general…
You who are adorned with a thousand gifts,
An ungrateful son you want to show
Yourself to Jupiter; a rebel
To the mandate of our emperor,
Cruel to yourself? And can I tell
You what to Faustus you’ve retold
Of your history sad? Perchance are you
Not sorry for the misfortunes that have
Befallen you for having believed
In a new god unknown in Rome? Did it
Save you from the fierce penalty
With which the indignant Jupiter
Oppresses you? Your paternal wealth
Has been lost; to leave your country condemned,
In another place where the frightful he
You wielded wandering you went]
As sweet wheat you did offer to men,
I also don’t ignore how your
Dear son you lost in a distant woods…
Flavius! Why so painful a memory
Do you remind a grieving father of
That accident more cruel than death?
Do you want to be cruel to me, when I
Have loved you as a father loves
His dear son? But alas! With your name
Alone I remember my son. But my
Ill-luck was no punishment of your
False gods. Thou, my God, thou Jesus Christ,
Thou punished my past sins, because I at
Another time blind, wretched I did
Not know thy powerful being; but in
Thine ire Thou were benevolent,
Benign. I was also a worshipper
Of false gods of impious cult.
I don’t refuse to remind myself
Of the errors that hurled me into that abyss
Of dense fog and covered with horror. God
Showed me his light of brilliance clear
And I embraced his doctrine, off
I pulled the repugnant veil that covered me.
I knew Him then and with the name
I changed my customs; and treasures rich,
Fat cattle, fertile fields, God took
Away from me. A long time wandering
Faraway from Rome I was. A dear
Son, six years old, on the riverbank –
Cruel memory – I abandoned; I did
Want to ford the river wide and I
Was dragged by the current. I could not
Help him. Of what use is it for me
My dear one to remember, if God
Expedites the day when I shall see
Him in the happy asylum?
FLAVIUS. This son whom you think is dead, is alive
And lives in Rome. For he himself
Recounts the sad event that you
Tell us; there’s no doubt that he’s your son;
That a shepherd saved him from death the will
Of God wished to be propitious. He
Is also called Flavius, him we know
If you wish to see him, you offer great
Sacrifices and reverence to the gods.
EUSTACHE. Are you telling the truth? My dear son is
Alive? You know him? Can I believe you?
CLAUDIUS. The truth he tells you, and thus I say
That he’s your son, if Faustus repeat
Faithfully your words.
EUSTACHE. Benign God!
What do I hear! Heavens help me! And
He’s alive… tell me where, beloved! In what place
Is my son?
FLAVIUS. Sacrifice to sacred Jove, and we
Shall show him to you. Since the punishment
That threatens you would hurt his fate.
How do you want to see your child?
EUSTACHE. I would like him also to share my death
In the future and my destiny.
If he was educated in
The Christian life… Alas! Perhaps
He worships impious Jupiter,
Forgetting his early ideas
And the only God.
FLAVIUS. He has promised
To follow and honor our sacred gods,
Because Rome honors them. We resolved
For our love not to reveal him. Eustache,
If you do not profess divine fear
Toward the gods: You will succeed
To save yourself and him in this way.
Friends, if you knew the torment harsh
That my heart suffers… Be merciful…
FLAVIUS. We pity you and due to this
You son is even hiding from us.
EUSTACHE. For a father, it is not pity, friends.
FLAVIUS. And you pity is not for your poor son!
EUSTACHE. I love him more than you do. For sure
He must have pretty habits and ways,
As in his tender infancy he showed!
FLAVIUS. And they still are. But you yourself
By saving yourself, you ought to save him,
And together with your little Titus.
EUSTACHE. Ne’er shall we be safe without leaving
The wretched asylum of this life
Without consecrating to God our life…
CLAUDIUS. But, what do I see?
FLAVIUS. I beg you my lord…
HADRIAN AND CORNELIUS
HADRIAN. Quickly be gone, and let Eustache remain! (To Flavius and Claudius.)
Look, Cornelius, in what situation I am,
The boldest champion of Rome denies
The offering to the exalted Jove.
CORNELIUS. Lord, I know your clemency and his crime.
EUSTACHE. I’ve committed no crime, sin or mistake
For which his mercy he ought to use.
HADRIAN. Obey the command and the fragrant incense
With pleasure offer to sacred Jove.
EUSTACHE. If it’s a crime to refuse to do
So as I wish, let your laws condemn
Me to death. I have lived enough, and my wish
Is to rest after hardships and toils and for
A tranquil peace. Only your sword can grant
It to me, In my life I showed myself
A soldier of the noble throne;
In peace and in war, unwearied severe
I prepared my breast for the hostile steel.
If in the battle I exposed my life,
Under the scepter of Titus and Trajan,
With valor fighting and in the wars
Foot-soldiers and warriors knocking down;
If with unconquered strength my wounds
Shed blood in this war whence I return
Triumphant conqueror; for the faith
That I swore to my God, God infinite,
Wise, omnipotent, I ought to arm
Myself with the same fortitude
To suffer death for shedding blood.
Lord, where is Titus, that soldier whom
In my early young years I served
So much with my swords? August Emperor,
Where is Trajan? That Spaniards who
From my exile chose me to subdue
The Parthians,  to come out of Latium,  strong
And remarkable to overcome
Distressing rough voyages to traverse
Hot deserts, to live in repulsive lands.
Exposing life to hazards cruel
Of such a difficult war? Where, Lord,
Are they? Can I expect a reward
Or some help in my wearied years?
