« AnteriorContinuar »
Have won with false dice. Who hath been our Proud Genoa's prouder rival. 'Tis to sap
The throne of such a city these lost men
We are prepared ; Even now deposing to the secret giunta.
Your racks have done that for us. Letus die. Doge. Bertram,'the Bergamask! With what vile Ben. If ye have that to say which would obtain tools
Abatement of your punishment, the Giunta We operate to slay or save! This creature, Will hear you; if you have aught to confess, Black with a double treason, now will earn
Now is your time, perhaps it may avail ye. Rewards and honors, and be stamp'd in story
I. Ber. We stand to hear, and not to speak. With the geese in the Capitol, which gabbled
Your crimes Till Rome awoke, and had an annual triumph, Are fully proved by your accomplices, While Manlius, who huri'd down the Gauls, was And all which circumstance can add to aid them; cast
Yet we would hear from your own lips complete From the Tarpeian.
Avowal of your treason: on the verge 1st. Sig.
He aspired to treason, Of that dread gulf which none repass, the truth And sought to rule the state.
Alone can profit you on earth or heavenDoge.
He saved the state, Say, then, what was your motive? And sought but to reform what he revived
Justice! But this is idle -Come, sirs, do your work.
What 1st. Sig. Noble Bertuccio, we must now remove Your object? you
I. Ber. Freedom. Into an inner chamber.
You are brief, sir.
I. Ber. So my life grows: I
Was bred a soldier, not a senator. But they perhaps will let our ashes mingle.
Ben. Perhaps you think by this blunt brevity Doge. Yes, and our spirits, which shall yet go To brave your judges to postpone the sentence ? forth,
II. Ber. Do you be brief as I am, and believe me, And do what our frail clay, thus clogg'd, hath I shall prefer that mercy to your pardon. fail'd in !
Ben. Is this your sole reply to the tribunal ? They cannot quench the memory of those
I. Ber. Go, ask your racks what they have wrung Who would have hurl'd them from their guilty from us, thrones,
Or place us there again; we have still some blood And such examples will find heirs, though distant.
Upon your engines, gorged with pangs already
Ye lose the public spectacle, with which
Ye would appal your slaves to further slavery! SCENE I.
Groans are not words, nor agony assent,
Nor affirmation truth, if nature's sense The Hall of the Council of Ten assembled with the Should overcome the soul into a lie, additional Scnators, who, on the Trials of the For a short respite-must we bear or die ? Conspirators for the Treason of MARINO FA- Ben. Say, who were your accomplices ? LIERO, composed what was called the Giunta.- I. Ber.
The senate. Guards, Officers, &c., &c.-ISRAEL BERTUCCIO Ben. What do you mean? and PHILIP CALENDARO as Prisoners.--BER I. Ber.
Ask of the suffering people TRAN, LIONI, and Witnesses, &c.
Whom your patrician crimes have driven to crime.
Ben. You know the Doge? .
I served with him at Zara Ben. There now rests, after such conviction of In the field, when you were pleading here your way Their manifold and manifest offences,
To present office; we exposed our lives, But to pronounce on these obdurate men
While you but hazarded the lives of others, The sentence of the law: a grievous task
Alike by accusation or defence; To those who hear, and those who speak. Alas! And, for the rest, all Venice knows her Doge, That it should fall to me! and that my days Through his great actions, and the Senate's insults. Of office should be stigmatised through all
Ben. You have held conference with him ? The years of coming time, as bearing record
I am weary, To this most foul and complicated treason
Even wearier of your questions than your tortures : Against a just and free state, known to all
I pray you pass to judgment. The earth as being the Christian bulwark 'gainst Ben.
It is coming.The Saracen and the schismatic Greek,
And you, too, Philip Calendaro, what The savage Hun, and not less barbarous Frank; (Have you to say why you should not be doom'd? A city which has open'd India's wealth
Cal. I never was a man of many words, To Europe; the last Roman refuge from
And now have few left worth the utterance. O’erwhelming Attila; the ocean's queen;
| Ben. A further application of yon engine
May change your tone.
| Ber. Alas! I fain you died in peace with me: Cal.
Most true; it will do so, I did not seek this task; 'twas forced upon me: A former application did so; but
Say, you forgive me, though I never can It will not change my words, or, if it did
Retrieve my own forgiveness frown not thus! Ben. What then ?
I. Ber. I die and pardon thee ! Cal.
Will my arowal on yon rack Cal. (spitting at him.) I die and scorn thee! Stand good in law ?
