The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

ACT V

SCENE

The Hall of the (Council of Ten assembled with the additional Senators, who, on the Trials of the Conspirators for the Treason of MARINO FALIERO, composed what was called the Giunta, -- Guards, Officers, etc., etc. -- ISRAEL BERTUCCIOand PRILLP CALENDARO as Prisoners. -- BERTRAM, LIONI, and Witnesses, etc.

The Chief of the Ten, BENINTENDE.

Ben. There now rests, after such con-viction of
Their manifold and manifest offences,
But to pronounce on these obdurate men
The sentence of the law, -- a grievous task To those who hear, and those who speak.

Alas!
That it should fall to me! and that my days
Of office should be stigmatised through all
The years of coming time, as bearing record
To this most foul and complicated treason
Against a just and free state, known to all
The earth as being the Christian bulwark

gainst 11
The Saracen and the schismatic Greek,
The savage Hun, and not less barbarous
Frank;
A city which has open'd India's wealth
To Europe; the last Roman refuge from
O'erwhelming Attila; the ocean's queen;
Proud Genoa's prouder rival! 'T is to sap
The throne of such a city, these lost men
Have risk'd and forfeited their worthless lives --
So let them die the death.

I. Ber. We are prepared;
Your racks have done that for us. Let us

die. 21

Ben. If ye have that to say which would obtain
Abatement of your punishment, the Giunta Will hear you; if you have aught to con-fess,
Now is your time, perhaps it may avail ye.

I. Ber. We stand to hear, and not to speak.

Ben. Your crimes
Are fully proved by your accomplices,
And all which circumstance can add to aid them;
Yet we would hear from your own lips complete

Avowal of your treason: on the verge 30
Of that dread gulf which none repass, the truth
Alone can profit you on earth or heaven --
Say, then, what was your motive?

I. Ber. Justice!
Ben. What Your object?
I. Ber. Freedom!
Ben. You are brief, sir.

I. Ber. So my life grows: I
Was bred a soldier, not a senator.

Ben. Perhaps you think by this blunt brevity
To brave your judges to postpone the sentence?

I. Ber. Do you be brief as I am, and be-lieve me,

I shall prefer that mercy to your pardon. 40
Ben. Is this your sole reply to the tribu-nal?
I. Ber. Go, ask your racks what they have wrung from us,
Or place us there again; we have still some blood left,
And some slight sense of pain in these wrench'd limbs:
But this ye dare not do; for if we die there --
And you have left us little life to spend
Upon your engines, gorged with pangs al-ready --
Ye lose the public spectacle, with which
You would appal your slaves to further slavery!
Groans are not words, nor agony assent, 50
Nor affirmation truth, if nature's sense
Should overcome the soul into a lie,
For a short respite -- must we bear or die?
Ben. Say, who were your accomplices?
I. Ber. The Senate!
Ben. What do you mean?
I. Ber. Ask of the suffering people,
Whom your patrician crimes have driven to crime.

Ben. You know the Doge?
I. Ber. I served with him at Zara
In the field, when you were pleading here your way
To present office; we exposed our lives,
While you but hazarded the lives of others,

Alike by accusation or defence; 61
And, for the rest, all Venice knows her
Doge,
Through his great actions and the Senate's insults.

Ben. You have held conference with him? I. Ber. I am weary --

-538-

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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Biographical Sketch xi
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - A Romaunt 1
  • Shorter Poems 83
  • Miscellaneous Poems 139
  • Domestic Pieces 207
  • Hebrew Melodies 216
  • Ephemeral Verses 223
  • Satires 240
  • Tales, Chiefly Oriental 309
  • Italian Poems 436
  • Dramas 477
  • Scene II 481
  • Act II 483
  • Scene I 483
  • Scene II 487
  • Scene IV 488
  • Act III 491
  • Scene I 491
  • Scene II 493
  • Scene III 494
  • Scene IV 495
  • Act I 499
  • Act I 499
  • Scene II 500
  • Act II 509
  • Scene I 509
  • Scene II 516
  • Act III 518
  • Scene I 518
  • Scene II 520
  • Act IV 528
  • Scene I 528
  • Scene II 533
  • Act V 538
  • Act V 538
  • Scene II 546
  • Scenf III 548
  • Scene II 549
  • Sardanapalus 550
  • Scene II 551
  • Act II 561
  • Scene I 561
  • Act III 571
  • Scene I 571
  • Act IV 578
  • Scene I 578
  • Act V 587
  • Scene I 587
  • Act I 595
  • Scene I 595
  • Act II 601
  • Scene I 601
  • Act III 608
  • Scene I 608
  • Act IV 615
  • Scene I 620
  • Scene I 620
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Act II 636
  • Scene I 636
  • Scene II 639
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Scene II 657
  • Scene II 658
  • Werner; Or, the Inheritance 671
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 688
  • Act III 695
  • Scene I 695
  • Scene II 700
  • Scene III 701
  • Scene IV 701
  • Act IV 704
  • Scene I 704
  • Act V 713
  • Scene II 720
  • The Deformed Transformed 722
  • Scene II 723
  • Scene II 730
  • Part II 735
  • Scene I 735
  • Scene II 737
  • Scene III 738
  • Part III 742
  • Scene I 742
  • Don Juan 744
  • Notes 999
  • Indexes 1045
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