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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
verse ; 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; The many-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 this The 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 his cloak, Soften’d 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,
[Exit Antonio, and returns with BERTRAN 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 Bertramt-go, Of sleepless lovers to a wakeful mistress,
[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, land,
my noble patron; you have granted Fair as the moonlight of which it seenis part, Many to your poor client, Bertram ; adı So delicately wbite, it trembles in This one, and make hin happy. The act of opening the forbidden lattice, Lioni. Thou hast known me
From boyhood, ever ready to assist thee Lioni. I am indeed already lost in wonder;
Why comest thou to tell me at this hour,
warning? A cup too much, a scuffle, and a stab? - Lioni. I was not born to shrink from Mere things of every day; so that thou idle threats, hast not
The cause of which I know not: at the hour Spilt noble blood, I guarantee thy safety; Of council, be it soon or late, I shall not But then thou must withdraw, for angry Be found among the absent. friends
Bertram. Say not so! And relatives, in the first burst of vengeance, Once more, art thou determined to go forth? Are things in Venice deadlier than the laws. Lioni. I am ; nor is there aught which Bertram. My lord, I thank you; but
shall impede me! Lioni. But what? You have not
Bertram. Then Heaven have mercy on Raised a rash hand against one of our order? thy soul !- Farewell! (Going If so, withdraw and fly, and own it not; Lioni. Stay—there is more in this than I would not slay—but then I must not save my own safety thee!
Which makes me call thee back; we must He who has shed patrician blood
not part thus: Bertram. I come
Bertram, I have known thee long. To save patrician blood, and not to shed it! Bertram. From childhood, signor, And thereunto I must be speedy, for You have been my protector: in the days Each minute lost may lose a life: since Time of reckless infancy, when rank forgets, Has changed his slow scythe for the two- Or, rather, is not yet taught to remember edged sword,
Its cold prerogative, we play'd together; And is about to take, instead of sand, Our sports, our smiles, our tears, were The dust from sepulchres to fill his hour
mingled oft; glass !-
My father was your father's client, I Go not thou forth to-morrow!
His son's scarce less than foster-brother; Lioni. Wherefore not?
years What means this menace ?
Saw us together-happy, heart-full hours! Bertram. Do not seek its meaning, Oh God! the difference 'twist those hours But do as I implore thee;-stir not forth,
and this! Whate'er be stirring; though the roar of Lioni. Bertram, 'tis thou who hast forcrowds
gotten them. The cry of women, and the shrieks of babes- Bertram. Nor now, nor ever; whatsoe'er The groans of men-the clash of arms - the betide, sound
I would have saved you: when to manOf rolling drum, shrill trump, and hollow hood's growth bell,
We sprung, and you, devoted to the state, Peal in one wide alarum !-Go not forth As suits your station, the more humble Until the tocsin 's silent, nor even then
Bertram Till I return !
Was left unto the labours of the humble, Lioni. Again, what does this mean? Still you forsook me not; and if my fortunes Bertram. Again, I tell thee, ask not; Have not been towering, 'twas no fault of him but by all
Who oft-times rescued and supported me Thou holdest dear on earth or heaven- When struggling with the tides of circum
stance The souls of thy great fathers, and thy hope Which bear away the weaker: noble blood To emulate them, and to leave behind Ne'er mantled in a nobler heart than thine Descendants worthy both of them and thee- Has proved to me,the poor plebeian Bertram. By all thou hast of blest in hope or memory- Would that thy fellow-senators were like By all thou hast to fear here or hereafter
thee ! By all the good deeds thou hast done to me, Lioni. Why, what hast thou to say Good I would now repay with greater against the senate 3 good,
Bertram. Nothing: Remain within-trust to thy household gods Lioni. I know that there are angry spirits And to my word for safety, if thou dost And turbulent mutterers of stifled treason As I now counsel—but if not, thou art lost! | Who lurk in narrow places, and walk out
Muffled to whisper curses to the night; Lioni. Ay, is it even so? Excuse me, Disbanded soldiers, discontented ruffians,
Bertram; And desperate libertines who brawl in 1 am not worthy to be singled out taverns ;
From such exalted hecatombs-who are they Thou herdest not with such: 'tis true, of late That are in danger, and that make the I have lost sight of thee, but thou wert wont danger? To lead a temperate life, and break thy Bertram. Venice, and all that she inherbread
its, are With honest mates, and bear a cheerful Divided like a house against itself, aspect.
And so will perish ere to-morrow's twilight! What hath come to thee? in thy hollow eye Lioni. More mysteries, and awful ones! And hueless cheek,and thine unquietmotions, Sorrow and shame and conscience seem at Or thou, or I, or both, it may be, are
Upon the verge of ruin; speak once out, To waste thee.
