Now darkling in their close toward the
Where Death sits robed in his all-sweeping shadow.
When I am gone -- it may be sooner than
Even these years warrant, for there is that stirring
Within, above, around, that in this city
Will make the cemeteries populous
As e'er they were by pestilence or war, --
When I am nothing, let that which I was
Be still sometimes a name on thy sweet lips,
A shadow in thy fancy, of a thing 511 Which would not have thee mourn it, but remember; --
Let us begone, my child, the time is pressing. [Exeunt.
A retired Spot near the Arsenal.
ISRAEL BERTUCCIO and PHILIP CALENDARO.
Cal. How sped you, Israel, in your late complaint?
I. Ber. Why, well.
Cal. Is't possible! will he be punish'd?
I. Ber. Yes.
Cal. With what ? a mulct or an arrest?
I. Ber. With death!
Cal. Now you rave, or must intend re-venge,
Such as I counsell'd you, with your own hand.
I. Ber. Yes; and for one sole draught of
hate, forego 519 The great redress we meditate for Venice,
And change a life of hope for one of exile;
Leaving one scorpion crush'd, and thousands stinging
My friends, my family, my countrymen!
No, Calendaro; these same drops of blood,
Shed shamefully, shall have the whole of his
For their requital -- But not only his;
We will not strike for private wrongs alone;
Such are for selfish passions and rash men,
But are unworthy a tyrannicide.
Cal. You have more patience than I care
to boast. 530 Had I been present when you bore this in-sult,
I must have slain him, or expired myself
In the vain effort to repress my wrath.
I. Ber. Thank Heaven, you were not --
all had else been marr'd:
As 't is, our cause looks prosperous still.
Cal. You saw The Doge -- what answer gave he?
I. Ber. That there was No punishment for such as Barbaro.
Cal. I told you so before, and that't was
To think of justice from such hands.
I. Ber. At least,
It lull'd suspicion, showing confidence. 540 Had I been silent, not a sbirro but
Had kept me in his eye, as meditating
A silent, solitary, deep revenge.
Cal. But wherefore not address you to
The Doge is a mere puppet, who can scarce Obtain right for himself. Why speak to him?
I. Ber. You shall know that hereafter.
Cal. Why not now?
I. Ber. Be patient but till midnight. Get
And bid our friends prepare their com-panies:
Set all in readiness to strike the blow, 550 Perhaps in a few hours; we have long waited
For a fit time -- that hour is on the dial,
It may be, of to-morrow's sun: delay
Beyond may breed us double danger. See
That all be punctual at our place of meet-ing,
And arm'd, excepting those of the Sixteen,
Who will remain among the troops to wait
Cal. These brave words have breathed
Into my veins; I am slek of these protracted
And hesitating councils: day on day 560 Crawl'd on, and added but another link
To our long fetters, and some fresher wrong
Inflicted on our brethren or ourselves,
Helping to swell our tyrant's bloated strength.
Let us but deal upon them, and I care not
For the result, which must be death or free-dom!
I'm weary to the heart of finding neither.
I. Ber. We will be free in life or death!
Is 'chainless. Have you all the musters
ready? 569 And are the sixteen companies completed
Cal. All save two, in which there are Twenty-five wanting to make up the number.