Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Jaffeir, formerly the servant of Priuli, a senator of Venice, secretly woos and marries Belvidera, Priuli’s daughter. For three years the couple live comfortably and blissfully, despite the father’s antagonism; then Jaffeir loses his fortune. When he goes to ask Priuli for aid, in the name of Belvidera, the old senator refuses to help in any way, and he swears that his ungrateful daughter and her equally ungrateful husband will have to make their way as best they can. Jaffeir, after reminding Priuli that it is he who saved Belvidera from a shipwreck after which she fell in love with him, leaves the senator’s home in a most unhappy frame of mind.
Soon afterward Jaffeir meets Pierre, a friend who gave long and faithful, though unrewarded, service to Venice. Pierre, sympathizing with Jaffeir, offers him the means of getting revenge on Priuli and striking, as he put it, a blow for liberty against the bad government of the senate. Jaffeir agrees to meet Pierre that night and to become a member of the band of conspirators. When he arrives home, Jaffeir is also comforted by Belvidera, who claims that she is rich as long as she has his love, no matter how little fortune they possess.
Meanwhile Pierre goes to visit Aquilina, a courtesan whom he loves. He is extremely incensed with the woman because she gave herself for money to old Antonio, a senator. Antonio’s theft of his mistress makes Pierre more eager than ever for revenge. He makes...
(The entire section is 1008 words.)
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