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Come to the wheel! - it wrings my very heart,
They pass me by on the other side of the street; That flicker'd through our shaking lattice bars!
They spurn me from their doors; they load the air Our children at our feet, or on our laps,
With curses that are flung on me: the Palace, Warm in their breathing slumbers, or at play
The Ducal Palace, that should aye be open With rosy laughter on their cheeks! - Oh God!
To voice of the distress'd, as is God's heaven, Bianca, such a flash of thought crost o'er me,
Is ring'd around with grim and armed savages, I dare not speak it.
That with their angry weapons smite me back,
As though I came with fire in my hand, to burn
The royal walls: the children in the streets
And the dogs from the porches howl me on. Oh, what a life must theirs he, those poor innocents! But here's a succour.—(To Falsetlo.) Oh, good sir, thy When they have grown up to a sense of sorrow
friend, Oh, what a feast will they be for rude misery!
The man thou feastedst with but yesterday, Honest men's boys and girls, whene'er they mingle,
He to whose motion thou wast a true shadow, Will spurn them with the black and branded title,
Whose hand rain'd gifts upon thee — be I mean, “ The murderer's children." Infamy will pin
Fazio, the bounteous, free, and liberal Fazio That pestilent label on their backs; the plague-spot
He's wrongfully accused, wrongfully doom'd : Will bloat and blister on them till their death-beds;
I swear to thee 't is wrongfully. - Oh, sir, And if they beg – for beggars they must be
An eloquent honey-dropping tongue like thine, They'll drive them from their doors with cruel jeers Till Justice would grow amorous, und embrace it.
How would it garnish up his innocence, Upon my riches, villanously style them - The children of Lord Fazio, the philosopher.”
Sweet lady, thou o'ervaluest my poor powers: Tomorrow will the cry begin, 10-morrow.
Any thing in reason to win so much loveliness
To smile on me — but this were wild and futile. It must not be, and I sit idle here.
In reason ?- 'Tis to save a human life -
Is not that in the spacious realm of reason? — I'll hunt them out, and swear them to our service.
Kind sir, there's not a prayer will mount hereafter I'll raise up something - Oh, I know not what
Heavenward from us or our poor children's lips, Shall boldly startle the rank air of Florence
But in it thy dear name will rise embalmid; With proclamation of thy innocence.
And prayers have power to cancel many a sin, I'll raise the dead! I'll conjure up the ghost
That clogs and flaws our coarse and corrupt nature Of that old rotten thing, Bartolo; make it Cry out i' the market place, “ Thou didst not slay Attendance at the Lady Portia's toilette.
Methinks. good Dandolo, 't is the hour we owe him!" • Farewell, farewell! If in the walls of Florence
Any commission in our way, fair lady?
Oh yes! I'm ever indispensable there
As is her looking-glass.-
blown bubbles !
Why, thou didst cling to him but yesterday,
As 't were a danger of thy life to part from him;
Didst swear it was a sin in Providence
He was not born a prince. (To Dandolo.) And thou,
sir, thou – Good Signior Dandolo, here's a prodigal waste Chaing, sir, in May- it is a heavy wear, of my fair speeches to the sage philosopher. Hard and unseemly, a rnde weight of iron.I connted on at least a two months' diet,
Faugh! cast ye off this shape and skin of men; Besides stray boons of horses, rings, and jewels. Ye stain it, ye pollute it: be the reptiles DAVDOLO.
Ye are. (To Philario.) And thou, sir -- I know u Ob my Falsetto, a coat of my fashion
He hired thee to troll out thy fulsome ditties : The prime of Florence wait upon thy smiles,
Thy lips bave such sweet melody, 't is hung upon
Till silence is an agony. Did it plead I do beseech thee, lady, judge me not
For one condemn’d, but oh, most innocent, So barshly. In the state, Heaven knows, I'm power- "T would be a music th' air would fall in love with, less :
And never let it die, till it bad won I could remove yon palace walls, as soon
Its honest purpose. As alter his sad doom. But if to visit him,
What a wanton waste
Nay think, oh think,
What 't is to give again a forfeit life : All that i can I will, to make his misery
Ay, such a life as Fazio's ! - Frown not on me : Slide from him light and airily.
