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ALDABELLA.

FAZIO.

ALDABELLA.

FAZIO.

FAZIO.

For lear and haggard sorrow. (Appearing to perceive

FAZIO.
Fazio, erit CLARA.) Oh, my lord !

Oh, no! we must not part, we must not part.
You're timely come to take a long farewell.

I came to tell thee something: what, I know not. Our convent gates are rude, and black, and close ; I only know one word that should have been; Our Ursuline veils of such a jealous woof,

And thai-Oh! if thy skin were seam'd with wrinThere must be piercing in those curious eyes,

kles, Would know if the skin beneath be snarth or snowy. If on thy cheek sate sallow hollowness, FAZIO.

If thy warm voice spake shrieking, harsh, and shrill A convent for the brilliant Aldabella!

But to that breathing form, those ripe round lips, The mirror of all rival lovelinesses,

Like a full parted cherry, those dark eyes, The harp to which all gay thoughts lightly dance, Rich in such dewy languors - I'll not say itMew'd in the drowsy silence of a cloister!

Nay, nay, 't is on me now! - Poison 's at work!
ALDABELLA.

Now listen to me, lady - We must love.
Oh, what regards it, if a blind man lie
On a green lawn or on a steamy moor!

Love!- Ay, my lord, as far as honesty.
What heeds it to the dead and wither'd heart,
Whose faculty of rapture is grown sere,

Honesty! – ”T is a stale and musty phrase;
Hath lost distinction between foul and fair,
Whether it house in gorgeous palaces,

At least al court: and why should we be traitors

To the strong tyrant Custom ?
Or 'mid wan graves and haggard signs of care!
Oh, there's a grief, so with the threads of being
Ravell’d and twined, it sickens every sense :

My lord FazioThen is the swinging and monotonous bell

Oh, said I my lord Fazio ? — thou 'lt betray me: Musical as the rich harp heard by moonlight;

The bride--the wife-she that I mean

- My lord, Then are the limbs insensible if they rest

I am nor splenetic nor envions ; On the coarse pallet or the pulpy down.

But 't is a name I dare not trust my lips with. What mean ye, lady? - thou bewilder’st me.

Bianca, oh Bianca is her name; What grief so wanton and luxurious

The mild Bianca, the soft fond Bianca. Would choose the Lady Aldabella's bosom

Oh to that name, e'en in the Church of God, To pillow on?

I pledged a solemn faith.

ALDA BELLA.
Oh, my lord, untold love

Within that Church
Nay, Fazio, gaze not on me so; my tongue

Barren and solitary my sad name Can scarcely move for the fire within my cheeks - Shall sound, when the pale nun prosess'd doth wed It cankereth, it consumeih, untold love.

That her cold bridegroom Solitude: and yet But if it burst ils secret prison-house,

Her right — ere she had seen you, we had loved. And venture on the broad and public air,

FAZIO (franticly.) It leagueth with a busy fiend callid Shame; Why should we dash the goblet from our lips, And they both dog their game, till misery

Because the dregs may have a smack of bitter? Fastens upon it with a viper's fang,

Why should that pale and clinging consequence And rings its being with its venomous coil.

Thrust itself ever 't wixt us and our joys ?
FAZIO.
Misery and thee!--oh, 't is unnatural!

My lord, 't is well our convent walls are high, Oh, yoke thee to that thing of darkness, misery! And our gates massy ; else ye raging tigers That Ethiop, that grim Moor! - it were to couple Might rush upon us simple maids unveil'd. The dove and kite within one loving leash.

FAZIO.
It must not be; nay, ye must be divorced.

A veil! a veil! why Florence will be dark
ALDABELLA.

At noonday: or thy beauty will fire up,
Ah no, my lord ! we are too deeply pledged. By the contagion of its own bright lustre,
Dost thou remember our old poel's* legend

The dull dend flux to so intense a brilliance, Over Hell gales Hope comes not here ?" Where "T will look like one of those rich purple clouds hope

On the pavilion of the setting sun.
Comes not, is hell; and what have I to hope ?

