« ForrigeFortsæt »
his few years,
The mighty in the field, the sage in council ; | Doge. I have lived too long not to know Unsay the words of this man!-- Thou art
how to die! silent!
Thy suing to these men were but the bleating Benint. He hath already own'd to his of the lamb to the butcher, or the cry own guilt,
Of seainen to the surge: I would not take Nor, as thou seest, doth he deny it now. A life eternal, granted at the hands Ang. Ay, but he must not die! Spare Of wretches, from whose monstrous villanies
I sought to free the groaning nations ! Which grief and shame will soon cut down M. Steno. Doge, to days!
A word with thee, and with this noble lady, One day of baffled crime must not efface Whom I have grievously offended. Would Near sixteen lustres crowded with brave Sorrow, or shame, or penance on my part, acts.
Could cancel the inexorable past ! Benint. His doom must be fulfill'd without But since that cannot be, as Christians let us remission
Say farewell, and in peace: with full conof time or penalty—'tis a decree.
trition Ang. He hath been guilty, but there I crave,not pardon, but compassion from you, may be mercy.
And give, however weak, my prayers for Benint. Not in this case with justice.
both. Ang. Alas! signor,
Ang. Sage Benintende, now chief judge He who is only just is cruel ; who
of Venice, Upon the earth would live were all judged I speak to thee in answer to yon signor. justly?
Inform the ribald Steno, that his words Benint. His punishment is safety to the Ne'er weigh'd in mind with Loredano's state.
daughter Ang. He was a subject, and hath served Further than to create a moment's pity the state;
For such as he is: would that others had He was your general, and hath saved the Despised him as I pity! I prefer state;
My honour to a thousand lives, could such He is your sovereign, and hath ruled the Be multiplied in mine, but would not have state.
A single life of others lost for that One of the Council. He is a traitor, and Which nothing human can impugn - the
betray'd the state. Ang. And, but for him, there now had of virtue, looking not to what is called been no state
A good name for reward, but to itself. To save or to destroy; and you who sit To me the scorner's words were as the wind There to pronounce the death of your Unto the rock: but as there are-alas! deliverer,
Spirits more sensitive, on which such things Had now been groaning at a Moslem oar, Light as the whirlwind on the waters; souls Or digging in the Hunnish mines in fetters! To whom dishonour's shadow is a substance One of the Council. No, lady, there are More terrible than death here and hereafter; others who would die
Men whose vice is to start at vice's scoffing, Rather than breathe in slavery!
And who, though proof against all blandAng. If there are so
ishments Within these walls, thou art not of the Of pleasure, and all pangs of pain, are feeble number:
When the proud name on which they The truly brave are generous to the fallen!
pinnacled Is there no hope?
Their hopes is breathed on, jealous as the Benint. Lady, it cannot be.
eagle Ang. (turning to the Doge) Then die, of her high aiery; let what we now
Faliero! since it must be so; Behold, and feel, and suffer, be a lesson But with the spirit of my father's friend. To wretches how they tamper in their spleen Thou hast been guilty of a great offence, With beings of a higher order. Insects Half-cancell’d by the harshness of these men. Have made the lion mad ere now; a shaft I would have sued to them-have pray'd l'the heel o'erthrew the bravest of the brave; to them
A wife's dishonour was the bane of Troy ; Have begg'd as famish'd mendicants for A wife's dishonour unking'd Rome for ever; bread
An injured husband brought the Gauls to Have wept as they will cry unto their God Clusium, For mercy, and be answer'd as they answer - And thence to Rome, which perish'd for a Had it been fitting for thy name or mine,
time; And if the cruelty in their cold eyes An obscene gesture cost Caligula Had not announced the heartless wrath His life, while Earth yet bore his cruelties; within.
A virgin's wrong made Spain a Moorish Then, as a prince, address thee to thy doom! province ;
And Steno's Me, couch'd in two worthless of grateful masses for Heaven's grace in lines,
snatching Hath decimated Venice, put in peril Our lives and country from thy wickedness. A senate which hath stood eight hundred The place wherein as Doge thou shouldst years,
be painted, Discrown'd a prince, cut off his crownless With thine illustrious predecessors, is head,
To be left vacant, with a death-black veil And forged new fetters for a groaning people! Flung over these dim words engraved Let the poor wretch, like to the courtesan beneath, Who fired Persepolis, be proud of this, “This place is of Marino Faliero, Ifit so please him—twere a pride fit for him! “Decapitated for his crimes.” But let him not insult the last hours of Doge. “His crimes ?” Him, who, whate'er he now is, was a hero, But let it be so:-it will be in vain. By the intrusion of his very prayers;
The veil which blackens o'er this blighted Nothing of good can come from such a source, Nor would we aught with him, nor now, And hides, or seems to hide, these lineaments,
Shall draw more gazers than the thousand We leave him to himself, that lowest depth portraits Of human baseness. Pardon is for men, Which glitter round it in their pictured And not for reptiles - we have none for Steno, trappings--And no resentinent; things like him must Your delegated slaves—the people's tyrants! sting,
Decapitated for his crimes !” – What And higher beings suffer; 'tis the charter
crimes ? Of life. The man who dies by the adder's Were it not better to record the facts, fang
So that the contemplator might approve, May have the crawler crush'd, but feels no Or at the least learn whence the crimes arose? anger:
When the beholder knows a Doge conspired, 'Twas the worm's nature; and some men Let him be told the cause - it is your history.
