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It were indeed no more, if human breath
Could make or mar it.
Mar. Yet full many a dame,
Stainless and faithful, would feel all the wrong
Of such a slander; and less rigid ladies,
Such as abound in Venice, would be loud
And all-inexorable in their cry
Ang. This but proves it is the name
And not the quality they prize: the first
Have found it a hard task to hold their honour,
If they require it to be blazon'd forth;
And those who have not kept it, seek its seeming
As they would look out for an ornament
Of which they feel the want, but not because
They think it so; they live in others' thoughts,
And would seem honest, as they must seem fair.
Mar. You have strange thoughts for a patrician
Ang. And yet they were my father's; with his
The sole inheritance he left.
Mar. You want none;
Wife to a prince, the chief of the Republic.
Ang. I should have sought none though a peasant's
But feel not less the love and gratitude
Due to my father, who bestow'd my hand
Upon his early, tried, and trusted friend,
The Count Val di Marino, now our Doge.
Mar. And with that hand did he bestow your heart?
Ang. He did so, or it had not been bestow'd.
Mar. Yet this strange disproportion in your years,
And, let me add, disparity of tempers,
Might make the world doubt whether such an union
Could make you wisely, permanently, happy.
Ang. The world will think with worldlings; but
Has still been in my duties, which are many,
But never difficult.
Mar. And do you love him 2
Ang. I love all noble qualities which merit
Love, and I loved my father, who first taught me
To single out what we should love in others,
And to subdue all tendency to lend
The best and purest feelings of our nature
To baser passions. He bestow'd my hand
Upon Faliero: he had known him noble,
Brave, generous ; rich in all the qualities
Of soldier, citizen, and friend ; in all
Such have I found him as my father said.
His faults are those that dwell in the high bosoms
Of men who have commanded; too much pride,
And the deep passions fiercely foster'd by
The uses of patricians, and a life
Spent in the storms of state and war; and also
From the quick sense of honour, which becomes
! [This scene is, perhaps, the finest in the whole play. The character of the calm, pure-spirited Angiolina is developed in it most admirably : — the great difference between her temper and that of her fiery husband is vividly portrayed;— but not less vividly touched is that strong bond of their union which exists in the common nobleness of their deeper natures. There is no spark of jealousy in the old man's thoughts, – he does not expect the fervours of youthful passion in itis wife, nor does he find them ; but he finds what is far better, — the fearless confidence of one, who, being to the heart's core innocent, can scarcely be a believer in the existence of such a thing as guilt. He finds every charm which gratitude, respect, anxious and deep-seated affection can give to the
A duty to a certain sign, a vice
When overstrain'd, and this I fear in him.
And then he has been rash from his youth upwards,
Yet temper'd by redeeming nobleness
In such sort, that the wariest of republics
Has lavish'd all its chief employs upon him,
From his first fight to his last embassy,
From which on his return the Dukedom met him.
Mar. But previous to this marriage, had your heart
Ne'er beat for any of the noble youth,
Such as in years had been more meet to match
Beauty like yours ? or since have you ne'er seen
One, who, if your fair hand were still to give,
Might now pretend to Loredano's daughter?
Ang. I answer'd your first question when I said
Ang. Needs no answer.
Mar. I pray you pardon, if I have offended.
Ang. I feel no wrath, but some surprise: I knew not
That wedded bosoms could permit themselves
To ponder upon what they now might choose,
Or aught save their past choice.
Mar. 'T is their past choice
That far too often makes them deem they would
Now choose more wisely, could they cancel it.
Ang. It may be so. I knew not of such thoughts.
Mar. Here coines the Doge — shall I retire 7
Ang. It may
Be better you should quit me; he seems wrapt
In thought. — How pensively he takes his way !
