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Dashed us upon a rock; when to your boat Jaf. Indeed, my lord, I dare not.
You made for safety; entered first yourself; My heart, that awes me, is too much my master:
The affrighted Belvidera, following next, Three years are past, since first our vows were
As she stood trembling on the vessel's side,

plighted, Was by a wave washed off into the deep; During which time, the world must bear me witWhen instantly I plunged into the sea,

ness, And, buffetting the billows to her rescue, I've treated Belvidera like your daughter, Redeemed her life with half the loss of mine. The daughter of a senator of Venice: Like a rich conquest, in one hand I bore her, Distinction, place, attendance, and observance, And with the other dashed the saucy waves, Due to her birth, she always has commanded. That thronged and pressed to rob me of my prize. Out of my little fortune I've done this; I brought her, gave her to your despairing arms: Because (though hopeless e'er to win your naIndeed you thanked me; but a nobler gratitude ture) Rose in her soul : for from that hour she loved The world might see I loved her for herself; me,

Not as the heiress of the great Priuli. Till for her life she paid me with herself.

Pri. No more. Pri. You stole her from me; like a thief you Jaf. Yes, all, and then adieu for ever. stole her,

There's not a wretch, that lives on common chaAt dead of night! that cursed hour you chose,

rity, To rifle me of all my heart held dear.

But's happier than me: for I have known May all your joys in her prove false, like mine; The luscious sweets of plenty; every night A sterile fortune, and a barren bed,

Have slept with soft content about my head, Attend you both; continual discord make And never waked, but to a joyful morning : Your days and nights bitter and grievous : still Yet now must fall, like a full ear of corn, May the hard hand of a vexatious need

Whose blossom 'scaped, yet's withered in the Oppress and grind you; till at last you find

ripening. The curse of disobedience all your portion! Pri. Home, and be humble ; study to reJaf Half of your curse you have bestowed in trench; vain;

Discharge the lazy vermin of thy hall, Heaven has already crowned our faithful loves Those pageants of thy folly: With a young boy, sweet as his mother's beauty: Reduce the glittering trappings of thy wife May he live to prove more gentle than his grand- To humble weeds, fit for thy little state : sire,

Then, to some suburb cottage both retire; And happier than bis father!

Drudge to feed loathsome life; get brats and Pri. Rather live

starve To bait thee for his bread, and din your ears Home, home, I say:

[Exit. With hungry cries; whilst his unhappy mother Jaf. Yes, if my heart would let me Sits down and weeps in bitterness of want. This proud, this swelling heart: home I would Jaf. You talk as if 'twould please you.

go, Pri. It would, by heaven!

But that my doors are hateful to my eyes, Once she was dear indeed; the drops that fell Filled and dammed up with gaping creditors ; From my sad heart, when she forgot her duty, Watchful as fowlers, when their game will The fountain of my life was not so precious

spring. But she is gone, and, if I am a man,

I've now not fifty ducats in the world, I will forget her.

Yet still I am in love, and pleased with ruin. Jaf. Would I were in my grave !

Oh! Belvidera! Oh! she is my wifePri. And she too with thee:

And we will bear our wayward fate together, For, living here, you're but my cursed remem- But ne'er know comfort more. brancers,

Enter PIERRE.
I once was happy.
Jaf. You use me thus, because you know my Pier. My friend, good morrow.
soul

How fares the honest partner of my heart? Is fond of Belvidera. You perceive

What, melancholy! not a word to spare me? My life feeds on her, therefore thus you treat me. Jaf. I'm thinking, Pierre, how that damned Oh! could my soul ever have known satiety,

starving quality, Were I that thief, the doer of such wrongs Called honesty, got fuoting in the world. As you upbraid me with, what hinders me Pier. Why, powerful villany first set it up, But I might send her back to you with contu- For its own ease and safety. Honest men mely,

Are the soft easy cushions, on which knaves And court my fortune, where she would be Repose and fatten. Were all mankind villains, kinders

They'd starve each other; lawyers would want Pri. You dare not do it.

practice,

too

Cut-throats rewards : each man would kill his Jaf. I know the wretch, and scorn him as thou brother

hatest him. Himself; none would be paid or hanged for mur- Pier. Curse on the common good, that's so der.

protected, Honesty! 'twas a cheat invented first

Where every slave, that heaps up wealth enough To bind the hands of bold deserving rogues, To do much wrong, becomes the lord of right! That fools and cowards might sit safe in power,

I, who believed no ill could e'er come near me, And lord it uncontrouled above their betters. Found in the embraces of my Aquilina Jaf. Then honesty is but a notion ?

