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Doge. And who be they?
One of the Forty; "the Ten" having craved
In number many; but A Giunta of patricians from the senate
The first now stands before you and the court,
To aid our judgment in a trial arduous
Bertram, of Bergamo,—would you question him? And novel as the present: he was set
Doge (looking at him contemptuously). No.
And two others, Israel Bertuccio,
And Philip Calendaro, have admitted
Their fellowship in treason with the Doge!
Doge. And where are they?
Gone to their place, and now
Answering to Heaven for what they did on earth.
Doge. Ah! the plebeian Brutus, is he gone?
And the quick Cassius of the arsenal? —
How did they meet their doom?

Free from the penalty pronounced upon him,
Because the Doge, who should protect the law,
Seeking to abrogate all law, can claim
No punishment of others by the statutes
Which he himself denies and violates !


It is approaching.

Think of your own: You decline to plead, then? Doge. I cannot plead to my inferiors, nor Can recognise your legal power to try me. Show me the law!


On great emergencies, The law must be remodell'd or amended: Our fathers had not fix'd the punishment Of such a crime, as on the old Roman tables The sentence against parricide was left In pure forgetfulness; they could not render That penal, which had neither name nor thought In their great bosoms: who would have foreseen That nature could be filed to such a crime As sons 'gainst sires, and princes 'gainst their realms ? Your sin hath made us make a law which will Become a precedent 'gainst such haught traitors, As would with treason mount to tyranny; Not even contented with a sceptre, till They can convert it to a two-edged sword! Was not the place of Doge sufficient for ye? What's nobler than the signory of Venice ?

Doge. The signory of Venice! You betray'd meYou-you, who sit there, traitors as ye are ! From my equality with you in birth, And my superiority in action,

You drew me from my honourable toils

In distant lands-on flood-in field-in cities.
You singled me out like a victim to
Stand crown'd, but bound and helpless, at the altar
Where you alone could minister. I knew not-
I sought not-wish'd not-dream'd not the election
Which reach'd me first at Rome, and I obey'd;
But found on my arrival, that, besides
The jealous vigilance which always led you
To mock and mar your sovereign's best intents,
You had, even in the interregnum of 1

My journey to the capital, curtail'd

And mutilated the few privileges

Yet left the duke: all this I bore, and would
Have borne, until my very hearth was stain'd
By the pollution of your ribaldry,
And he, the ribald, whom I see amongst you—
Fit judge in such tribunal !

Ben. (interrupting him).

Michel Steno

Is here in virtue of his office, as


[One source of feebleness in this passage, and it is one of frequent occurrence in all Lord Byron's plays, is his practice of ending his lines with insignificant monosyllables. "to," "and"" till," " but," "from," all concur in the course of a very few pages, in situations where, had the harmony or vigour of the line been consulted, the voice would have been allowed to pause, and the energy of the sentiment would have been carried to its highest tone of elevation. This we should have set down to the account of carelessness, had it not been

Doge. His PUNISHMENT! I rather see him there, Where he now sits, to glut him with my death, Than in the mockery of castigation,

Which your foul, outward, juggling show of justice Decreed as sentence ! Base as was his crime, 'Twas purity compared with your protection.

Ben. And can it be, that the great Doge of Venice, With three parts of a century of years And honours on his head, could thus allow His fury, like an angry boy's, to master All feeling, wisdom, faith, and fear, on such A provocation as a young man's petulance?

Doge. A spark creates the flame-'tis the last drop
Which makes the cup run o'er, and mine was full
Already you oppress'd the prince and people;
I would have freed both, and have fail'd in both :
The price of such success would have been glory,
Vengeance, and victory, and such a name
As would have made Venetian history
Rival to that of Greece and Syracuse

When they were freed, and flourish'd ages after,
And mine to Gelon and to Thrasybulus: -
Failing, I know the penalty of failure
Is present infamy and death-the future
Will judge, when Venice is no more, or free;
Till then, the truth is in abeyance. Pause not;
I would have shown no mercy, and I seek none;
My life was staked upon a mighty hazard,
And being lost, take what I would have taken!
I would have stood alone amidst your tombs :
Now you may flock round mine, and trample on it,
As you have done upon my heart while living.

