Belv. Nay, do not call to memory
My disobedience, but let pity enter
Into your heart, and quite deface the impression;
For could you think how mine’s perplexed, what sadness,
Fears and despairs distract the peace within me,
Oh, you would take me in your dear, dear arms,
Hover with strong compassion o’er your young one,
To shelter me with a protecting wing,
From the black gather’d storm, that’s just, just breaking.

Priu. Don’t talk thus.

Belv. Yes, I must, and you must hear too.
I have a husband.

Priu. Damn him.

Belv. Oh, do not curse him!
He would not speak so hard a word towards you,
On any terms, [howe’er] he deal with me.

Priu. Ha! what means my child?

Belv. Oh, there’s but this short moment
’Twixt me and Fate, yet send me not with curses
Down to my grave, afford me one kind blessing
Before we part: just take me in your arms,
And recommend me with a prayer to Heaven,
That I may die in peace, and when I’m dead—

Priu. How my soul’s catched!

Belv. Lay me, I beg you. lay me
By the dear ashes of my tender mother:
She would have pitied me, had Fate yet spared her.

Priu. By heaven, my aching heart forebodes much mischief;
Tell me thy story, for I’m still thy father.

Belv. No, I’m contented.

Priu. Speak.

Belv. No matter.

Priu. Tell me.
By yon blest Heaven, my heart runs o’er with fondness.

Belv. Oh!

Priu. Utter’t.
Belv. O my husband, my dear husband
Carries a dagger in his once kind bosom,
To pierce the heart of your poor Belvidera.

Priu. Kill thee?

Belv. Yes, kill me. When he pass’d his faith
And covenant, against your State and Senate,
He gave me up as hostage for his truth,
With me a dagger and a dire commission
Whene’er he failed, to plunge it through this bosom.
I learnt the danger, chose the hour of love
To attempt his heart, and bring it back to honour.
Great love prevail’d and bless’d me with success:
He came, confessed, betrayed his dearest friends.
For promis’d mercy; now they’re doomed to suffer,
Gall’d with remembrance of what then was sworn,
If they are lost, he vows to appease the gods
With this poor life, and make my blood the atonement.

Priu. Heavens!

Belv. Think you saw what pass’d at our last parting;
Think you beheld him like a raging lion,
Pacing the earth and tearing up his steps,
Fate in his eyes, and roaring with the pain
Of burning fury; think you saw his one hand
Fix’d on my throat, while the extended other
Grasp’d a keen threat’ning dagger: oh, ’twas thus
We last embrac’d when, trembling with revenge,
He dragg’d me to the ground, and at my bosom
Presented horrid death, cried out: “My friends,
Where are my friends?” swore, wept, rag’d, threaten’d, lov’d,
For he

  By PanEris using Melati.

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