« AnteriorContinuar »
Scene- the Ducal Palace, Venice. Other Senators, the Council of Ten, Guards,
Barb, Yet pause—the number of our
colleagues is not SCENE I.-A Hall in the Ducal Palace. Complete yet; two are wanting ere we can
Proceed. Enter LOREDANO and BARBARIGO, meeting.
Lored. And the chief judge, the Doge? Loredano. WHERE is the prisoner? Barb. No-he Barbarigo. Reposing from
With more than Roman fortitude is ever The question.
First at the board in this unhappy process Lored. The hour's past-fix'd yesterday Against his last and only son. For the resumption of his trial.- Let us Lored. True-trueRejoin our colleagues in the council, and His last. Urge his recal.
Barb. Will nothing move you? Barb. Nay, let him profit by
Lored. Feels he, think you ? A few brief minutes for his tortured limbs; Barb. He shows is not. He was o'erwrought by the question Lored. I have mark'd that – the wretch ! yesterday,
Barb. But yesterday, I hear, on his return And may die under it if now repeated. To the ducal chambers, as he pass'd the Lored. Well ?
threshold Barb. I yield not to you in love of The old man fainted. justice,
Lored. It begins to work, then. Or hate of the ambitious Foscari,
Barb. The work is half your own. Father and son, and all their noxious race; Lored. And should be all mineBut the poor wretch has suffer'd beyond My father and my uncle are no more. nature's
Barb. I have read their epitaph, which Most stoical endurance. Lored. Without owning
Lored. When the Doge declared that he Barb. Perhaps without committing any. Should never deem himself a sovereign till But he avow'd the letter to the Duke The death of Peter Loredano, both of Milan, and his sufferings half atone for The brothers sicken'd shortly: he is Such weakness.
sovereign. Lored. We shall see.
Barb. A wretched one. Barb. You, Loredano,
Lored. What should they be who make Pursue hereditary hate too far.
Orphans ? Lored. How far?
Barb. But did the Doge make you so ? Barb. To extermination.
Lored. Yes. Lored. When they are
Barb. What solid proofs ? Extinct, you may say this. --Let's in to Lored. When princes set themselves council
To work in secret, proofs and process are
says they died
Alike made difficult; but I have such Barb. To balance such a foe, If such Ofthe first,as shall make the second needless.
there be, Barb. But you will move by law ? Thy father sits amongst thy judges.
Lored. By all the laws Which he would leave us.
He judges. Barb. They are such in this
Barb. Then deem not the laws too harsh Our state as render retribution easier Which yield so much indulgence to a sire Than 'mongst remoter nations. Is it true As to allow his voice in such high matter 'That you have written in your books of As the state's safety
J. Foscari. And his gon's. I'm faint; ( The wealthy practiso of our highest Let me approach, I pray you, for a breath nobles),
Of air, yon window which o'erlooks the “Doge Foscari, my debtor for the deaths
waters. Of Marco and Pietro Loredano, My sire and uncle?”
Enter an Officer, who whispers BARBARIGO Lored. It is written thus.
Barb. (to the Guard) Let him approach Barb. And will you leave it unerased ? I must not speak with him Lored. Till balanced.
Further than thus; I have transgress'd my Barb. And how?
in their way to "the Hall of the Within the Council-Chamber.
(Erit Barbarigo. Lored. You see the number is complete. (Guard conducting Jacopo Foscari to Follow me.
the window, Barb. (solus). Follow thee! I have fol- Guard. There, sir, 'tis low'd long
Open-How feel you? Thy path of desolation, as the wave J. Foscari. Like a boy-Oh Venice ! Sweeps after that before it, alike whelming Guard. And your limbs ? The wreck that creaks to the wild winds, J. Foscari. Limbs! how often have they and wretch
borne me Who shrieks within its riven ribs, as gush Bounding o'er yon blue tide, as I hare The waters through them: but this son and
The gondola along in childish race, Might move the elements to pause, and yet And, masqued as a young gondolier, amidst Must I on hardily like them-Oh! would My gay competitors, noble as I, I could as blindly and remorselessly!- Raced for our pleasure in the pride of Lo, where he comes !-Be still, my heart! strength, they are
While the fair populaceofcrowding beauties, Thy foes,must be thy victims : wilt thou beat Plebeian as patrician, cheer'd us on For those who almost broke thee? With dazzling smiles, and wishes andible, Enter Guards, with young Foscari as
And waving kerchiefs, and applauding hands,
Even to the goal!-How many a time havel prisoner.
