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For lear and haggard sorrow. (Appearing to perceive
Oh, no! we must not part, we must not part.
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!
Now listen to me, lady - We must love.
Love!- Ay, my lord, as far as honesty.
Honesty! – ”T is a stale and musty phrase;
At least al court: and why should we be traitors
To the strong tyrant Custom ?
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.
Within that Church
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 ?
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.
A veil! a veil! why Florence will be dark
At noonday: or thy beauty will fire up,
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.
My lord, I've a poor banquet here within;
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.)
The man with a brief name; 't was gaming, dicing,
Riotously drinking.-Oh it was not there;
’T was any where but there-or if it was,
Why like a sly and creeping adder sting me
Here's inoney for those harsh intemperate words.-
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
Thou'lt find it but too true.
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,
Not Aldabella's.- Ah, that I should live
To question it!-Now, henceforth all our joys,
Our delicate indearments, are all poison'd.
It will be with the same tone that 10 her
He murmur'd hers :-it will be, or 't will seem so.
If he embrace me, 't will be with those arms
In which he folded her: and if he kiss me,
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?
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!
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,
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).
You 'll find him at the Marchesa Aldabella's:
Bring him away -no mercy - no delay -
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.
And thou, thou peremptory summoner!
Most thirsty after justice! speak Thy name?
DUKE. Haply, my liege, he may have gone abroad,
Thy estate wedded or single?
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.
'Tis thy husband then –
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 :
“T is of those crimes, whose eminent fame Hell joys at,
And the celestial angels, that look on it,
Wish their keen airy vision dim and narrow.
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;
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 :
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
A bee that stung him. Oh, why wear ye thus
What means that snow upon your reverend brows,
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
Woman, th' irrevocable breath of justice
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,
But in your hearts as savage as the tawny
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
If the bad soul but feebly catch at heaven.
But ye, but ye, unshriven, unreconciled,
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;
Woman, thou dost outstep all modesty :
But for strong circumstance that leagues with thee,
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,
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
Signior, we must part hence.
What! tear me from him,
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,
Fazio and BIANCA.
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 !