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Thou mayst ;

Doge. I would commend my nephew to their mercy, My consort to their justice; for methinks My death, and such a death, might settle all Between the state and me. Benin.

They shall be cared for ;
Even notwithstanding thine unheard-of crime.

Doge. Unheard-of! ay, there 's not a history
But shows a thousand crown'd conspirators
Against the people; but to set them free,
One sovereign only died, and one is dying.

Benin. And who are they who fell in such a cause?

Doge. The King of Sparta, and the Doge of Venice-
Agis and Faliero!
Benin.

Hast thou more
To utter or to do?
Doge.

May I speak ?
Benin.
But recollect the people are without,
Beyond the

compass

of the human voice. Doge. I speak to time and to eternity, Of which I grow a portion, not to man. Ye elements, in which to be resolved I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit Upon you! Ye blue waves, which bore my banner, Ye winds, which flutter'd o'er as if you loved it, And fill'd my swelling sails as they were wafted To many a triumph! Thou

my

native earth, Which I have bled for, and thou foreign earth, Which drank this willing blood from many a wound ! Ye stones, in which my gore will not sink; but Reek up to heaven! Ye skies, which will receive it! Thou

sun, which shinest on these things ! and Thou,
Who kindlest and who quenchest suns !-Attest!
I am not innocent—but are these guiltless ?
I perish, but not unavenged; far ages
Float up from the abyss of time to be,
And show these eyes, before they close, the doom
Of this proud city, and I leave my curse
On her and hers for ever !

-Yes, the hours
Are silently engendering of the day
When she who built ’gainst Attila a bulwark,
Shall yield, and bloodlessly and basely yield
Unto a bastard Attila, without
Shedding so much blood in her last defence
As these old veins, oft drain'd in shielding her,
Shall

pour in sacrifice.-She shall be bought
And sold, and be an appanage to those
Who shall despise her !-She shall stoop to be

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A province for an empire, petty town
In lieu of capital, with slaves for senates,
Beggars for nobles, panders for a people !
Then, when the Hebrew 's in thy palaces,
The Hun in thy high places, and the Greek
Walks o'er thy mart, and smiles on it for his !
When thy patricians beg their bitter bread
In narrow streets, and in their shameful need
Make their nobility a plea for pity!
Then, when the few who still retain a wreck
Of their great fathers' heritage shall fawn
Round a barbarian Vice of Kings' Vice-gerent,
Even in the palace where they sway'd as sovereigns,
Even in the palace where they slew their sovereign,
Proud of some name they have disgraced, or sprung
From an adulteress boastful of her guilt
With some large gondolier or foreign soldier
Shall bear about their bastardy in triumph
To the third spurious generation ;—when
Thy sons are in the lowest scale of being,
Slaves turn’d o'er to the vanquish'd by the victors,
Despised by cowards for greater cowardice,
And scorn'd even by the vicious for such vices
As in the monstrous grasp of their conception
Defy all codes to image or to name them;
Then, when of Cyprus, now thy subject kingdom,
All thine inheritance shall be her shame
Entail'd on thy less virtuous daughters, grown
A wider proverb for worse prostitution ;-
When all the ills of conquer'd states shall cling thee,
Vice without splendour, sin without relief
Even from the gloss of love to smooth it o'er,
But in its stead coarse lusts of habitude,
Prurient yet passionless, cold studied lewdness,
Depraving nature's frailty to an art;-
When these and more are heavy on thee, when
Smiles without mirth, and pastimes without pleasure,
Youth without honour, age without respect,
Meanness and weakness, and a sense of woe
'Gainst which thou wilt not strive, and dar'st not murmur,
Have made thee last and worst of peopled deserts ;
Then in the last

gasp Amidst thy many murders, think of mine ! Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes ! Gehenna of the waters ! thou sea Sodom ! Thus I devote thee to the infernal gods ! Thee and thy serpent seed ! [Here the Doge turns, and adds sses the Executioner.

Slave, do thine office :

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of thine agony,

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Strike as I struck the foe! Strike as I would
Have struck those tyrants ! Strike deep as my curse !
Strike-and but once!

[The Doge throws himself upon his knees, and as the Executioner

raises his sword, the scene closes.

SCENE IV.--THE PIAZZA AND PIAZZETTA OF SAINT MARK'S -THE PEOPLE IN CROWDS GATHERED ROUND THE GRATED GATES OF THE DUCAL PALACE, WHICH ARE SHUT.

I see

1st Citizen. I have gain’d the gate, and can discern the Ten, Robed in their gowns of state, ranged round the Doge.

2d Citizen. I cannot reach thee with mine utmost effort.
How is it ? let us hear at least, since sight
Is thus prohibited unto the people,
Except the occupiers of those bars.