Cloven with arm still lustier, breast more Guard. Let him rest.
daring, Signor, take time.
The wave all roughend ; with a swimmer's J. Foscari. I thank thee, friend, I'm feeble;
stroke But thou mayst stand reproved.
Flinging the billows back from my drenchd Guard. I'll stand the hazard.
hair, J. Foscari. That's kind :- I meet some And laughing from my lip the audacious pity, but no mercy ;
brine, This is the first.
Which kiss'd it like a wine-cnp, rising o'er Guard. And might be last, did they The waves as they arose, and prouder still Who rule behold us.
The loftier they uplifted me; and oft, Barb. (advancing to the guard) There In wantonness of spirit, plunging down is one who does :
Into their green and glassy gulfs,and making Yet fear not; I will neither be thy judge My way to shells and sea-weed, all unseen Nor thy accuser; though the hour is past, By those above, till they wax'd fearful; then Wait their last summons - I am of the Ten," Returning with my grasp full of such tokens And waiting for that summons sanction yon As show'd that I had search'd the deep: Even by my presence: when the last call exulting, sounds,
With a fat-dashing stroke, and drawing deep Wo'll in together._Look well to the prisoner! The long-suspended breath, again I sparnd J. Foscari. What voice is that ? – 'tis The foam which broke around me, and Barbarigo's! Ah!
pursued Our house's foe, and one of my few judges. My track like a sea-bird.— I was a boy then.
Guard. Be a man now: there never was, And the cold drops strain through my brow
more need Of manhood's strength.
But onward--I have borne it--I can bear it.J. Foscari (looking from the lattice). My How looks my father? beautiful, my own,
Officer. With his wonted aspect. My only Venice, this is breath! Thy breeze, J. Foscari. So does the earth, and sky, Thine Adrian sea-breeze, how it fans my face!
the blue of ocean, Thy very winds feel native to my veins, The brightness of our city, and her domes, And cool them into calmness! How unlike The mirth of her Piazza - even now The hot gales of the horrid Cyclades, Its merry hum of nations pierces here, Which howlid about my Candiote dungeon, Even here, into these chambers of the and
unknown Made my heart sick.
Who govern, and the unknown and the Guard. I see the colonr comes
unnumber'd Back to your cheek: Heaven send you Judged and destroy'd in silence,-- all things
strength to bear What more may be imposed! – I dread to The self-same aspect, to my very sire! think on't.
Nothing can sympathize with Foscari, J. Foscari. They will not banish me Not even a Foscari.—Sir, I attend you. again?-No-no,
[Exeunt Jacopo Foscari, Officer, etc. Let them wring on; I am strong yet. Guard. Confess,
Enter MBMMO and another Senator. And the rack will be spared you.
Memmo. He's gone-we are too late:J. Foscari. I confess'd
think you the Ten Once-twice before: both times they exiled Will sit for any length of time to-day?
Senator. They say the prisoner is most Guard. And the third time will slay you. obdurate, J. Foscari. Let them do so,
Persisting in his first avowal; but So I be buried in my birth - place; better More I know not. Be ashes here than aught that lives else- Memmo. And that is much; the secrets where.
Of yon terrific chamber are as hidden Guard. And can you so much love the From us, the premier nobles of the state, soil which hates you ?
