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Ren. My friends, 'tis late; are we assembled | Let us remember through what dreadful hazards all?
Propitious fortune hitherto has led us : Where's Theodore ?
How often on the brink of some discovery Theod. At hand.
Have we stood tottering, yet still kept our ground Ren. Spinosa.
So well, that the busiest searchers ne'er could Spin. Here.
follow Ren. Bramveil.
Those subtle tracks, which puzzled all suspicion. Brom. I'm ready.
You droop, sir. Ren. Durand and Brabe.
Jaf. No; with most profound attention Dur. Command us.
I've heard it all, and wonder at thy virtue. We are prepared.
Ren. Though there be yet few hours 'twixt Omnes. All; all.
them and ruin, Ren. Mezzano, Revillido,
Are not the senate lulled in full security,
Strengthened the feartullest, charmed the most Ren. You, Durand, with your thousand, must suspectful, possess
Confounded the most subtle: for we live, St. Mark's; you, captain, know your charge al. We live, my friends, and quickly shall our life ready;
Prove fatal to these tyrants. Let's consider, Tis to secure the ducal palace : You,
That we destroy oppression, avarice, Brabe, with an hundred more, must gain the A people nursed up equally with vices Secque:
And loathsome lusts, which nature most abhors, With the like number, Bramveil, to the Pro- And such as without shame she cannot suffer. curale;
Jaf. Oh, Belvidera! take me to thy arins, Be all this done with the least tumult possible, And shew me where's my peace, for I have lost 'Till in each place you post sufficient guards :
[Erit. Then sheathe your swords in every breast you
Ren. Without the least remorse, then, let's re
solve Jaf. Oh! reverend cruelty' damned bloody With fire and sword to exterminate these tyrants; villain !
[-1side. And when we shall behold those cursed tribunals, Ren. During this execution, Durand, you Stained by the tears and sufferings of the innocent, Must in the midst keep your battalia fast; Burning with fames rather from Heaven than And, Theodore, be sure to plant the cannon
ours, That may command the streets; whilst Revillido, The raging, furious, and unpitying soldier Messano, Ternon, and Retrosi guard you. Pulling his reeking daggers from the bosoms This done, we'll give the general alarm,
Of gasping wretches; death in every quarter; Apply petards, and force the arsenal gates; With all, that sad disorder can produce, Then fire the city round in several places, To make a spectacle of horror; then, Or with our cannon (if it do resist)
Then let us call to mind, my dearest friends, Batter to ruin. But above all I charge you, That there is nothing pure upon the carth; Shed blood enough ; spare neither sex nor age, That the most valued things have most allays, Name nor condition ; if there live a senator And that in change of all these vile enormities, After to morrow, though the dullest rogue, Under whose weight this wretched country laThat e'er said nothing, we have lost our ends.
bours, If possible, let's kill the very name
The means are only in our hands to crown them. Of senator, and bury it in blood.
Pier. And may those powers above, that are Jaf. Merciless, horrid slave-Ay, blood enough! propitious Shed blood enough, old Renault ! how thou To gallant minds, record this cause and bless it! charmest me!
Ren. Thus happy, thus secure of all we wish Ren. But one thing more, and then farewell, for, till fate
Should there, my friends, be found among us one, Join us again, or separate us for ever :
False to this glorious enterprise, what fate, First let's embrace. Heaven knows, who next What vengeance, were fit for such a villain? shall thus
Eli. Death here without repentance, hell hereWing ye together; but let's all remember,
after. We wear no common cause upon our swords: Ren. Let that be my lot, if, as here I stand, Let each man think, that on his single virtue Listed by fate among her darling sons, Depeuds the good and fame of all the rest; Though I had one only brother, dear by all Eternal honour, or perpetual infamy:
The strictest ties of nature; though one hour Vai. I.
Had given us birth, one fortune fed our wants, Ren And I.
Om. And all.
Pier. One such word more, by Heaven I'll to If I'd not liazard all my future peace,
the senate, And stab him to the heart before
Who And hang ye all, like dogs, in clusters. Who would do less? Would'st thou not, Pierre, Why peep your coward swords half out their the same?