And you Lord, whom in Rome I find
A glorious successor of the great
Trajan, to whom barbarous Monarchs I
Present with ignominious iron
Well guarded; peoples which knew not
The empire of the Roman eagle, are now
Of your throne tributaries and prisoners;
What reward in the future life can you
Promise me? Since knowing that my life
Is short, I seek peace. Can you grant
Me a worthy reward? If for my triumphs you
Are grateful, can you promise to
My valor eternal honor, which
To your throne was so faithful? A sacrifice
Of the incense profane with which you wish
Me to outrage my faith, to your impure
Jupiter I deny. God omnipotent
Immortal honor dos promise me
And eternal kingdom. How can I
Invoke in your Capitol a vain
Name that in the fiery voice of wars
Was not propitious to me? I invoked
My God and instantly he was with
Me against the Parthians fierce; and wherever
I did go victory followed soon.
In his name I conquered your enemies!
With incense on top of the capitol
This Lord alone I will invoke;
Not being he I despise Jupiter…
HADRIAN. Of what God are you thinking? It
Is well know that the man you adore
Was a criminal, and the Jews themselves
Killed him. Jerusalem indeed saw him dead.
EUSTACHE. You can’t understand in what way He
Was mortal, if your dark mind divine
Light does not illumine well. But
Don’t you know that the Eternal Father avenged
His name in the wretched Hebrews with such
Revenge that the whole world as filled with fright?
And Lord, we, if you don’t know it,
And our soldiers were the fury and ire
Of his vengeance. Remember, sir, that
Event, that battle which with terror was filled
With which that kingdom we laid waste….
One million, one hundred thousand Jews
Unhappy suffered harsh death: some
By hunger, some by the sword, the rest
By the beasts did perish. Avenger of
The divine rage so many dead did serve
The faith enough. This same Lord Christ
Himself, predicted such lugubrious event.
You, sir, and I were with Titus  in
That ever memorable siege… not of
Roman cruelty or fury mad but it is
Of justice and example great.
HADRIAN. This was in the past, and not proper it is
To recall a war that I believe
The memory of Titus offends very much.
A Roman you’re and it’s Rome’s desire
That you honor or gods.
EUSTACHE. A Christian I am.
HADRIAN. Therefore you’re destined to unhappy death
And Trajan’s law does condemn you!
EUSTACHE. I wish to conform to the sentence; I
Am ready to die and my gentle son.
HADRIAN. As an intrepid warrior you knew how to give
Death to others with terrible bravery,
And with valor you will suffer the same…
For cruel revenge…
EUSTACHE. I’m not afraid
I am a kind father to my son.
HADRIAN. From my palace so soon you’ll not get out,
In the last days that remain to you,
Except to offer soft incense
Or to die. To your soldiers and to you (to Cornelius)
I entrust him; Cornelius, watch him. But
You in the meantime deliberate,
And worthy of your virtues, take
An advice. You go and come back changed
To be able fulfill very soon my wish.
EUSTACHE. From what I am in vain you can expect
To find me different Hadrian, in a way
So violent. No, you’ll not find Eustache
Unfaithful to God, one who knew how to
Subdue many warriors; nor will you see
Me at the altars impure of your
False gods offering incense to Jove
For villainous fear.
HADRIAN. Go away now, and
Think for a moment that you owe
Me obedience and submissiveness;
Your bold mad thoughts with which you insult
The gods and Caesar, for your valor
Unconquered, I am forgiving you;
But if you are tenacious, my
Clemency is equal to my rage.
EUSTACHE. I’m not afraid. No, neither your
Rage nor your compassion I implore.
HADRIAN. Soldiers, guard him immediately.
EUSTACHE. Fear not that I’ll escape; God guards
Me more than the soldiers the empire. (He leaves)
HADRIAN AND CORNELIUS
HADRIAN. (Aside) With laurels girded is Hadrian,
With flowers and seated on a throne;
Faced with the hard choice to condemn or set
Free his soldier dear, appearing lax.
CORNELIUS. I know not the reason, sir, why on
The culprit you delay the death
Sentence! His reply so haughty as well
As rash perchance your valor does not
Vouchsafe, for such madness
Is unworthy of so sensible a man.
HADRIAN. In the city how many know that he
Adores a different imaginary god?
CORNELIUS. The whole city knows it.
HADRIAN. To his valor I
Ungrateful would not like to appear
And to his loyalty, for which I reign.
CORNELIUS. (With anger) His present impiety is enough to eclipse
His fidelity and valor false!
Eustache destroys your mandates and
The law he follows Rome abhors.
The fathers of the empire, the Romans, who
Attribute to Jove their triumph high,
Will neither call you cruel nor ungrateful king,
For in the august deities they believe
Not in that Christ whom Eustache adores…
You see that the more you threaten him
The less that wicked man fears you.
And in the meantime Rome awaits
With impatience to see if you’ll defend
The sacred edits of the great Trajan
And what respect contains your noble breast
For our divine gods. Rome believes hat Jove
Protects her and defends her in
The vast empire; thus obediently loves our gods,
And loves and respect the gods so much…
HADRIAN. Hence, I have forbidden Eustache to leave
My palace grand, if he does not
Acknowledge, Jove as responsible for
The hundred glorious honors of war.
CORNELIUS. He’ll never do it; but I’ve only one
Means, your mandates to make him obey.
CORNELIUS. Condemn to death the boy Titus, and
With great fright he will fear your ire,
For blinded and mocking you, he believes
That he will never be condemned,
And then he will be afraid when he
Sees the effect of your rage.