[Exeunt ISRAEL BERTUCCIO and PHILIP CALBen. Assuredly.
ENDARO, Guards, &c. Cal.
Ben. Now that these criminals have been disThe culprit be whom I accuse of treason?
posed of, Ben. Without doubt, he will be brought up to 'Tis time that we proceed to pass our sentence trial.
Upon the greatest traitor upon record Cal. And on this testimony would he perish? In any annals, the Doge Falicro !
Ben. So your confession be detail'd and full, The proofs and process are complete; the time He will stand here in peril of his life.
And crime require a quick procedure: shall Cal. Then look well to thy proud self, President, He now be call'd in to receive the award ? For by the eternity which yawns before me,
The Giunta. Ay, ay. I swear that thou, and only thou, shalt be
Avogadori, order that the Doge The traitor I denounce upon that rack,
Be brought before the Council. If I be stretch'd there for the second time.
One of the Giunta.
And the rest, One of the Giunta. Lord President, 'twere best When shall they be brought up ? proceed to judgment;
When all the chiefs There is no more to be drawn from these men. Have been disposed of. Some have fled to Chiozza ;
Ben. Unhappy men! prepare for instant death. But there are thousands in pursuit of them, 'The nature of your crime-our law-and peril And such precaution ta'en on terra firma, The state now stands in, leave not an hour's respite- As well as in the islands, that we hope Guards ! lead them forth, and upon the balcony None will escape to utter in strange lands Of the red columns, where, on festal Thursday, 6 His libellous tale of treason 'gainst the senate. The Doge stands to behold the chase of bulls, Let them be justified; and leave exposed
Enter the Doge as Prisoner, with Guards, gc., &c. Their wavering relics, in the place of judgment, Ben. Doge-for such still you are, and by the law To the full view of the assembled people!
Must be consider'd, till the hour shall come And heaven have mercy on their souls!
When you must doff the ducal bonnet from The Giunta.
Amen! That head, which could not wear a crown more I. Ber. Signors, farewell! we shall not all again
noble Meet in one place.
Than empires can confer, in quiet honor, Ben.
And lest they should essay But it must plot to overthrow your peers, To stir up the distracted multitude
Who made you what you are, and quench in blood Guards ! let their mouths be gagg’d, 7 even in the act A city's glory-we have laid already Of execution.-Lead them hence!
Before you in your chamber at full length, Cal.
What! must we By the Avogadori, all the proofs Not even say farewell to some fond friend,
Which have appeared against you; and more ample Nor leave a last word with our confessor ?
Ne'er reard their sanguinary shadows to
What shall I say to ye, Cal. I knew that we were gagg'd in life; at least Since my defence must be your condemnation? All those who had not heart to risk their lives You are at once offenders and accusers, Upon thcir open thoughts; but still I deem'd Judges and executioners !-Proceed That, in the last few moments, the same idle Upon your power. Freedom of speech accorded to the dying,
Your chief accomplices Would not now be denied to us ; but since
Having confess'd, there is no hope for you. I. Ber. Even let them have their way, brave Call Doge. And who be they? endaro!
In number many; but What matter a few syllables ? let's die
The first now stands before you in the court, Without the slightest show of favor from them; Bertram, of Bergamo,-would you question him? So shall our blood more readily arise
Doge, (looking at him contemptuously.) No. To heaven against them, and more testify
And two others, Israel Bertuccio, To their atrocities, than could a volume
And Philip Calendaro, have admitted Spoken or written of our dying words!
Their fellowship in treason with the Doge! They tremble at our voices-nay, they dread
Doge. And where are they? Our very silence let them live in fear !
Gone to their place, and now Leave them unto their thoughts, and let us now Answering to Heaven for what they did on earth. Address our own above !-Lead on; we are ready. | Doge. Ah! the plebeian Brutus, is he gone?
Cal. Israel, hadst thou but hearken'd unto me And the quick Cassius of the arsenal ?
Think of your own 1. Bei.
Peace, Calendaro ! It is approaching. You decline to plead, then? What brooks it now to ponder upon this ? | Doge. I cannot plead to my inferiors, nor
Can recognize your legal power to try me
The price of such success would have been glory, Show me the law !
Vengeance, and victory, and such a name
As would have made Venetian history
Rival to that of Greece and Syracuse Our fathers had not fix'd the punishment
When they were freed, and flourish'd ages after, Of such a crime, as on the old Roman tables And mine to Gelon and to Thrasybulus :The sentence against parricide was left
Failing, I know the penalty of failure In pure forgetfulness; they could not render Is present infamy and death-the future That penal, which had neither name nor thought Will judge, when Venice is no more or free; In their great bosoms: who would have foreseen Till then the truth is in abeyance. Pause not; That nature could be filed to such a crime
I would have shown no mercy, and I seek none; As sons 'gainst sires, and princes 'gainst their My life is staked upon a mighty hazard, realms ?
