(Francis). Doge of Venice. He occupied the office for
thirty-five years, added Brescia, Bergamo, Crema, and Ravenna to the
Republic, greatly improved the city, and raised Venice to the pinnacle
of its glory. Of his four sons only one, named Jacopo, survived: he was
thrice tortured. Before his final banishment, the old doge, then
eighty-four years of age, hobbled on crutches to the gaol where his
son was confined, but would not mitigate the sentence of “The Ten.” His
son, being banished to Candia, died, and Francis was deposed. As he
descended the Giant Staircase he heard the bell toll for the election
of his successor, and dropped down dead. (Byron; The Two Foscari.
Denounced by the Council of Ten for taking bribes of foreign
powers. He was tried before his own father, confessed his guilt, and
was banished. During his banishment a Venetian senator was murdered,
and Jacopo, being suspected of complicity in the crime, was again
tortured and banished. He returned to Venice, was once more brought
before the council, subjected to torture, and banished to Candia, where
in a few days he died.
Nothing can sympathise with Foscari -
Not e'en a Foscari.
Byron: The Two Foscari.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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