HADRIAN. Execute your own
Advice and let him die today. (He leaves)
CORNELIUS. He misunderstood my advice; meanwhile
I’ll execute it. Upon seeing his death
On his opinion Eustache will hold fast.
X X X
CORNELIUS AND METELLUS
CORNELIUS. No, no more subterfuge remains to Eustache,
For the more Hadrian does threaten him
More firm is his determination,
And with his haughty speech to insult
Us and our gods; wishing for death
He accuses men of delaying it.
METELLUS. But when he sees that the furious threats
Of Caesar are not in vain, perhaps
The death that he wishes for himself
Would infuse him with fear on seeing it.
CORNELIUS. To put Titus to death I induced Hadrian;
Perhaps very opposite thing
Will come out; frankly I’ll tell you my
Opinion, to explain it when there’s time.
By now, it’s not convenient for me
To be late; Titus to furious beasts
I’ll give, because these spectacles please
The people, and perhaps for them
Their author obtain new merit and
Laurels. The hope of the father once dead,
With new longings he will seek death
More he will blame him if it is delayed.
METELLUS. Does Eustache know the death of his Titus?
CORNELIUS. He does not know it; death he does
Not repel. From his prison, Metellus, I’ll get
Him; on his father I’ll take revenge,
And in this way I will insult
The father’s ever suspicious vigilance.
FLAVIUS. Oh cruel destiny! Oh ungrateful Rome!
That you thus torment the unvanquished warrior who
For your welfare excel on the battlefields.
Why have I deserved your wrath?
Ungrateful nation!… Wretched people!...
If your rule, supreme gods, the destinies
Of mortals on this earth, why am
I unhappy with the punishment?
Was I expecting another reward
For my labors! Unhappy father of
A brother of mine! Tender tears, make soft
Eustche’s heart of marble and granite!
Oh! He comes now: propitious, divine
Heavens, pity a wretched warrior!
EUSTACHE AND FLAVIUS
EUSTACHE. My Flavius, ere, here I am… What do
You want of me? Why aren’t you contented?
FLAVIUS. You want to die and drag along
With you Titus! Why do you ask me about
The cause of my sadness? Are you firm
In your decision wretched and sad!
You want to lose little Titus;
That glory that with effort great
And with unconquered arm you’ve won
From your military adversaries…!
Tears are not for a brave man;
But crying conquers an iron heart!
EUSTACHE. Alas! If you love me, you would not want,
Dear Flavius, to torment my paternal heart!
Leave me in peace, let victory
End in pacific calmness. How
I would like you to follow my steps
You, who with warlike valor in
The fights did follow the waving of
The flags and the sound and noise of arms!
If in search of cities you followed me
To the eternal kingdom you too ought to come with me…
FLAVIUS. I love you with the love of a loving son;
But, you wish me to die with you?
EUSTACHE. Don’t tell me you love me, ‘cause you aggravate
My grief! While I guard you as poor
As goodness you lack eternal and pure…
But do not pretend you love me.
FLAVIUS. I am not pretending sir. Sublime
Jupiter witnesses the purity
Of my breast which the fire of love consumes.
But if you have no pity for
Yourself; just for your cruel wish Titus
Will die. Your older son too will perish who,
If you wish, I can reveal to you.
But so that he may not die I hide
Him from your eyes.
EUSTACHE. And, is it love? No; for it’s torment. And
Deceit fabricated by you in order
To mitigate my paternal heart.
Your valor I sufficiently know.
And Flavius, I appreciate your pious love.
FLAVIUS. Neither is it deceit or do you know yet
The love for only your person I have.
But do you want to die without seeing
Your son, or saying naught or the last
Goodbye? If you truly love him and me,
Show it to me and you will see my thought…
You cry?… Why do you turn away your face?...
Tell me… Father dear! Hear in my sad
Breast you find filial love. I’m Flavius!
I’m the one who suffers torment not
To be equaled! Lose me or save me with you,
Eustache! if you wish to save me, I
Shall go content… To Titus take
Me, to my brother dear for I want
To convince him and embrace
Him since your heart is inflexible…
EUSTACHE. Oh! God, your loftiest secrets who
Can fathom? You returned to me
My son, and to your heavenly decrees
I owe it. But if he comes to his
Father’s bosom, eternal God, lead him
To a good end; in order to enjoy
Happy glory. Change his heart and sentiment
So that Flavius also may become your son.
Oh! Your face reminds me of objects,
Tender objects, pleasing to my mind.
FLAVIUS. Oh my father! As I find you, I lose
You also at the same instant…
Can you bar it? Faustus without knowing it
United us; and now would you want to die?
You want to stay away from me again?
EUSTACHE. It was God who united us
Dear Flavius, in my last peaceful days,
And you can be always united to
Your brother and me in Heaven. For
In this vain and fleeting life you have
Forgotten that in your tender breast
The sweet sentiments of Christian religion
You’ll live happily contented and
If you would follow the heavenly doctrines
Of our holy religion. I confess
That in my robust age I left the gods,
Believing in the Eternal doctrines.
Your mother dear was a Christian too…
FLAVIUS. Where’s my mother, because I want to see her?
EUSTACHE. Her life did happily end, to God
Eternal giving faithful proof.
She dwells in Haven and she invites
Us to her happy and joyful abode.
Do you remember how much she loved
You? Soon I’ll see her at the gates
Of that kingdom more beautiful than the sun,
Than the moon, extending her pleasant arms
To me, embracing and kissing happy
Titus and asking me with painful tone:
“Espouse sweet, where is Flavius?” But son,
Tell me: what can I answer her? He is
A cruel foe of our Creator, who
Worships and serves perfidious gods;
Who lacks light because of cruel deceptions
And of dreadful fires a prisoner will be
And avengers of sacred faith. To that
Lord, to God immense, I offered that
From childhood you would worship him (to Flavius).
