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BIANCA

FAZIO.

FALSETTO.

BIANCA.

BIANCA

Come to the wheel! - it wrings my very heart,
Oh yes! — Tomorrow evening, if thou close To fancy how the seams will crack, or haply
Thy clasping hand, mine will not meet it then The hungman will be seen in 't!—That I should live
Thou 'lı only grasp the chill and senseless earth. To be purveyor of the modes to a hangman !
FAZIO.

Enter BIANCA.
Thou busy, sad remembrancer of evil !.
How exquisitely happy have we two
Sate in the dusky and discolour'd light,

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
BIANCA.
Quick, my Fazio!

The royal walls: the children in the streets
Quick, let me have'l!-lo-morrow thou 'lt not speak it. Break off their noisy games to boot at me;

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.

BIANCA.
Fazio, there must be in this wide, wide city
Piercing and penetrating eyes for truth,

In reason ?- 'Tis to save a human life -
Souls not too proud, 100 cold, too stern for mercy.

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?

DAN DOLO.
Be any thing like hope or comfort, Fazio,
I'll clasp it with such strong and steadfast arms,

Oh yes! I'm ever indispensable there
I'll drag it to thy dungeon, and make laugh

As is her looking-glass.-
This silence with strange uncouth sounds of joy.

Riotous madness!
To waste a breath (Detaining theni) upon such thin-

blown bubbles !
SCENE II.

Why, thou didst cling to him but yesterday,
A Street.

As 't were a danger of thy life to part from him;

Didst swear it was a sin in Providence
FALSETTO, DANDOLO, PHILARIO.

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

whose porch

FALSETTO.

BIANCA.

FALSETTO.

PHILARIO.

BIANCA

BIANCA

He hired thee to troll out thy fulsome ditties : The prime of Florence wait upon thy smiles,
I know whose dainty ears were last night banqueted Like sunflowers on the golden light they love.
With the false harlotry of thy rich airs.

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,

ALDABELLA
To tend him with a soft officious zeal,

What a wanton waste
Waft the mild magic of mine art around him, Of idle praise is here !
Making the chill and lazy dungeon air
More smooth, more gentle to the trammell'd breath-

Nay think, oh think,
ing:-

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,
BIANCA

A trick of Fortune, fancifully cruel,
Wilt thou ?

To cheat the world of such a life as Fazio's.
Why then there's hope the Devil hath not all Florence.

ALDABELLA.
Go-go!- I cannot point thee out the way: Frivolous and weak: I could not if I would.
Mine eyes are cloudy; it is the first rain
Hath dew'd them, since -- since when I cannot tell Nay, but I'll lure thee with so rich a boon -
thee -

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 —
I'll meet thee with a bold and unblench'd front.

Oh I will be thy handmaid ; be so patient -
Calmly, contentedly, and sadly patient-

And if ye see a pale or envious motion
SCENE IIT.

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
And who art thou thus usherless and unbidden Than the light passing of the common air-
Scarest my privacy ?

I, Aldabella, when my voice might make
BIANCA (aside).

Thrones render up their stateliest to my service-
I must not speak yet;

Stoop to the sordid sweepings of a prison ?
For if I do, a curse will clog my utterance.

I-
ALDABELLA.

BIANCA.
Nay, stand not with thy pale lips quivering nothings, Proud-lipp'd woman, earth's most gorgeous sore
Speak out, and freely.

reigns

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 ;
He is doom'd ?

Dropping, like statues on a fountain-side,
Why then the man must die. -

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.).

ALDABELLA.

BIANCA.

ALDABELLA.

BIANCA

ALDABELLA.

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.
BIANCA.

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,
Nay, nor denounced him to the judgment-seat. In the dread separation of the dead,
I but debase myself to lend free hearing

Should meet again those spotless innocents !-
To such coarse fancies - 1 must hence: to-night Oh, happy they!- they will but know to-morrow
I feast the lords of Florence.

