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Doge. Danghter, know you
Lored. I remember mine.-Farewell! In what a presence you pronounce these I kiss the hands of the illustrious lady, things?
And bow me to the Duke. [Erit Loredana Marina. A prince's and his subject's. Marina. Are you content? Lored. Subject!
Doge. I am what you behold. Marina. Oh!
Marina. And that's a mystery. It galls you :-well, you are his equal, as Doge. All things are so to mortals; who You think; but that you are not,nor would be,
can read them Were he a peasant:-well, then, you're a Save he who made? or, if they can, the few prince,
And gifted spirits, who have studied long A princely noble; and what then am I? That loathsome volume-man, and pored Lored. The offspring of a noble house.
upon Marina. And wedded
Those black and bloody leaves, his heart To one as noble. What or whose, then, is
and brain, The presence that should silence my free But learn a magic which recoils upon thoughts?
The adept who pursues it: all the sins Lored. The presence of your husband's We find in others, nature made our own; judges.
All our advantages are those of fortune; Doge. And
Birth, wealth, health, beauty, are her The deference due even to the lightest word
accidents, That falls from those who rule in Venice. And when we cry out against Fate,'twere well Marina. Keep
We should remember Fortune can take Those maxims for your mass of scared nought mechanics,
Save what she gave- the rest was nakedness, Your merchants, your Dalmatian and Greek And lusts, and appetites, and vanities, slaves,
The universal heritage, to battle Your tributaries, your dumb citizens, With as we may, and least in humblest And mask'd nobility, your sbirri, and
stations, Your spies, your galley- and your other Where hunger swallows all in one low want, slaves,
And the original ordinance, that man To whom your midnight carryings off and Must sweat for his poor pittance, keeps all drownings,
passions Your dungeons next the palace-roofs, or Aloof, save fear of famine! All is low, under
And false,and hollow--clay from first to last, The water's level, your mysterious meetings, The prince's urn no less than potter's vessel. And unknown dooms, and sudden executions, Our fame is in men's breath, our lives upon Your Bridge of Sighs, your strangling Less than their breath ; our durance upon chamber, and
days, Your torturing instruments, have made ye Our days on seasons; our whole being on
Something which is not us!-So, we are The beings of another and worse world!
slaves, Keep such for them: I fear ye not. I know ye, The greatest as the meanest-nothing rests Have known and proved your worst, in the Upon our will; the will itself no less infernal
Depends upon a straw than on a storm; Process of my poor husband! Treat ipe as And when we think we lead, we are most led, Ye treated him :-you did so, in so dealing And still towards death, a thing which With him. Then what have I to fear from
comes as much you,
Without our act or choice, as birth; so that Even if I were of fearful nature, which Methinks we must have sinn'd in some old I trust I am not?
world Doge. You hear, she speaks wildly. And this is hell: the best is, that it is not Marina. Not wisely, yet not wildly. Eternal. Lored. Lady! words
Marina. These are things we cannot judge Utter'd within these walls, I bear no further On earth. Than to the threshold, saving such as pass Doge. And how then shall we judge Between the Duke and me on the state's
each other, service.
Who are all earth, and I, who am callid Doge! have you aught in answer?
upon Doge. Something from
To judge my son ? I have administer'd The Doge; it may be also from a parent. My country faithfully-victoriously
Lored. My mission here is to the Doge. I dare them to the proof, the chart of what Doge. Then say
She was and is : my reign has doubled The Doge will choose his own embassador,
realms; Or state in person what is meet; and for And, in reward, the gratitude of Venice The father
Has left, or is about to leave, me single.
Marina. And Foscari? I do not think of Had thousands of such citizens, and shall, such things,
I trust, have still such, Venice were no city. So I be left with him.
Marina. Accursed be the city where the Doge. You shall be so;
laws Thus much they cannot well deny. Would stifle nature's ! Marina. And if
Doge. Had I as many sons They should, I will fly with him. As I have years, I would have given them all, Doge. That can ne'er be.
Not without feeling, but I would have given And whither would you fly?
them Marina. I know not, reck not
To the state's service, to fulfil her wishes To Syria, Egypt, to the Ottoman
On the flood, in the field, or, if it must be, Any where, where we might respire un- As it, alas! has been, to ostracism, fetter'd,
Exile, or chains, or whatsoever worse
Marina. And this is patriotism ? Doge. What, wouldst thou have a rene- To me it seems the worst barbarity. gade for husband,
Let me seek out my husband: the sage Ten, And turn him into traitor?
