Lioni. What, ho! -- Antonio -- Pedro --
to the door!
See that none pass -- arrest this man!
Enter ANTONIO and other armed Domestics, who seize BERTRAM.
Lioni (continues). Take care
He hath no harm; bring me my sword and
cloak, 330 And man the gondola with four oars -- quick -- [Exit ANTONIO.
We will unto Giovanni Gradenigo's,
And send for Marc Cornaro: -- fear not,
This needful violence is for thy safety,
No less than for the general weal.
Ber. Where wouldst thou Bear me a prisoner?
Lioni. Firstly to 'the Ten;' Next to the Doge.
Ber. To the Doge?
Lioni. Assuredly: Is he not chief of the state?
Ber. Perhaps at sunrise --
Lioni. What mean you? -- but we'll know anon.
Ber. Art sure?
Lioni. Sure as all gentle means can make;
and if 340 They fail, you know 'the Ten' and their tribunal,
And that Saint Mark's has dungeons, and the dungeons
Ber. Apply it then before the dawn
Now hastening into heaven. -- One more
And you shall perish piecemeal, by the death You think to doom to me.
Ant. The bark is ready, My lord, and all prepared.
Lioni. Look to the prisoner. Bertram, I'll reason with thee as we go To the Magreo's, sage Gradenigo.
The ducla Palace. -- The Doge's Apartment.
The DOGE and his nephew BERTUCCIO FALIERO.
Doge. Are all the people of our house in
Ber. F. They are array'd, and eager for the signal, Within our palace precincts at San Polo. I come for your last orders.
Doge. It had been
As well had there been time to have got
From my own fief, Val di Marino, more Of our retainers -- but it is too late.
Ber. F. Methinks, my lord, 't is better as
A sudden swelling of our retinue Had waked suspicion; and, though fierce and trusty,
The vassals of that district are too rude 360 And quick in quarrel to have long main-tain'd
The secret discipline we need for such A service, till our foes are dealt upon.
Doge. True; but when once the signal
has been given
These are the men for such an enterprise;
These city slaves have all their private bias,
Their prejudice against or for this noble,
Which may induce them to o'erdo or spare
Where mercy may be madness; the fierce peasants,
Serfs of my county of Val di Marino, 370 Would do the bidding of their lord without
Distinguishing for love or hate his foes;
Alike to them Marcello or Cornaro,
A Gradenigo or a Foscari;
They are not used to start at those vain names,
Nor bow the knee before a civic senate;
A chief in armour is their Suzerain,
And not a thing in robes.
Ber. F. We are enough; And for the dispositions of our clients Against the senate I will answer.
The die is thrown; but for a warlike setvice, 381 Done in the field, commend me to my pea-sants.
They made the sun shine through the host of Huns,
When sallow burghers slunk back to their tents
And cower'd to hear their own victorious trumpet.
If there be small resistance, you will find
These citizens all lions, like their standard;
But if there's much to do, you'll wish, with me,
A band of iron rustics at our backs.