Imatges de pàgina

A man,

lowed it to the Federalists :—and as the Federal Party was broken up, and there was no possibility of transmitting it further on this side the Atlantic, he seems to have discovered that it has gone off, collaterally, though against all the canons of descent, into the Ultras of France, and finally became extinguished, like exploded gas, among the adherents of Don Miguel.

This, sir, is an abstract of the gentleman's history of Federalism. I am not about to controvert it. It is not, at present worth the pains of refutation, because, sir, if at this day any one feels the sin of Federalism lying heavily on his conscience, he can easily obtain remission. He may even have an indulgence, if he is desirous of repeating the same transgression. It is an affair of no difficulty to get into this same right line of patriotic descent. now-a-days, is at liberty to choose his political parentage. He may elect his own father. Federalist, or not, he may, if he choose, claim to belong to the favoured stock, and his claim will be allowed.

He may carry back his pretensions just as far as the honourable gentleman himself; nay, he may make himself out the honourable gentleman's cousin, and prove satisfactorily, that he is descended from the same political great grandfather. All this is allowable. We all know a process, sir, by which the whole Essex Junto could, in one hour, be all washed white from their ancient Federalism, and come out, every one of them, an original Democrat, dyed in the wool! Some of them have actually undergone the operation, and they say it is quite easy. The only inconvenience it occasions, as they tell us, is a slight tendency of the blood to the face, a soft suffusion, which, however, is very transient, since nothing is said calculated to deepen the red on the cheek, but a prudent silence observed, in regard to all the past. Indeed, sir, some smiles of approbation have been bestowed, and some crumbs of comfort have fallen, not a thousand miles from the door of the Hartford Convention itself. And if the author of the ordinance of 1787, possessed the other requisite qualifications, there is no knowing, notwithstanding his Federalism, to what heights of favour he might not

yet attain.



Bertuccio Faliero. I cannot but


The sentence is too slight for the offence-
It is not honourable in the Forty
To affix so slight a penalty to that
Which was a foul affront to


and even To them, as being your subjects.

Doge. Oh! that the Saracen were in St. Mark's !
Thus would I do him homage.

For the sake
Of heaven and all its saints, my lord-

Oh, that the Genoese were in the port !
Oh, that the Huns whom I o’erthrew at Zara
Were ranged around the palace!

'Tis not well
In Venice' Duke to say so.

Venice' Duke!
Who now is Duke in Venice ? let me see him,
That he may do me right.

If you forget
Your office, and its dignity and duty,
Remember that of man, and curb this passion.
The duke of Venice-

Doge. (interrupting him.) There is no such thing~
It is a word—nay, worse, –a worthless by-word :
The most despised, wrong'd, outrag'd, helpless wretch,
Who begs his bread, if 'tis refused by one,
May win it from another kinder heart;
But he, who is denied his right by those
Whose place it is to do no wrong, is poorer
Than the rejected beggar-he's a slave-
And that am I, and thou, and all our house,
Even from this hour; the meanest artisan
Will point the finger, and the haughty noble
May spit upon us :—where is our redress ?

Ber. The law, my prince

Doge. (interrupting him.) You see what it has doneI ask'd no remedy but from the lawI sought no vengeance but redress by law1 callid no judges but those named by law, As sovereign, I appealed unto my subjects,

The very subjects who had made me sovereign,
And gave me thus a double right to be so.
The rights of place and choice, of birth and service,
Honours and years, these scars, these hoary hairs,
The travel, toil, the perils, the fatigues,
The blood and sweat of almost eighty years,
Were weigh'd i' the balance, 'gainst the foulest stain,
The grossest insult, most contemptuous crime
Of a rank, rash patrician—and found wanting !
And this is to be borne ?

I say not that :-
In case your fresh appeal should be rejected,
We will find other means to make all even.

Doge. Appeal again! art thou my brother's son ?
A scion of the house of Faliero?
The nephew of a Doge? and of that blood
Which hath already given three dukes to Venice?
But thou say’st well—we must be humble now.

