Think not to speak unto the people; they
Are now by thousands swarming at the gates,
But these are closed: the Ten, the Avo-gadori,
The Giunta, and the chief men of the Forty,
Alone will be beholders of thy doom,
And they are ready to attend the Doge.
Doge. The Doge!
Ben. Yes, Doge, thou hast lived and thou shalt die
A sovereign; till the moment which precedes
The separation of that head and trunk, 559 That ducal crown and head shall be united.
Thou hast forgot thy dignity in deigning
To plot with petty traitors; not so we,
Who in the very punishment acknowledge
The prince. Thy vile accomplices have died
The dog's death, and the wolf's; but thou shalt fall
As falls the lion by the hunters, girt
By those who feel a proud compassion for thee,
And mourn even the inevitable death
Provoked by thy wild wrath and regal fierceness.
Now we remit thee to thy preparation: 570
Let it be brief, and we ourselves will be
Thy guides unto the place where first we were
United to thee as thy subjects, and
Thy senate; and must now be parted from thee
As such for ever, on the self-same spot. --
Guards! form the Doge's escort to his chamber. [Exeunt.
The Doge's Apartment.
The DOGE as Prisoner, and the DUCHESS attending him.
Doge. Now, that the priest is gone, 't were
To linger out the miserable minutes;
But one pang more, the pang of parting from thee,
And I will leave the few last grains of
sand 580 Which yet remain of the accorded hour,
Still falling -- I have done with Time.
And I have been the cause, the unconscious cause;
And for this funeral marriage, this black union,
Which thou, compliant with my father's wish,
Didst promise at his death, thou hast seal'd thine own.
Doge. Not so: there was that in my
Which shaped out for itself some great re-verse;
The marvel is, it came not until now -- 589 And yet it was foretold me.
Ang. How foretold you?
Doge. Long years ago -- so long, they are a doubt
In memory, and yet they live in annals:
When I was in my youth, and served the senate
And signory as podesta and captain
Of the town of Treviso, on a day
Of festival, the sluggish bishop who
Convey'd the Host aroused my rash young anger,
By strange delay and arrogant reply
To my reproof; I raised my hand and smote
him, 599 Until he reel'd beneath his holy burthen;
And as he rose from earth again, he raised
His tremulous hands in pious wrath towards
Thence pointing to the Host, which had fallen from him,
He turn'd to me, and said, 'The hour will come
When he thou hast o'erthrown shall over-throw thee:
The glory shall depart from out thy house,
The wisdom shall be shaken from thy soul,
And in thy best maturity of mind
A madness of the heart shall seize upon thee;
Passion shall tear thee when all passions
cease 610 In other men, or mellow into virtues;
And majesty, which decks all other heads,
Shall crown to leave thee headless; honours shall
But prove to thee the heralds of destruction,
And hoary hairs of shame, and both of death,
But not such death as fits an aged man.'
Thus saying, he pass'd on. -- That hour is come.
Ang. And with this warning couldst thou
not have striven
To avert the fatal moment, and atone
By penitence for that which thou hadst