ALDABELLA.
FAZIO.

My lord, I've a poor banquet here within;
What hast to hope ?- Thou 'rt strangely beautiful Will 't please ye taste it?
ALDABELLA.

FAZIO,
Wouldst thou leave Mattery thy last ravishing sound

Ay, wine, wine! ay, wine! Upon mine ears ? — 'T is kind, 't is fatally kind. I'll drown thee, thou officious preacher, here! (Clasp

ing his forehead.)
* Dante.
Wine, wine!

[Exeunt

ALDABELLA.

ALDABELLA.

BIANCA.

PIERO.

BIANCA,

The man with a brief name; 't was gaming, dicing,

Riotously drinking.-Oh it was not there;
ACT III.- SCENE I.

’T was any where but there-or if it was,
Palace of Fazio.

Why like a sly and creeping adder sting me
With thy black tidings ?-Nay, nay : good my friend ;

Here's inoney for those harsh intemperate words.-
Not all the night, not all the long, long night. But he's not there; 't was some one of the gallanis,
Not come to me! not send to me! not think on me! With dress and stature like my Fazio.
Like an unrighteous and unburied ghost,

Thou wert mistaken :-ho, no; 't was not Fazio. I wander up and down these long arcades. Oh, in our old poor narrow home, if haply

It grieves me much, but, lady, 't is my fear
He linger'd late abroad, domestic things

Thou'lt find it but too true.
Close and familiar crowded all around me;
The ticking of the clock, the flapping motion

Hence! hence! Avaunt, of the green lattice, the grey curtains' folds,

With thy cold courteous face! Thou seest I'm The hangings of the bed myself had wrought,

wretched : Yea, e'en his black and iron crucibles,

Doth it content thee? Gaze-gaze!-perchance Were to me as my friends. But here, oh here,

Ye would behold the bare and bleeding heart, Where all is coldly, comfortlessly costly,

With all its throbs, ils agonies.--Oh Fazio! All strange, all new in uncouth gorgeousness,

Oh Fazio! is ber smile more sweet than mine? Lofty and long, a wider space for misery

Or her soul fonder ?-Fazio, my lord Fazio ! E'en my own footsteps on these marble floors

Before the face of man mine own, mine only; Are unaccustom'd unfamiliar sounds. –

Before the fare of Ileaven Bianca's Fazio,
Oh, I am here so wearily miserable,

Not Aldabella's.- Ah, that I should live
That I should welcome my apostate Fazio,
Though he were fresh from Aldabella's arms.

To question it!-Now, henceforth all our joys,
Her arms! - her viper coil! - I had fors worn

Our delicate indearments, are all poison'd.
That thonght; lest he should come, and find me mad. Ay! if he speak my name with his fond voice,

It will be with the same tone that 10 her
And so go back again, and I not know it.
Oh that I were a child to play with toys,

He murmur'd hers :-it will be, or 't will seem so.

If he embrace me, 't will be with those arms
Fix my whole soul upon a cup and ball-

In which he folded her: and if he kiss me,
Oh any pitiful poor subterfuge,
A moment to distract my busy spirit

Ile'll pause, and think which of the two is sweeter From its dark dalliance with that cursed image!

PIERO. I have tried all: all vainly - Now, but now

Nay, good my lady, give not entertainment I went in to my children. The first sounds

To such sick fancies ; think on lighter matters. They murmur'd in their evil-dreaming sleep

I heard strange news abroad : the Duke's in council Was a faint mimicry of the name of father.

Debating on the death of old Bartolo, I could not kiss them, my lips were so hot.

