Page images
PDF
EPUB

n

Within thy friendly bosom all my follies ; How from our infancy, we, hand in hand, For thou wilt pardon them, because they're mine. Have trod the path of life and love together;

Pol. Be not too credulous ; consider first; One bed hath held us, and the same desires, Friends may be false. Is there no friendship The same aversions, still employed our thoughts: false?

When e'er had l a friend, that was not Polydore's, Cast. Why dost thou ask me that? Does this Or Polydore a foe, that was not mine? appear

Even in the womb weembraced; and wilt thou now, Like a false friendship, when, with open arms,

For the first fault, abandon and forsake :ne, And streaming eyes, I run upon thy breast? Leave me, amidst afflictions, to myself, Oh! 'tis in thee alone I must have comfort! Plunged in the gulf of grief, and none to help me?

Pol. I fear, Castalio, I have none to give thee. Pol. Go to Monimia, in her arms thou’lt find Cust. Dost thou not love me, then?

Repose; she has the art of healing sorrows. Pol. Oh, more than life:

Cast. What arts? I never had a thought of my Castalio,

Pol. Blind wretch! thou husband! there's a Might wrong the friendship we have vowed to

question: gether.

Go to her fulsome bed, and wallow there ; Hast thou dealt so by me?

Till some hot ruffian, full of lust and wine, Cust. I hope I have.

Come storm thee out, and shew thee what's thy Pol. Then tell me why this mourning, this dis

bargain order?

Cast. Hoid there, I charge thee. Cast. Oh, Polydore, I know not how to tell Pol. Is she not athee;

Cust. Whore? Shame rises in my face, and interrupts

Pol. Ay, whore; I think that word needs no The story of my tongue.

explaining. Pol. I grieve, my friend

Cast. Alas! I can forgive even this, to thee ! Knows

any thing, which he's ashamed to tell me; But let me tell thee, Polydore, I'm grieved Or didst thou e'er conceal thy thoughts from Po- To find thee guilty of such low revenge, lydore?

To wrong that virtue, which thou couldst not ruin. Cust. Oh, much too oft!

Pol. It seems I lie, then ? But let me here conjure thee,

Cast. Should the bravest By all the kind affection of a brother,

That e'er wore conqueringssword, but dare to (For I'm ashamed to call myself thy friend)

whisper Forgive me

What thou proclaim'st, he were the worst ?liars: Pol. Well, go on.

My friend may be mistaken. Cast. Our destiny contrived

Pol. Damn the evasion ! To plague us both with one unhappy love. Thou mean'st the worst; and he's a base-born Thou, like a friend, a constant, generous friend,

villain, In its first pangs didst trust me with thy passion, That said I lied. Whilst I still smoothed my pain with smiles be Cust. Do draw thy sword, and thrust it through fore thee,

my heart;
And made a contract I ne'er meant to keep. There is no joy in life, if thou art lost.-
Pol. How!

A base-born villain!
Cust. Still new ways I studied to abuse thee, Pol. Yes; thou never cam'st
And kept thee as a stranger to my passion, From old Acasto's loins; the midwife put
'Till yesterday I wedded with Monimia. A cheat upon my mother, and instead

Pol. Ah, Castalio, was that well done! Of a true brother, in a cradle by me,
Cust. No; to conceal it from thee was much Placed some coarse peasant’scub, and thou art he.
a fault.

Cust. Thou art my brother still. Pol. A fault! when thou hast heard

Pol. Thou liest. The tale I tell , what wilt thou call it then? Cast. Nay then

[He draws. Cast. How my heart throbs!

Yet I am calm. Pol. First for thy friendship, traitor,

Pol. coward's always so. I cancel't thus ; after this day, I'll ne'er

Cast. Ah-ah-that stings home-Coward ! Hold trust or converse with the false Castalio: Pol. Ay, base-born coward! villain ! This witness Heaven !

Cust. This to thy heart, then, though my mother Cast. What will my fate do with me?

bore thee. I've lost all happiness, and know not why.

(Fight ; POLYDORE drops his sword, and What means this, brother?

runs on CASTALIO's. Pol. Perjured, treacherous wretch,

Pol. Now, iny Castalio is again my friend.

Cust. What have I done? my sword is in thy Cast. I'll be thy slave, and thou shalt use me

breast! Just as thou wilt, do but forgive me.

