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My liege, I know him; 't is the new-sprung signior, 'Tis passing strange, a man of such lean habits, This great philosopher. I ever doubted Wealth flowing to him in a steady current,
His vaunted manufactory of gold, Winds wafting it unto him from all quarters,
Work’d by some strunge machinery. Through all his seventy toilsome years of life,
Theodore, And yet his treasury so spare and meagre; Signior Gonsalvo, were the voice that told us
Search thou the garden that this woman speaks of. Less tried and trusty than thine own, our faith
Captain Antonio, be 't thy charge to attach Would be a rebel to such marvellous fact.
With speed the person of this Fazio.
BIANCA (rushing forward to ANTONIO).
You 'll find him at the Marchesa Aldabella's :
Bring him away - no mercy — no delay
Nay, not an instant - not time for a kiss, All in a state of orderly misery,
A parting kiss. (Aside.) Now have I widow'd her,
As she has widow'd me! Now come what will, No trace of secret inroad ; yet, my liege, The mountains of his wealth were puny mole-hills,
Their curst entwining arms are riven asunder. A few stray ducats; piles indeed of parchments,
And thou, thou peremptory summoner! Mortgages, deeds, and lawsuits heaped to the roof,
Most thirsty after justice! speak Enough to serve the armies of all Tuscany
Thy name? At least for half a century with new drum-heads.
Thy estate wedded or single ?
Give instant answer to the court. His argosies encumber all our poris,
BIANCA His unsold bales rot in the crowded wharfs;
Oh! wedded, but most miserably single. The interest of a hundred usuries
DUKE. Lieth unclaim'd.—Besides, he hath not left
Woman, thou palterest with our dignity. Our city for these twenty years ;-a flight
Thy husband's name and quality ?-Why shakest thou So unprepared and wanton suits not well
And draw'st the veil along thy moody brow, Your slow and heavy-laden usurer.
As thou too wert a murderess ?-Speak, and quickly Enter ANTONIO.
'Tis thy husband then -
Woman, take heed, if, petulant and rash,
Thou wouldst abuse the righteous sword of law, Admit her.-(Enter Bianca.)— How! what know'st That brightest in the armoury of man, thou of the death
To a peevish instrument of thy light passions, Of old Bartolo ?-be he dead in sooth ?
Or furtherance of some close and secret guilt: Or of his riches !
Take heed, 't is in the heaven stamp'd roll of sins,
To bear false witness- -Oh, but 'gainst thy husband The east side of the fountain, Thy bosom's lord, flesh of thy flesh! – To set In the small garden of a lowly house,
The bloodhounds of the law upon his track! By the Franciscan convent, the green herbs
If thou speak'st true, stern justice will but blush Grow boon and freely, the manure is rich
To be so cheerd upon her guilty prey : Around their roots : dig there, and you'll be wiser. If it be false, thou givest to flagrant sin DUKE.
A heinous immortality. This deed
Will chronicle thee, woman, to all ages,
In human guilt a portent and an era :
"T is of those crimes, whose eminent fame Hell joys at D'KE.
And the celestial angels, that look on it,
Wish their keen airy vision dim and narrow.
My liege, e'en where she said, an unstripp'd corpse DUKE.
Lay carelessly inearth'd : old weeds hung on it, And who is he
Like those that old Bartolo wont to wear;
And under the left rib a small stiletto,
Death is thy doom — the public, daylight death. Rusted within the pale and creeping flesh.
Thy body do we give unto the wheel :
The Lord have mercy on thy sinful soul !
Death !-Death!- I meant not that!-Ye mean not DUKE.
that! Thou 'rt Giraldi Fazio.
What's all this waste and idle talk of murder ? Giraldi Fazio, thou stand'st here arraign'd,
He slay a man with tender hands like his? That, with presumption impious and accurst, With delicate mild soul? Why, his own blood Thou hast usurp'd God's high prerogative,
Had startled him! I've seen him pale and shuddering Making thy fellow-mortal's life and death
At the sad writhings of a trampled worm : Wait op thy moody and diseased passions ;
I've seen him brush off with a dainty hand
A bee that stung him. Oh, why wear ye thus
What means that snow upon your reverend brows,
Of bloody criminal and bloody crime ?