Ber. My princely uncle! you are too much moved :
I grant it was a gross offence, and grossly
Left without fitting punishment; but still
This fury doth exceed the provocation,
Or any provocation. If we are wrong’d,
We will ask justice; if it be denied,
We'll take it; but may do all this in calmness-
Deep Vengeance is the daughter of deep Silence.

Doge. I tell thee-must I tell thee—what thy father Would have required no words to comprehend? Hast thou no feeling save the external sense Of torture from the touch ? hast thou no soulNo pride—no passion-no deep sense of honour?

Ber. 'Tis the first time that honour has been doubted, And were the last, from


other sceptic. Doge. You know the full offence of this born villain, This creeping, coward, rank, acquitted felon, Who threw his sting into a poisonous libel, And on the honour of—Oh God !-my wife, The nearest, dearest part of all men's honour, Left a base slur to pass from mouth to mouth Of loose mechanics, with all coarse foul comments, And villanous jests, and blasphemies obscene; While sneering nobles, in more polish'd guise, Whisper'd the tale, and smiled upon the lie Which made me look like them-a courteous wittol, Patient-ay, proud, it may be, of dishonour.


And what redress Did you expect as his fit punishment ?

Doge. Death! Was I not the sovereign of the state-
Insulted on his very throne, and made
A mockery to the men who should obey me?
Was I not injured as a husband : scorn'd
As man? reviled, degraded, as a prince?
Was not offence like his a complication
Of insult and of treason ?-and he lives !
Had he instead of on the Doge's throne
Stampt the same brand upon a peasant's stool,
His blood had gilt the threshold; for the carle
Had stabb’d, him on the instant.
But, notwithstanding, harm not thou a hair
Of Steno's head-he shall not wear it long.

Ber. Your wishes are my law; and yet I fain
Would prove to you how near unto my heart
The honour of our house must ever be.

Doge. Fear not; you shall have time and place of proof.
But be not thou too rash, as I have been.
I am ashamed of my own anger now;
pray you pardon me.

Why, that's my uncle !
The leader, and the statesman, and the chief
Of commonwealths, and sovereign of himself !
I wonder'd to perceive you so forget
All prudence in your fury at these years,
Although the cause

Ay, think upon the cause-
Forget it not:—When you lie down to rest,
Let it be black among your dreams; and when
The morn returns, so let it stand between
The sun and you, as an ill omen'd cloud
Upon a summer-day of festival:
So will it stand to me;—but speak not, stir not,-
Leave all to me ;-we shall have much to do,
And you shall have a part.-But now retire,
'Tis fit I were alone.

King. It is not well—it is not well we meet
On terms like these :-I should have found in Atl
A trusty counsellor and steady friend.

And better would it suit thy rev'rend age,
Thy station, quality, and kindred blood,
To hush ill-judging clamour, and cement
Divided factions to my throne again,
Than thus embroil the state.

My present aim
Is to repair, not widen more the breach
That discord made between us : this, my liege,
Not harsh reproaches, or severe rebuke,
Will e'er effectuate ;-No-let us rather,
On terms which equally become us both,
Our int'rests reunite.

By Heav'n, thy proud demeanour more befits
A sovereign than a subject !—Reunite !
How durst thou sever from thy faith, old lord !
And with an helmet load that hoary head
To wage rebellious war!

The sword of Athol
Was never drawn but to redress the wrongs
His country suffer'd.

Dar’st thou to my face
Impeach my conduct, baffled as thou art,
Ungrateful traitor? Is it thus thy guilt
My clemency implores ?

Not yet so low
Has fate reduc'd us, that we need to crawl
Beneath your footstool : in our camp remain
Ten thousand vig'rous mountaineers, who long
Their honours to retrieve.

Swift hie thee to them,
And lead thy fugitive adherents back!
Away.-Now by the mighty soul of Bruce!
Thou shalt be met. And if thy savage clans
Abide us in the plain, we soon will tread
Rebellion in the dust. Why move ye not!
Conduct them to their camp.

Forgive, my prince,
If, on my own integrity of heart
Too far presuming, I have galled the wound
Too much inflamed already.

Not with you,
But with your measures, ill-advised, I warr'd:
Your sacred person, family, and throne,
My purpose still revered.

O wretched plea!
To which thy blasted guilt must have recourse !

« AnteriorContinua »