By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Fiesco; or, the Genoese Conspiracy
Author: Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von, 1759-1805
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fiesco; or, the Genoese Conspiracy" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


               A TRAGEDY.

            By Frederich Schiller


The chief sources from which I have drawn the history of this conspiracy
are Cardinal de Retz's Conjuration du Comte Jean Louis de Fiesque, the
Histoire des Genes, and the third volume of Robertson's History of
Charles the Fifth.

The liberties which I have taken with the historical facts will be
excused, if I have succeeded in my attempt; and, if not, it is better
that my failure should appear in the effusions of fancy, than in the
delineation of truth. Some deviation from the real catastrophe of the
conspiracy (according to which the count actually perished [A] when his
schemes were nearly ripe for execution) was rendered necessary by the
nature of the drama, which does not allow the interposition either of
chance or of a particular Providence. It would be matter of surprise
to me that this subject has never been adopted by any tragic writer,
did not the circumstances of its conclusion, so unfit for dramatic
representation, afford a sufficient reason for such neglect. Beings of
a superior nature may discriminate the finest links of that chain which
connects an individual action with the system of the universe, and may,
perhaps, behold them extended to the utmost limits of time, past and
future; but man seldom sees more than the simple facts, divested of their
various relations of cause and effect. The writer, therefore, must adapt
his performance to the short-sightedness of human nature, which he would
enlighten; and not to the penetration of Omniscience, from which all
intelligence is derived.

In my Tragedy of the Robbers it was my object to delineate the victim of
an extravagant sensibility; here I endeavor to paint the reverse; a
victim of art and intrigue. But, however strongly marked in the page of
history the unfortunate project of Fiesco may appear, on the stage it may
prove less interesting. If it be true that sensibility alone awakens
sensibility, we may conclude that the political hero is the less
calculated for dramatic representation, in proportion as it becomes
necessary to lay aside the feelings of a man in order to become a
political hero.

It was, therefore, impossible for me to breathe into my fable that
glowing life which animates the pure productions of poetical inspiration;
but, in order to render the cold and sterile actions of the politician
capable of affecting the human heart, I was obliged to seek a clue to
those actions in the human heart itself. I was obliged to blend together
the man and the politician, and to draw from the refined intrigues of
state situations interesting to humanity. The relations which I bear to
society are such as unfold to me more of the heart than of the cabinet;
and, perhaps, this very political defect may have become a poetical

[A] Fiesco, after having succeeded in the chief objects of his
undertaking, happened to fall into the sea whilst hastening to quell some
disturbances on board of a vessel in the harbor; the weight of his armor
rendered his struggles ineffectual, and he perished. The deviation from
history in the tragedy might have been carried farther, and would perhaps
have rendered it more suitable to dramatic representation.--Translation.


              A TRAGEDY.


ANDREAS DORIA, Duke of Genoa, a venerable old man, eighty years of age,
retaining the traces of a high spirit: the chief features in this
character are dignity and a rigid brevity in command.

GIANETTINO DORIA, nephew of the former, and pretender to the ducal power,
twenty-six years of age, rough and forbidding in his address, deportment,
and manners, with a vulgar pride and disgusting features.

FIESCO, Count of Lavagna, chief of the conspiracy, a tall, handsome young
man, twenty-three years of age; his character is that of dignified pride
and majestic affability, with courtly complaisance and deceitfulness.

VERRINA, a determined republican, sixty years of age; grave, austere, and
inflexible: a marked character.

BOURGOGNINO, a conspirator, a youth of twenty; frank and high-spirited,
proud, hasty, and undisguised.

CALCAGNO, a conspirator, a worn-out debauchee of thirty; insinuating and

SACCO, a conspirator, forty-five years of age, with no distinguishing
trait of character.

LOMELLINO, in the confidence of the pretender, a haggard courtier.

ZIBO,       | Malcontents.

ROMANO, a painter, frank and simple, with the pride of genius.

MULEY HASSAN, a Moor of Tunis, an abandoned character, with a physiognomy
displaying an original mixture of rascality and humor.

A GERMAN of the ducal body-guard, of an honest simplicity, and steady


LEONORA, the wife of Fiesco, eighteen years of age, of great sensibility;
her appearance pale and slender, engaging, but not dazzling; her
countenance marked with melancholy; her dress black.

JULIA, Countess dowager Imperiali, sister of the younger Doria, aged
twenty-five; a proud coquette, in person tall and full, her beauty
spoiled by affectation, with a sarcastic maliciousness in her
countenance; her dress black.

BERTHA, daughter of Verrina, an innocent girl.

ROSA,     | Maids of Leonora.

Several Nobles, Citizens, Germans, Soldiers, Thieves.

   (SCENE--Genoa. TIME--the year 1547.)


SCENE I.--A Saloon in FIESCO'S House. The distant sound of dancing and
music is heard.

LEONORA, masked, and attended by ROSA and ARABELLA, enters hastily.

LEONORA (tears off her mask). No more! Not another word! 'Tis as clear
as day! (Throwing herself in a chair.) This quite overcomes me----

ARABELLA. My lady!

LEONORA (rising.) What, before my eyes! with a notorious coquette! In
presence of the whole nobility of Genoa! (strongly affected.)--Rosa!
Arabella! and before my weeping eyes!

ROSA. Look upon it only as what it really was--a piece of gallantry. It
was nothing more.

LEONORA. Gallantry! What! Their busy interchange of glances--the
anxious watching of her every motion--the long and eager kiss upon her
naked arm, impressed with a fervor that left in crimson glow the very
traces of his lips! Ha! and the transport that enwrapped his soul, when,
with fixed eyes, he sate like painted ecstacy, as if the world around him
had dissolved, and naught remained in the eternal void but he and Julia.
Gallantry? Poor thing! Thou hast never loved. Think not that thou
canst teach me to distinguish gallantry from love!

ROSA. No matter, Signora! A husband lost is as good as ten lovers

LEONORA. Lost? Is then one little intermission of the heart's
pulsations a proof that I have lost Fiesco? Go, malicious slanderer!
Come no more into my presence! 'Twas an innocent frolic--perhaps a mere
piece of gallantry. Say, my gentle Arabella, was it not so?

ARABELLA. Most certainly! There can be no doubt of it!

LEONORA (in a reverie). But does she then feel herself sole mistress of
his heart? Does her name lurk in his every thought?--meet him in every
phase of nature? Can it be? Whither will these thoughts lead me? Is
this beautiful and majestic world to him but as one precious diamond, on
which her image--her image alone--is engraved? That he should love her?
--love Julia! Oh! Your arm--support me, Arabella! (A pause; music is
again heard.)

LEONORA (starting). Hark! Was not that Fiesco's voice, which from the
tumult penetrated even hither? Can he laugh while his Leonora weeps in
solitude? Oh, no, my child, it was the coarse, loud voice of Gianettino.

ARABELLA. It was, Signora--but let us retire to another apartment.

LEONORA. You change color, Arabella--you are false. In your looks, in
the looks of all the inhabitants of Genoa, I read a something--a
something which--(hiding her face)--oh, certainly these Genoese know more
than should reach a wife's ear.

ROSA. Oh, jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles!

LEONORA (with melancholy enthusiasm). When he was still Fiesco; when in
the orange-grove, where we damsels walked, I saw him--a blooming Apollo,
blending the manly beauty of Antinous! Such was his noble and majestic
deportment, as if the illustrious state of Genoa rested alone upon his
youthful shoulders. Our eyes stole trembling glances at him, and shrunk
back, as if with conscious guilt, whene'er they encountered the lightning
of his looks. Ah, Arabella, how we devoured those looks! with what
anxious envy did every one count those directed to her companions! They
fell among us like the golden apple of discord--tender eyes burned
fiercely--soft bosoms beat tumultuously--jealousy burst asunder all our
bonds of friendship----

ARABELLA. I remember it well. All Genoa's female hearts were in
rebellious ferment for so enviable a prize!

LEONORA (in rapture). And now to call him mine! Giddy, wondrous
fortune!--to call the pride of Genoa mine!--he who from the chisel
of the exhaustless artist, Nature, sprang forth all-perfect, combining
every greatness of his sex in the most perfect union. Hear me, damsels!
I can no longer conceal it--hear me! I confide to you something
(mysteriously)--a thought!--when I stood at the altar with Fiesco,--when
his hand lay in mine,--a thought, too daring for woman, rushed across me.
"This Fiesco, whose hand now lies in thine--thy Fiesco"--but hush! let no
man hear us boast how far he excels all others of his sex. "This, thy
Fiesco"--ah, could you but share my feelings!--"will free Genoa from its

ARABELLA (astonished). And could this dream haunt a woman's mind even at
the nuptial shrine?

LEONORA. Yes, my Arabella,--well mayest thou be astonished--to the bride
it came, even in the joy of the bridal hour (more animated). I am a
woman, but I feel the nobleness of my blood. I cannot bear to see these
proud Dorias thus overtop our family. The good old Andreas--it is a
pleasure to esteem him. He may indeed, unenvied, bear the ducal dignity;
but Gianettino is his nephew--his heir--and Gianettino has a proud and
wicked heart. Genoa trembles before him, and Fiesco (much affected)--
Fiesco--weep with me, damsels!--loves his sister.

Alas, my wretched mistress!

LEONORA. Go now, and see this demi-god of the Genoese--amid the
shameless circles of debauchery and lust! hear the vile jests and wanton
ribaldry with which he entertains his base companions! That is Fiesco!
Ah, damsels, not only has Genoa lost its hero, but I have lost my

ROSA. Speak lower! some one is coming through the gallery.

LEONORA (alarmed). Ha! 'Tis Fiesco--let us hasten away--the sight of me
might for a moment interrupt his happiness. (She hastens into a side
apartment; the maids follow.)


   GIANETTINO DORIA, masked, in a green cloak, and the MOOR,
   enter in conversation.

GIANETTINO. Thou hast understood me!

MOOR. Well----

GIANETTINO. The white mask----

MOOR. Well----

GIANETTINO. I say, the white mask----

MOOR. Well--well--well----

GIANETTINO. Dost thou mark me? Thou canst only fail here! (pointing to
his heart).

MOOR. Give yourself no concern.

GIANETTINO. And be sure to strike home----

MOOR. He shall have enough.

GIANETTINO (maliciously). That the poor count may not have long to

MOOR. With your leave, sir, a word--at what weight do you estimate his

GIANETTINO. What weight? A hundred sequins----

MOOR (blowing through his fingers). Poh! Light as a feather!

GIANETTINO. What art thou muttering?

MOOR. I was saying--it is light work.

GIANETTINO. That is thy concern. He is the very loadstone of sedition.
Mark me, sirrah! let thy blow be sure.

MOOR. But, sir,--I must fly to Venice immediately after the deed.

GIANETTINO. Then take my thanks beforehand. (He throws him a
bank-note.) In three days at farthest he must be cold.


MOOR (picking up the note). Well, this really is what I call credit to
trust--the simple word of such a rogue as I am!



   CALCAGNO, behind him SACCO, both in black cloaks.

CALCAGNO. I perceive thou watchest all my steps.

SACCO. And I observe thou wouldst conceal them from me. Attend,
Calcagno! For some weeks past I have remarked the workings of thy
countenance. They bespeak more than concerns the interests of our
country. Brother, I should think that we might mutually exchange our
confidence without loss on either side. What sayest thou? Wilt thou be

CALCAGNO. So truly, that thou shalt not need to dive into the recesses
of my soul; my heart shall fly half-way to meet thee on my tongue--I love
the Countess of Fiesco.

SACCO (starts back with astonishment). That, at least, I should not have
discovered had I made all possibilities pass in review before me. My
wits are racked to comprehend thy choice, but I must have lost them
altogether if thou succeed.

CALCAGNO. They say she is a pattern of the strictest virtue.

SACCO. They lie. She is the whole volume on that insipid text.
Calcagno, thou must choose one or the other--either to give up thy heart
or thy profession.

CALCAGNO. The Count is faithless to her; and of all the arts that may
seduce a woman the subtlest is jealousy. A plot against the Dorias will
at the same time occupy the Count, and give me easy access to his house.
Thus, while the shepherd guards against the wolf, the fox shall make
havoc of the poultry.

SACCO. Incomparable brother, receive my thanks! A blush is now
superfluous, and I can tell thee openly what just now I was ashamed even
to think. I am a beggar if the government be not soon overturned.

CALCAGNO. What, are thy debts so great?

SACCO. So immense that even one-tenth of them would more than swallow
ten times my income. A convulsion of the state will give me breath; and
if it do not cancel all my debts, at least 'twill stop the mouths of
bawling creditors.

CALCAGNO. I understand thee; and if then, perchance, Genoa should be
freed, Sacco will be hailed his country's savior. Let no one trick out
to me the threadbare tale of honesty, if the fate of empires hang on the
bankruptcy of a prodigal and the lust of a debauchee. By heaven, Sacco,
I admire the wise design of Providence, that in us would heal the
corruptions in the heart of the state by the vile ulcers on its limbs.
Is thy design unfolded to Verrina?

SACCO. As far as it can be unfolded to a patriot. Thou knowest his
iron integrity, which ever tends to that one point, his country. His
hawk-like eye is now fixed on Fiesco, and he has half-conceived a hope of
thee to join the bold conspiracy.

CALCAGNO. Oh, he has an excellent nose! Come, let us seek him, and fan
the flame of liberty in his breast by our accordant spirit.



   JULIA, agitated with anger, and FIESCO, in a white mask,
   following her.

JULIA. Servants! footmen!

FIESCO. Countess, whither are you going? What do you intend?

JULIA. Nothing--nothing at all. (To the servants, who enter and
immediately retire.) Let my carriage draw up----

FIESCO. Pardon me, it must not. You are offended.

JULIA. Oh, by no means. Away--you tear my dress to pieces. Offended.
Who is here that can offend me? Go, pray go.

FIESCO (upon one knee). Not till you tell me what impertinent----

JULIA (stands still in a haughty attitude). Fine! Fine! Admirable!
Oh, that the Countess of Lavagna might be called to view this charming
scene! How, Count, is this like a husband? This posture would better
suit the chamber of your wife when she turns over the journal of your
caresses and finds a void in the account. Rise, sir, and seek those to
whom your overtures will prove more acceptable. Rise--unless you think
your gallantries will atone for your wife's impertinence.

FIESCO (jumping up). Impertinence! To you?

JULIA. To break up! To push away her chair! To turn her back upon the
table--that table, Count, where I was sitting----

FIESCO. 'Tis inexcusable.

JULIA. And is that all? Out upon the jade! Am I, then, to blame
because the Count makes use of his eyes? (Smilingly admiring herself.)

FIESCO. 'Tis the fault of your beauty, madam, that keeps them in such
sweet slavery.

JULIA. Away with compliment where honor is concerned. Count, I insist
on satisfaction. Where shall I find it, in you, or in my uncle's

FIESCO. Find it in the arms of love--of love that would repair the
offence of jealousy.

JULIA. Jealousy! Jealousy! Poor thing! What would she wish for?
(Admiring herself in the glass.) Could she desire a higher compliment
than were I to declare her taste my own? (Haughtily.) Doria and Fiesco!
Would not the Countess of Lavagna have reason to feel honored if Doria's
niece deigned to envy her choice? (In a friendly tone, offering the
Count her hand to kiss.) I merely assume the possibility of such a case,

FIESCO (with animation). Cruel Countess! Thus to torment me. I know,
divine Julia, that respect is all I ought to feel for you. My reason
bids me bend a subject's knee before the race of Doria; but my heart
adores the beauteous Julia. My love is criminal, but 'tis also heroic,
and dares o'erleap the boundaries of rank, and soar towards the dazzling
sun of majesty.

JULIA. A great and courtly falsehood, paraded upon stilts! While his
tongue deifies me, his heart beats beneath the picture of another.

FIESCO. Rather say it beats indignantly against it, and would shake off
the odious burden. (Taking the picture of LEONORA, which is suspended by
a sky-blue ribbon from his breast, and delivering it to JULIA.) Place
your own image on that altar and you will instantly annihilate this idol.

JULIA (pleased, puts by the picture hastily). A great sacrifice, by mine
honor, and which deserves my thanks. (Hangs her own picture about his
neck.) So, my slave, henceforth bear your badge of service.


FIESCO (with transport). Julia loves me! Julia! I envy not even the
gods. (Exulting.) Let this night be a jubilee. Joy shall attain its
summit. Ho! within there! (Servants come running in.) Let the floors
swim with Cyprian nectar, soft strains of music rouse midnight from her
leaden slumber, and a thousand burning lamps eclipse the morning sun.
Pleasure shall reign supreme, and the Bacchanal dance so wildly beat the
ground that the dark kingdom of the shades below shall tremble at the

   [Exit hastily. A noisy allegro, during which the back scene opens,
   and discovers a grand illuminated saloon, many masks--dancing. At
   the side, drinking and playing tables, surrounded with company.


   VERRINA, CALCAGNO, all masked. Several other nobles and ladies.

GIANETTINO (boisterously). Bravo! Bravo! These wines glide down
charmingly. The dancers perform a merveille. Go, one of you, and
publish it throughout Genoa that I am in good humor, and that every
one may enjoy himself. By my ruling star this shall be marked as a
red-letter day in the calendar, and underneath be written,--"This day was
Prince Doria merry." (The guests lift their glasses to their mouths. A
general toast of "The Republic." Sound of trumpets.) The Republic?
(Throwing his glass violently on the ground.) There lie its fragments.
(Three black masks suddenly rise and collect about GIANETTINO.)

LOMELLINO (supporting GIANETTINO on his arm). My lord, you lately spoke
of a young girl whom you saw in the church of St. Lorenzo.

GIANETTINO. I did, my lad! and I must make her acquaintance.

LOMELLINO. That I can manage for your grace.

GIANETTINO (with vehemence). Can you? Can you? Lomellino, you were a
candidate for the procuratorship. You shall have it.

LOMELLINO. Gracious prince, it is the second dignity in the state; more
than threescore noblemen seek it, and all of them more wealthy and
honorable than your grace's humble servant.

GIANETTINO (indignantly). By the name of Doria! You shall be
procurator. (The three masks come forward). What talk you of nobility
in Genoa? Let them all throw their ancestry and honors into the scale,
one hair from the white beard of my old uncle will make it kick the beam.
It is my will that you be procurator, and that is tantamount to the votes
of the whole senate.

LOMELLINO (in a low voice). The damsel is the only daughter of one

GIANETTINO. The girl is pretty, and, in spite of all the devils in hell,
I must possess her.

LOMELLINO. What, my lord! the only child of the most obstinate of our

GIANETTINO. To hell with your republicans! Shall my passion be thwarted
by the anger of a vassal? 'Tis as vain as to expect the tower should
fall when the boys pelt it with mussel-shells. (The three black masks
step nearer, with great emotion.) What! Has the Duke Andreas gained his
scars in battle for their wives and children, only that his nephew should
court the favor of these vagabond republicans! By the name of Doria they
shall swallow this fancy of mine, or I will plant a gallows over the
bones of my uncle, on which their Genoese liberty shall kick itself to
death. (The three masks step back in disgust.)

LOMELLINO. The damsel is at this moment alone. Her father is here, and
one of those three masks.

GIANETTINO. Excellent! Bring me instantly to her.

LOMELLINO. But you will seek in her a mistress, and find a prude.

GIANETTINO. Force is the best rhetoric. Lead me to her. Would I could
see that republican dog that durst stand in the way of the bear Doria.
(Going, meets FIESCO at the door.) Where is the Countess?


   FIESCO and the former.

FIESCO. I have handed her to her carriage. (Takes GIANETTINO'S hand,
and presses it to his breast.) Prince, I am now doubly your slave. To
you I bow, as sovereign of Genoa--to your lovely sister, as mistress of
my heart.

LOMELLINO. Fiesco has become a mere votary of pleasure. The great world
has lost much in you.

FIESCO. But Fiesco has lost nothing in giving up the world. To live is
to dream, and to dream pleasantly is to be wise. Can this be done more
certainly amid the thunders of a throne, where the wheels of government
creak incessantly upon the tortured ear, than on the heaving bosom of an
enamored woman? Let Gianettino rule over Genoa; Fiesco shall devote
himself to love.

GIANETTINO. Away, Lomellino! It is near midnight. The time draws near
--Lavagna, we thank thee for thy entertainment--I have been satisfied.

FIESCO. That, prince, is all that I can wish.

GIANETTINO. Then good-night! To-morrow we have a party at the palace,
and Fiesco is invited. Come, procurator!

FIESCO. Ho! Lights there! Music!

GIANETTINO (haughtily, rushing through the three masks). Make way there
for Doria!

ONE OF THE THREE MASKS (murmuring indignantly). Make way? In hell!
Never in Genoa!

THE GUESTS (in motion). The prince is going. Good night, Lavagna!
(They depart.)


   The THREE BLACK MASKS and FIESCO. (A pause.)

FIESCO. I perceive some guests here who do not share the pleasure of the

MASKS (murmuring to each other with indignation). No! Not one of us.

FIESCO (courteously). Is it possible that my attention should have been
wanting to any one of my guests? Quick, servants! Let the music be
renewed, and fill the goblets to the brim. I would not that my friends
should find the time hang heavy. Will you permit me to amuse you with
fireworks. Would you choose to see the frolics of my harlequin? Perhaps
you would be pleased to join the ladies. Or shall we sit down to faro,
and pass the time in play?

A MASK. We are accustomed to spend it in action.

FIESCO. A manly answer--such as bespeaks Verrina.

VERRINA (unmasking). Fiesco is quicker to discover his friends beneath
their masks than they to discover him beneath his.

FIESCO. I understand you not. But what means that crape of mourning
around your arm? Can death have robbed Verrina of a friend, and Fiesco
not know the loss?

VERRINA. Mournful tales ill suit Fiesco's joyful feasts.

FIESCO. But if a friend--(pressing his hand warmly.) Friend of my soul!
For whom must we both mourn?

VRRRINA. Both! both! Oh, 'tis but too true we both should mourn--yet
not all sons lament their mother.

FIESCO. 'Tis long since your mother was mingled with the dust.

VERRINA (with an earnest look). I do remember me that Fiesco once called
me brother, because we both were sons of the same country!

FIESCO (jocosely). Oh, is it only that? You meant then but to jest?
The mourning dress is worn for Genoa! True, she lies indeed in her last
agonies. The thought is new and singular. Our cousin begins to be a

VERRINA. Fiesco! I spoke most seriously.

FIESCO. Certainly--certainly. A jest loses its point when he who makes
it is the first to laugh. But you! You looked like a mute at a funeral.
Who could have thought that the austere Verrina should in his old age
become such a wag!

SACCO. Come, Verrina. He never will be ours.

FIESCO. Be merry, brother. Let us act the part of the cunning heir, who
walks in the funeral procession with loud lamentations, laughing to
himself the while, under the cover of his handkerchief. 'Tis true we may
be troubled with a harsh step-mother. Be it so--we will let her scold,
and follow our own pleasures.

VERRINA (with great emotion). Heaven and earth! Shall we then do
nothing? What is to become of you, Fiesco? Where am I to seek that
determined enemy of tyrants? There was a time when but to see a crown
would have been torture to you. Oh, fallen son of the republic! By
heaven, if time could so debase my soul I would spurn immortality.

FIESCO. O rigid censor! Let Doria put Genoa in his pocket, or barter it
with the robbers of Tunis. Why should it trouble us? We will drown
ourselves in floods of Cyprian wine, and revel it in the sweet caresses
of our fair ones.

VERRINA (looking at him with earnestness). Are these indeed your serious

FIESCO. Why should they not be, my friend? Think you 'tis a pleasure to
be the foot of that many-legged monster, a republic? No--thanks be to
him who gives it wings, and deprives the feet of their functions! Let
Gianettino be the duke, affairs of state shall ne'er lie heavy on our

VERRINA. Fiesco! Is that truly and seriously your meaning?