'T were wise l' arraign the soft and silly lamb My liege, 1 do beseech thee, argue not,
Of slaughtering his butcher: ye might make it From the thick clogging of my clammy breath, As proper a murderer as my Fazio. Aught but a natural and instinctive dread
Woman, th' irrevocable breath of justice
Die! Fazio die! Of my just anger shall burn up his heart,
Ye grey and solemn murderers by charter! Make his lip drop, and powerless shuddering Ye ermined manslayers! when the tale is rise Creep o'er his noisome and corrupted limbs,
With blood and guilt, and deep and damning, Oh, Till the coarse lie choke in his wretched throat. Ye suck it in with cold insatiate thirst : DUKE.
But to the plea of mercy ye are stones, Thou 'rt bold. — But know ye aught of old Bartolo? As deaf and hollow as the unbowelld winds. Methinks, for innocence, thou 'rt pale and tremulous- Oh, ye smooth Christians in your tones and looks, That name is to thee as a thunderclap;
But in your hearts as savage as the tawny But thou shalt have thy wish. -Woman, stand forth : And misbelieving African! ye profane, Nay, cast away thy veil. Look on her, Fazio. Who say, “God bless him! God deliver him!"
While yo are beckoning for the bloody axe, Bianca! - No, it is a horrid vision !
To smite the unoffending head! - his head !And, if I struggle, I shall wake, and find it My Fazio's head! - the head this bosom cherish'd A miscreated mockery of the brain.
With its first virgin fondness, If thou 'rt a fiend, what hellish right hast thou
DUKE. To shroud thy leprous and fire-seamed visage
Fazio, hear. In lovely lineaments, like my Bianca's ?
To-morrow's morning sun shall dawn upon thee If thou 'rt indeed Bianca, thou wilt wear
But when he setteth in his western couch, A ring I gave thee at our wedding time.
He finds thy place in this world void and vacant. In God's name do I bid thee hold it up; And, if thou dost, I 'll be a murderer,
To-morrow morning!-- Not tomorrow morning!
If the bad soul but feebly catch at heaven.
But ye, but ye, unshriven, unreconciled,
With all its ponderous mass of sins hurl down First, on thy evil-golten wealth the State
The bare and shivering spirit. -- Oh, not tomorrow!
Woman, thou dost outstep all modesty :
But for strong circumstance that leagues with thee,
We should contemn thee for a wild mad woman, Oh, I forgive thee! -- We'll be poor and happy! Raving her wayward and unsettled fancies. So happy, the dull day shall be too short for us. She loved thee, that proud woman, for thy riches ; Mad! mad! - ay, that it is ! - ay, that it is. But thou canst tell why I love Fazio.
Is 't to be mad to speak, to move, to gaze,
But not know how, or why, or whence, or where? And for thyself _ "rix in the code of Heaven, To see that there are faces all around me, Blood will have bloou - the slayer for the slain. Floating within a dim discolour'd baze,
Yet have distinction, vision, but for one ?
Mine own Bianca! I shall need too much mercy
It was not well, Bianca, in my guilt Oh, I am mad, wildly, intensely mad.
To cut me off — thus early — thus unripe : "T was but last night the moon was at the full; It will be bitter, when the axe falls on me, And ye, and ye, the sovereign and the sage,
To think whose voice did summon it to its office.The wisdom and the reverence of all Florence, No more — no more of that: we all must die. E'en from a maniac's dim disjointed tale,
Bianca, thou wilt love me when I'm dead : Do calmly judge away the innocent life,
I wrong'd thee, but thou ’lt love me when I'm dead The holy human life, the life God gave him.
What, kiss me, kiss me, Fazio!- 't is too much: Giraldi Fazio, hast thou aught to plead
And these warm lips must be cold clay to-morrow. Against the law, that with imperious hand
Signior, we must part hence.
What! tear me from him
Rob me of them!- He hath lain delicately: All that hath cognizance o'er unseen deeds,
Thou wilt not envy me the wretched office Blood is a colour stranger to these hands.
Of-strewing the last pillow he shall lie on —
Lady, far as is the warrant
Of my stern orders -
Excellent youth! Ileaven thank thee i God gave ye hearing, but ye will not hear;
There's not another heart like thine in Florence.
