Pie. Too long -- at least so thinks the Doge.
Bat. How bears he These moments of suspense?
Pie. With struggling patience.
Placed at the ducal table, cover'd o'er
With all the apparel of the state, petitions,
Despatches, judgments, acts, reprieves, re-ports,
He sits as rapt in duty; but whene'er 10 He hears the jarring of a distant door,
Or aught that intimates a coming step,
Or murmur of a voice, his quick eye wanders,
And he will start up from his chair, then pause,
And seat himself again, and fix his gaze
Upon some edict; but I have observed
For the last hour he has not turn'd a leaf.
Bat. 'T is said he is much moved, -- and
doubtless 't was
Foul scorn in Steno to offend so grossly. 19
Pie. Ay, if a poor man: Steno's a patrician, Young, galliard, gay, and haughty.
Bat. Then you think He will not be judged hardly?
Pie. 'T were enough He be judged justly; but 't is not for us To anticipate the sentence of the Forty.
Bat. And here it comes. -- What news, Vincenzo?
Vin. 'T is
Decided; but as yet his doom's unknown:
I saw the president in act to seal
The parchment which will bear the Forty's
Unto the Doge, and hasten to inform him.
The Ducal Chamber.
MARINO FALIERO, Doge; and his Nephew, BERTUCCIO
Ber. F. It cannot be but they will do you
Doge. Ay, such as the Avogadori did, Who sent up my appeal unto the Forty To try him by his peers, his own tribunal.
Ber. F. His peers will scarce protect
him; such an act
Would bring contempt on all authority.
Doge. Know you not Venice? Know you But we not the Forty? e shall see anon.
Ber. F. (addressing VINCENZO, then enterrig). How now -- what tidings?
Vin. I am charged to tell his highness
that the court
Has pass'd its resolution, and that, soon
As the due forms of judgment are gone
through, 40 The sentence will be sent -- up to the Doge;
In the mean time the Forty doth salute
The Prince of the Republic, and entreat
His acceptation of their duty.
Doge. Yes --
They are wond'rous dutiful, and ever hum-ble.
Sentence is pass'd, you say?
Vin. It is, your highness:
The president was sealing it, when I
Was call'd in, that no moment might be lost
In forwarding the intimation due
Not only to the Chief of the Republic, 50 But the complainant, both in one united.
Ber. F. Are you aware, from aught you
Of their decision?
Vin. No, my lord; you know The secret custom of the courts in Venice.
Ber. F. True; but there still is some-thing given to guess,
Which a shrewd gleaner and quick eye would catch at;
A whisper, or a murmur, or an air
More or less solemn spread o'er the tribunal.
The Forty are but men -- most worthy men,
And wise, and just, and cautious, this I
grant, 60 And secret as the grave to which they doom
The guilty; but with all this, in their aspects --
At least in some, the juniors of the num-her --
A searching eye, an eye like yours, Vincenzo,
Would read the sentence ere it was pronounced.
Vin. My lord, I came away upon the mo-ment,
And had no leisure to take note of that Which pass'd among the judges, even in. seeming;
My station near the accused too, Michel Steno,
Made me --
Doge (abruptly). And how lookd he?
deliver that. 70
Vin. Calm, but not overcast, he stood resign'd