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Crush him in thy arms, torture him with thy soft

And thou wert born for yet unheard-of wonders. | Speak to him with thy eyes, and with thy tears,
Oh! thou wert either born to save or damn me! Melt his hard heart, and wake dead nature in
By all the power, that's given thee o'er my soul,
By thy resistless tears and conquering smiles,
By the victorious love, that still waits on thee,
Fly to thy cruel father, save my friend,
Or all our future quiet's lost for ever!
Fall at his feet, cling round his reverend knees,


Nor, till thy prayers are granted, set him free,
But conquer him, as thou hast conquered me!


SCENE I.—An Apartment in Priulï's House.

Enter PRIULI solus.

Pri. WHY, cruel Heaven, have my unhappy

Been lengthened to this sad one? Oh! dishonour
And deathless infamy is fallen upon me!
Was it my fault? Am I a traitor? No.
But then, my only child, my daughter wedded;
There my best blood runs foul, and a disease
Incurable has seized upon my memory;
To make it rot and stink to after-ages!
Curst be the fatal minute, when I got her;
Or would that I had been any thing but man,
And raised an issue, which would ne'er have
wronged me.

The miserablest creatures (man excepted)
Are not the less esteemed, though their posterity
Degenerate from the virtues of their fathers:
The vilest beasts are happy in their offspring,
While only man gets traitors, whores, and villains!
Cursed be the names, and some swift blow from

Pri. What wouldst thou beg for?

Bel. Pity and forgiveness. [Throws up her veil.
By the kind tender names of child and father,
Hear my complaints, and take me to your love!
Pri. My daughter!

Bel. Yes, your daughter, by a mother
Virtuous and noble, faithful to your honour,
Obedient to your will, kind to your wishes,
Dear to your arms: By all the joys she gave you,
When, in her blooming years, she was your trea-


Look kindly on me. In my face behold

The lineaments of her's you have kissed so often,
Pleading the cause of your poor cast-off child.
Pri. Thou art my daughter.

Bel. Yes-and you have often told me,
With smiles of love and chaste paternal kisses,
I had much resemblance of my mother.
Pri. Oh!

Hadst thou inherited her matchless virtues,
I had been too blessed!

Bel. Nay, do not call to memory
My disobedience; but let pity enter

Lay this head deep, where mine may be forgot- Into your heart, and quite deface the impression. ten! For could you think how mine's perplexed, what

Enter BELVIDERA, in a long mourning veil.
Bel. He's there, my father, my inhuman father,
That for three years has left an only child
Exposed to all the outrages of fate,
And cruel ruin !—Oh-

Pri. What child of sorrow

Art thou, that comest wrapt in weeds of sadness,
And movest, as if thy steps were towards a grave?
Bel. A wretch, who, from the very top of hap-

Am fallen into the depths of misery,

And want your pitying hand to raise me up again.
Pri. Indeed thou talkst as thou hadst tasted

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Fears and despair distract the peace within me,
Oh! you would take me in your dear, dear arms,
Hover with strong compassion o'er your young


To shelter me, with a protecting wing,

From the black gathered storm, that's just, just breaking.

Pri. Don't talk thus.

Bel. Yes, I must; and you must hear too. I have a husband.

Pri. Damn him.

Bel. Oh! do not curse him;

He would not speak so hard a word towards you
On any terms, howe'er he deals with me.

Pri. Ha! what means my child?

Bel. Oh! there's but this short moment
'Twixt me and fate: yet send me not with curses
Down to my grave; afford me one kind blessing
Before we part: just take me in your arms,
And recommend me with a prayer to heaven,
That I may die in peace; and when I am dead—
Pri. How my soul's catch'd!

Bel. Lay me, I beg you, lay me
By the dear ashes of my tender mother.
É e

She would have pitied me, had fate yet spared | Not one of them but what shall be immortal. her.

Pri. By Heaven, my aching heart forebodes much mischief!

Tell me thy story, for I'm still thy father.

Bel. No; I'm contented.

Pri. Speak!

Bel. No matter.

Pri. Tell me :

Canst thou forgive me all my follies past?
I'll henceforth be indeed a father; never,
Never more thus expose, but cherish thee,
Dear as the vital warmth, that feeds my life,
Dear as these eyes, that weep in fondness over


Peace to thy heart! Farewell.

Bel. Go, and remember,

By yon blessed Heaven, my heart runs o'er with 'Tis Belvidera's life her father pleads for.