Pol. So I would have it be, thou best of men,

Thou kindest brother, and thou truest friend. Cast. Oh! think a little what thy heart is do Cast. Ye gods, we're tauglit, that all your works

are justice,

2 E

Farewell !

Pol. Never.

ing: VOL. 1,

thee;

You're painted merciful, and friends to innocence: , Nay, at each word, that my distraction uttere!, If so, then why these plagues upon my head? My heart recoiled, and 'twas half death to speak Pol. Blame not the heavens ; here lies thy fate,

them. Castalio;

Mon. Now, my Castalio, the most dear of mes, They're not the gods, 'tis Polydore has wronged Wilt thou receive pollution to thy bosom,

And close the eyes of one, that has betrayed thee I've stained thy bed; thy spotless marriage joys Cast. Oh, I'm the unhappy wretch, whose auf Have been polluted by thy brother's lust.

sed fate Cast. By thee!

Has weighed thee down into destruction with Pol. By me, last night, the horrid deed

him. Was done, when all things slept but rage and Why then, thus kind to me? incest.

Mon. When I'm laid low i'th' grave, and qiz Cast. Now, where's Monimia? Oh!

forgotten,

May'st thou be happy in a fairer bride;
Enter MONIMIA.

But none can ever love thee like Monimia Afon. I'm here, who calls me?

When I am dead, as presently I shall be, Methought I heard a voice,

(For the grim tyrant grasps my heart already) Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains, Speak well of me; and, if thou find ill tongues When all his little flock's at feed before him. Too busy with my fame, don't hear me wronged But what means this? Here's blood.

"Twill be a noble justice to the memory Cast, Ay, brother's blood.

Of a poor wretch, once bonoured with the lowe Art thou prepared for everlasting pains ? How my head swims! 'tis very dark. Good Pol. Oh, let me charge thee, by the eternal

night.

[Dac justice,

Cust. If I survive thee-what a thought wz Hurt not her tender life!

that? Cast. Not kill her? Rack me,

Thank heaven, I go prepared against that curse. Ye powers above, with all your choicest torments, Horror of mind, and pains yet uninvented,

Enter CHAMONT, disarmed and seized by ACASTU If I not practise cruelty upon her,

and Servants. And wreak revenge some way yet never known. Chu. Gape hell, and swallow me to quick dasiNion. That tæsk myself have finished; I shall

nation, die

If I forgive your house ! if I not live Refore we part; I have drank a healing draught An everlasting plague to thee, Acasto, For all my cares, and never more shall wrong And all thy race! Ye've overpowered me now';. thee.

But hear me, Heaven !-Ah, here's a scene o: Pol. O she's innocent!

death! Cast. Tell me that story,

My sister, my Monimia breathless! Now, And thou wilt make a wretch of me indeed. Ye powers above, if ye have justice, strike, Pol. Hadst thou, Castalio, used me like a Strike bolts through me, and through the curse." friend,

Castalio! This ne'er had happened ; hadst thou let me Acast. My Polydore! know

Pol. Who calls ? Thy marriage, we had all now met in joy;

Acast. How com'st thou wounded ? But, ignorant of that,

Cust. Stand off, thou hot-brained, boisterous Hearing the appointment made, enraged to think

noisy ruffian, 'Thou hadst outdone me in successful love, And leave me to my sorrows ! 1, in the dark, went and supplied thy place; Cha. By the love Whilst, all the night, ʼmidst our triumphant joys, I bore her living, I will ne'er forsake her; The trembling, tender, kind, deceived Monimia, But here remain, till my heart burst with sobbing. Embraced, caressed, and called me her Castalio. Cust. Vanish, I charge thee, or Cast. And all this is the work of my own for

[Draws a daggero tune;

Cha. Thou canst not kill me ; None but myself could e'er have been so cursed! That would be kindness, and against thy nature: My fatal love, alas ! has ruined thee,

Acast. What means Castalio? Sure thou wait Thou fairest, goodliest frame the gods e'er made,

not pull Or ever human eyes and hearts adored.

More sorrows on thy aged father's head. I've murdered too my brother.