shells ? Pier. You've singled me, sir, out for this hard Why do you not all brandish them like mine? question,
You fear to die, and yet dare talk of killing ! As if it were started only for my sake :
Ren. Go to the senate, and betray, us! haste! Am I the thing you fear? Here, here's my bosom, Secure thy wretched life; we fear to die Search it with all your swords. Am I a traitor? Less than thou darest be honest. Ren. No; but I fear your late commended Pier. That's rank falsehood. friend
Fearest not thou death! Fie, there's a knavish Is little less. Come, sirs, 'tis now no time
itch To trifle with our safety. Where's this Jaffer? In that salt blood, an utter foe to smarting. Spin. He left the room just now, in strange Had Jaffier's wife proved kind, he'd still been
disorder. Ren. Nay, there is danger in him ; I observed Faugh! how that stinks! thou die ! thou kill my
friend! During the time I took for explanation,
Or thou ! or thou ! with that lean withered face! He was transported from most deep attention, Away, disperse all to your several charges, To a confusion which he could not smother; And meet to-morrow where your honour calls His looks grew full of sadness and surprise,
you. All which betrayed a wavering spirit in him, I'll bring that man, whose blood you so much That laboured with reluctancy and sorrow.
thirst for, What's requisite for safety must be done And you shall see him venture for you fairlyWith speedy execution; he remains
Hence! hence, I say. [Exit Renault angrily. Yet in our power : I, for my own part, wear Spin. I fear we have been to blame, A dagger
And done too much. Pier. Well.
The. "Twas too far urged against the man you Ren. And I could wish it
lored. Pier. Where?
Rev. Here take our swords, and crush then Ren. Buried in his heart.
with your feet. Pier. Away; we're yet all friends;
Spin. Forgive us, gallant friend.
I'll fetch this friend, and give him to your mercy : Pull him from the dark hole, where he sits brood- Nay, he shall die, if you will take him from me. ing
For your repose, I'll quit my heart's best jewel; O'er his cold fears, and each man kill his share But would not have him torn away by villains, of him,
And spiteful villany. Pier. Who talks of killing? Who is he, will Spin. No, may you both shed the blood,
For ever live, and fill the world with fame. That's dear to me? is it you, or you, sir?
Pier. Now ye are too kind. Where rose all What, not one speak! how you stand, gaping all this discord? On your grave oracle, your wooden god there! Oh, what a dangerous precipice have we 'scaped! Yet not a word ! Then, sir, I'll tell you a secret; How near a fall was all we had long been buildSuspicion's but at best a coward's virtue.
[To Ren. What an eternal blot had stained our glories, Ren. A coward ! (Handles his sword. If one, the bravest and the best of men, Pier. Put up thy sword, old man;
Had fallen a sacrifice to rash suspicion, Thy hand shakes at it. Come, let's heal this Butchered by those, whose cause he came to chebreach;
rish! I am too hot, we yet may all live friends. Oh! could you know him all, as I have known Spin. Till we are safe, our friendship cannot
How good he is, how just, how true, how brave, Pier. Again! Who's that?
You would not leave this place till you had seen Spin. 'Twas I.
him; The. And I.
Ilumbled yourselves before him, kissed his feet,
And gained remission for the worst of follies.
That I've preserved your fame, and saved my friend.
SCENE I.-The Rialto.
Save thy poor country, save the reverend blood
Of all its pobles, which to-morrow's dawn,
Must else see shed. Save the poor tender lives Jaf. WHERE dost thou lead me? Every step I Of all those little infants, which the swords move,
Of murderers are whetting for this moment. Methinks I tread upon some mangled limb Think, thou already hearest their dying screams; Of a racked friend! Oh, my charming ruin! Think, that thou sec'st their sad distracted inoWhere are we wandering?
thers, Bel. To eternal honour.
Kneeling before thy feet, and begging pity: To do a deed, shall chronicle thy name
With torn dishevelled hair, and streaming eyes, Among the glorious legends of those few, Their naked mangled breasts, besmeared with That have saved sinking nations. Thy renown
blood; Shall be the future song of all the virgins, And even the milk, with which their fondled babes Who, by thy piety, have been preserved
Softly they hushed, dropping in anguish from them; From horrid violation. Every street
Think thou seest this, and then consult thy heart. Shall be adorned with statues to thy honour; Jaf. Oh! And at thy feet this great inscription written, Eel. Think too, if you lose this present miRemember him, that propped the fall of Venice.
nute, Jaf. Rather, remember him, who, after all What miscries the next day brings upon thee: The sacred bonds of oaths, and holier friendship, Imagine all the horrors of that night; In fond compassion to a woman's tears, Murder and rapine, waste, and desolation, Forgot his manhood, virtue, truth, and honour, Confusedly raging: Think, what then inay prove To sacrifice the bosom, that relieved him. My lot; the ravisher may then come sale, Why wilt thou damn me?
And 'midst the terror of the public ruin, Bel. Oh, inconstant man!
