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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,
Nor, till thy prayers are granted, set him free,
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
The miserablest creatures (man excepted)
Pri. What wouldst thou beg for?
Bel. Pity and forgiveness. [Throws up her veil.
Bel. Yes, your daughter, by a mother
Look kindly on me. In my face behold
The lineaments of her's you have kissed so often,
Bel. Yes-and you have often told me,
Hadst thou inherited her matchless virtues,
Bel. Nay, do not call to memory
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.
Pri. What child of sorrow
Art thou, that comest wrapt in weeds of sadness,
Am fallen into the depths of misery,
And want your pitying hand to raise me up again.
Fears and despair distract the peace within me,
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
Pri. Ha! what means my child?
Bel. Oh! there's but this short moment
Bel. Lay me, I beg you, lay me
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.
Bel. No matter.
Pri. Tell me :
Canst thou forgive me all my follies past?
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.
Pri. Utter it!
Bel. Oh! my husband, my dear husband,
Bel. Yes, kill me. When he passed his faith
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,
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.
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,
Indeed I am willing, but I beg thee do it
View me with eyes of a relenting love,
Bel. Yes; and when thy hands,
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;
So let my death come now, and I'll not shrink from it.
Jaf. Nay, Belvidera, do not fear my cruelty,
How long is it, since that miserable day
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,
Jaf. Come, I'll kiss them dry then.
Jaf. A cursed one.
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,
With never-ceasing vengeance; let despair,
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?
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.
Jaf. Oh! Oh!
Bel. By these arms, that now cling round thy neck,
By this dear kiss, and by ten thousand more,
Jaf. Murder! unhold me:
By the immortal destiny, that doomed me
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
Huzzing and booming round my sinking head,
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.
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.
My reason blind-fold, like a hampered lion,
So silly souls are gulled, and you get money.
Jaf. Hold: eyes be dry;
This hideous sight, and humble me, to take
Pier. Yet nearer.
Jaf. Crawling on my knees,
And prostrate on the earth, let me approach thee:
I can't forget to love thee. Prithee, Jaffier,
Suffered the shameful fate, thou'rt going to taste of.
Why was I sent for to be used thus kindly?
And honest men hereafter bear its figure
Offi. The time grows short, your friends are dead already.
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
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,
[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
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
Offi. Bear this news to the senate, Aud guard their bodies, till there's further orders. Heaven grant I die so well!
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!