FIESCO. Andreas adopts his nephew as a son, and makes him heir to his
estates; what madman will dispute with him the inheritance of his power?

VERRINA (with the utmost indignation). Away, then, Genoese! (Leaves
FIESCO hastily, the rest follow.)

FIESCO. Verrina! Verrina! Oh, this republican is as hard as steel!


   FIESCO. A MASK entering.

MASK. Have you a minute or two to spare, Lavagna?

FIESCO (in an obliging manner). An hour if you request it.

MASK. Then condescend to walk into the fields with me.

FIESCO. It wants but ten minutes of midnight.

MASK. Walk with me, Count, I pray.

FIESCO. I will order my carriage.

MASK. That is useless--I shall send one horse: we want no more, for only
one of us, I hope, will return.

FIESCO (with surprise). What say you?

MASK. A bloody answer will be demanded of you, touching a certain tear.

FIESCO. What tear?

MASK. A tear shed by the Countess of Lavagna. I am acquainted with that
lady, and demand to know how she has merited to be sacrificed to a
worthless woman?

FIESCO. I understand you now; but let me ask who 'tis that offers so
strange a challenge?

MASK. It is the same that once adored the lady Zibo, and yielded her to

FIESCO. Scipio Bourgognino!

BOURGOGNINO (unmasking). And who now stands here to vindicate his honor,
that yielded to a rival base enough to tyrannize over innocence.

FIESCO (embraces him with ardor). Noble youth! thanks to the sufferings
of my consort, which have drawn forth the manly feelings of your soul; I
admire your generous indignation--but I refuse your challenge.

BOURGOGNINO (stepping back). Does Fiesco tremble to encounter the first
efforts of my sword?

FIESCO. No, Bourgognino! against a nation's power combined I would
boldly venture, but not against you. The fire of your valor is endeared
to me by a most lovely object--the will deserves a laurel, but the deed
would be childish.

BOURGOGNINO (with emotion). Childish, Count! women can only weep at
injuries. 'Tis for men to revenge them.

FIESCO. Uncommonly well said--but fight I will not.

BOURGOGNINO (turning upon him contemptuously). Count, I shall despise

FIESCO (with animation). By heaven, youth, that thou shalt never do--not
even if virtue fall in value, shall I become a bankrupt. (Taking him by
the hand, with a look of earnestness.) Did you ever feel for me--what
shall I say--respect?

BOURGOGNINO. Had I not thought you were the first of men I should not
have yielded to you.

FIESCO. Then, my friend, be not so forward to despise a man who once
could merit your respect. It is not for the eye of the youthful artist
to comprehend at once the master's vast design. Retire, Bourgognino, and
take time to weigh the motives of Fiesco's conduct!

   [Exit BOURGOGNINO, in silence.

Go! noble youth! if spirits such as thine break out in flames in thy
country's cause, let the Dorias see that they stand fast!


   FIESCO.--The MOOR entering with an appearance of timidity,
   and looking round cautiously.

FIESCO (fixing his eye on him sharply). What wouldst thou here? Who art

MOOR (as above). A slave of the republic.

FIESCO (keeping his eye sharply upon him). Slavery is a wretched craft.
What dost thou seek?

MOOR. Sir, I am an honest man.

FIESCO. Wear then that label on thy visage, it will not be superfluous--
but what wouldst thou have?

MOOR (approaching him, FIESCO draws back). Sir, I am no villain.

FIESCO. 'Tis well thou hast told me that--and yet--'tis not well either
(impatiently). What dost thou seek?

MOOR (still approaching). Are you the Count Lavagna?

FIESCO (haughtily). The blind in Genoa know my steps--what wouldst thou
with the Count?

MOOR (close to him). Be on your guard, Lavagna!

FIESCO (passing hastily to the other side). That, indeed, I am.

MOOR (again approaching). Evil designs are formed against you, Count.

FIESCO (retreating). That I perceive.

MOOR. Beware of Doria!

FIESCO (approaching him with an air of confidence). Perhaps my
suspicions have wronged thee, my friend--Doria is indeed the name I

MOOR. Avoid the man, then. Can you read?

FIESCO. A curious question! Thou hast known, it seems, many of our
cavaliers. What writing hast thou?

MOOR. Your name is amongst other condemned sinners. (Presents a paper,
and draws close to FIESCO, who is standing before a looking-glass and
glancing over the paper--the MOOR steals round him, draws a dagger, and
is going to stab.)

FIESCO (turning round dexterously, and seizing the MOOR'S arm.) Stop,
scoundrel! (Wrests the dagger from him.)

MOOR (stamps in a frantic manner). Damnation! Your pardon--sire!

FIESCO (seizing him, calls with a loud voice). Stephano! Drullo!
Antonio! (holding the MOOR by the throat.) Stay, my friend!--what
hellish villany! (Servants enter.) Stay, and answer--thou hast
performed thy task like a bungler. Who pays thy wages?

MOOR (after several fruitless attempts to escape). You cannot hang me
higher than the gallows are----

FIESCO. No--be comforted--not on the horns of the moon, but higher than
ever yet were gallows--yet hold! Thy scheme was too politic to be of thy
own contrivance speak, fellow! who hired thee?

MOOR. Think me a rascal, sir, but not a fool.

FIESCO. What, is the scoundrel proud? Speak, sirrah! Who hired thee?

MOOR (aside). Shall I alone be called a fool? Who hired me? 'Twas but
a hundred miserable sequins. Who hired me, did you ask? Prince

FIESCO (walking about in a passion). A hundred sequins? And is that all
the value set upon Fiesco's head? Shame on thee, Prince of Genoa! Here,
fellow (taking money from an escritoire), are a thousand for thee. Tell
thy master he is a niggardly assassin. (MOOR looks at him with
astonishment.) What dost thou gaze at? (MOOR takes up the money--lays
it down--takes it up again, and looks at FIESCO with increased
astonishment). What dost thou mean?

MOOR (throwing the money resolutely upon the table). Sir, that money I
have not earned--I deserve it not.

FIESCO. Blockhead, thou hast deserved the gallows; but the offended
elephant tramples on men not on worms. Were thy life worth but two words
I would have thee hanged.

MOOR (bowing with an air of pleasure at his escape). Sir, you are too

FIESCO. Not towards thee! God forbid! No. I am amused to think my
humor can make or unmake such a villain as thou, therefore dost thou go
scot-free--understand me aright--I take thy failure as an omen of my
future greatness--'tis this thought that renders me indulgent, and
preserves thy life.

MOOR (in a tone of confidence). Count, your hand! honor for honor. If
any man in this country has a throat too much--command me, and I'll cut

FIESCO. Obliging scoundrel! He would show his gratitude by cutting
throats wholesale!

MOOR. Men like me, sir, receive no favor without acknowledgment. We
know what honor is.

FIESCO. The honor of cut-throats?

MOOR. Which is, perhaps, more to be relied on than that of your men of
character. They break their oaths made in the name of God. We keep ours
pledged to the devil.

FIESCO. Thou art an amusing villain.

MOOR. I rejoice to meet your approbation. Try me; you will find in me a
man who is a thorough master of his profession. Examine me; I can show
my testimonials of villany from every guild of rogues--from the lowest to
the highest.

FIESCO. Indeed! (seating himself.) There are laws and systems then even
among thieves. What canst thou tell me of the lowest class?

MOOR. Oh, sir, they are petty villains, mere pick-pockets. They are a
miserable set. Their trade never produces a man of genius; 'tis confined
to the whip and workhouse--and at most can lead but to the gallows.

FIESCO. A charming prospect! I should like to hear something of a
superior class.

MOOR. The next are spies and informers--tools of importance to the
great, who from their secret information derive their own supposed
omniscience. These villains insinuate themselves into the souls of men
like leeches; they draw poison from the heart, and spit it forth against
the very source from whence it came.

FIESCO. I understand thee--go on----

MOOR. Then come the conspirators, villains that deal in poison, and
bravoes that rush upon their victims from some secret covert. Cowards
they often are, but yet fellows that sell their souls to the devil as the
fees of their apprenticeship. The hand of justice binds their limbs to
the rack or plants their cunning heads on spikes--this is the third

FIESCO. But tell me! When comes thy own?

MOOR. Patience, my lord--that is the very point I'm coming to--I have
already passed through all the stages that I mentioned: my genius soon
soared above their limits. 'Twas but last night I performed my
masterpiece in the third; this evening I attempted the fourth, and proved
myself a bungler.

FIESCO. And how do you describe that class?

MOOR (with energy). They are men who seek their prey within four walls,
cutting their way through every danger. They strike at once, and, by
their first salute, save him whom they approach the trouble of returning
thanks for a second. Between ourselves they are called the express
couriers of hell: and when Beelzebub is hungry they want but a wink, and
he gets his mutton warm.

FIESCO. Thou art an hardened villain--such a tool I want. Give me thy
hand--thou shalt serve me.

MOOR. Jest or earnest?

FIESCO. In full earnest--and I'll pay thee yearly a 'thousand sequins.

MOOR. Done, Lavagna! I am yours. Away with common business--employ me
in whate'er you will. I'll be your setter or your bloodhound--your fox,
your viper--your pimp, or executioner. I'm prepared for all commissions
--except honest ones; in those I am as stupid as a block.

FIESCO. Fear not! I would not set the wolf to guard the lamb. Go thou
through Genoa to-morrow and sound the temper of the people. Narrowly
inquire what they think of the government, and of the house of Doria--
what of me, my debaucheries, and romantic passion. Flood their brains
with wine, until the sentiments of the heart flow over. Here's money--
lavish it among the manufacturers----

MOOR. Sir!

FIESCO. Be not afraid--no honesty is in the case. Go, collect what help
thou canst. To-morrow I will hear thy report.


MOOR (following). Rely on me. It is now four o'clock in the morning, by
eight to-morrow you shall hear as much news as twice seventy spies can


SCENE X.--An apartment in the house of VERRINA.

   BERTHA on a couch, supporting her head on her hand--

   VERRINA enters with a look of dejection.

BERTHA (starts up frightened). Heavens! He is here!

VERRINA (stops, looking at her with surprise). My daughter affrighted at
her father!

BERTHA. Fly! fly! or let me fly! Father, your sight is dreadful to me!

VERRINA. Dreadful to my child!--my only child!

BERTHA (looking at him mournfully). Oh! you must seek another. I am no
more your daughter.

VERRINA. What, does my tenderness distress you?

BERTHA. It weighs me down to the earth.

VERRINA. How, my daughter! do you receive me thus? Formerly, when I
came home, my heart o'erburdened with sorrows, my Bertha came running
towards me, and chased them away with her smiles. Come, embrace me, my
daughter! Reclined upon thy glowing bosom, my heart, when chilled by the
sufferings of my country, shall grow warm again. Oh, my child! this day
I have closed my account with the joys of this world, and thou alone
(sighing heavily) remainest to me.

BERTHA (casting a long and earnest look at him). Wretched father!

VERRINA (eagerly embracing her). Bertha! my only child! Bertha! my last
remaining hope! The liberty of Genoa is lost--Fiesco is lost--and thou
(pressing her more strongly, with a look of despair) mayest be

BERTHA (tearing herself from him). Great God! You know, then----

VERRINA (trembling). What?

BERTHA. My virgin honor----

VERRINA (raging). What?

BERTHA. Last night----

VERRINA (furiously.) Speak! What!

BERTHA. Force. (Sinks down upon the side of the sofa.)

VERRINA (after a long pause, with a hollow voice). One word more, my
daughter--thy last! Who was it?

BERTHA. Alas, what an angry deathlike paleness! Great God, support me!
How his words falter! His whole frame trembles!

VERRINA. I cannot comprehend it. Tell me, my daughter--who?

BERTHA. Compose yourself, my best, my dearest father!

VERRINA (ready to faint). For God's sake--who?

BERTHA. A mask----

VERRINA (steps back, thoughtfully). No! That cannot be!--the thought is
idle--(smiling to himself ). What a fool am I to think that all the
poison of my life can flow but from one source! (Firmly addressing
himself to BERTHA.) What was his stature, less than mine or taller?

BERTHA. Taller.

VERRINA (eagerly). His hair? Black, and curled?

BERTHA. As black as jet and curled?

VERRINA (retiring from her in great emotion). O God! my brain! my brain!
His voice?

BERTHA. Was deep and harsh.

VERRINA (impetuously). What color was--No! I'll hear no more! 'His
cloak! What color?

BERTHA. I think his cloak was green.

VERRINA (covering his face with his hands, falls on the couch). No more.
This can be nothing but a dream!

BERTHA (wringing her hands). Merciful heaven! Is this my father?

VERRINA (after a pause, with a forced smile). Right! It serves thee
right--coward Verrina! The villain broke into the sanctuary of the laws.
This did not rouse thee. Then he violated the sanctuary of thy honor
(starting up). Quick! Nicolo! Bring balls and powder--but stay--my
sword were better. (To BERTHA.) Say thy prayers! Ah! what am I going
to do?

BERTHA. Father, you make me tremble----

VERRINA. Come, sit by me, Bertha! (in a solemn manner.) Tell me,
Bertha, what did that hoary-headed Roman, when his daughter--like you--
how can I speak it! fell a prey to ignominy? Tell me, Bertha, what said
Virginius to his dishonored daughter?

BERTHA (shuddering). I know not.

VERRINA. Foolish girl! He said nothing--but (rising hastily and
snatching up a sword) he seized an instrument of death----

BERTHA (terrified, rushes into his arms). Great God! What would you do,
my father?

VERRINA (throwing away the sword). No! There is still justice left in


   SACCO, CALCAGNO, the former.

CALCAGNO. Verrina, quick! prepare! to-day begins the election week of
the republic. Let us early to the Senate House to choose the new
senators. The streets are full of people, you will undoubtedly accompany
us (ironically) to behold the triumph of our liberty.

SACCO (to CALCAGNO). But what do I see? A naked sword! Verrina staring
wildly! Bertha in tears!

CALCAGNO. By heavens, it is so. Sacco! some strange event has happened

VERRINA (placing two chairs). Be seated.

SACCO. Your looks, Verrina, fill us with apprehension.

CALCAGNO. I never saw you thus before--Bertha is in tears, or your grief
would have seemed to presage our country's ruin.

VERRINA. Ruin! Pray sit down. (They both seat themselves.)

CALCAGNO. My friend, I conjure you----

VERRINA. Listen to me.

CALCAGNO (to SACCO). I have sad misgivings.

VERRINA. Genoese! you both know the antiquity of my family. Your
ancestors were vassals to my own. My forefathers fought the battles of
the state, their wives were patterns of virtue. Honor was our sole
inheritance, descending unspotted from the father to the son. Can any
one deny it?


CALCAGNO. No one, by the God of heaven!

VERRINA. I am the last of my family. My wife has long been dead. This
daughter is all she left me. You are witnesses, my friends, how I have
brought her up. Can anyone accuse me of neglect?

CALCAGNO. No. Your daughter is a bright example to her sex.

VERRINA. I am old, my friends. On this one daughter all my hopes were
placed. Should I lose her, my race becomes extinct. (After a pause,
with a solemn voice). I have lost her. My family is dishonored.

SACCO and CALCAGNO. Forbid it, heaven! (BERTHA on the couch, appears
much affected.)

VERRINA. No. Despair not, daughter! These men are just and brave. If
they feel thy wrongs they will expiate them with blood. Be not
astonished, friends! He who tramples upon Genoa may easily overcome a
helpless female.

SACCO and CALCAGNO (starting up with emotion). Gianettino Doria!

BERTHA (with a shriek, seeing BOURGOGNINO enter). Cover me, walls,
beneath your ruins! My Scipio!


   BOURGOGNINO--the former.

BOURGOGNINO (with ardor). Rejoice, my love! I bring good tidings.
Noble Verrina, my heaven now depends upon a word from you. I have long
loved your daughter, but never dared to ask her hand, because my whole
fortune was intrusted to the treacherous sea. My ships have just now
reached the harbor laden with valuable cargoes. Now I am rich. Bestow
your Bertha on me--I will make her happy. (BERTHA hides her face--a
profound pause.)

VERRINA. What, youth! Wouldst thou mix thy heart's pure tide with a
polluted stream?

BOURGOGNINO (clasps his hand to his sword, but suddenly draws it back).
'Twas her father said it.

VERRINA. No--every rascal in Italy will say it. Are you contented with
the leavings of other men's repasts?

BOURGOGNINO. Old man, do not make me desperate.

CALCAGNO. Bourgognino! he speaks the truth.

BOURGOGNINO (enraged, rushing towards BERTHA). The truth? Has the girl
then mocked me?

CALCAGNO. No! no! Bourgognino. The girl is spotless as an angel.

BOURGOGNINO (astonished). By my soul's happiness, I comprehend it not!
Spotless, yet dishonored! They look in silence on each other. Some
horrid crime hangs on their trembling tongues. I conjure you, friends,
mock not thus my reason. Is she pure? Is she truly so? Who answers for

VERRINA. My child is guiltless.

BOURGOGNINO. What! Violence! (Snatches the sword from the ground.) Be
all the sins of earth upon my bead if I avenge her not! Where is the

VERRINA. Seek him in the plunderer of Genoa! (BOURGOGNINO struck with
astonishment--VERRINA walks up and down the room in deep thought, then
stops.) If rightly I can trace thy counsels, O eternal Providence! it is
thy will to make my daughter the instrument of Genoa's deliverance.
(Approaching her slowly, takes the mourning crape from his arm, and
proceeds in a solemn manner.) Before the heart's blood of Doria shall
wash away this foul stain from thy honor no beam of daylight shall shine
upon these cheeks. Till then (throwing the crape over her) be blind! (A
pause--the rest look upon him with silent astonishment; he continues
solemnly, his hand upon BERTHA'S head.) Cursed be the air that shall
breathe on thee! Cursed the sleep that shall refresh thee! Cursed every
human step that shall come to sooth thy misery! Down, into the lowest
vault beneath my house! There whine, and cry aloud! (pausing with inward
horror.) Be thy life painful as the tortures of the writhing worm--
agonizing as the stubborn conflict between existence and annihilation.
This curse lie on thee till Gianettino shall have heaved forth his dying
breath. If he escape his punishment, then mayest thou drag thy load of
misery throughout the endless circle of eternity!

   [A deep silence--horror is marked on the countenances of all
   present. VERRINA casts a scrutinizing look at each of them.

BOURGOGNINO. Inhuman father! What is it thou hast done? Why pour forth
this horrible and monstrous curse against thy guiltless daughter?

VERRINA. Youth, thou say'st true!--it is most horrible. Now who among
you will stand forth and prate still of patience and delay? My
daughter's fate is linked with that of Genoa. I sacrifice the affections
of a father to the duties of a citizen. Who among us is so much a coward
as to hesitate in the salvation of his country, when this poor guiltless
being must pay for his timidity with endless sufferings? By heavens,
'twas not a madman's speech! I have sworn an oath, and till Doria lie in
the agonies of death I will show no mercy to my child. No--not though,
like an executioner, I should invent unheard-of torments for her, or with
my own hands rend her innocent frame piecemeal on the barbarous rack.
You shudder--you stare at me with ghastly faces. Once more, Scipio--I
keep her as a hostage for the tyrant's death. Upon this precious thread
do I suspend thy duty, my own, and yours (to SACCO and CALCAGNO). The
tyrant of Genoa falls, or Bertha must despair--I retract not.

BOURGOGNINO (throwing himself at BERTHA'S feet). He shall fall--shall
fall a victim to Genoa. I will as surely sheathe this sword in Doria's
heart as upon thy lips I will imprint the bridal kiss. (Rises.)

VERRINA. Ye couple, the first that ever owed their union to the Furies,
join hands! Thou wilt sheathe thy sword in Doria's heart? Take her! she
is thine!

CALCAGNO (kneeling). Here kneels another citizen of Genoa and lays his
faithful sword before the feet of innocence. As surely may Calcagno find
the way to heaven as this steel shall find its way to Gianettino's heart!

SACCO (kneeling). Last, but not less determined, Raffaelle Sacco kneels.
If this bright steel unlock not the prison doors of Bertha, mayest thou,
my Saviour, shut thine ear against my dying prayers! (Rises.)

VERRINA (with a calm look). Through me Genoa thanks you. Now go, my
daughter; rejoice to be the mighty sacrifice for thy country!

BOURGOGNINO (embracing her as she is departing). Go! confide in God--and
Bourgognino. The same day shall give freedom to Bertha and to Genoa.

                        [BERTHA retires.


   The former--without BERTHA.

CALCAGNO. Genoese, before we take another step, one word----

VERRINA. I guess what you would say.

CALCAGNO. Will four patriots alone be sufficient to destroy this mighty
hydra? Shall we not stir up the people to rebellion, or draw the nobles
in to join our party?

VERRINA. I understand you. Now hear my advice; I have long engaged a
painter who has been exerting all his skill to paint the fall of Appius
Claudius. Fiesco is an adorer of the arts, and soon warmed by ennobling
scenes. We will send this picture to his house, and will be present when
he contemplates it. Perhaps the sight may rouse his dormant spirit.

BOURGOGNINO. No more of him. Increase the danger, not the sharers in
it. So valor bids. Long have I felt a something within my breast that
nothing would appease. What 'twas now bursts upon me (springing up with
enthusiasm); 'twas a tyrant!

                     [The scene closes.


SCENE I.--An Ante-chamber in the Palace of FIESCO.


ARABELLA. No, no, you were mistaken: your eyes were blinded by jealousy.

LEONORA. It was Julia to the life. Seek not to persuade me otherwise.
My picture was suspended by a sky-blue ribbon: this was flame-colored.
My doom is fixed irrevocably.


   The former and JULIA.

JULIA (entering in an affected manner). The Count offered me his palace
to see the procession to the senate-house. The time will be tedious.
You will entertain me, madam, while the chocolate is preparing.

   [ARABELLA goes out, and returns soon afterwards.

LEONORA. Do you wish that I should invite company to meet you?

JULIA. Ridiculous! As if I should come hither in search of company.
You will amuse me, madam (walking up and down, and admiring herself ), if
you are able, madam. At any rate I shall lose nothing.

ARABELLA (sarcastically). Your splendid dress alone will be the loser.
Only think how cruel it is to deprive the eager eyes of our young beaux
of such a treat! Ah! and the glitter of your sparkling jewels on which
it almost wounds the sight to look. Good heavens! You seem to have
plundered the whole ocean of its pearls.

JULIA (before a glass). You are not accustomed to such things, miss!
But hark ye, miss! pray has your mistress also hired your tongue? Madam,
'tis fine, indeed, to permit your domestics thus to address your guests.

LEONORA. 'Tis my misfortune, signora, that my want of spirits prevents
me from enjoying the pleasure of your company.

JULIA. An ugly fault that, to be dull and spiritless. Be active,
sprightly, witty! Yours is not the way to attach your husband to you.

LEONORA. I know but one way, Countess. Let yours ever be the
sympathetic medium.

JULIA (pretending not to mind her). How you dress, madam! For shame!
Pay more attention to your personal appearance! Have recourse to art
where nature has been unkind. Put a little paint on those cheeks, which
look so pale with spleen. Poor creature! Your puny face will never find
a bidder.

LEONORA (in a lively manner to ARABELLA). Congratulate me, girl. It is
impossible I can have lost my Fiesco; or, if I have, the loss must be but
trifling. (The chocolate is brought, ARABELLA pours it out.)