Enter the DoGE and PIETRo. Doge (musing). There is a certain Philip Calendaro Now in the Arsenal, who holds command Of eighty men, and has great influence Besides on all the spirits of his comrades : This man, I hear, is bold and popular, Sudden and daring, and yet secret ; 't would Be well that he were won : I needs must hope That Israel Bertuccio has secured him, But fain would be Pie. My lord, pray pardon me For breaking in upon your meditation; The Senator Bertuccio, your kinsman, Charged me to follow and inquire your pleasure To fix an hour when he may speak with you. Doge. At sunset. — Stay a moment—let me see – Say in the second hour of night. [Erit Pierro. Ang. My lord Doge. My dearest child, forgive me—why delay So long approaching me 2 — I saw you not. Ang. You were absorb’d in thought, and he who now Has parted from you might have words of weight To bear you from the senate. Doge.
confidential language of a lovely, and a modest, and a pious woman. She has been extremely troubled by her observance of the countenance and gesture of the Doge, ever since the discovery of Steno's guilt ; and she does all she can to soothe him from his proud irritation. Strong in her consciousness of purity, she has brought herself to regard without anger the insult offered to herself; and the yet uncorrected instinct of a noble heart makes her try to persuade her lord, as she is herself persuaded, that Steno, whatever be the sentence of his judges, must be punished — more even than they would wish him to be — by the secret suggestions of his own guilt
conscience, — the deep blushes of his privacy. — Ło
Ang. I would not interrupt him in his duty And theirs.
Doge. The senate's duty you mistake; 'T is we who owe all service to the senate.
Ang. I thought the Duke had held command in
Venice. Doge. He shall. —But let that pass. – We will be jocund.
How fares it with you? have you been abroad 2
The day is overcast, but the calm wave
Favours the gondolier's light skimming oar;
Or have you held a levee of your friends 7
Or has your music made you solitary 2
Say—is there aught that you would will within
The little sway now left the Duke 2 or aught
Of fitting splendour, or of honest pleasure,
Social or lonely, that would glad your heart,
To compensate for many a dull hour, wasted
On an old man oft moved with many cares?
Speak and 'tis done.
Ang. You're ever kind to me —
I have nothing to desire, or to request,
Except to see you oftener and calmer.
Doge. Calmer ?
Ang. Ay, calmer, my good lord. — Ah, why
Do you still keep apart, and walk alone,
And let such strong emotions stamp your brow,
As not betraying their full import, yet
Disclose too much 2
Doge. Disclose too much l—of what? What is there to disclose 2
Ang. A heart so ill At ease.
Doge. 'T is nothing, child. —But in the state You know what daily cares oppress all those Who govern this precarious commonwealth; Now suffering from the Genoese without, And malcontents within —’t is this which makes me More pensive and less tranquil than my wont. Ang. Yet this existed long before, and never Till in these late days did I see you thus. Forgive me; there is something at your heart More than the mere discharge of public duties, Which long use and a talent like to yours Have render'd light, nay, a necessity, To keep your mind from stagnating. 'T is not In hostile states, nor perils, thus to shake you; You, who have stood all storms and never sunk, And climb'd up to the pinnacle of power And never fainted by the way, and stand Upon it, and can look down steadily Along the depth beneath, and ne'er feel dizzy. Were Genoa's galleys riding in the port, Were civil fury raging in Saint Mark's, You are not to be wrought on, but would fall, As you have risen, with an unalter'd brow— Your feelings now are of a different kind ; Something has stung your pride, not patriotism. Doge. Pride : Angiolina 2 Alas! none is left ine. Ang. Yes—the same sin that overthrew the angels, And of all sins most easily besets Mortals the nearest to the angelic nature: The vile are only vain; the great are proud.
* [This scene between the Dose and Anziolina, though intolerably long, has more force and beauty than any thing that goes before it. She enieavours to soothe the firious mood of her aged partner; while he insists that nothin; but the libeller's death could make fitting expiation for his oftence. This speech of the Doge is an elaborate, and, after all, inei
Doge. I had the pride of honour, of your honour, Deep at my heart But let us change the theme.
Ang. Ah no!—As I have ever shared your kindness In all things else, let me not be shut out From your distress: were it of public import, You know I never sought, would never seek To win a word from you; but feeling now Your grief is private, it belongs to me To lighten or divide it. Since the day When foolish Steno's ribaldry detected Unfix'd your quiet, you are greatly changed, And I would soothe you back to what you were.
