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Scene I.

THE TWO FOSCAR.I.

295

Bur. Are you then thus fix'd 7 Lor. Why, what should change me? Bar. That which changes me: But you, I know, are marble to retain | A feud. But when all is accomplish'd, when | The old man is deposed, his name degraded, | His sons all dead, his family depress'd, And you and yours triumphant, shall you sleep? Lor. More soundly. Bar. That's an error, and you'll find it Ere you sleep with your fathers. Lor. They sleep not In their accelerated graves, nor will Till Foscari fills his. Each night I see them Stalk frowning round my couch, and, pointing towards The ducal palace, marshal me to vengeance. Bar. Fancy's distemperature . There is no passion More spectral or fantastical than Hate ; Not even its opposite, Love, so peoples air With phantoms, as this madness of the heart.

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Doge. What command 7

Offi. A melancholy one—to call the attendance Of

Doge. True—true—true: I crave your pardon. I Begin to fail in apprehension, and Wax very old—old almost as my years. Till now I fought them off, but they begin To overtake me.

Enter the Deputation, consisting of sir of the Signory,
and the Chief of the Ten.
Noble men, your pleasure :
Chief of the Ten. In the first place, the Council
doth condole
With the Doge on his late and private grief.
Doge. No more—no more of that.
Chief of the Ten. Will not the Duke
Accept the homage of respect?
Doge.
Accept it as 'tis given–proceed.
Chief of the Ten. “The Ten,”
With a selected giunta from the senate
Of twenty-five of the best born patricians,
Having deliberated on the state
Of the republic, and the o'erwhelming cares
Which, at this moment, doubly must oppress
Your years, so long devoted to your country,
Have judged it fitting, with all reverence,
Now to solicit from your wisdom (which
Upon reflection must accord in this),
The resignation of the ducal ring,
Which you have worn so long and venerably:
And to prove that they are not ungrateful, nor
Cold to your years and services, they add
An appanage of twenty hundred golden
Ducats, to make retirement not less splendid
Than should become a sovereign's retreat.
Doge. Did I hear rightly 7 -
Chief of the Ten. Need I say again 2
Doge. No. — Have you done?
Chief of the Ten. I have spoken. Twenty-four
Hours are accorded you to give an answer.
Doge. I shall not need so many seconds.
Chief of the Ten.
Will now retire.
Doge. Stay I Four and twenty hours
Will alter nothing which I have to say.
Chief of the Ten. Speak
Doge. When I twice before reiterated
My wish to abdicate, it was refused me:
And not alone refused, but ye exacted
An oath from me that I would never more
Renew this instance. I have sworn to die
In full exertion of the functions, which
My country call'd me here to exercise,
According to my honour and my conscience—
I cannot break my oath.
Chief of the Ten. Reduce us not
To the alternative of a decree,
Instead of your compliance.
Doge. Providence
Prolongs my days to prove and chasten me;
But ye have no right to reproach my length
Of days, since every hour has been the coun-
try's.
I am ready to lay down my life for her,
As I have laid down dearer things than life:
But for my digmity—I hold it of
U 4

I do

We

206 BYRON'S

WORKS. Act v.

The whole republic; when the general will
Is manifest, then you shall all be answerd. '
Chief of the Ten. We grieve for such an answer;
but it cannot
Avail you aught.
Doge. I can submit to all things,
But nothing will advance; no, not a moment.
What you decree — decree.
Chief of the Ten. With this, them, must we
IReturn to those who sent us 2
Doge. You have heard me.
Chief of the Ten. with all due reverence we retire.
[Ereunt the Deputation, &c.

Enter an Attendant. Att. My lord, The noble dame Marina craves an audience.

Doge. My time is hers.

Enter MARINA.

Mar. My lord, if I intrude – Perhaps you fain would be alone 7 Doge. Alone :

Alone, come all the world around me, I
Am now and evermore. Dut we will bear it.
Mar. We will ; and for the sake of those who are,

Endeavour Oh, my husband 1

Doge. Give it way; I cannot comfort thee.

Mar. He might have lived.