Bel. Oh!

Pri. Utter it!

Bel. Oh! my husband, my dear husband,
Carries a dagger in his once kind bosom,
To pierce the heart of your poor Belvidera!
Pri. Kill thee!

Bel. Yes, kill me. When he passed his faith
And covenant against your state and senate,
He gave me up a hostage for his truth:
With me a dagger and a dire commission,

[Exeunt severally.

SCENE II-A Garden.


Jaf. Final destruction seize on all the world! Bend down ye heavens, and, shutting round this


Crush the vile globe into its first confusion; Scorch it with elemental flames to one cursed cinder,

Whene'er he failed, to plunge it through this bo- And all us little creepers on it, called men,

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Jaf. No, death's this day too busy;

Bel. Think you saw what passed at our last Thy father's ill-timed mercy came too late.

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I thank thee for thy labours though; and him


But all my poor, betrayed, unhappy friends, Have summons to prepare for Fate's black hour; And yet I live.

Bel. Then be the next my doom:

I see, thou hast passed my sentence in thy heart,
And I'll no longer weep, or plead against it,
But with the humblest, most obedient patience,
Meet thy dear hands and kiss them, when they
wound me.

Indeed I am willing, but I beg thee do it
With some remorse; and when thou givest the

View me with eyes of a relenting love,
And shew me pity, for 'twill sweeten justice.
Jaf. Shew pity to thee!

Bel. Yes; and when thy hands,
Charged with my fate, come trembling to the


As thou hast done a thousand times

To this poor breast, when kinder rage hath brought thee,

When our stung hearts have leaped to meet each other,

And melting kisses sealed our lips together;
When joys have left me gasping in thy arms-

So let my death come now, and I'll not shrink from it.

Jaf. Nay, Belvidera, do not fear my cruelty,
Nor let the thoughts of death perplex thy fancy;
But answer me to what I shall demand,
With a firm temper and unshaken spirit.
Bel. I will, when I have done weeping-
Jaf. Fy, no more of it-

How long is it, since that miserable day
We wedded first?

Bel. Oh! Oh!

Jaf. Nay, keep in thy tears,

Lest they unman me too.

Bel. Heaven knows I cannot;

The words you utter sound so very sadly,
The streams will follow-

Jaf. Come, I'll kiss them dry then.
Bel. But was it a miserable day?

Jaf. A cursed one.

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Your cruel blessing! stay with me and curse me! Jaf. No, 'tis resolved.

Bel. Then hear me too, just heaven!

Bel. I thought it otherwise; and you have of- Pour down your curses on this wretched head,

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With never-ceasing vengeance; let despair,
Danger and infamy, nay all, surround me;
Starve me with wantings; let my eyes ne'er see
A sight of comfort, nor my heart know peace:
But dash my days with sorrow, nights with horrors,
Wild as my own thoughts now, and let loose fury,
To make me mad enough for what I lose,
If I must lose him! If I must? I will not.
Oh! turn and hear me !

Jaf. Now, hold heart, or never.

Bel, By all the tender days we liave lived together,

Than I do now towards thee: Man ne'er was Pity my sad condition! speak, but speak!


Since the first pair met, as I have been,

Bel. Then sure you will not curse me?
Jaf. No I'll bless thee.

Tis now, I think, three years we have lived together.

Bel. And may no fatal minute ever part us, Till, reverend grown for age and love, we go Down to one grave, as our last bed, together; There sleep in peace, till an eternal morning. Jaf. When will that be?

Bel. I hope, long ages hence.


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Jaf. Oh! Oh!

Bel. By these arms, that now cling round thy neck,

By this dear kiss, and by ten thousand more,
By these poor streaming eyes-

Jaf. Murder! unhold me:

By the immortal destiny, that doomed me
[Draws his dagger.
To this cursed minute, I'll not live one longer;
Resolve to let me go, or see me fall-
Bel. Hold, sir, be patient!

Jaf. Hark, the dismal bell [Passing bell tolls. Tolls out for death! I must attend its call too; For my poor friend, my dying Pierre, expects

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Huzzing and booming round my sinking head,
Till I descended to the peaceful bottom!
Oh! there all is quiet, here all rage and fury:
The air's too thin, and pierces my weak brain;
I long for thick substantial sleep: Hell! hell!
Burst from the centre, rage and roar aloud,
If thou art half so hot, so mad as I am.

Enter PRIULI, and Servants.