Doge. To what I was 1–Have you heard Steno's
sentence 2 Ang. No. Doge. A month's arrest. Ang. Is it not enough *
Doge. Enough 1–yes, for a drunken galley slave, Who, stung by stripes, may murmur at his master; But not for a deliberate, false, cool villain, Who stains a lady's and a prince's honour, Even on the throne of his authority. Ang. There seems to me enough in the conviction Of a patrician guilty of a falsehood: All other punishment were light unto His loss of honour. Doge. Such men have no honour, They have but their vile lives—and these are spared. Ang. You would not have him die for this offence 2 Doge. Not now -–being still alive, I'd have him live Long as he can ; he has ceased to merit death; The guilty saved hath damn'd his hundred judges, And he is pure, for now his crime is theirs. Ang. Oh had this false and flippant libeller Shed his young blood for his absurd lampoon, Ne'er from that moment could this breast have known A joyous hour, or dreamless slumber more. Doge. Does not the law of Heaven say blood for blood 2 And he who taints kills more than he who sheds it. Is it the pain of blows, or shame of blows, That make such deadly to the sense of man 2 Do not the laws of man say blood for honour? And, less than honour, for a little gold 2 Say not the laws of nations blood for treason 2 Is 't nothing to have filled these veins with poison For their once healthful current 2 is it nothing To have stain'd your name and mine — the noblest names 2 Is 't nothing to have brought into contempt A prince before his people 2 to have fail'd In the respect accorded by mankind To youth in woman, and old age in man? To virtue in your sex, and dignity [him. In ours ? — But let them look to it who have saved Ang. Heaven bids us to forgive our enemies. Doge. Doth Heaven forgive her own : Is Satan saved From wrath eternal 2 * Ang. Do not speak thus wildly — Heaven will alike forgive you and your foes. Doge. Amen : May Heaven forgive them : 4ng. And will you ?
Doge. Yes, when they are in heaven
Ang. And not till then 2
Doge. What matters my forgiveness? an old man's, Worn out, scorn'd, spurn'd, abused; what matters My pardon more than my resentment, both [then Being weak and worthless 2 I have lived too long. — But let us change the argument. — My child : My injured wife, the child of Loredano, The brave, the chivalrous, how little deem'd Thy father, wedding thee unto his friend, That he was linking thee to shame ! — Alas ! Shanne without sin, for thou art faultless. Hadst thou But had a different husband, any husband In Venice save the Doge, this blight, this brand, This blasphemy, had never fallen upon thee. So young, so beautiful, so good, so pure, To suffer this, and yet be unavenged
Ang. I am too well avenged, for you still love me,
And trust, and honour me; and all men know
That you are just, and I am true: what more
Could I require, or you command 7
Doge. 'T is well,
And may be better; but whate'er betide,
Be thou at least kind to my memory.
Ang. Why speak you thus 2
Doge. It is no matter why; But I would still, whatever others think, Have your respect both now and in my grave.
Ang. Why should you doubt it 2 has it ever fail'd 2
Doge. Come hither, child; I would a word with
Your father was my friend ; unequal fortune
Made him my debtor for some courtesies
Which bind the good more firmly: when, oppress'd
With his last malady, he will'd our union,
It was not to repay me, long repaid
Before by his great loyalty in friendship ;
His object was to place your orphan beauty
In honourable safety from the perils,
Which, in this scorpion nest of vice, assail
A lonely and undower'd maid. I did not
Think with him, but would not oppose the thought
Which soothed his death-bed.
Ang. I have not forgotten
The nobleness with which you badc me speak,
If my young heart held any preference
Which would have made me happier; nor your offer
To make my dowry equal to the rank
Of aught in Venice, and forego all claim
My father's last injunction gave you.
'Twas not a foolish dotard's vile caprice,
Nor the false edge of aged appetite,
Which made me covetous of girlish beauty,
And a young bride: for in my fieriest youth
I sway’d such passions; nor was this my age
Infected with that leprosy of lust
Which taints the hoariest years of vicious men,
Making them ransack to the very last
The dregs of pleasure for their vanish'd joys;
Or buy in selfish marriage some young victim,
Too helpless to refuse a state that's honest,
Too feeling not to know herself a wretch.
Our wedlock was not of this sort; you had
Freedom from me to choose, and urged in answer
Your father's choice.