A wretched, old, but itching senator ; Pier. Nothing else;

A wealthy fool, that had bought out my title; Like wit, much talked of, not to be defined. A rogue, that uses beauty like a lamb-skin, He, that pretends to most, too, has least share in Barely to keep him warm; that filthy cuckoo

it. Tis a ragged virtue : Honesty! no more of it. Was, in my absence, crept into my nest, Jaf. Sure thou art honest ?

And spoiling all my brood of noble pleasure. Pier. So, indeed, men think me;

Jaf. Didst thou not chase him thence?
But they are mistaken, Jaffier: I am a rogue Pier. I did, and drove
As well as they;

The rank old bearded Hirco stinking home.
A fine, gay, bold faced villain, as thou seest me. The matter was complained of in the senate,
Tis true, 1 pay my debts, when they're con I summoned to appear, and censored basely,
tracted;

For violating something they called privilege I steal from no man; would not cut a throat, This was the recompence of all my service. To gain admission to a great man's purse, Would I'd been rather beaten by a coward ! Or a whore's bed; I'd not betray my friend A soldier's mistress, Jaffier, is his religion; To get his place or fortune; I scorn to flatter When that's profaned, all other ties are broken: A blown-up fool above me, or crush the wretch That even dissolves all former bonds of service; beneath me;

And from that hour I think myself as free Yet, Jaffier, for all this, I am a villain.

To be the foe, as e'er the friend, of VeniceJaf. A villain!

Nay, dear revenge, whene'er thou callst, I'm Pier. Yes, a most notorious villain;

ready. To see the sufferings of my fellow-creatures, Jaf. I think no safety can be here for virtue, And own myself a man : to see our senators And grieve, my friend, as much as thou, to live Cheat the deluded people with a shew

In such a wretched state as this of Venice, Of liberty, which yet they ne'er must taste of. Where all agree to spoil the public good; They say, by them our hands are free from fet- And villains fatten with the brave man's labours. ters;

Pier. We have neither safety, unity, nor peace, Yet, whom they please, they lay in basest bonds; For the foundation's lost of common good; Bring, whom they please, to infamy and sorrow; Justice is lame, as well as blind, amongst us; Drive us, like wrecks, down the rough tide of The laws (corrupted to their ends that make power,

them)
While no hold's left to save us from destruction. Serve but for instruments of some new tyranny,
All that bear this are villains, and I one, That every day starts up, to enslave us deeper.
Not to rouse up at the great call of nature, Now, could this glorious cause bat hnd out friends
And check the growth of these domestic spoilers, To do it right, oh, Jaffier! then mightest thou
That make us slaves, and tell us, 'tis our charter. Not wear these seals of woe upon thy face;

Jaf. Oh, Aquilina! Friend, to lose such beauty! The proud Priuli should be taught humanity,
The dearest purchase of thy noble labours ! And learn to value such a son as thou art.
She was thy right by conquest, as by love. I dare not speak, but my heart bleeds this mo-
Pier. Oh! Jaffier! I had so fixed my heart

ment.

Jaf. Cursed be the cause, though I, thy friend, That, wheresoe'er I framed a scheme of life,

be part on't ! For time to come, she was my only joy,

Let me partake the troubles of thy bosom, With which I wished to sweeten future cares: For I am used to misery, and perhaps I fancied pleasures; none but one, that loves · May find a way to sweeten it to thy spirit. And doats as I did, can imagine like them ; Pier. Too soon 'twill reach thy knowledge When in the extremity of all these hopes, Jaf. Then from thee In the most charming hour of expectation, Let it proceed. There's virtue in try friendship, Then, when our eager wishes soared the highest, Would make the saddest tale of sorrow pleasing, Ready to stoop and grasp the lovely game, Strengthen my constancy, and welcome ruin. A haggard owl, a worthless kite of prey,

Pier. Then thou art ruined ! With his foul wings, sailed in, and spoiled my Jaf. That I long since knew; quarry

I and in fortune have been long acquainted.

upon her,

ter.

