not. 'Tis past eleven. The sound of arms and men rings frightfully through the palace, and no Fiesco comes.
ROSA. You are to conceal yourself behind the tapestry-- what can the Count intend?
LEONORA. He directs, and I obey. Why should I fear? And yet I tremble, Arabella, and my heart beats fearfully with apprehension. For Heaven's sake, damsels, do not leave me.
ARABELLA. Fear nothing: our timidity subdues our curiosity
LEONORA. Where'er I turn my eyes, strange shapes appear with hollow and distracted countenances. Whomsoever I address trembles like a criminal, and withdraws into the thickest gloom of night, that fearful refuge of a guilty conscience. Whate'er they answer falls from the trembling tongue in doubtful accents. Oh, Fiesco! what horrid business dost thou meditate? Ye heavenly Powers! watch over my Fiesco!
ROSA (alarmed). Oh, heavens! what noise is that without?
ARABELLA. It is the soldier who stands there as sentinel. (The SENTINEL without calls, "Who goes there?")
LEONORA. Some one approaches. Quick! behind the curtain--(they conceal themselves.)
JULIA and FIESCO, in conversation.
JULIA (much agitated). Forbear, Count! Your passion meets no longer an indifferent ear, but fires the raging blood--Where am I? Nought but seducing night is here! Whither has your artful tongue lured my unguarded heart?
FIESCO. To this spot, where timid love grows bold; and where emotions mingle unrestrained.
JULIA. Hold, Fiesco! for Heaven's sake, no more! 'Tis the thick veil of night alone which covers the burning blushes on my cheeks, else wouldest thou pity me.
FIESCO. Rather, Julia, thy blushes would inflame my passions, and urge them to their utmost height. (Kisses her hand eagerly.)
JULIA. Thy countenance is glowing as thy words! Ah! and my own too burns with guilty fire. Hence, I entreat