JULIA. Do you talk of losing Fiesco? Good God! How could you ever
conceive the ambitious idea of possessing him? Why, my child, aspire to
such a height? A height where you cannot but be seen, and must come into
comparison with others. Indeed, my dear, he was a knave or a fool who
joined you with FIESCO. (Taking her hand with a look of compassion.)
Poor soul! The man who is received in the assemblies of fashionable life
could never be a suitable match for you. (She takes a dish of

LEONORA (smiling at ARABELLA). If he were, he would not wish to mix with
such assemblies.

JULIA. The Count is handsome, fashionable, elegant. He is so fortunate
as to have formed connections with people of rank. He is lively and
high-spirited. Now, when he severs himself from these circles of
elegance and refinement, and returns home warm with their impressions,
what does he meet? His wife receives him with a commonplace tenderness;
damps his fire with an insipid, chilling kiss, and measures out her
attentions to him with a niggardly economy. Poor husband! Here, a
blooming beauty smiles upon him--there he is nauseated by a peevish
sensibility. Signora, signora, for God's sake consider, if he have not
lost his understanding, which will he choose?

LEONORA (offering her a cup of chocolate). You, madam--if he have
lost it.

JULIA. Good! This sting shall return into your own bosom. Tremble for
your mockery! But before you tremble--blush!

LEONORA. Do you then know what it is to blush, signora? But why not?
'Tis a toilet trick.

JULIA. Oh, see! This poor creature must be provoked if one would draw
from her a spark of wit. Well--let it pass this time. Madam, you were
bitter. Give me your hand in token of reconciliation.

LEONORA (offering her hand with a significant look). Countess, my anger
ne'er shall trouble you.

JULIA (offering her hand). Generous, indeed! Yet may I not be so, too?
(Maliciously.) Countess, do you not think I must love that person whose
image I bear constantly about me?

LEONORA (blushing and confused). What do you say? Let me hope the
conclusion is too hasty.

JULIA. I think so, too. The heart waits not the guidance of the senses
--real sentiment needs no breastwork of outward ornament.

LEONORA. Heavens! Where did you learn such a truth?

JULIA. 'Twas in mere compassion that I spoke it; for observe, madam, the
reverse is no less certain. Such is Fiesco's love for you. (Gives her
the picture, laughing maliciously.)

LEONORA (with extreme indignation). My picture! Given to you! (Throws
herself into a chair, much affected.) Cruel, Fiesco!

JULIA. Have I retaliated? Have I? Now, madam, have you any other sting
to wound me with? (Goes to side scene.) My carriage! My object is
gained. (To LEONORA, patting her cheek.) Be comforted, my dear; he gave
me the picture in a fit of madness.

                     [Exeunt JULIA and ARABELLA.


   LEONORA, CALCAGNO entering.

CALCAGNO. Did not the Countess Imperiali depart in anger? You, too, so
excited, madam?

LEONORA (violently agitated.) No! This is unheard-of cruelty.

CALCAGNO. Heaven and earth! Do I behold you in tears?

LEONORA. Thou art a friend of my inhuman--Away, leave my sight!

CALCAGNO. Whom do you call inhuman? You affright me----

LEONORA. My husband. Is he not so?

CALCAGNO. What do I hear!

LEONORA. 'Tis but a piece of villany common enough among your sex!

CALCAGNO (grasping her hand with vehemence). Lady, I have a heart for
weeping virtue.

LEONORA. You are a man--your heart is not for me.

CALCAGNO. For you alone--yours only. Would that you knew how much, how
truly yours----

LEONORA. Man, thou art untrue. Thy words would be refuted by thy

CALCAGNO. I swear to you----

LEONORA. A false oath. Cease! The perjuries of men are so innumerable
'twould tire the pen of the recording angel to write them down. If their
violated oaths were turned into as many devils they might storm heaven
itself, and lead away the angels of light as captives.

CALCAGNO. Nay, madam, your anger makes you unjust. Is the whole sex to
answer for the crime of one?

LEONORA. I tell thee in that one was centred all my affection for the
sex. In him I will detest them all.

CALCAGNO. Countess,--you once bestowed your hand amiss. Would you again
make trial, I know one who would deserve it better.

LEONORA. The limits of creation cannot bound your falsehoods. I'll hear
no more.

CALCAGNO. Oh, that you would retract this cruel sentence in my arms!

LEONORA (with astonishment). Speak out. In thy arms!

CALCAGNO. In my arms, which open themselves to receive a forsaken woman,
and to console her for the love she has lost.

LEONORA (fixing her eyes on him). Love?

CALCAGNO (kneeling before her with ardor). Yes, I have said it. Love,
madam! Life and death hang on your tongue. If my passion be criminal
then let the extremes of virtue and vice unite, and heaven and hell be
joined together in one perdition.

LEONORA (steps back indignantly, with a look of noble disdain). Ha!
Hypocrite! Was that the object of thy false compassion? This attitude
at once proclaims thee a traitor to friendship and to love. Begone
forever from my eyes! Detested sex! Till now I thought the only victim
of your snares was woman; nor ever suspected that to each other you were
so false and faithless.

CALCAGNO (rising, confounded). Countess!

LEONORA. Was it not enough to break the sacred seal of confidence? but
even on the unsullied mirror of virtue does this hypocrite breathe
pestilence, and would seduce my innocence to perjury.

CALCAGNO (hastily). Perjury, madam, you cannot be guilty of.

LEONORA. I understand thee--thou thoughtest my wounded pride would plead
in thy behalf. (With dignity). Thou didst not know that she who loves
Fiesco feels even the pang that rends her heart ennobling. Begone!
Fiesco's perfidy will not make Calcagno rise in my esteem--but--will
lower humanity.                  [Exit hastily.

CALCAGNO (stands as if thunderstruck, looks after her, then striking his
forehead). Fool that I am.            [Exit.


   The MOOR and FIESCO.

FIESCO. Who was it that just now departed?

MOOR. The Marquis Calcagno.

FIESCO. This handkerchief was left upon the sofa. My wife has been

MOOR. I met her this moment in great agitation.

FIESCO. This handkerchief is moist (puts it in his pocket). Calcagno
here? And Leonora agitated? This evening thou must learn what has

MOOR. Miss Bella likes to hear that she is fair. She will inform me.

FIESCO. Well--thirty hours are past. Hast thou executed my commission?

MOOR. To the letter, my lord.

FIESCO (seating himself). Then tell me how they talk of Doria, and of
the government.

MOOR. Oh, most vilely. The very name of Doria shakes them like an
ague-fit. Gianettino is as hateful to them as death itself--there's
naught but murmuring. They say the French have been the rats of Genoa,
the cat Doria has devoured them, and now is going to feast upon the mice.

FIESCO. That may perhaps be true. But do they not know of any dog
against that cat?

MOOR (with an affected carelessness). The town was murmuring much of a
certain--poh--why, I have actually forgotten the name.

FIESCO (rising). Blockhead! That name is as easy to be remembered as
'twas difficult to achieve. Has Genoa more such names than one?

MOOR. No--it cannot have two Counts of Lavagna.

FIESCO (seating himself). That is something. And what do they whisper
about my gayeties?

MOOR (fixing his eyes upon him). Hear me, Count of Lavagna! Genoa must
think highly of you. They can not imagine why a descendant of the first
family--with such talents and genius--full of spirit and popularity--
master of four millions--his veins enriched with princely blood--a
nobleman like Fiesco, whom, at the first call, all hearts would fly to

FIESCO (turns away contemptuously). To hear such things from such a

MOOR. Many lamented that the chief of Genoa should slumber over the ruin
of his country. And many sneered. Most men condemned you. All bewailed
the state which thus had lost you. A Jesuit pretended to have smelt out
the fox that lay disguised in sheep's clothing.

FIESCO. One fox smells out another. What say they to my passion for the
Countess Imperiali?

MOOR. What I would rather be excused from repeating.

FIESCO. Out with it--the bolder the more welcome. What are their

MOOR. 'Tis not a murmur. At all the coffee-houses, billiard-tables,
hotels, and public walks--in the market-place, at the Exchange, they
proclaim aloud----

FIESCO. What? I command thee!

MOOR (retreating). That you are a fool!

FIESCO. Well, take this sequin for these tidings. Now have I put on a
fool's cap that these Genoese may have wherewith to rack their wits.
Next I will shave my head, that they may play Merry Andrew to my Clown.
How did the manufacturers receive my presents?

MOOR (humorously). Why, Mr. Fool, they looked like poor knaves----

FIESCO. Fool? Fellow, art thou mad?

MOOR. Pardon! I had a mind for a few more sequins.

FIESCO (laughing, gives him another sequin). Well. "Like poor knaves."

MOOR. Who receive pardon at the very block. They are yours both soul
and body.

FIESCO. I'm glad of it. They turn the scale among the populace of

MOOR. What a scene it was! Zounds! I almost acquired a relish for
benevolence. They caught me round the neck like madmen. The very girls
seemed in love with my black visage, that's as ill-omened as the moon in
an eclipse. Gold, thought I, is omnipotent: it makes even a Moor look

FIESCO. That thought was better than the soil which gave it birth.
These words are favorable; but do they bespeak actions of equal import?

MOOR. Yes--as the murmuring of the distant thunder foretells the
approaching storm. The people lay their heads together--they collect in
parties--break off their talk whenever a stranger passes by. Throughout
Genoa reigns a gloomy silence. This discontent hangs like a threatening
tempest over the republic. Come, wind, then hail and lightning will
burst forth.

FIESCO. Hush!--hark! What is that confused noise?

MOOR (going to the window). It is the tumult of the crowd returning from
the senate-house.

FIESCO. To-day is the election of a procurator. Order my carriage! It
is impossible that the sitting should be over. I'll go thither. It is
impossible it should be over if things went right. Bring me my sword and
cloak--where is my golden chain?

MOOR. Sir, I have stolen and pawned it.

FIESCO. That I am glad to hear.

MOOR. But, how! Are there no more sequins for me?

FIESCO. No. You forgot the cloak.

MOOR. Ah! I was wrong in pointing out the thief.

FIESCO. The tumult comes nearer. Hark! 'Tis not the sound of
approbation. Quick! Unlock the gates; I guess the matter. Doria has
been rash. The state balances upon a needle's point. There has
assuredly been some disturbance at the senate-house.

MOOR (at the window). What's here! They're coming down the street of
Balbi--a crowd of many thousands--the halberds glitter--ah, swords too!
Halloo! Senators! They come this way.

FIESCO. Sedition is on foot. Hasten amongst them; mention my name;
persuade them to come hither. (Exit Moon hastily.) What reason,
laboring like a careful ant, with difficulty scrapes together, the wind
of accident collects in one short moment.



ZIBO. Count, impute it to our anger that we enter thus unannounced.

ZENTURIONE. I have been mortally affronted by the duke's nephew in the
face of the whole senate.

ASSERATO. Doria has trampled on the golden book of which each noble
Genoese is a leaf.

ZENTURIONE. Therefore come we hither. The whole nobility are insulted
in me; the whole nobility must share my vengeance. To avenge my own
honor I should not need assistance.

ZIBO. The whole nobility are outraged in his person; the whole nobility
must rise and vent their rage in fire and flames.

ASSERATO. The rights of the nation are trodden under foot; the liberty
of the republic has received a deadly blow.

FIESCO. You raise my expectation to the utmost.

ZIBO. He was the twenty-ninth among the electing senators, and had drawn
forth a golden ball to vote for the procurator. Of the eight-and-twenty
votes collected, fourteen were for me, and as many for Lomellino. His
and Doria's were still wanting----

ZENTURIONE. Wanting! I gave my vote for Zibo. Doria--think of the
wound inflicted on my honor--Doria----

ASSERATO (interrupting him). Such a thing was never heard of since the
sea washed the walls of Genoa.

ZENTURIONE (continues, with great heat). Doria drew a sword, which he
had concealed under a scarlet cloak--stuck it through my vote--called to
the assembly----

ZIBO. "Senators, 'tis good-for-nothing--'tis pierced through. Lomellino
is procurator."

ZENTURIONE. "Lomellino is procurator." And threw his sword upon the

ASSERATO. And called out, "'Tis good-for-nothing!" and threw his sword
upon the table.

FIESCO (after a pause). On what are you resolved?

ZENTURIONE. The republic is wounded to its very heart. On what are we

FIESCO. Zenturione, rushes may yield to a breath, but the oak requires a
storm. I ask, on what are you resolved?

ZIBO. Methinks the question shall be, on what does Genoa resolve?

FIESCO. Genoa! Genoa! name it not. 'Tis rotten, and crumbles wherever
you touch it. Do you reckon on the nobles? Perhaps because they put on
grave faces, look mysterious when state affairs are mentioned--talk not
of them! Their heroism is stifled among the bales of their Levantine
merchandise. Their souls hover anxiously over their India fleet.

ZENTURIONE. Learn to esteem our nobles more justly. Scarcely was
Doria's haughty action done when hundreds of them rushed into the street
tearing their garments. The senate was dispersed----

FIESCO (sarcastically). Like frighted pigeons when the vulture darts
upon the dovecot.

ZENTURIONE. No! (fiercely)--like powder-barrels when a match falls on

ZIBO. The people are enraged. What may we not expect from the fury of
the wounded boar!

FIESCO (laughing). The blind, unwieldy monster, which at first rattles
its heavy bones, threatening, with gaping jaws, to devour the high and
low, the near and distant, at last stumbles at a thread--Genoese, 'tis in
vain! The epoch of the masters of the sea is past--Genoa is sunk beneath
the splendor of its name. Its state is such as once was Rome's, when,
like a tennis-ball, she leaped into the racket of young Octavius. Genoa
can be free no longer; Genoa must be fostered by a monarch; therefore do
homage to the mad-brained Gianettino.

ZENTURIONE (vehemently). Yes, when the contending elements are
reconciled, and when the north pole meets the south. Come, friends.

FIESCO. Stay! stay! Upon what project are you brooding, Zibo?

ZIBO. On nothing.

FIESCO (leading them to a statue). Look at this figure.

ZENTURIONE. It is the Florentine Venus. Why point to her?

FIESCO. At least she pleases you.

ZIBO. Undoubtedly, or we should be but poor Italians. But why this
question now?

FIESCO. Travel through all the countries of the globe, and among the
most beautiful of living female models, seek one which shall unite all
the charms of this ideal Venus.

ZIBO. And then take for our reward?

FIESCO. Then your search will have convicted fancy of deceit----

ZENTURIONE (impatiently). And what shall we have gained?

FIESCO. Gained? The decision of the long-protracted contest between art
and nature.

ZENTURIONE (eagerly). And what then?

FIESCO. Then, then? (Laughing.) Then your attention will have been
diverted from observing the fall of Genoa's liberty.

                       [Exeunt all but FIESCO.


   FIESCO alone. (The noise without increases.)

FIESCO. 'Tis well! 'tis well. The straw of the republic has caught
fire--the flames have seized already on palaces and towers. Let it go
on! May the blaze be general! Let the tempestuous wind spread wide the


   FIESCO, MOOR, entering in haste.

MOOR. Crowds upon crowds!

FIESCO. Throw open wide the gates. Let all that choose enter.

MOOR. Republicans! Republicans, indeed! They drag their liberty along,
panting, like beasts of burden, beneath the yoke of their magnificent

FIESCO. Fools! who believe that Fiesco of Lavagna will carry on what
Fiesco of Lavagna did not begin. The tumult comes opportunely; but the
conspiracy must be my own. They are rushing hither----

MOOR (going out). Halloo! halloo! You are very obligingly battering the
house down. (The people rush in; the doors broken down.)



ALL ARTISANS. Vengeance on Doria! Vengeance on Gianettino!

FIESCO. Gently! gently! my countrymen! Your waiting thus upon me
bespeaks the warmth of your affection; but I pray you have mercy on my

ALL (with impetuosity). Down with the Dorias! Down with them, uncle and

FIESCO (counting them with a smile). Twelve is a mighty force!

SOME OF THEM. These Dorias must away! the state must be reformed!

1ST ARTISAN. To throw our magistrates down stairs! The magistrates!

2D ARTISAN. Think, Count Lavagna--down stairs! because they opposed them
in the election----

ALL. It must not be endured! it shall not be endured!

3D ARTISAN. To take a sword into the senate!

1ST ARTISAN. A sword?--the sign of war--into the chamber of peace!

2D ARTISAN. To come into the senate dressed in scarlet! Not like the
other senators, in black.

1ST ARTISAN. To drive through our capital with eight horses!

ALL. A tyrant! A traitor to the country and the government!

2D ARTISAN. To hire two hundred Germans from the Emperor for his

1ST ARTISAN. To bring foreigners in arms against the natives--Germans
against Italians--soldiers against laws!

ALL. 'Tis treason!--'tis a plot against the liberty of Genoa!

1ST ARTISAN. To have the arms of the republic painted on his coach!

2D ARTISAN. The statue of Andreas placed in the centre of the

ALL. Dash them to pieces--both the statue and the man----

FIESCO. Citizens of Genoa, why this to me?

1ST ARTISAN. You should not suffer it. You should keep him down.

2D ARTISAN. You are a wise man, and should not suffer it. You should
direct us by your counsel.

1ST ARTISAN. You are a better nobleman. You should chastise them and
curb their insolence.

FIESCO. Your confidence is flattering. Can I merit it by deeds?

ALL (clamorously). Strike! Down with the tyrant! Make us free!

FIESCO. But--will you hear me?

SOME. Speak, Count!

FIESCO (seating himself). Genoese,--the empire of the animals was once
thrown into confusion; parties struggled with parties, till at last a
bull-dog seized the throne. He, accustomed to drive the cattle to the
knife of the butcher, prowled in savage manner through the state. He
barked, he bit, and gnawed his subjects' bones. The nation murmured; the
boldest joined together, and killed the princely monster. Now a general
assembly was held to decide upon the important question, which form of
government was best. There were three different opinions. Genoese, what
would be your decision?

1ST ARTISAN. For the people--everything in common----

FIESCO. The people gained it. The government was democratical; each
citizen had a vote, and everything was submitted to a majority. But a
few weeks passed ere man declared war against the new republic. The
state assembled. Horse, lion, tiger, bear, elephant, and rhinoceros,
stepped forth, and roared aloud, "To arms!" The rest were called upon to
vote. The lamb, the hare, the stag, the ass, the tribe of insects, with
the birds and timid fishes, cried for peace. See, Genoese! The cowards
were more numerous than the brave; the foolish than the wise. Numbers
prevailed--the beasts laid down their arms, and man exacted contributions
from them. The democratic system was abandoned. Genoese, what would you
next have chosen?

1ST AND 2D ARTISANS. A select government!

FIESCO. That was adopted. The business of the state was all arranged
in separate departments. Wolves were the financiers, foxes their
secretaries, doves presided in the criminal courts, and tigers in
the courts of equity. The laws of chastity were regulated by goats;
hares were the soldiers; lions and elephants had charge of the baggage.
The ass was the ambassador of the empire, and the mole appointed
inspector-general of the whole administration. Genoese, what think you
of this wise distribution? Those whom the wolf did not devour the fox
pillaged; whoever escaped from him was knocked down by the ass. The
tiger murdered innocents, whilst robbers and assassins were pardoned by
the doves. And at the last, when each had laid down his office, the mole
declared that all were well discharged. The animals rebelled. "Let us,"
they cried unanimously, "choose a monarch endowed with strength and
skill, and who has only one stomach to appease." And to one chief they
all did homage. Genoese--to one---but (rising and advancing
majestically)--that one was--the lion!

ALL (shouting, and throwing up their hats). Bravo! Bravo! Well
managed, Count Lavagna!

1ST ARTISAN. And Genoa shall follow that example. Genoa, also, has its

FIESCO. Tell me not of that lion; but go home and think upon him. (The
ARTISANS depart tumultuously.) It is as I would have it. The people and
the senate are alike enraged against Doria; the people and the senate
alike approve FIESCO. Hassan! Hassan! I must take advantage of this
favorable gale. Hoa! Hassan! Hassan! I must augment their hatred--
improve my influence. Hassan! Come hither! Whoreson of hell, come


   FIESCO, MOOR entering hastily.

MOOR. My feet are quite on fire with running. What is the matter now?

FIESCO. Hear my commands!

MOOR (submissively). Whither shall I run first?

FIESCO. I will excuse thy running this time. Thou shalt be dragged.
Prepare thyself. I intend to publish thy attempted assassination, and
deliver thee up in chains to the criminal tribunal.

MOOR (taking several steps backward). Sir!--that's contrary to

FIESCO. Be not alarmed. 'Tis but a farce. At this moment 'tis of the
utmost consequence that Gianettino's attempt against my life should be
made public. Thou shalt be tried before the criminal tribunal.

MOOR. Must I confess it, or deny?

FIESCO. Deny. They will put thee to the torture. Thou must hold out
against the first degree. This, by the by, will serve to expiate thy
real crime. At the second thou mayest confess.

MOOR (shaking his head with a look of apprehension). The devil is a sly
rogue. Their worships might perhaps desire my company a little longer
than I should wish; and, for sheer farce sake, I may be broken on the

FIESCO. Thou shalt escape unhurt, I give thee my honor as a nobleman. I
shall request, as satisfaction, to have thy punishment left to me, and
then pardon thee before the whole republic.

MOOR. Well--I agree to it. They will draw out my joints a little; but
that will only make them the more flexible.

FIESCO. Then scratch this arm with thy dagger, till the blood flows. I
will pretend that I have just now seized thee in fact. 'Tis well.
(Hallooing violently). Murder! Murder! Guard the passages! Make fast
the gates! (He drags the MOOR out by the throat; servants run across the
stage hastily.)


   LEONORA and ROSA enter hastily, alarmed.

LEONORA. Murder! they cried--murder!--The noise came this way.

ROSA. Surely 'twas but a common tumult, such as happens every day in

LEONORA. They cried murder! and I distinctly heard Fiesco's name. In
vain you would deceive me. My heart discovers what is concealed from my
eyes. Quick! Hasten after them. See! Tell me whither they carry him.

ROSA. Collect your spirits, madam. Arabella is gone.

LEONORA. Arabella will catch his dying look. The happy Arabella!
Wretch that I am? 'twas I that murdered him. If I could have engaged
his heart he would not have plunged into the world, nor rushed upon the
daggers of assassins. Ah! she comes. Away! Oh, Arabella, speak not
to me!


   The former, ARABELLA.

ARABELLA. The Count is living and unhurt. I saw him gallop through the
city. Never did he appear more handsome. The steed that bore him
pranced haughtily along, and with its proud hoof kept the thronging
multitude at a distance from its princely rider. He saw me as I passed,
and with a gracious smile, pointing thither, thrice kissed his hand to
me. (Archly.) What can I do with those kisses, madam?

LEONORA (highly pleased). Idle prattler! Restore them to him.

ROSA. See now, how soon your color has returned!

LEONORA. His heart he is ready to fling at every wench, whilst I sigh in
vain for a look! Oh woman! woman!


SCENE XII.--The Palace of ANDREAS.

   GIANETTINO and LOMELLINO enter hastily.

GIANETTINO. Let them roar for their liberty as a lioness for her young.
I am resolved.

LOMELLINO. But--most gracious prince!

GIANETTINO. Away to hell with thy buts, thou three-hours procurator! I
will not yield a hair's breadth? Let Genoa's towers shake their heads,
and the hoarse sea bellow No to it. I value not the rebellious

LOMELLINO. The people are indeed the fuel; but the nobility fan the
flame. The whole republic is in a ferment, people and patricians.

GIANETTINO. Then will I stand upon the mount like Nero, and regale
myself with looking upon the paltry flames.

LOMELLINO. Till the whole mass of sedition falls into the hands of some
enterprising leader, who will take advantage of the general devastation.

GIANETTINO. Poh! Poh! I know but one who might be dangerous, and he is
taken care of.

LOMELLINO. His highness comes.

