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my friends ?
Cal. F'en when thou wilt-is it not so, / Would now repeat the question which I
ask'd I have disposed all for a sudden blow; Before Bertuccio added to our cause When shall it be then?
This great ally who renders it more sure, Doge. At sunrise.
And therefore safer, and as such admits Bertram. So soon?
Some dawn of mercy to a portion of Doge. So soon? - – 80 late - each hour Our victims-must all perish in this accumulates
slaughter? Peril on peril, and the more so now
Cal. All who encounter me and mine, Since I have mingled with you; know you not The Council, and “The Ten ?” the spies, The mercy they have shown, I show.
Consp. All! all! Of the patricians dubious of their slaves, Is this a time to talk of pity? when And now more dubious of the prince they have they e'er shown, or felt, or feign’d it? have made one ?
Bert. Bertram, I tell you you must strike, and suddenly, This false compassion is a folly, and Full to the Hydra's heart – its heads will Injustice to thy coinrades and thy cause! follow
Dost thou not see, that if we single out Cal. With all my soul and sword I yield Some for escape, they live but to avenge assent :
The fallen? and how distinguish now the Our companies are ready, sixty each,
innocent And all now under arms by Israel's order; Frojn out the guilty? all their acts are one — Each at their different place of rendezvous, A single emanation from one body, And vigilant, expectant of some blow; Together knit for our oppression! 'Tis Let each repair for action to his post ! Much that we let their children live; I And now, my lord, the signal ?
doubt Doge. When you hear
If all of these even should be set apart: The great bell of Saint Mark's, which may The hunter may reserve some single cub not be
From out the tiger's litter, but who e'er Struck without special order of the Doge, Would seek to save the spotted sire or dam, (The last poor privilege they leave their Unless to perish by their fangs? However, prince)
I will abide by Doge Faliero's counsel; March on Saint Mark's!
Let him decide if any should be saved. Bert. And there?
Doge. Ask me not-tempt me not with Doge. By different routes
such a questionLet your march be directed, every sixty Decide yourselves. Entering a separate avenue, and still Bert. You know their private virtues Upon the way let your cry be of war Far better than we can, to whom alone And of the Genoese fleet, by the first dawn Their public vices, and most foul oppression, Discern'd before the port; form round the Have made them deadly; if there be amongst palace,
them Within whose court will be drawn out in One who deserves to be repeal’d, pronounce.
Doge. Dolsino's father was my friend, My nephew and the clients of our house,
and Lando Many and martial; while the bell tolls on, Fought by my side, and Marc Cornaro shared Shout ye, “Saint Mark!- the foe is on our My Genoese embassy ; I saved the life waters!”
Of Veniero — shall I save it twice? Cal. I see it now-but on, my noble lord. Would that I could save them and Venice Doge. All the patricians flocking to the
All these men, or their fathers, were my (Which they dare not refuse, at the dread
Till they became my subjects; then fell Pealing from out their patron-saint's proud from me tower)
As faithless leaves drop from the o'erblown Will then be gather'd in unto the harvest,
flower, And we will reap them with the sword for And left me a lone blighted thorny stalk, sickle.
Which, in its solitude, can shelter nothing; If some few should be tardy or absent them, So, as they let me wither, let them perish! 'Twill be but to be taken faint and single, Cal. They cannot co-exist with Venice' When the majority are put to rest.
freedom! Cal. Would that the hour were come! Doge. Ye, though you know and feel we will not scotch,
our mutual mass But kill.
Of many wrongs, even ye are ignorant Bertram. Once more, sir, with your What fatal poison to the springs of life, pardon, I
To human ties, and all that's good and dear,
Lurks in the present institutes of Venice: Bert. You have been deeply wrongd, All these men were my friends; I loved
and now shall be them, they
Nobly avenged before another night. Requited honourably my regards;
Doge. I had borne all—it hurt me, but We served and fought; we smiled and wept
I bore it in concert;
Till this last running-over of the cup We revell’d or we sorrow'd side by side; Of bitterness - until this last loud insult, We made alliances of blood and marriage; Not only unredress'd, but sanction'd; then, We grew in years and honours fairly, till And thus, I cast all further feelings from me Their own desire, not my ambition, made The feelings which they crush'd for me, Them choose me for their prince, and then long, long farewell!