And for this I expected to have a reward;
But to her I shall say that on leaving the world
I spoke to you, showed you the happy path;
But you were obdurate to my ors.
Then the Avernus  you’ll be disjoined
From God, from her, from Titus dear:
Then that Flavius, her tender son, will not
See the delights of Heaven; that
Flavius who was her first love. Since you
Who, sadly weeps, anxiously (to Flavius)
Seek her maternal bosom, so yielding
To the entreaties of her sons, She is
Waiting for you, Flavius, in heaven.
FLAVIUS. I love my father and he ought not
To leave me plunged in my sorrow and weeping
Extremely. He ought not to die, for he sees
In Flavius an unhappy son.
CLAUDIUS. Where’s Titus?... Where, sir, is he?
You see him led to harsh death
To lions and beasts delivered! And you
Don’t look for an asylum for you son?
EUSTACHE. What do you say? Poor me! My son
Is in danger! But, what? They have not yet
Given us the punishment… But, have
You seen him? How do you know?
Why? Tell me, tell me, my Claudius!
CLAUDIUS. Led by perfidious soldiers I have seen
Him near the amphitheater: the mob
Was running to the spectacle
To look at the unhappy child.
Confusedly repeated the populace:
Look at Eustache’s son, at Titus look
Thrown to the beasts; a Christian he is!
EUSTACHE. Omnipotent Creator, God benign (looking at the sky)
Comfort gently his tender heart. Lord support
Him, to Thee I entrust him; be gentle
To him at the hour of his death!
Lord, triumph, over all enemies
There are in the world. Exalt the glory
Of your name so that you may be feared.
Let Rome see that you, Lord help her. Receive
His soul… But now gentle Titus, my son,
Gladly offer your blood for your brother, son dear.
FLAVIUS. What do you say, father, Oh! How my breast oppresses me!
CLAUIUS. Oh, my Flavius, a good reason you have
For weeping… in the eyes… on the face…
EUSTRACHE. But my Claudius, how did he look to you?
CLAUDIUS. Like rising Phoebus,  radiant, joyful.
He scarcely did see me when to me he said:
“Goodbye, and tell my father to hasten
The happy day to be with me.”
FLAVIUS. Alas, little brother of mine, alas
CLAUDIUS. You know that he is also your son
And you don’t save him from the pain
EUSTACHE. Alas, I would
Like to save him… but what do I see?
CLAUDIUS. How? Well... you saved yourself? I don’t understand. (To
TITUS. Alas, Father… alas, friends…
EUSTACHE. Beloved son,
Did you remain faithful to God?
TITUS. Yes, father.
EUSTACHE. How did you flee from the desired reward?
TITUS. Don’t think that I fled, father dear.
EUSTACHE. Oh, God! I fear some perfidious deceit.
TITUS. Don’t fear, no, for I was prepared
Death to receive like a Christian.
EUSTACHE. What happened to you then? Tell me quick.
TITUS. Hardly have you left me, Cornelius fierce
Got into my room and took me out.
To his perfidious soldiers entrusting me.
Because to death I was condemned
By order of the illustrious Hadrian.
From there they brought me right away
To the amphitheater spacious and wide.
On the arena I instantly
Saw myself surrounded by people and walls.
Roars from the closed caves I did hear
From countless lions. I knelt on the ground
And I thought of my Lord. His holy name
With fervent clamor tearfully I
Invoked… I cheered up, for near
I saw the asylum of the just.
“Take your servant,” – with fervor I exclaimed –
“And accept the sacrifice of my life.
My beloved father, Lord, I commend
To Thee and kindly receive my last breath.”
I said this, and the soldiers instantly
To two lions opened the barriers which
Furiously hurled themselves into
The center; angered their long manes they move
And frightfully their tails they agitate;
And roaring like horrible thunder
Hungry o’er the patio immense they pass
Showing me their teeth and claws; but when
They reach me their havoc they put aside
And with tenderness extreme they caress
Me. And becoming placid and tame 
And with tenderness extreme they cares
Me. And becoming placid and tame
Their reddish loin thrice they rub
Against my right side lightly. And
They look at me as quietly they rest
And on the arena lengthwise they lay.
EUSTACHE. Oh the inscrutable counsels of God! You make
Lions tame; you soften their heart with your word
And likewise you harden the unjust!
For such prodigy bless your Lord and give (to Titus)
Him thanks for saving you. Blind Rome!
Your clouded eyes open and recognize
The God of the Christians. But tell me,
How did you come?
TITUS. All the populace
Rose in admiration of the event
And instantly also up I rose,
To the guards of the entrances I went
Who, for your sake, perhaps, let me pass.
And through the straight road I went to you.
Do, Lord, whatever please you (looking to Heaven)
For I offer the sacrifice of my life.
CLAUDIUS. Your God wants to see you safe and sound
So that you may placidly obey Jove.
EUSTACHE. For such purpose He doesn’t want me to be safe.
Nor can he wish it.
CLAUDIUS. Why can’t he?
EUSTACHE. Because to his faith He doesn’t want us to
Be perfidious traitors. Oh! Titus,
In Flavius the warrior look thee at
Your brother whom I mentioned to you.
TITUS. Dear!... Gentle brother! (He goes to embrace Flavius but
Eustache stops him.)
EUSTACHE. Don’t embrace him!
He is an adversary of our God!
TITUS. Luckless Flavius! Brother unfortunate!...