And, being lost, take what I would have taken ! Your sin hath made us make a law which will I would have stood alone amidst your tombs; Become a precedent 'gainst such haught traitors, Now you may flock round mine, and trample on it, As would with treason mount to tyranny;
As you have done upon my heart while living. Not even contented with a sceptre, till
Ben. You do confess, then, and admit the justico They can convert it to a two-edged sword!
Of our tribunal ? Was not the place of Doge sufficient for ye?
I confess to have fail'd; What's nobler than the signory of Venice? Fortune is female: from my youth her favore
Doge. The signory of V'enice! You betray'd me Were not withheld; the fault was mine to hope You-you, who sit there, traitors as ye are ! Her former smiles again at this late hour. From my equality with you in birth,
Ben. You do not then in aught arraign our equity? And my superiority in action,
Doge. Noble Venetians! stir me not with You drew me from my honorable toils
questions. In distant lands-on flood-in field-in cities, I am resign'd to the worst; but in me still You singled me out like a victim to
Have something of the blood of brighter days, Stand crown'd, but bound and helpless, at the altar And am not over-patient. Pray you, spare me Where you alone could minister. I knew not Further interrogation, which boots nothing, I sought not-wish'd not-dream'd not the election, Except to turn a trial to debate. Which reach'd me first at Rome, and I obey'd; I shall but answer that which will offend you, But found on my arrival, that, besides
And please your enemies—a host already ; The jealous vigilance which always led you 'Tis true, these sullen walls should yield no echo ; To mock and mar your sovereign's best intents, But walls have ears--nay, more, they have tongues ; You had, even in the interregnum of
and if My journey to the capital, curtail'd
There were no other way for truth to o’erleap them, And mutilated the few privileges
You who condemn me, you who fear and slay me, Yet left the duke: all this I bore, and would Yet could not bear in silence to your graves Have borne, until my very hearth was stain'd What you would hear from me of good or evil ; By the pollution of your ribaldry,
The secret were too mighty for your souls : And he, the ribald, whom I see among you Then let it sleep in mine, unless you court Fit judge in such tribunal !
A danger which would double that you escape. Ben. (interrupting him.) Michel Steno
Such my defence would be, had I full scope Is here in virtue of his office, as
To make it famous ; for true words are things, One of the Forty; 6 the Ten" having craved And dying men’s are things which long outlive, A Giunta of patricians from the senate
And oftentimes avenge them; bury mine, To aid our judgment in a trial arduous
If ye would fain survive me: take this counsel, And novel as the present: he was set
And though too oft ye made me live in wrath, Free from the penalty pronounced upon him, Let me die calmly; you may grant me this ;Because the Doge, who should protect the law, I deny nothing-defend nothing-nothing Seeking to abrogate all law, can claim
I ask of you but silence for myself, No punishment of others by the statutes
And sentence from the court! Which he himself denies and violates !
This full admission Doge. His PUNISHMENT! I rather see him there, Spares us the harsh necessity of ordering Where he now sits, to glut him with my death, The torture to elicit the whole truth. l'han in the mockery of castigation,
Doge. The torture ! you have put me there already Which your foul, outward, juggling show of justice Daily since I was Doge; but if you will Decreed as sentence! Base as was his crime, Add the corporeal rack, you may: these limbs 'Twas purity compared with your protection. Will yield with age to crushing iron; but
Ben. And can it be, that the great Doge of Venice, There's that within my heart shall strain your With three parts of a century of years
engines. And honors on his head, could thus allow His fury, like an angry boy's, to master
Enter an OFFICER. All feeling, wisdom, faith, and fear, on such
Officer. Noble Venetians ! Duchess Faliero A provocation as a young man's petulance ? Requests admission to the Giunta's presence.
Doge. A spark creates the flame—'tis the last drop Ben. Say, conscript fathers,8 shall she be adWhich makes the cup run over, and mine was full
mitted ? Already: you oppress’d the prince and people; | 'One of the Giunta. She may have revelations of I would have freed both, and have fail'd in both:
Unto the state, to justify compliance
Upon the earth would live were all judged justly? With her request.
Ben. His punishment is safety to the state. Ben. Is this the general will ?
Ang. He was a subject, and hath served the state; All. It is.
