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[Fight ; Polydore drops his sword, and runs Cast. Oh! think a little what thy heart is do- on Castalio's. ing:
Pol. Now, my Castalio is again my friend. How, from our infancy, we, hand in hand, Cast. What have I done? my sword is in thy Have trod the path of life in love together;
breast! One bed hath held us, and the same desires, Pol. So I would have it be, thou best of men, The same aversions, still employed our thoughts: Thou kindest brother, and thou truest friend. When e'er had I a friend, that was not Polydore's? Cast. Ye gods, we are taught, that all your Or Polydore a foe, that was pot mine?
works are justice, Even in the womb we embraced; and wilt thou You are painted merciful, and friends to inno
now, For the first fault, abandon and forsake me, If so, then why these plagues upon my head? Leave me, amidst afflictions, to myself,
Pol. Blame not the heavens; here lies thy Plunged in the gulf of grief, and none to help me? fate, Castalio;
Fol. Go to Monimia, in her arms thoul't find They are not the gods, 'tis Polydore has wronged Repose ; she has the art of healing sorrows.
thee; Cast. What arts ?
I have stained thy bed; thy spotless marriage joys Pol. Blind wretch ! thou husband! there is a Have been polluted by thy brother's lust. question !
Cast. By thee! Go to her fulsome bed, and wallow there :
Pol. By me, last night, the horrid deed
Cast. Now, where's Monimia? Oh!
Mon. I am bere, who calls me? Pol. Ay, whore; I think that word needs no Methought I heard a voice, explaining.
Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains, Cast. Alas! I can forgive even this, to thee ! When all his little flock's at feed before him. But let me tell thee, Polydore, I am grieved But what means this? Here's blood, To find thee guilty of such low revenge,
Cust. Ay, brother's blood. Το wrong that virtue, which thou couldst not Art thou prepared for everlasting pains?
Pol. Oh, let me charge thee, by the eternal Pol. It seems I lie, then?
justice, Cast. Should the bravest man
Hurt not her tender life! That e'er wore conquering sword, but dare to Cast. Not kill her? Rack me, whisper
Ye powers above, with all your choicest torments, What thou proclaim’st, he were the worst of Horror of mind, and pains yet uninvented, liars :
If I not practise cruelty upon her, My friend may be mistaken.
And wreak revenge some way yet never known, Pol. Damn the evasion!
Mon. That task myself have finished; I shall Thou meanest the worst; and he is a base-born die villain,
Before we part; I have drank a healing draught That said I lied,
For all my cares, and never more shall wrong Cast. Do, draw thy sword, and thrust it through
thee. my heart;
Pol. () she's innocent! There is no joy in life, if thou art lost.
Cast. Tell me that story, A base-born villain!
And thou wilt make a wretch of me indeed. Pol. Yes; thou never cam'st
Pol. Hadst thou, Castalio, used me like a From old Acasto's loins; the midwife put
friend, A cheat upon my inother, and instead
This ne'er had happened ; badst thou let me Of a true brother, in a cradle by me,
know Placed some coarse peasant's cub, and thou art he. Thy marriage, we had all now met in joy; Cust. Thou art my brother still,
But, ignorant of that, Pol. Thou liest.
Hearing the appointment made, enraged to think Cast. Nay then
[He draws. Thou hadst outdone me in successful love, Yet I am calm.
I, in the dark, went and supplied thy place; Pol. A coward's always so.
Whilst, all the night, 'midst our triumphant joys
, Cast. Ah !-ah-that stings home-Coward ! The trembling, tender, kind, deceived Monimia, Pol. Ay, base-borii coward! villain !
Embraced, caressed, and called ine her Castalio. Cast. This to thy heart, then, though my mother Cast. And all this is the work of my own forborç thee.
None but myself could e'er have been so cursed! But here remain, till my heart burst with sobbing. My fatal love, alas ! has ruined thee,
Cast. Vanish, I charge thee, orThou fairest, goodliest frame the gods e'er made,
[Draws a dagger. Or ever human eyes and hearts adored.
Cha. Thou canst not kill me; I've murdered too my brother.
That would be kindness, and against thy nature. Why wouldst thou study ways to damn me far- Acast. What means Castalio ? Sure thou wilt ther,
not pull And force the sin of parricide upon me? More sorrows on thy aged father's head. Pol. 'Twas my own fault, and thou art inno-Tell me, I beg you, tell me the sad cause cent;
Of all this ruin. Forgive the barbarous trespass of my tongue ;
Pol. That inust be 'Twas a hard violence: I could have died But 'tis too long for one in pain to tell; With love of thee, even when I used thee worst; | You'll in my closet find the story written Nay, at each word, that my distraction uttered, Of all our woes. Castalio is innocent, My heart recoiled, and 'twas half death to speak And so is Monimia; only I am to blame. them.
