Belv. Nay, do not call to memory
My disobedience, but let pity enter
Into your heart, and quite deface
For could you think how mines 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 oer your
To shelter me with a protecting wing,
From the black gatherd storm, thats just, just breaking.
Priu. Dont 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, [howeer] he
deal with me.
Priu. Ha! what means my child?
Belv. Oh, theres 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 Im dead
Priu. How my souls 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 Im still thy father.
Belv. No, Im contented.
Belv. No matter.
Priu. Tell me.
By yon blest Heaven, my heart runs oer with fondness.
Belv. O my husband, my dear husband
Carries a dagger in his once kind bosom,
the heart of your poor Belvidera.
Priu. Kill thee?
Belv. Yes, kill me. When he passd 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
Wheneer 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
Great love prevaild and blessd me with success:
He came, confessed, betrayed his dearest
For promisd mercy; now theyre doomed to suffer,
Galld with remembrance of what then was
If they are lost, he vows to appease the gods
With this poor life, and make my blood the atonement.
Belv. Think you saw what passd at our last parting;
Think you beheld him like a raging lion,
earth and tearing up his steps,
Fate in his eyes, and roaring with the pain
Of burning fury; think you saw
his one hand
Fixd on my throat, while the extended other
Graspd a keen threatning dagger: oh, twas
We last embracd when, trembling with revenge,
He draggd me to the ground, and at my bosom
horrid death, cried out: My friends,
Where are my friends? swore, wept, ragd, threatend, lovd,