Ben. You do confess then, and admit the justice Of our tribunal ?

I confess to have fail'd;
Fortune is female: from my youth her favours
Were not withheld, the fault was mine to hope
Her former smiles again at this late hour.

Ben. You do not then in aught arraign our equity?
Doge. Noble Venetians ! stir me not with questions.

I am resign'd to the worst; but in me still
Have something of the blood of brighter days,
And am not over-patient. Pray you, spare me
Further interrogation, which boots nothing,
Except to turn a trial to debate.

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You who condemn me, you who fear and slay me,
Yet could not bear in silence to your graves
What you would hear from me of good or evil;
The secret were too mighty for your souls:
Then let it sleep in mine, unless you court
A danger which would double that you escape.
Such my defence would be, had I full scope
To make it famous; for true words are things,
And dying men's are things which long outlive,
And oftentimes avenge them; bury mine,
If ye would fain survive me: take this counsel,
And though too oft ye made me live in wrath,
Let me die calmly; you may grant me this; -
I deny nothing—defend nothing-nothing
I ask of you, but silence for myself,
And sentence from the court!

Enter an OFFICER.

Officer. Noble Venetians! Duchess Faliero?
Requests admission to the Giunta's presence.

Ben. Say, conscript fathers 3, shall she be admitted?
One of the Giunta. She may have revelations of
Unto the state, to justify compliance

With her request.


Is this the general will?

All. It is.
Oh, admirable laws of Venice!
Which would admit the wife, in the full hope
That she might testify against the husband.
What glory to the chaste Venetian dames!
But such blasphemers 'gainst all honour, as
Sit here, do well to act in their vocation.
Now, villain Steno! if this woman fail,
I'll pardon thee thy lie, and thy escape,
And my own violent death, and thy vile life.

The DUCHESS enters.

Ben. Lady! this just tribunal has resolved,
Though the request be strange, to grant it, and
Whatever be its purport, to accord

A patient hearing with the due respect
Which fits your ancestry, your rank, and virtues :
But you turn pale-ho! there, look to the lady!
Place a chair instantly.


This full admission
Spares us the harsh necessity of ordering
The torture to elicit the whole truth. 1

Doge. The torture! you have put me there already,
Daily since I was Doge; but if you will
Add the corporeal rack, you may: these limbs
Will yield with age to crushing iron; but

There's that within my heart shall strain your engines. Against a just and paramount tribunal

A moment's faintness 'Tis past; I pray you pardon me, I sit not

["The torture { for the exposure of the truth.

to elicit the whole truth."- MS.] Doge Faliero's consort ["Noble Venetians! with respect the Duchess Duchess Faliero." - MS.] 3 The Venetian senate took the same title as the Roman, of "conscript fathers."

[The drama, which has the merit, uncommon in modern performances, of embodying no episodical deformity whatever, now hurries in full career to its close. Every thing is de spatched with the stern decision of a tyrannical aristocracy. There is no hope of mercy on any side, there is no petition -nay, there is no wish for mercy. Even the plebeian conspirators have too much Venetian blood in then to be either

In presence of my prince, and of my husband,
While he is on his feet.


Your pleasure, lady?

Ang. Strange rumours, but most true, if all I hear
And see be sooth, have reach'd me, and I come
To know the worst, even at the worst; forgive
The abruptness of my entrance and my bearing.
Is it - - I cannot speak-I cannot shape
The question - but you answer it ere spoken,
With eyes averted, and with gloomy brows ---
Oh God! this is the silence of the grave!

Ben. (after a pause). Spare us, and spare thyself the repetition

Of our most awful, but inexorable
Duty to heaven and man!

Yet speak; I cannot-
I cannot-no-even now believe these things.
Is he condemn'd?



