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THE TWO FRIENDS,

From “ VENICE PRESERVED.' OTWAY.

CHARACTERS:

PIERRE, a Venitian Officer,
JAFFIER, his friend, and husband of Belvidera.

This magnificent tragedy,,the production of Thomas Otway - has fow equals in the whole range of dramatic literature. It has a melancholy interest from the fact that its gifted author is said to have perished from too hastily devouring food, after almost famishing from hunger.

The story of the play is from the historical records of the Repub. lic of Venice-a conspiracy having been formed to overthrow the tyranny of the Council of Ten. The leading characters-Pierre, Jaffier and Belvidera-have gained renown for such great performers as Garrick, Barry, and Mrs. Siddons, in the past; and in our own time many eminent performers have gathered laurels by their personation of these effective portraitures.

Pierre is a fine, bluff soldier-outspoken, and fearless—Jafer, bis friend, is no less brave, but of a gentle, tender and yielding disposi. tion.

The following scene occurs in front of the Church of St. Mark; but the view of the Cathedral is by no means necessary.

Pierre should wear a white doublet and blue Venitian fly embroi dered, white tights, russet boots, black felt hat, and plumes ; Jaffier, a somewhat similar apparel, but with dark colors predominant. Both have swords.

Note. - It will be borne in mind, that the Scenery and Costume hero described is by no means essential to the recitation of the pieces but they add to the effect.]

Discover JAFFIER, to whom enter PIERRE, L. S. E. PIERRE (L. C.). My friend, good morrow; How fares the honest partner of my heart? What, melancholy ! not a word to spare me! JAF. (C.). I'm thinking, Pierre, how that damned stary

ing quality, Called honesty, got footing in the world.

PIERRE. Why, powerful villainy first set it up, For its own ease and safety. Honest men Are the soft easy cushions on which knaves Repose and fatten. Were all mankind villains They'd starve each other; lawyers would want practice,

Cut-throats, reward : each man would kill his brother
Himself; none would be paid or hanged for murder.
Honesty! 'twas a cheat, invented first
To bind the hands of bold deserving rogues,
That fools and cowards might sit safe in power,
And lord it uncontrolled above their betters.

JAF. Then honesty is but a notion ?
PIERRE. Nothing else;
Like wit, much talked of, not to be defined:
He that pretends to most, too, has least share in't.
'Tis a ragged virtue. Honesty! no more on't.

JAF. Sure, thou art honest ?

PIERRE. So, indeed, men think me; But they're mistaken, Jaffier; I'm a rogue, As well as they ; A fine, gay, bold-faced villain as thou seest me! 'Tis true, I pay my debts, when they're contracted; I steal from no man; would not cut a throat To gain admission to a great man's purse; Would not betray my friend, To get his place or fortune; I scorn to flatter A blown-up fool above me, or crush the wretch beneath

me; Yet, Jaffier, for all this, I am a villain.

JAF. (R. C.). A villain !

PIERRE. Yes, a most notorious villain; To see the sufferings of my fellow-creatures, And own myself a man ; to see our senators Cheat the deluded people with a show Of liberty, which yet they ne'er must taste of. They say, by them our hands are free from fetters; Yet whom they please, they lay in basest bonds; Bring whom they please to infamy and sorrow; Drive us, like wrecks, down the rough tide of power, Whilst no hold's left to save us from destruction. All that bear this are villains, and I one, Not to rouse up at the great call of nature, And check the growth of these domestic spoilers, That make us slaves, and tell us 'tis our charter! (walks, L.)

JAF. I think no safety can be here for virtue, And grieve, my friend, as much as thou, to live In such a wretched state as this of Venice, Where all agree to spoil the public good, And villains fatten with the brave man's labors. PIERRE (returns to L. C.). We've neither safety, unity,

nor peace, For the foundation's lost of common good; Justiee is lame, as well as blindl, amongst us;

The laws (corrupted to their ends that make them,)
Serve but for instruments of some new tyranny,
That every day starts up, t' enslave us deeper.
Now (lays his hand on JAFFIER'S arm) could this glorlous

cause but find out friends
To do it right, oh, Jaffier! then might'st thou
Not wear those seals of woe upon thy face;
The proud Priuli should be taught humanity,
And learn to value such a son as thou art.
I dare not speak, but my heart bleeds this moment.
JAF. Cursed be the cause, though I, thy friend, be part

on't:
Let me partake the troubles of thy bosom,
For I am used to misery, and perhaps
May find a way to sweeten't to thy spirit.
PIERRE (turns, L. and looks over R. shoulder). Too soon

'twill reach thy knowledge-
JAF. Then from thee
Let it proceed. There's virtue in thy friendship,
Would make the saddest tale of sorrow pleasing,
Strengthen my constancy, and welcome ruin.

