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For them had sought-death and yet worse than death'
To meet him, and to part with him forever ! -
Time and their wrongs had changed them all — him most!
Yet when the wife, the mother, looked again,
'T was he —'t was he himself't was GIACOMO!
And all clung round him, weeping bitterly;
Weeping the more, because they wept in vain.
Unnerved, and now unsettled in his mind
From long and exquisite pain, he sobs and cries,
Kissing the old man's cheek, "Help me, my father !
Let me, I pray thee, live once more among ye:
home." “My son,” returns the Doge, “Obey. Thy country wills it.” 110
That night embarked ; sent to an early grave
For one whose dying words, “The deed was mine!
He is most innocent! T was I who did it !"
Came when he slept in peace. The ship, that sailed
Swift as the winds with his deliverance,
Bore back a lifeless corse. Generous as brave,
Affection, kindness, the sweet offices
Of duty and love were from his tenderest years
To him as needful as his daily bread;
And to become a by-word in the streets,
Bringing a stain on those who gave him life,
And those, alas ! now worse than fatherless -
To be proclaimed a ruffian, a night-stabber,
He on whom none before had breathed reproach -
He lived but to disprove it. That hope lost,
Death followed. O! if justice be in heaven,
A day must come of ample retribution !
Then was thy cup, old man, full to the brim.
But thou wert yet alive; and there was one,
The soul and spring of all that enmity,
Who would not leave thee; fastening on thy flank,
Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied ;
One of a name illustrious as thine own!
One of the Ten! one of the Invisible Three ! i
'T was LOREDANO. When the whelps were gone,
He would dislodge the lion from his den;
And, leading on the pack he long had led,
The miserable pack that ever howled
Against fallen greatness, moved that FOSCARI
Be Doge no longer; urging his great age;
Calling the loneliness of grief neglect
Of duty, sullenness against the laws.
-"I am most willing to retire," said he :
" But I have sworn, and cannot of myself.
Do with me as ye please.". He was deposed,
He, who had reigned so long and gloriously;
His ducal bonnet taken from his brow,
His robes stript off, his seal and signet-ring
Broken before him. But now nothing moved
The meekness of his soul. All things alike!
Among the six that came with the decree,
FOSCARI saw one he knew not, and inquired
“I am the son of MARCO MEMMO." “Ah!” he replied, “thy father was my friend." And now he goes.
- It is the hour and past. I have no business here." "But wilt thou not Avoid the gazing crowd? That way is private.” “No! as I entered, so will I retire.” And, leaning on his staff, he left the house, His residence for five-and-thirty years,
By the same stairs up which he came in state;
Those where the giants stand, guarding the ascent,
Monstrous, terrific. At the foot he stopt,
And, on his staff still leaning, turned and said,
“By mine own merits did I come. I go,
Driven by the malice of mine enemies."
Then to his boat withdrew, poor as he came,
Amid the sighs of them that dared not speak.
This journey was his last. When the bell rang
At dawn, announcing a new Doge to VENICE,
It found him on his knees before the cross,
Clasping his aged hands in earnest prayer ;
And there he died. Ere half its task was done,
It rang his knell.
But whence the deadly hate
That caused all this -- the hate of LOREDANO?
It was a legacy his father left,
Who, but for FOSCARI, had reigned in Venice,
And, like the venom in the serpent's bag,
Gathered and grew! Nothing but turned to hate ! 12
In vain did FOSCARI supplicate for peace,
Offering in marriage his fair ISABEL.
He changed not, with a dreadful piety
Studying revenge ; listening to those alone
Who talked of vengeance ; grasping by the hand
Those in their zeal (and none were wanting there)
Who came to tell him of another wrong,
Done or imagined. When his father died,
They whispered, “'T was by poison !” and the words
Struck him as uttered from his father's grave.
He wrote it on the tomb 113 ('t is there in marble),
And with a brow of care, most merchant-like,
Among the debtors in his leger-book 1
Entered at full (nor month nor day forgot)
“FRANCESCO FOSCARI — for my father's death.”
Leaving a blank - to be filled up hereafter.
When FOSCARI's noble heart at length gave way,
He took the volume from the shelf again
Calmly, and with his pen filled up the blank,
Inscribing, “He has paid me.”
Ye who sit
Brooding from day to day, from day to day
Chewing the bitter cud, and starting up
As though the hour was come to whet your fangs,
And, like the Pisan, 115 gnaw the hairy scalp
Of him who had offended if ye must,
Sit and brood on; but, O! forbear to teach
The lesson to your children.
It was midnight; the great clock had struck and was still echoing through every porch and gallery in the quarter of St. MARK, when a young citizen, wrapped in his cloak, was hastening home under it from an interview with his mistress. His step was light, for his heart was so. Her parents had just consented to their marriage ; and the very day was named. “Lovely GIULIETTA !” he cried. " And shall I then call thee mine at last? Who was ever so blest as thy MARCOLINI ?” But, as he spoke, he stopped; for something glittered on the pavement before him. scabbard of rich workmanship; and the discovery, what was it but an earnest of good fortune ? " Rest thou there!”
he cried, thrusting it gayly into his belt. “If another claims thee not, thou hast changed masters!” And on he went as before, humming the burden of a song which he and his GIULIETTA had been singing together. But how little do we know what the next minute will bring forth ! He turned by the Church of St. GEMINIANO, and in three steps he met the watch. A murder had just been committed. The senator RENALDI had been found dead at his door, the dagger left in his heart; and the unfortunate MARCOLINI was dragged away for examination. The place, the time, everything served to excite, to justify suspicion ; and no sooner had he entered the guard-house than a damning witness appeared against him. The bravo in his flight had thrown away his scabbard; and, smeared with blood, with blood not yet dry, it was now in the belt of Marco
Its patrician ornaments struck every eye; and, when the fatal dagrer was produced and compared with it, not a doubt of his guilt remained. Still there is in the innocent an energy and a composure, an energy when they speak and a composure when they are silent, to which none can be altogether insensible; and the judge delayed for some time to pronounce the sentence, though he was a near relation of the dead. At length, however, it came; and MARCOLINI lost his life, GIULIETTA her reason. Not
many years afterwards the truth revealed itself, the real criminal in his last moments confessing the crime: and hence the custom in VENICE, a custom that long prevailed, for a crier to cry out in the court before a sentence was passed, " Ricordatevi del povero MARCOLINI !” 116
Great, indeed, was the lamentation throughout the city. and the judge, dying, directed that thenceforth and forever a mass should be sung every night in a chapel of the ducal