With all their jealousy, will hardly war Marina. He is none!
So far with a weak woman as deny me The country is the traitress, which thrusts A moment's access to his dungeon. forth
Doge. That he obey
The laws. Charge me with such a breach of faith. Marina. And nothing more? Will you Marina. No; thou
not see him Observ'st, obey'st, such laws as make old Ere he depart ? It may be the last time. Draco's
Doge. The last !- my boy!-the last A code of mercy by comparison.
time I shall see Doge. I found the law; I did not make My last of children! Tell him I will come. it. Were I
[Ereunt. A subject, still I might find parts and
portions Fit for amendment; but as prince, I never
ACT III. Would change, for the sake of my house, SCENE 1.-The Prison of Jacopo FOSCARI.
the charter Left by our fathers.
J. Foscari (solus). No light, save yon Marina. Did they make it for
faint gleam, which shows me walls The ruin of their children?
Which never echo'd but to sorrow's sounds, Doge. Under such laws Venice The sigh of long imprisonment, the step Has risen to what she is--a state to rival Of feet on which the iron clank'd, the groan In deeds, and days, and sway, and, let me add, of death, the imprecation of despair! In glory (for we have had Roman spirits' And yet for this I have return'd to Venice, Amongst us), all that history has bequeath'd With some faint hope, 'tis true, that time, Of Rome and Carthage in their best times,
which wears when
The marble down, had worn away the hate The people sway'd by senates.
Of men's hearts : but I knew them not, and Marina. Rather say,
here Groand under the stern oligarchs. Must I consume my own, which never beat Doge. Perhaps so;
For Venice but with such a yearning as But yet subdued the world: in such a state The dove has for her distant nest, when An individual, be he richest of
wheeling Such rank as is permitted, or the meanest, High in the air on her return to greet Without a name, is alike nothing, when Her callow brood. What letters are these The policy, irrevocably tending
[.Approaching the wall. To one great end, must be maintain'd in Are scrawl'd along the inexorable wall ? vigour.
Will the gleam let me trace them? Ah! Marina. This means that you are more
the names a Doge than father.
Of my sad predecessors in this place, Doge. It means, I am more citizen than The dates of their despair, the brief words of either.
A grief too great for many. This stone-page If we had not for many centuries
Holds like an epitaph their history,
And the poor captive's tale is graven on
Marina, As I had been without it. His dungeon-barrier, like the lover's record
Couldst thou see here? Upon the bark of some tall tree, which bears J. Fosari. Nothing at first; but use and His own and his beloved's name. Alas!
time had taught me I recognize some names familiar to me, Familiarity with what was darkness; And blighted like to mine, which I will add, And the gray twilight of such glimmerings as Fittest for such a chronicle as this, Glide through the crevices made by the Which only can be read, as writ, by wretches.
When gorgeously o’ergilding any towers
Save those of Venice: but a moment ere
Thou camest hither I was busy writing.
recorded next Familiar. There.
The name of him who here preceded me,
Marina. And what of him?
men's ends; they only Your further trial is postponed.
Seem to hint shrewdly of them. Such stern J. Foscari. Till when ?
walls Familiar. I know not. It is also in my Were never piled on high save o'er the dead, orders
Or those who soon must be so.- What of him? That your illustrious lady be admitted. Thou askest. - What of me? may soon be J. Foscari. Ah! they relent then-I had ask'd, ceased to hope it:
With the like answer - doubt and dreadful 'Twas time.
Unless thou tellst my tale.
Marina. I speak of thee!
J. Foscari. And wherefore not? All then J. Foscari (embracing her). My true wife, shall speak of me: And only friend! What happiness! The tyranny of silence is not lasting, Marina. We'll part
And, though events be hidden, just men's No more.
groans J. Foscari How! wouldst thou share a Will burst all cerement, even a living dungeon ?
grave's! Marina. Ay,
I do not doubt my memory, but my life; The rack, the grave, all—any thing with And neither do I fear. thee,
Marina. Thy life is safe. But the tomb last of all, for there we shall J. Foscari. And liberty? Be ignorant of each other: yet I will Marina. The mind should make its own. Share that all things except new separation; J. Foscari. That has a noble sound; but It is too much to have survived the first.