Thou think'st that he's a murderer-'t is all false,
A trick of Fortune, fancifully cruel,
To cheat the world of such a life as Fazio's.
Hear,— hear, and thou art won. If thou dost sare Go - go! - (Eril.) - One effort more, and if I fail
him, But by the inbred and instinctive tenderness
It is but just he should be saved for thee. That mingles with the life of womanhood,
I give him thee Bianca - I his wise :I cannot fail: and then, thou grim to-morrow,
I pardon all that has been, all that may be —
Oh I will be thy handmaid ; be so patient -
And if ye see a pale or envious motion
Upon my cheek, a quivering on my lips,
Like to complaint - then strike bir dead before me Palace of Aldabella.
Thou shalı enjoy all — all that I enjoy'd :
His love, his life, his sense, his soul be thine ; Fazio in prison ! Fazio doom'd to die!
And I will bless thee, in my misery bless thee. I was too hasty ; should have fled, and bashfully
ALDABELLA. Beckon'd him afier; lured him, not seized on him. What mist is on thy wild and wandering eyes ? Proud Aldabella a poor robber's paramour !
Know'st thou to whom and where thou play 'st the Oh it sounds dismal! Florence must not hear it :
raver? And sooth his time is brief to descant on it. I, Aldabella, whom the amorous homage (To BIANCA, who enters.)
Of rival lords and princes stirs no more
I, Aldabella, when my voice might make
Thrones render up their stateliest to my service-
Stoop to the sordid sweepings of a prison ?
Were worthless of my Fazio! Foolish woman, Lady, there is one
Thou cast'st a jewel off! The proudest lord Fie, fie upon this choking in my throat
That ever revelld in thy unchaste arms, One thou didst love, Giraldi Fazio :
Was a swarth galley-slave to Fazio. One who loved thee, Giraldi Fazio
Ah me! me! me! e'en I his lawful wife He's doom'd to die, to die to morrow morning! Know 't not more truly, certainly than thou.And lo 'l is eve already!
Hadst thou loved him, I had pardon'd, pitied thee :
We two had sale, all coldly, palely sad ;
Dropping, like statues on a fountain-side,
A pure, a silent, and eternal dew.
Hadst thou ontwept me, I had loved thee for 't
Nay, gentle lady, And that were easy, for I'm stony here. (Putting her Thou 'rt high-born, rich, and beautiful: the princes,
hand to her eyes.).
More sinners for the Devil to prey upon ? Ho there! to th' hospital for the lunatics
There's one a boy — soine strumpet will enlace him, Fetch succour for this poor distrest
And make him wear her loathsome livery.
The other a girl : if she be ill, she'll sink
What said I ? Spotted to death-she 'll be an Aldabella : Oh pardon me, I came not to upbraid thee. If she be chaste, she 'll be a wretch like me, Think, think I'll whisper it, I 'll not betray thee; A jealous wretch, a frantic guilty wretch. The air 's a tell-tale, and the walls are listeners : No, no: they must not live, they must not live! Think what a change! Last night within thy cham
(Exit into a chamber. ber;
After a pause, she relurns. (I 'll not say in thy arms; for that displeases thee, It will not be, it will not be — they woke And sickens me to utter,) and to-night
As though e'en in their sleep they felt my presence ; Upon a prison pallet, straw, hard straw;
And then they smiled upon me fondly, playfully, For eastern perfumes, the rank noisome air; And stretch'd their rosy fingers to sport with me : For gentle harpings, shrilly clanking chains: The boy did arch his eyebrows so like Fazio, Nay, turn not off: the worst is yet to come.
Though my soul wish'd that God would take them to To-morrow at his waking, for thy face
him, Languidly, lovingly down drooping o'er him, That they were 'sca ped this miserable world, The scarr'd and haggard executioner.
I could but kiss them; and, when I had kiss'd them, ALDABELLA (turning away).
I could as soon have leap'd up to the moon There is a dizzy trembling in mine eye;
As speck'd or soild their alabaster skins. — But I must dry the foolish dew for shame.
Wild that I am!- Take them l'another world! Well, what is it to me? I slew bim not ;
As though I, I my husband's murderess,
Should meet again those spotless innocents !-
[Erit. By the renewal of the soft warm daylight. [Exit. BIANCA.