Benint. Time must reply to that; our In soul, more than the living things of sons will judge tombs.
Their fathers' judgment, which I now Doge (to Benintende). Signor, complete pronounce.
that which you deem your duty. As Doge,' clad in the ducal robes and cap, Benint. Before we can proceed upon that Thou shalt be led hence to the Giant's duty,
Staircase, We would request the princess to withdraw; Where thou and all our princes are invested; 'Twill move her too much to be witness to it. And there, the ducal crown being first Ang. I know it will, and yet I must
resumed endare it;
Upon the spot where it was first assumed, For 'tis a part of mine-I will not quit, Thy head shall be struck off; and Heaven Except by force, my husband's side. Proceed!
Upon thy soul! Nay, fear not either shriek, or sigh, or tear; Doge. Is this the Giunta's sentence ? Though my heart burst, is shall be silent. Benint. It is. Speak!
Doge. I can endure it. And the time? I have that within which shall o'ermaster all. Benint. Must be immediate.- Make thy Benint. Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice,
peace with God; Count of Val di Marino, Senator,
Within an hour thou must be in his
presence. And some timeGeneral of the Fleet and Army, Doge. I am already; and my blood will Noble Venetian, many times and oft
rise Entrusted by the state with high employ- To Heaven before the souls of those who ments,
shed it. Even to the highest, listen to the sentence: Are all my lands confiscated ? Convict by many witnesses and proofs, Benint. They are ; And by thine own confession, of the guilt And goods, and jewels, and all kind of Of treachery and treason, yet unheard of
treasure, Until this trial - the decree is death. Except two thousand ducats - these disposeof. Thy goods are confiscate unto the state, Doge. That's harsh-I would have fain Thy name is razed from out her records, save reserved the lands Upon a public day of thanksgiving Near to Treviso, which I hold by investment For this our most miraculous deliverance, From Laurence the Count-bishop of Ceneda, When thou art noted in our calendars In fief perpetual to myself and heirs, With earthquakes, pestilence, and foreign To portion them (leaving my city-spoil, foes,
My palace and my treasures, to your forfeit) And the great enemy of man, as subject Between my consort and my kinsmen.
Which yet remain of the accorded hour, Lie under the state's ban ; their chief, thy Still falling-I have done with sime. nephew,
Ang Alas! In peril of his own life; but the council And I have been the cause, the unconscious Postpones bis trial for the present. If
canse ; Thou will'st a state unto thy widow'd And for this funeral marriage, this black princess,
union, Fear not, for we will do her justice. Which thou, compliant with my father's Ang. Signors,
wish, I share not in your spoil! From henceforth, Didst promise at his death, thou hast seal'd know
thine own. I am devoted unto God alone,
Doge. Not so: there was that in my And take my refuge in the cloister.
spirit ever Doge. Come!
Which shaped out for itself some great The hour may be a hard one, but 'twill end.
reverse; Have I aught else to undergo save death? The marvel is, it came not until nowBenint. You have nought to do, except And yet it was foretold me. confess and die.
Ang. How foretold you ? The priest is robed, the scimitar is bare, Doge. Long years ago-so long, they And both await without.-But, above all, are a doubt Think not to speak unto the people; they In memory, and yet they live in annals: Are now by thousands swarming at the gates, When I was in my youth, and served the But these are closed: the Ten,the Avogadori, senate The Giunta, and the chief men of the Forty, And signory as podesta and captain Alone will be beholders of thy doom, Of the town of 'Treviso, on a day And they are ready to attend the Doge. Of festival, the sluggish bishop who Doge. The Doge!