'tis a sound, How dost thou ? How are those worn limbs? A music most impressive, but too transient: Alas!
The mind is much, but is not all. The mind Why do I ask? Thy paleness –
Hath nerved me to endure the risk of death, J. Foscari. Tis the joy
And torture positive, far worse than death Of seeing thee again so soon, and so (If death be a deep sleep), without a groan, Without expectancy, has sent the blood Or with a cry which rather shamed my Back to my heart, and left my cheeks like judges thine,
Than me; but'tis not all, for there are things For thou art pale too, my Marina! More woful-such as this sınall dungeon, Marina. Tis
where The gloom of this eternal cell, which never I may breathe many years. Knew sunbeam, and the sallow sullen glare Marina. Alas! and this of the familiars torch, which seems akin Small dungeon is all that belongs to thee To darkness more than light, by lending to Of this wide realm,of which thy sire is prince. The dungeon-vapours its bituminous smoke, J. Foscari. That thought would scarcely Which cloud whate'er we gaze on, even
aid me to endure it.
My doom is common, many are in dungeons, No, not thine eyes - they sparkle- how they But none like mine, so near their father's sparkle!
palace ; J. Foscari. And tine!- but I am blinded But then my heart is sometimes high, and by the torch.
Will stream along those moted rays of light | And the sweet freedom of the earth and air,
Were wretched exiles.
J. Foscari. Well I know how wretched ! I ne'er saw aught here like a ray. Alas! Marina. And yet you see how from their I know if mind may bear us up, or no,
banishment For I have such, and shown it before men; Before the Tartar into these salt isles, It sinks in solitude: my soul is social. Their antique energy of mind, all that Marina. I will be with thee.
Remaind of Rome for their inheritance, J. Foscari. Ah! if it were so !
Created by degrees an Ocean-Rome; But that they never granted -- nor will grant, And shall an evil, which so often leads And I shall be alone: no men-no books-To good, depress thee thus? Those lying likenesses of lying men.
J. Foscari. Had I
forth I ask'd for even those outlines of their kind, From my own land, like the old patriarchs, Which they term annals, history, what you seeking will,
Another region, with their flocks and herds; Which men bequeath as portraits, and they Had I been cast out like the Jews from Zion,
Or like our fathers, driven by Attila Refused me; so these walls have been my From fertile Italy to barren islets, study,
I would have given some tears to my late More faithful pictures of Venetian story,
country, With all their blank, or dismal stains, than is And many thoughts; but afterwards address'd The hall not far from hence, which bears Myself, with those about me, to create on high
A new home and fresh state: perhaps I could Hundreds of doges, and their deeds and dates. Have borne this—though I know not, Marina. I come to tell thee the result Marina. Wherefore not? of their
It was the lot of millions, and must be Last council on thy doom.
The fate of myriads more. J. Foscari. I know it-look!
J. Foscari. Ay-we but hear [He points to his limbs, as referring of the survivors' toil in their new lands, to the tortures which he had un- Their numbers and success; but who can
number Marina. No-no-no more of that: even The hearts which broke in silence of that they relent
parting, From that atrocity.
Or after their departure; of that malady J. Foscari. What then?
Which calls up green and native fields to Marina. That you
view Return to Candia.
From the rough deep, with such identity J. Foscari. Then my last hope's gone. To the poor exile's fever'd eye, that he I could endure my dungeon,for 'twas Venice; Can scarcely be restrain'd from treading I could support the torture, there was some
them ? thing
That melody, which out of tones and tunes In my native air that buoy'd my spirits up, Collects such pasture for the longing sorrow Like a ship on the ocean toss'd by storms, of the sad mountaineer, when far away But proudly still bestriding the high waves, From his snow-canopy of cliffs and clouds, And holding on its course ; but there, afar, That he feeds on the sweet, but poisonous In that accursed isle of slaves, and captives,
thought, And unbelievers, like a stranded wreck, And dies. You call this weakness! It is My very soul seem'd mouldering in my strength, bosom,
I say,--the parent of all honest feeling. And piecemeal I shall perish, if remanded. He who loves not his country, can love Marina. And here?
nothing. J. Foscari. At once-by better means, Marina. Obey her, then; 'tis she that as briefer.
puts thee forth. What! would they even deny me my sires' J. Foscari. Ay, there it is: 'tis lib sepulchre,
mother's curse As well as home and heritage ?