Jaf. Oh!

Pier. I passed this very moment by thy doors, Whilst I have blood or fortune fit to serve thee: And found them guarded by a troop of villains : Command

my

heart! thou art every way its masThe sons of public rapine were destroying. They told me, by the sentence of the law, Jaf. No, there's a secret pride in bravely dying. They had commission to seize all thy fortune : Pier. Rats die in holes and corners; dogs run Nay, more, Priuli's cruel hand had signed it,

mad: Here stood a ruffian with a horrid face,

Man knows a braver remedy for sorrow Lording it o'er a pile of massy plate,

Revenge, the attribute of gods; they stamped it Tumbled into a heap for public sale;

With their great image on our natures. Die! There was another, making villainous jests Consider well the cause, that calls upon thee : At thy undoing: he had taken possession And, if thou art base enough, die then. RememOf all thy ancient, most domestic, ornaments,

ber, Rich hangings intermixed and wrought with gold; Thy Belvidera suffers ; Belvidera ! The very bed, which on thy wedding-night Die-damn first-What! be decently interred? Received thee to the arms of Belvidera, In a church-yard, and mingle thy brave dust The scene of all thy joys, was violated

With stinking rogues, that rot in winding-sheets, By the coarse hands of filthy dungeon villains, Surfeit-slain fools, the common dung of the soil! And thrown amongst the common lumber. Jaf. Now thank heaven

Pier. Well said, out with it, swear a little Pier. Thank heaven! for what?

Jaf. Swear! by sea and air; by earth, by heaJaf. That I am not worth a ducat.

ven and hell, Pier. Curse thy dull stars, and the worse fate I will revenge my Belvidera's tears. of Venice,

Hark thee, my friend-Priuli-is-a senator.
Where brothers, friends, and fathers, are all false; Pier. A dog.
Where there's no truth, no trust; where inno- Jaf. Agreed.
cence

Pier. Shoot him.
Stoops under vile oppression, and vice lords it. Jaf. With all my heart.
Hadst thou but seen, as I did, how at last No more; where shall we meet at night?
Thy beauteous Belvidera, like a wretch

Pier. I'll tell thee;
That's doomed to banishment, came weeping on the Rialto, every night at twelve,
forth,

I take my evening's walk of meditation; Shining through tears, like April suns in showers, There we two will meet, and talk of precious That labour to o'ercome the cloud that loads Mischiefthem;

Jaf. Farewell. Whilst two young virgins, on whose arms she Pier. At twelve. leaned,

Jaf. At any hour; my plagues Kindly looked up, and at her grief grew sad, Will keep me waking.

[Exit Pierre. As if they catched the sorrows, that fell from her; Tell me why, good Heaven, Even the lewd rabble, that were gathered round Thou madest me what I am, with all the spirit, To see the sight, stood mute, when they beheld Aspiring thoughts, and elegant desires, her,

That fill the happiest man? Ah, rather, why Governed their roaring throats, and grumbled Didst thou not form me sordid as my fate, pity;

Base-minded, dull, and fit to carry burthens ? I could have hugged the greasy rogues : they Why have I sense to know the curse, that's on pleased me.

me?
Jaf. I thank thee for this story, from my soul; Is this just dealing, nature ? —Belvidera !
Since now I know the worst, that can befal me.
Ah, Pierre! I have a heart, that could have borne

Enter BelvidERA.
The roughest wrong, my fortune could have done Poor Belvidera !
me;

Bel. Lead me, lead me, my virgins, But, when I think what Belvidera feels, To that kind voice. My lord, my love, my refuge! The bitterness her tender spirit tastes of, Happy my eyes, when they behold thy face ! I own myself a coward: bear my weakness : My heavy heart will leave its doleful beating If, throwing thus my arms about thy neck, At sight of thee, and bound with sprightly joys. I play the boy, and blubber in thy bosom. Oh sinile ! as when our loves were in the spring, Oh!'I shall drown thee with my sorrows. And cheer my fainting soul. Pier. Burn,

Jaf. As when our loves First burn and level Venice to thy ruin! Were in the spring ! Has then our fortune changWhat! starve, like beggars' brats, in frosty wea- ed? ther,

Art thou not Belvidera, still the same, Under a hedge, and whine ourselves to death! Kind, good, and tender, as my arms first found Thou, or thy cause, shall never want assistance,

thee?

you !