Convey'd the Host aroused my rash young Benint. Yes, Doge, thou hast lived and
anger, thou shalt die
By strange delay, and arrogant reply A sovereign; till the moment which precedes To my reproof; I raised my hand and The separation of that head and trunk,
smote him, That ducal crown and head shall be united. Until he reel'd beneath his holy burthen; Thou hast forgot thy dignity in deigning And as he rose from earth again, he raised To plot with petty traitors; not so we, His tremulous hands in pious wrath towards Who in the very punishment acknowledge
Heaven. The prince. Thy vile accomplices have died Thence pointing to the Host, which had The dog's death, and the wolf's; but thou fallen from him, shalt fall
He turn'd to me, and said, “The hour will As falls the lion by the hunters, girt By those who feel a proud compassion for When he thou hast o'erthrown shall overthee,
throw thee : And mourn even the inevitable death The glory shall depart from out thy house, Provoked by thy wild wrath, and regal The wisdom shall be shaken from thy soul, fierceness.
And in thy best maturity of mind Now we remit thee to thy preparation : A madness of the heart shall seize upon thee; Let it be brief, and we ourselves will be Passion shall tear thee when all passions Thy guides unto the place where first we
In other men, or mellow into virtues ; United to thee as thy subjects, and And majesty, which decks all other heads, Thy senate; and must now be parted from thee Shall crown to leave thee headless; honours As such for ever on the self-same spot.
shall Guards! form the Doge's escort to his But prove to thee the heralds of destruction, chamber.
[Exeunt. And hoary hairs of shame,and both of death,
But not such death as fits an aged man."
Thus saying, he pass'd on.- That hour is SCENE II.— The Doge's Apartment. The Dogs as prisoner, and the DUCHESS
Ang. And with this warning couldst thou attending him.
not have striven
To avert the fatal moment, and atone Doge. Now, that the priest is gone, 'twere By penitence for that which thou hadst done? useless all
Doge. I own the words went to my To linger out the miserable minutes;
heart, so much But one pang more, the pang of parting That I remember'd them amid the maze from thee,
Of life, as if they form’d a spectral voice, And I will leave the few last grains of sand, Which shook me in a supernatural dream;
And I repented; but 'twas not for me But thou canst judge of me more kindly now,
Glory, and wealth, and power, and fame, Thou canst not have forgot what all
and name, remember,
Which generally leave some flowers to That on my day of landing here as Doge,
bloom On my return from Rome, a mist of such Even o'er the grave, I have nothing left, Unwonted density went on before
not even The Bucentaur like the columnar cloud A little love, or friendship, or esteem, Which usher'd Israel out of Egypt, till No, not enough to extract an epitaph The pilot was misled, and disembark'd us From ostentatious kinsmen; in one hour Between the pillars of Saint Mark's, where 'tis I have uprooted all my former life, The custom of the state to put to death And outlived every thing, except thy heart, Its criminals, instead of touching at The pure, the good, the gentle, which will oft The Riva della Paglia, as the wont is, With unimpair'd but not a clamorous grief So that all Venice shudder'd at the omen. Still keep-Thou turn'st so pale—Alas! she
Ang. Ah! little boots it now to recollect faints, Such things.
She hath no breath, no pulse! Guards ! Doge. And yet I find a comfort in
lend your aidThe thought that these things are the work I cannot leave her thus, and yet 'tis better, of Fate;
Since every lifeless moment spares 'a pang. For I would rather yield to gods than men, When she shakes off this temporary death, Or cling to any creed of destiny,
I shall be with the Eternal.-Call her Rather than deem these mortals, most of whom
One look!--how cold her hand! as cold as I know to be as worthless as the dust,
mine And weak as worthless, more than instru- Shall be ere she recovers.—Gently tend her, ments
And take my last thanks.- I am ready now. Of an o'er-ruling power; they in themselves [The Attendants of ANGIOLINA enter Were all incapable-they could not be
and surround their mistress, who Victors of him who oft had conquer'd for
has fainted.—Exeunt the Doge, them!
Guards, etc. etc. Ang. Employ the minutes left in aspirations
SCENE III.— The Court of the Ducal Palace: Of a more healing nature, and in peace the outer gates are shut against the people. Even with these wretches take thy flight - The Doge enters in his ducal robes, in to Heaven.
procession with the Council of Ten and Doge. I am at peace: the peace of certainty
other Patricians, attended by the Guards That a sure hour will come, when their
till they arrive at the top of the “Giant's sons' sons,
Staircase" (where the Doges took the And this proud city, and these azure waters,
oaths); the Executioner is stationed there And all which makes them eminent and
with his sword. On arriving, a Chief of bright,
the Ten takes off the ducal cap from the Shall be a desolation and a curse,
Doge's head. A hissing and a scoff unto the nations, A Carthage, and a Tyre, an Ocean-Babel! Doge. So, now the Doge is nothing, and Ang. Speak not thus now; the surge of
at last passion still
I am again Marino Faliero : Sweeps o'er thee to the last; thou dost deceive 'T'is well to be so, though but for a moment. Thyself and canst not injure them-be Here was I crown'd, and here, bear witness, calmer.