He was your general, and hath saved the state; Doge. Oh, admirable laws of Venice ! He is your sovereign, and hath ruled the state Which would admit the wife, in the full hope One of the Council. He is a traitor, and betray'd That she might testify against the husband.
the state. What glory to the chaste Venetian dames !
Ang. And, but for him, there now had been na But such blasphemers 'gainst all honor, as
state Sit here, do well to act in their vocation.
To save or to destroy; and you who sit Now, villain Steno! if this woman fail,
There to pronounce the death of your deliverer, I'll pardon thee thy lie, and thy escape,
Had now been groaning at a Moslem oar, And my own violent death, and thy vile life. Or digging in the Hunnish mines in fetters!
One of the Council. No, lady, there are others The Duchess enters.
who would die Ben. Lady! this just tribunal has resolved, Rather than breathe in slavery! Though the request be strange, to grant it, and
If there are so Whatever be its purport, to accord
Within these walls, thou art not of the number: A patient hearing with the due respect
The truly brave are generous to the fallen!
Lady, it cannot be.
Ang. (turning to the Doge.) Then die, Falierc ! Ang. A moment's faintness
since it must be so; 'Tis past; I pray you pardon me, I sit not But with the spirit of my father's friend. In presence of my prince and of my husband, Thou hast been guilty of a great offence, While he is on his feet.
Half cancell'd by the harshness of these men. Ben..
Your pleasure, lady ? I would have sued to them have pray'd to them Ang. Strange rumors, but most true, if all I hear Have begg'd as famish'd mendicants for breadAnd see be sooth, have reach'd me, and I come Have wept as they will cry unto their God To know the worst, even at the worst; forgive For mercy, and be answer'd as they answerThe abruptness of my entrance and my bearing. Had it been fitting for thy name or minc, Is it--I cannot speak-I cannot shape
And if the cruelty in their cold eyes The question—but you answer it ere spoken, Had not announced the heartless wrath within. With eyes averted, and with gloomy brows Then, as a prince, address thee to thy doom! Oh God! this is the silence of the grave !
Doge. I have lived too long not to know how to Ben. (after a pause.) Spare us, and spare thyself
die ! the repetition
| Thy suing to these men were but the bleating Of our most awful, but inexorable
Of the lamb to the butcher, or the cry Duty to heaven and man!
Of seamen to the surge: I would not take
Yet speak; I cannot A life eternal, granted at the hands
I sought to free the groaning nations !
And was he guilty ? A word with thee, and with this noble lady, Ben. Lady! the natural distraction of
Whom I have grievously offended. Would Thy thoughts at such a moment makes the question Sorrow, or shame, or penance on my part, Merit forgiveness; else a doubt like this
Could cancel the inexorable past! Against a just and paramount tribunal
But since that cannot be, as Christians let us Were deep offence. But question even the Doge, Say farewell, and in peace: with full contrition And if he can deny the proofs, believe him
I crave, not pardon, but compassion from you, Guiltless as thy own bosom.
And give, however weak, my prayers for both. Ang. Is it so?
Ang. Sage Benitende, now chief judge of Venice, My lord-my sovereign--my poor father's friend I speak to thee in answer to yon signor. The mighty in the field, the sage in council; Inform the ribald Steno, that his words Unsay the words of this man !-Thou art silent! Ne'er weigh'd in mind with Loredano's daughter
Ben. He hath already own’d to his own guilt, Further than to create a moment's pity Nor, as thou see'st, doth he deny it now.
For such as he is: would that others had Ang. Ay, but he must not die! Spare his few Despised him as I pity! I prefer years,
My honor to a thousand lives, could such Which grief and shame will soon cut down to days! Be multiplied in mine, but would not have One day of baffled crime must not efface
A single life of others lost for that Near sixteen lustres crowded with brave acts. Which nothing human can impugn—the sense
Ben. His doom must be fulfill'd without remission of virtue, looking not to what is call'd Of time or penalty-'tis a decree.
A good name for reward, but to itself. Ang. He hath been guilty, but there may be To me the scorner's words were as the wind mercy.
Unto the rock : but as there are-alas! Ben. Not in this case with justice.
Spirits more sensitive, on which such things Ang.