Do a damned deed; perhaps may lay a train How will you promise ! how will you deceive! To catch thy life: Then where will be revenge, Do, return back, replace me in my bondage, The dear revenge, that's due to such a wrong? Tell all thy friends how dangerously thou lovest Jaf. By all heaven's powers, prophetic trutla me,
dwells in thec! And let thy dagger do its bloody office.
For cvcry word thou spcakest, strikes through my Oh! that kind dagger, Jaffer, how 'twill look
heart, Struck through my heart, drenched in my blood Like a new light, and shews it, how it has wanto the hilt!
dered. Whilst these poor dying cyes shall, with their tears, Just what thou hast made me, take me, BelviNo more torment thee; then thou wilt be free:
dera, Or, if thou think'st it nobler, let me live, And lead me to the place, where I am to say Till I'm a victim to the hateful lust
This bitter lesson; where I must betray Of that infernal devil, that old fiend,
My truth, my virtuc, constancy, and friends. That's damned himself, and would undo man- Must I betray my friend? Ah! take me quickly; kind.
Secure ine well before that thought's renewed; Last night, my love!
If I relapse once more, all is lost for ever, Jaf. Name it not again!
Bcl. Hast thou a friend more dear than BelviIt shews a beastly imaye to my fancy,
dera? Will wake me into madness. "Oh, the villain ! Jaf. No; thou art my soul itself; wealth, That durst approach such purity as thine
friendship, honour, On terms so vile: Destruction, swift destruction, All present joys, and earnest of all future, Fall on my coward head, and make my name Are summeil in thee. Methinks, when in thy The common scorn of fools, if I forgive him ! If I forgive him? If I not revenge
Thus leaning on thy breast, one minnte's more With utınost rage, and inost unstaying fury, Than a long thousand years of vulgar hours. Thy sufferings, thou dear darling of my life. Why was such happiness pot given me pure?
Bel. Delay no longer then, but to the senate, Why dashed with cruel wrongs, and bitter warn And tell the dismallest story ever uttered:
ings? Tell them what bloodshed, rapines, desolations, Come, lead me forward, now, like a tame lamb Hlave been prepared : how near's tho fatal hour. To sacrifice. Thus, in his fatal garlands
Decked fine and pleased, the wanton skips and
(A noise without plays,
Room, room, make room for some prisoners Trots by the enticing flattering priestess' side, Sen. Let us raise the city. And much transported with its little pride, Forgets his dear companions of the plain;
Enter Officer and Guards. Till, hy her bound, he's on the altar slain,
Duke. Speak, there. What disturbance ? Yet then too hardly bleats, such pleasure's in the Offi. Two prisoners have the guards seized in pain.
Who say, they come to inform this reverend Enter Officer and Six Guards. Offi. Stand! who there?
About the present danger. Bel. Friends.
Enter Jaffier and Officer. Jaf. Friends, Belvidera! Hide me from my friends!
All. Give them entrance-Well, who are you? By Heaven, I would rather see the face of hell, Juf. A villain. Than meet the man I love.
Ant. Short and pithy.
The man speaks well.
Would deal so honestly, and own his title.
. My orders are to scize on all I find Duke. 'Tis rumoured, that a plot has been At this lạte hour, and bring them to the council, contrived Who are now sitting.
Against this state; and you have a share in it too. Jaf. Sir, you shall be obeyed.
If you are a villain, to redeem your honour Hold, brute, stand off! none of your paws upon Untold the truth, and be restored with wercy.
Jaf. Think not, that I to save my life came hiNow, the lot 's cast, and, Fate, do what thou wilt.
To all those wretches, whose unhappy dooms
Are fixed and sealed. You may see here before
you, The Senate-House, where appear sitting the Duke The sworn and covenanted foe of Venice:
of Venice, Priuli, Antonio, and eight other But use me as my dealings may deserve,
And I may prove a friend,
Jaf. That you dare not do:
Truth, which the fear of smart shall ne'er get Fathers, these tears were useless; these sad tears,
from me. That fall from my old eyes; but these is cause Cowards are scared with threatenings; boys are We all should weep, tear off these purple robes, whipt And wrap ourselves in sackcloth, sitting down Into confessions : but a steady mind On the sad earth, and cry aloud to heaven: Acts of itself, ne'er asks the body counsel. Heaven knows, if yet there be an hour to come, Give hin the torture ! Name but such a thing Ere Venice be no more.
Again, by licaven I'll shut these lips for ever. All Sen. How !
Not all your racks, your engines, or your wheels, Pri. Nay, we stand
Shall force a groan away, that you may guess at. Upon the very brink of gaping ruin..