So form'd for gentle privacy of life,
So loving, so beloved ; the native of
Another land, and who so blest and blessing
As my poor Foscari 7 Nothing was wanting
Unto his happiness and mine save not
To be Venetian.
Doge. Or a prince's son.
Mar. Yes; all things which conduce to other men's
Imperfect happiness or high ambition,
By some strange destiny, to him proved deadly.
The country and the people whom he loved,
The prince of whom he was the elder born,
And
Doge.
Mar. How 7
Doge. They have taken my son from me, and now
At my too long worn diadem and ring. [aim
Let them resume the gewgaws 2

Soon may be a prince no longer.

Mur. Oh, the tyrants : In such an hour too ! Doge. 'Tis the fittest time;

An hour ago I should have felt it.

Mar. And Will you not now resent it? – Oh, for vengeance 1 But he, who, had he been enough protected, Might have repaid protection in this moment, Cannot assist his father.

Doge. Nor should do so Against his country, had he a thousand lives Instead of that

1 [“Then was thy cup, old man, full to the brim.
But thou wert yet alive : and there was one,
The soul and spring of all that cnmity,
Who would not leave thce: fastening on thy flank,
Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied ;
One of a name illustrious as thine own :
One of the Ten : one of the Invisible Three :
'T was Loredano. When the whelps were gone,
He would dislodge the Lion from his den;

Mar. They tortured from him. This May be pure patriotism. I am a woman : To me my husband and my children were Country and home. I loved him—how I loved him : I have seen him pass through such an ordeal as The old martyrs would have shrunk from ; he is gone, And I, who would have given my blood for him, Have nought to give but tears But could I compass The retribution of his wrongs 1–Well, well; I have sons, who shall be men.

Doge. Your grief distracts you.

Mar. I thought I could have borne it, when I

saw him

Bow'd down by such oppression; yes, I thought
That I would rather look upon his corse
Than his prolong'd captivity: — I am punish'd
For that thought now. Would I were in his grave!

Doge. I must look on him once more.

Mur. Come with me !
Doge. Is he –
Mur. Our bridal bed is now his bier.

Doge. And he is in his shroud :
Mar. Come, come, old man :
[Ereunt the Doge and MARINA.

Enter BARBARIGo and LorenANo. Bar. (to an Attendant). Where is the Doge 2 Att. This instant retired hence With the illustrious lady his son's widow. Lor. Where 2 Att. To the chamber where the body lies. Bar. Let us return, then. Lor. You forget, you cannot. We have the implicit order of the Giunta To await their coming here, and join them in Their office: they'll be here soon after us. Bar. And will they press their answer on the Doge 2 Lor. "T was his own wish that all should be done promptly. He answer'd quickly, and must so be answer'd ; His dignity is look'd to, his estate Cared for — what would he more? Bar. Die in his robes: He could not have lived long; but I have done My best to save his honours, and opposed This proposition to the last, though vainly. Why would the general vote compel me hither 2 Lor. T was fit that some one of such different thoughts From ours should be a witness, lest false tongues Should whisper that a harsh majority Dreaded to have its acts beheld by others. Bar. And not less, I must needs think, for the sake Of humbling me for my vain opposition. You are ingenious, Loredano, in Your modes of vengeance, nay, poetical, A very Ovid in the art of hating; 'T is thus (although a secondary object, Yet hate has microscopic eyes), to you I owe, by way of foil to the more zealous,

And, lending on the pack he long had led,
The miserable pack that ever howl’d
Against fallen Greatness, moved that Foscari
Be Doge no longer ; urging his great age ;
Calling the loneliness of grief, neglect
Of duty, sullenness against the laws.
—" I am most willing to retire," said he -
: But I have sworn, and cannot of myself.
Do with me as ye please.’” – Rogens.]

Scene I. THE TWO FOSCARI. 297
This undesired association in - Lor. Your answer, Francis Foscari :
Your Giunta's duties. Doge. If I could have foreseen that my old age
Lor. How !—my Giunta! Was prejudicial to the state, the chief
Ber. Pours / | Of the republic never would have shown

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Enter the DoG E. Doge. I have obey'd your summons. Chief of the Ten. We come once more to urge our past request.

Doge. And I to answer.

Chief of the Ten.

Doge.
You have heard it.