Before, even in their oath of false allegiance! Farewell all social memory! all thoughts Even in that very hour and vow, they In common! and sweet bonds which link
abjured old friendships,
Their friend and made a sovereign, as boys When the survivors of long years and
Playthings, to do their pleasure and be Which now belong to history,soothe the days
broken! Which yet remain by treasuring each other, I from that hour have seen but senators And never meet, but each beholds the mirror In dark suspicious conflict with the Doge, Of half a century on his brother's brow, Brooding with him in mutual hate and fear; And sees a hundred beings, now in earth, They dreading he should snatch the tyranny Flit round them whispering of the days From out their grasp, and he abhorring
tyrants. And seeming not all dead, as long as two To me, then, these men have no private life, Of the brave, joyous, reckless, glorious band, Nor claim to ties they have cut off from Which once were one and many, still retain
others; A breath to sigh for them, a tongue to speak As senators for arbitrary acts Of deeds that else were silent, save on Amenable, I look on them - as such marble
Let them be dealt upon. Oime! Oime! and must I do this deed ? Cal. And now to action! Bert. My lord, you are much moved : Hence, brethren, "to our posts, and may it is not now
this be That such things must be dwelt upon. The last night of mere words : I'd fain be Doge. Your patience
doing ! A moment - I recede not: mark with me Saint Mark's great bell at dawn shall find The gloomy vices of this government.
me wakeful! From the hour that made me Doge, the Doge Bert. Disperse then to your posts; be THEY made me
firm and vigilant; Farewell the past! I died to all that had been, Think on the wrongs we bear, the rights Or rather they to me: no friends, no kindness,
we claim. No privacy of life-- all were cut off: This day and night shall be the last of peril! They came not near me, such approach Watch for the signal, and then march. I go gave umbrage;
To join my band; let each be prompt to They could not love me, such was not
marshal the law;
His separate charge: the Doge will now They thwarted me, 'twas the state's policy;
return They baffled me, 'twas a patrician's duty; To the palace to prepare all for the blow. They wrong'd me, for such was to right We part to meet in freedom and in glory! the state;
Cał. Doge, when I greet you next, my They could not right me, that would give homage to you suspicion;
Shall be the head of Steno, on this sword ! So that I was a slave to my own subjects; Doge. No; let him be reserved unto the So that I was a soe to my own friends ;
last, Begirt with spies for guards-with robes Nor turn aside to strike at such a prey, for power
Till nobler game is quarried; his ofl'ence With pomp for freedom - gaolers for a Was a mere ebullition of the vice, council
The general corruption generated Inquisitors for friends -- and hell for life! By the foul aristocracy; he could notI had one only fount of quiet left,
He dared not in more honourable days And that they poison'd! My pure household Have risk'd it! I have merged all private gods
wrath Where shiver'd on my hearth, and o'er Against him, in the thought of our great their shrine
purpose. Sate grinning Ribaldry and snecring Scorn. A slaveinsalts me- -I require his punishment
From his proud master's hands; if he refuse it, Tho rebel's oracle -- the people's tribunoThe offence grows his, and let him answer it. I blame you not, you act in your vocation; Cal. Yet, as the immediate cause of the They smote you, and oppress'd you, and alliance
despised you; Which consecrates our undertaking more, So they have me: but you ne'er spake with I owe him such deep gratitude, that fain
them; I would repay him as he merits; may I? You never broke their bread, nor shared Doge. You would but lop the hand, and
their salt; I the head;
You never had their wine-cup at your lips; You would but smite the scholar, I the You grew not up with them, nor laugh’d, master;
nor wept, You would but punish Steno, I the senate. Nor held a revel in their company; I cannot pause on individual hate,
Ne'er smiled to see them smile, nor claim'd In the absorbing, sweeping, whole revenge,
their smile Which, like the sheeted fire from heaven, In social interchange for yours, nor trusted must blast
Nor wore them in your heart of hearts, as Without distinction, as it fell of yore,
I have: Where the Dead Sea hath quench'd two These hairs of mine are gray,and so are theirs, cities' ashes.
The elders of the council; I remember Bert. Away, then, to your posts! I but when all our locks were like the raven's remain
wing, A moment to accompany the Doge As we went forth to take our prey around To our late place of trust, to see no spies The isles wrung from the false Mahometan: Have been upon the scout, and thence I hasten And can I see them dabbled o’er with blood? To where my allotted band is under arms. Each stab to them will seem my suicide. Cal. Farewell, then, until dawn.
Bert. Doge! Doge! this vacillation is Bert. Success go with you!
unworthy Consp. We will not fail - away! My lord, A child; if you are not in second childhood, farewell!
Call back your nerves to your own pur(The Conspirators salute the Doge
and ISRAEL BERTUCCIO, and retire, Thus shame yourself and me. By heavens! headed by Philip CALENDABO.
I'd rather The Dogs and IsraeL Bertuccio Forego even now, or fail in our intent, remain.
