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world holds not such another wretch. All this] Stuke. Rather let him fly. His evidence large fortune, this second bounty of heaven, may crush his master. that might have healed our sorrows, and satisfied our utmost hopes, in a cursed hour I sold last night.
Mrs. B. Impossible!
Beo. That devil, Stukely, with all hell to aid him, tempted me to the deed. To pay false debts of honour, and to redeem past errors, I sold the reversion-Sold it for a scanty sum, and lost it among villains.
Char. Why, farewell all then!
Beo. Liberty and life-Come, kneel and
Mrs B. Then hear me, heaven! [Kneels] Look down with mercy on his sorrows! Give softness to his looks, and quiet to his heart! Take from his memory the sense of what is past, and cure him of despair! On me, on me, if misery must be the lot of either, multiply misfortunes! I'll bear them patiently, so he is happy! These hands shall toil for his support! These eyes be lifted up for hourly blessings on him! And every duty of a fond and faithful wife be doubly done, to cheer and comfort him! So hear me!-So reward me! [Rises. Beo. I would kneel too, but that offended heaven would turn my prayers into curses. For I have done a deed to make life horrible
Bev. Why is this villain here!
Stuke. To give you liberty and safety. There, madam, is his discharge. [Giving a Paper to Mrs. Beverley] The arrest last night was meant in friendship, but came too late. Char. What mean you, sir?
Stuke. The arrest was too late, I
Bev. Why ay; this looks like management. Bates. He found you quarrelling with Lewson in the streets last night. [To Beverley Mrs. B. No; I am sure he did not. Jar. Or if I did
Stuke. Who sent for Dawson? Bates. Twas I-We have a witness too you little think of-without there! Stuke. What witness?
Bates. A right one. Look at him.
Enter LEWSON and CHARLOTTE. Stuke. Lewson! O villains! villains!
[To Bates and Dawson. Mrs. B. Risen from the dead! Why, this is unexpected happiness!
Char. Or is it his ghost? [To Stukely] That sight would please you, sir.
Jar. What riddle's this?
Beo. Be quick and tell it—My' minutes are but few.
Mrs. B. Alas! Why so? You shall live long and happily.
Lew. While shame and punishment shall rack that viper! [Pointing to Stukely] The tale is short-I was too busy in his secrets. and therefore doomed to die. Bates, to pre vent the murder, undertook it—I kept aloof t
give it credit.
Char. And gave me pangs unutterable. Lew. I felt them all, and would have tok you-But vengeance wanted ripening. villain's scheme was but half executed.
would have kept his hands from blood, but arrest by Dawson followed the supposed murde -And now, depending on his once wicked as Mrs. B. His hands from blood!—whose blood?sociates, he comes to fix the guilt on Beverley
was too late.
Stuke. From Lewson's blood.
Char. No, villain! Yet what of Lewson? Speak quickly.
Stuke. You are ignorant then! I thought
heard the murderer at confession.
Bates. Dawson and I are witnesses of this Lew. And of a thousand frauds. His for tune ruined by sharpers and false dice; an Stukely sole contriver and possessor of all. Daw. Had he but stopped on this side murder we had been villains still.
Lew. How does my friend? [To Beverley Bee. Why, well. Who's he that asks me look so at him? Mrs. B. Tis Lewson, love-Why do you
Beo. They told me he was murdered.
Mrs. B. Ay; but he lives to save us. Beo. Lend me your hand-The room turns round.
Lew. This villain here disturbs him. Remove him from his sight-And, for your lives, see that you guard him. [Stukely is taken off by Dawson and Bates] How is it, sir?
Bev. 'Tis here--and here. [Pointing to his Head and Heart] And now it tears_me.
Mrs. B. You feel convulsed too-What ist disturbs you?
Beo. A furnace rages in this heart-Down, restless flames! [Laying his Hand on his Heurt] Down to your native hell-There you shall rack mee-Oh! for a pause from pain!
Where's my wife?-Can you forgive me, love?
Mrs. B. Alas! for what?
Bev. For meanly dying.
Mrs. B. No-do not say it.
Mrs. B. Restore him, heaven! Oh, save him! save him! or let me die too.
Bev. No; live, I charge you. We have a little one.- -Though I have left him, you will
Beo. As truly as my soul must answer it-not leave him.-To Lewson's, kindness I beHad Jarvis staid this morning all had been queath him.-Is not this Charlotte?-We have well. But, pressed by shame-pent in a prison lived in love, though I have wronged you.-tormented with my pangs for you-driven Can you forgive me, Charlotte?
to despair and madness-I took the advantage
Char. Dreadful and cruel!