Chief of the Ten. Hear you then the last decree, Definitive and absolute :

Doge. To the point –
To the point 1 I know of old the forms of office,
And gentle preludes to strong acts — Go on 1

Chief of the Ten. You are no longer Doge ; you

are released

From your imperial oath as sovereign;
Your ducal robes must be put off; but for
Your services, the state allots the appanage
Already mention'd in our former congress.
Three days are left you to remove from hence,
Under the penalty to see confiscated
All your own private fortune.

Doge. That last clause, I am proud to say, would not enrich the treasury.

Chief of the Ten. Your answer, Duke :

What 7
My only answer.

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Himself so far ungrateful, as to place
His own high dignity before his country;
But this life having been so many years
Not useless to that country, I would fain
Have consecrated my last moments to her.
But the decree being render'd, I obey. i
Chief of the Ten. If you would have
days named extended,
We willingly will lengthen them to eight,
As sign of our esteem.
Doge. Not eight hours, signor,
Nor even cight minutes—There 's the ducal ring,
[Taking off his ring and cap.
And there the ducal diadem. And so
The Adriatic 's free to wed another.
Chief of the Ten. Yet go not forth so quickly.
Doge. I am old, sir,
And even to move but slowly must begin
To move betimes. Methinks I see amongst you
A face I know not— Senator your name,
You, by your garb, Chief of the Forty l
Mem.
I am the son of Marco Memno. 2
Doge. Ah
Your father was my friend. —But sons and fathers 1–
What, ho my servants there !
Atten.

the three

Signor,

My prince 1 Doge. No prince — There are the princes of the prince 1 [Pointing to the Ten's Deputation.]— Prepare To part from hence upon the instant. Chief of the Ten. So rashly 2 't will give scandal. Doge.

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Answer that ; [To the Ten. It is your province. — Sirs, bestir yourselves: [To the Servants. There is one burthen which I beg you bear With care, although "t is past all further harm — Dut I will look to that myself.

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The pillars of stone Dagon's temple on
The Israelite and his Philistine foes.
Such power I do believe there might exist
In such a curse as mine, provoked by such
As you; but I curse not. Adieu, good signors 1
May the next duke be better than the present.

Lor. The present duke is Paschal Malipiero.

Doge. Not till I pass the threshold of these doors.

Lor. Saint Mark's great bell is soon about to toll For his inauguration.

Doge. Earth and heaven :
Ye will reverberate this peal ; and I
Live to hear this — the first doge who e'er heard
Such sound for his successor I Happier he,
My attainted predecessor, stern Faliero —
This insult at the least was spared him.

Lor.
Do you regret a traitor 2

Doge.
Envy the dead.

Chief of the Ten. My lord, if you indeed
Are bent upon this rash abandonment
Of the state's palace, at the least retire
By the private staircase, which conducts you towards
The landing place of the canal.

Doge. No. I Will now descend the stairs by which I mounted To sovereignty — the Giants' Stairs, on whose Broad eminence I was invested duke. My services have called me up those steps, The malice of my foes will drive me down them. There five and thirty years ago was I Install'd, and traversed these same halls, from which I never thought to be divorced except A corse—a corse, it might be, fighting for them — But not push'd hence by fellow-citizens. But come ; my son and I will go together— He to his grave, and I to pray for mine.

Chief of the Ten. What: thus in public 2

Doge. I was publicly Elected, and so will I be deposed. Marina ; art thou willing?

Mar. Here's my arm . [forth.

Doge. And here my staff; thus propp'd will I go

Chief of the Ten. It must not be — the people will

perceive it. [know it,

Doge. The people — There 's no people, you well Else you dare not deal thus by them or me. There is a populace, perhaps, whose looks [you May shame you; but they dare not groan nor curse Save with their hearts and eyes.

Chief of the Ten. You speak in passion, Else

Doge. You have reason. I have spoken much
More than my wont : it is a foible which
Was not of mine, but more excuses you,
Inasmuch as it shows that I approach
A dotage which may justify this deed
Of yours, although the law does not, nor will.
Farewell, sirs :

Bar. You shall not depart without
An escort fitting past and present rank.