   Enter ANDREAS--(both bow respectfully).

ANDREAS. Signor Lomellino, my niece wishes to take the air.

LOMELLINO. I shall have the honor of attending her.

                        [Exit LOMELLINO.



ANDREAS. Nephew, I am much displeased with you.

GIANETTINO. Grant me a hearing, most gracious uncle!

ANDREAS. That would I grant to the meanest beggar in Genoa if he were
worthy of it. Never to a villain, though he were my nephew. It is
sufficient favor that I address thee as an uncle, not as a sovereign!

GIANETTINO. One word only, gracious sir!

ANDREAS. Hear first what thou hast done; then answer me. Thou hast
pulled down an edifice which I have labored for fifty years to raise--
that which should have been thy uncle's mausoleum, his only pyramid--the
affections of his countrymen. This rashness Andreas pardons thee----

GIANETTINO. My uncle and my sovereign----

ANDREAS. Interrupt me not. Thou hast injured that most glorious work of
mine, the constitution, which I brought down from heaven for Genoa, which
cost me so many sleepless nights, so many dangers, and so much blood.
Before all Genoa thou hast cast a stain upon my honor, in violating my
institutions. Who will hold them sacred if my own blood despise them?
This folly thy uncle pardons thee.

GIANETTINO (offended). Sir, you educated me to be the Duke of Genoa.

ANDREAS. Be silent. Thou art a traitor to the state, and hast attacked
its vital principle. Mark me, boy! That principle is--subordination.
Because the shepherd retired in the evening from his labor, thoughtest
thou the flock deserted? Because Andreas' head is white with age,
thoughtest thou, like a villain, to trample on the laws?

GIANETTINO (insolently). Peace, Duke! In my veins also boils the blood
of that Andreas before whom France has trembled.

ANDREAS. Be silent! I command thee. When I speak the sea itself is
wont to pay attention. Thou hast insulted the majesty of justice in its
very sanctuary. Rebel! dost thou know what punishment that crime
demands? Now answer! (GIANETTINO appears struck, and fixes his eyes on
the ground without speaking). Wretched Andreas! In thy own heart hast
thou fostered the canker of thy renown. I built up a fabric for Genoa
which should mock the lapse of ages, and am myself the first to cast a
firebrand into it. Thank my gray head, which would be laid in the grave
by a relation's hand--thank my unjust love that, on the scaffold, I pour
not out thy rebellious blood to satisfy the violated laws.



   GIANETTINO looks after the DUKE, speechless with anger, LOMELLINO
   entering, breathless and terrified.

LOMELLINO. What have I seen! What have I heard! Fly, prince! Fly
quickly! All is lost.

GIANETTINO (with inward rage). What was there to lose?

LOMELLINO. Genoa, prince: I come from the market-place. The people were
crowding round a Moor who was dragged along bound with cords. The Count
of Lavagna, with above three hundred nobles, followed to the criminal
court. The Moor had been employed to assassinate Fiesco, and in the
attempt was seized.

GIANETTINO (stamping violently on the ground). What, are all the devils
of hell let loose at once?

LOMELLINO. They questioned him most strictly concerning his employer.
The Moor confessed nothing. They tried the first degree of torture.
Still he confessed nothing. They put him to the second. Then he spoke--
he spoke. My gracious lord, how could you trust your honor to such a

GIANETTINO (fiercely). Ask me no question?

LOMELLINO. Hear the rest! Scarcely was the word Doria uttered--I would
sooner have seen my name inscribed in the infernal register than have
heard yours thus mentioned--scarcely was it uttered when Fiesco showed
himself to the people. You know the man--how winningly he pleads--how he
is wont to play the usurer with the hearts of the multitude. The whole
assembly hung upon his looks, breathless with indignation. He spoke
little, but bared his bleeding arm. The crowd contended for the falling
drops as if for sacred relics. The Moor was given up to his disposal--
and Fiesco--a mortal blow for us! Fiesco pardoned him. Now the confined
anger of the people burst forth in one tumultuous clamor. Each breath
annihilated a Doria, and Fiesco was borne home amidst a thousand joyful

GIANETTINO (with a ferocious laugh). Let the flood of tumult swell up to
my very throat. The emperor! That sound alone shall strike them to the
earth, so that not a murmur shall be heard in Genoa.

LOMELLINO. Bohemia is far from hence. If the emperor come speedily he
may perhaps be present at your funeral feast.

GIANETTINO (drawing forth a letter with a great seal). 'Tis fortunate
that he is here already. Art thou surprised at this? And didst thou
think me mad enough to brave the fury of enraged republicans had I not
known they were betrayed and sold?

LOMELLINO (with astonishment). I know not what to think!

GIANETTINO. But I have thought of something which thou couldst not know.
My plan is formed. Ere two days are past twelve senators must fall.
Doria becomes sovereign, and the Emperor Charles protects him. Thou
seemest astonished----

LOMELLINO. Twelve senators! My heart is too narrow to comprehend a
twelvefold murder.

GIANETTINO. Fool that thou art! The throne will absolve the deed. I
consulted with the ministers of Charles on the strong party which France
still has in Genoa, and by which she might a second time seize on it
unless they should be rooted out. This worked upon the emperor--he
approved my projects--and thou shalt write what I will dictate to thee.

LOMELLINO. I know not yet your purpose.

GIANETTINO. Sit down and write----

LOMELLINO. But what am I to write? (Seats himself.)

GIANETTINO. The names of the twelve candidates for death--Francis

LOMELLINO (writes). In gratitude for his vote he leads the funeral

GIANETTINO. Cornelio Calva.


GIANETTINO. Michael Zibo.

LOMELLINO. To cool him after his disappointment in the procuratorship.

GIANETTINO. Thomas Asserato and his three brothers. (LOMELLINO stops.)

GIANETTINO (forcibly). And his three brothers----

LOMELLINO (writes). Go on.

GIANETTINO. Fiesco of Lavagna.

LOMELLINO. Have a care! Have a care! That black stone will yet prove
fatal to you.

GIANETTINO. Scipio Bourgognino.

LOMELLINO. He may celebrate elsewhere his wedding----

GIANETTINO. Ay, where I shall be director of the nuptials. Raphael

LOMELLINO. I should intercede for his life until he shall have paid my
five thousand crowns. (Writes.) Death strikes the balance.

GIANETTINO. Vincent Calcagno.

LOMELLINO. Calcagno. The twelfth I write at my own risk, unless our
mortal enemy be overlooked.

GIANETTINO. The end crowns all--Joseph Verrina.

LOMELLINO. He is the very head of the viper that threatens us. (Rises
and presents the paper to GIANETTINO.) Two days hence death shall make a
splendid feast, at which twelve of the chief of Genoa's nobles will be

GIANETTINO (signs the paper). 'Tis done. Two days hence will be the
ducal election. When the senate shall be assembled for that purpose
these twelve shall, on the signal of a handkerchief, be suddenly laid
low. My two hundred Germans will have surrounded the senate-house. At
that moment I enter and claim homage as the Duke. (Rings the bell.)

LOMELLINO. And what of Andreas?

GIANETTINO (contemptuously). He is an old man. (Enter a servant.) If
the Duke should ask for me say I am gone to mass. (Exit servant.) I
must conceal the devil that's within beneath a saintly garb.

LOMELLINO. But, my lord, the paper?

GIANETTINO. Take it, and let it be circulated among our party. This
letter must be dispatched by express to Levanto. 'Tis to inform Spinola
of our intended plan, and bid him reach the capital early in the morning.

LOMELLINO. Stop, prince. There is an error in our calculation. Fiesco
does not attend the senate.

GIANETTINO (looking back). Genoa will easily supply one more assassin.
I'll see to that.

                       [Exeunt different ways.

SCENE XV.-An Ante-chamber in FIESCO'S Palace.

   FIESCO, with papers before him, and MOOR.

FIESCO. Four galleys have entered the harbor, dost say?

MOOR. Yes, they're at anchor in the port.

FIESCO. That's well. Whence are these expresses?

MOOR. From Rome, Placentia, and France.

FIESCO (opens the letters and runs over them). Welcome! welcome news!
(In high spirits.) Let the messengers be treated in a princely manner.

MOOR. Hem! (Going.).

FIESCO. Stop, stop! Here's work for thee in plenty.

MOOR. Command me. I am ready to act the setter or the bloodhound.

FIESCO. I only want at present the voice of the decoy-bird. To-morrow
early two thousand men will enter the city in disguise to engage in my
service. Distribute thy assistants at the gates, and let them keep a
watchful eye upon the strangers that arrive. Some will be dressed like
pilgrims on their journey to Loretto, others like mendicant friars, or
Savoyards, or actors; some as peddlers and musicians; but the most as
disbanded soldiers coming to seek a livelihood in Genoa. Let every one
be asked where he takes up his lodging. If he answer at the Golden
Snake, let him be treated as a friend and shown my habitation. But
remember, sirrah, I rely upon thy prudence.

MOOR. Sir, as securely as upon my knavery. If a single head escape me,
pluck out my eyes and shoot at sparrows with them. (Going.)

FIESCO. Stop! I've another piece of business for thee. The arrival of
the galleys will excite suspicion in the city. If any one inquire of
thee about them, say thou hast heard it rumored that thy master intends
to cruise against the Turks. Dost thou understand me?

MOOR. Yes, yes--the beards of the Mussulmen at the masthead, but the
devil for a steersman. (Going.)

FIESCO. Gently--one more precaution. Gianettino has new reasons to hate
me and lay snares against my life. Go--sound the fellows of thy trade;
see if thou canst not smell out some plot on foot against me. Visit the
brothels--Doria often frequents them. The secrets of the cabinet are
sometimes lodged within the folds of a petticoat. Promise these ladies
golden customers. Promise them thy master. Let nothing be too sacred to
be used in gaining the desired information.

MOOR. Ha! luckily I am acquainted with one Diana Buononi, whom I have
served above a year as procurer. The other day I saw the Signor
Lomellino coming out of her house.

FIESCO. That suits my purpose well. This very Lomellino is the key to
all Doria's follies. To-morrow thou shalt go thither. Perhaps he is
to-night the Endymion of this chaste Diana.

MOOR. One more question, my lord. Suppose the people ask me--and that
they will, I'll pawn my soul upon it--suppose they ask, "What does Fiesco
think of Genoa?" Would you still wear the mask?--or--how shall I answer

FIESCO. Answer? Hum! The fruit is ripe. The pains of labor announce
the approaching birth. Answer that Genoa lies upon the block, and that
thy master's name is--John Louis Fiesco----

MOOR (with an air of satisfaction). That, by my rogue's honor, shall be
done to your heart's content. Now be wide awake, friend Hassan! First
to a tavern! My feet have work enough cut out for them. I must coax my
stomach to intercede with my legs. (Hastening away--returns.) Oh,
apropos! My chattering made me almost forget one circumstance. You
wished to know what passed between Calcagno and your wife. A refusal,
sir--that's all.

                      [Runs off.


   FIESCO alone.

FIESCO. I pity thee, Calcagno. Didst thou think I should, upon so
delicate a point, have been thus careless had I not relied in perfect
security on my wife's virtue and my own deserts? Yet I welcome this
passion. Thou art a good soldier. It shall procure me thy arm for the
destruction of Doria. (Walking up and down.) Now, Doria, to the scene
of action! All the machines are ready for the grand attempt--the
instruments are tuned for the terrific concert. Naught is wanting but to
throw off the mask, and show Fiesco to the patriots of Genoa. (Some
persons are heard approaching.) Ha! Visitors! Who can be coming to
disturb me?



FIESCO (receiving them with great affability). Welcome, my worthy
friends! What important business brings you all hither? Are you, too,
come, my dear brother, Verrina? I should almost have forgotten you, had
you not oftener been present to my thoughts than to my sight. I think I
have not seen you since my last entertainment.

VERRINA. Do not count the hours, Fiesco! Heavy burdens have in that
interval weighed down my aged head. But enough of this----

FIESCO. Not enough to satisfy the anxiety of friendship. You must
inform me farther when we are alone. (Addressing BOURGOGNINO.) Welcome,
brave youth! Our acquaintance is yet green; but my affection for thee is
already ripe. Has your esteem for me improved?

BOURGOGNINO. 'Tis on the increase.

FIESCO. Verrina, it is reported that this brave young man is to be your
son-in-law. Receive my warmest approbation of your choice. I have
conversed with him but once; and yet I should be proud to call him my

VERRINA. That judgment makes me of my daughter vain.

FIESCO (to the others). Sacco, Calcagno--all unfrequent visitors--I
should fear the absence of Genoa's noblest ornaments were a proof that I
had been deficient in hospitality. And here I greet a fifth guest,
unknown to me, indeed, but sufficiently recommended by this worthy

ROMANO. He, my lord, is simply a painter, by name Julio Romano, who
lives by theft and counterfeit of Nature's charms. His pencil is his
only escutcheon; and he now comes hither (bowing profoundly) to seek the
manly outlines of a Brutus.

FIESCO. Give me your hand, Romano! I love the mistress of your soul
with a holy fire. Art is the right hand of Nature. The latter only gave
us being, but 'twas the former made us men. What are the subjects of
your labor?

ROMANO. Scenes from the heroic ages of antiquity. At Florence is my
dying Hercules, at Venice my Cleopatra, the raging Ajax at Rome, where,
in the Vatican, the heroes of former times rise again to light.

FIESCO. And what just now employs you?

ROMANO. Alas! my lord, I've thrown away my pencil. The lamp of genius
burns quicker than the lamp of life. Beyond a certain moment the flame
flickers and dies. This is my last production.

FIESCO (in a lively manner). It could not come more opportune. I feel
to-day a more than usual cheerfulness. A sentiment of calm delight
pervades my being, and fits it to receive the impression of Nature's
beauties. Let us view your picture. I shall feast upon the sight.
Come, friends, we will devote ourselves entirely to the artist. Place
your picture.

VERRINA (apart to the others). Now, Genoese, observe!

ROMANO (placing the picture). The light must fall upon it thus. Draw up
that curtain--let fall the other,--right. (Standing on one side). It is
the story of Virginia and Appius Claudius. (A long pause; all
contemplate the picture.)

VERRINA (with enthusiasm). Strike, aged father! Dost thou tremble,
tyrant? How pale you stand there, Romans! Imitate him, senseless
Romans! The sword yet glitters! Imitate me, senseless Genoese! Down
with Doria! Down with him! (Striking at the picture.)

FIESCO (to the painter, smiling). Could you desire greater applause?
Your art has transformed this old man into a youthful enthusiast.

VERRINA (exhausted). Where am I! What has become of them! They
vanished like bubbles. You here, Fiesco! and the tyrant living!

FIESCO. My friend, amidst this admiration you have overlooked the parts
most truly beauteous. Does this Roman's head thus strike you? Look
there! Observe that damsel--what soft expression! What feminine
delicacy! How sweetly touched are those pale lips! How exquisite that
dying look! Inimitable! Divine, Romano! And that white, dazzling
breast, that heaves with the last pulse of life. Draw more such
beauties, Romano, and I will give up Nature to worship thy creative

BOURGOGNINO. Is it thus, Verrina, your hopes are answered?

VERRINA. Take courage, son! The Almighty has rejected the arm of
FIESCO. Upon ours he must rely.

FIESCO (to ROMANO). Well--'tis your last work, Romano. Your powers are
exhausted. Lay down your pencil. Yet, whilst I am admiring the artist,
I forget to satiate on the work. I could stand gazing on it, regardless
of an earthquake. Take away your picture--the wealth of Genoa would
scarcely reach the value of this Virginia. Away with it.

ROMANO. Honor is the artist's noblest reward. I present it to you.
(Offers to go away.)

FIESCO. Stay, Romano! (He walks majestically up and down the room,
seeming to reflect on something of importance. Sometimes he casts a
quick and penetrating glance at the others; at last he takes ROMANO
by the hand, and leads him to the picture.) Come near, painter.
(With dignified pride.) Proudly stand'st thou there because, upon
the dead canvas, thou canst simulate life, and immortalize great deeds
with small endeavor. Thou canst dilate with the poet's fire on the
empty puppet-show of fancy, without heart and without the nerve of
life-inspiring deeds; depose tyrants on canvas, and be thyself a
miserable slave! Thou canst liberate Republics with a dash of the
pencil, yet not break thy own chains! (In a loud and commanding tone.)
Go! Thy work is a mere juggle. Let the semblance give place to reality!
(With haughtiness, overturning the picture.) I have done what thou hast
only painted. (All struck with astonishment; ROMANO carries away the
picture in confusion.)


   The former, except ROMANO.

FIESCO. Did you suppose the lion slept because he ceased to roar? Did
your vain thoughts persuade you that none but you could feel the chains
of Genoa? That none but you durst break them? Before you knew their
weight, Fiesco had already broken them. (He opens an escritoire, takes
out a parcel of letters, and throws them on the table.) These bring
soldiers from Parma;--these, French money;-these, four galleys from the
Pope. What now is wanting to rouse the tyrant in his lair? Tell me,
what think you wanting? (All stand silent with astonishment.)
Republicans! you waste your time in curses when you should overthrow the
tyrant. (All but VERRINA throw themselves at FIESCO'S feet.)

VERRINA. Fiesco, my spirit bends to thine, but my knee cannot. Thy soul
is great; but--rise, Genoese! (They rise.)

FIESCO. All Genoa was indignant at the effeminate Fiesco; all Genoa
cursed the profligate FIESCO. Genoese! my amours have blinded the
cunning despot. My wild excesses served to guard my plans from the
danger of an imprudent confidence. Concealed beneath the cloak of luxury
the infant plot grew up. Enough--I'm known sufficiently to Genoa in
being known to you. I have attained my utmost wish.

BOURGOGNINO (throwing himself indignantly into a chair). Am I, then,

FIESCO. But let us turn from thought to action. All the engines are
prepared--I can storm the city by sea and land. Rome, France, and Parma
cover me; the nobles are disaffected; the hearts of the populace are
mine; I have lulled to sleep the tyrants; the state is ripe for
revolution. We are no longer in the hands of Fortune. Nothing is
wanting. Verrina is lost in thought.

BOURGOGNINO. Patience! I have a word to say, which will more quickly
rouse him than the trumpet of the last day. (To VERRINA--calls out to
him emphatically.) Father! Awake! Thy Bertha will despair.

VERRINA. Who spoke those words? Genoese, to arms!

FIESCO. Think on the means of forwarding our plan. Night has advanced
upon our discourse; Genoa is wrapped in sleep; the tyrant sinks exhausted
beneath the sins of the day. Let us watch o'er both.

BOURGOGNINO. Let us, before we part, consecrate our heroic union by an
embrace! (They form a circle, with joined arms.) Here unite five of the
bravest hearts in Genoa to decide their country's fate. (All embrace
eagerly.) When the universe shall fall asunder, and the eternal sentence
shall cut in twain the bonds of consanguinity and love, then may this
fivefold band of heroes still remain entire! (They separate.)

VERRINA. When shall we next assemble?

FIESCO. At noon to-morrow I'll hear your sentiments.

VERRINA. 'Tis well--at noon to-morrow. Goodnight, Fiesco! Come,
Bourgognino, you will hear something marvellous.

                    [Exeunt VERRINA and BOURGOGNINO.

FIESCO (to the others). Depart by the back gates, that Doria's spies may
not suspect us.

                    [Exeunt SACCO and CALCAGNO.


FIESCO (walking up and down in meditation). What a tumult is in my
breast! What a concourse of dark, uncertain images! Like guilty
wretches stealing out in secret to do some horrid deed, with trembling
steps and blushing faces bent toward the ground, these flattering
phantoms glide athwart my soul. Stay! stay!--let me examine you more
closely. A virtuous thought strengthens the heart of man, and boldly
meets the day. Ha! I know you--robed in the livery of Satan--avaunt!
(A pause; he continues with energy.) Fiesco, the patriot! the Duke
Fiesco! Peace! On this steep precipice the boundaries of virtue
terminate: here heaven and hell are separated. Here have heroes
stumbled, here have they fallen, and left behind a name loaded with
curses--here, too, have heroes paused, here checked their course, and
risen to immortality. (More vehemently.) To know the hearts of Genoa
mine! To govern with a master's hand this formidable state! Oh,
artifice of sin, that masks each devil with an angel's face! Fatal
ambition! Everlasting tempter! Won by thy charms, angels abandoned
heaven, and death sprung from thy embraces. (Shuddering.) Thy syren
voice drew angels from their celestial mansions--man thou ensnarest with
beauty, riches, power. (After a pause, in a firm tone.) To gain a
diadem is great--to reject it is divine! (Resolutely.) Perish the
tyrant! Let Genoa be free--and I (much affected) will be its happiest


SCENE I.--Midnight. A dreary wilderness.

   VERRINA and BOURGOGNINO entering.

BOURGOGNINO (stands still). Whither are you leading me, father. The
heavy grief that hung upon your brow when first you bade me follow you
still seems to labor in your panting breast. Break this dreadful
silence! Speak. I will go no further.

VERRINA. This is the place.

BOURGOGNINO. You could not choose a spot more awful. Father, if the
deed you purpose be like the place--father--my hair will stand on end
with horror.

VERRINA. And yet 'tis cheerfulness itself to the gloom that enwraps my
soul. Follow me to yon churchyard, where corruption preys on the
mouldering remnants of mortality, and death holds his fearful banquet--
where shrieks of damned souls delight the listening fiends, and sorrow
weeps her fruitless tears into the never-filling urn. Follow me, my son,
to where the condition of this world is changed; and God throws off his
attributes of mercy--there will I speak to thee in agony, and thou shalt
hear with despair.

BOURGOGNINO. Hear! what? I conjure you, father.

VERRINA. Youth! I fear. Youth, thy blood is warm and crimson--thy
heart is soft and tender--such natures are alive to human kindness--this
warmth of feeling melts my obdurate wisdom. If the frost of age or
sorrow's leaden pressure had chilled the springtide vigor of thy spirits
--if black congealed blood had closed the avenues of thy heart against
the approaches of humanity--then would thy mind be attuned to the
language of my grief, and thou wouldst look with admiration on my

BOURGOGNINO. I will hear it, and embrace it as my own.

VERRINA. Not so, my son--Verrina will not wound thy heart with it. O
Scipio, heavy burdens lie on me. A thought more dark and horrible than
night, too vast to be contained within the breast of man! Mark me--my
hand alone shall execute the deed; but my mind cannot alone support the
weight of it. If I were proud, Scipio, I might say greatness unshared is
torture. It was a burden to the Deity himself, and he created angels to
partake his counsels. Hear, Scipio!

BOURGOGNINO. My soul devours thy words.

VERRINA. Hear! But answer nothing--nothing, young man! Observe me--not
a word--Fiesco must die.

BOURGOGNINO (struck with astonishment). Die! Fiesco!

VERRINA. Die--I thank thee, God, 'tis out at last--Fiesco must die. My
son--die by my hand. Now, go. There are deeds too high for human
judgment. They appeal alone to heaven's tribunal. Such a one is this.
Go! I neither ask thy blame nor approbation. I know my inward
struggles, and that's enough. But hear! These thoughts might weary out
thy mind even to madness. Hear! Didst thou observe yesterday with what
pride he viewed his greatness reflected from our wondering countenances?
The man whose smiles deceived all Italy, will he endure equals in Genoa?
Go! 'Tis certain that Fiesco will overthrow the tyrant. 'Tis as certain
he will become a tyrant still more dangerous.

   [Exit hastily. BOURGOGNINO looks after him with speechless
   surprise, then follows slowly.

SCENE II.--An apartment in FIESCO'S house. In the middle of the back
scene a glass door, through which is seen a view of the sea and Genoa.

   FIESCO at the window.

