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Pri. Could words express the story I've to tell you, But use me as my dealings may deserve, And I may prove a friend.
Duke. The slave capitulates;
Give him the tortures.
Jaf. That you dare not do;
Your fear wont let you, nor the longing itch
Acts of itself, ne'er asks the body's counsel.
Jaf. For myself full pardon,
Besides the lives of two-and-twenty friends,
Jaf. By all the hopes
Ye have of peace and happiness hereafter,
All Sen. We swear. (All the Council bow.)
May you and your posterity be bless'd
Or curs'd for ever.
All Sen. Else be curs'd for ever.
(They bow again.) Jaf. Then here's the list, and with't the full disclose Of all that threatens you. (Delivers a paper to the Officer, who gives it to the DUKE.)
Now, fate, thou hast caught me.
Duke. Give order that all diligent search be made
To seize these men; their characters are public.
To be at the house of a fam'd Grecian courtezan,
You, Jaffier, must with patience bear till morning
Jaf. Would the chains of death
Had bound me safe, ere I had known this minute!
Lead me where my own thoughts themselves may lose
Where I may doze out what I've left of life,
[Exit, guarded. Offi. (Without.) More traitors; room, room! make room there!
Duke. How's this? guards!
Where are your guards?
Already at our doors.
Shut up the gates; the
Enter Officer with PIERRE in fetters.
Offi. My lords, more traitors,
Seiz'd in the very act of consultation;
Furnish'd with arms, and instruments of mischief.
(As you are pleas'd to call yourselves) of Venice;
Pier. Are these the trophies I've deserv'd for fighting
And brought the fleets of Spain to your own harbours;
Produce my charge; or show the wretch that's base
Duke. Know you one Jaffier?
Pier. Yes, and know his virtue.
His justice, truth, his general worth, and sufferings,
Enter JAFFIER, guarded.
Pier. My friend, too, bound! nay, then Our fate has conquer'd us, and we must fall. Why droops the man whose welfare's so much mine, They're but one thing? These reverend tyrants,
Call us traitors; art thou one, my brother?
Jaf. To thee I am the falsest, veriest slave That e'er betray'd a generous, trusting friend, And gave up honour to be sure of ruin.
All our fair hopes which morning was t'have crown'd, Has this curst tongue o'erthrown.
Pier. So, then, all's over.
Venice has lost her freedom, I my life.
Duke. Say will you make confession
your vile deeds, and trust the senate's mercy ? Pier. Curs'd be your senate ! curs'd your constitution: The curse of growing factions and divisions Still vex your councils, shake your public safety, And make the robes of government you wear Hateful to you, as these base chains to me.
Duke. Pardon, or death?
Captain, guard your
Jaffier, you're free, but these must wait for judgment. [The Captain takes off JAFFIER's chains. The DUKE and Council go away. The Conspirators, all but JAFFIER and PIERRE go off, guarded.
Pier. Come, where's my dungeon? Lead me to my
It will not be the first time I've lodg'd hard
To do the senate service.
Jaf. Hold, one moment.
Pier. Who's he disputes the judgment of the senate? Presumptuous rebel! (Strikes JAFFIER.) On! (To
Jaf. By heav'n, you stir not!
I must be heard; I must have leave to speak.
Pier. What whining monk art thou? what holy cheat,
Jaf. Not know me, Pierre ?
What art thou?
Pier. No, I know thee not. Jaf. Jaffier, thy friend; thy once-loved, valued friend;
Though now deservedly scorn'd, and us'd most hardly. Pier. Thou, Jaffier! thou, my once-loved, valued friend!
By heavens, thou liest! the man so call'd, my friend,
Was generous, honest, faithful, just, and valiant;
But thou, a wretched, base, false, worthless coward,
Dar'st thou call
Pier. Hast thou not wrong'd me?
That once-loved, valued friend of mine, And swear thou hast 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? Jaf. All's true, yet grant one thing, and I've done asking.
Pier. What's that?
Jaf. To take thy life, on such conditions
Pier. Life! ask my life! confess! record myself
To lose it, may be, at last, in a lewd quarrel
For some new friend, treacherous and false as thou art!
Jaf. By all that's just
Pier. Swear by some other powers,
For thou hast broke that sacred oath too lately.
Jaf. 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.