What :

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! [The death of the elder Foscari took place not at the alace, but in his own house; not immediately on his descent rom the Giants' Stairs, but five days afterwards. “ on entendant,” says M. de Sismondi, “le son des cloches, qui sonnaicnt en actions de graces pour l'élection de son successeur, il mourut subitement d'une hemorrhazie causee par une veine qui s'éclata dans sa poitrine.”—“Before I was sixteen years

We will accompany, with due respect,
The Doge unto his private palace. Say!
My brethren, will we not *

Different voices. Ay 1 – Ay!

Doge. You shall not Stir-in my train, at least. I enter'd here As sovereign—I go out as citizen By the same portals, but as citizen. All these vain ceremonies are base insults, Which only ulcerate the heart the more, Applying poisons there as antidotes, Pomp is for princes—I am none / — That's false, I am, but only to these gates. – Ah!

Lor. Hark :

[The great bell of St. Mark's tolls. '

Bar. The bell I [election

Chief of the Ten. St. Mark's, which tolls for the Of Malipiero.

Doge. Well I recognise
The sound ! I heard it once, but once before,
And that is five and thirty years ago :
Even then I was not young.

Bar. Sit down, my lord : You tremble. Doge. "T is the knell of my poor boy!

My heart aches bitterly.
Bar. I pray you sit. snow.
Doge. No ; my seat here has been a throne till
Marina let us go.
Asar. Most readily.
Doge (walks a few steps, then stops). I feel athirst—
will no one bring me here
A cup of water 2
Bar.
Mar.
Lor.

I And I — And I [The Doge takes a goblet from the hand of Lon EDANo. Doge. I take yours, Loredano, from the band Most fit for such an hour as this. Lor. Why so 2 Doge. 'Tis said that our Venetian crystal has Such pure antipathy to poisons as To burst, if aught of venom touches it. You bore this goblet, and it is not broken. Lor. Well, sir! Doge. Then it is false, or you are true. For my own part, I credit neither; 'tis An idle legend. Mar. You talk wildly, and Had better now be seated, nor as yet Depart. Ah now you look as look'd my husband : Bar. He sinks : —support him – quick—a chair —support him Doge. The bell tolls on 1 — let's hence – my brain's on fire Bar. I do beseech you, lean upon us! Doge. A sovereign should die standing. Off with your arms : — That bell / [The Doge drops down and dies. 1 My God : My God :

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Mar.

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Bar. (to Lor.). Behold 1 your work's completed :

Chief of the Ten. Is there then No aid 2 Call in assistance 1

Att. *T is all over.

Chief of the Ten. If it be so, at least his obsequies Shall be such as befits his name and nation, His rank and his devotion to the duties Of the realm, while his age permitted him To do himself and them full justice. Brethren, Say, shall it not be so 2

Bar. He has not had The misery to die a subject where He reign'd : then let his funeral rites be princely. 1

Chief of the Ten. We are agreed, then 2

All, ercept Lor., answer, Yes.

Chief of the Ten. Heaven's peace be with him :

Mar. Signors, your pardon : this is mockery. Juggle no more with that poor remnant, which, A moment since, while yet it had a soul, (A soul by whom you have increased your empire, And made your power as proud as was his glory,) You banish'd from his palace, and tore down From his high place, with such relentless coldness; And now, when he can neither know these honours, Nor would accept them if he could, you, signors, Purpose with idle and superfluous pomp, To make a pageant over what you trampled. A princely funeral will be your reproach, And not his honour.

Chief of the Ten. Lady, we revoke not Our purposes so readily.

Mar. I know it, As far as touches torturing the living. I thought the dead had been beyond even you, Though (some, no doubt) consign'd to powers which

may

Resemble that you exercise on earth.
Leave him to me; you would have done so for

His dregs of life, which you have kindly shorten'd :

It is my last of duties, and may prove A dreary comfort in my desolation.

[By a decree of the Council, the trappings of supreme power of which the Doge had divested himself while living, were restored to him when dead ; and he was interred, with ducal magnificence, in the church of the Minorites, the new Doge attending as a mourner. — See DARU.]