Ant. A bloody-minded fellow, I'll warrant; Within this city's forined a dark conspiracy, A damned bloody-minded fellow. To massacre us all, our wives and children, Duke. Name your conditions. Kindred and friends, our palaces and temples Jaf. For myself full pardon, To lay in ashes; nay, the hour top fixed; Besides the lives of two and twenty friends, The swords, for aught I know, drawn e'en this Whose names are here enrolled—Nay, let their moment,
crimes And the wild waste begun. From unknown Be ne'er so monstrous, I must have the oaths hands And sacred promise of this reverend couucil
, I had this warning; but, if we are men, The thing I ask be ratified. Swear this, Let us not be tamely butchered, but do some- And II unfold the secret of your danger. thing
All. We'll swear. That may inform the world, in after ages,
Duke. Propose the gata, Our virtue was not ruined, though we were. Jaf: By all the hopes
Ye have of peace and happiness hereafter, Are these the wreaths of triumph ye bestow Swear.
On those, that bring you conquest home, and hoAll. We all swear.
nours? Juf. To grant me what I have asked,
Duke. Go on; you shall be heard, sir. Ye swear?
Ant. And be hanged too, I hope. Al. We swear.
Pier. Are these the trophies I have deserved Jaf. And, as ye keep the oath,
for fighting May you, and your posterity be blessed,
Your battles with confederated powers? Or cursed for ever.
When winds and seas conspired to overthrow Jaf. Then here's the list, and with it the full
And brought the fleets of Spain to your own harOf all, that threatens you. (Delivers a paper.
bours; Now, Fate, thou hast caught me.
When you, great Duke, shrunk trembling in your Ant. Why, what a dreadful catalogue of cut- palace, ting throats is here! I'll warrant you, not one of And saw your wife, the Adriatic, ploughed, these fellows but has a face like a lion. I dare Like a lewd whore, by bolder prows than yours, not so much as read their names over.
Stepped not I forth, and taught your loose VeneDuke. Give order, that all diligent search be tians made
The task of honour, and the way to greatness ? To seize these men; their characters are public; Raised you from your capitulating fears The paper intimates their rendezvous
To stipulate the terms of sued-for peace? To be at the house of a famed Grecian courtezan, And this my recompence! if I am a traitor, Called Aquilina; see that place secured. Produce my charge; or shew the wretch that's You, Jaffier, must with patience bear, till morn
And brave enough, to tell
me I am a traitor. To be our prisoner.
Duke. Know you.one Jaffier ? Jaf. Would the chains of death
[Consp. murmur. Had bound me safe, e'er I had knowo this mi- Pier. Yes, and know his virtue. nute !
His justice, truth, his general worth, and sufferI've done a deed will make my story hereafter
ings Quoted in competition with all ill ones :
From a hard father, taught me first to love him. The history of my wickedness shall run Down thro' the low traditions of the vulgar,
Enter Jarpier guarded.
Duke. Captain, withdraw your prisoner. Pier. My friend too bound !
Our fate has conquered us, and we must fall. Lead me, where my own thoughts themselves, may | Why droops the man, whose welfare's so much
mine, Where I may doze out what I've left of life, They are but one thing? These reverend tyrants, Forget myself, and this day's guilt and falsehood. Jaffer, Cruel remembrance ! how shall I appease
thee? Call us traitors. Art thou one, my brother?
[Exit guarded Jaf. To thee, I am the falsest, veriest slave, Offi. [Without.] More traitors; room, room, That e'er betrayed a generous, trusting friend, room, make room there.
And gave up honour to be sure of suin. Duke. How is this? guards!
All our fair hopes, which morning was to have Where are our guards? Shut up the gates, the crowned, treason's
Has this cursed tongue o'erthrown. Already at our doors.
Pier. So, then, all's over:
Venice has lost her freedom, I my life.
No more. Farewell.
Duke. Say; will you make confession Seized in the very act of consultation ;
Of your vile deeds, and trust the senate's mercy ! Furnished with arms and instruments of mischief. Pier. Cursed be your senate! cursed your conBring in the prisoners.
stitution ! Enter Pierre, RENAULT, THEODORE, Eliot, Still vex your councils, shake your public safety,
The curse of growing factions and divisions, REVELLIDO, and other Conspirators, in fetters. And make the robes of government you wear, Pier. You, my lords, and fathers
Hateful to you, as these base chains to me! (As you are pleased to call yourselves) of Venice, Duke. Pardon, or death? If you sit here to guide the course of justice, Pier. Death! honourable death ! why these disgraceful chains upon the limbs, Ren. Death's the best thing we ask, or you can That have so often laboured in your service?