As from the people. J. Foscari. The soil! – Oh no, it is the Senator. Save the wonted rumours, seed of the soil
Which (like the tales of spectres that are rise Which persecutes me; but my native earth Near ruin'd buildings) never have been Will take me as a mother to her arms.
proved, I ask no more than a Venetian grave, Nor wholly disbelieved : men know as little A dungeon, what they will, so it be here. Of the state's real acts as of the grave's
Memmo. But with length of time
We gain a step in knowledge, and I look Guard. Signor, you hear the order. Forward to be one day of the decemvirs. J. Foscari. Ay, I am used to such a Senator. Or Doge? summons; 'tis
Memmo. Why, no, not if I can avoid it. The third time they have tortured me:- Senator. 'Tis the first station of the state,
then lend me Thine arm.
[To the Guard. Be lawfully desired, and lawfully Officer. Take mine, sir; 'tis my duty to Attain'd by noble aspirants. Be nearest to your person.
Memmo. To such J. Foscari. You ! you are he
I leave it; though born noble, my ambition Who yesterday presided o'er my pangs- Is limited : I'd rather be an unit Away!--I'll walk alone.
Of an united and imperial Ten, Officer. As you please, signor ; Than shine a lonely, though a gilded, The sentence was not of my signing, but cipher.I dared not disobey the Council when Whom have we here? the wife of Foscari? TheyJ. Foscari. Bade thee stretch me on their
Enter Marina with a female Attendant. horrid engine.
Marina. What, no one?- I am wrong, I pray thee touch me not that is, just now ;
there still are two; The time will come they will renew that But they are senators. order,
Memmo. Most noble lady, But keep off from me till 'tis issued. As Command us. I look upon thy hands iny curdling limbs Marina. I command !-Alas! my life Quiyer with the anticipated wrenching, Has been one long entreaty, and a vain one.
Memmo. I understand theo, but I must, To love; but-no_no_00_it must have been not answer.
A fearful pang which wrang a groan from Marina ( fiercely). Trae_none daro answer
him. here save on the rack,
Senator. And feeling for thy husband's Or question save those
wrongs, wouldst thon Memmo (interrupting her). High-born Have him bear more than mortal pain, in dame! bethink theo
silence ? Where thou now art.
Marina. We all must bear tortures. I Marina. Where I now am l-It was
have not My husband's father's palace.
Lest barren the great house of Foscari, Memmo. The Duke's palace.
Though they sweep both the Doge and son Marina. And his son's prison ;-truo, I
from life; have not forgot it;
I have endured as much in giving life And if there were no other nearer, bitterer To those who will succeed them as they can Remembrances, would thank the illustrious In leaving it: but mine were joysal pangsi Memmo
And yet they wrung me till I could have For pointing out the pleasures of the place. shrick'd, Memmo. Be calm !
But did not, for my hope was to bring forth Marina (looking up towards heaven). I Heroes, and would noi welcome them with am; but oh, thou eternal God!
tears. Canst thou continue so, with such a world ? Memmo. All's silent now. Mcmmo. Thy husband yet may be ab- Marina. Perhaps all's over, but solved.
I will not deem it: he hath nerved himself, Marina. He is,
And now defies them.
Enter an Officer hastily.
(Erit Officer. least
Memmo. Lady, An hour since, face to face, as judge and 'Twere better to retire. culprit:
Senator (offering to assist her). I pray Will he condemn him?
thee do so. Memmo. I trust, not
Marina. O! I will tend him. Marina. But if
Memmo. You! Remember, lady! He does not, there are those will sentence Ingress is given to none within those both.
chambers, Memmo. They can.
Except the Ten, and their familiars. Marina. And with them power and will Marina. Well,
I know that none who enter there return In wickedness:-my husband 's lost! As they have enter'd- many never; but Memmo. Not so;
They shall not balk my entrance. Justice is judge in Venice.
Memmo. Alas! this Marina. If it were so
Is but to expose yourself to harsh repulse, There now would be no Venice. But let it | And worse suspense. Live on, so the good die not, till the hour Marina. Who shall oppose me ? Of nature's summons; but the Ten's is Memmo. They quicker,
Whose duty 'tis to do so. And we must wait on't. Ah! a voice of wail! Marina. 'Tis their duty
(A faint cry within. To trample on all human feelings, all Senator. Hark!