Oh, conquer, Lord, his iron heart!
EUSTACHE. Look, ungrateful son, how cruel you are (to Flavius)
Titus with his example ought
To win you and on knowing that
The beasts were tamed. Look God has tamed
The savage impetus of the fierce
Lions to let you know that He is Supreme.
With valor as soldier you followed me
Without fearing the specter of death…
To martial glory true, you respect
The leader of the Roman arms
And do follow the mandate of
My voice. And upon my wish you expose
Your noble breast to the arrows dense
Of the Parthians,  valorous and bold
As always… and now of you I need, Flavius,
That valor, that fidelity owed to
God, the Creator, potent and supreme.
As your father you recognized me
And you want to change, Flavius ingrate?
But, why do I try to bend a soul
Who is deaf to my sane counsels?
Unhappy son, of my presence get out,
In order not to hear m ultimate will,
Your father’s painful complaints that wound
The heart. Depart, Flavius, go far
Away from your father whom you disobey.
And say at least: “Father… brother, goodbye.”
TITUS. Alas! Flavius…
EUSTACHE. You’ve courage enough
To say so? You don’t have so much.
You don’t show so much ingratitude.
Alas! Respond, respond, unfortunate man.
FAVIUS. You won, my father, at you feet
See me! (He kneels). I worship your Creator,
I adore and love Him. I know the Supreme
God of my childhood; if His loving arms
Receive me, I’ll love Him more. Can I hope,
Though I am wicked, to be received?
EUSTACHE. Yes, Flavius, I promise you that He’ll
Admit you to His sacred abode
If you’d love Him with the love of a son.
FLAVIUS. I was blind and unhappy ten years ago!...
EUSTACHE. The infidelities you did commit
Repentance does erase, Flavius.
Now arise and rest well content.
FLAVIUS. With you I await the longed-for reward.
That you promise me… Titus, come embrace me!
EUSTACHE. Embrace him and embraced let us die!
CLAUDIUS AND FLAVIUS
CLAUDIUS. And lastly, Flavius, what can I
Expect from your life?
FLAVIUS. I think, dear friend,
That there in Heaven a fine place awaits
Me and enduring peace; but with me,
You’ll not be!
CLAUDIUS. I see that paternal ideas
Could guide your understanding along
Paths where you will detest your life.
FLAVIUS. Not any more for love I seek death.
To such opinion reason leads me.
If my father (may fate wish it not)
Would obey the mandates of Hadrian,
I would be firmer than a rock.
And I do charge them as ingrates
I’d continue in what God teaches me.
CLAUDIUS. But… Flavius, does this faith demand your blood?
FLAVIUS. Now it demands it; but, Claudius, look:
If I, as I told you, would like to fight
For the monarch who wretchedly does sigh
And for Rome I would offer gladly myself
Did I get any fitting reward? Therefore
Much more I ought to die and fight
If this I owe to a wretched man,
For my God who with His glory invites
Me, ore do I owe the enlightened God!
And moreover my body from the tomb
Now unremembered Hadrian cannot raise
Nor could I dwell in so happy a place
As that which God already concedes to me.
To our apartments let me go
To discuss our religion beloved…
The remaining moments of my life…
CLAUDIUS. (Interrupting) the remaining moments of your life?
Think, Flavius, and with reason decide.
FLAVIUS. I do think and I’m very sorry, dear friend,
That you’re not lucky to share with me
In the enjoyment of goodness divine,
In holy heaven let us seek peace!
CLAUDIUS. I don’t want heaven. Know that I
Esteem you more than what you believe.
What a loss! I’ve esteemed you, and sadly I moan!
Oh pitiless heart, ingrate and hard!
FLAVIUS. It’s not so hard that for you it doesn’t feel
An acute pain that sadly I endure
The past restlessness that torments me.
Alas! For your obstinacy I die
Uneasy! Perhaps you’ll do what you now
Refuse and then enchanting joy
Will be mine for your religious change.
And if your ardent heart loves me
Quench the fire that inflames my breast.
FLAVIUS AND CORNELIUS
CORNELIUS. Go way from here and you get to Hadrian (to Flavius);
I order you to go to him right away…
FLAVIUS. Why!... Our sovereign is calling me!
(A threatening gesture I see on his face.)
CORNELIUS. And you ask? Do you know that a Roman should
Not vex a ruler? Flavius, go,
And in a moment you will know;
And you, also depart and follow him (to Claudius they go.)
METELLUS AND CORNELIUS
CORNELIUS. Do you know that Flavius now follows and adores
The God of the Christians and that he’s the son of a
METELLUS. I’ve just found it out:
But what will befall the unfortunate youth?
CORNELIUS. Removed from his father’s side he’ll live,
And to the cult of the deities he’ll
Return through Hadrian’s flatteries;
And besides, an Athenian Hadrian has,
A man of learning and talent rare,
Of reasons persuasive and eloquent
That they can hardly contradict,
And he will dissuade him from his speech,
In such a way that gladly he will yield…
And far from his father it’s not possible
That the entreaties he will resist and death
He will seek; with such a desire, he is mad.
METELLUS. Will Flavius live?
CORNELIUS. I don’t care at all!
For little he opposes my designs.
Eustace, yes, he shows himself my foe,
With Titus he will die and in a short time
If Hadrian carries out his designs.
METELLUS. For them, in truth, compassion I feel!
And of wretched criminals you hasten the death?
CORNELIUS. Why delay death, if criminals they are?
METELLUS. The Christians Heaven does defend!
METELLUS. In that Titus did not you see it?
