VERRINA. Leave me, my children!--O Genoa! Genoa!
BOURG. The populace adore him, and with transports hailed him as their duke. The nobles looked on with horror, but dared not oppose it.
VERRINA. My son, I have converted all my possessions into gold and conveyed it on board thy vessel Take thy wife with thee, and set sail immediately. Perhaps I soon shall follow--Perhaps--never more.--Hasten to Marseilles, and-- (embracing them mournfully and with energy)--may the Almighty guide you. [Exit hastily.
BERTHA. I beseech thee, say, on what dreadful project does my father brood?
BOURG. Didst thou understand thy father?
BERTHA. He bade us fly.--Merciful Heaven!--Fly on our bridal day!
BOURG. He spoke it, and we must obey.
[Exeunt toward the harbour,
VERRINA, and FIESCO (in the ducal habit), meeting.
FIESCO. Welcome, Verrina! I was anxious to meet thee.
VERRINA. I also sought Fiesco.
FIESCO. Does Verrina perceive no alteration in his friend?
VERRINA (with reserve). I wish for none.
FIESCO. But do you see none?
VERRINA (without looking at him). I should hope not!
FIESCO. I ask, do you perceive none?
VERRINA (after a slight glance). None!
FIESCO. See, then, how idle is the observation, that power makes a tyrant. Since we parted I am become the Duke of Genoa, and yet Verrina (pressing him to his bosom) finds my embrace still glowing as before
VERRINA. I grieve, that I must return it coldly. The sight of majesty falls like a keen-edged weapon, cutting off all affection between the Duke and me. To John Louis Fiesco belonged the territory of my heart.--Now he has conquered Genoa, I resume that poor possession.
FIESCO (with astonishment). Forbid it, Heaven! That price is too enormous even for a dukedom.