The grey lean ustrer. He's been long abroad, The very household slaves are leagued against me,

And died, they think. And do beset me with their wicked floutings, * Comes my lord home to-night?" - and when I say,

Well, sir, and what of that? “I know noi,” their coarse pity makes my heart. And have I not the privilege of sorrow, strings

Without a menial's staring eye upon me? Throb with the agony.–(Enter Piero.)—Well, what Who sent thee thus to charter my free thoughts, of my lord ?

And tell them where to shrink, and where 10 pause ? Vay, tell it with thy lips, not with thy visage. Officious slave, away!-(Exit.) Ha! what saidst Thou raven, croak it out if it be evil:

thou? If it be good, I'll fall and worship thee;

Bartolo's death! and the Duke in his conncil !-. 'T' is the office and the ministry of gods

I'll rend him from her, though she wind around him, To speak good tidings to distracted spirits.

Like the vine round the elm. I'll pluck him off,

Though the lise crack at parting.–No, no pause ; Last night my lord did feast

For if there is, I shall be tame and timorous:

That milk-faced mercy will come whimpering to me

Speak it at once — And I shall sit and meekly, miserably Where? where ? — I'll wring it from thy lips. - Weep o'er my wrongs. — Ha! that her soul were Where? where?

fond

And fervent as mine own! I would give worlds Lady, at the Marchesa Aldabella's.

To see her as he's rent and rack'd from her.

Oh, but she's cold; she cannot, will not feel Thou liest, false slave: 't was at the Ducal Palace, It is but half revenge: her whole of sorrow Twas at the arsenal with the officers,

Will be a drop to my consummate agony.-'Twas with the old rich senator--him-him-him- Away, away: Oh had I wings to waft me!

BIANCA

PIERO.

BIANCA.

PIERO.

BIANCA.

GONSALVO.

DUKE.

BIANCA.

My lord

BIANCA.
SCENE II.

Giraldi Fazio.
Duke and his Council.

My liege, I know him; 't is the new-sprung signior, 'Tis passing strange, a man of such lean habits, This great philosopher. I ever doubted Wealth Aowing to him in a steady current,

His vaunted manufactory of gold. Winds wafuing it unto him from all quarters,

Work'd by some strunge machinery. Through all his seventy toilsome years of life,

DUKE.

Theodore, And yet his treasury so spare and meagre; Signior Gonsalvo, were the voice that told us

Search thou the garden that this woman speaks of. Less tried and trusty than thine own, our faith

Captain Antonio, be 't thy charge to attach Would be a rebel to such marvellous fact.

With speed the person of this Fazio.

BIANCA (rushing forward to ANTONIO).
GONSALVO.

You 'll find him at the Marchesa Aldabella's:
Well may your Highness misdoubt me, myself
Almost misdoubting mine own positive senses.

Bring him away -no mercy - no delay -
No sign was there of outward violence,

Nay, not an instant -- not time for a kiss, All in a state of orderly misery,

A parting kiss. (Aside.) Now have I widow'd her,

As she has widow'd me! Now come what will, No trace of secret inroad ; yet, my liege, The mountains of his wealth were puny mole-hills,

Their curst entwining arms are riven asunder.

DUKE.
A few stray ducats; piles indeed of parchments,

And thou, thou peremptory summoner!
Mortgages, deeds, and lawsuits heaped to the roof,
Enough to serve the armies of all Tuscany

Most thirsty after justice! speak Thy name?
At least for half a century with now drum-heads. Bianca.
AURIO.

DUKE. Haply, my liege, he may have gone abroad,

Thy estate wedded or single?
And borne his riches with him.

BIANCA
DUKE
Signior Aurio,

DUKE.
That surmise flavours not of your known wisdom.

Give instant answer to the court. His argosies encumber all our ports,

BIANCA His unsold bales rot in the crowded wharfs ;

Oh! wedded, but most miserably single. The interest of a hundred usuries

DUKE. Lieth unclaim'd.-Besides, he hath not left

Woman, thou palterest with our dignity. Our city for these twenty years ;—a flight

Thy husband's name and quality ?—Why shakest thou So unprepared and wanton suits not well

And draw'st the veil along thy moody brow, Your slow and heavy-laden usurer.

