Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fond of its goal, and labouring to be at thee;
What shall I do? what say to make thee hear me ?

Pier. Haft thou not wrong'd me ? dar'lt thou call thyself
That once lov'd valu'd friend of mine,
And swear thou haft not wrong'd me? Whence these chains ?
Whence the vile death, which I may meet this moment!
Whence this dishonour, but from thee, thou false one ?
JAFF.. All's true ; yet grant one thing; and I've donc

asking. PIER. What's that?

JAFF. To take thy life on such conditions
The council have propos'd : thou and thy friend
May yet live long, and to be better treated.
Pier. Life! alk

my life ! confefs ! record myself
A villain for the privilege to breathe,
And carry up and down this cursed city
A discontented and repining fpirit,
Burdensome to itself, a few years longer,
To lose it, may be at last, in a lewd quarrel
For some new friend, treacherous and falfe as thou art !
No, this vile world and I have long been jangling,
And cannot part on better terms than now,
When only men like thee are fit to live in’t.

JAFF. By all that's juft

Pier. Swear by some other powers,
For thou hast broken that facred oath too lately.

Jaff. Then by that hell I merit, I'll not leave thee,
Till to thyself at least thou’rt reconcil'd,
However thy resentment deal with me.

Pier. Not leave me !

Jarr. No ; thou shalt not force me from thee; Use me reproachfully, and like a llave;

Trca

[ocr errors]

Tread on me, buffet me, heap wrongs on wrongs
On my poor head; I'll bear it all with patience :
I'll weary out thy moft unfriendly cruelty :
Lie at thy feet and kiss 'em, tho' they spurn me,
Till wounded by my sufferings thou relent,
And raise me to thy arms with dear forgivenes

Pieri Art thou not
JAFF. What?
Pier. A traitor?
JAFF. Yes.
Pier. A villian?
JAFF. Granted.

PIER. A coward, a moft fcandalous coward,
Spiritless, void of honour, one who has sold
Thy everlasting fame for shameless life?
JAFF. All, all, and more, much more : my faults are

numberless. Pier. And would'st thou have me live on terms like thine

5 Bafe as thou'rt false

JAFF. No ; 'tis to me that's granted :
The safety of thy life was all I aim'd at,
In recompence for faith and trust so broken.

Pier. I scorn it more, because preserv'd by thee i
And as when first

my

foolish heart took pity
On thy misfortunes, fought thee in thy míseries,
Reliev'd thy wants, and rais’d thee from thy state
Of wretchedness, in which thy fate had plung'd thee,
To rank thee in my list of noble friends ;
All I receiv'd, in furety for thy truth,
Were unregarded oaths, and this, this dagger,
Given with a worthlets pledge thou fince haft stol'n:
So I restore it back to thee again ;

Swearing

R6,

Swearing by all those powers which thou hast violated,
Never from this curs'd hour to hold communion,
Friendship, or interest with thee, tho' our years
Were to exceed those limited the world.
Take it-Farewel, for now I owe thee nothing.

Jaff. Say thou wilt live then.

Pier. For my life, dispose of it
Just as thou wilt, because 'tis what I'm tir'd with.

JAFF. Oh Pierre !
Pier. No more.

JAFF. My eyes won't lose the fight of thee,
But languish after thine, and ache with gazing.
Pier. Leave me

-Nay, then thus, thus I throw thee

from me ;

And curses, great as is thy falsehood, catch thee.

VENICE PRESERVED.

c H A P. XI.

EDWARD

AND

WARWICK.

[ocr errors]

Eow.. ET me have no intruders ; above all,

Keep Warwick from my sight

Enter WARWICK.
WAR. Behold him here ;
No welcome guest, it seems, unless I ask
My lord of Suffolk ́s leave—there was a time
When Warwick wanted not his aid to gain
Admission here.

Edw. There was a time, perhaps,
When Warwick, more defir'd, and more—deserv'd it,

War. Never! I've been a foolish faithful slave ;
All my best years, the morning of my life,

Hath

Hath been devoted to your service : what
Are now the fruits ; Disgrace and infamy;
My spotless name, which never yet the breath
Of calumny had tainted, made the mock
For foreign fools to carp at: but 'tis fit
Who trust in princes, should be thus rewarded.

Edw. I thought, my lord, I had full well repay'd
Your services with honours, wealth and pow'r
Unlimited : thy all-directing hand
Guided in secret ev'ry latent wheel
Of government, and mov'd the whole machine :
Warwick was all in all, and pow'rless Edward
Stood like a cypher in the great account.

War. Who gave that cypher worth, and feated thee
On England's throne? Thy undistinguish'd name
Had rotted in the duft from whence it sprang,
And moulder'd in oblivion, had not Warwick
Dug from its fordid mine the useless ore,
And stamp'd it with a diadem. Thou know'st
This wretched country, doom'd, perhaps, like Rome,
To fall by its own self-destroying hand,
Toft for so many years in the rough sea
Of civil discord, but for me had perilh’d.
In that distressful hour I seiz'd the helm,
Bade the rough waves subside in peace, and steer'd
Your shatter'd vessel safe into the harbour.

You may despise, perhaps, that useless aid
Which you no longer want ; but know, proud youth,
He who forgets a frierfd, deserves a foe.

Edw. Know too, reproach for benefits receiv'd
Pays ev'ry debt, and cancels obligation.
War: Why, that indeed is frugal honefty,

A thrifty

A thrifty favi g knowledge : when the debt
Grows burdensome, and cannot be discharg'a,
A sponge will wipe out all, and cost you nothing.
Epw. When

you

have counted o'er the numerous traia Of mighty gifts your bounty lavish'd on me, You may remember next the injuries Which I have done you ; let me know them all, And I will make you ample satisfaction.

WAR. Thou canst not : thou hast robb’d me of a jewel It is not in thy power to restore : I was the first, shall future annals say, That broke the sacred bond of public trust And mutual confidence; ambassadors, In after times, mere inftruments, perhaps, Of venal statesmen, shall recal my name To witness, that they want not an example, And plead my guilt, to fanctify their own. Amidst the herd of mercenary flaves • That haunt your court, cou'd none be found but Warwick, To be the shameless herald of a lie ?

Edw. And wouldst thou turn the vile reproach on me? If I have broke my faith, and stain’d the name Of England, thank thy own pernicious counsels That urg'd me to it, and extorted from me A cold consent to what

my

heart abhorr'd.
War. I have been abus'd, insulted, and betray'd ;
My injur’d honour cries aloud for vengeance,
Her wounds will never close !

Edw. These gusts of pailion,
Will but inflame them ; if I have been right
Inform’d, my lord, besides these dang'rous scars,
Of bleeding honour, you have other wounds.

As

« PreviousContinue »