Read key quotes from Thomas Otway's dark, Restoration masterpiece, Venice Preserved.

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Venice Preserved illustration by Coke Navarro.

Yes, if my heart would let me– 
This proud, this swelling heart: home I would go,
But that my doors are hateful to my eyes,
Filled and dammed up with gaping creditors,
I have now not fifty ducats in the world,
Yet still I am in love, and pleased with ruin.
O Belvidera! Oh, she is my wife–
And we will bear our wayward fate together,
But ne’er know comfort more.

A most notorious villain:
To see the suff’rings 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 wracks down the rough tide of power, 
Whilst no hold’s left to save us from destruction.

Dear Revenge, whene’er thou call’st I’m ready. 

Curse thy dull stars, and the worse fate of Venice.
Where brothers, friends, and fathers, all are false;
Where there’s no trust, no truth; where innocence
Stoops under vile Oppression, and Vice lords it.

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 sprightful joys.
O smile, as when our loves were in their spring,
And cheer my fainting soul. 

O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you.
Angels are painted fair, to look like you;
There’s in you all that we believe of heaven,
Amazing brightness, purity and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love. 
(Jaffeir, Act 1 Scene 3)

There’s fool,
There’s fool about thee: when a woman sells
Her flesh to fools, her beauty’s lost to me.
They leave a taint, a sully where they’ve past.
I cannot think
Of tasting anything a fool has palled. 

Pierre: Speak, who goes there? 
Jaffier: A dog that comes to howl At yonder moon. 
(Act 1 Scene 5)

I do, by all those glitt’ring 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!
No power or death shall make me false to thee.

Come Nacky, Nacky, let's have a game at rump, Nacky.

Thus when godlike lover was displeased
We sacrifice our fool and he's appeased.

Delay no longer, then, but to the Senate;
And tell the dismal’st story ever utter’d,
Tell ’em what bloodshed, rapine, desolations
Have been prepared, how near’s the fatal hour!
Save thy poor country.

Within this city's formed a dark conspiracy

Venice has lost her freedom.

Now, then, kill me,
While thus I cling about thy cruel neck,
Kiss thy revengeful lips and die in joys
Greater than any I can guess hereafter.

Cursed be the fatal minute when I got her;
Or would that I'd be anything but Man,
The vilest beasts are happy in their offsprings,
While only man gets traitors, whores and villains.

Final destruction seize on all the world:
Bend down, ye heavens. and shutting round this earth,
Crush the vile globe into its first confusion;
Scorch it, with element flames, to one curst cinder,
And all us little creepers in't, called men,
Burn, burn to nothing: but let Venice burn
Hotter than all the rest.