Heaven! Doge. I stand within eternity, and see With how much more contentment I resign Into eternity, and I behold
That shining mockery, the ducal bauble, Ay, palpable as I see thy sweet face Than I received the fatal ornament. For the last time_the days which I denounce One of the Ten. Thou tremblest, Faliero! Unto all time against these wave-girt walls, Doge. "Tis with age, then. And they who are indwellers.
Benint. Faliero ! hast thou aught further Guard (coming forward). Doge of Venice,
to commend, The Ten are in attendance on your highness. Compatible with justice, to the senate ? Doge. Then farewell, Angiolina !- one Doge. I would commend my nephew to embrace
mercy, Forgive the old man who hath been to thee My consort to their justice ; for rethinks A fond but fatal husband . love my memory - My death, and such a death, might settle all I would not ask so much for me still living, Between the state and me.
Benint. They shall be cared for; When thy patricians beg their bitter bread Even notwithstanding thine unheard-of In narrow streets, and in their shameful need crime.
Make their nobility a plea for pity! Doge. Unheard-of! ay, there's not a Then, when the few who still retain a wreck history
Of their great fathers' heritage shall fawn But shows a thousand crown'd conspirators Round a barbarian Vice of Kings' Vicegainst the people; but to set them free
gerent, One sovereign only died, and one is dying. Even in the palace where they sway'd as Benint. And who are they who fell in sovereigns, such a cause ?
Even in the palace where they slew their Doge. The King of Sparta, and the Doge sovereign, of Venice
Proud of some name they bave disgraced, Agis and Faliero!
or sprung Benint. Hast thou more
From an adulteress boastful of her gnilt To utter or to do?
With some large gondolier or foreign soldier, Doge. May I speak?
Shall bear about their bastardy in triumph Benint. Thou mayst;
To the third spurious generation ;—when But recollect the people are without, Thy sons are in the lowest scale of being, Beyond the compass of the human voice. Slaves turn'd o'er to the vanquish'd by the Doge. I speak to Time and to Eternity,
victors, Of which I grow a portion, not to man. Despised by cowards for greater cowardice, Ye elements ! in which to be resolved And scorn'd even by the vicious for such vices I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit As in the monstrous grasp of their conception Upon you! Ye blue waves! which bore Defy all codes to image or to name them; my banner,
Then, when of Cyprus, now thy subject Ye winds! which flutter'd o'er as if you kingdom, loved it,
All thine inheritance shall be her shame And fill'd iny swelling sails as they were Entail'd on thy less virtuous daughters, wafted
grown To many a triumph! Thou, my native earth, A wider proverb for worse prostitution;Which I have bled for, and thou foreign When all the ills of conquer'd states shall earth,
cling thee, Which drank this willing blood from many Vice without splendour, sin without relief a wound !
Even from the gloss of love to smooth it o'er, Ye stones, in which my gore will not sink, But in its stead coarse lusts of habitude, but
Prurient yet passionless, cold studied Reek up to Heaven ! Ye skies, which will lewdness, receive it!
Depraving nature's frailty to an art; Thou sun! which shinest on these things, when these and more are heavy on thee, and Thou !
when Who kindlest and who quenchest suns - Smiles without mirth, and pastimes without Attest!
pleasure, I am not innocent- but are these guiltless? Youth without honour, age without respect, I perish, but not unavenged; far ages Meanness and weakness, and a sense of woe Float up from the abyss of time to be, 'Gainst which thou wilt not strive, and And show these eyes, before they close,
dar'st not murmur, the doom
Have made thee last and worst of peopled Of this proud city, and I leave my curse
deserts: On her and hers for ever!-Yes, the hours Then, in the last gasp of thine agony, Are silently engendering of the day, Amidst thy many murders, think of mine! When she who built'gainst Attila a bulwark, Thou den of drunkards with the blood of Shall yield, and bloodlessly and basely yield princes ! Unto a bastard-Attila, without
Gehenna of the waters! thou sea-Sodom! Shedding so much blood in her last defence Thus I devote thee to the infernal gods! As these old veins,oft drain'd in shielding her, Thee and thy serpent-seed ! Shall pour in sacrifice.-She shall be bought [Here the Doge turns, and addresses And sold, and be an appanage to those
the Executioner. Who shall despise her!-She shall stoop to be Slave, do thine office; A province for an empire, petty town Strike as I struck the foe! Strike as I would In lieu of capital, with slaves for senates, Have struck those tyrants! Strike deep as Beggars for nobles, panders for a people!
my curse! Then, when the llebrew 's in thy palaces, Strike--and but once! The Hun in thy high places, and the Greek [The Doge throws himself upon his Walks o’er thy mart, and smiles on it
knees, and as the Executioner raises for his!
his sword the scene closes.