GERMAN (presenting his arms). Greeting from the Duke! --he delivers up to your grace this Moor in chains, who,) hath basely slandered you: the rest this note will tell.
FIESCO (takes it with an air of indifference). Have I not threatened thee already with the galleys?--(To the GERMAN.) Very well, my friend, my respects to the Duke.
MOOR (hallooing after them). Mine too--and tell the Duke, had he not employed an ass for his messenger, he would have learnt that two thousand soldiers are concealed within these palace walls.
[Exeunt GERMANS, the NOBLES return.
FIESCO, the CONSPIRATORS, MOOR (looking at them unconcerned).
THE CONSPIRATORS (shuddering at the sight of the MOOR) Ha! what means this?
FIESCO (after reading the note, with suppressed anger). Genoese, the danger is past--but the conspiracy is likewise at an end-----
VERRINA (astonished). What!--Are the Dorias dead?
FIESCO (violently agitated). By heavens! I was prepared to encounter the whole force of the republic, but not this blow. This old nerveless man, with his pen, annihilates three thousand soldiers (his hands sink down). Doria over comes Fiesco!
BOURG. Speak, Count, we are amazed?
FIESCO (reading ). "Lavagna, your fate resembles mine: benevolence is rewarded with ingratitude. The Moor in forms me of a plot: 1 scud him back to you in chains, and shall sleep to-night without a guard."--(He drops the paper --the rest look at each other.)
VERRINA. Well, Fiesco?
FIESCO (with dignity). Shall Doria surpass me in magnanimity? Shall the race of Fiesco want this one virtue? No, by my honour--disperse--I'll go and own the whole--
VERRINA (stopping him). Art thou mad? Was then, our enterprise some thievish act of villany? Was it not our country's cause? Was Andreas the object of thy hatred, and not the tyrant? Stay! I arrest thee as a traitor to thy country