They 're all lies :
ACT V. - SCENE J.
A Street — Morning Twilight.
Where have I been ? — I have not been at rest They boot it from them like a thing accurst.
There's yet the stir of motion in my limbs. Fazio, my Fazio! – but we 'll laugh at them :
Oh, I remember—'t was a hideous strife We will not stay upon their wicked soil,
Within my brain : I felt that all was hopeless,
Yet would not credit it; and I set forth
With such cold comfort. Then a mist came o'er me,
And something drove me on, and on, and on,
Street after street, each blacker than the other, Fazio's House.
And a blue axe did shimmer through the gloom
Its fiery edge did waver to and fro Ah, what a fierce and frantic coil is here,
And there were infants' voices, faint and failing, Because the sun must shine on one man less ! That panted after me. I knew I fled them ; I'm sick and weary — my feet drag along.
Yet could not choose but fly. And then, oh then, Why must I trail, like a scotch'd serpent, hither? I gazed and gazed upon the starless darkness, Here, to this house, where all things breathe of Fazio ? And blest it in my soul, for it was deeply The air tastes of him the walls whisper of him. And beautifully black — no speck of light; Oh, I'll to bed! to bed! - What find I there? And I had severish and fantastic hopes, Fazio, my fond, my gentle, fervent Fazio ? - That it would last for ever, nor give place No! - Cold stones are his couch, harsh iron bars To th' horrible to-morrow. - Ha, 't is there! Cortain his slumbers. -Oh, no, no, I have it - 'Tis the grey morning-light aches in mine eyes He is in Aldabella's arms. - Out on't!
It is that morrow! - - Ho! - Look out, look out! Fie, fie!-that's rank, that's noisome !- I remember- With what a hateful and unwonted suifiness Our children - ay, my children — Fazio's children. It scares my comfortable darkness from me! T was my thoughts' burthen as I came along, Fool that I am !- I've lost the few brief hours Were it not wise to bear them off with us
Yet leti me of my Fazio! – Oh, away, Away from this cold world ?-Why should we breed up Away to him!-- away!
Fazio and PHILARIO.
Who's that. Bianca, That's loved so deeply?
-Fazio, Fazio, Fazıc.It is that morrow!
I thank thee: 't was a melancholy hymn;
Nay, look cheeringly : But soft and soothing as the gale of eve,
It may be God doth punish in this world The gale, whose flower-sweet breath no more shall To spare hereafter.
pass o'er me. Oh, what a gentle ministrant is music
Fazio, set me loose! -
Thou clasp'st thy murderess.
No, it is my love, To die a villain's death, that's yet a pang.
My wife, my children's mother !-Pardon me, But it must down: I have so steep'd my soul
Bianca ; but thy children—I'll not see them: In the bitter ashes of true penitence,
For on the wax of a soft infant's memory That they have put on a delicious savour,
Things horrible sink deep and sternly settle. And all is halcyon quiet, all within.
I would not have them, in their afier-days, Bianca !-Where is she ?-why comes she not?
Cherish the image of their wretched father Yet I do almost wish hier not to come,
In the cold darkness of a prison-house. Lest she again enamour me of life.
Oh, if they ask thee of their father, tell them
That he is dead, but say not how.
Not tell them, that their mother murder'd him.
But are they well, my love?
What, had I freed them I'm loth the coarse and vulgar executioner
From this drear villains' earth, sent them before us, Should handle it with his foul gripe, or pass
Lest we should miss them in another world, His ribald jests upon it.-Give it her.
And so be fetter'd by a cold regret [With the picture he draws out some gold, on which of this sad sunshine ? he looks with greal apparent melancholy.
Oh, thou hast not been And this too, sir?
So wild a rebel to the will of God!
If that thou hast, 't will make my passionate arms, Oh, touch it not, Philario! That ring thee round so fondly, drop off from thee, Oh, touch it not !- 't is venomous, 't is viperous ! Like sere and wither'd ivy; make my farewell If there be bottomless sea, unfathom'd pit
Spoken in such suffocate and distemper'd tone, In earth's black womb-oh, plunge it, plunge it deep, 'T' will sound more like Deep, dark! or if a devil be abroad, Give it to him, to bear it whence it came,
They live! thank God, they live To its own native Hell.-Oh no, no, no !