[Erit. By the renewal of the soft warm daylight. [Exit. BIANCA.

They 're all lies :
Things done within some far and distant planet,
Or offseum of some dreamy poet's brain,
All tales of human goodness. Or they 're legends

ACT V. - SCENE J.
Left us of some good old forgotten time,

A Street Morning Twilight.
Ere harlotry became a queenly sin,
And housed in palaces. Oh, earih 's so crowded

BIANCA
With Vice, that is strange Virtue stray abroad,

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,
E'en though they sue us not to die and leave them.

Yet would not credit it; and I set forth
To tell my Fazio so, and dared not front him

With such cold comfort. Then a mist came o'er me,
SCENE IV.

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!

SErit.

BIANCA

SCENE II.
The Prison-Lotally dark, ercept a lamp.

Fazio and PHILARIO.

Enter BIANCA.

Who's that. Bianca, That's loved so deeply?

-Fazio, Fazio, Fazıc.It is that morrow!

FAZIO.

FAZIO.

BIANCA,

FAZIO.

BIANCA

FAZIO.

FAZIO.

BIANCA

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! -
To piety-lo mild, to penitent piety!

Thou clasp'st thy murderess.
Oh, it gives plumage to the tardy prayer,
That lingers in our lazy earthly air,
And melts with it to heaven-To dié, 't is dreary;

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.
PHILARIO.
Hast thou no charge to her, no fond bequest ?-
It shall lose little by my bearing it.

No, no

Not tell them, that their mother murder'd him.
Oh yes, oh yes!—I have her picture here:
That I had seen it in one hour of my life,

But are they well, my love?
In Aldabella's arms had it look'd on me,
I should have had one sin less to repent of.

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-
For soft Temptation's silken nets to snare.

I could sleep on thy bosom. Fazio,
Il crept in to us—Sin came with it-Misery
Doggd its soul footsteps_ever-deepening Sin,

Enter ANTONIO
And ever-darkening Misery.- Philario,
Away with it!-away!—Takes the picture.) Here's

Prisoner,
fairer gazing.

Thine hour is come.
Thou wouldst not think these smooth and smiling lips
Could speak away a life--a husband's life.

It is not morning yel-
Yet ah! I led the way to sin-1 wrong‘d her:

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

FAZIO.

PHILARIO.

FAZIO.

BIANCA

ANTONIO.

BIANCA.

ANTONIO.

DUKE

FAZIO.

BLANCA.

PAZIO.

Thou dost forget; day's light ne'er pierceth here: So, lady, fare thee well : our gentlest thanks
The sun hath kindled up the open air.

For thy fair entertaining.-Ha! what's here?
BIANCA.

Enter BIANCA, followed by PHILARIO.
I say 't is but an hour since it was evening,

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,
I will obey thee, officer!

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!

BIANCA.
Peace, peace!—'t is dangerous : sinner's curses

Nay, shrink not--I'll not kill thee:
Pluck them down tenfold from the angry heavens For if I do, I know, in the other world,
l'pon the curser's head-Beseech thee, peace! Thou 'lt shoot between me and my richest joys.-
Forgive her—for thy Fazio's sake, forgive her. Thou shalt stay here-I'll have him there-all-all
BIANCA

of him.

DUKE.
Any thing not to think on her— Not yet-
They shall not kill thee— by my faith they shall nor! What means the wild-hair'd maniac ?
I'll clasp mine arms so closely round thy neck,

BIANCA (moving him aside.)
That the red are shall hew them off, ere shred

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 :
[The bell sounds, her grasp relates, and she The breath, that stirr'd among thy jetty locks,
stands lorpid.

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?
[Exil, followed by Philario. Ay, ay, my liege, and I know thee, and well-

Thou art the rich-rubed minister of the laws.
Fine laws! rare laws! most equitable laws!

Who robs his neighbour of his yellow dust,
SCENE III.

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 hershe 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.

BELLA

DUKE.

GONSALVO.

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