Than see the man I venerate snbside Bert. We have them in the toil- it can- From high resolves into such shallow not fail!
weakness ! Now thou 'rt indeed a sovereign, and wilt You have seen blood in battle, shed it, both make
Your own and that of others; can you shrink A name immortal greater than the greatest:
then Free citizens have strack at kings ere now; From a few drops from veins of hoary Cæsars have fallen, and even patrician hands vampires, Have crush'd dictators, as the popular steel Who but give back what they have drain’d Has reach'd patricians; but until this hour,
from millions ? What prince has plotted for his people's Doge. Bear with me! Step by step, and freedom?
blow on blow, Or risk'd a life to liberate his subjects ? I will divide with you; think not I waver: For ever, and for ever, they conspire Ah! no; it is the certainty of all Against the people, to abuse their hands Which I must do doth make me tremble thug. To chains, but laid aside to carry weapons But let these last and lingering thoughts Against the fellow-nations, so that yoke On yoke, and slavery and death may whet, To which you only and the Night are Not glut, the never-gorged Leviathan!
conscious, Now, my lord, to our enterprise ; 'tis great, And both regardless; when the hour arrives, And greater the reward; why stand you rapt? 'Tis mine to sound the knell, and strike the A moment back, and you were all impatience!
blow, Doge. And is it then decided ? must they which shall unpeople many palaces, die?
And hew the highest genealogic trees Bert. Who?
Down to earth, strew'd with their bleeding Doge. My own friends by blood and
And crash their blossoms into barrenness; And many deeds and days – the senators ? This will l-must l- have I sworn to do, Bert. You pass'd their sentence, and it Nor aught can turn me from my destiny; is a just one.
But still I quiver to behold what I Doge. Ay, so it seeins, and so it is to you ; Must be, and think what I have been! You are a patriot, plebeian Gracchus
Bear with me.
Bert. Re-man your breast; I feel no There came a heaviness across my heart, ench remorse,
Which in the lightest movement of the dance, I understand it not: why shonld you change? Though eye to eye, and hand in hand united You acted, and you act on your free will. Even with the lady of my love, oppress'd me, Doge. Ay, there it is—you feel not, nor And through my spirit chill'd my blood, do I,
until Else I should stab thee on the spot, to save A damp like death rose o'er my brow; I A thousand lives, and, killing, do no murder;
strove You feel not-you go to this butcher-work To laugh the thought away, but 't would As if these high-born men were steers for not be; shambles !
Through all the music ringing in my ean When all is over, you'll be free and merry, Aknell was sounding as distinct and clear, And calmly wash those hands incarnadine; Though low and far, as e'er the Adrian wave But I, outgoing thee and all thy fellows Rose o'er the city's murmur in the night, In this surpassing massacre, shall be, Dashing against the outward Lido's bulwark; Shall see, and feel -oh God! oh God! 'tis So that I left the festival before true,
It reach'd its zenith, and will woo my pillow And thou dost well to answer that it was For thoughts more tranquil,or forgetfulness. “My own free will and act;” and yet you err, Antonio, take my mask and cloak, and light For I will do this! Doubt not-fear not; I The lamp within my chamber. Will be your most unmerciful accomplice! Antonio. Yes, my lord : And yet I act no more on my free will, Command you no refreshment ? Nor my own feelings—both compel me back; Lioni. Nought, save sleep, But there is hell within me and around, Which will not be commanded. Let me And like the demon who believes and
(Exit Antonio. trembles
Though my breast feels too anxious; I Must I abhor and do.' Away! Away! Get thee unto thy fellows, I will hie me Whether the air will calm my spirits : 'tis To gather the retainers of our house. A goodly night; the cloudy wind which Doubt not, Saint Mark's great bell shall
blew wake all Venice,
From the Levant hath crept into its cave, Except her slaughter'd senate: ere the sun and the broad moon has brighten'd. What Be broad upon the Adriatic, there
a stillness! [Goes to an open lattice. Shall be a voice of weeping, which shall And what a contrast with the scene I left, drown
Where the tall torches' glare, and silver The roar of waters in the cry of blood!
lamps' I am resolved - come on.
More pallid gleam along the tapestried Bert. With all my soul!
walls, Keep a firm rein upon these bursts of passion; Spread over the reluctant gloom which Remember what these men have dealt to thee,
haunts And that this sacrifice will be succeeded Those vast and dimly-latticed galleries By ages of prosperity and freedom A dazzling mass of artificial light, To this unshackled city: a true tyrant Which show'd all things, but nothing as Would have depopulated empires, nor
they were. Have felt the strange compunction which There Age essaying to recal the past, hath wrung you
After long striving for the hues of youth To punish a few traitors to the people! At the sad labour of the toilet, and Trust me, such were a pity more misplaced Full many a glance at the too faithful Than the late mercy of the state to Steno
mirror, Doge. Man, thou hast struck upon the Prankt forth in‘all the pride of ornament, chord which jars
Forgot itself, and trusting to the falsehood All nature from my heart. Hence to our of the indulgent beams, which show, yet task!