Who can restrain the hunger of beasts
Except One with an infinite power?
CORNELIUS. Why do you defend his cruel crime
When such crime indicts and does hurt them?
METELLUS. You incriminate them with such defense.
CORNELIUS. And don’t you know that magical arts
Do often serve the profane? And still
Rarer marvels you will see? Besides,
Our Hadrian wishes it. Despite
His slowness, I have induced him to leave
Them to me to decide what to do with them…
METELLUS. But that they’re guilty you believe?
CORNELIUS. He wants it thus: I know what I .
Here they are coming now with chains.
METELLUS. Alas, you’re shedding innocent blood!
Oh, how horrid! Rome, what laws you have!
EUSTACHE AND TITUS CHAINED
CORNELIUS. The emperor orders that I tell you
His last exceedingly powerful will,
And carefully decide on your fate:
Do you want the sacrifice or death?
METELLUS. Think that your victory dies with you,
Together with Titus, young glory!
EUSTACHE. I thank you for your pity and love (to Metellus).
CORNELIUS. Your misfortunes, friend, pain me very much!
EUSTACHE. Fulfill your duty… don’t say things
That your deceitful soul does not feel.
I know you, Cornelius; I forgive you.
I choose death that the throne offers me.
Say, Metellus, is Flavius here?
METELLUS. In front
Of Hadrian he is. Not always wrong
For a decision Flavius will adopt
Deserving of youth so discreet and wise.
He will leave erroneous customs of
Our religion o surmises. And
You live for Rome, for us, for your
Dear friends and for others who love you.
Go then to the sacred temple of
Jupiter and show an example grand
EUSTACHE. I will sin, friend,
Against my God if I take your advice.
METELLUS. Don’t you want to see Flavius?
EUSTACHE. I would like
To see him before with Titus I die.
Cornelius, be more human, for pity’s sake!
CORNELUS. Eustache, your wish will be in vain.
You know that I obey the crown.
TITUS. O Father! Flavius now deserts us,
And returns to the cult of Jupiter.
EUSTACHE. Alas! What fierce and cruel affront!
To present myself with my children dear raising his eyes)
I thought of joining them, oh Lord,
And at your most exalted feet
Lay myself, before your throne I long
For that felicity for my breast!
And if you would like to probe my heart,
That with your justice you strike a soul.
You can sustain me with your grace
Against my bad luck’s ferocious weight…
Forgive my sorrow, I distrust
My unhappy Flavius, in you I trust.
What force can change him who is sad.
At heart if your favor he enjoys?
For Thee I die and some solace I hope
To find him glorious in heaven above.
Your wishes permit then, for my fault,
To take away my dear Flavius from me.
Can I not in that way speak to him? (To Cornelius).
CORNELIUS. You ask it for naught!
EUSTACHE. I’ll suffer it all!
The biter sorrow in sacrifice
He accepts and the punishment of my days.
Let’s fulfill his wish and Titus, let’s go;
Let death come and up to Eden we go.
Your tender heart raise thee to God;
Endure death which the guilty alarms.
TITUS. Let’s go, oh father, gaily to death.
Receive me! For Flavius I give my life;
For Flavius my gift I offer to God;
And suffer any affront to God.
TITUS. Let’s go, oh father, gaily to death.
Receive me! For Flavius I give my life;
For Flavius my gift I offer to God;
And suffer any affront to God.
EUSTACHE. If you have a heart stout and merciful (to Metellus)
Tell my Flavius that in cruel death
I’m sorry he is not with us,
For with Flavius contented I would die.
And merciful God while he implores
To forgive my sinful soul,
Remember Christ the King,
Mother, father ad brother who,
In Heaven impatiently wait for him
Titus, courage rest your aching feet. (He carries him and walks)
FLAVIUS. Oh father… stop… Why do you walk
In joy with chains? Where are you going?
EUSTACHE. To Heaven.
And to where are you bound, my solace sweet?
FLAVIUS. I’m going with you to suffer death.
EUSTACHE. Dear, is it true?
FLAVIUS. What a dreadful attack
Of rewards, of promises, flatteries,
Of reasons, terrible looks and acts,
They think I would desist from the good!
But God has won for me and instantly
To die with you my soul desires;
In calmness, pleasantly and in joy
To dwell singing praises to the Just Gd.
EUSTACHE. You inundate my breast with joy,
Dear Flavius, just for you, Eustache feared.
My breast now trembles with fervent delight,
For seeing you resolved with ardor to die.
CORNELUS. You don’t worship the gods?
FLAVIUS. The gods of Rome?
The Eternal Creator of the earth
I adore, God sovereign of peace and war;
I’ll serve Him faithfully and die for Him.
CONELIUS. Put him in chains oh soldiers, come -- they come.
FLAVIUS. How sweet I feel them! So soft are these chains!
EUSTACHE. At last, my dismal woes they removed;
With sweetness and honey my breast overflows.
I shall surely see you, oh God, with my sons…
For God converted my seeping sad
Into copious joy of heavenly charm,
Which fills with glee the lucky heart.
TITUS. Now we are happy!
FLAVIUS. Lucky we are!
CORNELIUS. Take them, soldiers, and put them to death.
EUSTACHE. Come and let us suffer with the stoutest heart,
For God invites us to His eternal home.
CORNELIUS AND METELLUS
METELLUS. Such virtue is not know in Rome,
For the sentence gladly the receive
And are contented to leave the world…
So resigned they look at the ultimate hour,
That a deity leads them it is possible
A superior deity in power and force.
CORNELIUS. You feel yourself. The Christians valor show
Because they long to be know as intrepid.
