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.
BOURG. 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. Good night, 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 SACCOand 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--A vaunt!--(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