A monologue from the play by Lord Byron
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
That’s false! A truer, nobler, trustier heart,
More loving, or more loyal, never beat
Within a human breast. I would not change
My exiled, persecuted, mangled husband,
Oppress’d but not disgraced, crush’d, overwhelm’d,
Alive, or dead, for prince or paladin
In story or in fable, with a world
To back his suit. Dishonour’d!—he dishonour’d!
I tell thee, Doge, ’tis Venice is dishonour’d;
His name shall be her foulest, worst reproach,
For what he suffers, not for what he did.
‘Tis ye who are all traitors, tyrant!—ye!
Did you but love your country like this victim
Who totters back in chains to tortures, and
Submits to all things rather than to exile,
You’d fling yourselves before him, and implore
His grace for your enormous guilt.