FIESCO. What do I see! The moon hath hid its face. The morn is rising
fiery from the sea. Wild fancies have beset my sleep, and kept my soul
convulsed by one idea. Let me inhale the pure, refreshing breeze. (He
opens a window; the city and ocean appear red with the tint of morning.
FIESCO walking up and down the room with energy.) I the greatest man in
Genoa! And should not lesser souls bow down before the greater? But is
not this to trample upon virtue? (Musing.) Virtue? The elevated mind
is exposed to other than ordinary temptations--shall it then be governed
by the ordinary rules of virtue? Is the armor which encases the pigmy's
feeble frame suited to the giant? (The sun rises over Genoa.) This
majestic city mine! (Spreading out his arms as if to embrace it.) To
flame above it like the god of day! To rule over it with a monarch mind!
To hold in subjection all the raging passions, all the insatiable desires
in this fathomless ocean! 'Tis certain, though the cunning of the thief
ennoble not the theft, yet doth the prize ennoble the thief. It is base
to filch a purse--daring to embezzle a million,--but it is immeasurably
great to steal a diadem. As guilt extends its sphere, the infamy
decreaseth. (A pause, then with energy.) To obey! or to command! A
fearful dizzying gulf--that absorbs whate'er is precious in the eyes of
men. The trophies of the conqueror--the immortal works of science and of
art--the voluptuous pleasures of the epicure--the whole wealth
encompassed by the seas. To obey! or to command! To be, or not to be!
The space between is as wide as from the lowest depths of hell to the
throne of the Almighty. (In an elevated tone.) From that awful height
to look down securely upon the impetuous whirlpool of mankind, where
blind fortune holds capricious sway! To quaff at the fountainhead
unlimited draughts from the rich cup of pleasure! To hold that armed
giant law beneath my feet in leading-strings, and see it struggle with
fruitless efforts against the sacred power of majesty! To tame the
stubborn passions of the people, and curb them with a playful rein, as a
skilful horseman guides the fiery steed! With a breath--one single
breath--to quell the rising pride of vassals, whilst the prince, with the
motion of his sceptre, can embody even his wildest dreams of fancy! Ah!
What thoughts are these which transport the astounded mind beyond its
boundaries! Prince! To be for one moment prince comprises the essence
of a whole existence. 'Tis not the mere stage of life--but the part we
play on it that gives the value. The murmurs which compose the thunder's
roar might singly lull an infant to repose--but united their crash can
shake the eternal vault of heaven. I am resolved. (Walking up and down


   FIESCO; LEONORA, entering with a look of anxiety.

LEONORA. Pardon me, count. I fear I interrupt your morning rest.

FIESCO (steps back with astonishment). Indeed, madam, you do surprise me
not a little.

LEONORA. That never happens to those who love.

FIESCO. Charming countess, you expose your beauty to the rude breath of

LEONORA. I know not why I should preserve its small remains for grief to
feed on.

FIESCO. Grief, my love? I thought that to be free from cares of state
was happiness.

LEONORA. It may be so. Yet do I feel that my weak heart is breaking
amidst this happiness. I come, sir, to trouble you with a trifling
request, if you can spare a moment's time to hear me. These seven months
past I have indulged the pleasing dream of being Countess of Lavagna. It
now has passed away and left a painful weight upon my mind. Amid the
pleasures of my innocent childhood I must seek relief to my disordered
spirits. Permit me, therefore, to return to the arms of my beloved

FIESCO (with astonishment). Countess!

LEONORA. My heart is a poor trembling thing which you should pity. Even
the least remembrance of my visionary joy might wound my sickly fancy. I
therefore restore the last memorials of your kindness to their rightful
owner. (She lays some trinkets on the table.) This, too, that like a
dagger struck my heart (presenting a letter). This, too (going to rush
out of the door in tears), and I will retain nothing but the wound.

FIESCO (agitated, hastens after and detains her). Leonora! For God's
sake, stay!

LEONORA (falls into his arms exhausted). To be your wife was more than I
deserved. But she who was your wife deserved at least respect. How
bitter is the tongue of calumny. How the wives and maidens of Genoa now
look down upon me! "See," they say, "how droops the haughty one whose
vanity aspired to Fiesco!" Cruel punishment of my pride! I triumphed
over my whole sex when Fiesco led me to the altar----

FIESCO. Really, Madonna! All this is most surprising----

LEONORA (aside). Ah! he changes color--now I revive.

FIESCO. Wait only two days, countess--then judge my conduct----

LEONORA. To be sacrificed! Let me not speak it in thy chaste presence,
oh, thou virgin day! To be sacrificed to a shameless wanton! Look on
me, my husband! Ah, surely those eyes that make all Genoa tremble, must
hide themselves before a weeping woman----

FIESCO (extremely confused). No more, signora! No more----

LEONORA (with a melancholy look of reproach). To rend the heart of a
poor helpless woman! Oh, it is so worthy of the manly sex. Into his
arms I threw myself, and on his strength confidingly reposed my feminine
weakness. To him I trusted the heaven of my hopes. The generous man
bestowed it on a----

FIESCO (interrupting her, with vehemence). No, my Leonora! No!

LEONORA. My Leonora! Heaven, I thank thee! These were the angelic
sounds of love once more. I ought to hate thee, faithless man! And yet
I fondly grasp the shadow of thy tenderness. Hate! said I? Hate Fiesco?
Oh, believe it not! Thy perfidy may bid me die, but cannot bid me hate
thee. I did not know my heart----(The MOOR is heard approaching.)

FIESCO. Leonora! grant me one trifling favor.

LEONORA. Everything, Fiesco--but indifference.

FIESCO. Well, well (significantly). Till Genoa be two days older,
inquire not! condemn me not! (Leads her politely to another apartment.)


   FIESCO; the MOOR, entering hastily.

FIESCO. Whence come you thus out of breath?

MOOR. Quick, my lord!

FIESCO. Has anything run into the net?

MOOR. Read this letter. Am I really here? Methinks Genoa is become
shorter by twelve streets, or else my legs have grown that much longer!
You change color? Yes, yes--they play at cards for heads, and yours is
the chief stake. How do you like it?

FIESCO (throws the letter on the table with horror). Thou woolly-pated
rascal! How camest thou by that letter?

MOOR. Much in the same way as your grace will come by the republic. An
express was sent with it towards Levanto. I smelt out the game; waylaid
the fellow in a narrow pass, despatched the fox, and brought the poultry

FIESCO. His blood be on thy head! As for the letter, 'tis not to be
paid with gold.

MOOR. Yet I will be content with silver for it--(seriously, and with a
look of importance). Count of Lavagna! 'twas but the other day I sought
your life. To-day (pointing to the letter) I have preserved it. Now I
think his lordship and the scoundrel are even. My further service is an
act of friendship--(presents another letter) number two!

FIESCO (receives it with astonishment). Art thou mad?

MOOR. Number two--(with an arrogant air--his arms akimbo) the lion has
not acted foolishly in pardoning the mouse. Ah! 'twas a deed of policy.
Who else could e'er have gnawed the net with which he was surrounded?
Now, sir, how like you that?

FIESCO. Fellow, how many devils hast thou in pay?

MOOR. But one, sir, at your service; and he is in your grace's keeping.

FIESCO. What! Doria's own signature! Whence dost thou bring this

MOOR. Fresh from the hands of my Diana. I went to her last night,
tempted her with your charming words, and still more charming sequins.
The last prevailed. She bade me call early in the morning. Lomellino
had been there as you predicted, and paid the toll to his contraband
heaven with this deposit.

FIESCO (indignantly). Oh, these despicable woman-slaves! They would
govern kingdoms, and cannot keep a secret from a harlot. By these papers
I learn that Doria and his party have formed a plot to murder me, with
eleven senators, and to place Gianettino on the throne.

MOOR. Even so--and that upon the morning of the ducal election, the
third of this month.

FIESCO (vehemently). The night of our enterprise shall smother that
morning in its very birth. Speed thee, Hassan. My affairs are ripe.
Collect our fellows. We will take bloody lead of our adversaries. Be
active, Hassan!

MOOR. I have a budget full of news beside. Two thousand soldiers are
safely smuggled into the city. I've lodged them with the Capuchins,
where not even a prying sunbeam can espy them. They burn with eagerness
to see their leader. They are fine fellows.

FIESCO. Each head of them shall yield thee a ducat. Is there no talk
about my galleys?

MOOR. Oh, I've a pleasant story of them, my lord. Above four hundred
adventurers, whom the peace 'twixt France and Spain has left without
employ, besought my people to recommend them to your grace to fight
against the infidels. I have appointed them to meet this evening in the

FIESCO (pleased). I could almost embrace thee, rascal. A masterly
stroke! Four hundred, said'st thou? Genoa is in my power. Four hundred
crowns are thine----

MOOR (with an air of confidence). Eh, Fiesco? We two will pull the
state in pieces, and sweep away the laws as with a besom. You know not
how many hearty fellows I have among the garrison--lads that I can reckon
on as surely as on a trip to hell. Now I've so laid my plans that at
each gate we have among the guard at least six of our creatures, who will
be enough to overcome the others by persuasion or by wine. If you wish
to risk a blow to-night, you'll find the sentinels all drenched with

FIESCO. Peace, fellow! Hitherto I have moved the vast machine alone;
shall I now, at the very goal, be put to shame by the greatest rascal
under the sun? Here's my hand upon it, fellow--whate'er the Count
remains indebted to thee, the Duke shall pay.

MOOR. And here, too, is a note from the Countess Imperiali. She
beckoned to me from her window, when I went up received me graciously,
and asked me ironically if the Countess of Lavagna had not been lately
troubled with the spleen. Does your grace, said I, inquire but for one

FIESCO (having read the letter throws it aside). Well said. What answer
made she?

MOOR. She answered, that she still lamented the fate of the poor
bereaved widow--that she was willing to give her satisfaction, and meant
to forbid your grace's attentions.

FIESCO (with a sneer). Which of themselves may possibly cease sometime
before the day of judgment. Is that all thy business, Hassan?

MOOR (ironically). My lord, the affairs of the ladies are next to those
of state.

FIESCO. Without a doubt, and these especially. But for what purpose are
these papers?

MOOR. To remove one plague by another. These powders the signora gave
me, to mix one every day with your wife's chocolate.

FIESCO (starting). Gave thee?

MOOR. Donna Julia, Countess Imperiali.

FIESCO (snatching them from him eagerly). If thou liest, rascal, I'll
hang thee up alive in irons at the weathercock of the Lorenzo tower,
where the wind shall whirl thee nine times round with every blast. The

MOOR (impatiently). I am to give your wife mixed with her chocolate.
Such were the orders of Donna Julia Imperiali.

FIESCO (enraged). Monster! monster! This lovely creature! Is there
room for so much hell within a female bosom? And I forgot to thank thee,
heavenly Providence, that has rendered it abortive--abortive through a
greater devil. Wondrous are thy ways! (To the MOOR.) Swear to me to
obey, and keep this secret.

MOOR. Very well. The latter I can afford--she paid me ready money.

FIESCO. This note invites me to her. I'll be with you, madam!--and find
means to lure you hither, too. Now haste thee, with all thy speed, and
call together the conspirators.

MOOR. This order I anticipated, and therefore at my own risk appointed
every one to come at ten o'clock precisely.

FIESCO. I hear the sound of footsteps. They are here. Fellow, thy
villany deserves a gallows of its own, on which no son of Adam was ever
yet suspended. Wait in the ante-chamber till I call for thee.

MOOR. The Moor has done his work--the Moor may go.




FIESCO (meeting them). The tempest is approaching: the clouds rash
together. Advance with caution. Let all the doors be locked.

VERRINA. Eight chambers have I made fast behind. Suspicion cannot come
within a hundred steps of us.

BOURGOGNINO. Here is no traitor, unless our fear become one.

FIESCO. Fear cannot pass my threshold. Welcome he whose mind remains
the same as yesterday. Be seated. (They seat themselves.)

BOURGOGNINO (walking up and down). I care not to sit in cold
deliberation when action calls upon me.

FIESCO. Genoese, this hour is eventful.

VERRINA. Thou hast challenged us to consider a plan for dethroning the
tyrant. Demand of us--we are here to answer thee.

FIESCO. First, then, a question which, as it comes so late, you may
think strange. Who is to fall? (A pause.)

BOURGOGNINO (leaning over FIESCO'S chair, with an expressive look). The

FIESCO. Well spoken. The tyrants. I entreat you weigh well the
importance of the word. Is he who threatens the overthrow of liberty--or
he who has it in his power--the greater tyrant?

VERRINA. The first I hate, I fear the latter. Let Andreas Doria fall!

CALCAGNO (with emotion). Andreas? The old Andreas! who perhaps
to-morrow may pay the debt of nature----

SACCO. Andreas? That mild old man!

FIESCO. Formidable is that old man's mildness, O my friend--the
brutality of Gianettino only deserves contempt. "Let Andreas fall!"
There spoke thy wisdom, Verrina.

BOURGOGNINO. The chain of iron, and the cord of silk, alike are bonds.
Let Andreas perish!

FIESCO (going to the table). The sentence, then is passed upon the uncle
and the nephew. Sign it! (They all sign.) The question who is settled.
How must be next determined. Speak first, Calcagno.

CALCAGNO. We must execute it either as soldiers or assassins. The first
is dangerous, because we must have many confidants. 'Tis also doubtful,
because the peoples' hearts are not all with us. To act the second our
five good daggers are sufficient. Two days hence high mass will be
performed in the Lorenzo Church--both the Dorias will be present. In the
house of God even a tyrant's cares are lulled to sleep. I have done.

FIESCO (turning away). Calcagno, your plan is politic, but 'tis
detestable. Raphael Sacco, yours?

SACCO. Calcagno's reasons please me, but the means he chooses my mind
revolts at. Better were it that Fiesco should invite both the uncle and
nephew to a feast, where, pressed on all sides by the vengeance of the
republic, they must swallow death at the dagger's point, or in a bumper
of good Cyprian. This method is at least convenient.

FIESCO (with horror). Ah, Sacco! What if the wine their dying tongues
shall taste become for us torments of burning pitch in hell! Away with
this advice! Speak thou, Verrina.

VERRINA. An open heart shows a bold front. Assassination degrades us to
banditti. The hero advances sword in hand. I propose to give aloud the
signal of revolt, and boldly rouse the patriots of Genoa to vengeance.
(He starts from his seat, the others do the same.)

BOURGOGNINO (embracing him). And with armed hand wrest Fortune's favors
from her. This is the voice of honor, and is mine.

FIESCO. And mine. Shame on you, Genoese! (to SACCO and CALCAGNO).
Fortune has already done too much for us, let something be our own.
Therefore open revolt! And that, Genoese, this very night----(VERRINA
and BOURGOGNINO astonished--the others terrified.)

CALCAGNO. What! To-night! The tyrants are yet too powerful, our force
too small.

SACCO. To-night! And naught prepared? The day is fast declining.

FIESCO. Your doubts are reasonable, but read these papers. (He gives
them GIANETTINO'S papers, and walks up and down with a look of
satisfaction, whilst they read them eagerly.) Now, farewell, thou proud
and haughty star of Genoa, that didst seem to fill the whole horizon with
thy brightness. Knowest thou not that the majestic sun himself must quit
the heavens, and yield his sceptre to the radiant moon? Farewell, Doria,
beauteous star!

   Patroclus to the shades is gone,
   And he was more than thou.

BOURGOGNINO (after reading the papers). This is horrible.

CALCAGNO. Twelve victims at a blow!

VERRINA. To-morrow in the senate-house!

BOURGOGNINO. Give me these papers, and I will ride with them through
Genoa, holding them up to view. The very stones will rise in mutiny, and
even the dogs will howl against the tyrant.

ALL. Revenge! Revenge! Revenge! This very night!

FIESCO. Now you have reached the point. At sunset I will invite hither
the principal malcontents--those that stand upon the bloody list of
Gianettino! Besides the Sauli, the Gentili, Vivaldi, Vesodimari, all
mortal enemies of the house of Doria; but whom the tyrant forgot to fear.
They, doubtless, will embrace my plan with eagerness.

BOURGOGNINO. I doubt it not.

FIESCO. Above all things, we must render ourselves masters of the sea.
Galleys and seamen I have ready. The twenty vessels of the Dorias are
dismantled, and may be easily surprised. The entrance of the inner
harbor must be blocked up, all hope of flight cut off. If we secure this
point, all Genoa is in our power.

VERRINA. Doubtless.

FIESCO. Then we must seize the strongest posts in the city, especially
the gate of St. Thomas, which, leading to the harbor, connects our land
and naval forces. Both the Dorias must be surprised within their
palaces, and killed. The bells must toll, the citizens be called upon to
side with us, and vindicate the liberties of Genoa. If Fortune favor us,
you shall hear the rest in the senate.

VERRINA. The plan is good. Now for the distribution of our parts.

FIESCO (significantly). Genoese, you chose me, of your own accord, as
chief of the conspiracy. Will you obey my further orders?

VERRINA. As certainly as they shall be the best.

FIESCO. Verrina, dost thou know the principle of all warlike enterprise?
Instruct him, Genoese. It is subordination. If your will be not
subjected to mine--observe me well--if I be not the head of the
conspiracy, I am no more a member.

VERRINA. A life of freedom is well worth some hours of slavery. We

FIESCO. Then leave me now. Let one of you reconnoitre the city and
inform me of the strength or weakness of the several posts. Let
another find out the watchword. A third must see that the galleys
are in readiness. A fourth conduct the two thousand soldiers into my
palace-court. I myself will make all preparations here for the evening,
and pass the interval perhaps in play. At nine precisely let all be at
my palace to hear my final orders. (Rings the bell.)

VERRINA. I take the harbor.

BOURGOGNINO. I the soldiers.

CALCAGNO. I will learn the watchword.

SACCO. I will reconnoitre Genoa.




FIESCO (seated at a desk, and writing). Did they not struggle against
the word subordination as the worm against the needle which transfixes
it? But 'tis too late, republicans.

MOOR (entering). My lord----

FIESCO (giving him a paper). Invite all those whose names are written
here to see a play this evening at my palace.

MOOR. Perhaps to act a part, and pay the admittance with their heads.

FIESCO (in a haughty and contemptuous manner). When that is over I will
no longer detain thee here in Genoa. (Going, throws him a purse.) This
is thy last employment.



   MOOR, alone.

MOOR (taking up the purse slowly, and looking after FIESCO with
surprise). Are we, then, on these terms? "I will detain thee in Genoa
no longer." That is to say, translated from the Christian language into
my heathen tongue, "When I am duke I shall hang up my friend the Moor
upon a Genoese gallows." Hum! He fears, because I know his tricks, my
tongue may bring his honor into danger when he is duke. When he is duke?
Hold, master count! That event remains to be considered. Ah! old Doria,
thy life is in my hands. Thou art lost unless I warn thee of thy danger.
Now, if I go to him and discover the plot, I save the Duke of Genoa no
less than his existence and his dukedom, and gain at least this hatful of
gold for my reward. (Going, stops suddenly.) But stay, friend Hassan,
thou art going on a foolish errand. Suppose this scene of riot is
prevented, and nothing but good is the result. Pshaw! what a cursed
trick my avarice would then have played me! Come, devil, help me to make
out what promises the greatest mischief; to cheat Fiesco, or to give up
Doria to the dagger. If Fiesco succeed then Genoa may prosper. Away!
That must not be. If this Doria escape, then all remains as it was
before, and Genoa is quiet. That's still worse! Ay, but to see these
rebels' heads upon the block! Hum! On the other hand 'twould be amusing
to behold the illustrious Dorias in this evening's massacre the victims
of a rascally Moor. No. This doubtful question a Christian might
perhaps resolve, but 'tis too deep a riddle for my Moorish brains. I'll
go propose it to some learned man.



   An apartment in the house of the COUNTESS IMPERIALI.

   JULIA in dishabille. GIANETTINO enters, agitated.

GIANETTINO. Good-evening, sister.

JULIA (rising). It must be something extraordinary which brings the
crown-prince of Genoa to his sister!

GIANETTINO. Sister, you are continually surrounded by butterflies and I
by wasps. How is it possible that we should meet? Let's be seated.

JULIA. You almost excite my curiosity.

GIANETTINO. When did Fiesco visit you last?

JULIA. A strange question. As if I burdened my memory with such

GIANETTINO. I must know--positively.

JULIA. Well, then, he was here yesterday.

GIANETTINO. And behaved without reserve?

JULIA. As usual.

GIANETTINO. As much a coxcomb as ever.

JULIA (offended). Brother!

GIANETTINO (more vehemently). I say--as much a coxcomb----

JULIA (rises, with indignation). Sir! What do you take me for?

GIANETTINO (keeps his seat--sarcastically). For a mere piece of
woman-flesh, wrapped up in a great--great patent of nobility. This
between ourselves--there is no one by to hear us.

JULIA (enraged). Between ourselves--you are an impertinent jackanapes,
and presume upon the credit of your uncle. No one by to hear us, indeed!

GIANETTINO. Sister! sister! don't be angry. I'm only merry because
Fiesco is still as much a coxcomb as ever. That's all I wanted to know.
Your servant----(Going.)


   The former, LOMELLINO, entering.

LOMELLINO (to JULIA, respectfully). Pardon my boldness, gracious lady.
(To GIANETTINO.) Certain affairs which cannot be delayed----(GIANETTINO
takes him aside; JULIA sits down angrily at the pianoforte and plays an

GIANETTINO (to LOMELLINO). Is everything prepared for to-morrow?

LOMELLINO. Everything, prince--but the courier, who was despatched this
morning to Levanto, is not yet returned, nor is Spinola arrived. Should
he be intercepted! I'm much alarmed----

GIANETTINO. Fear nothing. You have that list at hand?

LOMELLINO (embarrassed). My lord--the list? I do not know--I must have
left it at home in my other pocket.

GIANETTINO. It does not signify--would that Spinola were but here.
Fiesco will be found dead in his bed. I have taken measures for it.

LOMELLINO. But it will cause great consternation.

GIANETTINO. In that lies our security. Common crimes but move the blood
and stir it to revenge: atrocious deeds freeze it with terror, and
annihilate the faculties of man. You know the fabled power of Medusa's
head--they who but looked on it were turned to stone. What may not be
done, my boy, before stories are warmed to animation?

LOMELLINO. Have you given the countess any intimation of it?

GIANETTINO. That would never do! We must deal more cautiously with her
attachment to FIESCO. When she shares the sweets, the cost will soon be
forgotten. Come, I expect troops this evening from Milan, and must give
orders at the gates for their reception. (To JULIA.) Well, sister, have
you almost thrummed away your anger?

JULIA. Go! You're a rude unmannered creature. (GIANETTINO, going,
meets FIESCO.)


   The former; FIESCO.

GIANETTINO (stepping back). Ha!

FIESCO (with politeness). Prince, you spare me a visit which I was just
now about to pay.

GIANETTINO. And I, too, count, am pleased to meet you here.

FIESCO (approaching JULIA courteously). Your charms, signora, always
surpass expectation.

JULIA. Fie! that in another would sound ambiguous--but I'm shocked at my
dishabille--excuse me, count--(going).

FIESCO. Stay, my beauteous lady. Woman's beauty is ne'er so charming as
when in the toilet's simplest garb (laughingly). An undress is her
surest robe of conquest. Permit me to loosen these tresses----

JULIA. Oh, how ready are you men to cause confusion!

FIESCO (with a smile to GIANETTINO). In dress, as in the state--is it
not so? (To JULIA.) This ribbon, too, is awkwardly put on. Sit down,
fair countess--your Laura's skill may strike the eye, but cannot reach
the heart. Let me play the chambermaid for once. (She sits down, he
arranges her dress.)