Ang. I did so ; I would do so
In face of earth and heaven; for I have never
Repented for my sake; sometimes for yours,
In pondering o'er your late disquietudes.
Doge. I knew my heart would never treat you
I knew my days could not disturb you long;
And then the daughter of my earliest friend,
His worthy daughter, free to choose again,
Wealthier and wiser, in the ripest bloom
Of womanhood, more skilful to select
By passing these probationary years;
Inheriting a prince's name and riches,
Secured, by the short penance of enduring
An old man for some summers, against all
That law's chicane or envious kinsmen might
Have urged against her right; my best friend's child
Would choose more fitly in respect of years,
And not less truly in a faithful heart.
Ang. My lord, I look'd but to my father's wishes,
Hallow'd by his last words, and to my heart
For doing all its duties, and replying
With faith to him with whom I was affianced.
Ambitious hopes ne'er cross'd my dreams; and should
The hour you speak of come, it will be seen so.
Doge. I do believe you; and I know you true :
For love, romantic love, which in my youth
I knew to be illusion, and ne'er saw
Lasting, but often fatal, it had been
No lure for me, in my most passionate days,
And could not be so now, did such exist.
But such respect, and mildly paid regard
As a true feeling for your welfare, and
A free compliance with all honest wishes;
A kindness to your virtues, watchfulness
Not shown, but shadowing o'er such little failings
As youth is apt in, so as not to check
Rashly, but win you from them ere you knew
You had been won, but thought the change your
A pride not in your beauty, but your conduct, —
A trust in you — a patriarchal love,
And not a doting homage—friendship, faith—
Such estimation in your eyes as these
Might claim, I hoped for.
Ang. And have ever had.
Doge. I think so. For the difference in our years
You knew it, choosing me, and chose ; I trusted
Not to my qualities, nor would have faith
In such, nor outward ornaments of nature,
Were I still in my five and twentieth spring;
I trusted to the blood of Loredano
Pure in your veins; I trusted to the soul
God gave you—to the truths your father taught you—
To your belief in heaven — to your mild virtues —
To your own faith and honour, for my own. (trust,
Ang. You have done well. — I thank you for that
Which I have never for one moment ceased
To honour you the more for.
Doge. Where is honour,
Innate and precept-strengthen'd, 'tis the rock
Of faith connubial : where it is not – where
Light thoughts are lurking, or the vanities
Of worldly pleasure rankle in the heart,
Or sensual throbs convulse it, well I know
*T were hopeless for humanity to dream
Of honesty in such infected blood,
Although 't were wed to him it covets most :
An incarnation of the poet's god
In all his marble-chisell'd beauty, or
The demi-deity, Alcides, in His majesty of super-human manhood, Would not suffice to bind where virtue is not; It is consistency which forms and proves it: Vice cannot fix, and virtue cannot change. The once fall'n woman must for ever fall; For vice must have variety, while virtue Stands like the sun, and all which rolls around Drinks life, and light, and glory from her aspect. 1 Ang. And seeing, feeling thus this truth in others, (I pray you pardon me;) but wherefore yield you To the most fierce of fatal passions, and Disquiet your great thoughts with restless hate Of such a thing as Steno 7 Doge. You mistake me. It is not Steno who could move me thus; Had it been so, he should but let that pass. Ang. What is't you feel so deeply, then, even now? Doge. The violated majesty of Venice, At once insulted in her lord and laws. Ang. Alas! why will you thus consider it 2 Doge. I have thought on 't till but let me lead you back To what I urged; all these things being noted, I wedded you; the world then did me justice Upon the motive, and my conduct proved They did me right, while yours was all to praise: You had all freedom—all respect—all trust From me and mine; and, born of those who made Princes at home, and swept kings from their thrones On foreign shores, in all things you appeard Worthy to be our first of native dames. Ang. To what does this conduct 7 Doge. To thus much – that A miscreant's angry breath may blast it all — A villain, whom for his unbridled bearing, Even in the midst of our great festival, I caused to be conducted forth, and taught How to demean himself in ducal chambers; A wretch like this may leave upon the wall The blighting venom of his sweltering heart, And this shall spread itself in general poison ; And woman's innocence, man's honour, pass Into a by-word; and the doubly felon (Who first insulted virgin modesty By a gross affront to your attendant damsels Amidst the noblest of our dames in public) Requite himself for his most just expulsion By blackening publicly his sovereign's consort, And be absolved by his upright compeers. Ang. But he has been condemn'd into captivity. Doge. For such as him a dungeon were acquittal; And his brief term of mock-arrest will pass Within a palace. But I've done with him; The rest must be with you. Ang. With me, my lord 2 Doge. Yes, Angiolina. Do not marvel: I Have let this prey upon me till I feel My life can not be long ; and fain would have you Regard the injunctions you will find within This scroll (Giving her a paper) Fear not; they are for your advantage: Read them hereafter at the fitting hour. Ang. My lord, in life, and after life, you shall Be honour'd still by me : but may your days
! [These passages, though not perfectly dramatic, have great sweetness and dignity, and remind us, in their rich vernosity, of the moral and melliduous parts of Massinger. —Jeff Rex.j
Be many yet and happier than the present : This passion will give way, and you will be Serene, and what you should be — what you were.