1st Citizen. One has approach'd the Doge, and now they strip
The ducal bonnet from his head-and now
He raises his keen eyes to heaven.
Them glitter, and his lips move-Hush! hush !—No,
’T was but a murmur—Curse upon the distance !
His words are inarticulate, but the voice
Swells up like mutter'd thunder ; would we could
But gather a sole sentence !

2d Citizen. Hush! we perhaps may catch the sound.
1st Citizen.

'Tis vain.
I cannot hear him.-How his hoary hair
Streams on the wind like foam upon the wave!
Now—now-he kneels—and now they form a circle
Round him, and all is hidden—but I see
The lifted sword in air-Ah! hark! it falls !

[The people murmur. 3d Citizen. Then they have murder'd him who would have freed us. 4th Citizen. He was a kind man to the commons ever.

5th Citizen. Wisely they did to keep their portals barr’d. Would we had known the work they were preparing Ere we were summon'd here ; we would have brought Weapons, and forced them! 6th Citizen.

Are you sure he 's dead ? 1st Citizen. I saw the sword fall-Lo! what have we here? [Enter on the Balcony of the Palace which fronts Saint Mark's

Place a CHIEF OF THE TEN, 13 with a bloody sword, He waves

it thrice before the People, and exclaims, - Justice hath dealt upon the mighty Traitor!” [The gates are opened ; the populace rush in towards the Giant's

Staircase," where the execution has taken place. The foremost

of them exclaims to those behind, The gory head rolls down the “Giant's Steps !” [The curtain falls,

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NOTES.

Note 1. Page 55.

I smote the tardy bishop at Treviso.
An historical fact. See Marin Sanuto's Lives of the Doges.

Note 2. Page 62.

A gondola, with one oar only. A gondola is not like a common boat, but is as easily rowed with one oar as with two (though of course not so swiftly ), and often is so from motives of privacy, and (since the decay of Venice) of economy.

Note 3. Page 83.

They think themselves

Engaged in secret to the Signory. An historical fact.

Note 4. Page 103.

Within our palace precincts at San Polo. The Doge's private family palace.

Note 5. Page 108.

« Signor of the Night." “ I Signori di Notte" held an important charge in the old Republic.

Note 6. Page 113.

Festal Thursday. “Giovedi Grasso,fat or greasy Thursday,” which I cannot literally translate in the text, was the day.

Note 7. Page 114.

Guards ! let their mouths be gagg'd, even in the act. Historical fact. See Sanuto, in the Appendix to this tragedy.

Note 8. Page 118.

Say, conscript fathers, shall she be admitted ? The Venetian senate took the same title as the Roinan, of“ Conscript Fathers.”

Note 9. Page 127.

'T is with age, then. This was the actual reply of Bailly, maire of Paris, to a Frenchman who made him the same reproach on his way to execution, in the earliest part of their revolution. I find in 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'æuvre.

Note 10. Page 129.

Beggars for nobles, panders for a people. Should the dramatic picture seem harsh, let the reader look to the historical, of the period prophesied, or rather of the few years preceding that period. Voltaire calculated their“ nostre benemerite Meretrici,” at twelve thousand of regulars, without including volunteers and local militia, on what authority I know not; but it is perhaps the only part of the population not decreased. Venice once contained two hundred thousand inhabitants; there are now about ninety thousand, and THESE !! Few individuals can conceive, and none could describe, the actual state into which the more than infernal tyranny of Austria has plunged this unhappy city.

Note 11. Page 129.

Then, when the Hebrew 's in thy palaces. The chief palaces on the Brenta now belong to the Jews; who in the earlier times of the Republic were only allowed to inhabit Mestri, and not to enter the city of Venice. The whole commerce is in the hands of the Jews and Greeks, and the Huns form the garrison.

Note 12. Page 129.

Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes ! Of the first fifty Doges, five abdicated-five were banished with their eyes put out-five were massacred—and nine deposed; so that nineteen out of fifty lost the throne by violence, besides two who fell in battle : this occurred long previous to the reign of Marino Faliero. One of his more immediate predecessors, Andrea Dandolo, died of vexation. Marino Faliero himself perished as related. Amongst his successors, Foscari, after seeing his son repeatedly tortured and banished, was deposed, and died of breaking a blood vessel, on hearing the bell of Saint Mark's toll for the election of his successor. Morosini was impeached for the loss of Candia; but this was previous to his dukedom, during which he conquered the Morea, and was styled the Peloponnesian. Faliero might truly say,

Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes!

Note 13. Page 130.

Chief of the Ten. “Un Capo de' Dieci” are the words of Sanuto's Chronicles.

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