Lor. The Romans (and we ape them)
gave a crown
To him who took a city; and they gave
A crown to him who saved a citizen
In battle: the rewards are equal. Now,
If we should measure forth the cities taken
By the Doge Foscari, with citizens
Destroy'd by him, or through him, the ac-count
Were fearfully against him, although nar-row'd
To private havoc, such as between him 320 And my dead father.
Bar. Are you then thus fix'd?
Lor. Why, what should change me?
Bar. That which changes me:
But you, I know, are marble to retain
A feud. But when all is accomplish'd, when
The old man is deposed, his name degraded,
His sons all dead, his family depress'd,
And you and yours triumphant, shall you sleep?
Lor. More soundly.
Bar. That's an error, and you'll find it
Ere you sleep with your fathers.
Lor. They sleep not
In their accelerated graves, nor will 330 Till Foscari fills his. Each night I see them
Stalk frowning round my couch, and, point-ing towards
The ducal palace, marshal me to vengeance.
Bar. Fancy's distemperature! There is
More spectral or fantastical than Hate;
Not even its opposite, Love, so peoples air
With phantoms, as this madness of the heart.
Enter an Officer.
Lor. Where go you, sirrah?
Offi. By the ducal order
To forward the preparatory rites
For the late Foscari's interment.
Bar. Their 340 Vault has been often open'd of late years.
Lor. 'T will be full soon, and may be closed for ever.
Offi. May I pass on?
Lor. You may,
Bar. How bears the Doge
This last calamity?
Offi. With desperate firmness.
In presence of another he says little,
But I perceive his lips move now and then;
And once or twice I heard him, from the adjoining
Apartment, mutter forth the words -- 'My son!'
Scarce audibly. I must proceed. [Exit Officer.
Bar. This stroke
Will move all Venice in his favour.
Lor. Right! 350
We must be speedy: let us call together
The delegates appointed to convey
The council's resolution.
Bar. I protest
Against it at this moment.
Lor. As you please --
I'll take their voices on it ne'ertheless,
And see whose most may sway them, yours or mine.
[Exeunt BARBARIGO and LOREDANO.
The DOGE'S Apartment.
The DOGE and Attendants.
Att. My lord, the deputation is in waiting;
But add, that if another hour would better
Accord with your will, they will make it theirs.
Doge. To me all hours are alike. Let
them approach. [Exit Attendant.
An Officer. Prince! I have done your bidding.
Doge. What command?
Offi. A melancholy one -- to call the at-tendance
Doge. True -- true -- true: I crave your
Begin to fail in apprehension, and
Wax very old -- old almost as my years.
Till now I fought them off, but they begin 10 To overtake me.
Enter the Deputation, consisting of Six of the Signory and the Chief of the Ten.
Noble men, your pleasure?
Chief of the Ten. In the first place, the
Council doth condole
With the Doge on his late and private grief.
Doge. No more -- no more of that.
Chief of the Ten. Will not the Duke
Accept the homage of respect?