Tell me, I beg you, tell me the sad cause
Why wouldst thou study ways to damn me far- of all this ruin.
ther,

Pol. That must be my task:
And force the sin of parricide upon me? But 'tis too long for one in pain to tell;
Pol. 'Twas my own fault, and thou art inno-You'll in my closet find the story written
cent:

Of all our woes. Castalio's innocent,
Forgive the barbarous trespass of my tongue; And so's Monimia; only I'm to blame.
'Twas a bard violence: I could have died Enquire no farther.
With love of thee, eren when I used thee worst : Cust. Thou, unkind Chamont,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Unjustly hast pursued me with thy hate, I'll bear it all; but cursed to the degree
And sought the life of him, that never wronged That I am now, 'tis this must give me patience:
thee;

Thus I find rest, and shall complain no more.
Now, if thou wilt embrace a nobler vengeance,

(Stabs himself. Come, join with me, and curse

Pol. Castalio! oh! Cha, What?

Cast. I come. Cast. First, thyself,

Chamont, to thee my birth-right I bequeath; As I do, and the hour that gave thee birth : Comfort my mourning father, heal his griefs, Confusion and disorder seize the world,

[Acas. faints into the arms of a serdant.
To spoil all trust and converse amongst men ! For I perceive they fall with weight upon him,
'Twixt families engender endless feuds,

And, for Monimia's sake, whom thou wilt find
In countries needless fears, in cities factions, I never wronged, be kind to poor Serina.
In states rebellion, and in churches schism! Now, all I beg, is, lay me in one grave
Till all things move against the course of nature, Thus with my love. Farewell. I now am-no-
Till form’s dissolved, the chain of causes broken,

thing.

(Dies. And the original of being lost!

Cha. Take care of good Acasto, whilst I go Acast. Have patience.

To search the means, by which the fates have
Cast. Patience! preach it to the winds,

plagued us.
The roaring seas, or raging fires! the knaves 'Tis thus that heaven its empire does maintain ;
That teach it, laugh at ye, when ye believe them. It may afflict, but man must not complain.
Strip me of all the common needs of life,

(Ereunt omnes. Scald me with leprosy, let friends forsake me,

[blocks in formation]

You've seen one Orphan ruin'd here, and I
May be the next, if old Acasto die;
Should it prove so, I'd fain amongst you find,
Who 'tis would to the fatherless be kind.
To whose protection might I safely go?
Is there amongst you no good nature ? No.
What should I do? should I the godly seek,
And go a conventicling twice a week?
Quit the lewd stage, and its prophane pollution,
Affect each form and saint-like institution,
So draw the brethren all to contribution?

Or shall I (as I guess the poet may
Within these three days) fairly run away ?
No, to some city-lodging I'll retire,
Seem

very grave, and privacy desire :
Till I am thought some heiress rich in lands,
Fled to escape a cruel guardian's hands;
Which may produce a story worth the telling,
Of the next sparks that go a fortunc-stealing.

O

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

In these distracted times, when each man dreads, Grown four days stiff, the better to prepare,
The bloody stratagems of busy heads;

And fit his pliant limbs to ride in chair: When we have feared three years we know not Yet here's an army raised, though under grouna, what,

But no man seen, nor one commission found: Till witnesses begin to die o’th' rot,

Here is a traitor too, that's very old, What made our poet meddle with a plot? Turbulent, subtle, mischievous, and bold, Was't that he fancied, for the very sake

Bloody, revengeful, and, to crown his part, And name of plot, his trifling play might take? Loves fumbling with a wench, with all his heart; For there's not in't one inch-broad evidence, Till after having many changes past, But 'tis, he says, to reason plain and sense, In spite of age, (thanks t'heaven) is hang'd at last. And that he thinks a plausible defence.

Next is a senator that keeps a whore; Were truth by sense and reason to be tried, In Venice none a higher office bore; Sure all our swearers might be laid aside. To lewdness every night the letcher ran, No, of such tools our author has no need, Shew me, all London, such another man, To make his plot, or make his play succeed. Match him at Mother Creswold's, if you can. He, of black bills, has no prodigious tales, Oh Poland ! Poland! had it been thy lot, Or, Spanish pilgrims cast ashore in Wales; T'bave heard in time of this Venetian plot, Here's not one murdered magistrate at least : Thou surely chosen had'st one king from thence

, Kept rank like ven’son for a city feast : And honour'd them as thou hast England since.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
MEN.

MAZZANA,
Duke of VENICE.

BRAMVEIL, Priuli, father of Belvidera.

TERNON,

Conspirators.
BEDAMAR, ambassador of Spain.

BRABE,
JAFFIER, husband of Belvidera.
PIERRE, friend of Jaffier.

WOMEN.
RENAULT,

BELVIDERA.
Eliot,

AQUILINA, a Courtezan.
SPINOSA,
THEODORE,
Conspirators.