As thou too wert a murderess ?-Speak, and quickly Enter ANTONIO.

BIANCA (faltering).

Giraldi Fazio.
ANTONIO.
My liege, a lady in the antechamber
Boasts knowledge that concerns your this day's coun.

'Tis thy husband then –
cil.

Woman, take heed, if, petulant and rash,

Thou wouldst abuse the righteous sword of law, Admit her.-(Enter Bianca.) — How! what know'st That brightest in the armoury of man, thou of the death

To a peevish instrument of thy light passions, Of old Bartolo ?-be he dead in sooth ?

Or furtherance of some close and secret guilt: Or of his riches !

Take heed, 't is in the heaven stamp'd roll of sins, BIANCA

To bear false witness —Oh, but 'gainst thy husband The east side of the fountain, Thy bosom's lord, flesh of thy flesh! - To set In the small garden of a lowly house,

The bloodhounds of the law upon his track! By the Franciscan convent, the green herbs

If thou speak'st true, stern justice will bui blush Grow boon and freely, the manure is rich

To be so cheer d upon her guilty prey : Around their roots : dig there, and you'll be wiser. If it be false, thou givest to flagrant sin

A heinous immortality. This deed Who tenanted this house?

Will chronicle thee, woman, to all ages,

In human guilt a portent and an era :
Giraldi Fazio.

“T is of those crimes, whose eminent fame Hell joys at,

And the celestial angels, that look on it,
What of his wealth ?

Wish their keen airy vision dim and narrow.
BIANCA.
There's one in Florence knows

Enler THEODORE.
More secrets than beseenis an honest man.

My liege, e'en where she said, an unstripp'd corpee DUKE.

Lay carelessly inearth'd : old weeds hung on it, And who is he

Like those that old Bartolo wont to wear;

DUKE.

DUKE.

DUKE

BIANCA.

DUKE.

FAZIO.

DUKE.

And under the left rib a small stiletto,

Death is thy doom – the public, daylight death. Rusted within the pale and creeping flesh.

Thy body do we give unto the wheel :
Enter ANTONIO with Fazio.

The Lord have mercy on thy sinful soul!

BIANCA. My liege, the prisoner.

Death !-Death !-I meant not that !

-Ye mean not DUKE.

that! 'Thou 'rt Giraldi Fazio. What's all this waste and idle talk of murder ? Giraldi Fazio, thou stand 'st here arraign'd,

He slay a man — with tender hands like his ? — That, with presumption impious and accurst, With delicate mild soul ? - Why, his own blood Thou hast usurp'd God's high prerogative,

Had startled him! I've seen him pale and shuddering Making thy fellow-mortal's life and death

At the sad writhings of a trampled worm : Wait on thy moody and diseased passions ;

I've seen him brush off with a dainty hand
That with a violent and untimely steel

A bee that stung him. Oh, why wear ye thus
Hast set abroach the blood, that should have ebb'd The garb and outward sanctity of law ?
In calm and natural current: to sum all

What means that snow upon your reverend brows,
In one wild name a name the pale air freezes at, If that ye have no subtler apprehension
And every cheek of man sinks in with horror Of some inherent harmony in the nature
Thou art a cold and midnight murderer.

Of bloody criminal and bloody crime?

'T were wise l' arraign the soft and silly lamb My liege, I do beseech thee, argne not,

Of slaughtering his butcher: ye might make it
From the thick clogging of my clammy breath, As proper a murderer as my Fazio.
Aught but a natural and instinctive dread

DUKE
Of such a bloody and ill-sounding title.