And was he guilty?
Ben. Lady! the natural distraction of
Thy thoughts at such a moment makes the question
Merit forgiveness; else a doubt like this


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Ben. He hath already own'd to his own guilt,5
Nor, as thou see'st, doth he deny it now.

Ang. Ay, but he must not die! Spare his few years,
Which grief and shame will soon cut down to days!
One day of baffled crime must not efface
Near sixteen lustres crowded with brave acts.

Ben. His doom must be fulfill'd without remission
Of time or penalty-'t is a decree.

Ang. He hath been guilty, but there may be mercy.
Ben. Not in this case with justice.

Alas! signor,

He who is only just is cruel; who
Upon the earth would live were all judged justly?
Ben. His punishment is safety to the state.

Ang. He was a subject, and hath served the state;
He was your general, and hath saved the state;
He is your sovereign, and hath ruled the state.

One of the Council. He is a traitor, and betray'd
the state.

Ang. And, but for him, there now had been no state
To save or to destroy; and you, who sit
There to pronounce the death of your deliverer,
Had now been groaning at a Moslem oar,
Or digging in the Hunnish mines in fetters!

scared by the approach, or shaken in the moment, of death; and as for the Doge, he bears himself as becomes a warrior of sixty years, and a deeply insulted prince. At the moment, however, which immediately precedes the pronouncing of the sentence, admission is asked and obtained by one from whom less of the Spartan firmness might have been expected. This is Angiolina. She indeed hazards one fervent prayer to the unbending senate; but she sees in a moment that it is in vain, and she recovers herself on the instant; and turning to her lord, who stands calm and collected at the foot of the council table, speaks words worthy of him and of her. Nothing can be more unexpected, or more beautiful, than the behaviour of the young patrician who interrupts their conversation. — LOCKHART.

3 [“He hath already own'd to his own guilt.” — MS.]


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I would have sued to them-have pray'd to them-
Have begg'd as famish'd mendicants for bread
Have wept as they will cry unto their God
For mercy, and be answer'd as they answer-
Had it been fitting for thy name or mine,
And if the cruelty in their cold eyes
Had not announced the heartless wrath within.
Then, as a prince, address thee to thy doom!

Doge. I have lived too long not to know how to die!
Thy suing to these men were but the bleating
Of the lamb to the butcher, or the cry

Of seamen to the surge: I would not take

A life eternal, granted at the hands

Of wretches, from whose monstrous villanies

I sought to free the groaning nations!

Michel Steno.

A word with thee, and with this noble lady,
Whom I have grievously offended. Would
Sorrow, or shame, or penance on my part,
Could cancel the inexorable past!

But since that cannot be, as Christians let us
Say farewell, and in peace: with full contrition
I crave, not pardon, but compassion from you,
And give, however weak, my prayers for both.

Ang. Sage Benintende, now chief judge of Venice,
I speak to thee in answer to yon signor.
Inform the ribald Steno, that his words
Ne'er weigh'd in mind with Loredano's daughter
Further than to create a moment's pity
For such as he is: would that others had
Despised him as I pity! I prefer

My honour to a thousand lives, could such
Be multiplied in mine, but would not have
A single life of others lost for that
Which nothing human can impugn-the sense
Of virtue, looking not to what is call'd
A good name for reward, but to itself.
To me the scorner's words were as the wind
Unto the rock: but as there are―alas!
Spirits more sensitive, on which such things
Light as the whirlwind on the waters; souls
To whom dishonour's shadow is a substance
More terrible than death, here and hereafter;
Men whose vice is to start at vice's scoffing,
And who, though proof against all blandishments
Of pleasure, and all pangs of pain, are feeble
When the proud name on which they pinnacled

[The Duchess is formal and cold, without even that degree of love for her old husband which a child might have for her parent, or a pupil for her instructor. Even in this her longest and best speech, at the most touching moment of the catas. trophe, she can moralise, in a strain of pedantry less natural to a woman than to any other person similarly circumstanced, on lions stung by gnats, Achilles, Helen, Lucretia, the siege of Clusium, Caligula, Caaba, and Persepolis! The lines are fine in themselves, indeed; and if they had been spoken by