I should not rack thee with such fantasies : He must not have it: for with it he 'll betray But there have been such hideous things around me More men, more noble spirits than Lucifer
Some whispering me, some dragging me; I've felt Drew down from heaven. This yellow pestilence Not half n momeni's calm since last we paried. Laid waste my Eden; made a gaudy bird of me,
So exquisite, so gentle, as this now-
I could sleep on thy bosom. Fazio,
Thine hour is come.
It is not morning yel-
Where is the twilight that should usher it? Yet, Heaven be witness, though I wrong'd her, loved Where is the sun, that should come golden on! her,
JIl favour'd liar, to come prate of morning. E'en in my heart of heart.
With torchlight in thy hand to scare the darkness
Thou dost forget; day's light ne'er pierceth here: So, lady, fare thee well : our gentlest thanks
For thy fair entertaining.-Ha! what's here?
Enter BIANCA, followed by PHILARIO.
BIANCA A dreary, measureless, and mournful hour,
Ha! ye've been dancing, dancing—so have I: Yet but an hour.
But mine was heavy music, slow and solemn
A bell, a bell: my thick blood rollid 10 it,
My heart swung to and fro, a dull deep motion. Yet but a word-Bianca, 't is a strange one
(Seeing ALDABELLA.) Canst thou endure it, dearest! - Aldabella
"T is thou, 't is thou !- I came to tell thee something.
ALDABELLA (alarmed and shrinking.) Curse her!
Ah me! ah me!
Nay, shrink not--I'll not kill thee:
BIANCA (moving him aside.)
By and by-A hair of thee: I will so mingle with thee,
To ALDABELLA. That they shall strike at random, and perchance
I tell thee, that warm cheek thy lips did stray on Set me free first
But yesternight, 't is cold and colourless :
That was such incense to thee--it is fled :
The voice, that call'd thee then, his soul of soulPAZIO (kissing her, which she does nol seem to be
I know it-'t was his favourite phrase of loveconscious of.)
I've heard it many a time myself,'t was rapturous; Farewell, farewell, farewell! That mild, that musical voice is dumb and frozen : She does not feel, she does not feel!—Thank hea ven, The neck whereon thine arms did hang so tenderly, She does not feel her Fazio's last, last kiss !
There's blood upon it, blood-I tell thee, blood. One other :-Cold as stone-sweet, sweet as roses. Dost thou hear that? is thy brain fire to bear it?
[Erit. Mine is, mine is, mine is. BIANCA (slowly recovering.)
DUKE Gone, gone!-he is not air yet, not thin spirit!
"Tis Fazio's wife. He should not glide away,he is not guilty —
BIANCA. Ye murder and not execute-Not guilty.
It is not Fazio's wife.-Have the dead wives?
Thou art the rich-rubed minister of the laws.
Who robs his neighbour of his yellow dust,
Or his bright sparkling stones, or such gay trash
Oh, he must die, die for the public good. A magnificent Apartment in the Palace of ALDABELLA - Every appearance of a ball prolonged till morning. Do dive into her heart for its best treasure,
And if one steal a husband from his wife, -DUKE, Lords, FALSETTO, Dandolo, and ALDA- Do rend asunder whom Heaven link'd in one
Oh, they are meek, and merciful, and milky
"Tis a trick of human frailty-Oh, fine laws! Tis late, 't is late; the yellow morning light Rare laws! most equitable laws! Strearns in upon our sick and waning lamps.
DUKE. It was a jocund night: but good my friends,
Poor wretch, The sun reproves our lingering revelry;
Who is it thus hath wrong'd thee? And, angry at our scorning of his state,
BIANCA (lo the DUKE.) Will shine the slumber from our heavy eyes.
Come thou here.
The others crowd around her—she says to FALSETTO, There's one, my liege, will sleep more calm than we: Get back, get back: the god that thou adoredst, But now I heard the bell with iron tongue
Thy god is dead, thou pitiful idolater. Speak out unto the still and solemn air
TO DANDOLO (showing her Dress.) The death-struke of the murderer Fazio.
I know they 're coarse and tatter'd-Get thee back.