FIESCO, VERRINA, BOURGOGNINO, CALCAGNO, SACCO
FIESCO (meeting them). The tempest is approaching; the clouds rush together. Advance with caution. Let all the doors be locked.
VERRINA. Eight chambers have I made fast behind me. Suspicion cannot come within a hundred steps of us.
BOURG Here is no traitor, unless our fear become one.
FIESCO. Fear cannot pass my threshold. Welcome he whose mind remains the same as yesterday. Be seated----- (They seat themselves).
BOURG. (walking up and down). I care not to sit in cold deliberation when action calls upon me.
FIESCO. Genoese, this hour is eventful.
VERRINA. Thou hast challenged us to consider a plan for dethroning the tyrant. Demand of us--we are here to answer thee.
FIESCO. First, then, a question, which, as it comes so late, you may think strange.--Who is to fall?----- (a pause.)
BOURG. (leaning over FIESCO'S chair with an expressive look). The tyrants.
FIESCO. Well spoken. The tyrants. I entreat you weigh well the importance of the word. Is he who threatens the overthrow of liberty--or he who has it in his power--the greater tyrant?
VERRINA. The first I hate, I fear the latter. Let Andreas Doria fall!
CALCAGNO (with emotion). Andreas? The old Andreas! who perhaps to-morrow may pay the debt of nature-----
SACCO. Andreas?--That mild old man!
FIESCO. Formidable is that old man's mildness, O my friend--the brutality of Gianettino only deserves contempt. Let Andreas fall!" There spoke thy wisdom, Verrina.
BOURG. The chain of iron, and the cord of silk, alike are bonds. Let Andreas perish!
FIESCO (going to the table). The sentence, then, is passed upon the uncle and the nephew. Sign it!--(they all sign). The question who is settled.--How must be next determined Speak first, Calcagno.