* The Venetians appear to have had a particular turn for breaking the hearts of their Doges. The following is another instance of the kind in the Doge Marco Barbarigo : he was succeeded by his brother Agostino Barbarigo, whose chief merit is here mentioned. – “Le doge, blessé de trouver constamment un contradicteur et un censeur si amer dans son frère, lui dit un jour en plein conseil : ‘Messire Augustin, vous faites tout votre possible pour hāter ma mort; vous vous slatter de me succeder; mais, si les autres vous connaissent aussi-bien que je vous connais, ils n'auront garde de vous élire." LA-dessus il se leva, &mu de colére, rentra dans son appartement, et mourut quelques jours après. Ce frère, contre lequel il s'était emporté, fut précisément le successeur qu'on lui donna. C'etait un mêrite dont on airnaut a tenir compte; surtout à un parent, de s'etre mis en opposition avec le chef de la république.”—DARU, Hist.

enise, vol. ii. p. 533.

* * L'ha pagata.” An historical fact. See Hist. de Penise, par P. Darü, t. ii. p. All.—[Here the original MS. ends. The two lines which {i, were added by Mr. Gifford. In the margin of the MS. Lord Byron has written, –“ If the last line should appear obscure to those who do not recollect the historical fact, mentioned in the first act, of Loredano's inscription in his book of “I)oge Foscari, debtor for the deaths of my father and uncle,' you may add the following lines to the conclusion of the last act : —

Chief of the Ten. For what has he repaid thoe 2

Grief is fantastical, and loves the dead,
And the apparel of the grave.
Chief of the Ten.
Pretend still to this office 2
Mar. I do, signor.
Though his possessions have been all consumed
In the state's service, I have still my dowry,
Which shall be consecrated to his rites,
And those of [She stops with agitation.
Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your children.
Mur. Ay, they are fatherless, I thank you.
Chief of the Ten.
Cannot comply with your request. His relics
Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and follow'd
Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad
As Doge, but simply as a senator.
Mar. I have heard of murderers, who have interr'd
Their victims; but ne'er heard, until this hour,
Of so much splendour in hypocrisy
O'er those they slew. * I've heard of widows' tears —
Alas! I have shed some—always thanks to you !
I've heard of heirs in sables — you have left none
To the deceased, so you would act the part
Of such. Well, sirs, your will be done : as one day
I trust, Heaven's will be done too !
Chief of the Ten. Know you, lady,
To whom ye speak, and perils of such speech 2
Mar. I know the former better than yourselves;
The latter— like yourselves; and can face both.
Wish you more funerals 7
Bar. Heed not her rash words;
Her circumstances must excuse her bearing.
Chief of the Ten. We will not note them down.
Bar. (turning to Lor, who is writing upon his tablets).
What art thou writing,
With such an earnest brow, upon thy tablets 2
Lor. (pointing to the Doge's body). That he has
paid me ! 3
Chief of the Ten.
Lor. A long and just one ;
mine. *

Do you

We

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* [Considered as poems, we confess that “Sardanapalus" and “The Two Foscari” appear to us to be rather heavy, verbose, and inelegant — deficient in the passion and energy which belongs to Lord Byron's other writings — and still more in the richness of imagery, the originality of thought, and the sweetness of versification for which he used to be distinguished. They are for the most part solemn, prolix, and ostentatious—lengthened out by large preparations for catastrophes that never arrive, and tantalising us with slight specimens and glimpses of a higher interest scattered thinly up and down many weary pages of pompous declamation. Along with the concentrated pathos and homestruck sentiments of his former poetry, the noble author seems also – we cannot imagine why – to have discarded the spirited and melodious versification in which they were embodied, and to have formed to himself a measure equally remote from the spring and vigour of his former compositions, and from the softness and inflexibility of the ancient masters of the drama. There are some sweet lines, and many of great weight and cnergy; but the general march of the verse is cumbrous and unmusical. His lines do not vibrate like polished lances, at once strong and light, in the hands of his persons, but are wielded like clumsy batons in a bloodless affray. Instead of the graceful familiarity and idiomatical melodies of Shakspeare, it is apt, too, to fall into clumsy prose, in its approaches to the casy and colloquial style ; and, in the loftier passages, is occasionally deformed by low and common images that harmonise but ill with the general solemnity of the diction.—Jers REY.]

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