Who's there? [They raise her. Pri. Run, seize, and bring her safely home; Guard her as you would life! Alas, poor creature!

Bel. What to my husband! then conduct me quickly;

Are all things ready? Shall we die most gloriously?

Say not a word of this to my old father : Murmuring streams, soft shades, and springing flowers!

Lutes, laurels, seas of milk, and ships of amber! [Exeunt.

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Pier, I tell thee, Heaven and I are friends: I ne'er broke peace with it yet by cruel murders, Rapine, or perjury, or vile deceiving; But lived in moral justice towards all men: Nor am a foe to the most strong believers, Howe'er my own short-sighted faith confine me. Fri. But an all-seeing Judge

Pier. You say my conscience

Must be my accuser; I have searched that conscience,

And find no records there of crimes, that scare


Fri. Tis strange, you should want faith.
Pier. You want to lead

My reason blind-fold, like a hampered lion,
Checked of its nobler vigour; then, when baited
Down to obedient tameness, make it couch,
And shew strange tricks, which you call signs of

So silly souls are gulled, and you get money.
Away; no more. Captain, I'd have hereafter
This fellow write no lies of my conversion,
Because he has crept upon my troubled hours.

Jaf. Hold: eyes be dry;
Heart, strengthen me to bear

This hideous sight, and humble me, to take
The last forgiveness of a dying friend,
Betrayed by my vile falsehood, to his ruin,
Oh, Pierre !

Pier. Yet nearer.

Jaf. Crawling on my knees,

And prostrate on the earth, let me approach thee:
How shall I look up to thy injured face,
That always used to smile with friendship on me?
It darts an air of so much manly virtue,
That I, methinks, look little in thy sight,
And stripes are fitter for me, than embraces.
Pier. Dear to my arms, though thou hast un-
done my fame,

I can't forget to love thee. Prithee, Jaffier,
Forgive that filthy blow my passion dealt thee;
I'm now preparing for the land of peace,
And fain would have the charitable wishes
Of all good men, like thee, to bless my journey.
Jaf. Good! I am the vilest creature, worse

than e'er

Suffered the shameful fate, thou'rt going to taste of.

Why was I sent for to be used thus kindly?
Call, call me villain, as I am! describe
The foul complexion of my hateful deeds:
Lead me to the rack, and stretch me in thy stead!
I have crimes enough to give it its full load,
And do it credit: thou wilt but spoil the use of

And honest men hereafter bear its figure
About them, as a charm from treacherous friend-

Offi. The time grows short, your friends are dead already.

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Pier. Yes; is it fitting?

Jaf. What's to be done?

Pier. I'd have thee undertake

Something that's noble, to preserve my memory
From the disgrace that's ready to attaint it.
Off. The day grows late, sir.

Pier. I'll make haste. Oh, Jaffier! Though thou'st betrayed me, do me some way justice.

Jaf. No more of that: thy wishes shall be satisfied;

I have a wife, and she shall bleed: my child, too,
Yield up his little throat, and all
To appease thee-

[Going away, Pierre holds him. Pier. No-this-no more.

[He whispers Jaffer.

And this is well too.

Fri. Damnable deed!

[Stabs him. [Stabs himself.

Pier. Now thou hast indeed been faithful.

This was done nobly-We have deceived the se


Juf. Bravely.

Pier. Ha, ha, ha-oh! oh! Jaf. Now, ye cursed rulers,


Thus of the blood ye have shed I make a liba


And sprinkle it mingling. May it rest upon you, And all your race! Be henceforth peace a stran


Within your walls; let plagues and famine waste
Your generation-Oh, poor Belvidera!
Sir, I have a wife, bear this in safety to her,
A token, that with my dying breath I blessed her,
And the dear little infant left behind me.
I'm sick—I'm quiet.


Offi. Bear this news to the senate, Aud guard their bodies, till there's further orders. Heaven grant I die so well!

[Scene shuts

upon them.


Soft Music.-Enter BELVIDERA distracted, led by two of her Women, PRIULI and Servants. Pri. Strengthen her heart with patience, pitying Heaven!

Bel. Come, come, come, come, come, nay, come to bed,

Prithee, my love! The winds; hark how they whistle;

And the rain beats: Oh! how the weather shrinks me!

You are angry now, who cares?. Pish, no indeed, Chuse then; I say you shall not go, you shall not; Whip your ill-nature; get you gone then. Oh!

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