Jaff. No, thou’rt my soul itself; wealth, friendship, honour.
All present joys, and earnest of all future,
Are summ’d in thee: methinks when in thy arms
Thus leaning on thy breast, one minute’s more
Than a long thousand years of vulgar hours.
Why was such happiness not given me pure?
Why dash’d with cruel wrongs, and bitter wantings?
Come, lead me forward now like a tame lamb
To sacrifice, thus in his fatal garlands,
Deck’d fine and pleas’d, the wanton skips and plays,
Trots by the enticing flattering priestess’ side,
And much transported with his little pride,
Forgets his dear companions of the plain
Till, by her bound, he’s on the altar lain,
Yet then too hardly bleats, such pleasure’s in the pain.

Enter Officer and six Guards.

Offic. Stand, who goes there?

Belv. Friends.

Jaff. Friends, Belvidera! hide me from my friends:
By heaven, I’d rather see the face of hell,
Than meet the man I love.

Offic. But what friends are you?

Belv. Friends to the Senate and the State of Venice.

Offic. My orders are to seize on all I find
At this late hour, and bring ’em to the Council,
Who now are sitting.

Jaff. Sir, you shall be obeyed.
Hold, brutes, stand off, none of your paws upon me.
Now the lot’s cast, and Fate do what thou wilt!

[Exeunt guarded.

SCENE [II.]—The Senate-house

Where appear sitting, the Duke of VENICE, PRIULI, ANTONIO, and eight other Senators.

Duke. Antony, Priuli, Senators of Venice,
Speak; why are we assembled here this night?
What have you to inform us of, concerns
The State of Venice, honour, or its safety?
Priu. Could words express the story I have to tell you,
Fathers, these tears were useless, these sad tears
That fall from my old eyes; but there is cause
We all should weep; tear off these purple robes,
And wrap ourselves in sackcloth, sitting down
On the sad earth, and cry aloud to Heaven.
Heaven knows if yet there be an hour to come
Ere Venice be no more.
All Senators.


Priu. Nay, we stand
Upon the very brink of gaping ruin.
Within this city’s formed a dark conspiracy,
To massacre us all, our wives and children,
Kindred and friends, our palaces and temples
To lay in ashes: nay, the hour too, fix’d;
The swords, for aught I know, drawn e’en this moment,
And the wild waste begun: from unknown hands
I had this warning: but if we are men
Let’s not be tamely butchered, but do something
That may inform the world in after ages,
Our virtue was not ruin’d though we were.

[A noise without.

Room, room, make room for some prisoners—
Second Senator. Let’s raise the city.

Enter Officer and Guard.

Priu. Speak there, what disturbance?
Offic. Two prisoners have the guard seiz’d in the streets,
Who say they come to inform this reverend Senate
About the present danger.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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