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Of an united and imperial 66 Ten,"

Than shine a lonely, though a gilded cipher.— Whom have we here? the wife of Foscari ?

Enter MARINA, with a female Attendant. Mar. What, no one ?-I am wrong, there still are But they are senators. [two;


Most noble lady,

Command us.

Mar. I command! - Alas! my life Has been one long entreaty, and a vain one. Mem. I understand thee, but I must not answer. Mar. (fiercely). Truc-none dare answer here save on the rack, Or question save those

Mem. (interrupting her). High-born dame !! be

think thee Where thou now art. Mar. Where I now am!-It was My husband's father's palace. Mem.

Mur. And his son's prison ! forgot it;

And if there were no other nearer, bitterer Remembrances, would thank the illustrious Memmo For pointing out the pleasures of the place.

Mem. Be calm !

Mar. (looking up towards heaven). I am; but oh, thou eternal God!

The Duke's palace. - true, I have not

Canst thou continue so, with such a world ? Mem. Thy husband yet may be absolved. Mar.

Sen. Hark!


Not Foscari's.


In heaven. I pray you, signor senator,
Speak not of that; you are a man of office,
So is the Doge; he has a son at stake,
Now, at this moment, and I have a husband,
Or had; they are there within, or were at least
An hour since, face to face, as judge and culprit.
Will he condemn him?

I trust not.

Mem. Mar. But if He does not, there are those will sentence both. Mem. They can. Mar. And with them power and will are one In wickedness: - my husband's lost! Mem.

Not so;

Justice is judge in Venice.

If it were so,
There now would be no Venice. But let it
Live on, so the good die not, till the hour

Of nature's summons; but "the Ten's" is quicker,
Ah! a voice of wail!
And we must wait on 't.

[A faint cry within.

'Twas a cry of —

He is,

No, no; not my husband's

The voice was—


Not his no. He shriek! No; that should be his father's part, Not his not his he 'll die in silence.

[A faint groan again within.

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Mar. His voice! it seem'd so: I will not
Believe it. Should he shrink, I cannot cease
To love; but-no-no-no-it must have been
A fearful pang which wrung a groan from him.

Sen. And, feeling for thy husband's wrongs, wouldst thou

Have him bear more than mortal pain, in silence?

Mar. We all must bear our tortures. I have not
Left barren the great house of Foscari,
Though they sweep both the Doge and son from life;
I have endured as much in giving life

To those who will succeed them, as they can
In leaving it but mine were joyful pangs:
And yet they wrung me till I could have shriek'd,
But did not; for my hope was to bring forth
Heroes, and would not welcome them with tears. ?
Mem. All's silent now.


Perhaps all's over; but I will not deem it: he hath nerved himself, And now defies them.

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and his retinue of three hundred horse. According to Sanuto, the tournaments in the place of St. Mark lasted three days, and were attended by thirty thousand people.]

2 [There is great dignity and beauty in the language of Marina, when she will not believe that her lord can be so far overcome by the rack as to utter an unseemly cry. HEBER.]

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Mem. Sen.

Even if she be so, cannot save her husband.
But, see, the officer returns.
[The Officer passes over the stage with another person.
I hardly
Thought that "the Ten" had even this touch of pity,
Or would permit assistance to this sufferer.

Sen. Pity! Is 't pity to recall to feeling
The wretch too happy to escape to death,
By the compassionate trance, poor nature's last
Resource against the tyranny of pain?

Mem. I marvel they condemin him not at once.
Sen. That's not their policy: they'd have him live,
Because he fears not death; and banish him,
Because all earth, except his native land,
To him is one wide prison, and each breath
Of foreign air he draws seems a slow poison,
Consuming but not killing.


Circumstance Confirms his crimes, but he avows them not.

Sen. None, save the Letter 1, which he says was written,

Address'd to Milan's duke, in the full knowledge
That it would fall into the senate's hands,
And thus he should be re-convey'd to Venice.
Mem. But as a culprit.
And that was all he sought,
Mem. The accusation of the bribes was proved.
Sen. Not clearly, and the charge of homicide
Has been annull'd by the death-bed confession
Of Nicolas Erizzo, who slew the late

Chief of "the Ten." 2



Yes, but to his country; so he avouches.