Char. Forgive you! Oh, my poor brother!
Lew. How is it, madam?
Bev. Ay, most accursed-And now I go to my account. Bend me, and let me kneel. [Kneels.] I'll pray for you too. Thou power that madest me, hear me! If for a life of frailty, and this too hasty deed of death, thy justice Lew. Remove her from this sight-lead and dooms me, here I acquit the sentence; but if, support her-Some ministering angel bring her enthroned in mercy where thou sittest, thy peace! [Charlotte leads her off] And thou, pity has beheld me, send me a gleam of hope, poor, breathless corpse, may thy departed soul that in these last and bitter moments my soul have found the rest it prayed for! Save but may taste of comfort! and for these mourners one error, and this last fatal deed, thy life was here, oh! let their lives be peaceful, and their lovely. Let frailer minds take warning; and deaths happy! from example learn, that want of prudence is [They lift him to the Chair. want of virtue. [Exit.
Was not more remarkable for moving the tender passions, than for the variety of fortune to which he himself subjected. He was the son of the Rev. Mr. Humphrey Otway, rector of Wolbeding, in Sussex, and was born at Tretton in that county, the 5d of March in the year 1651. He received his education at Wickeham school, near Winchester, and became a commoner of Christ Church, in Oxford, in 1669. But on his quitting the university, in 17, and coming to London, he turned player. His success as an actor was but indifferent, having made only one mpt in Mrs. Behn's tragedy of The Fore'd Marriage; or, Jealous Bridegroom; he was more valued for the sprightLaess of his conversation and the acuteness of his wit; which gained him the friendship of the Earl of Plymouth, who procured him a cornel's, commission in the troops which then served in Flanders. At his return from Flanders he gave his commission and had recourse to writing for the stage; and now it was that he found out the only employment that nature seems to have fitted him for. In comedy he has been deemed to licentious; which, however, was great objection to those who lived in the profligate days of Charles II. But in tragedy few of our English poets ever equalled him; and perhaps none ever excelled him in touching the passions, particularly that of love. There is serally something familiar and domestic in the fable of his tragedy, and there is amazing energy in his expression but though Otway possessed, in so eminent a degree, the rare talent of writing to the heart, yet he was not very farably regarded by some of his contemporary poets; nor was he always successful in his dramatic compositions. Af1 experiencing many reverses of fortune, in regard to his circumstances, but generally changing for the worse, he at at died wretchedly in a house, known by the sign of a Bull, on Tower Hill, April 14, 1685. whither he had retired avoid the pressure of his creditors. Some have said, that downright hunger compelling him to fall too eagerly upon 1 piece of bread, of which he had been some time in want, the first mouthful choked him, and instantly put a period to his days.
ACTED at the Duke's Theatre, 1682. This interesting tragedy is borrowed, with respect to the plan of it at least, from a little book that relates the circumstances of the Spanish conspiracy at Venice, i. c. the Abbé de St. Real's Hiswire du la Conjuration du Marquis de Badamar. The speech of Renault to the conspirators is translated word for word from this author. It has been remarked, that though, on the whole, the incidents of Otway's piece are interesting, nd the catastrophe affecting, there is not one truly valuable character in the whole drama, except that of Belvidera. To this, however, we cannot entirely subscribe. The character of Pierre is nobly drawn His public services had been Peturned with ingratitude, and he was a greatly injured character; but was justly punished for taking a treasonable mode of redressing his wrongs. The scene lies in Venice. By comparing this with The Orphan, it will appear images were by time become stronger, and his language more energetic. The public seems to judge rightly of the frails and excellencies of this play; that it is the work of a man not attentive to decency, nor zealous for virtue, but of ee who conceived forcibly, and drew originally, by consulting nature in his own breast, Mr. Dryden says, "the mobees which are studied are never so natural as those which break out in the height of a real passion. Mr. Otway pussessed this part as thoroughly as any of the ancients or moderns. I will not defend every thing in his Venice Prered; but I must bear this testimony to his memory, that the passions are truly touched in it, though perhaps there 4 somewhat to be desired, both in the grounds of them, and in the height and elegance of expression; but nature is there, which is the greatest beauty."
SCENE I-A Street in Venice.
Pri. No more! I'll hear no more! Be gone
Jaf. Not hear me! By my suffering but you shall!
May all your joys in her prove false, like mine;
My lord, my lord! I'm not that abject wretch
Me back so far, but I may boldly speak
In right, though proud oppression will not hear May he live to prove more gentle than his
Pri. Have you not wrong'd me?