GIANETTINO (aside to LOMELLINO). Poor frivolous fellow!

FIESCO (engaged about her bosom). Now see--this I prudently conceal.
The senses should always be blind messengers, and not know the secret
compact between nature and fancy.

JULIA. That is trifling.

FIESCO. Not at all; for, consider, the prettiest novelty loses all its
zest when once become familiar. Our senses are but the rabble of our
inward republic. The noble live by them, but elevate themselves above
their low, degenerate tastes. (Having adjusted her toilet, he leads her
to a glass.) Now, by my honor! this must on the morrow be Genoa's
fashion--(politely)--may I have the honor of leading you so abroad,

JULIA. The cunning flatterer! How artfully he lays his plans to ensnare
me. No! I have a headache, and will stay at home.

FIESCO. Pardon me, countess. You may be so cruel, but surely you will
not. To-day a company of Florentine comedians arrive at my palace. Most
of the Genoese ladies will be present this evening at their performance,
and I am uncertain whom to place in the chief box without offending
others. There is but one expedient. (Making a low bow.) If you would
condescend, signora----

JULIA (blushing, retires to a side apartment). Laura!

GIANETTINO (approaching FIESCO). Count, you remember an unpleasant

FIESCO (interrupting him). 'Tis my wish, prince, we should both forget
it. The actions of men are regulated by their knowledge of each other.
It is my fault that you knew me so imperfectly.

GIANETTINO. I shall never think of it without craving your pardon from
my inmost soul----

FIESCO. Nor I without forgiving you from my heart's core. (JULIA
returns, her dress a little altered.)

GIANETTINO. Count, I just now recollect that you are going to cruise
against the Turks----

FIESCO. This evening we weigh anchor. On that account I had some
apprehensions from which my friend Doria's kindness may deliver me.

GIANETTINO (obsequiously). Most willingly. Command my utmost influence!

FIESCO. The circumstance might cause a concourse toward the harbor, and
about my palace, which the duke your uncle might misinterpret.

GIANETTINO (in a friendly manner). I'll manage that for you. Continue
your preparations, and may success attend your enterprise!

FIESCO (with a smile). I'm much obliged to you.


   The former--A GERMAN of the body-guard.


GERMAN. Passing by the gate of St. Thomas I observed a great number of
armed soldiers hastening towards the harbor. The galleys of the Count
Fiesco were preparing for sea.

GIANETTINO. Is that all? Report it no further.

GERMAN. Very well. From the convent of the Capuchins, too, suspicious
rabble are pouring, and steal toward the market-place. From their gait
and appearance I should suppose them soldiers.

GIANETTINO (angrily). Out upon this fool's zeal! (To LOMELLINO, aside.)
These are undoubtedly my Milanese.

GERMAN. Does your grace command that they should be arrested?

GIANETTINO (aloud to LOMELLINO). Look to them, Lomellino. (To the
GERMAN.) Begone! 'Tis all well. (Aside to LOMELLINO.) Bid that German
beast be silent.

                [Exeunt LOMELLINO and GERMAN.

FIESCO (in another part of the room with JULIA--looks toward
GIANETTINO.). Our friend Doria seems displeased. May I inquire the

GIANETTINO. No wonder. These eternal messages.

                       [Exit hastily.

FIESCO. The play awaits us, too, signora. May I offer you my hand?

JULIA. Stay, let me take my cloak. 'Tis no tragedy I hope, count? It
would haunt me in my dreams.

FIESCO (sarcastically). 'Twill excite immoderate laughter.

   [He hands her out--the curtain falls.


SCENE I.--Night. The court of FIESCO'S palace. The lamps lighted.
Persons carrying in arms. A wing of the palace illuminated. A heap of
arms on one side of the stage.

   BOURGOGNINO, leading a band of soldiers.

BOURGOGNINO. Halt! Let four sentinels be stationed at the great gate.
Two at every door of the palace. (The sentinels take their posts.) Let
every one that chooses enter, but none depart. If any one attempts to
force his way run him through. (Goes with the rest into the palace. The
sentinels walk up and down. A pause.)


   ZENTURIONE entering.

SENTINELS AT THE GATE (call out). Who goes there?

ZENTURIONE. A friend of Lavagna. (Goes across the court to the palace
on the right.)

SENTINEL THERE. Back! (ZENTURIONE starts, and goes to the door on the


ZENTURIONE (stands still with surprise. A pause. Then to the SENTINEL
on the left). Friend, which is the way to the theatre?

SENTINEL. Don't know.

ZENTURIONE (walks up and down with increasing surprise--then to the
SENTINEL on the right). Friend, when does the play begin?

SENTINEL. Don't know.

ZENTURIONE (astonished, walks up and down. Perceives the weapons;
alarmed). Friend, what mean these?

SENTINEL. Don't know.

ZENTURIONE (wraps himself up in his cloak, alarmed). Strange!

SENTINELS AT THE GATE (calling out). Who goes there?


   The former, ZIBO entering.

ZIBO. A friend of Lavagna.

ZENTURIONE. Zibo, where are we?

ZIBO. What mean you?

ZENTURIONE. Look around you, Zibo.

ZIBO. Where? What?

ZENTURIONE. All the doors are guarded!

ZIBO. Here are arms----

ZENTURIONE. No one that will answer----

ZIBO. 'Tis strange!

ZENTURIONE. What is it o'clock?

ZIBO. Past eight.

ZENTURIONE. How bitter cold it is!

ZIBO. Eight was the hour appointed.

ZENTURIONE (shaking his head). 'Tis not all as it should be here.

ZIBO. Fiesco means to jest with us----

ZENTURIONE. To-morrow will be the ducal election. Zibo, all's not right
here, depend upon it.

ZIBO. Hush! hush!

ZENTURIONE. The right wing of the palace is full of lights.

ZIBO. Do you hear nothing?

ZENTURIONE. A confused murmuring within--and----

ZIBO. The sound of clattering arms----

ZENTURIONE. Horrible! horrible!

ZIBO. A carriage--it stops at the gate!

SENTINELS AT THE GATE (calling out). Who goes there?


   The former, four of the ASSERATO family.

ASSERATO (entering). A friend of FIESCO.

ZIBO. They are the four Asserati.

ZENTURIONE. Good evening, friends!

ASSERATO. We are going to the play.

ZIBO. A pleasant journey to you!

ASSERATO. Are you not going also?

ZENTURIONE. Walk on. We'll just take a breath of air first.

ASSERATO. 'Twill soon begin. Come. (Going.)


ASSERATO. What can this mean?

ZENTURIONE (laughing). To keep you from the palace.

ASSERATO. Here's some mistake----

ZIBO. That's plain enough. (Music is heard in the right wing.)

ASSERATO. Do you hear the symphony? The comedy is going to begin.

ZENTURIONE. I think it has begun, and we are acting our parts as fools.

ZIBO. I'm not over warm--I'll return home.

ASSERATO. Arms here, too?

ZIBO. Poh! Mere play-house articles.

ZENTURIONE. Shall we stand waiting, like ghosts upon the banks of
Acheron? Come, let us to a tavern! (All six go towards the gate.)

SENTINELS (calling loudly). Back! Back!

ZENTURIONE. Death and the devil! We are caught.

ZIBO. My sword shall open a passage!

ASSERATO. Put it up! The count's a man of honor.

ZIBO. We are sold! betrayed! The comedy was a bait, and we're caught in
a trap.

ASSERATO. Heaven forbid! And yet I tremble for the event.


   The former--VERRINA, SACCO, and NOBLES.

SENTINELS. Who goes there?

VERRINA. Friends of the house. (Seven NOBLES enter with him.)

ZIBO. These are his confidants. Now all will be explained.

SACCO (in conversation with VERRINA). 'Tis as I told you; Lascaro is on
guard at the St. Thomas' gate, the best officer of Doria, and blindly
devoted to him.

VERRINA. I'm glad of it.

ZIBO (to VERRINA). Verrina, you come opportunely to clear up the

VERRINA. How so? What mean you?

ZENTURIONE. We are invited to a comedy.

VERRINA. Then we are going the same way.

ZENTURIONE (impatiently). Yes--the way of all flesh. You see--the doors
are guarded. Why guard the doors?

ZIBO. Why these sentinels?

ZENTURIONE. We stand here like criminals beneath the gallows.

VERRINA. The count will come himself.

ZENTURIONE. 'Twere well if he came a little faster. My patience begins
to fail. (All the NOBLES walk up and down in the background.)

BOURGOGNINO (coming out of the palace, to VERRINA). How goes it in the

VERRINA. They're all safe on board.

BOURGOGNINO. The palace is full of soldiers.

VERRINA. 'Tis almost nine.

BOURGOGNINO. The count is long in coming.

VERRINA. And yet too quick to gain his wishes. Bourgognino! There is a
thought that freezes me.

BOURGOGNINO. Father, be not too hasty.

VERRINA. It is impossible to be too hasty where delay is fatal. I must
commit a second murder to justify the first.

BOURGOGNINO. But--when must Fiesco fall?

VERRINA. When Genoa is free Fiesco dies!

SENTINELS. Who goes there?


   The former, FIESCO.

FIESCO. A friend! (The NOBLES bow--the SENTINELS present their arms.)
Welcome, my worthy guests! You must have been displeased at my long
absence. Pardon me. (In a low voice to VERRINA.) Ready?

VERRINA (in the same manner). As you wish.


BOURGOGNINO. Quite prepared.

FIESCO (to SACCO). And you?

SACCO. All's right.

FIESCO. And Calcagno?

BOURGOGNINO. Is not yet arrived.

FIESCO (aloud to the SENTINELS). Make fast the gates! (He takes off his
hat, and steps forward with dignity towards the assembly.) My friends--I
have invited you hither to a play--not as spectators, but to allot to
each a part therein.

Long enough have we borne the insolence of Gianettino Doria, and the
usurpation of Andreas. My friends, if we would deliver Genoa, no time is
to be lost. For what purpose, think you, are those twenty galleys which
beset our harbor? For what purpose the alliances which the Dorias have
of late concluded? For what purpose the foreign forces which they have
collected even in the heart of Genoa? Murmurs and execrations avail no
longer. To save all we must dare all. A desperate disease requires a
desperate remedy. Is there one base enough in this assembly to own an
equal for his master? (Murmurs.) Here is not one whose ancestors did
not watch around the cradle of infant Genoa. What!--in Heaven's name!--
what, I ask you, have these two citizens to boast of that they could urge
their daring flight so far above our head? (Increasing murmurs.) Every
one of you is loudly called upon to fight for the cause of Genoa against
its tyrants. No one can surrender a hair's-breadth of his rights without
betraying the soul of the whole state. (Interrupted by violent
commotions he proceeds.)

You feel your wrongs--then everything is gained. I have already paved
your way to glory--Genoese, will you follow? I am prepared to lead you.
Those signs of war which you just now beheld with horror should awaken
your heroism. Your anxious shuddering must warm into a glorious zeal
that you may unite your efforts with this patriotic band to overthrow the
tyrant. Success will crown the enterprise, for all our preparations are
well arranged. The cause is just, for Genoa suffers. The attempt will
render us immortal, for it is vast and glorious----

ZENTURIONE (vehemently, and agitated). Enough! Genoa shall be free! Be
this our shout of onset against hell itself!

ZIBO. And may he who is not roused by it pant at the slavish oar till
the last trumpet break his chains----

FIESCO. Spoken like men. Now you deserve to know the danger that hung
over yourselves and Genoa. (Gives them the papers of the MOOR.) Lights,
soldiers! (The nobles crowd about the lights, and read--FIESCO aside to
VERRINA.) Friend, it went as I could wish.

VERRINA. Be not too certain. Upon the left I saw countenances that grew
pale, and knees that tottered.

ZENTURIONE (enraged). Twelve senators! Infernal villany! Seize each a
sword! (All, except two, eagerly take up the weapons that lie in

ZIBO. Thy name, too, Bourgognino, is written there.

BOURGOGNINO. Ay, and if Heaven permit, it shall be written to-day upon
the throat of Gianettino.

ZENTURIONE. Two swords remain----

ZIBO. Ah! What sayest thou?

ZENTURIONE. Two amongst us have not taken swords.

ASSERATO. My brothers cannot bear the sight of blood--pray spare them!

ZENTURIONE (vehemently). What! Not a tyrant's blood! Tear them to
pieces--cowards! Let such bastards be driven from the republic! (Some
of the assembly attack the two ASSERATI.)

FIESCO (restraining them). Cease! Shall Genoa owe its liberty to
slaves? Shall our pure gold be debased by this alloy? (He disengages
them.) Gentlemen, you must be content to take up your abode within my
palace until our business be decided. (To the sentinels.) These are
your prisoners; you answer for their safety! Guard them with loaded
arms. (They are led off--a knocking heard at the gate.)

SENTINEL. Who is there?

CALCAGNO (without, eagerly). Open the gate! A friend! for God's sake,

BOURGOGNINO. It is Calcagno--heavens! What can this mean?

FIESCO. Open the gate, soldiers.


   The former--CALCAGNO, out of breath.

CALCAGNO. All is lost! all is lost! Fly, every one that can!

BOURGOGNINO. What's lost? Have they flesh of brass? Are our swords
made of rushes?

FIESCO. Consider, Calcagno! An error now is fatal.

CALCAGNO. We are betrayed! Your Moor, Lavagna, is the rascal! I come
from the senate-house. He had an audience of the duke.

VERRINA (with a resolute tone, to the sentinels). Soldiers! let me rush
upon your halberts! I will not perish by the hangman's hands. (The
assembly show marks of confusion.)

FIESCO (with firmness). What are you about? 'Sdeath, Calcagno!
Friends, 'tis a false alarm. (To CALCAGNO, aside.) Woman that thou art
to tell these boys this tale. Thou, too, Verrina? and thou, Bourgognino?
Whither wouldst thou go?

BOURGOGNINO. Home--to kill my Bertha--and then return to fall with thee.

FIESCO (bursting into a loud laugh). Stay! stay! Is this the valor that
should punish tyrants? Well didst thou play thy part, Calcagno. Did
none of you perceive that this alarm was my contrivance? Speak,
Calcagno? Was it not my order that you should put these Romans to this

VERRINA. Well, if you can laugh I'll believe you--or never more think
you man.

FIESCO. Shame on you, men! to fail in such a boyish trial! Resume your
arms--you must fight like lions to atone for this disgrace. (Aside to
CALCAGNO.) Were you there yourself?

CALCAGNO (low). I made my way among the guards to hear, as was my
business, the watchword from the duke. As I was returning the Moor was

FIESCO (aloud). So the old man is gone to bed--we'll drum him out of his
feathers. (Low.) Did he talk long with the duke?

CALCAGNO (low). My sudden fright and your impending danger drove me away
in haste----

FIESCO (aloud). See how our countrymen still tremble.

CALCAGNO (aloud). You should have carried on the jest. (Low.) For
God's sake, friend, what will this artifice avail us?

FIESCO. 'Twill gain us time, and dissipate the first panic. (Aloud.)
Ho! bring wine here! (Low.) Did the duke turn pale? (Aloud.) Well,
brothers, let us drink success to this night's entertainment. (Low.)
Did the duke turn pale?

CALCAGNO. The Moor's first word must have been conspiracy; for the old
man started back as pale as ashes.

FIESCO (confused). Hum! the devil is an artful counsellor. Calcagno--
the Moor was cunning, he betrayed nothing till the knife was at his
throat. Now he is indeed their savior. (Wine is brought, he drinks to
the assembly.) Comrades, success! (A knocking is heard.)

SENTINELS. Who is without?

A VOICE. The guard of the duke's. (The NOBLES rush about the court in

FIESCO (stepping forward). Oh, my friends! Be not alarmed! I am here--
quick, remove these arms--be men. I entreat you--this visit makes me
hope that Andreas still doubts our plot. Retire into the palace: recall
your spirits. Soldiers, throw open the gate! (They retire, the gates
are opened.)


   FIESCO (as if coming from the palace). Three GERMAN SOLDIERS
   bringing the MOOR, bound.

FIESCO. Who calls me?

GERMANS. Bring us to the count!

FIESCO. The count is here, who wants me?

GERMAN (presenting his arms). Greeting from the duke!--he delivers up to
your grace this Moor in chains, who had basely slandered you: the rest
this note will tell.

FIESCO (takes it with an air of indifference). Have I not threatened
thee already with the galleys? (To the GERMAN.) Very well, my friend,
my respects to the duke.

MOOR (hallooing after them). Mine, too--and tell the duke had he not
employed an ass for his messenger he would have learned that two thousand
soldiers are concealed within these palace walls.

                   [Exeunt GERMANS, the NOBLES return.


   FIESCO, the CONSPIRATORS, MOOR (looking at them unconcerned.)

THE CONSPIRATORS (shuddering at the sight of the MOOR). Ha! what means

FIESCO (after reading the note with suppressed anger). Genoese, the
danger is past--but the conspiracy is likewise at an end----

VERRINA (astonished). What! Are the Dorias dead?

FIESCO (violently agitated). By heavens! I was prepared to encounter
the whole force of the republic, but not this blow. This old nerveless
man, with his pen, annihilates three thousand soldiers (his hands sink
down). Doria overcomes Fiesco!

BOURGOGNINO. Speak, count, we are amazed!

FIESCO (reading). "Lavagna, your fate resembles mine; benevolence is
rewarded with ingratitude. The Moor informs me of a plot: I send him
back to you in chains, and shall sleep to-night without a guard." (He
drops the paper--the rest look at each other.)

VERRINA. Well, Fiesco?

FIESCO (with dignity). Shall Doria surpass me in magnanimity? Shall the
race of Fiesco want this one virtue? No, by my honor--disperse--I'll go
and own the whole----

VERRINA (stopping him). Art thou mad? Was, then, our enterprise some
thievish act of villany? Was it not our country's cause? Was Andreas
the object of thy hatred, and not the tyrant? Stay! I arrest thee as a
traitor to thy country.

CONSPIRATORS. Bind him! throw him down!

FIESCO (snatching up his sword, and making way through them). Gently!
Who will be the first to throw the cord around the tiger? See, Genoese,
--I stand here at liberty, and might force my way with ease, had I the
will--but I will stay--I have other thoughts----

BOURGOGNINO. Are they thoughts of duty?

FIESCO (haughtily). Ha! boy! learn first to know thy own--and towards me
restrain that tongue! Be appeased, Genoese,--our plans remain unaltered.
(To the MOOR, whose cords he cuts with a sword). Thou hast the merit of
causing a noble act--fly!

CALCAGNO (enraged). What? Shall that scoundrel live,--he who has
betrayed us all?

FIESCO. Live--though he has frightened you all. Rascal, begone! See
that thou turn thy back quickly on Genoa; lest some one immolate thee to
the manes of his courage.

MOOR. So, then, the devil does not forsake his friends. Your servant,
gentlemen! I see that Italy does not produce my halter; I must seek it

                     [Exit, laughing.



SERVANT. The Countess Imperiali has already asked three times for your

FIESCO. Ha! then the comedy must indeed begin! Tell her I come
directly. Desire my wife to hasten to the concert-room, and there remain
concealed behind the tapestry. (Exit SERVANT.) In these papers your
several stations are appointed: let each but act his part, the plan is
perfect. Verrina will lead the forces to the harbor, and when the ships
are seized will fire a shot as a signal for the general attack. I now
leave you upon important business; when you hear the bell come all
together to my concert-room. Meanwhile enjoy my Cyprian wine within.
(They depart into the palace.)



LEONORA. Fiesco promised to meet me here, and comes not. 'Tis past
eleven. The sound of arms and men rings frightfully through the palace,
and no Fiesco comes.

ROSA. You are to conceal yourself behind the tapestry--what can the
count intend?

LEONORA. He directs and I obey. Why should I fear? And yet I tremble,
Arabella, and my heart beats fearfully with apprehension. For heaven's
sake, damsels, do not leave me.

ARABELLA. Fear nothing; our timidity subdues our curiosity.

LEONORA. Where'er I turn my eyes strange shapes appear with hollow and
distracted countenances. Whomsoever I address trembles like a criminal,
and withdraws into the thickest gloom of night, that fearful refuge of a
guilty conscience. Whate'er they answer falls from the trembling tongue
in doubtful accents. Oh, Fiesco! what horrid business dost thou
meditate? Ye heavenly powers! watch over my Fiesco!

ROSA (alarmed). Oh, heavens! what noise is that without?

ARABELLA. It is the soldier who stands there as sentinel. (The SENTINEL
without calls, "Who goes there?")

LEONORA. Some one approaches. Quick! behind the curtain. (They conceal


   JULIA and FIESCO, in conversation.

JULIA (much agitated). Forbear, count! Your passion meets no longer an
indifferent ear, but fires the raging blood--where am I? Naught but
seducing night is here! Whither has your artful tongue lured my
unguarded heart?

FIESCO. To this spot where timid love grows bold, and where emotions
mingle unrestrained.

JULIA. Hold, Fiesco! For Heaven's sake no more! 'Tis the thick veil of
night alone which covers the burning blushes on my cheeks, else wouldst
thou pity me.

FIESCO. Rather, Julia, thy blushes would inflame my passions, and urge
them to their utmost height. (Kisses her hand eagerly.)

JULIA. Thy countenance is glowing as thy words! Ah! and my own, too,
burns with guilty fire. Hence, I entreat thee, hence--let us seek the
light! The tempting darkness might lead astray the excited senses, and
in the absence of the modest day might stir them to rebellion. Haste, I
conjure thee, leave this solitude!

FIESCO (more pressing). Why so alarmed, my love? Shall the mistress
fear her slave?

JULIA. O man, eternal paradox! then are you truly conquerors, when you
bow as captives before our self-conceit. Shall I confess, Fiesco? It
was my vice alone that could protect my virtue--my pride alone defied
your artifices--thus far, my principles prevailed, and all your arts were
foiled--but in despair of every other suit you made appeal to Julia's
passion--and here my principles deserted me----

FIESCO (with levity). And what loss was that?

JULIA (with emotion). If I betray the safeguards of my honor, that thou
mayest cover me with shame at will, what have I less to lose than all?
Wouldst thou know more, scoffer? Shall I confess that the whole secret
wisdom of our sex is but a sorry precaution for the defence of this weak
fortress, which in the end is the sole object of assault by all your vows
and protestations, and which (I blush to own it) is so willingly
surrendered--so often betrayed to the enemy upon the first wavering of
virtue? That woman's whole art is enlisted in fortifying a defenceless
position, just as in chess the pieces move and form a breastwork round
the defenceless king?--surprise the latter--check-mate! and the whole
board is thrown into confusion. (After a pause--with earnestness),
behold the picture of our boasting weakness. Be generous, Fiesco!

FIESCO. And yet, my Julia--where could'st thou bestow this treasure
better than on my endless passion?

JULIA. Certainly, nowhere better, and nowhere worse? Tell me, Fiesco,
how long will this endless passion endure? But, alas! I've risked too
much already now to hesitate at staking my last. I trusted boldly to my
charms to captivate thee--to preserve thy love, I fear they'll prove too
weak. Fie upon me!--what am I uttering? (Hides her face with her

FIESCO. Two sins in one breath. Mistrust in my taste, and treason
against the sovereignty of your charms? Which of the two is the most
difficult to forgive?

JULIA (in a tremulous, imploring tone). Falsehood is the armory of hell!
Fiesco needs not this to gain his Julia. (She sinks exhausted on a sofa:
after a pause--energetically.) Hear, Fiesco! One word more. When we
know our virtue to be in safety, we are heroines; in its defence, no more
than children; (fixing her eyes on him wildly)--furies, when we avenge
it. Hear me! Should'st thou strike me to the heart with coldness?