If they know how to die, in ruling I am wise…
At last I have triumphed over the beast
Who wished to snatch from me the crown.
METELLUS. “Soon falls one who rises so rapidly.”
Luck’s voluble and from on high
It drops into the cistern mortal man.
CORNELIUS. Next to Hadrian, I shall be the first,
And I shall command in the war begun.
METELLUS. If your enemy fall, you who’ll ascend,
Think of and believe in your future fall.
CORNELIUS. As so much fortune I do not have,
I fear not they’ll hurl me down by force.
METELLUS. I believe it is the way humans talk
Who wretched are blinded by themselves.
About others’ fate we are sensible;
And blind about ours. I, Cornelius,
I am a culprit of his blood, and with it
I would not want to stain myself.
CORNELIUS. That is how it seems to you, for his death
Does make your soul feel compassion.
I also felt some sense of guilt…
But it’s Hadrian who is to blame.
METELLUS. But if you’ve a crime and fear it not,
Of Hadrian are you not afraid?
CORNELIUS. Oh, what do you think?
METELLUS. The Ruler, I say, doesn’t order you
To put him to death without his nod.
CORNELIUS. He spoke in a way I don’t fear anymore…
He was in doubt as then he shows,
To condemn them or set them free;
But, won at last by my eloquence,
He said, “Cornelius, I give them to you”…
What can you reply?
METELLUS. Just one moment, wait
For it seems that somebody is coming near.
CORNELIUS. Go quickly take away the gods… Alas!
What sorrow my desperate heart feels!
Cruel remorse takes hold of my villainous soul.
The angered furies revengeful surround
My heart. It seems to me I see
Ghosts silently wandering asking for
An accounting of my wickedness
Naught! Nothing! It is late.
No salvation! Nothing remains to me!
METELLUS. Hadrian comes with a troubled face!
CORNELIUS. I fear that Claudius… the verdict I fear!
HADRIAN WITH LICTORS  AND PRIESTS
CORNELIUS. Oh, at last the Trajan Law is saved
Together with the honor of the gods.
HADRIAN. But Not the Cornelian word
Or his loyalty. Precisely all
The band of the Roman eagle gives
For sure the lie to his calumnies;
For hardly did the chiefs know it
The promised to persuade Eustache.
CORNELIUS. Great Emperor, I swear by Jove
That they accuse you of being slow
In condemning Eustache, and I assure you
They will be glad to see him die…
HADRIAN. You’ve been hasty, perfidious perjurer,
That such condemnation they did ask
As you do say by your own hands
The laws of Trajan you execute;
But, nevertheless in doubt I remain…
I want to see how wisely you served me.
When Titus, the brave, I gave to you.
To his father to deliver him.
My order did you obey? Ah! Cruel,
Deceitful, can you recall what I said
To you? How truly you served me then?
Have you contradicted my commands?
CORNELIUS. Sir… What doubt is this? I don’t understand…
I talked to him as you ordered me…
But, how could I remember it?
HADRIAN. If it is not engraved in your mind,
Recall to your mind such horrible crime
Encouraging Titus, unfortunate,
Against Jupiter and Rome to rise,
Since you think you can de it from me!
And I saw your crime, and nevertheless
Your pallor too betrays it to me.
You ought to feel it the moment you
See the crime already weighting on you
Titus did not tell me, a loving judge
He was of such a luckless life
That you have just cruelly sacrificed
On the altar of a bloodthirsty god.
And you feign to be loyal to me as you excite
Them to deny the power of the gods.
When many leaders were hoping to obtain
Forgiveness from my clemency.
You rise alone as you contrive
That I hurry up the judgment on them…
This is caused by your feigned jealous
Which give to the emperor anxieties great;
The ship and power of the vast state
And resplendent and magnificent
You by my side would stand…
But, for your daring I’ll allow you now
To leave for Ostia  for your grievous mistake
To suffer forever cruel exile.
Never to leave it for being ingrate;
Relief you will not enjoy but torment.
Step thee not in Rome, grateful city,
Nor rich food will you taste therein
For disobeying my command.
CORNELIUS. Sir, forgive me… I appeal to your clemency.
HADRIAN. Envious man, out of my presence, go away…
METELLUS. You are sir, just and kind,
For you act as a sovereign should.
HADRIAN. And, Metellus, think, do not let jealous desire
And human ambition encourage you.
Look at Cornelius who consents to kill
The loyal ones with his own hand,
Flee from the temple of disloyalty.
METELLUS. With your example, Hadrian, I shall learn.
HADRIAN. From where do you come? What news do you bring me?
CLAUDIUS. Eustache, oh Hadrian, died with his sons
After a hard strife and pains prolonged.
I cannot give you a faithful account.
So moved the people wept with copious tears
Seeing the boys who merrily laughed
And placid the face for contented they died
By sweet emotion my breast was moved.
As he prayed the candid Titus gave
His neck, laughing softly, to the executioner…
Off went his head that prettily was raised
From the impact of iron by the ferocious hand.
His father instantly picked it up
And kissed the marked face with tender love.
In a placid voice of Flavius, my friend,
At same moment from the torso was disjoined.
I cried as I saw such a bloody event,
That also made the people weep.
Eustache pleased and merry followed them
And with spirit strong he offered his life,
Awaiting the same fate from iron and fire
For seeing in heavenly Eden his sons.
To see them so faithful I would die I thought,
On seeing them with smiling, contented face
Courageously suffering the torture fierce.
What an image so tender, happy submission!
