I. Ber. You have said well. Have you
remark'd all such? 650
Cal. I've noted most; and caused the
To use like caution in their companies. As far as I have seen, we are enough To make the enterprise secure, if 't is Commenced to-morrow; but, till 't is begun, Each hour is pregnant with a thousand perils.
I. Ber. Let the Sixteen meet at the wonted
Except Soranzo, Nicoletto Blondo,
And Marco Giuda, who will keep their watch
Within the arsenal, and hold all ready, 660 Expectant of the signal we will fix on.
Cal. We will not fail.
I. Ber. Let all the rest be there; I have a stranger to present to them.
Cal. A stranger! doth he know the secret?
I. Ber. Yes.
Cal. And have you dared to peril your
On a rash confidence in one we know not?
I. Ber. I have risk'd no man's life except
my own --
Of that be certain: he is one who may
Make our assurance doubly sure, according
His aid; and if reluctant, he no less 670 Is in our power: he comes alone with me,
And cannot 'scape us; but he will not swerve.
Cal. I cannot judge of this until I know
Is he one of our order?
I. Ber. Ay, in spirit,
Although a child of greatness; he is one
Who would become a throne, or overthrow one --
One who has done great deeds, and seen great changes;
No tyrant, though bred up to tyranny;
Valiant in war, and sage in council; noble
In nature, although haughty; quick, yet
wary: 680 Yet for all this, so full of certain passions,
That if once stirr'd and baffled, as he has been
Upon the tenderest points, there is no Fury
In Grecian story like to that which wrings
His vitals with her burning hands, till he
Grows capable of all things for revenge:
And add too, that his mind is liberal;
He sees and feels the people are oppressd,
And shares their sufferings. Take him all in all,
We have need of such, and such have need
of us. 690
Cal. And what part would you have him take with us?
I. Ber. It may be, that of chief.
Cal. What! and resign Your own command as leader?
I. Ber. Even so.
My object is to make your cause end well,
And not to push myself to power. Experi-ence,
Some skill, and your own choice, had mark'd me out
To act in trust as your commander, till
Some worthier should appear. If I have found such
As you yourselves shall own more worthy, think you
That I would hesitate from selfishness, 700 And, covetous of brief authority,
Stake our deep interest on my single thoughts,
Rather than yield to one above me in
All leading qualities? No, Calendaro,
Know your friend better; but you all shall judge.
Away! and let us meet at the fix'd hour.
Be vigilant, and all will yet go well.
Cal. Worthy Bertuccio, I have known
Trusty and brave, with head and heart to
plan 709 What I have still been prompt to execute.
For my own part, I seek no other chief;
What the rest will decide I know not, but
I am with YOU, as I have ever been,
In all our undertakings. Now farewell,
Until the hour of midnight sees us meet.
Scene, the Space between the canal and the Church of San Giovanni e San Paolo. An equestrian Statue before it. A Gondola lies in the Canal at some distance.
Enter the DOGE alone, disguised.
Doge (solus). I am before the hour, the
hour whose voice,
Pealing into the arch of night, might strike These palaces with ominous tottering, And rock their marbles to the corner-stone,