By heav'n, I know not thirty heads in Venice
|Should not be blasted; senators should rot||55|
To kill with!
PIERRE. Daggers, daggers, are much better.
JAFF. But where are they?
PIERRE. Oh, a thousand
|May be disposed in honest hands in Venice.||60|
JAFF. Thou talk'st in clouds.
PIERRE. But yet a heart half wronged
As thine has been, would find the meaning, Jaffeir.
JAFF. A thousand daggers, all in honest hands,
And have not I a friend will stick one here?
PIERRE. Yes, if I thought thou were not to be
But thou hast better friends -- friends whom thy
Have made thy friends -- friends worthy to be called so.
I'll trust thee with a secret: there are spirits
|This hour at work. But as thou art a man||70|
And when I have told thee that which only gods
And men like gods are privy to, then swear
No chance or change shall wrest it from thy
JAFF. When thou wouldst bind me, is there need of oaths?
(Green-sickness girls lose maiden-heads with such
For thou art so near my heart that thou mayst see
Its bottom, sound its strength and firmness to thee.
|Is coward, fool, or villain in my face?||80|
For I am fit for honor's toughest task,
Nor ever yet found fooling was my province;
|And for a villainous, inglorious enterprise,||85|
PIERRE. Nay, it's a cause thou wilt be fond of,
For it is founded on the noblest basis --
Our liberties, our natural inheritance. 90
There's no religion, no hypocrisy in't;
We'll do the business, and ne'er fast and pray for't;
Openly act a deed the world shall gaze
With wonder at, and envy when it is done.
JAFF. For liberty!
|PIERRE. For liberty. my friend!||95|
I shall be freed from opprobrious wrongs
That press me now and bend my spirit downward:
|All Venice free, and every growing merit||100|
From wisdom's seat -- those baleful, unclean birds,
Those lazy owls, who (perched near fortune's top)
Sit only watchful with their heavy wings
To cuff down new-fledged virtues, that would
JAFF. What can I do?
PIERRE. Canst thou not kill a senator?
JAFF. Were there one wise or honest, I could kill him
For herding with that nest of fools and knaves.
|By all my wrongs, thou talk'st as if revenge||110|
PIERRE. Swear then!
JAFF. I do, by all those glittering stars
And yond great ruling planet of the night!
By all good pow'rs above, and ill below,
|By love and friendship, dearer than my life.||115|
PIERRE. Here we embrace, and I'll unlock my heart.
A council's held hard by, where the destruction
Of this great empire's hatching: there I'll lead thee!
|But be a man, for thou art to mix with men||120|
JAFF. I give thee thanks
For this kind warning. Yes, I will be a man,
And charge thee, Pierre, whene'er thou see'st my fears
|Betray me less, to rip this heart of mine||125|
All little thoughts, all tender human follies
Out of my bosom. Vengeance shall have room --
PIERRE. And liberty!
|JAFF. Revenge! Revenge --||130|
The scene changes to AQUILINA'S house, the Greek courtesan.
RENAULT. Why was my choice ambition the first ground A wretch can build on? It's indeed at distance____________________