To search if thou wert come to crown my rest;
There's no repose without thee. Oh, the day
Too soon will break, and wake us to our sorrow;
Come, come to bed, and bid thy cares good night. 170
JAFF. O Belvidera! we must change the scene
In which the past delights of life were tasted.
The poor sleep little; we must learn to watch
Our labors late, and early every morning,
Midst winter frosts, thin clad and fed with sparing, 175 Rise to our toils, and drudge away the day.
BELV. Alas! where am I? whither is't you lead me?
Methinks I read distraction in your face,
Something less gentle than the fate you tell me!
You shake and tremble too! your blood runs cold! 180 Heavens, guard my love, and bless his heart with patience.
JAFF. That I have patience, let our fate bear wit-ness,
Who has ordained it so that thou and I
(Thou the divinest good man e'er possessed,
And I the wretched'st of the race of man) 185 This very hour, without one tear, must part.
BELV. Part! must we part? Oh! am I then for-saken?
Will my love cast me off? have my misfortunes
Offended him so highly that he'll leave me?
Why drag you from me? whither are you going? 190 My dear! my life! my love!
JAFF. Oh, friends!
BELV. Speak to me.
JAFF. Take her from my heart,
She'll gain such hold else, I shall ne'er get loose.
I charge thee take her, but with tender'st care,
Relieve her troubles, and assuage her sorrows. 195
REN. Rise, madam! and command amongst your servants.
JAFF. To you, sirs, and your honors, I bequeath
And with her this. When I prove unworthy --
(Gives a dagger)
You know the rest -- then strike it to her heart;
And tell her, he who three whole happy years 200
Lay in her arms, and each kind night repeated
The passionate vows of still increasing love,
Sent that reward for all her truth and sufferings.
BELV. Nay, take my life, since he has sold it
Or send me to some distant clime your slave; 205 But let it be far off, lest my complainings Should reach his guilty ears, and shake his peace.
JAFF. No, Belvidera, I've contrived thy honor;
Trust to my faith, and be but Fortune kind
To me, as I'll preserve that faith unbroken, 210 When next we meet, I'll lift thee to a height Shall gather all the gazing world about thee
To wonder what strange virtue placed thee there.
But if we ne'er meet more --
BELV. Oh, thou unkind one,
Never meet more! Have I deserved this from you? 215
Look on me, tell me, tell me, speak, thou dear de-ceiver,
Why am I separated from thy love?
If I am false, accuse me; but if true,
Don't, prithee, don't in poverty forsake me,
But pity the sad heart that's torn with parting. 220 Yet hear me! yet recall me --
Exeunt RENAULT, BEDAMAR, and BELVIDERA.
JAFF. O my eyes,
Look not that way, but turn yourselves awhile
Into my heart, and be weaned altogether!
-- My friend, where art thou?
PIERRE. Here, my honor's brother.
JAFF. Is Belvidera gone?
PIERRE. Renault has led her 225 Back to her own apartment: but, by heav'n! Thou must not see her more till our work's over.
PIERRE. Not for your life.
JAFF. O Pierre, wert thou but she,
How I could pull thee down into my heart,
Gaze on thee till my eye-strings cracked with love, 230 Till all my sinews with its fire extended, Fixed me upon the rack of ardent longing;
Then swelling, sighing, raging to be blest,
Come like a panting turtle to thy breast;
On thy soft bosom, hovering, bill and play, 235 Confess the cause why last I fled away; Own 'twas a fault, but swear to give it o'er,
And never follow false ambition more.
Enter AQUILINA and her Maid.
AQUILINA. Tell him I am gone to bed; tell him I
am not at home; tell him I've better company with
me, or anything; tell him in short I will not see him, the eternal troublesome, vexatious fool! He's worse company than an ignorant physician -- I'll not 5 be disturbed at these unseasonable hours!
MAID. But, madam, he's here already, just entered the doors.
AQUIL. Turn him out again, you unnecessary,____________________