We shall not part, we shall not part, my Fazin!
FAZIO (as he leads her out).
It was not with this cold and shaking hand If it be true, blood is not on thy soul,
I led thee virgin to the bridal altar. Yet thou object'st not to the charge of robbery ?
(Ereunt (Fazio bows. Thou dost not. Robbery, by the laws of Florence, Is sternly coded as a deadly crime:
ACT IV.- SCENE I. Therefore, I say again, Giraldi Fazio,
FAZIO and BIANCA.
Let's talk of joy, Bianca: we'll deceive
Stare at us with such deep and hideous blackness: Ere that poor culprit's yonder, their own father's.
We 'll fly to the past. Dost thou remember, love, Befriend us, oh, befriend us! 'Tis a title
Those gentle moonlights, when my fond guitar Heaven joys at, and the hard and savage earth
Was regular, as convent vesper hymn, Doth break its sullen nature to delight in
Beneath ihy laltice, sometimes the light dawn The destitute's sole friend. And thou
Came stealing on our voiceless intercourse,
Soft in its grey and filmy atmosphere?
BIANCA. Ye're all alike. — Off! off! - Ye're all alike. (Exeunt all but Fazio, the Officer, and BIANCA. Will steal upon us. — Then, oh then
Oh yes, oh yes! - There 'll be a dawn tomorrow BIANCA (creeping to Fazio). Thou wilt not spurn me, wilt not trample on me,
Oh, think not on't Wilt let me touch thee-I, whose lips have slain thee? And thou remember'st too that beauteous evening Oh, look not on me thus with that fond look
Upon the Arno; how we sail'd along, Pamper me not, for long and living grief
And laugh’d to see the stately towers of Florence To prey upon - Oh, curse me, Fazio
Waver and dance in the blue depth beneath us.
Come to the wheel! - it wrings my very heart, Oh yes!
To-morrow evening, if thou close To fancy how the seams will crack, or haply
They pass me by on the other side of the street; That flicker'd through our shaking lattice bars!
They spurn me from their doors; they load the air Our children at our feet, or on our laps,
With curses that are fiung on me: the Palace, Warm in their breathing slumbers, or at play
The Ducal Palace, that should aye be open With rosy laughter on their cheeks! Oh God!
To voice of the distress'd, as is God's heaven, Bianca, such a flash of thought crost o'er me,
Is ring'd around with grim and armed savages, I dare not speak it.
That with their angry weapons smite me back,
As though I came with fire in my hand, to burn Quick, my Fazio!
The royal walls: the children in the streets Quick, let me have 'l!—10-morrow thou 'lt not speak it. Break off their noisy games to hoot at me;
And the dogs from the porches howl me on. Oh, what a life must theirs be, those poor innocents!
But here's a succour.—(To Falsetto.) Oh, good sir, thy When they have grown up to a sense of sorrow
friend, Oh, what a seast will they be for rude misery!
The man thou feastedst with but yesterday, Honest men's boys and girls, whene'er they mingle,
He to whose motion thou wast a true shadow, Will spurn them with the black and branded title,
Whose hand rain'd gifts upon thee – he I mean, * The murderer's children.” Infamy will pin
Fazio, the bounteous, free, and liberal Fazio That pestilent label on their backs ; the plague-spot I swear to thee 't is wrongfully. — Oh, sir,
He's wrongfully accused, wrongfully doom'd: Will bloat and blister on them till their death-beds; And if they beg — for beggars they must be —
An eloquent honey-dropping tongue like thine, They 'll drive them from their doors with cruel jeers
How would it garnish up his innocence, Upon my riches, villanously style them
Till Justice would grow amorous, and embrace it. “The children of Lord Fazio, the philosopher."
Sweet lady, thou o'ervaluest my poor powers: Tomorrow will the cry begin, to-morrow.
Any thing in reason to win so much loveliness It must not be, and I sit idle here.
To smile on me- but this were wild and futile. Fazio, there must be in this wide, wide city
BIANCA. Piercing and penetrating eyes for truth,
In reason ?- 'Tis to save a human life Souls not too proud, 100 cold, too stern for mercy.
Is not that in the spacious realm of reason ? — I'll hunt them out, and swear them to our service.
