Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

LOREDANO.

'T was not tried.

BARBARIGO.

Tis vain to murmur; the majority

In council were against you.

LOREDANO.

Thanks to you, sir, And the old ducal dotard, who combined

The worthy voices which o'erruled my own.

BARBARIGO.

am a judge; but must confess that part

Of our stern duty, which prescribes the Question,
And bids us sit and see its sharp infliction,
Makes me wish-

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

He's silent in his hate, as Foscari
Was in his suffering; and the poor wretch moved me
More by his silence than a thousand outcries

would sometimes feel, Could have effected. 'T was a dreadful sight
When his distracted wife broke through into
The hall of our tribunal, and beheld
What we could scarcely look upon, long used
To such sights. I must think no more of this,
Lest I forget in this compassion for

Go to, you're a child, Infirm of feeling as of purpose, blown About by every breath, shook by a sigh, And melted by a tear-a precious judge For Venice! and a worthy statesman to Be partner in my policy!

No tears.

BARBARIGO.

He shed

LOREDANO.

He cried out twice.
BARBARIGO.

A saint had done so,

Even with the crown of glory in his eye,
At such inhuman artifice of pain

As was forced on him: but he did not cry
For pity; not a word nor groan escaped him,
And those two shrieks were not in supplication,
But wrung from pangs, and followed by no prayers.

LOREDANO.

He mutter'd many times between his teeth,

But inarticulately.

BARBARIGO.
That I heard not;

You stood more near him.

LOREDANO.

I did so.
BARBARIGO.

Methought,

To my surprise too, you were touch'd with mercy,
And were the first to call out for assistance
When he was failing.

His last.

Our foes their former injuries, and lose
The hold of vengeance Loredano plans
For him and me; but mine would be content
With lesser retribution than he thirsts for,
And I would mitigate his deeper hatred

To milder thoughts; but, for the present, Foscari
Has a short hourly respite, granted at

The instance of the elders of the Council,

Moved doubtless by his wife's appearance in

The hall, and his own sufferings.-Lo! they come:
How feeble and forlorn! I cannot bear
To look on them again in this extremity:
I'll hence, and try to soften Loredano.

ACT II.

SCENE I.

[Exit BARBARIGO.

A Hall in the DOGE's Palace.
The DOGE and a SENATOR.
SENATOR.

Is it your pleasure to sign the report
Now, or postpone it till to-morrow?

DOGE.

Now;

I overlook'd it yesterday: it wants
Merely the signature. Give me the pen-

[The DOGE sits down and signs the paper.

LOREDANO.

I believed that swoon

There, signor.

BARBARIGO,

And have I not oft heard thee name
His and his father's death your nearest wish?

LOREDANO.

It ne dies innocent, that is to say,
With his guilt unavow'd, he'll be lamented.

BARBARIGO.

Wha, wouldst thou slay his memory?

LOREDANO.

SENATOR (looking at the paper).

You have forgot; it is not sign'd.

DOGE.

Not sign'd? Ah, I perceive my eyes begin
To wax more weak with age. I did not see
That I had dipp'd the pen without effect.
SENATOR (dipping the pen into the ink, and placing the
paper before the DOGE.

Your hand, too, shakes, my lord: allow me, thus

Wouldst thou have 'Tis done, I thank you.

DOGE.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

And scanty hairs, and shaking hands, and heads
As palsied as their hearts are hard, they council,
Cabal, and put men's lives out, as if life
Were no more than the feelings long extinguish'd
In their accursed bosoms.

DOGE.

You know notMARINA.

I do I do and so should you, methinks-
That these are demons; could it be else that
Men, who have been of women born and suckled-
Who have loved, or talk'd at least of love-have given
Their hands in sacred vows-have danced their babes
Upon their knecs, perhaps have mourn'd above them
In pain, in peril, or in death-who are,

Or were at least in seeming human, could
Do as they have done by yours, and you yourself,
You, who abet them?

[blocks in formation]

I must bear these reproaches, though they wrong me. Couldst thou but read

MARINA.

'Tis not upon thy brow Nor in thine eyes, nor in thine acts,-where then Should I behold this sympathy? or shall? DOGE (pointing downwards).

MARINA.

To exile ?

There!

DOGE.

I have said it. MARINA.

And can I not go with him?

DOGE.

You well know

This prayer of yours was twice denied before
By the assembled "Ten," and hardly now
Will be accorded to a third request,
Since aggravated errors on the part
Of your lord renders them still more austere.

MARINA.

Austere? Atrocious! The old human fiends, With one foot in the grave, with dim eyes, strange To tears save drops of dotage, with long white

In the earth?

MARINA.

DOGE.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »