Page images
PDF
EPUB

Cos.

Enter Camilla.

Within his own, the soft and dimpled hand, Cos. And veil'd! Whence com'st thou, sister?

With one

Cam. speak!

Oh pure as thine! Believe it, Cosmo; Why hast thou borne those tears and that wan face

Pure as thine own!
Cos.

We have no father now,
Abroad amongst the happy? Whence com’st thou?
Cam. From one whose heart drops blood for this And we should love each other. Stay with me.

I am no tyrant-brother: I'll not force great grief. Cos. Whence ?

Thy blooming beauty to some old man's bed

For high alliance; I'll not plunge thy youth
Сат. .

From St. Mark's.
Cos.
The Doge! The poor old Doge!

Into that living tomb where the cold nun
Eriz. The Doge! It was not by the Ducal chan- Chants daily requiems, that thy dower may süell

My coffers; I but ask of thee to stay
bers
That I this morning saw-

With me in thy dear Venice, thy dear home,
Cam.
My lord Erizzo,

Thy mistress, mine. I'll be to thee, Camilla,
I seek not to deceive ye. I have seen

A father, brosher, lover. Stay with me!
The Doge. But 't was another wretcheder

I will be very kind to thee.
Cam.

Oh cruel! or whom I spake,-one who hath long to live.

This kindness is the rack. I come from where beneath the leaden roofs

Cos.

I would but save thee
Foscari lies.
Cos. And she can speak that name

From exile, penury, shame-
Cam.

He said so.
Sighingly, fondly! She can cast aside

Cos.

He!
Even maiden modesty! Forgive me, friend,
That trusting her I doubled thee. Approach not!

Cam. Ay, he urg'd all that thou canst say against

Himself and me in vain. My heart is firm.
Thou art contaminate.
Cam.
He's innocent!

I go. But love me still, oh love me still,

My brother! Turn not away, shake me not off, as though

Listen. I were some loathed reptile. Cosmo! Brother!

Cam.

He said all. We two are left alone in the wide world,

Cos.

Camilla! And I that sate upon that rainbow throne of happiness, I am fallen, fallen.

I'd save thee from a crime, a damning crimeCos.

What would'st thou ?

Did he say that? From such a parricide, How may I comfort thee? Sweet gentle soul,

Such unimagined sin- I tell thee, girl,

The Roman harlot, she the infamous
Her tears are daggers. Speak.
Cam.

And thou wilt listen ?

That crush'd her father with her chariot-wheels, Cos. Patient as infancy.

She'll be forgotten in thy monstrous guilt,
Cam.
He goes to-night;

Whitened by thy black shame.
Cam.

Oh father, father,
And I-nay, start not.
Cos.
What of thee?

I call upon thee! Look on me from heaven,

Search my whole soul—'t is white. Oh when somo Cam.

And I

tale We were betroth’d; he goes a sentenced wretch

of woman's truth brought tears into my eyes, But innocent, most innocent! He goes

How often hath he said-Be thou, too, faithful To scorn, to exile, and to misery,

In weal or woe! And now-farewell! farewell ! And I–I came to say farewell to thee,

Cosmo, my heart is breaking Say farewell, My brother-I go with him.

Only farewell!
Cos.
Ha!

Cos.

Stay with me.
Eriz.

She raves.
Cam.

No.
Look how she trembles; she is overwatched;

Cos.

Then go, This is a frenzy.

Outcast of earth and heaven, of God and man! Cam. Sir, I am not mad;

Abandon'd, spurn’d, abhorr’d, accurst! Go forth I'm a Donato born, and drank in courage

A murderer's bride--worse! worse! What impious Even with my mother's milk. What if I shake!

priest Within this trembling frame there is a heart

Will dare profane the holy words that join As firm as thine. Speak to me ere we part,

The pure of heart and hand for ye, for ye, My brother! Speak to me, whatever words,

The parricides—Oh that she had but died However bitter! Any thing but silence,

Innocent in her childhood ! Cold withering silence !

Cam.

One day, brother,
Cos.
Sister!

Thou 'lt grieve for this. Now bless thee!
Cam.
Bless thee, bless thee,

[Erit Camilla. For that kind word!

Stay!
Cos.
My sister, sit thee down-
Eriz.

She's gone.
Misery hath brought her to this pass.-Camilla, Cos. Why let her go, foul stain upon our house !
We had a father once :-he's slain. Wouldst thou She was his daughter still, and yesterday
Join this white hand, which he so loved to mould An angel! And he loved her and she him

Cos.

Fos.

my

With such a dotage! 'Twas a sight to see

Of blessing or of pardon. Bless me now,
How ere the pretty babe could speak its will, Parting is dying.
The chubby hands would cling and fix themselves Doge. Bless thee, my dear son.
Round its dear father's neck. Mother, or nurse,

Enter Camilla.
Or I, the elder child that played with her

Camilla !
Full half the day, were nothing if she caught

Fos. Bless her too. She is thy daughter;
One glimpse of that dear father.
Eriz.

Now she'll hang

She goes with me to exile. Around his murderer's neck.

Doge.

She is blest
Cos.
Do ye all forget

In her high constancy. Beloved child,

Thy virtuous love hath softened the sharp pang That I'm her brother? Ho, Camilla?

Of this dread hour. Eriz.

"Twill be

Cam.

Father! My only father! A triumph 'mid their shame to these misproud

Foscari, the bark awaits us. Revengeful Foscari to bear off thus

What, already ?
The glory of your house.

Cam. All is prepared.
Cos.
I'll rescue her.

Doge.

I should have told thee so; Where is she? Is she gone? What ho, Camilla!

But when I would have said, Go! go! my tongue
I'll follow her to the end of the earth. The laws
Give me a father's power. I'll save her yet.

Clave to my mouth.
Fos.

Already! Write to me
Camilla! Ho, Camilla !
Eriz.
You must seek her

Often. Is that forbidden? Yet the Doge
With him. The time draws near. (Cosmo rushes out. May ask my Candiote jailer if his prisoner

Now, Foscari,

Be strictly kept. Then I shall sometimes see,

For surely he will show it me, thy name, I have thee at feet.

(Erit.

Thy writing, something thou hast touched. 'T will be

A comfort.
SCENE II.

Doge. I will write to thee.
The Sea Shore.

Fos.

And think

Of me when the pale moon lets fall her cold
Doge, Foscari, Guards.

And patient light upon the Adrian wave
Fos. Here then we part. Those Guards - send That sighs and trembles. Think of me then.
them away,

Doge.

Always Let them not listen to the last faint word,

By sun, or moon, or star; in the bright day, Nor gaze on the last lingering look. Why doubt'st In the night's darkness, but one single thought thou?

Will dwell in my old heart—My banished son. Fear me not—I'll be a true prisoner.

Cam. Alas! Francesco, why wilt thou prolong I am a Foscari still, bound by one chain,

This useless agony? Honour. Send them away.

Fos.

He hath not said Doge.

Leave us. (Exeunt Guards. Farewell. One last embrace, one blessing more Fos.

Ay, now

The last ! My soul is free again. That tallest slave

Cam. What step is that?
Stood brushing against my vest-he with the hard

Enter Zeno.
Cold stony eyes—and I—let not that man
Go with me.

Zeno.

I crave your pardon :
Doge.
He shall not.

But I must pray the Doge to come with me
Fos.
How can I waste

Straight to the Senate. "T is an earnest business. A word on such a reptile! I'd a world

I do beseech your Highness. Leave him, Foscari! Of sad and loving things to say to thee,

Cling not together as your very souls But there's a weight just here-Oh father! father! Were interlaced. The Senate, Doge, demands thee. I thought to have been a comfort to thy age,

Fos. The Senate! What! hath he another son But I was born to spread a desolation

To try, to torture, to condemn? Hath he On all I love.

