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With stinking rogues, that rot in winding-sheets,
Surfeit-slain fools, the common dung o' th' soil!
Faf. Oh!

Pier. Well said: out with't, swear a little▬▬

Jaf. Swear! By sea and air, by earth, by heaven and hell,

I will revenge my Belvidera's tears.

Hark, thee, my friend! Priuli-is—a senator.

Pier. A dog!

Faf. Agreed.

Pier. Shoot him!

Jaf. With all my heart.

No more; where shall we meet at night?
Pier. I'll tell thee:

On the Rialto, every night at twelve,

I take my evening's walk of meditation;

There we two will meet, and talk of precious

Jaf. Farewell.

Pier. At twelve.

Jaf. At any hour; my plagues

Will keep me waking.

Tell me why, good Heaven,

Thou mad'st me what I am, with all the spirit,
Aspiring thoughts, and elegant desires,

Poor Belvidera!


That fill the happiest man? Ah, rather, why
Didst thou not form me sordid as my fate,
Base-minded, dull, and fit to carry burdens?

Why have I sense to know the curse that's on me?
Is this just dealing, Nature ?-Belvidera !

Enter BELVIDera.

Bel. Lead me, lead me, my virgins,

To that kind voice. My lord, my love, my refuge!
Happy my eyes, when they behold thy face!
My heavy heart will leave its doleful beating
At sight of thee, and bound with sprightly joys.
Oh, smile! as when our loves were in their spring,
And cheer my fainting soul.

Jaf. As when our loves
Were in their spring! Has, then, our fortune changed?
Art thou not, Belvidera, still the same,
Kind, good, and tender, as my arms first found thee?
If thou art altered, where shall I have harbour?
Where ease my loaded heart? Oh! where complain?

Bel. Does this appear like change, or love decaying,
When thus I throw myself into thy bosom,
With all the resolution of strong truth?
Beats not my heart, as 'twould alarum thine
To a new charge of bliss ?—I joy more in thee,
Than did thy mother, when she hugged thee first,
And blessed the gods for all her travail past.

Faf. Can there in woman be such glorious faith?
Sure, all ill stories of thy sex are false !
O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you!
Angels are painted fair, to look like you:
There's in you all that we believe of heaven;
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love.

Bel. If love be treasure, we'll be wondrous rich;
I have so much, my heart will surely break with't:
Vows can't express it. When I would declare
How great's my joy, I'm dumb with the big thought;

I swell, and sigh, and labour with my longing.
Oh, lead me to some desert wide and wild,
Barren as our misfortunes, where my soul
May have its vent, where I may tell aloud
To the high heavens, and every list'ning planet,
With what a boundless stock my bosom's fraught;
Where I may throw my eager arms about thee,
Give loose to love, with kisses kindling joy,
And let off all the fire that's in my heart!

Jaf. O Belvidera! doubly I'm a beggar:
Undone by Fortune, and in debt to thee.
Want, worldly Want, that hungry, meagre fiend,
Is at my heels, and chases me in view.

Canst thou bear cold and hunger? Can these limbs,
Framed for the tender offices of love,
Endure the bitter gripes of smarting poverty?
When banished by our miseries abroad

(As suddenly we shall be), to seek out

In some far climate, where our names are strangers,
For charitable succour; wilt thou then,
When in a bed of straw we shrink together,
And the bleak winds shall whistle round our heads,-
Wilt thou then talk thus to me? Wilt thou then
Hush my cares thus, and shelter me with love?

Bel. Oh! I will love thee, even in madness love thee,
Though my distracted senses should forsake me;
I'd find some intervals, when my poor heart
Should 'suage itself, and be let loose to thine.
Though the bare earth be all our resting-place,
Its roots our food, some cleft our habitation,

I'll make this arm a pillow for thine head;
And, as thou sighing liest, and swelled with sorrow,

Creep to thy bosom, pour the balm of love

Into thy soul, and kiss thee to thy rest;

Then praise our God, and watch thee till the morning. Jaf. Hear this, ye Heavens! and wonder how you

made her:

Reign, reign, ye monarchs that divide the world,
Busy rebellion ne'er will let you know
Tranquillity and happiness like mine!

Like gaudy ships th' obsequious billows fall,
And rise again to lift you in your pride;

They wait but for a storm, and then devour you;
I, in my private bark already wrecked,

Like a poor merchant driven to unknown land,

That had by chance packed up his choicest treasure
In one dear casket, and saved only that;
Since I must wander farther on the shore,
Thus hug my little, but my precious store,
Resolved to scorn and trust my fate no more.



MONIMIA, an Orphan, is brought up by ACASTO, whose two Sons, CASTALIO and POLYDORE, have each bestowed their affections on 66 the Orphan." CASTALIO alone is beloved by MONIMIA, and a secret Marriage is contrived by the Lovers. CHAMONT, a young Soldier, Brother to MONIMIA, hears reports against his Sister's honour, and seeks an explanation from ACASTO and MONIMIA.


Cham. My lord, I stand in need of your assistance, In something that concerns my peace and honour.

Acas. Spoke like the son of that brave man I loved!

So freely, friendly, we conversed together.
Whate'er it be, with confidence impart it;
Thou shalt command my fortune, and my sword.
Cham. I dare not doubt your friendship, nor your justice.
Your bounty shown to what I hold most dear,
My orphan sister, must not be forgotten!

Acas. Pr'ythee no more of that, it grates my nature.
Cham. When our dear parents died, they died together;
One fate surprised 'em, and one grave received 'em ;
My father, with his dying breath, bequeathed
Her to my love; my mother, as she lay
Languishing by him, called me to her side,

Took me in her fainting arms, wept, and embraced me;
Then pressed me close, and, as she observed my tears,
Kissed them away: said she, "Chamont, my son,
By this, and all the love I ever showed thee,
Be careful of Monimia: watch her youth;
Let not her wants betray her to dishonour;
Perhaps kind Heaven may raise some friend.'
Kissed me again; so blessed us, and expired.
Pardon my grief.

Then sighed

Acas. It speaks an honest nature.

Cham. The friend Heaven raised was you; you took her


An infant, to the desert world exposed,
And proved another parent.

Acas. I've not wronged her.

Cham. Far be it from my fears.

Acas. Then why this argument?

Cham. My lord, my nature's jealous, and you'll bear it.

Acas. Go on.

Cham. Great spirits bear misfortunes hardly;

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