Get thee unto thy fellows, I will hie me
To gather the retainers of our house.
Doubt not, Saint Mark's great bell shall
wake all Venice,
Except her slaughter'd senate. Ere the sun Be broad upon the Adriatic, there Shall be a voice of weeping, which shall drown
The roar of waters in the cry of blood! I am resolved -- come on.
I. Ber. With all my soul!
Keep a firm rein upon these bursts of passion; 651 Remember what these men have dealt to thee,
And that this sacrifice will be succeeded
By ages of prosperity and freedom
To this unshackled city. A true tyrant
Would have depopulated empires, nor
Have felt the strange compunction which hath wrung you
To punish a few traitors to the people.
Trust me, such were a pity more misplaced
Than the late mercy of the state to Steno.
Doge. Man, thou hast struck upon the
chord which jars 661 All nature from my heart. Hence to our task! [Exeunt.
Palazzo of the Patrician LIONI. LIONI laying aside the mask and cloak which the Venetian nobles wore in public, attended by a Domestic.
Lioni. I will to rest, right weary of this
The gayest we have held for many moons,
And yet, I know not why, it cheer'd me not;
There came a heaviness across my heart,
Which, in the lightest movement of the dance,
Though eye to eye, and hand in hand united
Even with the lady of my love, oppress'd me,
And through my spirit chill'd my blood, until
A damp like death rose o'er my brow: I strove
To laugh the thought away, but 't would
not be; 10 Through all the music ringing in my ears
A knell was sounding as distinct and clear,
Though low and far, as e'er the Adrian wave
Rose o'er the city's murmur in the night,
Dashing against the outward Lido's bul-wark:
So that I left the festival before
It reach'd its zenith, and will woo my pillow
For thoughts more tranquil, or forgetful-ness.
Antonio, take my mask and cloak, and light
The lamp within my chamber.
Ant. Yes, my lord: 20 Command you no refreshment?
Lioni. Nought, save sleep,
Which will not be commanded. Let me hope it, [Exit ANTONIO.
Though my breast feels too anxious; I will try
Whether the air will calm my spirits; 't is
A goodly night; the cloudy wind which blew
From the Levant hath crept into its cave,
And the broad moon has brighten'd. What a stillness! [Goes to an open lattice.
And what a contrast with the scene I left,
Where the tall torches' glare, and silver lamps'
More pallid gleam along the tapestried
walls, 30 Spread over the reluctant gloom, which haunts
Those vast and dimly-latticed galleries,
A dazzling mass of artificial light,
Which show'd all things, but nothing as they were.
There Age essaying to recall the past,
After long striving for the hues of youth
At the sad labour of the toilet, and
Full many a glance at the too faithful mirror,
Prank'd forth in all the pride of ornament,
Forgot itself, and trusting to the falsehood
Of the indulgent beams, which show, yet
hide, 41 Believed itself forgotten, and was fool'd.
There Youth, which needed not, nor thought of such
Vain adjuncts, lavish'd its true bloom, and health,
And bridal beauty, in the unwholesome press
Of flush'd and crowded wassailers, and wasted
Its hours of rest in dreaming this was plea-sure,
And so shall waste them till the sunrise streams
On sallow cheeks and sunken eyes, which
should not 49 Have worn this aspect yet for many a year.
The music, and the banquet, and the wine --