Kind sir, there's not a prayer will mount hereafter I'll raise up something — Oh, I know not what
Ileavenward from us or our poor children's lips, Shall boldly startle the rank air of Florence
But in it thy dear name will rise embalm'd; With proclamation of thy innocence.
And prayers have power to cancel many a sin, I'll raise the dead! I'll conjure up the ghost
That clogs and flaws our coarse and corrupt nature or that old rotten thing, Bartolo; make it Cry out i' the market place, “ Thou didst not slay Methinks, good Dandolo, 't is the hour we owe him!"
Attendance at the Lady Portia's toilette.-
Any commission in our way, fair lady?
Oh yes! I'm ever indispensable there
As is her looking-glass.-
blown bubbles !
Why, thou didst cling to him but yesterday,
As 't were a danger of thy life to part from him ;
Didst swear it was a sin in Providence
He was not born a prince. (To Dandolo.) And thou,
sir, thou –
Faugh! cast ye off this shape and skin of men ; Besides stray boons of horses, rings, and jewels. Ye stain it, ye pollute it: be the reptiles DANDOLO.
Ye are. (To Philario.) And thou, sir - I know me Ob my Falsetto, a coat of my fashion
He hired thee to troll out thy fulsome ditties : The prime of Florence wait upon thy smiles,
Thy lips have such sweet melody, 't is hung upon
Till silence is an agony. Did it plead I do beseech thee, lady, judge me not
For one condemn'd, but oh, most innocent, So harshly. In the state, Heaven knows, I'm power- | 'T would be a music th' air would fall in love with, less :
And never let it die, till it had won
Its honest purpose.
What a wanton waste
Of idle praise is here!
Nay think, oh think,
What 't is to give again a forseit lise : All that I can I will, to make his misery
Ay, such a life as Fazio's ! - Frown not on me: Slide from him light and airily.
Thou think'st that he's a murderer-'t is all false,
A trick of Fortune, fancifully cruel,
To cheat the world of such a life as Fazio's.
Frivolous and weak: I could not if I would.
Hear - hear, and thou art won. If thou dost save Go-go! – (Eril.) - One effort more, and if I fail
him, But by the inbred and instinctive tenderness
It is but just he should be saved for thee.
I give him thee Bianca - I his wife :
1 pardon all that has been, all that may be —
And if ye see a pale or envious motion
Upon my cheek, a quivering on my lips,
Like to complaint - then strike him dead before me Palace of Aldabella.
Thou shalt enjoy all — all that I enjoy’d:
His love, his life, his sense, his soul be thine ; Fazio in prison! Fazio doom'd 10 die!
And I will bless thee, in my misery bless thee. I was too hasty ; should have fled, and bashfully
ALDABELLA. Beckon'd him after; lured him, not seized on him. What mist is on thy wild and wandering eyes ? Proud Aldabella a poor robber's paramour !
Know'st thou to whom and where thou play'st the Oh it sounds dismal! Florence must not hear it :
ra ver ? And sooth his time is brief to descant on it.
I, Aldabella, whom the amorous homage
Of rival lords and princes stirs no more
I, Aldabella, when my voice might make
Thrones render up their stateliest to my service-
Stoop to the sordid sweepings of a prison ? For if I do, a curse will clog my utterance.
IALDABELLA. Nay, stand not with thy pale lips quivering nothings— Proud-lipp'd woman, earth's most gorgeous sove Speak out, and freely.
Were worthless of my Fazio! Foolish woman, Lady, there is one
Thou ca at'st a jewel off! The proudest lord Fie, fie upon this choking in my throat
That ever revelld in thy unchaste arms, One thou didst love, Giraldi Fazio :
Was a swarth galley-slave to Fazio.
Ah me! me! me! e'en I his lawful wife
Hadst thou loved him, I had pardon'd, pitied thee :
We two had sate, all coldly, palely sad ;
Dropping, like stalues on a fountain-side,
A pure, a silent, and eternal dew.
Hadst thou outwept me, I had loved thee for't
Nay, gentle lady, And that were easy, for I'm stony here. (Pulling her Thou ’rt high-horn, rich, and beautiful: the princes,
hand to her eyes.)