Upon my soul—the niark it set upon me. Marina. My husband !
The exiles you speak of went forth by I have sued to accompany thee hence,
nations, And not so hopelessly. This love of thine Their hands upheld each other by the way, For an ungrateful and tyrannic soil Their tents were pitched together I'm alone. Is passion, and not patriotism: for me, Marina. You shall be so no more I So I could see thce with a quiet aspect,
will go with thee.
J. Foscari. My best Marina !- and our | And thus far I am also the state's debtor, children?
And shall be more so when I see us both Marina. They,
Floating on the free waves-away-awayI fear, by the prevention of the state's Be it to the earth's end, from this abhorr'd, Abhorrent policy (which holds all ties Unjust, and As threads, which may be broken at her J. Foscari, Curse it not. If I am silent, pleasure)
Who dares accuse my country? Will not be suffer'd to proceed with us. Marina. Men and angels !
J. Foscari. And canst thou leave them? The blood of myriads reeking up to heaven,
Marina. Yes. With many a pang. The groans of slaves in chains, and men in But-I can leave them, children as they are, dungeons, To teach you to be less a child. From this Mothers, and wives, and sons, and sires, Learn you to sway your feelings, when
and subjects, exacted
Held in the bondage of ten bald-heads; and By duties paramount; and 'tis our first Though last, not least, thy silence. Couldst On earth to bear.
J. Foscari. Have I not borne ? Aught in its favour, who would praise like Marina. Too much
thee? From tyrannous injustice, and eno gh J. Foscari. Let us address us then, since To teach you not to shrink now from a lot
so it must be, Which, as compared with what you have To our departure. Who comes here?
undergone Of late, is mercy.
Enter LOREDANO, attended by Familiars. J. Foscari. Ah! you never yet
Lored. (to the Familiars) Retire,
[Exeunt the two Familiars. tance,
J. Foscari. Most welcome, noble signor. While every furrow of the vessel's track I did not deem this poor place could have Seem'd ploughing deep into your heart;
drawn you never
Such presence hither. Saw day go down upon your native spire Lored. 'Tis not the first time So calmly with its gold and crimson glory, I have visited these places. And after dreaming a disturbed vision Marina. Nor would be Of them and theirs, awoke and found them The last, were all men's merits well renot.
warded. Marina. I will divide this with you. Came you here to insult us, or remain Let us think
As spy upon us, or as hostage for us? Of our departure from this much-loved city Lored. Neither are of my office,noble lady, (Since you must love it, as it seems), and this I am sent hither to your husband, to Chamber of state, her gratitude allots you. Announce the Ten's decree. Our children will be cared for by the Doge, Marina. That tenderness And by my uncles: we must sail ere night. Has been anticipated: it is known J. Foscari. That's sudden. Shall I not Lored. As how? behold my father ?
Marina. I have inform’d him, not so Marina. You will.
gently, J. Foscari. Where?
Doubtless, as your nice feelings would Marina. Here or in the ducal chamber
prescribe, He said not which. I would that you could The indulgence of your colleagues; but he bear
knew it. Your exile as he bears it.
If you come for our thanks, take them, and J. Foscari. Blame him not.
hence ! I sometimes murmur for a moment; but The dungeon-gloom is deep enough without He could not now act otherwise. A show
you, Of feeling or compassion on his part And full of reptiles, not less loathsome, Would have but drawn upon his aged head Suspicion from the Ten, and upon mine Their sting is honester. Accumulated ills.
J. Foscari. I pray you, calm you : Marina. Accumulated !
What can avail such words? What pangs are those they have spared you? Marina. To let him know J. Foscari. That of leaving
That he is known. Venice without beholding him or you,
Lored. Let the fair dame preserve Which might have been forbidden now, as Her sex's privilege. 'twas
Marina." I have some sons, sir, Upon my former exile.
Will one day thank you better. Marina. That is true,
Lored. You do well