And thou art safe and glorious ; for 'tis Bertram. Rather shame and sorrow light On the accursed tyranny which rides Glorious to save than slay, and slay i' the The very air in Venice, and makes men
dark tooMadden as in the last hours of the plague Fie, Bertram! that was not a craft for thee! Which sweeps the soul deliriously from life! How would it look to see upon a spear Lioni. Some villains have been tamper- | The head of him whose heart was open to ing with thee, Bertram;
thee, This is not thy old language, nor own Borne by thy hand before the shuddering thoughts;
people ? Some wretch has made thee drunk with And such may be my doom; for here I swear, disaffection;
Whate'er the peril or the penalty But thou must not be lost so; thou wert good of thy denunciation, I go forth, And kind, and art not fit for such base acts Unless thou dost detail the cause, and show As vice and villany would put thee to : The consequence of all which led thee here! Confess - confide in me-thou know'st my Bertram. Is there no way to save thee? nature
minutes fly, What is it thou and thine are bound to do, And thou art lost!- thou! my sole beneWhich should prevent thy friend, the only
The only being who was constant to me Of him who was a friend unto thy father, Through every change. Yet, make me not So that our good-will is a heritage
a traitor! We should bequeath to our posterity Let me save thee -- but spare my honour! Such as ourselves received it, or augmented; Lioni. Where I say, what is it thou must do, that I Can lie the honour in a league of murder? Should deem thee dangerous, and keep the And who are traitors save unto the state ? house
Bertram. A league is still a compact, Like a sick girl ?
and more binding Bertram. Nay, question me no further : In honest hearts when words must stand I must be gone.
for law; Lioni. And I be murder'd !-- say, And in my mind, there is no traitor like Was it not thus thou saidst, my gentle He whose domestic treason plants the poniard Bertram?
Within the breast which trusted to his truth. Bertram. Who talks of murder? what Lioni. And who will strike the steel to said I of murder?
mine? Tis false! I did not utter such a word. Bertram. Not I; Lioni. Thou didst not; but from out I could have wound my soul up to all things thy wolfish eye,
Save this. Thou must not die! and think So changed from what I knew it, there
how dear glares forth
Thy life is, when I risk so many lives, The gladiator. If my life's thine object, Nay, more, the life of lives, the liberty Take it-I am unarm’d,- and then away! Of future generatione, not to be I would not hold my breath on such a tenure The assassin thou miscall'st me;-once, As the capricious mercy of such things As thou and those who have set thee to thy I do adjure thee, pass not o'er thy threshold! taskwork.
Lioni. It is in vain – this moment I go Bertram. Sooner than spill thy blood,
forth. I peril mine;
Bertram. Then perish Venice rather than Sooner than harm a hair of thine, I place In jeopardy a thousand heads, and some I will disclose_ensnare betray-destroyAs noble, nay, even nobler than thine own. I Oh, what a villain I become for thee!
Lioni. Say, rather thy friend's saviour | SCENE II.-The Ducal Palace- the Doge's and the state's !
Apartment. Speak-pause not-all rewards, all pledges for
The Doge and his nephew BERTUCCIO FALIERO. Thy safety and thy welfare; wealth such as Doge. Are all the people of our house The state accords her worthiest servants;
in muster? nay,
B. Fal. They are array'd, and eager for Nobility itself I guarantee thee,
the signal, So that thou art sincere and penitent. Within our palace precincts at San Polo. Bertram. I have thought again : it must I come for your last orders. not be- I love thee
Doge. It had been Thou knowest it—that I stand here is the As well had there been time to have got proof,
together Not least though last; but having done my From my own fief, Val di Marino, more duty
Of our retainers - but it is too late. By thee, I now must do it by my country! B. Fal. Methinks, my lord, 'tis better Farewell! - we meet no more in life!
as it is; farewell!
A sudden swelling of our retinue Lioni. What, ho! Antonio–Pedro-to Had waked suspicion; and, though fierce the door!
and trusty, See that none pass-arrest this man! - The vassals of that district are too rude Enter Antonio and other armed Domestics, The secret discipline we need for such
And quick in quarrel to have long maintain'd who seize BERTRAM.
A service, till our foes are dealt upon. Lioni (continues). Take care
Doge. True; but when once the signal He hath no harm; bring me my sword
has been given, and cloak;
These are the men for such an enterprise: And man the gondola with four oars- These city-slaves have all their private bias, quick
[Erit Antonio. Their prejudice against or for this noble, We will unto Giovanni Gradenigo's, Which may induce them to o’erdo or spare And send for Marc Cornaro : - fear not, Where mercy may be madness; the fierce Bertram ;
peasants, This needful violence is for thy safety, Serfs of my county of Val di Marino, No less than for the general weal. Would do the bidding of their lord without Bertram. Where wouldst thou
Distinguishing for love or hate his foes; Bear me a prisoner?
Alike to them Marcello or Cornaro, Lioni. Firstly, to “The Ten;"
A Gradenigo or a Foscari; Next to the Doge.
They are not used to start at those vain Bertram. To the Doge? Lioni. Assuredly;
Nor bow the knee before a civic senate: Is he not chief of the state?