Doge. I will be what I should be, or be nothing : But never more — oh never, never more, O'er the few days or hours which yet await The blighted old age of Faliero, shall Sweet Quiet shed her sunset ! Never more Those summer shadows rising from the past Of a not ill-spent nor inglorious life, Mellowing the last hours as the night approaches, Shall soothe me to my moment of long rest. I had but little more to task, or hope, Save the regards due to the blood and sweat, And the soul's labour through which I had toil'd To make my country honourd. As her servant– Her servant, though her chief—I would have gone Down to my fathers with a name serene And pure as theirs; but this has been denied me. – Would I had died at Zara:
Ang. There you saved The state ; then live to save her still. A day, Another day like that would be the best Reproof to them, and sole revenge for you.
Doye. But one such day occurs within an age; My life is little less than one, and 'tis Enough for Fortune to have granted once, That which scarce one more favour'd citizen May win in many states and years. But why Thus speak I ? Venice has forgot that day— Then why should I remember it 2–Farewell, Sweet Angiolina : I must to my cabinet; There's much for me to do—and the hour hastens.
Ang. Remember what you were.
Joy's recollection is no longer joy,
While Sorrow's memory is a sorrow still.
Ang. At least, wrate'er may urge, let me implore
That you will take some little pause of rest:
Your sleep for many nights has been so turbid,
That it had been relief to have awaked you,
Had I not hoped that Nature would o'erpower
At length the thoughts which shook your slumbers
An hour of rest will give you to your toils
With fitter thoughts and freshen'd strength.
Doge. I cannot.—
I must not, if I could ; for never was
Such reason to be watchful : yet a few —
Yet a few days and dream-perturbed nights,
And I shall slumber well — but where 2 — no
Adieu, my Angiolina.
Ang. Let me be
An instant — yet an instant your companion :
I cannot bear to leave you thus.
Doge. Come then,
My gentle child—forgive me; thou wert made
For better fortunes than to share in mine,
Now darkling in their close toward the deep vale
Where Death sits robed in his all-sweeping shadow.
When I am gone — it may be sooner than
Even these years warrant, for there is that stirring
Within — above —around, that in this city
Will make the cemeteries populous
As e'er they were by pestilence or war, –
When I am nothing, let that which I tras
Be still sometimes a name on thy sweet lips,
scene II. MARINO FALIERO. 209
A shadow in thy fancy, of a thing [ber; – | Inflicted on our brethren or ourselves,
Which would not have thee mourn it, but remem- | Helping to swell our tyrants' bloated strength.