Extremely touched I was as Flavius, as Titus
With affectionate voice did say to me:
“Oh Claudius, we shall pray for you”.
An arrow sharp did strike my heart.
HADRIAN. The law of Trajan and Cornelius fierce
Derived Rome of a valiant man.
Of the Christian faith that hated the law.
Most sorry I was that my rule compelled him
In a powerful deity to believe,
A wish that deprived me of a leader brave
Who left scattered his bellicose flock.
CLAUDIUS. Of pity for certain not worthy they were.
We are… A very powerful God
Exists who with clemency governs and rules…
There also is a future life.
How strong so many Christians we see
Who gladly suffer, tolerate death:
Thus they do it honoring the just God
The God of the Christians who Eden made!
E N D
 . . . . . Si quid tamen olim
Scripseris, in Metii descendant judiceis aurea,
Et patris, et nostras; nonumque prematur in annum,
Meinbrauis intus positis. Delere licebit
Quid non edideris: nescit vox inissa reverti.
[But if you mould hereafter write, the verse
To Metius, to your Sire] to me, rehearse.
Let it sink deep in their judicious ears!
Weigh the work well; and keep it back nine years!
Papers unpublished you may blot or burn:
A word, once uttered, never can return.
 Hadrian was the emperor of Rome from 117 to 138 A.D.
 Trajan was the Roman emperor ruling from 98 to 117 AD and predecessor of the present emperor, Hadrian.
 Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) A.D. 39-81; Roman general & emperor (79-81): son of Vespasian. He is not to be confused with Titus the son of Eustache, who is featured in the script.
 The Dacians were a conquered people who lived in the land of what is now Romania. The Parthians were people who once belonged to an important ancient and pre-Roman empire which was southeast of the Caspian Sea in what is now north-eastern Iran.
 Actually a synonym for the Danube River. Perhaps Rizal had heard of the poem Der Ister by Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin, a late 18th and early 19th century German poet. Rizal did not know the German language at this point in his life.
 The crime of Scipio may refer to the assassination of the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus supposedly by a follower of a slain rival, Gracchi, who Scipio had publically vilified before a hostile crowd prior to his murder that evening. The Roman poet Cicero wrote The Dream of Scapio.
 The Roman god also known as Jupiter.
 Inhabitants of Dacia, a Roman province which is approximately the area of modern Romania.
 Parthia, also known as the Arsacid Empire was an ancient civilization in what is now north-eastern Iran. It was weakened in warfare with the Roman Empire in the 2nd century A.D. Also see footnote 23.
 Mars is the ancient Roman god of war.
 Ister refers to the Danube River.
 Lictors: In ancient Rome, any of a group of minor officials who carried the fasces (ceremonial axes) and cleared the way for the chief magistrates.
 In a letter to Pliny the Younger, the Emperor Trajan instructed that Christians should be left alone unless they openly practiced their religion. Those proven guilty could also be restored if they denounced the faith and worshipped the empire’s gods. (Pliny, Letters 10.96-97)
 Nero was the Emperor of Rome from 54-68 AD. He persecuted the Christians for the alleged crime of arson in the burning of Rome. He was noted for being cruel and depraved.
 Nero reputedly ordered his mother, Agrippina, killed and commanded that the Stoic philosopher Seneca who was his teacher to commit suicide.
 Emperor of Rome from 69-79 AD.
 In Roman mythology, a nine-headed serpent. If one serpent head was cut off, two more would appear. The Hydra came to be associated with persistent and increasing evil.
 Saint Peter, traditionally the first Bishop of Rome, is purported to have been crucified head down during the persecutions under Emperor Nero.
 The reference is perhaps to Saint Saturninus who was martyred in 203 AD.
 Emperor of Rome from 81-96 AD.
 Scipios = Publius Cornelius Scipo Africanus. A general in the Second Punic War and a statesman of the Roman Republic.
Metellus = Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus. A brilliant general who fought in the Fourth Macedonic War.
Emilius = There are a number of Roman figures of historic import with he name Emilius or (preferably) Aemilius. The Aemili were an old clan supposedly descendents of Pythagoras. The most notable was Lepidi who lived at the end of the Republic.
Caesars = Emperors of Rome
Fabius = A Roman general and statesman who defeated Hannibal in the second Punic War.
Sullus = Lucius Cornelius Silla (138-78 BC) was a Roman General and Politician serving as Consul. He also became a Dictator over Rome.
Calpurnius = Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesninus was a statesman in ancient Rome and father-in-law of Julius by his daughter Calpurnia Pisonis.
Pompey = A Roman general
 Also see Footnote 10. Latium: The Parthian empire began around 250 BC from Iranian speaking people in a tribal confederacy. It’s location was what is now southern Turkmenistan. Attempts to subdue the empire by Rome were always unsuccessful including some of the most remarkable military battles of history. The Parthians defeated the Roman General Crassus in 53 BC and Mark Anthony in 36 BC which ultimately led to his downfall and death along with his lover Cleopatra. Ultimately the ceaseless wars with Rome and the revolts by vassal territories led to the demise of the empire in the third century BC. Interestingly enough Latium refers to the coastal plain from the mouth of the Tiber to the Circeian promontory, and its adjacent foothills. It was actually considered the cradle of Rome.
 The siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D in the first Jewish Roman War.
 Avernus = Hades or Hell.
 Phoebus = Apollo, the god of the sun. In this case a reference to the rising, radiant and joyful sunrise.
 This section mirrors the familiar story of Daniel condemned to a den of lions (Daniel 6, especially verses 14-23). Ostia was an ancient city in Latium, at the mouth of the Tiber, that was the port of Rome.