If thou art altered, where shall I have harbour? | Endure the bitter gripes of smarting poverty? Where ease my loaded heart? Oh! where com- When banished by our miseries abroad plain?

(As suddenly we shall be), to seek out Bel. Does this appear like change, or love de- In soine får climate, where our names are caying,

strangers, When thus I throw myself into thy bosom, For charitable succour; wilt thou then, With all the resolution of strong truth !

When in a bed of straw we shrink together, Beats not my heart, as 'twould alarum thine And the bleak winds shall whistle round our To a new charge of bliss ?-I joy more in thee, heads; Than did thy mother, when she hugged thee first, Wilt thou then talk thus to me? Wilt thou then And blessed the Gods for all her travail past. Hush my cares thus, and shelter me with love? Jaf. Can there ip woman be such glorious Bel. Oh! I will love thee, even in madness faith?

love thee; Sure all ill stories of thy sex are false !

Though my distracted senses should forsake me, Oh woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee I'd find soine intervals, when my poor heart To temper man : we had been brutes without Should 'swage itself, and be let loose to thine.

Though the bare earth be all our resting-place, Angels are painted fair to look like you : Its roots our food, some clift our habitation, There's in you all, that we believe of heaven; I'll make this arm a pillow for thy head; Amazing brightness, purity and truth,

And, as thou sighing liest, and swelled with Eternal joy, and everlasting love.

sorrow, Bel. If love be treasure, we'll be wondrous Creep to thy bosom, pour the balm of love

Into thy soul, and kiss thee to thiy rest ; I have so much, my heart will surely break with it: Then praise our God, and watch thee till the Vows can't express it. When I would declare

morning. How great my joys, I'm dumb with the big Jaf. Hear this, you heavens ! and wonder how thought;

you made her:
I swell, and sigh, and labour with my longing. Reign, reign, ye monarchs, that divide the world;
0! lead me to some desert wide and wild, Busy rebellion ne'er will let you know
Barren as our misfortunes, where my soul Tranquillity and happiness like mine!
May have its vent, where I may tell aloud Like gaudy ships the obsequious billows fall,
To the high heavens, and every listning planet, And rise again, to lift you in your pride ;
With what a boundless stock my bosom's fraught; They wait but for a storm, and then devour you;
Where I may throw my eager arms about thee, 1, in my private bark already wrecked,
Give loose to love, with kisses kindling joy; Like a poor merchant driven to unknown land,
And let off all the fire, that's in my heart. That had by chance packed up his choicest trea-
Jaf. Oh, Belvidera! doubly I am a beggar:

sure
Undone by fortune, and in debt to thee. In one dear casket, and saved only that;
Want, worldly want, that hungry meagre fiend, Since I must wander further on the shore,
Is at my heels, and chaces me in view.

Thus hug my little, but my precious store, Canst thou bear cold and hunger? Can these limbs, Resolved to scorn and trust my fate no more. Framed for the tender offices of love,

(Ereunt.

rich;

ACT II.

SCENE I

Aqui. I loathe and scorn that fool thou mean’st,

as much Enter Pierre and Aquilina.

Or more than thou canst; but the beast has gold, Agui. By all thy wrongs, thou art dearer to That makes bim necessary; power too, my arms

To qualify my character, and poise me Than all the wealth of Venice, Prithee stay, Equal with peevish virtue, that beholds And let us love to-night.

My liberty with envy. In their hearts Pier. No: there's fool,

They're loose as I am; but an ugly power There's fool about thee. When a woman sells Sits in their faces, and frights pleasure from them, Her flesh to fools, her beauty's lost to me; Pier. Much good may it do you, madam, with They leave a taint, a sully-where they have

your senator. passed;

Aqui. My senator! Why, canst thou think that There's such a baneful quality about them,

wretch E’en spoils complexions with their nauseousness; E'er filled thy Aquilina's arms with pleasure ? They infect all they touch : I cannot think Thinkest thou, because I sometimes give him of tasting any thing a fool has palled.

leave

too.

