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 agreement.
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 wheel.
FIESCO. Thou shalt escape unhurt, I give thee my honour 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 the fact. 'Tis well. (Hallooing violently).--Murder! Murder! Guard the passages! Make fast the gates! (He drags the MOORout by the throat; servants run across the stage hastily.