Then why not clear him?


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["Night and day,

Brooding on what he had been, what he was
'T was more than he could bear. His longing fits
Thicken'd upon him. His desire for home
Became a madness; and, resolv'd to go,
If but to die, in his despair, he writes

A letter to the sovereign-prince of Milan,
(To him whose name, among the greatest now,'
Had perish'd, blotted out at once and rased,
But for the rugged limb of an old oak.)

Francesco Sforza. His father, when at work in the field, was accosted by some soldiers, and asked if he would enlist. Let me throw my mattock on that oak," he replied, " and if it remains there, I will." It remained there; and the peasant, regarding it as a sign, enlisted. He became soldier, general, prince; and his grandson, in the palace at Milan, said to Paulus Jovius, "You behold these guards and this grandeur: I owe every thing to the branch of an oak, the branch that held my grandfather's mattock."— ROGERS.

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As I do always.

Lor. 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!

He shed

Lor. His last.


That you would sometimes feel,

He cried out twice.

No tears.
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 follow'd by no prayers.
Lor. He mutter'd many times between his teeth,
But inarticulately.

That I heard not;
You stood more near him.

I did so.


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

I believed that swoon

Bar. And have I not oft heard thee name
His and his father's death your nearest wish?
Lor. If he dies innocent, that is to say,
With his guilt unavow'd, he'll be lamented.
Bar. What, wouldst thou slay his memory?

Soliciting his influence with the state, And drops it to be found."— ROGERS.]

2 [The extraordinary sentence pronounced against him, still existing among the archives of Venice, runs thus:"Giacopo Foscari, accused of the murder of Hermolao Donato, has been arrested and examined; and, from testimony, evidence, and documents exhibited, it distinctly appears that he is guilty of the aforesaid crime; nevertheless, on account of his obstinacy, and of enchantments and spells, in his possession, of which there are manifest proofs, it has not been possible to extract from him the truth, which is clear from parole and written evidence; for, while he was on the cord, he uttered neither word nor groan, but only murmured something to himself indistinctly and under his breath; therefore, as the honour of the state requires, he is condemned to a more distant banishment in Candia." Will it be credited, that a distinct proof of his innocence, obtained by the discovery of the real assassin, wrought no change in his unjust and cruel sentence? - See Venetian Sketches, vol. ii. p. 97.]

Lor. Would'st thou have His state descend to his children, as it must, If he die unattainted?


War with them too?

Lor. With all their house, till theirs or mine are nothing.

Bar. And the deep agony of his pale wife, And the repress'd convulsion of the high And princely brow of his old father, which Broke forth in a slight shuddering, though rarely, Or in some clammy drops, soon wiped away In stern serenity; these moved you not?


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
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

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.




A Hall in the DOGE's Palace.

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



I overlook'd it yesterday: it wants Merely the signature. Give me the pen [The DOGE sits down and signs the paper.

There, signor. Sen. (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.1

Sen. (dipping the pen into the ink, and placing the paper before the DOGE). Your hand, too, shakes, my lord: allow me, thus

Doge. 'T is done, I thank you. Sen. Thus the act confirm'd By you and by "the Ten" gives peace to Venice. Doge. 'T is long since she enjoy'd it: may it be As long ere she resume her arms!

Sen. 'T is almost Thirty-four years of nearly ceaseless warfare

1 ["That I had dipp'd the pen too heedlessly."-MS.]


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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.

Mar. 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 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.


Till it meets! and when it meets, They'll torture him again; and he and I Must purchase, by renewal of the rack, The interview of husband and of wife, The holiest tie beneath the heavens!-Oh God! Dost thou see this?


Mar. (abruptly).


Call me not "child!" You soon will have no children-you deserve noneYou, who can talk thus calmly of a son

In circumstances which would call forth tears

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Alas! how should you? she knows not herself,
In all her mystery. Hear me-1
-they who aim
At Foscari, aim no less at his father;

The sire's destruction would not save the son;
They work by different means to the same end,
And that is-but they have not conquer'd yet.
Mar. But they have crush'd.
Nor crush'd as yet-I live.
Mar. And your son, - how long will he live?
I trust,

For all that yet is past, as many years
And happier than his father. The rash boy,
With womanish impatience to return,
Hath ruin'd all by that detected letter;
A high crime, which I neither can deny
Nor palliate, as parent or as Duke:
Had he but borne a little, little longer
His Candiote exile, I had hopes.