Enquire no farther. Mon. Now, my Castalio, the most dear of men, Cast. Thou, unkind Chamont, Wilt thou receive pollution to thy bosom, Unjustly hast pursued me with thy hate, And close the eyes of one, that has betrayed thee? And sought the life of him, that never wronged Cast. Oh, I am the unhappy wretch, whose thee: cursed fate
Now, if thou wilt embrace a nobler vengeance, Has weighed thee down into destruction with him. Come, join with me, and curseWhy then, thus kind to me?
Cha. What? Mon. When I am laid low in the grave, and
Cast. First, thyself, quite forgotten,
As I do, and the hour, that gave thee birth : Mayst thou be happy in a fairer bride;
Confusion and disorder seize the world, But none can ever love thee like Monimia. To spoil all trust and converse amongst men! When I am dead, as presently I shall be,
'Twixt families engender endless feuds, (For the grim tyrant grasps my heart already) In countries needless fears, in cities factions, Speak well of me; and, if thou find ill tongues In states rebellion, and in churches schism'! Too busy with my fame, don't hear me wronged; | Till all things move against the course of nature, Twill be a noble justice to the memory,
Till form's dissolved, the chain of causes broken, Of a poor wretch, once honoured with thy love. And the original of being lost ! How my head swims! 'tis very dark. Good-night. Acast. Have patience.
Dies. Cast. Patience! preach it to the winds, Cast. If I survive thee-what a thought was The roaring seas, or raging fires ! the knaves that ?
Chat teach it, laugh at ye, when ye believe them. Thank Heaven, I go prepared against that curse. Strip me of all the common needs of life,
Scald me with leprosy, let friends forsake me, Enter Chamont, disarmed and seized by Acasto I'll bear it all; but cursed to the degree and Servants.
That I am now, 'tis this must give me patience : Cha. Gape earth, and swallow me to quick de- | Thus I find rest, and shall complain no more. struction,
[Stabs himself If I forgive your house ! if I not live
Pol. Castalio! oh! An everlasting plague to thee, Acasto,
Cast. I come. And all thy race. Ye've overpowered me now; Chamont, to thee my birth-right I bequeath; But hear me, Heaven !-Ah, here's a scene of Comfort my mourning father, heal his griefs, death!
[Acasto faints into the arms of a servant. My sister, my Monimia breathless !--Now, For I perceive they fall with weight upon him.
powers above, if ye have justice, strike, And, for Monimia's sake, whom thou wilt find Strike bolts through me, and through the cursed I never wronged, be kind to poor Serina. Castalio!
Now, all I beg, is, lay me in one grave Acast. My Polydore !
Thus with my love. Farewell. I now am-noPol. Who calls?
[Dies. Acast. How camest thou wounded?
Chu. Take care of good Acasto, whilst I go Cast. Stand off, thou hot-brained, boisterous, To search the means, by which the fates have noisy ruffian,
plagued us. And leave me to my sorrows !
Tis thus that Heaven its empire does maintain; Cha. By the love
It may afflict, but man must not complain. I bore her living, I will ne'er forsake her;
SCENE I-A Street in Venice. And urge its baseness) when you first came home
From travel, with such hopes as made you lookEnter PRIULI and JAFFIER. Pri. No more! I'll hear no more! Begone By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation, and leave me.
Pleased with your growing virtue, I received you; Jaf. Not hear me! By my suffering but you Courted, and sought to raise you to your merits: shall !
My house, my table, nay, my fortune too, My lord, my lord! I'm not that abject wretch, My very self
was yours; you might have used me You think me.
Patience! where's the distance to your best service; like an open friend throws
I treated, trusted, you, and thought you mine : Me back so far, but I may boldly speak When, in requital of my best endeavours, In right, though proud oppression will not hear me? You treacherously practised to undo me; Pri. Have you not wronged me?
Seduced the weakness of my age's darling, Jaf. Could my nature e'er
My only child, and stole her from my bosom. Have brooked injustice, or the doing wrongs, Oh Belvidera! I need not now thus low have bent myself, Juf. 'Tis to me you owe her! To gain a hearing from a cruel father,
Childless you had been else, and in the grave Wronged you !
Your name extinct; no more Priuli heard of. Pri. Yes, wronged me! In the nicest point, You may remember, scarce five years are past, The honour of my house, you have done me Since in your brigantine you sailed to see wrong.
The Adriatic wedded by our duke;
Dashed us upon a rock; when to your boat Jaf. Indeed, my lord, I dare not.
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
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;
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 be 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 his 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 wife Pri. 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, I once was happy.
Enter PIERRE. 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 footing 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, kinder?
They'd starve each other; lawyers would want Pri. You dare not do it.
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
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, I pay my debts, when they're con- I summoned to appear, and censured basely, tracted;
For violating something they called privilegeI 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 Venice Jaf. A villain !
Nay, dear revenge, whene'er thou call'st, 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,
Jaf. Oh, Aquilina! Friend, to lose such beauty! The proud Priuli should be taught humanity,
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 perliaps 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 thy 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 ill fortune have been long acquainted.