FIESCO (assuming an angry tone). Coldness? coldness? Heavens! What
does the insatiable vanity of woman look for, if she even doubt the man
who lies prostrate at her feet? Ha! my spirit is awakened; my eyes at
length are opened. (With an air of coldness.) What was this mighty
sacrifice? Man dearly purchases a woman's highest favors by the
slightest degradation! (Bowing ceremoniously.) Take courage, madam! you
are safe.

JULIA (with astonishment). Count! what sudden change is this?

FIESCO (with great indifference). True, madam! You judge most rightly;
we both have risked our honor. (Bowing ceremoniously.) I will await the
pleasure of your company among my guests. (Going.)

JULIA (stops him). Stay! art thou mad? Must I, then, declare a passion
which the whole race of men, upon their knees, should not extort from my
inflexible pride? Alas! in vain the darkness strives to hide the blushes
which betray my guilt. Fiesco--I wound the pride of all my sex--my sex
will all detest me--Fiesco--I adore thee--(falls at his feet).

FIESCO (steps back without raising her, laughing with exultation). That
I am sorry for, signora--(rings the bell--draws the tapestry, and
discovers LEONORA). Here is my wife--an angel of a woman! (Embracing

JULIA (with a shriek). Unheard-of treachery!


   The CONSPIRATORS, entering in a body--LADIES on
   the other side--FIESCO, JULIA, and LEONORA.

LEONORA. Oh, my husband, that was too cruel!

FIESCO. A wicked heart deserved no less. I owed this satisfaction to
your tears. (To the company.) No,--my friends--I am not wont on every
slight occasion to kindle into passion. The follies of mankind amuse me
long ere they excite my anger; but this woman merits my whole resentment.
Behold the poison which she had mingled for my beloved Leonora. (Shows
the poison to the company--they start with horror.)

JULIA (biting her lips with rage). Good! Good! Very good, Sir!

FIESCO (leads her back by the arm). You must have patience, madam;
something else remains. My friends, perhaps, would gladly learn why I
debased my reason with the farce of love for Genoa's silliest coquette.

JULIA (starting up). It is not to be borne. But tremble! Doria rules
in Genoa, and I am Doria's sister----

FIESCO. Poor, indeed, if that be your only sting! Know that Fiesco of
Lavagna has changed the diadem of your illustrious brother for a halter,
and means this night to hang the thief of the republic. (She is struck
with terror--he continues with a sarcastic laugh.) Ha! that was
unexpected. And do you see, madam, 'twas for this purpose that I tried
to blind the eyes of the Dorias. For this I assumed a mock passion--
(pointing to JULIA.) For this I cast away this precious jewel--(pointing
to LEONORA); and by shining bait ensnared my prey. I thank you for your
complaisance, signora--(to JULIA;) and resign the trappings of my assumed
character. (Delivers her the miniature with a bow.)

LEONORA (to FIESCO, in a supplicating tone). She weeps, my Lodovico.
May your Leonora, trembling, entreat you?

JULIA (enraged, to LEONORA). Silence, detested woman!

FIESCO (to a SERVANT). Be polite to my friend; escort this lady. She
has a mind to see my prison-chamber--take care that none approach to
incommode her. The night air is blowing somewhat keenly, the storm which
rives the house of Doria may, perchance, ruffle the lady's head-dress.

JULIA. Curses on thee, black, detested hypocrite! (Enraged, to
LEONORA.) Rejoice not at thy triumph! He will destroy thee also, and
himself--and then despair! (Rushing out!)

FIESCO (to the guests). You were witnesses; let your report in Genoa
preserve my honor. (To the CONSPIRATORS.) Call on me as soon as the
cannon gives the signal. (All the guests retire.)



LEONORA (approaching with anxiety). Fiesco! Fiesco! I understand but
half your meaning; yet I begin to tremble.

FIESCO (significantly). Leonora! I once saw you yield the place of
honor to another. I saw you, in the presence of the nobles, receive the
second compliment. Leonora, that sight tormented me. I resolved it
should be so no longer. Henceforth it ceases. Do you hear the warlike
noise which echoes through my palace? What you suspect is true. Retire
to rest, countess, to-morrow you shall awake Duchess of Genoa.

LEONORA (clasping her hands together, and throwing herself into a chair).
O God! My very fears! I am undone!

FIESCO (seriously, and with dignity). Let me speak out, my love. Two of
my ancestors wore the triple crown. The blood of the Fiescos flows not
pure unless beneath the purple. Shall your husband only reflect a
borrowed splendor? (In a more energetic manner.) What! shall he owe his
rank alone to capricious chance, which, from the ashes of mouldering
greatness, has patched together a John Louis Fiesco? No, Leonora, I am
too proud to accept from others what my own powers may achieve. This
night the hereditary titles of my ancestors shall return to deck their
tombs--Lavagna's counts exist no longer--a race of princes shall begin.

LEONORA (mournfully, and giving way to imagination). I see my husband
fall, transfixed by deadly wounds. (In a hollow voice.) I see them bear
my husband's mangled corpse towards me. (Starting up.) The first--the
only ball has pierced Fiesco's heart.

FIESCO (tenderly seizing her hand). Be calm, my love. The only ball
will not strike me.

LEONORA (looking steadfastly at him). Does Fiesco so confidently
challenge Heaven? If, in the scope of countless possibilities, one
chance alone were adverse, that one might happen, and I should lose my
husband. Think that thou venturest Heaven, Fiesco; and though a million
chances were in thy favor, wouldst thou dare tempt the Almighty by
risking on a cast thy hopes of everlasting happiness? No, my husband!
When thy whole being is at stake each throw is blasphemy.

FIESCO. Be not alarmed. Fortune and I are better friends.

LEONORA. Ah! say you so, Fiesco? You, who have watched the
soul-convulsing game, which some call pastime? Have you not seen
the sly deceiver, Fortune, how she leads on her votary with gradual
favors, till, heated with success, he rushes headlong and stakes his all
upon a single cast? Then in the decisive moment she forsakes him, a
victim of his rashness--and stood you then unmoved? Oh, my husband,
think not that thou hast but to show thyself among the people to be
adored. 'Tis no slight task to rouse republicans from their slumber and
turn them loose, like the unbridled steed, just conscious of his hoofs.
Trust not those traitors. They among them who are most discerning, even
while they instigate thy valor, fear it; the vulgar worship thou with
senseless and unprofitable adoration. Whichever way I look Fiesco is

FIESCO (pacing the room in great emotion). To be irresolute is the most
certain danger. He that aspires to greatness must be daring.

LEONORA. Greatness, Fiesco! Alas! thy towering spirit ill accords with
the fond wishes of my heart. Should fortune favor thy attempt--shouldst
thou obtain dominion--alas! I then shall be but the more wretched.
Condemned to misery shouldst thou fail--if thou succeed, to misery still
greater. Here is no choice but evil. Unless he gain the ducal power,
Fiesco perishes--if I embrace the duke I lose my husband.

FIESCO. I understand you not.

LEONORA. Ah! my Fiesco, in the stormy atmosphere that surrounds a throne
the tender plant of love must perish. The heart of man, e'en were that
heart Fiesco's, is not vast enough for two all-powerful idols--idols so
hostile to each other. Love has tears, and can sympathize with tears.
Ambition has eyes of stone, from which no drop of tenderness can e'er
distil. Love has but one favored object, and is indifferent to all the
world beside. Ambition, with insatiable hunger, rages amid the spoil
of nature, and changes the immense world into one dark and horrid
prison-house. Love paints in every desert an elysium. And when thou
wouldest recline upon my bosom, the cares of empires, or rebellious
vassals, would fright away repose. If I should throw myself into thy
arms, thy despot fears would hear a murderer rushing forth to strike
thee, and urge thy trembling flight through all the palace. Nay, black
suspicion would at last o'erwhelm domestic concord. If thy Leonora's
tenderness should offer thee a refreshing draught, thou wouldst with
horror push away the goblet, and call it poison----

FIESCO (starting). Leonora, cease! These thoughts are dreadful.

LEONORA. And yet the picture is not finished. Let love be sacrificed to
greatness--and even peace of mind--if Fiesco but remained unchanged. O
God! that thought is racking torture. Seldom do angels ascend the
throne--still seldomer do they descend it such. Can he know pity who is
raised above the common fears of man? Will he speak the accents of
compassion who at every wish can launch a bolt of thunder to enforce it.
(She stops, then timidly advances, and takes his hand with a look of
tender reproach.) Princes, Fiesco--these abortions of ambition and
weakness--who presume to sit in judgment 'twixt the godhead and
mortality. Wicked servants--worse rulers.

FIESCO (walking about much agitated). Leonora, cease! The bridge is
raised behind me----

LEONORA (with a look of tenderness). And why, my husband? Deeds alone
are irrevocable. Thou once didst swear (fondly clinging to him, and
somewhat archly) that all thy projects vanished before my beauty. Thou
hast foresworn thyself, dissembler--or else my charms have prematurely
withered. Ask thy own heart where lies the blame? (More ardently, and
throwing her arms round him.) Return, Fiesco! Conquer thyself!
Renounce! Love shall indemnify thee. O Fiesco, if my heart cannot
appease thy insatiate passions, the diadem will be found still poorer.
Come, I'll study the inmost wishes of this soul. I will melt into one
kiss of love all the charms of nature, to retain forever in these
heavenly bonds the illustrious captive. As thy heart is infinite, so
shall be my passion. To be a source of happiness to a being who places
all its heaven in thee, Fiesco? Ought that to leave any void in thy

FIESCO (with great emotion). Leonora--what hast thou done? (He falls,
overcome, on her neck.) I shall never more dare to meet the eyes of
Genoa's citizens.

LEONORA (with lively expression). Let us fly, Fiesco! let us with scorn
reject these gaudy nothings, and pass our future days only in the
retreats of love! (She presses him to her breast with rapture.) Our
souls, serene as the unclouded sky, shall never more be blackened by the
poisonous breath of sorrow; our lives shall flow harmoniously as the
music of the murmuring brook. (A cannon-shot is heard--FIESCO disengages
himself--all the conspirators enter.)


CONSPIRATORS. The hour is come!

FIESCO (to LEONORA, firmly). Farewell! forever unless Genoa to-morrow be
laid prostrate at thy feet. (Going to rush out.)

BOURGOGNINO (cries out). The countess faints! (LEONORA in a swoon--all
run to support her.)

FIESCO (kneeling before her, in a tone of despair). Leonora! Save her!
For heaven's sake save her! (ROSA and ARABELLA run to her assistance.)
She lives--she opens her eyes (jumps up resolutely). Now to close
Doria's! (Conspirators rush out.)


SCENE I.-After midnight. The great street of Genoa. A few lamps, which
gradually become extinguished. In the background is seen the Gate of St.
Thomas, which is shut. Men pass over the stage with lanterns. The
patrol go their round. Afterwards, everything is quiet except the waves
of the sea, which are heard at a distance, rather tempestuous.

   FIESCO (armed, before the Doria Palace), and ANDREAS.

FIESCO. The old man has kept his word. The lights are all extinguished
in the palace--the guards dismissed--I'll ring. (Rings at the gate.)
Ho! Halloo! Awake, Doria! Thou art betrayed. Awake! Halloo! Halloo!

ANDREAS (appearing at the balcony). Who rings there?

FIESCO (in a feigned voice). Ask not, but follow me! Duke, thy star has
set; Genoa is in arms against thee! Thy executioners are near, and canst
thou sleep, Andreas?

ANDREAS (with dignity). I remember when the raging sea contended with my
gallant vessel--when her keel cracked and the wind split her topmast.
Yet Andreas Doria then slept soundly. Who sends these executioners!

FIESCO. A man more terrible than your raging sea--John Louis Fiesco.

ANDREAS (laughs). You jest, my friend. Come in the daytime to play your
tricks. Midnight suits them badly.

FIESCO. Dost thou then despise thy monitor?

ANDREAS. I thank him and retire to rest. Fiesco, wearied with his
rioting, sleeps, and has no time to think of Doria.

FIESCO. Wretched old man! Trust not the artful serpent! Its back is
decked with beauteous colors; but when you would approach to view it you
are suddenly entwined within its deadly folds. You despised the
perfidious Moor. Do not despise the counsels of a friend. A horse
stands ready saddled for you; fly, while you have time!

ANDREAS. Fiesco has a noble mind. I never injured him, and he will not
betray me.

FIESCO. Fiesco has a noble mind and yet betrays thee. He gives thee
proof of both.

ANDREAS. There is a guard, which would defy Fiesco's power, unless he
led against them legions of spirits.

FIESCO (scornfully). That guard I should be glad to see to despatch it
with a message for eternity.

ANDREAS (in an elevated manner). Vain scoffer! Knowest thou not that
Andreas has seen his eightieth year, and that Genoa beneath his rule is
happy? (Leaves the balcony.)

FIESCO (looks after him with astonishment). Must I then destroy this man
before I have learnt how difficult it is to equal him? (He walks up and
down some time in meditation). 'Tis past, Andreas. I have repaid the
debt of greatness. Destruction take thy course! (He hastens into a
remote street. Drums are heard on all sides. A hot engagement at the
St. Thomas' Gate. The gate is forced, and opens a prospect in the
harbor, in which lie several ships with lights on board.)


   GIANETTINO (in a scarlet mantle). LOMELLINO--(Servants going
   before them with torches).

GIANETTINO (stops). Who was it that commanded the alarm to be beat?

LOMELLINO. A cannon was fired on board one of the galleys.

GIANETTINO. The slaves perhaps have risen in mutiny. (Firing heard at
the gate of St. Thomas.)

LOMELLINO. Hark! A shot!

GIANETTINO. The gate is open. The guards are in confusion. (To the
servants.) Quick, rascals! Light us to the harbor. (Proceeding hastily
towards the gate.)


   The former; BOURGOGNINO, with some CONSPIRATORS, coming
   from the gate of St. Thomas.

BOURGOGNINO. Sebastian Lascaro was a brave soldier.

ZENTURIONE. He defended himself like a bear till he fell.

GIANETTINO (steps back startled). What do I hear? (to his servants).

BOURGOGNINO. Who goes there with torches?

LOMELLINO (to GIANETTINO). Prince, they are enemies. Turn to the left.

BOURGOGNINO (calls to then peremptorily). Who goes there with the

ZENTURIONE. Stand! Your watchword?

GIANETTINO (draws his sword fiercely). Loyalty and Doria!

BOURGOGNINO (foaming with rage). Violator of the republic and of my
bride! (To the CONSPIRATORS, rushing upon GIANETTINO.) Brothers, this
shortens our labor. His devils themselves deliver him into our hands--
(runs him through with his sword).

GIANETTINO (falling). Murder! Murder! Murder! Revenge me, Lomellino----

LOMELLINO and SERVANTS (flying). Help! Murder! Murder!

ZENTURIONE (halloing with vehemence). Doria is down. Stop the Count
Lomellino! (LOMELLINO is taken).

LOMELLINO (kneeling). Spare but my life, I'll join your party.

BOURGOGNINO (looking at GIANETTINO). Is this monster yet alive? Let the
coward fly. (LOMELLINO escapes.)

ZENTURIONE. St. Thomas' gate our own! Gianettino slain! Haste some of
you and tell Fiesco.

GIANETTINO (heaving himself from the ground in agony). Fiesco!
Damnation! (Dies.)

BOURGOGNINO (pulling the sword out of GIANETTINO'S body). Freedom to
Genoa, and to my Bertha. Your sword, Zenturione. Take to my bride this
bloody weapon--her dungeon is thrown open. I'll follow thee, and bring
the bridal kiss. (They separate through different streets.)



GERMAN. The storm drove that way. Mount your horse, duke!

ANDREAS. Let me cast a parting look at Genoa's towers! No; it is not a
dream. Andreas is betrayed.

GERMAN. The enemy is all around us. Away! Fly! Beyond the boundaries!

ANDREAS (throwing himself upon the dead body of his nephew). Here will I
die. Let no one talk of flight. Here lies the prop of my old age--my
career is ended. (CALCAGNO appears at a distance, with CONSPIRATORS.)

GERMAN. Danger is near. Fly, prince! (Drums beat.)

ANDREAS. Hark, Germans, bark! These are the Genoese whose chains I
broke. (Hiding his face.) Do your countrymen thus recompense their

GERMAN. Away! Away! while we stay here, and notch their swords upon our
German bones. (CALCAGNO comes nearer.)

ANDREAS. Save yourselves! Leave me! and go, declare the horrid story to
the shuddering nations that Genoa slew its father----

GERMAN. Slew! 'Sdeath, that shall not be. Comrades, stand firm!
Surround the duke! (They draw their swords.) Teach these Italian dogs
to reverence his gray head----

CALCAGNO (calls out). Who goes there? What have we here?

GERMAN. German blows--(retreat fighting, and carry off the body of


   LEONORA, in male attire, ARABELLA following--
   they walk along timidly.

ARABELLA. Come, my lady, pray let us hasten onward.

LEONORA. This way the tumult rages--hark! was not that a dying groan?
Ah, they surround him! At Fiesco's breast they point their fatal
muskets--at my breast they point them. Hold! hold! It is my husband!
(Throws her arms up in agony.)

ARABELLA. For heaven's sake, my lady!

LEONORA (with wild enthusiasm, calling on all sides). O my Fiesco! my
Fiesco! His firmest friends desert him. The faith of rebels is unsteady
(shuddering). Rebels! Heaven? Is Fiesco, then, a chief of rebels?

ARABELLA. No, signora. He is the great deliverer of Genoa.

LEONORA (emphatically). Ha! that would indeed be glorious! And shall
Leonora tremble?--shall the bravest republican be wedded to the most
timid woman? Go, Arabella! When men contend for empires even a woman's
soul may kindle into valor. (Drums again heard.) I'll rush among the

ARABELLA (clasping her hands together). All gracious heaven!

LEONORA. Softly! What strikes my foot? Here is a hat--and here a
mantle! A sword, too! (she lifts it up)--a heavy sword, my Arabella; but
I can carry it, and the sword shall not disgrace its bearer. (The
alarm-bell sounds.)

ARABELLA. Hark! hark! How terrible it sounds yonder, from the tower of
the Dominicans! God have mercy on us!

LEONORA (enthusiastically). Rather say, how delightful! In the majestic
sound of this alarm-bell my Fiesco speaks to Genoa. (Drums are heard
louder.) Ha! did flutes so sweetly strike my ear. Even these drums are
animated by Fiesco. My heart beats higher. All Genoa is roused; the
very mercenaries follow his name with transport--and shall his wife be
fearful? (Alarm-bells from three other towers.) No--my hero shall
embrace a heroine. My Brutus clasp within his arms a Roman wife. I'll
be his Portia. (Putting on GIANETTINO'S hat and throwing his scarlet
mantle round her.)

ARABELLA. My gracious lady, how wildly do you rave. (Alarm-bells and
drums are heard.)

LEONORA. Cold-blooded wretch; canst thou see and hear all this, and yet
not rave? The very stones are ready to weep that they have not feet to
run and join Fiesco. These palaces upbraid the builder, who had laid
their foundations so firmly in the earth that they cannot fly to join
Fiesco. The very shores, were they able, would forsake their office in
order to follow his glorious banner, though by so doing they abandoned
Genoa to the mercy of the ocean. What might shake death himself out of
his leaden sleep has not power to rouse thy courage? Away! I'll find my
way alone.

ARABELLA. Great God! You will not act thus madly?

LEONORA (with heroic haughtiness). Weak girl! I will. (With great
animation.) Where the tumult rages the most fiercely. Where Fiesco
himself leads on the combat. Methinks I hear them ask, "Is that Lavagna,
the unconquered hero, who with his sword decides the fate of Genoa? Is
that Lavagna?" Yes, I will say; yes, Genoese, that is Lavagna; and that
Lavagna is my husband!

SACCO (entering with CONSPIRATORS). Who goes there--Doria or Fiesco?

LEONORA (with enthusiasm). Fiesco and liberty. (Retires into another
street. A tumult, ARABELLA lost in the crowd.)


   SACCO, with a number of followers. CALCAGNO,
   meeting him with others.

CALCAGNO. Andreas has escaped.

SACCO. Unwelcome tidings to Fiesco.

CALCAGNO. Those Germans fight like furies! They planted themselves
around the old man like rocks. I could not even get a glimpse of him.
Nine of our men are done for; I myself was slightly wounded. Zounds! If
they thus serve a foreign tyrant, how will they guard the princes of
their country?

SACCO. Numbers have flocked already to our standard, and all the gates
are ours.

CALCAGNO. I hear they still are fighting desperately at the citadel.

SACCO. Bourgognino is amongst them. Where is Verrina?

CALCAGNO. He guards, like Cerberus, the passage between Genoa and the
sea--an anchovy could scarcely pass him.

SACCO. I'll rouse the suburbs----

CALCAGNO. I'll away to the market-place. Drummers, strike up! (They
march off, drums beating.)


   MOOR. A troop of THIEVES, with lighted matches.

MOOR. Now I'll let you into a secret, my boys; 'twas I that cooked this
soup, but the devil a spoonful do they give me. Well, I care not. This
hubbub is just to my taste. We'll set about burning and plundering.
While they are squabbling for a dukedom we'll make a bonfire in the
churches that shall warm the frozen apostles. (They disperse themselves
among the neighboring houses.)


   BOURGOGNINO--BERTHA, disguised as a boy.

BOURGOGNINO. Rest here, dear youth; thou art in safety. Dost thou

BERTHA (in a feigned voice). No; not at all.

BOURGOGNINO (with energy). Rise, then, I'll lead thee where thou mayst
gain wounds for Genoa--wounds beautiful like these. (Uncovering his

BERTHA (starting). Heavens!

BOURGOGNINO. Art thou frightened, youth? Too early didst thou put on
the man. What age hast thou?

BERTHA. Fifteen years.

BOURGOGNINO. That is unfortunate! For this night's business thou art
five years too young. Who is thy father?

BERTHA. The truest citizen in Genoa.

BOURGOGNINO. Gently, boy! That name belongs alone to the father of my
betrothed bride. Dost thou know the house of Verrina?

BERTHA. I should think so.

BOURGOGNINO (eagerly). And knowest thou his lovely daughter?

BERTHA. Her name is Bertha.

BOURGOGNINO. Go, quickly! Carry her this ring. Say it shall be our
wedding-ring; and tell her the blue crest fights bravely. Now farewell!
I must hasten yonder. The danger is not yet over. (Some houses are seen
on fire.)

BERTHA (in a soft voice). Scipio!

BOURGOGNINO (struck with astonishment). By my sword! I know that voice.

BERTHA (falling upon his neck). By my heart! I am well known here.

BOURGOGNINO. Bertha! (Alarm-bells sound in the suburbs--a tumult--
BOURGOGNINO and BERTHA embrace, and are lost in the crowd.) [NOTE]

[NOTE] In lieu of this scene Schiller substituted the following, during
his stay at Leipzig in 1786, for the use of the theatre there:--

   A subterranean vault, lighted by a single lamp. The background
   remains quite dark. BERTHA is discovered sitting on a stone in
   the foreground; a black veil covers her face. After a pause she
   rises and walks to and fro.