Let us begone, my child—the time is pressing. Let us but deal upon them, and I care not
[Ereunt. | For the result, which must be death or freedom
I'm weary to the heart of finding neither.
scene ii. I. Ber. We will be free in life or death ! the grave
A retired Spot near the Arsenal. Is chainless. Have you all the musters ready ? |
And are the sixteen companies completel
Isa AEL BERTuccio and PHILIP CALENDAao. To sixty 2
Cal. How sped you, Israel, in your late complaint 7 Cal. All save two, in which there are
I. Ber. Why, well. Twenty-five wanting to make up the number.
Cul. Is’t possible! will he be punish'd? I. Ber. No matter; we can do without. Whose
I. Ber. Yes. are they 2
Cal. With what ? a mulct or an arrest? Cal. Bertram's and old Soranzo's, both of whom
I. Ber. With death ! — | Appear less forward in the cause than we are. |
Cal. Now you rave, or must intend revenge, I. Ber. Your fiery nature makes you deem all those |
Such as I counsell'd you, with your own hand. Who are not restless, cold; but there exists
I. Ber. Yes; and for one sole draught of hate, forego || Oft in concentred spirits not less daring
The great redress we meditate for Venice, Than in more loud avengers. Do not doubt them.
And change a life of hope for one of exile; Cal. I do not doubt the elder; but in Bertram
Leaving one scorpion crush'd, and thousands stinging | There is a hesitating softness, fatal
My friends, my family, my countrymen To enterprise like ours: I've seen that man
No, Calendaro; these same drops of blood, Weep like an infant o'er the misery
Shed shamefully, shall have the whole of his Of others, heedless of his own, though greater;
For their requital But not only his; , And in a recent quarrel I beheld him
We will not strike for private wrongs alone; Turn sick at sight of blood, although a villain's.
Such are for selfish passions and rash men, I. Ber. The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes,
But are unworthy a tyrannicide. And feel for what their duty bids them do.
Cal. You have more patience than I care to boast. I have known Bertram long; there doth not breathe
Had I been present when you bore this insult, A soul more full of honour.
I must have slain him, or expired myself Cal. It may be so:
In the vain effort to repress my wrath. I apprehend less treachery than weakness;
I. Ber. Thank Heaven, you were not – all had clse | Yet as he has no mistress, and no wife,
been marr'd : To work upon his milkiness of spirit,
As "t is, our cause looks prosperous still. He may go through the ordeal; it is well
Cal. You saw He is an orphan, friendless save in us :
The Doge—what answer gave he A woman or a child had made him less.
I. Ber. That there was Than either in resolve.
No punishment for such as Barbaro. I. Ber. Such ties are not
Cal. I told you so before, and that 't was idle For those who are called to the high destinies
To think of justice from such hands. Which purify corrupted commonwealths ;
I. Ber. At least, We must forget all feelings save the one —
It lull'd suspicion, showing confidence. We must resign all passions save our purpose—
Had I been silent, not a shirro but We must behold no object save our country—
Had kept me in his eye, as meditating And only look on death as beautiful,
A silent, solitary, deep revenge. So that the sacrifice ascend to heaven,
Cal. But wherefore not address you to the Council? | And draw down freedom on her evermore.
The Doge is a mere puppet, who can scarce Cal. But if we fail ——
Obtain right for himself. Why speak to him * I. Ber. They never fail who die
I. Ber. You shall know that hereafter. In a great cause: the block may soak their gore;
Cal. Why not now 7 || Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
I. Ber. Be patient but till midnight. Get your | Be strung to city gates and castle walls—
musters, But still their spirit walks abroad. . Though years
And bid our friends prepare their companies : — Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
Set all in readiness to strike the blow, They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Perhaps in a few hours; we have long waited Which overpower all others, and conduct
For a fit time—that hour is on the dial, The world at last to freedom . What were we
It may be, of to-morrow's sun : delay If Brutus had not lived 2 He died in giving
Beyond may breed us double danger. See Rome liberty, but left a deathless lesson —
That all be punctual at our place of meeting, A name which is a virtue, and a soul
And arm'd, excepting those of the Sixteen, Which multiplies itself throughout all time,
Who will remain among the troops to wait When wicked men wax mighty, and a state
The signal. Turns servile: he and his high friend were styled
Cal. These brave words have breathed new life “ The last of Romans !" Let us be the first
Into my veins; I am sick of these protracted Of true Venetians, sprung from Roman sires.
And hesitating councils: day on day Cul. Our fathers did not fly from Attila
Crawl.'d on, and added but another link Into these isles, where palaces have sprung
To our long fetters, and some fresher wrong On banks redeem'd from the rude ocean's ooze,