know the hearts of Genoa mine! To govern with a master's hand this formidable state!--O 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 citizen.
VERRINAand BOURGOGNINO entering
BOURG. (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 labour in your panting breast. Break this dreadful silence!--Speak. I will go no further.
VERRINA. This is the place.
BOURG. 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 't is 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 me with despair.
BOURG. 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 vigour of thy spirits--if black congealed blood had closed the avenues of thy heart against the