Another heart to break? Yet go. For once Doge. I would not change my son,

Their cruelty is mercy. Go. Banish'd although he be, with the proudest sire Doge.

Whilst still In Christendom. But we must part. These men These eyes may gaze on thee! Ere yonder cloud Are merciless.

Shall pass across the sun, a darker cloud Fos. Implore no grace of them.

Will wrap me in its blackness ; then the throne, And yet to leave this brave and tender heart The judgment seat, the grave-no matter where To wither in its princely solitude,

The old man rests his bones One dim eclipse Friendless, companionless.

Will shadow all-but now-say to the senate Doge.

Age hath one friend, That at their bidding I am sending forth
One sure friend-Death.

My son to exile.
Fos.
Oh I shall not be by

Fos.

Go! go! To close thine eyes or kneel beside thy couch,

Zeno.

Doge, thy duty, Or gather from thy lips the last fond sound

Thy princely duty calls thee.

This way.

Doge.
To that word,

Fos.

She stands there. Ask her Which was to me a god, have I not offered

Whom she will follow. My child upon the altar? Is the sacrifice

Сат. .

He knows well. Francesco, Still incomplete ? Farewell! farewell!

The whole world shall not part us.
Zeno.
Francesco, Fos.

Mine! Mine own! Embark not till ye hear from me. My lord, My very own! I've lost wealth, country, home,

Fame, friends, and father; I have nothing left Doge. I pray you pardon me, I'm old

Save thee, my dear one; but with thee I'm rich, I'm very old.

[Ereunt Doge and Zeno. And great, and happy. Now let us go forth Cam. Nay, sit not shivering there

Into our banishment. Give me thy hand,
Upon the ground. Hast thou no word for me, My wife.
Francesco ?

Cos. Camilla, I command thee stay-
Fos. Is he gone? Quite gone? For ever? The laws of Venice give to me a power
Cam. Take comfort.

Absolute as a father's. Loose her, Sir. Fos.

Is he gone? I did not say Let go her hand. I warn ye part. They'll drive me Farewell, nor God be with thee! When men part

Into a madness. If thou be a man From common friends for a slight summer voyage,

Let's end this quarrel bravely. They cry Heaven speed thee! and I could not say

Cam.

Heed him not! Farewell to my dear father, nor call down

Fos. Calm thee! He is thy brother. One benison on that white reverend head

Cos.

I disclaim her. Which I shall never see again. There breathes not Fos. Tremble not so! I am unarmed, Camilla: A wretch so curst as I.

Cos. Dost hold her as a shield before thy breast ? Cam. Foscari, the lips

Dost palter with me, coward ? That I have kissed are cold.

Fos. (breaking from Camilla.) Of?-A sword! Fos.

Oh bruised flower, A sword for charity! Whose very wounds do shed an odorous balm!

Cam.

Help! Help! The Doge! My gentle comforter! could I forget

The guard ! Stay with them! Part them! Leave them Thy misery! Forgive me.

not ! Сат. . I have left

Hold them asunder, Count, and in my prayers His bier, his bloody bier.

Thou shalt be sainted! Help. (Camilla rushes out. Fos. Ay, there it is!

Fos.

Give me a sword! Fortune, and friends, and home, to fly from them Cos. Ay his or mine. I am so strongly armed Were nothing—but she leaves the unburied corse In my most righteous cause, I would encounter Of her dead father, the dear privilege

A mailed warrior with a willow wand. To sit and watch till the last hour, to strew

Eriz. There is my weapon. His body with sweet flowers like a bank in spring, Fox.

Why thou wast my soe! Making death beautiful, to follow him

But this is such a bounty as might shame To his cold bed, and drop slow heavy tears

The princely hand of friendship. Not the blade To the bell's knolling. She leaves grief to go

Girt by a crowned Duke around my loins,
With me, whom the world calls—Oh matchless love, An Emperor's gift, the day I won my spurs
Life could not pay thee! Matchless, matchless love! In the Suabian victory, not that knightly sword

Cam. He, that blest spirit, knows thy innocence : Was welcomer than this.
And I-I never doubted.

