Jaff. No, thourt my soul itself; wealth, friendship, honour.
All present joys, and earnest of all future,
summd in thee: methinks when in thy arms
Thus leaning on thy breast, one minutes more
Than a long
thousand years of vulgar hours.
Why was such happiness not given me pure?
Why dashd with cruel
wrongs, and bitter wantings?
Come, lead me forward now like a tame lamb
To sacrifice, thus in his fatal
Deckd fine and pleasd, the wanton skips and plays,
Trots by the enticing flattering priestess
And much transported with his little pride,
Forgets his dear companions of the plain
Till, by her bound,
hes on the altar lain,
Yet then too hardly bleats, such pleasures in the pain.
Enter Officer and six Guards.
Offic. Stand, who goes there?
Jaff. Friends, Belvidera! hide me from my friends:
By heaven, Id rather see the face of hell,
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
Jaff. Sir, you shall be obeyed.
Hold, brutes, stand off, none of your paws upon me.
Now the lots cast,
and Fate do what thou wilt!
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
We all should weep; tear off these purple robes,
And wrap ourselves in sackcloth, sitting down
the sad earth, and cry aloud to Heaven.
Heaven knows if yet there be an hour to come
Ere Venice be no
Priu. Nay, we stand
Upon the very brink of gaping ruin.
Within this citys formed a dark conspiracy,
massacre us all, our wives and children,
Kindred and friends, our palaces and temples
To lay in ashes: nay,
the hour too, fixd;
The swords, for aught I know, drawn een this moment,
And the wild waste begun: from
I had this warning: but if we are men
Lets not be tamely butchered, but do something
may inform the world in after ages,
Our virtue was not ruind though we were.
[A noise without.
Room, room, make room for some prisoners
Second Senator. Lets raise the city.
Enter Officer and Guard.
Priu. Speak there, what disturbance?
Offic. Two prisoners have the guard seizd in the streets,
they come to inform this reverend Senate
About the present danger.