to friendship and to love. Begone for ever 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.
CALCAGNO (stands as if thunderstruck, looks after her, then striking his forehead). Fool, that I am!
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 here.
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 happened.
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. Giannettino is as hateful to them as death itself--there's nought but murmuring. They say, the