« EelmineJätka »
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, The streams will follow
Jaf. Come, I'll kiss them dry then.
Bel. But was it a miserable day?
Jaf. A cursed one.
Where everlasting sweets are always springing,
To bear the loss of one, that too much loved,
Jaf. Yes, for ever parting;
I have sworn, Belvidera, by yon heaven,
Bel. O! call back
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,
In the transporting hours of warmest love, When sure you spoke the truth, you have sworn, you blessed it.
Jaf. Twas a rash oath.
Bel. Then why am I not cursed too?
Jaf. No, Belvidera; by the eternal truth, I doat with too much fondness.
Bel. Still so kind!
Still then do you love me?
Jaf. Nature, in her workings,
Inclines not with more ardour to creation,
With never-ceasing vengeance; let despair,
Jaf. Now, hold heart, or never,
Bel. By all the tender days we have 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. Have I not hitherto, (I beg thee tell me Thy very fears) used thee with tenderest love? Did e'er my soul rise up in wrath against thee? Did I e'er frown, when Belvidera smiled? Or by the least unfriendly word, betray Abating passion? have I ever wronged thee? Bel. No.
Jaf. Has my heart, or have my eyes, e'er wandered
To any other woman?
Bel. Never, never-I were the worst of false ones, should I accuse thee.
I own I have been too happy, blessed above
Jaf. Did I not say, I came to bless thee?
Jaf. Then hear me, bounteous Ileaven!
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 disinal 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. Away; no more. Captain, I'd have hereafter This fellow write no lies of my conversion, Because he has crept upon my troubled hours. Enter JAFFIER,
Jaf. Hold: eyes be dry;
This hideous sight, and humble me, to take
Pier. Yet nearer.
Jaf. Crawling on my knees,
I can't forget to love thee. Prithee, Jaffier,
Suffered the shameful fate, thou'rt going to taste
And honest men hereafter bear its figure About them, as a charm from treacherous friendship.
Ofi. The time grows short, your friends are dead already.
Jaf. Have at thee,
And I forgive thee. ́ ́ Oh!-yet-shall I trust Thou honest heart, then-here!
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 Jaffier.
And this is well too.
Fri. Damnable deed!
[Stabs him. [Stabs himself.
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!
Are you returned? See, father, here he's come
Am I to blame to love him? O, thou dear one,
Stand off, don't hide him from me. He's here somewhere.
Stand off, I say: What, gone? Remember it, ty
I may revenge myself for this trick, one day.
Pri. News, what news?
Offi. Most sad, sir;
[Officer whispers Priuli.
Jaffier, upon the scaffold, to prevent
Who has done this? Speak to me, thou sad vision!
On these poor trembling knees I beg it. Va nished
Here they went down-Oh, I'll dig, dig the den
You shan't delude me thus. Hoa, Jaffier, Jaffier!
My love! my dear! my blessing! help me! help
They have hold on me, and drag me to the bottom.
Pri. Oh! guard me from the sight on't!
A shameful death, stabbed Pierre, and next him- May never enter: hang it round with black:
Set up one taper, that may last a day,
A room of state. The curtain rising slowly to soft music, discovers ALMERIA in mourning, LEONORA waiting in mourning. After the music, ALMERIA rises from her chair, and comes forward.
Alm. Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. I've read, that things inanimate have moved, And, as with living souls, have been informed By magic numbers and persuasive sound. What then am I? Am I more senseless grown Than trees or flint? O, force of constant woe! 'Tis not in harmony to calm my griefs. Anselmo sleeps, and is at peace; last night The silent tomb received the good old king; He and his sorrows now are safely lodged Within its cold, but hospitable bosom.
Why am not I at peace?
Leon. Dear madam, cease,
Or moderate your grief; there is no cause Alm. No cause! Peace, peace; there is eternal cause,
And misery eternal will succeed.
Thou canst not tell-thou hast indeed no cause.
Leon. Believe me, madam, I lament Anselmo, And always did compassionate his fortune; Have often wept, to see how cruelly Your father kept in chains his fellow-king: And oft, at night, when all have been retired, Have stolen from bed, and to his prison crept; Where, while his gaoler slept, I thro' the grate Have softly whispered, and enquired his health; Sent in my sighs and prayers for his deliverance; For sighs and prayers were all that I could offer. Alm. Indeed thou hast a soft and gentle na