Woman, th' irrevocable breath of justice
My liege, I do beseech thee, whate'er reptile Wavers not: he must die.
Hath cast this filthy slime of slander on me,

BIANCA.
Set him before me face to face: the fire

Die! Fazio die! Of my just anger shall burn up his heart,

Ye grey and solemn murderers by charter! Make his lip drop, and powerless shuddering Ye ermined manslayers! when the tale is rife Creep o'er his noisome and corrupted limbs,

With blood and guilt, and deep and damning, Oh, Till the coarse lie choke in his wretched throat.

Ye suck it in with cold insatiate thirst :

But to the plea of mercy ye are stones,
Thou 'rt bold. — But know ye aught of old Bartolo ? As deaf and hollow as the unbowelld winds.
Methinks, for innocence, thou 'rt pale and tremulous- Oh, ye smooth Christians in your tones and looks,
That name is to thee as a thunderclap;

But in your hearts as savage as the tawny
But thou shalt have thy wish. - Woman, stand forth: And misbelieving African! ye profane,
Nay, cast a way thy veil. --- Look on her, Fazio. Who say, “God bless him! God deliver him!"

While

ye are beckoning for the bloody axe. Bianca! — No, it is a horrid vision !

To smite the uvoffending head! - his head ! And, if I struggle, I shall wake, and find it

My Fazio's head! – the head this bosom cherish'd A miscreated mockery of the brain.

With its first virgin fondness. If thou 'rt a fiend, what hellish right hast thou

DUKE. To shroud ihy leprous and fire-seamed visage

Fazio, hear. In lovely lineaments, like my Bianca's ?

To-morrow's morning sun

hall dawn upon thee If thou 'rt indeed Bianca, thou wilt wear

But when he setteth in his western couch, A ring I gave thee at our wedding time.

He finds thy place in this world void and vacant. In God's name do I bid thee hold it up; And, if thou dost, I'll be a murderer,

To-morrow morning! - Not tomorrow morning! A slaughterer of whole hecatombs of men,

The damning devils give a forced faint pause
So ye will rid me of the hideous sight.

If the bad soul but feebly catch at heaven.
DUKE.

But ye, but ye, unshriven, unreconciled,
Giraldi Fazio, hear the couri's award :

With all its ponderous mass of sins hurl down Firsi, on thy evil-golten wealth the State

The bare and shivering spirit. — Oh, not to-morrow! Setiarh her solemn seal of confiscation;

DUKE.
And for wyself -

Woman, thou dost outstep all modesty :
BIANCA (rushing forward).

But for strong circumstance that leagues with thee,
Oh, we'll be poor again! We should contemn thee for a wild mad woman,
Oh. I forgive thee!-- We'll be poor and happy! Raving her wayward and unsettled fancies.
So happy, the vull day shall be too short for us.
She loved thee, that proud woman, for thy riches; Mad! mad! - ay, that it is! — ay, that it is.
Bat thou canst tell why I love Fazio.

Is 't to be mad to speak, to move, to gaze,

But not know how, or why, or whence, or where? And for thyself— "T'i in the code of Heaven, To see that there are faces all around me, Blood will have bloou - the slayer for the slain. Floating within a dim discolour'd baze,

FAZIO.

BIANCA.

BIANCA.

DUKE.

BIANCA

DUKE.

orrow.

BIANCA.

ANTONIO.

BIANCA

Yet have distinction, vision, but for one ?

FAZIO. To speak with rapid and continuous flow,

Mine own Bianca! I shall need too much thercy Yet know not how the unthought words start from Or ere 10-morrow, to be merciless. me?

It was not well, Bianca, in my guit Oh, I am mad, wildly, intensely mad.

To cut me off — thus early — thus unripe : "T was but last night the moon was at the full; It will be bitter, when the axe falls on me, And ye, and ye, the sovereign and the sage,

To think whose voice did summon it to its office.The wisdom and the reverence of all Florence, No more — no more of that: we all must die. E'en from a maniac's dim disjointed tale,

Bianca, thou wilt love me when I'm dead: Do calmly judge away the innocent life,

I wrong'd thee, but thou 'll love me when I'm dead. The holy human life, the life God gave him.