A chief in armour is their Suzerain, Bertram. Perhaps at sunrise
And not a thing in robes. Lioni. What mean you?- but we'll know B. Fal. We are enough ;
And for the dispositions of our clients Bertram. Art sure ?
Against the senate I will answer. Lioni. Sure as all gentle means can
Doge. Well, make; and if
The die is thrown; but for a warlike service, They fail, you know “The Ten" and their Done in the field, commend me to my tribunal,
peasants ; And that Saint Mark's has dungeons, and they made the sun shine through the host the dungeons
of Huns A rack.
When sallow burghers slunk back to their Bertram. Apply to it before the dawn
tents, Now hastening into heaven. One more And cower'd to hear their own victorious such word,
you shall perish piecemeal, by the death If there be small resistance, you will find Ye think to doom to me.
These citizens all lions, like their standard ;
But if there's much to do, you'll wish, withme, Re-enter ANTONIO.
A band of iron rustics at our backs. Antonio. The bark is ready,
B. Fal. Thus thinking, I must marvel My lord, and all prepared. Lioni. Look to the prisoner.
To strike the blow so suddenly. Bertram, I'll reason with thee as we go Doge. Such blows To the Magnifico's, sage Gradenigo. Must be struck suddenly or never. When
[Ereunt. l I had v'ermaster'd the weak falsc remorso
Which yearn'd about my heart, too fondly Timoleon immortal, than to face yielding
The toils and dangers of a life of war. A moment to the feelings of old days, B. Fal. It gladdens me to see your former I was most fain to strike; and, firstly, that
wisdom I might not yield again to such emotions; Subdue the furies which so wrung you ere And, secondly, because of all these men, You were decided. Save Israel and Philip Calendaro,
Doge. It was ever thus I know not well the courage or the faith: With me; the hour of agitation came To-day might find ’mongst them a traitor In the first glimmerings of a purpose, when to us,
Passion had too much room to sway; but in As yesterday a thousand to the senate; The hour of action I have stood as calm But once in, with their hilts hot in their As were the dead who lay around me: this hands,
They knew who made me what I am, and They must on for their own sakes; one
trusted stroke struck,
To the subduing power which I preserved And the mere instinct of the first-born Cain, Overmy mood, when its first burst was spent. Which ever lurks somewhere in human But they were not aware that there are things hearts,
Which make revenge a virtue by reflection, Though circumstance may keep it in And not an impulse of mere anger; though abeyance,
The laws sleep, justice wakes, and injured Will urge the rest on like to wolves; the
Oft do a public right with private wrong, Of blood to crowds begets the thirst of And justify their deeds unto themselves.more,
Methinks the day breaks - is it not so? look, As the first wine-cup leads to the long revel; Thine eyes are clear with youth ; - the air And you will find a harder task to quell
puts on Than urge them when they have commen- A morning-freshness, and, at least to me, ced; but till
The sea looks grayer through the lattice. That moment, a mere voice, a straw, a B. Fal. True, shadow
The morn is dappling in the sky. Are capable of turning them aside.
Doge. Away, then! How goes the night?
See that they strike without delay, and with B. Fal. Almost upon the dawn.
The first toll from St. Mark's, march on the Doge. Then it is time to strike upon the palace bell.
With all our house's strength! here I will Are the men posted ?
meet youB. Fal. By this time they are;
The Sixteen and their companies will move But they have orders not to strike, until In separate columns at the self-same moThey have command from you through me mentin person,
Be sure you post yourself by the great gate, Doge. 'Tis well.– Will the morn never I would not trust “The Ten” except to usput to rest
The rest, the rabble of patricians, may These stars which twinkle yet o'er all the Glut the more careless swords of those heavens?
leagued with us. I am settled and bound up, and being so, Remember that the cry is still "Saint Mark! The very effort which it cost me to The Genoese are come- - ho! to the rescue! Resolve to cleanse this commonwealth with Saint Mark and liberty !”-Now- - now to fire,
action! Now leaves my mind more steady. I have B. Fal. Farewell then, noble uncle! wo wept,
will meet And trembled at the thought of this dread In freedom and true sovereignty, or never! duty;
Doge. Come hither, my Bertuccio-one But now I have put down all idle passion,
embrace And look the growing tempest in the face, Speed, for the day grows broader-Send As doth the pilot of an admiral-galley : Yet (wouldst thou think it, kinsman ?) it A messenger to tell me how all goes hath been
When you rejoin our troops, and then A greater struggle to me, than when nations
sound-sound Beheld their fate merged in the approaching The storm-bell from Saint Mark's! fight,
[Exit Bertuccio Faliero Where I was leader of a phalanx, where Doge (solus). He is gone, Thousands were sure to perish-Yes, to spill And on each footstep moves a life. – Tis done. The rank polluted current from the veins Now the destroying Angel hovers o'er Of a few bloated despots needed more Venice, and pauses ere he pours the vial, To steel me to a purpose such as made Even as the Eagle overlooks his prey,