Believed itself forgotten, and was fool'd. A CT IV.
There Youth, which needed not, nor thought
of such SCENE 1.—Palazzo of the Patrician Lioni. Vain adjuncts, lavish'd its true bloom, and
health, Liont laying aside the mask and cloak which the Venetian Nobles wore in public, And bridal beauty, in the unwholesome press attended by a Doméstic.
Of flush'd and crowded wassailers, and
wasted Lioni. I will to rest, right weary of this Its hours of rest in dreaming this was revel,
pleasure, The gayest we have held for many moons, And so shall waste them till the sunrise And yet, I know not wby, it cheer'd me not;
On sallow cheeks and sunken eyes, which To let in love through music, makes his should not
heart Have worn this aspect yet for many a year. Thrill like his lyre-strings at the sight ;The music, and the banquet, and the wine
the dash The garlands, the rose-odours, and the Phosphoric of the oar, or rapid twinkle flowers
Of the far lights of skimming gondolas, The sparkling eyes and flashing ornaments - And the responsive voices of the choir The white arms and the raven hair—the Of boatmen answering back with verse for
braids And bracelets ; swanlike bosoms, and the Some dusky shadow chequering the Rialto; necklace,
Some glimmering palace-roof, or tapering An India in itself, yet dazzling not
spire, The eye like what it circled; the thin robes Are all the sights and sounds which here Floating like light clouds 'twixt our gaze pervade and heaven;
The ocean-born and earth-commanding city; Themany-twinkling feet so small and sylph- How sweet and soothing is this hour of calm! like,
I thank thee, Night! for thou hast chased Suggesting the more secret symmetry
away Of the fair forms which terminate so well-Those horrid bodements which, amidst the All the delusion of the dizzy scene,
throng, Its false and true enchantments-art and I could not dissipate: and with the blessing nature,
Of thy benign and quiet influence, Which swam before my giddy eyes, that Now will I to my couch, although to rest drank
Is almost wronging such a night as thisThe sight of beauty as the parch'd pilgrim's
[A knocking is heard from without. On Arab sands the false mirage, which offers Hark! what is that? or who at such a A lucid lake to his eluded thirst,
moment? Are gone.—Around me are the stars and
Enter ANTONIO. waters Worlds mirror'd in the ocean, goodlier sight Antonio. My lord, a man without, on Than torches glared back by a gaudy glass; urgent business, And the great element, which is to space Implores to be admitted. What ocean is to earth, spreads its blue
Lioni. Is he a stranger ? depths,
Antonio. His face is muffled in bis cloak, Softend with the first breathings of the
but both spring;
His voice and gestures seem familiar to me; The high moon sails upon her beauteous I craved his name, but this he seem'd way,
reluctant Serenely smoothing o'er the lofty walls To trust, save to yourself; most earnestly Of those tall piles and sea-girt palaces, He sues to be permitted to approach you. Whose porphyry pillars, and whose costly Lioni. 'Tis a strange hour, and a suspifronts,
cious bearing! Fraught with the orient spoil of many And yet there is slight peril: 'tis not in marbles,
Their houses noble men are struck at; still, Like altars ranged along the broad canal, Although I know not that I have a foe Seem each a trophy of some mighty deed In Venice, 'twill be wise to use some caution. Rear'd up from out the waters, scarce less Admit him, and retire; but call up quickly strangely
Some of thy fellows, who may wait without.: Than those more massy and mysterious Who can this man be?
giants Of architecture, those Titanian fabrics,
[Erit Antonio, and returns with BERTRAM Which point in Egypt's plains to times that
Bertram. My good lord Lioni, No other record. All is gentle: nought I have no time to lose, nor thou- dismiss Stirs rudely; but, congenial with the night, This menial hence; I would be private Whatever walks is gliding like a spirit. The tinklings of some vigilant guitars Lioni. It seems the voice of Bertram-go, Of sleepless lovers to a wakeful mistress, Antonio.
[Exit Antonio. And cautious opening of the casement, Now, stranger, what would you at such showing
an hour ? That he is not unheard; while her young Bertram (discovering himself). A boon, hand,
my noble patron; you have granted Fair as the moonlight of which it seems part, Many to your poor client, Bertram ; add So delicately white, it trembles in This one, and make him happy. The act of opening the forbidden lattice, Lioni. Thou hast known mo