BERTHA. Still no sound? No sign of human footstep? No approach of
my deliverers. Horrible suspense! Fearful and hopeless as that of
one buried alive beneath the sod of the churchyard. And for what dost
thou sit, poor deceived one? An inviolable oath immures thee in this
dungeon. Gianettino Doria must fall, and Genoa be free, or Bertha left
to pine away her miserable existence, such was my father's oath.
Fearful prison-house to which there is no key but the death-groan of a
well-guarded tyrant. (Looking round the vault) How awful is this
stillness! terrible as the silence of the grave! How fearfully the
darkness creeps from yonder vaults! My lamp, too, is flickering in its
socket. (Walking up and down energetically). Oh, come, come, my
beloved, 'tis horrible to die here. (A pause--then she starts up and
rushes to and fro wringing her hands to deep despair.) He has forsaken
me. He has broken his oath. He has forgotten his Bertha. The living
think not of the dead, and this vault is my tomb. Hope no more, wretched
one. Hope flourishes only where the eye of the Almighty pervades--into
this dungeon it never penetrates. (Again a pause; she becomes still more

Or have my deliverers perished? Perchance the bold attempt has failed,
the danger has overwhelmed the courageous youth. O unhappy Bertha,
perhaps even now their ghosts are wandering through these vaults, and
weep over thy vain hopes. (Shuddering.) Heavens! if they are dead I am
irrevocably lost, irrevocably abandoned to a horrible death. (Leans
against the wall for support. After a pause she continues despondingly.)
And if my beloved one still lives--if he should return to keep his word,
to fetch his bride away in triumph, and find all here lonely and silent,
and the inanimate corpse no longer sensible to his transports--when his
burning kisses shall in vain endeavor to restore the life which has fled
from these lips, and his tears flow on me hopelessly--when my father
shall sink weeping on the body of his daughter, and the voice of his
lamentations echo through the regions of my prison-house. Oh, then
repeat not to them my complaints, ye walls! Tell them that I suffered
like a heroine, and that my last sigh was forgiveness. (Sinks exhausted
on the stone--pause--a confused sound of drums and bells is heard from
behind the stage in various directions. BERTHA starts to her feet.)
Hark! what means this? Am I awake, or do I dream? How dreadfully the
bells clang! That is no sound of ringing to prayers. (The noise comes
nearer and increases; she rushes to and fro alarmed.) Louder and louder
yet! Heavens, they are alarm-bells! they are alarm-bells! Have enemies
surprised the city? Is Genoa in flames? A wild and dreadful din, like
the trampling of myriads! What's that? (Someone knocks loudly at the
door.) They cone this way--they draw the bolts--(rushing towards the
background). Men! Men! Liberty! Deliverance! (BOURGOGNINO enters
hastily with a drawn sword, followed by several torch-bearers.)

BOURGOGNINO (calling out loudly). Thou art free, Bertha! The tyrant is
dead! This sword has passed through his heart.

BERTHA (running into his arms). My deliverer! my angel!

BOURGOGNINO. Dost thou hear the alarm-bells, and the roll of the drums?
Fiesco has conquered, Genoa is free, and thy father's curse annihilated.

BERTHA. Oh, heavens! This dreadful uproar, these alarm-bells, then,
were for me?

BOURGOGNINO. For thee, Bertha! They are our marriage chimes. Leave
this horrid dungeon and follow me to the altar.

BERTHA. To the altar, Bourgognino? Now, at this midnight hour? While
this awful tumult is raging as though the whole globe were crushing to
atoms! (VERRINA enters unperceived, and remains standing silently at the

BOURGOGNINO. In this beautiful, glorious night, in which all Genoa
celebrates its freedom, as a bond of love this sword, still dyed with the
tyrant's blood, shall be my wedding gear--this hand, still warm from the
heroic deed, the priest shall lay in thine. Fear not my love, and follow
me to the church. (VERRINA approaches, steps between both, and embraces

VERRINA. God bless you, my children!

BERTHA AND BOURGOGNINO (falling at his feet). O my father!

VERRINA (lays his hands on them both--a pause--then he turns solemnly to
BOURGOGNINO). Never forget how dearly thou hast won her. Never forget
that thy marriage dates from the day of Genoa's freedom. (Turning
towards BERTHA in a grave and dignified manner.) Thou art the daughter
of Verrina, and 'twas thy husband slew the tyrant. (After a pause he
beckons them to rise, and says, with suppressed emotion.) The priest
awaits you.

BERTHA AND BOURGOGNINO (together). How, my father? Will you not
accompany us thither?

VERRINA (very gravely). A terrible duty calls me elsewhere; my prayers
shall accompany you. (Drums and trumpets, intermixed with acclamations,
are heard in the distance.) What means this shouting?

BOURGOGNINO. They are proclaiming Fiesco duke. The populace adore him,
and with eager acclamations brought him the purple; the nobles looked on
with dismay, but dared not refuse their sanction.

VERRINA (laughs bitterly). You see, my son, I must away with speed to be
the first to tender the oath of allegiance to the new monarch.

BOURGOGNINO (holds him back alarmed). What is your purpose! I'll go
with you.

BERTHA (hanging anxiously on BOURGOGNINO). Heavens! what means this,
Bourgognino? What is my father meditating?

VERRINA. My son, I have converted all my possessions into gold, and have
conveyed it on board thy ship. Take thy bride and embark without delay.
Perhaps I shall soon follow, perhaps never. Hasten to Marseilles, and
(embracing them with emotion) God be with you.

BOURGOGNINO (determinedly). Verrina, I must stay; the danger is not yet

VERRINA (leading him towards BERTHA). Look to thy bride, thou proud,
insatiable one. Thou hast despatched thy tyrant, leave me to deal with
mine. [Exeunt.


   FIESCO and ZIBO from different sides. Attendants.

FIESCO (in great anger). Who set fire to those houses?

ZIBO. The citadel is taken.

FIESCO. Who set those houses on fire?

ZIBO (to the attendants). Despatch a guard to apprehend the villains.
(Some soldiers go.)

FIESCO. Will they make me an incendiary? Hasten with the engines!
(Attendants go.) But are you sure that Gianettino has fallen?

ZIBO. So they say.

FIESCO (wildly). They say so only! Who say? Declare, upon your honor,
has he escaped?

ZIBO (doubtfully). If I may trust my eyes against the assertion of a
nobleman, then--Gianettino lives.

FIESCO (starting). Zibo, your eyes may cost your head----

ZIBO. 'Tis but eight minutes since I saw him in the crowd dressed in his
scarlet cloak and yellow plume.

FIESCO (wildly). Heaven and hell! Zibo! Bourgognino shall answer for
it with his head. Hasten, Zibo! secure the barriers. Sink all the boats
that he may not escape by sea. This diamond, Zibo--the richest in all
Italy--this diamond shall reward the man who brings me tidings of
Gianettino's death. (ZIBO hastens away.) Fly, Zibo!



SACCO. We found this Moor throwing a lighted match into the convent of
the Jesuits.

FIESCO. Thy treachery was overlooked when it concerned myself alone.
The halter awaits the incendiary. Take him away and hang him at the

MOOR. Plague on it! that's an awkward piece of business. Is there no
way out of it?


MOOR. Send me awhile to the galleys----

FIESCO (beckoning to the attendants). To the gallows.

MOOR (impudently). Then I'll turn Christian.

FIESCO. The church refuses the dregs of infidelity.

MOOR (in an insinuating manner). At least send me drunk into eternity!

FIESCO. Sober.

MOOR. Don't hang me up, however, beside a Christian church!

FIESCO. A man of honor keeps his word. I promised thee a gallows of
thy own.

SACCO. No more prating, heathen! we've business of more consequence.

MOOR. But, stay! Perhaps the rope may break?

FIESCO (to SACCO). Let it be double.

MOOR. Well, if it must be so, the devil may make ready for an extra
guest. (Soldiers lead him off, and hang him at a little distance.)


   FIESCO--LEONORA appearing at a distance, in the scarlet
   cloak of GIANETTINO.

FIESCO (perceiving her, rushes forward--then stops). Do I know that
crest and mantle? (Rushes on furiously.) Yes, I know them. (Runs her
through with his sword.) If thou hast three lives then rise again.
(LEONORA falls with a hollow groan, the march of victory is heard, with
drums, horns, and hautboys.)


   SOLDIERS, with drums and colors.

FIESCO (advancing towards them in triumph). Genoese--the die is cast.
Here lies the viper of my soul, the abhorred food of my resentment. Lift
high your swords! Gianettino is no more!

CALCAGNO. And I come to inform you that two-thirds of Genoa have
declared for our party, and swear obedience to Fiesco's standard.

ZIBO. By me Verrina sends his greeting to you from the admiral's galley,
with the dominion of the sea.

ZENTURIONE. By me the governor of the city sends his keys and staff of

SACCO. And in me (kneeling) the less and greater senate of the republic
kneel down before their master, and supplicate for favor and protection.

CALCAGNO. Let me be the first to welcome the illustrious conquerer
within the walls. Bow your colors! Hail, Duke of Genoa!

ALL (taking off their hats). Hail! Hail, Duke of Genoa! (March of
triumph--FIESCO stands the whole time with his head sunk upon his breast,
in a meditating posture.)

CALCAGNO. The people and the senate wait to see their gracious sovereign
invested in the robes of dignity. Great duke, permit us to follow you in
triumph to the senate-house.

FIESCO. First allow me to listen to the dictates of my heart. I was
obliged to leave a most dear person in anxious apprehension--a person who
will share with me the glory of this night. (To the company.) Will you,
my friends, attend me to your amiable duchess! (Going.)

CALCAGNO. Shall this murderous villain lie here, and hide his infamy in

ZENTURIONE. Plant his head upon a halberd.

ZIBO. Let his mangled carcass sweep the streets! (They hold lights
toward the body.)

CALCAGNO (terrified and in a low voice). Look, Genoese! By heavens,
this is not the face of Gianettino! (All look at the body.)

FIESCO (fixes his eyes upon it with an eager look, which he withdraws
slowly--then, with convulsive wildness, exclaims). No! ye devils! That
is not the face of Gianettino--Oh, malicious fiend! Genoa is mine, say
you? Mine? (Rushing forward with a dreadful shriek.) Oh, trickery of
hell! It is my wife! (He sinks to the ground in agony--The CONSPIRATORS
stand around in groups, shuddering--a dead silence.)

FIESCO (raising himself exhausted--in a faint voice). But tell me truly,
Genoese, have I indeed slain my wife? I conjure you look not so ghastly
upon this illusion! Heaven be praised! there are fates which man has not
to fear, because he is but man. This must be one of them. He who is
denied the joys of heaven can scarce be doomed to bear the pains of hell.
This dread infliction would be even more. God be praised! It must be
so. And this is naught but the chimera of a disordered brain.


   The former--ARABELLA enters weeping.

ARABELLA. Let them kill me! What have I now to dread? Have pity on me,
Genoese. 'Twas here I left my dearest mistress, and nowhere can I find

FIESCO (approaching her--with a low and trembling voice.) Was Leonora
thy mistress?

ARABELLA (with pleasure). Are you there, my most gracious and dear good
lord? Be not displeased with us. We could no longer restrain her.

FIESCO (in alarm). Restrain her! Wretch! From what?

ARABELLA. From following----

FIESCO (violently). Ha! From following what?

ARABELLA. The tumult----

FIESCO. What was her dress?

ARABELLA. A Scarlet mantle.

FIESCO (in a transport of rage). Get thee to the abyss of hell! The

ARABELLA. Lay here upon the ground.

SOME OF THE CONSPIRATORS (talking apart). 'Twas here that Gianettino was

FIESCO (ready to faint, to ARABELLA). Thy mistress is found--(ARABELLA
advances anxiously--FIESCO casts his eyes round the whole circle--then,
with a faltering voice)--'Tis true--'Tis true--And I am the instrument of
this horrid deed. (Madly.) Back! back! ye human forms! Oh! (gnashing
his teeth wildly, and looking up toward heaven) had I but this created
orb between my teeth--I feel as though I could tear the universe to
fragments, till nature's face was hideous as the pain that gnaws my soul!
(To the others, that stand around, trembling.) See, how they stand
aghast there, miserable creatures! blessing themselves and rejoicing that
they are not as I am. I alone feel the blow. (Wildly.) I!--why I? Why
not these as well? Why is my sorrow denied the balm of being shared with

CALCAGNO (timidly). Most gracious duke!

FIESCO (rushes on hint with a look of fiendlike joy). Ha! Welcome!
Here, Heaven be thanked, is one whom the same thunderbolt has struck!
(Pressing CALCAGNO furiously in his arms.) Brother of my sorrows!
Welcome to your share of destruction! She's dead. Didst thou not also
love her? (Forcing him toward the dead body.) Behold her and despair!
She's dead. (Fixing his eyes earnestly on one part of the stage.) Oh,
that I could stand upon the brink of the infernal gulf, and view below
all hell's variety of torments!--could hear the horrid shrieks of damned
souls! (Approaching the body, trembling.) Here lies my murdered wife.
Nay--that says too little--the wife that I myself have murdered. Oh!
'Tis the cunningest of hell's devices--first I was allured to the topmost
pinnacle of joy--to the very threshold of heaven--then--in an instant
hurled headlong down--and then--oh that my breath could send a pestilence
to hell! And then was made the murderer of my wife--fool that I was to
trust two erring eyes? Oh, fiends, this is your masterpiece of torture!
(All the CONSPIRATORS lean upon their swords much afflicted--a pause.)

FIESCO (exhausted, and looking mournfully round the circle). Yes, by
heavens! They who feared not to draw their swords against their prince
are shedding tears! (With dejection.) Speak! Do you weep over this
havoc caused by treacherous death, or do you bewail the fall of your
leader's spirit? (Turning toward the dead body in an affecting posture.)
Where iron-hearted warriors were melted into tears, Fiesco uttered only
imprecations of despair. (Kneels down, weeping, by her side.) Pardon
me, Leonora--the decrees of heaven are immutable; they yield not to
mortal anger. (With a melancholy tenderness.) O Leonora, years ago my
fancy painted that triumphant hour when I should present thee to Genoa as
her duchess--methought I saw the lovely blush that tinged thy modest
cheek--the timid heaving of thy beauteous bosom beneath the snowy gauze--
I heard the gentle murmurs of thy voice, which died away in rapture!
(More lively.) Ah, how intoxicating to my soul were the proud
acclamations of the people! How did my love rejoice to see its triumph
marked in the sinking envy of its rivals! Leonora! The hour which
should confirm these hopes is come. Thy Fiesco is Duke of Genoa--and yet
the meanest beggar would not exchange his poverty for my greatness and my
sufferings. (More affected.) He has a wife to share his troubles--with
whom can I share my splendor? (He weeps bitterly, and throws himself on
the dead body. Compassion marked upon the countenances of all.)

CALCAGNO. She was, indeed, a most excellent lady.

ZIBO. This event must be concealed from the people. 'Twould damp the
ardor of our party and elevate the enemy with hope.

FIESCO (rises, collected and firm). Here me, Genoese! Providence, if
rightly I interpret its designs, has struck me with this wound only to
try my heart for my approaching greatness. The blow was terrible. Since
I have felt it, I fear neither torture nor pleasure. Come! Genoa, you
say, awaits me--I will give to Genoa a prince more truly great than
Europe ever saw. Away!--for this unhappy princess I will prepare a
funeral so splendid that life shall lose its charms, and cold corruption
glitter like a bride. Follow your duke!

                     [Exeunt, with music and colors.



ANDREAS. Yonder they go, with shouts of exultation.

LOMELLINO. They are intoxicated with success. The gates are deserted
and all are hastening toward the senate-house.

ANDREAS. It was my nephew only whom Genoa could not brook. My nephew is
no more. Hear, Lomellino!

LOMELLINO. What, duke--still--do you still hope?

ANDREAS (sternly). And dost thou tremble for my life, and mock me with
the name of duke the while thou wouldst forbid me hope.

LOMELLINO. My gracious lord, a raging nation lies in Fiesco's scale;
what counterpoise in yours?

ANDREAS (with dignity and animation). Heaven!

LOMELLINO (shrugging up his shoulders). The times are past, my lord,
when armies fought under the guidance of celestial leaders. Since
gunpowder was invented angels have ceased to fight.

ANDREAS. Wretch that thou art! Wouldst thou bereave an aged head of its
support, its God. (In an earnest and commanding tone.) Go! Make it
known throughout Genoa that Andreas Doria is still alive. Say that
Andreas entreats the citizens, his children, not to drive him, in his old
age, to dwell with foreigners, who ne'er would pardon the exalted state
to which he raised his country. Say this--and further say, Andreas begs
but so much ground within his fatherland as may contain his bones.

LOMELLINO. I obey; but I despair of success. (Going.)

ANDREAS. Stay; take with thee this snowy lock, and say it was the last
upon my head. Say that I plucked it on that night when ungrateful Genoa
tore itself from my heart. For fourscore years it hung upon my temples,
and now has left my bald head, chilled with the winter of age. The lock
is weak, but 'twill suffice to fasten the purple on that young usurper.

   [Exit--LOMELLINO hastens into another street--Shouts are heard,
   with trumpets and drums.


   VERRINA (coming from the harbor), BERTHA, and BOURGOGNINO.

VERRINA. What mean these shouts?

BOURGOGNINO. They proclaim Fiesco duke.

BERTHA (to BOURGOGNINO, timidly). Scipio! My father's looks are

VERRINA. Leave me, my children. O Genoa! Genoa!

BOURGOGNINO. The populace adore him, and with transports hailed him as
their duke. The nobles looked on with horror, but dared not oppose it.

VERRINA. My son, I have converted all my possessions into gold, and
conveyed it on board thy vessel. Take thy wife with thee, and set sail
immediately. Perhaps I soon shall follow. Perhaps--never more. Hasten
to Marseilles, and--(embracing them mournfully and with energy)--may the
Almighty guide you.               [Exit hastily.

BERTHA. I beseech thee, say, on what dreadful project does my father

BOURGOGNINO. Didst thou understand thy father?

BERTHA. He bade us fly. Merciful Heaven! Fly on our bridal day!

BOURGOGNINO. He spoke it, and we must obey.

                     [Exeunt towards the harbor.


   VERRINA, and FIESCO (in the ducal habit), meeting.

FIESCO. Welcome, Verrina! I was anxious to meet thee.

VERRINA. I also sought Fiesco.

FIESCO. Does Verrina perceive no alteration in his friend?

VERRINA (with reserve). I wish for none.

FIESCO. But do you see none?

VERRINA (without looking at him). I should hope not!

FIESCO. I ask, do you perceive none?

VERRINA (after a slight glance). None!

FIESCO. See, then, how idle is the observation that power makes a
tyrant. Since we parted I am become the Duke of Genoa, and yet Verrina
(pressing him to his bosom) finds my embrace still glowing as before.

VERRINA. I grieve that I must return it coldly. The sight of majesty
falls like a keen-edged weapon, cutting off all affection between the
duke and me. To John Louis Fiesco belonged the territory of my heart.
Now he has conquered Genoa I resume that poor possession.

FIESCO (with astonishment). Forbid it, Heaven! That price is too
enormous even for a dukedom.

VEERINA (muttering). Hum! Is liberty then out of fashion, that
republics are so lightly thrown away upon the first that offers himself?

FIESCO (bites his lips). Verrina, say this to no one but Fiesco.

VERRINA. Oh, of course! Great indeed must be that mind which can hear
the voice of truth without offence. But alas! the cunning gamester has
failed in one single card. He calculated all the chances of envious
opposition, but unfortunately overlooked one antagonist--the patriot--
(very significantly). But perhaps the oppressor of liberty has still in
store some scheme for banishing patriotic virtue. I swear by the living
God that posterity shall sooner collect my mouldering bones from off the
wheel than from a sepulchre within that country which is governed by a

FIESCO (taking him tenderly by the hand). Not even when that duke is thy
brother? Not if he should make his principality the treasury of that
benevolence which was restrained by his domestic poverty? Not even then,

VERRINA. No--not even then! We pardon not the robber because he made
gifts of his plunder, nor does such generosity suit Verrina. I might
permit my fellow-citizens to confer a benefit on me--because I should
hope some day to make them an adequate return. That which a prince
confers is bounty; but bounty undeserved I would receive alone from God.

FIESCO (angrily). It were as easy to tear Italy from the bosom of the
ocean as to shake this stubborn enthusiast from his prejudices.

VERRINA. Well mayst thou talk of tearing: thou hast torn the republic
from Doria, as a lamb from the jaws of the wolf, only that thou mightest
devour it thyself. But enough of this--just tell me, duke, what crime
the poor wretch committed whom you ordered to be hung up at the church of
the Jesuits?

FIESCO. The scoundrel set fire to the city.

VERRINA. Yet the scoundrel left the laws untouched.

FIESCO. Verrina presumes upon my friendship.

VERRINA. Away with friendship! I tell thee I no longer love thee. I
swear to thee that I hate thee--hate thee like the serpent of Paradise,
that first disturbed the happiness of creation, and brought upon mankind
unbounded sorrow. Hear me, Fiesco, I speak to thee not as a subject to
his master, not as a friend to his friend, but as man to man--(with
bitterness and vehemence). Thou hast committed a crime against the
majesty of the eternal God in permitting virtue to lead thy hands to
wickedness, and in suffering the patriots of Genoa to violate their
country. Fiesco, had thy villany deceived me also!--Fiesco, by all the
horrors of eternity! with my own hands I would have strangled myself, and
on thy head spurted the venom of my departing soul. A princely crime may
break the scale of human justice, but thou hast insulted heaven, and the
last judgment will decide the cause. (Fiesco remains speechless, looking
at him with astonishment.) Do not attempt to answer me. Now we have
done. (After walking several times up and down.) Duke of Genoa, in the
vessels of yesterday's tyrant, I have seen a miserable race who, at every
stroke of their oars, ruminate upon their long-expiated guilt, and weep
their tears into the ocean, which, like a rich man, is too proud to count
them. A good prince begins his reign with acts of mercy. Wilt thou
release the galley-slaves?

FIESCO (sharply). Let them be the first fruits of my tyranny. Go, and
announce to them their deliverance.

VERRINA. You will enjoy but half the pleasure unless you see their
happiness. Perform this deed thyself. The great are seldom witnesses of
the evils which they cause. And shall they, too, do good by stealth and
in obscurity? Methinks the duke is not too great to sympathize with a

FIESCO. Man, thou art dreadful; yet I know not why I must follow thee.
(Both go toward the sea.)

VERRINA (stops, much affected). But once more embrace me, Fiesco. Here
is no one by to see Verrina weep, or to behold a prince give way to
feeling--(he embraces him eagerly). Surely never beat two greater hearts
together--we loved each other so fraternally--(weeping violently on
Fiasco's neck). Fiesco! Fiesco! Thou makest a void in my bosom which
all mankind, thrice numbered, could not fill up.

FIESCO (much affected). Be still, my friend.

VERRINA. Throw off this hateful purple, and I will be so. The first
prince was a murderer, and assumed the purple to hide the bloody stains
of his detested deeds. Hear me, Fiesco! I am a warrior, little used to
weeping--Fiesco--these are my first tears--throw off this purple!

FIESCO. Peace.

VERRINA (more vehemently). Fiesco, place on the one side all the honors
of this great globe, on the other all its tortures; they should not make
me kneel before a mortal--Fiesco (falling on his knee), this is the first
bending of my knee--throw off this purple!

FIESCO. Rise, and no longer irritate me!

VERRINA (in a determined tone). I rise then, and will no longer irritate
thee. (They stand on a board leading to a galley.) The prince must take

FIESCO. Why do you pull my cloak? It falls----

VERRINA (with bitter irony). If the purple falls the duke must after it.
(He pushes him into the sea.)

FIESCO (calls out of the waves). Help, Genoa! Help! Help thy duke!


   CALCAGNO, SACCO, ZIBO, ZENTURIONE, Conspirators, People.

CALCAGNO (crying out). Fiesco! Fiesco! Andreas is returned--half Genoa
joins Andreas. Where is Fiesco?

VERRINA (in a firm tone). Drowning.

ZENTURIONE. Does hell or madness prompt thy answer?

VERRINA. Drowned--if that sound better. I go to join Andreas.

   (The CONSPIRATORS stand in groups, astonished. The curtain falls.)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fiesco; or, the Genoese Conspiracy" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.