Cos.

Foscari, come on!
Fos.
Matchless love!

Fos. I would thou wert a soldier!
We'll never part, we 'll live and die together.

Cos.

Now. There is a comfort in the word. Camilla,

[They fight, and Foscari falls. Where are the guards, the ship? My heart beats high Eriz.

The fates At thy exceeding truth. We shall set forth

Work for me.-Ha! As to a victory.

Cos.

Erizzo.
Eriz.

Is he dead?
Enter Cosmo and Erizzo,

Cos. Alas! alas! Lift up his head.
Cos.
She's here! She's here!

Cam. (behind the scene.)

Here! Here!

Canst thou not hasten?
Move not a step. Dare not to stir. Camilla,
Follow me.

Enter Camilla and the Doge.
Fos. Who is he that dares obstruct
The mandate of the Senate? I'm an exile

(entering)

Foscari! He's slain! Travelling to banishment. All Venice knows Oh bloody, bloody brother! Kill me too! The piteous story of the Doge's son

Be merciful! Help! Condemned by his own father, and of her

Cos.

Doth he live? His true and faithful love. Now leave us, Sir;

Cam.

Away!
Let us depart in peace.

Thy hands are bloody-Help, Doge Foscari!
Cos.
Murderer! Ravisher!

Help, father!- The old man stands stiffening there I seek my sister.

Into a statue-He'll die first! Of? Off!

Wouldst kill him o'er again?-He bleeds to death! And cold contempt, and bitter pardon—dared
Father, it is thy blood.

To hurl on me fierce pardon! Ha! he shivers !
Doge.
My son! My son!

His stout limbs writhe! The insect that is born Who hath done this?

And dies within an hour would not change lives Cam.

He is not dead. Support him. With Foscari. I am content. For thee See how his eye-lids quiver. Foscari!

I have a tenfold curse. Long be thy reign, 'Tis 1, thy wife!

Great Doge of Venice!
Fos.
Mine own!

Doge.

Ay, I am the Doge; Cos.

Thanks, gracious heaven! Lead him instant death. (Exit Erizzo guarded.
Enter Zeno and Guards.

My son!
Cos.

"Tis I Zeno. Seize Count Erizzo, Guard. Have ye not That am the only murderer of the earth— heard

I that slew him. Bring racks and axes, What spectacle is this ?-Know ye not, Sirs,

Doge.

Live! That Foscari is guiltless, that the murderer Is found ?

I pardon thee. He pardons thee. Live, Cosmo;

It is thy Prince's last behest. I've been
Fos Hear that! I'm innocent! Hear that!
The murderer is found! Nay, hold me pot-

O'erlong a crowned slave. Go! dross to dross.
I'm well—I'm strong. Father, there is no stain

(Flinging off the Ducal bonnet.

And bruise the stones of Venice! Tell the senate In the long line of Foscari! Camilla,

There lies their diadem. Now I am free!
My faithfullest,
Dage.
He falls.

Now I may grieve and pity like a man!
Cam.
There wanted this

May weep, and groan, and die! My heart may burst To crown the brimming cup of my despair.

Now! Start not, Zeno–Didst thou never hear

Of a broken heart? Look there.
We should have been the happiest two, Francesco,
Since the first pair in Paradise—but he

Zeno.

Hush! Ho revives. That was my brother

Cam. My Foscari!
Cos.
Peace. Who slew Donato ? Fos.

Camilla: Is't Camilla ?
Zeno. Celso, bribed by Erizzo to destroy

Is she not weeping? What! canst thou weep now, Francesco Foscari, by Donato crossed

When honour is redeemed and a bright name?
Slew him, and aided by the sword and cloak Why there should be no tear in all the world;
Dropped by Francesco, cast this deed of horror Gladness is come from Heaven.
On the most innocent.