Have brook'd injustice, or the doing wrongs,
Pri. Yes, wrong'd me! In the nicest point, The honour of my house, you've done me wrong.
You may remember (for I now will speak, And urge its baseness) when you first came home
From travel, with such hopes as made you
By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation;
And happier than his father.
Pri. Rather live
To bait thee' for his bread, and din your ears
Jaf. Would I were in my grave!
Pri. And she too with thee:
For, living here, you're but my curst remembrancers.
I once was happy.
Jaf. You use me thus, because you know my soul Is fond of Belvidera. You perceive
Pleas'd with your growing virtue, I receiv'd My life feeds on her, therefore thus you treat
Courted, and sought to raise you to your Oh! could my soul ever have known satiety;
My house, my table, nay, my fortune too,
To your best service; like an open friend
And court my fortune where she would be kinder?
Pri. You dare not do't.
Jaf. Indeed, my lord, I dare not.
Three years are past, since first our vows were plighted,
During which time, the world must bear me
I've treated Belvidera like your daughter,
Jaf. 'Tis to me you owe her: Childless you had been else, and in the grave Your name extinct; no more Priuli heard of. You may remember, scarce five years are past, Since in your brigantine you sail'd to see The Adriatic wedded by our duke; And I was with you: your unskilful pilot Dash'd us upon a rock; when to your boat You made for safety: enter'd first yourself; Th' affrighted Belvidera following next, As she stood trembling on the vessel's side, Was, by a wave, wash'd off into the deep; When instantly I plung'd into the sea, And buffeting the billows to her rescue, Jaf. Yes, all, and then adieu for ever. Redeem'd her life with half the loss of mine.There's not a wretch, that lives on common Like a rich conquest, in one hand I bore her, And with the other dash'd the saucy waves, That throng'd and press'd to rob me of my prize.
I brought her, gave her to your despairing
Indeed you thank'd me; but a nobler gratitude
Till for her life she paid me with herself.
At dead of night! that cursed hour you chose
The world might see I lov'd her for herself;
But's happier than me: for I have known
Pri. Home, and be humble; study to retrench
Pier. My friend, good morrow!
Pier. Why, powerful villany first set it up,
Cut-throats rewards: each man would kill his
Himself; none would be paid or hang'd for
Honesty! 'twas a cheat invented first
Like wit, much talk'd of, not to be defin’d:
Pier. So, indeed, men think me;
A fine, gay, bold-fac'd villain as thou seest me.
1 steal from no man; would not cut a throat
Pier. Yes, a most notorious villain;
Yet whom they please they lay in basest bonds;
Jaf. I think no safely can be here for virtue,
Pier. We've neither safety, unity, nor peace,
Let me partake the troubles of thy bosom,
Pier. Too soon 'twill reach thy knowledge-
Let it proceed. There's virtue in thy friendship,
Jaf. That I long since knew;
and ill fortune have been long acquainted.
Pier. Thank heaven! for what?
Where there's no truth, no trust; where in
Stoops under vile oppression, and vice lords it.
Kindly look'd up, and at her grief grew sad,
Jaf. Ithank thee for this story, from my soul; | Were in their spring! Has then our fortune Since now I know the worst that can befal me.
Ah, Pierre! I have a heart that could have borne Art thou not Belvidera, still the same,
But when I think what Belvidera feels,
First, burn and level Venice to thy ruin.
Under a hedge, and whine ourselves to death!
If thou art alter'd, where shall I have harbour?
When thus I throw myself into thy bosom,
Sure all ill stories of thy sex are false!
Man knows a braver remedy for sorrow:
I will revenge my Belvidera's tears.
Pier. Shoot him.
Jaf. With all my heart.
No more; where shall we meet at night?
On the Rialto, every night at twelve,
Pier. At twelve.
Where I may throw my eager arms about thee,
Jaf. Oh, Belvidera! doubly I'm a beggar:
Fram'd for the tender offices of love,
For charitable succour; wilt thou then,
Though my distracted senses should forsake me,
Bel. Lead me, lead me, my virgins, To that kind voice. My lord, my love, my refuge! Happy my eyes, when they behold thy face! My heavy heart will leave its doleful beating At sight of thee, and bound with sprightly joys. Creep to thy bosom, pour the balm of love Oh smile! as when our loves were in their spring, Into thy soul, and kiss thee to thy rest; And cheer my fainting soul. Then praise our God, and watch thee till the Jaf. As when our loves morning.