What, kiss me, kiss me, Fazio!-'t is too much : Giraldi Fazio, hast thou anght to plead

And these warm lips must be cold clay to

morre Against the law, that with imperious hand

ANTONIO.
Grasps at thy forfeit life?

Signior, we must part hence.
FAZIO.
My liege, this soul

What! tear me from him,
Rebels not, nay, repines not at thy sentence; When he has but a few short hours to give me!
Yet, oh! by all on earth, by all hereafier,

Rob me of them!- He hath lain delicately: All that hath cognizance o'er unseen deeds,

Thou wilt not envy me the wretched office Blood is a colour stranger to these hands.

Of strewing the last pillow he shall lie on But there are crimes within me, deep and black, Thou wilt not-nay, there's moisture in thine eye That with their clamorous and tumultuous voices Thou will not Shout at me, “ Thou shouldst die, thy sins are deadly:" Nor dare my oppressed heart return, “ 'Tis false."

Lady, far as is the warrant

Of my stern orders But I, I say, 't is false : he is not guilty:

BIANCA. Not guilty unto death: I sny he is not.

Excellent youth! Ilearen thank thee! God gave ye hearing, but ye will not hear;

There's not another heart like thine in Florence. God gave ye feeling, but ye will not feel;

We shall not part, we shall not part, my Fazin! God gave ye judgment, but ye falsely judge. Oh, never, never, never till tomorrow

FAZIO (as he leads her out). Captain Antonio, guard thy prisoner.

It was not with this cold and shaking hand If it be true, blood is not on thy soul,

I led thee virgin to the bridal altar. Yet thou object'st not to the charge of robbery?

(Exeunt (Fazio bows. Thou dost not. Robbery, by the laws of Florence, Is sternly coded as a deadly crime :

ACT IV.- SCENE I. Therefore, I say again, Giraldi Fazio,

A Prison.
The Lord have mercy on thy sinful soul!
[They follow the Duke.

Fazio and BIANCA.
BIANCA (seizing and detaining AURIO).
My lord ! my lord! we have two babes at home

Let's talk of joy, Bianca: we'll deceive They cannot speak yet; but, your name, my lord, This present and this future, whose grim faces And they shall lisp it, ere they lisp mine own

Stare at us with such deep and hideous blackness: Ere that poor culprit's yonder, their own father's.

We 'll fly to the past. Dost thou remember, love, Befriend us, oh, befriend us! 'Tis a litle

Those gentle moonlights, when my fond guitar Heaven joys at, and the hard and savage earth Was regular, as convent vesper hymn, Doth break its sullen nature to delight in

Beneath thy lattice, sometimes the light dawn The destitute's sole friend And thou

Came stealing on our voiceless intercourse, Why, what a common liar was thy face,

Soft in its grey and filmy atmosphere? That said the milk of mercy flow'd within thee!

BIANCA Ye're all alike. -- Off! off! - Ye're all alike. [Exeunt all bul Fazio, the Officer, and Bianca. Will steal upon us. — Then, oh then

Oh yes, oh yes! - There 'll be a dawn to-morrow BIANCA (creeping to Fazio). Thou wilt not spurn me, wilt not trample on me,

Oh, think not on't Wilt let me touch thee-1, whose lips have slain thee? And thou remember'st too that beauteous evening Oh, look not on me thus with that fond look

Upon the Arno; how we sail'd along, Pamper me not, for long and living grief

And laugh'd to see the stately towers of Florence To prey upon - Oh, curse me, Fazio

Waver and dance in the blue depth beneath us. Kill me with cursing: I am thin and foeble - How carelessly thy unretiring hand A word will crush me — any thing but kindness. Abandon d its soft whiteness to my pressure !

DUKE.

FAZIO.

pass too!

FAZIO.

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