Their hopes is breathed on, jealous as the eagle
Of her high aiery; let what we now
Behold, and feel, and suffer, be a lesson
To wretches how they tamper in their spleen
With beings of a higher order. Insects
Have made the lion mad ere now; a shaft
I' the heel o'erthrew the bravest of the brave;
A wife's dishonour was the bane of Troy;
A wife's dishonour unking'd Rome for ever;
An injured husband brought the Gauls to Clusium,
And thence to Rome, which perish'd for a time;
An obscene gesture cost Caligula

His life, while Earth yet bore his cruelties;

A virgin's wrong made Spain a Moorish province;
And Steno's lie, couch'd in two worthless lines,
Hath decimated Venice, put in peril

A senate which hath stood eight hundred years,
Discrown'd a prince, cut off his crownless head,
And forged new fetters for a groaning people!
Let the poor wretch, like to the courtesan
Who fired Persepolis, be proud of this,

If it so please him- 't were a pride fit for him!
But let him not insult the last hours of
Him, who, whate'er he now is, was a hero,
By the intrusion of his very prayers:
Nothing of good can come from such a source,
Nor would we aught with him, nor now, nor ever:
We leave him to himself, that lowest depth
Of human baseness. Pardon is for men,

And not for reptiles- we have none for Steno,
And no resentment: things like him must sting,
And higher beings suffer; 'tis the charter
Of life. The man who dies by the adder's fang
May have the crawler crush'd, but feels no anger:
'Twas the worm's nature; and some men are worms
In soul, more than the living things of tombs.

Doge (to Ben.). Signor! complete that which you deem your duty.

Ben. Before we can proceed upon that duty,
We would request the princess to withdraw;
'T will move her too much to be witness to it.

Ang. I know it will, and yet I must endure it,
For 'tis a part of mine-I will not quit,
Except by force, my husband's side.
- Proceed!
Nay, fear not either shriek, or sigh, or tear;
Though my heart burst, it shall be silent.
I have that within which shall o'ermaster all.
Ben. Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice,
Count of Val di Marino, Senator,

And some time General of the Fleet and Army,
Noble Venetian, many times and oft
Intrusted by the state with high employments,
Even to the highest, listen to the sentence.
Convict by many witnesses and proofs,
And by thine own confession, of the guilt
Of treachery and treason, yet unheard of
Until this trial-the decree is death.
Thy goods are confiscate unto the state,
Thy name is razed from out her records, save
Upon a public day of thanksgiving


Benintende as a funeral oration over the Duke's body, or still more, perhaps, ifthey had been spoken by the Duke's counsel on his trial, they would have been perfectly in place and character. But that is not the highest order of female intellect which is disposed to be long-winded in distress; nor does any one, either male or female, who really and deeply affected, find time for wise saws and instances ancient and modern.HEDER.]

For this our most miraculous deliverance,
When thou art noted in our calendars

With earthquakes, pestilence, and foreign foes,
And the great enemy of man, as subject

Of grateful masses for Heaven's grace in snatching
Our lives and country from thy wickedness.
The place wherein as Doge thou shouldst be painted,
With thine illustrious predecessors, is

To be left vacant, with a death-black veil
Flung over these dim words engraved beneath, -
"This place is of Marino Faliero,
Decapitated for his crimes."


"His crimes!" But let it be so:-it will be in vain. The veil which blackens o'er this blighted name, And hides, or seems to hide, these lineaments, Shall draw more gazers than the thousand portraits Which glitter round it in their pictured trappingsYour delegated slaves- the people's tyrants! "Decapitated for his crimes!"— What crimes? Were it not better to record the facts, So that the contemplator might approve, Or at the least learn whence the crimes arose ? When the beholder knows a Doge conspired, Let him be told the cause it is your history.

