LEONORA and FIESCO
LEONORA (approaching with anxiety). Fiesco!--Fiesco!--I understand but half your meaning; yet I begin to tremble.
FIESCO (siqnificantly). Leonora!--I once saw you yield the place of honour to another.--I saw you, in the presence of the nobles, receive the second compliment.--Leonora, that sight tormented me. I resolved it should be so no longer-- Henceforth it ceases. Do you hear the warlike noise which echoes through my palace?--What you suspect is true.--Retire to rest, Countess--to-morrow you shall awake DUCHESS OF GENOA-----
LEONORA (clasping her hands together, and throwing herself into a chair). O God! My very fears! I am undone!
FIESCO (seriously, and with dignity). Let me speak out, my love. Two of my ancestors wore the triple crown. The blood of the Fiescos flows not pure unless beneath the purple. Shall your husband only reflect a borrowed splendour? (In a more energetic manner.) What! shall he owe his rank alone to capricious chance, which, from the ashes of mouldering greatness, has patched together a John Louis Fiesco? No, Leonora, I am too proud to accept from others what my own powers may achieve. This night the hereditary titles of my ancestors shall return to deck their tombs--Lavagna's counts exist no longer--a race of princes shall begin.
LEONORA (mournfully, and giving way to imagination). I see my husband fall, transfixed by deadly wounds.--(In a hollow voice.) I see them bear my husband's mangled corpse towards me.--(Starting up.) The first--the only ball has pierced Fiesco's heart-----
FIESCO (tenderly seizing her hand). Be calm, my love.-- The only ball will not strike me.
LEONORA (looking steadfastly at him). Does Fiesco so confidently challenge Heaven? If, in the scope of countless possibilities, one chance alone were adverse that one might happen, and I should lose my husband.--Think that thou venturest Heaven, Fiesco; and, though a million chances were in thy favour, would'st thou dare tempt the Almighty