Mar. This means that you are more
Doge than father.
Doge. It means, I am more citizen than
If we had not for many centuries
Had thousands of such citizens, and shall,
I trust, have still such, Venice were no city.
Mar. Accursèd be the city where the
Would stifle nature's!
Doge. Had I as many sons
As I have years, I would have given them
all, 421 Not without feeling, but I would have given them
To the state's service, to fulfil her wishes
On the flood, in the field, or, if it must be,
As it, alas! has been, to ostracism,
Exile, or chains, or whatsoever worse
She might decree.
Mar. And this is patriotism?
To me it seems the worst barbarity.
Let me seek out my husband: the sage
With all its jealousy, will hardly war 430 So far with a weak woman as deny me
A moment's access to his dungeon.
So far take on myself, as order that
You may be admitted.
Mar. And what shall I say
To Foscari from his father?
Doge. That he obey
Mar. And nothing more? Will you not
Ere he depart? It may be the last time.
Doge. The last! -- my boy! -- the last
time I shall see
My last of children! Tell him I will come. [Exeunt.
The prison of JACOPO FOSCARI.
Jac. Fos. (solus). No light, save yon faint
gleam which shows me walls
Which never echo'd but to sorrow's sounds,
The sigh of long imprisonment, the step
Of feet on which the iron clank'd, the groan
Of death, the imprecation of despair!
And yet for this I have return'd to Venice,
With some faint hope, 't is true, that time, which wears
The marble down, had worn away the hate
Of men's hearts; but I knew them not, and here
Must I consume my own, which never beat
For Venice but with such a yearning as 11 The dove has for her distant nest, when wheeling
High in the air on her return to greet
Her callow brood. What letters are these which [Approaching the wall.
Are scrawl'd along the inexorable wall?
Will the gleam let me trace them? Ah! the names
Of my sad predecessors in this place,
The dates of their despair, the brief words of
A grief too great for many. This stone page
Holds like an epitaph their history; 20 And the poor captive's tale is graven on
His dungeon barrier, like the lover's record
Upon the bark of some tall tree, which bears
His own and his beloved's name. Alas!
I recognise some names familiar to me,
And blighted like to mine, which I will add
Fittest for such a chronicle as this
Which only can be read, as writ, by wretches. [He engraves his name.
Enter a Familiar of 'the Ten.'
Fam. I bring you food.
Jac. Fos. I pray you set it down;
I am past hunger: but my lips are
parch'd -- 30 The water!
Jac. Fos. (after drinking). I thank you:
I am better.
Fam. I am commanded to inform you
Your further trial is postponed.
Jac. Fos. Till when?
Fam. I know not. -- It is also in my
That your illustrious lady be admitted.
Jac. Fos. Ah! they relent, then -- I had ceased to hope it: 'T was time.
Mar. My best beloved!
Jac. Fos. (embracing her). My true wife,
And only friend! What happiness!
Mar. We'll part