Ben. Time must reply to that; our sons will judge Their fathers' judgment, which I now pronounce. As Doge, clad in the ducal robes and cap, Thou shalt be led hence to the Giants' Staircase, Where thou and all our princes are invested; And there, the ducal crown being first resumed Upon the spot where it was first assumed, Thy head shall be struck off; and Heaven have mercy Upon thy soul !

Is this the Giunta's sentence?


Ben. It is. Doge. I can endure it. And the time? Ben. Must be immediate. Make thy peace with God: Within an hour thou must be in His presence. Doge. I am already; and my blood will rise To Heaven before the souls of those who shed it. Are all my lands confiscated?


They are; And goods, and jewels, and all kind of treasure, Except two thousand ducats-these dispose of. Doge. That's harsh. I would have fain reserved

the lands

Near to Treviso, which I hold by investment
From Laurence the Count-bishop of Ceneda,
In fief perpetual to myself and heirs,
To portion them (leaving my city spoil,
My palace and my treasures, to your forfeit)
Between my consort and my kinsmen.



Lie under the state's ban; their chief, thy nephew,
In peril of his own life; but the council
Postpones his trial for the present. If

Thou will'st a state unto thy widow'd princess, Fear not, for we will do her justice.



I share not in your spoil! From henceforth, know

I am devoted unto God alone,

And take my refuge in the cloister.


Come !

The hour may be a hard one, but 't will end.
Have I aught else to undergo save death?


Ben. You have nought to do, except confess and

The priest is robed, the scimitar is bare,
And both await without. But, above all
Think not to speak unto the people; they
Are now by thousands swarming at the gates,
But these are closed: the Ten, the Avogadori,
The Giunta, and the chief men of the Forty,
Alone will be beholders of thy doom,

And they are ready to attend the Doge.
Doge. The Doge!

Ben. Yes, Doge, thou hast lived and thou shalt die
A sovereign; till the moment which precedes
The separation of that head and trunk,
That ducal crown and head shall be united.
Thou hast forgot thy dignity in deigning
To plot with petty traitors; not so we,
Who in the very punishment acknowledge
The prince. Thy vile accomplices have died

The dog's death, and the wolf's; but thou shalt fall
As falls the lion by the hunters, girt

By those who feel a proud compassion for thee,
And mourn even the inevitable death
Provoked by thy wild wrath, and regal fierceness.
Now we remit thee to thy preparation :
Let it be brief, and we ourselves will be
Thy guides unto the place where first we were
United to thee as thy subjects, and

Thy senate; and must now be parted from thee
As such for ever, on the self-same spot. -
Guards form the Doge's escort to his chamber.

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The glory shall depart from out thy house,
The wisdom shall be shaken from thy soul,
And in thy best maturity of mind

A madness of the heart shall seize upon thee; I
Passion shall tear thee when all passions cease
In other men, or mellow into virtues;

And majesty, which decks all other heads,
Shall crown to leave thee headless; honours shall
But prove to thee the heralds of destruction,
And hoary hairs of shame, and both of death,
But not such death as fits an aged man.
Thus saying, he pass'd on. —That hour is come.
Ang. And with this warning couldst thou not have


To avert the fatal moment, and atone,
By penitence for that which thou hadst done?

Doge. I own the words went to my heart, so much That I remember'd them amid the maze

Of life, as if they form'd a spectral voice,
Which shook me in a supernatural dream;
And I repented; but 'twas not for me
To pull in resolution: what must be

I could not change, and would not fear. - Nay more,
Thou canst not have forgot, what all remember,
That on my day of landing here as Doge,
On my return from Rome, a mist of such
Unwonted destiny went on before
The Eucentaur, like the columnar cloud
Which usher'd Israel out of Egypt, till
The pilot was misled, and disembark'd us
Between the pillars of Saint Mark's, where 'tis
The custom of the state to put to death
Its criminals, instead of touching at
The Riva della Paglia, as the wont is,-
So that all Venice shudder'd at the omen.
Ang. Ah! little boots it now to recollect
Such things.

