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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 To hear a story which you dread the truth of: Truth, which the fear of smart shall ne'er get from me. Cowards are scar'd with threat'nings: boys are whipp'd Into confessions; but a steady mind Acts of itself, ne'er asks the body's counsel. Give him the tortures! Name but such a thing Again, by heav'n I'll shut these lips for ever. Not all your racks, your engines, or your wheels, Shall force a groan away, that you may guess at.
Duke. Name your conditions.
Jaf. For myself full pardon, Besides the lives of two-and-twenty friends, Whose names are here enrolld. Nay, let their crimes Be ne'er so monstrous, I must have the oaths And sacred promises of this reverend council, That, in a full assembly of the senate The thing I ask be ratified. Swear this, And I'll unfold the secret of your danger.
Duke. Propose the oath.
Jaf. By all the hopes
All Sen. We swear. (All the Council bow.)
Jaf. And, as ye keep the oath,
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.
(The Duke gives the first paper to the Oficer.)
intimates their rendezvous
Jaf. Would the chains of death
Duke. Captain, withdraw your prisoner.
Jaf. Sir, if possible,
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 ? Shut up the gates; the
treason's Already at our doors.
Enter Officer with PIERRE in fetters.
Pier. You, my lords, and fathers
sit here to guide the course of justice, Why these disgraceful chains upon the limbs That have so often labour'd in
service ? Are these the wreaths of triumph ye bestow On those that bring you conquest home, and honours ?
Duke. Go on; you shall be heard, sir.
Pier. Are these the trophies I've deserv'd for fighting Your battles with confederated powers ? When winds and seas conspir'd to overthrow you;
And brought the fleets of Spain to your own harbours ;
Pier. Yes, and know his virtue.
Enter JAFFIER, guarded.
Jaf. To thee I am the falsest, veriest slave
Pier. So, then, all's over.
Duke. Say: will you make confession
Pier. Curs'd be your senate ! curs'd your constitution :
Duke. Pardon, or death ?
prisoners. 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
straw : 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
Pier. What whining monk art thou? what holy cheat, That wouldst encroach upon my
ears, And cant’st thus vilely? Hence! I know thee not: Leave, hypocrite!
Jaf. Not know me, Pierre ?
friend; Though now deservedly scorn'd, and us'd most hardly. Pier. Thou, Jaffier l thou, my once-loved, valued
friend! By heavens, thou liest I the man so call'd, my friend,
Was generous, honest, faithful, just, and valiant;
eyes must shun thee, and all hearts detest thee. Prythee avoid; nor longer cling thus round me, Like something baneful, that my nature's chill'd at. Jaf. I have not wrongd thee; by these tears I have
not. Pier. Hast thou not wrong'd me? Dar'st thou call
thyself That once-loved, valued friend of mine, And swear thou hast not wrong'd me? Whence these
Pier. Life! ask my life ! confess ! record myself
Jaf. By all that's just
Pier. Swear by some other powers,
Jaf. Then, by that hell I merit, I'll not leave thee,