Ties which bind man to man, to emulate Memmo. Twas a cry of
The fiends, who will one day requite them in Marina. No, no, not my husband's - Variety of torturing ! Yet I'll pass. Not Foscari's.
Memmo. It is impossible. Memmo. The voice was
Marina. That shall be tried. Marina. Not his : no.
Despair defies even despotism : there is He shriek! No; that should be his father's That in my heart would make its way part,
through hosts Not his - not his-he'll die in silence. With levell’d spears; and think you a fc"
(A faint groan again within. jailors Memmo. What!
Shall put me from my path? Give me, Again?
then, way; Marina. His voice! it seem'd so: I will not This is the Doge's palace; I am wise Believe it. Should he shrink, I cannot of the Duke's son, the innocent Duke's ron,
And they shall hear this!
Memmo. It will only serve
Lored. And so the Council must break More to exasperate his judges.
up, and Justice Marina. What
Pause in her full career, because a woman Are judges who give way to anger? they Breaks in on our deliberations? Who do so are assassins. Give we way. Barb. No,
[Erit Marina. That's not the cause; you saw the prisoner's Senator. Poor lady!
Upon the least renewal.
Barb. Tis vain to murmur; the majority (The officer passes over the stage In council were against you. with another person.
Lored. Thanks to you, sir, Memmo. I hardly
And the old ducal dotard, who combined Thought that the Ten had even this touch The worthy voices which o’erruled my own. of pity,
Barb. I am a judge; but must confess : Or would permit assistance to this sufferer.
that part Senator. Pity! Is 't pity to recal to feeling of our stern duty, which prescribes the The wretch too happy to escape to death question, By the compassionate trance, poor nature's And bids us sit and see its sharp insliction, last
Makes me wishn Resource against the tyranny of pain? Lored. What? Memmo. I marvel they condemn him not Barb. That You would sometimes feel, at once.
As I do always. Senator. That's not their policy: they'd Lored. Go to, you're a child, have him live,
Infirm of feeling as of purpose, blown Because he fears not death; and banish him, About by every breath', shook by a sigh, Because all earth, except his native land, And melted by a tear-a precious judge To him is one wide prison, and each breath For Venice! and a worthy statesman to
Of foreign air he draws seems a slow poison, Be partner in my policy! r Consuming but not killing.
Barb. He shed
Even with the crown of glory in his eye, Address'd to Milan's duke, in the full know- At such inhuman artifice of pain ledge
As was forced on him: but he did not cry That it would fall into the senate's hands, For pity; not a word nor groan escaped him, And thus he should be re-convey'd to Venice. And those two shrieks were not in suppliMemmo. But as a culprit.
cation, Senator. Yes, but to his country: But wrung from pangs, and follow'd by And that was all he sought, so he avouches.
no prayers. Memmo. The accusation of the bribes Lored. He mutter'd many times between was proved.
his teeth, Senator. Not clearly, and the charge of But inarticulately. homicide
Barb. That I heard not;
mercy, They ought to answer; for it is well known And were the first to call out for assistance That Almoro Donato, as I said,
When he was failing. Was slain by Erizzo for private vengeance.
Lored. I believed that swoon Memmo. There must be more in this His last. strange process than
Barb. And have I not oft heard thee name The apparent crimes of the accused disclose – His and his father's death your nearest wish? But here come two of the Ten: let us Lored. If he dies innocent, that is to say, retire. [Ereunt Memmo and Senator. With bis guilt unavow'd, he'll be lamented.
Barb. What, wouldst thou slay his Enter LOREDANO and BARBABIGO.
memory? Barb. (addressing Loredano) That were
Lorcd. Wouldst thou have too much: believe me,'twas not meet His state descend to his children, as it minst, The trial should go further at this moment. If he die unattainted ?