And yet I find a comfort in
The thought that these things are the work of Fate;
For I would rather yield to gods than men,
Or cling to any creed of destiny,

Rather than deem these mortals, most of whom
I know to be as worthless as the dust,
And weak as worthless, more than instruments
Of an o'er-ruling power; they in themselves
Were all incapable-they could not be
Victors of him who oft had conquer'd for them!
Ang. Employ the minutes left in aspirations
Of a more healing nature, and in peace
Even with these wretches take thy flight to Heaven.
Doge. I am at peace: the peace of certainty
That a sure hour will come, when their sons' sons,
And this proud city, and these azure waters,
And all which makes them eminent and bright,
Shall be a desolation and a curse,

A hissing and a scoff unto the nations,

A Carthage, and a Tyre, an Ocean Babel !

Ang. Speak not thus now; the surge of passion still Sweeps o'er thee to the last; thou dost deceive Thyself, and canst not injure them-be calmer. Doge. I stand within eternity, and see Into eternity, and I behold

["A madness of the heart shall rise within."- MS.] ["With unimpair'd but not outrageous grief."-MS.]

This was the actual reply of Bailli, maire of Paris, to a Frenchman who made him the same reproach on his way to I find in execution, in the earliest part of their revolution.

Ay, palpable as I see thy sweet face
For the last time- -the days which I denounce
Unto all time against these wave-girt walls,
And they who are indwellers.

Guard (coming forward.) Doge of Venice,
The Ten are in attendance on your highness.

Doge. Then farewell, Angiolina!-one embrace —
Forgive the old man who hath been to thee
A fond but fatal husband-love my memory
I would not ask so much for me still living,
But thou canst judge of me more kindly now,
Seeing my evil feelings are at rest.
Besides, of all the fruit of these long years,
Glory, and wealth, and power, and fame, and name,
Which generally leave some flowers to bloom
Even o'er the grave, I have nothing left, not even
A little love, or friendship, or esteem,

No, not enough to extract an epitaph
From ostentatious kinsmen; in one hour

I have uprooted all my former life,
And outlived every thing, except thy heart,
The pure, the good, the gentle, which will oft
With unimpair'd but not a clamorous grief 2
Still keep- -Thou turn'st so pale! - Alas! she

She has no breath, no pulse !-Guards! lend your


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I cannot leave her thus, and yet 'tis better,
Since every lifeless moment spares a pang.
When she shakes off this temporary death,
I shall be with the Eternal. Call her women-
One look!-how cold her hand!-as cold as mine
Shall be ere she recovers.— - Gently tend her,
And take my last thanks-I am ready now.

[The Attendants of ANGIOLINA enter, and sur-
round their mistress, who has fainted.—Exeunt
the DOGE, Guards, &c. &c.


The Court of the Ducal Palace: the outer gates are shut against the people.- The DOGE enters in his ducal robes, in procession with the Council of Ten and other Patricians, attended by the Guards, till they arrive at the top of the "Giants' Staircase" (where the Doges took the oaths); the Executioner is stationed there with his sword. — On arriving, a Chief of the Ten takes off the ducal cap from the Doge's head.

Doge. So now the Doge is nothing, and at last I am again Marino Faliero :

"Tis well to be so, though but for a moment.

Here was I crown'd, and here, bear witness, Heaven!
With how much more contentment I resign
That shining mockery, the ducal bauble,
Than I received the fatal ornament.

One of the Ten. Thou tremblest, Faliero!
'Tis with age, then.
Ben. Faliero! hast thou aught further to commend,
Compatible with justice, to the senate?

Doge. I would commend my nephew to their mercy, My consort to their justice; for methinks

reading over (since the completion of this tragedy), for the first time these six years, "Venice Preserved," a similar reply on a different occasion by Renault, and other coincidences arising from the subject. I need hardly remind the gentlest reader, that such coincidences must be accidental, from the very facility of their detection by reference to so popular a play on the stage and in the closet as Otway's chef-d'œuvre.

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