Two Women, attendants on Belvidere.

The Council of Ten. REVILLIDO,

Officer, Guard, Friar. DURAND,

Executioner, and Rabble.

[merged small][ocr errors]

ACT I.

ed on,

SCENE I.-A Street in Venice.

To rifle me of all my heart held dear.

May all your joys in her prove false, like mine; Enter PRIULI and JAFFIER.

A sterile fortune, and a barren bed, Pri. No more! I'll hear no more! Begone Attend you both; continual discord make and leave me.

Your days and nights bitter and grievous: still Jaf. Not hear me! By my suffering but you shall! May the hard hand of a vexatious need My lord, my lord, I'm not that abject wretch Oppress and grind you ; till at last you find You think me. Patience! where's the distance The curse of disobedience all your portion! throws

Jaf. Half of your curse you have bestowed in Me back so far, but I

may
boldly speak

vain; In right, though proud oppression will not hear me? Heaven has already crowned our faithful loves Pri. Have you not wronged me?

With a young boy, sweet as his mother's beauty, Jaf. Could my nature e'er

May heliveto prove more gentle than his grandsire: Have brooked injustice, or the doing wrongs, And happier than his father! I need not now thus low have bent myself,

Pri. Rather live To gain a hearing from a cruel father.

To bait thee for his bread, and din your ears Wronged you !

With hungry cries; whilst his unhappy mother Pri. Yes, wronged me! In the nicest point, Sits down and weeps in bitterness of want. The honour of my house, you have done me wrong.

Jaf. You talk as if ’twould please you. You may remember (for I now will speak,

Pri. 'Twould, by heaven! And urge its baseness) when you first came home Once she was dear indeed; the drops that fell From travel, with such hopes as made you look. From my sad heart, when she forgot her duty,

The fountain of my life was not so precious By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation,

But she is gone, and, if I am a man,
Pleased with your growing virtue, I received you, I will forget her.
Courted, and sought to raise you to your merits: Jaf. Would I were in my grave!
My house, my table, nay, my fortune too,

Pri. And she too with thee:
My very self was yours; you might have used me For, living here, you're but my cursed remem,
To your best service; like an open friend

brancers, I treated, trusted you, and thought you mine : I once was happy. When, in requital of my best endeavours,

Jaf. You use me thus, because you know my soul You treacherously practised to undo me;

Is fond of Belvidera. You perceive Seduced the weakness of my age's darling,

My life feeds on her, therefore thus you treat me. My only child, and stole her from my bosom.

Oh! could my soul ever have known satiety, Oh Belvidera!

Were I that thief, the doer of such wrongs Jaf. 'Tis to me you owe her!

As you upbraid me with, what hinders me Childless you had been else, and in the grave

But I might send her back to you with contumely, Your name extinct ; no more Priuli heard of. And court my fortune, where she would be kinder? You may remember, scarce five years are past,

Pri. You dare not do it, Since in your brigantine you sailed to see

Juf. Indeed, my lord, I dare not. The Adriatic wedded by our duke;

My heart, that awes me, is too much my master: And I was with you : your unskilful pilot

Three years are past, since first our vows were Dashed us upon a rock; when to your boat

plighted, You made for safety; entered first yourself; During which time, the world must bear me witThe affrighted Belvidera, following next,

ness,
As she stood trembling on the vessel's side, I've treated Belvidera like your daughter,
Was by a wave washed off into the deep; The daughter of a senator of Venice:
When instantly 1 plunged into the sea,

Distinction, place, attendance, and observance, And, buffetting the billows to her rescue,

Due to her birth, she always has commanded. Redeemed ber life with half the loss of mine. Out of my little fortune I've done this; Like a rich conquest, in one hand I bore her, Because (though hopeless e'er to win your naAnd with the other dashed the saucy waves,

ture) That thronged and pressed to rob me of my prize. The world might see I loved her for herself; I brought her, gave her to your despairing arms: Not as the heiress of the great Priuli. Indeed thanked me; but a nabler gratitude

Pri. No more. Hose in her soul: for from that hour she loved me, Jaf. Yes, all, and then adieu for ever. mill for her life she paid me with herself. There's not a wretch, that lives on common cha, Pri. You stole her from me; like a thief you

rity, stole her,

But's happier than me: for I have known At dead of night! that cursed hour you chose, The luscious sweets of plenty; every night

you

« PreviousContinue »