« ForrigeFortsæt »
saw no more of him, but continued our
course through the Grand Canal, landing “at my palace-stairs. The water of the “ Lagunes is dull, and not very clear or
agreeable to bathe in. I can keep myself “ up for hours in the sea : I delight in it, “ and come out with a buoyancy of spirits “ I never feel on any other occasion.
“ If I believed in the transmigration of your Hindoos, I should think I had been
Merman in some former state of existence, or was going to be turned into one “ in the next."
“ When I published" Marino Faliero' I 6 had not the most distant view to the
stage. My object in choosing that histo“rical subject was to record one of the most “ remarkable incidents in the annals of the “ Venetian Republic, embodying it in what “I considered the most interesting form
dialogue, and giving my work the accom“paniments of scenery and manners studied on the spot.
That Faliero should, for a slight to a woman, become a traitor to “ his country, and conspire to massacre all “ his fellow-nobles, and that the young Fos“ cari should have a sickly affection for his “ native city, were no inventions of mine.
I painted the men as I found them, as they were,-not as the critics would have
I took the stories as they were “ handed down; and if human nature is “ not the same in one country as it is in “ others, am I to blame ?-can I help it ? “ But no painting, however highly coloured, “ can give an idea of the intensity of a “ Venetian's affection for his native city.
Shelley, I remember, draws a very beau“ tiful picture of the tranquil pleasures of “ Venice in a poem * which he has not pub
* The lines to which Lord Byron referred are
“ If I had been an unconnected man,
I from this moment should have form’d the plan
Julian and Maddalo.
“ lished, and in which he does not make me
cut a good figure. It describes an even“ing we passed together.
“ There was one mistake I committed: I « should have called Marino Faliero' and - The Two Foscari' dramas, historic poems,
or any thing, in short, but tragedies or
plays.—In the first place, I was ill-used 6 in the extreme by the Doge being brought “on the stage at all, after my Preface. “ Then it consists of 3500 lines * : a good
acting play should not exceed 1500 or “ 1800; and, conformably with my plan, - the materials could not have been com“ pressed into so confined a space.
* He gave me the copy, with the number of lines marked with his own pencil. I have left it in England.
“ I remember Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd telling me, many years ago, that I should never be able to condense my powers of
writing sufficiently for the stage, and that “ the fault of all my plays would be their “ being too long for acting. The remark
occurred to me when I was about " Marino “ Faliero ;' but I thought it unnecessary to “ try and contradict his prediction, as I did “not study stage-effect, and meant it solely 6 for the closet. So much was I averse “ from its being acted, that, the moment I “ heard' of the intention of the Managers, I
applied for an injunction ; but the Chan66 cellor refused to interfere, or issue an "order for suspending the representation. “It was a question of property, of great
importance in the literary world. He “ would neither protect me nor Murray. “ But the manner in which it was got up