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he has quench'd

He must return.

To exile?

I have said it. Mar. And can I not go with him?

You well know


You know not

Mar. 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 bands in sacred vows have danced their babes
Upon their knees, perhaps have mourn'd above them—
In pain, in peril, or in death-who are,

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


You know not what you say.

And feel it nothing.

I have borne so much,
That words have ceased to shake me.

Oh, no doubt! You have seen your son's blood flow, and your flesh shook not:

I forgive this, for

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You know it well,

And, after that, what are a woman's words? [you. No more than woman's tears, that they should shake

Doge. Woman, this clamorous grief of thine, I tell Is no more in the balance weigh'd with that [thee, Which but I pity thee, my poor Marina !

Mar. Pity my husband, or I cast it from me; Pity thy son! Thou pity!-'t is a word Strange to thy heart - how came it on thy lips? Doge. I must bear these reproaches, though they wrong me. Couldst thou but read


'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). There!

In the earth? Doge. To which I am tending: when It lies upon this heart, far lightlier, though Loaded with marble, than the thoughts which press it Now, you will know me better. Mar.

Are you, then,

Indeed, thus to be pitied?

Pitied! None
Shall ever use that base word, with which men
Cloke their soul's hoarded triumph, as a fit one
To mingle with my name; that name shall be,
As far as I have borne it, what it was

When I received it.

Mar. But for the poor children Of him thou canst not, or thou wilt not save, You were the last to bear it.

Doge. Would it were so! Better for him he never had been born; Better for me. I have seen our house dishonour'd.

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Att. "The Ten." Doge.


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Noble Loredano.

Doge. He - but admit him.

[Exit Attendant.
Must I then retire?
Doge. Perhaps it is not requisite, if this
Concerns your husband, and if not —— Well, signor,
Your pleasure!
[To LOREDANO entering.
I bear that of "the Ten."


Have chosen well their envoy.

'Tis their choice

Which leads me here.
It does their wisdom honour,
And no less to their courtesy. - Proceed.
Lor. We have decided.


We ? "The Ten" in council. Doge. What! have they met again, and met withApprising me? [out

[The interest of this play is founded upon feelings so peculiar or overstrained, as to engage no sympathy; and the whole story turns on incidents that are neither pleasing nor natural. The younger Foscari undergoes the rack twice (once in the hearing of the audience), merely because he has chosen to feign himself a traitor, that he might be brought back from undeserved banishment, and dies at last of pure dotage on this sentiment; while the elder Foscari submits, in profound and immoveable silence, to this treatment of his son, lest, by seeming to feel for his unhappy fate, he should

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What should I think of mortals ? Lor. That they have mortal foes. Doge. I understand you; Your sires were mine, and you are heir in all things. Lor. You best know if I should be so. Doge.

I do.

Your fathers were my foes, and I have heard
Foul rumours were abroad; I have also read
Their epitaph, attributing their deaths
To poison. "T is perhaps as true as most
Inscriptions upon tombs, and yet no less
A fable.


Who dares say so?

Doge. IT is true Your fathers were mine enemies, as bitter As their son e'er can be, and I no less Was theirs; but I was openly their foe: I never work'd by plot in council, nor Cabal in commonwealth, nor secret means Of practice against life by steel or drug. The proof is, your existence.


I fear not. Doge. You have no cause, being what I am; but were I

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be implicated in his guilt though he is supposed guiltless. He, the Doge, is afraid to stir hand or foot, to look or speak, while these inexplicable horrors are transacting, on account of the hostility of one Loredano, who lords it in the council of "the Ten," nobody knows why or how; and who at last "enmeshes" both father and son in his toils, in spite of their passive obedience and non-resistance to his plans. They are silly flies for this spider to catch, and "feed fat his ancient grudge upon."- JEFFREY.]

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