PIERRE. Then thou art ruined !

JAF. That I long since knew ;
I and ill fortune have been long acquainted.

PIERRE. I passed this very moment by thy doors,
And found them guarded by a troop of villains;
“ The sons of public rapine were destroying.”
They told me, by the sentence of the law
They had commission to seize all thy fortune:
Nay, more, Priuli s cruel hand had signed it.
Here stood a ruffian, with a horrid face,
Lording it o'er a pile of massy plate,
Tumbled into a heap for public sale :
There was another making villainous jests
At thy undoing: he had ta’en possession
Of all thy ancient, most domestic ornaments;
Rich hangings, intermixed and wrought with gold,
The very bed, which, on thy wedding night,
Received thee to the arms of Belvidera,
The scene of all thy joys, was violated
By the coarse hands of filthy dungeon villains,
And thrown amongst the common lumber.

JAF. Now, thank heaven-
PIERRE. Thank heaven! for what?
JAF. That I'm not worth a ducat.
PIERRE. Curse thy dull stars, and the worse fate of Ve.

nice.
Where brothers, friends, and fathers, all are false;

Where there's no truth, no trust; where innocence
Stoops under vile oppression, and vice lords it.
Hadst thou but seen, as I did, how, at last,
Thy beauteous Belvidera, like a wretch
That's doomed to banishment, came weeping forth,
Whilst two young virgins, on whose arms she leaned,)
Kindly looked up, and at her grief grew sad,
As if they catched the sorrows that fell from her;
Evin the lewd rabble, that were gathered round
To see the sight, stood mute when they beheld her;
Governed their roaring throats, and grumbled pity :
I could have hugged the greasy rogues; they pleased me..

JAF. I thank thee for this story, from my soul;
Since now I know thc worst that can befall me.
Ah, Pierre! I have a heart that could have borne
The roughest wrong my fortune could have done me;
But when I think what Belvidera feels,
The bitterness her tender spirits taste of,
I own myself a coward. Bear my weakness,
If, throwing thus my arms about thy neck, (Embrace.)
I play the boy, and blubber in thy bosom.
Oh, I shall drown thee with my sorrows.

PIERRE. Burn,
First, burn and level Venice to thy ruin.
What! starve, like beggars' brats, in frosty weather,
Under a hedge, and whine ourselves to death!
Thou, or thy cause, shall never want assistance,
Whilst I have blood or fortune fit to serve thee:
Command my heart, thou’rt every way its master.

JAF. No; there's a secret pride in bravely dying.

PIERRE. Rats die in holes and corners, dogs run mad!
Man knows a braver remedy for sorrow-
Revenge, the attribute of gods; they stamped it,
With their great age, on our natures. Die !
Consider well the cause that calls upon thee;
And, if thou’rt base anough, die then. Remember
Thy Belvidera suffers; Bevidera !
Die !-damn first !-- What! be decently interred
In a church-yard, and mingle thy brave dust
With stinking rogues, that rot in winding-sheets,
Surfeit-slain fools, the common dung o'th' soil !

JAF. Oh!-
PIERRE. Well said, out with't-swear a little-
JAF. Swear! By sea and air; by earth, by heav'n and

hell,
I will revenge my Belvidera's tears ! (Both go to the R.'
Hark thee, my friend-Priuli--is--a senator!

PIERRE. A dog!

JAF. Agreed. (return to c.)
PIERRE. Shoot him!
JAF. With all my heart!
No more—where shall we meet at night?

PIERRE. I'll tell thee:
On the Rialto, every night at twelve,
I take my evening's walk of meditation:
There we two'll meet, and talk of precious mischief.

JAF. Farewell !
PIERRE. At twelve.
JAF. At any hour: my plagues
Will keep me waking.

[E.reunt.

GINEVRA.

SAMUEL ROGERS. (The story of “The Oaken Chest,” has been variously told by many writers; but never so effectively and affectingly as in the following version. The poem admits of much variety of facial expression and vocal modulation. In fact strikes almost every note of human feeling, from tho joyous utterances of the gay young maid, to the solemn depth of misery depicted in tbe closing lines. This piece is alike admirable for either a young lady or young gentleman's recitation.)

IF ever you should come to Modena,
(Where among other relics, you may see
Tassoni's bucket-but 'tis not the true one)
Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Donati.
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And numerous fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain you; but before you go,
Enter the house—forget it not, I pray you-
And look awhile upon a picture there;

'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth,
The last of that illustrious family.
He who observes it, ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up when far away.

She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half-open, and her finger up,
As though she said, “ Beware!"-her vest of gold,
Broider'd with flowers, and clasp'd from head to foot,
An emerald stone in every golden clasp ;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
A coronet of pearls.

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