Alas! signor, Light as the whirlwind on the waters; souls He who is only just is cruel; who
To whom dishonor's shadow is a substance
More terrible than death here and hereafter; Of grateful masses for Heaven's grace ir. snatching
“ This place is of Marino Faliero, Behold, and feel, and suffer, be a lesson
Decapitated for his crimes.” To wretches how they tamper in their spleen
“ His crimes !” With beings of a higher order. Insects
But let it be so :-it will be in vain. Have made the lion mad ere now; a shaft
The veil which blackens o'er this blighted name, I' the heel o’erthrew the bravest of the brave; And hides, or seems to hide, these lineaments, A wife's dishonor was the bane of Troy;
Shall draw more gazers than the thousand portraits A wife's dishonor unking'd Rome for ever;
Which glitter round it in their pictured trappings An injured husband brought the Gauls to Clusium, Your delegated slaves--the people's tyrants! And thence to Rome, which perish'd for a time; “Decapitated for his crimes !”—What crimes ? An obscene gesture cost Caligula
Were it not better to record the facts, His life, while Earth yet bore his cruelties; So that the contemplator might approve, A virgin's wrong made Spain a Moorish province; Or at the least learn whence the crimes arose ? And Steno's lie, couch'd in two worthless lines, When the beholder knows a Doge conspired, Hath decimated Venice, put in peril
Let him be told the cause-it is your history. A senate which hath stood cight hundred years, Ben. Time must reply to that: our sons will judge Discrown'd a prince, cut off his crownless head, Their fathers' judgment, which I now pronounce. And forged new fetters for a groaning people! As Doge, clad in the ducal robes and cap, Let the poor wretch, like to the courtesan
Thou shalt be led hence to the Giant's Staircase, Who fired Persepolis, be proud of this,
Where thou and all our princes are invested; If it so please him-'twere a pride fit for hiin! And there, the ducal crown being first resumed But let him not insult the last hours of
Upon the spot where it was first assumed, Him, who, whate'er he now is, was a hero,
Thy head shall be struck off; and Heaven have mercy By the intrusion of his very prayers :
Upon thy soul! Nothing of good can come from such a source, Doge.
Is this the Giunta's sentence ? Nor would we aught with him, nor now, nor ever: | Ben. It is. We leave him to himself, that lowest depth
Doge. I can endure it-And the time ? Of human baseness. Pardon is for men,
Ben. Must be immediate.--Make thy peace with And not for reptiles--we have none for Steno,
God; And no resentment: things like him must sting, Within an hour thou must be in his presence. And higher beings suffer; 'tis the charter
| Doge. I am already; and my blood will rise Of life. The man who dies by the adder's fang To Heaven before the souls of those who shed it.May have the crawler crush'd, but feels no anger: Are all my lands confiscated ? 'Twas the worm's nature; and some men are worms! Ben.
They are; In soul, more than the living things of tombs. And goods, and jewels, and all kind of treasure, Doge, (to Ben..) Signor! complete that which you Except two thousand ducats--these dispose of. deem your duty
| Doge. That's harsh. I would have fain reserved Ben. Before we can proceed upon that duty,
the lands We would request the princess to withdraw; Near to Treviso,which I hold by investment "Twill move her too much to be witness to it. From Laurence the Count-bishop of Ceneda,
Ang. I know it will, and yet I must endure it, In fief perpetual to myself and heirs, For 'tis a part of mine I will not quit,
To portion them (leaving my city spoil, Except by force, my husband's side.--Proceed! My palace and my treasures, to your forfeit) Nay, fear not either shriek, or sigh, or tear ; Between my consort and my kinsmen. Though my heart burst, it shall be silent.-Spcak! Ben.
These I have that within which shall o’ermaster all. Lie under the state's ban ; their chief, thy nephew Ben. Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice,
In peril of his own life; but the council Count of Val di Marino, Senator,
Postpones his trial for the present. If And sometime General of the Fleet and Army, Thou will'st a state unto thy widow'd princess, Noble Venetian, many times and oft
Fear not, for we will do her justice. Intrusted by the state with high employments, Ang.
Signors, Even to the highest, listen to the sentence. I share not in your spoil! From henceforth, know Convict by many witnesses and proofs,
I am devoted unto God alone, And by thine own confession, of the guilt
And take my refuge in the cloister. Of treachery and treason, yet unheard of
Come!' Until this trial--the decree is death.
The hour may be a hard one, but ’twill end. Thy goods are confiscate unto the state,
Hare I aught else to undergo save death ? Thy name is razed from out her records, save Ben. You have nought to do, except confes und Upon a public day of thanksgiving
die. For this our most miraculous deliverance,
The priest is robed, the scimetar is bare, When thou art noted in our calendars
And b:an await without.--But, above all, With earthquakes, pestilence, and foreign foes, Think not to speak unto the people; they And the great enemy of man, as subject
Are now by thousands swarming at the gates