Cam.

Death! Death!
Cos.
Hath he confessed ?

Fos.
Zeno. All. Seize Erizzo, bind him.

Is life. Who talked of death? I cannot die Eriz.

There's no need. In such a happiness. I'm well. The work is done, well done-Signor Donato,

Zeno.

He sinks; I thank thee still for that-and such revenge

Support him.

Cos. Is he dead?
Is cheaply bought with life.
Cos.
Oh, damned viper!

Doge.

Beloved son, Eriz. Ay! Do ye know me? Not a man of ye

How art thou? But is my tool or victim. I'm your master.

Fos. Strong at heart. What are those shapes This was my aim when old Donato died,

That hover round us? There! There! There ! And but that Celso dared not cope with Foscari,

Doge.

Thy friends. And sought to catch him in a subtler springe,

Fos. Friends! Have they heard that I am innocent? I had been now your Doge. And I am more. That I'm no murderer? That I do not shame I am your master, Sirs. Look where he lies My father's glory? Let it be proclaimedThe towering Foscari, who yesterday

Tell Venice-tell

(dies Stood statelier than the marble gods of Rome

Zeno.

He's gone. In their proud beauty. Hearken! It is mute,

Cam.

Mine! Still mine own! The tongue which darted words of fiery scorn, Bury me with him! He is mine.

This joy

[blocks in formation]

JUDICIOUS ALTERATIONS WHICH HE SUGGESTED,

AND FOR

WITH WHICH HE

IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

PRODUCTION OF A STRANGER, FOR THE

They who in Prologues for your favours ask,
Find every season more perplex their task;

Though doubts and hopes and tremblings do not fail,
THE ENERGY, THE PATHOS, AND THE SKILL The points fall flatly and the rhymes grow stale ;

Why should the Author hint their fitting parts,

In all the pomp of Verse, to " British hearts ?"
MORE THAN EMBODIED ITS PRINCIPAL CHARACTER;

Why to such minds as yours with ardour pray,
This Tragedy

For more than justice to a first essay ?
What need to show how absolute your power?
What stake awaits the issue of the hour-

How hangs the scale 'twixt agony and joy,
THE AUTHOR. What bliss you nourish, or what hopes destroy ?-

All these you feel ;—and yet we scarce can bring
A Prologue to “ the posey of a ring."

To what may we allude ?–Our plot untold
PREFACE.

Is no great chapter from the times of old;

On no august association rests, THE Story and Characters of the following Tra- But seeks its earliest home in kindly breasts,– gedy are allogether fictitious. Annabel's cautions Its scene, as inauspicious to our strain, to silence in the first Scene, and the short dialogue is neither mournful Greece, nor kindling Spain, between her and Julian, after he awakens, will be But Sicily-where no defiance hurled recognised by the classical reader as borrowed from At freedom's foes may awe the attending world. the fine opening of the Orestes of Euripides; the But since old forms forbid us to submit incident of uncovering the body in the last Act is A Play without a Prologue to the Pit; also taken from the Electra of Sophocles. Of any Lest this be missed by some true friend of plays, other intentional imitation, the Author is unconscious. Like the dull colleague of his earlier days;

Thus let me own how fearlessly we trust
That you will yet be mercifully just.

[graphic]

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

JULIAN

ALFONSO, King of Sicily, a boy, disguised as Theo

dore.
The Duke of MelFi, Uncle to Alfonso, and Regent

of the Kingdom.
JULIAN, Melfi's Son.
Count D'ALBA, a powerful Nobleman.
VALORE,
LEANTI, Sicilian Nobles.
CALVI,
Paolo, Julian's Servant.

ACT I.

SCENE 1.
An Apartment in the Royal Palace. Julian sleeping

on a couch. Annabel.
Ann. No; still he sleeps! ”T was but the myrtle

bud
Tapping against the casement, as the wind

« PreviousContinue »