To foil himself at what he is unfit for;

For every step I tread, methinks some fiend Because I force myself to endure and suffer him, Knocks at my breast, and bids me not be quiet. Thinkest thou, I love him? No; by all the joys I've heard how desperate wretches, like myself, Thou ever gavest me, his presence is my penance. Have wandered out at this dead time of night, The worst thing an old man can be is a lover, To meet the foe of mankind in his walk. A mere memento mori to poor woman.

Sure I'm so cursed, that, though of Heaven forI never lay by his decrepid side,

saken, But all that night I pondered on my grave.

No minister of darkness cares to tempt me. Pier. Would he were well sent thither! Hell, hell! why sleepest thou?

Aqui. That's my wish too:
For then, my Pierre, I might have cause, with

Enter PIERRE.
pleasure,

Pier. Sure I've staid too long : To play the hypocrite. Oh! how I could weep The clock has struck, and I inay lose my proseOver the dying dotard, and kiss hiin too,

lyte.
In hopes to sinother him quite; then, when the Speak, who goes there?
time

Jaf. A dog, that comes to howl
Was come to pay my sorrows at the funeral, At yonder moon. What's he, that asks the

ques(For he has already marle me heir to treasures

tion? Would make me out-act a real widow's whining) Pier. A friend to dogs, for they are honest How could I frame my face to fit my mourning! creatures, With wringing hands attend him to his

grave; And ne'er betray their masters: never fawn Fall swooning on his hearse; take mad possession On any, that they love not. Well met, friend : Evea of the dismal vault, where he lav buried; Jatlier There, like the Ephesian natron, dwell, till thou, Juf: The same. O Pierre, thou art come in My loveliest soldier, comest to my deliverance;

season; Then, throwing up my veil, with open arms I was just going to pray. And laughing eyes, run to new-dawning joy. Pier. Ah, that's mechanic! Pier. No inore : I've friends to meet me here Priests make a trade on't, and yet starve by it,

to-night, And must be private. As you prize my friend- No praying; it spoils business, and time's precious. ship,

Where's Belvidera?keep up your coxcomb; let him not pry, nor lis- Juf: For a day or two ten,

I've lodged her privately, till I see farther, Vor frisk about the house, as I have seen hin, What fortune will do for me. Prithee, friend, Like a tamne mumping squirrel with a bell on; If thou wouldst have me fit to hear good counsel, Curs will be abroad to bite him, if you do. Speak not of Belvideradyui. What, friends to meet! Mayn't I be of Pier. Not of her!

Jaf. Oh, no! Pier: How! a woman ask questions out of bed! Pier. Not name her? May be I wish her well. Go to your senator; ask him what passes

Juf. Whom well? Amongst his brethren; he'll hide nothing from Pier. Thy wife; thy lovely Belvidera. you:

I hope a man may wish his friend's wife well, But purnp not me for politics. No more! And no harm done. Give order, that whoever in my name

Jaf. You are merry, Pierre. Comes here, receive admittance. So good-night.

Pier. I am so : Aqui. Must we ne'er meet again? embrace no Thou shalt smile too, and Belvidera smile: more?

We'll all rejoice. Here's something to buy pins ; I. lore so soon and utterly forgotten?

Marriage is chargeable. [Gives him a purse. Pier. As you henceforward treat your fool, Juf. I but half wished I'll think on't.

To see the devil, and he's here already. Well! Aqui. Cursed be all fools-I die, if he for- What inust this buy? Rebellion, murder, treason?

Tell ine, which way I must be damned for this. And how to keep him, Ilcaven or hell instruct Pier. When last we parted, we had no qualms me!

[Exeunt.

like these,

But entertained each other's thoughts like men, SCENE II.-The Rialto.

Whosc souls were well acquainted. Is the world

Reformed, since our last meeting? What new Enter JAFFILR.

iniracles Jaf. I am here; and thus, the shades of night Have happened? Has Priuli's heart relented ? around me,

Can he be honest ? I look as if all hell were in my heart,

Jaf: Kind Heaven, let heavy curses And I in hell. Nay surely 'tis so with me! Gall his old age; cramps, aches, rack his bones, Vol. I.

Сс .

your council?

sakes me;

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