The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview
Save to active project

And freedom to the rest, or leave it black
To all the growing calumnies of time, Which never spare the fame of him who fails, But try the Cæsar, or the Catiline, By the true touchstone of desert -- success.



An Apartment in the Ducal Palace.

ANGIOLINA (wife of the DOGE) and MARIANNA.

Ang. What was the Doge's answer?

Mar. That he was That moment summond to a conference; But 't is by this time ended. I perceived Not long ago the senators embarking; And the last gondola may now be seen Gliding into the throng of barks which stud The glittering waters.

Ang. Would he were return'd!
He has been much disquieted of late;
And Time, which has not tamed his fiery spirit,

Nor yet enfeebled even his mortal frame 10
Which seems to be more nourish'd by a soul
So quick and restless that it would consume
Less hardy clay -- Time has but little power
On his resentments or his griefs. Unlike
To other spirits of his order, who,
In the first burst of passion, pour away
Their wrath or sorrow, all things wear in him
An aspect of eternity: his thoughts,
His feelings, passions, good or evil, all
Have nothing of old age; and his bold brow
Bears but the' scars of mind, the thoughts of
years, 21
Not their decrepitude: and he of late
Has been more agitated than his wont.
Would he were come! for I alone have power
Upon his troubled spirit.

Mar. It is true,
His highness has of late been greatly moved
By the affront of Steno, and with cause:
But the offender doubtless even now
Is doom'd to expiate his rash insult with
Such chastisement as will enforce respect

To female virtue, and to noble blood. 31

Ang. 'T was a gross insult; but I heed it not
For the rash seorner's falsehood in itself, But for the effect, the deadly deep impres-sion
Which it has made upon Faliero's soul, The proud, the fiery, the austere -- austere To all save me: I tremble when I think To what it may conduct.

Mar. Assuredly The Doge cannot suspect you?

Ang. Suspect me
Why Steno dared not: when he scrawl'd his

lie, 40
Grovelling. by stealth in the moon's glim-mering light,
His own still conscience smote him for the act,
And every shadow on the walls frownd shame
Upon his coward calumny.

Mar. 'T were fit He should be punish'd grievously.

Ang. He is so.

Mar. What! is the sentence pass'd? is he condemn'd?

Ang. I know not that, but he has been detected.

Mar. And deem you this enough for such foul scorn?

Ang. I would not be a judge in my own cause,
Nor do I know what sense of punishment
May reach the soul of ribalds such as

Steno; 51
But if his insults sink no deeper in
The minds of the inquisitors than they
Have ruffled mine, he will, for all acquit-tance,
Be left to his own shamelessness or shame.

Mar. Some sacrifice is due to slander'd virtue.

Ang. Why, what is virtue if it needs a victim?
Or if it must depend upon men's words?
The dying Roman said, ''t was but a name:'

It were indeed no more, if human breath 60
Could make or mar it.

Mar. Yet full many a dame, Stainless and faithful, would feel all the wrong
Of such a slander; and less rigid ladies, Such as abound in Venice, would be loud And all-inexorable in their cry For justice.

Ang. This but proves it is the name And not the quality they prize: the first Have found it a hard task to hold their honour,
If they require it to be blazon'd forth;


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 1055

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?